Skip to main content

Full text of "The Beat Within 14.06"

See other formats


would like to congratulate you for becoming the 

44th President of the United States of America. You inspire me to 
do many things. It givfes me hope to become something I thought 
I couldn't be in life no matter what it is. / believe in you, that vov 
ore going to fnake things right in this world. \ \ 

\ \ : 7 

read the rest of Richard's POW on page 8 \ 

/// ' ////#/ ///.// 

VVClCOIfIG Beat editorial note readers! We have a host 
of solid writing in this 14.06 issue. Before you dive into this 
issue, lets devote a few minutes to our friend and long time 
colleague, Sheerly Avni, who not only has been an incredibly 
dedicated colleague the last ten years, but so courageously 
stepped up to write this editorial note... 

Big love to all our readers, writers, first timers, poets preachers and 
teachers. It's Sheerly here, long time Alameda Country Workshop 
Facilitator, dropping in to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day 

We've spent a lot of time talking about politics in workshops: 
Between all the crazy problems in the economy, the excitement of seeing 
a black man (AND first-generation American) defeat all odds and get 
elected president, and the horrors of the Oscar Grant killings, there's been 
so much happening out there that impacts you that we've been doing our 
best to hit all these topics, so other people in the country could hear what 
you had to say 

But this week, let's talk about love. 

Beat writers produce some of the best love poems we've ever read 
- and they also tell some tragic stories. We've read about girls whose 
boyfriends died in their arms, about young men who love their girls so 
much that they raise the girls' children as their own, or young men whose 
hearts get broken because their girl moves on while they're locked up.... 
We've seen people get punked by love, get lifted by love, get broken by 
love, get made whole by love. 

But then the question is, how do you know whether or not it's true 
love? What if it's just infatuation? Or lust? What if you think you love 
someone but he or she treats you bad, gets you putting in work, or cheats 
on you? On the flip side, what if you love someone, and you know you do, 
but you feel like most of the letters and poems you write always start with 
"I'm sorry for all the pain we put you through?" 

Well damn, we sure don't have the answers, but these did seem like 
questions worth asking. So we found a quiz on the internet that's designed 
to help people figure out if they are truly in love, in a strong, powerful way 
that can help them conquer the world, and so we're reprinting it here, 
for you all to check out (we switched up the language and added a few 
questions on our own.) 

TL in this case stands for True Love (What else?) Be sure to answer 
honestly - this is not court, this is about your life and your happiness, and 
no one needs to see your answers but you. . . 


Answer Each Question with a T for True or an F for False 

1. You know, because your TL told you so, that all your deep feelings are 

2. Your TL makes you feel special and good about yourself 

3. If and when you feel jealous, it only lasts for a minute or to - you trust 
your TL not to betray you or hurt your relationship. 

4. When you fight, you always make up quickly, say within a few hours, 
and you always agree that nothing is more important than being able to 
express your true feelings (even if it sometimes causes conflict) 

5. Nothing makes you feel as peaceful as when you and your TL are 

6. Your TL NEVER tries to get you to choose between him/her and your 
family or friends. If you make that call, it's your decision, and yours 

7. You don't need to test each other, to make them prove themselves to 

8. You can be the "real you" with this person. 

9. If you are having sex nobody forced it on anybody, and no one is feeling 
any kind of pressure to not use protection. 

10. You don't need to be afraid of physical violence from your TL 

11. Your TL is trying to help you stay OUT of jail 

12. Your TL would still love you tomorrow even if you were suddenly 
flat broke. 

Now for scoring... if you answered TRUE to at least 9 out of the 12 
questions, then there is a good chance you have found a deep and 
meaningful love that will last forever... (But if you answered FALSE on 
#10, then we gotta say, drop him or her NOW). 

But if when you answered those questions, if you started to feel like 
you couldn't honestly answer TRUE to at least 9 of them, then it might be 
time to kick that ninja (ninjette?) to the curb. 

Because at The Beat, when we read your pieces, we see and appreciate 
the best in you — and this Valentine's Day, isn't it worth making sure you 
are getting and giving what you deserve???? 

Peace to all, and Happy Valentine's Day. 

Thanks Sheerly! Lets get busy with sharing with you readers 
the topics that were discussed in our workshops prior to the 
writing that is featured in this latest issue. 

The first topic, "Remaking America" - In Obama's inspiring 
inaugural speech, he mentioned, "For the world has changed, 
and we must change with it." "What is required of us now is a 
new era of responsibility- a recognition, on the part of every 
American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nations, and 
the world, duties..." "Our time of standing pat, of protecting 
narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - 
that time has surely passed." "Starting today, we must pick 
ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of 
remaking America. For everywhere we look, there is work to be 
done..." Obamas spoke about "remaking America." What does 
that mean to you and your community? 

Second topic, "Words" - The whole world relies on 
communication with words, through writing or speaking. The 
power of words is unbelievable, as in this excerpt from the 
Bible: "So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it 
boasts of great things. Behold how great a forest is set aflame 
by such a small fire.. .no one can tame the tongue; it is restless 
evil and full of a deadly poison." With that in mind, how have 
words affected you, for better or for worse. Think about some 
important interactions you have had, letters you have written, 
and share with us the power of words. 

Three, "Violence: nature or nurture?" - In this week's 
inauguration of President Barack Obama, Senator Dianne 
Feinstein of California made reference to the non-violent 
protests that made the election of a black president possible. 
Do you think nonviolence, as modeled by Dr. Martin Luther 
King, Jr., can be more effective than violence? Digging deeper, 
where do you think violence comes from? Some of you are 
locked up for violent crimes, and many of you have committed 
violent acts. Do you think people are inherently violent [are 
born that way), or do you think good people resort to violence 
because of outside forces? Where do you think young people 
learn how, when, and why to be violent? Give us your history 
of violence from where you sit. 

Last but not least, the very popular, "A letter to the 
president" - What would you like to say to the new president? 
(We'll send him your letters too.) 

Ok this is the last reminder of our current writing contest, 
the question is... "Does President Obama inspire you?" How 
does he inspire you? Send Beat editor Omar Turcios your 
thoughts on how President Barack Obama inspires you, and 
the top three pieces, voted on by the lead Beat editors, will be 
given $50 money orders. The deadline for accepting pieces is 
February 28, 2009. All the pieces will be featured in The Beat 
Within publication the first week of March, 2009. 

All right friends, enjoy the powerful wthin this Beat. It 
is an honor to share with you all. This one goes out to Alex 
Rodriguez, yeah right! Ok, Michael Phelps, nahhh.... All right, 
how 'bout to all the people who have a hand in raising money 
for The Beat Within. Their efforts mean the world and the 
future of this unique and very special weekly. 

The Beat Within 

At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor inappropriate s< 
remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enough tension in our i 
muities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat's interest to pro 
peace and unitv. Our soal is to educate one another. 

The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants i 
our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you read d 
not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights are reservec 
Nothing from this publication can be reproduced without our written permission. 

To our writers: What you write could be hazardous to you. Your words have cor 
seauences. and could be used to incriminate vou. Trv to illuminate vour feelings an 

ry to illuminate your leeimgs an< 
ammunition for those who mish 

ise vour words against vou. 

Co-founders: Sandy Close and David Inocencio 

Senior Editors: David Inocencio 

Assistant Editors: Michael Kroll, Omar Turcios 

Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Martinez, Patricia John- 
son, Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Hanif Bey, Brenda Navarro, Sa- 
mantha Navarro, Johnny Le, Laura Vitaro, Karla Serrano, Ricky Rollins, Kendra 
Davis, Anastasia Freeman, Demarius Brown, Mon'Kesia Butler, Michaela, Ava, 
Danyal, Jeanette Beltran, Monica Carlos, Janet Lagto, Allan Tinker, Nic Reiner- 
Parra, Laura Goode, Molly Patterson, Peggy Simmons, Kirstin Dan, Angel Ryono, 
Siliva Mortenson, Kolby Hanson, Sam Peterson, Kim Nelson, Gwendolyn Hubner, 
Oscar Pena Jr., Julia Scheinbeim, and Neela Baneriee. 

The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department Beat 
Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C., Lisa 
Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Carissa Allen, Antoinette Flores, Mr. B., 
Tammie Utter, D. Scott Herrmann, Connie Pyburn, Ph. D. Clinical Director, Ph.D. 
Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

Steve Serna 

Oak Hill - Washington, DC Staff: 

loe and Gabriel Proddei 

Fresno : Mai Der Vang, Rosie Wentz, Liliana Romero, Nigel Medhurst, Ashleigh 
Rocker, and Cindv Jenson 

Monterey : Sam Peterson and Sarah Damico 

Art: Much dtods to evervone for the sreat art this week. 

Spiritual Advisor: 

Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous support 
of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs - California 
Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund, Community Foun- 
dation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation of California, Comp- 
ton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foundation, Evelyn and Walter 
Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foun- 
dation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cum- 
mings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, Open Society Institute, 
Peninsula Community Foundation, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cow- 
ell Foundation, Monterey, Fresno, Solano, Oak Hill - Washington DCSan Francisco 
Arts Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W Clem- 
ent and Jessie V Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation, 
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben Sels/ 

Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public I 
Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, 1 
Zellerbach Familv Fund and individual dom 

oundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode 

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francisco, Mari- 
copa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio County New 
Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have any questions oi 
comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to become a subscriber, con 
tact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415) 503-4170 or check us out at: 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 


P/MM fff fltt MM 

tt-ffUU 0/Mt #^// // 


4/mM M 

f/Jff/Jf/fff S# 

SM/fff/fM // 

JfMifil/M 41 

fiifitfiZ // 

Mitt // 

ffflii // 

to/m /# SfiM/sA fff 



Last Day 

Verse 1 

It was a hot late night when I remember kicking back 

Bomping the oldies out the homie Dopey's Cadillac 

Parked on the block drinking pisto, selling dope 

Me, my homie Joker, Darky, my primo Locs 

Watching out, keep an eye out for the black and white 

Kicking back, spending days on a crazy-ass night 

The block was rolling just like any other day 

The only thing I didn't know — the homie was gonna get 


Damn Loco, a ranfla (car) hit the block 

Fools hanging out, the next thing I knew my homie was shot 

Damn, he fell, it seemed it was all a dream 

All I kept hearing was the homeboys scream 

"Look ese, don't die," they kept saying 

He tried to get up, but in the homie's arms he kept laying 

I look around and see my homies everywhere 

Faces looking down on him 

He tried to talk to the homie but he couldn't even talk 

"Please dear god, don't let this be his last day" 

I seen him close his eyes and go in a deep daze 


Somebody please give me just a minute, I never knew that this 

would be my last day. 

Verse 2 

The juras came and they blocked the calles all up 

All I kept hearing was the homie get shot 

The medics worked on him, and the juras all around 

Hitting up my homies all about what went down 

He got rushed to the hospital, I guess to cut him up 

Slowly he was dying, damn I know he is stuck 

I hear the doctors running trying to save him 

"There's nothing else to do," they said, "but wait and see" 

Now he is stranded in a coma, on a life support machine 

With his family around him, but no way to win 

Mom starts crying, and his pops is holding tight 

With tears in his eyes, telling him to fight 

Everything went black, and he got cold as ice 

When a big flash of light appeared before his eyes 

It's a shame we die, for the game will never end 

But now I know, now I understand... 


Somebody please give me just a minute, I never knew that this 

would be my last day 

Verse 3 

Now he is gone, but that's the way it all goes 

He's laying in a casket in some gangster clothes 

Homies walking up, to pay their last respects 

With tears in their eyes, dressed up in all black 

("I just got something in my eyes") 

"Rest in Peace homeboy," is what we all say 

Soon he'll be burned, he'll be on his way 

From ashes to ashes and dust to dust 

It's pay back time, and in my homeboys I trust 

An eye for an eye, that's what it's all about 

I know my 'hood'll get back 'cause he had much clout 

I guess this is it, now it's time to ride 

In the big black hearse, with chrome SS on the side 

Bumper to bumper all the way down the street 

Down to the cemetery, rolling deep 

Heading down the east side on my way 

I never thought I'd come to see his last day 

(RIP to all the comrades that have left this world) 

-Temper, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: And now we've just got something in our eyes. Temper, 
Temper, Temper, how much pain you express in this ballad, this story 
that happens over and over — an eye for an eye — though seldom has 
anyone as gifted as you to turn the tragedy into art. But how will it 
end? Will you ever feel the pain that your homies' revenge will put into 
the broken heart of another mother, another father? Will you ever see 
what that revenge will bring to another of your beloved homies? An eye 
for an eye... Yes, RIP to ALL who have died way before their time, and 
for what? We want to cry! 

Feeling Lonely 

Day by day, it's more impossible to cope... 

I feel like I'm the one that' doin dope 

Can't keep a steady hand because I'm nervous 

Every Sunday morning I'm in service 

I know the lord is looking at me 

But yet and still he's offered me to feel happy 

I often drift when I drive 

Having fatal thoughts of suicide 

I bang and get it over with 

But still I'm worried free, and that's bullshhh 

I got a little boy to look after 

And if I die then my child will be a bastard 

I had a woman who was down for me 

But to me it seemed like she was down to get me 

Now she's back with her mother 

Now I'm realizing that I love her 

Now I'm feeling lonely 

-Dash, Fresno 

From The Beat: That feeling of loneliness/ Can sweep over you and make 
you feel hopeless/ But life is more than a picture of today/ It's more 
than what you've done or what they say/ Your son needs a daddy, and 
you need him too/ Take that responsibility seriously, and your life can 
renew/ The past is the past, it cannot be undone/ But you can choose a 
future that let's you walk in the sun 

Asking Me To Get Caught Up Again 

Man, what's up, Beat? I'm hella mad. I been thinking 
about this for the longest. Everybody talking about when I 
come back from Colorado, I should be different. Basically, 
they're saying, sending me out there, they think I'm going 
to change. I mean, it's nothing. I do want to change. I'm 
ready to get my life right and do the right thing, feel me? 

But at the same time, I'm thinking like this. Y'all 
taking me from the neck of the woods, sending me 
somewhere for a year, then putting me back into the neck 
of my woods, sending me somewhere for a year, then 
putting me back in the neck of my woods. I mean, to me 
it's no point of taking me from somewhere, then putting 
me back. You know that's basically asking for me to get 
caught up again, straight up, because how I was raised, it 
ain't all cookies an' cream. 

I mean, basically, I take care of myself and I try to help 
my family out when I can. But trying to survive ain't no 
joke, straight up where I come from. That's how I ended 
up getting my first case, 'cause I'm trying to survive. So, 
basically, that shhh don't mean nothing. Even if I do go 
somewhere and come back, I'm still going to be me, but 
I'm be smarter and have more class in what I do, so I 
won't get caught up again. Not saying that I'm just going 
to go back to selling drugs. I mean I'm willing to change 
and I'm ready to change, so whatever y'all throw my way, 
best believe I'ma take advantage of everything. 

Like big bra Darious and CJ said (RIP), everything I 
do, whether it's good or bad, I'm still a beast and a ninja. 
Can't knock me off my feet, ya dig, 'cause I'm out here. 
But, yeah, that's what I been tripping off. 

-Queen Bri, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There is a lot to admire in this thoughtful piece, QB. For 
one thing, we admire your desire to change, and your willingness to 
leave your "neck of the woods" to fortify yourself with new knowledge 
and experience for your future freedom. But we also admire your 
analysis of a system that would take the time and money to take you to 
a different environment only to drop you right back into the same old 
environment where its like asking you to get caught up again. We hope 
that one of the things you'll take away from Colorado is a new sense 
of independence that will give you both the skills and the strength 
to take yourself out of the environment that conditioned you for this 
life. We don't want you to forget who you are or where you came from, 
but only to able to live in a place that allows you to be who you are 
without risking your freedom or your life. When you get to Colorado, 
don't forget The Beat. We value the lessons you can provide. 



"Wake Up Gall 

As I sit here in the silence 

Watching as time pass 

Faces around me changin' 

While I stay stuck to the surfaces, trapped 

Until this water rises slowly 

And I drown in my own tears 

Reminiscin' on the good 

And bad days over the years 

Back in '92 I don't remember 

Really being born 

But my family always told me 

I was the cutest little boy 

As now I come to think 

Why did my mother up and leave me 

And my sister in the streets 

To grow up without a father 

And a lady who was fiendin' 

If you love somebody 

Won't you keep them close by your side 

Instead of lettin' them go 

And have others take the toll on their life 

It's crazy how people tend to 

Say they actually care 

Until they strung out on drugs 

Then everything disappears 

-Crazy, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We don't know why children have to pay the price for 
their parents' failures, and such a huge price! Drug addiction can wipe 
out everything that went before it, like cancer. Both are diseases, so you 
have to have some compassion for those who have the sickness, even 
though this disease punishes the innocent. Now, you must be your own 
parent; you must find that "cutest little boy" still inside, and nurture 
him until he becomes the fine young man he was always destined to 

Living In The Woods 

My favorite place in the world today is to be in the woods 
with my best friends and my dog. In my life — especially 
within the last year — I have had many experiences in 
the woods. Some of the best memories are sitting by the 
camp fire in your sleeping bag with your arm around your 
dog, and a cigarette in the other hand; or when you wake 
up in the morning and find yourself staring straight up at 
the trees and fog cover, and you lie there smoking another 
cigarette trying to stay warm from the morning chill. 

As you get up to start a fire, you hear your fellow 
brothers playing "Fire On the Mountain" on the guitar and 
mandolin. As the fire heats up, you begin to make coffee. 
After you have drank your sugared-down coffee, you find 
yourself venturing down deeper in the woods where all 
the rest of the kids are hanging out, hack-sackin' and 
playin' music. 

I venture off with my dog to go get water. I turn around 
and look at everyone having a good time and enjoying 
themselves. I stand in amazement. I am finally proud of 
what my life has become. I get a tap on my shoulder from 
an old friend. He looks at me and says, "I know... I feel 
the same way." 

If there's one thing I learned it's to never leave the 
woods. Only the bad things will be the outcome, thanks 
for the woods and that special family. 

-Sage, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We love this piece for at least three reasons: first, it takes 
us out of the mean city streets and the violence we are so accustomed to 
reading about in The Beat; second, it captures the wonders of camping 
so well, the fog-shrouded morning chill warmed by the "sugared-coffee"; 
and third, it is so well written! Where did you go camping? When will 
you be able to enjoy this again, and how will you keep yourself free to 
enjoy it over and over? Don't stop writing. You have a gift. 

Who Am I 

Who am I? I ask myself this question every day! I'm not 
the me that first came in here no more. I found who am I. 
I am Sunny C, son to my loving parents and a role model 
to my two lil' brothers. 

I have high expectations and goals for me when I get 
out of here. I have high expectations to finish school and 
go to college. My goal is to major in criminal justice and 
become a social worker. I would like to become a social 
worker and works with kids, because I been through all 
of it, like getting locked up and catching cases from left 
to right. 

I would like to talk to kids an' give them advice about 
things that they shouldn't do, so they don't end up like 
me. Some kids may not listen, but some will, and that's a 
good thing 'cause if they won't take my advice, they would 
learn from their mistakes. And if they do, they will be on 
the right track to a very bright future ahead of them. 

Well, this is who I am and this is the real me, the real 
Sunny C! I've found who I really am. 

-Sunny C, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Thank you for introducing the real Sunny C to The Beat. 
We are very happy to know the real you, because the real you has a 
lot of promise for a bright future, not just for yourself, but for those 
whose lives you touch. The most important lives to start touching, of 
course, are those two little brothers who need the model of an older 
brother doing what he would want them to do, and not doing what 
he would not want them to do. We feel the pride in your self-discovery 
(and we know your parents must also be feeling pride in you) and it is 
well-deserved. Do what you need to do now, and never again lose sight 
of the real you! 

What's Learned, What's Earned 

In this long, drawn-out journey, I've been issued some 

tough cards, 

but I've seen some raw things, some people have it pretty 


I don't disregard my problems, but, still, like the substance 

of a cure, 

I see what others won't accept. 

In circumstances where I'm sure, for instance, is where I 

seem to self-neglect. 

Then I'm aware of my mistakes, but I can't keep myself 

in check. 

Right now I bring things to the Lord, 'cause he's the one 

who rules the deck. 

I may be co-dependant, preferring to choose the truth 

instead of lies, 

the pain that's temporary leaves obvious remnants and 

stains my eyes 

with this free-flowing liquid that tastes of salt. 

I spit it, words of purpose to keep my sanity. 

It wasn't taught to me exclusively, but neither was 


Image deceives many, deception spreads and festers. 

Ignorance becomes even harder to ignore. 

I pay attention to the nonsense, but time won't wait. 

I can't afford to look away from my own hurt. 

The world moves forward and so do I. 

It's feeling great, and to dwell here I can't afford. 

I've learned my limits, memorized my boundaries, 

and I know that things just may get worse. 

But honest workers must give themselves a break and 

take just what they've earned. 

-Purple Hayze, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There are some fine sentiments in this fine rhyme! It's 
terrible to watch the world move forward without you, but it's "great" 
to be part of that forward movement, as you clearly are. No, you can't 
afford to dwell here, and the world can't afford for you to dwell here, 
either. We're too much in need of the knowledge you are spitting. 


It's So Cold 

(Verse 1) 

Sometimes at night I can't seem to sleep (oh nooo) 

Starin' at the wall when I start to think (I think about) 

Seem like everybody know my name (they know my 


But they don't know me, they don't know a thang (no 

they don't) 

They don't understand and can't feel my pain (it hurts 

so bad) 

Lookin' for the summer, all I see is rain (and I feel like) 

Feelin' like most of my life is gone 

Ain't no peace in the streets and I can't go home 


I don't know what to do 

Don't know what I'm goin' through 

But it's so cold, it's so cold 

And momma always told me to 

Keep my head up and I'll make it through 

But it's so cold, it's so cold 

(Verse 2) 

Mang, this game's insane, blood rushin' to my brain 

Sacrificed many thangs, enough to bring my momma pain 

But it's too hectic, I can't make it, I'm losin' control 

The rain is pourin' and pourin', the sun ain't shinin' no 


Now god bless my soul, it's trapped in a straightjacket 

I'm tryin' to break down the walls, but somethin' won't 

let it happen 

I'm in a war and it's real, my scars won't heal 

You don't know me, and I don't even know what I feel 

Now if I die tonight, momma please stay strong 

There ain't no peace in the streets and I can't go home 

So many soldiers in the 'hood gettin' hit from the blind 

Fell victim to the nine, left all their families behind 

Right now, every day, I feel it's my time 

The street flooded with fake things that be shooting with 

cold eyes 

So I'm livin' life just to hold the rose 

Can somebody please tell me why this world is so cold? 


(Verse 3) 

It's so cold in this world I'm facin' and I ain't ready for it 

I'm breakin' down, facin' death, man I already know it 

Pops left when I was born, like I wasn't in his business 

Eighteen years later, he askin' for forgiveness 

Should I forget him, should I forgive him, should I give 

him a chance? 

I don't know, I'm confused, 'cause I'm already a man 

And those eighteen years he missed is what he needed to see 

And a teen with a father is what he needed to be 

Every night before I sleep, there's tears rollin' down my 


He could've taught me right from wrong and gave me the 

strength to believe 

'Cause mommas too busy tryna feed us all 

So I blame you pops for never givin' a call 

I know your baby momma got inside your head 

And made you forget about me like I was already dead 

So if I die tonight, family, please stay strong 

There ain't no peace in the streets and I can't go home 


-Saetern, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We don't know if this ballad goes with music or not, 
Saetern, but we hear it in our ears, [as we wipe away our tears...) This 
is how the dictionary defines "Ballad" — "a poem or song narrating 
a story in short stanzas. Traditional ballads are typically of unknown 
authorship, having been passed on orally from one generation to the 
next as part of the folk culture." The author if your wonderful ballad is 
well known to The Beat, however, which thanks you for it! 

Violence Is 

I think that violence is both inherited and influenced. 
Violence is natural for some of us. In my instance I wasn't 
naturally born with violence flowing through my veins, 
but I was raised into a society and a situation that cast 
that shadow. 

I think violence is caused by many things, such as 
influences and built up anger. Nowadays, young people 
learn their violence from society and entertainment. Over 
the generations, people are resorting to crime more and 
more and the image society has cast will blacken our 
youth's future. 

I was raised into a situation where I felt I had no help 
and no way out, I never had my parents there to compass 
me through my adolescent days. I believe non-violence is 
a better and more useful way to protect and love life. 

-Michael, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: What a very raw and real piece, Michael. Our environment 
really determines how we grow up and a lot of people don't realize 
this or they turn a blind eye towards it. Sometimes our parents aren't 
there to guide us in our life, it hurts but its true. We need our parents 
there to help us with the decisions in our life that we are either too 
young or too immature to make but when they aren't there then what 
happens? We're forced to grow up too fast and make our own decisions 
and usually that doesn't end too well. What do you think can be done 
to set up a mentor system for kids and teens at home who aren't getting 
the parental guidance that they need? 

Violence And Material Madness 

I think violence comes from people who has a bad life 
style. They don't get the good things in life and so they 
get angry, so they look to robbing and stealing. That's 
what gets them in here. So then, when they get in here, 
their whole life is starting to mess up. And when that 
happens, they're in the system. Then they get even more 
madder because they're missing out on a lot, so they get 
to more stealing. 

Some people grow up with anger, and some are taught 
to be mad and act bad. Like some parents say, when 
somebody hits you, you supposed to hit them back. But 
sometimes that's not the right thing to do, so than they 
get in trouble for what they parents taught them. But 
when they get home, he or her mom says, "That a'right." 
So than they keep getting' in trouble. 

But some violent stuff mostly come from material 
madness, so they try to steal and stealing ain't the right 
thing. You should just get a job, have some money in yo' 
pocket and that's go be you. And if that material thing is 
really expensive, so that's when you save up and get that 
thing for yourself, so than that's when you see you don't 
have to look to stealing. When you don't have to steal and 
you see that you don't have to do that no more. 

-Speedy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You've done good job of explaining the cycle of anger 
and messing up, leading to more anger and more messing up. We 
really like the phrase, "material madness," because we think it has two 
meanings: the first is what you mean — getting so mad that you commit 
a crime to get something; but the second is "madness" meaning a kind 
of craziness, the "insanity" of doing things that really only hurt the 
person that's doing them. We like your advice, but what would you say 
to a young person who cannot find a job? And what would you say to 
the government about providing jobs for young people? 


My True Friend! 

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you're doomed 
if you don't try!" I remember the first time I heard this. 
I was hangin out with my bestie and we got to talking. I 
told her how I need to do this and how I need to do that. 
Finally she told me to shut up! Like those words blow my 

She told me the only way to be successful or the only 
way I was going to succeed was if I wanted to turn my life 
around. Anything I set my mind to I can do. She told me I 
can't dwell on the past, but live for the present, and hope 
for the future. How whenever I fail not to let it stop me but 
to keep going! 

She gave me that quote and told me to think on it, 
and use it towards everyday life. If it weren't for her sittin 
there and basically telling me how it is, then right now 
I probably wouldn't even be trying to get help. I would 
probably still be doing what I thought was right, and I 
would probably be having even more problems then I have 
now. So I just want her to know that I LOVE HER and that 
she's mine for life! 

-LIT Skittles, Solano 

From The Beat: You are lucky to have such a good friend who also gives 
good advice! What is it that you would like to try? If you can be your 
best self, what does that look like to you, what are you doing? 

I Ain't Feeling This 

Man, what's good wit' y'all? 1 mean, I ain't feeling so 
good. Matter fact, I ain't feeling this jail shhh period. I'm 
just so tired of forcing myself to be calm in here around 
all these suckas. I ain't feeling this man, I ain't feeling 
this at all. 

I ain't feeling this food I'm forcing myself to eat. Man, I 
ain't feeling this. Y'all just not hearing me, though. I can't 
even begin to explain how I am feeling — this waking up 
in a cold ice box cell, feet numb, having somebody tell me 
to take a shower and when to get out. Man, man I ain't 
feeling this! 

Forcing myself to act like I find some joy in being in 
jail when knowing ain't shhh in here or nobody that can 
help me. I ain't feeling this — have somebody think they 
know my future and scaling me to statistics. Man, I ain't 
feeling this. 

People telling me because I grew up this way, lived in 
a certain place and didn't have a certain somebody in my 
life, I'ma live a certain way. Man, I ain't feeling this. 

At my window hoping somebody come visit me. Man, 
I ain't feeling this. My mom told me I can't do time and I 
went back to my cell and thought about it. I can't. No lie, 
I ain't no snitch or complain in jail. It just ain't for me. 
Man, I ain't feeling this. I ain't made to be locked up. It's 
just not me. I can't be me. 

When I call my mom, I hang up mad because don't 
nothing change, specially because I'm in here. Don't 
mean I'ma get out and the world gone change, for it still 
gone be the same ol' shhh. I found out the only thing 
done change is me, man. Man, I gotta change, not wanna. 
Wanting to leaves too much room for failure. But man, I 
ain't feeling this. 

-Shawni, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Even though you write that you can't begin to explain 
how you're feeling, you do much more than "begin." You take us with 
you. This is writing at its best! You've given us a lot to respond to in 
this piece, which is both sad and hopeful. For example, you may be 
tired of having to hold your tongue in here, but the fact that you can 
keep yourself calm (to avoid the consequences if you don't) should tell 
you what powers of self-control you possess, and how those powers can 
serve you on the outs as well as in here. There's only one thing we take 
issue with: you say that there's nobody in here that an help you. You're 
wrong... You are the one that can help you, and you're doing it! 

Skip's Broadcast: Shady Relationships 

Wha's up, Beat? That charismatic young dude Skip 
still hibernating behind the glass doors and sheet rock 
walls. But I'm alive, though, right? But anyhoo, a certain 
thing that has been eatin' at me is my relationship — or 
anybody's, for that matter. I mean, bein' in here is one 
thing that enrages me, but reading these books and 
seeing these movies adds the stress, ya know? 

I was watching this movie called "The Family That 
Preys" and that shhh was gettin' in a ninja's head. Call it 
insecure, but it got to me. Basically, ol' girl was married to 
dude, and I can tell she was a little nervous and skeptical 
about marrying bruh. But the fact is she married him, 
and now, four years later, she worked for a construction 
factory and her husband works as a constructor for the 
same company, while the wife almost the head honcho 
and shhh. But come to find out, wifey screwin' around 
with boss man, and that's how she got the top position. 
Her husband is just naive and blind to the fact of what's 
going on. All the while, wifey tellin' him how he will never 
be like her boss, and some mo' shhh. 

Now grown man part of me like, Leave this cheatin' 
woman alone," but the other side of me is like, "Slap the 
mess out of this broad!" So when bruh do find out about 
what's really goin' on (hearin' it from her mouth), he 
slapped the mucous out of her, and I gave dude a standin' 
ovation. (Now I know it sound cruel, but if you would've 
seen how much shhh he had to endure, you would have 
been ready to pull an Ike Turner, too). 

But the point I'm gettin' at is this: it's ninjas in here 
with females on the outs that's doing the same shhh. No 
matter how good the ninja is to her before he got into 
this predicament, it's that loneliness factor. So she gon 
wait for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month, but six 
months down, some of her mess-ass friends gone get 
in her head, and like that, she's gone. She's gone. She's 
gone. It is a few solid ones that hold us down, but they 
are rare (like Mr. Clean with hair), but I salute them. 

I'm in that same kind of situation right now. My sister 
introduced me to this girl while I was in here, and I been 
writin' her and callin' her, and all the shhh. We been 
good for about two months now (a ninja get lonely in this 
thang). So now I done got in her ear so much that she 
dropped the "L-word" on me. Sho' did, mm-hmm. All this 
over the phone, though, and me bein' the real ninja I am, I 
can't say this back to her. It gotta be a mutual feelin', and 
I'm diggin' HI' mama and all, but I can't say it! 

She told me some things that no one knew, but that's 
according to her. How do I know it's true? She coulda 
made copies of this letter or had her speech down pat. 
I don't trust that well, ya dig, so me sayin" I love her, I 
would be lyin', and I can't do that to her or myself. It ain't 
in my nature, kinda like that Kanye song, "Keep that love 
(word) locked down." I can't be playin'. I'm a grown-ass 
ninja that gotta kid. 

-Skip, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We don't know about justifying smacking anyone 
around for any reason, but the reality, is that it's far more likely the man 
is screwing around on the woman than the other way around. (How 
long would you be "faithful" to a girl who lets herself get taken by the 
system, leaving you behind?) Do you think that she should smack him 
around if that happens? Maybe — putting Tyler Perry aside for a minute 
— people your age should not tie themselves to one person, no matter 
how good that one person appears to be, because you are both growing 
in so many ways. Adolescence is a time of experimentation, of learning 
by doing (and by making mistakes). We admire you for refusing to lie 
to her, and we don't think "love" is the right word for her to use, either. 
But that's part of what it means to be young. We "love" your honesty! 


My Favorite Day 

My favorite day in my short life I've lived was when 
my daughter was born on 8-8-08. It was a painful and 
loving moment all in one. I grew a bigger respect and 
understanding for all females in the world. 

Before I had my kid, I was immature and selfish. I 
went to parties all night, used drugs and hurt people. But 
now I've seen the effect that I have on my kid and the 
importance it is to be there for her. 

This is my second time in here, and I've learned that 
I have to handle my business to provide for my family. 
My advice for future parents is to be there for your kid 
because when you see they respect you and look up to 
you, it will all be worth it. 

-Nothin' But Time, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Sometimes, a single event in our lives can change 
everything, force us to see things in an entirely different light and to 
make changes accordingly. It sounds to us like that is what happened to 
you when your daughter was born. If you are able to build on this new 
sense of responsibility, to keep the promise you're making to yourself 
here, then your daughter will be lucky to have you for a father, and you 
will be lucky to have her for a daughter. Too many young people think 
that making a baby is what makes you a father. You have seen what is 
truly required for that title. 

The Power Of Words 

Words are very powerful. I've said some things to people 
that hurt them. People I really care about, but now they're 
gone, and I can never take them back. I dwell on that every 

Some say actions speak louder than words. I hope 
that is not true because I made some bad actions, but I 
hope my words can fix the things that my actions broke. 
I wish my words could fix my relationship with my ex- 
girlfriend. She was the first love of my young life and I 
messed that up. She really had love for me. She stuck 
with me through my first incarceration. I still love her and 
I'm going to do whatever it takes to get her back. I hope 
she hears me out so I can get her back. 

-Fro, Fresno 

From The Beat: We hope she hears you out too. Fro, because we can tell 
from what you've written that you are a rare and good man. Whether 
actions speak louder or not, words count, so choose yours very carefully 
and listen to hers just as carefully. If you cannot fix what's broken, you 
may be able to build it again. Good luck. 

Dear President 

First of all, congratulations on being the first African- 
American president. You really got a way on speaking. 
That means you're a really good speaker. I hope that you're 
ready to make a change in our nation because everybody is 
depending on you to do the right thing. 

I'm really looking up to you to try to make everybody 
happy and try to be fair. This is history in making. Everyone is 
going to remember what happened on 1-20-09 and everybody 
is hoping it's a good thing. I have faith in you because I think 
that everybody deserves a chance even if we don't know 

I hope that you start building more jobs and more 
schools instead of building more prisons. It's real negative 
to make more prisons than schools just because it's a bad 
feeling knowing that it's a set up for failure. Once again, good 
luck and I hope that you're successful in life and please try 
to make a better change then the last president. 

-Chow-Main, Solano 
From The Beat: We appreciate the positive ideas of this president as 
well, and share your high hopes. Already we see some change, in 
many people— feeling more positive about what might happen, feeling 
more willing to try to work together.. .so lets help him out however we 
can! Education reduces the recidivism rate (how often people return to 
prison) — so Better Schools for Everyone. 

A Letter To The President 

Dear Mr. Obama, 

I think you should make certain things that keep 
young black men busy for the weekends, so we could 
stop killing ourselves. I also think that you should start 
building new colleges for people who cannot afford that 
type of money, so they could be something in life to take 
care of their family, and get the majority of the tax money 
every year. 

I think there should be less education about African- 
American people and more about other cultures so people 
wouldn't have to feel down all the time by hearing the 
word "Nigger" a lot. 

People who's getting abused in their family should 
be taken care of in a shelter that provides a little bit of 
discipline, so they could grow up and succeed in life, and 
keep innocent people out of the pen. 

-Tae, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We think you should be an advisor to the new President! 
We love all of your suggestions. One thing, though, there are things that 
we can do ourselves that can help without waiting for the President — 
like not demeaning each other by using hateful words to describe each 
other, like the "N" word. 

RIP Dead Homies 

RIP dead homies y'all left me by myself sad and lonely 
some of ya'll was young and so it wasn't ya'll time to go. 
When we was younger we would think about growing old. 
I miss ya'll and I always will. Mentioning that ya'll gone 
but ya'll don't know how I feel. 

