February 10, 2008

A Bridge Between a Dream and a Nightmare

When gun shots rained down upon the Lorraine motel
To overthrow the King,
To undermine his Vision
And
To kill the HOPE that came with it,
Hip hop did not exist
Not until the mission for civil rights
And social justice
Got beheaded
At the barrel
Of a gun
At the behest of a corrupt
American government
With an abundance of resources
Infused into programs
Designed to prevent the mobility
Of any people
In opposition to
Its economic system
Dependent upon
The suffering of the poor and disenfranchised
Within its own borders
And overseas
Did hip hop manifest
Not until the last vestiges
Of vocal and mobilized
Resistance embodied
In the Black Power Movement
Was compromised
And
Eradicated
By federal agents
Posing as supporters
Injecting poison
Into the veins
Of
A revolutionary
Body politic
An agenda
Best described
As COINTELPRO
That is when hip hop came into existence

After LSD became
Mainstream
And the crack epidemic
Hit every major city
With a significant
Black population
Just before
Ronald Reagan
Declared war on the drugs
That he and his cohorts
Deliberately profited from
The Iran-contra scandal
In which his successors
George Bush and Bill Clinton
Would establish lucrative business
Relationships
While the economic hardships
Of a deteriorating
Inner-city
Felt the grip of an unprecedented
Culture of fear
That moved Black and Latino youth
To join gangs for security and prosperity
That would never come to fruition
Blood filling the streets
As little kids
Played kick ball
Around needles and crack vials
And neighborhoods across
The United States
Reflected those of warzones
Hip hop gave the people a voice
Not merely words verbalized over beats
But the rhythm and freedom
Of b-boys breaking
The uniqueness of
Graffiti artists tagging trains
As a claim to fame
And the
Showmanship of DJ’s
Scratching (scratch)
DJ's scratching (scratch)
Hip hop brought life to
Desolate
Ghettoes
In the midst
Of oppression
And suffering.
We are led to believe
That our culture killed
A commodity
Produced
By the media machine
That reduced
The Vision of
Dr. Martin Luther King
To a fantasy
That they call a dream,
While our brothers and sisters
Live out the Nightmare that has ensued
After his assassination.
As much as I am offended by the return to minstrelsy
Indicative of any popular rap video,
I am more incensed
With the ignorance of political
Leaders who hail white men as Black Presidents
With the ignorance displayed by my contemporaries
On this campus who have forgotten
Their history
And in positions of recognition
Represent the Black community
But conflicts of interest swing
Their loyalty and allegiance
To the most racist and elitist
Entities at the University of Michigan
Let me make it clear to you
Michigamua can change its name to
The Order of Milk and Cookies
And they could never resolve
More than a hundred years
Of appropriating the culture
Of Native Americans
And
Bastardizing every struggle
That our ancestors went through
Whether Vulcan members chain-linked
In Black-face to honor our heritage
Or second-string initiates into Phoenix
The vision is being killed
Right here
And hip hop doesn’t have anything to do with it.
Until we Stand Up,
STAND TALL
Until we are willing to sacrifice,
Live, breathe, sweat, bleed,
Fight and die for what we believe in
There will be no movement
And the Vision will fall at the waist side
Into the annuls of history.
In the meantime,
I am an emcee,
Fueled by hip hop
Sustaining the bridge
Between a Dream
And
a Nightmare.

Posted by wlacy at 02:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack