Vanilla Twilight / White Noise

As Noel Ignatiev argued, there is a civil war going on in the mind of each working class white man.  That war is between his working class consciousness and his white consciousness.  Both are in a state of crisis right now. This poem expresses that civil war as a rap battle.




Working class consciousness:


Vanilla twilight / white noise,

I’m clownin’ on these white boys

Waving around their gun toys

When their pops just got laid off.


Wave that thing at the right boys,

The rich who took your pop’s voice

When they hired him back to destroy

All the factories he’d built up.


Don’t point it at the ghetto boys,

The ones whose dads are destroyed

By prisons, cops, and paranoid

White boys acting tough


Like your brother who got redeployed

Our mother’s sure not overjoyed

Our future’s looking like a void

But you’ve just given up.


We don’t need no racial harmony,

We need some racial rhythm.

The friction of camaraderie

That makes us wanna listen.


We need a commune freestyle

Cypher in the kitchen.

To break out of purgatory-

Fire to the prisons.


White male consciousness:


You must be high as fuck boy

I think you’re fuckin’ nuts boy

Just stack this paper up boys

They’re hangin’ from our nuts.


God knows we’re comin’ up boys

So throw your flagpoles up boys

These white bars are for us boys

Can’t love this land enough.


I treat my hook like a hooker

‘Cause I pimp the whole chorus,

Singin’ rhythm and blues

Till the money come toward us.


Remix the game,

My swag gets me your bitch

To sew me these clothes

In a sweatshop in Juarez.


So fuck your racial harmony,

We need some racial friction.

The rhythm of camaraderie

That sells this new addiction.


This skin means: I’m blessed in,

My mob’s on a mission.

Our O.G.’s in Congress

So we stay out of prison.


Working class consciousness:


If you think it’s gonna stay that way

Then bro, you’re fuckin trippin’.

Half your gang are snitches and your O.G.’s been pimpin’

You out since 1492

Your backbone’s been missin’

‘Cause your boss has your skin tone

You’re back pocket-kissin

His wallet and ass,

Man, you’ve rarely uprisen,

So your flow’s lost its soul

From being cramped in that condition.


Now you wannabe a gangster ‘cause you feel something’s missin’;

Your minstrel mirror black eye is shrapnel from the rhythm

That sputters in your heart in its critical condition;

It’s a fragment of your rage,

40s, molotovs, ignition

That you fantasize ‘bout throwing at some white politician

While you watch Kanye’s black bloc

Revolt on television.


Lonely on youtube, with fantasies of pimpin’ –

You’re scared of this life,

Even more scared of women –

‘Cause when they talk back

And question how you’re livin’,

Your repressed desires

Are catchin’ you slippin’.


When your pale pink lips finally

Rap like Robin Hood,

I can hear strains of the blues

Playing faintly in the woods.

When I watched the end of Fight Club,

I finally understood,

That you and Tyler Durden

Ain’t Boyz n the Hood.


We don’t need no racial harmony,

We need some racial rhythm.

The friction of camaraderie

That makes us wanna listen.


We need a commune freestyle

Cypher in the kitchen.

To break out of purgatory –

Fire to the prisons.


I treat each hook like the motherland,

Birthing our humanity,

And race has been the rift

In her ancient valley’s sanity;

She’s watching all her son’s guns fire out your vanity;

She’s watching corporate someones coach you in profanity.


White male consciousness:


I speak this way ‘cause we grew up

Broke as fuck, just like the ‘hood.

Our parents sippin’ from their cups

Of vodka raised by Hollywood.

Where were you when I was jumped

And called a fuckin’ peckerwood?

You say this skin’s a privilege-

Has it done me any good?


And while we’re on the topic

Of white boys tryna act black

How the fuck do you sound

With that coffee-shop minstrel act?

Preaching all that shit

That’s way too fucking abstract

Then posing like you’re Nat Turner

Firin’ a gatt?


You read some book by a Black Panther

Now you think you’re Robin Hood

What the fuck have you done

To rise up like you say we should?


Working class consciousness:


You know I can’t do that

‘Till you join me in the fight,

With millions of others

Who are ready to incite

A time when our dialect

Won’t be black or white

‘Cause we’ll sing a new rebellious blues

We won’t have to bite;

We’ll watch this racial purgatory

Fade into the night.


Both you and I will fade into

The crowd’s multiplying life,

Reborn in the cypher, 7 billion hues,

No spotlight

To bleach out our skin

With centuries of hindsight

Or freeze us in our shoes

Like a prison tower’s searchlight.


Multitude in motion,

We’ll ignite vanilla twilight

Pink and black with blue tattooed

Graffiti of the moonlight,

The revolution’s muse

Our spine rising upright,

Our dialectic blooms

The colors of the night.



The analysis in this poem is inspired by the article “Fight Club” by Amiri Kudura Barksdale, published in Race Traitor, 15 (Fall 2000), p. 53-90.  Thanks to Noel Ignatiev for sharing it with me, and for a great conversation about why the Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle camp reminded me of Fight Club.

It is also influenced by the song “White People Suck” by the comrade Desert Rat.

The title is sampled and remixed from Owl City’s song “Vanilla Twilight”.

About mamos206

Mamos is my pen name. My writings can be found at these sites, along with the thoughts of friends I collaborate with:
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5 Responses to Vanilla Twilight / White Noise

  1. RigoHC says:

    This is right on point.

  2. Pingback: How to Assassinate Boredom: Reading and Writing our Lives | Creativity Not Control

  3. Nice work, Matt. Reading it out loud in different voices—I got the rhythm you’ve written!

    • mamos206 says:

      Thanks Amiri. I really enjoyed your piece on Fight Club, it helped me understand why and how I’m becoming a revolutionary. It also got me interested in studying dialectics more deeply.

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