kahlil almustafa
2002 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion

kahlil almustafa is the People’s Poet, whether for a mass rally of hundreds of people, a nightclub, church, university or a backyard family reunion.  He uses the stage & page to speak the truth of the people.  almustafa is the author of two collections of poetry: "Grandma's Soup" (February 2001) and "I'm Crying Everyone's Tears" (August 2002) which has sold more than 5,000 copies internationally.  almustafa recently released his highly-anticipated debut CD  "CounterIntelligence" (May 2006).  He is currently working on a collection of poems "Chivalry is Dead", a conversation on gender, sexism, masculinity and romance.

"kahlil almustafa’s poetry has a mixture of content and soul.  It comes out as powerful in its message as it does in its style."
- Ras Baraka, Deputy Majority Leader of Newark

almustafa has opened for and shared the stage with Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Manning Marable, dead prez, Floetry, Dilated Peoples, Motown Recording Artist Donnie and tours regularly with the live hip-hop/rock band GAME Rebellion.  He has been a featured poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, the C-Span televised "March to End Occupation in Iraq," Columbia, NYU, Indiana, Yale, Wesleyan, Northwestern, Princeton, the International African Arts Festival, the Harlem Book Festival, the Afrikan Poetry Theatre, the Baltimore Arts Festival, Pacifica Radio, the National Black Writer's Conference, Afro-Punk Liberation Sessions and many more. 

"The words of kahlil almustafa are both fierce and loving, chilling yet warm, a reminder that poetry goes beyond spoken word touching not only the ears, but the heart and the soul.  His work possesses an integrity reserved for the truly gifted, one that reminds the elders and the ancestors that we are still here, still fighting-with genuine spirits like kahlil on the frontlines."
- Toni Blackman, Author Inner-Course/US Hip-Hop Ambassador

In addition to performing and writing, almustafa is a dedicated educator.  He conducts regular poetry workshops at universities, schools, community organizations and prisons.  Some of his workshops include Poetry Is a Necessity, Poetry in Our Communities, Metaphorically Speaking and Poetry for Social Change.  He also conducts CounterIntelligence workshops designed to transform the way participants use language and frame their political, social and historical contexts.

almustafa is currently a performer and speaker on the Hip-Hop Is Dead Tour spearheaded by Rosa Clemente of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement ” the follow-up to the Speak Truth to Power tour (2003-05). The tour also features M-1 and Stic.man from dead prez, Immortal Technique, Jennifer "J-Love" Calderon, co-founder of the B-Boy Summit, Boots Riley from The Coup, Marinieves Alba, co-founder of the International Hip-Hop Exchange (IMX) and Dawn-Elisa Fischer, co-founder of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention.  The tour is dedicated to raising consciousness about identity, the war, the role of hip-hop, sexism, reparations and political prisoners.

You can reach kahlil at his MySpace page or at his email.

See also Grand Slam Finales/2002 and National Teams/2002.

Photo by Jodi Berenblatt from the 2002 Grand Slam Finale at the Nuyorican.