Kane Smego is an international touring spoken word poet and Hip Hop Artist, educator, and National Poetry Slam finalist. He is the Associate Director and an artist alumnus of Next Level, a cultural diplomacy program that sends American hip-hop artists around the world to use music and dance to promote cultural exchange, entrepreneurship, and conflict prevention. Kane has performed and taught poetry and Hip Hop programs across the country and abroad on five continents.

As a recording artist, Kane has featured on Grammy Award-winner King Mez’s debut album My Everlasting Zeal, and topped the Spotify Viral 50 billboard in May 2017 featuring on the song North Cack with G Yamazawa. The music video for the song appeared on BET Jams, and went on to win Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem, NY.

Kane’s work as a teaching artist has led him to perform and facilitate workshops at dozens of colleges and K-12 schools across the country. He has also been a performer and keynote speaker at various events including TEDex UNC, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, the Shriver Report Live hosted by Atlantic Magazine, the National Association of Social Workers conference, and the Global Youth Leaders Conference, among many others. Kane was selected to present Educational Sessions at several NACA regional conferences and was given the award for Best Educational Session at NACA South in 2017. He has also showcased as a performer at NACA West and as a lecturer at NACA nationals. A native of Durham, NC, Kane currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.


Finding Your Voice in Leadership: This performance and lecture discusses the role that our identity, experiences, and stories play in developing leadership, building collaborative relationships, and designing creative ways to engage our communities. Kane recounts his own experience as a co-founder and Artistic Director of a youth arts and education nonprofit.

Temples of Lung and Air: Drawing from his one-man theater show, this dynamic performance uses poetry, storytelling, acting, and Hip Hop verse to explore issues of race, whiteness, language, and Hip Hop as a tool for community building. Kane also offers a writing workshop to help students explore their own identities and discuss the complexities of race as a social construct.

Who I Really Am: Spoken Word and Constructing Identity: This performance and lecture examines spoken word poetry and storytelling as tools for expressing and constructing identity, celebrating diversity, and building relationships across lines of difference. As a young person whose own life was changed through his introduction to the art form, Kane discusses the ways in which his work as a youth educator and nonprofit director gives young people the tools to discover and express who they are and who they wish to be.

Stories for Change: Drawing on his experiences as an international touring artist and youth educator, and his experiences growing up in the American South, this dynamic talk and performance focuses on issues of race, gender, community building, and the stories that we all carry.  From the backwoods of Alaska to a hip hop festival in Zimbabwe, Kane takes listeners on a journey exploring the role that our layered identities, experiences, and stories play in leadership, relationships building, and community engagement.

Workshops & Breakouts:

Kane’s workshop utilize his unique YouTh ink. Curriculum and are designed to lead participants in exploring their identities and life experiences, and in utilizing literary devices to communicate their stories through powerful works of spoken word poetry. Workshops can be customized depending on the experience level or age-group involved, as well as tailored to touch on certain themes or topics of a course or event.

Standard workshops are designed to be accessible to beginner and experienced writers alike. Participants with no experience at all will be taken through a writing process and come out of a workshop with their own original piece of spoken word poetry.

For groups made up entirely of veteran poets and slammers, workshops with more advanced writing prompts and techniques are available, as well as activities to improve their performance and public speaking abilities.

"Kane was FANTASTIC! I think he has been the best artist we have contracted with so far. The way he worked with our students was simply astounding." Assistant Director for Student Life/University of South Carolina Beaufort

"Kane Smego is truly a poetry mastermind. Not only is he gifted with words but has a way with students! Our students, flock to him and clear their schedules when they hear he is performing. St. Joseph's College has hosted Kane numerous times and will continue to bring him back."
Magie Hassanin
Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students & Multicultural Student Life
Saint Joseph's College

“Kane Smego was an exceptional presenter and a highlight of the NASW 2014 National Conference! He was inspiring, powerful, thought-provoking, and passionate, all at the same time. As the opening presenter, he very effectively set an excellent tone for the entire event that followed.”
Richard E. Loomis
Manager, Conference and Event Planning
National Association of Social Workers

Kane Smego is by far the best spoken word community developer we have had at UNH. Kane’s authenticity/genuineness wins audiences over. He not only entertains, but helps our students develop, grow, and realize their potential impact on the world around them. Kane Smego is a true community developer.

Dave Zamansky - Assistant Director Memorial Union and Student Activities - University of New Hampshire