HBO def poetry jam

UPDATES!!!!! (Shows and more) by Shanelle Gabriel

Hello family, 

You know 2016 is over once (the holiday formally known as) Thanksgiving hits. I can't help but be thankful for the blessings in my life: watching my niece get a perfect score on her spelling test for the 6th time, graduating my first cohort of students at the life skills and job training program I work for, finishing a song with the great folk at JahRock'n Productions, the upcoming events I'll be performing at, and reflecting on the past. Man, I'm blessed, and I know 2017 will be even more amazing. NYC, check out these events, one of which will be streamed live on Facebook for my non-New Yorkers. Also, check out some videos you may have missed. 


Upcoming Show:
The 2016 African Diaspora Awards Saturday, 12/3 @ 6pm

Florence Gould Hall (55 East 59th Street New York, NY 10022)

This Saturday, I'll be performing at the 6h Annual African Diaspora Awards, a special initiative that aims to celebrate exemplary individuals who have made a significant difference in the African community in the United States. This black tie event will be hosted by African comedian/Instagram sensation Dulo (@IamDulo) and will be honoring some amazing movers and shakers in the community. Oh, and with the promo code "ADA2016" you can get 30% off your ticket! 




Upcoming Performance: WWOC Coat Drive & End of the Year Reading (Thursday, 12/8 @ 7pm)

#DECOLONIZETHISPLACE Gallery (55 Walker Street, New York, NY) & LIVE Facebook Stream

Performing a poem of my own and one from my favorite woman writer of Color on Thursday, Dec 8th @ 7pm at the #DECOLONIZETHISPLACE gallery in downtown Manhattan. Hosted by The Women Writers of Color Group & Reading Room. This event will also be available via Facebook live. It is free and for the people. We ask that you bring coats and/or offer a donation to the shelters we'll be supporting. Hosted by Mahogany L. Browne, and also featuring Lynn Procope, Crystal Valentine, Venessa Marcos and more. 


Throwback: "Damn Near" Official Music Video

In case you missed it, this was one of my FAVORITE songs off of my second album, AIM HIGH. The video for "Damn Near" was done by Broadie from Wasted Imagination Productions and has some DOPE visual effects at the end. Shoutout to model Krystal Garner and stylist Q Diva (on the keys) for making cameos, as well as Therapy Wine Bar for hosting us. Check out the video here and lyrics below: 


You've been the spring in my step
7 months of intimate breaths
You say I'm the one but not yet
(You might be my next regret)

Priority to me
Yet you can't say the same for me
Sayin what will be will be
(Like we don't shape our own destinies)

I'm damn near your everything
As if damn near is comforting
Got my heart on string
On your words dangling

Given you the world
I don't understand
Why I'm not your girl
You're not my man
But I'm damn near it
Ain't that some...

Damn near (4x)
Ain't enough

Poem: Tired of orbiting around your world but never landing/ Made you my galaxy/ 

Thought our love would come crashing together/ 

but you got me drifting/ You know what...

My patience is running thin
You say wait but I don't think I can
Asking me to give you all of me
(Like getting half of you should make me happy)

You say what did I expect
Well we didn't damn near have sex
My heart you didn't damn near protect
You're just another regret

And I'm supposed to act like it's all fine
When damn near's just a freaking waste of my time
Damn near doesn't even make you mine
This is it, it's the last time I settle for…


Ooh, I want it all baby (repeat 8x)

Collecting broken women to make yourself whole
This type of game I pray gets old
This kinda lovin' you can't afford
It's high risk but high reward



Thank you for being a friend. Keep in touch on social media! 
Take care,
Shanelle Gabriel
HBO Def Poet/ Singer/ Activist & Lupus Advocate
SnapChat: @ShanelleGabriel

New Poem/Song? "Heart Speaks" by Shanelle Gabriel

I wrote most of this a while back, but my heart told me to revise it. Here you go.



When the sun isn't shining
It's hard for raindrops to turn into rainbows
When life is out of place it's hard to find
Where the silver lining goes

When it's silent around you
It's hard to turn a deaf ear
To the loneliness whispering that
No one around you cares

When you bend to much for everyone
You tend to break
When you're too cautious
It's so easy to make a fatal mistake
When you think it's all figured out
You'll find a piece is missing
When you get everything you want
You still can't stop wishing

So when is it enough
When will it be enough
To settle down?
I'm looking for the missing part of me
Trying my best to do what's best for me
Will I ever be complete?
I'm waiting to hear my heart speak.

I'm sending my prayers up
Praying for an answer to come down
Preaching to the lost
When I'm the one who needs to be found

Doubting my intuition
Even though it's always right
Holding myself back
When I know I'm meant to reach great heights.

How am I trying to change the world
When I need to change myself
Want to do this on my own
Yet I know I need help
But it seems easier to rely only on self
Cause you've been let down so much by everyone else

But no one reached great heights
Without standing on some shoulders
I've climbed some mountains in my life
But I'm struggling with boulders
One day it'll all make sense
I guess when I'm much older
But for now I'm fighting
To keep my heart from growing colder

So when is it enough
When will it be enough
To settle down?
I'm looking for the missing part of me
Trying my best to do what's best for me
Will I ever be complete?
I'm waiting to hear my heart speak.

I can hear it talking to me
Talking to me
I hear it saying "listen to me, listen to me"
I hear it saying "trust me, trust me"
It's telling me to believe in me, believe in me.

Now I've had enough
It is enough
Time to settle down
I've found the missing part of me
I'm gonna be the best me I can be
In myself I can be complete
But it's okay to need company.
The hurt, I can set free.
My past is what made me.
I recognize when my heart speaks.

I listen when my heart speaks
I act when my heart speaks
When God speaks to me my heart speaks.

Copyright © 2009 Shanelle Gabriel
Do not reproduce without Shanelle Gabriel's permission. Thanks!