He says it how he sees it.
I met Juelz one night when he came out to the Midtown Scholar, and I was on a panel in front of a crowd. The lights were bright and hot, the conversation had dragged on to become engineered and limiting, questions and comments from the audience were more for the sake of hearing themselves speak than for the collective good of the people gathered there.
My patience was taut. My tolerance was low. Then a young black man stepped up to the mic, a face unfamiliar and fresh. Real. Someone I was more used to seeing in a pass on the street than at these types of events.
He said he wanted to read a poem about the City of Harrisburg.
And he did, and he did it well. Like poetry should be read. Annunciated. Poignant. Spot on.
When he was finished, I was reenergized with the reason why I do what I do in the City of Harrisburg to help make it better. I realized I had just been exposed to a comrade.
After I got off stage, I wove through the crowd past hands and hugs and hollers trying to find the young man with the poem.
I found him. His name is Juelz Davenport.
Months later he and I sat down and recorded this ttdHBG Communitycast.
Click the arrow below to listen. Produced by Kevin Shoaff.