I don't feel right saying ya'll gone off the map. I miss 
kicking with ya'll or in the studio doing a rap. I'm always 
going to keep ya'll name in my mouth. How them people 
killed you I'ma tell you that was foul. Ima have to forgive 
em cause they a child of Job. I'm not a sucka it's just I'm 
tired of seeing parents sob. On our part and theirs. It's 
2009 I don't want to see no tears. 

-Lil' Rolo, Alameda 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your losses, and for the families who 
have lost your friends as well. You are strong to be able to forgive. Look 
to what is creative and has life, and leave the destruction alone. 

Dear President 

How are you Mr. President? I am writing from Santa 
Clara juvenile hall. My name is Richard. I am facing a life 
sentence for kidnapping, attempted murder, carjacking, 
and 2nd degree robbery. I am 17 years old. 

I would like to congratulate you for becoming the 44th 
President of the United States of America. You inspire me 
to do many things. It gives me hope to become something 
I thought I couldn't be in life no matter what it is. I believe 
in you, that you are going to make things right in this 
world. I know when I go to prison I can try my hardest to 
get my education and other things. I didn't think I could 
at first, but with you as President, I have faith. 

I know I am in here and might not get out soon, but I 
know you will be there for those on the outside of these 
walls. I know you will make a change. I hope the best 
for you, Mr. President. Thank you for reading this, and I 
apologize for taking your time. 

-Richard, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We don't think you need to apologize for taking the 
Presidents time. In fact, we think he would be proud to know that his 
accomplishment has inspired you, and opened your eyes to the reality 
that you can accomplish many things in your own life, whether behind 
bars or not. Whether you know it or not, your own words can have the 
same effect on those who take the time to read what you've written 
and, like a pebble in a pond, the ripples of inspiration will continue to 
widen. Get your education, as you know you can, and use it to continue 



To My Son 

Every time my son comes to see me he looks sad, and 
he wonders why I'm not at home like the other dads. All I 
can say is "'cause daddy made a bad choice." He says 
he's not, but I can tell he's mad from his voice. He starts 
saying "no" every time he gotta leave. I watch him cry, 
and wipe his own tears on his sleeve. He's only three but 
he understands a lot. 

He knows the police brought me here, and that is why 
he hates the cops. I explain it's my fault, 'cause of what 
daddy did. It's my fault that he barely knows what a daddy 

His mama tries the best she can but she's not a man. 
She can't teach him the same things I can. 

Lil' dude just like me- we act the same. That's my Jr., 
he has my first and last name. 

I missed his birthday this year up in juvie hall. I 
couldn't give him nothing but a collect phone call. 

All I want to do is raise my son and live right. Selling 
crack ain't the only way to feed my kid. I'm gonna get a 
job and go back to school again. Play catch with him, sign 
him up for little league. Teach him manners, how to say 
thank you and please. 

First thing I gotta do is get down on my knees, and 
pray to God that my son will forgive me. 

-B, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a powerful and heartbreaking piece B. It must 
be incredibly hard to be away from your son, and see that he is missing 
you so much. Do you write to him while you are in here? Even if he 
can't understand the letters now, he will be able to read them when he's 
older, and will know how much you were thinking about him when you 
were locked up. 

So Sick 

Mayne, I'm so sick of tha shhh, all of it. Missing my loved 
ones, missing the streets, missing the 'hood. You know, 
I need some 'dro right 'bout now, to calm my nerves. I'm 
stressing 'bout this so-called help I'm goin' to receive 
from the city an' county of San Francisco. But in reality, 
this shhh don't do nothing but make me worse. I sit in tha 
halls for a minute, then I'm off to the next damn grouper. 
This shhh instill hatred in me deep down, an' I ain't know 
how to release it, besides smoking the 'dro. It's the only 
way I can be numb from the pain. 

Gots two parents that the state say can't have me, 
and the Lord knows I don't deserve to be stuck wit' my 
corrupt-ass grandparents. I plan to knock out this year of 
day care in Sacramento, an' get back to the city. My pops 
get released, and hopefully can get yo' boy back. 

Pray for me, those who love an' know me. I plan not 
to run, 'cause with the runnin', I'm doin' time to face my 
shhh an' get my freedom back for good. I'm done with 
this. I'm tired of bein' so sick. 

Shout out to the special girl in my life. I'm countin' 
on yo' support through this, Baby. Stand by yo' real-ass 
ninja. Much love to those who have much love for... 

-Lil' Unlucky, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You know, if you keep the promise you make here not 
to run, to face what you have to face, and to get your freedom back for 
good, then you'll be able to change your name from Lil' Unlucky to Lil' 
Lucky. It sounds like you have turned one of the most important corners 
in life there is — from irresponsible childhood to responsible adulthood. 
You may have some falls along the way (we all do), but you are ready to 
stand up and keep moving forward each time, and that is a prescription 
for a better life. We hope you get reunited with your pops and that it 
all work for you. 

Every time my son comes to see we he looks sad, and he wonders why I'm not at home 
like the other dads. All I can say Is "'cause daddt/ made a had choice. " 

Skip's Broadcast: Remaking America 

What's goin' on Beat? It's me, the paper eater. Ha ha. 
I'm grateful to be alive and well, seein' another day, ya 
feel me? 

But yeah, a new president just got inaugurated into 
office, and he sayin' we gotta remake America. That's all 
fine and dandy, you know what I'm sayin', but notice that 
he said "we" not "I" — and that's going to be a difficult 
task because "we" gotta work together as a unit. It's not 
a feat that's capable of being accomplished by a sole 
individual, because if that was the case, I would've been 
attempted to make a change. 

But, however, it is capable of being attempted. 

Dr. Martin Luther King changed a lot of things in 
America like racism. But unfortunately, racism still exists 
to this day. So America was never remade. But in order to 
remake or country, we got to change ourselves. We been 
waitin' for a black president for so long, but now that we 
got one, we gotta change how we live, how we eat, how 
we treat each other and then America could be remade. 
America has the title, "The land of the free and home of 
the brave," but now I'm ready to leave America. 

-Skip, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You've put your finger on it. Skip. Without change within 
ourselves, there can be no national change. Leadership like Obamas (or 
Dr. King's, or yours) can help to move things forward, but that's all they 
can do. The rest is up to all of us. By the way, we encourage you to 
leave America, but only so you get a perspective outside the country, 
experience other people and cultures, broaden your experiences. But 
we don't want you to leave permanently, because thinkers like you are 
exactly what the country needs! 

Words Kill 

You talk a lot of smack 
But I don't think you know 
All the anger and pain 
That I refuse to show 

I stand there and take it 
Pretending to be strong 
I hold in all my feelings 
Even though I know it's wrong. 

One day I snap 

I can't take it anymore 

I scram at you in anger 

Bang! The gun falls to the floor 

Suicide or murder? 

Which happened tonight? 

Which ever happened it doesn't matter 

It still wasn't right 

Words may not kill 
But they might cause someone too 
So make sure you watch what you say 
Because next it may be you! 

-Bumble B, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico 

From The Beat: Nice poem, and yes, each word spoken can have a 
different effect by the way the words are used. It's just sad that such 
violence has to be used by someone's words, whether they were used for 
good or bad intent. 


Just Who I Am As Karmeisha 

Chapter 1 - As I Know 

Well let me start out by saying my mom is from the Bay 
Area , Oakland exactly. My dad is from Houston, Texas, 
which I still wonder why my ma wanted a country ninja to 
be her baby daddy. 

I asked my ma how she met my daddy, and she said 
on BART. Also ,they had talked about having me. Though 
my mom had me on March 13, 1992. Which is Friday the 
Thirteenth. She said he thought she was going to die, since 
she lost a lot of blood once I was born. Ma though did not 
know that my dad had seven or eight kids which he never 
told her about. My auntie GG was the one who name me 

Chapter 2 - Almost Got Raped 

As a kid growing up my grandma raised me. My ma used to 
always drop me off with my grandma and run the streets, 
smoke weed, and whatever else she needed to do. 

I still think back to the time when I was five or six years 
old when my ma had dropped me, my brother, and sister off 
at her friend's house. My brother at this time was three or 
four years old, and my sister was a baby. 

My brother's name was Larry and my sister's name 
was Kalisha. I guess my ma name her Kalisha because she 
wanted her name to be like mine, which I hate. Though 
they had the same daddy and he was from West Oakland to. 
His name was also Larry. Well, back to me. As I was saying 
my ma had left us at her friend's house. 

Once she left Larry and me than had dinner. Her friend 
had a lot of kids in her house that night., so when it was 
time for bed me and my brother needed to share covers 
and sleep on the floor. There was like four other kids in 
the room. This boy was older than me. He lay in bed right 
next to me, and he kept trying to have sex with me and was 
feeling on all of my private parts. 

I was afraid and said "If you don't stop my grandma will 
kill you." 

He than said "It's okay if we do it, I do it all the time 
with my sister" 

.My brother had said leave my sister alone while I was 
crying. He then slapped me. Then an adult came in the 
room and said "boy lay on the floor that's my bed. So I was 
happy no more torture. 

Chapter 3 - The Truth When I Told Ma 

My ma had finally picked us up. I was so happy to see her 
face, though I knew she would have been mad when I told 
her what happened last night. 

I said "Ma, I need to tell you something." 

She had responded by saying "what?" 

I then told her that the boy kept on touching me and 
how I told him to stop. Also how he slapped me. My ma was 
very upset and was like "Why you did not tell me as soon 
as I came to pick y'all up?" 

I just said "I don't know" 

Ma then told me not to tell grandma, though I knew I 
was going to tell her. She said that we would go over to his 
house and she would tell his momma. As we got there she 
told his mom and she had just said she would whoop him. 

Chapter 4 - Grandma and Grandpa Out 

Since my ma lived in Oakland she needed to drop me off in 
Frisco. That is where my grandma stayed. We had moved 
from the 80's in East Oakland when I was five years old. 
My grandma used to love to go to Eastmont Mall to buy me 
cute hair stuff, so when I finally got to my grandma I took a 
bath. I called my grandma Momma, though, since she was 

the one taking care of me, which my ma should of did. 
When I got out the tub though I told my momma what 
happened. She was mad and shocked at the same time. 

I then knew she wasn't mad at me, but she was 
disgusted with my ma. She then told my grandpa. This is 
my step grandpa though he raised my ma and them when 
they were kids to. My grandma had three girls and one boy. 
My ma was the youngest he was now taking care of me. So 
since he had a car we went to General Hospital. 

Chapter 5 - At The Hospital 

When we arrived at the hospital my grandma had then 
explained to the nurse what happened. So then the nurse 
had examined my private area. Come to find out nothing 
was wrong with that area. Thank goodness. So that meant 
I still had my v-card. Though the nurse recommended I go 
through counseling, since what happened to me. So my 
grandma got all the information she needed. 

Chapter 6 - Going To Court 

After all of what happened my grandma decided to take my 
ma to court. So she could lose her parent guardian rights. 
My momma (Grandma) told the judge everything: how my 
ma is a unfit parent, smoke weed, and everything else the 
judge needed to know then my ma had lost her rights. She 
was then very mad and sad. 

My ma had the rights to see me on the weekend and for 
me to be ale to spend the night for a day or two. Though 
sometimes when we met up downtown Frisco waiting for 
my mama and grandpa she would never show up. Then I 
would be sad and cry. She would always say she did not 
have the money to get to Frisco or that my grandma said 
that I did not want to see her. Which was both lies. 

Chapter 7 - Me In The 1st and 2nd Grade 
Well I had went to John Muir Elementary School. My 
school was located in Fillmore on Webster Street located 
in Fillmore. On Webster Street which was the Western 
addition area. Though I have lived in Bayview, which was 
a very bad area. My favorite teacher was my kindergarten 
teacher Mr. Steve. He was gay I think, and I was one of his 
favorite students. People use to always bully on me and 
eat my food that my grandma had made me for lunch. I felt 
stupid because I could not talk like normal kids, also not 
that many people could not understand me. So I needed to 
go to speech therapy in the 1st and 2nd grade. Once I got 
better at talking than I was better at speaking and English 
was my favorite subject in school then. 

Chapter 8 - My Best Friends and 5th grade 
When I was in 5th grade I had two best friends. They 
names was Merry and Lynettne. I had met both of them in 
kindergarten. Lynette and I used to always go to the Golden 
Gate Park on the weekends. My grandpa used to take me 
there and her mom used to take her. My grandma never 
liked her mom. She thought she was a big time alcoholic 
that used to drink Olde English all the time. Me, Lynettne 
and Mary I used to talk on the phone all the time. They was 
the only people who could relate to me on stuff. Though 
one day me and Mary stopped being friends. 

Coming Next Week: Chapter 9 - Ordering $1,000 Dollars 
Worth Of Porn 

-Karmeisha. Alameda 

From The Beat: Thank you so much for sharing your incredible childhood 
memories with us. Its so sad that you had to be separated from your 
mom, but on the other hand, it seems like mentally she was almost a child 
herself. Her love for you was strong, but she just didn't know how to be 
that mom you needed. And your grandparents fought for you, but then 
[as Beat readers will see in later chapters, they didn't always know how 
to take care of you either.) Does knowing that you had the love - however 
imperfect - help you stay at peace with your family? 


//// // 

Don't know What To Do 

Don't know what to do sometimes 

don't know what's real or true cant rely on no one 

not even your crew they can have you down 

and blue and don't know what to do. 

Things go down don't know where to turn 

it's so hot you can feel the burn 

it's so crazy like you seeing two hundred birds 

you can be in a serious situation have a violent 


go to jail and get put in a placement 

having family problems don't know how to solve em 

you just don't know what to do. 

-Young Boobie, Alameda 

From The Beat: We like this song Boobie, though you're singing the 
blues. Are you able to ever talk with anyone to try to sort some of 
this out? We have to say that your own voice is becoming really clear 
over time in your writing. You may need to listen to yourself for your 

Remaking America 

What's happening Beat? I would just like to let y'all know 
I feel about the concept of "Remaking America." We can't 
just rely on my dog, Obama, to make everything happen 
for us. It's just not possible because us as blacks, whites, 
shhh, just Americans period are a team. 

At this point Obama is just like the leading scorer, 
but we are still losing! So we people need to jump off the 
bench and help the man out so we can bring home the 
trophy. Barack Obama is taking the time out to help us, so 
why can't we put in a little overtime to help ourselves? 

I have a lot more to say on this subject, but you just 
have to wait till next time to hear it. 

-Dom, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We love the sports metaphor you use in this piece. You're 
so right. Unless we do our part (all of us) there's no way the country can 
win the game. We can't wait to read the "lot more" you have to say on 
this subject. You're a thinker! 

My Tragic Life 

When I was three, my adopted mom got killed. Three 
days later I walked in my dad's room and found him dead. 
I didn't know he was dead 'til I couldn't wake him up, so I 
went and got my adopted brother. He the one that told me 
he was dead. So I stayed with my adopted brother and got 
beat and raped for nine years. 

When I was nine, I got jumped into a gang. When I was 
twelve, my brother and I was walking down the street, and 
some gang bangers shot my brother in the head and chest. 
He was only eleven. He fell back in my arms. I grabbed his 
gun and shot three of them. They said it was self-defense, 
so they only charged me on the gun charge. 

I got pregnant when I was thirteen, had my son at 
fourteen, moved in with my baby daddy on September 7, 
'08. My son Ja'kevious Ja'Ray was murdered by two guys 
because my baby daddy did something hella stupid. Now 
I'm in here and my baby daddy in rehab. That's the story 
of a real G. 

-Stacia, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Whether you're a "real G" or not, this is a tragic story of 
a real little girl who didn't have a chance. There is no way you can sort 
through these traumas on your own and try to make some sense out of 
your life so that you can move beyond the dark past you have endured. 
We are honored that you trust The Beat with this sketch of your life, but 
we urge you — even beg you — to find professional help in the form of 
a psychologist, counselor, or childhood trauma specialist to work with 
so that the shadows of the past do not destroy your future. We want to 
cry when we read your words, but our tears cannot help you deal with 
what you are carrying around in your heart and soul, and neither can 
you gang. For that, you need far more than we (or they) can offer. If we 
can help you find that professional ear we hope you seek, we will. 

Hell Of A Price Tn Live A Short Life 

White boy say we gotta pay a price cause we aint livin right 

now tell me is that being elegant and polite? 

And they say we don't think before we strike 

But they sentence our black — to 35 to life. 

Now say that aint a hell of a price, damn all I 

want to know are we living to live or are we living to die? 

In the end you still pay a price whether big or small 

we have to pay them all-like 

my dead brah Daryus said "we ball till we fall but life 

never get's put on pause cause one ninja want to die for 

a cause 

cause in the hood we got more statistics than major 

league baseball." 

Bye got to pack and get ready to go to Aunt Rita's house 


RIP Daryus Gone but not forgotten Killed by senseless 


-Son of God, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hope you keep writing to the Beat. Take care of 

Growing Strnng 

Violence is from nurture. You live by, you die by. We are 
all like little seeds. If we plant ourselves in good soil, we'll 
grow healthy and strong. And if we plant ourselves in bad 
soil, we'll grow weak and immature. 

-Steven, Fresno 

From The Beat: What a powerful metaphor for growing up, and thinking 
about the environment we live in! It seems like the key here is to make 
sure we have plenty of good soil for all young people. What elements do 
you think make good soil? 

Will Ynu? 

Will you ever do what you think is good? 

Will you ever see what good is? 

Will you ever get back that innocence you had as a child 


Will you ever go to the pen and remember The Beat 


Will you ever think the hall as day care 

Will you ever go to someone you hurt and say sorry 

Will you ever point a gun at a family member 

Will you ever ask why do you do the things you do » 

Will you ever hate someone you really love ? 

Will you ever go to a grace of a friend and spend a night 


Will you ever go to sleep knowing you might die ? 

Will you ever go to jail and make a smile ? 

Will you ever go to your own house and sit there 

And wish you could go in but know you will get got? 

Will you ever sleep in a stolen car 

Will you ever have to see your grandma through glass 

Will you ever steal a bottle just to get drunk 

Will you ever hurt someone to let your anger out 

Will you ever be legit and be able to smile in 50's face 

Will you ever be able to hold your son or daughter up 


Will you ever know you are loved by your family 

Will you ever be able to forgive your father for not being 


Will you ever know how to say good bye 

Or will you remain the person you are? 

-Big Hungry, Alameda 

From The Beat: These questions all pierce the heart, and they make you 
think, and since we know they're really about you too, we hope you 
answer each of these questions one by one, in your heart or for The 
Beat! Either way, powerful and moving poem. 



Wha's up Beat? This the homeboy G writing from the 
max. Like always I want give my respect to the homeboys 
out there. 

Well, I'm going to be writing about violence today. 
About violence, I do sometimes think that when you are 
not violent that things can turn out better. But it depends 
on the situation. Like sometimes actions speak louder 
than words. But that doesn't mean that you should do 
violent things. Sometimes things just go in that direction, 
though, and something violence happens. 

I think that violence comes from people. Some people 
can't control their anger. Some were just raised and taught 
to be violent, or were raised in a bad neighborhood. To me 
violence comes from how you were raised or what you 
seen. So that's what you know and that's what you follow, 
or that's how you go about your problems. It comes from 
all the things that could have happened in your life, so it 
just builds up and you snap. 

I have a lot of history in violence. I am locked up for 
a violent crime, facing life. I wish I could've took it in a 
different way, but I didn't. So I'm going to have to make 
the best of my situation. Well, until next time. 

-LIT G, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We think your analysis of why some people are violent 
is exactly right, and we're sorry that your models and conditioning 
growing up led you to the violence that brought you here. But there 
is hope, Lil' G, because if violence is learned, it can also be unlearned, 
and non-violent alternatives can be learned in its place. This requires 
a desire to learn other ways of approaching our problems, but others 
have done it, so we encourage you to explore those alternatives (from 
meditation to religion, from counting to ten before acting to talcing 
deep breaths and relaxing). 

Bad Influences 

I first got with my lady at the age of 12. I'm 17 now, but 
I was always hanging out with her brother, who was 10 at 
the time. 

Ever since then I have been like a big brother to him 
because he only had his sister (my girlfriend) to grow 
up with. He really looked up to me. He started dressing 
like me and acting like me. But damn, that wasn't a good 
outcome because I grew up as a gangbanger, straight from 
the streets of my city. 

Now my lady's little brother walks the streets with a 
group of homies and flashes his "pano" hanging on his 
back side, just like me. I took him to kick it with my 
homies from the hood all the time, and he saw how we got 

I also used to come to my girlfriend's house late at 
night, all beat up (either because I got jumped, or was in a 
fight) and he saw all that. Now he's a solid little homie, all 
because of me. He has been getting into some stuff, but 
he's never been arrested. He's also come home "jumped' 
too, and that ticked me off enough to retaliate on the 
enemy. But then that would only pump him up more. I 
wish I could have stopped him from banging, but it's too 
late. He's hard headed, like me. 

-Sadly Influential, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: It's not too late, for him, or for you. Clearly, you know 
its wrong for him and wrong for you. If he still looks up to you, lead 
by example. Show him that there's another way. We know it will take 
courage. But all good things require effort, and courage, in one form or 
another. What do you think it takes for a single mom to get up everyday, 
take care of her kids, work, keep food on the table? For one thing, 
it takes a lot of love - for another, a lot of courage. We don't know 
what your family situation is like, but you surely know a lot of these 
courageous women. So there's a model for you. Be courageous. Say no 
to what's wrong. And in doing so, provide positive leadership for your 
girlfriend's brother. By the way, thanks for sharing your story. It must 
have taken at least a little bit of courage to acknowledge that you've 
been a bad influence on someone you care about. Now take that next 


I got some words I want to let out 

But there's something holding me them down 

And they just won't come out 

So I say goodbye! 

I'm going into this not knowing what I'll find 

But I've decided to follow my heart and abandon my mind 

And if there be pain I know that at least I give my all 

And it is better to have love and lost than to not love at all 

In the morning I may wake to smile or maybe to cry 

But first to those of my past I must say goodbye 

-Lavelle, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Although you proclaim otherwise, its clear that you 
have not abandoned your mind at all. Its still working in high gear. As 
for your heart, it is as evident in your words as the emotions they stir in 
us. Put these two wonderful gifts of birth — a big heart, a fine mind — 
to a new purpose that benefits both you and the world you inhabit. 

Violencia En Mi Vida 

Bueno, yo voy hablar sobre la violencia. Yo estoy aqui 
encerrado como todos por un crimen que yo hice la cual 
en estos momentos me arrepiento dias tras dias y noches 
tras noches. 

Aparte de que perdi mi libertad, tambien perdi a mi 
familia que ahora en estos momentos los necesito mas 
que a la drogas. Por eso estoy aqui. 

Yo no naci entre gente ratera pero creci entre golpes 
de mi mama, insultos de todos. Si puenden imaginarse 
que no pude aguantar mas. Me sali de la casa a los dose 
afios y desde esa edad empece a vivir en la violencia de 
Mexico. Dos afios vivi en las calles porque a los catorse 
afios llegue a este pais. Me trajo mi papa q quiero con 
todo el corazon. Bueno no les cuento toda mi vida para 
tener mas tarde que contarles. jHasta la vista! 

From The Beat: Nos encataria saber lo demas de tu vida. Sentimos 
mucho que tu vida haya sido tan dificil desde temprana edad. Sabemos 
lo que ha de haber sido de tu vida, vivir sin tus padres, y ser vfctima 
de la violencia en tu hogar hasta vivir en la cartel. Queremos que sepas 
que todos, en un punto de la vida, pasamos por etapas bien duras que 
nos nos ensehan mucho y nos ayudan a ser mas maduros. Ahora ya no 
eres un niho, tienes el apoyo de tu padre y no hay excusa para que sigas 
viviendo una vida que ya no te pertenece. Vive una nueva vida y no 
repitas la vida de Mexico. 

Vinlence In my Life 

Well, I want to write about violence. I am locked up like 
everybody is for a crime I committed, which I regret it 
day-by-day and night-by-night. 

Besides losing my freedom, I also lost my family who 
I need more than drugs at this moment. And that's why I 
am here. 

I wasn't born between bad people, but I was raised 
in a world of beating from my mother and insults from 
many. You can imagine that I couldn't take it anymore. 

I ran away from my house when I was 12 years old 
and since that age I started to live my life in more violence 
in Mexico. I lived on the streets for two years because I 
came here when I was a young teen. My dad brought me 
here and I love him with all my heart. 

Well, I'm not gong to share more of my life so I have 
something else to share later. Until soon! 

-Chino, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We would love to know more about you. We are sorry 
that your life has been so hard ever since a very young age. We can't 
imagine how hard your life has been without a father, being a victim or 
the violence in your home and ending up in here. We want you to know 
that we all, in some time in our lives, go through hard phases that teach 
us a lot and help us become more mature. You're not a kid anymore, you 
have the support of your father and there is not more excuses for you to 
continue living a life that no longer belong to you. Live a new life and 
don't repeat the same story. 


Barack Obama 

First, I would like to congratulate you on being President 
of the United States of America. Finally we have someone 
with a good head on their shoulders that I have trust 
in. And for that I know you will put at least an effort in 
pursuing my request... 

I would like to put your attention that I am a minor that 
feels like I need more rights. For I am currently in Juvenile 
hall for something I was not even tried for, therefore I had 
no time to defend myself. I think that if they are going to 
punish us like adults, then we should also have rights 
like adults. I'm going to be 18 in a month. 

That means I will no longer be a minor, but I want to 
help our country as well. As you know the children are 
the future so why not treat them fair. Thank you. 

-Elena, Alameda 

From The Beat: You make a really good point about minor's rights in the 
justice system. There is a lot going on in the Supreme Court right now 
about what is constitutional when it comes to sentencing for minors. 
Standing up and fighting for your rights is so important. Just remember 
to do it within the system, or else your point will never get across. 


Since I been here, I been reading lots of books. One book 
I read made me think about my little brother. In the book 
the older brother was kickin' it, and the little brother 
always followed his older brother because he wanted to 
be just like him. But once that his little brother followed 
his older brother, there was a shooting and his little 
brother got shot in his head. The older brother was savin' 
to himself if he wasn't on the street, that would never 

That made me think when I get out I'm planning to 
change so something like they wont happen to my little 
brother. That's my plan and I don't care what people think. 
I'm doing this for my lil' brother. 

-Alex, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There are at least two reasons we think this is a fine 
piece of writing and of thinking, Alex. The first is that it reminds us 
that words matter; they can change a heart and change a life — both 
the words you read and the words you write. But the second reason 
is that you have seen what it means to really love someone the way a 
parent loves a child — to sacrifice things you might want to do for the 
person you love. We always say, think about what you would want your 
younger brother or sister to do or not to do, and let that guide your own 
actions, because they will surely follow your lead. We're proud of you! 


What words can do. 

Words are very important in a day to day basis. 

Words express how we feel and what we do. 

Words are what make the world go around. 

Words make people feel emotions, 

make decisions and be confused. 

Words have made me make decisions. 

I have made good decisions 

based on someone's words, and also bad decisions. 
When people give me inspiring words I can do well. 
If I receive bad peer pressure I'll do bad. 
You either make more good decisions or bad decisions 

depending on what kind of people your hanging around. 
Making decisions also depends on how you feel. 
Feeling a certain way causes different reactions 
for different people. 

-Jesus, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico 

From The Beat: Word, are, a very powerful tool Jesus, and yes they can 
make people do things one way or the other. It all depends on how 
people interpret the words that have been spoken. Never assume that 
someone said one thing when they meant another. 


I remember when the time I was shot I remember it just like 
it was yesterday. I was walking down the street coming from 
school and this black van pulled up and started shootin'. I 
tried to run. A 22. Automatic hit me in the side I fell and 
played like I was dead but blood was leakin from my side. 

As I played dead they skirted off leaving black smoke. I 
thought I was paralyzed but my cousin came and helped me 
to my feet, put me in his car, and took me to the hospital. 
They put me in the emergency, as soon as I got there. 

-Lil* D, Alameda 
From The Beat: Lil D, this sounds like a very frightening experience. Its 
effective to talk about events like that. Writing about them is especially 
helpful for figuring out how you feel about such experiences and where 
you want to take your life. Did this event change your opinion on 
violence? What do you think about the prominent amount of violence 
that takes place in our city's streets? Try and answer these questions in 
reference to your own personal experience. You must be a really strong 
person, so, we want to hear more about you and your opinions. 

Mao. Son 

(Verse 1) 
Man, son, I really miss you. 
It's a vicious game. One shot. 
It took a lot and it left pain. 

I wonder - was it your mother, or was it me to blame 
while I was chasing the streets' fame. 
You wanted to change. 

Is there a lesson here I am supposed to chase? 
I got too much stress on my chest. 
I hope that I can make it. 
My son is gone. I can't embrace him. 
Memories of you running round the house, naked, 
looking in the mirror, seeing you, you seeing me. 
You had a part of my humor and my personality. 
A splitting image of daddy - a little young me 
acting silly and laughing. 

Things were always funny to you my baby boy. 
You got me stressing. 

I'm wondering if I should take my own life 
with a Smith and Wesson. 
My little boy - you got me guessing. 
I know you're sending unconditional love above 
for me in heaven. 


I guess this was a lesson for me, 

but dear God why did you have to take my good from me? 

I reminisce upon his love, giving daddy a hug. 

Now don't forget - you'll always be a son of a thug. 

(Verse 2) 

My life was always messed up. The streets took my father. 
Had no one to set the example, no one to follow. 
Then my mission was strictly about chasing a dollar, 
gripping a Henny bottle, looking for a female to holla'. 
There's only one way out, and that's if you make it in. 
I got no doubts about seeing my seed again. 
Concrete, little boy much more than a friend, teary-eyed, 
asking God why did his life have to end. 

Feeling hopeless. I'm hopeful my hands delivered the 

but my heart wrote it. The sun shines, 
so I guess it's a sign to cope with it. 
Past times - they never fade away. 
Now there's a lot on my mind. 

I got to say my only option now is to wait and pray 
so I can live my life in such a way. 

(Chorus 2x) 

-A son, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: Sharp writing, clever rhymes, serious subjects. What's 
the melody, Mr. Anonymous? Will we get to hear you sing it? Or have 
you yet to write the melody to these well crafted lyrics? 

// * ////// • // ' /// * «aaB 

yy// // 

mmffljfflM,0M D»iwtt&,Mi 


My Life - Our Life 

What's up Beat, Right now I don't really wanna write 
on these topics, but don't get me wrong they are great 

I'm gonna write about me almost being finished with 
this program. I've been locked up for about for five months. 
My release date is in March as of right now. I'm turning 
a phase three this weekend so I'll start going home every 
weekend. That's something that I'm looking forward to. 

After this I'm not ever coming back to jail to sleep 
to no toilet. It's a possibility that I may come back to 
counsel or run some programs but not to stay. 

Being In here isn ' t really a bad thing in a way. Especially 
new foundations I've learned a lot of life lessons being in 
here but it has also made me miss out on the beauty of 

People, especially my generation are moving too fast. 
They are in a big hurry to be grown and they think that 
money is everything. They are even too busy to "sit back 
and smell the roses." 

But everybody develops at a different rate of speed so 
hopefully they learn as soon as I did, or hopefully before 
I did. LoL It took me seven times and almost a year and a 
half to learn. Well that's that for now. 

-Poohda, Solano 

From The Beat: Your thinking is good, and we hope the lessons you've 
learned stick! Thanks for all your participation with the Beat, and good 
luck — enjoy the beauty of life, the roses, cactus, and all. 


Dear President 

You don't know me at all, but I know a little about you 
I've paid attention to you the most I can, I've seen the 
movie about you that helped me learn about you and I read 
about you. My name is Marcus and I'm in California. 

In December 2008 I feel I made the biggest mistake 
in my life that ended me in jail for the third time and this 
time in going to camp for 6 months. All I'm trying to get at 
is you been talking about change & so have I. That's what 
we have in common. 

I'm trying so hard to change my life around just like 
you are the U.S.A. I would write you more and let you I 
know wassup but I know you will never get this letter 
anyway. But can I say that I will pray every night that we 
both accomplish our goals. 

PS. I know you will be busy for the next four years, 
but if you write me back in anyway, expect a relationship 
between us you will never forget. I have a lot to talk 

-Marcus, Alameda 

From The Beat: We think President Obama would benefit from having 
this written relationship with you, we are sure he could learn from what 
you have to say. Write it out no matter what— say it and who knows 
who will hear it. Listen to your self on your journey to turn your life 

Remaking America 

Remaking America means in my opinion to change our 
perspective on domestic and foreign policies, and to 
also have faith in your country, to do what's right for our 
country and world. And also, for citizens to get involved 
in things that they feel need to be changed, by getting 
involved in your community, local government or any 
other means that betters this country or world. 

-Swoofy D, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is a wonderful statement of principle. All that it 
needs to turn it into a Piece Of the Week is some examples of the kinds 
of things you want to get involved in to make things better. Were you 
doing some of these things before you came here? Do you want to do 
some of these things when you touch down? Like what? 

Skip's Broadcast: Words 

Man, this my topic. Man, what's up Beat? 

The tongue can be deadlier than the tongue at times. 
You gotta watch what you say and be careful whose toes 
you step on because they may be connected to the ass 
you kiss tomorrow, ya dig. But words can reach yo' mind 
and heart. Like my girl; she got to me. I asked her why 
she love me. She told me I make her secure, even when 
I'm in here. I ain't gotta be free to make her smile. That 
made my day. Just her words touched me in a way that 
actions can't, ya know. 

But words can smack you in the face, too. I done seen 
people get killed because of what they say so yeah, like 
Wayne say, take them shoes off ya teeth and stop running 
ya mouth. 

-Skip, San Francisco 

From The Beat: (You wrote — and we printed — "the tongue can be 
mightier than the tongue at times!" Is this what you meant to write, 
or did you mean to write the tongue can be mightier than the sword 
at times?) Words are, indeed, powerful, and, like you wrote, they have 
the power to raise you up or crush you. We're glad your girl feels like 
that about you, and we hope you are able to continue to make her 
smile when the real work or relationships starts, which is when you are 

Hard Life 

What's up Beat? Just writing this letter. Tomorrow I have 
court. Hopefully, tomorrow goes great at least. Everyone 
has doubts on me just because my case is so-called 
serious. But I used to put in work for the gang, but now 
I changed my life around. But what I hate is that nobody 
thinks that I did it... honestly. 

If I never been here, I would never change my ways. 
But anyway, the only good part about being here is that I 
got a new life. Also, I can work towards my future. When 
I grow up, I wanna be a wrestler, but everyone says nah. 
But you have faith and always prove 'em wrong. 

I know I'm ready to come out. They just gotta see 
it. Also, every minor and staff still act little I didn't, and 
I hate that. I used to be a psychopath killa, but I can 
understand. It's hard to believe. Just nobody knows us, 
only our self. Everyone calls me "Slowski" just because 
I'm last doin' everything, but if they really know me, I 
ain't. I just be slow on purpose because, why work fast? 
Ain't going nowhere. Nothing's gonna happen, just the 
same ya know. 

Some people don't believe I was a psychopath because 
they see how I act now, but I got my reasons. I did let 
Christ in my life and I am working towards my future. 
Now just ready to go back home to my loved ones. Already 
I did change and I want to change. Everyone just has to 
see it. Just gotta keep pushin', gotta keep movin'. Never 
give up, always have your head up and work toward your 
dream. Look at Martin Luther King and Obama! Wow, big 
changes, huh? 

See ya later Beat. Just have faith. You're gonna get 
out. follow your dream.... I just always say to myself why 
did I have to learn this way? Maybe god knows that being 
in here is the only way I could change my ways. I don't 
really know why, but I did change my ways. 

Also, they have no right charging any teen as an adult 
because we're young men, not young adults right? 

-Moe Joe, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Some people never come to see what you have come 
to see — that change is not only possible but necessary, so it doesn't 
matter how you came to see it. The good thing is that you do see it 
and as you act it, others will see it, too. We agree that it's not right to 
treat juveniles like they treat adults in the criminal justice system, but 
unfortunately, they do "have the right" because that's how they defined 
the law. So, just don't do anything that gives them the power to judge 
you at all, and you'll be all right. 

// * ////// • // ' /// * «aaB 

yy// // 

mmffljfflM,0M D»mni&,Mi 

Mom's Cancer is Worse 


Last time I was here I told y'all about my mom and her 
cancer condition. 

Well it's worse now, because my sister is causing 
drama in the household. She blames my mom for stuff 
she didn't do, and then on a school day while moms at 
work moves all her stuff to my grandparents house. 

It's stressing my mom out and making her sicker. 
I'm scared that I'm going to looe her while I am in here 
and I don't want that to happen. Like two year ago right 
before me and my mom moved to Texas my sister and 
brother were living with my mom, me with dad. My mom 
decided to let me back into the household and they left 
(my brother and sister) I stayed ....which saved my mom 
from killing herself. Knowing I still cared, saved her. 

