UCB’s Open Mic Night
February 24, 2017
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Odd? Rod claims that “The journey is much more important than the destination.” Truer words have never been spoken.
On Saturday, February 18, University Center Board hosted one of its many alternative programs: an open mic night. Open Mic Night is one of the many things student-run UCB does really well. It’s an opportunity for members of Millikin’s community to bring their A-game and put on a show along with the artist UCB brings in. This time around, UCB brought in slam poet and storyteller extraordinaire Odd? Rod. While this was not the first of it’s kind, this particular event was unique and unlike anything Millikin has ever seen.
The quaintness of Einstein’s was the perfect place to have such an event; the atmosphere was emotional yet jovial. The chairs were arranged in circles, and while there was a stage and a microphone, they were not really needed. Odd? Rod could be heard not only physically but emotionally without a microphone.
Odd? Rod is from Jackson, Florida. The question mark in his name carries many different connotations. He named himself Odd? Rod due to the obstacles in his life as well as the questions he welcomes about his stories.
He started writing stories in 1996. The year is significant, because his brother and Tupac died that year. Only stories saved his life, and he decided to live his life and his brother’s life that year. His rhyming stories gave him a chance to see life in another way. They sowed the seeds in the minds of all those in attendance to allowed them to think about how they interact with the world around them and whether or not their impact is positive or negative. The rhythm of his poetry was like a current of a wave that ebbed and flowed and moved like memories leaving footprints in the sand.
Some would call Odd? Rod a slam poet, but he would call himself a storyteller. Odd? Rod performed many poems and stories over the course of the night. It was clear he enjoyed himself as he laughed, sang and joked around with open mic night attendants. Even though the show was intimate, it was the perfect night to hear Odd? Rod’s words and messages.
The vibe at the event was positive and inspiring. Slows jams and laughter could be heard in the background all throughout the event. Before every story, Odd? Rod told, he would have us say the name of the story he was about to tell, and he ad libbed little tidbits about how he came to create such stories. It truly got those in attendance engaged and intrigued. His stories all tied back to his background, the obstacles life threw at him and how he managed to keep on living in the face of adversity. For college students living in a new era, his stories resonated on a deeper level. You simply had to be there.
The best part about this is you can be there next time. Follow UCB on it’s social media for further announcements about events, and feel free to join them at their meetings Tuesdays at 9pm in the Wood Room in RTUC.