Lynne d Johnson



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09.23.02 10:56 PM

kickin' illmatics

Time for writing here has been limited lately. I am teaching two courses. One a study skills course with a technology component and another, a course on race and ethnicity. The students had a very heated discussion when we got to the topic and scientific breakdown of the word race. I would have been interested in hearing some non-colored perspectives in the discussion, but that isn't the makeup of the class. I am also taking a course myself right now. And that is a long story I do not want to get into. I mean the course I am taking and why I am taking it. Anyway, with teaching, taking a class, the full time gig, trying to finish a piece for a book that is about to come out on SUNY press, and then preparing for this panel I am on in November, time escapes me. But I have been reading a lot of blogs on the daily, and quite a few folks are holding it down with some serious writing. Actually it is some of the best writing I have seen on the Web in a long while. These folks make my day and keep me going.

illmatics part I

Jason over at simply leaves me awestruck as he ponders his life, living, loving, and simply being Jason.

Monique of has a unique way of capturing dialogue and telling a story that is often humorous, but very much in your face and real.

And Trent, the man who loves music, specifically hip-hop, provides a thorough analysis of all that is good about the genre in his easyjournal at beatsandrants.

George, as always, provides a fascinating digest of news at that often has me asking myself, "Now where did he find that one?"

BTW, did you getunderground yet?

illmatics part II

Awhile ago hardcore was asking me about the poem I had published in Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and for the life of me I could not remember the verses to lay it down on AIM. Now if I were kicking it live, it would be no problem, it would just spew from my lungs. He asked if I would post it one day, here. I said I would, but I had to wait a year after publication date when the copyright was reverted from the publisher to myself. Now, it looks alright on paper, but out my mouth (and this is no conceit) it is done much better justice. Since I have been slow about responding to my boy's attempts to get into cipha' and battle him, I decided I could at least give him this.

The Flow
Be-bop flows
extends and bends into
heads drop
feet stomp
it rocks
the spot
it'll groove ya ass
whether you like it
or not

You see that
hip-hop flow
is be-bop
in a lyrical rage
verbal assassins
taking center stage
heads crackin open
in the cipha
blunted reality
taking levels higher
and higher

It's that microphone check
1-2, 1-2
microphone check 1-2

Check the break beat
dancing feet
somersaulting in
the ring
like Miles got his thang
and Dizzy's got his swang
while Ella's scat-a-tat-tat
hits hard
like that
Boom Bap
Boof Baf
Dat Skat
I know you dig it
when I kick it, baby
'cause maybe just maybe
Miles' horn
will rock on and on
to the break of dawn
and coat the throats
of folks
Black Thought
and Q-Tip
creating verbal power
to devour
your soul
and all the while
is a collective improvisation
as Coltrane blows staccato
and vibrato
into KRS' ear
like a whisper

It's the hipster
baddest baddest thing
we got
we got soul sonic forces
flowing layering rupturing
narrating orating innovating
and stylez
to be heard
and be fly
like Bird
Charlie Parker
is so Digable
the planet rocks
and conscious cool
hard bops
not knocks
but inspires the funk
to revive and redesign
blended blue
like Guru
with riffs and shit
Yeah, it's jazz
and extended
never never never

Lynne d Johnson (New York), Copyright 2001 by Bone Bristle LLC., Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera

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