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Omar Musa: Dead Centre review – an uneven but vital slice of hip-hop and poetry

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Novelist, poet, TedX speaker and now rapper – Musa’s way with words and sentiments deserves to be heard on any forum he chooses

There’s not much in the way of hip-hop alumni from Queanbeyan, NSW. Even fewer with legitimate claim to being a critically acclaimed, award-winning novelist, a slam poetry champ, a lauded TedX speaker, an ambassador for the Emerging Writers Festival, and a semi-regular guest on ABC’s The Book Club.

The 32-year old Malaysian-Australian Omar Musa is all those things. Does he need to rap as well?

Related: Omar Musa, Australia's star slam poet, brings 'in-betweener' perspective to US

“There was beauty in the streets. You could see it everywhere. In fishtails and donuts, the silver cursive that slanted off tyres. In spraycan fumes and opals of oil, in kickflips and crossovers, cuts and kebab shops. In sneakers that cluster-hung like grapes on powerlines. And in that – something.”

Related: Here Come the Dogs by Omar Musa review — street poetry committed to the page

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