THE BALLAD OF BLACK MATTHEW/REAL WARRIORS DUB

KEVAN “SCRUFFMOUTH” CAMERON

THE BALLAD OF BLACK MATTHEW

Bonjour, Bienvenue, Akwaaba;
mi din dey name is Mathieu de Costa
“First to arrive” like di griotte Itah say
“First to arrive” from way back inna di day.
Coast to coast mi reach alla di peoples dem
An upstanding member in societies of men
The Order of Good Cheer, I took dem from there to here
what mi neva know a so nu coulda fear.
Yu see mi navigate di ship across di sea,
but dem neva name a piece a wata afta me,
dem call me naigre, Negro, an’ Moor
I am a free Blackman upon Canadian shores
Mi link up wid alla di native peoples dem,
from di great white north down to brownin’ Caribbean,
indigenous, original and West Indian
unu pay top dolla’ to me fi fin’ di land.
Mi work for du Gua, sieur de Monts an’ Champlain,
discovery an’ conquest is di name a di game
dem pay me fi play, so mi cyaan complain,
hold mi fi a big ransom to dash di slave trade.
Me speak too much Creole, dem cyaan sell mi down di riva,
big money contract so mi ‘ave to deliva
so ‘ear mi say,
Bienvenue, Bonjour, Akwaaba;
mi din dey name is Mathieu da Costa.

Me come from Congo by way of Portugal
No matta what di language mi respon’ to di call
Me serve in Canada, Acadie, et Nouvelle France
een Swart genamd Matheu inna Old Amsterdam.
I lef’ di mothaland from di coas’ of Angola
Sailed up to Spain so dat I could say, Hola
translate or transatlantic crusad victim
I am a free man, so me learn fi speak pidgin.
Interpreter and sailor to all di known lands,
Black Matthew da Costa, the Great African.
The Blackamoors that ruled in Spain were overthrown
Asiento for pirates from di Papal throne,
if yu cyaan chat di lankwij when yu buil’ Babel towa,
yu nah get di cultcha an’ yu cyaan ‘old di powa.
So dem sen’ companies an’ Christians pon missions,
Dem kidnap me fi interpret an’ listen,
So mi say
Bienvenue, Bonjour, Akwaaba;
mi din dey name is Mathieu D’Acosta.

I fluent in Flemish, French, Dutch an’ Iroquois,
mi chat trade pidgin Basque, an’ even Patois,
Miqmaq, Italian, Swahili, Portugese,
German, Arabic, Spanish an’ Congolese,
Abenaki, Catalan, Twi, an’ Acadian,
I am the first Blackman to be Canadian,
So mi say again,
Bienvenue, Bonjour, Akwaaba;
mi din dey name is Mathieu deCoste.

I navigate di planet an’ alla di seven seas,
mi tell yuh Whiteman bring death an’ disease,
conspiracy to kidnap, tief, an’ colonize,
committing crimes against humanity in front my eyes.
‘ow can I work fah dis man dat I detest?
Dem aks mi fah di key to open up di treasure chest,
dem haffi buil’ bigga ships to trade in slavery
time fi use mi moral compass an’ sum bravery.
So me refuse to give furtha direction
to di Dutchman, an’ get accuse’ a insurrection,
dem lock me up
an’ say
‘Matheus deCost,
you can neva stop di Afrikan Holocaust.
The European battleships are ready for war
so who in this world do you think you are?’
Fi di las’ time,
Bienvenue, Bonjour, Akwaaba;
mi din dey name is Mathieu de Coste.

REAL WARRIORS DUB

Whappen, yu nuh see di gyal get tief?
Zionite workin’ fah di Babylon beas’
For real, yu nuh see di gyal get snuff?
Dem pin di tail ‘pon di mout’ name Scruff.

Enough! Reason like a real Rootsman.
Traditional respek like a true African.
Unite against the enemy inna we own lan’
But the slaves cyaan seem fi unnastan’
Dem talk as if a shotta
But white gyal blow inna yu nose
Yu big up whores and sellout di afros
A natural dread like I know how it goes
So no botha wid no comment ‘pon mi clothes.
Yu gwaan like fassy chump
Tief a gyal and pure pump and dump
Yu tell di gyal ‘ow ‘igh she affi jump
Punany kilos in Vanrock weigh more than she will ever be
A master is a slave widout di key

So come and step to me
Scruffmouth inna Burnaby
The global god of sport an’ poetry
A solo natty revolutionary
Me nuh carry weaponry
I and I is all the I need.

See if yu could read,
Dem ‘ave a ting call Marvel Team-Up,
Dem gun her down col’ afta she get gangfuck,
Mi ‘old up mi hand because mi haffi say enough,
Di times get tougher but dem cyaan tes’ Scruff-
Mouth!

So big up unu natty.
Playas play on like football,
Real Warriors respon’ to di call,
From moon up to down,
I check for all di youts inna me town,
A fi dem mi haffi throw down

So big up unu natty.
Playas play on like football,
Real Warriors respon’ to di call,
From moon up to down,
I check for all di youts inna me town,
A fi dem mi haffi throw down.

Whappen, yu nuh see di gyal get tief?
Zionite workin’ fah di Babylon beas’
For real, yu nuh see di gyal get snuff?
Dem pin di tail ‘pon di mout’ name Scruff.

Kevan Anthony Cameron is passionate about the written and spoken word. He grew up in Sherwood Park, Alberta before moving to Burnaby, British Columbia to attend Simon Fraser University. Cameron was a scholar-athlete and professional soccer player before writing poems and performing for film, television, commercials and new media opened new doors for Scruffmouth to write and perform his own original works professionally. As founder and creative director for Black Dot Roots and Culture Collective, Kevan initiates relevant and groundbreaking projects in Canada such as Hogan’s Alley Poetry Festival in Vancouver to satisfy the vision for the educational, creative and celebratory group that supports the reclamation of cultural space for indigenous peoples of African descent at home and abroad. Scruffmouth has toured internationally and is an established performer of spoken dub poetics. After moving to Ottawa, Ontario; Cameron continues to work in literary arts, film, television, and new media as a publisher and as a producer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.