"I don’t see much of a difference between poetry and hip-hop–they share so many of the same literary devices, formal structures, and emotional sentiments (for real, is there any difference between “Howl” and Kendrick’s verse in “Control?”). But hip-hop has a much larger cultural carbon footprint nowadays, and I think that has something to do with accessibility. Hip-hop speaks to a set of ideological state apparatuses that is familiar to a general audience–all of us, regardless of class and culture and privilege, have to create social constructs for ourselves that grant us a licence to the ideology of Starting From The Bottom. Now, I recognize that a lot of poetry is trying to do the same thing. But is there anything accessible about “experimental” poetry? If my dad read it, would he understand? I’m not sure. And that was my objective–to write a book that anyone could read and relate to. I feel like part of the reason I love hip-hop is because anyone can be a participant–whether they’re dancing on singing along or Tumblring or Tweeting challenges to Wale. Everyone’s invited. Everyone’s invited to my book, too. Take it to prom. Take it to the dentist. Take it to the corner bodega and buy it a 40."
Mark Cugini interviewed by Timmy Reed in What Weekly