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Few Reasons Why I Ran Away From Rap to Poetry


I can’t believe I’m actually writing this article. This is one of the life experiences I have always considered a secret. I had always been a ‘rap’ guy, I loved everything about it. Seeing guys at school hanging around with nice looking girls and everyone admiring them. Who would not want that? That’s when I decided to join in. I got to understand how things work, how to battle, how to punch and how to say the universal “yeah!” word. ‘Twas cool. I started hanging with the cool guys at school. We spent quality time together, battling, chilling, and talking about girls, talking about clothes, laughing at what others wore and…..


What happened? I was coming up well, what went wrong? OK I have 10 reasons why I literally ran away from rap and took my rhymes to poetry.


CLOTHES: One thing that we did not understand was that what we saw on TV was not real. I mean that couldn’t be real. All the nice clothes those guys wore, their expensive shoes, expensive jewellery, nice houses and all the fancy stuff. If for some reason that was true, for us it was a burden. We had to change clothes every now and then. If you couldn’t keep up you would be in trouble and if you would wear the same old thing you would be a subject to rap about, for sure you will lose most of your battles. I couldn’t make it because my mother could not afford that. So I opted out.


FAME: Being known in the rap world is a big thing. You have to make a way to be known, you have to, unless you want to lose big time. Fame wasn’t a problem, making your way up to it was. We would do anything and everything to be known, even the worst. We used to do funny stuff, from harassing ladies to coming late to school so that as we walk gingerly past the classes, student and teachers may see us. Let’s say all these worked out but do you think exams had time for fame? No one who fights at school, who bunk classes has ever passed any exam at least those I know. I had to go out.


CONNECTIONS: Now that’s one big thing for rap artists. One will go nowhere in the rap industry with no connections. You have to know people more especially those you find in already in. if you can’t get connections you suffer and that’s one strenuous thing to do. With connections you can perform in different places and that means money above all fame which you can’t deal without. Rappers know rappers, they hang with rappers, they only talk to rappers they know and this is when I finally went out. I knew those at school only which meant that I was a school icon only but that wasn’t enough. What about the weekends? Holidays? Agh! I gave up.


MEDIA: As a rapper you have to update the media about you whereabouts, I mean at least the social media. It’s at this stage that those who don’t have at least a smart phone, suffocate. You need to go out to the people, how will they know you are out there? A rapper must have a phone for his photos, songs, social media and he has to have a PC, for movies, song videos, and internet. He must strive to have his songs playing on the radio. Guess what, I did not have a phone, pc and no internet access. So I, did what every gentleman would do, I… I… I ran away.

Expensive Rap Clothes


PRIDE: All surviving rappers must have pride and I mean it. No humble mama’s boy can make it in the rapping industry. You can’t tell a rapper what to do, you can’t tell him he is wrong, who would you be? Rappers know what they are doing. They know if they are wrong and you know what, they would still do. As a former rapper, I used to hit people, painting graffiti, I knew I was wrong. I DID NOT CARE! See, that’s pride right there. My ego led me to many beatings, so much I could cope any more. I quit.


DYNAMIC CULTURE: Rap is dynamic, it changes from time to time. As years pass by, a few changes occur, the style changes a bit, the beats, audience preference and even the tune. What remains unchanged is the rhythm. What used to thrill people years ago may not as time goes on and weird enough after some time what thrilled people years ago may do so again and this time with a bang. I wanted to understand rap but I just could not. It kept confusing me time after time until I the time it did not give me time to adapt to what was ‘in’. You know what, I gave up maybe it just wasn’t my thing.


INSULTS: Undeniably, rap allows the free use of insulting words. Most nice songs are those with a flow of insults. They mostly have nice beats backing them up. You have to literally learn how to curse. I did. I mean, I had to. It was after some time that I decided to stop because some battles were tight so insulting the rival wasn’t enough, I had to include parents, relative and even pets. How awful. I didn’t last, I ran away.


ALCOHOL AND DRUGS: The best places to showcase your style as a rapper are bars, nightclubs and parties. Most rap videos have rappers smoking and drinking which is a clear message to most young people that its cool. I had to try those because failure to, meant cowardice, you lose the sense of belonging right then. I held tight but I couldn’t any longer, police were behind my tail, dealers wanted their money, suspension at school, low marks. With all that on my table, there was only one door, THE EXIT.


ENEMIES: How can I ever forget this one? Rappers hate some rappers and love others. When I say hate, I mean intense hatred. Rappers who win battles must never forget that from then on they are not friends and the enemy of my enemy becomes my friend. I was tired of always watching my back. I knew I hurt many, some I insulted, some I beat them, some I hurt their friends and some I stole from them, money, clothes and even girls. On the point of girls, animosity arises strongly. When you could no longer cope with creation of enemies you have to stop. Start befriending people and eventually quit rapping, and that’s exactly what I did. I ran away.


THERE IS A THIN LINE BETWEEN SUCCESS AND FAILURE: As a rapper, one can succeed very well. Success is when people love you, when they love your music, your rhymes, your way of clothing, your girl, when you have a record label, when the media is after you and when you even know internationally. That’s success. Failure is when you don’t get any of this. I didn’t so you know what I did, quit.

© 2019 Desmond Goitsemang

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