David “Native Son” Ross
David “Native Son” Ross with Simply Sherri. Photo Credit: Images by Comfesta
David “Native Son” Ross is considered a living legend within the Baltimore poetry community. I met him about 5 years ago when he featured within the cozy confines of Eden’s Lounge, Baltimore, MD. Instantly, I was impressed by his writing and performance style which could be best described as written silk delivered through a cloud that was close enough to touch. His words are smooth, slick, and comforting once you get wrapped in them.
This performance is from Ignite Baltimore in 2012
David has collaborated with several artist artists in the area. When working with Genesys Dayz they are the group known as SonDayz.
Gensys on David:
David is an amazing talent to work with. He is very serious about his craft and no matter how amazingly talented he is he handles it with humility and grace. It is such an honor to be a part of his realm of poetry. I love performing with him. He is an amazing poet, performer, father, and friend.
Love the Poet accompanies them in this performance at Warm Wednesdays in 2010.
When he is working with Femi theDrifish, they are known as the 5thL. Their high energy performances are legendary.
Femi on David: David is my brother in rhyme and in life more than the mics, stages, travels and checks we’ve shared over the past 14 y
It is the reason why he and his 5thL compatriots have been inducted into the Baltimore Artist Hall of Fame and why he is more than formidable standing on a stage with nothing more than a microphone. I, as well as a legion of others am always eager to see him perform. His love for his family, the community and the arts in general always shines through in his work.
Stepping from Behind the Microphone: David “Native Son” Ross:
Sherri: Tell us more about what brought you to writing poetry.
David: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I didn’t know that there was a huge poetry scene until I went to college. I was like, “hey, I do that too!”
Sherri: Tell the story of your first experience performing.
David: I didn’t start out performing poetry. I began acting first, then rapping. I was heavy into theatre. I love the stage, so it came naturally. My first performance ever, probably, was in church. I played Joseph in the Christmas Story about baby Jesus. I was a really good Joseph too.
Sherri: Your stage name is Native Son. Why did you choose that name? What do you want the audience to know about you when they hear it?
David: It almost never fails: everywhere I go, someone tells me that I remind them of a loved one of theirs—a son, brother, husband, in-law, etc.—and they respond warmly to me. I’m thankful that I have yet to remind them of someone they despise. Also, I feel at home wherever I go, so that’s where the name “Native Son” comes from—not Richard Wright. Great book though.
Sherri: Who is your favorite writer?
David: I have many favorites. Rumi, Yehuda Amichai, August Wilson, Killah Priest, etc. The list is eternal. But I guess my favorite out of all are closet poets, people who’ve never really shared their work. Their poems always feel the purest to me. I love shy people.
Sherri: You have one hour to have a conversation with anyone in history. Who will you choose, and why?
David: This might sound a bit contrived, but I would have to say Jesus. I mean, after all, he’s the one I put all my faith in. I should probably talk to him about that. Look him eye to eye, you know? Get a little reassurance.
Sherri: Your perfect concert: who are three acts, living or dead, you would like to see perform?
David: That’s tough. Geez! I don’t know. Michael Jackson, James Brown, Nina Simone, Chris Rock, Heavy D, and the whole Wu-Tang. Oh, is that more than three?
Sherri: Tells us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
David: I’ll be 81 years old in January.
Sherri: Do you have another creative outlet? If not, what is something you have always wanted to learn?
David: I like to paint and draw abstract stuff. Other than that, I just like being a Dad. I’m getting pretty creative at that.
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?
David: “You were always my favorite.”
David “Native Son” Ross Features at Heard Through the Grapevine on Saturday 12/06/2014 at Culture Coffee 709 Kennedy Street, NW Washington DC. Entry Fee $5.00. Doors open at 8 show starts at 8
To read his full bio visit here
You can purchase some of his work here on Reverbation http://www.reverbnation.com/davidnativesonross
If you have any questions for David “Native Son” Ross, please leave it in the comments and I will try to get you an answer.