50 Cent at Serrano’s Restaurant
By Erren Geraud Kelly

Rapper 50 cent was passing through my hometown,  Baton Rouge, on the way to New Orleans, to see his friend, Eminem, perform at the Voodoo Music Festival … 50 stopped at  Serranos’ Mexican Restaurant that was right across the street from the  coffeehouse i hung out at  regularly  and gave an interview for a local radio  station

when guys like 50 cent show up here
you know baton rouge is not a hick town anymore
throughout the radio interview
his white teeth shine
you are almost fooled into thinking
that money can buy you happiness
i’m less than ten feet from him
the people around me hold up their
cell phones, digital cameras and cameras
to take his picture
50 is soft-spoken, articulate and intelligent
the thug persona is just an act
during a break in the interview
50 stands in front of the stage and poses
for us
more white people show up in the crowd
whites make fun of black music, black art, black fashion
and black culture
but a cnn anchorman gets into trouble
when he said the clintons “pimped out” chelsea
for hillary’s presidential campaign
carrie bradshaw on television  sex and the city wears
doorknocker earrings (popular with black women)
the james bond theme has a hip hop beat
and white jewish girls write scholarly books on rappers
and teach english classes on hip hop
at white universities
more whites buy rap music than blacks

when 50 leaves the interview
i don’t stick around to get his autograph
when rap music actually has something positive to say
i’ll start buying it again …

Erren Geraud Kelly is a poet based in Chicago, by way of Louisiana, by way of Maine, by way of California, by way of New York City. He has been writing for 21 years and has been published in Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine (online) and anthologies including In Our Own Words, a Generation X Poetry Anthology, Fertile Ground and Beyond The Frontier. He received his B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.