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Band Spoken Word Comedy


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The best kept secret in music


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2005 CD "Spare Change"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Unlike your typical poet, BasiKnowledge wasn’t born of angst or rebellion; instead, he owes his existence to sheer boredom.

He started as Lawrence Green, a Charleston, SC native who had very little to do in the small town of Statesboro, GA except attend Georgia Southern University. So he wrote, eventually creating a trio of short poems that he eventually shared with his English teacher. She read those first poems, and recognizing the burgeoning talent she saw expressed there, encouraged him to keep writing, to get to know other poets in the area. She gave him a flyer for open mic night at Oz, a local nightclub, and told him to meet other poets, make connections in that community.

He went. It was Black Erotica night. After listening to several hours of raw and explicit material, Lawrence wrote his first performance piece -- “Debut of a Fan” -- taking the stage for the first time In October of 2004. He won his first slam one month later and soon became a rising star in the spoken word circuit. He took the name BasiKnowledge because, as he explains, our best knowledge is our most basic, the things we already know or should know anyway.

His literary influences are diverse, ranging from Bob Marley to the rich geechee culture of his hometown. Drawing on the great Southern tradition of storytelling -- honed during his years as a Charleston tour guide -- he creates a comfortable intimacy between himself and his audience. His poems are both lyrical and concrete, words grounded in the everyday truth of real life.

His audience grew, and in 2005, he joined the Spitfire Poetry Group By this time, he was slamming almost every weekend and hosting open mic events at Georgia Southern University, where he was a sophomore accounting major. After being named Savannah’s Best New Poet, he expanded his venues to include Jacksonville, Florida and Columbia, South Carolina, but it was in Atlanta, Georgia, that he got his first big break.

And it was all an accident.

After winning what he thought was an everyday slam at Java Monkey, an Atlanta coffeehouse, he quickly learned that the reward for winning wasn’t cash – it was, instead, a spot on Atlanta’s national slam team. He competed three months later in Albeqeurque, New Mexico in the National Poetry Slam Competition. There, once he saw the scope of the national spoken word scene, his own poetry horizon expanded and he rededicated himself to the art of the poem. Quote: ‘’I fell in love with poetry all over again.”

At the urging of his fans, he created a CD, Spare Change, which came out to enthusiastic reviews throughout the southeast. Described as “a jubilant mix of pop and fizz” Spare Change highlighted the wordplay and warmth and clever humor, the social commentary layered in each story, that BasiKnowledge has become known for. “I am an entertainer,” Basik says, “not someone who hits the audience over the head with some heavy message. I say something, but I do it through the story, through sharing with the audience. It’s personal. Intimate.”

Next came his debut at the 2006 Individual World Poetry Slam, where he quickly climbed the ranks, going from underdog to finalist in three days. He is now ranked 11th in the world, quite an achievement for someone who had only been writing and performing for little over a year. Presently, he is at work on his second CD, as yet untitled, and is preparing for the competition for a slot on the Columbia slam team, which will be going to nationals this year.