The Hip-Hop League of Nations

     Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin popped up on a music TV show surrounded by rappers. 

                                         The Boston Herald

I guess it all started–like so many other things–with Barack Obama.  Da man was the first to harness the power of hip hop for political purposes with’s “Yes We Can” video.  Pretty soon every third-rate head of state had to have his or her own rapper, which is where me–Sound E-Fex–and my homey BackWurdz come in.  We’s headed to Da East Side of New Yawk to offer our services to Da Diplomats of Da World.  We can’t be lettin’ no waffle-puffin’ Russian punks muscle in on our business.

We drive up to da UN and park on the street.  Wurdz starts to put some money in the meter but I stop him cold.

“Don’t you know nothin’?” I ask, incredulous.  “When you work for the UN, you don’t pay for parking!”

“You don’t?” he asks.  It’s his turn to be incredulous.  We’s like that with each other–we got plenty of incredulity between us, so we take turns wif it.

“Hell no,” I say.  “We gonna have diplomatic immunity.  Once we’re hired, we can do anything we want and get away with it.”


“Yeah, man.  We can drive drunk and kill people, solicit sex from fourteen-year-olds, stop paying rent . . .”

“So workin’ for da UN’s gonna make us the baddest rappers they ever was?”

“You got dat right.”

We make our way into the building and ask where the employment office is.  Tha guard points us down the hall, where we find a paper-shufflin’ UN bureaucrat behind da desk.

“Excuse us,” I say.  “We wanna apply for diplomat jobs.”

The guy looks up from his “Russian Ladies Want to Marry You” catalog.  “Well, we have a number of job openings,” he says.  “Did you check the postings at”

“At the United Nations, we have a variety of high-paying, do-nothing job opportunities!”


We’re silent–I hate being caught off-guard by tough interview questions.  “Uh, no,” I say finally.

“You might be interested in this vacancy,” he says.  “We’re looking for an International Consultant for Updating Ecological Assessment of Livanjsko Polje.”

“Where’s dat?” I ask.

“Not far from the Adriatic Sea, in the back country of Split, lies quiet the Livanjsko polje,” he says, waxing rhapsodic as he reads.

“You want dat one?” I say to Wurdz.

“Naw–you can have it.  I don’t want to be operatin’ no waxer.”

“What else you got?” I say to Da Pasty-Faced One.

“Well, you might be interested in this one–Gender Expert – PRP Phase II, Dhaka.

“What’s da duration uh dat one?” I ask one.

“Here, take a look,” he says as he turns his laptop around for me to see.

“Initially ONe Year with POssibility of Extension,” it says.  “I like what they done with them letters,” I say.  “Random capitalizing is very hip-hop, like in my rap nickname.”

“Man, that’s in Bangladesh,” Wurdz says sharply.

“So?” I sez.

“That’s not just an impoverished country, it’s one of the worst rock songs of all time!”

The UN guy nods his head.  “It’s like Oscar Wilde said,” he adds.  “‘All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling’–that’s why there are so many bad poems about John Coltrane.”

Wurdz starts to sing in imitation of George Harrison’s whiny, nasal voice–“Bang-ala-desh, Bang-ala-desh!”–but I cut him off and tell him to shut da crunk up.

Coltrane:  “Please stop writing bad poems about me.  What do you think I am–a seagull?”


“How about Peacekeepers?  UN Peacekeepers are welcomed around the world!” Mr. Human Resources suggests.

Wurdz and I look at each other, den just bust out laffin’.  “When we go into troubled areas,” he says, “we don’t keep no peace–we kick ass!”

“Yeah.  ‘Sides, we wanna work right here at headquarters,” I say.

“You don’t nevah want to work in da branch office someplace like Burkina Faso,” Wurdz adds with a menacing tone.  “It stifles yo chances fo advancement.”

“Don’t you have any openings for hip-hop translators?” I ask, growing frustrated.

“Not since we signed up for,” he says.  “It’s the leading on-line rap translation engine–and it’s free.”

“I ain’t workin’ fo free,” Wurdz says.

“Well–that’s about all we have,” da man says.  “Unless . . .”

“‘Lest what?” I ask.

“Hmm,” he says.  “Here’s a new opening just popped up on my screen.”

“Ah-ha-ha–welcome, homies!”


“What is it?” Wurdz asks.

“Ban Ki-moon is looking for two rap sidekicks.”

“Ban Ki-moon? Who dat?”

“He’s the Secretary-General,” the human resources guy sez.  “He wants to complete his posse.”

“Oh–sorta like da Wu-Tang Clan?”

“Yes.  It will be called the ‘Ban Ki-moon Clan.’”

I looked at Wurdz, and he looked back at me.  “When do we start!” we yelled together.

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collections “Our Friends, the Rappers” and “The United Nations Puts the UN in FUN!”


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