-Haley, Alameda 

From The Beat: We never knew about that early time with your mom 
- and man, that must have been a heavy thing, knowing that you 
were responsible for saving your moms life (usually it's the other way 
around: The parents do the heavy lifting so the kids can stay kids and 
not worry). We hope your mom gets better - but we also hope you don't 
blame yourself (or your sister) for her health problems. 

Becoming A Man 

Beat, man I got to be real. I'm not feeling these topics. 
But I got to say some things about what's been on my 

Well, I really don't know where to start, so I guess I 
will start on the thought about my family. I been trying 
to be strong for them. Also I look at how I hurt them. If 
I could go back to the day I started to hurt them, from 
the day I got locked up and the pain I put them through, 
I would go back in time in a heartbeat. I been through 
it all, and I noticed the things I put my family through, 
plus I used to feel like a punk because if I was a man 
about things, I would've been there for my family and gave 
them a helping hand. So I realized a lot by being here and 
opened my eyes. So I'm ready for a change and to be a 
real family member, not just the type to come and go. I'm 
ready to step up to the home plate and be the man of the 
house since I'm the only guy in the household, and the 
only son. 

Well, about the next thought, I been thinking about 
my case. But I really be thinking about my wife. I wish 
I could've thought about what I was doing and not have 
been selfish. Also, I did my crime on our anniversary. 
Man, Love, forgive me. I realized my wrongdoings. Also I 
been thinking about my future life with my wife. It's been 
hard to know our situations that we are both in, but I'm 
going to be strong and hold it together. 

Well, I'm locked down in this max unit, but last and 
not least, I have my thoughts of being a success in the life 
I lead. I'm a victim to the system and streets, but that's 
not going to stop me. I got goals and they're going to be 
completed. That's a promise to myself and my wife. Plus 
my family. 

One love, one life to all. God bless and love you, 
Precious. Also to the people who think life's a game, take 
it serious and think twice about the family and loved 
ones. Be the one to make it in life, not the ones to be 
saying I could've did this and that. 

Well to all, stay solid and be strong... Gone. 

-Peanutt, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We're sorry it took losing your freedom to give you 
the time and opportunity to think about how your actions affect the 
ones you love, and why being an adult requires some sacrifices. But 
some people never give up their selfish ways, so it encouraging to us to 
know that you now understand what you owe to those that have stood 
by you, and that you take those responsibilities seriously. You have 
graduated from childhood to adulthood. Congratulations! 

Dear President 

Hey, what's up? I'm writing a letter to you just to hear me 
out. I'm in juvi, but believe me, I did and I wanna change. 
I lived 15 years a hard life, so I have my excuse. Check it 

When I'm 18, I wanna join the World Wresting 
Entertainment, WWE. But I wanna spend time with my 
loved one before I bounce. Everyone deserves a second 
chance in life, and I only used one. 

I promise you, I will never come back here again. Just 
understand what I've been through. Call my sister; she 
lives with my mom. They know I changed. They know 
I'm ready. They just have to see god's child and not a 
criminal. I'm now a Christian. So I beg of you help me out 
and understand. 

I've changed, so please check out my life and know I 
deserve a second chance. Please, I'm only 15. Please call 
my parent Monday-Friday at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 
anytime. Please trust me. I'm not a waste of time. We all 
have dreams and it's not in here. Thank you. 

-Joseph, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is a very heartfelt piece, Joseph, and we believe 
you when you say you have already changed and plan to change some 
more. But President Obama cannot help you, even if he took the time 
to call your sister or your parents. In our system of government, we 
are divided between state power and federal power. The President can 
intervene in federal prosecutions; he can pardon federal prisoners. But 
state prosecutions (like yours) are out of his hands. Its up to you to 
follow the new path you're on, even if there are some valleys you have 
to walk through before you begin climbing up again. Don't give up your 


Everyday is another day kicked off of my sentencing. 

Everyday I'm telling myself I'm innocent. 

Everybody judge me but doesn't know me from a can of 


I'm a innocent black man so everybody need to get it 


Life is like a puzzle and everyone trying to solve it. 

Like I said life's a puzzle but call it what you call it. 

Everyday people telling me how my life should be. 

I live a thug life but I don't know what direction it's in 

and I don't feel like myself so what reflection I'm in. 

-Young Arco, Alameda 

From The Beat: Maybe you can use your time to get to know yourself 
better. ..listen to yourself and what you think about and find is really 
most important to you— until you feel like yourself no matter where you 
are. Each day closer to freedom. 

Bring Peace Tn America 

What's good? Y'all asking what "Remaking America" 
means to me. Remaking America means basically 
dying down the violence, including the war. Build more 
schools, affordable housing, jobs, is a part of remaking 
America. Basically fixing our cities and communities up 
and bringing us blacks together so we can stop going at 
each other's necks. Basically bringing back peace to the 

A big thing to me about "Remaking America" is us 
as citizens, taking care of our responsibilities and not 
running from them, because in the end they still going 
to be there when it all boils down. So, yeah, that's what I 
think "Remaking America" is. 

-Bri, San Francisco 

From The Beat: The most important part of this prayer for a better 
America is recognizing that change for the better does not just come 
from leadership at the top, but from our own individual efforts at the 
bottom. We can tell that you are ready to make your contribution to 
"Remaking America." 

// * ////// • // ' /// * «aaB 

yy// // 

mmffljfflM,0M D»mni&,Mi 

Natural High 

Diabolical is how my state of mind is denned 

Knotted and twisted, with no intent to unwind 

Inhale, exhale, tasting madness with no repeal 

Hypnotic temptation, like a black magic spell 

It hits the ultimate depths directly at the core 

Confirms the target and lets every last drop pour 

Just like an assassin out to settle the score 

Proceeding 'til that firm knock on diablo's door 

Mi mente's been turning ever since I was born 

Y mi corazon bled its way to a deathful torn 

Since a youngster by the pafio mi alma sworn 

Striking like a sniper who never once cared to warn 

Addicted to violence, I'm the one who mocks the silence 

Simply walkin' with the dead, as if we formed an alliance 

Enemigas draped in fear is a melodic tune to my ears 

So I can't help but laugh at the fall of blood-washed tears 

I'm on a permanent trip held by a far-from-loose grip 

Hit and run, something slick, when them clowns steady slip 

Remorse isn't found, even if the darkest corner 


My pride is profound, even if embattled on rival grounds 

A silent alarm is bound to sound, signaling another 


More madness is downed, bloodshed adding to the 


If the pinta should call my name, I'ma hold it down the same 

'Cause only a fool perceives gangbangin' as fun and 


-Grumpy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There is really nothing "natural" about the high you 
celebrate in this poem. It's all learned behavior. Except for the pure 
chance of where you were brought up or who reared you, you could 
just as easily be celebrating the high your enemies feel about you! We 
know we cannot shake you from this mad love you have for the code 
that was handed to you (though the pinta is far from the only fearful 
outcome that could lie just ahead), but we can tell you this without 
fear of being wrong: however "hypnotic" and no matter having "no 
intent to unwind," even you cannot predict the future. There is only 
one certainty in life (besides death itself), and that is the certainty of 
change. Nothing remains the same. Count on it! 



I was born in this world declare D.O.A 

that god for the doctor that helped me see today 

I want to know how I'm suppose to live like this 

I never knew I could feel like this. 

Time is bad cause of the past but I got to make it 

I have to say thank God for every breath I've taken 

I love my Gramma, she was there when my mom was 


God made sure that I had her, I couldn't be alone 

she is wise and I know it she hold'n on strong 

I'm 17 years young, mature and my mind is grown 

it might be hard to see cause my poor decisions 

my whole life been hate my momma's love I'm missin' 

and the system thought they know me better than me 

but they don't think how I think see how I see 

a young man and I gotta develop my senses 

so many young people tryin' independence 

I'm held back by a rope its hard for me to breathe 

tryna find my own purpose who I'm suppose to be 

look in the mirrors and I see my reflection 

different mirrors different image with the same 


why can't I be me! 

-Tae Dump, Alameda 

From The Beat: Keep writing and listen to yourself and what you have 
to say. Use your time to get to know yourself better, be clear about 
what's most important to you. Look for what reflects your inside. 

Do Something Productive! 

What's really good in the 'hood? 

Obama just moved in the White House and they made it 

truly understood 

They in there and I believe it's gone be for eight years 

We need to stand strong and unite as a nation 'cause we 

ain't going nowhere 

This day is historic and trust we're going to have many more 

We have come a long way and I'm truly proud to say I'm 

a strong black woman 

This place needs to get shut down and we need to help 

our people stay out of the mix 

It's ridiculous! We need to use our knowledge and start 


Today is a beautiful, brand new day 

Black people, start acting like it! Get off the street! 

Do something productive! Ya understand me, maine? 

By speaking to y'all, I'm reflecting, so take in the truth 

Don't be blinded or fooled 

-Kirstin, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Its inspiring to read so many pieces by young black 
men and women (like you) who see that Obama's election as the first 
black president of this country is a call to change from the inside out. 
Wouldn't it be a miracle if he brings changes from the top, and y'all 
bring changes from the bottom? What wonderful advice you give: 


be blinded or fooled!' 


I Been Really Thinking 

I been really thinking while I been locked up 
I been really thinking like man this life sucks. 
I been really thinking while my social worker trying to 
play me 

I been really thinking my social worker is boosie 
I been really thinkin' do my ma love me 
I been really thinking that I'm going crazy 
I been really thinking when I gonna have a baby 
I been really thinking what the world is coming to 
I been really thinking that sometimes love ain't true and 
will hurt you 

I been really thinking about my life I been really thinking 
what I will sacrifice 

I been really thinking when I'm gonna die 
I been really thinking when I die who will even cry 
I been really thinking everyday. 
I been really thinking sometimes I got to cry 
Maybe I been really thinking about my future 
I been really thinking why people got to hurt I 
been really thinking everything 
I been really thinking that what I will say 
I been really thinking all my life 

I been really thinking I been really thinking I been really 

-Karmeisha, Alameda 

From The Beat: You're thinking about the mysteries of your own personal 
pain and situation, but you're also asking about the deeper mysteries: 
Why do people have to suffer? Why is that love is sometimes untrue? 
The Beat doesn't have the answers, but we join you in pondering the 


Barack Obama made history! He is strong. When John 
McCain was talking about his wife and kids, Obama kept 
his head up and played basketball with old friends around 
the country. He is also a leader by telling other races they 
can be what they want to be; just believe. He is an idol to 
kids. All he want kids to do is believe. I'm gone! 

-Hunter, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Is Barack an idol to you? What do you hope he can 
accomplish? What do you think he hopes you can accomplish? 

// * ////// • // ' /// * «aaB 

yy// // 

mmffljfflM,0M D»iwtt&,Mi 


Violence Gomes From Violence 

I think violence comes from people who have experienced 
violent acts that has happened towards their loved ones, 
or who has been taken away. And kids blame this world 
for what has happened, like if a family was to be taken 
into the afterlife, they take their anger onto people they 
dislike or get random people, so they can feel the same 
pain you're goin' through. 

-Leave One, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We agree with your analysis, but wonder if there's a way 
out of it. If violence produces only more violence, then war produces 
war, the death penalty produces death, family violence produces more 
family violence, and street violence produces more street violence. Is 
there any hope to change this picture? Any ideas? 


A Letter To President Obama 

If I had a chance to write a letter to president-elect 
Barack Obama, I would ask him to please stop the war. 
And I would ask him to please help the kids and families 
with food and shelter who needs it. 

I would congratulate him for being the first black 
president. I'm not a racist person, but that's good because 
we finally have a black man running things for once. 
About fifty or sixty years ago, a black man or a white man 
couldn't even drink from the same water fountain. And 
on top of that, we couldn't even eat dinner together in the 
same restaurant. 

-Jb, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It is exciting to see the country mature enough to 
put race aside, at least enough to elect the best man to be President, 
regardless of his color. The "Jim Crow" laws you talk about (making 
separate drinking fountains for white and black, for example), were in 
the South, but prejudice against blacks has been part of every states 
history. We also hope Obama ends the war and helps the poor. 

In Reality 

What's good with The Beat me chillin' 
I'm just getting tired of all the police killin' 
talking 'bout they scared 
in reality they should be prepared 
they killed my cousin shot him six times in his back 
that's messed up how they dropped him like that 
I'm tired of taking chances 
runnin' the streets mess around 
get knocked up get a life sentence 
I ain't tryin' to be like my Uncle Mark 
go to the pen and have to hurt somebody. 

-LIT Dre 

From The Beat: You're right, you deserve a better fate than what you 
describe! Now take this gift for rhyming and tell us a version of your life 
story as you WANT it to end up. 

Choices And Life 

As you may know by now, we have all made some bad 
choices that we regret. Everything we do is a choice. 
Anger and violence is not an excuse, it is a choice. Yeah, 
I know life gets hard sometimes — not enough clothes, 
money, food. You know, some of the same things we teens 
go though in the ghetto, 

I know you got that greasy dude that always got 
something to say out of pocket. Now just think before you 
start to smash, think he might like you... Choices then in 
his shoes. It's a loud-mouth girl, breath stanking and all, 
but think before you hurt her face. Think choices. 

-Dorothy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: If you see the choices you made that led the system to 
make its own choices (to put you here), what new choices do you see 
making when you touch down? 

The Outs 

I miss the outs and I miss my family too. I haven't been 
to my hometown in so long that I forgot what it's like out 
there. My mom won't come visit me so I don't see her at 
all. But I still see my dad. It feels like I'm tapped in the 
system and I can't get out. 

I've been here eight times and ever since I started 
going to placements I've been coming back, My group 
home staff treated me wrong, so I left and I'm in trouble. I 
know the homies miss me but they can't come visit me. 

So far I've been here for almost three months and I 
still have no idea where I'm going. My PO never comes 
to talk to me or my parents. It seems like my PO doesn't 
care at all. I've been waiting so long. I just want to get 

When I go to my placement I'm going to work hard so 
I can get released because the sooner I get out the faster, 
I got to see my family and my homies. It feels like I'm 
getting struck down every time I call somebody and they 
don't pick up. That just pushes me farther away from the 

I know that my family is getting hurt by my actions, 
because they have to pay for all my actions since I'm still 
a juvenile. Hopefully I'll get out soon within a month. 

-Froggy, Alameda 

From The Beat: We really feel your pain in this piece, lockdown loneliness 
can break a persons heart. But you write so well, and it sounds as if 
you're gaining real wisdom in here. What specifically are you going to 
"work hard" at, to help you stay out of the system? 



Dear Mr. Obama, 

My name is Ericka. I am so happy you are our New 
President, because it has been very hard for us black 
people to go to certain college, and I want to go to 
Spellman and become a doctor. 

I want to help kids with ADHD problems, because they 
need some one to really talk to instead of just doping them 
up on a lot of medication that they really don't need. 

And it's hard for us 4.0 students to get into certain 
colleges because we are either not good or we don't have 
the money to go there . A person who can play ball good 
can get a scholarship to go to a good college but a 4.0 
can't. That's wrong but I hope you will change that soon 
thank you. 

-Ericka, Alameda 

From The Beat: Good point Ericka. College tuitions just keep rising and 
rising , and we hope that Obama can help fund scholarship programs 
while he is in office. As for helping people with ADHD - tell us more - 
what do YOU think of as a better alternative to drugs? 

My Problems 

So much anger up inside me, I'm startin not to care. 

Trust nobody because I'm in a negative state 

Mind so sick I just rob, kill, and hate 

Stuck in that mentality, all I know is the block 

How to chop down zips and bag them rocks 

How to get that money, cause this shhh don't stop 

How to duck the police when the block get hot 

How to stay away from the fake, and ride wit the real 

How to live in the hood and still stack a mill 

These just my problems, but I gotta stay cool 

Cause I'd rather die a beast, then live like a coward. 

-Austin, Solano 

From The Beat: These problems sound like a deadly trap and you might 
need that beast energy to overcome them. You call them problems, so 
we wonder if you can ride with the real part of yourself, using all your 
courage — what kind of life you could come up with. 

// * ////// • // ' /// * «0K 

yy// // 

mmffljfflM,0M wiwtt&Mi 

Time For A Change 

It's 2009 and its time for a change 

I remember them days on the block 

Pushin' cocaine 

It ain't that I'ma bad kid 

I just needed some money 

being broke you a joke 

And I ain't never been funny 

The hall ain't coo it be drivin' me crazy 

In my room can't sleep, thinking bout my baby 

It's time for a change like Barack Obama 

If it ain't for myself I'ma change for my mama. 

-Lil' Fred, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hope you keep this wonderful poem with you so you 
remember the promise you make in it forever! You write here that you 
did what you did because you needed money, so does that mean you are 
going to look for a job first thing? 

An Ugly Day 

Today was an ugly day. The reason why I say that is 
because I saw my mom limping . It hurt my heart to see 
my mom limp. I wish I could take the pain away from her 
and it can come to me. 

I was happy to see and hug my mom for the first time 
in six-months. But to see that made me hurt inside. I pray 
and hope that God blesses and times her leg because it's 
terrible. I love you Mom. Pray, stretch, stay strong. 

-Elton, Alameda 

From The Beat: On the one hand, what you're saying hurts to read 
because yes r that must have been terrible to see. On the other hand, 
what shines through here is how deeply you love each other: Her 
because she came to see you, even with her hurt leg, and you because 
you took your mind off your own pain to worry about hers. That is what 
love is all about - caring for others. Peace. 

Is This The Life I Want? 

Is this the life I want to live? 

To sit here wandering if I am going to see my kids? 

Sticking up for other people, 

Fighting for others, 

This world is stupid for fighting over colors! 

Blue and Red, and now black and white, 

It's like they have OJ and we have Barack. 

It gets crazier as days go by 

But being in JJC time never flies 

So now I am growing, because I'm not a kid, 

And I am asking myself what kind of life I want to live. 

-Terrance, Fresno 

From The Beat: There are so many things we do not notice as children, 
things that seem ridiculous as we get older. We are glad that you see 
them now and want to know what you will do next. 

Hard Questions for Obama 


What makes you think you could stop the war that is 
going on right now in the middle east? America went to 
war because they wanted to find Saddam Hussein and kill 

Now you guys have accomplished that. Besides Bin 
Laden who's the next person you want to go after that you 
think is a threat to the United States? 

Now that you are the President are you going to make 
the jail system strict and have people do a lot of time? Or 
are you going to make sure the jail system gives kids and 
adults probation release and parole releases more often? 

-Farhad, Alameda 

From The Beat: We chose that title because you pull no punches - It's 
true. It's one thing to make promises, its another to actually clean up the 
mess, both domestically and internationally. Do you have suggestions 
for what you think he SHOULD do? 


There is a lot of violence in this world 

You get it if you're cold 

Blooded on these streets but 

It ain't the way to go 

Go on with your life 

Live it happy and be nice 

Cause if you make one wrong movie 

You might get 25 to life 

Life isn't worth it 

I bet violence hurts your heart 

Because MY insides are hurtin 

So stop all this violence 

Cause this ain't the place to be 

Same thing everyday 

I'd rather be with family 

Just think of what I said 

And keep violence out of your head 

I'm not suicidal but I'd rather be dead... 

-Tork, Fresno 

From The Beat: Your poem is deep. It got us thinking about our own 
situations in life. Keep your head up. Once you get out, you can make 
a fresh start. Remember too that in order to get to a place where you 
feel happy, you first have to go through a bumpy road. Life is worth 
everything, and like you said, "go on with your life, live it happy and 
be nice." 

I Wish Dr. King Could See His Dream 

Us black folks been slaves since the 1500's. 

In 2009 we got our first president. I wish Dr. King was 
here so he could see his dream, but I forgot he could he 
lookin' down on us right now. So Rest In Peace Dr. King, 
we all comin' together and we got a new black leader. 
Barack Obama. 

I'm proud to be here in 2009, another day another 
shine my name is Spiderman and I'm proud to be black 
but most of all I'm proud to be alive. 

-Spiderman, Alameda 

From The Beat: Beautiful homage to Dr. King - and it's good that we 
remember all the people like Dr. King who paved the way for the election 
of a black president. You are the next generation to carry the torch. Tell 
us what you plan to do! 

Mnre Violence Decause 

I think it's more violence than nonviolence because 
where we live people always want to show people that 
they aint no mark or no punk. So they always are trying 
to fight and buss people, it ain't going to ever change. 

Violence is going to be around for a long time. 
Sometimes people are born violent but must of the time 
they're not born that way. It's just the people who raised 
them or the people who they grew up with that got them 
that way. 

Living in Oakland everybody should know what 
violence is like, because we all lost most of our family 
and friends to violence for example: a good kid with good 
grades who is growing up in Oakland will hang around 
the wrong people one of his friends might give him a gun 
and tells him to buss somebody and most likely he will 
do it, so he wont feel like a punk. So say he does and 
kills someone, just 'cause his friend tells him to. That's 
another person gone because of violence. 

-Young Leader, Alameda 

From The Beat: Its definitely a problem that others can dangerously 
pressure people into doing things they don't want to. Your example of 
the "good kid" is really powerful. Its a perfect sample of how quickly 
peoples' lives can change. Also, you discuss the intense influence that 
friends have on friends. You say that it's never going to change, but do 
you think there's any way people can stand up to this pressure? 

mi/ // 

What Needs to Change 

The government is slowly dismantling the constitution. 

People don't see how it's happening but it is, and 
that's what's going to need to change. They say that the 
FBI can issue a warrant and don't even need evidence, 
that's violating our civil rights. 

The police on the streets are doing these illegal 
searches, shooting people for no reason, that's enough 
that needs to change. 

Violence needs to end, people need to stop killing. 
The end. 

-Lil' Al, Alameda 

From The Beat: A lot of human rights have been bent or violated by the 
government in recent history. It seems that this is soon going to change 
with Obama as president - he's already taken measures to limit instances 
of abuse of power. But on the flip side of the government abusing their 
rights, people who rob or use violence towards the innocent are also 
abusing their rights. There are two sides to this battle. 

To Obama- Make Every Unit An Honor Unit 

I think every unit in juvenile hall should have the same 

every unit in juvenile 
privileges as the honor unit. For example the honor unit 
can have cd players and get to have their own soap and 
own shampoo and their own food sometimes. 

The other units in juvenile hall do not have the 
privileges that the honor unit has. The regular units have 
to use the Alameda county goods. 

Also the honor unit has visiting for four days a week. 
And the others unit only has visiting 2 days a week. I 
think all the units should be equal. 


From The Beat: This is an important issue you are raising. The whole 
concept of "jail" is that it is a terrible place that no one would want to 
go to, and therefore, people change their ways so they don't have to 
come back. Do young people in the honors unit hate jail less than other 
inmates? What impact do these priviledges have on the youth in here? 
We'd love you to write more on this topic... 

Non Violence Speaks To Me 

I think nonviolence is more effective because less people 
die or get injured. That would make a huge difference in 
the world. Everybody would stop dying. 

Violence comes from anger, money and respect. 
Some people have anger problems which cause them to 
act violent. If someone wanted money they'll try to get 
it in a violent way. Or you could owe somebody money. 
People act violent just to seem cool or do it because they 
don't have nothing else to do. Young people learn how to 
be violent from hanging around in the wrong crowds or 
being in the wrong place. 

I don't have a history of violence because I'm a caring 
person. I don't believe in violence. I learned that you can 
solve your problems without fighting. 

-Kilunta, Alameda 

From The Beat: We're glad you choose nonviolence. The more people 
that choose that path the better it is for everyone. What do you think 
you can do to spread this belief around? What can you say to people to 
convince them to give up the violence? 



What's crackin' Beat? Damn, they got your boy still up 
in the max, just postin' and waiting for court tomorrow. 
Hopefully they drop the fitness, so I can stay being in the 
juvenile system and just go to the Y and start my time. 

Damn Beat, I was trippin' out the other day when I 
heard my boy P came up in here. I was just like damn these 
cops must've gotten all out on that case. But whatever! I 
just hope he plays it smart and just takes what he gets 
and does his time. 

Damn, Beat I basically grew up in here. Now that I 
think about it ever since I was very young comin in, out, 
through this hell. It's kind of funny now that I think about 
it. I was in 8th grade and very young, I thought I was the 
shhh. No one could tell me what to do. I thought. 

I felt I was on top of the world. Stealing cars is how my 
criminal career started. Damn, imagine that I didn't even 
know how to drive, could've died a good couple times, but 
I'm still here doin' my thang. 

I remember the first time I heard those words "the 
youngest from the hood." It felt like I know anything and 
everything about anybody ha-ha. 

Damn I wish I had someone to put me in check 
through out my life like an older brother or a constant 
father figure something. 

Maybe someone would've taught me how to survive 
instead of learning the hard way, but sometimes the hard 
way is the best way to become wise. 

Hopefully this court goes well tomorrow and I get 
sentenced to my number, and be out around 2012-2014 
approximately if everything goes well for me, who is trying 
to maintain. 

Well right now I'm just tryin'to get my mind and body 
right so whatever does happen I'll be ready. 

Hopefully I don't get more than five years, so if I do 
get a 5 years, that means I'll probably have to do a 3 year 
minimum to be eligible for parole, but whatever happens 
I'm ready for it. Well I'm out... 

Truly and respectfully 

-Eagle, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Well, whatever you did in the past, should stay in the 
past. Now, you're not "very young" anymore. You are facing something 
serious -possible adult time. And if we were you, we wouldn't be saying 
this as if it wasn't a thing. Your childhood was dumped away. Don't throw 
away what's left of you. Ok, you didn't have a positive guidance in your 
life, but what about now? You are wiser from your own experiences. 
You're not longer a kid, you are just a few steps away from becoming 
an adult, and possible in the court's eyes you are an adult! Damn, you 
should start acting like one! Life is only one. Once it's taken away, it's 
over. There is no coming back. Get it? 

// * ////// • // ' /// * «aaB 

mmffljfflM,0M wiwtt&Mi 

Violence Is Life 

My life is violent but violence is life, 

why you so quick to pick up the knife. 

You think you're a 'G' 

'cause your dickies sag and you locked up. 

They ain't no need to brag. 

ou think you're a badass 'cause you dropped out of 


but in reality that ain't even cool. 

You want to be an OG in which you thrive always. 

Packin' heat, to stay alive, 

Flyin' your colors 

tryin' to keep it real. 

Sooner or later you gonna get killed. 
Tip ya hat sideways, always stayin' true, 
you got black shoot'in black, white shoot'in white, 
we all in this position man. 
Think about the words I just said 

'cause your time is running out and soon you'll be dead. 
This is young Wedo and I'm telling you all the truth. You 
need to change your life before it's to late and it is only 
too late if you're dead, I'm out. 

-Wedo, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico 

From The Beat: Good advise Wedo, but remember to follow your own 
advice when you get out. Keep in touch on how your doing when you 
get out. 

Remaking America 

It's all about change, 

it starts within the people, 
being of one mind frame. 

Peace on earth is what most people want to live with. 
Obama is president and is on the lure 
to bring together all nations lure to stop immigration. 
Lure to stop racism, 

to stop white and black 'cause deep down there's 
something we all lack. 

Lack to get along 'cause the color of our skin tone, 
all people have 226 bones and at some point everyone 
wants to be left alone. 
Obama is for change, 
white or black, 
we now have a president that doesn't lack, 

doesn't choose sides, America is now on the rise. 

-Lil' Dizil, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a really good piece - thanks for sharing with 
The Beat. You have a talent for writing phrases, now see if you can 
translate that into whole poems that really flow together. 


Letter To The President 

Dear Barack Obama 

I feel like we can improve our United States. As a 
individual I feel like we shouldn't have to pay so much 
money to go to college. I think most of our hopes of going 
to college is lower by the cost of the school term. Some of 
the ways to improve it is to work down our cost. 

I want to do something with my life but if I don't get 
a scholarship my chances are pretty much over. If I don't 
get all the money my chances are over. 

Knowing that you are our president I want to consider 
lowering our cost for college. If you can help some people 
I want you to help me so I can do something with my life. 
Thank You 

-Marqise, Alameda 

From The Beat: We agree education should not be costly! Education 
should be free. You need to find an advisor who can help you find 
scholarships and assist you in the application and financial aid 


Man, Beat, being free, no cell feels hella better than 
sitting in this cell, looking at a window you can't be in, 
plus a toilet and sink mixed with a mirror made of steel 
and a hard steel seat with a steel table thing.... four hooks 
and two vents and a eighteen-inch shelf! 

What kind of shhh is this. I been through the old hall 
time and time again: Six times, and now I'm back in the 
new hall for my sixth time and I'm just starting to see 
this ain't cool. If I would have seen what I see now I would 
have never come back. 

Now that I'm here it's like they're making it more like 
Rita. They got commissary! What the hell!! What does the 
government want to do, they want you to feel at home so 
you want to come back. Next there going to allow cell 
phones or something stupid like that the system 
is twisted they all about money they don't want you to do 
good, they want you back and back and back until you hit 
Santa Rita or the pinta 

-Big Hungry, Alameda 

From The Beat: If that is what they want, then what are you going to do 
about it? Are you going to let yourself get caught up again, and become 
a victim of the system? Time to live up to your name: Bigger than the 
system, and Hungry for a better life. Peace. 


Violence comes from a community that has a lot of gang 
members. Violence builds up a lot and keeps on going 
throughout the community. It starts by older people and 
passed down to the younger generation, and it keeps 

We aren't born to be violent, but we live through it, 
and we keep on going through it. Maybe we are abused 
and we have to take control some way - and we just go 
through it and take charge. 

Well, violence is everywhere and there is no stopping 
it. Maybe one day it'll happen. 

-D, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Thanks for this powerful piece. When you observe that 
violence is passed down from older people to younger people, maybe 
you've hit the key. What would happen if you didn't pass the violence 
on to those who are younger than you? You already seem to recognize 
that violence is not a good thing. That "one day" you mention in your 
last line might be up to you. Don't pass it on, D. And walk away from 
it in your own life. Talk with your friends about it. Your friends aren't 
the beasts that some adults imagine. They hurt. They bleed. They have 
emotions. Start a movement. The biggest movements start with one 
person, then a few, and finally, many. 

Sitting in the Hall 

Sitting in the hall 

Looking at these four white walls 

When I lay down I see my dreams 

And see me delivering my new broh baby boy 

Loving him and holding him 

At the group home that my probation officer placed me 

Staying clean off crack and being the young black queen 

I can be 

Going through my days with my head up high 

If anybody wants to ask me questions about my life 

I will answer you and I will not deny 

How I feel down but I got back up fighting for my dreams 

and my goals 

I know if I put my mind and heart to it 

I know I will achieve 

-Ella, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is an inspiring piece, thanks for sharing with The 
Beat. You can be a great parent if you follow through on all that you 
write about. Don't lose sight of these goals and you'll come out on 


Crazy Weather 

At night, by the fire, the rain is heard beating against the 
window pain. 

I'm all alone and going insane. 

I can hear my heart hitting the inside of my chest, like a 

I ask myself: why is this happening? What's the matter? 
Alone, alone by the fire with nothing to do, but feeling 

The only thing keeping me calm is the relaxing 
sound of the winter wind, and tree branches snapping 
like bones. 

Hmmm... weird, a crow standing outside, on the window 

I ask myself - is he going insane, staring at the fire with 
his beady black eyes. 

The clock is ticking. Just a matter of time before he 

There's a storm in some human form. 
Is it God making this weather, from heaven, on this day, 
December 7? 

-Sammy, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: Nifty writing Sammy. Those branches snapping like 
bones make us wince. And we're feeling bad for that old crow. But we're 
glad you've been struck with writing fever. May you never recover from 
such a healthy disease. 

Dear Mr. President 


I watched your inauguration on TV, the other day. You had 
had really good speeches. We even had a little function in 
here for your inauguration. And we don't really celebrate 
much here. 

I really like your willing to help the juveniles and the 
juvenile system because I believe that we as teenagers 
still have long lives to live. When the system charges 
us as adults, it doesn't give us a chance to try and get 
rehabilitation. That's why I am interested in your beliefs. 
It feels good to know that someone is willing to help 
out big time. And ever since the election was going on, I 
realized a lot of stuff is possible, and it also opened a lot 
of doors for me. So I just want to let you know that you 
have a lot of supporters. 

-D, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You're rightl! When we are young, we all make mistakes 
and we all need a second chance in life. We hope his views on changing 
this country get to become reality. As a supporter, how are you going 
to support his ideas to become a reality? We hope he gets to read your 
appreciations about his plans for the nation. Like you said, everything 
is possible. So, what are your plans? 

Dear Mr. President 

Hi, my name is Elijah. I just wanted to say that I am proud 
of you becoming the first African American president. 

I told my whole family to vote for you. I can now look 
up to you. You have changed history in the whole USA. 

I had to write an essay about you and Dr. Martin 
Luther King, Jr. About the comparison and differences 
about you two men. You two got a lot of similarities and 
differences. I hope there will be a holiday after you. I 
watched your inauguration. It was really cool. I think you 
will be a great president. 

-Elijah, Alameda 

From The Beat: That essay sounds really intriguing, Elijah. Tell us some 
of the similarities and differences you found in Obama & MLK. We're 
sure that essay was packed with interesting ideas, we want to here 
them too! 

Loves & Kids 

Love is a word that is so easily skims across or lips. 
Rucas (girls) cut their wrists for it. 
Vatos try to fill for it. 

Notes professing devotion are passed in the hallways, 
dropped are passed in the hallways, 
dropped on desktops 

or places discreetly inside school folders. 
It doesn't take much: a women brushing her hair, 
the sniff of a vato's cologne and after school walk, 
and we're in love. 
Babies are easy too. 
Many homegirls become mothers, 
although they are unfinished children. 
Whatever comfort and warmth they lack at homies 
also withheld from their babies. 
Girls drop out of school. 

Homeboys become fathers even in their early teen. 
But there's nothing at stake for them; 
at the most, having a baby is a source of power, for rep, 
like trophies on a mantel. 

-Chuko, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Great peace Chuko! What inspired you to write this? Are 
you speaking form experience? 

Violence: Nature or Nurture 

Violence comes from a lot of places. Sometimes it comes 
from households. Some people come from dysfunctional 
families with a lot of drama in their lives. As a 

kid you don't know much and when you see someone 
close to you acting up and doing a fool, you want to be 
like them, especially if there isn't a positive rule model 
around. Some are born that way. Like if you was born and 
later on in life everyone realized you have a short temper 
that could result in violence. Because when I get mad I 
want to do harm to the enemy but in situations like this, 
being in the hall, I have to think. 

Some young people learn violence from their friends 
or are pressured into doing violent acts. The bottom line 
is that violence is going to always be around. Mainly 
because they're not getting what they want from family or 
cannot get a job and don't have enough money or cannot 
find a way out. So they want to hit licks to make money. 
Well that's it for now. Shout out to all my southern 

-Loony, Alameda 

From The Beat: Loony, thank you for sharing this thoughtful piece 
with us about all the reasons people commit violent acts. Do you think 
people can learn how to be less violent? Have skills like improved 
communication, anger management and meditation helped you feel 
more peaceful? 


//<?/ // 

America Needs Change 

\ Words 

Remaking America what that means to me it means that 
they are going to make America way better than today's 
America because America needs change. 

I think that words are more powerful when you are 
outside and not when you are locked up because when 
you are locked up they won't really believe nothing you 
would say because they say you are locked up for a reason. 
So that's why words are more powerful on the outs. 

I think that people learn violence. I think that violence 
is not good in this life because it gets you no where. The 
only place that violence takes you is jail and you don't 
want to be in jail because you feel really lonely and sad. 
Because you don't have your family with you. 


From The Beat: Do you plan to make the changes you need to make 
to stay out of jail? If we all change, then America would have to be 


Remaking America... 

By Obama being president now and him stating that he is 
going to bring change into the world. I feel that he brought 
forth strong words to this world to make more changes in 
society and change for us younger people like bring more 
programs to the community and giving chances to these 
kids that didn't have that type of opportunity in making it 
in life. That's how I feel about Obama saying he is going 
to make changes. 


From The Beat: Yes, we hope for more opportunity and strength in 
communities as well! We have to be part of this change. 

What America Has Tn Offer 

I take a shhh I wipe my ass with America 

ninjas think I'm hysterical but I'm just lyrica 

I been in this world looking for a miracle 

'cause I sell this white snow tryin' to feed my son on the 


I've been in struggle but ninjas never know the trouble I 

go thru 

tryin to get my son and some food so we can have a 

but ninja's look at me like I'm a animal like I'm a beast 
so they lock me in a cage but they can't feel me rage rise 

but when I look into my son's lonely eyes 
the only thing I could possibly do is cry 
that's why I sit back and refuse to listen to lies. 


From The Beat: This piece just breaks our heart, Momo. Your skills are 
still dazzling, and we KNOW how much you love your son. Of course 
you want to give him the best life you can, but what he needs most is 
to his daddy, free. So it's time to find a legit grind - can you do it? Have 
you talked to your PO about help finding a job? 

