Kristiana Rae Colón

Kristiana Rae Cólon.

Kristiana Rae Colón

Poet, playwright, and actor Kristiana Colón earned a BA at the University of Chicago and an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her poems explore romantic and personal transformation, often making use of unconventional punctuation and capitalization. The author of the chapbookpieces of shedu (2008), Colón has also performed on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination, and her work has been included in Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web 2010 and the anthologies Not a Muse: The Inner Lives of Women, a World Poetry Anthology (2009) and Chorus: A Literary (Re)Mixtape (2012).

Colón has taught at Chicago State University, Malcolm X College, and Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. Assistant editor for the online literary journal Muzzle and artistic associate for the theater company Teatro Luna, she lives in Chicago.

Rhymes: Nina Simone, “Blue Prelude,” Bone Thugs-n-Harmony ft. 2Pac, “Thug Luv,” and Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment, “Sunday Candy”


Click here to download Kristiana’s interview

More Info on Kristiana:



IG: @kristiana_af


Songs from this Interview:

Jesse Childs


Jesse “Nap Nat the Napi Natural” Childs

Jesse Childs (pka Nap Nat the Napi Natural) is a Hip Hop artist, author and youth educator living in Oakland, CA.  Originally from Monterey, CA and raised in New Mexico he graduated from the University of Chicago and published two novels, Isaiah Eleven (2008) and Kam Remembered (2011).  The Afromerican Project was formed circa 2006 in Chicago when emcees Nap Nat and aKWErius released the “A Future Now” mixtape.  Since then, other artists have entered the scene including The ReMINDers, ADD-2 and The Mastrs.  Their sounds cross paths so audiences of each can hear the music of the others. The Afromerican Project is spreading a creative message, developing solutions for identifying and fixing problems in our community while delivering top quality Hip Hop through your speakers.  Learn more at

Rhymes: Black Star “Thieves in the Night,” The Roots “75 Bars (Black Reconstruction),” Kendrick Lamar “HiiiPoWer”


Click here to download Jesse’s interview


More Info on Jesse:


Afromerican Project

Afromerican Project on Tumblr

Songs from this Interview:

eve ewing

eve ewing

eve ewing

Eve Ewing is a writer and educator from Chicago. Currently, Eve is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her focus is on adolescent identity development, particularly around elements of race, gender, class, and community. She also studies the structure of American inequality, in the public education system and in broader society. Eve is also an organizer for the Massachusetts Literary Education and Performance Collective (MassLEAP), which presents the Boston edition of the Louder Than A Bomb youth poetry slam festival. She is passionate about youth community-based writing programs, teaching and learning, and the philosophy, theory, and practice of comics and cartoons.

Rhymes: A Tribe Called Quest “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo,” M.I.A. “Paper Planes,” and Serengeti “Day By Day.”


Click here to download eve’s interview


More Info on eve:


eve on Tumblr

Songs from this Interview:

A Tribe Called Quest “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”

Weezer “Buddy Holly”

Gwendolyn Brooks “We Real Cool”

Smashing Pumpkins “Perfect”

Daft Punk “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong “Summertime”

Cannibal Ox “Iron Galaxy (Instrumental)”

M.I.A. “Paper Planes”

M.I.A. “Galang”

Missy Elliot “Work It”

Public Enemy “Revolutionary Generation”

Serengeti “Day by Day”

Big K.R.I.T. “Wake Up”

Julian “J. Kwest” DeShazier

J. Kwest

Julian “J. Kwest” DeShazier

For nearly a decade, the ministry of Julian “J.Kwest” DeShazier has been an exploration in the relationship between music and faith. As artist, this Chicago native has used his unique rhythm to tell stories of deep meaning, inside and out of the church. A 2007 Holy Hip Hop Award winner, his song, “So Blessed,” was featured on the Grammy-nominated compilation Holy Hip Hop: Taking the Gospel to the Streets and J has been celebrated as “Living Black History” by Urban Ministries International. In 2012 he and his group, Verbal Kwest, were featured in the OXFAM and Bread for the World-produced documentary The Line, providing a critical voice against poverty and violence in the US.  A graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago Divinity School, Julian currently serves as senior pastor of University Church in Chicago, and is a regular to Sojourners, UrbanFaith and Kidult publications.

Rhymes: Outkast “13th Floor/Growing Old”, Common ft. Lauryn Hill “Retrospect for Life”, and Wu-Tang “Triumph”


Click here to download Julian’s interview


More Info on Julian:


J. Kwest on Facebook


Verbal Kwest

Songs from this Interview:

Outkast “13th Floor/ Growing Old”

Outkast “Hootie Hoo”

Common ft. Lauryn Hill “Retrospect for Life”

J. Cole “Lost Ones”

Little Brother “All For You”

Shaquille O’Neal “Biological Didn’t Bother”

Outkast “Church”

Eminem “Lose Yourself”

Wu-Tang “Triumph”

Verbal Kwest “Believers”

Verbal Kwest “Crazy Streets”