WordGroove Studios Presents The ILL List Vol. 1 DVD
Spoken word is rapidly growing into one of underground culture’s hottest scenes. Drawing on the self-affirming attitude and political energy of hip-hop culture; spoken word artists unleash their rhymes acapella. With nothing but their voice, cadence and stage presence they spit verses on everything from race, love, politics, social commentary and everyday life. With the swagger of hip-hop and the razor sharp observational wit of stand-up comics, spoken word poets draw in their audience with pure lyrical fire.
For the first time the raw energy of spoken word performances is captured on film and presented on DVD. Enter the ILL List….
The ILL List is an invitational only poetry slam that features a dozen nationally renowned performance poets / spoken word artists, many of whom are regional and national poetry slam champions who have appeared on Russell Simmon’s HBO Def Poetry Jam. The event is modelled after the original poetry slam invented in Chicago by Marc Smith with a three round format, random judges, and traditional rules of time limits, no props and original content.
Through 3-rounds of original poetry, poets match metaphors and battle rhyme, rhythm, and verse on their quest for cash prizes. Randomly selected judges from the audience, using Olympic-style scorecards award points to poets based on the strength of their poems and the quality of their performance. Audience members are strongly encouraged to root for their favourite poems as cuts are made after every round. Cheering, yelling, booing, hissing, whistling, and good-natured heckling are welcome and expected.
Since its inception in Winter 2003 this event has been held at the historic State Theatre to a sold-out audience with numerous people outside waiting for a chance to get in. Every year this event is filmed by Poetry Slam’s most renowned filmmaker, Tazuo Yamaguchi and published into a dynamic state of art DVD showcasing the poets who participated.
About ILL List DVD Vol. 1 (by Mike McGee, 2003 Individual National Slam Champion)
“This DVD is one of the hottest showcases of spoken word the world has ever seen! It includes over a dozen of the most talented spoken word artists and poetry slammers in California and beyond. These champions of verse came together in December 2003 in a packed auditorium in Modesto, California, for one the greatest poetry slams ever held. A hundred people waited outside to get in…the hundreds inside got a chance to see why spoken word is making its mark unlike anything ever before. This DVD is a prime example of what can be done with a pen, a poet, and a stage. Beautifully edited, it captures the heart, soul, and sheer energy of 13 poets on the rise. This disc is pure excellence.”
About ILL List DVD Vol. 2
On December 3, 2004 at the Historic State Theatre in Modesto, CA the second ILL List invitational poetry slam was held featuring seven new seasoned poets and three returning ILL List Champions including Rives, Mike McGee, Jamie Kennedy, Liz Green, Todd Mann, Kat, Babu, Javon Johnson, Rupert Estanilao, and Caroline Harvey.
Vol.2 is scheduled for release in the Spring of 2005.