“Are you gonna speak about me the whole time, or would you like to speak with me?” I had to ask. Men have the tendency to talk about women as if they’re not in the room. Women have a tendency to respond. Not that I was particularly interested in this fella or his friend, but I can only take but so much silent laughter through my iTunes. I’ve got to know the joke, please.
     “I was telling him I’m not dressed to talk to you,” he’d said, his humility holding him hostage. 

    “You’re not confident. That’s why you can’t talk to me,” I corrected him. “What you have on shouldn’t matter,” I added. “And if that’s the type of girl you’re looking for, you’re gonna fuck yourself over.”  He was 22 years old, thumbing through a beat up blackberry laying on his sweat pants… but he was a sweetheart. 
           It’s a shame we’re so focused on outfits.  & I have a problem with being too honest. Sometimes, I feel like I should have a time limit for how long I can be in public. I had the pleasure of attending Street Poets NYC‘s monthly session on Friday and made a fabulous fool of myself. I bullied my way to getting time to read a second piece –which after I did, I realized was rude –but everyone else had done multiple pieces and since I stand so small, people think they can walk all over me. But if it’s me, you’ve got the wrong one. If you’d like to see a real life boss in person, email INFO@JWWWD.com and I’ll make sure we set up a time to meet. You see, I’m alone so often & concern myself all day with calling all the shots, that I get in public and really call all the shots. I can’t turn it off. I just prepare myself for crisis management. My fear in in offending people, but my greater fear is in pretending like I give a f*ck. Ain’t nobody doing anything anyway. *shrugs* I showed up in a “Make My Day, Leave Me Alone” T-Shirt understanding that every fiber of my body was going to be judged in there no matter how much love was in the room –as is life, actually. And the more of yourself you put forward, the more ammo they have. And…I’m a lot of f*ckin person. It took me forever to get dressed –I wanted to make sure I looked “fuck it” enough. Before I read my pieces to the people, I explained my outfit & everything… It takes a whole lot more time to not give a f*ck that one thinks. I just make it look easy. I wanted them to know I was human, too.

           Life has become far too much of a performance. From Nicki’s pink bob to Gaga’s blonde barbarism to Azelia’s Disney perversion of hip hop or (the exact opposite) Azelea’s Australia rendition of an American art — is who we are about who we are or about the outfit we put on? Are we defining ourselves or are we defining the boxes we’re putting ourselves in? Is that really the position you’re supposed to be or are you just covering the opening?

