Tag Archives: growth

Requiem for Change

Rape-Culture-e1392242243997

The words don’t always
seem adequate enough
of my tongue

I’m still choking back tears
after all this time
I guess it’s learning
you can never be good guy oblivious
for too long
You can’t be enough royalty
to not need to keep challenging
yourself
Ain’t no ribbons for books read
and chivalry
This here is a long road traveled

The first shared tears came in high school
She was trying to reconcile what happened
I was trying to use balled fists in revenge
She was telling me she didn’t want that
I never realized I was making her
manage him and me
It took too long to recognize her strength
Good guy said you should have stayed with me
Good guy said let me fix it
Good guy still made it about good guy
I guess I felt
I couldn’t make it about her because
I wasn’t good at tears falling

Daddy liked liquor and women
Liked to swing heavy hands
I never asked to know about
anything else
But I know the dangers of that recipe
Good guy wanted to redeem
him by being the first
good decision he ever made
Wasn’t I the one who had to go
pick up his pride
from houses he was no longer
wanted in?
Good guys learn to fix things early

Good guys ask stranger if he
can walk her to her car
Never wonders why she might refuse
Might get mad at the answer
He be good guy
Good guy ask questions for understanding
Never bother to ask if it is ok
to ask questions first
Might take too much time trying to grasp
the reason for the answer
Good guy wears badges like boy scout
earned by completing deeds and tasks
Good guy don’t ask why the shirt
makes some run
Never realized that he didn’t get
the only badges made
That boy scouts also learned to hunt

The best goodbye
I’ve ever been a part of
was packing good guy’s baggage
and sending him on his way
The search for a new tenant
in this man’s understanding of self
was intensive
Thank God for the caretakers
who saw fit to share
with this fractured dreamer
The only lesson that never
settled home
is the freedom in letting
cheeks wet
I’ve never been good
at tears falling

What I did learn is priceless
I was inspired by the number of
times I was betrayed
by good guy instincts
Confided in by partners who
survived
Didn’t need to be saved
Found comfort in the midst of my eyes
I was challenged by fighters who
gave me books and lessons on
accountability
Pushed by men who were willing
to sit with each other in examination
of our own masculinity
Checked by soothsayers who had
seen where ignorance would lead me
Supported by a defiant band of clumsy
who were finding out how to stumble
but not fall
We had been learning to walk a certain
way for so long
The steps were unfamiliar but liberating

Each experience makes my heart full
Sobbing seems like thank you sometimes
I guess I know the reason I feel I’ve never
shown enough gratitude
I’ve just never been good at tears falling

Good guy sends me postcards
and texts saying he wants to come home
I tell him no
I’ve seen too much
I ain’t the same man no more

I remember leaving a workshop
after talking to a group of young men
feeling heavy
I remember telling the community
organizers that brought us
that there was so much work to do
What a crippling feeling it is
to do all that you know how to do
but still worrying
To fear that an angel’s fall at night
could lead to a devilish dawn
I remember stopping on the side
of the road on the way home
because what wasn’t being said
was deafening
I couldn’t get out the car
fast enough
I remember
the comrade
who held me up
The brother who loved me
band-aid enough to make it home
I remember the tears

The years doing workshops with men
The programs developed
The organizations worked with
The activists I have been trained by
The survivors I have stood by
The conversations
The broken
The determined
The death threats
The resilience
The everyday reflection
The camaraderie
The betrayals
The challenges
The dismissals
The reiterations
The struggle

The beauty of healing
The burden of sustainability
The necessity of the work

The realization that silence
means that nobody ever
considers that you can
hear them
see them

I promise
The tears are never too far away

I read a comment online today
I wanted to go numb
I couldn’t
I wanted to break things
but demolition is too familiar of a fancy
I wanted to cry
But I’ve never been good at falling tears

The water has welled in my chest
One day I will see monsoon
Or one day
I will vomit tidal waves

The Art of Mis-Interaction

an-old-design-02_grande

“Rhythm is the basis of life, not steady forward progress. The forces of creation, destruction, and preservation have a whirling, dynamic interaction.” – Kabbalah

I don’t interact the easiest. Whew! There, I said it. Ahhhhh. That really is a weight off my shoulders. Not like Atlas weight, but still larger than a whiffle ball.