Violence: Nature Or Nurture 

I think that violence comes from scary ninjas because 
the scariest ninjas will kill you first. Most people use it 
to prove that they bad but when you ask them why they 
did what they did they be like cause so and so told me 
to, they be snitches too you can't trust em. They hear 
of the next ninja and try to be just like 'em. Most ninjas 
just came off the porch they wet behind the ears. That's 
confident I keep what I do in the streets to myself. 

-Lil' Marv 

From The Beat: We too think it's scary that someone will kill because 
someone told them to. This makes the streets more dangerous it seems... 
whether you keep what you do to yourself or not. 

Words get people hurt. Words get people killed. Words 
can make people feel good. Words can make you feel bad. 
Some words you can ignore and some you can't. Take it 
how you want. Words are just words. 

-Profit Means Money 

From The Beat: You say they are "just" words, yet also acknowledge 
they have the power to hurt and kill.. .or bring pleasure. What does 
"prophet" mean? 

Didn't Give Up un His Dream 

If I had a chance to write the president I would say how 
proud I am of him he has came a long way and he didn't 
give up on his dream. I'm glad he made history, the first 
African American president-and I hope he makes the 
economy better so I can get a job when I get out of jail. 

I know his dad's country is happy that someone 
from their country has made it. I hope he buys them all 
houses and just do better than Bush and yes it is time for 
a change. 


From The Beat: What kind of job are you going to be looking for when 
you get out? We hope the economy gets better too— and that there will 
be more opportunity for everyone. 

In The Dux 

Sick of being locked up, and man I gotta get a job. 

Mom's and my kid is all that's running through my 

thoughts. C 

ouldn't do it myself so I guess the system is demanding 


Gotta learn to survive and provide for my family. 

I struggle to keep my sanity and happiness I guess I never 

really had it. 

Growin' up in the streets I took my freedom for granted 

But I stay solid To God I keep my faith, 'cause in the end 
he got a plan 

and I know I'ma change. 

So I walk tall 'cause I'm solid. Yeah I bang what I bang 
so I follow my structure. Man I'll never drop my head. 

It's crazy how much that lil' box can 'cause so much 


From The Beat: Great poem, and as hard as it is to see you back in here, 
we do welcome you back to our pages. Now how you going to balance 
wanting to stay loyal to what you bang and also stay loyal to the plan 
for change you have in your heart. Can they go together? Are they in 
conflict? Is there a way to do both? 


I think Obama is going to be a great president he is truly 
going to change America a lot of people gone hate but hey 
that should make him do it more. 

Man I've been thinking bout my love for so long only 
she can make me change. What I really want is a baby I 
guarantee I slow down in everything I do cause I would 
be with my girl and my baby— shh my momma can't even 
make me change she in jail her self. Well I'm getting mad 
so let me end. To everyone that know me I love ya'll and 
stay up. 

-Lil Tonio 

From The Beat: We can't wait for change ourselves, and are determined 
to be part of that change. On the personal note: kids are beautiful and 
really can help you keep perspective about what's most important. It's 
hard to be parents though, and you owe it to any kid, and your self to 
get yourself well situated before you have a baby. Then yesi make a 
family and start a new life. 


//// // 


\ To The Fullest 

This dedicated to Irv. ' 

'Cause if I give you this then this fifteen you gone served 

locked down in yo' room, no books, bright light 

its called wall therapy four walls all night 
this is the unit where the adults tell the kids what to do 

I'm going home tonight I don't know about you 
I got the coke white air forces and an orange shirt on 
we teach education so put your thinking cap on 


From The Beat: It's good you can joke around with staff - it shows that 
its not all bad, even on loclcdown. But now that you have your thinking 
cap on, what are you going to think about? 

Dear President liana 


I want to congratulate you for being our new African 
American president. 

I would like to change my community. I would like it 
to change by not committing crimes, not robbing people, 
being respectful, being there for our families and children. 
You can help us to do that by putting more activities out 
there for us instead of us going to jail and doing crimes 
like after school programs, etc... 

Thank you and good luck President Obama. 

-Baby Thickness 

From The Beat: We're seeing a lot of Beat writers express this request. 
Having positive things to do will definitely help you stay out of trouble. 
But since this doesn't exist right now in your community, what can you 
do on your own? Look for a job? Read? Teach yourself about things 
that interest you? 

Don't Do Drugs 

People be bout actin' hard when they be off that bulooshy 

poppin' pills 

lookin' hecka stupid when they can't find they grills 

smoking on grapes feelin' hecka dumb when they money 

ain't straight 

sippin' on bo' lookin' lightweight mental movin' all slow 

so don't do drugs if you can't handle 'em just sit back 

...and stack. 


From The Beat: You and The Beat are of the same mind/So long as you 
stack on a legit grind/cause dirty money is another kind of drug/turn a 
bright young star into a burnt out thug. 

Violence: Nature Or Nurture? 

Violence can happen no matter what. 

Violence can be necessary, but at times it shouldn't 


Violence comes from anger. 

People are born with tendency to commit violent acts. 

They learn it from other people and from what happens 

around them. 

-No Violence 

From The Beat: Man, we wish there was a name on this, so you could 
get credit for your very wise insights. Next time, be sure to write your 


Change my life and the way I do things. Change some of 
my friends change the way I live. Change da people I be 
around. Change is when you change yo life and start to do 
things different in yo life. 


From The Beat: We hope these changes will bring you more opportunities 
to become the man you can be! 




Live your life to the fullest 

People always stuck 

On some stupid 

Sugar honey ice tea 

You say you want to be like me 

But why can't you be yourself 

You quick to be like someone else 

But when you start to act like 

That person that's a hero in your eyes 

You have nothing to show for yourself 

I'm trying to help you 

You want to be everybody but you 

So let me tell you the truth 

You look like a damn fool 

You know, I know, and everybody around you know 

That's not your true you 

Live your life to the fullest 

And stop putting yourself through this 

Live it to the fullest and do you 

But promise me this 

It will be your best 

Live it to the fullest 


From The Beat: Its not good to lose yourself while trying to be like 
someone else, but it can be a good thing to aspire to be like something 
external. If you admire qualities in others and want to own them 
yourself, that can be a good thing. As long as you don't lose yourself or 
your beliefs in the process, you're good. 

Back In The Mix 

Yeah man it's Jb we back in the mix on that shhh 
Free my ninjas man I'm up in this thang 
getting nightmares like Freddy 
I ain't trippin' I know my ninjas out there rockin' 
I'm a bounce back until then, I'm written in this Beat. 
Expressing my appreciation for what they're doing 
To help me get through this time. 


From The Beat: And The Beat appreciates you right back, so keep the 
words flowing and we'll printing them! 


DIP Emmit 

To my brother Emmit we miss you and we gone start 
mobbin for you and we not gone stop the squad gone stay 
and I'm gone see you when I get up there I love you bra. 

-Lil' Chuck 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. What would he say to you, 
if he could? 


Yea my name Shay 

I need to hurry and find my dream mate 
Life so real 

My wounds still aren't heal 
No one knows how I deeply feel 
To hide my emotions I stay off pills 
When I think of my life I get chills 
Please take me far away up the hills 
this the end 
The Beat's friend. 


From The Beat: Great poem. Shay. You tell so much about your life in 
just a few lines. Will you write us some more, about whether being off 
pills has helped or hurt you, about the "chills" in your life, about your 
deep feelings. This is like an introduction to "me" and now we want to 
read the whole book!!! 


//<?/ // 



Free Lil' Purp, I been here 9 months. It's cool I 
I'm still mobbin' and stayin' away from trouble. 
The judge tryin' to play me so I'm gonna keep cool, 
knock this lil' 'time out, get my education up in school. 
I ain't gone trip off the time, I'm gonna knock this out 
So I sit up in my room and meditate and think 
and keep my head up as I sit down and blink. 
Free the kid man 'cause I'm tired of this stuff 
as I do one hand push ups and continue to get buff 

-Lil' Purp 

From The Beat: You get your physical workouts in, but it also seems 
like locked up you are trying to give yourself a mental workout too - 
get your mind strong for the upcoming challenges. What does "mental 
strength" mean to you? 

RIP Ethers 


Man, my ninja Ether was a beast. Some haters knocked 
my ninja down 'cause he was movin' real mean. But he 
ain't gotta worry about nothing, he's in a better place 
shinning in paradise. But my ninja live through me. Just 
know I'm gonna hold you down 'till I join you. 

-Lil' Sani 

From The Beat: We are so sorry to hear about the death of your friend. 
You say that he continues to live through you— what is the best way 
that you can preserve his memory? What would make him proud? Do you 
think he would want you to live as short of a life as he did? Or would he 
want to see you become a grown man, with a good life? 

Black Panthers 


Words have brought people together for good and 

bad. Better or worse. Words can cause fights and start 

destruction through out the world. They can start 

movements and bring different cultures together. 

-Lil' Dough Boi 
From The Beat: Clearly you know the power of words. How can you use 
them to improve your own life? 

A Better theeee 


I think its great to have a president that a minority. That 
means it's a better chance to change. The End 

-Fat Boy 

From The Beat: We agree with you, and share your hope and desire for 

Back in the Hall 

What's up Beat, this is Young Money , back in the hall 
again for the ninth time. Most likely I'm going to ROP 
hopefully not CYA. I'm not likin' this unit. You only get a 
phone call on Saturdays and I don't like how certain staff 
is runnin' this unit. I can't wait 'till I start workin' here 
in a couple years. I can't wait until I go to wherever I'm 
gonna go so I can pimp that, fast! 

Maybe if I write the judge a letter he will let me go 
to camp again and graduate that placement again. It has 
happened to other people, but I'm not too sure it's going 
to happen to me. I'll see on the 6th of Feb. I'll make sure 
to write The Beat so you all can find out what happened. 


From The Beat: What worries us most is that this is your 9th time. You 
want to work with youth one day, that's a great thing - but before you 
help others, you need to help yourself. What kind of things could you 
do, this time around, to get a different result? 

Violence Second Resort 

I believe violence is the second resort. I do not think 
violence is instilled in people from birth because if that 
was the case everybody would be violent, and everybody 
is not violent. 

For example, Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. People bombed 
his house and he kept the peace. Babies aren't violent. 
What I think is that people who are just all out violent all 
the time are the ones who can't control their anger. It's 
just the fact that some people who are just all out violent 
all the time are the ones who can't control their anger. 

Everybody has anger and violent ways about them, 
that much I do believe. It's just the fact that some people 
have more self control and know how to channel their 
anger in a way that it doesn't hurt others. 

-Rikki Baybee 

From The Beat: Sounds like you really do believe we all have violence 
in us, its just that some people have learned how to control it while 
others haven't. 

Bullets Is Flying 

Was real young, a lot of young life dying. 

Bullets are flying, 

leavin' a lot of lives crying. 

He posted on the strip with forty cals on his hip. 

Money he flips 

so every girl never trips. 

But if that boy slips 

his body will get filled with the tips. 

By that young gun 

his big brother is my son. 

Done nothing but sell coke. 

But even though I sell drugs I be praying for some hope. 

Brainwashed forever 

'cause your boy wants some dough. 

And since I sell drugs I should never go broke. 

When the bullets fly I pray to God I don't die. 

I'm still alive with nothing but God on my side. 

I was raised by the gun 

I pray that God tell me why. 
So when God sees me in heaven one day 
he's gonna say that every time they got to shooting 
that I made the bullets fly away. 

And to the Lord I should pray that happy days come 

You know what young Laden say Rest in Peace young Jay. 

-Dirt Laden 

From The Beat: We are sorry to hear about what happened to young 
Jay, it is a tragedy. Tell us Dirt Laden— how do we make the bullets stop 
flying? Also, tell us how God became apart of your life! 

The Kiss 

It happened so quickly 
The world must have shook 

I'd always hoped it would happen like it does in a book. 
He looked at me softly and then touched my hair 
I felt so special like he really did care. 
He leaned over slowly my heart upped its pace 
Right at that moment we were face to face. 
When his lips touched mine I though I would melt 
His kiss was the sweetest thing I ever felt. 

-Lil' Pooh Bear 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful image of the joy of that first kiss. If 
you wrote it with a specific person in mind, we hope that he continued 
to bring you happiness and treat you well. Because the sweetness of 
true love lasts beyond the kiss! 


Wfff // 

When It's On Sight 

When it's on sight 

you gotta watch your every move, 

because that one wrong move can cost you to lose. 

When it's on sight 

please try not to slip because if you do you might get 


a lot of lost blood can make you sick 

unless it's death on sight you lose your strength, 

you lived that life for the fame 

but when you gone they don't even remember your 


So every move I keep my thing 

unless I'm incarcerated 

fighting the pain. 

While others throwing money like it's a game 

I'm killing for mine and that's a shame. 

I wish I could leave the streets 

but I gotta do what I gotta do so baby Lay can eat. 

Tired of watching his every step 

I'm trying to have like four houses that cost some mills 

I'm tired of settling for less and that's real. 

Grown man, not a kid, it's '09 its time to do it big.. 

So live your life and don't let life beat you 

'cause when you're down 

the love of your life might turn into a stripper and that's real. 

People change when you're behind a cell 

so live right and that's real. 

-D Lay 

From The Beat: D Lay— how do you YOU live your life, so that life doesn't 
beat you? What does that mean to you? 

Me & My Girl Together 

Man me and ma girl— I really can't even talk to her and 
that shh messing me up but we gone bounce back real 
fast. One thing for sure we down right now swear to god 
we gone bounce. 

-Nuttso Savage 

From The Beat: It must be frustrating to be separated from those you 
love. Support each other in making positive changes for your lives. 

My Love Life 

I could love to a limit until it ain't right. 

I can love her forever 'cause she in my love life. 

It's this one girl that I really see who won't never leave 

'cause she got me going crazy. 

She said I was the best but what you do it just amaze 

You will always be my heart and my heart belongs to you 
I'll say them great three words "baby I love you." 

I think about you everyday 'cause you stay on my mind, 
you should be Mrs. R. 'cause you so damn fine. 

I won't never lie to you 'cause you keep it solid with me 

I don't care about them girls man, it's just you and me 
I'll get you what you want if I can't 
I hope you understand as you say "Baby it's ok 
You'll always be mine man 
This is my life hope I repeat it twice 
'cause its just me and you going with my love life. 

-Lil' Quail 

From The Beat: Just in time for Valentines Day! We hope this love poem 
comes from the heart, and we DEFINITEY hope that you're not speaking 
to a real life Mrs. R. - i.e. someone too old for you! 

Grandma's Strong Hold 

Strong hold, is what my grandma got on me 

I use to hate that strong hold 

Now I've come to see 

That's she's only protecting me 

As if I were her own child 

She calls me her child 

And says with the success she know I will have 

She will jump and shout so loud 

She will draw hundreds into a crowd 

Just to hear her say 

Look what success my strong hold 

Has brought for my child 

She lets me know she has no doubts 

She lets me know she's proud 

And that she'll never walk out 

Not because I'm her grandchild 

But because I am her child 

And she knows as long as she got 

A hold that strong her child 

Can and will never go wrong 

I'm glad my grandma's got a strong hold on me 

-Poetically Misunderstood 

From The Beat: Sounds like you've got a really great relationship with 
your grandmother. We all need someone to believe in us, and push us 
to do better. This is what your grandma does for you, so be thankful 
you have her! 

With Them 

I'm tired of this Jail shhh I can't wait to get out, when I 
get out I'm gonna hop on my little brother three wheeler 
and ride around all day slappin' music! Then I'm gonna 
slide to my grandma house and get me some homemade 
Mexican food that I miss. Most of all I miss my family and 
I can't wait to be back with them. 


From The Beat: After you eat and ride that three wheeler what are you 
going to do to make sure you don't come back? 

As I Sit In A Cell 

As I sit in a cell I think 

As I sit in a cell I hate life 

As I sit in a cell I think why 

As I sit in a cell I ask how 

As I sit in a cell I'm not well 

As I sit in a cell I feel like I'm in hell 

As I sit in a cell I realize I messed up 
I As I sit in a cell I can't see outside 
I As I sit in a cell it makes me ask why 
I I protected myself and hurt everyone else 

As I sit in a cell I can't tell whether I'm going to heaven 

or hell 

As I sit in a cell I count down how many days I got left 

in this place 

As I sit in a cell the calendar and time is my best friend 

also my worst enemy. 

Beat can you feel me? 

I'm thinking a lot right now and don't want to stay in here 

for this BS. 

I need to go home and be with my family and do what I do to 

make every thing come back to normal and go to college. 

I have stuff to do... I'm a man now I need to act like one.... 

-Big Hungry 

From The Beat: We want to see you free too, but from what you've 
written about your life, it doesn't seem like you've ever had much 
'normal'. So its like you are going to have to get out and totally reinvent 
yourself, and that means finding those positive influences we all need. 
Where are you going to start looking? 


Fire and Water 

\ Words 

I feel the fire in my veins 

It's hard to stop 'cause under my skin I feel the rage to 


But the water put me out and let me cruise like a boat 

If the boat sink then the fire is back 

Then I feel I been played never the less fire always stay 


I can go the right way but the water will always wear off 

Then I get dry and hot then the heat pisses me off. 


From The Beat: Sounds like you feel out of control, with a fire inside 
you that can only be stopped by something external. Try searching 
inside yourself for something to cool you down - what calms you, what 
helps you vent? Maybe running or doing pushups or listening to music 
- find your calm within. 



The power of words is big but I have learned to appreciate 
them more by reading in my room here at juvie. Books 
help me do time and expand my thoughts give me different 
thoughts. Like books about people doing 25+ to life. I 
compare that to me and thank the Lord. 

-Peep Game Tae 

From The Beat: Are there any books in particular that have made a big 
impact you since being in here? And once you get out, do you think you 
will continue to read? 

Iir 2101 


What I'm excited the most about the year of 2009 and 
having an African American president is that it gives me 
a chance to believe that I can do anything I set my mind 
to, and that anything is possible. And each morning I will 
wake up encouraging myself, telling myself, yes I can! 

- Da Baddest 

From The Beat: That is a great way to wake up every morning! If only 
we could all get up and face the day this way, our communities would 
be in much better shape. 

Words are very strong. 

There's lies, compliments, racial slurs, hatin' 
all kind of shhh. 

But when you say the wrong shhh to a ninja like me 

I get you knocked down straight like that. 
Shhh like "what you looking at," or "what's up" with a 
mug on yo face... 
that's when I'm a get it popping. 

I don't let words make me mad because that gives the 
other person the power. 

But certain words be making it seem like a ninja tryin' to 
get on you 
so I won't hesitate. 


From The Beat: This may not be what you want to hear, but you just 
totally contradicted yourself. You say words don't get to you, but 
becoming violent towards someone just for saying "what's up" is exactly 
what that is - you letting words get to you hard and very easily too. 

The Best President Ever! 

I think Obama is going to be the best president we ever 
had. I don't want him to get assassinated. I think he 
is going to change a lot of rules to make this country 

If I were president I would help schools and make the 
pay in this country higher. A better and safer place where 
kids could play and get a better education. 

I pray he is going to do what he says he is going to do. 
He has a wife and a nice family. He has been though a lot 
in his life, he has been to Juvenile Hall before, just like 
me. Thanks Obama. 

-Lil' Monster 

From The Beat: We're all hoping for Obama to stay safe. Its great 
that you look up to our President. Do you consider him a role model? 
President Obama is working hard to reshape America by improving the 
aspects of the US that are not so great. Change can't happen all at once 
though, little things build up to it. Do you think there are things in your 
community that you can do to help the process? 

Remaking America 

Change has to start with individual people wanting to 
change for the better. 

No matter how good of intentions the president has 
there will always be a group of people that will try their 
hardest to bring others down with them, but they only 
succeed if you let them get the best of you. 


From The Beat: There will always be those who hurt and those who 
help. What do you think you can do to be one of the people that helps, 
especially in your community? 

X ITThink Of You 

Non-violence/ Violence 


Non-violence is what some want but for others, they 
were raised up in a house with mom, dad, brother fighting 
so that's all they know. 

When he/she have a problem they result to violence 
and guns but later wind up in jail. That's all they know. 
Guns, knifes, fights are what there use. 

But Americans want change but you can't change the 
only way of life that someone knows. Somehow maybe 
in few years maybe America can change but it'll take a 
couple years. 


From The Beat: You raise some good points Demarcus. How do you think 
we can stop the idea of violence being normal? 


Locked down, late night in my cell I think of you 

I thank you for loving me and staying true 

I can't lie I miss you too much. You got me feigning for 

your touch 

Ya keep ya boy doing strong while I wait to get free 

I can't wait for you to see the new and improved me 

No more staying out all night, leaving you all alone 

No more taking you for granted, pretty soon, I'll be coming 


Then I can hold you in my arms again and give you real 


I want to thank you for giving me all your love 

From the minute I got to know you I knew God blessed 

me from above 

Baby girl your smile shines brighter than the sun 

I'm proud to tell the world that you're my only one 

I think of you so often, it's kind of pathetic 

Stay with me my lady and you won't regret it 

But until the day I get free and hold you all I can do is 

think of you. 


From The Beat: This is such a heartfelt piece, clearly you care a lot 
about this special person. If she cares as much about you as you seem 
to care about her, you've got a really great thing going. Don't lose her 
by doing stuff you know isn't worth it - commit to making a change for 
you and for her. 



Mother's Love 

Remaking America 

From when you born 'till when you die your mom is the 
first one to show love. She the first to tell me to wear a 
glove when I mess up and go to jail. My mom is the first 
one to know. My mom always has my back even when I'm 
wrong. When she show love, her love is strong. When I be 
in the streets she is always worried. When she tells me to 
come home that means she loves me. 


From The Beat: Lots of young people think that when their parents 
punish or keep you close to home that it means they don't care, but 
usually its the exact opposite. A mother who lets you run around and 
do anything you feel like any time of day or night doesn't care about 
your well being. 


Violence happens in a lot of places like the streets and 


People get killed over violence every day. 

They need to take guns off of the streets. 

If people need guns they should have it with a license to 

protect their family. 

People get robbed with guns and deal drugs with guns. 

I think we have alot violence in America. 


From The Beat: It's upsetting that guns are so easy to come by. It also 
seems that its hard for people to be responsible with such a dangerous 
weapon. Besides licenses, what do you think our government can do to 
assure that people are responsible gun owners? 


RIP Skrilla Mike 

Man you know that's messed up 

How they did my big homie 

Man they hit my ninja up they can't even do nothing 

He just broke a fight up next thang you know he's getting 

picked up 

Don't trip I got yo' fam yo' mama and my grams. 


From The Beat: What at tragedy. We're sorry your boy got caught up - 
have you got an update for us? Is his family doing OK? We're glad to 
hear you're thinking of them. Our apologies for the misspelling last 

Dear President 


I'm so happy for you Mr. Obama. I feel having you as a 
president will help our society. With you I feel change. 
I'm hoping you will create more activities to reduce 
criminal activity. I have hope in your decisions in being 
our president. Congratulations and thank you. 


From The Beat: A lot of people are hopeful that Obama can make real 
change. Creating after school activities is a really good way to help 
keep youth out of trouble. Good suggestion! 

A Letter To The President 

Barack Obama, 

I'm wondering how long do you think it will take 
to change the big mess that Bush made. Barack do you 
think you can make a change in America? I want to know 
what you gonna do about the war up in Iraq or about 
the economy or schools. And what about killers or the 
Oakland streets or prison centers? 


From The Beat: You are asking a lot of tough questions, and that's good. 
We'd love to hear you get more specific though— what are the issues 
around schools or prisons that you think need change? 

Remaking America means to me is that by keeping it 
cleaner by stopping the littering and stuff like trashing 
the ocean. 

Obama will also change the community by making the 
public more safe and by making more cop cars patrolling 
around cities. 

Obama will give out more jobs to people and hopefully 
Obama will bring the economy back up, so people will 
not lost their jobs or houses. He will also be giving some 
money or food to the homeless so they won't starve. 

-Obama Nation 

From The Beat: The environment is in desperate need of attention and 
care, so do the homeless! Luckily these are two things that Obama hopes 
to change. You can also help with keep our streets clean and assisting 
those in need. These sound like important issues to you. What part of 
America do you think requires the most significant transformation? 

Change The World 

Obama is going to change the world by stopping the 
war that they are having in Iraq. He is going to give more 
money and going to build more homes for the homeless 
or give them more food and water. He could give them 
more money and give schools more books and money and 
stop the stuff going on the streets by taking more time 
out of his office to create more jobs, raise pay checks and 
raise taxes. 

It's 2009, things need to change, we've got to change 
this world because if we don't do nothing stuff gets worse 
and more black people going to Juvenile Hall. People are 
going to get mad because Obama is not going to build 
more give schools more money. People think Obama is 
not going to help healthcare and the homeless. 


From The Beat: You definitely understand that you have a future 
ahead of you. Its possible that Obamas presidency can guarantee you 
a great adulthood. Some people don't have faith that Obama can make 
his promises happen. You seem to be confident he can tackle each of 

I his goals. Why do you think some people don't have the same faith in 
Obama as you do? 

Me and My Choices 

From my point of view violence comes from one and only 
one person. And that person is me. You decide what you 
want to do. Nobody tells you to do something you don't 
want to do. 

So when the judge asked me why I cut my ankle 
monitor I said that it was because I had family problems. 
That was a lie because deep inside I know I did it because 
I wanted to have freedom, I wanted to kick it with my 
homies, do drugs, and be around girls. I know I did a 
bad thing and that's why I am facing my time in Alameda 
County Juvenile Hall. 

I know I can't go to my room and cry I just have to 
wait until they tell me, "Ivan get all your stuff ready you're 
going home." That day I am going to be happy and go and 
spend some time with my loving Mom and family. 

I know it would be hard to lay off my hood and my 
homies because I feel like they are my family but in order 
to be something in life I have to make some sacrifices so 
I know it's going to be hard but God and me only know if 
I am able to finish what I haven't started. 


From The Beat: Its great that you recognized the mistakes you made in 
the past. You understand what you did wrong and it appears that you 
are paying attention to the things that are most important to you. When 
you get out, spend the time with your family and begin taking the steps 
that will keep you home forever. The people you surround yourself will 
influence your decisions. It'll be good for you to spend time with your 
loved ones, we're glad you know this. Keep reflecting on your past! 


Remaking America 

That means to me and to my community that we need to 
stop this violence, stealing, and killing. We need to start 
fresh and get our minds right, get off the block and get 
jobs. And never say never. 


From The Beat: It's upsetting how much violence surrounds us. It seems 
like you want to see a change in your community. Maybe there are 
things that you can do to assure that the violence can begin to end. 
Think of some ways that you can urge productive change! 

Dear Barack Obama 

Hello President, my name is Kumonee, I'm 15 years old 
and I believe in everything you said you're going to do to 
change the world, I never thought we would have a black 
president, it's a "first", I think you're a good President, 
and I'm ready for a change. 


From The Beat: It is pretty incredible that we have elected our first black 
President. To believe that it may never happen and then to witness 
Obama winning the election, is an astonishing experience. Do you think 
that there are other "impossible" things that can become possible? 


Man it 2009 we got Obama as president but a ninja still 
in jail but if he can become president then I can stay out 
jail and get my life together. We just got lock down when 
he become president so all I can say is we can do what 
you want this yo boy lil chuck comin' from max 2 and to 
all... stay up. 

-Lil' Chuck 

From The Beat: We like that.. .if he can become president, then you can 
get your life together. What do you need to do first? 

Dear Barack 


I am in juvenile hall in San Leandro, CA. I am writing 
this letter to let you know that I'm glad you're President 
of the United States of America. I hope you're going to 
do what you say you're going to do for America. Like 
lowering taxes and healthcare and also ending the wars 
in Iraq and Afghanistan. 


From The Beat: It feels good to be proud of your President. What do you 
hope he can change in our country that would impact you the most? 
Think about your future. What can President Obama do to assure you 
a successful life? 

\ Letter lo He Presileet 



Dear Obama, 

I want to say "congratulations" on your election. 
You are the first African American president. You made 
history. I want to wish you good luck with your future 

Also I hope you are going to do those things you say 
you are going to do. I hope you accomplish everything you 
wish too. I hope you bring the economy back up. I wish 
you the best of luck with your years in the president's 


From The Beat: Its pretty amazing that we all got to witness history 
take place. The next four years we're hopefully going to see all the 
changes President Obama promised. What specifically do you want to 
make sure our President accomplishes? 


In my own words violence comes from what you see and 
what you hear and if you see something you don't like or 
hate you will have anger and you will hold it in until you 
cant take it anymore and it comes out and something bad 
happens and you BOOM! Explode. I am speaking about 
this from personal point of view. 


From The Beat: Emotions are powerful and they can definitely force 
people to do things that they don't want to. Anger is especially 
dangerous. You seem to think that anger and violence are strongly 
related. Since you are speaking from personal experience, do you have 
ways of tackling your hatred so that it won't lead to violence? 

All The Life 

Boy this hall shhh is weak 

Every morning they tell us to fold up our sheets 

When all we go do is go to our room and go to sleep 

I swear they always have us in our room 

It's torture from doom. 

I always have regret. 


From The Beat: Try and expand on some of your ideas though. What is 
the most frustrating part of being in Juvenile Hall? Talk about what's 
going on in your head; what are you thinking? We want to hear more 
from you, because this piece is a great start. 


I think not all people are born violent but others are 
for example non-violent people if you attack or yell at 
them they wont react in a violent way they will react non- 
violently. Like walking away or ignoring you. And if you 
attack a violent person they'll attack back or if you yell at 
them they'll yell back. 


From The Beat: There is a strong distinction between those that are 
violent and those that are not. What kind of person are you? If you walk 
away from attacks, that's great. You are avoiding conflict. If you are a 
violent person, what are some ways to avoid confrontation? 

Bear Obama 

I am a fourteen-year-old kid and I hope you do what you 
said you were going to do, because my mom voted for you 
and I would like you to help Oakland, CA. And can you 
write me back? 

-Youngster For Obama 

From The Beat: You're pretty young and have your whole life ahead 
of you. In four years you are going to be able to vote just like your 
mother. What are some of the things you'd vote for in order to see 
change happen in Oakland? 



//// // 

Jus' Keep Doing My Program 

\ Don't Pot Me In A Dox 

Wha's good with The Beat? You know it's the same ol' 
same ol' wit' me. I just knocked out a tenth of this time 
up here at the Ranch. If ya reading this, then y'all know I I 
knocked out another tenth, so that mean I got eight more 
to go. Time flying faster then I thought it would. All I gotta 
keep doing is a straight program an' this gone all be ova. 

All the lil' homies doin' time, just know that nobody 
got a L by they name. An all my females, leave the reckless 
shhh alone. Just be a lady, 'cause that what attracts me. 
If you down for me, you ain't gotta prove it. Jus' keep the 
love strong, feel me? 

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot, to all my fans, I'm halfway 
done writin' the album, so get ya concert money ready for 
when I jump out this G-thang. 


From The Beat: You're doing it just right, putting one foot in front of 
the other day-by-day and walking toward that light that you see at 
the end of that tunnel. The advice you give to your females is just as 
important to apply to yourself: "leave that reckless shhh alone." If you 
do that, you'll truly be able to enjoy the fruits that will be coming your 
way when your album is done and out, like you! Keep striving! 

Good To Witness History 

It was good thing I here to see history when Obama 

became the 44th President. He is black and I think he I 

going make a difference in the United States of America. 

He talk about making change and stop war. 

-God Ali 
From The Beat: We hope he does stop the war. What other differences 
do you think he is going to make for this country? What changes would 
you like to see? 

Crackers Can't Hold Me! 

Wha's poppin' with The Beat? Me, just thuggin' this 
Ranch shhh out, ya heard me. But anyways, I'm tired of 
these crackers trying to control me. They can't hold me 
down forever, ya heard. You can lock me up, crackers, 
I'ma get out and do the same thang. I'm out. 


From The Beat: Same old nonsense. Are you so blind that you can't 
see that if you "do the same thang," so will the system? We hope you 
don't figure out that they can hold you forever after its too late to do 
anything about it! 


Doin' Me 

What's good, mayne? You know this ya boy, Ulala. 
Haven't wrote in this thang in a hot minute. But, check 
it... Up heah at the Ranch, doin' me, as usual, still stayin' 
solid, ya dig? Still livin' life to the fullest. But as of right 
now I'm on pause. 

But peep this, homie, ya boy's mind is gettin' situated 
right now, thinkin' this, thinkin' that... Or, should I, or 
should I not? 

But for me, things done changed. It done flipped that 
otha way around. So watch who you associate wit', homie, 
'cause ya closest homeboy could be the one... You ninjas 
know what I mean. 

But check it: to all the homies, keep ya heads up, 
'cause you know the sky limit. Homie. Love ya! Trust no 


From The Beat: You've been on a pause for quite a while, Ulala! When 
do you plan to press the "start" button and move your life in a new 
direction? You can't get through life trusting no one. The trick is to pick 
the right friends. Are you trustworthy? If the answer is yes r then you 
know there must be others who are trustworthy, too. With this change 
you write about, how will your new life be different when you're back 

you vi 

Don't put me in a box 

Full of bricks and tiles 

With locks that make living 

Not worthwhile 

Wanting to see someone else 

Tired of seeing the same dudes 

I'm disgusted with myself 

Don't put me in a box 

Because it makes me hungry for the grind 

Not trippin' because 

I'm gone have another chance to shine 


From The Beat: Who put you in the box, SP? What were the steps that 
led you to the box? We ask that question so you look very carefully 
at the steps you have to avoid so that your steps don't lead you back. 
Being "hungry for the grind" could be a ticket right back, so be very 
careful how you define "the grind." 

I'm At The Ranch While My Son Is Home 

What's up, Beat Within? I remember the first time I got 
locked up. I just turned into my teen year. The second 
time I was a year older. After that I came back, fifteen 
years old, with a son already. Now I'm seventeen years old 
at the Ranch, and my son is a year old. I'ma get out when 
I'm eighteen years old, and my son two years old. So, late, 
Beat Within. 


From The Beat: We hate reading about the babies that are brought 
into this world by babies who cannot yet take care of themselves. It's 
irresponsible, especially when pregnancy is so easily prevented! It only 
keeps the circle going. When you get out, will you try to be a father to 
your own son who has really never known a father? If not, where do 
you imagine he will be when he is a teenager? Has losing your freedom 
so often led you to any conclusions about how you want to change the 
way you live on the outs, or will there just be more of the same, except 
as an adult instead of a juvenile? What have you learned? What can 
you teach? 

Yoo A Trip 

Now I'ma tell ya like a man, I don't owe y'all shhh 

An' I'ma say this shhh again, I don't owe y'all shhh. 

But before a ninja had somethin', I ain't have nothin' 

(My kids), yeah, they still love (my friends), I had couple 

of 'em 

But wasn't nobody tryna bust it, tryin' to see what was 


When my shoes was bent up with a hole in the front 

And I'll get mad at E and put a hole in the blunt 

When my daddy lost the house, we moved wit' grandma 

fo' a month 

Then that month turned into a year, and I turned straight 

to them streets 

Then my dog got caught with that heat 

I ain't seen him since I was a teen 

When I was a lil' boy, I used to look up to grown men 

My dad used to tell me I need some new friends 

I guess back then it just didn't make sense 

Come now, keep it real, you be knowin' me since I was 


An' you ain't even kept it real 

Man, that's why a ninja feel like you a trip 


From The Beat: Whether you owe him anything or not, do you understand 
what your dad was trying to tell you when he said you needed new 
friends? If it's not your father you're writing to, then whoever it is you 
"don't owe shhh," who do you owe? Has anyone sacrificed for you? 
What do you owe yourself? Has losing your homie (who "got caught 
with that heat") made you see things in a different way, or do things in 
a different way? How will you avoid his fate? How will you be different 
from your father? 



//// // 

What Remaking America Means 

Remaking America mean to me that America will change 
for the better now that Obama is the President of the USA. 
Obama say that "the challenges we face are real. They will 
not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know 
this: they will be met!" 

Obama's words are true to me. What he said in his 
speech today is true to me. He can and will make the 
better for America. Don't matter what other people think. 
I know he will change America. 


From The Beat: The new president gives us all hope for a better 
tomorrow, Bri. But what are the changes you hope he brings about. And 
what do you think are the changes he wants from you? In other words, 
what do you expect from him, and what does he expect from you? 

Change Police Tactics 

Born With Violence 


I feel like people was born with violence because they 
grow up being bad at school. That's how it first starts. 
Then they start picking up guns and stuff like that. That's 
when they end up in jail. 


From The Beat: Do you mean that some people are born violent but 
other people are not, or that we are all born with violence? Do you 
believe that "all men are created equal?" If so, why do some act out 
violently and others do not? 

Stay From Around Me 

Yeah, let me say what's up with The Beat. I'm gon spit 
this rap. 



What's good with The Beat? It's yo' Low Boi Acie up in 
here. Ain't nothing goin' on in this thang. A ninja just 
doing his time so a real ninja can get back to them streets 
and my son. 

