“hip hop ni culture ya love usisahau, pole kukuambia sikuchukii – nakudharau.”

– Nyashinsky, tuendelee

 It’s always been too much though.

At least that’s what you’ve always thought.

The magic you have inside yourself has always been more than you can handle. Your understanding larger than what you understand. It’s always been a problem – knowing too much. It got you in trouble often. That day, when you told off the other guy who did that thing to that person. That other day when some other thing happened as well.

Somehow it has always been there.

And you have been aware of its presence. Its warmth has been in illuminating inside your core for a very long time, burning you up from the inside. You in a battle with yourself trying to contain and trying to survive. You would just have let yourself shine to begin with, but you have been told that your shine is not valid. You have been given reasons to keep that box locked. You have been told that unleashing your shine will be a violence to the earth. You have been given analogies and stories about the danger of opening. Of revealing. You have been told that Pandora had a box. You have been told that closets have skeletons. You have been told not to open the door at night. You have been warned against opening.

Your burning skin continues to flail at the opening of this pot. Umekalia mdomo wa sufuria na sasa wafikiria kuhusu mdomo wako kuhisi joto. Wachomeka. Wamekupeleka kwa madaktari, na wakakupatia madawa.

But it never took away the pain, did it?

The pain was still there.

“niliona mahali ya kupita nikapenya”

– Esir, Lyrical Tongue twister

You have grown to know it. To understand it – maybe not to understand it. Maybe to be more comfortable with not being able to understand it. With knowing that you won’t ever fully know it but there are ways to be that are kinder to it. Ways to be that let you ride through some bits and crash through others. You look for these ways, you are always look for those ways.

(you have always wanted to be free, but you are not sure what freedom means anymore)


“nataka tu kuwakilisha hiphop culture”

– Nazizi, Nataka kuwa famous

Sometimes you hid it inside a plea. A just. A simplicity. You knew they wouldn’t understand it, so you tried to make it as simple as possible, as basic as possible. You were just looking for a way (while it was not a way to live without it, it looked like a more manageable way to live with it. It was a place that would allow you to take your ass off the sufuria for a bit if only to breath the cool air. It was a place that would make you less uncomfortable. Like the feeling of living inside the parenthesis for too long and forget what the main story was about, as if somehow there is a main story. As if somehow these words are anything more than pictures we have assigned to sounds because light travels faster than sound and we are too lazy. And too predictable. We need to end in a final way it is rarely that some one ju)

Maybe you romanticized this place. It is definitely a possibility. You have always had this problem. You’ve been a dreamer and you have been told not to dream. You have been told that the idea of being able is not even to be imagined. That you can’t.

And that’s the scary part.

And the voices everywhere keep screaming “what if you can’t.” But deep inside you it is boiling and your tongue is melting the ice that they had built around you, beginning to form the initial phase of the first step in creating the ideas behind formulating the words that might just form the question “but what if I can?”

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