Look, I really don’t. I do help, support, foster, nurture, mentor, teach, listen to, pep up, stand behind, but I don’t interact the easiest (now this is the point where I have repeated myself, realized it is a refrain and that there will be a poem from this also). It’s like my heart, mind, and spirit are mob bosses arguing over turf as they rally their “families.” I will save you from the extended metaphor of detailing the families based on the boss and the various things associated. Just know I could do it if I wanna. I don’t. Point is that they tend to not make things smooth. I don’t do things smooth. Except how I pulled you in with that cool quote. That was smooth. Admit it. The picture was just icing on the cake. No there is not cake.

I hate making mistakes. My greatest fear is coming up short (anybody even thinking of tall person jokes I will telepathically kick you in the shins. Felt it twinge? That was a warning). I’ve always despised that feeling. Fail has a way of making you ok with trying again. Screwing up makes you want to run arms flailing into the shadows, go home and pack your underwear, then try jump through your moms full length mirror hoping to get to Narnia. It never works by the way. It takes a lot of regrouping to recover from mistakes. But nobody is perfect right? And avoiding mistakes is more tiring than recovering from making one.

See, the thing is, I believe in people. I just don’t always trust everyone. Yes, that means I am watching many of you very very closely. It also means that a conversation with me is like a tennis match. You keep volleying hopping to gain an advantage but that return is mean. So is the serve.

Another important aspect is that if you give me an impression, I operate off that impression. You might not recognize it because I still operate with respect, compassion and appreciation. I just don’t see you the same. There are stringent limitations that come with that. The energy I expend changes dramatically. Doesn’t matter if you don’t see what you did. Your the one blind to the fact, not me. Your vision is blurry not Flava’s. If you don’t understand the significance of the last two sentences, then I might need to rethink our relationship anyway.

I don’t buy wolf tickets. Talk all you want. I’ve been the “good listener” since 6th grade. Doesn’t mean I’m convinced. Probe all you want. It’s G14 classified over here. You aint got clearance then there is a nice brochure we have prepared that will give you all the pertinent information. Throw out a hook and a line…*I’m laughing* (nice fisherman hat and vest). Unless you lowering yourself in these waters in a cage like them hunting for the biggest shark people, then I ain’t got much for you. Take a risk babee!

If you have G14 classification and If I trust you, then I believe it’s ok to make mistakes around you. Because I trust you’ll talk to me about (or slap me in the back of the head, cuss me out, slap my hand). I hold you close enough to be off, to do too much, to say too much, to be way off, to be dumb. Only thing is…it also hurts way way more when you walk away, back away, don’t respond, won’t communicate, attack, or dismiss. It all looks like falling short to me.

I am a hapless romantic southern gentleman. Maaaan, I aint got time to unpack all the things that brings me. But the book is coming. I promise! No, seriously…I PROMISE!

I’m also very flirtatious. Probably way too flirtatious to not follow up on the flirtation or recognize when the interaction has shifted. Ha! But I’m good at it tho. At least I think so. I did have someone who kept going, “That was what you were doing?” That was traumatizing. I had to spend weeks at flirt camp regaining my mojo. Thank goodness for smores.

I don’t have time to entertain foolishness (I got it from my momma).

I retreat. Sometimes I disappear. It goes with the very private nature. If you don’t have security clearance, then I probably won’t be able to break down why I feel the need to retreat or disappear. So I apologize for not warning you or explaining it. It’s a sucky quandary. I’m complicated.

This post is long as hell. You’ve been subjected to my need to get this out of my head. The poem will be better I promise.

I don’t interact the easiest. For lots of reasons. But I love the interactions I have had. I try to learn from my mistakes. I’m grateful for the people who put up with me. I am sorry for the ones I have shut out. I will change and trust more. Then I won’t. Then I will again. Then I will write more posts and blogs. At least until I become ridiculously stupendously happy. Then I’ll draw daffodils and sing folks songs.

One other thing…

To those that don’t know if they have abused their privileges. I bet I got you thinking now don’t I? Is it me? He did sorta look at me funny 3 weeks ago. His last text message was missing a comma, was it a sign. Hmmm, I wonder. Well, here is some advice. Don’t inbox me, email me or text me. Cuz, you know…limited clearance. I’ll cleverly distract you. Look a new reality show staring Monique and Boris Kudjo. See?

Orangoutang. Cool word… Orangoutang.

Ok, I think that is all. I have made a new post for my blog. Next I’ll publish it. It will go out to my social media pages. Most of friends won’t read it. They all kick babies and pluck the wings off of butterflies in their spare time.

