Let me tell you about the time I donned my professor robe and performed spoken word from a lecturn at Sydney Uni to a packed house of academics.
My brother Ben – who is studying his PhD at Sydney Uni in English Literature – edited an academic journal twice in 2018. He is going to be a Doctor of words. On both occasions he hit me up to see if I would be interested in publishing some of my lyrics in said journal. I eagerly agreed.
The latter of the 2 journal entries saw the artists come together for a celebration at Sydney Uni to perform and showcase their pieces.
Enter Professor Prim.
Philament - Peripherality Vol 1
“Philament is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of scholarship in literature, cultural studies, and the arts broadly defined. Philament was founded in 2003 at the University of Sydney, and is committed to publishing the scholarship of postgraduate researchers and early career academics.”
I was super humbled by my brother approaching me to ask if I’d like to publish a piece in Philament.
At the time, I was working in door-to-door sales and the idea of publishing some of my lyrics in an academic journal was absolutely flattering.
The 1st entry from ya boi was the 1st full song I wrote and kept. A song called Tokens. Arguably my most lyrical song, Tokens is unreleased to this day, although the lyrics are published already.
Philament - Peripherality Vol 2
“Primitive is a spoken word poet with roots in raw, underground rap. He is known by his followers for his lyricism, flow, and powerful live shows. His pieces focus on addiction, pain, emotion, and recovery. He was the winner of the 2017 Rising MCs hip hop competition.”
This is an exert from the back of the journal. It’s humbling to read stuff like that.
Volume 2 saw me publish Madman – although at the time it was called Mind of a Madman. To celebrate the launch of the 2nd volume, my brother organised a night at Sydney Uni that saw all the authors and contributors come together to perform and showcase their pieces.
There were canapes, drinks and works of art showcased around the hall. All the usual suspects you’d expect to see at an academic event. The pieces of art were featured in the journal as well as not all the artists used spoken word to express themselves.
I was the last to perform. I was called up to the stage in what felt like 20 minutes. Turns out peoples spoken word pieces aren’t that long. Not on that night anyway.
It was quite surreal being up at that lecturn. I had no backing tracks – by choice – as I thought acapella was the way to go at an event like this.
For an emcee that’s used to performing with a PA, the set-up that night was a something completely different and I wasn’t prepared for it. The sound system had no fold backs. Meaning the speakers were projecting from behind only. I couldn’t hear myself properly. I sounded more like a supermarket announcer on an airport speaker.
Never-the-less, the show must go on. Prim is a professional and Professor Prim was in his element. The crowd heard the rhythm and began clapping to the beat that wasn’t there. I had succeeded.
I performed Bound by War, Madman and Tokens. It was the strangest gig of my life. Afterwards people came up to me and thanked me and gave me positive feedback.
It was a great experience all up and I know for the future what to expect if I ever speak on a lecturn again.
Like I’ve said before, you need to take any opportunity you can to get your art out there. As an indie artist you just have to.
Big shoutout to my brother Professor Ben Eldridge who has been studying for the better part of 10 years and has just handed in his thesis.
And a big shout out to all my people rocking with ya boi Prim.