THE BEAT WITHIN ' A WEEI
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nCIIO to all our writers, readers, poets
artists and truth speakers. As the economy
gets worse and the weather gets better.
The Beat is here once again to represent
the voices of the system. This week's
Editor's Note comes from one of our newest
employees. Some of you may know him as
Chris, or as Cree, which is how he signed
his name for the year he was writing Beat
pieces from lockdown in 150. Now he's an
adult - 18 years old, living on his own,
and working in our office typing up units,
writing responses, and helping bring you
this publication each week.
His words here are straight from the
heart. He's not a social worker, a do-gooder,
a lifer full of regrets or a system employee...
he's been where you are, and now he's in a
new place entirely. We had to edit down his
language to make it Beat appropriate, just
like we do with all of you, but we hope that
doesnt soften his message.
Don't Be A Dumb Mutha!
Sitting in a cell for a period of time will let you
realize things and make you look at your life in a
way that you never have before. When you have
your freedom stripped from you, it makes you
think of what you'll do to regain that freedom.
But what most don't do is follow through
with what they say they are going to change in
Then they back talking bout "damn ninja
you shouldVe seen this lick we hit"... For what?
You locked up and you hit that lick for nothing,
Talkin' 'bout y'all got racks waitin' for you on
the outs when you know damn well y'all broke,
I'm sure someone right now is sayin' "That ninja
trippin'. I'm a goon, I got money". Stop Lyin!
That's the problem, everyone wants to have
what the next man doesn't. Greed will get us
locked up or it can even get us killed. When you
get out, follow through with what you say you are
going to do to make positive changes in your life.
It be hella hard but in the long run it's worth it.
Now a good majority of y'all are going to get out
and decide it's easier to go make that fast money.
Good luck with that. Holla at me when you in Rita
or the pen. Because most of you will be 18 soon or
already are and will be facing that adult time.
Go get a job and get back into school.
I know you hear it over and over again. Every
staff be up in there saying the same "shhh."
But I be typing up the pieces for The Beat
now one month, and a writer will write, "I'm
getting out tomorrow and I plan on changing my
life going back to school... " But a month later the
same kid is back writing about how he screwed
up once again.
So what you going to do differently? Because
I'm telling you, that BS don't work.
We in a recession, how you be on the block
hustlin' when ninjas don't got the money to
support your hustle? Go get yourself a job and
enroll in school. It sounds bootsy, but it feels good
when you go cash your paycheck in and know it's
legal money that the police can't take it from you.
Work and school takes up a lot of your time, and
after a while the funk an' all that BS don't even
seem important anymore, Besides you don't even
have the time for the dumb shhh anymore.
Most you probably thinking, "Damn, this
square-ass ninja..." But to be honest, it's a whole
lot less stressful when you ain't fillin' your life up
with that BS. I'm not saying change your whole
being. I haven't changed, ain't none of you can
see me on some funk, but regardless I'm not
concerned with all that. So all I'm saying is at
least try to do something positive with yourself,
at least TRY and see what happens,
You never know until you try... ,
Thank you Chris Tamaru for stepping up
with this piece, and thank you for all you
give The Beat at this time. We appreciate the
love and respect you have for this program
and for yourself.
On another note, today we received a
poem from an old, old friend, whom we first
met in San Francisco's juvenile hall. From
juvenile placement, he became one of our
earliest Beat employees. Lance Bon. Sadly,
Lance is writing us from a correctional
facility in Washington State. Back in the
day. Lance typed, edited and lead Beat
workshops in San Francisco, Santa Cruz,
Alameda and Santa Clara County — that
is until drugs and the lure of the streets
got the best of him. We can only hope this
is his wake up call, given he has a family
that loves him and needs him home doing
well. With that said, here's Lance's first
contribution in years...
The brave hunters of Illusion
Dying at the hands of misconception
Whole-heartedly embracing ignorance
With such conviction and blind fury
That we suffocate the possibility of
Sweetness while it's still sour
We must hate ourselves too much
To smile with kindness
For the sake of purity
We smile at the death
And celebrate greed
Just as a starving fish swims
Anxiously to the delicious worm
On the poachers hook
We are the hunters of illusion
Who bite hard with our blind hunger at
Whatever bait is before our desperate
Hollow souls who appear so solid
Victims of running too much game
The art of fooling the foolish
With our specialized foolishness
Wasting potential worshiping destruction
Too scared to live
Masters of a self-polished shine
Shining,,, laughing,,, killing...
Clinging to instant gratification with big
Grins and lost eyes
So confused with confusion
So alive with partial truth
Laughing at kindness and Gods
Sincere simplicity, smiling with
Hate in our foolish eyes
The hunters of illusion
Ignorance so bright
That our death outshines our life
Gods riding shotgun crying
As we embrace Satan with big
Greedy smiles selling instantly
And perversion to the possibility
Dancing to the forbidden
Rhythms of fears hypnotic obsession
With fake love in our lost eyes
That don't believe in tears
But celebrate judgment
With big smiles... dancing with the death of
Our mothers and the loss of our
With numb hearts and big greedy eyes
Hunters of illusion
Who shine so bright we cannot see
Ourselves through the glare of our Malfunction
In such a hurry to smoke
That lie that we die gasping
For the fresh breath of patience
We scare ourselves in bravery preparing
For a war with no meaning
We live for death, but
Refuse to die for life
Just as long as we look good in the
Shallow eyes of venomous friends while
We do it
So loud and full of fake pride
Busy with paranoid confusion
That we forget to be still, shut our
Arrogant mouths and receive the
With all this in mind, lets get to the topics...
First topic, "Bringing back the dead" - If
you could go back in time, knowing what
you know today, and prevent that one
death from happening (a brother or homie
from violence, or a beloved family member
from old age or illness) would your life be
different? Would you still be here? Why or
why not? Who is this person? What would
you be able to tell this person that you
never told them when they were alive?
What would you want them to tell you that
they never had the chance to say?
Our second topic, "What money can't
fix"- We always read about chasing that
paper, stacking your chips, getting your
"chedda." But are there things that money
cant fix? Like what? Even if you had all the
money you thought you wanted or needed,
would there still be things that aren't
working for you, that some other remedy
is needed to fix? Tell The Beat some of the
things that you believe money cant fix. Are
some of these things part of your life, and
if so, how are you planning to overcome
them and put them behind you?
Third topic, "If you were your parent -
At times, all of us get angry with our
parents. But parenting is a hard job. So
if you were your own parent, what would
you do that's different? How would you be
a different kind of parent? Or, if you think
your parent is doing just the right thing
now, what makes that the right way? As
your own parent, how would you deal with
the person you are today to keep yourself
safe and put you on the right path?
Fourth topic, "Just before I went to
sleep last night, I thought about..."
Ok Beat readers, this issue goes out to
those in recovery and to those taking the
steps in that direction...
THC BCHt Wlthllt, a weekly newsletter of writing and art by incar-
cerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service.
At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor inappropriate sexual
remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enough tension in our com-
muities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat's interest to promote
peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another.
The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants in
our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you read do
not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights are reserved.
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 con-
sequences, and could be used to incriminate you. Try to illuminate your feelings and
viewpoints without running the risk of providing ammunition for those who might
use your words against you.
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 Banerjee.
The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department Beat
Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C, Hillary Shluker, M.C., Lisa
Karczewski, MA. The detention staff are: Carissa Allen, Antoinette Flores, Mr. B.,
Tammie Utter, D. Scott Herrmann, Connie Pyburn, Ph. D. Clinical Director, Ph.D.
Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff:
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Fresno : Mai Der Vang, Rosie Wentz, Liliana Romero, Nigel Medhurst, Ashleigh
Rocker, and Cindy Jenson
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Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week.
Spiritual Advisor: JackJacqua
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dation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation of California, Comp-
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dation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cum-
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Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding Collaborative, the
Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors.
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 or
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:
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A Brutally Honest Appraisal
Family. ...when it really comes down to it are they there
for you through thick and thin? Well I can answer that
for you. It all depends on who you are and where your
parents came from. My mother is a homeless alcoholic
that deserted me when I was six years old and my father
left when he found out my mother was pregnant with
My family is not there for me through the hard
times.... Not even through the easy times. I am sixteen
years old now and I have been raising myself and living on
the streets since I was six. I don't really know my family
and they don't really know me, so if I were to ask them
what they honestly thought about me, it would not be
nice at all.
If I were to ever ask my family about what were my
faults in the past they would not be able to tell you
anything that is true because they were never around
to witness anything bad I've ever done. My whole family
thinks I will end up in prison or even worse, which is
dead somewhere. Through all the lonely years they would
never let me visit them because if I went up to them they
would call the police on me. I don't know why. I do not let
them bring me down.
It's funny how people think your family knows the
real you. My family would love to get asked that question
about me so they can call me bad things and bring me
down. Although I go through hard times with no family to
help me at all I just keep my head up. I may cry every now
and then but I try not to because I know that will not do
anything. As I go through life with no one helping me and
everyone looking down on me, I take it. I take it because
I know they don't know me, the only two people who do
know me are my girlfriend Kaylene and myself. I know I
have strength and determination to go on and prove them
From my life experiences I learned not to judge people
from what I see and learn to judge them when I know
enough about them. I've learned to not take things for
granted, and life is very unfair, All I'm saying is as long as
you know who you are, you can never be destroyed as an
The Way Things Are
I'm sorry mama,
For putting you through all this drama,
I know that you can't seem to depend on anyone or to rely,
Man does it hurt me to see you cry,
Don't you ever forget that I love you,
Because my love for you is oh so true,
Hugging on you from my jail cell,
The life in here is hell,
Wishing to see your Beautiful smile,
Something about it makes me want to go wild,
Don't worry I'm only gone for a little while,
You tried so hard,
I remember you crying when I got my report card,
I wish you could turn back the hands of time,
To where I never even committed this crime,
It feels good busting this rhyme,
I hate being in this empty place,
I need your love,
And from up above,
His smile and Grace,
THE WAY THINGS ARE!
From The Beat: About a year ago The Beat Within visited the
Juvenile Detention Center in Farmington, New Mexico. Farmington
is, correct us if we are wrong, about three hours outside Albuquerque.
Since our visit, we stayed in email contact and continued to share our
topics with schoolteacher Mrs. S-L, and last week we were thrilled to
receive the following pieces from our friends in Farmington. We believe
this is only the first of many more to come...
In trying to teach my kids "The writing process" in order to
pass high school competency tests, I was thankful for "The
Beat Within" topics. These are real topics that my students
can relate to, not just boring test prompt topics. I especially
liked what David had said when he spoke to my class, "you
can freestyle or let your soul bleed."
In educational jargon this would be called "brainstorming"
or "prewriting." Because this is a classroom setting and I am
their English teacher, the only rule was "no innapropriate
I explained to them that when they need to express
themselves in the real world outside of the juvenile detention
center, they can do so without profanity, and more people
will listen to them. My students were OK with this. They let
their souls bleed and talked with their hearts. I am proud of
them and their writing abilities.
- Mrs. S-L
/ feel bad because I allowed Mm to get
alcohol poisoning when he was t Mr tee w
if ears old.
I have always had a negative influence on my life growing
up with my older sister. I always thought the people
we hung out with were al that but they really weren't.
Now that I am older I realized what kind of bad things I
have done, like lead my younger cousin to things I did,
like drugs and alcohol. My younger cousin use to hang
out with me every day he idolized me. He wanted to do
everything I did and hang out with the people I did. I was
a major influence on him.
Now he's a little older he 's making his own decisions
that aren't that smart. He is now drinking an getting high
just about everyday. I feel bad because I allowed him to
get alcohol poisoning when he was thirteen years old.
It makes me realize how I have affected his life. When
he was younger he was a good kid,, he would probably
still be that way if he didn't do the things I did. Now and
then I talk to him and tell him to stay out of trouble but
he doesn't listen to anybody anymore but himself. He 's
no longer a little kid. He knows what he wants now and
that's not going to change. I wish I could have been a
better influence on him, he's now on the road I am.
I don't think bad influences on others are cool because
I realize what kind of influence I was, and what kind of
influences I had. I worry about my cousin sometimes and
hope he never comes where I am at right now. I hope he
sets better examples for his younger friends so they 're
not headed in the wrong direction.
I hope my cousin doesn't keep the bad habits that
he does drinking and smoking. Someday he will. For
right now, I have, because I am trying to start a better life
without all the bad. I probably would not be here if I did
not have bad influences. I hope my cousin will change
and be a good influence on others.
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As I concentrate within myself about my family's worries
regarding me, I imagine many things. I think about all my
strengths. I look back at all my faults. Then the question
hits me. What does my family say about me? Is it good or
I consider my strengths within my thoughts. I realize
that one is my family. They help me understand myself,
understanding I have to implicate them, too. My working
abilities are quite different though. I observe everyone
around me watching how they make a mistake, making
sure I don't do as they have.
Then my faults approach my train of thoughts.
I've been in trouble with authority figures since I was
about seven. Now, I am seventeen, still in trouble, and
incarcerated, taking steps into recovery, realizing, that
I've been punishing my family and friends for years.
Although they've all been hurt by me, they still cling to
Also, the thought comes to mind, again. What does
my family and friends say about me? I know they would
say loving things. Good or bad, it doesn't matter to me.
They've been there for me throughout the roughest
Settling all my regards about myself, I observe the
strengths that I have endured to write this. I do not dwell
on my faults, instead, I learn from them. Then I ease
the thought, what would they say about me? Out of my
mentality, knowing it doesn't matter what they say, I still
care for them as they care for me.
Momma Stay Strong
You haven't always been there for me mom, but mom stay
strong even if I'm not around. I know you get unhappy
when I'm not there, sometimes I wish I could go back in
time and show you that I care.
Mom I hope you know that I care, I didn't say that
before, but know cause im in here. My eyes cry, cause I'm
in a cell mom stay strong I'm gonna get out.
As soon as I get out I'm gonna watch the kids, have
some laughs go to school, and be in business. You've
always told me the good from the bad. Mom I promise I'm
gonna quit all those things in the past.
I promise I'm gonna be there for you even if your gone.
But like I said mom stay stay strong, put them tears away,
I hate to see you cry no more of that mom everything's
gonna be ok.
The Way I Felt On And Off Drugs
Because of the way I felt when I was on drugs I always
wanted to get in trouble with the law. I was put on
probation, kicked out of school, and always in and out
of jail. I was always talking to law enforcement, and was
put in many treatment centers. I was taken away from
my family for two and a half years. The way I was feeling
at the time was lonely, sad, and scared to never see my
I felt stupid not being sober, red eyes, always hungry.
I had a bad attitude towards everybody and worried about
finding eye drops for my eyes to take the redness away.
It also made me look bad in front of everybody, and I had
a bad reputation. I always had to argue with every person
that was around me.
I felt that I would have no life and education. I also
thought I wouldn't be able to accomplish anything in life.
I also said I would never stop doing drugs, drugs were
good for you. Sure enough I snapped . I was in the wrong
about all my actions.
The time came when I finished using drugs, and was
clean and sober. I felt that I didn't have to be so angry
with every one . I didn't have to yell at any one anymore.
I did not have to take everything out on any one, and I
didn't break anything around the house. I did not have to
be so mean with my dirty looks. I also did not have a bad
attitude towards everyone.
I didn't have to worry about getting in trouble, like
being on probation, and having someone to tell me what
to do all the time. I did not have to sit in jail waiting for
court, and go to treatment for drugs . I didn't have to deal
with attorneys, and police.
It was good to be an athlete with a school team for the
junior varsity and varsity volleyball team. I also didn't have
to worry about getting caught by the school coaches, and
security. I did not have to fail a drug test when they asked
for one. It made me feel really good to feel involved with
a school, and getting along with everyone. I had a good
reputation with the law in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
It made my family members and I feel really good
that I had nothing to worry about. Like hiding my drugs
from my family members. I did not have to worry about
getting caught in all kinds of lies, about the drugs on me
or it's way. I felt that I was always worried about getting
caught by my parents breaking out with my old friends
that just wanted to get me in trouble. They were not really
my friends to start out with. They are there to hurt you
instead of helping you out. I also felt that I did not want
to lose my family's trust about doing drugs. Usually when
you are using, and abusing drugs , people think that you
will never stop and you might commit suicide. That's the
way I felt when I stopped doing drugs. I wanted to thank
God for setting me free from drugs.
I grew up poor
Momma always had me watching the door
My only friend was a rock
It was the only thing to which I could talk
I was so alone
Mom loved me but it was never shown
Soon I became like leather
All because we never spent time together
She was always high
And never had the heart to tell me goodbye
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Behind these bars,
Wishing to look up at the stars,
I feel like nobody can hear my cry,
I can't even depend on anyone or on who to rely,
But deep down your crying in the night,
I hope to see the light,
Hope to see my knight,
Man don't you wish you could fly,
But all you can do is cry,
I need your love and from up above,
Man forget this jail style,
I need your support,
But instead my PO got my report,
I miss my brother and my mother,
Being in here is just like oh brother!!
I Wanna Do For You
I write letters to you just to make you smile,
I wish to see you, but don't know how,
Life is crazy, but we can change,
I'll change my life just to be with you,
might sound crazy, but I have feelings too,
I gotta list of what I wanna do for you,
I wanna hold you in my arms just to show you I care,
I'll make a fire if you tell me you're cold,
I'll sleep next to you, if you said you couldn't sleep,
I wanna make you happy, don't wanna see you cry,
don't matter how far you are, I'll walk for miles,
I'll rub your tummy if you tell me it aches,
I'll carry you if you can't walk, I'll give you a hot bath to make
I'll be honest to you, wouldn't tell you a lie,
I'll take and have responsibilities if you was by my side,
we haven't seen each other , but one day we will,
I ain't the type of guy that would make you beg or cry,
If you wish to be with me, all you have to do is close your eyes,
and the reason why, I wrote you this poem trying to make sense,
is because you said "you'll give us a chance",
The Value of one life
Are some peoples life's worth more or less than other
people's lives? I think that everyone's life is equally
important. From the homeless lady or man to the richest
woman or man. Also, I believe that every person of every
race is equally worth the same.
Is my life worth more than anyone else's? To me
my life is important. But I believe that everyone's life
is equally important. We are all human and we all have
reason to live.
The statistics are important in the research poses.
From 2006 (132 people) to 2007 (162 People) the number
of murders in New Mexico increased by 30 people. Why
do you think one murder leads to so much community
anger, wile so many others produce nothing more than
a number to a list in the end of the year statistics in a
newspaper or TV news report? I can't believe how the
value of another human's life is so little now a day.
I lost a homie to murder. I was locked up when he
died. He was only 15 when he died. His name was Desman
Hancock. So what do you think the value of one life is?
All are valuable. RIP Desman Hancock!
I've been a bad influence to my sister and my new friends.
Reason why because I grew up with a lot of drinking and
bud smoking until I got little older, as I got older things got
worst. From buying beer to stealing it, coming home with
an un open 750 ml Bacardi superior giving my sister some
while she was working. Thought I was cool because everyone
I knew, knew that I stole fifths left and right to get the party
started. Got involved into a gang and people I hung out with
were like me, they didn't care what they done or what would
happen to them. I had money, selling drugs, getting girls.
Every youngster I knew were becoming like me it was cool at
first, getting into fights. Taught the youngster's to be strong
and let no one bring you down or disrespect your living
I remember I was a good kid getting good grades even I
was living with a lot of drinking and weed. Than I got to sixth
grade, drugs and alcohol was all around at home and school
so I tried it and I liked both the substance. After that I did it
everyday, spending most of my money. After spending a lot of
my money on it I finally saved couple more bucks and bought
a oz of weed and started slanging. As I was making money I
also was meeting a lot of people. As I was involved into the
gang I was wearing the same color, doing a lot more criminal
acts being more a menace to the community, ended up in jail
on probation but it still won't change for me. I just wanted
the fame listing to rap soaking their words up like a sponge.
When my friends, cousins and I were kicking back 20th
street on Lee Ave and Cliffside we were smoking a joint, with
a fifth in my pocket. Saw a group of kids walking towards us
so I said to the bros, see what is up with this punks, as I went
to them I said "what it do fool where you from" they said they
barley moved in so. I thought if they on our turf mine as well
be their bros so I pulled out the fifth and said take a slam,
they did. I rolled another joint and passed it to the right. We
got blazed and buzz and we got all of them down with the
I've been doing this for a long time now and I did it for
so long that all the things I did. I finally got caught and the
consequences, was jail time and probation my friends ended
up the same right here in J-2 with me. My family was mad at
me for what I've done and how much pain I put them through.
All the work I made them do to put me in treatment and
getting me out of jail, going to my court dates, taking me to
counseling but those were my consequences I have to live
What I've Wanted To Do
Hello, my name is Benjamin Y., and what I've wanted to
do is keep myself in school and finish my high school
then get my GED from Kirtland high school. I want to
graduate from KCHS because most of my family members
went to school there until they graduate so I just want to
get my GED there. Then after getting my GED I want to
go on to college find a good job where I could support my
The good job I want to do after getting my GED is
somewhere where they can pay more so I could buy the
stuff I want and pay for my college myself. I want to work
for an electric company because my uncle I live with has
been working for an electric company for a long time
an he has told me that its good to work where he works
because he also told me that they pay good money there
so I just been thinking I want to make good money like
I also want to prove other people wrong. That I can
stay in school and stay until I get to college and find a
really good job like my uncle to support my family and
pay for my college.
wfMiMimnr/y, //# #/////
My Life Story
Yeah, my speech may not go with The Beat,
I just wanna give you all a sneak peek,
my life story, my life of majority, I hope you all understand,
but I faced it,
I took time to place it, what can I do, my rap ain't making
my poetry ain't making the life of my dreams,
say, what you do if you didn't have a chance to choose?
To be free, or to be whatever you wanted to be,
I ought to say, it's been hard on me dealing with so much
so much thinking of death, I'm an innocent man, I've
served my time,
but my whole commitment I was dying inside,
nobody gave me a sign, my homeboy's never dropped off
a nickel or dime,
I never had the chance to see my grandpa when he died,
my parole officer never gave me the chance to say good-
I felt stupid, my tears are now full of regret, and now my
grandpa under dirt
without my last seen, now my cousin gone, we never got
I wished we did, but time goes on, clock never stops,
our hearts keep on beating until our body drops,
I'm telling you life is a waste when putting yourself in a
think about it, you don't have to listen to my advice,
but at least think twice before taking yours or someone
or committing crimes, 'cause all you going to face is just
you see I never thought whether my life was in danger,
I was a stranger, growing up in facilities,
knowing I'll be facing my own realities,
I never thought I'd change, I always thought life was going
to be the same,
being in gangs, hurting the people I thought was my
disrespecting the person that invented me,
I didn't care whether people looked at me,
as a teenager I was a joke, don't think of me as a punk,
'cause once you grow out of that mentality,
you'll understand more of your actual life, respect me or
all I'm trying to say is that one life is all we got,
be something, make your dreams come true,
think in your minds of what you wanna do,
'cause my life was the wrong path to follow,
but I've prayed to have better days every tomorrow,
I've always wondered who would save me,
besides the evil spirit that raised me,
thinking so much in my mind, always stopping, wanting
I wish I could, but I've already wasted precious time,
to the people that read or hear this, I wish you better
better lives, and clear minds.
Well, I hope you all really believe this is the truth, s
o please don't ever put yourself in my position,
'cause a harsh life and time is all you ever gone go
but just keep in mind that you don't have to follow my advice,
but hopefully you all understand
that I want everybody to make it through life,
/ Know now that I could make mu
parents even more proud of me if
I st a if out of a place like this. I de-
cided one waif to conquer a goal in
life is to stride for it,
What I've Always Wanted To Do Is...
When I look back into my earlier days as a child; before I
was in trouble with the law, probation offices, and school.
I remember how proud I used to make my mother and
father. I remember when I first learned how to walk; ride a
bike, tie my shoes, wrestle, play basketball, and the first
day of preschool. I remember when I used to be mom and
pops little boy. I also remember when my life changed
faster then I could grab a hold of it. All I ever wanted to do
was make my mother proud and happy to be my mother.
My name is Robert Jr, a sixteen year-old felon in
custody in a Juvenile Jail. I have always wanted to be my
parent's trophy. I have been, but that quickly changed.
I was put on probation at the age of thirteen-years old.
Before, I was very athletic, into school and wasn't involved
in gangs or drugs. I was a somebody back then, but now
it seems like every day is a challenge and everyday it gets
harder. I felt like I was a disappointment to my mother.
A disgrace to my father. It made my stomach turn and
ache to watch the tears I put in my mothers eyes. I lost
some pride and dignity as I was locked up; I even lost
the most important thing in my life, my girlfriend. I know
this time being locked down will help me think about my
mistakes and the future of my life. I don't want to live like
this forever. My mother and father are probably not very
proud of me as they used to be when I was a champion
with sports. All I ever wanted to do was make my parents
laugh and smile, but I just ended up making them cry and
Sometimes, when I sit in my room at night, when we
are locked down I think. It's the best time to think in the
day, just as it's the loneliest time in the night. I would
crack jokes during visitation just to see my mom smile, I
would do this just to make them think I was doing alright
and was okay, but deep down inside my heart aches and
longs for her love and it craves freedom.
My mother and father are most likely glad to be my
parents. Everything I have done wrong in life has been
pretty messed up; every time I got bad grades, got into
fights, getting suspended from school and getting high
and drunk, I felt disappointment and trouble knocking
on my back door. I always thought that I was a failure
because of the mistakes I have made in my life, now I
know when you make mistakes don't beat yourself up
because you can be forgiven.
I know that my mom and father will always love me,
no matter how bad I have messed up. I know now that I
could make my parents even more proud of me if I stay
out of a place like this. I decided one way to conquer a
goal in life is to stride for it. One thing I've always wanted
to do is make my parents proud. I know my moms and
pops are proud of me for finally realizing this before it
was too late. That is all I ever wanted to do, was to be
happy and a somebody my parents could call their own.
wifj£iffiEr//ifj- ft/ * #///
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
Thoughts In A Cell
Once again, what's crackin' to all the homeboys? Shhh,
last night in particular, I was thinking of what I would say
to the judge. I have court on March 6, and that's when
they will determine if I could get charged as an adult. So I
was thinking of what to say to persuade him to charge me
as a juvenile. It's hard to come up with the right words to
say, so this is what I would feel.
