"Supa Sista" is a perfect example of slam poetry: confrontational and strong, with particular attention paid to the nuance of language as it's heard as opposed to written. Philadelphia native Ursula Rucker (The Roots, Bilal) has constructed a monument of slam on her debut album. That it isn't a terribly interesting album isn't indicative of Rucker's failings as an artist. Rather, it points out the failings of a great deal of slam poetry.
For all of its bombast, slamming rarely rises above riffing on what has come before. The uplifting "Womansong" and "Letter to a Sister Friend" are good poems, but, frankly, Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni did it all better 30 years ago. Rucker does break some new ground on "Wha'?," a searing indictment of the state of hip-hop, and "Digichant," which provocatively addresses the disconnect hu-mans face through ever higher technology. Both are brief detours on a trip that is just business as usual.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.