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In the beginning was the Word that became flesh.
To let Proverbs 8:22 tell it, Wisdom was along for the ride, too, and has been key to the cipher ever since.
Fun as it might be to many, the art of M.C.ing -- to be a centered “I” who witnesses (to) the world and takes hold of the mic to say what’s real & move the crowd as a master of ceremonies -- is no joke. Fortunes have been built and destroyed; lives lost and developed; cultures hidden and freed; languages broken and reborn all as part of the genre and generation’s story.
The youth of any nation often dictate its pulse and many young (at heart) continue to find kinship with hip-hop, claiming it as a peer. Gaining major influence over the lives we’ve come to know, sometimes by sponsoring excess, it’s been easy to let time slip out of joint and deter us from shedding light on the age we live in. Don’t let the old soul resemblance to the family of jazz, soul, blues, and reggae fool you ~ we still have room to grow and must be each other's keepers as we do so!
Among our story's thirtysomething years of being broken, spun, written, sampled and mic'd, however, a feminine presence is revealed that defies labels for better or worse; just as a rib helps to maintain one’s form and stance. You know “H.E.R.”:
She is the one Common will all-ways love, the conscious ones treated unconscionably by their clans or maybe a groupie like “Suzie”. She once took another’s man in black & white and made it go-go; the pretty hustla whose poison you couldn’t detect past a big butt or smile. She stood strong within the quiet queens “Shakiyla” and Amina as well as the “+1” who kept it funky, making intelligence a crew endeavor never to be played out. What she put up in production laid it down smoothly, as if to inspire fox fur. A boss in afropuffs and young prototype who met “real” versions of herself in every city, she echoed the mythos of beautiful gorgons, phoenixes and “Neptune’s Jewels”. Even if we occasionally saw through her, wise "wordplay" eventually found us -- ready or not -- with reminders of how "true honey buns" roll. We were encouraged to keep it “lyte” yet solid among giants by a delicate ladybug whose life transcended her scars. We enjoyed the many colors displayed when a crush was involved, but maintained a special place for the artful “Pink” who gave new meaning to the 'name tag'.
As we grew, the empirical sista who made your "asymptote" something to spit about and the sweetest engineering grad who “had no idea" of Life's curveballs were also going through. Writers nearly erased from the boys’ club were approached to help others do the same and pre-law princesses in the wrong place at the wrong time gained an anthem. Once the tongue-in-cheek uncut to the 'raw' that Kane or ODB delivered, now she “be killin’ ‘em” while birthing tribes, one of which some say is modern pop culture. I say keep it Israel.
Depending upon who you are, that last one is arguable. By no means am I here to argue, incite or entertain the same, however. Instead, I right-pray-wail that we make room even within ourselves for the 'born-again rebels' who resemble antiquity ala Makeda or not and would always be there beyond “the middle” of the madness. Most importantly, let us make room for the True and Living God Who strengthened their he/arts. May we dance to the rhythm of that proverbial drum and face our discord with beautiful harmony as these psalms resonate tones of repentance, praise and worship throughout our bodies.
Let us better hear, heed and “Love H.E.R.” again.
With all honor, praise and glory to the Most High in p(e)ace and ~ naturally ~ Love, t*