Southeast Hip Hop Magazine recently sat down with rising poet, songwriter and Blacktopian poet Darrell Herbert to discuss his poetic masterpieces, humanitarian work, and more in this in depth exclusive interview! Step into the mind of this superb writer, poet and master of the English language.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: Hey Darrell Herbert, how are you? You ready for this interview?
Darrell Herbert: I am fine. I am ready for my interview.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: You call yourself an "Artivist", for those that may not know, what exactly is an "Artivist"?
Darrell Herbert: For those that may not know, what exactly is an Artivist is, it is an artist who combines their artistic expression with acts of activism.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: What are some of the causes that you take up and believe in fighting for?
Darrell Herbert: Some of the causes that I take up and believe in fighting for are gender roles, diseases, and homelessness. These causes, among many others, have really made me more of an aggressive writer, especially when I read about it, or hear about it through multiple media outlets.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: Do you also take part in volunteering your time and services to charity or participate in humanitarian work?
Darrell Herbert: I actually do take part in volunteering my time and services to charity, and participate in humanitarian work. I have volunteered my time by reading my poetry special needs children, or the ill. I volunteered at the Presbyterian Nursing Home by hosting bingo night. I volunteered at the Sauquoit School District by helping move boxes of food for families in need. I volunteered at NY Mills Elementary school by handing out Valentines Day cards and candy to a kindergarten class. I have also volunteered in an artist collective called Live from Underground by volunteering at community events including food drives, fundraising, and children activities. I donated money to a charity that ensures more educational opportunities for unprivileged youths. My participation in humanitarian work include Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk, Kidney Walk, Heart & Run Walk, Relay For Life, March for Babies Walk, Walk To End Alzheimer's, and The Revolutionary Challenge Summer Project.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: What are some of the changes you would like to see in America, or in the world?
Darrell Herbert: Some of the changes I would like to see in America have to deal with censorship, and this crazy unrealistic body image. I hate that someone is excluded from a certain group just because they do not look the part. Nobody should feel isolated from another group of people just for the simple fact that they are too skinny, or are overweight.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: Now, getting on to the subject of your poetry, how does writing poetry make you feel?
Darrell Herbert: Well, that all depends on what I am feeling at that particular moment. Writing when I am at my most vulnerable state of mind gives me more of an inspiration to piss people off with what I write about. Making people uncomfortable is how I want them to feel. I say this because so many subjects are translated in music videos and the media, and we are so used to it. I have to be the one to break that cycle. Pushing buttons also pushes the envelope.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: What are some of the topics and subjects you usually write about?
Darrell Herbert: The topics and subjects that I usually write about deal with relationships, isolation, depression, suicide, addiction, bullying, self-harm, racism, resentment, feelings of indifference to others, insecurities, among many others.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: Where can the readers find some of your material?
Darrell Herbert: Readers can find my material in "Best Teen Writing of 2014," by Hannah Jones, Writers- Black Artists Connected Blog, Yellow Chair Review, Poetic Treasures Magazine, Section 8 Magazine, Blacktopia: Black Utopia Society Blog, Woman of P.O.W.E.R. blog, Media Blast Press, as well as in HangTime Magazine and The Lemonade Stand Magazine.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: Have you considered writing a book of poetry, or some type of project showcasing your true talents and gifts?
Darrell Herbert: I actually have considered writing a book of poetry, or some type of project showcasing my true talents and gifts. This was actually brought to my attention when a friend of mine suggested that I write a book about my life. There's a lot that I can go into, but, you be the judge of that.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: You also write songs too, who are some of the artists that you've worked with so far?
Darrell Herbert: I have worked with artists such as B.R.E, James Brown, SIRR, and there are others.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: How would you describe yourself as a songwriter?
Darrell Herbert: I would have to describe myself as a person with zero filter, and I understand the beauty in simplicity.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: What's the difference between writing poems and writing lyrics?
Darrell Herbert: For me, writing poetry is about being more blunt and in your face. Whereas writing song lyrics allows me to release more of my vulnerable side.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: Who are some of your favorite recording artists from any genre of music?
Darrell Herbert: Some of my favorite recording artists are Rosangelica Lopez, Wombman, The Tree Lady, Angeline Sol, Last Dinosaurs, Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Sol Stones, Darrell Herbert, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Michael Jackson, Jim Morrison, Alexisonfire, Paramore, Egypt Central, From Autumn To Ashes, My Chemical Romance, Nonpoint, and Kurt Cobain, just to name a few.
Southeast Hip Hop Magazine: Is there anything else in this interview that you would like to plug or mention?
Darrell Herbert: I can by found on Facebook at Darrell Herbert. My Facebook page is Darrell Herbert. I can be found on Instagram at tales_life. My Tumblr is darrellherbert, and my Vimeo is Darrell Herbert.