Speaking your mind can be a tricky business for any recording artist. Songs are sometimes so painful to the ear they are slapped with the cautionary sticker, ãParental Advisory, Explicit Lyrics.ä Profane or political, everyone is still listening.

If itâs untouched, unspoken and just unheard of, Ras Mykkal has something to say about it. And what better way to let ãthe peopleä know than through the art of spoken word. Music has been the one political platform for the 39-year-old dub poet for the past two years.

Dub Poetry is story telling, Mykkal maintains. The genre weighs heavily on lyrics as dub poets often speak without the backing of instrumentation. Mykkal has been inspired by the music of Bob Marley and Johnny Cash, two contrasting sounds of reggae and folk, with one common thread of effective narration, according to Mykkal.

ãA singer moves you, a DJ hypes you, but a dub poet has to draw youâre attention to the lyrics. Dub Poets donât say all that cute, funny and sexy stuff that is usually a crowd pleaser. So, in order to speak and hold your attention, you have to be able to drive a point home with humour and wit.ä

He says he delivers lyrics in parables people can clearly understand. This poetic device also allows the artist to skip over character defamation and skirt around civil litigation on an island so small.

Mykkal doesnât exploit violent and sexually themes in his music, rather he explores political and social subject matter underlying todayâs society.

His material never glorifies guns and machetes for sake of a paycheque. He acknowledges the business side of the music industry ÷ the investment into a project in the hopes of getting paid. However, he says his main motive for creating music is the awakening and elevating of minds.

The artistâs latest album, Dem Call Mi Controversial, was released islandwide last Friday and has been highly anticipated since the pre-record release of his single, Excuse Me Mr. Speaker, earlier this year. The emotionally-charged track, which addresses the issue of drunk driving, has been Mykkalâs most successful song to date. Although it is difficult to gauge the popularity of music in the absence of pop charts in Bermuda, the artistâs appeal is evident through word of mouth.

ãIâve been very fortunate in that no other local artist gets the air play that I get. My work is very relevant and identifiable to Bermuda,ä he says, referring to his cult-like status as one of the premier political watchdogs on the island.

His first commercially successful single, Rude Bwoy Inna De House, from his first album has been the most requested, locally recorded song in Bermuda according to Power 95 radio station. Scrutinizing political practices on the island, he stirred up debate with his single and efforts were made to ban it from the radio, according to Mykkal.

However, the broadcast commission deemed it suitable for airplay and it continued to challenge the status quo. As a result of responses from just a couple of releases, Mykkalâs third single from that album had to be sent directly to the commission prior to hitting the airwaves.

Notorious for disturbed the peace and famous for echoing the sentiments of the silent masses, the poet has ultimately been pegged with a reputation for being controversial.

Mykkal is said to be Bermudaâs first recording artist ever to directly challenge its politicians. The island has always been an uncomfortable place to voice opinions, according to Mykkal who claims people are frightened for ãthemselves, their jobs and their yet-to-be-paid mortgagesä.

When he started speaking out on issues, he was told both sides of the House were actually listening. Some members of parliament are apparently quite intrigued by the word according to Mykkal, while others are completely annoyed by his manner of speech.

Friends repeatedly refer to him as ãBermudaâs First Governorä because of the impression heâs made on some of the countryâs leaders. The title is a ãcute oneä, says a rather modest Mykkal, who wonât be campaigning any time soon.

When asked what political group he supports, Mykkal unrepentantly admits he has no party affiliation in Bermuda. He doesnât care to. ãAs a poet, it is not in my best interest to take a side, it is in my best interest to make any government run country in the best interest of the people.ä

Despite his success as a recording artist on the island, Mykkal strongly asserts he is a concerned Bermudian first, then a poet. He remains humble about the impact some say heâs had during transitional, political times.

Donât call him an activist, but a socio-political commentator, he insists, ãas an activist gets things done.ä For now, heâs just content adding his ãtwo centsä to any conversation centred around parliamentary hypocrisy or societal strife ÷ ãthe usual current events.ä

ãIâm very much interested in fixing problems so we can all live a better way,ä he says. ãPeople need to stand up and be counted to show that we demand better from our leaders.ä

Enough said.