In one part of his life, Omari Hardwick is a complex, street-savvy tough guy on the show “Power,” and in the other he’s an accomplished poet. And now he’s expanding that second part his career with a new podcast called “Poetics.”
Starting May 2 on the Luminary Network, Hardwick will host the podcast and interview people from the hip-hip world to discuss their love of the genre. But they’ll also be asked to recite pre-written spoken-word pieces at the beginning of each show.
The actor used to host the now-defunct spoken-word program “Verses and Flow,” where he recited a bevy of poems and showed a lot of vulnerability, which is something he wants his guests to do as well.
“I’m asking rappers to come in and sit down and recite a poem,” Hardwick told Billboard in an interview published March 13. “Lose the machismo. Poetry has a vulnerability that rap and MC’ing doesn’t. You gotta be vulnerable. That kind of takes it to another level and gives [artists] a different look.”
Some of the guest son the first season of “Poetics” include Dave East, Big Daddy Kane, Wyclef Jean and the Brooklyn rapper Casanova, who Hardwick was seen with in a photo last month.
In fact, out of all his guests so far, Hardwick said Casanova wowed him the most.
“Casanova’s been the most impressive to me,” the actor stated. “He just started rapping three years ago. He was locked up, and he was in solitary confinement for a multitude of years.”
“You could say a lot of people find their pen in jail, a lot do, but he’s been the most impressive to me because when I asked him if he found his pen in jail, he said ‘No. I never found a pen in jail, I found it after that,’” Hardwick explained. “And the story that he has to tell, it could be of one complexion. It could look like some of your darker characters from ‘Power.’”
A trailer was also released that shows some of the guests writing their poems on the spot, like Casanova, who seemed hesitant to do so at first.
As for “Power,” the sixth season is supposed to air this coming summer.