[Kamikaze] Hold The Beef

There is great joy in understanding. Simple communication doesn't get nearly as much hype as it should. Conflict managers through the ages have championed the benefits of true conversation, but in this age of beefs (real or perceived) people have yet to simply talk to one another.

Got a problem with someone? Try talking. Often you'll find that your problem is not really a problem at all.

If you recall back in JFP's Sept. 8 issue, I took to task Santiago's and its entertainment manager Motown Brown. In an article on Aug. 25, Brown had made a few comments about hip-hop with which I took great issue.

Of course, as is my mantra, I responded in kind. I felt I had to give rebuttal and went so far as to say that I didn't feel "welcomed" at the neo-soul club. In my mind, it was a dead issue. I had vanquished yet another enemy of hip-hop.

But there are two sides to every story. It turns out Mr. Brown was taken aback by my aggressive response, and a few in the spoken-word community called for some "get back." Uh oh, here we go ... folks love beef. Conflict and controversy drives America. Why do you think reality TV is so damn popular? Funny thing is, neither I, nor Brown, though we both felt passionately about this issue, took it personal. In fact, there was never any beef.

Kudos go to Brown for reaching out to me last week. I was content in my stubbornness, but in speaking with Motown, I found we had many things in common. Our views were not that different. He was able to express some feelings that he didn't get to in the article, and I was able to actually hear his side. Hell, I even found out that Santiago's actually does play a little hip-hop. Although he doesn't have an affinity for some of the harder stuff that I like to hear in the club, it is a step in the right direction.

And after all the alleged hoopla, I visited Santiago's last Sunday. I was pleasantly pleased at what I saw. I didn't see an elitist group of crunk-bashers as I suspected (there may have been some hidden in the sea of faces). I was enlightened and entertained. What I did see was a blossoming genre that needs our support. Those poets take their craft just as seriously as any artist does their music. Just like rappers and singers, the spoken-word world has its own ghetto superstars, its own veterans and its own new-jacks. Like hip-hop, spoken word has become big business. It has spawned albums, Broadway plays and TV shows. Those poets at Santiago's deserve to capitalize on that popularity.

I've invited Motown, YaYa and several other poets to join us at the next M.A.P. meeting. They realize now that we are not enemies. We are brothers and sisters in the arts, and we need to understand and appreciate each other.

The moral of the story is just talk and then listen. You may actually learn something.

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.

Previous Comments


Hello....Kamikaze! It's Shondra aka Blaque Butterfly reppin' for the Frequency Radio Show! I am responding to your thoughts on communication. I agree wholeheartedly with what you have just expressed. Communication is key to any successful relationship. Be it, personal, business, etc. It's important to express yourself and do so effectively. The cause of poor communication in my opinion are poor listening skills. Everyone wants to get their point across or be heard, but no one takes time to listen. I think from this comes the "BEEF". No one has been validated, so, their like, Hey! I'm going to get my point across in some way. As we know in some cases this has been fatal. So, everyone please take a little time to listen to each other and don't be so caught up in your own thoughts and opinions. I promise it will make the communication process much easier. Only then, will it actually be COMMUNICATION and not a BATTLE or DEBATE. Stay Strong, Stay Focused, Stay Positive!

blaque butterfly


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