Chatter all around; side conversations going on from every aspect of the room. The DJ comes on the mic and attempts to get the attention of the already over-active crowd. He speaks and although the conversations diminish slightly, the room is still filled with the aftermath of a long work week and the excitement of the weekend’s dilemmas. The moment he says the words, “Please welcome Odd?Rod,” the room becomes completely silent.
See, oddly enough, his name alone has created a whirlwind of followers and anticipating ears. When he speaks, people listen. It could be the alluring smile he displays when he divulges his words. Perhaps, it’s that the tantalizing words are so powerful that they dance on our hearts and takes us back to our own personal places in our past. Or, it could be the way he connects to the audience, gazing into our eyes and allowing his thoughts to become our own.
The dictionary describes the word odd as differing in nature from what is ordinary, usual, and/or expected; peculiar in a strange or eccentric way. Studying his techniques, it’s obvious to the naked eye that this man from Jacksonville, FL is indeed Odd; a rare breed of intelligence, sacrifice, struggle, humbleness and strength. Roderick Borisade, respectfully known as Odd?Rod, has a story to tell and a dream to live.
Raised up in poverty by his grandparents, Rod found himself struggling with the harsh reality that his dreams were all he had. With a mother on drugs and a father who went astray, Rod and his older twin siblings, Eric and Erica, were constantly on the move and found themselves in the middle of custody battles. Rod’s older brother Eric immediately took on the responsibility as “big brother” and their relationship developed the type of bond Rod was longing for. But by 1996, life was starting to take a toll on Rod and leaving him even more devastated. Not only was he dealing with a mother on drugs, but he was now facing an even bigger loss; at the age of 16, his brother Eric died of brain cancer. “I started writing because that was the only way I could let my emotions out and the only way to avoid suicide.”
Earning a full scholarship to the University of North Florida (UNF), Rod obtained a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Multimedia in 2005. It was at UNF that Rod discovered his destiny of being a Spoken Word Artist. “I wanted to be a performer, so I prayed to God that He would manifest that for me.” Perseverance and hopes of a better life ushered a breakthrough from his struggles, leaving in Rod a deep desire to use his testimony as a blessing for others, as well as a stepping stone to his career.
Since college, Rod has written 3 poetic biographies, starred in many different television commercials, and has become a motivational speaker for the youth. He was the writer and actor in Jacksonville’s 2006 “See it, Say it, Stop it” crime prevention campaign and the voice of the NFL promotional campaign commercial featuring Rashean Mathis called “Let’s Do This.”
On Dec. 1, 2007, Odd?Rod launched “Parties with a Purpose,” an entertainment organization devoted to throwing purposeful events that revolve around various charity donations. Within this genre, he founded “Eric’s Life, Inc.,” an organization dedicated to the memory of his brother’s life. Through-out Jacksonville and surrounding cities, many wear bracelets commemorating Eric’s life and supporting the positivity that it stands for. Rod is constantly being booked for motivational speaking engagements where he encourages children, and adults alike, that they can make a way out of no way. “I tell my story in rhyme, not using big words, but in a way where they can relate.”
His love for kids stemmed from his once tainted childhood. This desire to see children learn and grow prompted Rod to team up with cartoonist Aaron Hazouri to design and co-author their first children’s book, “Buddy and Bird.” “Buddy and Bird” is a spectacular book in rhyme that children everywhere are falling in love with! “It is the first of many to come and I hope to see Buddy and Bird go national one day.” With everything that he does, his first love, poetry, always manifests itself.
“The Art of Plain English” is Odd?Rod’s first CD and has his supporters already anticipating the next one. This was the first time Rod put music to some of his pieces and was able to capture different aspects of his life experiences. This CD features some of poetry’s great talents, along with a sneak peek into the heart of a true poet; Odd?Rod. This is only the beginning for Odd?Rod; he is currently working on his second CD, working on another children’s book, and receiving national recognition and speaking engagements.
When asked where his strength comes from, his first response is God. He accredits his late grandmother as his inspiration and for giving him life lessons, keeping him strong and taking him in. Today, Rod has a very close relationship with his now clean mother and siblings. “If I had to go back and change my life, I wouldn’t. If I hadn’t gone through the things I had, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today. I appreciate my poverty and pain because my struggle turned out to be my gift.”
Roderick “Odd?Rod” Borisade would like to leave you with this message: “it’s ok to be odd; be odd in your own way. You don’t have to be like the next rapper or the next artist or anyone else, just being you will get you through…but be different.”
In October 2011, Odd Rod went on tour in PA, NY and Myrtle Beach, SC. He will be continuing his tour all over the USA; speaking at major colleges, conference centers, etc. To book Odd?Rod for a speaking engagement, order his CD and/or his children’s book or to learn more about him, visit www.oddrod.net or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org