Hip hop came before the Bronx
Didn’t have a name but it had a form
Ijala and ewi over the talking drum
Will leave you all craving, begging for more
When hunters battle rapped, Ijala was born
Ewi the epic rhyme had you chanting along
Deep within our hearts there was a longing for God
We felt He was too far Edumare was pawned
For the deities and demons that were baying for blood
Cattle were sacrificed, we were playing along
They weren’t satisfied, thy demanded our sons
Art form, transformed by bad blood
Became the platform that fuelled the backdrop
Of the horror and the torture from inter-tribe wars
They sold us as slaves but we went with our song
Padlocked our lips but we still had a voice
Malu to re Jandon, Malu to re Yankee
O fi dun si ni, o di corned beef o!
Who said they taught us democracy?
We had it way back since the Oyo-mesi
The Ayan was the DJ and his talking drums the MC
Along with seven councilors regulating autocracies
Oba to ba buru won ma nsi’gba fun ko lo ku
An empty calabash given as present to tyrants
Implied suicide, the king became his hangman
We also had our own three-tiers of government
The Oba, Olori-Ile, and in the middle the Baale
In Berlin they shared us in absentia
Deliberated our destinies but we were not there
Turned us to colonies, well God forgive them
Superior hominids, the way we view them
Don’t be fooled Sir, all men are equal
Put a cut on any man, what’s d colour of his serum?
The songs of our fathers always had a meaning
Regardless of the side that the crowd was leaning
With our art and our craft, we desired to see Him
We had the ileke in the place of bling-bling
Our forebears break-danced to the beats of bata
But now all we know is “shake it like that”
Whatever in the world happened to our psyche?
Break dance was banned by Raji-Rasaki
They tried to stop a movement in its rapid advances
Hip-hop had re-awakened in the 70’s Bronx
In our boarding school in the ‘80s, the news came to us
Dancing and flashing torches we scratched lockers with coins
To that African generation hip-hop was returned
African hip-hop is restating the obvious
It started from here, throw away your assumptions!
JEFFREY JAIYEOLA aka PLUMLINE
Plumbline (Jaiyeola Jeffrey) is an uncanny blend. Geo scientist, Poet, Songwriter, Author and Hip Hop Rap/Spoken Word artist.... he was born in Lagos Nigeria,in his Lagos Island hometown (he will vehemently oppose you if you declare Lagos a 'No man's land').
As a kid, he was influenced by Local Poets like the late Mamman Vatsa and later on caught up with the works of the Late Ken Saro Wiwa. he also read almost anything he could lay his hands upon, including Yoruba poetry. Shakespare and a host of other poets would later make their mark on his mind. By the time he was in high school, he started writing his own rhymes and short stories which continued till the University. He had a career to pursue, and since no one would understand a Scientist with a passion for the arts, his pieces were only performed during his stints as Comedian/Musical Programme Anchorman.
A long hiatus followed, during which time he obtained a first degree as a Geologist and a Masters in Applied Geophysics.He would later pick up his pen with a passion to make his mark and contribute his own quota.
He performed at the Open Mic session of the last Wordslam 3 and Performs regularly at Spoken Word Events like Anthill 2.0, Chill and Relax, Taruwa and of recent, Bespoke Poetry.
Plumbline was involved in the Poetry For Charity Vol 1 and 2 Project along with other poets, which was compiled by Chiedu Ifeozo. He currently runs a blog called RANTINGS OF THE TALAKAWA, which he describes as Tantrums of the disenchanted.