Tag Archives: Rappers Equal Nerds

“The World We Want” by Sarra Tekola & Renaissance (((Music Video)))

And this is the video that we put together. Initially, it began as a project for a competition at the University of Washington, and although, it will still be submitted, as we began constructing the project we realized the potential for helping to make a real difference. We are both seniors at the UW, both musically inclined, both activists with a heart fro justice and a sustainable planet. Everything just fit together. I am also a photographer, videographer, producer, studio technician, poet, spoken word artist, and so much more. So, in the short time period we had to get this accomplished, I threw everything I had into this with Sarra, including the kitchen sink. It was simultaneously, both the hardest and most rewarding project that I have ever been part of.

Climate Change is all the more pressing at this particular junction in time, in Seattle specifically because Shell Oil is planning to bring a seafaring oil rig through Seattle’s harbor, which will serve as a lay-station as it forges its way to the arctic to drill for oil. If this occurs, then the dreaded two degrees of change the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 360, Rising Tide, and a host of others have been warning about will be crossed. This will doom the planet to catastrophic failure. Hence, the “Draw The Line” logo. We are standing up and yelling NO!!!

We hope that this song and video will cause you to consider what is happening and to foster some creativity on your part to learn more if you are not already hip to the situation.

Peace & Love


Further Readings:

We Have A World to Win written by Jess Spear

Rude Awakening written by Renaissance

The Capitalist Dilemma written by Renaissance

Sweetest Lie

You lied to me

You told me, that it was, just, going to be a ride, on your bike

Now, I am not upset that you lied to me; looking back…

But you still lied to me

If you would have told me then, when it was in the middle of winter, raining, icy-cold and too late to catch a bus home

because we stayed out all night studying,

that I was about to sign up for the love of my life, the greatest partner I would ever have, some of the most emotional fights and passionate nights…


I probably would have run for the hills half-naked and risked the frostbite crossing over Seattle to get home walking for hours in the rain, snow, slush crap that we get here, to get away from your bike

Which was the fastest way home, and I had class the next morning,

Love, terrifies me,

and back then I didn’t what a thing to do with it

Not even a nice little romp in the sheets, with no strings attached

because I am a Pinocchio with big dreams and a heart worn on my sleeves, and strings that reach from my most intimates, dangling behind me, blowing in the wind getting caught in everything I cannot detach my heart from

And I’m sorry, I must be failing as a man, but I just cannot detach my heart from my intimate connection with another human being

There is no, just romping, in the sheets for me

And I had been through the ringer with this whole love thing, had my heart torn out, stomped on and spit on, laughed at, disregarded, burned, pushed aside, forgotten…

And I had failed those who loved me, violated trusts, got too busy in saving the world to remember she needed me too, until she left me because she wasn’t receiving the attention and affection she needed me too

I was not a good lover and love terrified me

More importantly though, I already loved you and did not want to accept that as a reality

But I thought, it’s just a ride on your bike, and its cold outside, shes the homie, my study buddy

Never in a million years would I have ever thought that you were crushing on me

Funny thing is, you were testing me to see if I could check my male privilege, my patriarchal tendencies, and jump on the back of a bike being driven by a woman

Fuck a patriarchy, you are a boss, a king, always have been and always will be

and if men were so good at running things, just because they are men, then why do we have so much Hell in the world today with all its attendant sufferings?

Just saying…

You stuffed this helmet on my head, condensing and smashing all of the ego that surrounds my better nature, which blocks me from the sunlight of the spirit of who I was born to be, and you knocked me back down to size, which is the true definition of humility,

but you were also trying to save my life in the event of the unlikely circumstance of a crash

And as hard as I tried to fight it, not because I was afraid of a woman being in control, but rather, because I was afraid to lose control over my affection for you; I hesitated climbing onto your bike

And you turned around, in that wonderful way you always do, annoyed as shit because I am not moving fast enough for you, unaware of what was really running through my mind at the time

How am I going to hold on to her and not fall madly in love with her?

she will know, and I will be exposed!

And you yelled at me “Get On!”

As I climbed onto your bike and slid into the seat, wrapping my arms around you, all my fear melted away and I realized that there was in place on the world, and no person that I wanted be with more than you in that moment, right there.

