We have been told since childhood to beware of strangers. Don’t talk to them, don’t get into the car and don’t make too much eye contact. In the age of social media, strangers pop into your inbox all the time; if you are a woman some of them say the craziest things or send the most unwanted of pictures. So my apprehension at the receipt of a friend request and inbox message from a man I don’t know and had never heard of would be understandable. The message opened with a simple salutation, “Good Day Ms. Sherri.” The message continued with how he was referred to me, asked for assistance in finding shows in the DC area and sent me his press kit with some video links. The business gentleman Obbie West presented immediately endeared me to him.
Instantly I watched the videos he sent to me, found a few more and fell in love with how he weaves words:
My next thought was selfish one, “I wish you could be here on a first Friday so I can feature you at Heard Through the Grapevine” at which point he changed his plans. Originally from California Obbie is visiting the DMV from Oklahoma City, OK. He has been writing and performing since 2011. He was featured on Lexus Verses and Flow in season 4 on TVOne. The link has the full episode with his performance.
As we have spoken several times over the past couple of weeks I have become more and more of a fan of him, I have been waiting with baited breath for almost 3 months to meet him face to face.
Stepping from Behind the Microphone: Obbie West.
Sherri: Tell us more about what brought you to writing poetry.
Obbie: FREEDOM! RELEASE!! and being able encapsulate both of those under an umbrella of creativity is Euphoric.
Sherri: Tell the story of your first experience performing. (Include where, when, how you felt afterwards.)
Obbie: Started writing April 2011, performed a month later. Small dilapidated bar in Killeen, TX. Crowd of about 25. Did two Poems, one about Poetry the other Erotic. Crowd ate them up like I was a vet. I was humbled. Been high ever since.
Sherri: Your stage name is Obbie West. Why did you choose that name? What do you want the audience to know about you when they hear it?
Obbie: It sort of chose me. I made the name up in order open a fake page on FB and people found out it was me and it stuck.
Sherri: Who is your favorite writer? (This can be a songwriter, poet, author or anyone you consider a writer)
Obbie: Can’t name just one. As far as Poets I like Joshua Bennet. Rappers, Eminem. He’s a master at creative writing.
Sherri: You have one hour to have a conversation with anyone in history, living or dead. Who will you choose, and why?
Obbie: My Daughter, who better? Everybody else’s story is in books already.
Sherri: Your perfect concert: who are three acts, living or dead, you would like to see perform?
Obbie: Opener: Obbie West
Next Act: Another Poets who’s trying to get on, Caress can roll with me.
Main Attraction: Jill Scott
Sherri: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
Obbie: I don’t eat fish……she gotta be clean…BAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!! Naw on the real, I don’t eat fish.
Sherri: Do you have another creative outlet? If not, what is something you have always wanted to learn how to do?
Obbie: Nope, I think Poetry is the only reason God gave me the ability to talk. I always wanted to learn to skate.
Sherri: [Borrowed from Inside the Actor’s Studio] If heaven exists, what do you want to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Obbie: “Don’t worry, your Daughters gonna be straight. There’s your room **as he points to the left**”…………………And it does exist, how else can you explain Poetry?
While not his first visit to the DMV it will be the most memorable, he has 4 features and one spotlight scheduled starting November 2:
Show: Mic Check
Location: Culture Coffee
709 Kennedy STreet NW
Doors open at 8:30
Show starts about 9pm
Show: Spirits and Lyrics Manassas
Location: 8349 Centreville Rd Manassas Park, Virginia
Door Open at 9
Busboys and Poets 5 & K, Washington, DC
Doors open at 8:30pm
Show: Spit Dat
Emergence Community Arts Collective
733 Euclid St NW,
Washington, DC 20001
Doors open about 830
Heard Through the Grapevine
Peace and a Cup of Joe
713 W Pratt St,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Doors open at 7
For more information visit http://www.obbiewest.com