BLACK: A Poem by DWY

DWY © Khaleell Smith
DWY © Khaleell Smith

This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.


Today, stunning South London artist DWY shares his poem, “BLACK” as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. Active since 2018, DWY’s singular neo-soul/R&B sound is second to none: He shines with a breathtaking voice and a delicate touch that adds layers of emotion and depth to everything he makes.
Released February 25, 2021, DWY’s dreamy, soul-stirring debut mixtape 8-Bit Memories showcases the scope and breadth of a fast-emerging, socially-conscious artist who deserves a space on everyone’s radar. From the visceral aches of opener “Gelato” to the raw pain rippling throughout the beautiful “Black Boy” and “Flaws/Only Human,” to the stirringly sweet vulnerability of his falsetto-laced single “You & Me,” DWY completely surrenders himself to his music – giving his all to every song. By the time the hot-on-the-mic “Not Ready” spills into the soaringly tender, acoustic closer “Summers Over,” the only thing left to do is flip the record over and start again. With this record, DWY has cemented his place as one of London’s most exciting artists of 2021 – a shooting star full of energy, intimacy, and an endless pool of passion.
“The mixtape is based on my life from the age of 19 until now. It discusses relationships and figuring yourself out. I love the films of Quentin Tarantino and movies like mid 90s. So, telling stories is my main thing, and the project captures nostalgia in its many forms. That’s why it’s called 8-Bit Memories. You see memory through a prism like an 8-bit Nintendo Gameboy. It’s hazy and not quite clear. That’s how I’m viewing the specific time in my life.” – DWY

•• ••

BLACK

poem by DWY

Why Is BLACK always a bad word

Black hole, black market, black list

I have my own black list

Basquiat, Martin, Ali, Breonna, Michelle, Treyvon

Definition [black]: absence of light, opposite of white

White list: a list of people or things considered to be acceptable or trustworthy

A man wrote these definitions

A man no smarter than I

We don’t choose to be born or choose to die, is that why we’re in a hurry to define?

A black sheep, with a black mark, dies a Black Death

Black Death: a plague that ravaged Europe in the 1300’s

So if black boys are dying black deaths, who is the plague?

Arrest: using legal authority to deprive a person freedom

Drugs and alcohol run free in our neighbourhoods

Replaced slavery with arrested development

Swapped chains for chains made by the same master

I’m still cuffed

But I stand tall in my BLACK

Sun kissed, my skin drips BLACK gold

I unsubscribe from your blacklist

Only thing you can black ball are my BLACK BALLS

•• ••
:: purchase/stream 8-Bit Memories here ::
Stream: ‘8-Bit Memories’ – DWY

— — — —

8-Bit Memories - DWY

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📸 © Khaleell Smith

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