Saul Williams (during a rap slam practice at the Portland Nationals)
Whish-shhhh, whish- shhhh, whish- shhhh …
If I could sample the wind I would loop it and
let my life poem flow over its sacred beats.
Using Kilamenjaro as my jembe I would drum rainbows
out of the moonlight and use them as hooks in between verses.
Verses of little girls spinning ropes in opposite directions
waiting for an opening to jump in.
As the world turns double dutch
I jump double time over oceans and back
the water waves and I wave back
awakening echoes of sunshine,
folks get ‘round in the sunshine,
but the lightening FLASH three times and it’s time for the course
which includes cornbread, candied yams, and all that good stuff,
which black folks and Saturn are made of.
As we approach the second verse
the roots of trees are plucked from baselines
which resonate and shake the earth
devastating everything that’s not built in harmony in it.
The second verse is a journey through the ruins
of ruined souls that valued all that was nothing
and nothing of the all-knowing, ever-flowing wind
which is the undercurrent of this current
blowing the funky drummer from here to eternity.
But even as ruined souls back spin
the wind mills forward and rocks steady till the sun
hits the fader and the chorus kicks in then
the moon yells, “Go!” and we all back spin, “Zulu!!”
as the moonlight shines true blue silvery indigo light
my spirit takes flight because the indigo moonlight is my endo,
rock, rock steady steady to the early morn’,
Word is born.
I’m talking about seeing your nature
in nature and nature in your nature,
New York states of mind did not create ‘cha,
neither ‘til you listen to rock hear mine care mine
a rocky mountain top if you heard hip hop.
It’s graduated urban an element that created it and
let and open-wide countryside illustrate it.
Riding in a freight train, listening to Coltrane
my reality went insane and I think I saw Jesus.
He was playing hop-scotch with Benny Carter
who was cursing him out in a Scat-like gibberish
for not saying, “Butterfingers.”
And God created sand like seeds of time,
the pains of man the frames of mind which built these frames
which is the structure of my urban superstructure.
The trains and planes could corrupt and obstruct
your train of thought so that you forget how to walk through the woods,
which ain’t good, ‘cause if you ain’t never walked through the trees
listening to nobody beats the biz then you ain’t never heard hip hop.
And it don’t stop and it don’t stop and it don’t,
stop letting cities define you, confine you
to that which is cement and brick.
We are not a hard peoples.
Our domes have been crowned with the likes of steeples.
That which is our being soars with the eagles and
the Johnathon Livingston Seagles. Yes.
I got wings.
You got wings.
All got wings. All God wings.
So let’s widen the circumference of our nest
and escape this urban incubator. You see,
the wind plays the world like an instrument,
blows through trees like flutes,
but trees don’t grow in cement.
And as heartbeats bring percussion,
fallen trees bring repercussions,
cities play upon our souls like broken drums.
We drum the essence of creation from city slums.
But city slums mute our drums.
And our drums become hum-drum ‘cause
city slums have never been where are drums are from.
Just the place where our daughters and sons
become off-beat heartbeats,
slaves to city streets,
where hearts get broken and heartbeats stop.
Broken heartbeats become break beats
for niggers to rhyme on top.
But they rhyme about – nothin’.
They don’t got nothin’ to rhyme about
‘cause you’ve never seen the moon, your styles
can’t be universal if you’re not in tune with the
whish- shhhh, whish- shhhh, whish- shhhh.
It seems that a teacher had used this to teach about literary devices. I think that would be brilliant and I would have loved to study Williams work as student.