This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"How I Miss The Days When Hip Hop Was Fun" by IN-Q

How I Miss The Days When Hip Hop Was Fun

Hey yo why is it so uncool to smile?
Since when did it become hip-hop's taboo?
Cuz I would be smilin' all the time,
If I made even half of the money you do.

Frownin' like you just caught a face-full of sun.
How I miss the days when hip-hop was fun.
When DJ Quik first burst on the scene,
When Boys in the Hood was on the big screen.
When Tupac Shakur was a dancer for Humpty,
When Nasty Nas 5 mic'd in the monthly.
When MC Breed painted the white house black,
When Too $hort retired and then came back...?
When Wyclef Jean asked out Mona Lisa,
That's the era this poem will feature!

I want to go to a show and not have to front,
I'd fist-a-cuff but I'd rather you pass the blunt.
Let's just chill and enjoy the diversity,
Let's get lost in the rhythm's uncertainty.

It doesn't make you less hardcore,
If you shake your ass on the fucking dance floor!
But somewhere along this road we made rules,
And smilin' became the weakness of a fool.
And silence and anger became the norm,
And that's when the party began to lose form.

I reminisce about the glory that's gone,
When happiness wasn't looked down upon.
When EPMD crossed over with the crossover,
When Tim Hardaway still had his crossover.
I used to go to the store and buy classics,
Now I go to the store and shit's plastic.

I can't call it 'I'm fiendin' for skill',
Cuz ya'll might be dope but I don't see your will.
All I see's Suckaz pretendin they're ill,
Snappin photographs with a barbeque grill.
Well, I can't relate to this lack of humanity,
Music's as vulnerable as insanity.

I remember when Phife was a sidekick.
When gangsta rap was still on the rise kid.
When De La Sol was re-incarnated,
When Freestyle Fellowship first circulated.
When Run DMC wore Adidas sneakers,
That's the era this poem will feature!

From '86 to '95,
When hip-hop was just too thick to describe.
I strived to become it in every way,
So I practice religiously every day.
On the bus ride home folks thought I was schitzo,
In 8th grade I wore more rayon than Sisqo!

Housin was in,
And Mr. Dobalina could've caught misdemeanor,
If he faked on his friends.
See, we would rap until we were bored,
With no cash advance or grammy award.
My boys' club trophies cluttered my shelf,
We'd no other reason than reason itself.

So why's it so uncool to smile?
Since when did it become hip-hop's taboo?
Cuz I would be simlin' all the time,
If I made even half of the money you do.

Frownin' like you just caught a face-full of sun,
How I miss the days when hip-hop was fun.
How I miss the days when hip-hop was fun.
How I miss the days when hip-hop was one!

Copyright © IN-Q

Los Angeles-based writer, rapper, actor, host, teacher, and award winning spoken word artist, IN-Q, is a unique voice in performance art. His work has been featured on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, The Battle for LA, BET, ABC, NBC, A&E, Disney, and Nickelodeon.

IN-Q is a National Poetry Slam champion who has shared the stage with everyone from De La Soul, to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to President Barack Obama. IN-Q currently has a publishing deal with RMR Music Group and has collaborated with various artists including Rock Mafia, Sick Puppies, Aloe Blacc, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez on her hit single, "Love You Like A Love Song," which went double platinum and reached No. 1 on the Billboard dance charts. 

Most recently, IN-Q co-wrote seven songs for the Disney hip-hop movie, "Let It Shine", including the singles, "Don't Run Away" and "Guardian Angel". His one-man show has toured nationally since 2009 and has been seen at over 50 universities across the country. His first full-length poetry CD, "When Two Worlds Collide," was released to critical acclaim. 

URB Magazine wrote, "IN-Q's brand of Hip-Hop, a penetratingly fluent account of what he's been through, paired with retro-funky sampling, is believable and heartbreaking even. His newest album puts true mastery of rhythmic-artistic-poetry on exhibit." 

An accomplished stage and screen actor, IN-Q has been seen in films like "The Magnificent Cooly-T" and "Speechless," and has television credits that include "The Cleaner," "Svetlana" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." IN-Q's unique style of inspiring self-expression has been utilized by creative writing programs across the country. He teaches workshops in high schools, junior highs, universities, libraries, and prisons around California, as well as instructing yearly poetry programs to Upward Bound students at Long Beach Community College and UCLA Young Writers at their annual conference in Lake Arrowhead. 

IN-Q founded the Los Angeles based Actors' Lounge in 2004, a monthly open mic for actors held at The Greenway Court Theatre, and starred in the run of their original musical, Hercules on Normandie, for which he was given an observership at the prestigious Actors' Studio by Martin Landau.

Most recently, IN-Q starred in the premiere theatrical run of "Jumping the Median," an original play that was performed at the Santa Monica Playhouse and was produced by television legend Norman Lear. 

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