A Rap About Rap

by Margaret I. Williams

Pen in hand, I take a stand
Against any man, especially
You up and rising black pioneers
Of hip-hop and rap, and of all
That other inconsequential crap

You often in your raps have a relapse 
When it comes to history; 
Seldom do you mention the few
Who helped liberate us all, set us free,
The beasts of the burden and the lash -
Your ancestry

Trapped like minks,
Some made it all the way from
Africa, our Motherland;
Others were liberated by death 
Before they reached this land

Two-hundred and fifty thousand 
Accumulated on the lawn while
"The King" conveyed he "...had a dream"
Outside the great White House;
And in dashikis and platform shoes
We once shouted in the streets
"I'm black and I'm proud" out loud.

Those were the times, the days of which
We celebrate year after year, 
Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat
On the bus for us,
The Moses of the Underground Railroad, 
Harriott Tubman, guiding us to the other side
From dawn to dusk.

If you want to rap, rap about how they still
Control our souls, and we still do what they say
Just our tongues no longer wag
Yes ma'am, yes massah sir, or yes mista Brown, 
And you're no longer referred to as "boy"
Organize the facts and jot them down
Then memorize and recite them around town

Yeah, your raps lack the strife by our kind: 
The marches and the protests 
Your tongues loosely mock educated black people
You call running around with the your pants 
Almost hanging on the ground real

You rap about being gang bangers or drug lords, 
Being sent to jail for a long spell
How you prefer the women in the projects
Over women who have gone to Yale
And how you think you're in the mix
Being a pimp and making your whores do tricks

And you ride around in big fancy Cadillacs
Symbolic of status in your neighborhood
Put not a penny in the bank, but in the lottery
And you call yourself being misunderstood 
And misrepresented to boot, that's silly

You rap about how you skipped or dropped
Out of school; and wonder why you're oppressed. 
And how you deem it creative, this bad choice -
Educated in a gang, what a mess.
Let's convert this gang experience into skills
Where in the "Help Wanted" is it a requirement
For a nine-to-five, or good for your retirement

In front of bars with blunts in your mouths, 
Robbing, stealing and killing for a fix, 
Jails your ultimate destinies,
Ignoring your roles as daddies, 
While some of us are up on the Hill politicking
Trying to keep our rights from being revoked/
Trying to free some of us wrongly accused folks

This is a rap about raps not being constructive
If found in a time capsule would not be envied 
Raps not mentally & spiritually stimulating
Raps that are totally void of our rich history.
Raps with words and verses not of true poets 
Capturing creative and propelling moments of 
Black history as we know it

A Rap About Rap by Margaret I. Williams

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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