Saturday, July 29, 2006

To get down properly, I bump the explicit poetry of the Wu-Tang Clan. It’s true. Whenever I need to feel the electricity inside me, the beat of my heart, I go to RZA, GZA, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the chef, Ghostface, Meth, and rest his soul, ODB.

Specifically, I couldn’t live without their two disc masterpiece Wu-Tang Forever. Each track is a separate planet, weaving kung-fu samples into infectious beats and perfectly placed lyrics steeped in beautiful slang idiom. Stories. Thoughts. Ideas. Perceptions about the world that are understandably much different than mine. Vibrant imagery and creative verbal gymnastics. Wordplay for the sake of wordplay. It confronts me like a game, a challenge. Can I decipher their code? Can I get into their bloodstream, ride their rhythm, join in their circle? It’s an interactive experience, something I truly engage with wholeheartedly. Every time I hear those dirty drums kick in, the cymbals, I instantly begin to bob my head and slip into the world they have created. I put my shoulders back with a new air of confidence and feel the surge of words rumble through me. Yes, their music has a tangible effect. And particularly as a writer, they inspire me incalculably.

Here are three of my favorite snippets to whet your whistle. Notice none of these selections contain profanity, drug references, or misogynist undertones - three major things that mainstream media often attempts to make synonymous with hip hop.

[Inspectah Deck - “Triumph”]

I bomb atomically, Socrates' philosophies
and hypothesis can't define how I be droppin these
mockeries, lyrically perform armed robbery
Flee with the lottery, possibly they spotted me
Battle-scarred shogun, explosion when my pen hits
tremendous, ultra-violet shine blind forensics
I inspect you, through the future see millenium

[RZA - “Impossible”]

Fusion of the five elements, to search for the higher intelligence
Women walk around celibate, livin irrelevant
The most benelovent king, communicatin through your dreams
Mental pictures been painted, Allah's heard and seen
everywhere, throughout your surroundin atmosphere
Troposphere, thermosphere, stratosphere
Can you imagine from one single idea, everything appeared here
Understanding makes my truth, crystal clear

[U-God - “Deadly Melody”]

Psssh, yo
Pile-driver Tut boulder face blow Hulk
Anger rap book causin chess blade smoke
Minds the trunk, punk, elephant gun poke
Jaw-breaker humanoid vice-grip, choke
Face the inferno, maestro, pull it
Pipe hard slang, bite the golden bullet