Rappers and Their Game: A Poem

I ain’t mad at ya’

I’m mad at the world,
A world gone mad for money.
A brash art form, born from the New York guts,
Scratches, cuts, breaks and DJs into the mainstream.
For what?
To dance? To sing a song?
To vent?
Yes, to vent?
Yet, now, even the black man’s rage has become a commodity,
Something else to be manipulated.
The stereotype, now iconic.

Remember when you first heard rhymes laid down
(It must have been summer – both rap and reggae hearts beat stronger
In the heat)
Remember the words spilling out, seducing not with music but with
Beats and rhymes, attitude, volume, conviction.
I remember Sugar Hill and its Rapper’s Delight, supplanting
Our local Go-Go music in the Nation’s Capital,
Inaugurating something new for you and me.

I remember the parade of young men – Latifah, Salt ‘n’ Pepa too –
Who added their love, their hate and their humor – LL, Heavy,
Chuck D and Flavor Flav, Houdini and Run-DMC, Will and Jazz,
Kid and Play.

I remember the glory years, when the novelty, the excitement was new,
Dare say it: Innocent.

Then the dark times came. I ain’t mad at Tupac – RIP – but
He and his West Coast comrades, with their wicked rhymes, sinister grooves,
And dark images, changed the game forever, for all of us.

But I ain’t mad at em’ either. Cause like they spoke from the beginning and
Like they speak now, them rappers, like all artists speak, from the heart.
I’m mad at the money – because money don’t respect – money just
Earns and bleeds, bleeds dry, til all faith is gone.

All rap today is noise – music with the marrow of integrity sucked dry.

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