I want to write about words 'cause the wrong words 
can get you hurt, trust me 'cause if you running yo' lips, 
you ain't about yo' shhh. So the best thing you can do is 
keep yo' mouth closed and it's go be all good. 


From The Beat: We can't keep our mouth closed 'cause we have to say 
this: when you get back to the streets, we hope you really are about 
your shhh, which means we hope you're about taking care of your son. 
You can't take care of the street and your son. You're going to have to 
sacrifice one for the other, trust us. The only question is, which one will 
you serve and which one will you sacrifice. Think about it. 

That boy' name all through that thang, black and white 

He told them crackers shhh they ain't even like 

Went fed and got out, and act like it's all right 

Shhh, that ninja you snitch on, they my ninja life 

And you running with that shady ninja like that ninja 


Birds of feather flock together, y'all just alike 

You conversate with dude, but how you break bread with 

a ninja dog and you know he trife 

They go from real to fake ninja over night 

You can't flip it now, you a police for life 

Stay from 'round me. Damn, ninja, you ain't my type 


From The Beat: This piece comes dangerously close to being a threat, 
and almost didn't make it in The Beat — even though your rap skills 
shine through. We hope whoever you're addressing does stay away from 
you, but the reality is that this whole system is built on the backs of 
snitches, and it always will be. The only way to keep it from happening 
is not to do anything that someone else can exploit for their own 
benefit. Don't do the things that someone can trade for his own benefit, 
or you'll be facing this situation again. 


What's up with The Beat? It ya boy Opps back in this 
hole fo' some shhh I didn't do. Man, I wish Obama would 
change the way police act, and the way they do things. 


From The Beat: How should Obama bring about the change in police 
attitudes and actions that you want to see? What kind of changes do 
you think Obama would like you to make? 

I'm Really In YGG 

Aye, let me tell y'all something. I got caught up in some 
stuff with my cousin and friend. We all came to the halls, 
and they let them go, and I still in here. I'm hecka mad, 
because I want to go home to my dad or may grandma. 

Man, I can't believe this. I'm really in YGC. And a 
couple of days before I came in here, I was talking to my 
cousin and telling her I don't know what I will do if I come 
in here. But I'm not tripping, because when I get out this 
thang, I'm not coming back. 

-Lay Lay 

From The Beat: Tell us what you plan to do differently when you get 
out so that you can keep the promise that you'll never come back. (It's 
easier to make that promise when you're locked up than to keep it when 
you are free.) 


Man, what's good with The Beat? This ya boy Daddy-0 
writin' on this topic words. Man, words a really get shhh 
poppin', fo' real, 'cause if a ninja say the wrong thing, 
I fo' real, anything could happen. Fo' me if a brother say 
the wrong thang to me, I'ma get on his head. Words a 

I get somebody killed, fo' real. Fo' real, words start 
This ya boy, the one and only Daddy-O, until we meet 

-Daddy O 

From The Beat: We wish the one and only Daddy-O would have put 
in some examples of what the "wrong words" are. But what you said 
about words starting everything is exactly what the Bible says: "In the 
beginning was the word..." (John 1:1) 

Dear Obama, 

I'm glad you are in the White House. The main things I 
would like to ask you is to please bring both my brothers 
and all my friends home from Iraq. 


From The Beat: This is really too shot to publish, Stacia, but it carries 
such an important message that we violated our own rules and printed 
it anyway. If President Obama could ask you for something, what do 
you think it would be? 

Mnving With The Jungle 

Yeah, it's young Lando tryna get my game tight 'cause 
I refuse to come here again. I gotta get real mafia in my 
movement. I'm not playing no more games. I'm on a 
mission to get this money. I'ma try to be a rapper 'cause 
that a free mill ticket. 

But yeah, I gotta get back to the money. So I'm moving 
with the jungle or I am not moving at all. I am so solid it 
ain't funny. 


From The Beat: What will it take for you to realize that there is no such 
thing as "a free mill ticket?" Everything has a cost, and the one you are 
paying now should be warning enough that the fast lane to riches leads 
to a fast end — adding riches only for this system that has control over 
your life. 



//// // 

I've Been Down 

(JJC Mac Dre Remix) 

I've been down 

For oh so long 

Starin' at these brick walls 

Same old song 

At six in the mornin' I'm up in the shower 

Staff on my intercom talkin' some shhh 'bout work 


It's seven in the morning, he must be sicko 

Or just plain stupid for thinkin' I might go 

I cuss him out 

He gave me distance an' called a condition 

Now these shady staff wanna do it the rough way 

Six peace officers is what it takes to cuff me 

Tell me, grab my shhh an' send me for twenty-four hours, 


Damn, I've been down for oh so long 

Starin' at these brick walls 

Same old song 

I wanna go home 

I wanna go home 

I said "Go home" 

Not no damn group home! 

-I Don't Know Her Name 

From The Beat: You've done a good job of remixing Mac Ore's lyrics to 
fit your situation, but the situation itself makes us wonder about your 
choices. Why would you cuss out staff for telling you it's time for work 
detail? Well, if you think a 24-hour ORB was worth the cussing, then so 
be it. The hard truth is that when you did whatever it was that gave the 
system power over your life, this is what you invited! 

A Letter To Obama 


Hi! Can you make more libraries for the young, so we 
have less violence and more reading to help out the mind? 
More jobs for the youth to keep young kids off the streets 
stealing? We trying to make it less people jail and more 
people out here, getting their education, so they would 
have a good job when they get older. 


From The Beat: Obama is trying to create more jobs, and we think that's 
exactly what he should be doing. You're also right that education is 
the key to your own future success, but you don't have to wait for the 
President to accomplish that. You can make sure you go to school every 
day, even when you don't want to, and build the foundation you need 
to move past where you are. Good luck. 

The Beat Ain't Real 


Man, this Beat don't want the real beat, so I'ma give y'all 
a pound. Y'all ain't ready for no real shhh, so y'all let the 
fake and phony holla that phony shhh. Y'all know who 
y'all is. Freak The Beat since I can't curse, (lol) 


From The Beat: Is it possible that people can have different experiences 
and different ways of looking at the world, different ways of acting 
without one being "real" and the other "fake"? If we "ain't ready for no 
real shhh," why don't you enlighten us. 


Ain't Trippin' 


What's up Beat? It's ya boy Isaiah still up in here. It's 
going on five months still in this G-thang. But I'm not 
trippin'. They can't hold a brother for long. I'm doing my 
time. Just one thang is don't let time do you, you do time. 
That all. Lata. 


From The Beat: We're waiting for when you start trippin' about giving 
up any part of your life to this place. That'll tell us that you're ready to 
put yourself in control of your life, and not leave it to others. 

Silent Tears For A Black President 

Hey, Beat. It's ya lady, Lil' Lady T. I'm still in this thang. 
Damn! Dam! Damn! 

But, yeah, though, we gotta black President, yo! 
We gotta black family in the White House! Seeing the 
inauguration damn near brought tears to my eyes. But I 
couldn't cry in front of all these females in the halls. They 
gone think I'ma sucka, LOL. 

But anyhoo, seeing that made me realize that we as 
blacks can do anything. So I'm looking forward to seeing 
what Obama promised us — change! An' when I get out, 
I'ma try to do that, too — change! 

-Ladie T 

From The Beat: Maybe that's one difference between childhood and 
adulthood — we didn't do anything to hide the tears that streaked our 
cheeks as we watched our new President being sworn into office! What 
we like most about this piece is that you realize that the change Obama 
has promised comes not from him, alone, but also from you (and from 
each of us). What do you hope he changes? What does he hope you 

Gettin' Out This G-Thang 

What's really good with The Beat? This the kid, Yung Von, 
gettin' fed up with this juvenile hall shhh, yamsay'n'? I'm 
ready to just beat this trial an' get back to doin' me, but 
this time play ma cards a lil' smoother. Like Rihinna and 
Ti said, I'm just tryna live my life. The kid tryna get this 
papa, an' at the same time, watch out for these haters, 
yamsay'n'? But it straight Yung Life an' the kid gone 
shine 'til the casket drop. I'm outie. 

-Yung Von 

From The Beat: If you think you can get your "papa" by doing what 
you've been doing — "doin' me" — without paying the same price, then 
you're still thinking like a child. You won't "shine" until you realize that 
shining requires some sacrifices that come along with the slow and 
steady route that starts with getting your education. We hope you don't 
learn these truths the hard way. 

I Don't Believe Him 

Hey, Obama made President. How do you feel, 'cause I 
feel all right. But hey, first black President. 

But I don't like him because he was talking about 
his struggle, and how do you struggle when you go to 
Princeton and graduate on top of your classes and 
struggle? And Princeton, though not many blacks go 


From The Beat: We're not sure why you don't like him just because 
he didn't share your struggles. Being smart, graduating from a good 
university, and even becoming the President of the United States 
doesn't mean he didn't have to struggle — especially as a black man in 
America. Give him a break! 


Words words words... 

I say don't speak it if you ain't 'bout it 

And don't think it if I can't pronounce it 

Me, I'm just me, I don't act 

Don't be anotha person and get blapped 

But cha know what I'm sayin' 

When I say when I say it, though, dawgie 

Check me out, though, puppy 

I see you, you see me... 


From The Beat: Does this mean you never front, never tell an adult 
(cop? counselor? Judge?) anything but the whole truth? Sometimes, 
we'd rather people speak about the dirt they really didn't do, than do 
the dirt and keep silent about it. Which is more important, the things 
you do or the things you say? 



Don't Be Now 

What up with The Beat? This your boy, Cenious. In the 
halls, waitin' for me to get out. 

Why these ninjas out here act like they with the shhh 
and they not? Ninjas is window talkers. Ninjas do all that 
talk behind the back, but smile in they face. Ninjas ain't 
with the shhh. 

I got with the shhh a few years ago. Nowadays you 
gotta have a watta for protecting. Ninjas is fresh off the 
porch, try to say they bein' with the shhh. When you in 
the beef, you have to watch your back. This shhh ain't 
cool. To be in the beef, you have to watch your back and 
have a watta. If you ain't with the shhh, don't try to be 
now. Stay up 'til next week. 


From The Beat: Why do we read this same thing so often? The Beat 
wants some original thinking! Stop worrying about anyone else. We 
care about what you are planning with your own life, not what you 
think others should be doing with theirs. The idea that having a gun 
will protect you is another thing we read every week even though you 
know other young men who are no longer with us even though they 
were strapped. No, the protection you need can only come from your 
head, and we'd like to see a piece that shows that you're using yours! 
The "shhh" you are apparently so proud of is what put you here. No one 
can escape the consequences of their life's choices, so put that brain in 
gear and let's see what comes out the other end! 

Livin' Out In The 'Hood 

Man, dis ya boy, Vernon. Livin' in the 'hood is tough. 
Shootin' every night. People go to jail. Man, I got in the 
beef when I was twelve, because ninjas thought I was a 
soft young ninja, and I was not goin' for it, so I started 
bustin' my gun. Then I started robbing people and got 
locked. F 

My PO told me he want me to change, but it ain't 
happenin'. He tried to move me out of my 'hood to a 
grouper; then I ran and went back to the 'hood. He said 
he want me out the beef, but I can't, 'cause it's go be 
someone you played or jumped that you go' bump heads 
wit'. I told my PO I'm not go' stop grindin' 'til ma casket 


From The Beat: So, is it bustin' a gun that makes someone tough? Any 
child can do that, so what's so "hard" about it? Some might even see it 
as a weakness that you have to rely on a weapon to measure who you 
are, rather than on the tools that you were born with, your hands and 
your brain! The only certain thing in life is change, so even though 
you believe you won't change, that is not possible. The only question 
is whether you are in control of that change or whether you hand that 
responsibility off to others. 

Schools, Not Jails 

If Obama made a phone call and said what would we need 
to make life better, one thing could be better schools. I do 
not believe kids are born violent because of their family 
and friends. The only way a kid could be violent is by 
showing them how to be violent, not because of the same 

I'm happy to have a black President, but I see that 
Barack Obama isn't helping to have more better schools. 
Instead Obama, is building more prisons and jails for 
people. But what I would do if I was President? I would 
build more schools instead of building more prisons. 

-G Tooth 

From The Beat: We agree with what we need, which is more education 
and fewer prisons. But both schools and prisons are part of the state's 
responsibility (the governor), not the federal responsibility (the 
president). Of course, he can send a powerful message, but building 
schools or prisons is not really in his power. Can we ask you a question, 
though: when you're on the outs, are you going to the school that's 
there for you? It doesn't matter how many schools we have if students 
aren't attending... 


Where the violence come from depends where you live 
or who you kick it with. Like your friends be showin' you 
how to kill people or rob, or do some other violence. But 
Obama got to stop all this. Young people know violence 
from their families, like brother or video games. 


From The Beat: We agree that young people learn violence from what 
they see and what they're exposed to. But how can Obama stop it? 
What part can we play (you and us and everybody) in reducing the 

led Up 

This the kid gettin' fed up with these walls 

Same shhh e'ry day up in juvenile hall 

Brothas talkin' hard but Yung Life make bodies fall 

We don't soowuup, we dada doe call 

Unit go bad, 'rybody gets on lockdown 

Conditions is called, brothas gettin' slammed around 

Je'ts gettin' thrown up, all you hear is the door sound 

Brotha steady howlin', they on the streets bustin' 


Get from out these walls an' don't make a sound 

Gettin' room time for stupid-ass shhh 

Wasn't even involved, but I got 24 hours up in this ditch 

E'ry mornin' gotta fold ma beddin' up 

Same shhh e'ry day, that's why I'm gettin' fed up 

Fed up Dada Doe 

-Yung Von 

From The Beat: It's a two-way street. You get fed up with the system's 
treatment of you — juvenile hall — and the system gets fed up with 
brothers "bustin' rounds" on the streets. We're guessing that you when 
you are really tired of this place, when you're truly fed up, you'll stop 
giving the system power over your life to put you here. 

On My Way To A Grouper 

What's up with The Beat? You know who this be. If not, 
my name is Yung Dri. 

Anyways, what's up? Man, me? Nothing. Still in this 
thang, ready to get out this thang. I'm tired. I'm ready to 
go back home, but I can't. I have to go to a grouper and do 
six months. That phony as hell, though, but, hey! I rather 
go there than go to YA and do ten years and four months, 
so I'ma just handle my business, like my cousin said. 
Love you, cousin. 


From The Beat: Maybe the grouper won't be as "phony" as you expect. 
Maybe you'll meet new people you like, and learn some things about 
yourself and the world that you don't know now. Keep an open mind, 
and things will go a lot smoother than if you expect the worst. Good 

My Painful Life 


All in my painful life 

My mother neglected me all my life 

I know she my mother 

But she was not there for me 

I have nine siblings 

I went to a foster home 

And then I went to my foster mother 

She is my cousin 

For three years I was happy 

Now I am in jail 


From The Beat: These things that caused you so much pain were outside 
your control, Lissa. But now you have some control of your life, so we 
hope you read as much as you can, learn as much as you can, and get as 
much education as you can. We wish you good luck with your case. 



//// // 

Back In This Hell Hole 

\ Another Week In Here 

What's up with The Beat? This yo' boy Lil' Junk back in 
this place. But yeah, a ninja was out there doin' his thang. 
I'm 'bout to be missing the action 'cause I'm about to 
tuck my pumpkin. While I'm out there I'm gone stack ma 
dip and see what these females hollerin'. I'm on a whole 
'nother hype when I touch down. If you ninjas think y'all 
big dawgs, then holla at me. 

Lil" Junk new and improved get with the movement. 
What can I say. My pops got me this way. A ninja like me 
tired of these young ninjas acting like they with the shhh. 
Slow yo roll lil' dawg. Gone. I'm one of them ninjas. 

-Lil' Junk 

From The Beat: Keep doing "your thang" for the 'hood, Lil' Junk, and 
keep expecting the system to do its thang. It's time to connect the dots! 
The "new and improved" system waiting for the "new and improved" 
Lil' Junk. Your pops may have made you, but it's time for you to make 
yourself! That's what's called adulthood! 

I'm Gettin' Sick Of Life 

When life gets to be too much, I pop a pill, smoke a 
blunt, an' kill myself slowly. I'll neva kill myself, because 
there's always a chance that it can get better. I don't talk 
to God, 'cause he don't eva talk back. I don't talk to my 
mom about it, 'cause she don't understand my life. 

My life is too much for one ninja, but fo' some reason, 
I still keep my ground. I got too much on my mind, an' 
always keep thoughts of the past with me — the people 
I've lost spiritually and physically. I can't even keep track 
of what I be stressin' ova. It's too much on my mind to 
stay focused on any one thing. But when I get on, I'ma get 
back on this, but I'm out. 


From The Beat: Maybe God is trying to talk to you, but you're not 
hearing it. Maybe every time you find yourself locked up for something 
you did, that's God talking. We're not saying that it is, only that it is 
possible. To be honest. Cam, you have more life in you than you realize, 
despite the burdens that are weighing you down. We wish we could 
offer you an easy way out of your stress, but, of course, nothing worth 
having is easy. Do you know any meditation techniques? Some people 
find meditation very useful when they have so much on their minds 
that they can't focus. You have a great spirit that animates you, keeps 
you in this world, and keeps you wanting to stay in this world. If you 
can tap into that spirit, you may be able to feel some of the weight 
lifting from your shoulders. Killing yourself, fast or slowly, doesn't seem 
to be working for you. 


What's up with The Beat? 

This ya boy, B-Reed. 

They tryna make me do time for another whole week. 

When I get out, I'ma have to stay cool and stand tall on 

my feet. 

But I'ma be out and I'm sure I'ma get a whole lot of 


Being in the halls could make a person flip out, but it 

gives me the creeps. 

But when I'm out y'all know where I be 

And y'all know where y'all could find me 

But I'm in right now, so holla at me 

In the unit where I be 'til I'm free 


From The Beat: Is it hard to sleep in here? We'd hate to be locked in this 
place, so we hope you hate it enough to hold onto your freedom when 
you walk out! 

To A New Girl 

Yeah man, this D-Mac. No, I still got my street in me, lol. 
But about my new girl, you know she definitely the one. 
Y'all all know I had to step it up for the '09. Come on man. 
But you know she tryna hold the D-mac down up an' all 


From The Beat: We're happy for you that you have someone that's worth 
stepping it up for. (We had to take out the direct communication at the 

What's Coming? 


Yo! What's up with The Beat? It C-Rider, I been down in 
YGC for seven months. I got my hearing in March. Hoping 
everything goes good. I'm hoping to beat my 707. Hoping 
to get out to my family and move on in my life. But while 
I'm in here I'm gonna keep handling my biz to the fullest. 
Trying to get my first girl ever. 


From The Beat: There's a lot of hoping in this piece. Lets say you get 
everything you hope for, then what? Besides getting your first girl (we 
can't put her name out there), what do you hope to accomplish with 
your freedom? 

Remaking America 

We the people of America must change for the good of 
ourselves, our communities and our country. Barack is 
now the face of America and his face is a nice peaceful 


From The Beat: This is a wonderful beginning. Fro, but you could do so 

much more with it. We don't like publishing one or two sentence pieces 
because they can't say what needs to be said. Can you take this piece 
and expand it to a page or more? 

Almost Home 

Wha's up ? What it do? This ya boy coming from the 
Ranch. I ain't wrote in a minute, but it all good, ya dig? 
I get out in three weeks, you feel me? I did this time 
and knocked it out. It was nothing, you feel me? Twelve 
months up here and out in three weeks. A'ight. 


From The Beat: Congratulations for almost completing your program! 
How do you think your family, your neighborhood, your homies will 
have changed when you get home? And what changes can they expect 
in you? When you say twelve months locked up is "nothing" we get 
worried, because it suggests you don't yet appreciate how precious your 
freedom is. Don't jeopardize it. 



Obama brother, what's going on? I hope you doing what's 
expected. The white people still giving more time because 
of your black/white ass. 

-Lil* Goo 

From The Beat: We almost didn't publish this because we don't know 
what you're trying to say. Why not give a try to explain what you mean. 
What's "expected" of Obama by you? Which white people are giving who 

more time for what? Come on! 

Finnah Dip Out This Place! 

Chea, Beat. What's good? It's ya boy, Lil' Rob, up here at 
the Ranch, just chillin' and shhh! Well, I'm finnah dip up 
out this place. It's been a long journey. It's fifteen months 
down! Now it's finally over! 

A'ight, then, Beat, this is the last time y'all Anna hear 
from Lil' Rob. Touch down finally! 

-Lil' Rob 

From The Beat: We hope you never see the inside of this, or any other 
place like this, Lil' Rob. But we also hope that this isn't the last time 
we hear from you. Write us when you get home and tell us how you're 
moving your life forward, and how each positive step away from here 
takes you closer to your goals. We appreciate what you've written for 
The Beat over these last months. Thank you. 



The Street Is Part Of Me 

I'm not proud of some of my choices in the past, but 
what can I do 'bout it? Shhh, it's the past... 

A lot peoples want take me out from the streets. Ha 
ha, ninja, street is part me. I want to see you try! Anyway, 
I'm still looking forward for my future. Hope to be free 

-Free Me 

From The Beat: Like we said, you can't just wait for the President to 
make changes if you're not going to make some on your own. You will 
be free soon, but then what? If you plan to do the same things as 
before, you'll find the same consequences. Don't let the President or 
yourself down. 

Getting Away 

Life in this shhh really crazy, for real. People ain't solid. 
These dudes nowadays will tell on a squad killer real 
quick. People act like a ninja snitchin' ain't a bad thang. 
To me, that ninja just broke the most important rule and 
that's not telling. When a person send the next ninja away 
because he too scared of the time, he need to think hard 
about it. Anybody I catch telling on one of mine, I'm gone 
deal with dude personally. 


From The Beat: Can you see why responsible adults night find the 
"squad killer" someone to stop, someone to keep away from others, 
or is the thing you do, no matter how bad, never as bad as saying 
what you did? You can yell about snitches 'til the cows come home, but 
that's not going to stop snitching. If there were no snitches, the entire 
criminal justice system would collapse, from juvenile hall to death row. 

Land nobody in the system is going to let that happen. So, there's really 
only one solution to your problem, which is to stop giving others power 
over you that they can trade for their own benefit. If you keep doing 
dirt, count on someone cashing in on the information. 

Exercising In The Rain 

Rainy cold day 

Just came from the class 

It's raining outside 

They're tryna made us exercise 

So heartless and cruel 

We are not wild animals 

So I'm writing this to The Beat 

So I won't get docked 

Don't come to the Ranch 

If you don't want to exercise 


From The Beat: There are a lot worse things than exercising in the rain, 
so think "heartless and cruel" are slight exaggerations! Why don't you 
just surrender to it, and enjoy the drops bouncing off your face? You'll 
dry soon. 

College Bound 


What's really good with The Beat, though? Britt-B 
speakin' on behalf of all the people locked up for some 
dumb stuff. Mayne, I know I'm tired of looking at these 
same four walls and wearing these same purple and khaki 
outfits. If I could go back to the day I went down, I would 
have neva made the same decisions... 

I gots to stay away from the drama, 'cause we got a 
new black President, Barack Obama. I'm not no sucka, 
please believe me, but I'm tryna stay focused and not let 
these hatas displease me. I'm college-bound, 'cause that's 
my goal. Like, my baby daddy, LI1' Wayne said, "I know my 


From The Beat: What is your plan for getting from here to that goal of 
college? What do you have to do first, etc. (and what do you have to 
stop doing first, etc.)? What would you like to study in college? What do 
you want to do with the education you get? 

Since I've been behind the wall, people have been 
assassinating my character, kicking dirt on my name, and 
I'm not around to wipe or clean it off. Behind these words 
from others' tongue, I've lost one of the most important 
females in my life (Grams and Moms come before her). 
People have placed thoughts in her mind that I was 
cheating in her before I got locked up (which is fasholy 
not true). So she pulled the trigger and shot me in the 
back while I'm already on the ground, face down. Since 
I'm here, I know it's not too much I can do. So I'll ask The 
Beat this: what's a man to do? 

Ya boy turned 18 on Jan. 17, just to put it out there 
for the record. So I'm shouting myself out. 


From The Beat: Well, happy birthday you old man! Sorry that your girl 
believed lies about you, but all successful relationships are built on 
trust, so if she didn't trust you enough to know they were lying, then 
maybe she wasn't the girl for you anyway. 

W'asn Wit' (la 

Man, they done grabbed a young thug again, but it's 
smooth. I'm just chillin' like we say on tha block. Chea 
though, they can't hold a goon foreva. I go to court on 
Friday and I'm hoping they let me go. If they do, I'm see 
my baby mama. She laughing at me, but she know w'as 
up when I touch down. I ain't missing shhh though. All I 
was doin' was holdin' the block down, somethin' tough. 
Yeah, the gang movement gettin' shut down. 

-Top Ranka 

From The Beat: We don't get the "they can't hold a goon foreva" 
sentiment. First, it's just wrong! More than 200 people who committed 
crimes under the age of 18 are serving life in prison without parole in 
California alone. But even if it was true, why would you be cool with 
giving any of your life away to a bunch of strangers who tell you when 
to talk, what to wear, who to shower with, what to eat, etc? Never mind 
about forever; stop giving your freedom away even for a day! 

Congratulations, Obama! 

Congratulation to new president, Barack H. Obama... 

I believe in him. I believe he can make change that 
America desperately need to be changed. I believe he can 
make changes of something I can be proud of, being an 
American. I believe he can solve the economic problem 
we having right now. In his Inaugural speech, he said 
more jobs will be open and spend less money on the war. 
I really like that. 

That's all I can say right now about him. Ha ha. I still 
think Obama should hook me up and free me... 

-Free Me 

From The Beat: One thing for sure, the new President has already 
brought a lot of hope that the last president crushed! We hope that 
your belief in the changes he can bring will also lead you to make some 
changes yourself, without waiting for him. After all, one man can't do it 
all by himself. He needs you, too. 

Read 1m Before You Mess Wif'Em 

Man I'm sick of these females hollerin' hella bullshh, 
hella lies. Shhh that will get a ninja killed in a heart beat 
rumors. Lies, sayin' somebody got killed and really they 
locked up or at the house got ninjas stressin' for no 
reason. But I ain't trippin'. Like pops said, don't mess 
with females before you read 'em. So if female hollerin' 
that bullshhh, they to the curb. I focus on gettin' my 
dough. Man. 


From The Beat: Forget the females and the doughty and start focusing 
on your education. It lasts longer than both! 

Letter to The President 

\ Words And Pictures 

Dear Obama, 

I am glad you are our president. I hope you change a 
lot of stuff for example, the economy, global warming. I 
heard some other stuff. 

But anyways, my name is Ceaser, I'm from California, 
that's off the subject. I hope you take off the Three Strikes 
Law then make weed legal. If not, then I know you're going 
to do something for the world. 

So thank you for your time, President, have a good 
time in office. And believe me, when I'm able to vote 4 
years, I'm going to vote for you. And I hope you are in the 
office for the next 8 years. 


From The Beat: Why do you think President Obama should change the 
Three Strikes Law and make marijuana legal? Do you think you could 
come up with a detailed explanation about why you think these things 
should change? 

J I 

I have no words, to speak about words. 

But painting a picture is easier to observe. 

Words are powerful, but so is visual 

Words end up forgotten for this individual. 

Life it self could be one big photo 

Other then life in a book, that I'd one day let go 

A picture in my mind that I could always look at 

Alone speaks a million words, so I'd stick to Kodak 

Words become misinterpreted and people become 

Offended while a pic' depends on the viewer and what he 

or she comprehended. 

-Jon Jon 

From The Beat: Yes, every picture tells a story don't it? WE all interpret 
the pictures differently too. AS for words we find them equally 
important, especially given the power they hold where you sit tonight, 
be it the letters you write, or the paperwork the courts deal with on 
the daily. 

What I Hue 


Q-vole Beat? Well I'm writing to this vato the new and 
first African American president. Well I hope this guy 
Obama makes good changes and help the Mexican people 


From The Beat: We hope so as well. Speaking of changing, what are 

Where Violence Comes From 

Where I think violence comes from? I think it is just 
human nature because like when people get mad, they 
act in a way that wants to hurt people. 

Also, when you get mad, you don't really think about 
things before doing them, you just do it. So that is how 
violence happens. 

I also think violence happens when people can't 
get good affordable jobs and live in frustrated lives, like 
not being able to pay for things you need in a house, so 
that's how a lot of people end up being dealers and doing 
other things to get money. A lot of violence comes from 

-Thoughts On Violence 

From The Beat: Can you relate to the examples you gave on how violence 
is created? Are you one of those who get mad, and act without thinking 
of what the consequences may be? You gave us good examples of what 
are the causes that creates violence, what about some solutions? Do you 
any in mind that we can use to reduce violence in our world? 

Thanking The President 

I would like to thank the president for everything. He has 
already changed a lot of people. I would really like you to 
come to San Jose. I think it's great that we finally have a 
black president. Thank you for changing the world. 


From The Beat: Through your point of you, how has he changed the 
world? We know what you mean though. 

Words, Hmmm 

What's cracking? The topic this week is on words. Words 
to me honestly ain't shhh. But when someone says some 
shhh that's offensive to me or the homeboys then that 
persons gonna get fudged up. 


From The Beat: You can't walk away? You have to get violent over 
words? Why is that? 

Violence: Nature Or Nurture? 

In my opinion, I believe that both violence & non-violence 
can make a difference. 

For example, in Durango, Mexico, the drug cartels in 
most cities in that state have taken over the cops. They 
have kidnapped & murdered many of them. 

I believe they had made their point clear to let 
everybody know they run things. 

-A violent example 

From The Beat: What do you think the people in the cities think of the 
drug cartels taking over? Do you think the cities here will ever come 
to a point where the gangs become the law and the police have been 
driven away? 

My Letter 

Dear President of The United States, 

What are your plans and thought towards 
immigration? What would you do to make it different? 
Are you against immigration or for it? Are you going to 
help the immigration? 

I think you should help immigration because people 
want to get a job and have a better future for there 


From The Beat: These are some great questions to ask President Obama! 
Maybe you could come up with an argument of why Obama should 
support immigration? 

Dear Mr. Obama 

\ Chased 

I am glad you are our new president! I was happy when 
you got elected and some people think you will fail but 
they don't mean anything! You are going to succeed and 
no matter what I am going to think and pray and hope 
everything will go well. 

Just try to achieve something and think about what 
you trying to achieve and you will. No matter what I will 
always think that you are going to make a change and you 
should change the economy so the messed up system 
would release people like me. 



From The Beat: This is a great inspirational letter to The Leader of 
Our Country. You seem to have a lot of faith and some pretty high 
expectations for Mr. Obama. What is it about him that makes you have 
your expectations so high? Does Obama give you hope and inspiration 
that there will be significant change to the way not only the economy 
but the direction our country is going? 

In My Prayers 


Hey Beat! Well, happy news to you all. Well, I just want 
to write a couple of linias to let you know that I haven't 
talked to any of my family in about a month, almost two. 
So yeah, there's only one person who's been writing me, 
and that's my girl. So yeah, I try not to cry, but it's hard 
to not think about your familia. So stay up. Everyone's 
always in my prayer. Much love and respect. 


From The Beat: And you're in our prayers, too, Malae. One of the worst 
things about giving up your freedom, even for a short time, is that life 
on the outside goes on without you. Don't forget that painful lesson 
when you touch down so that you never have to shed these tears 

My Loss 


I'm not really feelin' the topics today, so I'm going to 
write about what's on my mind. Someone in my family 
died a few days ago. It got me hella upset. It also got me 
worried about my mom because I know it hurt her a lot to 
see that person die. 

Well I just hope my PO lets me get a OT to spend 
time with my family for a few hour well that's all I have for 
today's writing. 


From The Beat: We're sorry for your loss. We hope you get that OT. Your 
family needs you so much. Make an effort to get out and stay with your 
family at all times, like this one. 

Violent Acts 


I think violent thoughts or tendencies are committed by 
those who are weak-minded, and are afraid of reality or 
the thoughts of perfection. 

King Phillip II said something like "Perfection is 
only possible to those who can see beyond their own 
blindness." I think this is a powerful message to those 
who are lost. 

Another quote, I think means something of similarity, 
is a couple meaningful words Sun Tzu said is: "To use 
weapons of hate, torture or pain is the cause of a man 
driven joy ill omen." 


From The Beat: Why do you think people commit violent acts nowadays. 
There are reasons why people do things, and you're right maybe because 
they're scared, and it doesn't necessarily mean they're weak-minded. 
Sometimes peoples reactions are different because of the environment 
they were raised in, and some of us were taught things that we shouldn't 
have been taught. But as we get older we start distinguishing right 
from wrong and its up to us to make the correct decisions. 

Few years ago, I got chased by two cars with guns, so I 
got scared and I started to run down a hill. The guys got 
out of the car. I was getting chased so I ran to my friend's 


From The Beat: Damn that sounds scary ass hell! Why do you think 
those guys were after you? Do you think they mistook you for somebody 

A Letter To The President 

It's amazing that an African American can run for 
president just 50 years ago they wouldn't be able to drink 
from the same fountain as a white. But now you kick 
down a lot of doors in not just America but the world. 

I believe you will make America a better place with 
terrorist, drugs, and get violence out the way. I believe in 
you and what you can do with your chair in presidency. 
Well good luck with being President. 

-Lil' Dreamer 

From The Beat: That's a good point about not only kicking down doors 
in the USA but all over the world. This is history and all the petty 
differences that we creative amongst ourselves can only be taken down 
by us. So it's up to us to kick down doors and be more open minded to 
all the different cultures and people that are around us. 

Good-Bye, Beat! 

Hey Beat readers. Jacklyn hea once again for the last 
time. I'm finally being released on the 18th. Yeah baby! 
Four and a half months, and I'm finally bouncin', goin' to 
a group home. But it's good I'm out! Hecka sick birthday 

I'll miss you Beat! You really made Thursdays exciting 
for me. Ha ha! Well, yea, no more locked doors. Ha ha! See 
ya Beat! Xoxo 


From The Beat: Congratulations, Jacklyn. We hope when you see us r 
it's out there and not in here! By the way, this doesn't have to be your 
good-bye piece. Even when you're out there moving forward with your 
life, you can always write to The Beat and we will always publish it! 
Good luck. 

A Letter To The President 

I would probably tell him to go through with legalizing 
weed. The second thing would probably be to start making 
the economy better. So they will start releasing people. 

They're keeping people detained because the economy 
is messed up right now. So they're keeping people so they 
could make money. 


From The Beat: You're probably right, they're probably keeping people 
detained to make some money. But also you have to not let them take 
your freedom away. How can you do that? By not putting yourself in 
positions where you have to break the law. 

All I Know 

They say people learn violence but I was born with it. 
Through out my life I was always seeing violence as a 
child. That's why I'm here because that's what I know and 
nothing more then violence and anger. 


From The Beat: We can understand that sometimes you're raised up in 
a violent environment and that's the only way you know how to act. 
But as you grow up you can learn how to act a different way. Obviously 
your violent angry ways can land you in jail so you know those are the 
ways you're trying to avoid. There are other ways to deal with your 
anger besides violence, and that way you don't have to jeopardize your 
freedom. It's your choice. 

I Don't Belong Here 

Dear Barak Dnama 

What's up Beat? I ain't feeling any of these topics, so I'm 
gonna tell you a 111* something about my criminal mind. 
Sometimes I feel like I don't belong in the hall, but if I 
was in the outs, I would have been catching more cases 
besides my 2-11 and 2-45. 

I got a few months life skills, but I ain't tripping. I'll be 
out soon in my 'hood not slipping up to no good, you feel 
me. And other times, I feel like I belong here for the fact 
that it ain't nada to a criminal minded. 


From The Beat: You are lucky to get that program after all the mess 
you've caused. But, it seems like you haven't gotten the point of what 
brings you back in here. You mentality is what will always bring you 
back in here. If you don't change it, you will always be part of a hold 
up from the system. 

See Ya Later 


This is that one homie, just posted in this hell with two 
more months left. By the time this is even in the Beat I I 
will already be out. So to all stay up there's a saying that 
I heard today and I like it. It goes like this, "death before 


From The Beat: We hope you had made this saying cleared to us, the 
meaning of it. 

Por Villa 

Que onda, Beat? How you guys doin'? Well, this is that 
solid-ass por vida soldado (soldier for life), Littles, comin' 
at you from the max — not the imitator, but the real 

Today, I would like to rap a little about my situation. 
First off, I'm locked up for a pc 211 (robbery). I've been 
down for seven and a half months now. So I took my case 
to trial 'cause these K-9s weren't offering a homeboy any 
kind a deal. So I went to trial. And I lost. They found me 
guilty, an' I get sentenced on the 26th of January. 

But check this out, these foo's are sentencing me 
with 12 years! One strike! Crazy shhh, huh? You know I 
never thought I would be doin' tiempo like this, especially 
for a robbery. These punks dropped that Proposition 21 
on me, plus gun enhancement. They tryin' to have my ass 
hauled off. 

