I think it's a mistake where rap music is these days. It doesn't seem to be able to look out of the ghetto and that's ultimately unfortunate, because it defines our limitations.
Why shouldn't rap be esoteric, able to take in current events, history and criticism? I guess it's this old idea of containment - that rappers, because they're black, can't and shouldn't aspire to look outside the ghetto for influence.
The downfall of the industry seems to actually be good for art. I think the industry will find their way once the focus shifts from its greed-based origins, downsizes, and begins to support creative visions that speak to our times and shifting ideals.
If we're gonna progress as a people we are going to realise that, as one of my favourite poets says, the other is a lie. There are no other people. Race is a social construct.
We cannot continually barricade ourselves under some falsified idea of race, because our idea of blackness and race is simply reactionary. Africans didn't walk around Africa being black and proud, they walked around proud.
The MC that we love are usually the ones that we consider be kinda heartless, like 50 Cent. That's pretty much the prowess and power of an MC. That's what sells.
I remember back in the day when Chuck D called hip-hop the 'black people's CNN.' Well now, hip-hop is more like Fox News. It's biased, and highly suspect.
The only reason I've been so critical of hip-hop is because I've always been aware of the effect that it has, and the reflection that it gives of the African-American community.
I am hoping for peaceful transition into a new age. Obama has already played a great role in initiating us into that vision. If he were to be harmed in any way, it would spawn the birth of a million Obamas.
I think we fool ourselves and really negate a great deal of history if we think that the oral history of poetry is shorter than the written history of poetry. It's not true. Poetry has a longer oral tradition than it does written.
There's no doubt in my mind that 'Slam' is going to be huge. It's a film about the power of language. People are going to see this and get blown away.