Companion Site to: “Yo Nací Caminando” Journal of World Popular Music Vol. 5, No. 2 (2018)


WELCOME to the companion site to my article on MC Rico Pabón and decolonial pedagogies in JWPM 5/2.  Here you’ll find all the media to go along with the article.  Please do read along with these media artifacts at hand, for it is these voices that we need to center — my article simply seeks to frame and amplify the hip hop knowledges you’ll find below.

In other words, it all starts with listening…

Peace, Griff.

the article is here:

Please contact me at if you can’t access it.

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“Fuck a pledge of allegiance and arrogant teachers / But peace to the people who don’t ever preach / Up in the front of a classroom, all day long / Planting seeds of revolution, we dedicate this song.”  The lyric appears at the end of the first verse (00:48-1:00).

Ex. 1 – MC Geologic on Blue Scholars, “Commencement Day” (2005).

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“Singing folklore of the poor / Natural born warrior / Since the days when Spain was ruled by the Moors… It gets harder / They shut down your energy, cut off your water / Close the gas station, food supply shortened / Dying of starvation and smoke inhalation.”  The lyrics appear in the first verse (starting at 00:36).

RYSE annotation on at:

Ex. 2 – Casual on Hieroglyphics, “One Life, One Love” (1996).

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Ex. 3 – Janelle Monáe’s “Django Jane” (2018).  See for instance the slow zoom shot at 1:17.

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Ex. 4 – Excerpt from one of Rico Pabón’s MC performance workshops on hip hop flow with East Bay students in Richmond, CA (filmed by the students and used with the kind permission of the artist, RYSE Center, and East Bay Center for the Performing Arts).

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Ex. 5 – Rico’s Hosting the RYSE students at Berkeley’s Annual Hip Hop in the Park festival.  For a performative sense of the impact of Rico’s work on the young artists see, especially, the collaborative track at 3:22-5:30. Used with the kind permission of the artist and RYSE Center.

Explore more RYSE content at the RYSE YouTube Channel:

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Ex. 6 – Rico’s Prophetic Words at the Rap Genius and the Open-Sourcing of Hip Hop Knowledge Panel Discussion.  (Used with the kind permission of the artist and the ACES Program at UC Berkeley).

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Lyrics at:

Ex. 7 – Track sample and full lyrics for Rico Pabón’s “Isla del Encanto” from the 2013 album Todo Lo Que Soy / All That I Am.  Notably, this is the only track for which the artist has included lyrics.  The track is available on Spotify, but please consider purchasing the community funded track—or the full album—from the artist’s website if you intend to listen to it more than once.

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(fn 12) Video clip for Stromae’s “Carmen.”  Apropos of this article’s work on artists as scholars, hip hop artists have been key in framing and commented on the role of social media in contemporary life.  One of my Irish students who was raised in Belgium, introduced me to the Belgian MC, Stromae’s, track “Carmen,” which communicates an incisive commentary on digital life—even if you don’t speak French.

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Q-Tip’s “acute” slant-rhymin’ on “Award Tour” (0:58-1:20).

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“See my shit is universal if you’ve got knowledge of dolo or delf or self / See there’s no one else / Who could drop it on the angle / Acute at that / So: doo-dat doo-dat doo-doo dat dat dat”

Rakim’s classic questing lines on “In the Ghetto” (0:40-0:50).

“Going for self, with a long way to go / So much to say, but I still flow slow / I come correct and I won’t look back / Cause it ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at”

Article is at: