“Bobby” by Daemond Arrindell

10 time Grammy award winning classically trained vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin hit mainstream success in 1988 with his pop hit “dont worry, be happy”. Used as George H.W. Bush’s campaign song, without Bobby’s permission. He has not performed the song since.

 

bobby mcferrin is the long lost father of hip hop

bobby is standing on stage pretending to play the french horn

no, bobby is on stage and he IS the french horn

bobby is the pentatonic scale climbing music chords home

bobby has a concerto amidst the tendons and arteries in his throat and a kettle drum in his chest

bobby beats his chest while channeling hip hop’s origin story

bobby is an elephant child’s trumpet growing, vining up through vocal cord

he is a phonation of pop and lock, a classical uprock & pose for posterity and his boys

a james brown hook looped and sampled come to life

he has not hit his crescendo yet, the bridge is not over

the walls of his chest cavity are biz markie’s blank stare,

monie love’s accent swallowed by the staccato brooklyn drawl

bobby is a washtub bass line throbbing before the high hat drops

he is jim crow in the last row of the orchestra pit

bobby is the breakbeat’s long lost cousin, beatboxing sounded it out in slow motion

finding every vowel’s home signal between the lips

 

bobby mcferrin is the fire a tribe called quest tells stories around

he is kanye west raised on opera, the philharmonic’s Chuck-D

bobby WILL DO a duet with weezy, bobby WILL SING the next hook for jay-z

he is the inverse of DMX,  the sizzling sound of old dirty bastards welfare checks burning,

the complex irony of tupac living a thug life and trying to keep his head up,

 

bobby is so hip hop, his voice is the background music for the dozens

so hip hop he had his swagger translated into english

and it reads “Dont worry, be happy”

bobby’s so hip hop he’s been married to the same woman since 1975

 

bobby is the lost constellation of notes in the puffed out cheeks

of louie armstrong and dizzy gillespie

bobby is the bastard child of porgy & bess and the william tell overture

bobby is what the voice of the ghetto and the voice of the suburbs harmonized

would sound like if we COULD all get along

 

bobby mcferrin is the kiss of the needle on the record before the song even begins

 

[author_info]Daemond Arrindell is a workshop facilitator, community organizer, poet and believes in the power of the spoken word. Curator of the longest running weekly show in Seattle – the Seattle Poetry Slam and 8-time coach of the renowned Seattle National Slam Team. He’s performed in venues throughout Washington State and across the country including the Boston Poetry Slam, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NYC’s Louder Arts Project, and has been twice commissioned by both Seattle and Bellevue Arts Museums. He facilitates poetry and theater residencies at Monroe men’s prison and is a Writer-In-Residence through Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools Program.[/author_info]