Since I'm a SR (security risk) I can't wait in the court
waiting room with my parents. Also, I have no parents
to come because they're in a different state. So I have to
face the judge on my lonesome. There are some ways to
explain how I feel - I feel fear, lonely, tired and I await the
words that are about to come out.
Life is hard at the moment and I have to await the
judge's verdict. What will the judge say to me? What will
happen? Also when I tell my roommate what I'm going to
say to the judge, I choke. I lose my words. I have nothing
to say. My throat dries up and I start over, so many words
to say, so many scenarios.
Tell me what do I say to the judge. I think of so much
shhh in my cell and I know once I step foot in that court
waiting room it will come out smoothly. So stay up to
everyone that is fighting their case. Be coo' homeboys.
-Chango, Santa Clara
From The Beat: You're in a Catch-22 situation, Chango. The more you
think about all you can say to the judge to convince him that you are
not an adult and should not be treated like one, the more mature you
sound! We have complete faith in you and your abilities to step up to
the plate and speak the truth. That is what you need to tell the judge
— that while you're growing up and seeing the world in a different way
now that was not the case when you committed this crime. That you
were a child then, but one who sees the light of adulthood looming
ahead. Even if your voice dries up, even if you choke up, be yourself
and speak what you know to be true. We are praying the judge does
the right thing.
Hatred, Pain, Segregation, Tyranny and Blood
Persistence, Pursuance, Happiness, Confidence and
The African-American has remade his past
The simplicity of clarity is here at last
As they say, slow and steady wins the race
And our beloved Barack Obama did it at his own pace
Change is here and no one should fear
We've discovered that chance can be exchanged for
We've discovered that any race, age or possibly gender
can truly become president if they try
As a result there is no longer a need for tears, sobs or
Our savior of this country is amongst us
Barack Obama is the man to trust
Opportunities will present themselves, jobs will open up
Our citizens will stand tall and shout "WE'VE HAD
It's about time for change!
All thanks to this man, the fruits of life are within range
He has made all this possible for us to believe
It is time for us youngsters to achieve
In the end Barack spoke words for a powerful story
So in his majestic eyes you will see the glory
-Chango, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We worry about putting so much hope in one man's lap,
but we also love the fact that he has given hope to so many who found
no reason to be hopeful 'til now. As you certainly know, the changes
that his election bring are not for him alone to accomplish. It's time for
each one of us to step up, to do our part, to make this a better place for
everyone. We expect you to be a leader in that regard!
What's up with The Beat? This is C-Rider, White Ninja.
Education as we all know is boring, but everyone needs
an education. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time,
you will not succeed without an education.
If you want to get a good job you have to take your
education one step further and go to college. If you want
to be a doctor, biologist, or even a dentist, you have to go
to college. College will make your dreams come true. And
even if you're locked up you can still start the process of
getting to college. When you're locked down, don't waste
your time. Learn from your mistakes and handle your
-White Ninja, San Francisco
From The Beat: We don't think you really mean that education is boring,
but that school is boring! Actually, every new experience teaches us
something, and that's far from boring. It's too bad, though, that so many
young people find school a bore so they drop out before they realize
how important getting that education is. We always tell young people
to finish school, and then to travel to other countries to learn about the
rest of the world and how they look at things. Education is something
that goes on until we draw our last breath. What do you want to study
ion gotta take the good with
the had. Take it in stride.
I Want To Make My Son Proud
The only thing I live for is to make my son proud. My
heart goes out to all the young homies running wild. I
said a prayer for the mom's that done lost their children.
The 12 year old that wants to forget God. Slow her down.
Her life in shambles help her to turn it around.
Please reach out and help her. God before she drowns.
I know that feeling when it feels like no one cares, when
you're going through your problems, it seems like no
ones there. I started to question myself to see if God
Sometimes I cut off the light in the room and start
to wonder if he brought me this far to drop me off here?
I know it seems sometimes like life ain't fair. They say
the only thing you can count on in this world is prayer. I
pray so much, I thought God couldn't hear because I've
been through so much bull these last few years. It's hard
to find mothers that are sincere. The street make sit so
hard for you to think clear. I'd give up all this stuff to have
my brother here. I got a call from my homegirl. Her mama
died. Somebody home invaded and took her mama's life.
I just help the phone and listened to her cry. She kept
repeating herself. All she could ask was why? I can only
imagine what she is going through on the inside, because
when my brother went to prison, half of me died. Ain't
nothing more precious then the world. My homie didn't
You gotta take the good with the bad. Take it in stride.
The right amount of pressure can make someone commit
Imagine pressure on a mother who can't provide.
When everything is going wrong, it's hard to do right and
if you are going through it right now all I want to say is
someone loves you and try to do it right.
From The Beat: Life is hard for everyone but we must believe it will
lighten and the meaning will become apparent. It is nice that you think
about others and you help others out even when you are having a hard
time too. Make your son proud and be there for him and with him.
That's all children want; to be with their mother.
WM/Mmsmwfff • ft/ * #///
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
As another day passes, another one's wasted
I gotta sit behind bars while all my patnas make it
Only have so much power and it's draining all my energy
Days are getting longer and it's harder for me to believe
Thinking of the time I lost, all the money gone
And all I can do is sit & write new songs
Think bout the future and what I'm gonna do
Gotta figure out if the game is true
But then again it's called the game so has it been playing me
Because to me it feels like it's manipulated my mentality
Because every time I end up in the same place
A new case with new charges to face
And don't get me wrong, the money is beautiful
But is it worth the jail & all the ridicule?
If I remember right it felt good to be proud
And before I got in the game that's what it once was
But now I must make a decision that's best for my heart
Between the game and my family I'm being torn apart
One's the future, one's the past
I can't decide life's too fast
People say I'm crazy that I should choose my family
But see my decision doesn't come that easily
Families aren't perfect neither is the game
But the pain & power it's all the same
I can choose love if I choose my family
But then I choose abuse for that's what happens to me
And I can choose the game, break off all my ties
But then who will hold me when a thug has to cry
All I know is I don't like the sound of penitentiaries
So I must change in order to go to a University
Dreams aren't just thoughts and aren't as hard as they seem
To not only follow but to complete your dreams
From The Beat: We hope that as you have some space and time that you
might find some other options, in addition to this one choice- family
or the game. We hope you may be able to get help in getting some
boundaries put in place in your family, and set your own boundaries in
"the game." It's so important to realize and remember you'd rather go
to a University than a penitentiary.
A young boy born
Added to the family portrait,
Mom and dad planned it
'Cause they knew they could afford it,
Raised with lots of love
And plenty of food to eat
A great education
And taught to stay on his feet
Greeted people with smiles
Yes sirs and no ma'ams,
A promised bright future
To a great young man
College was the plan
Even to be a star
That was until
He took a ride in a car
The location unknown
The car unowned
But that he didn't know
Until the cops shown up
Now he sits while prisoners take advantage
Took protection from a click
Then his whole life vanished
-Kraz-e, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is a powerful autobiographical poem. We'd love to
read more poems of how you got to this point and what your plans are
Bringing Back The Bead
If I could go back in time, I would wanna go back and see
my two grandpas and my loving grandma. I would wanna
see my two grandpas because I have never seen them
before, and if I did see them, I probably would be a better
person because they would teach me right from wrong. If
I would be able to see and lived with my grandpa, I would
probably do good and be a good person.
When I was growing up, my parents were never
there for me, so I would be happy if I could have had my
grandpas to be there for me because only a man can teach
a man. When I think about it, since my dad was never
there for me and never supported me, I would have liked
my grandpas too.
I would also want to bring my loving grandma back
because she was always there for me when my parents
weren't. She helped me and supported me through thick
and thin. She was always there for me. I know it was hard
for her to teach me how to be a man, but she did it, and
for that I love her. (RIP Yun Chinn. I love you with all my
My grandma passed about two years ago from cancer
and heart problems. She passed in my house, when me
and her was talking. She just fell down and I caught her in
my arms, so she died in my arms. I had only one chance
to tell her something, and those last three words were, "I
Well, that's all I have for you today, The Beat. Until next
time. One last thing, "Rest In Peace to my loving grandma
Yun Chinn and my two grandpas that I've never seen or
met; I love you guys from the bottom of my heart."
-Young Chop, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We feel the love in every word of this piece, and we
know your grandmother loved you beyond words. We're sorry that you
had to grow up without a man to guide you, but now you must be the
man in your own life guiding yourself. By now, you know very well
what is right and what is not, and you also know where the wrong path
can lead. So make your grandma proud, as well as the two grandpas you
never knew. It's in your hands now.
Money ain't nothing what people think about
Ninjas getting locked up or getting took out
Ninjas get locked up or killed over money
Ninjas go'n away real fast it ain't funny
If you get right, then it's all good
Get it legit and not in the hood
Stay alive ya'll and don't act funny
And remember it ain't worth gett'n killed
or locked up over money!
-Lil Rolo, Alameda
From the Beat: Well said. How do you plan to make money upon your
release? While things don't always go according to plan, it helps to open
doors to have ideas you can follow through on.
Money doesn't really fix nothing but a bill. It won't make
you happy, it won't keep you company, it won't make a
conversation with you, it won't feed you, it won't quench
It's just paper and when you're a minor it can't even
get you out of jail. It makes you greedy and it barely helps
the needy. Money barely helps.
The Beat Within: We like the sense of humor you use when you write
about this, contrasted with the seriousness of what you're saying. We
do need money to survive, but we can't forget that other things are
important too — we need both, and it's a challenge to hit this balance
in our lives.
wifj£iffiEr//ifj- ft/ * #///
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
Think Twice About Hurt
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about my
family, but it wasn't just the everyday thoughts. I really
got into it, like looking at how much hurt that I brought
to my family. I could say I'm a better man for the fact that
I don't want to repeat the same acts that got me put into
this shhh hole again.
I'm ready to step up to the plate and be a success to
better myself. Also to show my mother and family that I
could do what a lot said I couldn't.
Man I just try to look at people and see how their
issues are worse than mine. I take it as a wake up call;
I wouldn't want to be in their position. Well I could be a
man and be a different person or be a boy and continue
the route I'm on. "Nope" I'm not the one
I'm a believer, leader, plus an achiever so I got to
make my family proud to see that I'm going to change
my ways for the best. I also want to thank my wife Elissa
AKA Precious and my lovable family for being by my
side through my hardest days. I love them to the fullest.
No one will get in the way of my family, my wife or my
freedom, so I'm going forward. No more looking back on
Well, I'm going to cut this at this point, but next week
I'm going to have a piece of the month, ha ha. You know
how that one an only Peanutt does. But to all stay, focused
and have a positive head on your shoulders. Don't let
nobody get in your way. Go about your business and stay
on your toes. Well to all, stay up and love you Precious
-Peanutt, Santa Clara
From The Beat: You are, indeed, the one and only Peanutt! It takes some
courage to examine yourself as closely as you have, and to acknowledge
the pain you have caused those you love the most. (At the same time,
we hope you also acknowledge the joy and happiness you have also
brought to them.) You're looking at your life as an adult, and that will
let your own mind and heart tell you what is right and what is wrong,
and to act accordingly. We hope you share this with your family because
we know they will be very proud of you, as are we!
My Cousin Was My Role Model
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about a
lot of things that had my heart crying out. The first thing
that came to my mind was my cousin.
When I was little he took care of me when my dad
and grandmother weren't around. He was there day and
night. His love was more than a big brother or parent. It
was beyond all of that. He taught me how to read, play
the Sony Play Station, to do everything I know how to
do today. He was my role model, not Kobe Bryant and
Michael Jordan. My cousin was much more than them. To
me he was untouchable.
Then I didn't see him for a couple of years. My dad
told me he was in jail, but I never really knew what jail
was and meant. So I didn't know how to cope with it and
I started acting out.
After two years passed he came back and everybody
saw the change in me. But later he went back in for his
second strike, and I could barely maintain a 2.0 GPA. He
often called to check up on me and I cried every time I
heard his voice.
Years later he went back in for his third strike and
it changed my life-- he was in for murder. To this day I
cry and he either is going to get life or the death penalty.
That's why I'm in the hall now and I wrote a song just for
him it's called "Man I Miss You.
From The Beat: Thank you for sharing this piece about your cousin. We
are so sorry to hear that he is locked up, and that his being in jail has
brought you so much pain. But that doesn't take away from the fact
that he was there for you throughout your childhood.
Bringing Back The Dead
If I could bring someone back from the dead, it would be
my mother. I wonder where I would be or what I would be
doing if my mom were still alive. I don't think I would be
sitting in this purple and khaki. She died when I was only
Sometimes I feel incomplete, and maybe her love is
what I'm missing. I can't really say I miss her, because I
don't remember her, but I don't know... I feel incomplete
without my mother.
From what people used to tell me, she was so
beautiful-- thick, small waist, bright smile, and she was a
hustler (just like me). My family says I look and act just
like she did. In all the pictures I see of her, she looks so
happy. I think we would be the best of friends.
-Angel, San Francisco
From The Beat: How did your mom die? If you are a hustler just like her,
then maybe it's time to think of doing something else, because it's pretty
obvious your hustle isn't working for you! What do you think your mom
would tell you that would keep you out of places like this? If she were
here now, what do you think she'd be saying to you? Do you think you'd
listen to her?
A Solid Broken Heart
I have two dead brothers lost in street violence. I mean
I would want them to come back but I feel as though they
are in a better place.
My mom isn't dead in the flesh but her heart died a
long time ago. If I could have prevented this I would have
and the killings would not have affected me the way that
it did. Being caught up because of the pain in my heart
that I couldn't explain which made the streets more of an
influence on me. The money that was in it! I was poor; I
didn't have shhh.
What else could I do is what I used to think before I
learned the hard way. My mom is so far from being in my
life if I could hear her tell me that she loves me and mean
it with life in her words all my pain would vanish. But
since she has no life I can't and the reason why I know I
will still make it is because I love her. She has never been
a good mom, but she is still my mother.
-Tae Dump. Alameda
From the Beat: We are sorry for your losses, it sounds painfully
challenging to go through while you're young. Your ability to love is
intact however, and that is a great thing which will make your life much
better. What life do you want to build for yourself?
Money could never change life. Money could maybe help
some situation that happens in life but it really can't do
much. There's a lot of people in this world that depend on
money to be happy and to live life.
If money is really powerful as everybody makes it
seem like why can't money buy our way out of jail? Then
why can't money buy our loved one's life back that aint
here with us anymore? If money could do anything and
everything then maybe it would mean more then what it
If money could change the past then I'll get all the
money in the world to change it. Money can't change
anything but make me feel like I'm wasting my time.
Times been hard and it's going to get real harder and
money can't change that.
From The Beat: The things that money can do are limited, that's for sure.
We do need money to survive in our present culture, however it can't
like you say get you out of jail, or bring back loved ones we've lost.
It's hard to balance our financial needs with our other needs as human
beings, so hard that many people forget about balance and focus only
WM/Mmsmwfff • ft/ * #///
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
Brinyiny My Bead Gs And Son Back
If I could bring anybody back, it would be my son and my
little bro, lil' cousin, and my goon -ass ninja, Duck. They
was the only people in this world that even understood
what happen to me growing up.
People did some messed up shhh to me, and if my
cous' and bro' was alive, it never would have happened.
When Duck was alive, we did some goon-ass shhh
together. We used to beat the block in the '08 vet on 18"
chrome rims, twistin' up a Sweet.
If they was one thing I could tell my bro', cous', and
goon-ass ninja is, they was my best friends and ride or die
for life. But, as for my son, I would tell him I love him and
he my heart and soul for life.
From The Beat: If you could bring back all these people, what do you
think they would want to tell you? If part of their message was, "Stop
what you're doing that threatens your freedom and your life," would
you be able to hear them? Have you changed anything about how you
live life because of them?
The respect for diversity is increasing rapidly,
Recently various backgrounds have joined forces
Although we have diverged in the right direction,
Walking the streets of Southeast still requires
Diversity is the understanding of others
Regardless of race, creed, gender, sexuality, religion or color.
Diversity needs to be taught at home and enforced in our
So the next generation won't develop into fools.
The past needs to be taught with accuracy and grace,
So the heroes and victims of the past can claim their place.
A place in our hearts from the present to the future,
Elimination of hate needs to be humanity's tutor.
Future generations must claim love now,
Love for the differences of humans and respect for Mother
Earth will conquer the negative somehow.
-Saetern, Santa Clara
From The Beat: You've hit another one out of the park, Saetern! We
love how inclusive your definition of diversity is, and we agree that it
is a quality that must be taught. We know that prejudice and hate are
routinely taught, from generation to generation, so it's time to start
teaching the qualities of love and tolerance so we can start loving
ourselves and, by doing so, we can see our common humanity and love
Bringing Back The Bead
If I could bring back a homie, it would be my cousin
Tavarus. He was shot and killed two years ago. I believe
my life would be different because I would have never
thought of committing the crime I did to be in here. I
would have never thought of doing the crime in the first
I would tell him that I loved him because I didn't get
the chance to before he died. I would want him to tell me
that the life that I'm going in now is not the best lifestyle
and that I could have a very better life.
-Twaney Mac, Fresno
From The Beat: We believe he knew you loved him, even if you never
told him those words. We also believe that he is still talking to you, and
it's your responsibility to listen to what he's trying to tell you. If he were
here telling you to change your life so that you don't have to come to
places like this, or risk paying the price that he paid, would you be able
to hear him? Would you be able to do what he asked? You can still make
him proud of you, but it's in your hands.
Put an end to Violence
People around the world are using violence against one another.
Violence is happening over money, food, land, oil, gangs, and
drugs. People say violence is human nature, some say not; I say
violence needs to end.
Violence is a big part of African American communities.
People are getting shot, stabbed, robbed, raped; fights,
alcoholism, and drug abuse.
America has caused so much violence in Iraq. Bush said
America was going over to Iraq to get Osama Bin Laden. That was
part of it; the other part of it was going over to get that oil that's
over there and not caring about those innocent bystanders that
are in the streets getting shot at by American soldiers.
Some people may not realize what this country has done to
another, and that was bring so much violence into another part
of the world.
I'm going to talk about the government for a minute. The
government is slowly dismantling the constitution; it may not
seem like it, but it's happening. They say the FBI doesn't need
evidence to get a search warrant on a person, all they have to do
is go to the courts, have a judge sign it, and it's valid to search
that person or that person's place of residency; that's violating
our Civil Rights. I think the government knew about everything
before it happened; that means I think they knew about the Twin
Towers and Katrina.
Now back to violence. I'm not saying don't use violence
peacefully; make it peaceful violence. Speak with your mouth
instead of your fist and weapons. Fine, express how you feel,
but with words that are the most powerful violence there is. And
when I mean peaceful words, it doesn't have to be bad language.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke with very powerful words,
and now we are sitting, eating, and drinking from the same
water fountains, sitting at the same tables, and eating at the
same restaurants and hanging around whites, blacks, Asians,
Mexicans, Indian, and all types of people because of nonviolence,
and we need to continue that act.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, on January 20, 2009
that dream came true. We now have to change as African American
people. We have to stop giving ourselves a bad reputation, not
just African Americans, but all people of all races. We now have
an African American president in the White House; I know things
are going to change big.
This world wasn't made for people to kill, rape, steal, and rob
from one another. This world has turned into something. It's not
violence. The government has turned America into something;
it's not the police who are shooting people for no reason, beating
people for no reason. The violence has to stop, and it has to
stop now. If violence continues in the world, nothing good will
happen. We need to end it now.
I think Barack Obama is going to have a good impact on
America; hopefully we can go over to Iraq and apologize for what
we have done.
Hopefully we can move forward with things, and make
a dream that all violence will end and not worry about people
committing crimes. That change has to come and I believe it
From The Beat: A lot of people share your anger over the violence that
is becoming more and more apparent within our country. Are there
things you think you can do to help end violence on a small scale in
your community? Is there a friend or relative you think you can talk out
of using violence just one time? Every little bit helps, and spreading
wisdom like your can be contagious. Once it starts, it ripples out to
more and more people. Start the ripple!
A message I was given a long time ago is: let go and let God.
What this means to me is if you're stuck in a situation, call on
God's name at any time, you feel me? Don't just pray to God
when you get locked up.
I'm not sayin change the way you livin' and be holy — get
it how you live — but look to the higher power for guidance.
Try making better decisions in ya life. I'm not doing the best in
the world, but I'm gonna try to make a difference. Peace out. Be
leaders. Make a difference.
-Young B. Speedy, Fresno
From The Beat: How has praying helped you? And if you believe in that
higher power, why are you not changing the way you live, or advising
others to do that? It seems like that's exactly what's called for. If god
were praying to you, do you think you could hear his prayer? How
would you answer it?
// ' ////// ' // ' ///
fixing family Pnbltms Without Money My Mind Set
What money can't fix is issues, such as family issues
and issues within yourself. Family issues can only be
fixed within the family. Issues within yourself can only
be fixed by you.
My family issues will either be fixed by me and my
family, or by therapy, but whatever it is, I'm sure it will
work. I love my family a lot, and would do whatever it
takes to keep us all close together, forever. For example,
it's hard for my mom to realize that I'm growing up, so
she still tries to be strict about little things. But we're
starting to meet halfway on things, and she's trying to
start understanding me more.
From The Beat: It's good to read that you're willing to go halfway to
mend the problems you've had with your mom. As you get older, you'll
realize that she's been where you are, and therefore worries more about
you than you think she should. But a willingness to respect each other,
to listen and to compromise, is a prescription for success and good
Gone But Never Forgotten
If I could go back and stop death from happening, I would
stop my uncle Pete from dying because my life would be
so much different. I know for a fact I wouldn't be here
because he was my best uncle. He always wanted to take
me and my dad everywhere - museum, movies, Monterey
Bay, and fishing.
If he was still alive, I would be a new person, none
of this 666 or gang-banging. He was a good example,
always showed us love, and that's what everyone needs. If
everyone had love, this world wouldn't be violent because
love beats hatred. I just ask God why did he take our loved
ones away. I even made a rap a while ago:
(Chorus: No more hurting, no more pain, please
heavenly father, please stop the rain. Why must my family
have to suffer? Why must our loved ones have to die?
Please heavenly father, please stop da rain"), and so on.
The rain is tears. I would've brought it today, just ain't
psychic, didn't know this topic.
I never told him that I loved him, but I just wish I
could have told him when he was alive. I just gotta get
out fast, one way or another (have faith) before any other
of my loved ones pass. I gotta have the last time I can be
with them you know.
-Moe Joe, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We're sure your uncle knew how much you loved him,
even if you never got to tell him. If he is looking down on you right
now, it's not too late to make him proud of you. Do what you know is
the right thing, and you will make yourself proud too.
Money is the Motive
What's up Beat? People say money talks and it does. It
can fix some problems and even buy you things. It can
be used for good and bad. Me personally use it for both.
Money ain't shhh though.
It can't buy you respect or give you that pleasure of
life that you really look for. It can't buy you happiness
or love. Things like hope and faith are priceless to what
money can buy.
Sentenced time you can't pay out and that's a struggle
by its own, but nevertheless, money makes the world go
The Beat Within: Your title makes us think about how one guy said
that if he had money he wouldn't be locked up — so it does help for sure
getting what you need. We think, like you say, things like hope and
faith and happiness and love are priceless — and, that being said — we
wonder if it is true that "money makes he world go round."
Wow, man! Today the Beat came and asked us to write about
a bunch of topics, but at the very end there was one that stuck
out what keeps you up at night thinking or what is always on
Let's see I think about a lot of things, but one thing that's
always on my mind is family, and how I've always somehow
seemed to mess up. It seems like no matter what I do I can never
please my family! A lot of times they tell me I'm worthless, I'm
going to amount to nothing, I'm never going to be able to be apart
of a functioning society, that's just some of it! It puts me in a
position to where I get that in my mind set, to where it always
seems like I have to defend myself, or be something I'm not, just
so I'm not judge or degraded by my own blood.
Well there is a bright side to all this negativity. I can use it
to my advantage, and prove them wrong and actually accomplish
something in my life. I will always love my family, I will always
be there if they need me, but I realize that no matter what that
when they look at me, they will always see me as that druggie,
runaway, or however they see me.
I just hope that someday they will see me differently and
accept me for who I am. Instead of always looking down on me
and respect the fact that I'm not going to be that perfect Lil Girl
that they want me to be, that no one's perfect, and everyone's
different! Well I'm going to sign out on that note! PEACE!
-Lil' Skittles, Solano
From The Beat: We think sometimes families don't know what to do
when they are really worried and out of control of their teenagers and
they tell them what they are most afraid of, not what is true. We think
your family is afraid that you won't be able to become who you might
if you do drugs, they're afraid you won't be able to engage effectively
with society.. .It will take time to rebuild their trust, and your own faith
in yourself. You are right, no one's perfect — for sure, and we have to
find our own way.
Messed Up Day
28th was an messed up day and some messed up shhh
happened. I was supposed to get out right when I went to court.
Judge was about to release me then my mom and dad told the
judge that they didn't want me to come home and they think I'm
going to sell drugs and rob people still.
So they detained me and now I got to go to a group home
for six months and I already have been here a damn year and my
mom came and visited me telling me some stuff and some shhh
I didn't want to hear and what really ticked me off she was lying
and put on my sister talking about may she die in surgery so she
can make me think that she telling the truth. That was some
messed up shhh.
-Didn't Want to Hear It, Alameda
From the Beat: That does sound like a really bad day, especially if you
had no idea your folks were thinking that. It can be very challenging to
re-gain people's trust in you. It will take time to earn it back, and they
sound like they're afraid to trust you. We hope you find something of
value in your time in the group home — for yourself, and that eventually
your family can heal.
