In the wake of the troubling events in Ferguson and the Eric Garner decision, more and more of hip-hop's voices are sharing their thoughts and feelings. Killer Mike and J. Cole have been two of rap's most recognizable voices throughout these times. Today, Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, released two short speeches on Stop Being Famous.
We hear Bey speak in a somber, down-but-not-broken tone. His cadence leaves extended gaps of powerful silence, almost as if Bey was literally lost for words at some points. It teeters on spoken word, with one sentence flowing into the next with great care and thoughtfulness. Despite an understandably downtrodden tone, Bey issues a clear rallying cry: "In order for an arrow to fly, the bow has to be drawn back, with some pressure involved. I think we're all feeling that pressure."
He concludes the first part with an excerpt from “The Desiderata,” a poem by Max Ehrmann:
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste
and remember what peace there may be in silence
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons
Speak your truth quietly and clearly
and listen to others
even the dull and the ignorant
they too have their story
Avoid loud and aggressive persons
they are vexations to the spirit
If you compare yourself with others
you may become vain or bitter
for always there will be persons greater or lesser than yourself
Listen to both parts of Yasiin Bey's "Thoughts on Upheaval" below.
[via Stop Being Famous]