Orangoutang

Say it with me…

Orangoutang

The Tipping Point…

change-4-1imepyc

I was sitting around a table with scholars, thinkers, and culturalists from all over (the country and the world) as we got introduced to the administrative logistics of our fellowships with the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. I have the honor of being a 2015-2016 Nasir Jones Fellow with the Hip Hop Archive & Research Institute at the Hutchins Center. As we introduced ourselves and our work, I was struck with a feeling. I listened to everyone mention the institutions they taught at. One scholar had just gotten tenure and was very excited (rightfully so). Each of them on sabbatical or leave from their home institution to participate in scholarly activity. I felt a little awkward.

I’m sure they are evaluated on their scholarly activity much like we are at Saint Augustine’s University. There is actually a category on our evaluations that is “Professional Activity.” The definition is below.

Professional Activities – Participating in discipline related conferences, workshops, and artistic presentations, evidence of publication, professional presentations, discipline related research, submission of grant proposals, and obtaining grant funding.

Now this category is new, but the premise isn’t. Before this it was listed as “Research and Scholarly Activity.” I of course would think that being a research fellow at Harvard would qualify. Wouldn’t you?

I was so excited when I got word that I had received the fellowship. I made sure to let my department chair know about the appointment. I slowly started to tell my colleagues. I was encouraged to share with our Office of Marketing and Communications. I did. The piece they put out on it was picked up by HBCU Digest. Our new president was aware and offered congratulations in passing. As the spring semester ended I prepared for what I knew was going to be a great journey and a wonderful opportunity to glean some insight that I could use myself and pass on to my students.

I saw if as a continuation of work I had been doing with colleagues on campus. I had been a part of a grant funded project that allowed myself and other colleagues to develop a writing course based on popular culture. This was in addition to other programming that fostered critical think and writing skills while pushing the exposure of the students to various modes of analysis. As an artist, I enjoyed being able to take this approach. I had already worked with secondary school teachers on the same thing through a relationship with Communities in Schools NC and the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching. This included helping educators integrate pop culture into their classrooms, especially Hip Hop. Through this grant funded project I was able to bring that experience to my institution. I saw this fellowship as a chance to have even more to offer and to expand the impact of the things our project had been able to accomplish.

Before the semester reached its end I notified HR that I wouldn’t be teaching upcoming year (because of the fellowship). This was presented to me as a necessary step to get my class load covered, especially if an adjunct would need to be hired. Makes sense. That hole in coverage would need to be addressed. Justification would be required for additional hiring. Can’t get more justification than the loss of a instructor for a full academic year.

That was it. Our contracts are annual and I am not tenured so a sabbatical wouldn’t apply to me.

I finished my end of semester tasks and prepared for graduation. When graduation ended, I said my goodbyes and gave out a lot of hugs.

In June I got a call from HR. I was told I needed to come to campus to pick up checks. It was explained that I had checks that included my remaining salary (my pay was spread out over 12 months) and a benefits refund. My benefits had been stopped at the end of May. They decided to cash out the remaining salary rather. With the checks was a letter from the president saying that he accepted my resignation. Just like that I was no longer an employee at Saint Augustine’s University. My 9 years of service to the institution were completed.

For me, what hit me when I sat around that table listening to the other scholars was that I didn’t have a “home” institution to return to. I wasn’t on loan to Harvard for the year. I was in a unique space that I don’t quite know how to explain. So many people in congratulating me on this opportunity have asked about me returning to Saint Augustine’s University. Initially I danced around the subject. I didn’t want to get into the details. I didn’t want it to sound bad or malicious and I wasn’t sure it was. I just knew how it felt opening that letter from the president.

Now that I have had a few months to think about. Now that I am here at Harvard amongst this cohort of scholars. Now that I have talked more about what happened with some of my close friend and mentors. I can say that for a moment, I felt that this wonderful thing I was about to accomplish didn’t mean that much to the place I had called “home” for 9 years. A place that was my alma mater. I felt cast away. That it wasn’t important for me to be going to do this on behalf of myself, the arts and Hip Hop community, and my “home” institution. That I will get over.

The reality is that my alma mater is going through changes. We have a new president who is dedicated to restoring the prestige and pride of the institution. That includes restructuring, cuts, shifts, etc. Maybe the challenges of the present outweighed the promise of the future. I don’t know.