Thank you for lying to me, sometimes that’s just what we need to bring us to where we belong

and it brought me to you, MyHeart, I love you.

NIGGER by Renaissance the Poet







The colonizer language that we have imbibed

as if it was a life sustaining nectar

Afraid to, wean ourselves from the poison that is killing us

because we have been fooled and are fooling ourselves into believing that it’s beneficial,

nutritional, contra-positional, infinitesimal in the scope of things

The Pros outweigh the Cons…?

con-artists in sheep’s clothing, parading the homunculus pulling the strings in our brains, weighting our steps with second guesses, misperceptions, allegories, and ill-conceptions, but in vain…

Do we strive for something better, clueless to the range of how damaging the language we use to represent ourselves is to our dignity, self-identity, intrinsically speaking, spiritually seeking, deranged! conceptions of how we came to being and who we hope to be, to become, to arrive

Nigger, as if we arrived, materialized as slaves on plantations contrived for labor

and never existed prior to raising cotton for stock profits in American pockets,

droppin to the ground exhausted, because the master forgot to water the human stock bought on the auction block for cents on the dollar

And this, is what we holler as a greeting!

excuse me…


Cuz, I’d rather be a N I G G A, so I can get drunk and smoke weed all day

It is a natural response to an oppressive situation to assimilate and reclaim the terms of a language used to discriminate and disseminate hatred,

like the word “Gay,” was once used to describe happiness or joy in a situation, but then it

became a derogatory term laced with inflammation and incitation to repressive anger

displacing concentration on the facts at hand

that a label to the soul burns worse than skin to a brand

But the word only had power insofar as those convicted, insisted, complicit in its imposition

buckling under the weight’s transmission, did it have capacity to defame, but

Reclaiming the term robbed it of its power and now it is adorned with praise

Nigger, unfortunately is not a term that can be rephrased in such a way as to liberate its user

To reclaim is to own, and to own a nigger is to be a nigger’s master, a colonizer, and the oppressor


to call oneself a nigger is to be one’s own oppressor, but moreover an overseer whipping our own asses for a master who profits from our disasters

Because a nigger is lazy, licentious, sexually promiscuous, unsound in mind and body, pretentious, unscrupulous, vile, criminally minded, guided by the basest of natures, wild, genetically inferior, paternalism required:

to own the term nigger is to ingest this image, latch it to our sinews, hang it from our bones, as our ancestors hung lynched from branches, and pass it to our lineage because the ideology is a spiritual pestilence to the masses

The antithesis of white, the foil despite the toil of life the cradle of which it all ignites: Black

More Eurocentrically politically correct; African American

But still dislocates us from our historical heritage and infests with hatred for ourselves

As we imbibe the colonizer’s language as our own

But in truth it has no meaning or value to us

Words are just symbols and signs; semiology

vestigial coverings that have nothing to do with our actual identities and reality

Shatter the Stereotypes

After studying ethics and international justice, and conducting research in Greece last summer about immigration I have been thinking a lot about the sentiments, intuitions, and justifications for borders and constricting the movement of people. Now I have friends in Rome, Italy and they report to me many of the same things that I have experienced, observed and studied. That is when it dawned on my that the issue of Feudal Privilege is more than just an American thing. In fact, what I have observed is that the same arguments exist all over the world for constricting the movement of people. What it tends to come down to is fear, which is caused by concern over access to resources.

Scarcity is a thing that is created by those who control the resources we have. It is a fact that there is enough produced on the planet to feed everyone on the planet, but that is not profitable. It is also the case that empires still exist. It is more hidden because states have been replaced by corporations, but the results are the same, people are relegated to inferior positions as a labor force. To maintain the public’s adherence to the arbitrary borders that have been drawn the people have to believe that they will benefit from them; in other words, those within certain borders receive a privilege simply because of where they happen to be born. Then the people who have this privilege seek to protect the rewards that result from it and this is what social scientist would call Inclusive Fitness; i.e., making sure that those who share their genes have what is necessary to promote the flourishing of those genes. What this does is place groups in competition over the access to resources and this competition leads to the formation of Stereotypes.

