Although his ARTISTdirect Records debut, Rise From Ruin, won’t be released until next spring, Poverty has already captured the attention of the local hip-hop scene in Portland. His self-released album, Superhuman, spawned two singles, “Welcome To The State Of Maine,” and “Hip-Hop These Days,” both of which went to No. 1 on a local radio station.

“A lot of hip-hop artists try to write dope rhymes and then make their songs lyrically sick,” said Poverty, “but I don’t care about any of that. I’m not trying to be the best. I just write what I feel, and I write all the time. If I don’t, I’ll go crazy.”

The Lyricist Lounge tour heads out December 6 in Washington, D.C. and runs through the end of the month. More dates are expected to be added to the itinerary.

Since its start in New York City in 1991 as an open-mic forum, the Lounge has earned a reputation for showcasing underground hip-hop stars.

It only seemed fitting that the show hit the road and since 1998, it has continued to expand its tour itinerary.

Previous performers on the outing include Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Eminem, Foxy Brown, Xzibit, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard.