Many people don’t know the difference between Poetry and Spoken Word. Many became confuse when Russell Simmons renamed Spoken Word as ‘Def Poetry’. You might wonder why he did that. It was brilliant branding and marketing, post his Def-Comedy Jam. Everyone understood the word poetry and with “Def” preceding it, everyone understood it had an urban feel. Spoke Word Culture is Neo-Soul, which is a popular sector or urban culture.
Even more are lost on the difference between Rap and spoken word. Two things of importance that they all have in common is word flow and story telling. They have different rules about how they should flow.
Rap is a popular art form that slightly resembles Spoken Word, but is very different in it’s sound and culture. Raps focus is on the rhythm, rhyme, and musicality. Poetry is base on word flow and rhyme alone. Spoken Word is not based on rhyme, although rhyming is allowed. More recently, more artist are merging it with music, but it is still not a necessity. Spoken word is one of the most uninhibited word based art forms. It virtually has no rules other than workflow and story line. Though it’s word-flow is poetic, it’s rules are not the same as poetry. Spoken Word has a special swagger and most of all it is written to be spoken.
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