There is a point in time that in many regions that it may have been necessary to form stereotypes about particular groups that others competed with, simply for survival’s sake. Heuristics is the term that social scientist use to describe the immediate association of something so that the brain can focus on what it needs in order to survive. Stereotypes help this process because it assists in the identification of potential threats and permits immediate response to those threats. The problem is that social conventions, such as stereotypes, have a way of becoming traditions, and traditions tend to outlive their necessity for functioning. Yet, while it may have been the case that there was a time the these stereotypes were necessary, they have now become tradition and have come to cause more harm then good because they have lost their usefulness.

This song addresses the core of those beliefs that persist today, which are based on false perceptions and maintain the feudal privilege wall thus, barring access to resources to others.


We have to smash the Stereotypes

Breaking our ties, and robbing our Rights

Destroying our Lives, Confounded with Lies

Open your Eyes, We have to Devise

A way to Revise, the Power Divides

If no one Abides, and no one Complies

Then the Privilege dies, and we’re up on the Rise

For the Surmise, reject the Lies

Verse One

Slam shut, closed tight,

Kept out, that’s right

Can’t be havin immigrants

Stealin jobs, becoming plights

A tax payer burden

Burning holes up in they pockets

Cuz all of them are jobless

Homeless, robbers

Liars and connivers

Will be Filling up our streets

Our Hospitals are breached

Obamacare defeats

They looking for a hand out

Not to come here and compete

Wanna lay at home and get a check

Having babies, living fat

Using all our resources, not adding to the pot

Invading our culture bringing junk that we will naught

The freedom of association is a right to stop

You from coming in my house, yo, somebody call a cop

Verse Two

It’s the same everywhere you go

Unrestrained, regrettable

People are hated, cuz their rated as detestable

Labeled as the ‘other’ and a ‘foil’ to amenable

Discounted as a human, till you think they are an ‘animal’

This feudal privilege paradox

Boxes I would rather not

Have to shatter from the start

Migration is a normal part

Natural in the truest form

Corrupted from cuneiform

Specialized the labor force

Till work is what they’re bringing home

Stacked against the odds

Now they’re fighting for their jobs

Against those they once called friends

Work drove a wedge; between them

The demon competition, risen

Derision made incisions in them

Hatred spewing venom in’em


Verse Three

The danger is a single story

Robs us all of glory

Paints as the enemy

The phantom of the Tory
Afraid of change

And thus estranged

And campaigns,

A, moratory

To keep at odds

The working class

Surviving in the allegory

By listing our differences

Focusing on pittances

Heightening the instances

We resort to hate

Lashing out with violence

At those who come to make

A new life for themselves

Their family and to break

Away from troubled markets

Hardest fact to harvest here

Is the reason they’re in trouble

Is because they’re labor fare

And are the work force

Producing our food

Can’t let them move and undo

The undue (HARM)

Verse Four

It’s simply not true

That migrants

Are lazy, crime driven individuals

When in truth they are

Some of the hardest working,

Tax paying, community, contributors

And they tend not to benefit

On systems that the rest of us

Take for granted, blasphemous

But that’s the way it is

And to top it all off

They re-invigorate culture

Their constant flux of ideas

Remolds us

But conservative elites

Would have us believe

Without a reprieve that scarcity

Is a thing that we need

as humanity, the vanity

disparaging it is

that falsities and half-truths

found the feudal privilege

Almost There

I was going over my requirements for classes yesterday and I noticed something for the first time, in a way that I have never noticed it before. I am about ten credits away from my Philosophy degree and 12 credits away from my History degree!!!!

I am about to graduate from the University of Washington with my Bachelor’s degree!!!

I will be one of the first in the family I grew up knowing to accomplish this. Graduating is also something I once believed was impossible. For the longest time. Did not think Black men made it through college often. I now know different.

It is amazing what we can accomplish when we put our minds and our bodies to the tasks and stay the course; no matter how unbelievable it seems at first.

