Freestyle and Building the Future

Hip Hop Architecture Camp

I argued back at the end of June that LIFE IS A FREESTYLE was not just a tagline, but was the name for a serious and detailed conceptual metaphor. Also, I gave some examples of how it can help people understand and live life better. A freestyler is aware to context, reading the room and responding to others, and someone who lives life according to this metaphor will be. A freestyler is able to deal with it when the beat changes, and someone who lives life according to this metaphor will be able to do so, too. This is not just an offhand and trivial idea. It means that when the context and the “beat” (rhythms of life) change radically because of something like the COVID-19 pandemic, a person able to freestyle, and able to apply that skill to life, will be better able to adapt and keep up a positive flow. In a situation like this, the metaphor provides more than the common idea LIFE IS A JOURNEY does. Being able to freestyle as you live your life can mean the difference between personal happiness and progress on the one hand, or stagnation and “choking” on the other.

But let’s consider what that means on a grander scale, beyond an individual life. Can freestyle, and this metaphor, help us deal with 400 years of racial catastrophe in the United States and a president who refuses to clearly denounce white supremacy? With climate change and a president who has decided to withdraw from a major agreement to work against it? With a possible constitutional crisis if a leader of a major democracy refuses to give up power, even if defeated in an election? In other words, is LIFE IS A FREESTYLE just an individual coping strategy, or can it actually help us confront major issues in life and work toward a better future?

There are two answers to this, as I see it.

First, even if LIFE IS A FREESTYLE does just add to our capabilities to deal with crises on an individual, family, and work level, as when COVID-19 disrupts our contexts and rhythms, that can still be pretty important. It can be a very useful complement to other metaphors. We use several conceptual metaphors together to understand very challenging target domains, such as LIFE. So we could bring in LIFE IS A FREESTYLE to give us some perspective that LIFE IS A JOURNEY or LIFE IS AN UNWRITTEN BOOK doesn’t offer. Those metaphors don’t highlight social context or the rhythms and cycles of life in the same way and may not be able to offer us the same personal help.

Second, it seems like there is more to LIFE IS A FREESTYLE. We can, if we choose, freestyle (in the “off the top” sense) as a way of beginning to compose verses. We can use a freestyle (in the sense of “goes all over the place”) as a way of exploring metaphor, allusion, and the musicality of language. We can learn from what we freestyle rather than just letting it be something in the moment. Eventually, we can build on that. If we think that LIFE IS DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, or maybe LIFE IS COLLABORATIVE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, we can think of freestyle as a way to perform brainstorming, to intensely generate ideas. This process in design and architecture is called a charette, as was discussed by Mike Ford of Hip Hop Architecture in a recent Freestyle Friday.

The brainstorming is only part of the process of design. In creative writing terms, you follow a cycle (as Mike Sharples describes it) that goes through “engagement” and “reflection” repeatedly. First brainstorm, then be critical and revise and pare down, and then do it again and again. Wash, rinse, and repeat. In this way, you can use the freestyling process to develop something organized, honed, and highly effective.

To deal with the all the challenges of life today—not just the disruption of the pandemic, but also racial injustice, climate change, even the potential crumbling of democracy—we need to do more than freestyle a response and freestyle our way through life. We need to organize. We need to design solutions. We need to strategize beyond the next bar. LIFE IS A FREESTYLE is not the one absolute ruler of our concepts, some sort of dictator metaphor. It’s a contributor to the community of thought, one that can be useful if it’s taken seriously. It works alongside other metaphors that also have their uses and that highlight other important things about life.

[Photo of Hip Hop Architecture Camp by Urban Arts Collective, thank you!]

Happy To Be Nappy

My hair is nappy, yeah, my hair is free/
I’m super proud of how it grows up out of me/
A lot of people, yeah, they wanna hate/
‘Cause they don’t know that nappy is what makes me great/

You see to tame out my crown, would be like taking it down/
So while I’m making these rounds, no need for sating these clowns/

I can construct it, yeah, in many shapes/
Although sometimes I got them beadies in my nape/
They’re my antennas, yeah, they’re my transistors/
Just like my brother’s and my sister’s and resistors/

People forget that DNA is curled up just like these coils/
The N-A-P’s of the OG’s are much more precious than oils/

They mine for mine, yeah, that melanation/
A pharmaceutical could never be replacement/
That’s why I’m happy, yep, just to be me/
My hair is nappy, yeah, my hair is free

Every hair that grows out of my head seemingly has a freestyle story of its own to tell. Some don’t live to tell their stories because of inevitable uprootings while detangling, some because of breakage. Some are WAY straighter than you would expect based on their direct neighbors. One day, some traitors will decide to change colors on me in my sleep (let’s hope that day is far away, although I know there’s one or two alien gentrifiers — greys — gathering intel up there right now).

