Urban Lyrics sparked creativity on campus at their cypher on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.
Urban Lyrics is an organization that centers around spoken word, rap, poetry and singing, and they aim to encompass students of color and help give them an outlet of expression and a voice.
“The goal of Urban Lyrics is to give people of color and artists, specifically spoken word, rap, poetry, singing and songwriting artists, a chance to tell their stories through art,” said President Brianna Knight.
The club came to fruition in 2010, and has used performance and language to inspire students and allow members to feel present and heard.
According to Urban Lyrics’ website, “In 2010, members felt as though the experience of students from urban communities needed to be present on campus. Through their creative performances, Urban Lyrics provides the area with artistry that is lyrically grounded in politics, society and our lived realities.”
The event took place in the lobby of the Jacobson Faculty Tower after the rain attempted to put a damper on the event, but club members thought on their feet to keep the event going.
“At first we wanted our meeting to be a regular General Interest meet, but we wanted to get right to what we do, which is write,” Knight said. “We know people are shy at first so instead of opening it up with a Cypher, which is basically an open mic, we started it with a prompt so everyone could feel inspired.”
The prompt offered to the bustling group of artists was “When have you looked for love in all the wrong places?” to which The UL members helped supply pen and paper to help get the ball rolling. After the approximately 20-minute long writing session ended, Knight encouraged the group to read their work aloud.
“I was nervous at first, but then I felt some relief,” said second-year Brittanie Whyte, who read two pieces at the cypher. “The best part of performing is the relief I feel afterwards, knowing I’ve said and done something important and faced a fear.”
Members of the club performed some of their own work as well, creating a comfortable and accepting environment for prospective members and interested students.
“I definitely like the vibe of the group,” said first-year Alaney Ocasio. “The fact that this group was so welcoming, and their attitude was like ‘go ahead, do your thing, take your time’ and they were so supportive at the end of it, They made me feel like I could be a part of something.”
Urban Lyrics will be having auditions on Saturday, Sept. 22.
“I hope to get the campus actively writing. Not necessarily the stuff we’re required to do, but simply creatively write about our feelings,” Knight said. “The world has a lot going on, whether that’s politics, figuring out our identities, or just trying to live, and people on this campus deserve a space to write about it. Everyone doesn’t have to be an artist to write about how they feel and I’m hoping people realize that and feel empowered through the power of their words and by putting them into existence.”