PHOX News | Mp Yamfam & Mina West



Mp Yamfam > Youtube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Soundtrack produced by @MadeByKiidd
Visuals by @_trinimk

What does PHOX news stand for?

Before I start speaking on this poem, I want to first address the title. PHOX News is a phonetic play on words linking to the media outlet Fox News. The acronym PHOX stands for Public Hearings of Xenophobia, and if I’m honest it is something I feel Fox News and other similar media display.

Note: Xenophia - definition; dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries (I wasn’t sure of the definition until Poet Mp Yamfam broke it down to me)

Myself and Mp Yamfam decided to join forces and use spoken word as a way to shine light on the level of injustice with how the media present the relationship between law enforcement and the black race. We both came together at a time where video footage of police brutality was at a high - but yet stations like Fox news refuse to address the issue or would twist the story to favour the system. By taking on the personal of the media we wanted to show how moronic it all is and challenge people to not trust everything the media tells you. We’ve seen how they’ve twist stories such as Travon Martin, giving “justifications” for the murder of black skin. There are so many cases similar to this (too many to mention) which hurt my heart, poetry was just my outlet and was blessed to write this with Mp.

When Mp first approached me about the idea of doing a poetry piece together I had a mixture of excitement and nerves, writing is such a personal private experience for me I normally shy away from doing projects outside of my comfort zone. But Mp is a close friend of mine and dope poet, so decided to jump at it and it was a fun process writing with him. There will be more, I’ll bug him so there is :p.

I would love to get your thoughts on the poem and the subject. I do apologise for the technical difficulties on it - but you still get the jist of the poem :D

Mina West x



PHOX NEWS LYRICS

Both:     Breaking news
MP:        A black man shot a police officer after an armed robbery went wrong
MW:      Yea, that’s ok but I don’t feel like the headline is strong
Make the black man a thug, with a history of gang related crime
Been in out and out of prison, where he’s done a bit of time
MP:        Let’s add a dash of spice
Make his vice be Allah
And before he pulled the trigger, a witness claims heard him say Allahu’akbar
MW:      We don’t need to include that the police man came out of an armed van
                Acting all high and mighty with false accusation and demands
Commands him to pull over, because of the tread depth of his tyre
But really because of his deadly melanin attire
MP:        It was Officer Jones who’s quite well known for racial profiling
Happy slapping blacks, hands up, lay down, face down, show me your back, PAT, bullet in the back, pat pat three bullets in back, yet another body count for Officer Jones
But before he goes… crack in the back pocket, gun by the right hand, shot himself in the leg
Framing the black man, Officer down! Officer down! Shots have been fired! Suspect shot me
In the leg, I had to return fire!
MW:      Never asked for his name, name unknown
Never been arrested but criminal in the media is what will be shown
                Never make the black man sound, civil, educated basically human
MP:        Give him animalistic traits, untermunschen Nazi for Subhuman
Infiltrate his personal life, demonize his wife
Radicalise his family, with paraphernalia and weapons
MW:      I reckon this will go down well with our readers, who already follow the stereotype that black men are gang members and drug dealers
MP:        Turn this lovely churchgoer into public enemy no.1
Make this devout father, neglect his son
He did not pay his parking ticket on time, so describe him as a vigilante on the run
Both:     Ooo I love my job when it is this much fun


Yes we are the media
we set the rules
We know the story
You read the news
We re-write history
Keep out that truth
If it doesn’t meet our agenda
We won’t include

So this will be the headline the people will take in

Play the black man as the demon

So the system always wins


UK Entertainment Awards (UEA) | Nominee Best Poet

Excited to share that I've been selected as a Nominee for UEA's category Best Poet. Been putting a lot of work into my poetry grind, so to even be noticed is a blessing, thank you for all the support.

If you would like to vote click link > UEA Awards

Make sure you check out all the candidates and support the spoken word movement x





Toast 2 Young London | 27th October

I'll be performing at Toast 2 Young event aimed at promoting young entrepreneurship in association with Lupus UK charity, on 27th October.

You can purchase tickets >> Toast2YoungLondon.eventbrite.co.uk 


The Lions Story | Black History Month Special | Fri 21st Oct

one for the diary below - more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/632029306975938/



SOFAR SOUNDS | Mina West Performance



Live performance of The Crown x

Apples of Eden | Layback feat Mina West x Slic Vic



For more on Layback Music (Marvelouss G): https://soundcloud.com/marveloussg 

The talented Layback had me feature in his EP, make sure you give it a listen ... and let me know what you think x

Feature | Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed - social news & entertainment company features poet Mina West and other UK poets for National Poetry Day 2016

Have a read: https://www.buzzfeed.com/fionarutherford/we-asked-british-poets-to-share-their-favourite-poems-for-na?utm_term=.bbYNVxn68#.efj92keAo




The Crown | Mina West



Instrumental: @TheDreamers_UK

Director: DarrylDaniel.com

For those of you who do follow my blog, you’ll be aware that I always do a write up about my new material and rational behind it when I have a new poem go live, feel so bad that it’s taken me this long to write it up - I’ve been a little bit busy but still no excuse.

