"What exactly do they mean by ...a poem or short prose inspired by any aspect of hip hop culture...?" I hear you ask, Well, I got you. Here are some fine examples...
#1 - For Mos Def, by Theresa Lola
So, first up, this, a classic lyric poem and in many ways, an Ode to Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, one of the greatest rappers alive. This is a haunting, beautiful meditation on the difficulties of maintaining artistic integrity in the shark infested waters of rap.
Theresa's song choices on the night were:
Mos Def - The Boogie Man Song.
Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop.
#2 - Jessica, by Steven Camden
At R.A.P Party hq, we are huge massive fans of narrative none-fiction. Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Goal is in this form and the epic Black Ice and Rain by Michael Donaghy is worth listening to. Many rap songs also tell incredible stories, Kick Push by Lupe Fiasco, I used to Love her by Common are notables, and this long piece by Steven Camden does very similar things... and the ending, where he discusses elements of rhyming style... is where it goes meta.
Steven's song choices on the night were:
Souls of Mischief - 93’ Til Infinity.
Redhead Kingpin - Do The Right Thing
#3 - Directions, by Inua Ellams
Hip Hop is music of the city. The rules and regulations that govern our journeys through urban spaces are echoed in the rules and regulations the govern music structure. Finding a path through the city is equivalent to finding equilibrium whilst rhyming on tracks... this poem is about that.
Inua's song choices on the night were:
Jay Z - New York State of Mind.
Arrested Development - Everyday People.
#4- Hip Hop Salvation, By Keith Jarret
This is a memoir, Keith reminisces of his youth, crossing rap french lessons, teachings from his Pentecostal Sunday and references to Redman and Foxy Brown.
Keith's song choices on the night were:
Chance The Rapper - Blessings
Busta Rhymes - Whoo Ha!