Shanelle Gabriel
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Shanelle Gabriel

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Spoken Word Singer/Songwriter


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Tyra Banks and home design author Sabrina Soto are helping us surprise deserving teens by making over Urban Word NYC's literary arts education and youth development center so it can truly inspire the community. Click here to see the room's dramatic transformation, where mentors like Shanelle will continue to change lives. "The idea that you can make an impact on a whole generation of people and see them grow and see them come to you years later ... It's just inspiring," explains Shanelle about her spirit of giving. "Being an artist, my mouth is my tool to reach the world."

To hear more of Shanelle’s story and to be inspired by other amazing women whose mouths play a significant role in their lives; go to - Rachael Ray

Hail the Dollar Van for the cheapest transit in Brooklyn — but be prepared to share the ride with singers, rappers and poets who record their demos en route

Read more:,32068,326228576001_2008649,00.html#ixzz14hloMJK4 -

Dear handsome, driven, perfect-in-every-way-except-one Brotha,

Get over it…

This is the message I want to tell the last three guys I dated. Each had different reasons, but they all led me to the same conclusion: a lot of guys need to man-up and mature when it comes to relationships. I’m not saying get over your drama so you can be with me. That would be petty of me…besides, all that drama left a bad taste in my mouth and now I don’t want you. I just see such greatness in each of you; if you could only learn these 5 things:

1) Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re on lockdown:
Unless you decide to date the crazy White chick from Obsessed, in most cases, your manhood won’t automatically combust the moment you decide to settle down with wifey. You’re not losing a part of yourself; it’s called maturing.

2) You are not the only one risking being hurt:
I know it’s hard to think outside of your own feelings and experiences. I know Kerry-Ann from the 3rd grade really broke your heart when she quit you for James during recess. Of course you NEVER want to feel that way again. How about more recently: you had your heart handed to you on a platter by a woman who didn’t deserve you in the first place. She couldn’t see how wonderful and devoted you were to her, and she took you for granted. She was the first woman you opened up to, your first love…blah blah blah. Face it, sweety, we’ve all been there. Women are prepped to have a broken heart from the time they can read a 160-page Sweet Valley High novel. We’re told to expect men to only want us for our bodies, to reject our minds, and to not expect real commitment. Still we love. We get hurt, too. I’m sorry you had to go through it, but the game of love is high risk, high reward. There’s no room for self-pity or wallowing in your wounds. You’ve gotten over hurt in the past; you can get over it now. Man-up…Eat some cookie dough ice cream, call the guys up, have a good cry, then move on to the next deserving person. Hey, it works for us women.

3) You don’t have to wait till you’ve “Made It” to date someone seriously:
Many men think that every goal needs to be reached and set before they can commit to a woman. There are many of us who love the idea of holding their man down as he pursues his (realistic) passion. One guy told me, “I want to wait till I can provide for my woman.” I asked him, “Provide what? I pay my own bills, I have a job, and a place to live. What are you supposed to provide for me?” Silence. We can talk about “providing” when we start talking about moving in together and marriage. Even then, we both would be contributing to the household. Any smart woman would invest in a man who may be busy now but is working for a better future for themselves (which later would mean the two of you). If she tells you to choose between your career and her, she’s not the one. Maybe she’s not doing enough with her own life & career to understand what it means to have a vision. Find a woman with her own goals and a lil loyalty, and you’ll be the ultimate power couple. Think Barack and Michelle minus FOX News.

4) Karma exists but don’t will it to happen:
So you were a ho in college, maybe even last year. Sadly, us women are taught to expect our men to have gone thru that phase. We’re over it, and we (want to) believe that that’s not who you are now. Still, you’re paranoid it’s gonna bite you in the butt eventually. “She MUST be cheating on me cause that’s what I would’ve done.” Stop letting your insecurities get the best of you or lack of self-trust cause you to push the woman that loves you away.

5) You can’t expect me to treat you like my man if you aren’t my man:
Jay-Z tried to pull that card on “Best of Me Remix”-

“That’s high school, making me chase you around for weeks…have an affair, act like an adult for once.”

Nah, Hov. If you want it then you need to put a ring on it. In general, I’m not obligated to satisfy any desire or make any major sacrifices for someone who hasn’t shown me that they’re going to be around longer than Mya’s career. Who I am minus the physical should be enough to determine if a commitment could happen in the future. I don’t need to play “wife” for you to decide if you want to wife me up. That leads feelings of being led on and foul play when after 5 months you say, “Eh, it was fun, but I think I’m gonna play house somewhere else.” Ask any cook, sampling usually leaves you without an appetite.

– Shanelle Gabriel
HBO Def Poet/Singer/Writer -

The Real Colored Girls Think Tank Session is an opportunity to discuss womanhood and color, primarily in the media and how such images define our society and ourselves.

Special guests include:
Shanelle Gabriel-Headliner
Queen Godis
Eagle Nebula
Rachel Eliza Griffith
DJ Reborn
And More!

Note: These are women active in the community.
These are women that teach, entertain and fellowship with other women.

There will be a movie Screening beforehand at Loews 34th St. theater.
@ 6:10 PM.
Discussion will follow directly after @ Urban Word NYC -- 8:30 PM


Real Colored Girls Mission Statement:
The mission of RCG is to address representations of black women in media, to challenge the means by which these images are created,
and to question how these representations impact our ability to “dream ourselves differently” from the racist fantasies the dominant culture disseminates about us.
- Reverbnation

We were determined to interview him, despite our setbacks, and the same rang true for me when I heard that Def Poet and singer Shanelle Gabriel would be coming back to the town on Wed., Oct. 6.

I know you all are wondering what these two artist have in common. Well, they both worked in radio. Shanelle was a Def Jam College promoter and she was on HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Jeremih is signed to the Def Jam label, so they both have an affiliation to Def Jam. I hate to state the obvious, but both artists sing. They were born in the summertime. Both artists are in their early twenties.....

- The Rotunda-The Student Newspaper of Longwood University

The official blog of Mike Geffner's Inspired Word, an all-star poetry/spoken word event in New York City. Pics, poems, videos from past shows, as well as current news in the world of poetry, spoken word, and other types of creative writing. -

Shanelle is one of the poets that made me realize that i want to be a poet, that I want to write if only just to emulate her in any slight way. Shanelle writes poetry that is easily universally appreciated across the board, as well as being clever, witty and always entertaining and intellegent. I'm lucky enough to be able to call her a friend; Point blank, I love her poetry and writing, she's amazing, and If you don't know about Shanelle, Know you know! Get familiar!

On "A Message To My Girls," the opening flow-strong, loosely poetic
monologue that kicks off this incendiary and soulful 14 song spoken
word CD, Gabriel opens up, taking a telling-it-like-it-is approach and
expanding it, reaching to encompass a steady and street wise vision of
what could be. "Keep your heads up and your skirts down," she says,
issuing a well-intentioned challenge to girls who may be more
interested in rap videos than earning and preserving their right to
think for and respect themselves. While her views may come across as
somewhat idealistic, there are appropriate pragmatic undertones in her
words and delivery that ascend any trace of didacticism that could
only bog this down. Her voice is pure, and her handle on language and
rhythm is really pushed to the limit by the wide variety of styles she
chooses to take on. Some songs are a cappella poetry, while others are
sophisticated slow jams where she easily proves her prowess as a
singer. It takes a special talent to effectively blend spoken word
with music, and it's even more impressive to hear someone take it on
with such passion and honesty. She's got a lot to say, and she's found
a compelling and intelligent way to share her thoughts with us.

- CD

Utica, NY (07/19/2007)
- Utica College graduate and HBO alumna Shanelle Gabriel visited campus Wednesday to perform a combination of her poetry and music for nearly 200 Young Scholars students.

The Brooklyn native, who has appeared at a number of venues and colleges in New York and throughout the U.S., is most commonly recognized for both opening and being featured on Season 6 of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam 2007. She also recently recorded a nationally televised promo for the 2007 NFL Draft. In addition, Gabriel is promoting her first album, titled “Start Something.” Her music encompasses her love of spoken word poetry, as well as her soulful, sultry singing.

As a student at UC, she performed as both a singer and actress, while earning a bachelor’s degree in communication arts in May 2006. She was a Def Jam College promoter and one of the leading radio personalities on WPNR 90.7 FM.

Gabriel’s special performance was the highlight of Young Scholars Summer Program 2007, taking place through July 27. An annual event, the program is for students in grades 7, 8 and 9 from the Utica City School District. They gather at UC to take a variety of classes, including English language arts, math, science, and a special class on decision-making.

This was Gabriel’s second year performing for the Young Scholars students, who quickly got caught up in her presentation. They gave Gabriel a standing ovation and eagerly waited to speak with her after the performance.

“It is something I really enjoyed,” she said. “I try to address a lot of issues in my work, including self-respect, jealousy and life issues.”

The Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program, launched in 1993, is a collaborative project between UC and the Utica City School District. The multi-year program is designed by school district and College officials to meet the challenge of motivating teenage students to stay in school, earn a New York State Regents Diploma with the Advanced Designation, and pursue post-secondary education.

