The Present is a Gift

By admin

rhymefestjournalfebThe other day I received a MySpace message from a fan informing me that they tattooed four bars from a verse I spit on their arm. The song was “Never Can Say Goodbye” featuring Talib Kweli from the Man in the Mirror dedication album. At first I was flattered that someone would think anything I said was worthy enough to permanently sear into their skin. But then after I read what the actual tattoo was I realized that these words were not mine to own. I consider myself a vehicle to deliver a message. No matter how many records it sold or what radio decides to play it, the delivery must be made. When people give me props on how dope of a lyricist I am I take it in stride and quietly give credit to the creator, God. Nothing pisses me off more then these arrogant, swagger happy, self indulgent rappers who think that they are the actual gift to the people. This attitude is mostly why a lot of them end up financially broken and spiritually depressed in the end. Anyone who possesses the power of words has a duty to wield their weapon with care. For example, if from here on I chose to only rap about how much money I made or how many girls I fucked and what kind of car I’m driving I would be ignoring the reason I was given this opportunity to begin with. Because of how I have used my weapon of words I’ve been blessed to be able to have policy meetings with heads of state, visit Israel in the Palestinian territories, be the only rapper who won a Grammy before their debut album dropped, and most importantly support my family. My label opened a budget for me to make a new album titled, El Che. If I changed the formula of delivering the message (raw and uncut) these opportunities would cease to exist. So to the ten humans who still practice the lost art of what earthling call reading, I leave you this: whether you’re an author, singer, engineer, doctor, etc. realize that your gift is only given to you to share with the world. Once you take credit for it and use it for selfish purposes you have begun the process of your own demise.

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Filed in: Commentary • Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

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Che Smith is a revolutionary artist, writer, and activist. Popularly known as Rhymefest, the South Side Chicago native has been a trailblazer in music, television, and politics.