A Newark, N.J.-native, 26-year-old baron. is a rising poetic talent. His debut album, Troubled Man, blends hip hop and spoken word in pieces that tell the story of a young, Black and unapologetically gay life.
In a year in which public health watchers have groped for answers about why HIV infection rates are climbing among young gay men, baron.’s art — while not dealing directly with the epidemic — offers insight into the challenges young Black same-gender-loving men face in their love and sex lives.
In one track on Troubled Man, “cuz yur beautiful,” baron. declares, “Brothers I love you, openly/Because that’s the only way I know how.”
Here, baron. offers a poem on “the blacks, the gays” for BlackAIDS.org.
Birds Fly High
early morn, I slept unsure of never was
kind of lightly touched indecency
and I really wasn’t all right
if it wasn’t for the hawk’s eye
big blue whales swimming awry
my sake will still consider falling
and for this alone, I write to music
it’s been too easy calling on the gays
even easier on us to let it stain
a long walk from social circles
can return us back to the sun
where many a stories shared by one
not a wave goes by, I don’t inhale
what most have discovered later
decimation comes in partial pictures
can the blacks ever leave a scar
to their young with wanted savor
freedom is mine, I know how I feel
but if us aloud was stretched
across of many hues open wide
for nothing else, I would rest a lie
To see more of baron’s work and hear selections from his album, visit his website.