038: Freestyle Rap, With Vincent Van Pro
Weekly Inspiration: Meditation
Michelle’s inspiration this week is the key to her growing sense of balance: meditation. She tackles her unrelenting workload and personal stress by regularly seeking stillness in her body and mind. By surrendering to the flow, she abandons resistance and finds new levels of openness and opportunity. This practice guides her rituals and reactions as a creative, as well as provides an introspective form of activism. Michelle explains how meditation allows us to heal ourselves, which is the first step in making our world more loving. She encourages listeners to start with two minutes of silence and a clear mind, then expand the time limits based on incremental adjustments to this new quietude.
Going with the flow of freestyle rap with Vincent Van Pro
While he may have “stuttered” his initial freestyles years ago, lifelong word aficionado Vincent Van Pro now spits rhymes with the best of them. His jaw dropped when he heard Earl Sweatshirt’s flow on the debut mixtape Earl, launching his verbal improvisation into proficient practice. He and Michelle dig into his process and the way he groups his rhymes bar by bar rather than focusing on specific words.
He references writing as “WD-40 for his mind,” a tool he uses to provoke his vocabulary and keep his senses sharp. Michelle and Vincent discuss the importance momentum plays in freestyling, how Vincent recovers after a blunder, and the key difference between freestyle and traditional rapping.
His command and respect for speech reaches beyond his own passion and into the community through Soul Food Cypher. This organization of lyricists apply the power of speech and rap to positively impact people through cypher events and mentorship programs.
The Cultured conversation leads Vincent to highlight the spiritual aspects of performing and how channeling inner creativity creates a conversation beyond the one taking place between performer and audience. Vincent leaves listeners with an exclusive taste of his freestyle rap with a special session performed exclusively for the Crew to the rhythm of an in-studio beat boxer!