The point is that the anti-gravitational, non-deterministic behavior of my hair (individually and collectively) exudes freestyle. Yours too, even if it’s not tightly coiled like mine. Looking at hair, and how it flows or bounces, sways or droops, rustles or silently wisps through the air, one can see evidence of life. The actual cross-section of a hair is fascinating if you’ve never seen one. It looks like a kaleidoscope image, and somewhat unlike most cells in the body. To imagine that each hair is just a physical kaleidoscope image projected into 3-dimensional space is a fun mental exercise.

The foundational structure from which freestyle expresses is always perceivable, even if it must be microscopic (or macroscopic). We just have to be able to understand that the output has just as much tacit structure built into it to make it all make sense. Coils exist in nature; it’s not as though my hair makes a bunch of right-angle turns, although I’d like to imagine there’s some dimension of reality where that is a thing and those folks have awesome styles.

So the output is understandable in naturalistic terms. Maybe it doesn’t always make *sense* but there’s rhyme and reason hidden in the unknown when you really bring out the magnifying glass and the sleuth getup. Locs? Sure. Or just a poof of magic; that works too! However you slice it, just don’t slice it off.

Tearing the colonialism out of my psyche to love the way my hair naturally grows, and seeing what kind of experiments I can do with it when I have space to freestyle it, is such a liberating experience that many people will never get to have. This is why I’m happy about it: because Joy can be gleaned from unlikely sources. And some of us have a duffel bag full of joy to discover once we decolonize our minds and set ourselves free.

Negative freestyling

In a recent Freestyle Friday with Dr. Fox Harrell, he made a mention of “negative freestyling”. I thought was interesting because we tend to look at freestyling as a positive experience. How could you not? Freestyle rapping is speaking, adding words to time, and at its best it makes someone feel better: either the freestyler gets a sense of accomplishment, or the listener gets a sense of joy. Additionally, the terminology that is closely associated with “freestyle” tends to have positive valence (i.e. “flow”, “free”, “rhythm”, “circle”, “creativity”, “feel”). Of course, there are freestyle battles, which can be negative depending on the seriousness of the competition, but they often take on the spirit of any other game, and are usually positive experiences. So while to “speak negatively” of something or someone is not a foreign to most of us, to “freestyle negatively” is somewhat an intriguing concept.

I interpret this in two ways. First, and perhaps more obviously, it may be simply what “negative” suggests: to take away. In the same way that freestyling is viewed as creation, negative freestyling is destruction. Dr. Harrell discussed freestyling in the context of “building culture” — adding something valuable to some community. So negative freestyling must be taking something away from that culture, or destroying it. Cancer, for example, may be a form of negative freestyle. But in the context of human activity, I would argue it’s far easier to destroy things than to create them, and in many cases it takes almost no conscious effort to do so. So this is not a fitting interpretation for me, because I feel that a critical element to human freestyling is to make order out of disorder, and requires some level of conscious effort. Perhaps this is a circular argument, and requires more thought, but it is difficult to place freestyling and negativity into the same (human) space.

My second interpretation relates to the saying “addition by subtraction,” and can imply a gain in knowledge by removing things that hide relevant information. When we dissect something, we remove pieces of an object to further understand how that object works as a whole. A sculptor may chisel away at a boulder to reveal some truth underneath. In another part of the interview, Dr. Harrell discusses “phantasms”, which he defines as blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination (an example may be a sense of self). Phantasms are a strong influence on our everyday experiences and often go unnoticed, but art can reveal them. Phantasms can be taken apart, broken down, and dissected through mathematical subtraction (i.e. trying to understand my sense of self by looking at its cultural and sensorial components separately); or they can be built upon, expanded, and augmented through mathematical addition (i.e. trying to understand my sense of self by adding a novel component). Negative freestyling in this sense would result in a positive gain in knowledge.

