The pleasure was all mine to have interviewed Sir Abstraxxx, one afternoon, with a sun high. The jewels he spoke of will forever resonate. But, it wasn’t all knowledge-dropping, we shared lots of laughs and over our chat, I discovered that he’s way more than a poet. Ladies and gentlemen, SIR ABSTRAXXX…
Natasha Payne (NP): Starting with a traditional question, when did you become interested in the art of poetry?
Sir Abstraxxx (SA): It was completely by mistake as I was attempting to be a rapper. And, let me add that it was over a female. See, I wrote a rap for a particular female only to find out that it was a poem—in her eyes. Of course, I got emotional and we, actually, went back and forth about it being one or the other. Needless to say, I conceded and look where I am now.
NP: How old were you when you first started writing poetry?
NP: So, you wrote a rap for this girl when you were twelve?
NP: I hope she was awesome.
SA: Nah, she was a little ‘ehhh.’ She was everywhere, you know? It was messy!
NP: Yeh ok, we don’t want to go there, she might read this article. Well, how did you acquire your style of poetry?
SA: By watching and paying close attention to other artists. When I started moving around in Charlotte’s poetry scene, I watched how certain performers moved and assessed what made them so powerful. With that said, it took me about two years to figure out my direction.
NP: Who inspired you to become a poet (besides that girl)?
SA: My main influences came from music until I started hitting spots in Charlotte. So, in the beginning it was Marvin Gay, Jay Z, Q-Tip and Andre 3000. Then, once on the scene, it became Jasmine Mans, Rudy Francisco, Joshua Bennett, and Aja Monet.
NP: What types of music do you listen to?
SA: I grew up with Jazz and Neo Soul but when I could control my own listening sessions, it was nothing other than Rap. I was on JaRule and G. Dep early! After that, it was all Jay Z and Fabolous.
NP: Basically, a lot of New York artists, huh?
SA: Unfortunately! (laughing) I, then, started listening to southern influencers such as TI, Jeezy and Outkast. But, don’t get me wrong, I also listen to tons of electronic stuff and bands like Coldplay.
NP: What artists would you like to work or collaborate with?
SA: Musically, I would love to work with Kendrick Lamar. That would be so dope, either him or Big K.R.I.T or even J Cole. On the poetic side, I would like to work with any of the people that I named before like Jasmine Mans but really anyone that I feel would help me get to another level.
NP: What would you like to do in the near future pertaining to your career?
AB: I would like to do a tour, open for artists that visit the QC and, eventually, do stuff where I can perform at fashion shows; legit fashion shows, though. I watch Burberry and they do a lot of stuff so anything on the fashion side, I’m all in.
NP: How did you acquire your fashion sense?
SA: Uh, my mother. She taught me how to have an open mind when it comes to dress. She often suggested that I wear Old Navy but I wasn’t going for that. I learned how to pull my clothes together and dress by watching tv. In that, I learned it’s not about the pieces you have and where they come from but what you do with them. I figured out that I could wear something from a thrift store or even a high-priced store but, if it isn’t pulled together correctly, it’s going to look basic.
NP: Does fashion sense factor into your work?
SA: Yeah, it actually impacts the mood. Anytime I’m performing, I wear all black just to let the audience know that they’re getting more than what they see. I set the mood. If I’m wearing black, I’m letting you know I’m about to rip this shit up, shut it down!
NP: So Abstraxx, what do you do in your spare time?
SA: Umm, I’ve been doing a lot of ‘Netflix and Chilling’… by myself. (Laughing)
NP: What do you think of the art scene here in Charlotte?
SA: I feel like it’s treated as a hobby. And, when you have people who are serious about it, it sends mixed messages. Yes, it’s supposed to be about the art but, at the end of the day, it’s supposed to be about something that evolves.
NP: If you were on a panel, in a room full of young men aged 15-18yo, what would you tell them?
SA: I would tell them that what they’re going through doesn’t determine what they’re going after. Don’t let whatever you’ve been through determine what you experience!
NP: How can we find your work?
SA: I have a few mixtapes online that can be found on BANDCAMP. But, if you Google my name, all of my work comes up at once. Google: SIR ABSTRAXXX, that’s three X’s, not two.
NP: If we were trying to find you, you know come see you at a venue or a show, where would we find you?
SA: I do an open mic every second and fourth Wednesday at DUPP&SWAT, located in the heart of NODA. I’m the host and it’s, strictly, for poets but if you want to get your voice heard, I encourage you to come out. It’s been going on for a year now and is getting stronger with every happening. I definitely encourage you to come out and if you follow me on social media, you’ll stay in the know. I’ll be doing quite a few shows this year so keep up on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Even if you have a Tumblr, it’s simply, SIR ABSTRAXXX, straight like that.
CREDITS: PHOTOGRAPHY, JAMAR ‘BLEUSOL’ CALDWELL | STYLIST, SIR ABSTRAXXX | INTERVIEWER: NATASHA PAYNE