“Get to the Truth” by Renaissance the Poet (New Music)


Verse # 1
Why’s it such a mystery? The mister be a fiend.
The man was out for blood but now you’re bleedin at the seams.
Sometimes it’s hard to see but the truth is there to read.
If you dare to look inside a book you can’t avoid the scheme.
Don’t know what they taught you but you know they bound to lock you.
In a cell until they pop you and you’ve given up what I do
Speakin on survival, rival all they propaganda
These Simple Politicians always lackin speech with candor
Never see their motives, Trojans claim a heart of gold
Shouting to the masses but their actions have been sold
To the highest bidder, can we hold them to their word?
Hell no…. cuz that would be absurd!!!
At least from their perspective, only answer to a vote
Democracy, hypocrisy hard it’s to keep afloat
While wading through the lies, so thick you have to choke
Slavery not history, the rope’s around our throat.


Get to the Truth
What they teachin ain’t right
Get to the Truth
Out the Prison of Your mind
Get to the Truth
& Open your third eye
Gettin to the Truth
Only way to beat the lie

Verse # 2
The gravest lie conceived still pervades undefeated
&keeps the people thinking that a drive within is needed
Seeded in for centuries its presence now benign
Cliché in a sense, got us livin by this line
Feelin, peelin back the worth inside the heart of men
Like a fundamental error has been locked within our skin
it’ss been the purview to exploit this ignorance
While we’re strugglin for dollars but we can’t afford our rents
Why can’t you be like Lincoln and make yourself from nothin?-
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and hit the ground runnin
When it’s the American Dream and the America Way
To start from nothing and end gettin paid!!!
But what they don’t tell you, is it ain’t that way
The aristocracy got us a rat in a maze
Based on where you’re born they tell you where you’re goin
Whether be to college or on the block hoein

Get to the Truth
What they teachin ain’t right
Get to the Truth
Out the Prison of Your mind
Get to the Truth
& Open your third eye
Gettin to the Truth
Only way to beat the lie

Verse # 3
They want us to believe, that our voice really matters
But in truth, ya’ll, they want us all scattered
They want us in a frenzy and to fight one another
They want us ignorant to what they’re doin to our brothers
They don’t want us to bind and to build our strength together
What they want, is for us scrounge the gutter
Pessimistic maybe, till you been in the books
And you see stratification and how it really looks
Till you see the way that money begets money
And how tyrants are made by political funding
It’s a conundrum, no wonder, people have given up
Trying to see through the lies when we got to earn a buck
Ain’t left us no time to dig through policy
And understand political posturing
But lies without grounds tend to fall through the cracks
And through the cracks we’ll see the truth at last


Get to the Truth
What they teachin ain’t right
Get to the Truth
Out the Prison of Your mind
Get to the Truth
& Open your third eye
Gettin to the Truth
Only way to beat the lie

Final Exams


Verse 1

Sweatin, trippin, flippin out
cuz the end of the quarter is comin about
been workin hard, been givin my all
but don’t know if I will survive to the Fall
My grades have been slippin I haven’t been getting
all of the rest that I should have been getting
stayin up at nights and writing these papers
skippin my sleep, like tireds a weapon
prepare’n for tests
and must do my best
but snatchin an “A” is about finesse
pages are turnin
under duress
arangin my classes as pieces in chess
algebra’s hard
balls to the walls
equations and fractions that never resolve
this history beast been climbin my back
and fillin my head with these figures and facts
not time to relax or work on my raps
pull out my hair
send up a prayer
run through the halls, like I just do not care
I’m into the red
My teachers are scared
I’ve disappeared, my friends think I’m dead
but I’m into these books
Library nooks
Data Bases and Internet crooks
Doing research
Read till it hurts
distracted by all these girls in their skirts
but this is college
I’m here for the knowledge
Virginia Wolf and Governor Wallace
haji me mashite
maikeru des
uroshiku onegai ishi mas
I’m losing my mind
I’m all out of time
and smellin like funk, cuz I’ve been on the grind
I’ve fallen behind
Papers aren’t done
No! I’m not fine! Can’t walk a straight line
Assignments are due
I know that I’m through
what else can I do
but head into class and do what I do
the best that I can
& just mark them all TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!……………