Check out Dr. Harrell’s Freestyle Friday interview posted to our videos and see what you think.


frozen flower

We’ve had a couple blog posts on LIFE IS A FREESTYLE in which water is a central focus. No doubt, a quick Google search suggests WATER IS LIFE is a well-known metaphor. Living things literally need water to survive, so we often personify it as life-giving: EVENTS ARE ACTIONS, so it can be that RAIN IS A BLESSING, and the opposite, DROUGHT IS A PUNISHMENT. Too much water, however, can actually be harmful (floods, drowning, mold?). So too much life can be harmful? Maybe it’s a statement on the downsides of immortality… When we say it’s “smooth sailing”, we suggest WAVES ARE OBSTACLES and life is agreeable. Likewise, “rough seas” means life is tough, and the waves have been difficult to navigate. We give water emotions here, for example, “the seas are angry”.

One thing I just realized is that we seem to only accept WATER IS LIFE when it’s in its liquid form. Certainly, when we say LIFE IS A FREESTYLE, it’s not too difficult to incorporate liquid water into that metaphor: “flow” is frequently used to describe one’s lyrical delivery, and liquid water flows. But depending on your latitude on Earth, water spends a significant amount of time as a solid. I live in Wisconsin, and life doesn’t stop when winter starts creeping up in September. So in the context of LIFE IS A FREESTYLE and WATER IS LIFE, what slot does frozen water fill in those mappings?

One role I see is protection: FROZEN WATER IS A SHIELD. Frozen water floats, and in rivers and lakes it can serve to insulate the life below from the harsher conditions above. The same goes for trees, and often gardeners or those with fruit trees will intentionally spray them with water just before temperatures drop so their trees will freeze, locking in heat and protecting everything beneath. 

Frozen water is still, and stillness isn’t an attribute that is usually assigned to a freestyle, but what about pauses? What is going on when you pause in a freestyle? Gathering your thoughts? Reading a room? Adjusting to a change in the beat? That stillness, that pause may offer a temporary respite from external changing conditions, and actually help to preserve the life of your freestyle. Or to link back to a previous post discussing 2 forms of thought, perhaps one of those relates to liquid water, one to frozen water? In this case, frozen water isn’t so much a pause, but more so the “focused mode” which operates on top of the “diffuse mode” flowing below.


In my community, the words ‘beautiful accident’ are referenced quite often. It always resonated with me at a deeper level than I felt like it should. A beautiful accident is something magnificent and ideal, and is derived unexpectedly in an area of focus. I’ve always held this silent belief that I produce some of my best material from these ‘accidents,’ but most of the time, I’m too wrapped up in a subject or way of thinking. I get caught up in the smallest details, only to feel defeated by my attempt to focus. Then, when I feel like I need to take a break from the task at hand, a new idea appears. Often times, when I’m not trying, something great happens. As amazing as it feels, it’s extremely hard to fathom the idea of not trying as a means of productivity. It feels lazy to not try. Though, that might not truly be the case.

I was so perturbed by this reasoning that I decided to take a class about thinking. This is when I learned of two methods of thinking, both of which felt very familiar. Focused Mode and Diffuse Mode. Most people know what it means to be focused but diffuse was new to me. In a Medium article about Diffused Mode vs Focused Mode, it explains that “Diffuse thinking happens when you let your mind wander freely, making connections at random. The diffuse mode of thinking does not happen in any one area of the brain, but rather all over.” Diffuse, to me, is like freestyle. The freedom in this way of thinking can certainly enhance creativity, in turn, improving the quality of metaphor which is largely about making ideas connect in unique ways.

Though I am still in the process of learning to increase my efficiency as a creative, I can now approach certain tasks with a little more understanding and intentionality. Hopefully, this information will do the same for you.


An Analysis Of The Concept Of Freedom & Its Usage In Black Thought`s 2017 Funkmaster Flex Freestyle

free·dom /ˈfrēdəm/ noun

The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

Constraints & barriers take many forms when working to identify where flexibility is/isn’t present in any given situation. More of than not, we find ourselves considering as many options as possible to not only maximize our return, but optimize the experience towards the return as well. All of this micro-calibration finds itself at home in the minds of those whom welcome dynamism with open arms whilst understanding the risks associated with falling short of the preset expectation.

