FowL: Metro Times exclusive freestyle

August 12, 2010
By

Photo by Pierre Blake

When someone says they are a professional comedian, you sure as shit shouldn’t ask them to tell you a joke.

But that’s exactly what I did when I sat down with Saffal “FowL” Tall a few Fridays ago at Rosa Parks Boulevard and Grand River Avenue. I had seen several Youtube videos of him freestyling from his Michigan State dorm room, and another of him battling a rival emcee at MLK high school.

“The new kid” of Detroit hip hop told me he could freestyle in any situation, from halftime battles at MLK basketball games to late night cyphers at college to on-stage performances -he freestyled his entire set when he opened for Chip Tha Ripper in Ann Arbor.

FowL credits his ability to create intricate rhyme schemes and smooth-flowing verses off the top of his head as the foundation for his burgeoning career.

“Freestyling is what gave me all the buzz,” he said. “I just get lost in it—I become it. There’s so many words, there’s so much to say, so much feelings that I have.”

He didn’t shy away when I awkwardly brought up his ability to freestyle.

“I suppose you want to hear a freestyle right now,” FowL said.

I smiled as he took out his cell phone to find a suitable instrumental.

“If it’s crisp,” he said, “we gonna jam.”

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