So, it’s National Poetry Month, and I want everyone to celebrate it by finding a poem. That’s all; just find a poem and share it with someone. It doesn’t have to be deep or profound in any way; just a poem. My hope is that that person will forward the poem on to someone else, and we will all have done something in the way of placing a little art in someone’s life.
What does this have to do with Hip-Hop? Well, I knew you’d ask. The answer: Everything. I recently read an article titled “Too much rap, not enough proper poetry” in which a poet argued that teachers “are underestimating pupils’ intelligence and stifling their creativity by only offering them chants and raps or the verses of children’s poets…” and I think I agree. I digress to say that I also think that much of what we are currently pushing forward in the world of Hip-Hop as “good” music is doing much of the same. I have been bombarded with questions concerning the newest “it” rapper, and hearing much of the same. I won’t comment on what’s “good” or not. I just think that I have a taste for something different. So the assignment I’m giving myself (because I’ve been giving out poems to friends for the past week and a half, this will be extra credit) is to find something different, something outside of my comfort zone, so to speak, and give it a chance. The poet in the article states, “Matching like with like is only the beginning of a process…” with regard to giving students something they already like to get them interested in poetry. I have never been a fan of popular music for the sake of it being popular anyhow, so I don’t think it will be difficult, but I want to give some things I ordinarily wouldn’t a chance, whether it’s popular or underground. Two weeks ago I was introduced to the video for “Yonkers” by Tyler the Creator, and was impressed by the impact it had on me lyrically and visually. Maybe I’ll leave National Poetry Month with a few more artists in rotation, hopefully having a little more art placed into my life, and I promise to pay it forward. Oh, and I’m open to suggestions.
The full article, “Too much rap, not enough proper poetry” is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jan/07/poetry-teaching-andrew-motion)
Originally Posted on www.power217radio.com 4/11/11 “‘Hip-Hop-olosophy’ w/ A.D. Carson”