This summer, on a raucous girl’s trip to Las Vegas, I got a tattoo. I know, I know—so cliché. But I’d been threatening to get one for years—a lady bug to honor my mother, who always was and still remains my good luck charm. But while I was standing there waiting for my turn in the chair, I decided to go a different route: my first tat would be a word that holds significant meaning—weight—with me. That word is FREE. I’d already made it my word for the year and did my best to live up to the meaning in every aspect of my life, particularly considering that sometimes, as a black woman in America, feeling truly free can be a challenge. But getting it tattooed on my arm upped the ante on my relationship with the word; it is a constant reminder, right there on my arm, to always—always!—hold myself to accountable to honoring my needs, my wants, my desires first. To be unapologetically me.
It was this that I was thinking about when I chose “freedom” as a password for an episode of SPEAKEASY WITH DENENE. It was my producer, Sean Powers, who came up with the brilliant idea to break format and solely feature someone who absolutely embodies the word in both word and deed: Michael Render, aka the rapper, Killer Mike.