That Moment

That Moment

"Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment. Would you capture it, or just let it slip?"

That hit me unlike anything else.
I was 15, and with a broken leg. Back then, it was a biennial thing. Once every two years, I'd break a limb. And it was my Left Leg's turn. Even though I can't pinpoint the exact time, it was during this period when Eminem came on shuffle. It wasn't my first time listening to a rap song, but it was the first time that for some reason, I paid attention. And it was a life-changing moment for me.

What did you expect, an inspirational story? Hell no. This is me, talking about the first time I listened to rap. This is me, talking about why I fell in love with Hip-Hop.

Eminem, Tupac, Biggie, Nas, OutKast, Wu-Tang, NWA, the list goes on and on. I listened to the OGs. The prophets and thugs of Hip Hop. Somehow, I loved it more than the autotuned club life shit they pump out today. In every verse, beneath every F-bomb and between every pause where they drew their breaths, there was heart, passion and a raging, ferocious fire fueled by their own lives and lines. This was so much different than the pop love songs and the angsty bands, at least for me. And even though I've never seen the life of a black man in America or any of the things they talked about in their songs, I connected. I could see what they were rapping about. A fifteen-year-old boy from Kerala could see what an entire generation of Thugs, Fighters and Activists were saying. The struggles weren't just something in some far off land, but it was inside my head.

That's where the second thing hit me. How was I able to relate? How could I understand something that was way beyond my age and experience? I realised that the answer to these questions was in front of me all along.

It was the power of Language. Raw, Unadulterated, #nofilter as my brothers and sisters on Instagram call it. The purity beneath the obscenity was awe inspiring. I realised that Semantics wasn't the key to good literary works, but content. And the songs had brutally honest content. That is what I saw. There were rhymes, wordplay and all that, but those weren't the focal point. The Spoken Word was the key, and what it spoke held more importance to me than how it spoke. That's how I started writing, and that's how I like to write.

It's not about how many times your reader looks at the dictionary, but for how long you can hold his attention.

That was my Nirvana.

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D361 is the official magazine of NITR.