The emcee rap duo Mother Nature graced the stage Thursday night at the Black-On-Black Rhyme poetry slam at 7th street Underground hosted by the African American Heritage Month Committee.
The group is made up of two up and coming artists, T.R.U.T.H. and Klevah, out of Champaign. They both said they started making music at a young age, and it became more serious as they got older.
“I would say I’ve been an artist all my life,” Klevah said. “The influence of hip-hop started early for me.”
The duo said their music is based on personal experiences as African-Americans and global events. Police brutality against African Americans and the high rates of black on black crime have directly affected their music, Klevah said.
“We actually created this project at the very end of 2015,” Klevah said. “So just everything that happened in 2015, down to us getting more involved in Black Lives Matter, it kind of all went into our writing.”
Mother Nature’s music is inspired by multiple things including daily struggles. The group said they often freestyle unknowingly to the crowd, and they bounce ideas off of each other on stage.
“In the moment, anything can be inspiring. It could be a pleather of things at any given time,” T.R.U.T.H. said.
The duo said they love meeting new people and sharing experiences at events like Black-On-Black Rhyme.
“The love afterwards was abundant. Ya’ll was rocking with us,” T.R.U.T.H. said.
Mother Nature said they hope to evoke peace and social change through their music. They said they both plan to make music a lifelong career.
“This (music) is more than just our craft, this is our passion,” T.R.U.T.H. said.
The group said they are involved in the community and the music world, and use music to connect with society by blending the two.
“Influencing the youth and our peers, I think that’s a huge thing for us,” Klevah said. “Once we know that the messages are being received, it just gives us more fuel to keep going.”
The duo said African American Heritage Month is essential because it emphasizes the culture and history.
“Black history is American history, its really no difference,” T.R.U.T.H. said. “The stuff we learn about during Black History Month still affects more than just black people.”
The event also featured poetry readings from Eastern students. Students were encouraged to share original pieces and monologues from other writers with the audience.
Briana Wesley sophomore biological science major, Hillary Fuller, senior communication and creative writing major, Tavia Fuqua, senior sociology major, and Patrick Davis, senior general studies major, were amongst the performers.
Senior psychology and interpersonal communications major Ashley Howard hosted the event. She said she was nervous because it was her first time hosting, but she used that to her advantage.
“They talked about a lot of issues not only that we struggle with on a daily basis, but also black issues that definitely touch home with us,” Howard said. “Not only violence and crime, but also things like self-image and internalized hatred.”
Students recited poems about self-awareness and the violence within the African American community.
“They touched on things that we struggle with as a whole, not only on an individual level. It was definitely an eye-opening experience,” Howard said.
The African American Heritage Month Committee will also be hosting the EIUnity Diversity Conference Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thaija Evans can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]