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Def Poetry - Season 1

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry 1 (DVD)

From the makers of Russell Simmons's Def Comedy Jam, comes an all-new series that showcases practitioners of one of the country's fastest-rising performing art forms - def poetry - in an intimate, uncensored format. Taped live at The Supper Club in New York, Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry is hosted by popular rap artist Mos Def, and spotlights original material performed by contemporary urban poets and well-known music/comedy artists.

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Produced by Russell Simmons and hosted by Mos Def, this groundbreaking HBO series presents poetry for the hip-hop generation. The setting is New York's Supper Club, the performers are young men and women of every hue, and the tools are words: angry, funny--even profane--words. Taped live, each of the four 30-minute episodes from the first season features several poets and a guest or two (from the fiery Last Poets to the out-of-her-element Jewel). This isn't your grandma's traditional verse, but rather slam poetry--or spoken word--as influenced by Public Enemy as Langston Hughes and the evening news. Some are powerful (see Suheir Hammad), some clever (Sarah Jones), and some irritating (Yellow Rage), but each poem is sure to provoke some kind of reaction. Def Poetry would go on to beget a world tour, a Peabody Award and, in its Broadway incarnation, a Tony for best theatrical event. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Stan Lathan, Danny Hoch, Russell Simmons, Jessica Care Moore, Mos Def
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 19, 2005
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00026L9B6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,022 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Def Poetry - Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This DVD is definitely a must have for all dvd collectors. As Mos Def stated in a few of the shows, these artists get up there and say things you may already be thinking. They will have you laughing at times, and will have you reflecting on the state of our society at others. As they show clips of the audience, you find every skin tone and age up in there and its a beautiful thing to see them all laughing together and even shedding tears together...It's deep..

Based on my experience from Def Comedy Jam, I was expecting all of the artists to be African American, but Russell mixed it up with Caucasians, Asians and Arabs which was HOT...We never really know how different people look at the world and this gives you a glimpse into what each person sees and what they've been through.

DEFinitely a classic!!
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I caught this show on HBO by chance and became a fan instantly. If you are a person who appreciates any kind of art form, you will find true value in these performances. These poems are a window into the different cultures in our world and they allow you to relate to and understand other people and ourselves. This season has 4 episodes. However, I encourage you to also get Season 2 particularly (I have up until Season 3). On Episode 2 Danny Hoch did a piece on 9/11. Simply outstanding! It was at once somber, funny, sarcastic, introspective, sad, in short the most brilliant performance. Same goes to a performance by "Black Ice" which was Hip-Hop, yet anti-gangsta... awesome!! Beau Sia is also incredible with a hyperbolic performance about the "Asian Invasion". They alone make it a must have for anyone with an appreciation for poetry. I must warn you language can be explicit at times.
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This DVD is wonderful and gives proof that the spoken word is the strongest force out there. Russell Simmons has truly captured and presented a raw form of unbelievable talent of everyday people and those more notable. These poets will touch and pierce your very soul and leave you laughing, crying, mad and happy. After the first episode, you will be hooked.
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One of the best shows to ever be seen on HBO. This DVD only has 4 episodes, but it shows that spoken word is definately going somewhere. I didn't fast-forward through any of the poems, which means none of them were stupid or boring. I absolutely love this DVD and would recommend this to ANYBODY who likes Def Poetry...You MUST buy it! It's definately not a waste of money!
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First of all, I got this DVD because I am a poet myself and it really caught my eye walking through the video store. I just viewed it and I recommend any poet or any fan of poetry should watch this DVD...all the poets in this DVD, including Cedric the Entertainer and Dave Chappelle were absolutely amazing...it's Spoken Word and I give it TWO THUMBS UP!
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One of the best shows to ever be seen on HBO. This DVD only has 4 episodes, but it shows that spoken word is definately going somewhere. I didn't fast-forward through any of the poems, which means none of them were stupid or boring. I absolutely love this DVD and would recommend this to ANYBODY who likes Def Poetry...You MUST buy it! It's definately not a waste of money!
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I am not sure what "Def" is.
I am not even sure I know what "Poetry" is, although I try to read much with an open mind--no, that's not what poetry appeals to--much with an extra sensitivity.
[There is some which has motivated me for life:

"I saw a man pursuing the horizon./Round and round they sped./This greatly disturbed me./I accosted the man, 'You can never. . .'/'You lie,' he cried, and ran on." Stephen Crane]

But whatever Def Poetry is, each episode of this season of this show begins with poetry--a snippet of Gwendolyn Brooks or William Shakespeare or Langston Hughes or Dylan Thomas, Def Poets, the show proclaims, all.
[And more:

"Oh generation of the thoroughly smug and the thoroughly uncomfortable./I have seen fishermen picknicking in the sun./I have seen them with untidy familes,/I have seen their smiles full of teeth and heard ungainly laughter./And I am happier than you are,/And they were happier than I am. . .Ezra Pound]

Whatever Def Poetry is--other than poetic, be it rant or performance--it is effective.
Before you--you teenage boy--suggest to your date you both jump in the backseat of a car, you should hear part of this--to see, to feel--what the girl may think. Before you--you college graduate dismiss the thought of teaching--you should hear part of this--to understand, to feel--"what teachers make".
Please, I'm ready for season next.
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By Brownie on January 18, 2007
Verified Purchase
I rec'd the item in just a couple of days and was very pleased with the service.. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!
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