A premiere example of this concept is characterized by the Recording Artist, Performing Artist, Poet, Author, & Activist Tariq Trotter, more notably Black Thought. There are dozens of excerpts that display Trotters’ will power & resolve to utilize the constraints presented to his advantage. It is in these excerpts where a deeper meaning can be extracted, reviewed, & processed in order to reach for a heightened perspective towards the approach being taken. In this post, I intend to touch on Trotters’ 10 minute 2017 Funkmaster Flex Freestyle & the ironic usage of the word “free” only once throughout the entire presentation.

“I’m not crawlin’, I’m a free man like Morgan, seeing manhood in the hood is a damn good bargain”

Whilst being mesmerized by the sheer capability of ones mind to execute such a display of skill, 8:05 seconds timestamp the first (& only) use of the word “free”. Not only is the explicit use of the word within the context of the high-level presentation make it interesting, but it is also the frequency at which it was used, the effort being put forth, & the cost/benefit analysis. When unpacking the freedom of ones style, accessibility comes to mind. When a concept, information, product, or expression becomes accessible by anyone, it can being to undergo multiple mutations & transitions, keeping the ideological cost low. This enables a free input to translate to a free output when expressed from an individuals unique perspective.

The limiting variable here is the individuals ability to compile, process, & execute these resources to inject quality control into the output. Thus creating different levels of output from what was once the same input. Trotter finds himself well within his comfort zone as he takes a tangible, accessible, & economical resource known as Hip-Hop & provides his iteration based on the information he has at his disposal. Topics ranging from war, politics, domestic mismanagement, personal drive, uncertainty, & hope (to name a few of the several) become valuable components that the listener can draw a deeper basis of understanding from. Not only are the words being used free to access, but the platform where the freestyle is being viewed is free to access as well, alongside the free replay value as well. The Cost/Benefit ratio here is incredibly high, thanks to the senders resolve to focus on the accessibility of the entire package as a whole. Overall, Thought could have gone any direction previously traversed by any artist when the DJ queued up the instrumental, however it is the MCs’ unique resolve that makes a highly accessible narrative truly priceless.

Style Is Free.
Cost Represents Dominion.
& Therefore Freedom Is Priceless.

Space Is A Freestyle

NEOWISE comet from the International Space Station

Swirling gas, hurling fast/
The mudball goes past, we just hope it lasts/
Once in a life time and, out of the blue/
The WISE ONE from an era that nohow can be new–ooh!/
The beauty in the midst of the madness/
While truly in the grip of this sadness 2020 would have us in/
One could laugh realizing the happening–/
Is not in our control or any measure of plans of men/
If that ain’t a sign, then think about the cypher/
The planetary gathering with comets getting hyper/
Yeah…telling tails that extend long as quarantine/
Kicking up dust, sicker than sipping chloroquine/
The more it seems like everything is an enormous being–/
The Blackest Matter out in space is Live-r than a Soros team/

We have received a message from the universe. Everything’s a message, right? Our brains would say so. Information. What information comes from a comet? Infrared data from the NEOWISE space telescope suggests this comet that’s lighting up the Northwestern evening sky is as old as the solar system in which we live. It’s probably safe to say that most comets in our system are that old, but still…even in seeing the tail light up for us, we’re seeing the history and heritage of that chunk of gunk burn off forever. It’s being disrobed by the sun the entire while that we’re able to observe it. We are witnessing space freestyle. Who knows if a big rock within the coma breaks off and gives us a jet of gas that makes it even brighter?

Space is full of amazing things like this, the large majority we’ll never witness. In the same way, if there are people or other observers outside of this planet, they don’t get the show we get right now. We are fortunate to get it so perfectly placed (at least in the Northern hemisphere) that it can be viewed during dusk/dawn.

If there’s one element of Freestyle that makes it intriguing above all else, it’s the unexpected nature of it. And there are few ways that space can give us an unexpected show of freestyle (that doesn’t kill us), so the height of 2020 is the perfect time for us to be reminded of the great unknown out there. We have been concerned with the opposite of ‘outside’ with all of these dangerous elements outside trying to kill us; it’s honestly refreshing (life-giving, even) to have a light show of sorts to take our minds off of the circular debates and played-out speeches from out-of-touch leadership across the board.