If You Were Your Parent
Wha's up Beat? Well first and foremost I want to give love
and respect to the homeboys out there. This the homeboy
G coming at you from the max-unit.
Well, today I'ma be writing about if I was my own parent
what I would do different. I would do nothing different
from what my parents did. They raised me right, I just did
wrong. What makes how my mom raised me right is she
cared for me and showed me love. She showed me right
from wrong, I was just stubborn and never listened.
Right now if I had a son in my situation, I would tell
him to stay strong and never give up, that even though
you're facing a lot of time, you can make something good
of your situation.
-Baby G, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We think the advice you'd give your son is right on, and
we hope you are talcing strength from it. Why do you think you did you
not listen to your mom? If your own son wouldn't listen to you, even
when you were telling him things that could help him or keep him out
of danger, how would you handle it?
// ' ////// ' // ' ///
I'd Talk lo My Kids
If I was my parent, I would be more trustworthy and
lenient. I would sit down and talk to my kids. I wouldn't
yell at them. I would sit down and listen to everything they
say, and make sure I was as understanding as possible.
I would stay close to my kids, as if we were best friends
and able to talk about anything. But I would still be a
parent, as well.
From The Beat: We're curious, did you adopt these excellent parenting
skills by imitating what your parents have done with you, or by
deciding to do things very differently from your parents' behavior? In
other words, we'd be interested in reading how these principles have
been used (or not) in your young lif
Money Can't Fix It All
What up witt The Beat? This ya boy, BR. I want to discuss
the things that money can't fix, 'cause a lot of us think
that money could fix love, hate, life, death, maybe rules,
how you feel about others, like love and hate, personal
problems and a whole lot of more stuff. But that never
stops, so why waste paper?
To tell the truth, money don't fix none of that stuff,
'cause if it did, a lot of females wouldn't be single or
raising kids on they own. It's lightweight. The same thing
with personal feelings, 'cause deep down, nothing could
change what someone experienced in the past. If that's
the case, most of the people that's incarcerated would not
I be, 'cause we got money, but you can't change the law.
I mean, you could influence what the judge thinks, but
they can't go against the law.
But yeah, my mind just got off topic, so I can't continue
what I was sayin'. To all my baby goon and big dawgs up in
I this G thang. Stay up, y'all.
-Br, San Francisco
From The Beat: It is interesting to look at people who won a lot of
money in the lottery and see how quickly it's gone and they're right
back where they started from. What do you think it will take to fix some
of the problems in life that money can't fix?
Don't Want To Go To Placement
Everybody keep hatin' on me. I don't want to go to
placement. I would rather go to drug court. Hopefully, I
don't go, but if I go, I'ma do my time and get out of there
and go back home to my mom. I love my mom. Don't let
the system keep you down. Stay up!
-Lil' Hus, Marin
From The Beat: You have the right attitude, which is that sometimes you
just have to bite the bullet and do what they tell you to do so that you
can get what you want later. We hope you follow through and get back
with your mom as soon as possible — and that this is the last time you
let the system take you from her!
All this time I've always try to fit in the last piece of the
puzzle, to try to behave good. It was hard at first, always
using the same side of the piece, and never fitting, now I
know it's a basic movement I tried turning it in a different
direction, and now it's complete, I feel like I'm achieving
something very good.
I ask this question at night how long before the puzzle
unscrambles, that I might need to start over again? I hope
From The Beat: We like your metaphor about the puzzle and its pieces.
Don't forget what it feels like when you get it right, when you feel the
fit, and we're sure that if you get confused in the future you can bring
yourself back to that right fit. You are learning about yourself, and it
sounds like you're making good progress!
I Took It For Granted
I had every opportunity in the world to make my life better.
I had more than what most kids in the hall had.
I grew up with him and I called him dad.
I grew up with him and he was all I had.
He was all I needed.
I had food, shelter, and clothes on my back.
He gave me money if I needed it.
He gave me money if I didn't need it.
He gave me everything, and I just spat in his face.
He cared is what it was...
He loved me is what it was...
I had every opportunity in the world to make my life better
And I took it for granted.
-Steven, San Francisco
From The Beat: Your self-awareness about what you had and how you
lost it makes this a very poignant piece of writing. But anyone who
can analyze his situation as honestly as you have, can also change the
future (but not the past). Is "he" still around? Can you make it up to
him? Even if he's gone, you know what he wants from you... Can you
give it to him (and to yourself)?
What Money Can't Fix
What's good with The Beat? This ya boy Ulala. The topic I'm
gonna touch is "What money can't fix."
Money cant fix love; it can't bring yo' love back. Money
can't buy me a get-out-of-jail-free card. Money can't fix your
heart. But it sure could buy some other stuff that is useful.
But other than that I'm gone.
-Ulala, San Francisco
From The Beat: You're right, Ulala, money is useful for some things but
completely useless for others. What do you need for that get-out-of-jail-
free card... and what do you need to stay of jail once you get out?
Deal Friends And Fake Friends
What's up Beat? How you been? As for me, I've been all right,
not that bad.
I've been thinking, do we have real friends on earth or are
they all fake? In my eyes you can't trust no one, not even the
people in your own 'hood. It's a sad story how I came to realize
that you don't got any friends in life. Well, check this out Beat.
I used to love this girl. I mean I loved her with all my heart.
I mean she went first out of all my so-called friends. She ended
up breaking my heart and it hurt. She's the reason I can't trust
no female. I mean after all that happened between me and her, I
don't think I can trust a girl again.
Another thing is my so-called friends, the people you grow
up with ended up snitching on your boy. That's why your boy is
locked. All this scared me, and plus some shhh that happened
in here, I feel like I can never trust another person in my life. It
seems they always end up hurting you. They always say your
closest friend you got is your worst enemy. Think about it.
Bumps and bruises ain't gonna last forever, but a broken heart
sometimes can't heal.
You know Beat, my mom always used to tell me, "Mijo, you
don't got any friends in life." The day I realized that, her face
popped up in my mind, and it's true. You really don't. I had to
learn the hard way, too. It seems that no matter how much I do
want to trust someone, I gots to get used to not, 'cause once I go
to the pen — hopefully not, but let's say I do end up going — your
best friend goes all bad now. It's smash on sight when you see
him, mandatory 'cause your gang said. Now you gots to smash
and possibly kill your ex-best friend. That's also a reason why I
can't really get to trust someone that good, and if I do, it's only
to a limit.
-Cash, Santa Clara
From The Beat: First, be careful about drawing big conclusions from
small examples. Just because one girl broke your heart, that doesn't
mean you can't trust any female! And second, you're not locked up
because of what some snitch said about you. You're locked up because
you gave that snitch the power he needed to save himself by rolling
on you. If you had not given him that power — if you had not done
the thing he snitched on you for — you'd still be free, and he'd still
be a snitch in search of something to trade. Snitches are everywhere,
including on the outs at the work place telling the boss something you
thought you said in private. So learn from this experience, and stop
doing the messed up things that give others power over your life! Of
course, if you have to answer to a shot-caller, then you've given up all
control of your life to someone else, and that's the problem!
// ' ////// ' // ' ///
What Money Can't Fix
What's up with The Beat? Man, money can't fix where
I'm at right now. It can't fix the life I'm living. It can't bring
back my brother who got shot six times in the stomach,
or my girl cousin who got shot in the head for no reason,
or my dead homies, can it? No, it can't fix my mom' tears,
her lonely nights, her broken heart. Only I can fix that
by coming back home, stopping her stress by going to
school, bring positive energy to use my way, stop being
on the block, and everything.
-Yung J. Newt, San Francisco
From The Beat: You're right; you have the power to put a proud smile
on your mom's face and to dry her tears. You've outline a decent plan
to make that happen by going home and going to school. We hope you
follow through... for her sake!
Too Youny To Be Locked Up
What up, Beat? Just before I went to sleep last night I
thought about how I want to go home and do the right
thing and go back with my mom. I been here six times,
and have not made a change. But this time I want to
change my ways, because this is not cool no more, to
keep coming back to jail.
I'm too young to be in and out of jail. I'm too young
to be in the system. I need to be at home and going to
school, so I can be something. That all I got to say. Bye!
-Destiny, San Francisco
From The Beat: You've got your eyes on the right prize — getting your
education! Even when you don't like being in school, just keep in mind
that it's like a ticket to a better future, and one lived in freedom! Go
What Money Can't Fix
There is so much things money can get you in this world.
But of all the things money can get you, there is an equal
if not greater number of things that money can't get you.
I think that everybody heard that money can't buy
happiness. You can be the richest guy in the world and
be miserable. On the other hand, you cannot have that
much money and be perfectly happy. I wish money can
bring back my ex-girlfriend, because if it could I would
pay anything to get her back.
-Donald, San Francisco
From The Beat: When you don't have money, it's easy to imagine that
money solves all problems. But, as you've pointed out well, there's no
amount of money that can bring back those that are gone. We wish we
had more money — like most everybody else — but we know it can't buy
us happiness or those we've lost.
Bringing Back The Bead
Once my mama asked me whateva happened to the old
me, when I was younger and innocent, when I was a lil'
dawg with a lovin' heart an' shhh like that. If I could bring
someone back from the dead, it would be the old me,
'cause that ninja don't exist no mo'. I'll bring him back fo'
my mama, just to put a smile on her face.
It's been a while since I seen lil' whody anyways. Ya
neva know how many lives I could've saved or been a role
model to. I'm fo' sure I would've saved a couple lives...
probably not save, but they'll still be livin', ya heard me?
If I could bring back that lil' ninja...
Ya can't go back in time to bring people back, dawg.
That's all I got fo' The Beat. I'ma get at y'all next week.
-Canon, San Francisco
From The Beat: We admire the creativity that led you to want to bring
back the child you once were, innocent and loving. But we believe that
child is still living inside you. Canon. You may have thrown on some
thick layers of protection — that thug exterior — but the little boy that
you used to be is still there to find and bring forth!
If You Were Ymr Parent
Well, I don't believe me and my mom and father got into
it because they're my parents. Of course they're strict,
but at the same time, they're also my friends, too. They're
somebody I can also talk to about anything. And they're
very supportive, like they want me to go in school, just
like any other parent would.
One thing I believe I would change, not being so kind.
I believe that my parents are nice, not too nice, but nice.
And I believe sometimes I take that for weakness, and
because I'm the baby, most of the time, I get away with
I don't want my child to be the same, because if I let her
get away with one thing... And as a person today, having a
child would change everything I do. I would attend to my
child rather than run the street. I would also be going to
school and have a job to support my child.
-Nikki, San Francisco
From The Beat: Now's the time to start preparing yourself for that adult
responsibility by going to school, listening to your parents, and not
taking advantage of things that don't really help you to mature. Don't
wait until responsibility is forced on you. We hope when you get out of
here, you'll take school a lot more serious, because it's like a ticket out
If I was my own parent, I would try to change everything
that I've done into something positive instead of something
bad. I need to change and do good, pay rent and work hard
in life. I would say I'm very sorry to my dad, and how I
acted toward him. If I could, I would change my past. I
know I messed up bad, but God's on my side.
-Jason, Santa Clara
From The Beat: It's clear that you know what you have to do to become
the responsible adult your father wants you to become. Of course, no
one can change his past, but you can redesign your future based on
what you've learned from your past. If God is on your side, it's because
you are on his side.
Locked Up in The Ball
I am locked up in the hall.
I wonder how long I have to be under the system's
I hear the white walls talk.
I see camaradas coming in and out of this place.
I want all this to come to a stop.
I am locked up in the hall.
I pretend to understand myself.
I feel under a spell.
I touch my face wondering how I look after all the years of
being gone from home.
I worry I won't make it in the real world.
I cry inside my head 'cause I gotta stay strong.
I am locked up in the hall.
I understand my mistakes.
I say enough with all this.
I dream to be out one day.
I try to escape my vida loca.
I hope these demons inside of me will leave me alone.
I am locked up in the hall.
■Temper, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We wish we could make your struggle easier. Temper,
but those demons are for you to wrestle with and to overcome, just as
we have all had to deal with things in our past we'd rather not have
happened. The fact that you worry about making it on the outs is a
sign of strength, not weakness, a sign that you are seeing things from
a grown-up's perspective. Use that maturity to keep putting one foot in
front of the other and walking forward.
// ' ////// ' // ' ///
My Cousin Sarah
I already wrote something, but the first topic of today
caught my attention. If I could bring somebody back from
the dead it would be my cousin Sarah.
She was with somebody who was racing and they
were on their way back from work. He was racing a few of
his friends and she just happened to be in the passenger
seat. They fell off of the cliff and she died instantly.
I would bring her back from the dead for two reasons.
One is to make her mother and sister and everybody else in
our family and her group of friends happy again, because
after she left everybody whose life she has touched was
really upset and they have never been the same. T
The second reason is because I feel a need to apologize
for stuff that we argued about because I feel it's my fault.
From The Beat: What a tragic loss for the whole family... As for feeling
like it's "your fault" of course it isn't. And maybe you had an argument,
but people who love each other sometimes argue, it doesn't take the
love away. So we hope you realize that the love you felt for her, and
the love she felt for you, is real and doesn't go away just because of an
Bringing Back My Bad
If I could go back in time and change things and bring
somebody back I would have to bring back my dad. I say
that because if I had my dad I won't even be here right
I wish I could have some man role model at home.
And some type of man being at home telling me to go to
school and stop hanging with the people I'm hanging with
the. Instead of hanging on the corner he would tell me to
go to some library and study instead of trying to be in the
streets just being stupid.
I wish I had my dad because I know for a fact if I had
a dad at home I for show would not be in jail because he
would beat my butt every time I didn't go to school or
didn't listen to my momma and grandma. I wish I could
bring back my dad so that all my pain and struggle could
go away and I could have someone to look up to instead
of the streets. It would just be different. He would show
me the right way to become a man instead of shooting
somebody or selling drugs. He would show me the right
way and give me advice not to be like him. Just to be
I better than him, and smarter than him.
From The Beat: It is painful and unfair that so many Beat writers have
had to grow up without fathers in their lives. And to be honest, it
sounds like you already know exactly what you need— can you be your
own best role model? Or are there other male role models in your life
that can show you a more positive path then the one you are on?
I love my Pops
If I can bring back somebody I would bring back my dad.
I would bring him back cause I need a father figure in my
I would tell him how much I appreciate everything
that he ever did for me and how much he loved me and I
would also tell him I love him to death and I still love him
always, nobody can change that.
I would want my pops to tell me to have a safe life and
have a couple Johns and keep the name-but with all that
being said I love my pops forever.
From the Beat: We are sorry for the loss of your father. We're glad you
know how much you appreciate what he did for you and how you feel
about him, if you do have more Johns you at least have an idea of how
you'd want them to feel about you too. You'd also want to be there for
them, since you know the pain of the loss of a father.
Bringing Back The Bead
If there is one person that I would want to bring back
from the dead it would be my mom. My mom was there for
me since I was little. She did her best to make sure I had
everything that I needed and most of the things I wanted.
My mom was the most caring person I knew. She would
always give a homeless person the loose change she had;
one time it was the rest of her quarters from laundry day.
It was like nine dollars.
My mom would take care of all my friends when they
came over. When I was little, my mom would order the
special wrestling matches and barbeque for all my friends
that were there. If I could tell my mom one thing, it'll be
that I'm sorry for all the pain I put her through and that
I love her for raising me right. My life took a turn for the
worst after she passed away.
-Donald, San Francisco
From The Beat: Losing your mother is one of the hardest losses we ever
have to suffer, and the hole her passing has left in your life won't be
easily filled. But one thing you can do is to live up to her expectations
for you. She didn't want to see you here, so we hope when you touch
down, you will honor her memory and make her proud of you.
Losing a Friend
Losing a friend can be hard
As to winning a cardsharp in a game of cards
Losing a friend can be painful
As to breaking a bone on the blacktop
Losing a friend in battle can't be brought back
As to gangsters stabbing each other in the back
Losing a friend after such a short time
I would not have traded fame and fortune for that time
Losing a friend can never be good
As to the teeth in George Washington's mouth made of
The last days we spent together it felt like you knew
The way I felt I almost knew
The high I felt we spent that last day together
No drug could give you
Awaking and hearing you were no longer here
It went in one side and came out the other ear
The feeling I felt I've never felt again
Than those of the meaning
When you lose a friend
From The Beat: This is a really thoughtful piece. You give the readers
a really good idea of what it's like to lose someone you care about. But
if losing a friend gives us anything good, it's that it helps us remember
how important they were to us.
It's All A Balance
Wha's up Beat? I'ma keep this short. Life is what you
make it, so make it right. Struggle if you have to, but
everything will be all right. There's always a good from
bad and bad from good. That's the way life balances out.
If life wasn't balanced, then there wouldn't be amazing
things. For example, there's money. People kill people
over money. People turn on their friends and even their
own family just to get some money. The good from it is
that it can bring material objects that you need in life.
Anyways, this is where it all ends. Time is out but still
runnin'. Late. Out of sight, out of mind.
-Young Loony, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Even when we wish you had written more, added details
and examples, we still have to give you props for making us think, for
challenging your readers. If life is a balance, what good are you going
to do now (besides your wonderful writing) to help to balance the scales
from your past? Tell us how you are going to be the "good" that conies
out of the "bad"...
// ' ////// ' // ' ///
Sitting in Alameda County Juvenile Hall, reminiscing,
going insane, thinking back when I was on the block.
Had court today, they talking about what's gonna
happen if you go to "CYA." Had a phone call too, she
said you can't come home to stay. I'm like what am I
supposed to do? I'm slowly fadin' away. She's like, you
put yourself in that position, you made your own choices.
Go and do your time and stop running away.
It's like every time I think about everything in life
tears slowly fall down my face. Straight from the heart,
it's like nobody understands me. When I say I been
through a lot it's like they don't know where I come from,
they don't understand that part.
So I say here, take my shoes, go take a walk in my
hood. It's like I want to change, but this environment is
all violence and gangs. But I'm gonna change, I'm gonna
make it somewhere, I'm gonna reach my goals and grab
-Lil' Chachi, Alameda
From The Beat: You clearly have a lot going on, a lot of things in your
community holding you and even keeping you away from your goals.
When things get tough and you get tempted to run or do something you
know will get you in trouble, try to think back to those goals. Make a
plan, in detail! Figure out your steps, and keep the next ones in your
head to help keep yourself straight and on the right path.
Days «f Feeling Depressed
Today I was feeling ok; you know keeping myself strong,
with God's help. I was happy today because I got a letter
from my mother today, with perfume sprayed on it so you
know that meant something special to me.
I get emotional when I get something from somebody,
you know because I'm in jail, I don't feel lonely. And what
was great about her letter was emotional to her, she wrote
me a poem from the heart and I loved it.
I feel a little down graded because I haven't talked to
my PO and I'm scared in here, think I might go crazy in
the mean time. Well I go to court on soon, and it seems
like it's taking a while. But I tell myself I'm gonna stay
strong for me, and hope that my judge, PO,, and attorney
won't just judge me as a bad person, and just hear, listen,
and feel me, for now I know I'm a better person. And a
good person. Just read me.
From The Beat: You titled your piece "Days of Feeling Depressed", but it
sounds like you have a lot of positive things to say. You've got a mother
who you love who it seems cares just as much about you, and you're
thinking positively about coming across well in court. We admire your
ability to hold on to positivity, this is something a lot of Beat writers
Brinyin' Back The Dead
If I could go back and save my dad I would. Truthfully,
I think my life would be very different, for the good
and maybe the bad. I would want my dad to tell every
experience of his life that he could remember, from going
to jail, how he met my mom, and how to provide for a
family the right way.
If I had a chance to sit wit' him now, I would like him
to let me know that I had his love and support and that
this is short term and I'll get over this hill. I would tell
him what I've wanted to say since he died... I love you
-Ballard, San Francisco
From The Beat: We feel sure that your pops knew that you loved him,
but it is something we don't read often enough in The Beat, where
fathers are often cussed out instead of praised. Since he's not around to
tell you, we can tell you that this is short term, and that you can and
will get over this hill. When you do, don't come back!
Will Mine) Can't Get Beck
I believe money can't fix time. Meaning the way you're
chasing the paper if illegal you get arrested you will never
get the years in jail back. Also if you die you can't get
your life back.
No matter how much money you have you cannot
get these two things back. And these are the only two
obsessions of chasing illegal money.
Personally I believe hard work makes your money
From the Beat: Sometimes people need money, no matter where it comes
from — to feed kids etc. However it's clear that it would be much better,
for the kids etc. if it came from legal sources. We agree that if you earn
your money you feel better about the money, and yourself — and that
what money can do is limited.
Today we had a discussion about gay people and how
they shouldn't be discriminated against. I agree with this
because I am gay and I believe in equal rights for everyone.
Even if I weren't gay I would probably still believe this
because of the way my mother raised me.
It doesn't bother me that much when people talk about
gay people but I'm sure there are people out there that
get offended. I have had so many people make fun of me
and put me down because of my sexual orientation and I
have let it get to me in the past but I got over it quickly.
However, there aren't many people out there like me that
take it as well as I do. That's why it is so important to be
careful what you say around people you do not know.
You never know what a person is like when you do not
know who they are and what kind of lifestyle they came
from. I really hope this piece gets published because
there is a very important message in it.
So remember all men are created equal and shouldn't
be discriminated against. Thanks Beat, for all your love
and support. You have inspired me to write this piece.
From The Beat: Thank you for sharing this piece with us! We're so happy
that you stepped up and decided to share this piece of yourself. It's
amazing that you don't fly off the handle when someone makes fun of
you, many people would. Even though you don't get angry anymore,
what do you think about the kids who make fun of you just because of
your sexual status?
I don't know why I'm still here
don't know why I did what I did
don't know why I do what I do?
Why do I have what I have?
Why do I feel what I feel?
Can anyone explain why? Why are the people in my life
Why can't they do anything to help me?
Why do I have the problems I have?
I just need someone to explain why.
Why am I wronged when I try to do right?
Why do I do right when nobody's looking?
Why do I talk when nobody's listening?
Why do I get treated like everybody else?
When I act like none of them?
Why do I even bother?
Please tell me why
From The Beat: We wish we had an answer for you. Josh, but the
questions you are asking in this sad, strong-minded poems are the great
mysteries of life. And the truth is that for most of these questions, the
only person who can answer them is - you.
// ' ////// ' // ' ///
Street Fiyhtin' Man
It's that one and only Eagle coming at you from the max. Well
Beat, lately I've been not doing shhh, just working out and
staying strong physically and mentally.
I got on supply just recently, so I've been falling off lately,
but I'm getting back on it. Damn, it's hard though because I got
all these new responsibilities and all this time out of my room,
hella extra shhh like candy, food, a lot of substances that get you
fat and lazy. I had a week to relax and eat hella junk.
But I think this is good for the fact that it's kind of like being
out. You have all the time in the world, you go to school, work,
all this extra shhh you can have at just about any second you
want, but it's about having self-discipline.
I made up my mind a couple weeks ago and I'm going to
be a boxer big time - ESPN, Vegas , everything! You gon' see
me on posters and be like what's crackin' in my Beamer full of
beautiful women with a thirty-two in my hand ready to party all
I over again.
It's a lot of work and I got all this extra time to become a
fighting machine, but I've never boxed like as an amateur. I've
always just been a street fighter. And I don't like getting hit so
I'm going to have to get over that.
But yea, if society won't accept me in a positive matter, then
they will see me in a ring, knocking fools out straight up like
Well court is soon, I'll probably lose my fitness, so I'll
probably start going to adult court soon. But whatever happens,
At this point I'm probably in the best shape of my life, but I
can still use a couple more months to prepare for the worst but
whatever happens I'll be ready.
I To all out there on the quick ride, stay up and take care. To
all on the long ride, I'll see you around. To all those going to YA
Alternative, you're better off going to the Y. I've been there done
that already and if the lifestyle you want to live is against the law
I and involves a lot of criminal activity, you're better off in the Y.
-Eagle, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We're glad to hear that you're doing great in here. But,
you don't have to be in the system to able to do the things you could
have been doing successfully on the outs. Boxing is a great goal, but
in order to become a good boxer, you need discipline. What about
education? We'll stay tune...
I'm Lookin' For Guidance
I'm lookin' for a way
A path that I can go
As I look up to the skies
and drift down to the snow
I'm lookin' for help
To help me get through
Before I end up dead
I want to be bullet proof
My times will be hard
But life will be soft
I'm just an ordinary kid
I'm not found but I'm lost
When I think I get life
My dreams go and fade away
Like a boat up on a river
It slowly drifts away
I pray every day but I never go to church
I thought life was gon' be good
Ever since my day of birth
But I see that I'm wrong
'Cause I'll never be right
Because on the streets ain't nothin'
But gun violence and fight
I'm just lookin', not for violence -
Because I'm lookin' for that guidance
-Lil' Quan, Alameda
From The Beat: If you keep looking, you will find it. Ask for a mentor
through the Be-A-Mentor program. Ask to take Cyrus's reading class.
Sign up for Cornerstone. Take that EMT class if they offer it again.
Reach out to the positive things and people you see, and let them help
you find the peace you seek.
Just Before I Went To Sleep
Just before I went to sleep last night I was thinking about
my mom. I was thinking about how much I appreciate
what she's done for me.
I'm pretty ashamed at myself, because I haven't been
there for her during these last three years too much. I've
been selfish and always made a bad decision that takes
me away from my family. She needs me home. My mom
needs my help and I'm not there.
As of today I got two weeks until my release date. When
I step back in the streets things are gonna be different. I
gotta keep it real for my mama now. After everything she's
done for me, and never once has she left my side, I owe
her my help and care. Since my dad isn't doing shhh, my
mama needs me for sure. She works seven days a week
so she needs a helping hand at home.
From The Beat: We can feel your love, regret and determination through
Bringing Back My Uncle
Well, my name is Lil Shadow. I'm from Livermore. I'm
going to talk about bringing back the dead.
Well, I would like to bring a lot of people back, the
most important one is my uncle. I would like to bring him
back because he inspired me to do good things. He made
me stay healthy and made me play sports.
