Journal of Pan African Studies
Guest Editor, Marvin X
New York City
I’m in a world
I’m in a world
of concrete and steel
of mace and riots
of endless talk
of endless plots
of prison politics
of taking orders
of giving orders
of recycled dreams
of letters gone unanswered
of funerals unattended
of no love
of no hope
of no peace!
I’m in a world
where you look through and not at
where you cry on the inside
where you die on the inside
where you take no prisoners
where you are taken prisoner
where time stands still
where time passes by
where you are forgotten
where you are not forgiven
where you lose your mind
where you lose your soul
yet I’m still a man
yet I’m still human
yet I’m a child of God
yet I’m free!
Co-founder of Def Poetry Jam.
Amy ”Aimstar” Andrieux, New York City
Birth of aimstar
you left me..
with unhatched dreams
full of your broken promises
i wanted to burst
sleep for a long time
i even wanted to die
but god, life, and the ancestors wouldn't let me
they had great plans for me
so with bleeding heart & burnt fuses
in awe of our deconsumated union
handslapped bruises was all that was left behind
of this fingerpainted we...
and baby fertilized me
so i walked home separated
my heart with you
and exasperated was i
with trying to force myself to meditate
tweak the trivialities of us fools
so i could possibly move on without u?
and in 4 months due
spirit began to wrestle
cuz home wanted to make me brand new
free from hell on some neverending story type shit
hatched unbroken circles
no more cracked eggshells
and finally met myself in the mirror of unattainable miracles
reflecting thoughts of unmet heroes
i ached for you
and i bellowed...
my heart bellowed
and i gave birth
with my hate subdued.
barely aware of my great victory
my tremendous dream unblurred
fully awake in consciousness
yes, i remembered..
the nostalgia overcame me when i gave birth to she
i remembered breathing.
i remembered life.
i remembered me.
And thank you for leaving.
Having recently left The Source in the summer of 2010, where Amy served as the general manager and executive editor appointed by prominent entertainment attorney and The Source executive publisher L. Londell McMillan, she is currently keeping urban culture alive via her own creative pursuits via AIMSTAR Media (AM), a multi-media and development company she founded in 2004.
Amy was the former managing editor of TRACE Magazine where she spent five years in various capacities. At international lifestyle entity, which housed TRACE TV, and magazines TRACE US, TRACE FRANCE and TRACE UK she oversaw and writing cutting-edge editorial features from fashion, music, travel, lifestyle and politics centered on the global metropolitan tastemaker, for all three editions. At age 26, she became the youngest Publisher in NYC, managing the finance, marketing, and sales departments of the TRACE brand.
As an entertainment journalist, she has interviewed several key figures in the arts including Kobe Bryant, Pharrell Williams, Spike Lee, Snoop Dogg, Outkast, Queen Latifah, T.I., Jesse Jackson, Ice Cube, Jamel Shabazz, Damon Dash, Shepard Fairey, Michael Eric Dyson, Mister Cartoon, Patricia Field, Jonathan Mannion, Raekwon, among others. Her essays have been featured in Transculturalism: How the World is Coming Together (Powerhouse Books, 2003; Ten Years of Trace (Booth Clibborn, 2006); and EyeJammie’s Hip Hop Encyclopedia (MTV
Ramal Lamar, Oakland CA
Ramal Izza Teacha (circa 1994 when I was 15)
i been teachin all my life (RIGHT!)
clear the way my landin zone is at sight.
i been teachin so much i'm like a nuisance,
but its given to you so you can use it,
for the positive, neva eva negative
i'm flyin heads kid, as i freak competitive,
open your ears, so you may listen,
as i teach on the beat with precision.
the mission? for you to be taught,
so knowledge may be given not sought nor fought for-
public storage, stored an informative mental message -
yet all the suckas guessin-
can you question - i think not -
i ink a lot... about topics, let's talk -
now about the fact why you need to be taught -
we illin out now cuz of the weed that he bought
i sought, awareness in self no one else -
so i could come cool with the creepness of a stealth bomber
i'm droppin bombs - words to grandmoms i'll do it-
i'm mindless and only All knew it -
ramal izza teacha - he izza teacha
ramal izza teacha - he'll neva deceive ya
Ramal Lamar is a master of ceremonies in the hip hop tradition. He also teaches mathematics and philosophy in the Bay Area's Afrikan Community. He is a graduate of San Francisco State University and California State University East Bay. He has written reviews, "Journey to the End of Islam" (Micheal Muhammad Knight) and " We Will Return in the Whirlwind" (Muhammed Ahmed) for Black Bird Press News. He is an associate professor at Marvin X’s Academy of the Corner, Oakland, California. Ramal is currently writing his master’s thesis in mathematical logic to pursue doctoral studies..
Tariq Shabazz, Newark NJ
8th Wonder of the world—Mr. Wonderful.
The next time they talk about the Beat dudes
Lennon and ‘em, Paulie Mac and the rest
Just think about Mr. Wonderful our fully expressed selves
The greatest of all time, in a class by himself
Ya’ll know Mr. wonderful will rift right pass those little Brits
With their ok pen and light weight voices, who do you know with a more poetic pen than S.W.?
Seeing the world, his world and our world better than we could ever see it because he’s from Saturn.
He sees things clearly, not blinded by the ugliness of bullshit disguised as material life.
But rather he’s lead by vibration; he feels everyone’s heartbeat and he’s hip to the devil that doesn’t have a heartbeat.
Another realm—vibrant colors translated into life’s song.
Always on point, always current with the power of the ocean.
That must be the reason they don’t mention him as much as the less competent, less conscience, less relevant the lesser – us.
How can you ignore the author of one of the greatest love songs, AS*!
But AS always they will find a way.
Amiri B. put us on to the fact that our beloved Mike Jack was a decoy—content lacking.
But we still see you Stevie Wonder [full]
And we know you see us, easier than we see you.
Much clearer as we say “you feel us”, on another level.
Your connection is much deeper than ours because we rely too much on our eyes, never truly seeing.
Blind to the true facts and beauty of life preoccupied with the superficial.
We do have other brothers that can blow but just when they think they’re getting close you blow right pass them with your consciousness.
Singing in that key no one can get quite right.
Singing that Song in the key of life.
Master of the lyric, constanly doing battle with the track.
You let it get away (at least that’s what we thought)
Its pass you Stevie!
And in a blink of an eye you catch it—rift, blow, and run right pass it
Slow down for it, rift around it, grab and subdue it.
Damn, you mastered the track too
So remember, the next time they pull the Beatles out, throw Stevie on their ass!
Go Album for Album and Track for Track
And the winner will be…
We love you Mr. Wonderful
Born in Newark, NJ raised between Newark and Irvington, NJ. Always loved to write. Three different high schools, no diploma. Gets GED in '98, enlists in the Marine Corps in '99, honorable discharge in '03 as a SGT. After Marine Corps, comes home, falls into the streets. Shot four times in '05. Afterward, realize being a Blackman is better than being a Negro. Start College, gets associates degree. Currently at Montclair State University as a political science major and film minor, graduating in Dec '10. Now--Family, Activism, and School. That's it.
Deadline for submissions, October 15. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. MS word attachment, include bio and pic.