Home ENTERTAINMENT ARTS Ollie “Hoodraised” Woods is a Connoisseur of Wordplay

Ollie “Hoodraised” Woods is a Connoisseur of Wordplay






Like a loud whisper, poetry flows uniquely and freely while teetering on the edge of dreams and reality. The smooth interplay between words and the soul ignites passionate expression, and harsh but sweet truths about who we are. Many of us have survived the good, the bad, the ugly and the unknown because of written art. Around the world, poetic pictures are painted throughout time, documenting who we were and who we want to be. 

I used to believe that poetry was perfect the way that it was. I had people who looked like me to look up to, but then Def Poetry was born. Thanks to Russell Simmons, Def Poetry changed the game. Uncensored and unapologetic, Def Poetry is all about the black experience, our culture and what we stand for. Undeniably, Def Poetry is a whole other beast. 

With April being National Poetry Month, I would like to celebrate a man who is an intellectual storyteller, a lyrical gem and an explosive performance poet. He is a hardcore Chicagoan, and his name is Ollie “Hoodraised” Woods.  



 Obsession: Ollie “Hoodraised” Woods. Hoodraised give us the story behind this name 

 Ollie: I am paying homage to my two fathers; one was a gang chief from the born, and one was a Marine who “raised” me right. 

 Obsession: A creative writing coach, a mentor, an award-winning poet, you’re a man wearing many hats. Which one is your favorite?  

 Ollie: An award-winning poet. Being a poet was natural. My poetry helped springboard me into the other elements.  

 Obsession: How much of your work is from personal experience? 

 Ollie: 90 percent. My life is an inspiration. I know that people connect to what they can relate to, and that’s life. 



Obsession: You’ve opened shows for celebrities ranging from Hip Hop legend Doug E. Fresh to Grammy award-winning gospel group Mary Mary. What would you say is the most memorable moment in your career?  

Ollie: Stockton, California, I was invited to do a speaking engagement at a prison. I spoke life into men who were doing life in prison. 

 Obsession: In your opinion, how important is spoken word to the city of Chicago?  

 Ollie: It’s imperative because spoken word is the people’s voice. We use it to counteract the negative lyricism. Chicago is the “birthplace” of this art. 

 Obsession: What’s the formula for writing a good performance piece? 

 Ollie: Channel the emotion and energy that make up the piece. 

 Obsession: You always perform your poems with so much passion. Is there a pre-performance ritual you do before stepping on stage? 

Ollie: Pray. 

Obsession: Dope. Can you share with our readers that prayer? 

Ollie: I speak life over my family and friends. I humble myself so that my message isn’t delivered, but God’s is. 

Obsession: Amazing. So tell me, what’s your favorite performance piece and why?  

Ollie: “You should let me love you.” It was my first love piece. I was proud of the wordplay. 

Obsession: What advice would you give a young poet wanting to become a spoken word artist? 

Ollie: Find your voice and be comfortable with it. Never try to sound like anyone else, be yours.  

Obsession: You’re known to say, and I quote, “I don’t have to change my space in order to change my fate,” breakdown the inspiration behind this to our Swagher readers.

Ollie: I carry the Westside on my back. I can grow and flourish within the space I was born and raised [in]. 

Obsession: It was a pleasure chatting with such an influential artist as yourself, and I look forward to your future performances.  

Ollie: I appreciate you Queen.  



Ollie “Hoodraised” Woods is a creative writing coach and the instructor of a performance enhancement class called “Stages.” 

He won the 2016 National Poetry Awards Spoken-Word Artist of the year 

A 2x National Spoken-Word Awards Host of the Year 

A 2x National Spoken-Word Awards Erotic Poet of the Year 

The Spoken-Word Lounge Entertainer of the Year 

The President and founder of Team At Ease Entertainment 

The host of the national award-winning At Ease Sundays Open Mic 

A 2x Author (Jotted Gems, Bits & Pieces) and 6 Produced Spoken Word projects. 


Want to keep in touch with Ollie and poetic performances? Connect with him on social media.


Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/HoodRaised1000

Instagram: @hoodraised_poetry 

Facebook: @HoodraisedMentality 

Twitter: @HoodTruth

Website: www.HoodRaisedPoetry.com 


Written by Obsession | Obsession is a romance and erotica author, blogger, photographer, and artist from Chicago, IL.

Social media handles:
Instagram: Obsession_theprettywriter
Facebook: Author-Obsession Williams
Twitter: @writerobsession
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Snapchat: Obsession_theprettywriter
My favorite topics to write about are:
Emerging Artists
Books (I’m a bookworm who loves reviewing books)





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