Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “hip-hop


happens to break down in beats
that match the vibrations of my heart.
we are one,
checking in mirrors to see
that we are Black on Both Sides
as Black Stars shine and twinkle in our eyes.
i’d be Ready to Die
if i had the Reasonable Doubt
that hip-hop no longer had All Eyez on Me…
spend Midnights Marauding with 2 Pacs on my back,
heavy because there’s barely enough room
to contain The Cool.
it’s Dark and Hell is Hot
but i will search for our love
for It Was Written long before
i was able to recognize it–
infiltrated and made me high
like The Chronic and
mixed up signs like Aquemini…
hip-hop and i
will be Finding Forever
as we bob our heads to the same ol’ two step
that will guide us across stage at Graduation.
nobody has to say “Ho!” for me to know
that our love is true,
that Tha Drought is Over
as classic flows course through the bloodstream
and scream that It’s Bigger than Hip-Hop,
that even when people try to Pop, Lock and Drop it,
the movement will not stop.
the revolution will be televised in the streets
once conversations in board rooms of Viacom start to cease,
when we take control over what defines we,
when we break down our own barriers and walls
and remix what all of this means,
when we treat hip-hop just as we do our heart,
guarding it while appreciating each new melody,
knowing that it represents
so much more
than just a beat.


This is Your Brain

i get upset as my brain cells fry
and before the cooking of my
intelligence is finished,
my consciousness has mysteriously diminished.
with each expletive, reference to the club, clothes and sex
i exchange the logical portion of my identity
for an apathetic, watered-down version of me.
foolishness is hidden in tight beats
craftily slipping each listener a mickey,
one that has adverse effects seen in the bobbing of their heads
and the memorization of lyrics of the dead
that they had no intention of mummifying in their minds
but this is a narcotic of a different kind,
providing a high that causes its users to sing along
to choruses that they once swore were dumb.
i am going through withdrawal.
music as an art form is so powerful
and yet, it’s being conquered and corrupted violently.
i want music that will romance me,
take me on trips to other lands, even if only for 4 minutes,
transport me on journeys to rivers of reminiscence;
tunes that welcome my memory to linger on positive times,
composition that will be vitamins to my mind,
enabling my growth and health,
not music that numbs my true self.
i no longer want to be lost in lyrics of defilement,
to be the main character on a public service announcement
that has back-to-back reruns that just won’t stop
saying: “This is your brain…”
and when the radio beat drops,
“This is your brain on hip-hop.”

Break Free!

some scholars wrote long ago
that there’s no such thing as an original thought.
i hate to agree with this sentiment
but as i look around me i discover
identical clones lying constantly by denying resemblance to one another.
i see black people
with hair in braids, weaves, and locks,
i see a multitude of the generation defined by hip-hop,
blindly bobbing their heads to BS such as “Lollipop”
and refusing to get any information
from any source other than
a rapper’s sound bite, the radio, or Fox.
i feel funny pointing fingers to tell the truth,
sitting here claiming that there’s been destruction of our youth
because i too have been infiltrated,
spoon-fed lies to control my militant mind turning to mush,
signing away my life to join the army of the uninformed,
claiming to be original but at the same time feeling torn cuz
even my natural hair ain’t original if that’s how i was born cuz
i am by no means the first to claim to be conscious
while being an active consumer of the same objects
that have been used to oppress
not just blacks, but all people.

searching for answers i run toward the nearest steeple,
fall to my knees praying to God to provide
and He whispers in my ear and commands me to realize
that both my positive and negative actions are first birthed in my own mind
and if i really want change, it’s up to me to decide
what i accept.
today i accept
because regardless of what scholars say, there has to be,
there should be,
at least i hope there could be
a way to make change,
rub the chicken grease and sunflower seeds off of my tainted brain,
eliminate the tick tock of my CP time watch
and turn down the bass so my stereo system in the trunk stops
drowning out my knowledge,
numbing my creativity,
and allowing the media to define what i am to be,
what i should be,
or at least what i could be.

today is the day that i break free!