At the Penny arcade with two best friends
ribbons kite tale flyin
blushin boys with waves
the Apollo theatre
our chins on the stage.
We lived at the Apollo everyday was Saturday
and a Cartoon.
pitch black excitement intimate
like before you fall asleep into a Good Dream
King Curtis and the Kingpins heard warming up backstage,
Butts bouncing on seats, pullin at each others arms ready to scream an shout
The big Voice about to come out
Live from where you could never figure out.
We looked up at the Screen where 007 saved the World .
He was the only white man in Harlem,
along with a few Italians from the 'Spaghetti' Westerns
an Bugs Bunny with his proverbial Question
Ehhhhh what’s up Doc?
But thas ok.
Fantasy eclipsed to History.
THIS IS OUR WORLD
we allowed them in 'OUR WORLD’’
The Black and white clip rode the bold Voice Like a Riff from' prez' we stared up
mouth open as in Holy Communion
Blessed with the sweet taste of Music
On name for name after
'Welcome to the World Famous Apollo Theatre Home of '
Sammy Davis JR.
Smoky Robinson and the Miracles
Martha Reeves and The Van-Dellas
at 12 years old butterflies of birdsong notes full of excitement
started up our arms as the flute trilled.
base beat authority timeless steps into the past
syncopated girlish anticipation.
we went to the our parents generation
We were trapped in the fifties
The Five Blind Boys
Drum laid Funk that Kicked us back
to our time and space
The Isley Brothers
The Five Stair steps
The Jackson Five
The Four tops.
Gladys Knight and the pips
Sly and The Family Stone
We knew every name
We could skip a Grade
or get left back by the time
you heard Roberta Flack.
As the curtain opened
polished chrome colorful candy flavored
lights of red, yellow purple green
And brass in the silent black waiting...
Then There they were
all in blue Silk suits
with their backs to us
They turned with Precision in unison
'I heard it through the Grapevine
just about to loose my mind!'
We were hooked handful of
mesmerized kids Frozen in the matinee show
as Otis and Eddie showed us original talent
the tone of my Culture the song of my Heritage.
Perfect Performing Royalty
as if a Presidential performance
last one in History.
Performed for 'Royalty'
Was ’’us’’ little Girls wonder
In our Palace
Hidden under crime
an Master Poverty.
After Billy Stewarts singing rap word play
'I lova you soda right now
never never gonna let gonna let you go na na naaa'
Smoky Robinson and the Miracles
‘’Tracks of my tears’’
Archie Bell and the Drells
and 'Tightened it up'.
Moms Mabley making us Laugh
she was the Black' Minnie Pearl'
cept she wore white sneakers and had no teeth.
What I’m gonna do with a OLD MAN!
'Don’t want no old man!
'anytime you see me with a 'old man' he’s a Relative'.
We felt our selves, our identity
Every cell being carved
Honed into a Positive self.
We’d race home
Put the records on with yellow plastic disk
so the 45 records wouldn’t flop off the turntable
grab the broomstick(our mic)
sing every word
innocence held our Voices cracking our Giggles
laughing with us on the off notes.
spiced ham an cheese sandwiches on hero bread(spiced ham is ghetto Ham) big pitcher of 'Flava Flav Kool aid'(that’s Ghetto 'Kool-Aid 3packs for a quarter) fall asleep on the floor
talking bout how fine Smokey is, an what they all wore.
Harlem then was Pillow Fights
the iceman selling ice,
Staked near the curb
Chockfull o nuts where Brothers spoke words of Revolution
Fruit an Vegetable man
125/Lenox ave. had
a red black an Green Flag
Water melon and a New Day.
was The Hotel Teresa before Malcolm got killed
before Senator Kennedy’s son O.D ed.
Gray Tenement Dusk
and Apollo dreams in the Sixties,
Say it Loud I’m Black an I'm Proud!
Say it LOUD I’m BLACK an I'm PROUD!!
Stand out in a crowd
Redbone gansta lean
reppin the Red, Black, an Green
Got the best Weed, a Lil Acid, Speed..
Aint the Chicago seven and the Panther 5 Freed?
'Whitey' don’t fuck with me..
Supa-Fly Guy Cadillac ride,
on the custom side
chinchilla hoes side by side
diamonds in ya eyes
from that snow you pushin
take ya sky high.
pimps from the slow track
from the taters
to the 'Gaters' money getting
no money haters
brought bottom hoes to the Big show
at the Apollo.
Fast track playas from midtown Manhattan
white hoes stopping traffic
getting dollar looks big drug connection action.
Cars double parked rapped around the Block
Harlem with James Brown Headlining was the spot.
Live Double album
' Sex Machine'
we teens laughed at the Pimps fake esteem.
They gave my friends an our suede an leather
Afro Attitude a smile or two
they knew we was lil renegade Hustlas
our style yelled we dressing jus like you.
Youngblood’s we got money to
We learning from you.
5 Beats was Locked in the Groove.
Made the sound
Boogie down to the Ground
Owned the Town
noon chucked the Mic stand with his feet
swung the mike cord like a yoyo string
rocked the cradle an put the baby to sleep
loop de loop
round and round
split the Ground
But Never fell in
James Brown owns the Apollo.
can I do my thang!..
I said can get up and do MYY THANNNG!
LIKE A SEX MACHINE
.GET UP...GET ON UP
was all I heard the roar like a Thousand People all fell in a huge hole together
to' FUNKY in Here'
dancing in the Isles
5 hours or more
No exits no doors
'Open up the Window MAN!'.
To Funky IN Here!
Give the Drummer some
There’s only one