Older than Hip Hop

January 6, 2013

Before 16 bars imprisoned words,
before rhymes were as predictable
as a cop’s nightstick upside your head,
my pen positioned itself
in the continuum of black words.

Shaka Zulu and Uhuru
are the main threads of my weave
so there’s no need for me to loom
larger than sacred life.

I’ll leave that to you and you and you
while my words through the needle go
attempting to be part of the quilt
reconnecting the unraveled threads of black life.

I’m not a superstar.
I’m just a star shining alongside my fellow stars.
Together, we illuminate what’s right
and I like it like that.

So you and you and you
can keep on masturbating to finger snaps
while I read Ngugi
trying to decolonize my mind
so that my words can turn into wombs
breeding the fire next time.

Excerpted from my book, Still Living on my Feet