Kick, Push: DaVerse Lounge Connects Poet, Artist

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

The power of DaVerse Lounge: It’s Friday night, November 20, at Life in Deep Ellum. The second show of the 11th DaVerse season is freshly underway when Johnny Banks, a 10th grade student at Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy in Oak Cliff, walks up to the microphone to read his poem.

Banks’ piece, the second one of the night, frequently mentions the catchy refrain “Kick, Push.” Turns out that Banks had a workshop writing assignment that challenged him to pen something personal using a song title. Rapper Lupe Fiasco’s debut single from 2006 is “Kick, Push.” Banks used his prose to recount visiting his brother in prison; he talked about their exchange through the protective glass.

Onstage is artist Joonbug Lenworth McIntosh standing before a blank canvas with colored markers at the ready. He’s desperately searching for inspiration. Suddenly he hears the phrase “Kick, Push.” McIntosh makes the immediate connection, as Lupe Fiasco happens to be his favorite rapper. By the end of the DaVerse Lounge show, McIntosh finished an eye-popping portrait of a kid fervently riding a skateboard.


Four days later, on November 24, DaVerse Lounge creator Will Richey and McIntosh head over to Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy to present Banks with that awesome “Kick, Push” painting during the school’s morning assembly.

“He had no idea he was getting this painting,” says Richey. “Johnny was stunned. Joonbug comes over and meets Johnny, tells the whole assembly about his work. Johnny got to spend a lot of time with Joonbug. It was really cool.”

That’s the power of DaVerse Lounge.

DaVerse Lounge thanks TACA for its continued generous support.

Pictured (from left to right): Johnny Banks, Joonbug Lenworth McIntosh, Debyron Jones and Will Richey.

Big ThoughtKick, Push: DaVerse Lounge Connects Poet, Artist