Hamza Atoi: On The Outside Of Squares
Hamza Atoi's "On The Outside Of Squares" is a chilling poetic work which details the pressures of cultural classism from the point of view of an underground poet on the rise. Set to Game Of Thrones "The Rains Of Castamere" by Tina Guo, this piece eloquently brings to light the idea that increased fame and popularity often come at the price of cultural alienation.
Hailing from Norfolk, Virginia, Hamza grew up on the streets of Park Place where words were a matter of life and death. With the release of his promo single "On the outside of squares" Hamza shares his feelings of being ostracized by the culture of poetry he once enjoyed access in and the Poet Laureate world that he longed for but was never allowed to enter.
This work of poetry, recorded at MU-ATLANTIS STUDIOS in Va Beach, VA, holds a thought-provoking look at a world of acceptance conjured into a poetically emotional and moving response.
"Absolutely breath taking...gives me chills everytime I listen..."
They will judge your in ability to exposit your writing; grammatically correct. ...You won't fit in. They will call you "sellout" when your "Timberlands" are replaced with loafers ...When your white "T-Shirt" is traded for an all black button down accented with "cufflinks." ...You won't fit in. They will call you "Urban" ...parallel your writing with rappers ...exert your resume and bio to hide what does not blend with their coffee house readings that host written & recited pages shared by poet laureates. ...poems written for White House guest whom in their own poetic way write for lobbyist granting them permission to occupy their Finacial districts full of poetic justice. Even they understand the beauty of conundrums. ...yet and still You won't fit in. They will say, ...You deliver poems like "Whitman..." "...Frost." ....you've lost what gives passes to those who rose from tenements & detail their experience in free verse and prose. ...those who document the struggles of those tucked away in the shadows of this " American way" ...Those who are given no forks nor plates to enjoy American pies. No beds to enjoy rest in stages of R.E.M Smiling because they are enjoying their American dream. They will say you have forgotten about your American nightmares? "Why is your tone outside the realms of project homes? ...Your poetry isn't Ill enough for us to label your writing sick. You ain't sick enough for your writing to be labeled ill. Your writining ain't cold enough to be considered hot. Nothing in your words bring the heat. Your poems don't speak to the streets Your note book holds a tone of speech that tells me You have grammatical Blonde hair Blue eyed white lines but it ain't dope!" They will scold you for having hope, While others hope you don't ask to read at their gentrified open mics. ...Opening your crumbled composition notebook hoping life will change with every poem you recite with detail and passion They will dislike your timberlands and tattoos. They will refuse you entry into their poetic cliques. You will not like the refusal of either party but it will garner more discomfort if you try to fit in a square that is boxed for those who think in 90 degree circles. ...you won't fit in Your words are too immense. Your ideas have no limits. Your passion can't be bottled or box Just to fit in boxes that eventually pop bottles ...Congratulations You did it! You are now poet Laureate Congratulations You've made it You are now a def poet Go bum rush the page Bravo !! Encore !! You are now given pats on your back, High fives Half hugs And Dap On the black hand side You are here now You have finally arrived! But how does it feel? How does it feel To fit in a box? ...just to be boxed in That which was never intended to fit you Let alone Allow you -
to fit in. -Written by Hamza Atoi ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (c) 2017
Baker Grimes understands how much weight a name can carry. What he didn’t know was how his name would eventually define him in ways he would never imagine. Baker was born the only child of Maria Grimes. She is the Dominican Cartel’s most deadly female member. The Dominican born Maria gave birth to her son in the mist of a drug raid that took place in Norfolk, Virginia at her Park Place apartment. She would later lose her freedom because of murder when Baker was 7 years old.
With his mother in jail, Baker moved to his Grandmother’s home in the Colonial Place section of Norfolk, which is only a stone’s throw from the mean streets of Park Place. While in the stable and nurturing care of his Grandma Rosa, Baker seems to be on his way to a simplistic childhood until he is presented with a proposal from his cousin Sammy whom is more like his brother. The proposal Sammy presented came from the neighborhood kingpin who watched them turn their Atari game system into a money machine by inviting their friends to play for a fee.
After spiraling events spin Baker out of control into a methodical tantrum of vengeance, Baker finds out love and loyalty can be disrupted with a price and the streets…DON’T PLAY GAMES!