Have you ever just listened to an audio of some dope poetry and the sound of the poet’s voice just makes you close your eyes and drift off into a new world? Have you ever enjoyed a night out at a local spoken word performance and just got your whole entire life? Let us take the time and get you acquainted with Charlotte, NC’s own Brittany “Bosslady” Johnson! She is known to give “eargasms” around town when she is booked to perform. We had the pleasure to virtually catch up with the talented freestylist and this is what she had to say:
Can you tell us who Brittany "Boss Lady" Johnson is?
She is an in your face, not taking anything from anybody, and a she said what she said type of writer. I love Bosslady J. She doesn’t care about the rules and she gets things off of her chest and before each performance she gives her disclaimer that she doesn’t carry a Dixie crystal in her pocket. Her love for words is amazing and the wordplay is immaculate. She is Hidden Valley born and bred and it shows. Her style of writing is one that puts you in a different time. The love she has for her people is awesome. The way she tells their stories is mind-blowing. I cannot wait to see who she becomes.
How did you get the name Bosslady?
Well I kind of gave myself the name. Really weird story. I used to watch Snoop Dogg and his family when they had a reality show and he called his wife Bosslady. So, it stuck I told myself after watching that show that’s how I want to be addressed. She ran her household and he let the world know Shante’ is the Boss regardless. She is an awesome wife and mom and she has endured so many storms with her family and she is still standing, and I admire that about her.
When did you realize you had a love for spoken word?
To be quite honest it came to me while in math class in the 9th grade. I wasn’t really paying attention. I had no clue what this man was talking about, so I tuned him and class out and I just began to write and from that day in 1998 I never stopped. Although I passed the class I just wasn’t focusing on class. That day 3 pieces came to my mind and I just wrote them down and never looked back.
Why not become a recording artist or public speaker?
I would love to become both. I love Les Brown and E. Thomas. I listen to them often and I feel if I get my story out, I could change or save a life or two. A lot of my work is based on my life and it’s a deep story to tell. Somebody can relate. I'm pretty sure of it.
Who are you inspired by?
It’s not so much as a who, but a what. I was inspired by life, music, revolutionaries, etc… I dreamed about becoming a Black Panther. I was heavily influenced by Tupac Shakur. I looked at music from the 80’s and 90’s and it was raw, passionate, and it painted a picture. They told stories! Hence the name Bosslady J The Storyteller. I’m going to tell you a story and make you feel and see it.
Can you elaborate on how it felt when you first performed in front of an audience?
I was completely nervous, and it showed!! I was so scared, and I think that intimidation caused me to put performing on hold for a long time.
How do you prepare yourself before you perform?
I play music before I have to go to an event. I play everything from Janet Jackson to Tupac because that gets me ready to transform into somebody else. I’m no longer Brittany, I'm Bosslady!!
During your performances, do you engage with your audience?
YES!! I sometimes will serenade a random guy in the audience and that usually gets the crowd going and I gain a follower or 2 afterwards. LOL
What is the best piece you have written thus far?
I cannot narrow it down. I've been writing since 1998 and I have a love for so many, but it’s a couple pieces that are very personal. They are to my children. I write a piece to them as a whole then I have one for the son I lost. Those pieces mean a lot to me. Pieces to loved ones I have lost mean so much to me. There are several that are near and dear to my heart. I just lost my brother this year and I wrote a piece to him and I still can’t read it without crying.
From a personal perspective why do you think poetry is so important?
It’s important to me because this is how I create. I become true to myself and I can be myself. It’s an outlet. It’s my comfort zone and my safe space. I love the freedom it gives me. The First Amendment comes in handy with my writing sometimes LOL.
Are you looking to expand the Brittany "Boss Lady" Johnson brand beyond poetry? If so, what do you have in mind?
Of course, I would love to write for Tyler Perry. I always joke and say when Tyler Perry calls, I’m packing everything up and we’re out of here LOL. I would love to be more behind the scene. Turn my writing into plays, songs, etc…. Just create generational wealth off my pieces. That’s my goal! My goal is to brand myself so my children and their children so forth and so on can eat. I’m not doing this for me, I'm doing this for them.
What type of impact do you hope your poetry can be to your audience?
The type of impact I’m hoping for is that I wake somebody up and let them know that where they are now is not the end all be all and that with each test is an awesome testimony. I have overcome so much to only be 35, and I still have so much ahead, but I want somebody in the audience to know that they are not alone and I believe I have a piece for each mood or stage in life. So, I want my impact to be a powerful one. I want to leave my mark with the audience and in life!
For inquiring minds how can someone book you? Will you travel?
To book me simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact (704) 951-5921. Yes I will travel. I love to visit new places.
What is your social media handle including your website?
You can follow me on IG @dopesoul84 as well as Twitter @bossladyj84. I also have a public FB page that can be “Liked” so you can get performances and pieces as well as updates Brittany Bosslady Johnson. To view ALL pieces, subscribe to my blog memoirsofaboss.wordpress.com. Thank you it was a pleasure sharing a part of me with you all.
That sums it all up with this modern day Maya Angelou. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know her! Don’t forget to subscribe to our storytelling SANCTUARY (magazine) for FREE by visiting mrsbrittanymiller.com/news. Be sure to follow our Instagram @womantowomantalk. Last, stay tuned for our tentative Full Issue launch in January 2021!
W2WT Journalist: Helen Bohanna