The good thing is I got hella support from my familia, 
my 'hood, and most of all, I got a good, strong stable 
mente (mind). You know I'm looked upon as a solid street 
soldier and I am, don't get it twisted! But my scenery is 
changing. I ain't going to be on the streets for at least ten 
years. I'm going to be putting it down behind the walls. 
So I guess what I'm trying to say is this: "porvideoso" 
ain't ever going to change. It's por vida till the end of time. 
The only thing that has changed is a solid individual like 
myself getting taken off these San Jo' streets an' getting 
stationed behind the walls. 

Well, I got two months till I leave to county. To all my 
comrades and solid homies, stay up. This soldier for life 
is out. "Another Day Gone is Another Day Strong..." 


From The Beat: So let's see if we've got this right. Telly. You robbed 
somebody, took your case to trial, lost and got sentenced to state prison 
for twelve years at this young age, but THEY are fools? The only positive 
we can make out of that is that maybe some other youngster will read 
it, and see that losing twelve years out of your life isn't worth it! As 
for promising never to change, that's just more blindness. Change is a 
certainty; its only what kind of change and who will be directing it, you 
or someone else. We do feel sorry that you will have to spend time in 
the cesspool of our adult prison system, but we hope all who read this 
understand the consequences. 

My name is Tristan, I'm from New York City. I came to 
San Jose at a very young age. The mentality that I have 
had for the past 5 years barely changed. 

Right now I'm 17 turning 18, I feel that your 
inauguration helps me see that there is no more excuses. 
There's a minority in the white house! 

All my life I thought the streets was the only way for 
me, that quick money, hella girls on me ,and smoking 
trees. I though that was life, that's all there was to it. 

But keep it real I want to change, like Obama's 
campaign was about "change". Right now I'm currently 
attending school. I have 185 credits. I should graduate 
high school in like March. Honestly, high school was 
never a problem. 

Now when I get released, I'm going to attend Evergreen 
Junior College, get an associate degree and move on. This 
is some lil' kid shhh. I'm a grown ass man and it's time to 
start acting like it. 


From The Beat: That's the spirit we like to read from you. You're right! 
It's time for you to start acting like a young man. Get your education, 
get your life back on track and start living life like you're supposed to. 

Violence Is Normal 

Que Onda Beat! This is your homie Chino once again. I 
think that violence it's normal because I grew up where 
every body it's crazy and don't really care about a thing. 
So that's why I think I am like this. 


From The Beat: So, you're saying that you're life would be a different if 
you had been raised in a different environment? 

In This Hell 


Check this out Beat. This yo' boy Dre back at it again. 
But shhh I'm up in this hall tryin' above C level, but other 
that they tryin' to play me like a lil Atari every time I'm in 
this hall. You feel me? This system is messed up. 

I hope Obama is going to help us out because out 
here shhh is getting hectic for yo' boy. I'm in this hell 
because people be hattin'. 


From The Beat: Through the way you express yourself, we can see why 
you're in this situation. Are you sure its the system that got you held up 
in here? Or is it the way you're handling things? 

On My Mind 

What's good Beat? Your boy Mousie, writing what's on 
my mind. I've been here for a couple months now, but it 
ain't nothing to me. Some detectives trying to bust me for 
some dumb stuff that went down, and people pointing to 
me. Now they waiting 'til I'm 16 and they gonna give me a 
strike if I get convicted - for stuff I didn't do. 

I'm sick of people running their mouths about stuff 
they don't know, just to save their own selves. They can't 
handle the time and think they're playing the system, but 
end up playing their homies. It's bull. Anyway, I'm out. 


From The Beat: You can't control what other people choose to do. It's 
obviously difficult enough to try to control your own behavior. You say 
2 months "ain't nothing". Well, what does matter to you, if your own 
freedom doesn't? What do you care deeply about? Acting tough is easier 
than doing the hard work that could turn your life around and make you 
deservedly proud of yourself. That's the kind of work that would make 
your family proud, too. We ask you to consider focusing your energy 
on your own life. Ask yourself hard questions. And respond honestly. 
That's the beginning of a life you can be proud of. 

Eventually You'll Push Back 

No, I do not think nonviolence as modeled by Dr. Martin 
Luther King Jr. can be made more than violence. I think 
violence can come from anybody. Someone just has to 
keep on pushing him or her around and sooner or later 
they will fight back. 

No, I do not think people are born violent. No one is 
born a sav. They are made into a sav. People probably 
resort to violence because they grew up around it at a 
young age, so they think it is ok when their role model in 
life are violent person and I feared by all. 

So they want to be just like him and impress him by 
fighting. Or they just want to make people fall at his feet. 
Well I have to go Beat, late. 

-The one and only Monkey 

From The Beat: Do you consider yourself being violent? If so, are you a 
person whose become violent due to violence that you've experienced 
in your surroundings? Can you think of a solution that can eliminate 

Viulent Tendencies 

What up Beat! This would be Sneaks. Well in what topic 
I'm gonna speak mind about is violence. 

Violent people are sometimes that way 'cause of the 
way they where raised or the people they were raised 
around. And others are violent 'cause outside forces. 

Outside forces for me are friends, family, rivals and 
many others. It may or not relate to this, but I think 
the violence I have is because the anger I hold for them 
enemies, the anger I hold for the father who hasn't been 
there for me, and the anger I hold for them messed up 

Cops are cool, but other cops are racial profiling just 
because the color of skin, clothing or the style of clothing; 
when they should be messing with them chomos (child 
molesters), people who are stealing, and them tweakers. 
But, the hell with them cops . 

The family, well my dad and mom use to fight in front 
of me and that was because my pops was always drunk. 
Well he got deported and ever since then he didn't try to 
call or write us. For get him. 


From The Beats: It's obvious that you've lived a uncontrollable life ever 
since you were very young. But, that's the past. You're no longer a child 
anymore. You have everything in life and you're capable of making a 
better choices to take you to a better life. You need to find a way to let 
go of that hate you've been caring. OK, we understand that you didn't 
have father there for you, rivals hurting yours and vice-versa, cops 
always intervening; however, you still here, alive and got everything 
you need to change your life around. Drop it and move on with life. 
Mature up! 



Dear President, Barak Onama 

Ever since I was a child, I have seen and heard of racism 
in America. But people like you give me hope. I hope 
that your presidency changes people's perspective about 
minorities in the years to come. 

Because my incarceration, I was attending a school 
called CCOC in San Jose, California. I was taking backing 
and catering and I was also the student body president. 
Although I have made some major mistakes, I still have 
hope. For you have proved that no matter the challenges 
you're up against. Any goal you have can be achieved if 
you put your mind to it. 


From The Beat: It seems like you had it going on in high school. What 
happened? If you were the student body president in school, that shows 
how smart you are. What's your plan? 

I wish I was on the out's because I need to be with my 
family especially my Dad. My dad is very sick and he 
needs me to step up as a man and take his responsibility 
for my family. Pretty soon, I might not have a dad now, but 
I I need to face my fear and step up and do what's right. 
Well stay up Beat and face your biggest fear. 

-Lil' Green Eyes 

From The Beat: We're sorry to hear this. It must have been hard to have 
this in mind all the time. Be with him. Make his last days happy and full 
of pride, happiness and love. He and your family need your support. So 
do what's right! Stop being selfish! 

Talking About Violence 

What's cracking? It's this Troubles from Gilroy once 
again. Well on tonight's topic about violence, I don't think 
people are born violent we become violent. 

We react out of anger and it results in violence. Most 
people don't think about it. They just do it and afterwards 
they regret it! 

Also some people may see nothing, but violence 
through out their whole lives. They just do what they see. 
That's all I got for now. So till next time. This abstract 
minded vato is gone. 


From The Beat: Are you one of those people who would do something 
and regret it later? Do you have an idea on how we can't get rid of 


violence once for all? 


Warm greetings once again. It's that Pachuko also 
known as chuko. Where should I start? On Monday, I got 
the words that I'm going down to a Youth Alternative in 
Southern California by San Diego, that's if they except me 
to the program. 

Ain't that something? I am from San Jose going to 
Southern California Well I have court this Friday 23rd and 
I that's when I find out if I get excepted to the program. 

Well to all the locked down in the regular units, just 
remember you have an exit date to those in the max keep 
your heads up one love. 

- Pachuko 

From The Beat: What are your plans if you get accepted in that program? 
Are you going to follow it through? Maybe a new environment can make 
a difference. Use this chance to fix your life. This might be it. 



What up Beat? Well it' that homie coming out this unit. 
I just got transferred here from another unit. It's good to 
be here that unit was getting hella wack! 

Well today I'ma talk about my mom because she 
motivates me to get through this time. I am proud of her 
because a couple years ago, she wasn't in the right state 
of mind. She was always doing drugs and all of a sudden 
she started to get her shhh together. She finally snapped 
out of it and she started taking responsibility to take care 
of my little brother and sister 'cause she was always gone 
doing her thing. 

Now to this day she has a job and she's doing good 
and also taking care of my little brothers and sisters. Well 
that's it for now Beat until next week. 

-The Son 

From The Beat: Great for your mom. We're glad things at home are 
getting better for your family. You got a perfect example at home that 
shows that a change is possible. Now, you're the one who needs to 
make a difference in your life, home and in your family. We're proud of 
your mother. Quitting a bad habit such as drugs is really hard and it 
requires a lot of support. Yours! 

Powerful Words 

To Mr. President 

What's up Mr. President? 

I just want to say you're the coolest guy ever because 
there is going to be change. It might not happen soon, 
but I know it's going to happen and you let everyone else 
know that they can be a president no matter what color 
they are. Until next time Mr. President. 

-Young Uso 

From The Beat: Will there be a change in your life as well? What are you 
thinking of changing? 

A Better Place 

To me remaking America means fixing our economy and 
providing more jobs for our people. It also mean giving us 
a better and affordable education. 


From The Beat: How should this happen? 


Words are very powerful. It could determine your 
emotions, sad, mad, or happy. It could also have strong 
feeling like the simple few letter word that is really hard 
to express (love). 

Another that is easy to say, but can cause a lot a 
damage and hurt someone is the word hate. Well that 
what I wanted to say word are very powerful. 


From The Beat: Nice expression! How do you relate to those hard saying 
words? Have you ever used them towards someone? Who? If so, are you 
glad to say it or do you regret saying them? 

Words affect you in one of the strongest ways. 
If they are hard, they affect you mentally. 
They do not hurt you physically, 

but they go deeper inside of you and punish you 
in your mind. 

If they are good they can activate something inside of you 

that thought you never had. 

Words unlock different chambers of your mind 

and allow you to raise or sink your ego. 

Words can take you higher than the sky 

and let explore the unknown 

in order for your mind to grow 
and become what you want it to be. 


From The Beat: Yes, words are magical for better or for worse. Thank 
goodness for words! Every thing starts with words! 


Them Words 


What is crackin Beat readers? This is the homeboy Shrek 
coming from the max unit. Still here waiting to bounce. 

Today I'm going to write about the topic "words", 
words are no joke they are very powerful. They can get 
someone killed, beat up, stabbed, shot etc. or they can 
hurt someone's feelings. For example the B-word could 
get you slapped and so on and so forth. The word "hate" 
can offend someone also. All I'm trying to say is watch 
out how and who you talk to. Because one person might 
not trip, but the next person might. Well I'm out one love. 
Stay up... 


From The Beat: That's why we always have to be careful when we are 
shooting from the hip in conversation, 'cause not everyone relates the 

Time goes on and on 

It doesn't wait, it doesn't slow, 

It doesn't replay, it just flows. 

Time goes on and on 

When you miss out, there is no rewind 

But never lose hope, never decline 

'Cause time goes on and on. 

Sometime we forget what we have in life, 

Sometimes we just let things slip out of sight 

But time goes on and on. 

Life is precious so stay afloat 

There's always good, no reason to mope, 

Times goes on and on. 

Don't get left behind, don't live in the past 

Because the good moments I've had I know they here to 


Time goes on and on 


From The Beat: Wow, what a great and true poem! We know that The 
Beat readers will find inspiration in this piece, as did we. We look 
forward to reading more of your pieces and we look forward to reading 
what you write after you're released. 


Some people are born in certain household ways. Like 
how your parents acted or your neighborhood. Your brain 
is like a sponge. 

Some people grow up to be violent by the people you 
hang out with, which affects your life. 

-Not Sponge Bob 

From The Beat: You're right, our brains are like sponges. What do you 
think parents can do for their kids to protect them from picking up 
things that aren't necessarily good, like fighting or stealing? 

Angel De Mi Vida 

What's up Beat? This is Chino from Sunnyvale once 
again. Well this poem is for that special someone, she 
knows who she is. 


You're my angel (You're my angel) 

I need you (and I need you) 

You're my angel (You're my angel) 

Sent from up above... 

You're the angel de mi vida (my life) 

sent from above, 

I never thought this pandillero (gangster) could ever find 


when we met I though gang-banging was my life 
and that was my destino (destiny) 
but then you came into my life 
and gave this chino to carifio (caress), 
you made me realized that a good jainas (girls) are hard 
to find 
by taking a chance on me 

with the fire in his eyes. 
So please don't do me wrong mija (girl) 
you know that you're my wife, 
or I will turn into the devil and gun powder will ignite. 

(Chorus) Angel de en mi Vida 

We are always gonna be together 'cause I need you in my 



From The Beat: Nice! We like this poem. We hope she gets your message 
as well, and that you start living life that won't jeopardize your 

Violence Is Evil 

My Letter to The President 

Violence, it's one of them evil ass words. When I think 
of that word I have flashes of people doing crimes and 
people forcing others to do things that they don't want 
to do. 

V I think violence comes from family traits and it's 
natural but when people get more into society meaning 
TV, friends, neighborhoods, etc. and that level of violence 
rises and some people learn violence when they get 
abused or bullied. 

Others learn violence from street gangs and little kids 
see that and they think that's the way they should behave 
in the society. There are many ways people learn violence. 
I learned my violence the way I was raised and the hood I 
live at. 

Well, my time is short so I am going to end by saying, 
until pencil meets paper. 

-Bin Laden 

From The Beat: Why do you think society thinks its okay to show 
violence on TV and in movies and music but when people are faced 
with actual violence coming out the hood then they don't know how 
to handle the situation? Do you think if violence in entertainment was 
discouraged then the violence in our neighborhoods would cease to 
exist? Do you disagree? 



Well Beat, I don't know if anybody is born violent. All 
do know is I was taught to be violent or be known as a 

I don't know but that's what everybody in my hood 
was taught, if anybody gives you shhh just smash on 
them. I guess that's just how every Californian gangster 
is raised. 


From The Beat: It sucks when your only two choices in your neighborhood 
is to fight or be a punk. We're forced to fight for our place in our 
neighborhoods and it shouldn't be this way. What do you think you can 
do in your neighborhood to change this fact? 

Convincing Words 

What's up Beat? This week's topic is words. Words can 
mean a lot and they can also not mean shhh. Words can 
be very powerful. 

Obama uses very powerful words. Words that make 
people believe he's going to be good president. Words can 
lead to good and bad things. Well that's all for now till 
next week. 


From The Beat: When have you used words for your convenience? Can 
you think about time when you said some of those powerful words that 
convinced someone and that person agreed with your speech? 


Io llm 


I would like to say to President Barack Obama, "I think 
that it's great that we finally have a black president, but 
what are you going to do for all of these black communities 
in San Francisco like Fillmore or Hunters Point? Come 
visit us for once, get San Francisco back alive. 

I heard that you came to the Fillmore District, but I 
know you can come to the other side too, and get some of 
these crack heads off the streets and in to some program, 
so they can do something in their lives instead of getting 


From The Beat: We hope he gets your message. In reality, there are 
alot of things that needs to be changed to make this place better. The 
question is, "are you willing to cooperate in changing your community? 
Little by little, a difference can be made. Do your part! 

Dear Mr. President, 

My name is Keymonte, but that's beyond the point. 

If I would had been 18 at the time, of course I would 
have voted for you, but I wasn't and my mom voted for 
you and step dad. 

Sir, I really hope you can change America and save 
us 'cause we aren't doing that great and even the people 
that voted for you are kinda doubting you can change 
America. They say it's too much of a load for you, so I'm 
done arguing with them. 

So please make a change and play your cards right. 
Also, I'm African American so I hope you don't think I like 
you 'cause of that, I agree with a lot of your thoughts. 


From The Beat: This is a great letter, Keymonte, we hope that President 
Obama is able to hear our voices (unlike our last President) and see what 
we really need. Remember, you too have to play a part in change!! 

To The Good President 

Dear Obama, 

I think you are going to be a good president. At first, I 
didn't realize that you becoming president was that big an 
idea, but now I realize that it is 'cause you gone through a 
lot to become president. 

On top of that you made history 'cause you are the 
first black president. Congrats! 

-Obama Believer 

From The Beat: We're sure that Obama will greatly appreciate this 

To The Beat 


What up Beat? This is your boy Jose from the hall. Well 
I've been in here for two months, but I had court today 
and I'm going to advent for 90 days. 

I'm a try to change my life, finish probation and try 
not to come back. 

That's all for now Beat lates. 


From The Beat: Good luck and we hope you get to achieve all your plans 
for a better tomorrow for you and your future. Think about getting an 
education as well. It's really important. 

It's A Risk For A Thug 

What's up, Beat? This is Lazy, I'm firme off these topics 
so I'm going to write about the risks a gangster or a thug 
take's on the daily basis, so here I go. 

For the gangsters, they take a risk everyday because 

of what they rep and the color they love. Also, they gotta 

watch out for the cop's because the cop's hate on a bald 

headed Mexican and that's right, when do you ever see 

I them hate on the opposite side of a Mexican? 

For them thugs, like me and my homies, we risk 
everything from freedom to our lives because we love 

I to steal. It's addicting, if I come across an open car or a 
wallet on a table it's mine. I risk it, no joke. If it has to 
do with money and thieving I'm there, that's right, I'm 

Well Beat, place me up, don't hate. I'm out for now 
much love. 


From The Beat: Why do you think you steal? Wouldn't it be more 
satisfying to get your money and cars legitimately? If you got your 
things legitimately then you wouldn't end up in the halls for it. There's 
much more to life than a gangsta or thug lifestyle, don't limit yourself 
to a life that's already limiting in the first place. 

"She Got It" 

Verse 1: 

Shorty knows she got it, she got it out of all them other 


She be the flyest, quit being foolish and ride with the 


'Cause I'ma Titan sittin' in the drop top with the nicest. 

Shorty knows in life I'll take her the furthest. 

My lyrics always come out the hardest 

But haters hate, that's why they talk their shhh 

But I'll love you no matter what regardless 

And I won't do you wrong baby I promise. 

Our love will proceed only with progress 

So who the Hell care about all that gossip? 

Can't understand them anyways 'cause they talk in 


Shorty, let me take you to my world where we'll live lavish. 

Baby, I've never heard of the word expensive 

'Cause everything to me in life is priceless. 

Shorty, get with me go ahead and take the risk 

I'm so addicted to you like a fiend is to narcotics. 

Now don't you think that's a little ironic? 

Jump in the jet so we can fly super sonic. 

My sexual desire for you is so erotic, 

Your body so beautiful it's hypnotic 

And shorty knows she got it she got it. 


Shorty I love the way you shakin' them hips 
Shorty I love the way you lickin' them lips 
Shorty love's the way I be droppin' them hits 
Shorty get with me we out let's dip... 

Verse 2: 

Shorty know she got it, she got it. 

She's fine, a dime piece 10 out of 10 

Ride or die chick to the very end. 

Our love is true, there's no equivalent 

We'll last forever I'm so confident. 

You know jealousy got suckas talking but they ignorant 

I ignore them 'cause they speakin' irrelevant. 

What a hater says is never important 

Disrespectful, yup, they're so insolent. 

Shorty the only thing I got in this life of sin, 

When she's not by my side she got me thinkin'. 

This girl is everything I represent 

Go ahead and quote anyone of my statements 

You know I tell the truth it's so evident. 

The whole world is my testament 

This love is real, I ain't got to pretend. 

Shorty's been with me through thick and thin 

And she's more then just a girlfriend. 

Without you my love is so immanent 

And shorty knows she got it, she got it. 


Shorty I love the way you shakin' them hips 
Shorty I love the way you lickin' them lips 
Shorty love the way I be droppin' them hips 
Shorty get with me we out let's dip 

Verse 3: 

Shorty knows she got it, she got it. 

Shorty, you just don't know the things you do to me. 

Don't be blind open up your eyes so you can see 

That you're the only one that I want and need. 

So baby, swear to me that you'll never leave 

'Cause I think I'll go crazy if you did. 

Mentally, you're the only who makes my heart skip a beat 

Just by the way that you kiss me 

And I ain't bein' soft because everybody bleeds 

And right now I'm bleeding out the love for you and me. 

But damn this shhh too good to believe, 

I must be stuck in some kind of dream. 

Shorty, wake me up from my fantasy. 

Shorty, bring me back to reality, 

'Cause you know love couldn't hide or cover up these 


They're corrupt and they'll kill you by any means 

But I try to cope with all this insanity. 

I use to drug myself up with coke and weed, 

Used to take me to another world, it used to help me 

But now I got a new drug and it's love. 

Lil' shorty is my everything, my everything 

Shorty knows she got it, she got it, she got me, she got 



From The Beat: What a piece Chico! Maybe you can channel everything 
you've been through, through your music? Instead of getting in trouble 
again once you get out why don't you focus on your music? 

To My Lady 

As the days goes by 

I think about the better times 

that we spent together, 

me and you forever, 

as I dream of the past, 

I knew that they weren't going to last, 

but I stood by you 'cause I already know that I love you 

forever and ever. 

But ever turns into never 

even though you already know that I want you by my 


'cause them lonely nights 

just ain't feeling right, 

girl just know that I need you. 


From The Beat: How do you know it wasn't going to last? Well, you 
know what you need to do to get her back? Being here, won't help you 
at all. 

If I Had a Perfect Life 

What's up Beat? I am going to write about a perfect life. 

If I had a perfect life with my family most of my life 
I would have a perfect life because they are always there 
for you when you need them they are there. 

If you need a friend or a homeboy they are not always 
around to help you but your family will be there for you 
through every step of your life. 

Your homeboy will only help you mess up your life 
and help you pick the wrong way down the road and in 
the juvenile hall or to jail and to your death because you 
listened to them and they make your choices for you. 


From The Beat: This is so true. There is a big difference between a friend 
and homie. A friend will try and lead you on the right track and a 
homie? A homie doesn't give a shhh about what happens to you, s/he 
might write to you while you're locked up but when you get out what 
does that same homie do? S/he tries to get you to smoke or drink or do 
something that could get you back in the hall. A real friend would never 
do that because they would respect your freedom. 


Time ticking away 


First off, Is your time ticking away? Because mine is, I've 
been to this juvenile detention center too many times. All 
I'm doing is watching my life pass by, looking through the 
foggy, tagged window wishing I could get out. 

It seems you don't wanna change, or realize you 
wanna change until you're locked up, and the worst thing 
is when you don't know when you're getting out. So you 
just stay at the correctional facility until your time comes. 
When you get out you want to smoke some weed, drink, 
or whatever you wanna do, but it ain't worth it if you ask 

You have your whole life to smoke, drink, or whatever, 
but when you get out and you smoke, or whatever, you 
lose trust. 

You're just asking to be put back in jail, the nasty 
food, the early bed time, people telling you what to do. It 
sucks! And when I get out I want to change but we'll just 
wait and see what happens. 


From The Beat: Change is all about each person. The question to you 
is, how bad do you want this change? How bad do you want to stay 
out of detention? How bad do you want to keep your freedom? It's all 
about a choice. 

Things I've always wanted to do is 

One thing I've always wanted to do 

is be with my family. 
One thing I've always wanted to do 
is to have things the same way they used to be. 
One thing I've always wanted to do 

is to have my baby niece with me. 
One thing I've always wanted 

is to have my girl Sandy with me. 
One thing I've always wanted to do 

is to try and be a better auntie for my niece. 


From The Beat: Its time to start thinking about the things you miss and 
want, and compare it to the "fun" you've been having. Are the decisions 
you've been making worth what your missing? 

//// // 


Violence got me time 
Counting the bricks in my room 
Hoping I get out of here soon 
I committed a violent crime 
I couldn't keep my self in line 

-Was Out Of Control 

From The Beat: One question to you, was it worth it? 

The Value of One Life 

My life is what you call hell 

Every time I'm walkin' 

I'm takin' a vacation 

To the underground 

Fools always trippin' 

'Cause I'm a classy, girl 

I ain't never give it up first 

I have one life 

Take care of my baby boy 

He is the main thang 

He keeps me movin' 

Day by day 

The hood is takin' over 

Drugs -and- sex don't mean nothin' 

AID's comin' up quick 

Young people dyin' 


From The Beat: And you should take care of your baby boy, keep in mind 
it's not about just "You" any more it's about your baby boy and you now. 
Yes, there is a lot more to life then just "sex", but if you do please make 
sure it is with protection. 

My Life 

I got locked up at such a young age, and I didn't really 

Never wanted to change 
now I'm sitting here trying to rearrange, 
to find a better place 
to have a better day. 

-A new me 

From The Beat: Its good to hear that you're trying to make a change. 
That alone will start you in the right direction for a better day. 



I'm The One Who Knows 

I would like to send my positive salutations to The Beat 
Within and the family within us. I'm back once again for 
some insubstantial reasons. 

I just graduated from a program called Rites Of Passage. I 
did a year and I was out for a month, trying to enjoy life and do 
something productive with myself. But nothing was coming 
my way. I'll be gone for another eight months at a ranch up 
in Redding. Then I'll be eighteen. I'm looking forward to 
consolidating myself, as well as getting my diploma. I'll leave 
it at this, for now. Hope this gets out there. 

From The Beat: Next time, if nothing is coming your way, keep looking. 
Don't give up. It cost you an extra eight months this time. Next time, if 
there is one, it could cost you a lot more. Don't let that happen. Work 
hard. Thanks for your piece. 

One Thing 

One thing I've always wanted to do is just fly away to 
a place where it's just me, myself, and I - a place where 
there are no problems or things to worry about, like court, 
and stuff like that. 


From The Beat: We can dream M, but eventually we have to wake up. 
Problems are a part of the price we pay for the gift of life. Its how we 
handle our problems that makes all the difference. Maybe you'll decide 
you want to start handling your problems in a different way. There are 
people who can help you, if you ask. 

One Thing... 

One thing I've always wanted to do is become successful 
in life. I've had dreams of having kids and a wife, making 
money legal. But right now I'm single and ready to 

From The Beat: All good goals. You're young and life is long enough 
to do all sorts of things. But remember you can be single, mingle, AND 
make money in a legal way - all at the same time! 

ey would 

An Honest Appraisal 

If my family would tell me everything honestly, 
like them to tell me. Something that I think they 
say is that they love me and they want the best for me. 

Also for my faults, they probably would say that my 
drug problems and alcohol abuse is bad. These are some 
of the things I think they would say. 


From The Beat: Being able to hear honestly what the people you love 
think about you is a very brave thing. It sounds like your family might 
tell you exactly what you need to hear: That they love you, but that 
they want you to change your lifestyle. Is there something that you 

would like to tell them? 



Influence is what you make out of it and how you 

incorporate it. 

It could be your hood and your family and outside role models. 

Staff in incarceration can be an influence, as authority figures. 

But influence is a habit and could be evil and good from 

different ways. 

It's a bad habit to follow bad examples, like tweakers or 

negative suckas. 

But I don't get influenced. I win and influence people 

myself. I'm very seductive. 


From The Beat: You say there are two types of influences, good and bad. 
You also say that you are a strong influence over others. What type of 
influence are you? What makes a good influence? 


When a boy falls in love he thinks over one girl. He 
wants to try to get a little thing going. Strange expression 
on his face is showin'. He gets an old rag and he shines 
his shoes, and passes the girls in his favorite shoes. After 
school he walks her home. When he gets home, he gets 
on the phone, tells his baby he misses he soul when he's 
just seen her five minutes ago. He talks an hour, hangs 
up, then picks up the phone and calls her back again. 


From The Beat: So, that's how it's done. We've always wondered. Thank 

What I Want, And Don't Want 

I hate this place. 

I want some fast food, 

to see my boyfriend, 

and my dad. 

I just want to be able to walk somewhere not 

in a rectangle court yard. 

And I definitely don't want 

to go back to Florida. 


From The Beat: You've listed some of the major motivators for getting 
out. Getting to choose what you eat, who you see, and where you walk 
are some of the simplest rights taken for granted. Try to remember this 

The Best Times 

The best times I had were when my man and I used to 
spend time together and he would hold me and we would 
just watch a movie. 

I have been living with him since the age of fifteen, 
and I have not regretted any of it. He is everything to me. 

When I found out he was incarcerated, I was shocked, 
because he's being charged with various things that will 
put him away for awhile. I'm sad I haven't talked to him. I 
hope he's fine and I hope to see him soon. 

We had so many plans, like a nice apartment, decent 
jobs, and other things. I wish I was out so I could go to 
his court, but I'm stranded in these halls for I don't know 
how long. I wish I could tell him how I feel, but I have to 
wait, do my time first. 

I wish I could go back to him, even though my family 
hates him because he's a gangbanger. I'm going to wait 
for him. I'm going to stay true to him and his love, always 
and forever. 


From The Beat: Its important to have someone we love in our life, but 
how do we know if this person is deserving of our love? You write 
that your family doesn't like him, that he is locked up, and that he is a 
gangbanger. Do you think any of these aspects of your relationship will 
change? Do you want them to change? 


I'm the angel of musk. 
It's bad language that I speak. 
My attitude and rude appearance scare all of you. 
You fear my name, 

acknowledge my authority as temporary ruler over this 

I've got the money, power, and all the girls. 
If it wasn't for me, there wouldn't be freedom of belief. 
No more grief. Just walk with me. 


From The Beat: We'd like to take some time to think about your generous 
offer - like maybe a lifetime, (if you don't mind, of course.) 



\ I Wanna Have Fun 

Outside living is a vision in my grasp. But can I do it 
good? Can I handle myself being free? Of course I can, 
but it's my head that doubts my feelings of my heart. I 
want to have a life and live drug free one day but I'm not 
going to stay off or away from drugs I already know, not 
for a while will I become sober. 

My head says one thing and my heart aches for 
another. This continuous argument must be growing up. 
I don't know what to do. I'm going insane, but I'm not 
going anywhere. I think I need a break from everybody. 
A vacation away from human beings, just no stress or 
people to worry or think about. 

I guess I can't take that vacation because I need to 
work on my life. Work, Work, WORK! That's all it ever is. 
All work and no play makes murmur a Dull and frustrated 
kid. I don't need stress. I need a good life. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you could use some help figuring out 
how to cope with stress. Some people write, some skate, some play 
basketball. ..It doesn't matter how you do it, but it does sound important 
to learn some way to find some peace for yourself. Maybe you'd like 
meditation. Somehow it would be great to find a way to groove more, 
so that everything doesn't feel like work. 


Violent Spirit 

I'm a violent person. I was brought up around violence 
and it amuses me. I watched Menace to Society when I 
was six with my older partner. It boosted my violent spirit 
up. When my friends are hurt, it makes me want to do bad 
things to bad people. I go straight to revenge. 

-John Doe 

From The Beat: Just like John Doe could be anybody, we all have the 
potential inside of us to be violent. Some say it's like a beast you 
must tame, and not feed with things like movies that excite that. Be 
aware of how you really choose to live, and plan out how you can live 
according to that. 

What's up Beat? Man I got like two more months. I can't 
wait to hook back up wit my boys and finally be free again. 
Ima just celebrate everyday and make up for everything I 
missed. Just relax and live my life and have fun wit my 
patnas and some pretty girls. I miss my ninjas I can't wait 
to get money and have hella fun. 


From The Beat: Well everybody likes to have fun. We edited your piece 
though because we weren't sure whether some of what you're planning 
is legal. It can be a challenge not to do some things in the moment that 
seem like a good idea, because you're keeping your eye on long term 
goals — and one of those goals is not living in prison. Build a real life 
while you have fun, finish school and get a job! 

Good Life 

I just wanna get up out of here. Make it safe on the 
streets. Be there for my baby when it's born in June. 
Maintain at school, graduate, go to college get a good 
degree and make some money. 

I want to get out be there for my mama. Set goals for 
myself like to succeed. To stay out of jail to accomplish 
something like being a good father. Be there for my baby 
to provide food, clothing, and a safe spot. To inspire my 
siblings to do the right thing, don't follow my mistakes. 

I'ma have to figure out how to be a good Dad and how 
to stay out of trouble so I could work on that. Try to find 
God in my life and in my kid's life and start praising him 
and giving him thanks for putting a baby in my life and 

I making me understand how to be responsible. Set goals 
for my baby when he grows up. 
-Young R 

From The Beat: Congratulations about your baby! Young ones really can 
help us realize what is most important to us...and because we care for 
them every day we remember that they need us. Good luck with your 
goals and family! 

Dear President Barack Onama 

I think you will do a very great job. Considering the 
situation Bush put us in, we need a good president and I 
think you're going to be a good one. 

I also think it's going to be good to get a little color in 
the White House. I think we need all those jobs back too 
and all those lost homes. I think you can do it. 


From The Beat: We share your confidence and high hopes! 

Tn The President 


Dear Obama, I was just thinking about if you had the 
power to make Mexico America because I don't really 
know anything about like government stuff but I want 
Mexico and Mexicans legal because they benefit America 
by being good workers. Like who harvests fruit? Who 
builds a lot of houses? And who runs a lot of fast food 

The answer is it's mostly Mexicans and when they 
do they get discriminated for it like calling us border- 
hoppers and stuff and they want to actually work and have 
a better life. That is why most of us come here, but I'm 
just making a suggestion/statement. So I'm just hoping 
you really read this and really think about it. 


From The Beat: This is an issue the president will be thinking about and 
working on. They will probably never make Mexico America, however 
they may revise immigration laws. We hope the revised laws will be 
more fair to those who contribute so much to our society. 

Vinlence Gnin' On 

Wassup Beat whats crackin? This your boy coming out 
of Vallejo tryna see whats up wit ya you feel me well I'ma 
talk about violence. I think violence is gonna keep on 
going on. I don't think its ever gonna stop because its 
pretty hard for people to stop using violence, that's one 
way you could deal with a problem. Alright then I'm gone, 
keep you head up to all that are doing time. 

-Your Boy 

From The Beat: Even though it's hard for people to stop using violence, 
we could still stop it if it's harming people and not effectively solving 
anything. Street violence seems to create a cycle of revenge.. .that has 
no end. Could you stop using violence, even if it was hard? 

Tn Onama 

I feel I'm not doing good in the juvenile place. I feel like 
it's unfair. I can't stand it. I get in trouble for nothing 
and that gets me angry so then I get mad to where I can't 
control myself and then I really get in trouble for being 

I just don't know what to do. Today I got mad and I 
started to punch the wall and now I can't come out of my 
room for today and tomorrow. That's not fair. 


From The Beat: We hope your hand has healed by now. Obama was a 
young man too, who had to figure out how to handle his anger. Sometimes 
people need help to learn how to control themselves, sometimes you 
can do it on your own. It is not easy, but it is possible. Now that you're 
in juvenile hall you have to live by their rules. Remember not to come 
back if you don't like the rules! Don't forget to breathe — you have a 
long life ahead of you... 


My Letter To Obama 

Freedom Is Coining 

I wanna have marijuana legalized because I think it 
would do lots of good. For one it would stop people tearing 
down forests because marijuana grows in 4-6 months and 
produces 4 times as much paper than regular trees and 
regular trees take 20-40 years to grow. 

Also it would stop people from selling it on street 
corners because everyone would be able to have their 
own plants in their homes. And how is it that alcohol and 
cigarettes are placed on the shelves of our local stores 
which are America's #1 killers and a simple plant is 
treated like a threat to mankind when it is scientifically 
proven impossible to overdose on marijuana. 

But smoking is not the only reason it should be 
legalized we all know that hemp is very helpful plant in 
making strong materials that last longer than most things 
used today. Also it causes less pollution. But that's all 
the time I have right now. I really hope you take time to 
consider what I've said and consider legalizing the plant 
that will help America's people and end lots of worries. 


From The Beat: This is a well written letter, well argued and thought out. 
Hemp is different from marijuana though right? Our understanding is 
that hemp does not have THC levels that would even make people want 
to smoke it. We also wonder why hemp has been so shut down. What 
is your personal connection to this? 

I've been here for 3 months. I've been trying to go to 
New F. but they've been lagging it. I've been here for 90 
days and a month I'm trying to get over there to finish 
my sentence. It's a new year, I'm looking forward to the 
summertime and the beaches and barbeques and freedom 
and being with my family at the house and hopefully be 
out for my birthday. 


From The Beat: We're glad you can see the light at the end of the tunnel! 
You make summertime sound great. Good luck. 

