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Q&A with hip hop poet M5 vibe

Get to know Hip Hop artist, writer, poet, and veteran M5 vibe in this author Q&A. M5 vibe grew up in a small Georgia town before joining the army. He has felt pulled toward writing since middle school when he took a poetry class with an encouraging teacher. After leaving the military, he started journaling, then rhyming his journal entries, and eventually he started performing his work at open mics. Now, he’s a successful musician and spoken word poet with 5 albums! 

Q: Where are you from and where did you grow up?

I am from Hinesville, Georgia. A small country town on the south side of the state. I lived there until I was 19. 

It was a really small city and I didn’t feel I had much opportunity there. I didn’t have many options where I was living and I always wondered what the rest of the world felt, looked, smelled, and tasted like. I felt my only option to get out of my town was to join the army. 

Joining the army, I got to live in Europe and Asia and that experience opened me up to a whole new world. 

Q: What sparked you to become a writer?

What sparked me to become a writer was desperation. 

In hindsight, I started writing poetry when I was in middle school. We had a poetry class and I found myself spending extra time on the assignments. The teacher would give me extra attention in class because she loved what I wrote. 

The next school year, I didn’t get support from the teacher then teaching that subject so I quit. 

Decades later, after I had left the military, I was dealing with a lot of mental health issues. Felt like no one around me understood and the only thing I could do at that point was to journal. After months of journaling, I got bored and started rhyming my journal entries. I shared it with a friend one day, she insisted I go to an open mic and share. After weeks of contemplating, I did it. That first experience on stage completely redirected my life.

Q: Can you share a piece of advice that has helped you as a writer?

Personally, advice that helped me as a writer was not dragging my poem out, cutting the fat as some would say. I was told my writing was good but people start to trail off if you get long-winded or extremely detailed. There’s nothing wrong with being detailed but how to use that strategically in my art was what I had to learn. 

Q: What is your philosophy towards teaching?

My philosophy towards teaching writing is not exactly teaching how to write, but teaching how to tap into who you are and what you’re passionate about in order to get the words to flow. 

Passion normally is the motivation for anything heartfelt. Once you are tapped in with yourself, I like to teach how to convey that to your audience to make it digestible but also stay authentic to yourself and your style.

Q: How do you deal with writers’ block and/or the urge to do anything else but sit down and write?

How I deal with writer’s block is listening to my body. 

If my mind is stumped on something, I’ll keep it in the back of my mind as I do something else, like taking a walk, washing the dishes, playing with the dog, while I’m at work, or whatever. I’ll still have the lyrics and melody in my head. 

Eventually, hours, days, even weeks later, something I saw, heard, or did, triggers something that breaks the block and I pick up from there. 

My best suggestion is not to force it but to live and it will come to you.

Q: Are there certain genres or forms of writing you excel at or are drawn to?

I started my writing journey by writing poetry. More so, I loved writing a story from start to end. 

I grew up listening to Hip Hop and RnB, so when I began my music journey, that is the genre I gravitated towards and how I write is a reflection of my poetry style.

Upcoming classes you might enjoy

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2nd Thursdays, 7-9 pm | Share your words at our monthly open mic emceed by spoken word poet Jorah LaFleur

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