Spoke In Wordz on his new album and mixtape and the lack of respect for hip-hop legends

Spoke In Wordz is a rapper with a background rooted in the structure of poetry. His flow is notably diverse. Like one of his major inspirations, Guru, Spoke uses a velvety voice to deliver his lyrics, but he also spits in Spanish, lightning-fast, with a tone used to provoke thought on such polarizing subjects as Arizona's recent immigration laws. We caught up with Spoke and found out about his new project, Get the Power, which features a who's-who of Colorado rappers, and asked him about society's influence on his subject matter.

Westword (Ru Johnson): Can you explain your artist status? Are you in a group, solo, etc.?

Spoke In Wordz: Currently, I am a solo artist, since my indefinite hiatus with Infinite Mindz. I am currently signed to the entertainment company known as Latenite Entertainment, along with my carnales 20:12. I've been working closely with 20:12 for the past two years as a pretty consistent collaboration, but as of yet, I am [representing] Latenite Entertainment and Radio Bums [as] Spoke In Wordz.

Although Latenite is the entertainment company that I do my business with, when it comes to music, we are all more like a brotherhood who I've been close with for years, much like I am with the Radio Bums. I always said I can't trust anyone but family, so that's how I keep it.

Ww: What are you currently working on?

S: I have a handful of projects, but currently I'm finishing up my Get the Power compilation. This album will showcase my style and will also give you a complete Colorado hip-hop experience, featuring artists such as Catch Lungs, 20:12, King Foe, Rhenny Stevenson, Thomas the Franchise, Pure Devotion, Procyse & Mizlogic, O.N.E, Inkline, A.V.I.U.S., Hypnautic and many more.

I hope that with this I can bridge many gaps within the Colorado music scene. The compilation will be released mid-August. I'm also working on my new EP with productions by Stro of the Procussions, Noel Zancanella and Sp Double. And [there's] also a mixtape with DJ Chonz, with production by Boonie Mayfield. I'm doing it all!

Ww: Your name implies that you are a poet as well. Do you agree with this statement: All poets can be rappers, but most rappers can't be poets?

S: Yes, I am a poet. I was actually a poet before I became a rapper -- hence the name Spoke In Wordz. I don't recite poems as consistently as before due to the nature of my shows, [but] I still occasionally hit it up with a good Spoke In Wordz poem. That's funny: I like that statement, and I would probably agree.

When you begin writing raps, in the world of poetry, it's like giving guidelines to your writing. When you recite a poem, there are no guidelines, just you and your words. The combination of the required rhyme patterns and the rhythm probably would make it difficult for rapper to be a poet, but that's just my opinion.

Ww: What's going on in your world that most accurately represents your music style?

S: I was very inspired by the film Souls of the Rockiez, by Musa of Lordz of Finesse. Learning about Colorado hip-hop history made me realize I am the face of hip-hop today and that I must continue the legacy. I didn't see the impact we were making until I saw this film.

Dudes are on some space-age shit, and I feel like I am part of the few still out representing real hip-hop music. The state of hip-hop is ungrateful, and I'm a little disturbed with the lack of honor and respect to hip-hop legends that have paved the way for us, such as Guru.

Ww: What is the most diverse thing about your rap style?

S: I would say my delivery. I've been told that my style reflects a lot of the artists that I look[ed] up to when I was growing up, such as Big Punisher and Eminem. I feel that my delivery on stage is what separates me from the rest.

I also like to challenge myself by trying to master all styles of rap, whether it's rapping slow or rapping fast. DJ Chonz has also said that what makes me unique is how I can rap in English and then flip into Spanish -- so smooth sometimes you can't even tell. Gracias, Jefe! "Get The Power" is a big reflection of this.

Ww: Can we talk about the fuck shit that's going down in Arizona? What are your thoughts?

S: That racist law influences me to stand and use my talent to speak up and reach my community. I can't change the world, but I can start with myself and my listeners. Que viva La Raza! It really takes me back to the 1930s and the Great Depression; our country is in a recession, so I believe this is the modern-day version of the great sweeps the government had done back then.

If you looked Mexican, you were deported -- although I still don't understand how that could be seen as okay in the public's eyes, but whatever. It's one thing after another, and the fuck shit that is going on in Arizona is just another bump in the road or distraction from something even bigger. Y sabes que, like Chingo Bling says, "They can't deport us all."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ru Johnson
Contact: Ru Johnson