One of the highlights of the Orff Miniconference retreat a couple of weeks back was a Saturday night jam session. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a group spontaneously perform the motions and text to “Lemonade Crunchy Ice” or “One Potato Two Potato” over a kickin’ live James Brown tune! At one point, I grabbed a mike and started freestyle rapping rhymed couplets about the people dancing. After it was over, someone told me that I could have a new career ahead of me—enter Dougie Fresh II!
Well, I can hear my daughters laughing all the way from Argentina and Washington DC and they’re right. I haven’t paid my dues at the altar of hip-hop and though I’m a decent rhymer, my style and accent and body language is just all wrong for the style. Plus, it’s one thing to rap two lines at a time, but my mind is just too old and worn out for a continuous freestyle rap flow.
But I don’t let that stop me. Still trying to process the deep hurt hinted at in these Blogs through the transformative power of art, I wrote the following. Note that the first line comes from some old rap song whose title I don’t know (read it in a book somewhere) and the “Be who you are, say what you feel, those who mind don't matter, those who matter don't mind” quote is from Dr. Seuss, brought to my attention by colleague James who did it (in non-rap style) with the 2nd graders.
If any of you young rappers out there make a hit out of it, be sure to cut me in on some royalties. Now crank up the beat-box and here we go!: (Don’t read it—say it out loud!)
I said it, I meant it, I'm here to represent it!
You can spin it, you can bend it, you can
Say that you resent it.
I present it, and defend it,
Though later might amend it.
Don't fend it off, don't vend it,
Don't shut it down or end it.
Befriend it or spend it
On Facebook you can send it.
Because I said it, I meant it,
I'm here to represent it.
You got to say what you mean, you got to mean what you say,
You got to stand by tomorrow, what you say today.
You got to mean what you say, you got to say what you mean.
You got to get dirty before you get clean.
You got to be who you are, you got to say what you feel
‘Cause truth is more important than your next Happy Meal
You got to say what you feel, you got to be who you are
Don't settle for the middle, you got to raise up your own bar.
‘Cause those who mind don't matter, those who matter don't mind,
If you sell out to the devil, it's your soul you got to find.
Those who matter don't mind, those who mind don't matter
So step up to the plate and be your number one batter.
So dance it in your body and speak it with your words
Feel it in your heart and sing it with the birds.
Stand by your actions and live your whole life
Aim it all toward harmony, but don't back down from strife.
When your earthly days are over, it's time to call it quits,
Say, "I said it! I meant it! I was here to represent it!"