So The Crown, a combination of my love for natural hair and poetry. I was quite nervous to share this poem because I did not want to come of as a natural nazi, but it’s a subject I’m quite passionate about so I couldn’t run away from it. I do not want to go into it too deeply here, but I love how the natural hair movement has grown … and for me it is not just about hair. Learning to love my hair, taught me to learn my ‘blackness’, my ‘Africanness’. Now I’m not saying girls with weave or relaxer do not (please do not get this messaged mixed up) I’m saying it personally opened my eyes to see how much black culture had been westernised, to the point my own natural hair seemed alien to me, I was afraid to deal with, I was afraid it wouldn’t be viewed on as attractive. And that upset me, because one day God willing I will have a child, that was not the same message I wanted to relay on to her.

To learn how to look after my hair, I became a little obsessed with the “natural hair journey movement” and did research on its science, but as I digged deeper into the science of it, I started to learn its history. Black woman have always been sooooo creative and different with our hair, I talk about it in the poem. I love to embrace the different hairstyles from Fro’s to weave, it just upsets me that the westernised style is favoured more, and in that meantime what is trademark African is appropriated by western media and stamped as their own. Looking at history, I’ve seen what is African being stolen through its music, inventions and even hair … tbh I’m just tired of it. But I cannot tell another race to stop stealing from us …. If we do not even love what is naturally ours.

I can talk about this forever, but I will stop here. Take ‘The Crown’ as an opening for a lot more to come. I’m excited and nervous, but I will soon be releasing a collection of work that highlights where my heart is right now.

I would love to know what you think of The Crown, please share in comments or email :)

Some behind the scene pictures by [instagram] @cheekomedia & @zek.snaps









Lyrics - The Crown

It’s amazing to see how much the natural hair movement has grown over time
But you still get people saying ignorant lines like
Not all black girls can wear natural hair
That saying had me replaying
The memory when I first told my aunt
I was going to stop using relaxer
She looked at me with a confused face
To say
“Why the change, I don’t understand
Afros are hard to maintain,
or even attract a man”
I guess you can call me a rebel child
Because that gave me more ammunition
To go against a system
That had ingrained her brain
With a false proclaim
That natural hair was a problem
Something to resist
I had to insist it was for myself and my health
So when I say, when young black girls say “we are fearfully and wonderfully made”
It will be played and replayed in our minds so much
You will never feel inclined to conformity
It scorns me to know
We still show, self hatred in places we are not ready to admittedly face yet
Hair is just one of them
But in this one I won’t back down
I wear my hair fitted like a crown on purpose
Unapologetic of our status we are Queens

See I had to change my way of thinking for my unborn child
So she can look in the mirror and see her afro as ordinary
No shame
Not the stigmatized afrocentric extraordinary experiment to explore
Mothers remember your face will be the first face your daughter comes to adore
So please be an example
And open the doors to her mind
Because we are in a mental war
When I say we are in a mental war
It is with the ideology that has been stored in our minds and attacked us since birth
Time to be re-born and challenge the concept of beauty on this earth
I pray my child will not have to use her hair as a shield in the battlefield
Her heritage surpasses the chains that contains poison
She Links to kingdoms and queendoms that built empires dressed in rubies and sapphires
So she’ll never need to wear the lies of a western disguise,
to be seen as that precious ruby in my eyes

She won’t cling to idea that hair needs to be european, malaysian or asian
For society’s acceptance
she won’t be blinded by this deception
Why are we so obsessed with this perception
And you may talk about loving your black skin your in
But if you discard the hair it brings you are not an exception
Natural hair gets a positive reception from people outside our own race
But some of us still carry its rejection, Why?
For so long we have been attracted to images in media
Displayed all around us
Hairstyles that’s laid flat surrounds us
To manage our kinks and naps
We damage it with chemicals and glued in weave tracks
Causing receding hairlines
As we mentally recede back in time of inferiority
When we had no authority
Trying to blend in because you believe you are the minority?
Longing for the approval of the supposed majority
Just remember to love yourself and your own is your main priority
It is a thorn in me
Seeing how perms links to fibroids, thinning hair, balding spots and all sorts
Making black girls emotionally and physically sick  
But yet we still stick with it

I do not want to use this platform to preach or push
Emotional blackmail
But when that black male tells me
When my own friend who is black resales me false tales that
“natural hair looks good on you, but it is not for everybody
Just think x3
there is a possibility that you will reproduce one day
May it not be the same lie you play to your offspring
Because you know that they cannot run away from their skin
Thinking if they straighten their hair to fit in, they can win
But it will bring a string of more self-deprecation

