Hip hop and the art of writing with Idris Goodwin

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by Zach Wolfson in Beyond the Gallery
June 30, 2015 2 comments

Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to Idris Goodwin, a performance writer in Downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado Certified.

Idris always tells his students that rapping is like dancing – in the same way you hear a piece of music and you kind of move to it, or it makes you feel a certain way and that dictates how you move. For Idris that’s the best way to approach writing rhymes. He lets the beat lead and just moves with the words.

In case you missed it, check out the making of this episode with Idris – Behind the scenes: Hip hop and the art of writing with Idris Goodwin.


Idris Goodwin is a playwright, rapper and essayist. His plays include HOW WE GOT ON, REMIX 38 (Actors Theater of Louisville); AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY  (StageOne Family Theater), THIS IS MODERN ART (Steppenwolf), BLACKADEMICS (MPAACT, Crowded Fire). Goodwin is one of the six playwrights featured in HANDS UP an anthology commissioned by The New Black Fest. HANDS UP has been presented  across the country. He is the recipient of Oregon Shakespeare’s American History Cycle Commission and InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Award. An accomplished Hip Hop poet, Goodwin’s albums include BREAK BEAT POEMS and RHYMING WHILE BLACK. Goodwin was featured on HBO, Sesame Street and Discovery Channel. He is the co host and contributor to CRITICAL KARAOKE, a radio show and podcast about music and culture. Goodwin teaches performance writing and Hip Hop aesthetics at Colorado College.

[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Experience more of Idris’ writing and music at →[/box]


[threecol_two]This episode features the instrumental version Idris’ song “Say My Name.” His music is available at The song “Say My Name” is from his record “Rhyming While Black.”[/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]CHECK IT OUT [/threecol_one_last]

[threecol_one][/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Boettcher Foundation[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]NEA-300x172[/threecol_one_last]

Season Three of Beyond the Gallery is made possible by Colorado Creative Industries. A division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, Colorado Creative Industries sees a future where Colorado is a premiere “Creative Economy.” They strive to create a strong brand identity, a Top 10 reputation, and create significant and sustained investment in the creative sector where creative entrepreneurs and enterprises will flourish.

Does music play a role while you’re working?

Many of the creatives I’ve spent time with listen to music while they’re creating. How about you? Consider commenting below with your thoughts.

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