A Passion For Rapping



Did you know there was a citywide poetry month on New York City? It was in April, New York’s City’s widest poetry month. I was in sixth grade. It was my first year in Jonas Bronck Academy and I needed a nickname. So I decided to join the school poetry contest since I know I can rap. So I signed up for the contest in fear that people wouldn’t like my rap. I didn’t even have a rap yet, and I also didn’t have the option of a freestyle rap. So I had to think of one and then write it down so it could be retyped and printed out. I had 3 days until the school poetry contest. Those three days have been so frustrating because of all the work jam-packed into the day that there was no free time for me to really think of a rap.


            It was the last day for everyone to hand in his or her poems. I was so busy trying to finish all the work that I got over whelmed and didn’t even think of one. So I came after school and sat down in the library and created a rap. I had to rush because she could only stay till a certain time so I created a short rap in 5 minutes. I thought that it wasn’t my best work. But I submitted it any ways.


            Two days later… it was time to recite my rap in front of the entire sixth grade. Sitting in a seat next to two master guest poets. Sweating, trembling in fear. I could feel the sweat trickling down the side of my face. I slowly wipe it off with a shaking hand. The host of the contest was my friend Yazid Wallace. He needed help with nervousness too. So I gave him some advice. Meanwhile the advice I gave him wasn’t working for me. He called my name to into the microphone. I came up looking at all of my friends who were supporting me out in the crowd. It made me feel better.


            I had begun. I knew that once I started I couldn’t choke or turn back. It relied on my reputation. The word flowed out of my mouth with such rhythm that had made peoples heads nod up and down with satisfaction of my lyrics.


“Listen to the word that I’m saying

                        The world is going to end so you better start praying

                        You better prepare and face the world like a man

                        Being very bold is what you don’t understand

                        Walk real high and stand real tall

                        Because if you don’t you sure will fall

                        So pick up the phone because your life is on the line

                        And you better prepare because one day nothing will be fine.” I fluently rhymed.





I handed Yazid the microphone, and walked back to my seat. As I walked away you could hear people cheering me on and calling my name to give me compliments. After the last poem we all packed up our stuff to go to class. We got to class and everyone was giving me compliments. “Justin that rap that you made was awesome” One of my classmates whispered. Everyone started to get me hyper about how they are sure that I will win.


It was dismissal time. I had my bag packed with my jacket on in Ms. Elverson’s math class. The loudspeaker bell rang. ”Bleep, Hi there it’s ms. Torres here to announce the poetry contest winner from this afternoon. The winner is Justin Lara.” The loudspeaker shouted. My class jumped around me cheering me on like their favorite team had won the super bowl. Tears trickled down my check with joy because I had never won anything in my life for doing something I love.


The next day I was told that there would be a reward for everyone who had the guts to recite their poetry in front of everyone in the sixth grade. Ms. Johnson didn’t know what the reward was until Ms. Chumney (our principle) found out what it would be. Ms. Johnson had found out at the end of the day. But I wasn’t there at the time that she found out so she told me the next day. She told me that we were going to another poetry contest at the new Manhattan law school in Soho, Manhattan.


I could write on about this forever but to make the story short I won the other poetry contest as a finalist. I have the plaque right next to the computer as proof that even with the smallest amount of effort anything can be accomplished. Never give up.