Jealousy’s a weak emotion.
We change people through conversation, not through censorship.
Only God can judge me so I’m gone, either love me or leave me alone.
A poet’s mission is to make words do more work than they normally do, to make them work on more than one level.
Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow.
Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama’s running so we all can fly.
The art of rap is deceptive. It seems so straightforward and personal and real that people read it completely literally, as raw testimony or autobiography. And sometimes the words we use, nigga, bitch, motherfucker, and the violence of the images overwhelms some listeners. It’s all white noise to them till they hear a bitch or a nigga and then they run off yelling “See!” and feel vindicated in their narrow conception of what the music is about.
Artists can have greater access to reality; they can see patterns and details and connections that other people, distracted by the blur of life, might miss. Just sharing that truth can be a very powerful thing.
This is why we shouldn’t be afraid. There are two possibilities: One is that there’s more to life than the physical life, that our souls “will find an even higher place to dwell” when this life is over. If that’s true, there’s no reason to fear failure or death. The other possibility is that this life is all there is. And if that’s true, then we have to really live it – we have to take it for everything it has and “die enormous” instead of “living dormant,” as I said way back on “Can I Live.” Either way, fear is a waste of time.