Episode 89 – Eric JaMaal Williams

Eric JaMaal Williams or Gucci Bass Phillips is a student, mentor, community activist, slam champion and traveling performance poet who reside in Jacksonville Florida. He is currently a student at Florida State College of Jacksonville majoring in journalism, political science and arts and science. He performs in educational conferences, national poetry slams, schools/colleges, and juvenile centers around the nation. Eric was introduced to Spoken Word Poetry in early 2008 after being inspired by New York poet Jadon Woodard and soon after he was asked to join the international Jacksonville Youth Slam Team by the same speaker who inspired him to perform and be heard. In 2008 Eric alongside the Jacksonville Youth Slam Team went to Washington DC to participate in the international festival Brave New Voice. In 2009 they returned more focused and ranked 4th place in the world at the festival in Chicago Illinois. Eric was the 2010 captain of the Jacksonville Youth Team who ranked top 10 teams at BNV (Brave New Voices), he is also the 5th Annual Savannah Spoken Word Festival Youth Grand slam Champion of Savannah Georgia in 2009, top ten individual slam poet in the 17th Annual Southern Fried Poetry Slam Festival in Durham North Carolina of 2009, 2010 Youth Grand slam Champion of the 18th Annual Southern Fried Slam with The Jacksonville Youth Slam Team in Knoxville Tennessee, 20th Annual Southern Fried Grandslam Champion with Slam Duval in Tampa Florida, 4th Annual "My Words Make You Think" Grand slam Champion with The Jacksonville Youth Slam Team in Fort Lauderdale Florida, Sacred Sounds Grand slam champion with the Shattered Thought Youth team and individual slam champion, 11th and 12th Annual Brave New Voices individual slam finalist, 2009 Bridge Youth champion. In 2009 Eric was invited by his mentor Matthew Hernandez to accompany him on a national tour called “Sunshine over Blue Grass”. With his mentor and a national known poet named Adam Henze, they drove around the U.S performing and speaking to kids and adults alike. lecturing and performing poetry at Dupont Middle School in Jacksonville Florida, Jacksonville Impact Center of the Arts, University of Maryland, S.O.S Academy in Jacksonville Florida, Bin Lin Middle School in Memphis Tennessee, Warren County Juvenile Detention Center in Bowling Green Kentucky, Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago Illinois, 2009 National Symposium Juvenile Services in Indianapolis, Marshall Middle School in Marshall Wisconsin, National Association for Multicultural Education in Denver Colorado, Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green Kentucky, Cesar Chavez Community High School in Albuquerque New Mexico, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Florida Coastal School of Law, the 2009 Forum Juvenile Justice Educators and Trainers in Indianapolis Indiana. In 2010 Eric was inducted into Black on Black Rhyme Jacksonville and continued putting his time and talents into the community. Eric has made his voice heard at rallies, community programs and schools around the southern region .Eric has made 2 CDs with the Shattered Thought troupe (Shattered Thought “The Classics Volume 1” and “The Classics Volume 2”). He is currently a mentor for the nonprofit organization Shattered Thought Incorporated and Black on Black Rhyme Jacksonville.  email: [email protected]