Part 7

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Free like that

After many nights awake reading I understood that for decades the years of decadence and self-centred living have finally taken their toll.  I had spoken about it and rapped about it. The years of compromise had finally had their effect and like a snake lying in wait for their prey have finally bitten back. And now we have reached the moment of truth, the tipping point: Either we wake up, stand up, speak up, and act up, or we run the risk of becoming irrelevant to those who need us most. Even with the great technological advances we can so easily become a generation that repeats the mistakes of the previous generation. That is why this is a call to all rhymers to all those who desire to have a voice to stand up. I was a father and rhymes about material possessions and killing, or girls were of no interest.

It was all about bringing wisdom. Since the early 1960s until today, divorce has not decreased it has only increased. Teen suicide has exploded and the age of those who have accepted this as a viable option is getting younger. Now some are even making online pacts and have organised suicides. That is why the ‘Message’ by Melle Mel has even more relevance to this generation, ‘it’s like a jungle sometimes.’ How sad that some children feel the world is better off without them. We all miss out as there potential is never realised. We now have cyber bullies and cyber predators trying to exploit the vulnerable online. Violent crime has gone through the roof, the prison population has out grown the prisons, the percentage of babies born without stability has risen, and the end is not in sight. We have more families living in poverty and that is not acceptable or comfortable as I write this. The last generation’s rebellion has become our generation’s curse, what was unthinkable thirty years ago today we live with and we have the daytime talk shows to prove it. We are desensitised too so much that would cause past generations to respond in protest and uproar.  I have witnessed the innocence of children lost at lower ages at each governmental change. Now they want to teach relationships to juniors that are from eight years old.

We live in the age of self, with self-help books flooding the market; we are encouraged to go it alone. I started rapping to bring worlds together now I was seeing next door neighbours so far apart it was frightening. In a time of mistrust the wedge of division is driven further between communities. Since 9/11 and 7/7 we have a new group to target our mistrust. In the 70’s and 80’s it was the black communities. In the 90’s it was the Asian community, now it’s Muslims who are the target of our mistrust.

We cannot fall into the trap of acting as if we are the centre of the world. Just because we exist in separate bodies, with our own private thoughts and our own private feelings that nobody else can hear or sense. Just because this causes indifference in us to the needs and feelings of others, we can’t remain like this without recognizing the connection we have with each other. It’s the butterfly effect, a butterfly moving its wings in Brazil cause a reaction that leads to an event on the other side of the planet. What we do affects others and when we pursue our dreams it strengthens others. I wasn’t built to exist on my own; I have always felt the need to be a part of something. I am part of the hip hop movement, I played a role in its beginning and it will forever be a part of me.

If my experience is to be defined by loneliness and separation then I have failed in what I set out to achieve. That would mean my impact was incomplete, unsettled and unfulfilled, this could lead me to try and fill the holes in my life. This need may produce feelings of insecurity, and the desire to fill that hole with whatever will put an end to the pain. Some will try to silence the pain with whatever numbing agent is close at hand, alcohol or drugs, non-stop work, or, a pattern of controlled behaviour. Others choose religion, it can be a very vulnerable time and you have to be aware of being exploited. I had to realise that there was more going on than what I consciously recognised.

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