Goofball and class clown. Those are two words that can best describe North Point senior David King. Passionate and thoughtful is an accurate description of his close friend, Brandon Henry (’12). It’s been said that opposites attract, and King and Henry have held true to that statement, combining with each other in the arts of poetry and hip-hop.
Henry and King, who have known each other since their freshman year of high school, have both been into poetry for quite some time. “I started writing poetry in 8th grade for my English writing assignment, but I have started writing seriously this past June,” stated King. Henry said that poetry has been an important aspect of his life since middle school. “I remember listening to the radio one night and hearing spoken word artists performing poems. I fell in love,” he stated. He added that over time, he has become more serious with his work. Both David and Brandon have varying influences for their poetry, though their work is similar. King is inspired from rappers Method Man and Lil B, while Henry looks to Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Erykah Badu for when writing. However, both of them write about tragedies, struggle, and the trials of living to attach people to their words emotionally. “To me, the mood makes the poem,” says King.
Along with poetry, King and Henry have picked up on the art of hip-hop. King began rapping in middle school, in part as a defense mechanism. “I didn’t have a lot of friends in middle school. [So] in seventh grade, I would battle rap with people and I started getting respect.” Henry, on the other hand, has been in love with the craft for most of his life. “I would write a couple 16 bar free verse raps, and post them,” he stated. “My cousin, who is part of a record label he helped create, told me I had major talent, and shouldn’t let it go to waste.” Those words have inspired Henry to become more serious with his rap.
While Henry uses many of his poetic themes in his rap, King tends to be the more comical rapper of the duo. Both draw inspiration from similar artists, such as Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Method Man, and Nas. David is also influenced from Lil B for his raps as well as poetry, because he “inspired me to be different.” As a rapper, Brandon’s greatest joy is “seeing people nod their heads and tap their feet to my music,” and both he and David agree that it is their favorite way of expressing themselves.
For those who missed it, both King and Henry performed at Coffeehouse this year, and combined with fellow rapper Jhullian Garcia (’12) for a night. Many people were pleased with their performance, which yielded many congratulatory comments on Twitter and Facebook from friends. Aside from their performance, King and Henry have been working on getting more work out for others to hear.
During winter break, King released “The Christmas Album”, containing two songs and five skits, and can be found on his Tumblr. Henry has uploaded a few songs on his YouTube channel. Both intend to release a mixtape in February. Henry’s will be titled “Poetic Justice,” which will also be his first solo mixtape. King has yet to name his, but confirmed that it is intended to be released by Valentine’s Day. Whether or not you know either of the two, these upcoming projects will be something that everybody can look forward to.
Artist’s Feature: Brandon Henry and David King from Photo Editor on Vimeo.