SUNSET STYLE: The Next Element of Hip Hop By SUNEZ

“There will be war to the death against all Puerto Ricans.”

            –E. Francis Riggs, Chief of Police of Puerto Rico

                                    [Sourced from War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson Denis] 

Canta la campana.

That bongocero, before Herc took the breaks, was a crate digger in the mind.  Inside brick hands, layers of snares, ticking high hats and that ole beat thickness were cemented. Pound, strike, tap, pound, the polyrhythm plus lessons get built up. But in the soliloquy of chaos, just at the bridge where rebellion composes, that bongo banging brother, puts down the bongo.  Now standing on his square with the clave stick, a hammer to the nails of obedience, the conga has an accomplice and the timbales have a shooter.  The campana hits harder than the US war on all Puerto Ricans.

Sever the bougie, revolutionary Albizu!

Canta la campana. 

A bell around a cow slows the slave but speeds the insurgent to a steady rhythm. 1, 2 check it with clave and Hip Hop’s older sister, La Salsa, starts to rust the chains.

Her younger brother’s a music for the darkened plight not the flowery spotlight. Songs from sister’s stories collect more Black, more Brown, lose instruments and collect elements. Walls gift wrapped with pieces of poverty picassos, floors flash flooded with hands, feet, backs and crowns, roofs raised with breaks and the spaces inside fight breaths with control and the challenges of style with inflections championing trophies of wordplay. A format so real the fake ones campaign for our funding.  Our sister Salsita too romantic to tell us these are rape dates…

Canta la Campana.

A cowbell clangs with more than a note of stride.

Swipe salvation into the MTA, that Missionary Transport Auction. To Gunset’s 45th street, through the cults of sold knicks and the banger banners that net us all. Off the Rule or Ruler train unpacking Spanglish identifiers, cheering, “Reggaeton se murio!” Though we’re downrocked financially the swirled Sunset Park hilltops inspire the uprock to a concerto en bongo minor.  Now I’m upright, steadfast and welterweight size to fight with the steel of these limbs or the pouring of these scribing utensils.  Holding my centerpiece that weighs heavy, holes in the cheeks smile on ladies and dimples are left in their mind, crevices for my understanding.

Canta la Campana.

A cowbell bangs with so much pride. I wonder what sound the anger of my awareness makes when it’s looped.

The commonwealth pop sit on the charts to study the character of their next thoughts.  Wavy swag hits snags that take me a thousand crates to heal. Respiratory Blues, cause not one rapper got problems, though they muddy the wise waters I write on. Be or Born King, sometimes I forget the thrill is supposedly gone.

Canta la Campana.

That cowbell hangs and hugs the sides like it took oppression for a ride.

Dr. Traverzo was my mentor, the professor who professed it’s never right when they tear into men. Pause…beyond belief in rebellion—take part in the revolution. The savior scholar can right events in the text exact.  A fisted black tiger rolling through the fields of pigs. Horse stance stronger under the lowering glass ceilings of mysterious misgivings. All to pass the gentrified marshes of assimilation, slap sambos, deconstruct coonery and assassinate appropriators. 15 years after passing the 36th chamber, stop at the barracks of propaganda and the encampments of miseducation. Let the clave become a pilon to smashmix the ingredients of hell into a sofrito. To funnel into a grenade that’ll chisel the nigga outta any God.

Canta La Campana

Pedro Albizu Campos, the most high, the honorable, let the most common of garments wrap around the crown to protect the history written in advance.  To wells that absorb the best of the Earth, pace around the constricted cipher and plan the liberation of your island.  Select supreme minds surrounded by wisdom to swim through the hypocrisy of free associated states.  And let the understanding all surface on the scores of our concrete genres, as it does this hardcore Hip Hop or once that ol’ Salsa sister…

Unmuzzle the uzis, Albizu.

La Campana Canta…

“Cuando la tiranía es ley, la revolución es orden” (“When tyranny is law, the revolution is order”)

– Pedro Albizu Campos (RIP – Remembered In Perfection)