In ancient times around the world, comets were signs from the heavens that something great–or terrifying–is coming. I’d like to imagine, for this one, that it’s great. Unfortunately, we don’t have many astronomical masters in high positions of leadership, so this may not go down in history the way a pharaoh or emperor or sage would mark it down. But luckily, we have each other. Let’s please, PLEASE use this celestial event as reason enough to see a brighter future for us all.

And yes…to wrap it all together…I’d argue that SPACE IS LIFE. Hence, SPACE IS A FREESTYLE works for us.

Rapping in the Shower

rappin in the shower keeps you clean/
you do it a capella, no drum machine/
the words are not written they are unseen/
just go with the flow let it mean what it means

Sometimes you don’t have other people to freestyle with—maybe you’re taking a shower, or maybe you’re in some situation where you expected a full circle, but it ends up being just you. Since a lot of freestyling is about the social context of the activity, responding to others and handing it off to them, is there any point to freestyling by yourself?

I say yes, and not just because it could be a type of training and make you better at freestyling when you do get into a group.

My much-missed colleague Prof. Patrick Winston, a computer scientist who died last year, worked to advance artificial intelligence and was also devoted to improving himself and others as public speakers. It was particularly special to me to hear his final public talk, and to let him know by email how much I enjoyed it in my last message to him. The insight I’m going to relate isn’t about public speaking, though, or about presenting results. It’s about speaking as you try to work something out.

Patrick said that the best way to solve problems was by talking to other people. If there aren’t any around, though, it’s a good idea to talk to yourself.

In programming, there’s even a name for talking to yourself about the code you’re writing: rubber duck debugging, where instead of going and asking a senior programmer about a problem, you carefully describe the problem to a rubber duck, perhaps one that you keep on your desk for this purpose. During the process of describing the problem carefully, you often are able to solve it, all by yourself.

Of course, I’m not claiming that LIFE IS COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. I would be interested to learn what exactly that metaphor is, but if the mappings are what I imagine, I think it has more than a few problems! Still, the basic insight is that you do learn from talking (or writing) to yourself. People who keep an entirely private diary demonstrate this all the time.

To put it in terms of the LIFE IS A FREESTYLE metaphor:

The freestyler who engages socially is able to learn from others and up their game. This maps to a person, living life, who collaborates, listening and responding to others, and as a result learns and improves.

Ideally, the social freestyler helps others up their game as well. This maps to a person, living life, who collaborates and helps others improve.

The freestyler who doesn’t have a social opportunity is still better freestyling than doing nothing. They can come up with rhymes and twists to metaphors that give them insights and provide beauty, even if they don’t take those directly, or even indirectly, to a stage or a cypher. This maps to a person, living life, who speaks out loud (alone) or writes (privately), using this external language to improve their lives.

I see this as consistent with the mappings I presented in the last post, including the ones related to cycles. But you tell me!

[ & Prof. Patrick Henry Winston in MIT’s Lobby 7, 2010.]

Better Living through Freestyle

Okay, I’ve gotta pick it up from my last post myself: Understanding that LIFE IS A FREESTYLE is based on Cycle, rather than Path, means that this metaphor isn’t going to help you get from point A to point B.

The view of life here is that of recurrences: natural cycles like days and years; the cycle of the week with work days and a weekend; cycles within a day such as preparing a meal, eating it, and cleaning up or taking your dog for a walk. Part of the insight here comes from the first comment dropped on our blog, comparing rap freestyling to improvisational cooking. Like many cycles (such as that of day and night), cooking has its build-up and release, getting the ingredients together, heating the oven or skillet, applying that heat to transform the food from its raw state, and putting it on a plate. But it isn’t like a grand journey, where you complete it and you’re done. You need to eat again—the cycle continues.

The FREESTYLE that I’ll talk about here draws on both common understandings of freestyle in rap: The idea that it’s a rapper’s own, unconstrained style, and the idea that it’s spontaneous or off the top. The LIFE that I’ll discuss is a human lifetime that has cycles of recurrence within it.

Here are my mappings:

The freestyler is a person living their life.

The context of freestyling (for instance a cypher) corresponds to the context of life. An entailment of this is that because freestyling is social, relying on listening to others as well as putting out words, life is this way, too.

The indefinite length of a freestyle maps to the indefinite length of a life.

The freestyler’s ability to deviate in beautiful ways from form, tradition, and expectation maps to a person’s ability to do the same as they live their lives.

