Last night I had the opportunity to perform this poem at an open mic event in D.C. The poem expresses my thoughts on Black History, the significance of it, two figures in Black History, and how Christianity is weaved into the narrative of Black Americans. Here’s the imbedded YouTube video link and lyrics, hope you all enjoy!
So I’m gon’ talk about the elephant in the room
A touchy subject yet no one want to cop a feel—but still
Every once and a while I like to ask myself a couple of questions
And maybe you should too
—Like, why are we here?
Do we honestly believe that if we get a degree, find a job that fits our pedigree,
all the while chase the American dream then we will be completely satisfied?
Now understand my perspective, those questions were not suggestive of laziness
Education is good
But is it the end all be all?
Or consider this
What if we fully embraced a lifestyle of
Flying full speed into that Cheech & Chong cloud
Only to come crashing down
In that pool full of liquor just to die in it
Would it really wash all our problems away?
And for my brothers out there
Is there any other way to validate our manhood or navigate through this thing called manhood
Besides finding a couple of bad chicks to sleep with?
I mean–don’t get me wrong—sex is a gift from God
But what happens when it comes time to commit to that one woman
Or is that even an indication of masculinity anymore?
For my sisters out there
Is it possible to find love outside of another man’s sheets?
What if he ain’t pursuing you for keeps?
And after that one night you stand there watching as he leaves
Never to be seen again
And he left you brokenhearted with a seed growing in your belly
But would it profit you to pop a few pills
Thinking peaceful people peek through pain killers and penicillin?
Numb to all the pain for just a moment
But is it worth it?
Have we fully grasped the meaning of freedom?
Or does it slip through our fingers the minute we think it means the ability to do whatever we want?
Would a stomach full of hedonism only leave us even hungrier?
Now, I know those questions came at you like rapid fire
Possibly leaving bruises
But, I think I know where all these questions are leading up to
At the end of the day,
Are we truly satisfied with the way we’re living our lives?
“Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.” — Cesar A. Cruz
See I tend to think of life as a living canvas
Each life experience, a brush stroke
Painful, yet beautiful
Numbing, yet crucial
Imagine with me for bit
Imagine how the canvas feels when those rough, ragged, boar hair bristles scratch across its tender surface
only to serve the purpose of painting a beautiful picture of the Son of Man
Now understand–its nerve endings might be screaming in pain
But soon realizes all this is not in vain
Like when you come across a dude
who could care less about what you’d have to say
and would rather puff haze all day—
his condescending attitude towards you and God gets on your last nerves
and the last words you heard from him were “you should prolly stop talkin ’cause you ain’t gon’ change me!”
And a few other explicit words
Them is finger nails on chalkboard words and they sting
But behind the scenes it seems that the universe’s Designer is dressing you in designer clothes
–not Gucci, Louis, or Prada—
But Patience, Kindness, and Gentleness all from the Father flows
–or better yet–
This Painter’s brush strokes resemble that of–
A portrait of what it would look like
If you were to unconditionally love–as Jesus did
Or– when you’ve got a friend who has loved the Lord for about a year or two
And as soon as her friends entice her
With a few—- drinks
She slides—- backwards through maturity’s door
And you stand there yellin’ “The Lord’s got so much more in store!–for you”
But she don’t wanna listen–
She drowns your voice out with alcoholism
And you’re fed up–
But this moment– oh this moment right here
Is where the Designer of that refining fire is refining you–
And your definition of what it means to relentlessly pursue
—after that one—
So slow down–
And realize that everything that He allows and does in your life is part of His design
to make you look more and more like Jesus Christ–
And when life starts to really get hard
Be so comfortable with sovereignty
To the point where you start million man marching
To that goal…
The birds of the air don’t plant nor harvest,
yet they are fed without fear or dread.
During migration, where their numbers are the largest,
never will they worry about being misled.
Trees, bees and living things have something in common:
they do not worry or feel anxious about tomorrow.
Their needs are met by a Designer so sovereign,
and so will man’s needs be met in his time of sorrow.
“Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren’t you worth much more than birds? Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it? And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves.But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers. It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won’t he be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have!” – Matthew 6:26-30
See, I’m-caught up in the moment of pure atonement
My heart burns to know the Father more
Alone-I-sit-in this pit-vehemently tearin’ the dirt–yellin’
“Man I really need your presence Lord!”
and then the essence of a bloodstained cross materializes
I’m realizin’ “This my way out!”
Man I’m done with this pitiful island
so then I climb-and-I climb-and-I climb-and I climb
‘Till I reach the surface
The sweet aroma of freedom is perfect
—but yet i’m–unsatisfied
I’m still in need for more that gratifies
–my–soul is–searchin’ and lurkin’ for the presence of
Because I need it, it’s as simple as that
And as I’m–cognizant of my environment it begins to fade to black
It’s just me again
Alone, quiet and still
These–words echo in my mind But stop as I hear a whisper from behind–me
Saying–“Go. Walk forward. Trust me and you’ll see.”
I take an early listen as my own spirit testifies to the Holy Spirit whisperin’–my–eyes look down
to my feet then back up again as I begin to weep
With tears of joy
–’cause I know I’ll find the beauty–that I–seek
So I begin to travail onward
And although my knees are weak
I find myself moving toward–a door that’s cracked open and I take a little peek-through it
I see some burnin’ thistles and adjacent to it I see a well of clear fluid
More like water that’s real bluish
As I step through the threshold I hear a still small voice from the bush of flames
Makin it plain that my aim is not to say here–
It’s to keep it movin’ and I’m choosin’ to go to the next room
Soon-I find myself in His dwelling place
My–face moves to the right and sees living creatures
Cherubim–Each had 4 faces and each had 4 wings and underneath their wing had human hand
Man do ya’ll understand the beauty!?
I turn to my left and see Seraphim crying
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!
The whole earth is filled with His glory!”
Then I see the King of Kings seated on His great White Throne
I’m unworthy to stand in His presence so I kneel yet I feel right at home
I’m filled with love–peace–and joy
Better than any ecstasy or poppin’ Molly’s
Boy you better believe that I’m sweatin’
‘Cause the All-Consuming Fire is standing right next to me
I hear Him speak
“This is how you finish your race son”
“You need to spend more time with me. You need to abide in me. You need to see my beauty!”
So this is why I’m caught up in the moment of pure atonement
And this is why I need the Father’s heart everyday
“Well done my good and faithful servant”
That’s all I wanna hear Him say
See, alone, I could write raps
solely about social conscious facts uncommon to the majority that seem to lack
knowledge of racism, Marxism, Communism, conspiracies and Democracy
you could probably find that in one track
I could take the brush paint pictures with Imagery, Metaphors and Similes
all to say “Such ferocity in urban black communities must be stopped!”
I could write about cops, Ghettos’, Suburbs and how the war on terror is absurd
I could write words, that— breathe inspiration into the hearts of the disenfranchised
nudgin’em away from the lies—– and into book smarts
or I could write about political agendas, scandals and the dangers of a sex offender
a litany of issues the conscious brain is conscious of the misuse of power—————–but————— is it really ours?
false intellectualism, would have you boxed in like a multiple barred prison
a moon, eclipsing the Son’s (sun’s) glory and knowledge of Adonai, my mind should I keep going?
Yes! now if I take a step back I’d have raps boastin’ about Cadillacs on 15,000 of my tracks
and how women, like dimes, I stack sayin
“I’d never wanna buy that, I’d really rather ride that maybe the white or the black”
I’d settle for braggadocios rhymes that—– fill the hearts of listeners with me and how I’m killin’ the game in every line
and how my ice is nice too bright to shine in the eyes of those in view I promise it’ll make you blind
or how peace is disguised in a puff of smoke
sayin’ “I’ve looked and choked—-but—- marijuana would do just fine”
lies after lies after lies these rhymes would make you a slave and lead you to a grave of your demise
your grave stone would read “Fallen to Idolatry” there’s no way I could R.I.P.
see—-the God that gave me—-this gift
did not make me consciously social
or tell me to describe me as a dude goin’ postal
but breathed in me a heart
to write about Christ and the Gospel
to relentlessly speak truth into the lives of the broken hearted
and this mission is somethin’ that I’m wishin’
He’ll never let me depart from
see this is my heart
to see sinners follow after God’s Son!