“Natural hair does not suit everybody” - that doesn’t even make sense
How can what is on you, not be for you!
No other race has had to put their hair through this tireless case
That we still place ourselves … in
In that one line you question God’s design
You have power to redefine beauty for the next generation
But instead you assist with our own decline

See when I finally took sometime to retrace our history
The mystery of our race
That we still found it difficult to embrace
Our God given position in this place
Did the willie lynch syndrome really do a number on us that strong,
Because they tried to destroy us before
But our ancestors came through with a mighty raw
So why do we still feel that your natural self is wrong
We still strut along
Covering our head with weaves and extensions
Rejecting how our own hair is an extension of ourselves

And don’t get me confused or misunderstood
I love being creative and different with our hair
So please continue to rock all the different hairstyles out there with good care
But if you can’t stand the stare when you hair is laid bare it will be you that tears us down
Hair is a black womans trade
We were creative with our hair
Before being colonised or made into slaves
Black people Introduced braids, locs, straighteners and weaves
Madame C J Walker - A black hair business woman
A beautiful legacy she leaves
Black woman paved the way
Black woman Came and changed the game
So when the white washed world try and claim -  boxer braids as their own
Remember black girl with african hairstyles, we own that throne
Never let it be shame that’s shown, or disown our history that is in the hearts of our homes
Don’t sit there and moan about cultural appropriation
You take back what can only ever be OURS
Hold your head high showing no humiliation
Afro hair no other race can ever replicate
You demonstrate your not afraid to do you
When you showcase your afro hair do
No more can they ignore
The lionesses roar
But simply adore her crown and beauty
For all of the nations to see

It was a Black woman that birthed all humanity  
So loving your crown and all its glory
Is something this humanity needs
Instead it feeds of a negative portray
And we stay in it
And we use our tongues to say
“not all black girls can wear natural hair”


Feature | The Voice Newspaper

Britain's no.1 Black Newspaper features my latest poem The Crown

Have a read: http://www.voice-online.co.uk/video/spoken-word-artist-celebrates-natural-hair


Feature | The British Blacklist

The British Blacklist featured The Crown on their platform.

Have a read: http://www.thebritishblacklist.com/tbbwatch-the-crown-ode-natural-hair-mina-west/


Feature | 2BReal Magazine

2BReal Magazine cover's my latest poem 'The Crown'

Have a read: http://www.2brealmagazine.com/mina-west-the-crown/




Feature | GUAP Online Magazine

GUAP magazine featured my latest poem, where I challenge the misconception of natural hair.

Have a read: http://www.guap.co.uk/convo/watch-minawest_tweets-challenge-misconceptions-natural-hair/


Kyla’s Diary - Inspired by A Silent Night | Mina West

This spoken word piece is based on the short film A Silent Night produced by Black Apron Entertainment.



Check out full movie trailer here



This short film also got selected to be showcased at Cannes Short Film Corner 2016
You can find the team on Twitter & Instagram: @BlackApronEnt

Music Composer: Jordan Thomas
You can find him on Twitter & Instagram +JordanThomasUK 

This was a great project to be a part of, Black Apron Entertainment are a London based film production company, who follow the ethos of no limit when it comes to the creative mind. Myself and Black Apron Entertainment collaborated creatively - I wrote a poem inspired and based on the short film A Silent Night. The poem is based on the young girl named Kyla, she transitions into a life of poverty with her brother as her mum adjust to life as a single parent.

Honestly I could relate to this movie, growing up in inner city London with a single mother - I witness my mother hold a brave face, and constantly working her hardest so we could have the best opportunities in life. This movie touches on the different struggles one can face, and I strongly urge you to check it out.

To add it was fun recording and filming with the team :), some pics below.


Meet the Black Apron Entertainment guys :)








Lyrics

On that silent night
My mother had to flight or fight
No more time for fun and play
Poverty had made its way
To stay
And as much as we tried
This is something we could not delay
We would hold a brave face
Saying that everything was okay
But there was a change
And i wished for us to remain the same
Happy with new outfits and the latest games
But now the thought of filling out new clothes
Was insane
Because we couldn’t even fill out our stomachs

“Mummy i’m hungry”
I could see the guilt on my mother’s face
With that one simple line
My brother swore things will be just fine
But the sight on my mother's face
Left a trace of a woman now broken
Mother tried to deny
But her eyes were bloodshot from her cries
That she’d slide away and hide from us
Wishing she could confide in us
But I couldn’t deny it was a terrible ride for us

School was hard and is still
I’ve learnt to drill out the thoughts
That I can live the same life
As ,everybody else in school
Learning that money
Doesn't always equate to cool
My older brother is living proof
That regardless of our situation we can still rule
Or at least try too ...

Mother said please behave
And we would cave at the thought of upsetting her
There was no father figure in our household
So brother figured he’d assume role.
He makes me follow the rules
Even though he follows his own
I may moan
But with him I know I’m never alone

Even in those silent nights at home

Mina West x