Harvard University has always been in the forefront on the cultural force of hip hop.  From Its humble beginnings on the streets of New York City it traveled north to Harvard campus in the 80’s where people like Johnathan Shecter got a hold of it with some of his best friends and hip hop advocates to create magazines like The Source.  Even President Obama while at Harvard was well known to hang in the tight circles of hip hop fiends and intellectuals around the halls at one of Americas most prestigious schools.   There have been various papers, speakers, and studies that have come from Harvard over the span of 3 decades that have been devoted to hip hop.  I have read, watched, and studied as many as I could.  But this video was brought to my attention by one of the great hip hop advocates this world has seen and it actually got me emotional.  I’m not sure what exactly it is about it, and I don’t have a great rationalization as to why, but there is something about this that made me feel proud; proud to be a fan of The Roots, proud to be a fan of Black Thought, proud to be a hip hop fan, and damn proud to be a writer.

The English language is amazing.  I have studied it for as long as I can remember.  But I’ll be damned if there is anybody out there that seems to understand this language as much as Tariq Trotter.  I am astounded, humbled, and even frightened by how easily he sways from phrase to phrase, how tranquil he seems to be while doing it, and how powerful his mind is.

This may be poetry at its best, the best we have seen in a long, long time.

 

Not familiar with The Roots?

What’s wrong with you, man?

The image of Tariq Trotter was borrowed from here.  

 

Anthony N. White is a writer currently living in Rochester, NY.

He can be heckled on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @Ruthieshusband

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