On Sept. 9, students gathered to listen to some spoken word performed by ODD?ROD. Students were mesmerized by the power of a message, which this man was clearly able to convey.

ODD?ROD’s, whose actual name is Roderick Borisade, main theme was all about how he had gone against the odds growing up. He went through a lot as a child; his mother was a drug addict and his father was not around. When he was only 14 years old, his brother Eric passed away from brain cancer. However, he did not let the negativity get to him.

When he found out about his brother passing, he wrote a poem about suicide. His inspiration came from Tupac who had also passed away in 1996. When asked about the suicide poem, Borisade claimed that, “poetry saved his life.” He believes that it was ironic a suicide poem would actually end up saving him. Ironically, he does not remember this poem because he had not started to memorize poems until college.

Borisade believes that, “every feeling deserves a poem.” He has the mentality of taking negatives and turning them into positives, which was clearly shown through his poems. He stated that, “God allowed me poetry.”

He started to perform while he was in college and was blessed to be able to receive a full scholarship to college by a sponsor. By the time he graduated, 200 people were showing up to watch him perform.

Some of the poems that he performed that night were: 41-18, Oprah and Transcripts. Each of the poems he performed were stories from his life. 41-18 was about his mother and how he felt that when she was 41 she wanted to revert back to being 18. Oprah was about Borisade’s mother wanting to tell Oprah of his story. Transcripts was about education and how he felt it was for everyone.

None of these poems were easy to come up with. Borisade made it clear writing just one poem could take months. He explains, “If I chase it down, it won’t be what I wanted it to be.”

Not only does Borisade do spoken word, he has also has published chapbooks. These are a series of poems that act as a biography of his life. He also claimed he did not need to practice before the show because it was just his story.

Borisade did not have the easiest childhood but some things did end up turning around. His mother is now ten years clean and he was able to have a relationship with his father before he passed away in 2014. This man is living proof that negatives can infact turn into positives.

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