ABOUT THE POEMS In these poems by the British poet Raficq Abdulla, language works itself up into a giddy conviction, pulsing with the “energee” of the hip-hop that the lyric speaker admires so much. We are drawn in and won over as much by the speaker’s incantatory sound as by the progression of his thought, by the ringing phrases—“the springbok in your soul”, “our country’s deep serendipitee”, “militants/plastered with God”, “the mud of my mind-track”—rippling with alliterative and metaphorical exuberance. Here is a lyric voice that revels in its own “erratic print” (a fine image, incidentally, for the look of poetry on the page).
South African Hip Hop
Hey man what you doing, where’ve you been!