Well, I was sad when I found out he was dead. I was
crying real bad for weeks. I felt so empty inside. He was
shot four times. After he died, I turned bad and I got into
a gang. I started kicking it with them and now I'm locked
up in Juvenile Hall.
I think my life would have been different person if he
was still alive. I probably would have still been playing
sports. If he was still alive, I would tell him that I love him
and I would never want you to leave me. I love you Unk.
-Lil' Shadow, Alameda
From The Beat: If you're uncle worked so hard while he was here to
make sure that you stayed out of trouble and did good then why are
you repaying him by throwing your life away? Even though your uncle
is gone he's still with you in many ways. Your uncle would have wanted
more for your life than this. Shadow, we hope that you want more for
Just Before I Went To Sleep Last Night I
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
what I am about to face and the responsibilities that are
coming my way. I thought about the long and hard ROP
program and how I have no choice but to deal with it and
I also thought about my child that will soon be brought
into this world and how my lifestyle must change in order
for me to be a successful father. I have to give up a lot
of the things I used to do because I now have someone
depending on me to take care of them and I can no longer
only think about myself.
Even though I am not ready for the responsibility,
I still have to handle my business to the best of my
abilities. I'm just going to put my faith and my trust in
a higher power and continue to remain humble and pray
that all goes well.
From The Beat: We commend you for taking your new responsibilities so
seriously. What is your plan for changing your life? Prayer is important,
but it's equally important that you have clear goals, and steps for
reaching that goal.
// ' ////// ' // ' ///
It Would Be Menace
If I could go back in time and prevent one death from
happening, it would be my homie Menace from my 'hood.
He passed away last year. He was like my brother. Him
and I used to be always together.
He used to live across the street from my house and I
still remember the last time I saw him and talked to him.
I was on the run form my probation, and the day I was out
was the last day I saw him.
I remember when I was here, I was on supply and I
called my mom to see how she was doing. When I was
talking to her, I noticed that something was wrong and
when I asked her, she started crying and she told me that
Menace was dead.
That night as I was in my room thinking about all
of the things that we used to do, I felt lagrimas (tears)
coming down my eyes, and until this day he's still in
my heart, and I'm sorry that I couldn't go to his funeral
because I was here. I just want to say rest in peace carnal.
I will never forget you.
-Lil' Casper, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. Sometimes things happen
for a reason. The same way your mom shed tears over the loss of your
homies, she sheds tears over your current situation and would shed
tears if something bad happen to you too. Use his death as an example
of what can happen to you if you continue living the type of life you're
practicing right now.
I got a while lot of money I can put it on yo' head
One thang fa' show money ain't bring back the dead
Money is the g code to the game
Money can cause death and bring more pain
It's crazy what money can make a young girl do
Money can cause trouble and blackmail you
I had people in my family who change money for the supply
Who tried to get money but end up getting some time
All money ain't good money for real my dude
-Young Arco, Alameda
From the Beat: what you say is true, and heavy, and describes how
peoples lives are ruined. We edited your last line because we wouldn't
want your life to be ruined over money too.
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about a
couple of things, my mom and dad. My dad is pissed off at
me for being arrested for the second time in a week. I think
about how disappointed they are with me, and what they
might say in court. Like they cant handle me anymore.
My dad even said to my PO he wasn't coming to court. My
mom told me the same thing and that she doesn't want to see
me arrested anymore.
My biggest problem is weed. I was caught smoking and
selling by the police. They caught me at the school two
times. I go to Robertson School. It's a continuation school in
Fremont. I think I just got kicked out of there, and now when
I get home I'll go to school in Hayward. I am in 8th grade
I feel bad and sad for what I'm putting my parents through.
I think I lost their trust and they're not going to believe me
anymore because of my bull-shhh. What I need to do is stop
getting involved in drugs 'cause I smoke weed every day been
smoking since 2006, almost three years. I do it 'cause I'm
always depressed, especially with my family, and what we are
through. I hope my parents say the right thing and get me out
of Juvi and I stop doing drugs.
From The Beat: You see the problem, and now it must be on you to stop
using and address the pain you feel. You can get through this period. It
is not going to be easy, but, given your intelligence and your supportive
family you can make the change!
Just Before I Went To Sleep Last Night,
I Thought About. ..
I thought about what my lady is going through right now.
'Cause last night she told me that she lost the kids. Soon as
she told me that my heart dropped. I was supposed to have
twins, so it was disappointing. I always had dreams about
them, and I was planning on providing for them the best way
I could so they could have a better life.
I would of loved for one of my kids to carry on my name,
'cause you never know when it's your time to go. Plus me and
my lady even gave them names. I was picturing a beautiful
future for me and my family, but it's over now.
I'm going to keep it solid- I shed a few tears. Y'all don't
know how it feels. She was five or six months, so close. But
she kept telling me that she was always bleeding. She went
to the doctor one time and they gave her some pills, and told
her to take it easy and get some rest. But she really couldn't
do it because the owner of her house told her she had to
move out. She even cleaned the whole house by herself, had
to pick up the washing machine. So she started bleeding,
and kept bleeding. She went to the doctor and they said it's
an 85% chance you will lose them, if you don't rest. She had
no choice, the owners of the house were all on her back. So
she was always busy. And it was over.
I blame myself for being in that car and getting busted,
instead of doing right, so I could be out there helping her. It
hurts, but I still love her.
From The Beat: What a painful thing to have happened to you and your
girlfriend. We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your twins. But
sometimes, things do happen for a reason. Maybe you two are meant to
have children a little later down the road, when you are not locked up,
and when you CAN be there for your family.
Listen To Your Parents
Yesterday, before I went to sleep, I thought about what I did
wrong all these years, and how I got in here (JCC). The thing I did
wrong all these years was I didn't listen to my mom, "Remember,
be good." I didn't, and when my mom yelled at me, it was good for
me. If I listened to her, I would never ever be in JCC.
Now I feel bad whenever my mom come to visit. She cries,
so that make me cry. I feel bad for all the things I did. I got court
on this Thursday. Wish me luck, and remember, always listen to
your parents. They are always right.
-Mike, San Francisco
From The Beat: We don't think your parents are always right, but we
do think they've learned a lot more about life than you have, so it is
important to listen to that voice of experience. Your mom has sacrificed
a lot for you because she wants you to succeed, without risking your
freedom. Maybe it's time for you to do a little sacrificing for her (stop
doing those things that let the system take you from her), so you can
replace those tears of sadness for tears of joy!
Admire My Mom
If I was a parent, I will do what my mom did for me and my
brother. Like, she supports us, buys us what we want, and when
we in jail, as of now she comes to everything and if she don't
she sends money with my grandma so we can have the snacks
And we do some messed up stuff like come to jail and that
ain't right and I want to be like my mom, a strong woman and she
stay with money from her job and that's what I'm going to do as
a parent, take care of my responsibilities like my mom do and all
I don't think I wouldn't have made it through. That's why I
say my mom is a strong woman 'cause I never seen my dad, he
got life and she took care of me, my brother, and my little sister.
That's a role model.
From The Beat: Your mother sounds like a very supporting and caring
woman, why are you paying her back with this? We know that she
wants more for you than this, why else would she try so hard for you?
We hope that you can open your eyes and see how much you mother
does for you, and stop throwing away the life she's giving you!
m>i»u»}»»)>wT7FT7wnm „„ „
It's yo' boy Kash Money, from Oakland! I had a meeting
with my PO today and he said that I been messin' up. I
was doin' really good in the beginning, but he said I could
still get out in March if I don't mess up no more.
I'm gonna stop messin' up so I could get released.
I still haven't been home. This week is my last week of
restriction, and I get to go home on my birthday, February
20. Well I talked to my folks on the outs this last
Saturday and I heard that my cousin went down again, he
was messing up after his release from here, and he knew
From The Beat: You know, it doesn't have to be like that for you - you
made a decision to stop messing up so you could get out, which means
you also have it in you to stop messing up so you can stay out!
If They Were Still Alive
If my patna Miguel was still alive, I would tell him how
his brother is messing up - going to jail, smoking, doing
hella stuff and I would tell him to calm down and be safe
and don't get on that go-cart. That's what I would tell him
if he was alive.
I also wish my granny on my dad's side was still alive,
'cause once she died I really didn't care about nothing. I
would tell her: I love you and wish that I could have spent
more time with you.
That's what I would have told her and what I would
have said if I were still alive.
From The Beat: Do you still feel the same way, like you don't care about
nothing? Because from this piece it sounds like you still have a whole
lot of heart, and we KNOW your grandmother would want you to keep
caring about life!
I Only Think Of Her
Just before I went to sleep last night I thought about my
three-month-old daughter. I think about how much she
needs me. She is the most important person, the most
important subject in my life. I often wonder what type of
life she will have in the future. I hope to make a change,
not for me but for her. I want to her to have a better life
From The Beat: Firstly, we think the rest of your life could still be very
very good. Secondly, sounds like you are off to a good start with such
love for your daughter. Lastly, hoping for change is good, but change
I takes some work, and a plan. Do you have a plan? We'd love to hear
your ideas for how you will change your life for your daughter.
My TB With My Girl
Today I went home on a TR - it was cool, I got a five
hour home pass. I had to go to the doctor for about thirty
minutes, so then I had four and a half hours to myself.
I really didn't do nothin' but kick it with my girl at the
house. We went to eat with my mom at a restaurant, and
my mom hella likes my girl, ever since she met her in
'04. Well when we went to my room, me and her talked
a lot about different things. She can't wait until I get out
in March. There's a lot of things we want to do, like we
Well, I don't know, she's hella happy that she's gonna
have my baby. Me too!
From The Beat: Wait, do you mean your girl is pregnant? This is big
news! You might be a father in less than a year? We are glad you had a
good home visit.
Thinking Of My Family
Just before I went to sleep last night. I thought about
my family because the judge told me to. They were going
to release me yesterday but then the other attorney said
that I haven't been going to school and acting bad that my
parents couldn't control me.
My family got tired of me then just left me alone and
let me do whatever, but they still feel me and took care
of me. So all I thought about was my family and how I
From The Beat: What must you do to stay out of juvenile? Good luck
Be Was A Good Man
I'd bring back my grandpa 'cause he was a cool person
and I wish he had never passed away. He was a good man.
He also was a gangsta, he got shot a long time ago in the
kidney but that never stopped him, he was strong all the
way, and he was dying slowly. He had a drinking problem
also. But when he died, I was mad 'cause I'm tired of
losing all my family members. I know probably if I lose
another I'm gonna go bad.
The Beat Within: We're sorry to hear of what happened to your
grandfather, but this isn't a reason to "turn bad", , your grandpa would
have wanted more for you than this. .
I Would Bring Back My Granddaddy
Man if I could bring back the dead I would bring back my
I really wouldn't be here when he died. I felt very
depressed I felt like there wasn't no point of me being
here I started doing hella shhh, not going to school, doing
hella unnecessary stuff.
But yeah when I get out, trust me I'm going somewhere.
Believe it ...watch when I get out of this bs
From The Beat: Grief often makes us self-destructive, but of course your
grandfather would hate to think that you were adding to your pain by
getting in trouble. What about doing it the other way around, living
well in honor of his memory?
I wish I could bring back my grandma so that I would be
a better person. My family could be more disciplined a
lot of things would not have happened. One of my uncles
would not be in the prison. She held my family together, I
was sad because I didn't.
From The Beat: It must have hit you and your family so hard when
your grandmother passed, especially since she was such a pillar in your
family. We hope that you and your family can work together through
this tough time in your lives, you'll need each other if you are going to
pull through this!
I thought about my mom and what I could do when I got
out. I miss my family, stressed out right now. Trying to
figure out when I am going to get out. I thought about my
sisters. A lot of stuff, free me.
From The Beat: A lot of thoughts seem to be running through your
head, have you thought about how you're going to stay free once you
Briny Back The Bead
I wish I could bring you back, I wish I could change that
day. I wouldn't have let you leave, I would have made you
stay. I would have told you to be cool, and to let things
calm down. I would have taken the keys from you and
told you to sit down but now you're gone, all because of
your pride I know you couldn't go out -- it was killing you
I thank God everyday for the fact I wasn't with you
and I also think about what if those bullets wouldn't have
hit you. I miss you bra, I wish I could change the past but
I can't so my memories are from when I seen you last.
From The Beat: We are sorry to hear about the death of your friend, but
are also relieved that you didn't go with him that day. Does his death
make you think differently about your own life? Does it make you look
at the future differently?
Pictures Of You
Today for some reason I'm not mad that I'm in the hall.
Even though we been in here for two months I'm just
happy to be alive!
Pictures of my father are my best memories because my
father is dead. Every time I look at a picture of him it
makes me sad
because I barely knew him. But it also makes me happy
because I was in a lot of the pictures I got.
From The Beat: It's great that you're seeing the glass as half full - this
is something we don't see in a lot of writings. This outlook on life can
do great things for you - don't lose it!
^ — — — — — —
If I Were a Parent
If I was a daddy I have to be on my grind 24/7. More
than I am already but being more careful with what I do.
I don't need to go back to jail with a daughter or son on
Being careful about what I do and as soon as I'm off
probation I will get a real job and an apartment where me,
my girl, and my son or daughter live. Let my girl stay
home while she's pregnant while I'm working all day to
take care of them.
When the baby is born my girl will get a job and the
baby will stay with my mama. Till he or she is old enough
for day care and school. Then when I get enough money
buy a house where we can all live happily ever after.
From the Beat: This sounds like a plan, and we're happy you are
determined to do whatever it takes to be a daddy. Your girl, your mama
and the baby will all need you to be a free man, helping out and not
Who I Want To Be When I Grow Bp
The question of who I want to be when I grow up runs
through my mind multiple times a day. One career runs
through my mind more than anything. The first person
I would take off the face of the Earth is my father. The
reason I chose my father is because he deserted his two
firstborn sons just to go mess with some other woman.
Then becoming a stick-up ninja robbing everyone for
their rims and drugs came to mind too. But then my faith
in God always pops-up out of nowhere.
-Brand New 3000
From the Beat: We understand you'd be angry about your father's
decisions, especially since kids really need their father's love and
attention — and we'd agree that should come before romance. It's hard
to understand other's choices sometimes. When your faith in God pops
up out of nowhere (or out of your self) what happens?
If my grandma would bring back to life, I would probably
go to her house a lot and talk to her, ask is she's feeling
alright, or if she was feeling ill. And I would tell her that
"thank you." I would probably expect my grandma to tell
me to stay out of trouble.
From The Beat: What kind of relationship did you have with your
grandmother before she passed? What are some of your memories with
Money Can't Buy You a Cure
Money can't fix a lot of things. One of the things that
money can't buy is true love. One other thing money
can't buy is respect. Money can't bring no body back
from the dead and money cant buy you a cure for aids,
cancer or snitching.
But money can also do a lot of things. You can buy
happiness because a lot of people like money. But more
money brings more problems
From the Beat: Money sure helps us get what we need, however it doesn't
provide what is often most important in life. We need to balance our
need for money with our other needs, which can be a challenge but is
Brinyiny Back the Bead
I think I would bring back my cousin Charles aka Doobie.
The reason I would bring back Doobie is because he was
like a big brother to me, because he would tell me that
I should stay in school and that I shouldn't be on the
corner trying to sell drugs. Because all that led up to
is the pen or dead. So I took his word and got off the
corner and a couple of months later he got killed and that
messed my life up for a while.
The last thing I want to say to him is thanks for the
advice and I miss you and I love you big bra. I would want
him to tell me that I'm proud of you but he would also say
stay out of jail. I miss you Doobie.
From The Beat: We're sorry you lost someone so close to you, someone
you looked up to. Sounds like he said some things to you that have
really stuck, things that can really help you make positive changes in
life. Keep his words with you.
I'm Not Feelin the Topics Tonight...
I'm waiting for a placement to accept me which is
frustrating me and it is going to be tempting to run again.
Hopefully I get accepted so I can leave this week or next
week. I am glad my brother will be released this week, I
look forward to seeing him free without any worries...
From The Beat: It's always tempting to run from a place you don't like.
We hope you keep the big picture in mind though - if you run, what
will happen next? What will happen if you get caught? Are those
consequences worth the risk?
I had a boom-box who would sound off my name for my
alarm and tell me to carry on to school even though I got
up in the afternoon. Then I got annoyed so I ran it over,
it didn't break! Now it has tire tracks...
From the Beat: How does it work out for you when you are annoyed and
you choose to just "run over things?" Do other things in your life have
"tire tracks" on them too?
What Money Can't Fix/Bring Back the Bead
What's good Beat, this is young Nuttso Savage writing
about bringing back the dead. You really can't bring back
I wrote once in the Beat about Heaven's stubbiest
Angel, about my dad and if I could I would most definitely
bring him back or call him the night he died and tell him
don't go to the city. Or just at least spend some time with
him before he left us.
I would also bring back my cousin ray j and my cousin
dame and a whole lot of other people. Thomeisha rip Bo
RIP uncle Booksie, Tyraz, red, hen, burger, car, wood, and
a lot more.
And dat's what money can't fix-death. Or money can't
buy love or trust-these all things that come with life, like
love you got to trust somebody to love them and death is
just there. Dat's it for me Beat, I'm gone.
From the Beat: We're sorry for all of your losses. It's a lot for a young
person to have to deal with. You are left here with your life, and we
hope you can spend time with those you love, and trust them, and
explore your potential while your alive.
Bringing Back My Cousin
If I could bring back one person it would be my cousin
Mike. Better yet I would try to prevent his death by being
there and defusing the situation. Because I don't feel it
was his time to go, and I believe he should still be here
today. There's not too much to say besides I just wish he
I was still here today.
From The Beat: It is tragic to hear about so many needless deaths,
particularly of young men like your cousin. Does his death make you
look at your own life differently?
Just Before I Went To Sleep Last Night...
I thought about my cousin Kevin who died. He was
purposely shot in the face. The guy who did it, for some
reason they only gave him 21 years and charged him with
How do you cold bloodedly kill a man and only get
21 years? I believe that's not right. Have you ever lost
a loved one and didn't get justice? If you would, please
share with us.
From The Beat: It must be so frustrating to feel like you're not getting
the justice you need. On the flip side though, we also read a lot of
writings from people who feel their sentencing was much too harsh
for what they did. Why do you think these discrepancies exist? Is the
system all lopsided, or are there two sides to every story?
If I were my parents I wouldn't change nothing about
them because my parents are good parents they taught
me all the things I should know and do.
I'm Tongan so my culture is very strong with obeying
our parents and disciplining our kids whenever they do
something very bad.
My parents are very loving people and they always try
to tell me to stay out of trouble but it's just me that messes
up and not listens to them all the time. My parents deal
with me like they're supposed to but it's just me making
the wrong choices in life.
From the Beat: It's good you have their support while you learn about
why it matters to you to make the choices you do. You are young, you
are learning, you have time to re-organize your life.
DIP lo My Cuttie
Oh yea, rest in peace to my cuttie who I had love for that
ninja didn't have to go so rest in peace my ninja lil' solo
so guess what rest in peace.
From the Beat: We are sorry for your loss. Can you write him a letter
that tells him how you thought and felt about him, and anything else
you wish you could say? What would he say to you now, if he could?
What Money Can't Fix
Well it can't fix your hate or your feelings, but it can help
you take your mind off of it for a little while, well at least
me because I like sometimes love it. Because I can do so
much with it, like new shoes or a watch or two. It also
can't buy a family in lest they are one of these people who
only people who don't want to be wit you unless you have
something they want.
You also can't buy feelings unless it's mine because
you can make me happy or mad because I always want
more in me.
From The Beat: You're absolutely right, money can be a really great
distraction from troubles. Retail therapy is extremely common, but a
few days later we all end up the same - still upset and broke.
Bring Back The Bead
If I can bring back someone who died I would bring my
sister Ronda. I would've said I love you for the last time.
The last time I seen her she just got off life-support. She
just had a heart transplant because she was born with a
bad heart. It was them punk ass doctors' fault. They gave
her a high dose of medicine that made her sick so they
lowered her dosage too much and she got very sick and
she went to the hospital and her heart stopped pumping
and she passed. When I heard the bad news I punched
the wall and dropped in tears. I was 11 years old - it was
Ronda was the peace keeper - she kept the whole family
together. She was 14 when she died. When she left there
was a black hole in my brother Maurice's and my hearts.
After that, I started not giving a f***. I started going bad.
I started not caring and that's when I got expelled from
school for various beatings. I was fighting all the time.
If anybody said the wrong thing I'd jump on their heads.
Ronda's death messed me up. I am never going to forget
about her. I love her, and if you say anything bad it's your
ass you gone toe tag.
From The Beat: It must've been so hard for you to lose your sister. It's
really common for people to get very angry when they're sad or miss
someone. Sounds like you're pretty aware of why you act the way you
do, so the next step is to work on that - find ways to work through the
times you feel angry without involving other people. Maybe try going
for a run or punching a pillow to get out your feelings of anger.
If I Was Moms
If I was moms I wouldn't have tried so hard. If my moms
wouldn't have tried so hard to keep me from doing the
things I knew I shouldn't have been doing I wouldn't have
started doing them.
I realize now me and only me is the one who has to
take responsibility for my actions.
-Profit Means Money
From the Beat: Hmm most writers say their Moms should have been
more strict with them. It sounds like you felt like rebelling against
what your Moms wanted. Maybe it's the independence you need to
take responsibility for yourself. With independence and responsibility
maybe you can have a better relationship with your Mom too.
I would not be here if my Primo was still Here
If I could bring back my cousin none of this shhh would
be happening with my life. Since my cousin passed away
this life has been so damn hard for me.
I know if he was still by my side he would say hey be
safe always keep your head up and don't let nada put you
down. We would be side by side and if I could bring my
primo back we would live La' Vida Loca.
We would both go down if that was meant to happen.
He would say keep your head up.
From the Beat: We are sorry for your loss. You say that Primo would
have told you to be safe. How can you be safe AND live la vida loca?
Bringing Back the Bead
If I had a chance to bring my grandma and Damarion
back my whole life would change just like that. To tell
my big bra when to hang with me that night if I had these
two people in my life then it would be alright. I would give
my life to bring them both back. Give my last breath to
the ones I love and fly to the sky peaceful as a dove, or to
just give up everything to go up above with the two people
From The Beat: Clearly you cared very strongly for these two people.
What was it about them that you loved so much? Was it the impact
they had on you, or just a strong connection, or something else?
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about all
my family because I miss them all really bad. The reason
that I think about them is because they mean the world
to me. I can't live without them. I feel like I am dying
without them so I really need them really bad. Especially
my little sister.
From the Beat: Have you let them know how much you realize they
mean to you? How do your feelings about your family influence your
plans for your future, what you will and will not do?
If I Can
If I can bring back the dead, I would go back to March,
2004. I would prevent my only uncle named Darius and
I would tell him I love him and I'll see you when it's my
time to go and before he would've left me I would ask him
how can I stay out of jail.
From the Beat: It's been some years and you still clearly carry his memory
close. What do you imagine he would tell you (if he could) about how
you can stay out of jail?
Bringing Back My Grandmother
I would bring back my grandmother because I never told
her about how much I appreciate what she done for me
and how much she inspired me to do positive things. I
wish she would come back to life and lead me the way she
used to. And because of her I'm going to show her that
I can graduate high school and go to Mills College like I
told her when I was a little girl. I want her to come back
for her to say she loves me one more time and for me to
get the chance to say I love her also.
From The Beat: We're so sorry you lost someone who was such a positive
force in your life. Working hard towards the goals you wrote about is a
great way to honor your grandmother's memory.
Sometimes it's hard to tell who is your real friend or not
a real friend because a real friend will be there for you,
and a not real friend will say things to make you think
that he is your real friend. But when it comes down to it,
they are not there for you.
From the Beat: Yes there are certain things people need to do to really
earn our trust. Words need to be back up with their actions.
How It will Feel
Just before I went to sleep last night I was thinking
about when are they going to come get me for court.
I was also thinking about how will it feel to be in
college and own my own company.
And I always think about when will I start my family
and how will it feel to have my own son, daughter, or
both that is what I think about every night before I go to
From the Beat: We believe that thinking about how you'll feel when you
are in the middle of creating what you want most is inspiring, and will
help you make the decisions you need to, to get there!
Change My Ways
I wish my homie Casper and Spanky were still alive.
They both got killed and they lost their lives to gang
violence. I just want to tell them I love them and they
would tell me to do good in life and that's what I want to
do just change my ways when I get out with my girl.
Money cant fix true love cause I'm not rich and my
girl loves me and I love her and that's that.
As a parent I would do the same my mother does but
a li'l stricter and I love her.
From the Beat: How exactly do you plan to change your ways? It
sounds like you know what's most important to you, so keep focused
on that so you can make decisions that keep you with the people you
Bringing Back Emmit
If I could bring somebody back I would bring my bra
Emmit. I would tell bra not to get in that car and just stay
If my bra was here with me I know I would not be in
jail and I would be in school wit a life and if I could say
one thing I would say I love you bra.
From the Beat: We are sorry for your loss of your Emmit, he sounds
like a powerful person in your life. Could you think that in a way he is
with you, always? We understand you miss the man, but could you let
his spirit be a good motivating influence on your life. It sounds like he
would want you to have a good life, to take care of yourself.
If I Was a Parent
If I was a parent I would let my children do stuff they like
to do but not anything but what they deserve. But I would
be on their backs because I want them to be the best they
can and don't be on drugs and that negative stuff. Getting
out of the Juvenile Hall and what can I do to avoid coming
back. Also what can I do to keep myself from getting
involved in other things that I'm not supposed to do.
From The Beat: Have the ways you've been raised differ from what you
would want to do with your child? Do you think that how we parent
determines how children turn out, or is it up to them?
Me and Money
What's up Beat? I'm gonna be talking about me and
money. Me and money get along real well. Money is a
big plus. What would we do without money? Me, I come
across money all day everyday, ya dig? Because what I'm
a millionaire gangsta. But most people call me young
money because I'm a young stunta. There's nothing I
can't get my hands on.