Waitin So Long 

J L 

I've been waitin so long for a ninja to plot on me they 
think they gone ride on me I've been waitin patiently I've 
been waitin so long for a ninja to try me you ninjas than 
seen you know where I be I've been waitin so long (x2) 

Dear momma if I go don't cry I'm in this game momma 
do or die 

-Shawny D 

From The Beat: We had to edit most of the verse because we don't print 
glorification of violence or illegal activity. Shawny, this reads like a 
song about death. this how you want your life to end? Is it true that 
if you die you don't want your momma to cry? 

Uiilence is Leiriel 

\ r 

I think people are only violent if they learn it. You can't be 
born with violence. The syck can't transfer violence from 
genetics, you have to learn to fight--you have to observe 
violence to learn violence, then you have to process what 
you've observed, put it into effect, and see what you can 

You have to have heart to be a violent person. You have 
to have the courage to get hurt as well as the courage to 
hurt someone else or to kill. Some find it hard to hurt, 
some find it amusing, and others just can't handle it and 
those who can't handle it, then they're weak!!! And aren't 
prone to violence. 


From The Beat: We agree that violence is learned. We have also seen 
"heart" used the way you speak of it,. .and it no longer emphasizes 
kindness.. .or love. We think violence requires a coldness to feelings, an 
ability to turn off— which we think is also learned. Sometimes it takes 
courage and great strength to find another way besides violence— and 
that doesn't necessarily mean weakness. 

"iTee What I See AnTneel What I Feel ^\ 

I see what I see and I feel what I feel. But the love that 
I give you, is good to be real. I make you angry, and I I 
make you sad. But really I'm just lovin what I never had, 
in Love. 

It was a cool winter night the stars were shining bright 
love was in the air the fragrance everywhere, her name 
calling through the rain drops. Her beauty quite divine 
pressed against mine I removed all fear as I whispered 
in her ear "I'm madly in love with you oh yes, baby it's 
true" I let out a sigh as I gazed into your eyes staring, 
until - death do us part you and me one hundred percent 
of my heart. I will scream it from the highest mountains I I 
will scream it from the tallest trees so that everyone shall 
know that I'm in love with you. 


From The Beat: Definitely one of the best reasons to be a free person 
is the ability to express mad love in all its various forms. We like your 
line "her name calling through the rain drops," and wish you much love 
in the future. 

Locked Up 

I What it do Beat, here we are, another week, I'm stuck 
in here till next month. I got court three days before my 
release date. And might be looking at a new placement 
either in the hall or I'm graduating to county. Hopefully 
I'm headed out this place. If not, then shh I'm doin time, 
I I can't wait to get out this system. It's always draggin you 
down. Anyway Beat, I'm out till next week. 

From The Beat: What do you want and plan to do once you are out of 
the system? How can you plan your life so that you can stay out of the 

What's Crackio' Beat 

To all doing time it ain't nothing. I live this life. I was 
raised in the streets. Brought up to be real on what I 
represent. I got these thoughts that stay in my mind. I 
ain't afraid to do this little time. When I get back to the 
streets, I don't know what's going to happen. 

I'm not leaving, judge told me this the last break. 
There's a 99% chance I'm going to prison at the age of 
eighteen. My risk is high. It's not like I'm not coming 
back to jail, so I'm not going to lie. When you walk the 
streets day in night there's that risk you're going to die. 
That's fine with me. I got die for something. 

The streets are cold got play for keeps. My mind ain't 
based on money. I ain't a shame on what I do. Most people 
don't like it. They would have done it too if they lived my 
life. People like the president can do what they do. But it 
don't affect me or help me. I still live. 


From The Beat: We don't want to give up on you. We are not sure why 
you have given up on any kind of life besides prison. Many people have 
left this life and have gone on to have a family, a job, and a life they 
wanted to be living. We're not saying it's easy, especially if everyone 
around you is living this life. You have written about when you were 
a little guy you did not want to go to prison. are still that person, 
and still have the potential for a life that little person had— before you 
even knew about all this type of life. Why are you so stubborn? You 
are being loyal to death, why? It doesn't care anything about you, living 
or dead. 


//// // 

Stop The Violence! 

\ What Matters 

I think violence shouldn't be used at all, because it's 
better to talk things out. If everyone were to talk things 
out, the world would be a better place and most of the 
deceased would still have their lives. I think people use 
violence to show off and earn respect from their peers. 
That's not how you earn respect!!! Yes, I've used violence 
before but look where it got me? I've learned from my 
mistakes and when I get out, I'm going to talk things out 
with the people who don't like me. I'm ridding myself of 
all the violence in the system. So there you go, don't use 
violence in any situation. Just learn how to calm yourself 
down when a situation goes bad. Thanks Beat, for listen- 
ing to my opinion! 


From The Beat: Thanks for writing Torlc. We agree that violence is not 
the answer. People often use violence for the wrong reasons, it's as 
though they use violence to solve their problems because they saw 
someone else using it too. We're glad you've chosen the path of non- 
violence to solve your problems, and we hope you stick with it. 

Violence In The Hood 

I think you have to live up around violence to be violent. 
If you come from a good neighborhood you probably 
won't need to fight. In a bad neighborhood you need to be 
violent sometimes to get what you want. I think the only 
way you can change things is to be violent. If someone 
is disrespecting you, you can't just tell that person to be 
quiet. If they're disrespecting, it's probably because they 
want to fight. But if you respect each other or are from 
the same place, you probably don't need to use violence. 


From The Beat: Hi Munchie. It's true that living around violence can 
make a person violent. Sometimes in order to stand up for themselves or 
others, people resort to violence; however, it is important to remember 
that violence is not always the answer. People may act disrespectfully, 
but it's only human nature. Violence doesn't have to be part of human 
nature. If everyone could give respect and get respect, then maybe we 
can end this cycle of violence. 

More Food In JJC 


Dear President Obama, 

What are you doing? Me, just chillin with The Beat 
Within and I'm going to write to let you know that here in 
JJC, the food is never enough. We should get more food 
because they don't feed us enough so I was wondering if 
you could put more food on the table for us. 


From The Beat: Sorry to hear the food is never enough. Young people 
need lots of nutritious food so they can grow up healthy and strong. 
No promises, but we'll try to get your message to Obama and see what 
can be done. 

lave Of lie Peiilt 


Dear Mr. Obama, 

I am glad you have become president. I would like to 
start by saying good luck with your first term in office. I 
am confident in saying I think you have the smarts, talent 
and the love of the people. All those things you must have 
to be a good president and be loved by the people. I hope 
and pray that you can turn this economy around. I will 
pray for you. Please don't disappoint our nation. 


From The Beat: Its a great feeling for many people to experience this 
change in our country, this lift in morale and spirit. We'll hope and 
pray together that our economy, and other issues affecting our nation, 
will turn around for the better. We can also get involved in helping 
President Obama by talking with our loved ones educating ourselves 
about the issues and encouraging our community to continue to vote 
and help to turn these important changes into reality. 

Twenty years from now it won't matter what shoes or 
what style you had your hair in. What will matter is how 
long you lived and how much you learned. 


From The Beat: Great words of wisdom and insight! What inspired you 
to come up with this thought? 

Obama Is Changing The World 


Our world is a big disaster, but ever since Obama stepped 
into office, people are living happily ever after, gas prices 
went down, and every lady is happy in town. From schools 
to gyms, stores to lockdown prisons, Barack Obama is 
changing the world. Nobody is missing and homeless 
people are roaming the streets where Obama is finding 
a place for them to sleep. So when you hear Obama is 
coming to town, don't sit on the couch and frown, get out 
and see him. 


From The Beat: Yes, a change in our country's leadership has come. 
Some people fail to realize how wonderful it is to see the first African 
American president take office. But like you said, a change has come 
and we should go out and greet change. 

It Sucks Here 

It sucks in here because I am not going to be home with 
my family and because the staff always has to tell you 
what you do, like when to do your PT. I hate it when you 
have to wake up really early and do the PT, and if people 
sound off then we have to start all over. I really miss my 
family. I went to court yesterday and they were going to 
let me out but my mom and dad didn't show up to court. 
That shhh was not cool. I wanted to cuss out my family 
really bad. 

To be honest though, when I get out I will probably 
be dead. I know that God put me here for my own good. 
It really sucks in here. I want to be out with my family so 
that I can let my daughter know that I love her and to tell 
her not to worry about me while I am gone because I will 
I be home soon. 


From The Beat: We are glad that you see that your actions have 
consequences and we hope that you do get to see your family soon. AS 

I a father, you owe it to your child to do the best you can for her and for 
yourself so good luck. 

My Opinion On Violence 

I do not think people are inherently violent. People resort 
to violence for many reasons depending where you live or 
how you are raised and so on. I think if you grow up in the 
ghetto, you're chances of joining a gang or committing 
a violent crime is much higher, compared to living on a 
richer side of town. Nobody is born violent, it all depends 
on what you see, what is done to you and your reaction. 
Most kids act violent cause they know nothing else. They 
weren't taught right and it's hard to readjust from what 
you already know, like being on the block all day. 


From The Beat: Growing up, we sometimes become products of our 
environment. If you grow up in a violent neighborhood, most likely 
you will be violent. But it takes self-will to decide to rise above the 
negativity. We often choose to stay the same, and it can be a challenge 
to change for the better. Even though many of us grew up surrounded 
by violence, gangs and drive-by shootings, we can still decide to defy 
all of that and choose a better path. We do agree that environmental 
pressures are overwhelming sometimes. We hope that you or some of 
your peers will help continue to tell about the cycle of violence and help 
change the environment for young people in the future. 


//// // 

Lover, Not A Fighter 

Stand Up To Violence 

There are better ways to solve issues instead of doing 
something dumb or violent. You can take a deep breath, 
go for a walk, or talk to someone about it. 

I have let my anger get to me and I hate it. Then I do 
something stupid that will get me into trouble and that 
I will regret. It gets my mom, brothers and sisters sad. 
I hate when I do this because they all love me so much. 
They help me a lot. They are there for me all the time and 
it makes my mom stressed out and cry. 

As for me, it makes me very sad and stressed out 
because I love my family so much and I hate having my 
mom see me like this. I hate myself, seeing me like this. 

Because my mom does not want me here, and all she 
asks of me is to do good and go to school and stay out 
of trouble and be quiet. She doesn't want to see me live 
this lifestyle. She doesn't want me to be here or in jail or 
prison, and I don't want to live that life. 

All I want is to learn from my mistakes and then go to 
college to help out young kids like me, to let them know 
it's not worth messing up. There are better things to do 
then be in trouble. 

I want to do good and show my dumb dad's side of the 
family that I'm better than them. I will show them that I'm 
not stupid like their family. I'm a smart, loving kid. I'm a 
big lover, not a fighter. I love to love. All I want is to make 
my mom, brothers and sisters happy for me and keep the 
family together. I want the whole family happy. 


From The Beat: Your words are strong Roman. You can do this; you just 
have to try. You seem like a very caring and loving person, and you just 
have to stop doing what makes you bad. Keep writing instead of being 
in the streets. You can show your family and prove them wrong. Speak 
up and do what's right. Just by writing this piece, you've shown us that 
you don't want this life. You can have a better life. 

Home \ 

I want to go home really bad. I miss my mom and I am 
tired of worrying about visits. There is nothing I can do 
about it though but to pray to God to let me out because 
I wish that they would set me free. 


From The Beat: Freedom comes with responsibility. If you want to be 
free on the outside it is important that you respect others, yourself and 
the laws around you. 

Think Within The Beat 

There are many people locked up for violent crimes and 
some that are locked up for minor crimes. But in the 
long run any crime can get you locked up. In a tiny cell 
for nineteen hours a day, being told when you can do 
something. Missing out on your family and friends on the 
outs. Hardly ever get to see the sun, only the light that 
you can see through a tiny window. No matter where you 
go always behind locked doors. 

No one was born to be this way, it is just the path you 
take in life. You are the only one that puts yourself behind 
all these locked doors. So if you are someone reading this 
who has not experienced this, think twice before you act. 
Put your family before the actions that get you locked up. 
If you want to have a good life, stay off the streets. Think 
within the beat. 

-Lucky Charms 

From The Beat: Your words are strong and we hope many young people 
take your advice. We know someone who was locked up for eight years 
straight, and that didn't go well. When he finally came out, everything 
changed. He lost many friends who were close to him. His family forgot 
about him. Because of his actions, he lost the connection with many 
people. Being locked up is scary and lonely, and no one wants that. 

Violence has been around on earth for as long as Adam 
and Eve. As soon as Eve bit the forbidden fruit and sinned 
against God, that's when violence entered earth. When we 
look back into history, Cain killed Abel, his own brother, 
out of jealousy. 

Many Romans found it entertaining to watch as others 
battled for their lives. Violence is all around in this world. 
It's on television, in music, at schools. Everywhere we 
turn, we are faced with violence. 

The real problem is that parents aren't teaching their 
children how to deal with peer pressure and what to do if 
you are violently approached. This results, in my opinion, 
fuel for the flame of violence. People are scared to stand 
up and look violence in its eye and stand firm. 


From The Beat: Jerome, thanks for writing. We are impressed with your 
historical knowledge and the way you try to look at human patterns 
from the past. We agree with you, but we also think its not only the 
parents' fault. We have to be able to listen to the little voice inside 
ourselves that says "don't do that, be careful." But yes, many parents 
do need to step up to the plate. We all have the ability to change, and 
it might be as simple as changing the channel on TV. Violence exists, 
but we have to try to do everything we can to not nurture and kindle a 
flame that shouldn't be there. Just by writing this piece, you've taken a 
stand, and we hope more young people do too. 

Getting Straight 

The days in this Hall are going by fast, but I still do not 

feel like being here anymore. 

I miss my mom, my family, and my son. 

I really can't wait to get out of here and to do good by 

being a father to my son. 

I want to graduate from high school and go to college. 


From The Beat: We are glad that you are open to change, but it is easier 
said than done when you don't make a plan. So what will you do first 
to get what you want? 

What's Up Prez? 

What's up new president? I want to say I am happy for 
you to be the president. I just want to tell you also not 
to stress off things. I know you can do it because I heard 
some of your speeches. I think you are going to make 
change. For reals, like something in my brain told me that. 
You may think I am crazy, but it's for reals. Hopefully you 
can write to me so we can chop it up, like talk. Maybe you 
could give me some advice on life. It's cool if you don't 
want to though. But yeah, take care, and make some good 
decisions. I know I don't have to tell you that because I 
know you will. 


From The Beat: Yo, we think it's real cool that you took time out to 
write to our new president. Just like you, we have faith in him and it's 
wonderful how you look up to him. Maybe if he doesn't write back, you 
can always listen to him talk because he always has inspirational things 
to say. Stay strong, and if you do get the chance to talk to Obama, tell 
we said "what's up" too! 


Getting Messed With 

Some kid in my pod socked me in the head. But I want 
to say Mom, that I know how to avoid all of the fights. I 
just talk to my fellow friends in here and tell them that I 
have faith, and they help me tell people that I don't want 
any problems. 


From The Beat: Way to be brave and stick it out. Most times when people 
are violent in the Hall it is because they need a friend and don't know 
how to be one themselves. 


//// // 

Fixing The World 

Changing For Her 

Dear Mr. President, 

I think you did a good job on your speeches. I know 
you will fix our world's problems. 


From The Beat: Our country is facing a turbulent time. We'll need to 
actively support our new president so he can begin to address the many 
issues that face our country and world. Together, lets hope for the best 
to come. 

An Unfinished Story 

I really feel like I messed up. Now I am in here in the 
Fresno JJC, stuck. I've never really been in here before 
and I guess I thought I could get away with just about I 
anything. Reality kicked in real quick though and now I I 
am in here. 

I miss being able to do stuff that I like, like playing 
video games, watching movies, reading good books, 
eating a hot meal and especially writing. Before I was in 
here I was writing a book. I really wanted to get it done 
and publish it soon. Now it seems like that dream has 

Hopefully I will get to continue it but I don't know. I 
just can't seem to get any motivation anymore. It's like I 
hate everything! Do you think you can help me? 


From The Beat: Sometimes when we have goals in mind they have to 
be put off because other things become more important at the time, 
but sometimes we don't realize that we can use what is happening 
around us to reshape our goals and make them new. So how can you 
use this experience to help you do what you love, to write a book? 
We understand that you are experiencing difficult emotions right now. 
However, your emotions, whether positive or negative, can be great fuel 
for finishing your book or to start another writing project. It seems like 
you've already figured out how to discipline yourself to write something 
as major as a book, keep going in that direction.. .see your book and 
positive goals in life to completion. 

To The President 

To the President Barack Obama, how you been? Well, I 
just want to tell you that you have to be a good president 
and I also want to tell you congratulations for being the 
first African American president. As president, I wish you 
the best and remember do what you said you would do 
when you were running for office. Be a real president and 
I want to get out here and never come back and do my 
best out in the streets. 


From The Beat: Thanks for your letter to President Obama. It's too bad 
you couldn't take part in the process of electing him. But hopefully he'll 
live up to your expectations. It seems that his success has inspired you 
to do your best in life. We have faith in you and encourage you to try 
hard and reach your goals. Good luck! 


Why I Am Here 

The reason I am in the JJC is because I was ditching 
school because I had a class that I didn't like the teacher. 
So my friend and I left the class and started walking the 
halls at school saying bad stuff to the other teachers as 
we passed by other classrooms. 

A CA at our school caught us after a teacher reported 
us, and we both got expelled from the school. I was 
already on probation and wasn't supposed to have any 
police contact and this event violated it, so they locked 
me up. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you have a lot to learn about respecting 
others. We hope that something in you sparks an interest in your own 
education before it is too late, and you begin to regret your decisions. 

I miss her smiles, her cute giggles, and I miss the way 
that she would wake me up in the middle of the night. I 
miss her beautiful blue eyes and the way that she talked. 
She was born in august of last year, and she is the most 
important thing in my life. She gives me the push I need 
to keep going. I have already changed my life for her and I 
will be the best father that I can be. Nobody understands 
the hurt that I feel. If I could speak to her I would tell her 
how sorry I am. I would tell her that I will be there for her 
every day. 


From The Beat: Being a parent is the best joy in life, but it is also a lot of 
responsibility. How can you show her that you mean what you say? 



When I was little my family was having problems with 
drugs, which caused a lot of problems in my life. When 
I was younger there was a lot of violence that taught me 
how to be violent too. I used to be really violent and it 
caused me a lot of trouble. My opinion is to control your 
temper because violence can have you end up in jail or 
even dead. 


From The Beat: Being exposed to violence is often not a choice we make, 
but is made for us? And it takes a brave person to realize that you do 
have a choice whether you want to keep that violence going and expose 
others to it through your own actions. Keep your head up. 

Obama & Change 


I think Obama will make a good president. He had better 
ideas than McCain. Obama's ideas for change were to help 
the economy, and the environment. 


From The Beat: We think so too, and we know he'll need the support of 
young people like you in order to carry out those changes. 

Not Born To Hort 

I think people are violent because of outside forces all 
around us. There are neighborhoods around us that are 
very violent. People are not born to hurt other people. It 
depends on the environment around us. 


From The Beat: Ones environment plays a big role in determining 
how violence gets used. What factors contribute to making a good 
environment for young people? 


I am not feeling the topics today so I am going to write 
about what is on my mind, my girl. Before I got locked up 
we broke up over some drama. But I let her know the truth 
about that situation and how I really feel about her. 

She forgave your boy and then we got back together. 
I can't help but to think about this old school song that 
keeps running through my head, the chorus goes... 
reunited and it feels so good... And it is so true. I love this 
girl so much that my words are indescribable. She is my 
soul, my world, and my love. I love her unconditionally. 
We just need to keep it bonded and don't let anything get 
between us. 


From The Beat: Being separated from those you care about is hard, but a 
relationship cannot grow together when you are not whole yourself. We 
hope you work on yourself while you are in here too. Oh, the song you 
mentioned is "Reunited" by a singing duo. Peaches and Herb. 


//<?/ // 

The Good Times 

How I Fell Today 

I am 11 years old and I am locked up. I remember when 
I was at home and I was having fun. I used to play soccer 
and eat lots of good food. Most of all I miss my family 
because when I am at home I have a big smile on my face 
and a little dog names princess. 


From The Beat: You are so young still, we hope that you remember what 
it was like to have consequences to your actions and stay out of trouble 
at home. 

Back Again 

I just got done doing fifteen months and I had told myself 
that I was going to calm down when I got out of here, but 
only two months went by and for some shhh I am back 
here. But I am not trippin' because this is the block to be 
on. They can't hold me here forever, so watch out. 

-LIT Izreal 

From The Beat: It doesn't sound like you want to change this time 
either. It will just keep getting harder and harder each time you come 
back until you give in and learn to respect yourself! 

A Letter To God 


Lord, I have done wrong in my life, but I have also done 
good too. I pray to you because I believe in you, I trust in 
you, therefore I have faith in you. 

I am a sinner, I have sinned, but in this letter, as I 
do every day, I ask you to forgive me. This time that I 
have been confined, I have realized my mistakes, and I 
am willing to change. I pray and ask you to help me to 

You know everything that I have done and I am sorry. 
But that night that I came here I was doing a good deed 
and not a crime, please help me to go home and continue 
my life with my mistakes fixed. Thank you Lord, you are 
my father, savior, everything. Help me and be with me 


From The Beat: Your faith in a higher power is strength in you. Use it to 
figure out you can help yourself and have as much faith in yourself to 
be the change you want to see. 

Doing Good 

I wanted to get out of here and not come back. I don't 
want to do bad, I want to do good at home. I don't want to 
get in fights or they will give you more time. 


From The Beat: Your definitely thinking the right way, stay positive. 

Remaking America 

Remaking America means to me to build a faster transit 
system in Fresno. It means to stop building homes so that 
all the ones in foreclosure can get sold first, or rented 
out. It means to give the homeless homes so that they 
are not on the streets. Also, we should be giving bigger 
paychecks to the disabled. I also think that Liaisons 
should get better paychecks too. They should not charge 
families either, for their kids having to spend time in Juve 
either. They should also provide better food in the jails 
and the prisons too. 


From The Beat: These are large things to accomplish that will take lots 
of hands. How can you help to get these things done that you seem to 
care a lot about? 

Today I didn't get to play basketball with the pod for 
something and it made me really mad because I had 
to stay in my room and didn't get any fresh air. I have 
court on the fifth of this month and will probably have to 
transfer to boot camp. It sucks because I want to see my 
family and my girl, and especially all of my nieces and 
nephews too. I miss them all so much when I am in my 
room thinking. To everyone reading this, stay up and stay 
out of here! 


From The Beat: WE wish you luck wherever you go next and hope that 
you learn to appreciate what you have on the outside the next time you 
have big choices to make. 

Dear President 


I voted for you in November, because I think that you are 
looking out for our youth. You have promised change and 
we all know that it will take time. 

-Hopeful kid 

From The Beat: Not only will it take time but it will take the help of 
many others, and we want to know how you think you could help too? 


Getting Out 

Well, I am finally getting out of here at the end of the 
week! I gotta get my life together; I am going to be 18 with 
no probation. I can't wait to go to Florida to play football, 
but I need to get a job first. These topics are crazy this 
week, but I understand them. My life is going to be a lot 
better when I get out. At least I hope so. 

-Crazy Boy 

From The Beat: We wish you luck in seeing your goals through. Remember 
to take your change one step at a time and be responsible for yourself. 

No Lo Greia 

Le dijiera a mis seres queridos que los quiero mucho 
especialmente mi mama. 

Cuando mi amigo fallecio no lo creia. Fue algo muy 
triste para mi porque siempre pasaba con el y siempre lo 
tengo en mi corazon y en mi mente. 

From The Beat: Sentimos mucho tu perdida. Aveces las cosas pasan por 
alguna razon, que nos ensehan una leccion y aprendamos de ella. 

I Didn't Believe It 

I would say to my loved ones, especially my mom that I 
love her. 

When my friend died, I couldn't believe it. It was 
something sad for me because I was always with him and 
I'll always keep him in my heart and mind. 

-Carlos, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. Sometimes things happen for 
a reason, to teach us a lesson that we can use to learn from it. 

Lo Que Dijo Obama 

Obama el mensiono como el mundo ha cambiado, 
tenemos q cambiar el mundo. El quiere ayudar a todas 
las familias que necesitan ropa y comida. 

From The Beat: lEstas dispuesto a cooperar con el cambio de este mundi? 
iComo? Recuerda que el no lo puede hacer solo. 

What Obama Said 

Obama mentioned how the world has changed, and how 
we have to change the world. He wants to help the people 
who need clothes and food. 

-Edgar, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Are you down in cooperating in changing this world? 
How? Remember that he can't change all this on his own. 

Un Pooo Triste 

Que onda? ^Como esta la raza? Me encuentro ahorita 
en la juvenile. 

Cuando me vine de Honduras, me vine un poco triste 
porque mire a mi mama y me dio tristeza decirle que ya 
me venia. Se quedo preocupada por mi, pero gracias a 
Dios llegue bien a este pais. 

Ahorita estoy preso en este lugar y me van a deportar. 
Le doy gracias a Dios porque voy a volver a ver a mi mama. 
Estoy un poco triste pero tambien gracias a mi Senor 
Jesus Cristo voy a volver con mi mama y mi familia. 

From The Beat: Para la proxima vez, deberias de consultar con ella antes 
de tomar una decision. Si vas a hacer algo que traiga mucho riesgo, 
hazlo por algo que valga la pena. Gracias por tus palabras. 

A Little Bit Sad 

What's up? How are you? I find myself in juvenile hall 

When I came from Honduras, I came here a little bit 
sad because I saw my mother right after coming here, 
and I got sad to tell her I was leaving. She stayed worried 
about me, but thank God I made it to this country. 

Right now I am locked up in this place and they are 
going to deport me. I thank God I'm going to see my 
mother. I am a little bit sad, but thank my Lord Jesus 
Christ I'm going to see my mother and family. 

-Chele, San Francisco 

From The Beat: For the next time, you should consult your decision 
with your mother before making one. For the nest time, if you're going 
to do something risky, do it for something that is worth it. Thanks for 
your words. 

Soy De Honduras, Pero 

Hola, no soy de este pais, pero espero que les vaya 
bien con el nuevo presidente. Ojala que sea sierto lo que 
prometio con las promesas que les ha echo. Yo se que 
este pais va a tener un nuevo cambio. 

From The Beat: Eso esperamos tambien. iY cual sera tu cambio? 

I Am From Honduras. But 

Hi, I'm not from this country, but I hope everything turns 
out well with your new president. I hope he keeps his 
words he promised. I know this country will have a new 

-Luis, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We hope so too! What will be your change? 

Para Ella 

Con toda el alma asi quisiera amarte siempre asi con la 

alegria q le has devuelto ahora a mi vivir. 

Apesar de que me digan ,que no me pude enamorar tan 

pronto asi de ti, estoy enamorado y eso me hace feliz 

Robarte un beso, una caricia y despues tener tu cuerpo 

te lo confiezo tambien quisiera tener todo eso luego hacer 

una cancion 

que parezca una oracion 

para pedirle a dios que te deje aqui en mi corazon. 

Amor, amor, amor con toda el alma te amare 

de mi siempre tendras lo q no pudo darte alguien mas, 

amor amor amor con todo el alma te amare 

llegaste con tu luz treyendo paz y calma 

por eso prometo amarte siempre asi con toda el alma. 

From The Beat: Que linda dedication! Para la proxima nos gustaria 
un poema sobre tu vida. Si le vas a escribir algo diriguido a otra 
persona, hazlo en otro momento y directo a ella. Nosotros tenemos otro 

For Her 

With all my heart, 

I would love you always like this with much happiness 
that you've brought to my life. 

In spite of what they say, that I didn't fell in love so soon, 
I am in love with you and that makes me happy. 
To steal a kiss, a caress, and after that have your body 
I confess I also want to have it all, and make a song 
That can sound like a prayer 
To ask God to leave you here in my heart 
My love, love, love, I will always love you with my soul 
From me, you will have everything other couldn't give 
My love, love, love, I will always love you with all my soul 
You came to me with your light bringing peace and calm 
That's why I promise to love you always with all my soul. 

-Arias, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: What a nice dedication! But next time, we would love 
if you write another poem about your life. If you're going to write 
something directed to another person, do it on your own time. We have 
a different purpose. 

El Peligro 

Buena aqui les va otra de mis historias. Yo he salido 
muhas veses de mi ciudad porque mi vida a corrido 
peligro y para proteger ami familia. ^Te imaginas como 
te sintieras que a unos pandilleros locos te buscan, que 
no te encuentran y que se quieren vengar de tu familia? 
Por eso piensa bien las cosas antes de salir de tu hogar y 
proteje a tu familia. 

Yo tengo una foto que la llebo en mi corazon. Esta mi 
madre y mi hijo. Por eso haz bienla cosas y portate bien. 
Cuida a tu familia y trata de dar un buen ejemplo. 

From The Beat: Entendemos que te sientas preocupado por tu familia. 
Tienes que buscar la forma como ser diferente y tomar decisiones que no 
perjudiquen a las personas que quieres. Creemos que esta experiencia te 
ayudara mucho cuando estes cerca de cometer otro error. 


Well, here goes another of my stories. I've ran away from 
my city many times because my life has been in danger 
and I also needed to protect my family. Imagine how would 
you feel if some gangsters were looking for you and don't 
find you, and want to take revenge on your family. That's 
why I suggest you to think about things before you leave 
your city and have to protect your family. 

I have a picture I carry in my heart. It's my son and my 
mother. That's why I'm telling you to think about thing 
well, and behave well. Take care of your family and try to 
set a good example. 

-Catracho, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We understand that you are worried about my family. 
You need to find a way to become a different person and make decisions 
that won't affect the people you love. We believe this experience will 
help you a lot, so don't for get what's more important when you get 
close to make another mistake. 


^Que seria de mi si no me hubieras alconzado? 

^Donde estaria si no me hubieras perdonado? 

Tendria un vacio en mi corazon, vagaria sin rumbo 

Y sin direccion 

Si no fuera por tu gracia y por tu amor 

Siempre cuando te encuentres en estos momentos pidele 

a Dios que El es grande y te va ayudar, 

te va dar paz en tu corazon y todo te va salir bien. 

Dios es amor y paz. 

Villa Franca, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. 

From The Beat: iCrees que estes aqui porque perdistes el rumbo? iCual 
es tu destination? Gracias por tu mensaje. Tambien deseamos que Dios 
te de fuerzas y buena vida en tu mundo. 


What would have been of me if I hadn't reached you? 

Where would I be if you hadn't forgiven me? 

I would probably have an empty space in my heart, and 

travel without a heading or destination 

If it wasn't for your grace and love 

When you find yourself in hard moments, ask God 

To help you, He is big, and He will help you 

He will give you peace in your heart 

and everything will go well 

God is love and peace, 

Villa Franca, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. 

-Chele, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Do you think you're here because you lost the guidance 
of your destination? What's your destination? Thanks for your message. 
We also hope God give you the strength you need and a new heading 
to a better life. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

£ J^^ 7mg m jW' LJLLL « fJJJf-.ZJ- 

'£T/?ffXG MCnffL,nr/< BK0 HK' 


My eyes are shut still I see you so clear 

I stare in your eyes and the whole world disappear 

Leaving us together so no one can see 

That me and you could really be 

Maybe now or the life after, if it was meant to be 

No matter what happens 

My love for you will live for eternity 

That's the truth, really that's real 

But you can never really understand how I feel 

Until you decide to listen to what my heart has to say 

I would just let yo' heart get away 

I'll chase it for miles 

And if stealing yo' heart is a crime 

Tell 'em I'm guilty, I'm skipping the trial 

It's nothing 

I'll do life for you 

Shhh just lock me down 

'Cause I might be within you. 

Your Life 

Your life is worth more than that click or that block, 
that's gone be there when you die, with new dudes doing 
the same thing you did. 

Your life is worth more than that pistol charge or that 
murder case. 

You wanna know something? A gun don't make you 
a gangsta'. Killing somebody or selling drugs don't make 
you gangsta' because a nerd could carry a pistol. A five- 
year-old boy could pull a trigger and kill someone. 

Man, yo' life is worth more on the street than in 
prison. And the dude you did your crime with, you think 
he solid because he say he gangsta'? But he's the one 
telling on you. 

If you only knew what kind of pain you caused your 
mama, grandma, and whoever else loves you. 

Your life is worth more than what you think it's 
worth. Everybody has a positive purpose in life. It might 
take long to find out what it is, but it may make you rich 
one day. Once you learn, you live, because darkness soon 
comes to light. So what's yo' life worth? 

Hie has been a long time contributor since way back in the days 
when we found him locked down in a Maximum Security Unit, at 
Alameda County Juvenile Hall. He was always delivering thoughtful 
writing, as he was occasionally getting POWs (Piece Of the Week). Now 
HK, who will soon be 22 years old, is back with some more insightful 
writing and wisdom to dish out to all readers young and old. Writing 
from a California Youth Authority in lone, CA, our old friend HK brings 
us some words of motivation and encouragement! 

I'm Focused Now 

I remember around the end of 2004, The Beat Within 
asked me, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Well 
I'm still in the "Y" right now. That was almost 5 years ago, 
and people are still asking me questions. Well next year 
I'm out. Five years from there I'll be graduating college. 
Why? It's because I'm focus now. 

There are so many kids and young adults in here 
that's not focus. So many catching time add-on's for 
stupid reasons. But me, I'm focus now because of the 
time I spent behind these walls, I gotta work extra harder 
to get where everyone else is at. 

It's nothing though. I'm focused now. So when 
someone look you in yo' eyes and lie to you telling you, 
you gone be just like yo' dad, or you never going to be a 
success, or you ain't gone be shhh. Tell them straight up. 
I'm focused now. Man, you young ones in the hall right 
now, step that game up and get focused. I'm out. 

'DffniBL LrBinSZ' 

The Beat 

Greetings, from within to you and all your staff. Well I wanted 
to give credit and respect to you all for giving a voice to our 
troubled youth and for giving them positive guidance. Man I 
trip out when I read their articles and poetry. I can relate on so 
many levels. I also grew up troubled as a youth and chose that 
street life and pursued that criminal fame. 

I now realize the sad reality of this life style as I did it all, 
but got no where in life. Most real G's in the game are busted 
in maximum security or dead. I ended up in maximum security 
at the age of "17." I'm now soon to be "29". I wasted so many 
years of my life in prison, "Where you learn to mature quickly." 
I have benefited from the trip in two ways. 

One: I matured as a person and took the opportunity to 
educate myself. 

Two: I got to see the truth behind the glamorized image of 
that thug life/Vida Loca. It's a rough road to walk down. And 
most of the OG's will tell you. If I only had another chance, I 
would do it differently. It breaks my heart to see the youngsters 
choose the wrong path. Soak up some game from a real gee 

Our next writer is trying to put you up on some real game. So we'd 
advise you to not skip this piece, get your snack out, or kick back 
on your bunk, and read this. Do not miss this opportunity and let 
someone from deep inside these prison walls let you know what they 
would do different if they had another chance. Sending us his OG game 
from deep in California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, CA, who 
wants to let all you readers know a little a secret about this game! 

that's done it and survived many struggles and wars. 

This ain't living! Like Pac said, "We giving you jewels, use 
them like tools." Do something positive with your life. You 
only live once. Help reconstruct your community. Remember 
one hand washes the other and if you ain't part of the solution, 
you're part of the problem. I wish you all the best on your 
journeys, and no matter what happens keep your head up. God 

Well Beat I hope you can get my message to those youth, if 
at least one listens then we made a difference. Thank you for 
your effort in the struggle. God Bless You All. Thank you. 

Respectfully and Sincerely, 

A friend and supporter... 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

£ 7/r7Wl£7MM/IWmffl / / * */ / • / / / V 


Be A Leader 

When one, is at his/her lowest, you can do one of two 
things: accept defeat or dig deep within yourself to strive 
for embitterment. So choose wisely because from that 
point on you have only yourself to blame for everything 
that happens in your life after that. 

Stick to the basics and change the things that you 
have control of now (your thoughts, actions, beliefs, 
etc.). Don't worry about that which is out of your 
control. Ain't nothing going right for a reason. So instead 
of dwelling on that, figure out a way to get around your 
problems. Learn the lesson from your mistakes, and push 
for embetterment. 

Humble yourself and accept reality. Get out of that 
fantasy world and keep it real with yourself. Strive to be 
the best that you can be. That should be your motivation. 
Give your all and stay firm in your beliefs and actions. 
There is never enough learning for you. You can learn 
something good from every person you meet. Either it 
can be something you keep and use in your life, or it can 
be something you would never do. Life is your teacher. 

