One Love - The Best of Ursula Rucker
Born in Philadelphia, Ursula Desiré Rucker graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism and wanted to become a copywriter. Instead, she became one of the architects of Philadelphia’s poetic revival, landing in the spotlight far before slams and Def Poetry Jam made headlines. Kicking knowledge on everything from womanhood to slavery, to love, sexism, politics and more, Ursula redefines spoken word with her trademark socio-political urgency and sweet “song-speak”. Whatever the content, Ursula has an uncanny ability to strike with unrivaled, softspoken and seductive lyricism.
In 1994, Ursula stood up for the very first time and faced an audience with her stunningly genuine verse at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia.
Ursula’s sources of inspiration range from the Black Arts Movement Activist Sonia Sanchez to Frida Kahlo, Zora Neale Hurston to Prince. Her selection of producers is just as diverse and notable: King Britt, Jazzanova or Lil Louie Vega, who help to create soundscapes that exist somewhere between jazzy club music, atmospheric Drum and Bass or minimal Hip Hop hybrids. 4 Hero and The Roots have also delivered germane soundscapes for her texts from time to time. Ultimately, it was they who accompanied Ursula Rucker along the transition from readings to her own LP’s through features on their releases.
Her rhythmic stories of everyday struggle have transfixed audiences from Tokyo to Capetown. When Ursula – timid at first – grips the microphone tightly, all ears hone in.
Her tone is confident, never preachy. Explaining her quest to rouse people from the dismal depths of the matrix and dish verse on subjects that society often keeps in the closet, she keeps it simple: “I am driven to deal with real issues.”