SayWord: Taalam Acey

By: Corbyn Bricie

1. What inspired you to write Love Yourself and how easy is it to live by this philosophy yourself?

Taalam – It’s pretty easy once you realize how pointless it is to focus attention on those who do not love you. The more of those people I detect and learn to let be, the better life becomes. The people who love us often go under-appreciated, since we take them for granted, while trying to convince the people who never will love us, that they really should. Focusing on being the type of person you can love and on the people who love you, is a recipe for success.

2. Lose Control…you have to tell us how this piece came about. And are you truly “bad for us”? (lol)

Taalam – Lose Control came about because I was told sex poems were the poet’s method of drawing sexual attention. I disagreed. I explained that sex poems were inspirations for lovers and that, further, if I really wanted to draw added attention from women, I would write a poem that told them NOT to sleep with me. I tested Lose Control twice after I wrote it. But, since I’m less than comfortable with that level of attention, I never performed it again.

3. Aura is the ultimate picture of  love nicely painted by your words. If you had to pick a musical instrument that embodied the spirit of love, what would it be?

Taalam – The Cello; but it must be both strummed as a bass as well as played like a violin.


Taalam Acey is considered by many to be the central Spoken Word artist of the current generation. He’s published a novel, a comprehensive collection of poems, an award winning memoir and 9 Spoken Word CDs. Taalam has been a full time traveling poet since 1999. Tens of thousands of people own his work and hundreds of thousands have watched him live or via television and the internet. Acey performs regularly in more than 50 cities in the US and abroad. On average, he is on a plane once every 3.5 days. That’s 100 flights per year to promote Spoken Word.

Taalam’s work has been featured on BET, TV One and in Essence Magazine. Acey was the first person ever selected as “the 1 thing you need to know about” on BET’s countdown show, “The 5ive.” He has been a frequent guest at dozens of colleges and Universities and has lectured on contemporary Spoken Word at the prestigious Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. Acey has twice been featured at the Essence Music Festival. He’s been quoted in several newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Weekly and the New Jersey Star Ledger. In addition, Acey’s work has been associated with films that have garnered an Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Taalam is also an accomplished slam poet who has won slams throughout the United States as well as in Germany and England. He was featured in an acclaimed Radio-One London documentary on slam and Marc Smith, the founder of slam poetry, used Acey’s work as an example of slam poetry in his definitive book.

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