Tara Betts


Tara Betts is a Black American poet and the author of Refuse to Disappear (Word Works Books, 2022); Break the Habit (Trio House Press, 2016); and the chapbook 7 x 7: kwansabas (Backbone Press, 2015). Tara Betts has taught at several Northwestern, DePaul, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Rutgers University, as well as at Stateville Prison via Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. Tara served as the Inaugural Poet for The People Practitioner Fellow at University of Chicago. Tara is also Poetry Editor at The Langston Hughes Review and founder of the nonprofit organization The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago’s South Side. Source

Hip Hop Analogies

After Miguel and Erykah Badu


If you be the needle

                 I be the LP.

If you be the buffed wall,

                 I be the Krylon.

If you be the backspin,

                 I be the break.

If you be the head nod,

                 I be the bass line.

If you be a Phillie,

                 I be the razor.

If you be microphone,

                 then I be palm.

If you be cipher,

                 then I be beatbox.

If you be hands thrown up,

                 then I be yes, yes, y’all.

If you be throwback,

                 then I be remix.

If you be footwork,

                 then I be uprock.

If you be turntable,

                 then I be crossfader.

If you be downtown C train,

                 then I be southbound Red Line.

If you be shell toes,

                 then I be hoodie.

If you be freestyle,

                 then I be piece book.

If you be Sharpie,

                 then I be tag.


If you be boy,

                 then I be girl

                 who wants to

                 sync samples

                 into classic.





Literary Movements:


Rap & Hip Hop

Anthology Years:



Love & Relationships

Rap & Hip Hop

Literary Devices:

After Poems

A poem where the form, theme, subject, style, or line(s) is inspired by the work another poet.


a figure of speech that creates a comparison by showing how two seemingly different entities are alike, along with illustrating a larger point due to their commonalities

Extended Metaphor

a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem