It was July of 2006— I’d taken my first trip to the BIG APPLE. I stayed in the PARAMOUNT HOTEL and all was well with the world, (according to my fantastic TIMES SQUARE view). To make a long story short and get to the point…while I was there, among all of the things I did and all of the monuments I visited, none were as memorable as meeting Fred Brathwaite aka Fab5Freddy. We hit it right off and took a ride in his Mercedes to delve more into what seemed to be a never ending showcase of absolute & relative conversational rhyme…by yours truly of course. Fab was fantastic in encouraging me to do so and at some point during our spontaneous meeting he dropped knowledge on me and informed me of a historical West African Linquistic called: Griot. Griot is the art form of telling stories and/or passing down cultural information IN RHYME.
Had you ever heard of it? I had not.
Thirsty for knowledge —I always am— so at the first free moment I had (post my conversation with F5F) I researched the heck out of the word Griot and how this linguistic thing worked. I, like many African Americans have no clear record of where in Africa our families may have originated – so to be pointed to out of crowd and told that my style of conversation likens to a tribe in W. Africa…I am thrilled.
*´¨) ¸.·* ´¸.·*´¨) ¸.*·*¨) (¸.·´ (¸ .* ¸.·* )´¸.·*´¨) ¸.*·*¨) (¸.·´ (¸ .*
It doesn’t mean that’s where I’m from – nor does it mean that’s where I’m going,
but it’s good to know there’s historical documentation for the form of seeds that I’m sewing.
I’ve been talking in rhyme since my conversational begin.
I remember utilizing the skill & stunning my kin.
I remember my 2nd grade teacher “literally” telling me —
that I was a poetic genius for my versing scheme.
I didn’t know what it meant, but I kept the encouragement in stride
then it all made sense once I met the HIP HOP Statesman Fab 5.
It’s been all good on a daily – I enjoy sharing my comprehended flow
and I’m grateful to know I’m DNA gifted something like a Griotte.
[Griot is the term usually referring to a male story teller – Griotte is the term used for the female counter part]