Poet - Black Ice
BLACK ICE is a poet from Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam. His poems, which frequently involve racial and social issues, combine hip-hop flow with rich vocabulary to create a unique style.
Black Ice, born Lamar Manson, began perfecting his craft on the streets of North Philadelphia. He was discovered by Russell Simmons at New York's Soul Café and became the first spoken word artist signed to Def Jam Records. Black Ice has performed to audiences as diverse as those at the Hip-Hop Summit, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Source Youth Foundation and ShiNE, and performed for such notables as the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Muhammad Ali and Minister Louis Farrakhan, as well as performing a poem on rapper Fabolous' third album Real Talk. He has released an album called The Death of Willie Lynch in September of 2006.
Black Ice performed across America as an original cast member of the Tony Award Winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway production and she appeared on 5 seasons of HBO's Peabody Award Winning Def Poetry. He featured on Showtime at the Apollo, "BET Tonight", The Today Show, BET's "RAP CITY" & "Lyric Café", and JET Magazine.
Before poetry was big business there was Lamar Manson, known throughout the spoken word community as Black Ice. Black Ice is a prolific artist, whose stage performances bridge the gap between hip-hop and poetry. Circa 1993, Black Ice's spellbinding presence, combined with writing that speaks to the common man, helped to bring poetry out of the coffee houses and into the mainstream, simultaneously creating a career as a dynamic performer whose talents proliferate television, radio and theater. Because of his intense love for children and youth, his message can also be heard in classrooms and lecture halls across the country.
Black Ice, has lent his genius to the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia, and has made feature TV appearances on BET (Live 8 Concert Special, Rap City the Basement and 106th & Park) and NBC (Showtime at the Apollo), in addition to starring in five consecutive seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. The New York Post has rated his live performance diamond brilliant. He was cast as a lead member in Def Poetry on Broadway, which went on to win the 2003 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. Black Ices talents are also showcased on releases by Pete Rock, Method Man and Fabolous. But the works that more closely define Black Ices personal vision are those where he uses his craft to uplift the masses. Public engagements such as performances for Seeking Harmony in Neighborhoods Everyday (SHiNE), the Rainbow/PUSH Coalitions Wall Street Project Conference, the Congressional Black Caucus and the ACLU allow Black Ice to demonstrate his concern for the future of all people through his art. He has also been featured in national radio and television advertising campaigns including spots on BET and VH1.
Leading by example, Black Ice not only embraces youth in the messages that he delivers; he is also the organizer of the Hoodwatch Movement. An artistic umbrella organization, focused on rejuvenating neighborhoods and working with men to maintain accountability for their families and their lives. He is also doing activism work with Jeff Johnson of BET's The Cousin Jeff Chronicles. Currently, Black Ice is working on his solo album, "The Death of Willie Lynch", in addition to completing the "Hoodwatch Movement Mixtape Volume I". He also plans on releasing a book of his prayers, entitled "Me & God". This will be a five year chronicle of Black Ices journal writings. Drawing inspiration from his family, Black Ice feels it is now time to take what he has learned from his experiences as the first spoken word artist signed to Def Jam to educate fellow artists on how to control their own artistic endeavors and to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in others.
If you walked into your average open mic venue and asked any of the poets showcasing their talents, if they would be satisfied being on HBO's Def Poetry Jam for five seasons running, winning a Tony Award for Def Poetry on Broadway, touring with multi-platinum artist Musiq and receiving the Hip-Hop Quotable from the Source Magazine, not to mention being hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine as the best thing on Method Man's 2004 release, Tical 2000: the Prequel, and they would probably admit, that they'd be happy if someone just acknowledged their craft.
But for one poet, born in Philadelphia as Lamar Manson - the first poet ever signed to a major label - he's just doing his job, and making sure that at least as far as he's concerned, the message always comes first.
For the last Three (3) years, he has also been a headlining poet on the RJE Comedy & Poetry Cabaret Tour, WWW.COMEDIANDEPOT.COM, which is the longest running, largest and most successful comedy/ poetry tour in the nation targeted to Universities/ Colleges.