Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Master Poet Spotlight: June 2013

Mos Def

Dante Terrell Smith (born December 11, 1973) is an American actor and MC, known by the stage names Mos Def /ˌmsˈdɛf/ and Yasiin Bey /jæˈsnˈb/. He started his hip hop career in a group called Urban Thermo Dynamics, after which he appeared on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. With Talib Kweli, he formed the duo Black Star, which released the album Black Star in 1998. He was a major force in late 1990s underground hip hop while with Rawkus Records. As a solo artist he has released the albums Black on Both Sides in 1999, The New Danger in 2004, True Magic in 2006, and The Ecstatic in 2009.[1]
Editors of ranked him number 24 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007).[2] In 2012, The Source ranked him No. 23 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time.[3] Since the early 2000s, Mos Def's screen work has established him as one of only a handful of rappers who has garnered critical acclaim for his acting work. He is well known for his portrayal of Brother Sam in the American drama series Dexter. Mos Def has also been active in several social and political causes.




Senior Executive Editor's Ink: Eight

By: Isis Spokenpen

Eight is my number it jump starts all things that I am. Black plastic- yellow straw strings stacking high at least three or four. Clothing stuffed and we wait; sunlight turns to darkness and here we still are.
One, two, three and four of my mother’s brothers arrived and we are still waiting. Then he arrives its (1980 something) and yet his afro makes you wonder. Facial hair like a lion causing the little girl in me to always be somewhat marveled by every man I met thereafter with a gold tee; skin brown not like coffee with milk or the shade of brown in a Hershey bar more like the brown found on autumn leaves when falling from the connections of tree branches.
He speaks and no one seems to care what he says and yet I’m confused …..
The domestic trial begins and the table full of cameras on any given day is now turned into the judge’s bench.  The brown man pulls out the evidence…. love letters written from her other lover the jury of kinship has already sentence him and considered him to be guilty.
But no one hears, his track record...
and the crimes of my mother’s father
when my uncles were to weak, to small to protect and defend their sisters back when. 
He accepts defeat and reaches for me
holds my hand and tells me that he will always love me.
I’m ushered out the door into the WHITE MINVAN.
Months later the brown man stands across the street as unwanted stranger and we watch each other from the window.
 Knowing that something is wrong; but nothing is said!!!!!
Eight is my number
it seems to start all things
 that I was, have been and am becoming.