...none other than Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek...new album coming out this fall!
[written April 5, 2008]
I search for methods and tactics
Ways to change the range of this shame
Remind all about this
Revolution of old.
Get the crowds jumping
Make the people start running
This is my letter
to whom it may concern.
Because we haven't been.
I scrounge for a way to recapture
One that will encompass "this little light of mine"
cause it don't seem enough to dispense the
Feel like I'm the only womb-man at this
Million Man March
So, this is my decree
to the "powers that be"
Because we need only One.
Feeling its texture
As you once did
My hands are where your hands
So...it's like you are touching ME.
Though times, minutes, hours, months and days might separate,
Certain things have a talent of never changing and remaining the same.
Like who we are.
I thumb through the pages in your poetry book.
One by one.
Imagining that each new page is
As promising to me as they were to you
And you hold nothing back
So...it's like you're filling my empty spaces
Two completely different souls,
Perpendicular in unison. Becoming one.
Finding each blank space and filling it up,
Like Psalm 23’s cup.
Overrunning with what makes it real.
I trace my fingers across the words written on the pages in your poetry book
Left to right
To jagged lines
One after the other
As if my hand is holding
The pen that you held
To write these words
So...it's like you are holding me
Make me your words
Design me in the fashion of your stanzas
Draw my outline with each line you write
Color me in with your emotion
Hold my heart in your fingers and craft me to life
...lay me. Across your lap.
Touch me. Search me.
Fill. Complete me.
And hold me...
...like I am your poetry book.
Misconception, disbelief, hesitation, and defeat
Many look to compete, to try and douse intense heat
Not attempting to shine but this light is too bright
My wings are getting cramped in a plight to take flight
Comply with mediocre but Lyricism knows me by name
She told me to cling to her gifts and abandon the mundane
It’s insane; I obey but they spit me out; hate her flavor
Lynch me along with my purpose; actually betraying HER
Verse Two: (N. Steven)
Illusions sprout confusion, using images for abusing
On the other side lies I, gripping my gift, made for using
Choosing to be more than just a hobby, more than a simple past time
Whether it be four stanzas or verse free, each white line becomes my lifeline.
Because in a world where foundations are cloned and copied, rarely built upon
I open my lips, and use my voice as a stone to build up on…
I use my voice to rip mics, crush lies, and heal wounds
More than keeping it real, keeping my voice is keeping it true
Job Chapter 32, Verse 18, these words I speak is not a game
For if I ever spoke for less than the real, then consider me insane…
Verse Three: (Spoken Word)
Competition, inferiority, intimidation, and authority
The tearing down of others to gain superiority
I know that you’re ignoring me, but cannot deny this speech
You discredit my love for this art in order to impeach
Me from my earned position to gain an inheritable lump sum
Why are you confused as to where these words I say came from?
All that I require is for someone to relate to this inner fire
My desire is to give an answer to our societies inquire
Verse Four: (N. Steven)
Give me a mission, I’ll make a statement; Give me a mic and watch me break it
and know that having and keeping your voice is exactly what you make it
Keep your voice in the face of oppression and when everyone tells you not to
Keep your voice when no one else does, when they all would rather watch you
The game’s being congested with more spectators than players
More than enough hands held open, waiting for healthy favors.
I prefer to stay exclusive, distinctive, matchless and irreplaceable
So you can never turn away from my voice whenever, however it’s facing you.
Check the spins and winds of time and whenever there was evil
The greatest source of opposition came from the voices of the people.
Replay the track, I’m back, not rapping,
in fact my status is “reading my soul”
Totally sold to the art of playing my part
in a screenplay that has yet to unfold
A sense of suspense suspends in the air
as reality lets loose what was already there.
Yet here I stand, pen and heart in my hands,
prepared to lay bare, never playing it fair.
For together, we’re like Thelonius,
some might call it ceremonious
The Mason/Dixon line’s not holding us,
so don’t dare to call it erroneous.
More like synonymous, on top of us,
it shocking and rocking the lot of us,
But for now, this wordplay is Phase One,
Phase Two holds a lot more promises…
And what’s become of us is, now,
declared as Significant Importance
Reproduction of a Zealous Phonomenon,
once barren from Impotence
Two unlikely Life Forces,
a part of citations of Differently-writ Sources,
Experimented to show forth data
to what a Combustible Force is
Compatibility is merely a ploy
to distract from the underlying connection
Yet, in retrospection, ‘tween our Lyrical Bars
lays a Love Sonnet’s affection
Uncommonly, we exude the Poetic Oneness
that one is meant to live
Our indifferences gives me the insight
to finish your lyrical Sentences
Quick! How many hip-hop emcees/artists can be mentioned by our favorite Jedis? Read on and find out!
Verse One: Spoken.Word
My very first words/"mic check, one two, one two"/
From the "Sugahill Gang"/Hip Hop gets its cue//
Began wit few/"Chastisement"/Became a "Rapper's Delight"/
But first/was "King Tim III"/Made a classic overnight//
"Run DMC" n "Cool James"/Began to transform the listener/
Dedicatin' Hip Hop back to its creator/Like a catholic baby's christener//
I fell in love wit my "Radio"/Wit "De La Soul's" jazzy rap/
"Dr. Dre" was my brother's step-daddy/Sportin' his "NWA" ballcap//
Not just rap/The "Native Tongues Posse"/Warmed up our political voices/
Showed to the free world/The consequences of limited choices//
The gangsta's voice is released/At the drop of Dre's "Chronic"/
Real talk/of our biographies/Tastin' bitter like tonic//
"B.I.G" and "2Pac"/Strengthened Hip Hop's name/
But the war of rival coasts/Had our 2 soldiers slain//
Not in Vain/Their legacies/..."Outkast", "Jay-Z", n "Nas"/
Made one community's voice/Into a whole culture's Cause//
Listen up/yeah we here/wit a fresh new sound/
All nations/lend ya ear/mainstream/undaground//
Newly found/once as "stars"/now like a "supernova"/
Prophesied/Hip-Hop's/destined for a takeova//
Verse Two: N. Steven
My very first words/”mic check, one two, one two”//
threw the whole world in a frenzy/wondering what we’d do//
They watched us “Walk This Way”/”Bridging the Gap” to different sounds//
They were “Plug Tunin’”/trekking across brand new grounds//
A new species of sound/and I stumbled into the laboratory//
Tripped over something “Notorious”/another chapter in this story//
I became “Miseducated”, /and took DLP with “TLC”//
“The Fresh Prince” expanded his kingdom/letting almost anyone see//
My “Speakerboxxx” began a search/for something truthful enough to hurt//
Bigger than “Big Pimpin’”/something allowing Hip-hop to work//
It was found to be “Ludacris”/yet shining like a “Black Star”//
“Mos Def”inately un“Common”/from “4th Avenue” to where you are//
Defining love from lust/splitting the “Black Eyed Peas” from the chitlins//
Searching for “Classics” with “Kweli”ty/Finding “The Roots” when mixing in the kitchen//
Sick enough to make “Mars Ill”/painful and playfully nice//
It sounds so right/and it sounds so nice/Hip-Hop: one of the loves of my life…//
Listen up/yeah we here/bringing new sounds/
Crossing oceans with these potions/mainstream/undaground//
Newly found/once as stars/blown like a supanova/
Stop taking up space/Hip-Hop’s designed for a takeover//