Humpday Hate: Oh, Spoken Word.

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When I say I hate you… this is what I mean.

Well, first, let me clarify:  I hate bad spoken word.  The “I’m deep by sound and headwrap and ankh tattoo alone” spoken word.  The “as long as I say something about Africa, this is a good poem” spoken word.  The affected cadence.  The wildly unnecessary rap hands.  The circle jerking crowd that thinks itself cultured because it goes to open mics.  I hate it.  I abhor it.

That said, not ALL spoken word is bad spoken word.

But that said, like 98% of spoken word is completely horrible.  That includes what you’re about to listen to.

Some backstory:  So my life is kind of amazing.  There is some phenomenon at work here recently that finds my decidedly non-religious self in the midst of Christian functions.  It’s amazing!  I don’t know how it happens!  Not that I mind.  Me & Jesus are cool.   I just think it’s interesting that it happens so much lately.

Last Friday, I went to see my good buddy at a local open mic that included comedy, music, and poetry.  This particular performer—let’s simply refer to her as Bee—went last.  It was surreal.. she started off with a weird comedy set that included her squatting down in the middle of the room to demonstrate how babies are made (NOTE:  THIS IS AT A CHRISTIAN FUNCTION), then went into this bizarre spoken word piece about sex, cereal and candy bars (REMINDER:  STILL A CHRISTIAN SHOW) in which she randomly sings old R&B songs throughout.

My favorite part?  When the band gives her the “Wrap It Up, B” music at the end (I had to cut it off because she says her name at the end, but make no mistake—that band was NOT giving her backup.  They played gradually louder as she talked for another minute and a half at the end).  Listen below.

Bee Does Freaky Cereal Christian Spoken Word.

Brokey McPoverty

Brokey McPoverty, aka Tracy Clayton, is a writer and humorist from Louisville, KY. She currently writes for BuzzFeed and lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.

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  • NubianEmpress



  • lola

    Oh. Em. Geeeeeeeee. and…AND!! SHE LOST HER TRAIN OF THOUGHT!!
    a bite of his kit kat bar?!
    are you SURE you weren’t in an In Living Color sketch?

    • Brokey McPoverty

      im actually not sure of this at all. i kept looking around looking for cameras. or for God, somewhere giggling behind a plant in a corner.

  • adamson

    This is a mess…. I don’t even know what in the hell…

  • nichole

    i couldn’t make it past 30 seconds.

  • Michael in LA

    I blame Love Jones – everyone wants to believe they are Larenz Tate or Nia Long. I do acknowledge that bad spoken word existed before this movie hit the screens – but LJ made bad poetry look sexy and just encouraged folks.

    • NinaG

      true, even though I love that movie, I hated the spoken word!

  • Lola Zabeth

    +1 @Michael in LA. I also blame Love Jones for the irritating finger-snap applause. Make it stop already.

  • cindylu

    But that said, like 98% of spoken word is completely horrible. That includes what you’re about to listen to.

    *likes this*

  • Alisha

    Wow! That’s one minute and 12 seconds of my life I’ll never get back (couldn’t make it through the whole thing). That’s pretty much why I stopped going to spoken word events. Hard to sift through the crap. “The affected cadence” is what gets me the most. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try talking like that all day….

  • haiba

    What in the…see, this is why I broke up with spoken word a decade ago :-/

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  • apoetnamedgame

    I think she was having some sort of mental breakdown.

  • Val

    poor girl.

  • RoxyWTF

    I have no idea what she’s talking about.

    Spoken word has always confused me. :(

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  • LaJane Galt

    Was she really talking about honey bunches of Os??

    I went to an HBCU and was an innocent victim of spoken word, to the point that I wouldn’t even deign to attend today.

    She’s giving me drunk friend at 3:30 am vibes. These folks are killing me laughing at her though!