What Hip-hop Said When I Looked In the Mirror
no niegas que vienes de mi ombligo.
I was lethal when you was fetal, scratched
records when you feared needles.
Never had a mirror near you ain’t know shit
about your people. ¿Were you black,
brown, or illegal? Gringos saw you as below,
vetoed your voice as feeble, but we know
you was seeing visions like Ezekiel.
Ain’t talking spinning rims or wallets fat
with c-notes. You were on the camino
to be more than how they read you.
Thought it made you more
than your amigos, smoking blunts, high
on perico. The difference between Jay-Z
and Beanie Sigel. You let your ego lead you.
Didn’t look in the rearview. I gave you
knowledge of self. You pushed your history
beneath you. Followed teachers who deceived
you, surrounded by white people. Like I’m not
why ya feet grew. You ain’t need me
more than I need you. So see-through, thirsty
for shining. Punk-ass gave up on rhyming.
They called you rapper before a poet. You never rose
up to own it. Now you say you made it. Son,
tell me how that life taste. Worry less if you spit
truth. Keep worrying bout “the White space.”
Keep worrying bout magazines none of your family
reads. You too grown for rap CD’s and bootlegging
MP3’s. Keep calling your silence ruckus. You ain’t
the first to punk out. Shit, hella brown poets
scared to touch this. You can fool yourself,
but you never fooled me. If you wan be anything
other than sucker, you go through me. ¿What?
¿you forgot ‘bout Lauryn Hill and Nas?
¿Who dafuq you think taught you how to rock?
To grit, to hustle, to spit like I do.
I should send Nate Marshall to kick the shit
outta you. You can’t step to the Queen
unless your record be mean. If you run, my heart
’ll beat thicker through your chest
and your brain, make letters go lean and hiss
incredible things, cuz I’m unforgettable
in the ebb and flow of your indelible vein.about the author