The Graffiti Bridge: Rewriting the Walls

You know it’s time to evaluate our collective selves when we have ‘other folk’ speaking sensible truths about the plight of our culture. More to the point, when a website such as posts an interview with Gene Simmons of KISS, a White ROCK band, who effectively tells us that we need to watch the direction of our music lest we find ourselves by the wayside… we’re in trouble!

First Bono addresses the audience of the NAACP Award Show by challenging us to help our own people in Africa suffering from AIDS (leading by example, mind you) and now this! Agreeing that the era of Punk Rock has passed, we may want to beware the Ides of March when such an icon of a once flourishing and now decayed phenomenon sees the same landscape on Hip Hop’s horizon. Recognizing the signs of an industry plagued by mimicked gimmicks and theatrics, Simmons can see the writing on the wall for the generational bridge that is our music. Out of the love and respect we claim to have for it, we have to retag the history of our culture lest we all suffer the irreversible consequences. Life is about (r)evolution, people – change or die.

“The Manifesto”

We’re suffering from indigestion

and massive attacks waged in he(art) beats

From the ingestion of half-masticated and charred beef.

I’m just indignant enough to suggest

we’ve exasperated he(art) disease

by feeding into the frenzy.

I’m forced to lead an insurrection with flags wavin’

To fight this normalcy with crisp inspection activated…

This misdirection isn’t exaggerated –

rap is leading into misery.

It’s the greed of the industry –

you know companies must love it.

Misery loves company and companies love the budget.

Execs hug when we’re fussin’

as we line corporate pockets.

Meanwhile, this weak mentality infiltrates artists

That dip into sets just to instigate arguments…

This insulated market’s an insult to a paying audience –

too blind and absorbed to stop it.

But I can see! – I meet such septic wisdom

With the hindsight of separatism.

I check blindsides with skepticism –

despair is a radical threshold!

So if you’re tired of this regulating pomposity

And ignorant folks celebrating

it with pompoms and screams…

Separate from this monstrosity – declare a manifesto!

If you’re tired of matchin’ up the phantom menace

That just got clapped up in a stanza or sentence,

Don’t stand for it, end it –

the artists will change if no one listens!

If you’re tired of average emcees

bringing stereotypes to life

With their battle MP3s soundin’

as rote as Karaoke night…

They’ll barely promote the plight if

enough of us strike the mission!

Otherwise, the writings on the wall.

Others will rise if we reach the height of our fall.

Others thrived but in spite of it all,

they were @ssed-out once their bridges crumbled.

When cleptos run records to the tune of sells,

Left exposed and un-refreshed, stale music will get shelved…

Once fruitful units will fail as

cash crops crash from the drought of witless muddles.

So if you’re tired of characters addressin’

their insecurities over mics

Or caricatures stressin’ their immaturity vocalized,

Put up a fist of fury, convince the jury

to VOTE OR DIE – Hip Hop’s life is at stake.

It can’t happen overnight,

I’m no aficionado of instant change.

I just know I’m sick of this

Hip Hop of bravado and insipid gains…

It’s better to have a tentative delay than

to miss the game once its cycle is played.

© 2007 Reggie Legend

Steel Waters, Inc.