Published On: Fri, Sep 26th, 2008

Capicu Family Night Recap

It was a night to remember…Papo and I returned to Cypress Hills Brooklyn, our hometown to do something that we have never seen before. We returned to host the first Capicu Family Night Teen Open Mic on Friday August 29th, 2008. Although the forecast was stormy all throughout nyc, there were severe thunderstorms just a few milies away in every direction and even tornado warnings in Time Square during the evening rush hour…it did not stop us from doing what we set out to do…to create a creative circle for young Latinos in Brooklyn.

It was almost as if someone held up a big umbrella over the Brooklyn neighborhood as we got ready to begin what we had envisioned for our collaboration since we conceived it almost ten years ago…and after actively working in Brooklyn for over a year and a half. Tonight was the night and we were fortunate to have teamed up with another local entreprenuer, Melody (owner of Atlantic Dance Studio) who refused to let "a lil rain" spoil the Capicu Parade.

It is 8:30, and one on the instructors Alex, is doing a cool down with his advanced Salsa class and the Capicu Audience starts to line up by the door in amazement as these "rumberos" practice their "shines". As the class ended, the teens started coming in…looking puzzled, even a  lil awkward as they started to engage the Capicu Playas throughout the venue. "What do you guys do? and What does Capicu mean?" were common questions we had to field as we got ready for showtime. As I made my rounds I realized that some of the teens were using the back of the literature we handed out to draw colorful graffitti. Now I having painted a few "pieces" in my life, i decided to take a break and have some fun with the kids. Now the show has not even started and already…I am having a blast.



Capicu Poetry's regular team took the night off to observe a new generation of Capicu Playas produce this show. Papo Swiggity tooked the night off and passed the Mic to Hip Hop Poet & Emcee OL SoUL and resorted to drinking quarter waters as opposed to his trademark Coronas. I left the networking  to my youngest daughter aka "La Jibarita" (who also performed her poetry for the first time) and The Guy relinquished his DJ duties to "La Jibarita's" twin, Tommy Tunez. I would also like to mention that this program was sponsored in part by The Brooklyn Library who donated Reading is Fundamental book vouchers for all the teens that attended.

The Open Mic ran two hours and featured the poetry of OL SoUL, Hybrid, Rebel Eagle, Jibarita, Jeffrey, Michael, Athena as well as poet activist, BeMeAsMe. In the tradition of Capicu Poetry, OL SoUL booked a surprise guest direct from New Jersey Hasan Salaam, Rugged n Raw and Red Clay to perform some positive uplifting Hip Hop joints that opened a dialogue with many of the young people about real situations they face as well as some of the things they aspire to. Their performance was infectious as they had parents, educators and teens singing the hooks thru their songs as they clapped to the beat.

I can only close by saying that this was one of the most meaningful and rewarding moments in Capicu History having exposed these kids to the positive force of spoken word. I assure you this will not be the last Teen Night.

Capicu Poetry would like to thank the following people for making this event possible, Melody & The Dance Atlantic Family, Brother Ken, Brother LLoyd, Hybrid & Rebel Eagle from The Urban Juke Joint for their presence and positivity,  Brooklyn Library's Reading is Fundamental program, all the local educators that help spread the word, all the poets that performed, the Teen Capicu Playas and last but not least to the 35 teans that came to our event with an open mind to witness something they have never witnessed before.

As I am,

The Urban Jibaro


Capicu Family Night Recap