Everything on the streets: cars, guns, dope, you name
it, I had it. But like I was saying, I done touched 50,000,
25,000, 10,000. Basically all this shhh.
I'm gonna wrap this up. I'm out. See you next time.
Love all ya. See you on the outs. Back to that money, ya
- Lil' Twin
From The Beat: Twin, we still are wondering what all that money can't
buy. In fact, in this piece you never really say what money does for you.
Why is it so important to you? We don't know why you are inside but we
also wonder if your "coming across money all day long" has something
to do with it. So, is it worth it?
If you were your parent
I wouldn't want to be my own parent because now that
I look at it, back then I didn't know some of the things
I know now. If I was my own parent I would end up in
a worse position than I am now or end up dead because
they didn't let me go outside when bad things happen
and I'm happy I wasn't able to come outside, that's why I
wouldn't want to be my own parent.
From The Beat: Being the disciplinarian is never fun, and lots of people
avoid setting strict rules when they can. Most people don't like to set
rules because they think it will worsen the relationship, but most times
setting limits is a good thing, and when given limits most young people
respond to them and even eventually respect them.
Breaming about Marriage
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about my
boo Mike! I miss him so much. I dreamed about us getting
married in Trinidad, us having at least 7 kids including
his 3 and living in Detroit, Michigan in a mansion near
I imagine us in the after life together whether it's
heaven or hell it really wouldn't matter as long as I'm with
him. Looking into his light deep brown eyes, smellin' his
sweet strong cologne. Kissing him, midnight light shines
on us feeling his touch makes me weak. When he looks
in my eyes, I'm speechless.
I cant speak. I love him with all my heart and I promise
I will be with him till death does its part!
From The Beat: It's good to have romantic dreams, but in the meantime,
what about your real life plans? School. Work, staying out of trouble?
It seems like taking on three other children might be a heavy load,
especially when you are just stepping into adulthood yourself!
I Am 15 and Life is Short
The hall is not cool. I got to go to sleep when they tell me
to, I got to eat when they tell me to. This shhh ain't cool.
I been here four times for stupid stuff man, but when
I go home this time I am going to do good. I don't want to
come here no more for some stupid shhh no more. When
I got home I'm gon' go to school and do my work.
Shhh I am fifteen and life is short.
From The Beat: You're right - life is short, why waste it on lockdown?
What are some of the people/things you will have to avoid to be
successful when you get out?
Boing me Song
When I was young
I was never doing me
When I got younger
I started definitely doing me
And now I see
I love wearing fancy clothes and jewelry
Everyday I wake up
Got to really go blow some trees
And got have a new weave or braids
In my hair freshly done
With my nails and eyebrows arched to
I am so true
I always got to do me
Till the day I die till the day I die
A ride or die chick
Yes I am
And I always got to stay fly
The best way I can
Always got to stay fly doing me
The best way I can
Always got stay fly doing me
The best way I can
Always got to stay doing me
I pray every night before I go to bed
I thank God
That I'm still breathing air
I pray every night also to
Down on my knees
For my hater's to
Because I got to always thank
For my blessing yea to
I love doing me
Walking down the street
I love doing me shopping ka-ching ka-ching
I love doing me when I party like a rock star
And nobody can bring down
When I'm shining like a rock star
From The Beat: We hope you keep doing you - the real you underneath
the BS that peer pressure feeds you, or the BS that says people are what
they wear, or the BS that makes you think you need to party like a rock
star to BE a rock star. Peace, and keep shining from inside!
Joy is not a boy
Joy is not a toy
Joy is a great feeling that I feel In my heart
I even feel joy when we are apart
feel joy from the start
Joy when I saw my baby sister for the first time
She filled me with so much wonder that I can truly shine
Joy when she smiled at me, holding her set me free
She is only five months old she will grow to be strong
She is my baby sister and I will protect her
When she is by my side
She bring me so much pride
I will teach her everything that I know
Thiis poem is not for show
I will love her with all my heart I have loved her from the start
From The Beat: What a heartfelt poem! Just imagine how much she will
love you and look up to you. When do you next see her? Who else takes
care of her? When you get out, stay out, your baby sis needs you!
I Would Briny Back My Father
If I could bring back the dead I would brink back my
I never met him and never saw any pictures. He died when
I was one. I just think that if I had a father figure my life
would be different.
From The Beat: Do you have other males in your life who take on that
role, of being people you can look up to? We are sorry you lost your
father, but we hope there are other people who inspire you to do your
What Money Can't Fix
Hey it's me Serg just chilling in Max 2. Money can't fix
everything. It cannot bring back the dead. I wish I could I
really do, I miss a bunch of my friends. I hate that they're
gone. It's really hard on me. I don't like this feeling so
rip all my dead friends. I'll see you in Heaven soon.
From the Beat: Aside from wanting to kick it with you too, do you think
your friends would want you in heaven soon? What do you think they'd
want you to do with your life? They lost theirs, and you say you hate
that they're gone. How can you become the man you can be?
Money Can't Bring Back My Folks
Money can't fix things like bringing some of my folks
back and taking things back that already have been done.
If money could fix one thing and one thing only I will bring
my ninjas back to life and make sure it don't happen no
From The Beat: We're sorry for all the people you've lost... but remember,
even if you can't fix the past, there's a lot you can do to fix your future...
What would you need to change about your own life to make it less
What Can Fix a Broken Beart?
They can't fix a broken heart. If you're in love and
your love has just came to an end um...yeah you can go
shopping, get a new hairdo get your nails and feet done,
Go out and hang with your friends and try to get it off
your mind but it doesn't work. You go out and buy a new
car but that's still not enough to cover the pain.... so I
guess money can't fix everything.
From The Beat: It sounds like you've been through this yourself. And
yes, the only thing that can heal a broken heart is time, lots of it. And
when the first pain hits you, it feels like nothing will ever take away
the pain, but then, gradually, it starts to fade. Have you noticed that
If You Were Your Parent
Well if I was my own parent I would just try to make
me change because my parents do everything possible to
get me to stay out of trouble. But still like it's my fault
because I'm the one to sneak out and still disobey. And
I do have a child on the way so I hope I correct him and
show him/her all my mistakes that I've done and the one
I'm in right about now.
From The Beat: We hope when you get out you can manage to stay out
and be there to teach your child the lessons you've learned in your life.
Thinking ahead, if you your child started down the path you're in right
now, what do you think you could do to get them straight? What could
someone do for you now?
My love for you is like a river
A summer breeze that makes my soul shiver
One look from you is more precious than gold
You're the one I love to hold
I'm looking for tha' one
And you're the one I chose.
This is a poem I wrote for my ex-girlfriend. She was
and is the love of my life. Me and her went against the
world. We had the whole world against us. Our story is
a Romeo and Juliet story. Our families hated each other,
but we both snuck on trains to see each other. See she's
from Sacramento, I'm from Oakland. Her family is rich,
and mines is poor. Me and her were going steady - I even
proposed to her!
She got pregnant and I went to jail. Soon I found
out she was having sex with other guys with my baby in
her stomach. After that she got an abortion without me
knowing and my world fell apart. After that I found out
that it wasn't my baby. I wanted to break up with her but
I couldn't. And I still haven't.
From The Beat: Love can be tragic. Maybe this is a question of both
of you being too young to handle the relationship — because she has
her own issues to deal with: Fidelity, relationships, her family, the loss
of her baby, and of course you have to work on the behaviors and
lifestyle that got you locked up. Maybe once you are both stronger as
individuals, you might have a better chance of being a strong couple?
Briny Back My BGPatna
What's up Beat? I'm at camp now. As you know we get
home visits, and the last time I was on a HV, my OG patna
died on 2/07/09.
I haven't had a chance to talk to him because I've
been locked down for a cool minute, and it just hurt me
that he had to die because of violence and to die in front
f his momma's house.
I wish I could bring back the dead or rewind time, but
everything happens for a reason, because life is ninety
percent how you take it and ten percent what you make
it, but it's one more thing -- I wanted to tell him I love him.
Rest in Peace.
From The Beat: We are so sorry for your loss. When you share your pain
and memories of him, that helps keeping his death from becoming a
statistic. Now you have to continue to live, and live right in his name!
>*y.v#A/v«*y MMMrmsrm ss/sss //////
Bow Can I Get Paid?
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
getting my freedom and then getting my dough. I stayed
up hella long tryna figure out how I was gone accomplish
my goal of getting paid. After thinking for a few, I got mad
and went to sleep.
From The Beat: While you went to sleep thinking about how to get
paid, the people running the system went to bed satisfied that you are
helping them get paid. You need to plan for a different goal: finishing
school, getting off paper, and then getting a job so you can stack your
chips a little at a time.
Just Before I Went To Sleep
Just before I went to sleep last night I thought about my
baby mama and how much I miss her. I could be with her
right now, but instead I'm locked up wishing I was with
her. But that's all I got for The Beat.
From The Beat: This is a pretty lazy response to our question... just
three sentences! If you want to be with your bm and not just wish you
were with her, what do you plan to change? If the answer is nothing,
then you'll just keep dreaming about what you've lost...
When Boes It End?
What's up, Beat? This ya boy, Isaiah, you know, still
locked up. Man, when does it end? When I get out? Man,
I'm tired of sleeping days and nights on people' clothes
and bedding. Been here almost five months, doing dead
time, but we'll see this week.
From The Beat: Five months is a long time, but maybe it's what you
needed so that you don't have to waste any more time under the
control of strangers. When you're back to wearing your own clothes and
sleeping in your own bed, don't give it up again! When you decide
over, that's when it will end.
Bringing Back Ihn Deal
If I could have one chance to bring somebody from the
dead, I would bring my lil' homie Trivi back home. We
used to go to school together. And I know he always got
It was the 6/16/07 at 8:00 p.m. when the phone rings.
I answer. It was my homie Cesar to tell me that my lil'
homie Trivi got shot. When I heard that, I got so mad that
I hit the wall so hard.
From The Beat: We're very sorry to read about this tragedy, just as
we hate to read about these premature deaths every week. We can
understand the anger that leads to hitting the wall, but are there
other things you want to do — or want to stop doing — because of this
What's Good With The Beat
It's yo' Boi Acie up in the max, and doing too much of
nothing. But all you ninjas talking about y'all goons, y'all
don't even know what a goon is homie. Real Goons don't
talk, real goons shoot.
I'm a goon, boy. Me and my ninjas are goons for a reason
'cause we don't play. But ninjas out there really telling on
ninjas. Ey, yo, people can be them peoples, no glasses can
help you see them people.
All y'all boys out there got a lot of squares and your
circles. That's why y'all dropping like flies. Put this in the
Beat or I'm never writing for the Beat.
From The Beat: We're putting it in, but we don't think it says very much.
When you say you "don't play," what is it that you don't play? You must
have been playing something, or you wouldn't be in this place. What
are we missing?
Bringing Back The Bead
Man, what's good with The Beat? This ya boy D-Boom
posted up in the max right now. But man, bringing back
Fo' real man, if I could bring back the dead I would
bring back the homies Nail Boom and O.G. fo' real, man.
One thing I would want ma bra O.G. to tell me is who...
'cause if I ever find out... Really can't say what I'll do fo'
real, 'cause that's my bra and I miss my big bruh hella
But fo' real, me and O.G. and Nail Boom:
Just ride and laugh at these slick ol' cowards.
Park at the top of the 'je'ts and just smoke and just talk
Show how after they dead, people lose their power.
Show Nail Boom how his trifling ol' baby mama done got
Now she messin' with the brother he robbed in the pink
But I miss ma bra to death fo' real. It seen like it was
yesterday we was all just on the block posted, smokin',
gettin' money. Now ma big bras gone. But it's good 'cause
they say everything happens for a reason. We gone all
meet each other one day. Till we meet again...
From The Beat: If they could come back and speak to you here, what
do you think they would say? Do you think they miss being alive on
earth... and wonder if they should have done anything different that
could have kept them alive?
Tlwi.LUkM MfWMmfMMA ffi/ffiff //////
On My Way Out Of State
What's good with The Beat? This Drew, man, comin' out
this unit. I been up in here for five months. The way it's
lookin', I might be up in here for like a minute mo'. My
PO and shhh be on some other shhh, actin' like she ain't
givin' a damn about if I leave or not.
It's nothing, though. I'm finta just be chillin up here
till they send me to the "zoneski" aka Arizona. But other
than that, I'll holla at The Beat next week.
From The Beat: What program are you going to in Arizona? What do you
hope to learn there?
Thinking 01 My Son...
My son, I've been locked up for about a week in 850
Bryant, and they brought me to juvy yesterday. I've missed
my son for what seem like eternity, and it's only been a
week and a couple of days.
My son is my heart, my soul, my everything. My son
is who I think about all day and before I go to sleep. I
also thought about the two women I love to death in this
world, and that is my moms and my wife.
True story kid! Wake up!
From The Beat: We assume that last bit of advice, "Wake up!" is to
yourself, and it's the right advice to give. It's clear how much you love
and need your son. Just think how much more he needs you!
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
someone special to me. I miss her dearly. I wish I was
makin' love to her — since I can't be my explicit self in
this Beat. That's the only thing I regret about comin' here
is leaving her, but hey, that's how life is.
I was thinking about being wit' her and the things
we go to when I get out. Since I have big thoughts I also
thought about being wit' my ninjas and fam. Thoughts of
how I'ma get this money always cross my mind. The last
thought be is takin' care of unfinished business, know
what I'm talking 'bout.
From The Beat: We think you need to put these thoughts in some order,
because some of them cancel out others. If you're plotting to "take
care of unfinished business," it's like planning to come back to a place
like this and have to regret, al over again, leaving her behind. Being
responsible often means having to give up something in order to get
something else. Only a child thinks he can have it all.
Man, each and every day I spend in this facility, I notice
how the older kids act younger... But me, on the other
hand, I've done seen a whole lot of stuff and been through
too much to not act my age, 17.
I'm doing my down-low, keeping my head out the
gutter, but doing my best to function in a junction like
this. But yup, I'm older... 'Bout ta be 18 in a few months.
Life is short. I'm tryna be out with my family and do my
down-low, you feel me...
I'm finsta be out in a few on some otha, in like mainey.
I'm ahead of the police's brains you feel me, ya'msayin?
From The Beat: Well, if you're so far ahead of the police's brains, how
did you let them nab you this time? Maybe you mean that being in here
has made you see what you have to stop doing so that you can stay
free. That would really put you ahead! Don't mess up now. Keep your
eyes on that prize: getting out to be with your family!
Why I'm Waiting To Change
Wha's up wit' it? Well, I'm just goin' answer yo questions
'bout the last time I wrote. You asked why wait till I'm 18
to stop this stuff I do.
Well, first is 'cause I'm only 16 still, and I still like
doing the stuff I do. I know I'ma stop robbin' ninjas when
I turn 18 'cause I'ma get more mature an' stuff. Like right
now I stopped doin stuff I used o do in middle schoo'
'cause I think it's stupid. So I think it goin' go the same
when I turn 18.
- Jerry Geez
From The Beat: What if the things your doing now get you in a worse
situation than you're in? What if you don't make it until your 1 8? What if
you get caught up in something you didn't expect, and you get tried as
an adult and face real time, or catch a bullet and end up in a wheelchair
with someone having to feed you? Those are the "what ifs" that you'll
regret all your life if you don't change now while it's still possible.
Will l Thought Abiiit Befire Bel
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
all the thangs I'ma do when get out: Late night creepin';
pull phat licks and get my cake up. Plot an' scheme to get
green. After all that keep it solid and get back to business.
Be on one, make things happen. Been down for too long.
The street callin' on me, lil' dawg.
From The Beat: Apparently you haven't been down long enough since
everything you're thinking about doing will only lead you back to the
same place. The only green you're making now is going into the pockets
of the people you have handed your life over to.
My smile turned into a mug
My bra died and I ended up on the inside
An' that's how shells ended up inside me
Lil' dawg turned grimy
We all see the same moon, dance to the same beat
But go out and kill each other
But if I don't die I promise revenge
From The Beat: That revenge you promise will only make your own life
worse (more voluntary slavery), as well as make another mother's heart
break. We're sorry you've experienced the pain you now want to inflict
on someone else's loved ones.
More Money, More Problems
More money, more problems. Having money is good, but
too much can give you problems. Money can break up
family. Money can make you lose your good friend. I got
too much problem to think, so I can't write that much
right now. Late.
From The Beat: We wish you had included some examples of what you
mean. How can money break up family? How can it cause you to lose a
good friend? Have you had these experiences with money? This could
be a much stronger piece if you told us about some of them.
Money Every Day
I need money every day... hustle, survive all day. I need
money. Getting money on the block, that's what I'm about
— busta choppa every day. You know how I do, getting
money every day boy I see dolla's all day getting money is
my top dollar
From The Beat: Yeah, we can see how much money you're getting. Of
course, it's not going into your pockets, but into the pockets of your
keepers. Very smart!
MMiM-nkM MtjmmfMM ft/set tffiffrr
What I though About
What's up Beat? This ya boy Lil' Bra. Just before I went
to sleep last night I thought about changing my life. I
want to be able to go to my group home and complete it
successfully. I know me, I am going to run but I will try
in all my power to stick it out so I can get out the system
and get off probation.
From The Beat: Maybe it's only the old you that you know, the one
that would have run from the group. Maybe the "new" you has matured
enough to realize that sometimes we just have to take our medicine and
put the sickness behind us to move forward. Even if you hate the group
home, you can be man enough to stick it out and prove what you are
capable of accomplishing!
Had A Name From The Deginning
What's up with that city beef? It's hard living in a city
where everybody from somewhere. A place where you got
to kill or be killed. A place where young thugs from 12
and up busting heads just to make a name for theirself
instead of being themselves.
Me Twaney Mac, top rank because boy been doing
this shhh since it started. Never had to make a name for
myself, already had one since the first day mom's found
out she was pregnant. I been out here.
I ain't going anywhere unless god want me to. I'm
going to holla lata man. Gotta get back to doing this time
From The Beat: Maybe god put you in the situation your in to show you
this isn't where you should be. Do you have any control over where you
are or what you are doing? Does god have any expectations of you?
Bring Him Back
If I could, I would bring my boo back
He was everything to me, and had his life intact.
I miss him so much, and wish his death wasn't a fact
He helped and persuaded me to keep my life on track
We was down for each other, there was no mistakin' that
He was like an answer to my prayers, truly heaven sent
He treated me like a queen, made sure I had everything
No man could ever take his place... I was truly sprung
I hit the notes higher than T-Pain sung
I feel it in my heart, and I knew he was the one
From The Beat: We hate reading these pieces about tragic death among
those as young as you! We're sorry he's gone, and wonder what his
death has meant to you and how you live your life. Has it made you
think about things any differently?
Living By Quotes
I live my life off of quotes like these:
"Quitting while your ahead is not the same as quitting."
(I just don't know why;
I didn't listen to this one.)
"If a man stands for nothing, he will fall for anything..."
"If there is no struggle, then there is no success..."
"What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger."
The one I like the most: "Every man is trying to live up to
his father's expectations."
From The Beat: You could take any one of these quotes, and write a
complete piece about it. What attracts you to it? What examples can
you give to prove the quotes true (or false)? Without knowing why you
choose to believe these particular quotes, there's not much for us to
If I Can Bring Him Back
If I can bring my big cousin back, man, I'm telling you, I
will be so different. They ask me if I would be different if
he was alive, and to tell you the truth, I would. I won't be
here right now, writing this. I will be somewhere mobbin'
with my big cousin.
Cousin, it seem since you been gone, shhh been
getting rough out here for me. Man, I miss you sooo
much. But I'm go hold my head up, and a part of you still
live in me 'til this day.
From The Beat: We appreciate that you want to live, at least partly, to
give him life through you. But we hope you make some other changes
in the way you live so that you can carry him into freedom. If you and
he were out there "mobbin," how long do you think it would last before
you paid the terrible price he's already paid, or the terrible price you're
About To Be A Father At Fifteen
If I was a virgin, would life be the same now? I would not
have a child an' the females would not probably love me
the same. I think about hell, 'cause I know I'll probably
never change. Like Jata said, I'm just a gangster caught
up in the game. Things will never change.
Sex is a stress relief to me. I need it or I might go
crazy, but with sex comes a hard consequence... by that I
mean kids. I'm gonna have my first child at fifteen. Damn,
that's a shame. My life I think will change. So you answer
my question for me. If I was a virgin, would life be the
From The Beat: There is no reason why having sex should lead to
children, unless you're act irresponsibly, like a child yourself. By having
unprotected sex, you not only bring an unplanned child into the world
when you're still a child yourself, but you also leave yourself open to all
manner of STDs, from gonorrhea to AIDs. You don't have to be a virgin
to be responsible.
Goom To These Streets
Man, what's up? I'm writing on the topic today, "Bringing
Back The Dead." Tell you the truth, I'd bring back a couple
of people: 1) my grandparents and dad; 2) brothers; 3)
homies. The reason why I go back in time an' bring them
back, because I would want them to know the things that
I didn't get a chance to tell them before, like the secrets
that I kept from them.
You asked if I would be different. Yes, actually, I would
be different. To be truthful, I be a school/church girl. I
wouldn't have lost my "V card," just hella little shhh. I
wouldn't be hanging on nobody' block. I will really be
I don't know by what you mean, would I still be here?
I mean, I wouldn't be locked up and shhh, so, yeah, I be
hitting corners with the fam bam, ya dig? But, for real, I
would really just want them to know I love them, feel me?
I'm goom to these streets, feel me? They life is still living
through me, regardless. These sucka-ass ninjas know
what's up, and I dare any one of them to run up and take
another one from me, 'cause I be damn if I let them still
be on these streets. I'm goom for life. We ain't going to
stop 'til the clock stop ticking. Tick, tick, tick, getya rest.
We out here, man. RIP to my fam bam.
From The Beat: We're always sorry to read about the number of losses
people your age have already experienced. It shouldn't be that way.
We hope you've learned enough from these tragedies to avoid them
yourself. As for what lies ahead, no one can predict the future, so you
can't convince us that you won't stop doing what you do and start doing
something new. Only time will tell.
- t+j:M*M**dJ mmwrn ///////// //////
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
Can't Take My Heart Out The Streets
Money can't fix my love for the block. It can't bring
back the big homies that was took out. Money can't stop
makin' me live a savage life. Money won't make me quit
mobbin'. It can't take my heart out the streets. Thanks to
money, my life was neva a struggle. Money can't fix a lot,
but I love it, and so do the money lovers of my 'hood.
From The Beat: Your heart may still be out there in the streets, but the
rest of you is locked up behind walls, and you're having to do what a
I bunch of strangers tell you to do. We hope you see how much bigger the
world is than your tiny block... while you still have a chance!
Can't Stop My Grind
Yeah man, what's up with The Beat? They in here tryna
play ya boy in this thang man. They got me in here in
the big boy in unit. You know ya boy Young Vern in here
holdin' it down for the homies.
Man, ninjas ain't in this thang talkin' 'bout shhh,
ya'msayin? When I get out this thang, Fma go get a job.
Man, ya know I got to get my stack up, you know how I do.
Ninjas try to hate, but can't stop my grind.
From The Beat: Forget about those "ninjas" that can't stop your grind.
The system has stopped your grind more than once, and if you keep
giving them all the power they need to control your life, they'll keep
stopping it! Seems like, by now, it's time for you to flip the script a little,
and regain control of your life!
I Need My Mom
If I could bring the dead back, I'll bring back my mom,
'cause how I grew up is manie (bad!). That's why
like this. I feel like I was raised by nothing but boys
so I'm rough with people, plus myself. So I really need
From The Beat: It's too bad you had to grow up without a mother, leaving
you as rough as a boy. Can you soften up some of those rough edges so
that the world treats you with a little tenderness?
Not A Good Place
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
getting out of this place. I'm tired of being in this G thang.
It's not a game in this thang. I need to get out this place
and get back to my family. This is not a good place to be
and grow up in.
From The Beat: You're so right, JB, this is not a good place to grow up
in. And you will get out and be home. But then what? That's what we'd
like to read... your plans for how to stay out once you get out.
My Mom Is My Ride Or Die
My mom is my ride or die
She is my everything
She is by my side
And she love me so much
And I love her, too
So my mom is my ride or die
I will be with her for life
I love you, Mom
You see it
From The Beat: Before you can be with her for life, you have to give up
a few things — the things that let the system take you away from her!
Think of all that she has given up for you, and maybe that will make it
easier for you to give up a few things for her.
It's A New Year
What up with The Beat? This to the young homies. Man,
y'all be cool 'cause they ain't playin' out there no more.
It's '09 and the police already angry 'cause it's a black
president and they very angry. Y'all need to keep y'all
head up 'cause people getting killed like animals in Africa
when the tribe hungry.
From The Beat: Do you think all the police are angry that we now have
a black president? Does that include black and brown police, too? Seems
like relations on the street were bad with the cops and y'all long before
we got a black president, so what do you plan to do in your own life to
stay out of harm's way?
Love To Ike Fallen
Something money can't fix is bringing back my dead
homies so I can tell them I love them and how much I
miss them. So I'm go do it now. I love y'all homies who are
fallen. Y'all gone but never forgotten.
-Low Boi Acie
From The Beat: Sorry, but we can't put down a list of RIPs like you
wrote. We're sorry your list is so long. Do you think about what you
have to do to stay off this list?
You Ain't Scarin' Nothin'
Man, I'm gettin' tired of these clowns up in here, y'am
sayi'n? They all 'bout talk, but neva do nothing but run
they choppas. They need to be smooth, befo' it get ugly in
this G-thang. I'm holdin' it down, y'am sayin'? I stay with
the thugs on the outs, but all the goons, keep ya heads up
and be smooth, y'am sayin'? This that real ninja.
From The Beat: Why should these "clowns" take advice from someone
who gave away his freedom to a bunch of strangers? As long as you're
wearing someone else's drawers, it doesn't much matter whether you're
I that "real ninja" or not. Stop getting locked up, and then your advice
will have more power.
