For rappers, "keepin it real" means being true to the rich legacy of rap. For me, "keepin it real" means being true to the rich legacy from which rap music emanates. It is a legacy that goes beyond the verbal volleys of Muhammad Ali, the pulsating poems of The Last Poets, and the Caribbean tradition of toasting. It is a legacy that may go as far back as the griots of West Africa and the ancient societies of Egypt. Rap music belongs to a rich Black tradition of reverence for rhetoric in its written and spoken form. Thus, discussions surrounding rap music must see this art form as part of the Black rhetorical continuum, both borrowing from and expanding this tradition in its creative use of language and rhetorical styles and strategies. Most specifically, rap was created and continues to exist primarily as a young, African American (predominantly male) rhetoric of resistance primarily to issues of race. Though rap artists' approaches differ to these issues, as an art form rap music uniformly draws on and expands the Black rhetorical tradition. In the first chapter of Black Skin, White Masks, "The Negro and Language," Fanon (1967) supports the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic determinism and linguistic relativity when he writes that a "man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language" (18; See Carroll, 1956). Asante (1987) echoes Fanon's words, for he maintains that "always the protester must use different symbol, myths, and sounds [my emphasis] than the established order.... The oppressed must gain attention and control by introducing another language, another sound [my emphasis]" (114-115). Similarly, Antonio Gramsci (1971) provides a theoretical framework that is relevant here.