SPOKEN WORD aka Sharon Lawrence
Sharon Lawrence, female Poet/Hip Hop Artist is known to the world as Spoken Word. She was born in small town Suffolk, VA where she grew up in a low income neighborhood during the time drugs flooded poorer black communities throughout the nation. A recession was a normal thing for her household where she was the middle child of four in a single parent home. In the midst of it all, Spoken Word developed a gift that would change her life forever. She learned how to rap. Rapping became the thing that kept young minds occupied in a suburban area where there was little to no transportation to participate in positive activities outside of her community. Spoken Word better known as Lady Vixen during that time did not have a hard time getting attention in the male dominated genre. By the time she was 12, she was performing in local schools. One of the highlights of her life was performing an educational rap over the loud speaker for her peers proving that she does have the ability to speak in front of large crowds. Her first poem was published at the age of 13, and placed on the back of the schools programs for graduation that year. Literally, it was her passion that gave her inspiration to do positive things in rap. But that wouldn’t last long.
“When you grow up poor, it changes your way of thinking. It’s easy to get caught up in the traps of the streets especially when all you see is negativity around you. As a female growing up in a ruff area, you have to be tuff because there is always someone lurking around to try to pimp, manipulate or trap you.” Spoken Word
It was then that her lyrics became more hardcore. She joined up with an all male rap group along with her twin brother G Valley. The group was known as Southside Soldiers. After performing with them for a few years, the group called it quits. Instead of continuing to make music, she solely began writing poetry. To Sharon, spoken word was deep and it addressed the real things that were going on in poorer black neighborhoods.
“My way of thinking changed. I began to see things clearer than I had ever seen before. Maturing with age, I decided to let rap go. I became a mother, a wife, fulltime employee, and a fulltime student. There was no room for entertainment.” Spoken Word
Highlights of Career
That wouldn’t last long. By winter of 2008, she changed her name and started performing in poetry clubs as Spoken Word. According to Spoken Word, she chose that name because it better defined the positive side of her. In May 2009 she released her first album, “Hip Hop Will Never Die.” Although the album wasn’t successful on the billboard charts it drew international attention. She received radio airplay in Houston, California, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, United Kingdom, Canada and Central Europe. She was featured in Lyrics Inc. Magazine, BTR with Shema Gurls, WDKK on “Conversations.” She was "In the Spot Light with TAMMIE", during the fall season of 2009. She was also the featured artist of the month in January with T.R.I.B.E. (to relate in beautiful energy) and the feature artist on BTR with Mysterie on “Mysterie Loves Company.” Spoken Word also featured on, “Who is Paul Lipsey Volume I” That album was produced by Paul Lipsey, a native of New Jersey and released to the public on January 1, 2010. She started the year of 2010 off with the performance of a lifetime at Nais 1st Poetry in Louisville, KY.. Following that, she gave an inspiring performance in Oceanside, CA along with musical artists Kevin Sandbloom, Vanessa Fitz Ingram, and Poet “EMichele Paul” of Poetic Works. She also performed at Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, CA which is one of the most reputable poetry venues in the United States. She opened up for Comedian and Writer “D Militant” at the Malcolm X Library in San Diego, CA during the “Why We Laugh" panel Discussion. The event was created to promote the documentary entitled, “Why We Laugh” which has aired nationally throughout the United States of America.
She performed, “My Eulogy” which later gained international attention when it was featured on Yo!Raps. (Europe’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine) She was also a feature at “Train of Thoughts.” (Queen Bee Cultural Arts Center in San Diego, CA.) Spoken Word talked about her experience in California on Expressions Radio show with Bad Boy, “One Love”. (Winner’s of the Best Poetry Radio Station at the National Poetry Awards 2010) She was the feature artist of the month in April 2010 at Liberated Muse founders of the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. According to Khadijah Ali-Coleman of Liberated Muse, Spoken Word rocked at the RWA (Readers with an Attitude) book expo in Richmond, VA. (Virginia Commonwealth Mall) According to Spoken Word, that was a very exhilarating experience because she drew the attention of those who was just there shopping in a very noisy environment that seemed extremely quiet once she picked up the microphone; such as it was during her performance in Oceanside, CA. She has a voice that is able to draw the attention of most people regardless of nationality or creed. Because of that her presence has become noticeable in reputable sources outside of the average music source in such a short period of time. She performed at the Juneteenth celebration for Washington’s National Opera on June 20, 2010 to celebrate freedom from African American slavery within the USA. Shortly after, she went on to perform at a Rally to free the Scott Sisters at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC. This was the first Rally that drew people together from places throughout the world to ask US Attorney General Eric Holder for the release of wrongfully convicted prisoners Jamie and Gladys Scott. Later on she wrote and performed a Spoken Word piece entitled, “Breaking the Chains” in regards to Jamie and Gladys incarceration in order to promote the public to sign a petition that was created in view of the Scott Sisters case. She performed at the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest on July 24, 2010 in our nation’s capital, and also performed at Word Play Wednesday in Forestville Maryland in the Month of October.
Starting off the year of 2011, Spoken Word’s “Ghost Town Anthem” (Album-After the Pain) was the winner of the track competition at URTHEMOVEMENT. (January 2011) She was featured on Yo!Raps playlist during the months of Feb.-May 2011. She was also the featured emcee in the Queens Court on WPED radio in Minnesota, and Bless the Mic TV in New Jersey both held in the month of May. Her latest album, “After the Pain” was released to the public on July 24, 2010 where she performed yet another piece that drew international attention. That piece was entitle, “Victim of Society.” The track was produced by one of New Jersey’s own K Black of Day One Production. Victim of Society addresses issues of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Through her poetry and rhymes, Spoken Word has proved to be nothing more than a hip hop spoken word activist that will stand out throughout American History. In addition to that she has begun to pursue a career in screenwriting and journalism. Spoken Word definitely wears a coat of many colors.
Spoken Word is available for interviews and performances. Please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org