First off let me say that anything that triggers the urge in me to write a proper blog post must really be something. And this post is way overdue…
This isn’t a review so I’ll just jump right to it. Identity is a single recently released by poet (among many other things) KingLeonidas under local label Kindred Republic about the identity crisis that plagues many Guyanese- confusion about culture; confusion about blackness. Before you go on reading you can have a listen to the single here.
And now…my reaction to the single in sequence:
1. Indifference – I didn’t know what to expect so I wasn’t optimistic but neither was I anticipating something that was outright horrible. I know he does good work but I can be a tough egg to crack.
2. Interest – He’s talking about things I’ve pondered over…He’s pretty much speaking my mind right now…
3. The ‘eh’ moment – This was the exact moment it occurred to me that…this guy is speaking in a Trini accent. Hol’ on now…
4. Anger – You’re talking about Identity crisis and speaking in a Trini accent. Are you kidding me?
5. Seething anger – REALLY WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON I EXPECTED BETTER FROM YOU!
[Aside] Now a lot of people might assume that at this point I’d figure out that that was the point right? That I’d recognise the irony in the situation from the get-go right? Wrong. Wrong because I’ve heard it time and time again. Poets, musicians, tv personalities all lose their sense of identity at the first opportunity. They’re Guyanese before the camera starts rolling and every other Nationality under the sun as soon as a mic is shoved in their faces. So yes, I do believe I had a legitimate reason to be taken aback.
6. The ‘I just had water thrown in my face I feel like such an idiot’ moment – Right at about 2:06.
7. Euphoria – OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I’M IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!
I completely lost it! I mean, I was beside myself with excitement. For one, someone else was finally saying what I’ve been preaching all this time. And two, this guy took what I’ve been struggling to conceptualise for months and condensed it into 2 minutes and 35 seconds of PURE GENIUS! On the first try! And it was better than anything I would have ever written! I felt like someone had just lit a fire in me or something, nothing has sparked this much excitement in me in a long time. And let me just say- it was a long time comin’! So the big question is, if this poem is so amazing then why do I hate it so much? One very shallow reason of course…only because I didn’t write it first.