Verse 2

Final exams, are the part of the plan
when it’s time to prove, that I understand
the books that I’ve read, have to be in my head
to earn the degrees, that I, have declared
but, how to compute
and take to the root
memories that I have stuffed in my boots
and pull them all out
to mark them all down
under the pressure could fail and drown
a quest that besets, even the best
of the students that outshine the rest
text books are written
without any rhythm
no wonder, they are so hard to remember
boring and dry
hard to apply
lacking any appeal to the eye
hard to begin
worse to revisit
who hears students who ask for revision
remember my raps, the lyric syntax
So, I reach in the stack
of books in my pack
searching for lines to turn into raps
the rhymes start droppin off of the page
lines start poppin brand new ways
I’m out of the maze
out of the haze
these words are my own, I’m shocked and amazed
I’m using my brain
what once was a game
has become a tool that will earn me an A
the Gregor Wendells
and Charles Darwins
The Natural Selections, I wrote them all in
I remember the names
I remember the dates
I remember the ways they have led us to change
I’m prepared to test
I am at my best
and because I am ready, I am done with the stress
So, I walk into class
Recalling my raps
It helps to relax, to focus on that
and I have a plan
so, at the exam
Confidence churns to prove that I have
grasped the material
the words and the math
my professors taught me
to ace the exam

“Weapon of Voice” by Renaissance the Poet

Verse 1

The system is a bitch
That’s just the way it is
Well, that’s what they tell me
When they want me reticent
Quite, docile, a drone That’s mindless
Oblivious, inactive, and lost in innocence
But implicit in the message 
is something hideous 
Something quick to miss
But so insidious 
Like a cancer to my soul
And a plague upon my spirit
But their point is screaming loud
if I have the heart to hear it
I’m a threat to their way of life
To cold butter, the hottest knife
A free spirit, an open mind
Not blinded by the media, why
I’m seeing through my third eye
It’s My submission they require
for me to turn a blind eye
To the minarets, obelisks, and spires in the sky
Symbols meant to inspire dominance and power
But they just conceal the deepest lie
Without me they have nothing
Are nothing, Achieve nothing
Because it’s from me 
Which their power derives

Verse 2

What they want is me to stay in school
Go to college, get a job, rack up debt, become a slave, to the money system pyramid, get married, have some kids, drive a car, dependent on their fossil fuels and buy a house falling victim to the money pit.
What I thought was the “American Dream”
turns out, to be just a scheme
The consequence of seeing
What’s between the lines I’m reading
Cuz if I’m focused every minute 
on how to stay afloat
This Detracts attention from the rope I weaving and tying around my throat
Hence, the mindless drone
Too busy to be concerned 
with the fact I’m disillusioned,  uninspired, and being burned
By a system, spiraling, out of control
One that I never consigned, endorsed, or voted for
And all that is required for the system to remain
Just the way it is, 
because that’s the way it is
Is to do the same
& remain reticent 
Silence my objection
To the system and its aim


Verse 3

Cuz they’re placed above women 
Men remain silent
Cuz they’re placed above blacks
Whites remain silent 
Cuz they’re placed above the poor
The Rich remain silent
Cuz they’re placed above indigenous
Industries remain silent
Fabricated divisions 
and social constructions
Designed to justify and motivate fallacious deductions
But reverse the situation and realign the circumstances
With memory of former privileges and find that it enhances
My scope of what is just,  equitable, and fair; this
the Original Position behind the Veil of Ignorance 
If I wouldn’t accept the life of one I consider lesser
Because it is lesser, then how can that life be right?
When that life is constrained to be at its level of plight
By the system, I, remain silent against them
Protecting my position
Like it’s given
Then I deserve blame 
Like the author of this imposition

Verse 4

If the system stays unchecked,
Unquestioned, and erect
Then what I know to be wrong 
Will persist in effect
The 1%,  express will continue to oppress
And dominate the politics 
that got us so repressed
Under this Panopticon
The N.S.A. they got us on
Watch, we the enemy
To suffocate the energy 
who challenge them the effigy
The FEDs’ll be, declaring me, a threat to peace, for speakin FREE
On issues like the New Jim Crow and Climate Change
The Glass Steagall Act
Repealed, the credit runs away
The IPCC warning bout 2° of change 
C’0’2 from Fossil Fuel to environment the bane
Infringements on social justice 
Killing tribes for land
Supplanting rulers in countries
Nicaragua to Iran
No they don’t want me to speak
Or to have an open mind
But I won’t be reticent 
because I was born to rhyme