Maui Down: Poets with Power
Written and Photographed by: Ben Ferrari
The island of Maui is home to some of the best vibes available anywhere.  It’s like a 70’s version of Utopia down here.  You can do anything you want, there is abundant fresh tropical fruits and seafood, and everyone is suuuuper pumped to be here.  One of the main themes running through the consciousness of the island is the idea of doing the right thing.  It’s such a positive sentiment that you hear and see all the time on the island; in the content of the reggae music, on the radio, and on bumper stickers referring to the Hawaiian word ‘Pono’, which essentially means righteousness.  Making it right and doing the right thing are truly celebrated here.  It’s such a refreshing experience to be away from the dog-eat-dog, ends justify the means mentality running rampant on the mainland.  I got up with some truly righteous dudes in the form of the Hip Hop group Poets with Power at their recent show at the Hard Rock Cafe.  These guys represent the spirit of the island to a T and won’t be unkown for long.  Get a glimpse into the lifestyle below … Cheers!

What are your names, where are you all from?

Roy Cartwright aka Skeptic (Skep for short): I’m from Beaverton, OR

Casey Piquet aka CP: I’m from Eugene, OR

Brooks Nobil aka B. Nobil (Nobil for short): I’m from Gilroy, CA

Where did you meet, how did the group form?

Skeptic: Nobil and I were introduced by a mutual friend shortly after Nobil had moved to Maui. Our friend Brad linked us up cause he knew we both were lyricists. I invited him up to our studio located in Pukalani at the time, and we recorded our first track together “See People” featuring Malori Danielle. We had so much fun doing the song that it spawned an album titled “B. Nobil and Skeptic, Poets with Power”. CP was doing his thing with ‘The Kinky Politicians’ at the time and we reached out to him to collab on a track. He ended up providing beats and being featured on four of the songs on the album… And a group was born.

What is the significance of the name ‘Poets with Power?’

CP: The name “Poets with Power” represents our respect for Hip Hop as an art and a platform to express oneself and influence others who can relate to another’s reality. Lyricists are poets, and when poets use their lyrics in righteous ways, they become powerful. Poets with Power. Also known as P.W.P. and P-Dub.

Lyricists are poets, and when poets use their lyrics in righteous ways, they become powerful …

Who do you consider your inspiration and who do you look up to in the game now?

Nobil: I was most inspired by The Beastie Boys and Wu-Tang Clan. Today I’m a big fan of EL-P, he’s the best beat maker/producer and an ill MC.

Skep: Too $hort, Dre n’ Snoop, Cypress Hill, Outkast, Mac Dre… That’s what I was bumpin the shit out of! These days I’m more bout Gift of Gab, P.O.S. Brotha Ali…  Anyone laying down progressive tracks.

What do you think of the current state of Hip Hop and the culture in general?

Nobil: Hip Hop is a commercialized fashion show and it all sounds the same. You have to look hard to find the real true beats and rhyming. It’s still there. Weather, views and the trueness of people.

Where can we hear some of your music online?

Skep: Our B. Nobil & Skeptic album is available on iTunes.

CP: We also have some demos available on Reverb Nation and Soundcloud. Just look up “Poets with Power”.

If you could play a show anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Nobil: Coachella

Skep: The Gorge

Cp: Red Rocks

What’s the best part about being in Maui? What’s the Hip Hop scene like here?

Skep: I came for the weather, and stayed for the people! The community out here is amazing. The way people come together in good times and bad times is uncommon in most parts of America I’ve seen. 

A Hip Hop scene exists on Maui for sure. People show up and show out whenever dope MC’s perform on island. Reggae and island music dominates the culture, but Hip Hop has its devoted supporters out here, though. There’s a lot buzzin beneath the radar.

Maui No Ka Oi baby! (translates to ‘Maui is the Best’)

What’s your favorite drink?

Nobil: Shot of Jameson and a cold beer.

Skep: Crown

CP: Coconut Water mixed with Vodka and Juice

Thanks guys!  I’ll catch up with you soon! 



Check out Poets with Power on Facebook and Twitter

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