Rap vs Poetry

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"When I first started rapping, me and a couple brothers would all sit around my place freestyling while someone beat boxed. I even used to tell all the girls that I was a poet. They seemed to find it a little more touching than a rapper" (Prince Paul, The Source 16) The lyrics of rappers are very similar to the words of Black poets. It is argued as to wether or not rap is a viable form of poetry. Both discuss similar subjects, write in the same style and use the same type of language in their writings. When looking at a poem or reading rap lyrics, distinguishing between the two can be difficult, if not impossible.Both Black rappers and Black poets write about the same subjects. For example the rap group NWA, and the poet Alice Walker, both cover the topic of being from a minority race. Alice Walker states in one of her poems that "there is no planet stranger than the one im from" (Walker, "Note Passed To Superman" 18-19). What Alice is saying is that the world is strange because people judge others by their skin color. The approach NWA takes is a more presumptuous one. In the song "Fuck Tha Police", NWA says " Young nigga got it bad cuz im brown / And not the other color so police think / They have the authority to kill a minority" (NWA "Fuck Tha Police" 3-5). Another common subect between Black poets and rappers is "ghetto life". Nikki Giovani's poem called "For Saundra" is about how she is going to write a poem about trees and blue skies. Then she realized that she was living in a "concrete jungle". i wanted to write / a poem / that rhymes / but revolution doesn't lend / itself to bebopping / then my neighbor / who thinks i hate / asked -do u ever write / tree poems- i like trees / so i thought / i'll write a beautiful geen tree poem / peeked from my window / to check the image / noticed the school yard was covered / with asphalt / no green - no trees grow / in Manhattan / then, well, i thought the sky / ill do a big blue sky poem / but all...
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