            I found poetry my freshman year in highschool. I’m a diary freak, so I’m certain prose was my home before I began chopping up my lines and adding rhyme. As I’ve dabbled a bit more in wordplay, I’ve been able to construct my words fluidly despite structure. That structure, though, is sometimes more of a guide than I’d been willing to accept in my past. “Free Verse” was what I called all my poetry. I refused to measure my stanzas or write in a form named after another poet. I’ve always taken full ownership over my art.  Recently, though, I’ve been dabbling in music and trying to understand the link between the said and the heard because something is happening where, from time to time,  that link fails.  When I was 15, I opened for my first feature at a downtown café. Something about domestic violence and my friend had just so happened to have been in a relationship I didn’t quite fancy, so the event was appropriate. It was also appropriate that I had only gotten the spot because I’d won 2nd place at a statewide contest. The girl who won over me won because –it’s taken me years to say this openly and without added fluff–she was prettier than me. I knew it then (like I know it now) that all that matters is what a woman looks like. That’s why my friend’s boyfriend had no trouble pushing her down stairs later on. She was barely human. I was in Baltimore.  And  love is blind. It was also appropriate she would tend to forget the occurrence ever took place soon as she got lonely. 
          I quit poetry as soon as I finished my senior English project on it: to write a poetry book. The project was actually to “publish” it, but little black kids in all-white schools rarely meet the assignment 100% but pass with flying colors anyhow because we have to put in extra work in hope no one will notice the obvious lack of finances –but it’s like it’s written on our skin. Additionally, I detest assignments. I don’t like to be told what to do. Not in the least. Forcing me to write that book in a defined period of time ruined the experience of the art for me. What I loved was to write, not to publish books. On top of it all, I got over my “culture shock” at a very young age. I willingly submitted my art to classrooms full of sheltered children before the infiltration of Lil Wayne. Luckily, I started writing in the days when Hip-Hop was still black. Eminem was crushin boards but still facing opposition. As soon as the discussion of my pieces drifted into “it sound really… like… hip-hop, ya know?” I’d close my notebook and look out the window. I appreciated the audience, but they had no fucking clue what I was talking about. All they knew was that there was secret power hidden beneath my words and the beauty of it scared them. It scared me, too. 
        I also had no poetry to offer my dead brother. All I knew is that Reasonable Doubt needed to be playing. That was my only responsibility. While my mother and my sister handled the funeral arrangements, I went to work to pick up my check. I had to make copies of his pictures to hang on some fuckin poster like he was a science experiment and the way people walked into the room and looked at the casket, you’d think he was. Or a magic trick, at the least. He’d suffered major trauma when his body broke through the windshield and hung from that tree. Believe me, young boys, those push-ups won’t do a fuckin thing for ya.  The body feels even after you’re gone. The mortician had opened the casket for us to decide. All the make-up in the world wouldn’t have hidden the evidence of his broken heart. Whatever had been inside of him was trying to break through and out. The round face of my saviour was inflated twice it’s size and I just hoped that whatever was trying to get out and whereever it needed to go, it would find it’s way there and peacefully. 
         You might not get everything you wish for, but some of it, sure. Why not? Besides the two-headed dogs and the fire pit boiling beneath us, God’s a pretty good guy. I spent as much of my childhood as I could imitating my brother. I liked what he liked. Ate what he ate. Watched what he watched. Listened to what he listened to. One could say I was simply obsessed as any little sister would be, but I never made the effort. As much as my brother and I bumped heads, I loved nothing more than to be in his presence. And, 11 years my elder, he had first calls on everything –what my mom cooked, what music was played, what TV channel was on. He was the oldest. He was the boss. That meant steak, Jay-Z and any mobster movie. Sometimes, if he’d have the music blasting too loud, I’d catch a glimpse of my superhero mid-performance to whatever his heart desired. My favorite performance of all time? Cypress Hill’s Insane in the Membrane.  I might have only been 5, but I loved it to the depths of me & remember it clearly. My brother loved music. But My brother loved hip-hop. And I loved him. Now it’s all the same.  
         I  actually do think everybody is wack. It’s the real reason I don’t f*ck with too many people. People don’t have anything to offer, and even when they do, it’s not genuine. No one loves anything anymore. Everything is for the money. I understand doing what you love and getting all the money you can. I understand the importance of money. I understand what it can do, especially for those who don’t have. But nothing, and I mean nothing combats truly loving something. That’s what I liked about Hollywood the most; His pure enjoyment. If you’ve got a bible, break it out now so I can tell you I’ve met very few people who love anything as genuinely as H loves to rhyme. That’s why I fucks with him. You know how I feel, people should be doing what they love and only what they love.

       I interviewed H yesterday. (Working on that post now, it’ll  be up soon. This is the time it blows to have a MAC and not a PC.) I am so happy with the outcome. I feel like he was… comfortable and that was my main goal. I interview because… I know how. But, my goal is to cut out all the phony bullshit. To get into real conversation. & to avoid drama. I want people to be able to say what they need to say. What they want to say. I don’t want to put words into anyones mouth nor dig for topics to cause controversy for a little bit of excitement. I want to us to learn to appreciate people as individuals and see the beauty in each of them. It ain’t all about beef out here. We’ve gotta give people more credit. Some people are brilliant and  simply need the venue and opportunity to say what they feel needs to be said. Quite honestly,  H is my first official interview (although, there shall be a part two when he’s finished with HBO vol. 1) as he was my first official review. You see, when someone gives you all of themselves, it’s easy to support them –you can have faith that your faith isn’t in vain (which is why I never got fully on #TeamLebron but congrats to him). I’ve had conversations with other people, but it just seems like so many people are walking around doing what they think they should be doing as opposed to what they want  to be doing. Whole time forgetting that the corazón is what brings you home. When people love what they love it makes me love what they love. It’s easier to work when it’s all love.

