This will probably be the most unconventional blog you do or don’t follow. Now that we have that out of the way, last night was amazing. I was in the presence of a new found family, the DC Youth Slam Team. I truly love them like my own little brothers and sisters. So much potential at such a young age. They showed out at Busboys and Poets 5th & K at their feature.
To the outside world, onlookers waiting for the 2014 Brave New Voices Champions to perform, they were making noise. They were stomping and clapping in a circle saying, “Where he at, where he at? Where he go, where he go.” Also, “Peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat.” They weren’t making noise because they are young high schoolers, it was an icebreaker. One thing I love about the arts is that it is unconventional, sporadic, and exhilarating. It was a moment I captured and kept. Literally, because I was recording and figuratively because I felt the beat, words and the cypher.
Before writing this post, I looked up the definition of cypher/ciper. Here’s what I found:
• a message written in a secret code
• a quantity of no importance
First, decoding the cypher was my pleasure. The cypher was family supporting each other, gathering in a circle to share energy, and things felt. It was interpersonal communication. I felt their poetic energy. I cannot articulate how liberated I felt in that moment of them exercising their freedom of speech. It was what I imagined home would feel like. The second definition is absolutely correct. The quantity was of no importance. It didn’t matter how many bars you had or how much content you articulated in the cypher. It was the best poetic flow I have witnessed with heart. It was about knowing that I was exactly where I needed to be; with my Split This Rock family.
If I did spit in the cypher it would’ve been something like this:
Peanut butter, no bread
Yeah, you heard what I said
I make these cats go nuts
I’ll just make them jelly instead
I mean this flow is straight from the head
Dread that, dread locks
Changing the locs is my blog
I know they have watch dogs
Following me constantly
Trying to see
What I am doing
Who I’m influencing
And if you wanted to do
What I came to do
You should’ve called DC for an interview
I came through from SC
Blessings before I sneeze
This year I’m not playing fair
So you better pay off the referee
Who’s testing me?
Who’s stressing B?
Because I missed the recording at 5th & K
I had to write this flow out today.