Man, this topic could be a little bit more specific. But
if I knew what I know today, I would be the grimiest,
smartest, smirkishes, richest young ninja alive, but had
to learn from my mistakes. And man, If I could, I'a bring
back all my block ninjas. But I can't, and I don't think
they wanted to be in this world of evil and hate so much
shameful pain anyway.
So, to all my fallen real ninjas, hold a spot for yo'
young real ninja.
From The Beat: What if you're wrong? What if they could come back
and all tell you that they did want to be in this world? What if they
told you that as bad as things are here, it's better than the alternative?
Would that change anything about how you live your life or how you
want to live it?
Stay In School
What that Beat do? This be that girl Creamy Luscious
on deck in YGC. Yo' girl rep that town shhh all day. Well,
anyways, yeah, yo' girl up here doing her dues, not givin'
a damn about nobody. But, man, all I'm tryna do is get
money, smoke weed, and do me. I love my Popi and my
Popi loves me. What I got to say, stay in school and get yo'
money up, youngsta.
From The Beat: You waited until the very end to give the only useful
advice in this piece: stay in school. If you keep chasing that money, that
weed and repping your street, the only education you're going to get is
behind walls! Word to the wise!
: i,hunkd^ Mxmrjkw/jm * e / g e t //////
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
Sossy And Freaky, Out Never Too Naughty
Bossy, from head to toe
Freaky, but never really low
I play the game like Monopoly
II dare a girl to land on my property
From The Beat: Okay so you dare her to land on your property, and then
what? Do you go straight to Jail without passing Go, without collecting
My Jaina Left Me
Yeah man, my jaina left me. But y'all know what?! Broads
come and go feel me! That's just part of la vida loca when
you're incarcerated! You don't really know if your girl will
hold you down once you're locked up. But to hell with
From The Beat: If you put yourself in a place like this for any time at all,
then it won't be broads that come and go. It'll just be other dudes!
Keep Tha Peace
I'm tryna keep that peace
My shih still ain't made The Beat
They tryna play me talkin' 'bout I'm talkin' 'bout tha
Man, I'm out; I'ma see y'all in week
From The Beat: Some of your pieces are just too gangster to publish. But
we can see your skills in a short poem like this, so we hope you write us
something serious. That we would publish.
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
what a dog was doing in the halls, when I could be home
with my family that loves me and misses me. What am I
doing in here in a small room and a cement bed, when I
could be in a soft-ass bed at my house and at whatever
time I want have a lot of freedom.
In my house I just never get bossed around. So when
I was about to sleep I was thinking that if I just fell to
sleep and I wish I could just wake and wake at my house
the day I got caught, it would have been really different. I
would have though twice about doing something wrong.
From The Beat: It would be nice if we could wake up with all the mistakes
we made erased. But that can't happen, so all you can do is try to learn
from the mistake, and not repeat it. If you stop doing the things you
can get caught for, then you won't have to go to sleep wishing to wake
up before it happened.
Bringing Back The Real Ninjas
God give me my ninja for about a month
So we could parlay and chill, talkin' ova a blunt!
Then find a few girls. Gone and spend it on him and get
what he want.
Help him take care of his kids, make sure they on.
You never think about this shhh until a ninja gone.
And if that break me then forget it, I guess I'm on my
It would be lovely if heaven had a phone.
So instead I decided to write this song.
From The Beat: If Heaven did have a phone, what do you think he
would be telling you down here on earth? Would you be willing to hear
his message if he asked you to do some changing so that you could have
the opportunity he did not have to live out his full life?
25 Reasons To Love You
1) Your smile, don't have to say no more.
2) Your guidance and all the things you show me
3) The way you look at me when you say "I love you"
4) Your headstrong personality
5) Your take-charge capability
6) I love the way you cook for me beef roast, white rice
7,8,9) The flowers, the massages, the cards you give for
no reason at all
10) The way you spend on me even though I got my own
11) For always being yourself regardless of how I or
anyone else felt
12) The way you don't trip on me when I'm in it real late
like right now
13) Knowing just what I need even when I didn't make it
clear for you to see
14) For being understanding when that time comes, you
know what I mean
15) For your beauty, inside and out, and to close it out,
16 through 25) is for all the females I cheated with, but
you didn't leave because you had love for me
Dedicated to someone very special to me.
-Lil 1 Junk
From The Beat: Sounds like you have someone worth respecting enough
not to cheat on her. You don't want to find yourself in the position of
wishing to change something you can't change and losing her.
Bringing Back My Homeys
If I can go back in time, I would change a lot of things.
I would have stayed on page and protected my dog. But
hey, God works in his own ways. So yeah, what would
he had told me — to keep my head up and watch out for
these punks. So yeah, I'm really not go say too much, but
I always say at night I got you and I'm go keep yanking
until the day I go.
From The Beat: How do you think god is working, mysteriously, in your
life? Could what happened to your homie be god's way of speaking to
you to see if you're listening?
The Night I'll Always Remember
It was about 12:30 at night, just like any other night,
except this night was not like any other. I was walking
inside my house. I had just finished smoking a blunt
when I got a phone call from my boy asking if I wanted to
kick it. I said I had to take care of my kid, so I go upstairs.
30 minutes later, I'm by the window blowing the weed
smoke out, when I heard six shots from a near distance. I
thought to myself, "Damn! Another one dead."
I finish my blunt and I'm about to go to bed when
I hear an ambulance pass my house, I think nothing of
it and go to sleep. But that's not where it ends. I had a
dream about me and my boy that called me. We were
walking down the street when a man runs up to me with
a bat, and before he can hit me, my boy pushes me out he
way and gets hit. And right when he gets hit, I wake up to
the sound of my cell phone.
Two days later, I found out that my boy was murdered
two blocks from my house at one a.m. with six shots to
his chest. RIP G-l
-Nothing But Time
From The Beat: We're so sorry that you've had to live through this
nightmare. You're exactly right to think, "Damn! Another one dead."
How many more, we wonder, until we lose an entire generation of
young men who should have grown to manhood? Does this tragedy
change anything for you about how you want to live your life?
EmnHiinE Msmmm/i # n s £ // //////
I Love My Goons
Yeah, It's ya boy, Grimey, coining live and direct from
YGC. 'Bouta get up outta here in a min. Yeah, but I love
my goons, 'cause they like family to me. But, yeah, I'm be
out there, doin' my thang. I got to get dough, y'am sayin'?
That's what it's all about, y'am sayin'? We in this unit
deep. I wish I was out fo' my goons right now. Police still
out there tryin' to do they thang, but, hey, it's nothin' to a
big dog, but get at me.
From The Beat: As long as being a slave is "nothin"' to you, you'll just
keep putting money in the pockets of the people who are now controlling
you. When your life, and every second in it becomes "something," then
maybe you'll realize that you could be in control instead of a bunch of
In My Mind
I know ninjas that know ninjas that beef wit' ninjas that
ain't 'bout shhh, ya dig? I got a lot of ninjas confused right
now, 'cause this is how I think. If I spoke how I thought,
it'll be somethin' like this:
"That ninjas ova there can't underdig what ninja on
this pencil be talkin' 'bout, 'cause that ninja can't see this
ninja, 'cause this ninja got that swag an' he can't swag
like I swag, 'cause I be swaggin' like me, an' him ain't me,
ya dig? If you can't keep up, you gone get left on some
Bayonce shhh. So stay away from that 40, 'cause drivin'
while drunk'll get ah ninja slumped. That me, though, but
I gotta put stuff in English and y'all prolly go crazy.
From The Beat: We had to take out a few lines, partly because we don't
want to promote gunplay in The Beat and partly because when we don't
know what something means, we have to be extra careful. The system
is looking over our shoulder, so if you want to say something, we wish
you'd write it plainly so we're not tempted to remove it. The sad truth
about both you and those who don't have your swag is that you're both
trying to make the best of it without having the freedom to do so.
Seems to us that you're in the same boat, whether you swag or not!
What Money Can't Fix
Money can't change the fact that the homie's dead and
gone. Money can't change the fact that some ninjas gone
drop in 2009. Certain things money ain't useful for, things
you can't change.
If I could change something, it would be all these
so-called gangsters, thugs, or goons, whateva y'all call
yo'self. I would help these ninjas get some courage and
be about what y'all talkin' 'bout. It ain't smooth to be a
gangster in The Beat, ya'msayin'? These drugs got y'all
thinkin' y'all me or my squad? Y'all clowns.
-The Shotty Ninja
From The Beat: Real gangsters? So-called gangsters? Who cares? Both
you and those criticize as clowns are locked up, slaves to a system that
had no power to enslave them until you gave it to them! Real or fake,
freedom beats slavery any day of the week!
Don't Play Games
Ya dig, this the Shotty Ninja. Wha's poppin' with The Beat
thang, ya heard? Ey, this a lil' something I been tellin'
ninjas. It go somethin' like this: I'm posted on the block
in a black hoody. Don't get it confused, ain't nothin' I say,
play or games, so please don't play with me like I'm PS3
or X-Box 360, 'cause I ain't got the patience. Coming live
and direct, put ya glasses on, ya dig?
-The Shotty Ninja
From The Beat: This doesn't reveal very much more than, "don't play
with me." What happens when you lose your patience? When do you
plan to stop letting the system play with you by putting yourself in
situations that give it power over you?
Missing My Homies
If I could bring my deceased soldiers back, it'll be a rap.
You boys know what it is. But I miss all my dead homies
and my loved ones with all my heart. But, che, this Yung
Von and RIP to all the homies I have lost. I'm gone.
From The Beat: We're sorry your list of the dead is so long, Yung Von,
and we're sorry we can't just list them the way you put them down. We
don't do lists of RIPs, but if you want to write about one or more of
them, we'd publish that.
What I Was Thinking last Night \
Shhh homie, I was thinkin' 'bout this bad-ass female last
night. But I didn't do no nasty shhh or anything, nothin'
like that, though. I was thinking how beautiful she is.
Females is one of the most important things in
the world. Without them our population would be low,
probably wouldn't even be a population to count, you
heard. An' plus, a ninja would go crazy without a female,
pro'ly mo' than money
But money is sweet , too. Shhh, I love that shhh, but
you can get money. Well, I can get money, and I most
definitely get females. I'm just sayin' females should be
treated like the beautiful queen that they are. So ta all the
females I ever disrespected, I'm a say "my bad," 'cause I
don't say sorry... Adios.
From The Beat: We're sorry you don't say sorry 'cause sometimes sorry is
the most appropriate word to say. Money is something we all need, but
to love it may create problems. (That's why the Bible says 'The love of
money is the root of all evil.") As for the love of females, well, that's the
kind of love you can only experience if you get out of places like this
and stay out of places like this. No question about it, being around only
boys for a long time can truly make you crazy!
Man, listen up. I'ma about to get dope
Man, I'm tired of these dumb ninjas in here
But anywho, man, I was reading the Bible
And some shhh god was saying hit me
He said, "I went to pray
And sent my disciples away
On a boat and from the maintain top
On the sea struggling against the wave"
So He walked out on the water
'Bout to pass them by until they noticed him
Basically, man, if you don't stop the bullshhh and notice
God and pay attention to Him instead of this, forget the
shhh y'all doin'.
From The Beat: That same book says, "Judge not lest ye be judged."
Matthew 7:1. Seems like it would be more useful for you to turn your
focus on yourself, and let others deal with their own stuff...
J^JziwI-LUkM MfWMmfMM tfi/ffiff //////
What The Money Can't Fix
There are things that money can't fix and I believe one of
those things are love. In the materialistic world we live in
today, leads us to think that the more money we have, the
more love is gonna come wit' it. But I don't believe that's
true. Even if I had billions, it wouldn't be able to replace
the void we need from love. Whether you believe it or not,
it's true money can't buy you love! Period!
From The Beat: This is one of those universal truths that is hard to
believe when money seems to be able to solve so many of our problems.
We know what you wrote is true, though, because there are too many
rich people unhappy in love — and too many poor people whom love has
brought happiness to.
Life Ain't What You See On TV
"Life is a and then you die," (words by Mac Dre). I
never got that when I was young, now I see. Life ain't
what you see on TV. Life in the US ain't as hard as in
foreign countries, but still we all gotta complain about
From The Beat: Actually, life in the U.S. is harder than it is in some
countries but easier than it is in others. What else do you like to
Gettin' My Paper
I be on the block all damn night, gettin' my paper. That's
all I do is get paper and all the girls, ya 'mean? Girls come
and go all the damn time, 'cause that's how it is, bra.
It's nothing. When I get out, I'm going to do what I do —
gettin' my girls and the paper. Peace, yo' boy.
From The Beat: This is like a recipe from handing away your freedom
again! You brag about going back to the block to "do what you do," as
if the system is not waiting for you to do what you do so they can do
what they do, and put you back in the box! Time to grow up so you can
stay out of the places the system has waiting for you.
Super Bowl Party
All I'm going to say is to hell with the halls! I can't wait
till I get out. Print this or not, I really don't give a damn.
I'm here doing time.
I just got off DRB for some bs so right now I got hella
energy. The Super Bowl was cracking! We had a little
party here in the Max Unit feel me! At the Super Bowl
party we had hella food!
From The Beat: What kind of food did you have at the party? Who
brought it? You can say to hell with the halls if you want, but unless
you make some changes, it's the halls (or worse) that will be saying to
hell with you!
No Time To Play
Man, what's good with The Beat? This the D posted up
in this thang, man. You already know I'm bustin' till its
empty ya dig. 'Cause most of these brothas be like, "Yeah,
I'm bustin' till it's empty." But when the beef is on they be
the first ones to hide.
But man, the way it is went from fist fight to shoot
outs damn near everyday. And me, I'm bustin' 'cause I
ain't got time to play with nobody. They play they get
From The Beat: Yeah, but who's getting played now? Maybe it's time to
Don't Come Dere!
Wha's poppin' with The Beat? This ya man, Chris, ya
dig? From that black hole, ya heard me? But I'ma let y'all
know that if y'all got a commitment to the Ranch, just
deny it, 'cause it ain't coo'. I would rather do my time in
the halls. It ain't nothing but suckas up here, a few real
ninjas. But don't come to the Ranch. Go somewhere else
or if you do come up here, run! I'm out.
1. You can get extra time added.
2. Take showers next to each other
3. One phone call a week
4. Counselors write you up for more time
5. It's dirty as hell
6. Nasty-ass food
From The Beat: We're sorry you don't like the Ranch, but running is no
solution to your problems. That's something you'll learn more and more
as you mature; running simply postpones what you have to deal with
sooner or later. It shouldn't be a question of the Hall or the Ranch.
Seems to us the true solution to your problem is not to put yourself in
the situations that lead to one or the other in the first place.
It's yo' Boi Acie just doing time. They trying play a goon
right now. But they can't keep a real goon forever, so
when I hit them streets, it's go be popping boy, if you
know what I mean.
But to all my goons, watch out for them suckas and
them cops cause. They trying to shut the 'hood down, so
y'all stay on y'all toes 'cause when this boy come home,
we go be on top.
From The Beat: Tell the 2,000 boys doing "Life Without the Possibility
of Parole" across the country that they can't hold you down forever.
They were all under 18 when they committed their crimes, and not one
of them will ever breathe free air again!
What's good with The Beat? Once again, this ya boy
Yeah, topic for today is " Havin' no regrets." When
you do something, do it without regret 'cause it will
sometimes come back and haunt you. But the only thing
you supposed to have regrets is hurtin' your family,
because that is your number one priority. Other than that
have no regrets.
I'm gone. To all tha brahs and little brahs, keep ya
From The Beat: Who makes these rules? Why should you only regret
hurting your family, and no one else? We regret all the people we've
hurt over the years, family and not. Everybody is part of so mebody's
family, so why are some families worth more than others?
Man, I Miss My Dawg
What's up with The Beat? This the Squeezer Newt,
the money chaser. Maine, I miss my cousin, "Junk." He
taught me everything about the streets — how to keep my
eyes open, don't never slip, ride wit' my fire, get money,
don't trust nobody, and keep yo' mouth closed. It run in
our bloodline. I'm about whatever, ya heard me? I love
you, Junk. We gotta keep our heads up.
From The Beat: What happened to your main man? Did all that he
thought he know about the streets still fail to protect him? Nothing
runs in your bloodline except blood. The rest is all learned. It's time to
learn something different!
I like cocaine.
I don't like the malillas (tweaking)
I remember those days
I don't remember many days
I get mad when I forget
I laugh when I remember
I wish I could go back
I want some more
If only I could get a line
I am an addict
From The Beat: We're addicted to your words. Temper. Don't you see how
truly creative you are when you're not tweaking? Don't you see how
much you have to offer when you're in your own, clear mind? We do!
Joyful As A Son
She is as tired as peanut butter sticking on your teeth.
Peanut butter sandwiches are as tiring as watching TV.
Joy is like a happy photograph of your family.
Photographs are as joyful as a son.
Joy is like a happy photograph of your family that goes on
and on and most likely won't go away.
From The Beat: Were you looking at a family photo when you wrote
this? We love the metaphor, "tired as peanut butter sticking on your
teeth." We're not sure why that sounds "tired," but we still love it.
I would like to say go Lakers baby! We just beat the
Celtics in overtime at their house.
Anyways, let me just say Q" vo to the camaradas up in
the halls and to my stupid lil primo of mine. He got in a
car accident and I feel bad 'cause he is like a brother to I
me. He has always been there for me.
I just wanna say take good care of yourself 'cause you
have people that love you. Think about your Jefita and
your two lil' carnalitos. They love you a lot. What do you
think would happen to them if they found out that you
had died in that car accident of yours? Shhh! I wouldn't
like to even think about it.
How I wish you were here so I could give you a lesson.
And what got my mind out of all this is that the vatos my
primo was with in the car ran and left my primo to die.
Lucky him, he got rushed to the hospital and spent the
night in there... Just so you know, your primo Temper
loves you and cares for you. Hope to see you soon.
From The Beat: If you don't understand why we took out a few of your
lines, ask Dave. But what we left in is all good. You're so right... what if
he had died in that accident, how would that have affected his mother
and siblings for the rest of their lives? That's why it's important to
remember who you are connected to, and what you owe them.
Plan For A Baby
Check it out Beat. This is the leader of your life but I
ain't gonna say it twice. Before I say something today, I'm
gonna soak you like a sponge. That's going to you ladies
before you have a baby, think about it, don't just try to
hand off yo' ninja. Having a baby with a baby is a struggle.
So plan before you give birth.
From The Beat: We wish more young men (and young women] would
take these words to heart. It's so much easier today to be responsible,
and not bring children into the world before you're ready to take care of
them. We wish more young people followed your advice!
Before I Went To Sleep Last Night
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
my family, about how I won't be out with them for a long
time, how much I'm going to miss them. I just hope I'll
be with them. Well this is a short one this week Beat. I
wanna give my love and respect to the homeboys. Late.
From The Beat: Okay, BG, you're entitled to dash off a short one from
time to time. We hope that whether you are with them or apart, you and
your family only grow even closer.
I Messed Bp
What's good Beat? This be Sleepy from Santa Clara. Well,
I just came back from a group home and I ran from it. Now
I'm going out of state.
Well, I been mad when I'm here because this is the
seventh time I'm here. Well anyway, the thing I thought
about was my child and my lady Nissa. I miss my son,
he's two years old. I really want to do my program this
time. I was thinking about my girlfriend; she has really
been there for me. She is everything to me, I miss her so
I feel dumb because I'm just a mess up. I messed up
I can't even get a good job because of my tattoos. When I
get out I want to be there for my lady. I don't want to lose
her. I remember when we used to talk about when we get
older. Man she's on my mind all the time I'm going to do
good and I'm gonna try harder in my programs in school
and at home just for my lady Nissa and my son.
Well, to everybody in here stay up and do good. Don't
run from your programs like the ranch or group home
much love and respect duces.
From The Beat: We all mess up. Sleepy, what's important is whether or
not we learn from our mistakes. This is your 7th time in the hall, what
will you make of it? You can either open your eyes and realize that the
path you're on will get you no where or you can ignore it like before,
you make your own choices. You're young and you have your whole life
ahead of you. Sleepy, don't give up just because of your past or your
tats! Remember, you decide where your life goes!
From The Beat: We put these little nonsense poems together (and
removed the last one, INSANE) because they seem to go together. It
seems like somebody has too much time on his hands...
Turning Back The Bands Bf Time
If I could turn back the hands of time I would prevent my
loved ones from dying, but most of all I would prevent my
friend Carlos from leaving us.
I miss him so much and I want him to know I'll never
forget about him. RIP Carlos M. You'll always be missed.
From The Beat: We're truly sorry for your loss. Is there anything you
learned now that you would tell him if you could?
Barrio First, Love Second
I don't love a thing
Never will it be
For me and a girl
'Cause I'm a gangster 'til I die
And she would never understand
That my barrio comes first
So stressing ain't for me
From The Beat: Don't count love out. Temper. No one can say what is or
is not in their future. What you think you know for sure today may be
as old as telephone booths tomorrow! Love has a way of sweeping away
everything you thought you knew and believed, so be ready...
I went in with five racks,
Put my life on the line for just one hand.
Hundreds and fifties in my vision,
Slowly fading away in the distance.
Wanting to be rich, but once I was, it wasn't enough,
Greed took control, I wanted to be the only one at the
Standing alone, fearless, bowing down to no man coming
Reached my level and fell off the boat 'cause one flaw.
Mind racing quick, I'm in the game,
Didn't know money can bring this much pain.
Shot a few like it was nothing,
Expected y'all to do the same.
Side deals being made behind my back,
Laughed it off for a while till I cashed my last check.
I flipped the script again and again, no means to
You hated, oh too long, showed yo" lil homie no love,
But who's working for who now, come up quick leaving
y'all in the dust.
Years ago it was all good,
There was not one day when we wouldn't have fun.
But times have changed, respect my position crept up in
All y'all thinking I owe you something.
I got love for y'all but I'm showing tough love 'cause that's
what I was given growing up in these streets,
Shed tears from time to time, but now my heart's begging
Look into my eyes for those who knew me, always nothing
but good memories,
Fading away now that I'm gone let your eyes continue
From The Beat: This piece of fine poetry is much too good to be labeled
by the name you chose! It's too easy to disrespect a piece by someone
with the name you gave yourself, so we put your real name on it. The
subject of greed, is one that writers have struggled with throughout
history. (Shakespeare called jealousy — which is another form of
greed — that "green-eyed monster.") We have known many people who
succeeded at making money but were never able to be satisfied because
they always wanted more. Buddhists believe his dissatisfaction with
what we have is source of all our unhappiness.
I Thought About MyMan
What up, Beat? I'm going to write about what I thought
about last night... I thought about my man and how it
sucks being in here because I can't sleep with him at
night, laugh and stay up late like three in the morning
watching George Lopez. Damn, I really miss him.
I also thought about my mom and my family, I miss
them so much! I never realized that I could miss them so
much I'm glad that they got my back to the fullest and
they are here for me no matter what.
I also though about my son, I pray every night hoping
that I'm going to get released by the time my baby is due
so I can spend every second with him, my baby's daddy,
and my family. That's what I though about last night
before I went to sleep...
From The Beat: It must be emotionally tough to be away from your man,
tough for your man too. Just do your time, do good and the next time
you have court speak up and tell the judge about your situation, it
doesn't hurt to come from your heart.
Just before I went to sleep last night I though about why
I'm here... All the things I'm going through or what I might
be facing. I think about my family and how they are doing.
I'm thinking about if they are okay and I hope they aren't
I think about if I wasn't here then what would I be
doing. I think about my sister Fame and chilling with her.
I think about why I couldn't show her another way. I think
about why I couldn't be a better role model.
I think about all the money I am missing our son.
I think about my boo, Kb. I think about al the things I
could be doing, like playing ball. I think about all the
dreams I once had. I think about Miranda, Claudia, Rosa,
Nana, and Erica.
I also am hoping that God does give us all a second
chance. I think about my love, my brother Snaps, hoping
he is doing all right. I'm just thinking about all the shhh.
I'm just thinking about what is going to happen to me.
From The Beat: Although you lightened up this piece a bit by talking
about that cheddah, we know that it's your family that occupies your
mind. It's not too late to set a good example for your sister, if she sees
you doing good even though your in the place you are then she might
follow suit, it doesn't hurt to try.
Small Fish, Big Ocean
The slimy green fish
was swimming around
the huge ocean
with a big fat fish
at it's side
From The Beat: We'd love for you to expand this short poem into a
longer piece. Are you the slimy green fish or the big fat shark?
Before I Went To Sleep
Just before I went to sleep I thought about my freedom,
my family, and my case because I can't wait to be free and
have no one to tell me when to take a shower or go to
sleep, come on now, and my family because that's my life.
I love my family and I can't wait to be with them.
From The Beat: We know that your family is thinking about you too,
and we hope that once you get out you'll think twice before you do
anything that'll land you back in the halls.
' agninnnts mmmmtrnt / a £ //////
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
Joy is like the smell of sweet.
Joy is like the taste of chocolate.
Joy is like the touch of a smooth hand.
Joy is like the sound of raindrops.
Joy is like the sight of one you love.
From The Beat: Joy is a boy and his computer pounding out delicious
poems like this!
Should I Stay or Should I Si?
What's good? This is the homie Torta. Just wanted to
tell you what I was thinking about before I went to sleep
last night. It was that I'm 'bout to go to a group home and
I don't know if I should stav it out or run.
Most likely I might just do it 'cause I don't want to let
my family down or my lady, but man, I should've just did
EMP and passed it but it's cool shhh happens and now I
have to pay the consequences.
From The Beat: You're not the first to think about running, and you
know it'll only 'cause more trouble. Be smart and think it through. We
hope you go with your later idea and just stick it out because the more
you run the more time you build up.
Here I come from the dark side of San Jo stressed and I
cry, waiting for my release. Every night in Juvi I creep and
I crawl, thinking about all the good old days thrown away
in the trash. I see my family shed a tear and the devil eats
me up alive.
