Practical

A Freestyled Poem


FORM
REBELLIOUS
EFFORTLESSLY
EFFERVESCENT
SCINTILLATING
TECHNIQUES
YIELDING
LIBERATING
EXPRESSION


Entailments:

‘Form Rebellious. Effortlessly Effervescent. Scintillating Techniques, Yielding Liberating Expression.’

What you see above is a free-styled acrostic poem for the word ‘freestyle.’
I will now explain how I think the act & art of Free-styling embodies the words mentioned.

‘Form’ is defined as the shape something takes on or what it manifests as. I love this word because a form isn’t trying to be something; it just is. A form can also change and evolve or remain; and can even and will, appear differently to everyone. When it comes to free-styling, no matter the modality, it will take on a form.

Free-styling is rebellious. To freestyle means to allow the unfoldment to happen, and to be ‘rebellious’ is to resist control or conventionality. To rebel is to liberate. Free-styling is freeing.

Effortlessly effervescent- If you’ve ever watched a good freestyle, whether its an actual rap or a person or thing in its element free-flowing, you get to witness the manifestation of a ‘form’ like mentioned above. Effervescence is a word usually used to describe what happens when a soda or bottle of champagne gets to finally release its gasses…the air finally gets to escape.
I think this is a perfect way to describe freestyle, as humans and other life forms feel the need to ‘express’ or release quite often and it’s amazing to witness how it ultimately manifests.

Scintillating techniques refers to the fact that over time, it is understood that one becomes better at Free-styling. A technique is described as a particular way that a task is carried out, and scintillating refers to something that is exciting, exhilarating, and brilliant. Seeing a Freestyler in their element, whether they are a beginner or even a master, is nothing short of that.

Further, scintillating techniques that ‘yield liberating expression’ refers again to the act and art of Free-styling as this state of being that removes any limits on thoughts or behavior and just allows a person to freely and creatively express themselves the way their soul, body, and mind sees fit.

Here’s to creating spaces that allow us to freestyle more often and even more so, allowing oneself to break free from anything that holds you back from becoming the best freestyler you can be.

-Lady Zay IT

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.

A Life of Freedom

bluethegreat panting a mural for Juneteenth 2020

We live in very interesting times to be a person whose people did not always have freedom and agency. Celebrating Juneteenth in 2020 is bittersweet, considering it’s still not an official national holiday in the United States. We celebrate Juneteenth annually on June 19th to commemorate the official Declaration of Independence to enslaved people of African descent (reluctantly, by their captors and slavers, and most notably, the very government originally claiming ‘freedom’ in 1776). But many descendants of those freed people still suffer, and by now it’s well-documented.

That said, let’s discuss freedom of lifestyle. Perhaps ‘FREE’ IS A LIFESTYLE. Living with freedom means not being afraid to be one’s self. Constraints have been regular for black people all across the world for hundreds of years. When we as poets and rappers have constraints on our work (which, in many cases, is our very livelihoods), we have to be creative about fitting our styles into those constraints. Generally, in living through the freestyle of life, there are definitely creative parallels with the everyday process of an artist of social justice, but the circumstances of those life constraints are generally more dire and subjugating than simplistic artistic ones.

When a person has to second-guess most of their public actions and interactions, there’s no opportunity to explore the fringes of one’s expression. This is an inhumane situation that no one should have to live through. Creative expression of life has given the world a more complete view of what life is, and what it means to be human. We all benefit from extending the limits and methodologies of our expression.

Expression that differs from the norms and mores of society can be openly and lovingly debated, with learning being an outcome on both sides of the debate. Incidentally, this idea begs a few questions for me: do those who oppress even know that they’re limiting the extent of human expression with their imposed societal constraints? Do they care? Is it out of fear of what might happen if everybody had an equal standing in society? For many people celebrating freedom on Juneteenth, LIFE IS A PRISON STYLE. Or at least it has been for insanely too long.

Today, with all of the aforementioned turmoil boiling over into the streets (literally, even), black people are doing what we’ve always done: taking scraps (an unofficial holiday) and magically converting them into something that can serve us. Today, black lives begin the tradition of having our oft-mentioned ‘cookouts,’ to which our non-black brethren may or may not be invited, depending on terms and conditions defined internally. Ironically, the organization of such things is where you’ll find some of the greatest expression. Spiritual, creative, social, personal, entrepreneurial, and otherwise cultural lifestyles are the order of the day, because 2020 has been a perfect storm of conditions to break the social chains of living in a world built against you. Pressure busts pipes and makes diamonds.

Shout out to Afropunk, Essence Fest, Black Expos, and other mass gatherings of black expression around the United States for providing countless examples throughout the decades. But the time has come for us to get a national holiday so that we can reserve a nationwide consciousness for the importance of free living. If you would like to contribute to the petition for a national holiday for Juneteenth, the celebration of black people getting their [kinda] freedom 155 years ago, click this link to go to Change.org and have your vote counted. Also shout out to artist @bluethegreat for his amazing mural in the lead image of this post.

Until then, I guess we should do our best to stay healthy, in whichever ways work for our bodies. So, while mass gatherings might not be the wave right now, perhaps digital spaces for these types of important large-scale celebrations need to start popping up. Owned by black people, of course.