raze – v.t. to level to the ground; to tear down
The growing appreciation and recognition of Hip-Hop’s conscience rappers culminates in the much anticipated release of Common Sense’s sixth album, Be. With added attention given recently to such stars as Mos Def, Talib Kweli (collectively known and slept on as Black Star) the Roots, and K-Os; it seems as though a much needed lyrical cleansing is in the making. With the enemas that these emcees are capable of administering to the industry, perhaps finally we can begin to see the Black light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Perhaps now the light that these powerhouse emcees and groups possess can begin to raze the bars that have engulfed "the game." Perhaps now we can begin to hold more rappers accountable for their material and ‘raise the bar’ in the caliber of music that they’ve catered to record label executives and crossover hip-pop fans. Or perhaps they’ve merely stirred a deeper awakening that will either galvanize Hip-Hop in years to come or merely fade to black in a last ditch effort to preserve the purest form of this art.
“Black Star Power”
a.k.a. “The Black Light at the End of the Tunnel”
There are a few emcees with true Black star power
That snack on bars as their immaculate jaws devour –
The fact is, chaos forms in the darkest hour behind their steel mandibles.
And while they may not get showers of applause,
They can rip through any coward with their jaws
As they fearlessly tap into a power so raw, it’s concealed and flammable.
The light they’ve reflected has shone eternal.
To slight their effect is our own burial.
They collectively write poems and murals that unite this race.
To raze the bars prompted in wretched journals,
We need the blazing art of Dante’s blessed inferno…
Else this tainted art operate like a self-ingested wormhole
where no light escapes.
Their skills possessed begets souls filled with Black pride
That many folks from the ghetto lack inside.
Though Black on Both Sides, their ticket out has been maimed and bought.
Thanks to images of misogyny and constant chain smokers,
Hip Hop’s promising profits are liens for means of hostile rape overs…
Such prodigies portrayed are play soldiers that wreck our Train of Thought.
Yet as our intellectual property lays smoldered –
Slain by the ways of an accosted takeover,
It’s awakened a corona of refreshing vigor and apt respite.
Like the rising Phoenix from the westward sun,
The time of a new zenith has just begun…
A fuse has been heated that will bring death to sum with added life.
So trust, this element’s on a drastic rise –
Too much now is irrelevant in this pastime!
On the eve of a crucial event, we’re at the grass high
Roots of this epidemic predicament.
With the grass grown high to keep the snakes’ shield,
The best thing to do to is to raze the field…
To save and rebuild,
new seeds must be sown deep in lyrical strength.
To spare us the change of common cents
That’s been left in this game of consequence –
There’s an ironic glimpse of a change of command that’s in the making.
To turn around the dark events
Of Hip Hop’s intolerance…
Conscience rappers have gained new confidence that’s ripe for the taking.
They’ve let their humanized words take form
While U N I versed at war –
Fluently rhyming with worth and torque –
their brain cells remain swelled like main cells in hurricanes.
So imagine what dominant prominence could happen
When Common Sense is infused in the consciousness of rappin’…
Such awesomeness can’t be captioned –
that’s why only slim doses of symbiosis are in Hip-Hop’s current veins.
When censors move to cover their mouths, they get handfuls.
With kufis coverin’ their brows, brainstorms swell on the annual –
They quell and channel fumes with empowered enrichment.
With their atmospheres absorbed in cavities of Black Thought,
That pulls us in like gravity amassed in vacuum vaults…
Each rhyme is a force massively brought with towering vision.
To refine and define the pride that’s yours and mine,
We’ve got to search the fine design formed in their lines.
Our course is divine – The True Source is inclined to agree!
And though my own skills hardly compare to Kweli or Mos Def’s,
I will hone them ‘til they’ve harnessed philosophies of Imhotep
That once rapped, can keep a man’s soul kept
with an assortment of rhyme degrees.
I’m inclined to do this because I believe my people lack sight.
They’re in dire need of guiding Black Lights.
Following trends blindly like tracked mice – they’re dying from elapsed vision.
Without the Resurrection of Beautiful Struggles,
What’s been manifested is due to construct our rubble...
As our substance huddled stays stuck in bubbles like light in static prisms.