The beat to which a freestyler raps maps to the progress of time during our lives, which like the beat is external to us and not directly under our control.

A beat provided by a beatboxer* or by a DJ* who extends a breakbeat indefinitely maps to some unit of time we can control with the help of others: The duration of a project we and others decide to work on, for instance.

A beat provided by a track or playlist, or by a DJ who is antagonistically changing up the beat, maps to some unit of time we cannot directly control, such as a week or a schedule imposed on us.

A verse (or one single run of bars) maps to a higher-level cycle of accomplishment, with build-up and release, within life. For instance, a whole project or a year with plans and resolutions.

A bar (or a pair of rhyming bars) maps to a lower-level cycle of accomplishment, with build-up and release, within one of life’s higher-level cycles. For instance, a day if the larger framework is a monthlong project, or a month if the larger framework is a year.

Dropping a gem* maps to a particularly successful lower-level cycle. If this recurring part of your life is cooking a meal, you cooked a really awesome meal this time!

Reading the room* and figuring out what types of topic matter, tone, flow, and rhymes will be best appreciated by the people around you maps to our contextual and situational awareness in life.

Keeping the dice rolling,* even if some rhymes are better and some worse, maps to persisting through life’s cycles and routines, even though each day (for instance) may not be equally good.

Blacking out* maps to having a powerful intuition about how to live your life, moment to moment, that allows you to take ethical and effective actions without thinking about it.

* These of course are all their own metaphors! Actually if you go deep enough, even “verse” and “bar” probably have a metaphorical basis. More on all of that later…

Finally, handing the mic (almost never literally!) and letting someone else freestyle—but also asking someone else to freestyle—maps to generously listening to others in life, but also to asking someone else to help out during the next low-level cycle, to participate in that social process of life. I told you what I think, what do you think? I cooked us dinner last night; will you do it tonight? I wrote a blog post today—will you write one tomorrow?

[Cycles in the night sky photo by Patrick McManaman on Unsplash, thank you!]

Cycles within Cycles

Underlying the very common metaphor LIFE IS A JOURNEY is one particular image schema, that of the Path. Life has an initial state, a desired final state, and consists of a sequence of action in which the person progresses from the former to the latter. This schema is described in detail by Mark Johnson in his 1987 book The Body in the Mind, who writes that it “is (a) pervasive in experience, (b) well-understood because it is pervasive, (c) well-structured, (d) simply structured.” We have all had direct experience of Path, even when we were babies crawling toward something that caught our eyes. This allows us to develop a conceptual metaphor that is built on this image schema: LIFE IS A JOURNEY, which you can see broken down for you on the MetaNet Metaphor Wiki. This representation doesn’t emphasize how essential the Path image schema is, but everything there on that page is consistent with that. In this formulation of the metaphor, your main life goal is the overall destination of the journey. Your short-term goals are stops along the way. Life companions are companions on the journey, and so on.

The MetaNet Metaphor Wiki doesn’t yet have an entry for LIFE IS A FREESTYLE, the metaphor we are developing here. Before we get to filling in each of the specific mappings, we should ask what image schema is the basis for LIFE IS A FREESTYLE. Let me throw this out there: Perhaps it’s not Path, but another very pervasive image schema that Johnson discusses, Cycle. He writes, “a cycle is a temporal circle. The cycle begins with some initial state, proceeds through a sequence of connected events, and ends where it began, to start anew the recurring cyclic pattern.” The seasons, the week, and the day are examples of course, but also: “We come into existence as the culmination of a reproductive cycle … We experience our world and everything in it as embedded within cyclical processes.” Johnson also notes that cycles are not simple circles, but have patterns of “build-up and release.”

It’s no accident that freestyling often occurs in a spatial circle, a cypher, which supports temporal cycles within temporal cycles, some overlapping. A rapper jumps in to begin an improvisational process, not heading toward a grand goal but repeating the fine-grained cycles of bars and rhymes and reveling in them for a while. Then a higher-level cycle is complete as she passes the popcorn to someone else who is ready to spit. Some beats are being produced, sometimes by beat boxers whose rhythmic cycles are the same as the rappers, sometimes by a playlist that proceeds on its own way. The point is not to have a far-off destination, but to get in sync with others in the circle and better appreciate the many cycles of life — I think! You tell me. Here’s the mic.