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AMERICAN THEATRE | Craig ‘muMs’ Grant Wasn’t Only a Poet; to Me He Was Poetry


Craig ‘muMs’ Grant in “A Sucker Emcee” on the Nationwide Black Theatre in 2017. (Picture by Monique Carboni)

Craig “muMs” Grant, an actor and slam poet who appeared in such performs as The Final Days of Judas Iscariot and his personal self-authored A Sucker Emcee, died on March 24. He was 52.


Yo muMs, ainʼt this some shit. Iʼve been requested to put in writing a tribute piece ’bout you. They need to not know you have been the author all the time placing pen to paper. I used to be concerning the jokes and ensuring you ainʼt go overboard with all-night capers. ’Trigger you can write all freaking day. Properly, you largely did the writing at night time, stated your thoughts labored higher at the moment, within the a.m. Iʼd test in, see the way it was going. You spit me a few of your poems, discuss enjoying poker and weed blowing and Iʼd be just a little jealous at how good it was sounding, telling you much less is extra. Now Iʼm feeling loopy caught, bought writerʼs block. Possibly I want to attend until the a.m. and seize a drink earlier than I begin writing about you. My good friend…muMs “the poet!”

They are saying it’s ’trigger we go means means again…Mount St. Michael Junior Excessive Faculty, to be actual. However to be actual you werenʼt muMs again then, you have been Craig Grant, and we being mates—not even certain ’bout that. That’s simply details.

Iʼd see you thru the detention homeroom window when you and them different jocks be on the soccer area working follow, that’s it. We are saying what up, cling a bit. You had that imply mug, that arduous African-looking grill such as you werenʼt to be messed with. After I heard you attempting to battle rap within the faculty parking zone, you sounded soft-spoken, mild, or perhaps it was you have been simply so articulate.

You all the time had a ardour for phrases and werenʼt afraid to point out your intelligence again within the day. When being good and delicate would make you a “nerd” or “geek” and will get you slapped on the again of the neck, however hell, you have been too imply trying and too massive for it to go down that means.

I keep in mind the time all of us we’re preparing for promenade and we stored telling you your date wasnʼt shit ’trigger she wasnʼt in love with you. However you liked her so that you wasnʼt attempting to listen to it. Iʼve been teasing you endlessly ’bout it, however you by no means bought to mad ’trigger I may make you snort and also you have been by no means apprehensive about “a rep.” I actually did respect that.

Andre Royo and Craig “muMs” Grant.

Flash-forward 10 years later, means after commencement…Iʼm doing theatre and pushing a child stroller and who do I see strolling down the road? I heard let you know turned X Clan wannabe, had shells in your beard, strolling with a employees. We catch up, you say your identify is muMs and also you a poet: muMs the poet, muMs the Schemer; muMs stands for manipulation beneath manipulation. Shhh. I canʼt assist however snort. Iʼm like, “You ainʼt nonetheless attempting to rap? You say I bought jokes, however you on HBO. You have been assembly Scorsese, doing movies, and I had a child, was married, questioning how I used to be going to pay the payments—that was payback.”

We test on one another infrequently. We present one another our worlds, our tribes. You introduce me to the HBO Oz solid and poets on the the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. I introduce you to my spouse and daughter, my fellow thespians from black field theatres throughout Off-Off-Broadway: Room 203, La MaMa, P.S. 122. We evaluating one another’s goals, evaluating one another’s stress: actors onstage donʼt make dough, poets are rappers that canʼt rap however have a unique kinda circulation. We turn into brothers from completely different moms. You ask me each occasionally for appearing ideas. I ask you methods to spell these massive phrases and shit. We maintain one another accountable to remain on observe. We drink, we dance, we carry out collectively and snort. You knew I hated poetry and I assumed you lacked focus, however we had one another’s again.

You stated so long as you can spit your poems youʼd do it without cost, even on the subway platform youʼd nonetheless be completely satisfied. You impressed me and I revered your artistry. You stored writing poems, performs, and made fairly a number of songs and also you didnʼt thoughts after I stated some have been wack and means too freaking lengthy. We trusted one another, gave one another dap. You spit a poem referred to as “the Reality “ and it grew to become my anthem. Stay life to the fullest, take nothing without any consideration, be completely satisfied, be fearless, fall in love with phrases and be taught their powers. Love who you might be and what you can turn into—these have been a number of the teachings inside your poetry.

We grew older and Iʼd see you deal with laborious occasions, like when your mother bought sick. You stood tall and also you dealt with that shit. I used to be humbled by your loyalty. You advised me you have been going to remain on this earth until you wrote your magnum opus. Now all who liked you and felt your spirit, these in awe of your expertise and had the consideration to listen to you spit will collect, ʼcause now we have loads of greatness to sift by means of with function. You ainʼt a poet no extra. For lots of us you be poetry, and now you wonʼt imagine how a lot I really like that shit.

Hurting however therapeutic for you, muMs.

Andre Royo (he/him) is an actor. author, and producer.

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