For now, I am dedicated to getting the most from this opportunity and I will prepare to think about where to share my experiences and work next later. I will never be too far from my alma mater. I will always keep my ears open for ways to share with my alma mater. I just won’t be returning “home.”

We will see how it all turns out. I hope that tomorrow brings the best for both of us.

Damn this sounds like a post breakup reflection.

It definitely is a tipping point.

Ahhhh, 40!

Dasan Ahanu birthday outfit 1 - Friday
Dasan Ahanu Birthday outfit 1 – Friday
Dasan Ahanu Birthday outfit 2 - Saturday
Dasan Ahanu Birthday outfit 2 – Saturday

40to40: 40 posts for 40 days until turning 40

“At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgement.” – Benjamin Franklin

I turned 40. That milestone in your life where….Well, I don’t really know what is supposed to happen when you turn 40. Everyone talks about being free and empowered. They say you worry less about things or become more comfortable with you. I personally think that folks realize 40 years is enough time to worry about bullshit. So whatever that bullshit is they let go of it and that becomes their defining turning 40 moment.

I told everyone I was letting go of my filter. Of course, I can’t truly do that. What I’m really doing is adjusting my filter. Some of my tact, subtlety, savvy, and awareness is from my own self consciousness. The rest is from paying attention to my surroundings and the people that occupy said surroundings. The self conscious part is what I am letting go of. People will be happy to know I am not ditching the surroundings and people part. Some were truly afraid of that. I enjoyed letting them think that would actually happen. Nope, I am reserving that luxury for 60. Then all bets are off and the filter will be completely burned.

I think that I have earned the right to let go of the inner kid who never wanted to seem out of place even if he was. The inner kid who never wanted to be caught off guard. The inner kid who wanted to know exactly how to maneuver in whatever space he was in.  That kid has now agreed that some “F*ck it” can take over the next 20 years. How I carry my self is no longer self preservation, it is now a representation of how I feel…about you, the situation, global warming, hamburgers, chai lattes…basically, we will see how the wind blows.

I’m looking forward to seeing how things go. I am sure the next chapter in this adventure that has spanned 4 decades will be a well written one. God has a pretty good pen hand you know?

PSA: this message was written in the future for my birthday weekend (which was in the past) because I wanted a James Cameron like ending to my 40to40. *Insert evil grin and laugh here*

 

 

 

 

PSA again: Did you buy that? Was that clever and convincing? No? Hater.

The Independent Artist’s Fight (The Mayweather Model)

mayweather-vs-maidana-betting-odds

40to40: 40 posts for 40 days until turning 40

Mayweather
426 thrown
230 connected
54% punches connected

34% jabs landed
54% power punches landed

Maidana
858 thrown
221 connected
25% connected

11% jabs landed
34 power punches landed

This fight is an excellent metaphor for what I believe is the biggest illusion in independent art (especially poetry), that activity means success. Maidana was on the offensive the entire fight. He jumped out early with lots of intensity and fire. He tried to bully his way to victory. But round by round stats show he started to slow and Mayweather started to show his consistent brilliance and that he had figured out Maidana’s approach. When the fight was over many felt Maidana had won. The judges felt otherwise. The stats show otherwise. But what an exciting illusion.

I have talked about the differences and similarities between a full time artist and a professional artist before. Both create art as a lifestyle and profession. Both seek compensation for their work. One is more reliant on compensation to survive (and can encounter unique decisions because of it). The other is more reliant on their professional demeanor to create the best and most fitting opportunities (especially since their time may be shared with other professional endeavors). Regardless, neither of them is creating art as a hobby. It is their passion, their craft, and their job (part time or full time).

I have talked to poets who have over time found their activity to not be enough to feed their inner desire for more. They start to wonder if it is all for naught. They don’t see that the same activity over time begins to sap their energy and effectiveness. Much like Maidana they lose some control over the future outcome of their endeavors. They become reliant on toughing out the current course and hopping the decision is in their favor. It is that sense of powerlessness that starts to give them concern. Seeing others at various levels of success only add to the concern. They don’t see the fight those artists are in. They grow to be enamored with the illusion.

