Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Hip Hop Literati

Share |

The most hyper literate people I know are emcee's, cats who walk around with rhyming dictionaries and thesaurus' in their backpacks, who's dense wordplay is littered with literary devices galore, rife with use of metaphor, similes and iambic pentameters. Dayum, the fact that I wax on Nietzsche and Nas in the same breath, oftentimes muse on Shakespeare and Snoop Dogg, and can write essays linking T.S Eliot to Missy Elliott, does have the tendency to leave the non-believers mystified. But they shouldn't be. It's a Hip Hop World, and they are just living in it.

You want some purposeful Web 2.0 styled prose? Then go out and buy my new book Hip Hop World. You want rhymes? I got plenty of those too (today co-supplied and signed by Mos Def).

Water should be free, now it costs you a fee...I'm not having it, and apparently neither is the mighty Mos Def.

"Fluorocarbons and monoxide
Push the water table lopside
Used to be free now it cost you a fee
Cause oil tankers spill they load as they roam cross the sea
Man, you gotta cook with it, bathe and clean with it (That's right)
When it's hot, summertime you fiend for it (Let em know)
You gotta put it in the iron you steamin with (That's right)
It's what they dress wounds and treat diseases with (Shout it out)
The rich and poor, black and white got need for it (That's right)
And everybody in the world can agree with this (Let em know)
Consumption promotes health and easiness (That's right)
Go too long without it on this earth and you leavin it (Shout it out)
Americans wastin it on some leisure shit (Say word?)
And other nations be desperately seekin it (Let em know)
Bacteria washing up on they beaches (Say word?)
Don't drink the water, son they can't wash they feet with it (Let em know)
Young babies in perpetual neediness (Say word?)
Epidemics hopppin up off the petri dish (Let em know)
Control centers try to play it all secretive (Say word?)
To avoid public panic and freakiness (Let em know)
There are places where TB is common as TV
Cause foreign-based companies go and get greedy
The type of cats who pollute the whole shore line
Have it purified, sell it for a dollar twenty-five
Now the world is drinkin it
Your moms, wife, and baby girl is drinkin it
Up north and down south is drinkin it
You should just have to go to your sink for it
The cash registers is goin "cha-chink!" for it
Fluorocarbons and monoxide
Got the fish lookin cockeyed
Used to be free now it cost you a fee
Cause it's all about gettin that Cash Money"

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Dalton Higgins

Dalton Higgins is a music programmer, pop culture critic, author, broadcaster and journalist. He is also Canada’s foremost expert on hip hop culture. His latest book is Hip Hop World (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi).

Go to Dalton Higgins’s Author Page