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There were a lot of people who inspired me to become an artist. Nipsey Russell is definitely on that list. His charm, wit, and ability to drop pearls of wisdom in rhyme on network television was incredible. Like my other childhood heroes like Richard Pryor and George Carlin, Nipsey used comedy with the skill of a neurosurgeon.
Here are my Nipsey Russell inspired poems to honor this comedian, poet and dancer on the 102nd anniversary of his birth. This iconic entertainer’s career spanned decades from the Chitlin Circuit to major motion pictures. Many recognize him as the “Tin Man” in the Wiz. Others remember him as the “Poet Laureate” on the 70s game show, Match Game. For those of us who are too young to remember those references, he’s the dude Nipsey Hustle got his name from. RIP (rest in poetry)
1. We live in the strange days of coronavirus when presidential speeches only help to divide us, and words of wisdom come from Miley Cyrus.
2. As America finally reckons with its racist legacy, protests flare up like wildfires from sea to shining sea.
3. If I must stay home and self-quarantine, can I at least shelter in place with nymphomaniac sex fiend?
4. Some say the “breakfast of champions” is Wheaties, others prefer steak and eggs. Well, my favorite meal’s between her legs.
5. The people who question the motives of Black Lives Matter obviously haven’t paid attention to a few centuries of data.
Centuries before Covid-19 hit
A pandemic infected this country.
And since it was a plague, we ignored it.
We whitewashed genocide and slavery.
We wore politically corrected masks
To shield others from verbal aerosol.
Treating the symptoms was a short-term task.
Red, blue and white pride came before this fall.
Historic disparities reared their heads.
Structural biases waged their impacts.
Statistics mattered, after all was said
By white men in power disputing facts.
Racism, the plague we chose to ignore,
Led coronavirus to Black folks’ door.