Lemon Andersen is one of those poets who has done it all. From Def Poetry Jam to Ted Talks to Broadway and much more. When I first started slamming Lemon had started to transition into the theater scene. He took the same grit and raw energy that made him one of the rockstar poets of NYC to the theater scene and started crushing it there as well. Lemon has a hell of a back story which I am going to insert from his wiki page below, but one of the things that has always impressed me about Lemon is his Grind.
Sometimes, I use rap quotes as a language in which to communicate an idea. The rap line that most sums up my impression of Lemon is from Jay-z song ‘Public Service Announcement’ where he says in the simplest way possible.
I got a hustlers spirit, ni**a Period.
Lemon is one of those artist that is willing to put in the work. Some poets sit around and talk about it, Lemon is a gets it done [period].
[Source: Wikipedia] Lemon (born Andrew Andersen; 1975) is an American poet, spoken word artist and actor. He is sometimes credited as Lemon. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he still resides there. He is the son of Milagros “Mili” Quiñones from Puerto Rico and Peter Andersen, a Norwegian-American from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Growing up in poverty, as a teenager Lemon experienced the successive deaths of his stepfather, father, and mother from complications of heroin abuse and AIDS, leaving him and his older brother orphaned and forced to fend for themselves.
Lemon became involved in serious crime, but his growing compassion first for hip hop and then acting, and a succession of gifted mentors who recognized and nurtured his theatrical talent, resulted in his development into the powerful artist portrayed in County of Kings and Lemon. Today a much-lauded “wordsmith who thinks deeply about the sounds of syllables”,Lemon Andersen’s writing and live performances have received widespread popular and critical acclaim. In his November 2011 TEDYouth talk Please don’t take my Air Jordans, Lemon’s performance of the title poem by Reg E. Gaines is followed by his own spoken-word riff on the influence of Gaines, Etheridge Knight, and other poets on his creative growth as a poet and spoken word artist.
The video I am spotlighting today is from his one man show County of Kings, which last time I checked there is a documentary about it on Netflix!
Check out the video and if you have some time and really want to step into the process he took to take his one man show and get it produced and try to make a run at Broadway watch the documentary on Netflix!