Donald “Price The Poet” Price| Little Rock, Arkansas
I am black and SOVEREIGN.
Tell us who you are and what you do!
If you look back, you would see what has been observed for over a thousand years -according to folklore and popular belief- is that a god, or gods- create. It’s also believed that they, he, or she, is the beginning of life as the believer knows it to be. With that being said, I am a god among gods. I create life. Whether it be by the arrangement of words, a melody, sketches, or mere beat breaks. Lol but nah, I do spoken word poetry and music of several genres. I grew up as the youngest of three siblings; two brothers and a sister. My brothers and several of my cousins all had a huge thing for the hit anime series back then, “Dragon Ball Z”. They did a lot of fan art, replicating what they saw from the show; often tracing. With me being the youngest of the bunch, I eventually caught on and found an abundance of joy in it. Once I discovered I could reproduce the very characters I loved to see in action, I took it a step further and created my own characters for that show and any other cartoon I was fond of. I progressed in my drawing abilities as well as I exercised my creativity to progressively create my own cartoons. I gave expositions of the characters, plot summaries, and of course their image. As I matriculated through out grade school I entered in art contests and won all there was to win. I was the go to guy when someone needed a sketch. Each cartoon or sketch I produced consisted of moral value that I felt wasn’t or wouldn’t be grasped by an audience. It was around that time that I stumbled across Wale, who was an up and coming artist back then, and took a liking to his poetically-philosophical inclined music; where he spoke doctrine, reason, and rhythm and combined them all to fall along the lines of poetry. Thus, my interest in spoken word poetry. It allowed me to say what I thought, through numerous ways using one language. I found it incredible, because what I was trying to do, was translate brain waves and signals to English diction. It’s already impossible to articulate what you think because your brain speaks no English. So, to find ways to approximately express your thoughts, using a thousand adjectives to describe another adjective, a hundred run on sentences, metaphors and similes, all used just to describe how you felt and what you thought when you simply take a breath-is breathtakingly ecstatic. My love for music just developed by rhythm and complementary sound. Theres more structure in music than there is in spoken word. So, the challenge to make sense, follow in rhythm, and rhyme made it all the more intriguing and enjoyable. It’s become second nature; I now listen in poetry format. When others speak, certain analogies (I’m a big fan of analogies) and sentences sound so dope. I’m the only one of my siblings to this day, that still dabbles in the fields of art in which we all bonded through. I’ll soon begin to take my stroll down other aspects of art, as I plan to master it all to be a well rounded artist.
What is the inspiration for your work?
“I’m inspired by the moment.”
Generally, you are. Every major and minor thing collaborates in the laboratory of inspiration. Inspiration is bounced from one thing to the next, making everything connect and everything involved; harmony. Be it indirect or direct. I’m inspired by the moment. With multiple universes coexisting, it’s kind of hard to pinpoint what gives me my precise motive for something. I can say this though, I try not to work without inspiration. Point blank. Without inspiration in my work, there’s no passion and there’s no joy. Others may like it, but I’ll literally despise the piece because it’s void and without spirit. I’ve been asked to write for others, and I do-under inspiration. Normally, by request, it’s hard to find motive for the art besides being asked to. So, I mess around for a moment till something comes from the cosmos.
What would you say to prevent an upcoming artist from making the same mistakes you have made?
Be proactive! DO NOT second guess it. Allow your instinct to reign supreme. Just GO. Just DO it. Know when an opportunity presents itself. It’s better to have a bunch of “oh wells” than “what ifs”. And know humbleness as your best friend, but know your worth as your sibling.
What obstacles have you faced as a Black Artist/Business Owner?
“There’s no ifs, ands or buts in my pursuit.”
Great amounts of skepticism. “What if your poetry or music doesn’t take you where you wanna go? You’ll need some education under your belt” suggestions and ultimatums made mostly by folks who never went to college themselves or, who yet to this date-after graduating- lives miserably trying to find comfort in their degree…the agony. There’s no ifs, ands or buts in my pursuit. “Im in an ocular prison of optimism. I can’t get out to see doubt” -Nu Fone, Hu Dis?
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