It's not how you die, but how you live while you are 
here that will be remembered. Some of the best then been 
worse than anything you can imagine and prevailed to 
accomplish great things. Stay focused, positive, and be a 

Our next writer has been gracing the pages of our publication 
for quite some time now constantly delivering piece after piece of 
inspirational and motivated writing. Mr. Daniels is never hesitant to 
speak his mind and calls things exactly how he sees them, never sugar 
coating anything. Sending us these powerful pieces from California 
Corrections Institution in Tehachapi, CA, Mr. Daniels digs deep within 
himself to deliver some great knowledge for us to grasp! 

Fooled or Betrayed 

As a child growing up, you don't know none of the 
wickedness of the world. You only mimic what you see 
done or what is taught to you. Children have no faults. 
What you see in a small child is their innocence in the 
newest form. As parents, we much be the protectors, 
providers, etc. So you are responsible to install in the 
kid morals and values, which you know are righteous. 
Life is a struggle from first breath to last. To really enjoy 
life, count and cherish the moments in life that truly take 
your breath away. 

You can't expect for things to be better for your 
kid's future if you aren't practicing good yourself. You 
alone are the real role model. Not the person they see 
on televisions. Watching T.V. is escaping reality, watching 
you is reality. Life is a constant learning experience. So 
it's no reason for you to not teach your kid the truth. If 
you know, then you are held responsible, whether you 
like it or not. 

This time away no matter how long or short your stay 
may be should be spent taking advantage of all that's good. 
There's positive that comes out of every struggle. So find 
it, whether it be education, life experiences, solitude, etc. 
Try to spend all your time, learning as much as you can. 
This is time with little or no distractions. 

History repeats itself because we continue to let the 
next generation fall into the same traps and lies that we 
fell for. Break the cycle. Children cannot be fooled, only 
betrayed by adults. 

Tlie ASllBS Of a MemOry the ashes of a memory 

Living behind a mask of 


In reflections of lies I've 

shed blood 

Falls around me 

Yet their concerns not on 

my head 

Day and night the 

pain burns within 

contemplating the lies 

I've lived only to find this 

is not who I am 


So hold me don't fear me 

Love this child that scares 


Don't hate me 

Just listen to these tears 

I shed 

So change me 

And help from becoming 

Realizing these dreams 
that haunt me 
The nightmares of who I 

Only wanting to be loved 
yet recognized from within 
Screaming out loud as the 
pendulum swings again 
Oh cant you find me as I 
call no more being alone 
So hold me now baby 
don't let me fall 

So love me 
Don't mistrust me 
My heart's separating thin 
Just help me don't judge 
For my past burns within 
So hold me now, and help 
me from becoming 
The Ashes of a memory. 

'JffMES CBfmiZ' 

Some of us know how hard it is being away from Family and loved 
ones. And we're not talking about vacation, we're talking about 
doing time for something that we probably regret doing. All the anger 
and frustration builds inside and we look for ways to try to release it. 
Some choose a negative way, by fighting, and taking it out on others 
that have nothing to do with it. But some people can vent out their 
frustrations through writing, as our friend James does for you today. 
Sending us his song from Deuel vocational Institution in Tracy, CA, 
James chooses to let his hand take control of his emotions. 

Shadowed By The Pain 

I look into your eyes you turn and walk away 

Never another glance it seems there's nothing left to say 

The past was a beautiful thing each memory by love 

Now every moment is shadowed by the pain 

Knife wounds that slowly heals each betrayal 

A burning bridge and a void 

Neither can fill with the loneliest word's goodbye 

I turn to walk away 

Finding a different road before me as we go our separate 


///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

£ Jl£?^ mg m *:, f ,{JJ 'fJJJJ /J. 

'PffnFESSnff KLffEKMZnO' 

First Entry 

As I lay on this stiff bunk wishing I had a desk to write 
this on I think about where I've been and where I'm going. 
Looking around this cold prison cell, wondering how can 
other convicts have lied on this bunk and put pen to paper to 
get out their thoughts and express themselves artistically. 
I'm trying so hard to block out of my mind how much I hate 
this place and how I can't do much about it. 

My heart and respect goes out to all these strong men 
in here with long sentences to do. This place is hellish and 
being here day to day can really deteriorate a man's soul. 
The way CDC has this set up is to be a revolving door. You 
can't win without losing. They place you in a prison with 
hardened criminals for long periods of time expecting you 
to get out and be a better person that you were before you 
went in. That's crazy. This place only makes things worst 
and they know it. It ruins lives and kills off hopes of what 
could've been. Parole is a load of CDC crap. Your PO tries to 
help you like a crocodile tries to kiss you. 

I thought the county system was screwed up but now 
I see where its whole infrastructure come from and who 
makes it like it is. I don't want to get into prison regulation 
politics or quote the Title 15, so I'm going to keep this 

This is my first entry into my prison life journal and I 
just wanted to say that I made it safely to Deuel Vocational 
Institute Reception Prison on December 8, 2008. This is my 
first bed and I'm beginning to get used to the program and 
how things are regulated. I must admit that I was glad to 
be in Sacramento Country Jail and on my way here to start 
my half time. Tired of being locked down all the time. I was 

Our next writer, is the very faithful Professor Blaclcmind, who in 
recent weeks has truly shown the readers of The Beat Within lots 
of love. His latest entry, titled, "First Entry" is actually an entry from 
his personal journal, as he takes us on a journey through his mind, 
sharing his opinions on the CDC system and he also gives us a glimpse 
to his first day at Deuel Vocational Institute Reception Prison, back in 
December 2008. He sent this piece from his current home, Folsom State 
Prison in Represa, CA. 

almost excited about having a change of scenery. We rode 
over here in a small van. I was seated nest to a friend who 
was going to start his life-sentence. I could hear sadness in 
his voice as he told me about his case and how he intended 
to program once he left the mainline. 

I listened to others tell their stories and it was all 
depressing. After waiting eight hours in a crowded holding 
talk, I grabbed my state-issued bed-roll and made it down 
the long hallways to my new living quarters, C-Wing. Seeing 
some familiar faces, I sent out greetings and headed to my 
cell when I first met my celly. 

I knew he was an outsider before he even opened his 
mouth. I noticed the NY tattoo on his neck and then his 
accent when he said, "Yo, what's up? I'm Claude, but you 
can call me C-Money." I must admit, there was something 
about his swagger that I immediately disliked. He was cocky 
and somewhat self-absorbed. But giving him the benefit of 
the doubt, I reserved judgment and listened to him brag 
about all the money, cars, and women he has. 

It makes me wonder, are all urban New Yorkers like 
this? Why tell a total stranger all of our business? I don't 
get it. After listening to all of Mr. Money's wondrous tales, I 
feigned a yawned and excused myself to read my Beat then 
go to sleep. Day one in prison was over as quickly as it 
started. I prepared myself for day two. 

My Time Doesn't Have To Be Your Time 

Maximum is Minimum 

Or so lately it seems 

They got me locked up in the SHU 

Allowed not property 

So with this little pen filler 

That hardly holds any ink 

It's my voice as I spit verse 

On this sheet of loose leaf 

I contemplate creatively 

My time in this cell 

My time in this hell 

My time spending all by myself 

My street wealth 

Well, it don't mean a thing in this box 

I used to rock the freshest fits 

Now I walk with holes in my socks 

Girls on my arm were top notch 

As I flossed a platinum watch 

These days my wrists are hand cuffed 

And cop escorts me 

But that be the knocks 

Yo' these are the shots 

That hit your chest with a bang 

Soon it takes just one stray 

For the judge to give you all day 

I pray ya'll learn from my mistakes 

And put the street dreams away. 


Our next writer is quite a character, as he's been writing for our 
publication for a while now, but since we are so backed up we hardly 
get to print any of his writing. So this one is for Mudd as he comes 
through with some real thoughtful writing. He speaks from his heart 
as he tells you what kind of mentality he was in and how he regrets 
the mistakes he made. He doesn't want a lot of you young readers to 
make the same mistakes he made so he intends to give out a little 
advice. Writing from The SHU in Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, CA. 
"My Time Doesn't Have To Be Your Time" piece is simply letting all you 
readers know that you don't have to learn the hard way. Learn from his 
mistakes that way you won't find yourself saying the same things he's 
saying ten years from now. 

To The Youth 

Check this out youngsters, here's some knowledge 
learned the worst way. A man won't put his hands on me 
without feeling the repercussions. I'm no punk, mark, 
or victim. Still that doesn't mean I have to put hands on 
some loud talker for running' his mouth. 

Once you act on someone else's' words, you're letting 
him control you. Take control of yourself and try to stay 
out of the situations that will end up putting you in a 
position where it's time to square off. Even if the fights 
where I never got his, my knuckles still hurt and the loss 
of privileges (yard, canteen, phone visits) hurt more. 

I fought to get a name and ended up with a prison 
number for ten years. One good hit equaled one more 
strike. I know that when you're in the cage there's going 
to be a time you have to fight. Do what you have to for 
survival, not glory. 

///////#////#/// ////#///.//////// 

£ J/?fWj £7MMMmW / / ' #////// 


Paranoia Part 2 

Chapter 5: The Fear 

Brian Caine decided to catch a bus home. He looked around 
and saw many people. He saw a high school girl listening 
to her IPod, a man in a business suit repeatedly checking 
his watch. You know the usuals you probably see on any 
bus. A man watching the rain outside, a woman with a black 
umbrella, and... 

Oh no, no it can't be, he thought. 

It was. James Ellwood was sitting next to the woman 
with the black umbrella. 

But that can't be him, it just can't. 

Unfortunately it was, and now he was wearing the same 
heavy black raincoat. 

Brian stood frozen in terror and then though: he must 
have been watching me, laying low until he decided to reveal 
himself. Hiding in the shadows watching me, studying me 
like an experimental monkey in a laboratory, covering his 
tracks so I wouldn't draw suspicions. 

Well played James. Brian then pushed the button next to 
him signaling his stop, knowing very well that his real stop 
was three stops from this one. The bus came to a halt and 
the doors opened up. Brian then proceeded down the three 
steps in the front of the bus. The rain started pouting now, 
and Brian looked to see the smiling bus driver. The driver 
was James Ellwood. The bus drove off and Brian saw that in 
fact every single passenger of the bus he had gotten off of 
was James Ellwood. They all smiled their creepy smiles and 
they waved at him, their black raincoats making them look 
like vampires. 

Overcome with fear and terror Brian Caine ran down the 
street and bumped into a man. 

"Sorry," he said, looking back to see that the man was 
James Ellwood. 

He then walked backwards, still staring at the man, and 
then he stumbled backwards. Many people around that saw 
it now circled him and they were all laughing and they were 

James Ellwood, he thought. 

Countless swirling faces of James Ellwood were 
everywhere, laughing at him. Brian Caine felt he didn't have 
the strength to get up and when he did he struggled not to 
stumble again. 

"Get out of my way! Move back! All of you right now!" He 
screamed at the top of his lungs, and when a path was clear 
he ran. He ran as if he was running from Satan himself. To 
him, it felt like he was. 

Chapter 6: The Conversation 

He walked into his house and then slammed his door shut 
then locked every single lock. He didn't turn on any lights. 
He just followed the neon glow of the bar sign next door. 

He's everywhere, Brian thought, he's watching me. 

The phone in his house began to ring. 

You already know who that is Brian, don't answer it. 

It rang again and he did answer it. 

"Hello, who is this?" 

"Hi, Henry Worthington? You probably don't remember 
me. My name is Stella Landry." 

"Of course I remember you Ms. Landry," he said, 
beginning to relax. 

"Well, I did what you said, and he's in prison now and I'm 
living in Emeryville." 

"Good for you, Ms. Landry." 

"So, how are you doing, and more importantly, what are 
you doing?" she asked a little playfully. 

Our next writer, Torriano, a Berkeley High School student, who 
happens to be a new Beat intern, has given us a special treat, given 
his love for writing and author, Stephen King, as he wrote us a short 
story for us to enjoy. If y'all don't remember last week we published 
Paranoia Part 1 of this two-part sequel. " " ' " 

borrow last weeks issue 14.05 from your Bunkie, cellmate, or yo' homey 
and read Part 1 first. Its a very entertaining story that will have you on 

the second part of his thrilling story - "Paranoia" Part 2. 

"Well, I'm... hey, wait, why are you asking?" 

"I'm in San Francisco. I wanted to know if I could see 
you. I know it's late but -" 

"You're in San Francisco? Why?" 

"I told you, I wanted to see you." 

"I know, but why?" 

"Well -" 

"Don't answer that question. I know exactly what you're 
doing." he said, cutting her off sharply. 

"You do?" she asked, sounding astounded. 

"Of course, I'm not blind, you're working with him!" 


"Don't play coy with me you stupid broad, I know that 
you're working for James Ellwood." 


"James Ellwood. Look, I know that he is using you to get 
to me." 

"I don't know what you're talking about Henry." 

"That's not my name! My name is Brian Caine and James 
Ellwood is using you to get to me!" 

"Why are you telling?" 

"Nice try James but I won't fall for it! Brian Caine will not 
die today!" 

"Henry, Brian, whoever you are, stop! You're starting to 
scare me..." 

"I should be scaring you, because I'm not afraid of you, 
James Ellwood. You'll have to try harder than that to get to 
me. I'm a therapist, remember?" 

Brian Caine slammed down the phone on the receiver, 
then threw it out his window. 

That'll show him. 

In her car Stella Landry listened to the drone of the dial 
tone and then began to cry. She wiped her tears and though 
to herself I don't know what's wrong with him, but I'm going 
to find out. 

Brian walked through his house and got the other house 
phone, then threw it out of the open bedroom window. 
The sound of plastic meeting pavement made Brian smile. 
Suddenly, he felt something in his pocket. 

My cell phone, of course. 

Brian looked at his cell phone to see who was calling him. 
There, in bold black backlit letters: James Ellwood. Brian 
went to look out of the window, then threw the cell phone 
out it. He watched as the expensive RAZR exploded into 
hundreds of pieces of plastic that flew in every direction. 

He is not going to get to me, I will not allow it. 

Although what Brian Caine didn't know, or at least didn't 
admit to himself, James Ellwood had gotten to him. He had 
infiltrated Brian's thoughts as soon as he walked into his 

Chapter 7: The Dog, The Officer, and The Mailman 

Brian woke up, not even remembering going to sleep last 
night on his bedroom floor. The time was now 10:30 and 
his doorbell rang. He got up still wearing the clothes from 
yesterday. He opened his front door to see a young white girl 
who may just be graduating high school. She was holding at 
least six leashes with a dog attached to each. The dogs all 

continued on next page 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

£ 7/?7Wl£7MffllWmffl / / ; # / / / / / / 

* Tntpninnn canr. ' 

looked tame, well- trained, and healthy as well. 

"What do you want?" 

"Hi mister!" the girl said in a bouncy, cheery voice. "I'm 
looking to give homes to homeless dogs, so..." 

"Look, little girl, I don't usually do these kinds of things, 
but I'll take the German Shepard you got there." 

He fished into his pocket, hoping his wallet was still 
there and gave the girl a twenty. 

"Here, take it." 

"Thank you mister!" 

"Now get off of my porch!" 

He closed the door as the girl and her dogs walked off to 
another house. The German Shepard stared at him and he 
stared back. 


The dog obeyed. 

"Roll over." 

He obeyed again. 

"Play dead." 

The dog rolled on its back and whined. 

"Not bad, little Cujo." 

He's very well trained, a little too well trained, he thought. 
Suddenly, something came back to Brian, something he said. 
(I have the tools, the skills, the smarts, the technology, drive, 
and perseverance.) 

"The dog. "(I could be right next to you and you wouldn't even 

The dog's wired. There's some sort of radio transmitter or 
something in his nose. 

"So, you think you're smart, James. You think you can 
send your dog over here so you can listen to all the things I 
say, huh? Well, you thought wrong! Come here, little Cujo." 

The dog followed Brian, who led it towards his bathroom. 
Brian told the dog to stay and then he ran some water in his 

"That's right, little Cujo, we're just gonna give you a nice 
little bath, now aren't we? Yes, that's because you're such a 
dirty little dog, isn't that right?" 

Brian stopped running the water, then seized the dog by 
its collar and forced it into the water. It was a difficult task 
indeed, the dog put up a good struggle, but in the end, it 
succumbed to his will. Within twenty minutes the dog was 

"All clean," Brian said with a mischievous smile. That 
devilish grin didn't leave his face for quite some time. 

Stella was talking to Officer Hutchinson from the San 
Francisco Police Department. 

"So, let me get this straight, Ms. Landry, you talked to 
Brian Caine, and he said that you were working with James 
Ellwood to try and kill him?" 


"And you're sure?" 

"Yes, I'm sure." 

"I don't believe you." 

"What! Why not?" 

"Because your story makes no sense." 

"What about it doesn't make sense?" 

"It's just not possible." 

"Look, I told you what I know, officer, and I want some 

"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but there is no way that your story can 
be true." 

"Tell me, why not?" 

"Because James Ellwood had been on death row for at 
least two years now." 

"Wait, what?" 

"Yes, the man you are referring to had no chances of ever 

seeing the real world again, he was too crazy." 

"Wait a minute, Officer Hutchinson. You said he was 
on death row. What happened to him?" 

"He was sentenced to death by lethal injection, 
sweetheart. James Ellwood is dead." 

"I-I-I don't believe it, but then what was Brian talking 

"Come down to pier 39. 1 have something to show you." 

"Ok, officer." 

"I'll be waiting." 

Brian Caine sat by his tub, the dead dog in his lab, 
drinking a beer. A knock on his door made him jump. He 
shoved the dog off his lap and raced towards the front door. 
He swung the door open to see his mailman Lenny holding 
his mail in his hands. 

"Hi Mr. Caine, got your mail for today." 

"Come inside Lenny." 

Lenny stepped inside and looked around. 

"Nice place Caine." 

"Thanks Lenny. Sit down on that couch over there." 

Lenny sat down while Brian tossed him a beer. 

"So, Lenny, how's it going man?" 

"I'm doing okay, Brian." 

"Ok, alright, you like your beer?" 

"It's good, man." 

"Yeah, savor it. You never know when it might just be 
your last." 

"True man, you know, it's like they say: life is too short," 
Lenny said while laughing. 

"Not mine." 


"Quit playing around Lenny. I know what evil you brought 
into my house." 


"I know that there are bombs in those letters you brought 


"You can't fool me!" 

Brian sprang from the couch facing Lenny and began 
to smother him with a cushion from the couch. Lenny was 
strong and struck Brian very hard many times, but Brian 
didn't give in, but Lenny was eventually forced to. Brian 
removed the cushion and moved Lenny's lifeless body to his 
hallway closet. Brian then decided that he needed another 
beer, so he went to his kitchen refrigerator. He popped the 
top and tasted it. It tasted like victory and pain. 

Chapter 8: The Basic Facts 

"Ms. Landry, I wanted you to meet me here because I want 
to tell you some things you may not know about Mr. Brian 

"Officer Hutchinson, what kind of information are you 
talking about?" 

"I mean information regarding the man named James 

"Let me have it then." 

"As you wish Ms. Landry." 

Officer Hutchinson opened a folder and began to read 
from one of the papers inside of it. 

"Ms. Landry, I'm sure you remember the storm of October 
the thirteenth, the day made famous for the murders." 

"The Friday the Thirteenth Massacre, at least what the 
headlines called it, right officer? How could anyone forget 
such a terrible day? 37 dead or fatally wounded, 12 officers 
and 44 civilians, horrible." 

"The man responsible for that was James Ellwood, who 

continued on next page 

/ zg mnnnnmanMim 

1 /77WH7MMMBMM / ; # / / / / / / 

////#/ //. // //// // 

' Tntpninnn canr. ' 

was actually a cop. You see, before he went on his little 
rampage, he stopped by his house. There, he caught his 
wife, Katharyn Ellwood, having relations with her therapist. 
Guess who the therapist was, Ms. Landry?" 

"Brian Caine?" 

"Yup, he had been seeing her for almost a full year and 
she was calling herself Katharyn Jacobs. You can imagine 
you would've done the same thing if you were in his position 
though. Anyway, Ms. Landry, I'm going to tell you everything 
I know about these three people to the greatest extent of my 

Chapter 9: The Past 

Brian Caine waited outside of the home waiting for his love 
to answer the door. She opened the door wearing a pink 
bathrobe with a pair of matching fuzzy slippers. She was 
smiling, flashing her perfect white teeth, and the scent of 
the angels themselves had been captured perfectly by her 

"Come on in Brian," she said, leading him into the house 
and removing his jacket. 

"Are you sure you don't mind me being in your house 
Katharyn?" he asked worriedly. 

"Of course not. I'm just getting ready for bed. Go wait 
there for me while I dress." 

Brian obediently went to the room and sat on the edge 
of her bed, waiting for her. Brian Caine was in love with this 
dark brunette haired goddess. He wanted to marry her, to 
be with her for the rest of his life, the rest of their lives. She 
came out of the bathroom wearing a red satin nightgown that 
was thin enough to see right through. She got on the bed and 
then took off his shirt, beginning to massage his back. 

"What's the matter Brian, you're so tense." 

"Katharyn, honestly, I'm just nervous. I mean, here we 
are, you know, and I just don't know what to think." 

He turned to face her and her light caramel colored eyes 
gazed into his icy blue orbs, penetrating to his heart. 

"Don't think then, act." 

"I love you Katharyn." 

She continued to stare at him, stunned by what he just 
said. Tears were welling up in her eyes. A flash of lighting 
went off and Katharyn screamed and jumped into Brian's 

"What's wrong Katharyn?" 

"Nothing. I'm just a little scared of the storm. It's pretty 

"Don't worry, it's okay." 

Brian couldn't help but smile and laugh, he thought the 
whole thing was too cute. 

"Hold me Brian." 

"I'll never leave you, Katharyn," he said as he did just 

Then the two of them kissed, and once he tasted her 
lips he was sure it was a sensation he would never forget. 
Strawberries. Red-hot passion had now swollen inside both 
of them. They were interrupted by the opening of the bedroom 
door. In the doorway was a tall man wearing a black raincoat 
with the hood up, covering his face. There was a gun in the 
man's hand. 

"James?" Katharyn said, amazed. 

"Katharyn?" The man replied back through tears. 

"Who?" asked Brian, confused. 

The man looked at Brian, or at least Brian thought he 
did, and said, "I'm her husband, mister." 

The man lifted the gun and shot Katharyn square in the 
middle of her forehead. She died without making any noise. 
He aimed at Brian who ducked while the bullet pierced 

through the bedroom window. Brian leaped out of the 
broken window and narrowly escaped the third shot. 

He ran all the way back to his house, the storm raging 
on, tears flowing as he ran. 

Katharyn's dead body was still in bed, legs sprawled out in 
front of her, her dark brown hair flowing everywhere. She 
looked like an angel and smelled like one too. A tear rolled 
down James Ellwood's cheek as he draped a cover over his 
dead wife. 

"Goodnight forever, my sleeping beauty." 
He bent down and kissed her cold lifeless lips in sadness. 
He painfully turned and walked out of his front door, still 
holding the loaded gun. 

Chapter 10: The Present 

"Brian Caine went into a deep depression after that. Saw him 
again at the funeral. A lot of people wondered if he was ever 
gonna go back to work. You imagine having a job like his can 
only make things worse, you know." 


"Look, Ms. Landry, James Ellwood is dead, he requested 
death himself, so there is no way your story can be true." 

"Officer, do you think that Brian Caine could have been 
as greatly affected as James Ellwood by Katharyn's death?" 

"It may just be possible, miss." 

"Love makes people crazy, officer. To quote the great 
Elvis Presley, 'I get so lonely I could die." 
"Heartbreak Hotel," he replied. 
She nodded her head in agreement, wondering if Brian 
was crazy. 

Chapter 11: The Restaurant and the Ice 

Brian Caine was now drunk. He was also hungry. He decided 
that he may as well go get something to eat, because it was 
hard to order pizza without a phone. He changed clothes and 
walked out to his car to drive down to a new restaurant that 
just opened up. 

He looked corpse-like for the most part. There were 
heavy bags under his eyes and the shadows under his eyelids 
looked like marks from charcoal or army war paint. He 
ordered his food looking carefully so he didn't get anything 
with almonds in it, for he was terribly allergic to them. He 
thought his salad was good and then he had the feeling he 
had to use the bathroom. On his way to the bathroom he saw 
James Ellwood sitting in a booth drinking a martini. Then, 
he looked to the kitchen to see James Ellwood holding fresh 
almonds in his hand. Brian had it and sat in the largest 
stall, the stench of used toilet paper and cheap generic air 
freshener permeating his every breath. 

(He's here.) 
Brian leaned forward and he saw it. There were no feet on the 
floor but there was a shadow cast along the tile. He heard the 
click of the hammer being cocked back on the gun. 

Brian pulled up his pants and bolted out of the stall, then 
dashed out of the bathroom door. He tried to stay calm as he 
walked back to his table. 

"Brian Caine?" said a voice from behind him. The voice 
was familiar but he couldn't quite remember where he had 
heard it. It wasn't a threatening voice. Instead, it was friendly. 
Brian turned his head and immediately recognized the man. 

"John Walters, is that you?" 

"In the flesh." 

John Walters was Brian's toughest client. He was 
depressed, suicidal, a drug addict, and a wife beater. He was 
also Brian's greatest accomplishment as a therapist. When 
he first started his career all his clients knew him by name. 
It wasn't until after the supposedly single Katharyn Jacobs 

continued on next page 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

£ f^fp7Mmm^fi/ / /*#////// 

* Tntpninnn canr. ' 

entered and exited his life that he started to use names other 
than his. That is why John actually knew his name, unlike 
clients such as Stella Landry. He was one of the firsts. 

"How are you John?" 

"Doing good Brian. Me and Martha are fine. I'm still off 

the drugs, pills, and anti-depressants. I'm working on cutting 

down the alcohol too." Brian looked down for a moment and 

saw the shape that bulged from John's pocket. It was a gun. 

(He's working with James.) 

"So, he's got you too?" 

"What's that Brian?" 

"I see that gun in your pocket, John. You're working with 
James Ellwood, aren't you? He's trying to get you to take me 
out, isn't he?" 

"What are you talking about Brian?" 

"I won't go down that easy, no sir." 

Brian got to his table and looked down at his salad. 
Someone had put almonds in it. Someone here knew he was 
allergic to almonds. 

"Who did this to my salad!" 

Everyone's head turned to face Brian now. 

"So, James, I see you did your homework. Nice try but no 
cigar for you this time, dear friend." 

Brian Caine then stormed out of the restaurant all the 
way back to the car. 

It was in his car he had the craziest thought so far. Could 
it be possible that James Ellwood was watching him, tracking 
him somehow? 

(I have the tools, the skills, the smarts, the 
technology, the drive and perseverance.) 
(He could be tracking me through my body heat somehow.) 
(I need ice, now.) 

He pulled over to the nearest grocery store and grabbed the 
gun he always kept in his glove compartment. He walked 
through the doors and held up his gun to let off a shot in 
the air. 

"Stay calm, I just want your ice, keep your money. The 
ice is all I've come for." 

Nobody even tried to do anything to stop him, people 
just watched him carry out his bags of ice. He drove off back 
home, his entire backseat filled with ice. 

He burst through his front door and tossed the bags of 
ice into his bathtub. Then he himself got into the tub when 
he was done with that task. He shifted the ice around a little 
and then placed bags on top of himself. The entire time there 
was a devilish grin on his face. He slept very peacefully that 

Chapter 12: The Storm 

Brian woke up with a headache. The ice around him had now 
melted and soaked through his clothes. He was indeed very 

(Look at me covered in melted ice. What has become of 

He already new the answer to that question: James 
Ellwood. It was raining outside. A storm was coming. History 
was repeating itself in some ways. It would be settled tonight, 
in this house, it had to be. He knew James would come 
tonight to settle it all. Brian still had his gun in his pocket. 
He would need it when the time came. He grabbed four beers 
from his fridge and sat down on his couch. He cracked one 
open then took a sip. There was nothing left to do but wait. 

Time moved quickly and the creeping darkness seemed 
to rapidly spread over the never-sleeping, never-tiring city of 
San Francisco. The storm had now escalated. The wind was 
screeching in agony as it pounded on his windows. The roar 
of the thunder sounded like the war cry of some ancient and 

terrible beast. The rain came down hard and the lighting 
seemed like power surges from God himself. The scenery 
was perfect and almost poetic. Brian Caine still say on his 
couch, his gun now in his lap, waiting. Just waiting. 

The front door opened and there stood James Ellwood, 
standing in his black raincoat and smoking a cigarette. 

"Brian Caine." 

"James Ellwood." 

"I think maybe it's time we finish this business. Write 
the final chapter in this book and then close it forever." 

"Sorry to disappoint you, James, but Brian Caine does 
not die today," he said triumphantly. 

"My dear Brian, all things must come to an end." 

James advanced towards Brian while he rose from the 
couch and lifted the gun in his hand. He cocked back the 
hammer and then pulled the trigger. The blast of the gun 
seemed to silence the storm. 

"It's finally over," Brian said, relaxing a little, his eyes 

When he opened his eyes he stared in horror, not 
believing what he saw. 

James Ellwood was still advancing towards him. There 
was no blood, no wound, no bullet hole in his raincoat, 
nothing. It was as if the bullet just passed through him. 

Brian fired three more times, moving backwards with 
every shot. He discovered that, to his horror, that the bullets 
were passing through him. 

(What is he?) 

"I am no ghost, Brian. In fact, I am quite real." 
James then knocked Brian onto the floor and took his gun 
from him. He then picked Brian up and dragged him into his 
home office, then forced him to sit in his chair. He forced the 
gun into Brian's mouth, then took it back out. 

"Say your last words and choose them wisely." 

"Ok. I'm sorry things happened the way they happened. 
She never said she had a husband during sessions. She used 
the name Katharyn Jacobs. I never knew about you at all. I'd 
fallen for her. The love I had for her was one I never thought 
I could have for anyone. She invited me over to her house 
that night. We had been on many other dates before, though. 
I was completely unprepared for that night. I'm not sorry I 
met her. I still love her with all my heart. I'm sorry for you, 
James. I'm sorry for the monster that you have become, for 
the monster that I made you. Did you know I was thrust into 
depression after that night? It was because of you, James. 
You took her from me but that was my fault. I'm so used to 
helping people that when I destroyed you..." 

He now looked into the eyes of the beast that he created 
himself. The hateful eyes saw through him, penetrating his 

"...I destroyed myself. I deserved to lose her, and now I 
deserve to die." 

Brian Caine leaned back in his chair and felt the gun 
being forced into his mouth. He didn't bother closing his 
eyes. He already knew what was coming next. The couple 
of seconds, which would be known as his final moments 
stretched out for what seemed to be hours. He saw the 
woman who called herself Katharyn Jacobs, then he saw the 
sweet smile of Stella Landry. He saw the menacing face of 
James Ellwood and the dark shadow cast across his face 
from the hood of the black raincoat. Then, finally, he saw 
himself, in his own mirror. What he saw in the mirror was 
himself and nobody else. There was no one in the room with 
him. The hand on the trigger of the gun was his own. 

The sound of the gun silenced the storm. For Brian Caine 
it silenced everything else. His cold dead finger slipped loose 
form the gun and fell into his lap. The gun, however, stayed 

continued on next page 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

£ 7/?7Wl£7MffllWmffl / / ; # / / / / / / 

* Tntpninnn canr. ' 

in his mouth. Even though he was now dead, Brian Caine 
could feel a weight lift off his shoulders and he could truly 
rest in peace. The storm outside now began to calm down 
and the rain splashed against the windows while the wind 
seemed to whisper secrets untold, secrets of the past that no 
man should know. Some of those secrets are very similar to 
the human mind. 


Brian Caine laid silently in his chair behind the desk of 
his home office. The blood, which once flooded out of the 
corners of his mouth had now dried on both of his cheeks. 
His icy blue eyes stared mindlessly off in the front of him 
resting on nothing in particular. His hands - and the rest of 
his body for that - were cold and dead, showing no signs of 
movement whatsoever. 

Brian Caine is dead, and so is James Ellwood. 

James Ellwood had a lot to do with Caine's death, but it 
wasn't he who killed him. The prints on the gun were Brian's. 
He was the only man who touched it that night. James 
Ellwood had been dead for at least two years. Also, everyone 

knows that fun-loving ghosties and ghoulies don't exist, 
right? Any scientific study of the man named Brian Caine 
would point out it was all him, it was all in Brian's head. 

A scientific study would say that the depression and 
mental trauma of the night of October the 13th coupled with 
the overall stress of being a therapist killed him. It would 
say his mind got so screwed up it would make him see or 
hear anything it wanted him to believe. It would say how 
his days and nights were haunted with thoughts of James 
Ellwood coming back for him. It would say that because he 
was so paranoid and afraid his mind actually acted out that 
scenario, leading to his eventual death. 

All's well that ends well, right? Stella Landry now has 
a house of her own in which her loving boyfriend lives with 
her. As for Brian Caine, his grave rests next to Katharyn and 
James Ellwood. 

Now don't think that what happened to Brian can't 
happen to anyone else. It can happen to you, your family, 
friends; it can even happen to me. It could be happening 
right now. Because, the truth is, we're all a little paranoid. 

My Letter To The Beat 

What's up Beat? This is Quintin from Fonky Town, Texas 
and I'm currently on Texas Death Row. I'm a 29-year-old 
brotha who's going on my 10th year of incarceration, and 
my 8th year on the row. I was given one of your issues, 
Volume 13.43, and after I read it, I asked if there was a 
Texas version of this (just an idea!) 

Anyways, I'd be honored if you could do two things 
for me. Number one, could you put me on your mailing 
list? You can use the info that's outside of this letter. And 
number two, could you please publish this lil' piece for 
those young cats (young ladies & young men) who still 
have a chance at life and freedom still before it's totally 
taken away from them for real, 'cause just maybe by 
reading something from someone who's been there and 
done a few things, then maybe they'd think twice the next 
time around and take heed to things. When they touch 
down from this warning sign they're being blessed with 
at an early stage of the game. 

Prison is no place for our youngstas to keep on going 
to because there's enough of us here already just so they 
can do better than we did. And even more important, 
"Death Row" sure ain't no place for nobody 'cause it's for 
real and trust that these folks are planning for keeps no 
ifs ands, or buts about it. So if they could really see and 
understand that "Hey we're still able to avoid this then 
maybe they'd want to try to at least see what the other 
side is about, 'cause they already know what one side will 
get them, you feel me? 

Well Beat keep up the good work 'cause our youngstas 
need all the help our communities can provide from 
whatever angle available nowadays. Later. 

Lastly, There's nothing I said in my piece that I haven't 
already been charged with. So, it can't hurt me anymore 
than it has already. 

'nuxnrxn unnBS' 

Our next writer just happened to stumble across our publication. 

there. Quintin is one 
and done it. r~" 

is saying. He had opportunities and chances but he didn't take them 
seriously and ended up catching some serious charges. Serious enough 
to be put on Death Row, Quintin has grown from this experience and 
we can clearly see it through his writing. Sending us these golden words 
of wisdom from Polunslcy Unit on Death Row, in Livingston, Texas, 
Quintin gives us everything that he as to offer - wisdom at its finest! 

Open Your Eyes n Take Heed 

If a lot of us would take a second to open our eyes and take 
heed to certain thing. Then maybe a lot of us wouldn't be in 
our current situations. I used to think I was lucky, Beat, that 
I never really caught any major cases and got sent to TYC 
(Texas Youth Commission) or the Pen like a lot of my homies 
did or even worse, get crippled or murdered. Yet I did Juvie 
and probation stints (twice) or when we'd get jammed by the 
laws I'd be set free (in a sense) because I wasn't a noise talker. 
Because I was dirty in one way or another. 

But now, as I sit here on Texas Death Row I realize that it 
wasn't really luck at all (take my word for it). It was God (or 
whomever one may believe in) steady giving me chances to 
get away from the lifestyle I was leading. Yet like those before 
me, I didn't pay it no mind, and went right back at it and 
charged it to the game, as I kept getting lucky over and over 

Since I didn't take heed sooner, in one-year time span (19 
to 20 years old). I caught four major cases, two dope cases and 
two capital murder cases in a three-month period. Now, I'm 
not complaining because we all have choices and I chose my 
lifestyle, so I accept to a point where I'm at because I chose 
drugs and gangs. But if I can help stop another youngsta from 
ending up on somebody's Death Row then I did something in 
life worthy. 

So if you'd just take a second to open your eyes and take 
heed to those so called "lucky warning signs" then just maybe 
you can save yourself a life of "heartaches if I would've" before 
it's really too late for real. With that said, stay up, don't give 
up. Yet most importantly want something better out of life for 
yourself. But this time try it the right way. You feel me? 

Lastly, just something simple to really think about while 
you've still got some sort of chance left in and outta life. 


our life is worth more than what 
you think it's worth. Everybody 
has a positive purpose in life. It 
might take long to find out what 
it is, but it may make you rich 
one day. Once you learn, you live, 
because darkness soon comes to 
light. So what's yo' life worth? 

read the rest of HK's BWO piece on paeg 52