          You should give all of yourself to your craft. 1000%. That’s the only way to do as best as you can. And very honestly, I love this blog shit a lot more than the poetry. Maybe. I don’t know. I like anything that has anything to do with words. I’ll write anything. Anything. If I can’t have anything else in this world, Just give me a pencils and paper. I’ll write anything.  I like rhyming because it’s fun. But with this blog –with prose– words get to flow quite literally. I escape confines here. It’s my sanctuary. I have no time limits nor obligations. Whenever you stop reading, I really don’t give a fuck. This space is for me. I really do love this shit. I think rhyming is fun, though. always have. Every once in a while, I got up the nerve to read/perform for a loving crowd or (more rarely) for one or two smooth bars in cyphers but… being a female is tough. Most times, we’re neither expected to nor allowed to say much. For me though, most people I’ve witnessed were too weak to stress myself to impress. & I was young, I still am. It’s women who have things to say, not girls. I’m learning. I’m working. If I’m going to stress out to be in a cypher, it’s going to be when I’m ready for it. As a female, it’s twice as hard to prove your intelligence and aptitude to men. They test you just to see if you can take it. If you can hang. If you can be one of them. & that’s the difference. In order to rhyme the way it should be done, you’ve got to let go of all the silly shit. Too many females (and now it’s drifting over to the men, but I suppose it always has) put on outfits and create a persona they’ll think will sell. The lose themselves and stop paying attention to what they’re saying and are only concerned about what they look like. So… I never really rhymed like that. I don’t really like to be watched. I’m too me. I’m not sure if the world can take it. For that reason, I’ve spent the past years laying my scribe peacefully within the lines of the dozens of notebooks I keep stashed any place I call home.

        More than anything (corny as you want to call it and I couldn’t give a fuck less) I love hip-hop for what it is. It raised me. When I no longer had my brother, that’s all I had. In far too many levels for me to explain in detail here, but in 06, the year my brother passed, Jay dropped Kingdom Come and “came out of retirement”. Blasphemous as it might be, I was restored. But the Hip-Hop, in it’s truth –its roots — is passionate and brutal. It’s honest. It’s nothing but feelings. Its cathartic. It’s rebellious and uplifting. And it’s taxing. Hip-Hop expects the whole you from you. The genre puts you to a test. Are you real or what? Can you take it? Nicki Minaj refused Summer Jam’s stage and Azelea Banks is officially “not a rapper” and has, as BET put it, quit Hip-Hop. I’ve never been so ashamed to part of a group of people less willing to be themselves. So here is where I come in: Super Ella. No one wants Hip-Hop anymore? Once they’ve got what they need from you, they’ll kill you and leave you for dead.

Don’t trust anyone. Everybody’s a fuckin phony.  

        So with the videos/songs thing… fuck it. *shrugs*  
I’m Ella4Presidents and I don’t give a fuck. 

      If you enjoy me, you enjoy me. If not, fuck it. Twice. The thing is, I enjoy it. & recording myself helps me memorize. And allows me to hear myself. It’s weird hearing what you sound like. Even more bizarre trying to adjust that. Part of me wishes I could just know how to play this damned guitar and rock out 24/7. I wish people would enjoy me that much. That I could sit in a room and jam & they’d just be happy to be in that room with me & my art… there it is. That’s the truth. Allowing yourself to be yourself –and understanding the value of that– is the only way to find it.  Say what your heart feels. Trust yourself. You shouldn’t say anything you don’t believe 1000%, anyhow. We should hold more people accountable for the things that come out of their mouths. Perhaps that would filter some of the bullshit out of this world. Perhaps. 
Nos Vemos,