With the door to my room securely locked and the volume of my television lowered far enough that just a slight strain allowed me to hear the program, I secretly watched “So You Think You Can Dance”. As one guy began his audition, performing to a poem, rather than music, I listened.  The short, but nonetheless, powerful verse that framed his art form mostly presented injustices suffered by African Americans. Of these injustices the majority were imposed upon us by others, but a couple were self imposed. The poet, Iesha Jaco, speaks of Hurricane Katrina, lynchings, gentrification, and drug dealing, saying how they thought it was cool… After mentioning drug dealing she turns the tables and puts the ball in our, the African American community’s, court saying, “the problem is, we think it’s cool too. Check your ingredients before you overdose on the cool.” I think she is challenging us to stop imposing injustice on ourselves. We have no control over what others have done and may do, but we can control what we do. This poem was the introduction to Lupe Fiasco’s 2007 release, The Cool.  Lupe is definitely a progressive rapper and on my list of favorites, and it’s ironic that he was inspired to become a hip hop artist when he heard It Was Written, the sophomore project from my favorite artist, Nas. Check out the poem posted below and give me your take on the message…



  1. Noemi Paz says:

    Where can i find more of her poetry?

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