Bomani Armah & Immaletchufinish

Bomani Armah & Immaletchufinish

BandHip HopFunk

Bomani Armah (aka The Watermelon Man, aka Mr. Read a Book, aka The Black Colin Powell, aka The Hip-Hop Levar Burton) is "...not a rapper, but a poet with a hip-hop style". Most known for his viral hit "Read a Book", Bomani combines the poetic lyricism and social commentary in the tradition of Langston Hughes and KRS-ONE, with the soul stirring sounds you can find anywhere in the African Diaspora. He's a must see, whether solo or with his afro-funk-rock-gogo-hiphop band IMMALETCHUFINISH.


“He's definitely one of the more entertaining voices in a local scene that's overflowing with talent.”

As a poet he takes his cues from his favorite writers like Yusef Komonyakaa and E. Ethelbert Miller. As a lyricist and songwriter he strives to live up to the legacy of his favorites like Bob Marley, George Clinton, Fela and Frankie Beverly and Maze.  Raised in DC and Maryland on the music of gospel greats like Richard Smallwood and John P Kee, as well as local go-go legends like Chuck Brown, Rare Essence and Backyard, Bomani learned about musics intrinsic spiritual power to move people.  While discovering his voice he developed his tagline "I'm not a rapper, I'm a poet with a hip-hop style".  An apt description for an emcee who took pride in being able to move any crowd, from prisons to pulpits to concert halls, with a full band or simply a cappella.

Bomani had always been into hip-hop, glued to the radio like every kid in the 80's.  The emergence of A Tribe Called Quest and the Native Tongues movement turned him into a die-hard fan, while the explosion of Outkast and the Dungeon Family turned him on to the endless possibilities of this music.  He intertwined the social and political awareness of legends like Public Enemy. Dead Prez's "Let's Get Free" radicalized his view of hip-hop during his sophomore year in college.  While Bomani was pursuing his formal education as an English major at the University of Maryland, his more important artistic studies happened on DC's historic U Street in the late 90's into the turn of the millennia.  He found himself spitting free-verse or rhyme, as well as backing some of DC's best loved voices like Raheem Devaughn, and Deborah Bond, as the drummer for Lauda.  By 2005, as a young man and creative writing teacher for organizations throughout the DC Metropolitan area, he began to recognize the need for his own voice to be added to the barrage of messages inundating his students. 

Bomani released a self-produced maxi-single entitled The Hustle/Shake it Off.  The music video for The Hustle debuted to wide acclaim at the San Francisco film festival and has been viewed over 12,000 times on YouTube.  That was just the beginning, as he used his biting sarcasm and bits classical piano training to develop one of the most hilarious and impacting critiques of modern culture, Read a Book. This song, that began as a free give away on his MySpace page, exploded across the internet, leading to an animated video deal with BET and a storm of simultaneous praise and hate.  While being lauded by the over 4 million people who have viewed in on YouTube and the shocked and awed crowd at 106th & Park, he was attacked mercilessly by CNN, Jesse Jackson and Michael Baisden and others who seemed to be out of touch with the youth Bomani dealt with daily.  Undeterred, Bomani released his next single/video Grown Ass Man (viewed over 63,000 times) as well as his "self bootlegged" debut album Radio Friendly.  Always looking to improve as an artist as well as reach new ears with his music, he has released two free mixtapes, the New Classic Mixtape featuring DJ RBI in 2010, and Bomani Armah is Darius Lovehall in Love Jones the Date Mixtape in 2011.  In 2012 he released his first chapbook of poetry and essays with an accompanying album entitled Circumlocution Vol II.  Part diary, part inquisitive finger poking into the eye of society, Circumlocution is the latest incarnation of the combination of his multiple talents as he weaves poetry, emceeing and music.  Nothing personifies that more than his new band #Immaletchufinish which showcases Bomani as lead vocalist with the ground stirring soul, funk, rock and hip-hop riding the rhythm of West African jembe drums. 2014 finds him prepping his second full-length album Watermelon Man featuring his single’s Late Shift and My People, and layered with Bomani’s signature percussive funk.

As always, Bomani stays on his Hustle, as a edutainer and consultant for numerous organizations such as Young Audiences of Maryland and Words Beats & Life Inc., as an audio engineer and producer working out of Urban-Intalek Studios.  Bomani is also currently the Director of Poetry Events (D.o.P.E.) for Busboys and Poets restaurant chain in the Washington DC Metropolitan area.  For more info on this multimedia artist feel free to go to


The Hustle/Shake it Off Park Triangle 2006
Shake it Off Thermite Records 2005
Read A Book Park Triangle 2006

Set List

"The Take Over" (Jay-Z)
"The Hustle"
"Give it Away" (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
"Read a Book"
"Logic & Theory"
"Shake it Off"