This Week in Hype: The Tragedy of Eric Garner & The Poetry of Danez Smith


Heartbreakingly, we've been here before

On one hand I'm not sure it's my place as a white man who mostly writes Rick Ross fat jokes to speak about the justice system's absolute disregard for black life. I'd much rather use whatever meager influence I have to direct people towards those who are writing more powerfully than I ever could

At the same time, I also believe that silence is consent, and it just doesn't feel right to remain silent about an issue that's been the only thing I've been talking about off the internet for the past two days. So as much as there's a part of me that wants to hide and just talk about Lil Wayne potentially leaving Cash Money, I'm devoting the bulk of this week's podcast to talking about Eric Garner, Ferguson and what can only be described as America's systematic war on black lives. I can't pretend it's even remotely enough to matter, but I just can't stay silent. 

That also means that I considered pulling this week's interview with Danez Smith, an amazing poet and performer I recently came across. I spoke to him two weeks ago, before either the Mike Brown or Eric Garner of the non-indictments, and I was hesitant to place our conversation in this context. But listening back to our conversation, I realized that since so much of his work is about remaining human despite overwhelming odds, this might actually be a compelling week to bring him into the podcast. 

A huge thank you to Danez for coming on. You should follow him on Twitter and check out more of his work herehere and everywhere else. I honestly have no idea what to say right now, here's me trying to say it anyway. 

[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. His Twitter is @RefinedHype.]