I'm a gangsta of Christ, and I don't care what you say,
this is my life. I gotta keep pushing, gotta keep moving,
I'm drifting on a memory thinking about all those good old
days with my family, miss my sisters, miss my brother, I
know I gotta keep holding on, keep my head up 'til my
death. I hold my head up high coming back home. Hang
From The Beat: A gangsta of Christ? That's an interesting concept to
think about. The old days aren't in the trash; they are part of you, just
like all our days are a part of us. Use the past to design a different
future, one that you can be proud of.
Last night before I went to sleep I thought about getting
out of juvenile hall and doing right so I can go on with
my life. I thought about my girlfriend last night and my
daughter. I can't wait to get out and see everyone. Well,
stay up Beat I'm out.
From The Beat: You said that you can't wait to go out and see your
daughter and girl but what will you do to make sure you stay with your
daughter and girl?
Gouda, Gwoup, That Cheddah
What's good, Beat? For me, nothing, just living it day
by day. But I think that money can fix everything. Money
makes the world go 'round, so if you all don't know money
So learn about that Gouda, gwoup, that cheddah...
"Money on my mind."
From The Beat: What makes you think that money makes the world go
'round? If money weren't invented or we had no use for it then what do
you think would make the world go 'round?
Thinking Of You
Just before I went to sleep last night I thought about
you...I wonder how you're doing? I hope you're okay, I
miss you so much, but when I see you I know I don't have
anything to say.
I think about us in the outs together kicking it
and doing what we do best. I think about it, imagine it,
knowing nothing is going to happen between me and you.
I'm just hoping for the day you realize how much I love
From The Beat: You have a lot of thoughts running through your mind
at the end of the day! Who do you miss so much that prompted you to
write this? Have you told that certain someone the thoughts that go
through your mind?
I don't have roommates most of the nights so I think a
lot at night. Sometimes I imagine happy thoughts about
my family, my son, and our future.
Sometimes memories pop into my head and wicked
and revengeful thoughts flow into my head. I try so hard
not to think that way because I know they only lead to
bad things, but sometimes I just can't help it.
From The Beat: It's so easy to not think about our problems or worries
during the day but when night falls and it's time for bed, then all the
thoughts start pouring in. We know it's hard to not think about the
bad shhh that goes through our minds but there's a difference between
thinking about it and acting on it. What do you think you can do to
stop the urge to do something bad when your thoughts start to drift
to those things?
If You Were Your Parents
If I were a parent, I would not hit my kids at all. I would
talk to them and discipline them by yelling or taking their
things away 'till they learn right from wrong.
Also I would be a different kind of parent by not making
the mistakes my parents did with me. How it makes it the
right way is by me not hurting my kids. And I would deal
with a person like me by being more concerned wit my
From The Beat: What were those mistakes your parents made? If they
had been different with you, would you be the person you are not or in
this situation? We like your ideas and we hope you be a different parent
than your own parents with your future kids.
Before I Went To Sleep
Que vole, The Beat and Beat readers, I hope to find you
in the best of ways and in spirits, but anyways, just before
I went to sleep last night I was thinking about my brother.
He is locked up in Salinas Valley State Prison, he's been
locked up for three years and a half. He has ten more
years to go.
Well, the reason I thought about him is because I
remember all the advice he gave me, and the good times.
I look up to him a lot.
Everyday I think about him and I wonder if he is okay
and how he is doing, and if he is thinking about me like
I'm thinking about him. Like my brother always used to
tell me, it's education or incarceration. I guess I need to
start following this one.
From The Beat: We know that there is someone out there who will take
your brother's advice and use it for their own good (and hopefully pass
it on), if not you. We wish the best to you and your brother and we
hope you two will be reunited soon.
Bringing Back The Bead
It's the homie Elmo writing from the max. If I could go
back in time and prevent the death of my grandpa, I would
try to help my grandpa in any possible way that I could.
My grandpa died of a heart attack and no one helped
him because no one was around to help him. When I
think about it, it makes me sad and mad at the same time
because I wasn't there for him.
I was a little kid; he passed away November 2001, but
still remains in my heart and memory. If I could have an
hour with him, I would talk to him and tell him how much
he means to me and how much I favor him. He was one of
the coolest grandpas ever. I would tell him how much my
life has changed and how our family is growing.
I know grandpa you would tell me lots of good
things because you loved me and wouldn't even hurt me.
Grandpa, I just want you to know that I miss you and pray
for you every single night before I go to bed. You're gone
but never forgotten - the family misses you. Grandpa
Jose Armando Rodriguez (Rest in Paradise) RIP.
From The Beat: RIP Jose Armando Rodriguez. We are sorry for your loss.
It's hard when we lose someone very important like our grandparents
and loved ones. Now, what matters is your current situation and what
you have planned for your life. If he was here, where would you be?
Would your life be a different one? Maybe it's time for you to honor
his name by setting up a good example and becoming a person like he
Just Before I Went To Sleep Last Night.
I thought about what I would be doing if I hadn't gotten
in trouble or on probation. I also thought about how my
parents would feel about me or even how I would feel
I also thought about what I'm going to do for my life
like the next step to being a grown up.
I'm already 18 going to be 19 and I don't want to live
the rest of my life in and out of jail. I want to have a good
life, drive a good car, have a house, and a family just like
regular people do.
I want to pay bills, have family's parties for my family
and not live a criminal life.
Another thing I thought about is how to start a new
life because I'm at the age when I want to live happy and
have things other 18 year olds have like cars and other
From The Beat: Then, what are you waiting for? If this is what you want
for your future, then go ahead and build up all your desires and dreams.
You can achieve anything you want as long as you desire it with your
heart. To want is power.
All I Can Bo Is Pray
Thinking about my mother, and brother all day, and
I always worry about them,
because I have exactly no idea where they are at right
They lost our home this last month
I haven't talked to them at all.
I don't know where they're living,
if they have money to eat or anything.
Every single night. ..all I can do is pray.
From The Beat: It must be hard to feel powerless to help your family
when they're in trouble. Does praying make you feel less powerless,
and if so, why do you think that is? Hebrews11:1 says that "faith is the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." What
evidence do you have that prayer works? What do you want to do in
addition to praying in order to help your family when you get out?
What's cracking Beat? It's the homeboy Lil' Man from
San Jose. I'm here to drop some lines about what I was
thinking about last night.
Just before I went to sleep last night I was thinking
about freedom. I miss being out there with my familia
and the homeboys, and can't forget about the jainas. Just
posted popping OE after OE and bumping oldies.
From The Beat: We at the Beat find that it's those quiet moments
between waking and sleeping where you can't hide from what you're
really feeling — in your case, missing freedom and the people you love.
What do you think you can tell the court about why you deserve to be
free? Are there changes or sacrifices you're willing to make in exchange
for another shot at life on the outside?
What's Bn My Mind
Hey que onda Beat? Pues today I'm going to write about
what was on my mind. Last night, I started by realizing
that I'm about to get out and I'm going to be 19 already.
I started to think about some kind of plan to make it out
there and I just couldn't figure out where to start.
I know I got to do something to keep myself busy
or I'm going to end up next door, but I couldn't think of
anything, but I still got a couple of weeks to think about
it and hopefully I can come up with something good. So
that's it got now, to all the homies in here, keep your head
From The Beat: Let us help you. Get out, stay away from your old ways
of being, go to school, put an effort in getting good grades, get your
high school diploma or GED, go to college, meet people who can guide
you to a successful road, get a job, and be responsible. If you do what
we suggest you to do, we guarantee that you will have a better life - full
of joy and pride.
Bringing Back The Bead
If I could bring back the dead, I would bring back my
grandpa. The reason why I would bring back my grandpa
is because he was the one that kept me out of trouble.
Also, because my gramma wasn't ready for him to die;
she has a really broken heart. She don't know how to
move on. I wish he was here to calm her down because
she's going crazy.
If I had one hour with him that would be the greatest
because I would want to ask him about his childhood
phase and how he got out of them.
From The Beat: Maybe your grandmother needs your support. It's really
hard to deal with such as experience your grandmother is going through.
If we were you, we would do our best to be there for her during the
hardest time of her life.
Bringing Back The Bead
If I could bring back the dead, I would bring back my
homie Bash. He got shot in the face with a 12 gauge
shotgun. RIP. Well, I don't know if my life would be
different, I'd probably still be here.
But I would still have a solid homie to chill with. I
would kick it with him more and tell him what has been
going on since he left. I would tell him that I'm not reppin
that 'hood anymore and that I got a kid now.
I don't know what he would say, but I know that he'd
still be my boy.
From The Beat: We're sorry for your loss. What do you think he would
tell you to do differently now that you are our of your 'hood and have a
kid? Is your kid the reason why you decide to change your life around?
If so, we are glad. Give your kid what he deserves - a dad.
Oldies On The Juvenile Hall Dial
If I could play some oldies for all in the hall I would play
1. Confessing a feeling
2. Don't be afraid
3. Me and you
4. Oogum boogum
5. Catch you on the rebound
6. Wishing on a star
7. I'm the one who knows
8. Don't let me be misunderstood
9. Agony and ecstasy
10 . Papa was a rolling stone
These are mine. What about yours?
From The Beat: Thanks for the playlist! What made you choose these
songs — do they make you get up and dance, do they remind you of a
person or place that's special to you, or do you love them for reasons
you can't explain? What do you think attaches us to music?
Bringing Back Jose
If I would bring back the dead, I would bring back my
boy Jose. ..and my life would be different because I would
want to bury my boy during my high school year, and
yeah I would still be here. Why is because I wouldn't want
to die at a young age. That person is my boy and I will ride
or die for my ninja. I'm always your boy no matter what.
From The Beat: Jose's death hurts we see, yet is death hasn't made you
look at your life any different? Or has it?
Just Before Bed I Thought
What's good, Beat? Just before bed I thought about
death. I don't know why but it's always on my mind. This
may sound weird but I want to experience it to see how
it really feels and if I'm really destined to go to the place
I want. That's why death ain't nothing to me, if it comes
to me then I guess it's about that time. So if I die then
hopefully I'll see some of you up there. That's all I got for
today so I'm out!
From The Beat: Death is a very scary thought for many people because
after death we don't know what happens to ourselves. Where do you
think we go after death, Mullen? Why do you think death doesn't bother
you as much as it bothers some of your peers?
Before I Went To Sleep
When I am in my cell on my bunk before I go to sleep,
I think about all kinds of things. I think about my little
sister, if she is getting in trouble, or if she need me.
I think about my case and my upcoming trial. If I lose
will they give me life or show mercy. I think about my
brothers and why they don't write me.
I think about what will happen if I don't leave the gang
when I go to the pinta (pen). I think about girls that I have
been with, and how much I miss just holding a girl in my
But most of all, I think about what I will see when I
wake up, and every night I hope it won't be the same thing
as before I went to sleep.
RIP "Papi" I miss and love you, I will see you again
From The Beat: Do you think your sister misses you? What do you think
would happen if you don't quit the gang life? What if they show mercy
on your case, how would you think in using this opportunity?
Bring Back My Great Grandma
If I could bring back the dead, I would bring back my
great grandma. I've heard that she was a good person. My
mom and aunties and uncles tell me a lot about her, that
she was a good cook, respectful person, and showed a lot
of love everywhere she went.
That is the reason why I would like to bring her back.
I would just like one time to meet her and say, "I am your
grandson and I really love all the stories I've heard about
you." She was a very strong woman. She was a single
mother with 6 kids. She left her husband because he
would beat on her in front of my grandma and the others.
I think she raised my grandma right. If she was still here, I
would love to try her cooking mostly her cookies because
everyone from my family says she makes the best cookies
and I would like to see for myself.
I've never met her but I know she is in a good place
now, resting and looking over all of my family. I love you
From The Beat: That's nice! She sounded like a wonderful person. So,
would you listen to her if she ask you to stop doing what you do to
get in here?
Why do the homie got to die like that? He was only 19
years old before he got chopped up. We miss you, man.
When I die, meet me at the gates just in case I don't get
in. Love and be safe. I'm out.
From The Beat: What would you tell your friend now, before you two
meet at "the gates", Lil Boy?
Before I Went to Sleep
What's good with it tonight, Beat? Last night before I
went to sleep I was thinking about change. It's hard for
change but if you are dedicated to something I guess
there is no change. But things are possible, it only takes
time and with time everything changes, but without time
nothing will happen and everything will be the same.
I was also thinking about family, I've been through
a lot with them and without but what I can say is that
family always come first. I've put my family through a lot
just because I do things that I am not suppose to and for
every bad thing I've done I apologize for all of it.
I was also thinking about my first love. I wish that
she was still here for me but I put her through things that
hurt her and for that I apologize for all the hurt and pain
I put her through.
From The Beat: Did you mean to use this piece to apologize to your
loved ones. Tanks? That's a sweet gesture but why not apologize with
your actions instead? You can make it up to your family by staying out
of the halls and doing better for yourself and it'll also show your ex-girl
that you do care and that you are able to change from your old ways.
What's cracking Beat? This the homeboy Pato from San
Jose. I'm back up in the hall for a 6th time. Damn I need
to stop blowing them trees and snorting them lines. Haha
naw I'm not going to stop, I can't, I love that mary jane.
Well that's it for now until next times. I'm out!
From The Beat: We don't mean to sound like total squares, but if this
stuff keeps getting you in trouble, why do you keep at it? It sounds
like you're hovering on the edge of making some better decisions for
yourself. What's holding you back?
A Broken Family
What money can't fix: what money can't fix is mainly
family. I remember when my family was ballin', when my
dad was on the outs. But when he got locked up, we went
When I get out of here, if I do, I don't even know
where I'm going to live. And with no money I feel like
my family has come more together, because we need one
From The Beat: You are wiser than you know. A lot of families, especially
families that have a lot of money, buy into the misguided notion that
money can fix problems or rebuild broken relationships. You're right on
the money for knowing that it can't. It sounds like the ups and downs
your family's been through have offered you some major perspective:
on what your family means to you, on what's really important, on what
risks are worth taking.
Bpdate To Life
Well Q-vole Beat and Beat readers, this is Sneaks
dropping some linias (lines) with my utmost love and
Well, today I saw so many people coming back. I've
been here for nine months, honestly, I've opened my eyes
a little more. I'm starting to think more before I react so
I don't keep ending in this place. I have realized the pain
I've caused my family and lady.
It's time to get my education and plan for the future. I
passed the exit exam so I am one step closer to graduating.
Wish me luck, college is next. Well, that's all gone poof!
From The Beat: We're so happy that you planned ahead, it's always good
to have your goals laid out. How does it make you feel when you see
other kids who've already left a long time ago coming back for another
I stint in the hall? Do you think the same will happen to you? What
advice would you give the guys who left and are now back?
Money Makes The World Turn
Some people say money doesn't make you happy. Money
itself doesn't necessarily make us all happy but it makes
me happy because I know what I can get with money.
Most people want things that money brings, which is why
you find a lot of us in here for charges that revolve around
money. If we can't make enough money the legal way then
we do what it takes like slanging or stealing.
I would say money makes me happier because I know
what it brings, even though money is not the only thing
that makes me happy. Put it this way: if you smoke or pop
or snort or drink, money makes you happy because you
need money for those things, even if you get it for free by
robbing or a friend 'cause someone has to buy it for you
to have it. Money makes the world turn.
From The Beat: This is a good argument, Hearst, why do you think
money holds such a high value with us? It is, after all, just paper. Do you
think the world would be better off without money?
Money Can't Buy Gangs
One thing that money can never fix is gangs.
The government can spend all the money they want
on gang task force and anti-gang movements,
but we're never going to leave.
We're here and they can spend all the money
they want but it won't fix anything.
Money can't change our minds on our beliefs.
From The Beat: Why do kids join the gangs? What enticed you to join?
Bringing Back The Bead
What's good, Beat? Man o' man, today I'm going to talk
about bringing back the dead. The one person I would
bring back is my unborn little brother or sister.
Last year my mom had a miscarriage and she had
twelve kids already and if she would have had this one
it would be thirteen, so I think if she would have had the
baby I would of not have that much hatred to this world.
Everyday I wake up mad at the world because I didn't
get to see him/her or even hold him/her. Don't get me
wrong my moms didn't want the miscarriage but I don't
know where I'm going with this but to all keep your heads
-Yung Uso Kefi
From The Beat: That's tough, Yung Uso.. .did you ever tell your mother
how you feel? She's probably going through an extremely hard time,
what with the miscarriage and then one of her sons locked up... speaking
about these things can be so hard but once you get started the talking
comes easier and you'll feel a hundred times better. We're sorry that this
happened to you and mother, Yung Uso, and we hope that over time you
and your mom can finally heal, together.
Night Time Thoughts
Last night before I went to sleep I thought about females.
It wasn't nothing dirty or anything but it was just about
being with a girl and actually having a good time. I miss
how that feels.
I haven't actually interacted with a girl for almost
seven months now. By now, my mouthpiece is kinda
rusty. But if it's on paper, my shhh off the hook. All crazy.
Haha. But yeah, that's just a few words on what I was
thinking about last night.
That's all I got for now. Until pencil meets paper.
From The Beat: Well, once you get out you can run around spitting
game to all the fly females, Dave. Maybe you'll think twice before you
do something that could get you sent to the halls, the male halls, right
Life As A Gangster
Life as a gangster staying in the streets
Committing a crime running away from the heat
Get locked up thinking about what you did
You don't appreciate what your mom gave you
And a place to live.
From The Beat: This is a great start to a poem, Eric! We hope that you
can finish it next time.
If I Were My Parent
If I were my dad I would be the best dad a dad could be.
Don't get me wrong, I ain't gonna let my kid run around
and act like a punk, I'm gonna teach my kid manners and
how to be a man.
Every year he gets older I would let him stay out longer
and have girlfriends. I would tell him to wear condoms. I
really wouldn't trip off him smoking weed and drinking
as long as he could conduct himself in public and around
me but for him to do that I want schoolwork to be done
before 5:00. And I would tell him everyone needs an
education to survive in life. I want him to be a successful
person in life.
Well Beat, that's all I got for you take care.
From The Beat: This is great. Monkey, but don't you think you could be
a lenient dad without letting your kid smoke weed or drink?
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
If I Were A Parent
If I were a parent, first of all I wouldn't allow myself to go
chill with the wrong people and I wouldn't let myself do
drugs. I'd be a parent that has good communication and I
would satisfy my kids' needs.
I would put myself on the right path and not let myself
slack off. I would stop myself from sneaking out at night
and punish myself harsher. And I wouldn't allow myself
to spend money on the wrong things. And I'd keep myself
very busy, so that I wouldn't be in trouble. I wouldn't allot
myself to be bored.
From The Beat: Knowing what you would do if you were the parent then
why not actually do these things? It sounds like you know what you're
doing and you know what is right an wrong so why do you think you've
ended up in the halls, Jairo? You don't have to wait for your parents to
tell you to stop, Jairo, because it sounds like you know where you need
My Homeboy RIP
Well, if I can I would bring back my homie from Gilroy.
I don't think he didn't deserve to die at a young age but
I just say rest in peace and don't trip all from Gilroy are
always gonna remember you, even me. Well, I'm out and
rest in peace.
From The Beat: Is there anything you would say to homie now, if you
The Day Before
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about the
day before I got locked. I was at James Ranch and didn't
go back from the OT. So I was on the run for a week.
The day before juras (cops) caught me, the homie
from my hood gave me a ride to the motel and asked if
I wanted to stay at his pad with some hynas (girls) and I
told him that I was going to stay. So I did and chilled with
the homies and I was so high and pedo (drunk) that I fell
asleep and then the juras (cops) knocked on the door and
took everybody out and I got locked for that.
But it's firme (cool) because I got Life Skills. Well,
keep your guys heads up!
From The Beat: You lucked out this time and got Life Skills but what
about the next time? What if you slip up again and get sent back to
My Dead Homey
Dear Beat, what's up it's ya boy Man Child telling you a
story about if I could bring someone back from the dead!
I was going up to San Francisco with my brother going
to see my cousin Chops. My cousin was a Crip, and he
had a three-year-old boy named Clemont. My cousin was
walking to Duboce Park with his son to meet me and my
brother. While he was walking some bfools rolled up in a
car and said "Sup homey, you bang?"
He said "Yeah, but I don't want start anything with my
son around," but they wasn't having it so they shot him -
one in the head, two in the chest. That's cold.
From The Beat: That's a really vivid description of a really tragic day in
your life. Why is Chops the person you'd most like to bring back — what
about hint was so special to you? Do you feel any sense of responsibility
towards Clemont, and does what happened to Chops give you any
perspective on how painful it is to lose someone you love to gang
violence? In short, how do you think you can use your pain to help
I'd Briny Anyone
If I could bring back someone, I would probably not want
to bring back anyone because I believe they are probably
better off where they are now.
I think they would only come back to suffer in this
world, pero, that's my way of seeing things.
From The Beat: We respect your opinion. We don't blame the way you
are thinking because life right now is very hard and cruel. If you had
the power to change it, how would you change this world, so you can
bring back your loved ones?
What's up? This is your homie Lil Vago. Well, when I
went to sleep last night, I thought about my homies, what
I used to do with them.
I used to do crystal meth and I miss those days 'cause
when you use that kind of drug and you don't care about
nothing. Also, I was thinking about my homie, Frankie,
that passed away the 2-5-08 but I ain't trippin'. RIP.
-Lil 1 Vago
From The Beat: Have you ever seen what the long-term effects of crystal
meth are? If you do your research on the drugs you like to take then
maybe you won't like them once you find out what they do to you in
the end. Wise up!
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about my
family. Who at one time I thought I wont see.
Just that night one homie came and ended up being
my roommate and he's from my hood and I wonder if that
will be bad or good. I talked to my mom that day and she
said if I behaved that I'll be out soon.
I've been here one month and all these days have been
dead time. I wonder if my next court date, February 19,
will I leave or will I stay, so just wait and see what they'll
From The Beat: We hope that you take your mothers advice this time,
and use it to your advantage.
In the world we live in it's safe to say (not many people
agree) that gangs are everywhere. Even in the places we
don't think to look, for example the police, the biggest
I gang in "the whole world" let me explain.
People look at gangs even define them as a large group
of people that rep a certain turf or area. Well, how does
that sound? Police! Similar to those that yell out there
hood. And they even have an area that they hang out at,
They have weapons similar to those that are in gangs
and take lives if nessesary, similar to gangs. They are a
gang. They are probably the first to create gangs. Cops,
they carry a 'cause to protect and serve and have the
artillery, no foot soldiers to carry out that cause.
There are even gangs in other places (military, security,
probation, in the streets, sheriff) they're everywhere. So
to the world, if you're listening, open your eyes, and see
the truth. It's kraz-e.
From The Beat: Wow, we're sure that this piece will open up a lot of
peoples eyes! Do many of your friends also think the same about police,
military, government, etc? What do you think we can do to change the
"gang" like persona that the police in our cities carry? Also, remember,
police are accepted by most, and street gangs, are, well... you tell us!
Money Can't Fix Family Problems
Money can't fix family problems. It also can't fix the past
either. ..and there are things that money can't fix like a
friendship and love relationships.
Even if I had all the money I want, it can't fix my past
or it can't bring back the dead at all. Yeah and these things
are a part of my life too. How I am going to overcome this
is to be a better person in life and to do good with my
From The Beat: There are a lot of things money can't fix like your past
like you said, but, can you fix your present and future? Tell us...
Driny Back The Bead...
Well what's up, Beat? This is Lil' Bones doing his time.
If I could bring back the dead I would bring back Woolfy,
Cholo, and Lil' Menace.
Me and the homies would be posted up in the varrio
drinking some pisto (beer) and smoking the verde (green).
Without those homies everything would be different.
I Well that is all I want to say...
From The Beat: How has your friends deaths affected you. Bones? What
do you and your other varrio homies do to keep their memories alive?
The Breams I Had
The dreams I had are now shattered. I always had a dream
that I wanted to go into the military because I wanted to
follow in my grandpa's footsteps. But now I can't because
I got locked up for one stupid mistake, just chillin' with
the wrong people at the wrong time.
I just want to get out of this hell hole, you know, I'm
not going to let the time do me I'm going to do the time. I
I hope I get out of this place.
From The Beat: Although you messed up now there's still time to do
good. When you get out you'll have the choice to go and do the things
you were locked up for, like hanging with the wrong crowd, or you
can stay out of trouble and go to school and join some after school
act6ivities to keep you occupied.
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about my
grandfather, he was always there for me when I was young
he had the same name I did.
He would be more than a grandfather, he was also my
friend he would play with me any game I wanted to play
even hide and go seek, what made it all complicated was
that my grandpa was blind.
What I would tell my grandpa if he were alive to this
day is that, he was, and is my biggest inspiration of my
life and he will always be in my heart and thoughts,
Lastly, this is for my grandpa for he will always be in
my heart and soul.
From The Beat: From this piece we can tell that you really appreciated
your grandpa. What do you think your grandpa would say if he saw
where you were today?
Money Can't Fix A Lot Bf Things
I know money can't fix when your close homeys die.
Money can fix lots of things, but only certain things — I
also know it won't fix your feelings. Like when you're
sad. But time will pass and you realize there's nothing
you can do. You should move on but that doesn't mean
forget your homey. But then you realize to stay on your
toes and always keep your head up.
If I was a parent I wouldn't be as strict as my pops. But
I'm a uso and family always comes first. But sometimes
you just get tough love. But inside I stay strong. Just
keep your head up and stay on your toes.
From The Beat: It sounds like what you're saying is that a life lesson
you've learned both from your family and your experience is that you
always have to be smart and be aware — and you're right. Do you think
that maybe your dad was trying to keep his head up and stay on his
toes so he could protect you?
Growing Bp Without
Well Beat, if I could bring back the dead I would bring
back my grandma because she passed away three days
before my birth date.
Growing up on these wicked streets of Santa Clara
was hard because I was always away from her but now it's
too late to bring her back.
