The ability to relate rhythms and meters to eachother by organizing them mentally or by adding or substracting. This is both a listening skill, a creation skill and a tracing skill. It can be trained, as well as some are born with additional or uncommon aptitude.

Africana approach to polyrhythm values subjective metronome and rhythm. We have to relate and bridge the various rhythms to each other. Syncopated and off-beat rhythms threaten but never destroy the listeners rhythmodynamic relational ability.

Your Rythmodynamic Relational Ability can be broken down into several parts. I have mapped some of them and their differences and thus allowing for discussion and even training of  the various modes. Some of these are Portent Rhtyhmic Ability, Rhythmic Ken and Rhythmic Acumen




Is your ability to foreshadow or predict a rhythmic event or alteration. One could be tempted to call it rhythmic intuition, except, it is science, understanding, intelligence, skill, observation and calculation. This ability can both be trained and falls into the realm of aptitude or talent. Some do have a higher natural ability to do this than others. However, like most skillsets it is trainable. It is also one of those skills, like so many in the Africana world, that the more proficient you are at it, the more inborn and natural it seems. This leads to the often mistaken and racist claim, that Africans are born with this skill, although I do believe one could argue that there, in addition to a being born into cultures that train these skills from young, there might be a case for aptitude.

However, from the Africana perspective there is one way to substantiate the claim that we are born with it, although this would not be based on the same colonial and inherently racist assumptions of the euro-western lens, but rather that of a deepcultural perspective. Because I am born with my ancestors being present and active in my life, and their technology and knowledge is laregely based on rhythm, and I believe that they impart and share their knowledge with me, one could say I was born with rhythm as I was born with them. Through this perspective rhythm, as a cultural and metaphysical entity would not be as accessible to someone who does not have rhythm ancestry.



Ken refers to the range of vision at sea, or in relation to knowledge. It is linked to depth and perception. Translated to rhythmi you could say that in a sea of rhythm, Rhythmic Ken is your ability to see the rhythmic terrain and the forces that might affect it. In a polyrhythmic structure Rhythmic Ken would be how much of the rhythm, rhythmic paths and possibilities you are able to perceive. A high degree of Rhythmic Ken (knowledge and perception) increases your RhythmoDynamic Relational Ability, hightens you Portent Rhythmic Ability and sharpens your Rhythmic Acumen.


Refers to the ability to make good judgement and take quick decisions. It is not only the speed of your choices but also the quality and confidence of them. When entering the drum circle and dancing to live music or even in the house or hip hop cypher it is often this very ability that the audience is judging through their call and response and instant feedback. You could say that your rhythmic acumen is one of the dominant markers of virtuosity in Africana aesthetics.

Portent Rhythmic Ability can allow you to foreshadow a rhythmic event, however, it is your Rhtyhmic Acumen that determines your ability to act and make decisions accordingly.

To explain the distinctions: Rhythmic Ken determines the scope and with of your rhythmic recognition and knowledge, your Portent Rhythmic Ability determines how you can use this knowledge to predict and anticipate where the rhythm is going or to help guide it to a desired place, and your Rhyhmic Acumen is your ability to make quick and good choices based on your rhythmic ken and portent abilities.  Rhythmic Acumen is the very basis of how virtuosity is often perceived with African and African Diaspora dance genres. In a hip hop battle it is not uncommon for everyone to know the song. Hence, simply marking what the for example Busta Rhymes is saying would not be enough to get the crows exited. It is the restructuring of how we hear the music, allowing us to see your rhythmic ken by accenting various sounds with movement, your ability to stay with the changes of the music and predict sudden shifts (portent ability) and ultimately your ability to wow and surprise us with your daring, surprising or excellent choices (acumen) that is being judged. An excellent dancer shows exceptional acumen in their choices, reading the music, the crowd, their opponent and their own body, allowing for excellent rhythm physics where the movement get propulsive power from the rhythm, the restructure of optic, sonic, tactile and ethero rhythm, or the communication of such are the tools of the erudite rhythmic dancer.