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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Laura on April 7, 2010
"I know, "rap" often has negative connotations associated with it, and many of those are justified. Commercial and popular rap is often very self-glorifying, obscene, violent, and degrading to
women, and is not something I choose to listen to. However, a few negative examples should not scare one away from the entire genre. If anything, this is a commentary of the heart. Rap is like a musical off-shoot of Spoken Word, which is basically just performed poetry, and so if all these negative things are what people choose to write about, then that IS still an expression, and one that should still tell us something.

Pretty much every culture in the world has a history of oral tradition, and rap is just an updated, modernized continuation of that. Though I find that Spoken Word is often deeper and more associated with social justice issues, I enjoy hearing the beat along with it sometimes. I have to admit, even when writing metrical non-rap poetry, I still count out the beat while I'm writing it, so it's definitely not a foreign concept to poetry.

So... this is just my personal expression of what rap is and how it should be used, but you will find multiple different perspectives on said subject, because rap is, as I've tried to express here, a
communal practice, especially when it comes to improv. "

Rhythm And Poetry

Listen to my words, they are the poem of my mind,
Hear the song that I sing within the rhythm that unwinds,
Like the great oral tradition, spoken stories next to beats,
We have brought spoken word to the suburbs, to the streets,
To our living rooms, our offices, the dullest times of day
Will be alive as we express the world in many different ways,
Just like poets throughout time write while counting out a meter
We are counting out the time because the rhythm is our leader,
But the words are always flowing, always fit into the mold
And once inside given the freedom for expressions to unfold -
To transform our observations of injustice and disgrace,
Into something to be heard, to be pondered, to be faced,
To be spoken of in more than just our old everyday speech,
And to open up a chorus that your neighbors too can reach -
For we are not tortured poets in our studies night and day,
We are active in the world and we will hear what others say:
Listen to our words, they are the poems of our minds,
Hear the songs that we sing within the rhythm that unwinds...

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