I also talk to young poets who have it set in their mind to build a resume. They want activity. That’s great. Building experience (and a resume as a result) is a solid aim. But seeking experience is a desire to do work that has an end goal. Seeking to build a resume is a desire to do work that makes you a hamster on a spinning wheel. A resume is only as good as the job you are targeting. With no idea of what job you are going after you have no idea how to build the most effective skill set. If you have built a varied skill set, you have no idea how to structure that resume into one that accurately identifies how you fit that specific job. That’s why you seek experience. Experience is about what you can gain and what it prepares you to accomplish. Resume building gains a name and a reputation that only offers you more opportunities to affirm your name and reputation. Being an artists is not the end goal. You are starting there. Being a better artist isn’t an end goal. It’s a lifelong aspiration and pursuit.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying don’t do work. The shows, tours, TV and Radio appearances, workshops, etc. are all a part of the profession. As independent artists you need to continually place your art in front of audiences and generate revenue. That sustains you while you create new art. But what is that activity for? Where is it leading you? If you don’t know then you set yourself up to just be active.

I talk a lot about how I have grown to dislike the idea of grinding as a mantra. As a verb I love it. We all should grind. As an ideology I hate it. We should seek to build. We should seek to build capacity, resources, skills, and networks. That a healthy sustainability. The grind can be do destructive. It can fracture relationships, your psyche, and your health.

See Mayweather stayed consistent while analyzing his opponent. His ability and talent is only as good as his consistent critical thinking and quick observations. He stayed patient while testing his theories and evaluating whether he needed to adjust his plan of action. He bored the brunt of the initial onslaught knowing he would start to take over as time moved on. He became more efficient as time went on. He maximized his openings and made use of power shots. In the end he walked away with the decision and an additional belt. His approach to the fight took into consideration who he was, what he was trying to accomplish, what he had already learned, and who his opponent was. He continued to build on his knowledge base while integrating his previous experience. In the end the culmination of his skills, experience, understanding, and mastery of his craft took over.

That’s what we have to start to seek to do. Knowing that it ultimately creates greater capacity for us but also for those that we hold dear and our larger circles. We have to seek to integrate what we bring to the table with what we know. We have to continue to take our experiences and use them to build capacity for the future. We have to use each moment we get to step into the ring as a scientific experiment. Testing strategy and method.

We have to be smart about the opponents. We use this approach to build our brand. We create value for our brand and flip that value into intermediary opportunities. We do this so that we are constantly exercising our creative abilities even if it isn’t in our given genre or form. It is by doing this that we discover other application for the creative talents we have developed. Even if we aren’t in a position to fully utilize that realization at that moment, we have that stored and can apply when the time is more fitting.

Now I’m not saying go out and start hollering “Money Team.” I’m saying let your work be a building block to building the offices for your future. After a long life on the road a salesman has lots of stories and adventures, but still needs the next sale to survive. Some desire that rush. They feel comfortable there. They thrive there. But not everyone is built to sell until the very end. Those folks who know that sell while they learn. They sell while they plan. They sell while they strategize. They then move up in position. That allows them to train new salesman and offer them a trajectory that is up and not out. They can grow what they have built having integrated a new set of skills garnered from the position move. That growth brings new skills, which leads to more growth which creates greater capacity… you get it?

Now it’s not easy. I have been working with this mantra in mind for a long time. I cannot say I execute it as effectively and efficiently as I should. I have to also battle my own insecurities and hang ups as I seek to be the artist and professional I want to be. I have to remember that my role as an arts organizer shouldn’t stunt what I need to be doing as a professional artist. I have to make sure that I am not being compartmentalized by my skill sets. It’s an everyday struggle.

But I want to continue to build for myself and others. I want to create capacity for work and continued learning. I want to build sustainability. I don’t want to compromise my well being for my art. I do not want to be overcome by the belief that my compromise will be the greatest muse. I want to contribute to my art thriving and help provide a model of independence that is functional and adaptable. I also want to eat, wear clothes, have a place to stay…you know, enjoy life. I would like a vacation that isn’t the day before an after a show. The life in between the next gig is where inspiration comes from. Its where love happens. It’s where I drink chai lattes and buy sneakers. You want me to drink chai lattes and buy sneakers. Artists, promoters, and organizers are in one piece because I can drink chai lattes and buy sneakers.

Just sit with what I am saying for a moment. See if it makes sense. If not, then ignore me. Forget I said anything. But if you have been struggling with how to make sense of it all I ask you to consider what I’m offering. Apply it to that decision to have a job while you create. Apply it to those great possibilities that may temporarily take you away from the stage, but may bring you back to it in even greater fashion. Use it as a pair of lenses to look at your peers before you get mad, angry, resentful, or jealous. Understand though, I am not professing to be an expert. This is not “Fix Your Life.” It’s just another perspective.

