If it’s all about words and how to use them to make a point, Denver slam poet Hakeem Furious, aka Andre Carbonell, is on it, speed-reading his effective messages live at the mic. Part of the team that keeps the slam-poetry team Slam Nuba moving forward and a member of the local Cap 6 hip-hop collective, he’s a leader with a big voice, focused on forging a community where local artists and the public can safely exchange ideas and culture. Fresh from the 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam in Spokane, where he represented Slam Nuba in several rounds of hot competition, Furious has plenty to say about everything as he answers the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?
Hakeem Furious: As cliché as it sounds, my creative muse is really life. I believe art is based off of experience, and I am trying to live my best life to create off of. Travel, music, politics and love have been my biggest things to write about.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?
First I would invite Malcolm X, because he was a smooth dresser and great conversationalist, and then Rosario Dawson, because she is everything great with the world. Finally, I would invite Hannibal Buress, because every party needs a comedian, and he has an obscure sense of humor.
The best thing about the Denver poetry scene is the investment we put in each other. We do a lot of groundwork locally, so when we go out to the rest of the country, we represent the city well. What I like about the hip-hop scene is that they bring in lots of artists that you normally wouldn't get a chance to see in the South, where I grew up.
The worst thing about both scenes is that they can be divided. The old heads are burnt out, and the young ones are trying to keep the scene alive with limited help. People seem to be alienated from putting themselves out there because there is already an established norm in those scenes.
Are trends worth following? What’s one trend you love and one that you hate?
I believe the only trend worth following is healthy eating, but I also think trends diminish the idea of individuality, which we desperately need in today's society. I think one of my favorite trends of the last decade is the natural-hair movement. The embrace of unapologetic blackness has been extremely healing.
You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?
I would like to write and produce my own adult animations. I also would like to visit Japan, several African countries and live in Europe for a few years.
What’s your best or favorite accomplishment as an artist?
I believe one of my biggest accomplishments is starting Cap 6 with my friends. They have become like brothers to me, and we have made some beautiful music and touched a lot of people. I look forward to the things we are going to create in the future.
I neither love it nor have a desire to leave it. This is my birthplace, and I feel like I owe something to the city to help it grow in the right direction.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I am definitely a fan of the work of Jozer Guerrero. He always inspires me to push my craft. I think that Toluwanimi Obiwole is one of the best writers in the city, and I'm a fan of her work as well.
The rest of the year is looking bright for me. I'm releasing my debut chapbook, Dinner With The Ego and I, and then I'm going on a book tour titled the Ego Trip, where I'll be performing in various cities across America.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
I think this collective called Gods of Groove will get their just dues in 2018. They do incredible work for the local music scene, and I would like to see them get their own radio show.
See Hakeem Furious perform Dinner With the Ego and I, an immersive spoken-word performance, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 26, at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street in the Temple; admission is free, but seating is limited. Copies of Furious’s related poetry book will be available for purchase at the event. Learn more online. Keep up with Slam Nuba and Cap 6 on Facebook.