About Utica College – Founded in 1946, Utica College is a comprehensive private institution that grants the Syracuse University baccalaureate degree and the Utica College master’s and doctoral degrees. The College, located in central New York, approximately 90 miles west of Albany and 50 miles east of Syracuse, currently enrolls nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in 32 undergraduate majors, 25 minors, 13 master’s and two doctoral degree programs.
- Utica College

"[Watching] her perform live on stage was a whole other experience…an amazing one that is! Her positive & energetic vibe is truly empowering through her strong voice and insightful lyrics."
- The Bomb Eye Staff (Aug 10, 2009) -

"Her voice is pure, and her handle on language and rhythm is really pushed to the limit by the variety of styles she chooses to take on. It takes a special talent to effectively blend spoken word with music, and it's even more impressive to hear someone take it on with such passion and honesty."
- Brad, -

"Shanelle Gabriel has the yin and the yang of entertainment down packed.The best of both worlds [music and words], it is impossible for her to leave you hanging and looking for more. This girl’s got IT! REMARKABLE!"
- D. Claire, Encore Status Entertainment (Apr 09, 2009) - Encore Status Entertainment (Apr 09, 2009)

"Gabriel's performance [is] intensified by her animate personality and the distinct sincerity of her words. Each piece she [performs] presents a different genre fused into her own personal style, including everything from pop-esque undertones to old school hip hop rhymes."
- Pat Burt, The Suffolk Voice- Boston, MA (Feb 06, 2008)
- The Suffolk Voice- Boston, MA (Feb 06, 2008)

"The thought provoking "Start Something" demands redemption in its lyrics. It is a passionate and upbeat, mid-tempo song that is sure reach the minds of the unaccessible and make them start something in a positive way!"
- DJ Hipnotik, Hood Access Radio Show/Radio Phoenix
- Hood Access Radio Show/Radio Phoenix

"Shanelle's debut proves that her work is indeed her wealth, and this album banks on common sense and reality checks. [This album] channels many aspects of her womanhood ranging from the envious high school freshman to the beacon of hope for the shadows in the ghetto."
- Michael Brown, Writer for and Kicksclusive (Feb 08, 2009)

"Make room Lil Wayne and Drake, Shanelle G is on the scene with a hot remix that commands attention! Her version, "Best I Ever," clearly shows this female rappers skills and smooth flow. This is clearly a female in charge!"
- DJ Hipnotik, Hood Access Radio Show/Radio Phoenix
- Hood Access Radio Show/Radio Phoenix

"She paints pictures, may have you crying (or laughing) through her writing, and through her soulful singing you might find yourself being able to relate to similar situations."
- The Bomb eye Staff, (Jun 22, 0009)

"Shanelle is one of those artists that says something and makes you say, "Wow I wish I thought of that." Not many people can do that."
- DJ Come of Age- Kaiserslautern, Germany, Review (Oct 15, 2008)

- Review

Recorded live during Black on Black Rhyme Poetry Nite @ The Aakhet Center/Amen-Ra’s Book Gallery (Tallahassee, FL) Featuring HBO Def Poet Shanelle Gabriel (06/11/2009) - mznindieradio


Start Something (Debut Album)
Best I Ever Had (Shanelle's Remix) aka Track 1
AIM HIGH (2013)




Shanelle Gabriel has been labeled a virtuosa: She's a soulful singer, poet, lyricist, and an advocate for Lupus Awareness. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, she has toured both nationally and internationally, hitting cities from LA to Vancouver to Johannesburg, South Africa. Frequently compared to Lauryn Hill and the super duo Floetry wrapped-in-one, Shanelle effortlessly blends her soulful singing with elements of spoken word and hip-hop. Shanelle's tenacity has allowed her to become a shining star in any path she treads.

Shanelle is widely known for both opening and featuring on HBO's Def Poetry Jam alongside Jill Scott and DMX and has also shared the stage with artists such as Eric Benet, Talib Kweli, Nas, Erick Sermon, and more. Shanelle was spotlighted on the Rachael Ray Show, Fox News, and KAYA 95.9 FM- Johannesburg, and was recognized for her work by Listerine and Wal-Mart in the "Your Mouth Matters" campaign. She appeared in a promo for the 2007 NFL Draft and competed in both the National and Individual World Poetry Slams. You can hear her voice as the narrator for Jennifer Hudson's "I Got This" audiobook and also catch her acting in Q-Tip's video for "ManWomanBoogie."

Shanelle got her early start showcasing her talents in church. At Utica College, she performed as both a singer and actress while earning her B.A. in Communication Arts with a minor in Business Management. She was a Def Jam College promoter and a leading radio personality on WPNR 90.7 FM.

In the summer of 2004, Shanelle was diagnosed with SLE Lupus. However, she decided that her health would not be something that would limit her success. Using that as her fuel, she decided that she would pursue her dreams and encourage others who have obstacles in their path to do the same. She states, "My battle with Lupus has been tedious, but God has a plan. That plan does not include giving up on life. I want to be a testimony to others that no matter what, faith and determination can accomplish any goal."

Shanelle presently tours the US and abroad, stays active with her sorority (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc), facilitates creative writing workshops, is the Poet-In-Residence at Urban Word NYC, and promotes Lupus awareness and social justice. She recently released her follow-up to her amazing debut album, Start Something (winner of the 2008 Atlantic City Alternative Soul Best CD Award). This new album, Aim High, is set to propel Shanelle Gabriel to even greater heights in her career.