I want to be the pound for pound best in the world at being what I was intended and destined to be. Do you? Let’s take the ride together and see what kind of beautiful we can build.

I Am Inspired By Warriors (valuable lessons pt 2)

The logo for Men Against Rape Culture (MARC) founded at NCSU.
The logo for Men Against Rape Culture (MARC) founded at NCSU.

40to40: 40 posts for 40 days until turning 40

Men Against Rape Culture (MARC) was one of the most transformative things I have ever been a part of. Bryan Profitt is the person who got me involved. He was a young activist that I kept running into throughout the community. I was being mentored by elder organizers who were also mentoring him. We had been involved in organizing at NCSU in Raleigh and in organizing young folks to participate in other actions happening in the city. We had worked to start Hip Hop Against Racist War (HHARW) and joined with other young activists to lend our hand to the organizing around a number of issues.

After returning to NCSU for graduate school, Bryan got a job taking over a program at the Health Center that worked in conjunction with the Health Center and the Women’s Center. He came up with an idea of how to restructure the program. He looked at Men Can Stop Rape out of DC and other initiatives across the country. He asked me to help. I started working part time at the center and soon we recruited students on campus to help us build what would become MARC. Not too long after he finished grad school we started working with the statewide coalitions against sexual assault and domestic violence. We got to work with institutions across the state. We got to work with organizations in various communities. We got to work with men around this issue. We also learned how to support survivors and how to communicate and heal as secondary survivors. I learned feminist politics. I grew as a person. I was shaped forever.

There are truths that I hold to because of the experiences I had with MARC. I tell the women that helped me grow so much that I think of them as I do work in the community. I say the same to the men who helped mentor me. The warriors who have struggled, fought, taught, and advocated for change. I can call them friends and allies. I can call on the lessons they gave me when I need them.

Because of them…

I will believe the survivor. I will not defend a perpetrator.

I will not blindly accuse. I will not demonize. My commitment is to the safety, preservation, nurturing, and growth of my community and not the destruction of a person.

I will challenge patriarchy and heterosexism. I will listen to learn.

I will follow. I will work.

I can not enter or remain in a space that is reckless. Reckless is destroying to vindicate. Reckless is ignoring that the numbers say that we rarely know who is a survivor around us. How we hold a space includes having a plan for those who haven’t spoken up. We do not take them along for the ride. Reckless is saying “Oh well” about those caught in the crossfire. Reckless is not having the proper resources in a space.

I can not be part of a process that doesn’t recognize the influence of privilege, class, and race in decision making. Even within feminism there are debates about ideology and focus. Many voices that have expanded the understanding of feminism have been voices of color (especially queer women of color). They have expressed that there are complexities that exist.

I can not be a part of a space that doesn’t establish a way for men to work with men. Or understand the value of proper facilitation of certain conversations. How we hold a space is very important. Allied men don’t always know how to be effective allies. Problematic men don’t always know how not to be problematic. We don’t wait for them to be checked because then responsibility is placed on the wrong person. The men in the community should actively work to grow the capacity of those men.

I can not be a part of a space that does not include love and healing. For sustainability. For preservation. For growth. For so many damn good reasons.

I can not and will not stop working.

“The Love” A rhythmic exploration of now

afro_headphones_by_chapsticks-d5exhk5

40to40: 40 posts for 40 days until turning 40

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” Carl Jung

We need love if we living this life
We need love if we living it right
If I’m living it true
Then of course I know what to do
Grab this pen and bring love to you

We need love when feeling is pain
When the world seems so insane
When the tears fall
When the lives lost don’t add up
The justice system aint backing us up
We need love

We need a prayer when faith is weak
We need people marching out in the streets
When sun falls
Let the right shine bright in the dark
Just know I got love for yall

Teach the people that’s love
Hip Hop, that’s love
Poetry, that’s love
What I’m penning is love
We hustle together
We struggle together
Let our voices scream freedom forever
And that’s love yall

We need a leader when moment is time
We need rebels with these beats and rhymes 
When the time calls
Never divided 
We stand united
Can you feel that thing inside us

We need healing when answers are rare
Pray to God for a sign up there
When night falls
We light our candles and sing our songs
Cuz in the morning
the fight goes on 
for the love yall

We need love when the pressure is on
She need love cuz her baby is gone
When a child falls
Don’t hang your head
Let’s hug instead
And let her know that we answering the call
With this love y’all