Nuthin would get a circle of breakers together faster than the break beats this group put together. I know I’m runnin short on ideas for 30/30 so I may have to return to this soundtrack again to drum up some more new poems. Soundtrack is embedded after the poem:
I’m still workin through the deaths of Guru and Malcom McLaren. Two hip-hop pioneers with very little in common except for their desire to broaden their art. McLaren came to NYC to add some concrete to what was already a sensational (literally) career. Guru took it from BK to le Champs-Élysées to give hip-hop a deeper taste of jazzmatazz and did it with no apologies. Words manifest, indeed.
To help my figure it out on the page, I’ve created this collage poem from the titles of the Gang Starr and Jazzmatazz singles plus the names of the man himself. Peace.
Another innovator has passed on to the next part of the journey. I recognize Guru for taking advantage of the opportunities the hip-hop community gave him and transforming those opportunities by extending hip-hop’s reach into the world. If we had stayed on Guru’s path, the collaborative possibilities would have massive. Instead, we let the record execs take over and chose to be myopic with our culture and birthright. I feel this tug of vintage hip-hop calling me back and asking to speak through the poetry. Word.
Peace to you, Guru. Spread the music on the other side.
Ya know I’m playin’ catch up here and tryin mah damnest to get this 30/30 challenge done.
For those looking for a writing prompt, try this: Before hitting delete, peep some of the titles of that random spam that hits your inbox. Some of it is high-la-ree-us and comes with a little bit of musicality to it.
Here’s my riff off one of my spam folder titles. For an added flavah, feel free to click the embedded YouTube at the bottom to give this poem a soundtrack to go to.