Two Poems: South African Hip Hop and Glottal Stops of Militants

01 August 2013

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!

Raficq Abdulla is a writer, public speaker, and broadcaster on a number of topics including art, sharia or Islamic law, Islam, identity, poetry and spirituality. In 1999, he was awarded an MBE for his interfaith work between Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

Keywords: poetry Islam hip hop religious fundamentalism