I always kinda been sketchy about being called a rapper or what I do is rap, because truthfully I’ve always been able to rap, but I found my voice, my sound, my passion, my healing, and my calling in writing poetry, or rapping in a poetic style. Its really the connotations that is carried with rap that I feel would distract from my overall difference and message when I say what it is that I do, so I decided to make acronyms of rap, rapper, and poet…because what you can’t visualize can’t be named, so I created my own definitions that spoke to the heart of what I do. Now I’m still in love with rap and the art form because its my culture and helped me find me in a confusing world, but because I’m such a fan of it, I wouldn’t destroy it by saying its what I am or do
RAP stands for Reality and Adverse Poetry, being a rapper means
Reality-Adversity Poet Platforming Equality and Resilience
and in so being a Poet, the letters in that which I speak to represent Pain Oppression Empathy and Transformation
The point is for every word to be heard and felt, I deliver a message to connect with people, its all about connecting with me, wanting to be understood and letting people know I understand them
I was asked a few questions like, what do I want people that are listening to know about me and my fellow convicts? Well simply, I am you, and they are me, so we are just like you, caught in and known by our worst moments don’t make us any less a person or less capable of thriving once given another chance
if everyone’s closet of skeletons were opened, I wonder..would we all become even impossibly more distant and rural or would everyone just finally let a big exhale out, relieved, seeing with clarity for the first time that you aren’t the only one because we all wear masks- our real selves and our representatives we carry with us a girl once told me
so my life has become an exhibit of sorts-a museum of Real life without cropped images, refined edges and paint brushes
everyday is a struggle in Every way, because we don’t have the privileged of creating space from the people and things we don’t like while being talked at instead of talked to we don’t enjoy the luxury of personal space, I say in prison we can leave a sociologist or sociopath, or maybe you can flirt with both, being a sociopathic sociologist because we encounter everything and every type behind these walls, reality tv-like experience, priceless I used to dream of wealth growing up as a state ward through out every living and non living arrangement, but now I dream of acceptance and hope and to believe that I can realize the dreams I have of impacting lives for the better off the sweat of my worst, I dream to be able to be true to myself and be my true self everyday unashamed
speaking of shame, I carry a shame that I’m ashamed I have been ashamed about…follow me?
My Mom is also in prison, currently in work release right across the street from me, I say that because just like you, I’m going through more than what you know me by, and it doesn’t just go away or get easier until you face it, we’ve all been embarrassed about our parents but um I got you beat!
I’m hopeful for the day I get out, wanting to live a life full, doing the little things I took advantage of, but I fear this weight of my past may carry more struggles that’ll keep me from moving forward, I’m my own worst critic, like most people
I was once a promising athlete and academic but I was also alien to myself, and when unknown pressures hit me, who I thought I was broke down real quick and I became a nightmare of a man that may have caused permanent scars in people that originated from scars I carried and ignored for so many years
My biggest motivation are my two sons, so when I’m out and given the chance to be a present father, my sons will not only know how their father fell but how he built a foundation while at the bottom through it all. I can’t wait to just hold my sons without a time limit and tell them I love them without saying goodbye right after…
In prison everything is a process just as life, people come and go in waves, just like life, but when they go, there’s a deeper unsettling loneliness left behind in their wake that we try to avoid dealing with
prison really shows us the extent of love by those we loved and believed love us, so how do you cope when every situation is coping?
Imagination, we dream hope believe becoming kid-like creating fantasy worlds that we plan to turn into reality, anything else is negative and there’s a list, facts
everything becomes an idea that is better than the last one and the reality we live now. We find peace in routines, music, working out, working, reading, drawing, writing, TV shows, flintstone communicating-no phones, emailing and calling out.
Escape is seeked because only a daunting
reality is offered, who likes facing rejection pain and vulnerable emotions? Not testosterone camp! but its more than that, some of us dive into classes and programs hoping we’ll find someone that sees more in us that we see in our self or something that can empower us women become the biggest sources of company, relationships become feigned for more than normally, all to escape the truth that we are lonely!
this is my life, but how much different are we from you? Prison isn’t only physical confinement, I was imprisoned way before I was in prison, and it took a sentence for me to read into that truth
what’s your prison and escape? truth you hide, or guilt/shame you carry?
I don’t mean to compare you as if you are just as bad, but to say we are just as much people as you
I hope you’ll begin to see that because a number carries a life and a life affects more than just that one person, just as yours does more than just yourself
I hope that maybe when we start getting seen as people instead of institutional livestock, then
real change can happen, one woke and compassionate person at a time