Out for now, that's all I got for you so stay up to all,
From The Beat: Do you think your life would be different if your
grandmother were still alive? How has her death affected you in your
Bringing Back my Grandpa
I would spend my last days at my aunt's house so I can
be with my grandpa. If I could have gone back I would
have told my dad to kick out my cousin so I can be with
my grandpa. I was closer more with my grandpa then my
If I had the chance to go back, I would not leave him
without saying goodbye. I would share the last moment
with him even smoke a stoke with him. I'll have a party
with him even if it was just me and him. But if I had the
chance I could tell my grandpa that I'll remember him
always and forever.
From The Beat: It must be hard to not see your grandfather anymore.
What are some ways that you and your family keep his memory alive?
' kM=M*M*kd?i WMWMMh
The Pianist is about the Germans and Jews in World War
Two. It's about a pianist living in the middle of war.
In the book there are Kamikazes, which means that
the Germans were on self-destructive missions to get rid
of all the Jews and all the queers. Hitler and his posse
were trying to get rid of anyone who didn't fit the image of
the full German Caucasian - blue eyes, blond hair, white
skin. I think what happened to the Jews was barbaric. I
think that America has a bunch of idiots too, Nazis that
do not like the black race.
From The Beat: Tony, wherever there is ignorance, you will find prejudice
of all sorts. It could be against any group that does not fit the narrow
boundaries of the haters' approval. At the root of this hatred is fear and
ignorance. The more we all know about various races, religions, ethnic,
and other human groups, such as GLBTs, the more tolerant we become.
Our similarities as humans are great, and our differences are slight.
What really matters is how we behave toward our fellow citizens, not
what group we are born into.
What's On My Mind
What's on my mind is how long I will be in here, and
where I'm going when I get out. I keep running away
from home. My PO has said - 30 days, no matter what -
for violating probation, but he is also considering boys'
I keep running from my mother's house and I'm going
to request trying my father's. I hope it all works out the
way I want it. That's what's on my mind.
From The Beat: That's plenty to have on your mind. But we hope you'll
make room in there to consider what it is you need to do to end the
cycle of running from your problems. You have only to acknowledge
where running has led you to realize that there must be a better way
to deal with your problems. We understand that answers don't always
come easily. But take advantage of the fact there are some very fine
people there at juvy who can help you figure out a plan. Don't be afraid
to ask for help... please.
Life Of Pi
Why I think Life Of Pi is so interesting is because the
guy Pi's dad is a zoo keeper who is with animals that are
well trained. And I really like animals - like cheetahs, and
other interesting creatures.
From The Beat: Jesse - have you considered becoming a veterinarian, or
exploring other work that is involved with helping animals?
Sad, Confused, Lonely
I'm sad, confused and lonely.
I'm going to be facing time.
I asked my girl to marry me and she said OK.
The problem is, I don't know if she's going to wait for me
because of the fact that I might be doing time in CYA, or
She and I are in love, but what if the sentence tears us
apart from each other.
Also, my family is a big part of my life. I need them, a
From The Beat: It is such an important decision that it should not be
made when you, or your girl, are under heavy pressure. Take care of
your obligation first, which means doing whatever time you have to do.
While you are doing your time, you can keep in touch with your girl, and
you can be furthering your education. Getting that degree, and maybe
even taking some college courses, through the mail, or by computer, if
you have access to one, will help prepare you for the responsibilities of
marriage, or whatever it is you ultimately decide to do. Making a wise
decision now - to not rush things - will pay off down the line.
If for some reason I were to leave my home, I would
want my family to know that I love them and I'm always
thinking about them. Not just that, but I would want them
to know that I'm sorry for all the bad things I've done and
I appreciate all the things they have done for me. That's
all I can think of right now.
From The Beat: Those are beautiful thoughts. The next step is to start
working on your problems. It will take courage and honesty.
When I went to sleep, I was thinking about money.
Sometimes I think about getting high and smoking like
5 blunts and drinking Hennesy, or smoking a Newport.
When I get out, I'm going to be with my mom, just chilling
at her house. Sometimes I chill with my friends, just
smoking grapes. But when I'm with my mom, we go get
coffee at Starbucks, or we walk to the store.
From The Beat: Stick with your mom, then. Sounds like you're not ready
to be on your own. And quite possibly, you need some help to stay
clean and sober. Millions of people have been help by AA or NA. Think
I sit alone with an absent mind that's not in this world.
Being incarcerated, I dream and reminisce on better
I'm missing Lycette. Hope she's doing good.
Valentine's Day is coming up and I can't be there with her
to enjoy it.
Through this darkness and sadness there is also sunlight
But right now I got cornered by Dennis, The Beat guy.
He asked me for a favor. All the times I ask him for a favor,
he comes through.
He has supported me so much since May of 2008, through
I feel like I am letting him down, because I cannot fulfill
He wants me to lend him a piece of my knowledge, the
dictionary he gave me,
so he can give it to someone here who will soon be headed
deeper into the system.
But I just can't part with it.
From The Beat: The truth is, Dennis was deeply impressed with how
much that dictionary means to you, and rather than feel bad, he actually
felt good. He was just trying to save an extra trip. But it was not a
problem. Dennis was able to get back to the hall with a new dictionary
for the other boy before he left. And he is very pleased that you arc
so enamored (look that one up) of your dictionary. All of us wish that
everyone in the hall had your thirst for knowledge.
Malcolm X was from Lansing, Michigan. His name has
an X because his last name was Little, which was a slave
name. So he Xed it. A lot of Muslims do this so that when
they get to heaven, Allah will give them a holy name.
Malcolm X didn't like white people.
From The Beat: We don't know too much about who Malcolm X liked, or
didn't like. But we do know that when he was sent to prison, he used
his time to educate himself. The word is that he learned every word in
the dictionary. When he was released, he used his vast vocabulary to
inspire countless numbers of people. Whether one likes what he was
saying, or not, it's impossible not to admire how well he used his time
when locked up, and his bottomless thirst for knowledge.
Cupid Attacked Me
A bow shot my heart with an arrow, just as if Cupid had
Confusion came, but dignity did gain.
You're like a forest with an enchanted garden - a solution
which then becomes love, with humor, respect, and
It sizzles the stage with hotness, sexiness, and absolutely,
From The Beat: Hey, who is this Cupid person? Shooting arrows at people
is against the law, isn't it? Maybe he (she) has friends in high places.
It's another day in this mini-jail. Educating myself,
because knowledge is power. I'm acknowledging myself.
Life is short. I'm hoping for the best and preparing for
the worst. Wondering if things will go right in court. Still
sitting here, bored, but showing myself in a professional
manner. Looking at time in YA. I'll be out one day.
From The Beat: Wherever you go, you can pursue your education. And
if you do that, you will never be bored. Try learning three new words
a day. At the end of a year, you'd have over a thousand new words in
Money don't give you heart. If you got money, you can
still be a mark. I know people who got money this and
that, but when you approach them one on one, they could
never be caught throwin' up theirs. What I have learned is
that my downest pal, who used to have nothin', but now
has money - he's still got heart.
From The Beat: Well Nathan, he sounds like a real friend. Just make
sure that when you borrow money from each other - it's clean money.
The dirty kind lands you in juvy, where you write pieces like this for all
of us to read.
Well, to me, the pictures I have are valuable. They mean a
lot. I have a lot of pictures of my family and friends. When
you are locked up, it's a time when you especially like to
have pictures of your loved ones. Sometimes you don't
get to see them, but you have pictures of their smiling
faces and that makes you feel good.
From The Beat: Right you are. Pictures serve a good purpose. But they
won't solve your essential problems. For that you first have to be honest
about identifying and naming your problems. Then you have to develop
a plan to solve them. Are you ready for that?
What I Do
I attack bricks when I'm mad,
jump off cliffs, drink coffee,
and dance in the dirt
with dollars in my pocket.
My garden of gifts is great.
I request signs for solutions.
I request a rain of song
over the homes of politicians.
From The Beat: Holy cow - you can do all that, when you're mad? What
can you do when you're happy?
Well, I have one picture in mind. The picture I cherish
the most is of me and my mom and my grandma (RIP). It's
special to me because in that picture it was the last time
I was with my grandma. After that she left for Mexico, and
two months later, she passed away.
From The Beat: We can see why you cherish that photo. Keep it in a safe
place. Make a copy of it when you get out.
Drinyiny Back The Dead
So many days, it doesn't feel the same.
I think about you, man,
every time I hear your name.
I think about that day
they told me you were gone.
I did not get your call yesterday.
I knew something was wrong.
So, it's just me and my brother,
just trying to make do.
But it's really hard without you.
We all miss you, and our love won't stop.
Time has come today - I love you Pops.
From The Beat: We are so sorry for your loss, Chris.
' &MnnnnnB Mwmr / 1 / 1 i
Money can't fix...
My love for you
Can't even buy me a real diamond ring
Money can't fix my broken heart
That shattered into millions of pieces
Money is what you call your love, okay
Can money buy you a true down girl?
Didn't think so
Money can't fix your life
Not even if you were in debt
Can money fix you to get out of metal bars from escape?
Money can't fix anything
It brings nothing but trouble
Money can't fix anything
From The Beat: Money might be able to buy that diamond ring, but
you're right it can't fix a life. Thinking twice might help in making better
choices. Take that extra time to think twice before you do something.
Bringing back the dead
The day my homie Juvie died was about the hardest day
of my life. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at
the store with my mom and I got a call form the homies
saying "Juvie was dead". I was like, I can't take this, it
seems like every time I turn the corner another homie
of mine is dead. All I know is that I was lucky enough to
know him, and to always keep him in my prayers. R.I.P
Juvie, we love you homie.
From The Beat: Don't let his death go in vein; make a change now so you
can better your life. Don't put yourself in his place.
Bringing back the dead...
This is going out to all the homies - Crime, Juvie, Serve.
You homies were more like brothers too me. I wake up
each morning freaked out, knowing that you are gone. It's
not the same, and it sure does hurt me.
I think to myself, if only I was there I could of done
something, but life sucks. We can't go back in time, if
only I could, brothers, I would ask God to go back in time.
I love you and miss you so much... I'll never forget you, I
From The Beat: Paradise, were not sure what happened to your "homies",
but had you been there would you have found the same fate they did?
I wish I could go back in time to change the situation
I'm in right now. I say that because I've been doing a lot of
stupid stuff in my life.
I wish I could take everything back so I could do
everything right, so my family could be happy and proud
instead of being disappointed all the time. I would stay
away from the wrong crowd, and go back to school and
really try to learn instead of just wasting my life.
Now it's really hard to change because of all this crap
I'm used to doing. Missing a lot of years of school makes
it really hard for me to catch up. I wish I could take it all
back. It would make everything much better and easier. It
was very fun for a moment, but now I regret it all. It's just
a wish a wish that I hope it could come true.
From The Beat: You may not be able to go back in time, but it sounds
like you know all the things you need to change. Start to work on the
things you mentioned one day at a time and your wish will come true.
There are a lot of people who believe in me, and that's a
good thing because I need positive people in my life. To
believe in me and to tell me that they want to see me do
good, because if I don't have that in my life then I would
probably continue to do all the bad stuff that I have been
Hopefully by having support in my life for the first
time in my life I can change my life before I end up dead
or in prison for the rest of my life. Sometimes in life we
have a choice to be free or choose to see. The choice is
yours to make, but only you can decide if you want to live
or die. You keep asking me why but what can I say? Cry
or shed a tear that means you have fears. Life isn't easy
so don't try to make It pleasing. It's going to be hard no
matter how far apart you are.
From The Beat: We couldn't have said it better. Hold to your support,
and do your best not to let them or yourself down. Remember the choice
is yours and yours alone.
I have failed my family, God, and other people who
love me. The most important person I have failed is my
relationship with Samantha. I got locked up, and do
drugs. They all wanted me to do good, but it was hard for
me to because I'm always a big mess up. I have lost all of
the people who loved me.
I can't believe that God forgives me for everything I
have done. I wasn't there when my girl needed me more
then anything in the whole world. Sometimes I wish I
could take everything back, so I could be there for her
and my family. My life is so hard without her to help me
out with things in my life. I woke up in a cell and I'm going
through hell. No support from my family, I never receive
any mail. How can this happen to me, coming back here
is insanity. I know I'm taking the wrong dam path, but I'll
still walk it feeling hell'a sad.
From The Beat: You mention that it's insanity for going back into the
D-home? How many times have you been there? How many times has
your family been there trying to keep you out? Your loved ones can only
do so much, but if you choose to ignore them that's your choice, and a
choice you have to live with.
Just before I went to sleep last night I
How cold and lonely my cell is with these white walls
Closing on me my door don't open with a handle
It's controlled by a button
"Click" Is what I hear
Stand on your line is an everyday thang
Last night before I went to sleep I thought about
Is this supposed to be discipline or a lesson?
Sometimes I laugh cuz
This is how homies want to be remembered as
A jail bird
My head runs in circles
What do I want?
Consequences come in different packages
So just before I went to sleep last night
I thought about a
From The Beat: Very good poem, it's amazing the little things a person
miss when everything is taken away from them.
unnniEE MMM #/////
Just before I went to sleep last night I
The day becomes night
The night becomes day
My life changes with every kiss
You take my breath away
My heart doesn't beat because it's afraid you will leave
With every hug, my soul is one with you
Could you be my true love?
I get weak to my knees
And thank God for you and me
I wake up every morning hoping you don't leave
Through words I hope you stay here with me
Because my heart can't take someone else leaving me
So I sit in my room crying every night
Because I feel your love fading away from me and dying
I hope you see how I feel because my heart is
True to you and that is for real
You see my hurt, pain, and love
You're so true to the way you love
That I can't leave you because I get so weak
When I look in your eyes I know you need me
From The Beat: When you're on the out's doing what you're doing, is it
worth the loss you are going through now? Every day is about a choice;
remember this poem when you get out.
All the time that has passed by
Thinking of you day and night
There's not one moment I don't think of you
I just wish I had one more day to kick it with you
Your mom still cries and feels sad
With every day I just keep getting mad
There's just one more thing I got to say
Don't trip, 'cause I'ma see you one day
(He was driving on the freeway and some bangers drove by
and shot him three years ago. He was only 25 years old.)
From The Beat: We're so sorry your friend lost his life this way. What is
gained by this ongoing destruction? One by one, a whole generation
of young men is being lost to the violence of other young men. If
you wanted to put a stop to all the killing, and you had the power of
government, what would you do?
Tired Of The Phoniness
Damn, I'm tired of all this phoniness, acting like they're
your homie, saying that they got your back, then they stab
you in the back. I don't get it. Why they act like that, homie?
Why can't they just say we ain't homies, 'cause I don't like
you, instead of acting to be your homies? Then out of
nowhere they want to chunk it, 'cause they started talking
But you ain't trippin', 'cause it's a lesson you got to learn
from it, 'cause this so-called homie or friend will stab you in
the back, emotional or physical. Peace. Shaooo.
From The Beat: We're not sure what situation you're talking about, but
maybe it's just the company you're keeping. Maybe it's just where you
are. When boys are locked together, they sometimes feel like they need
to front for each other to look as tough as possible. We know you can't
go through life without trusting anyone, so you need to find trustworthy
friends to kick it with. And the best way to find trustworthy friends
is to be a trustworthy person yourself. Are you? Have you ever told
someone something that you didn't mean?
I felt a lot of pain; I think I'm going insane. I hate going
to court, and hearing my name. I don't hear the other crap
they say, all I hear is my name.
The DEA wants to give me hell-a-time, and it is making
my mind weak. I know I messed up, but now they are
trying to throw me away for some years. They do what
they want, but it's all good, because they throw my people
away like this everyday and it ain't no thang.
My worry is my brother. I worry about him because
he's the only one that has my back, and I have his too.
It doesn't help that I am away from him, and I can't see
him. I miss him a lot and I am trying to be strong for
him. We always tell each other that we are crazy, and the
world is too, but we won't let that crap bring us down. The
problem we both have is that we make bad decisions and
always end up jacked up.
From The Beat: It's good you have a strong relationship with your
brother. Is he older or younger? Has he been in the D-home? If not,
stick with him and maybe you will be able to stay out of the D-home by
making better choices.
My 'hood is a place where Latino people get along, but if
someone tries to mess with the homies, they will get punked.
And if you're from the wrong 'hood, you will get checked,
because the truth is, we're gangsters and it's where we don't
play. If you test us, you will get checked, because my homies
are the best.
From The Beat: We had to change your Beat name because we won't
allow you to hold up your 'hood as something better than anyone
else's. How silly (even childish) it sounds to talk about the "right" or
the "wrong" 'hood, as if you had anything to do with being there. You
could just as easily have been raised in the "wrong" 'hood, and then it
would be "right" to you. Fighting over a piece of dirt that you don't own
and has done nothing for you (it's just dirt!) just makes no sense at all.
Life In My Neighborhood
Man, life right now ain't right
I'm from the 'hood, but I hearin' stuff I don't like
My homie got jumped, I'm in the hall, just thinkin'
This funk life I'm in really ain't for me
Really I want my moms, but I can't have her right now
Every time I get a smile, man
Life makes me frown
From The Beat: You make it sound like you have nothing to do with
life making you frown, like you're just a leaf floating along in a stream
without any ability to direct your feet along one path or another. Of
course you want your mom, and she wants you! She doesn't like thinking
of you as a prisoner, so can you give her the gift she's been waiting for
— you at home with her to stay!
Lookin' At Bricks
Locked up one mo' time
Gettin' tired of snitches droppin' these dimes
Now I'm lookin' at bricks while I'm servin' my time
From The Beat: Snitches are everywhere, inside and out/ So if you don't
want to be here, stop what you're about/ Listen to your mama, go to
school/ The only way to avoid being a juvenile hall fool!
- agnnnnsH mrnmm
Prostitution Is The Name Of The Game
Prostitution was the game. Well at least the game I have
to play. I quit when I was 16 and started as a preteen. I
could say I've been through it all from the big things to
the small. But I couldn't say I knew it all especially when
I was too blind to see it all. I replaced my family for some
That never gave me happiness. It only gave me material
things that never really lasted. So now I'm here because
I'm doing the right thing. I turned myself in and reunited
with my family. Still, I think about the pain I used to go
through. The pain I used to hide behind a smile or the
places I used to go to. So when you see me now, you
see that I'm always smiling but this is not fake. This is
something that I go through.
From The Beat: We admire your courage to turn your self in and to
face the problems in your life. We realize some of these problems might
seem insurmountable but please remember there are people out there
who want to help you work through this. You can get through this and
have a life that is better than you ever imagined. You are right about
prostitution; it is just a material thing and you are worth more than
If I could go back in time knowing what I know today, the
one person I would want to see was my great-grandpa. My
life would be way different if he was here today because
when he was here I used to spend hella time with my
grandpa but when he died my life changed and started
doing hella bad stuff but I'm willing to change my ways
because if he was still here he would want me to change
and do good for me and my family and for the ones in
JJC. Keep your heads up and you'll get home soon.
From The Beat: It sounds your Grandfather was a good man. You want
to do everything you can to make him proud of you.; He isn't dead.
Close your eyes and look inside. The dead are with us. They speak to us
and we honor with each day of our lives.
Puttin' It Down
I might go to the Y
This life that I lead,
Every day I gotta ride.
A dog can't slow down
Banging in the No town.
If you coming at me fool,
Then we gotta throw down.
Another day another dollar
We don't have shot callers.
Taking out my enemies
Trying to earn my dog collar.
Big mighty azz Fresno
Center of the coast
Pants creases flamed up
Puffin on the best dro
Waitin' just to get out
To go and do the same thing
Real dogs put it down
Locked down and on the streets
So till next time
I'm gonna hold down the fort
And dream of buying things
That my family can't afford.
From The Beat: You have so many chances ahead of yourself. Why are
you selling yourself so short? Why don't you put it down for yourself
and get out of this life before it is too late to go back. The streets won't
be there for you when you are six feet under.
Ima Have To Drop Somethings
I thought about what's gonna be the first thing I'm going
to do when I get out of here. I know who I wanna see first.
Also, what can I do to change my life so I can be somebody
in the future or maybe I can be a better person?
Who should I keep around and who should I not hang
around with anymore? I really miss a lot of people and I
know I can be a better person then I am now so I'm going
to try and change. When I get out, I'm not going to do
something stupid to end up back here. I'ma have to drop
somethings to gain more. Love always.
From The Beat: We like that line "I'ma have to drop somethings to gain
more." That's so true. Sometimes we have to take two or three steps
back to get a running start so we can hurdle some obstacle or sometimes
we need to drop some weight so we can feel better about ourselves and
then sometimes, we need to drop some people who are bad influences.
The Way It Is
It's a whole lot of pain
Bullets dropping like rain
The whole worlds a gang
Why you think we still lookin' for Husain?
But they say hoods is to blame
For killin' innocent people
America do the same, but still we ain't equal
We do it for the block
Holdin' that sixteen glock
They do it for American soil
But really killing ninjas for oil
And hoods don't know how to escape
Steady smokin' grapes
And presidents don't know how to run
That's why we got so many bums
How are we supposed to come?
What we destined to be?
Waking up in the morning and that's all we hear and
From The Beat: It takes the small communities everywhere to make the
big changes. Sitting back and complaining isn't considered helping that
change to happen. People have to want better lives for themselves and
respect themselves to earn respect in return.
Hear My Mind
Dodgin' automatic clips and getting robbed,
For they chips is enough to make a rookie
Wanna slit both of his wrists, because it is hard to
Survive with a solitary mind. Now I'm
Writin' all these rhymes. Prayin' I don't hit
The Y. But the God that I pray to never
Seems to hear my cries. All he catches
Are my lies and commandments I ignore.
All I keep in my mind is the gang I do
It for. When I'm in court and the judge seems
To think that I am scared, all I do is fight
The tears and show my mom that I'm
Prepared. And when my attitude is noticed
The shhh is used against me. It seems
That every time I turn the DA
Is trying to get me. Nothing else for me to do
But sit back and do my time. All I ever ask of you
Is just relax and hear my mind.
From The Beat: If you don't show emotion because you don't regret
what you have done, that is used against you because you have learned
nothing from it. There is nothing wrong with being strong, but you
have to know how to use that strength, at the right time.
Love always Nana and Tata
My nanas name is Jeannie and she died of lung cancer
and a heart attack. She was my world. When she died I
was 16 years old. It was over 10 years ago. After I found
out she died, my mom wouldn't let me go to her funeral.
I was so mad at her.
I was mad because Nana left me without saying
goodbye. I think if she was alive I would be a whole different
person. I wouldn't be so angry and I wouldn't be locked
up all the time. When Nana was alive I was young and I
took life for granted but now I don't have grandparents,
my mom or dad. I really hold on to the little things in life
I just wish I could tell her I love her one last time and give
her a hug and a kiss good-bye. After she died my whole
family split up. Everybody hates each other in my family.
She is the only one who held my family together.
The next person I would bring back would be my Tata.
When he died I was there to tell him good-bye. I was hecka
hard for me because I seen him when he died and he told
me to take care of my dad. I promised him I would.
At the funeral there was a big fight between the whole
family and I felt so bad because it was right in front of his
body. After he died, I started to get out of control. I know
if he was alive, I would not have done all the crazy stuff I
have done. If he was still alive I would tell him how sorry
I am for not being there for my parents.
If Tata was alive, I know my dad wouldn't drink so
much and do so many drugs. I know deep down if he was
here I would always be home with my family and not all
doing my thing on the streets.
From The Beat: We offer our condolences. It is very hard to lose a
loved especially those who were so central to the family. With the
grandparents departure, it is now time for the sons and daughters to
step up and to lead the family and to hold the family together. It is on
each of us and we must do our part because those who came before us
did their part.
Keepin' It Heal
Just before I went to sleep last night
I thought about when I was on the run.
How me and my homie were doing it big,
Trying to stay in the game without getting caught up.
Then I started to count sheep,
I got all the way to 2,316 before I got tired and then
From The Beat: We think that you were lucky to get caught up, because
if death catches you up, there is no second chance to do it again. Know
that if you don't put work into your own life, no one else will do it for
Just Want To Go Home
Sitting in JJC, crying every night thinking about being
Doing time I wouldn't think twice about.
Remember, I'm only 16.
See how much I miss my family
Their smiles, laughs, jokes and especially their tears.
I see this in my mind.
What I want to do is go home and be alive again.
Sincerely, Shy girl.
From The Beat: It's a lot to have to think about everything we've done
and what we will do especially when you are just 16 but this is where
your life is so this is what you must deal with. We realize this may seem
like an unsurmountable problem. We've been there. The only way to
deal with our life and to clean up our mess is to turn and face it and
begin to take steps towards changing it.
I am finally 18. The destiny judge is letting me off. I've
been coming here since I was 12 years old. Now, I will
finally be out of the system. I am so happy. I am done
being that little kid. I have to finally grow up and get out
of this little world I have been in for so long. I am too old
for these little kid games. I have a different point of view
of everything even life so me and my family are all happy
together and we have a new baby coming into our family.
From The Beat: Congratulations. Sounds like everything is going well
for you. We wish you the best and hope you have reflected on your life
situation and the actions you repeated that kept you returning to this
place you dislike so.
I've known Shygurl since the 9th grade. We've been best-
friends or as I say "homegirls" since then. I love her with
all of my corazon and she loves me too. She is down for me
and I am down for her. We do anything possible for each
other. She makes everything so much better but I moved
and we still talk and everything, including Myspace. But I
haven't seen her since April. I send her letters but when
she sends my mom throws them away. I never get to read
them. My mom doesn't know how special our friendship
is. She is Shygurl and I am Crazygurl. We miss each other
like crazy but like I told her when I'm 18 years old, I'm
gonna pick her up and give her the best hug ever. I love
From The Beat: Love is a mighty wonderful thing. We wish you the best
of luck in reuniting with your loved one. God bless.
Just Backing Govt. Funds
Just before I went to sleep last night I thought about
Graffiti. I thought about all of the things that people say
when they see it.
I see the life of someone else.
People say it costs money for the things we do.
So why are you complaining about it?
To me, graffiti is another way of rocking the govt.'s
So feel free to express yourself
When you go bombing that wall
Or even when you put that tip on that can
Just remember that getting fame
Is just another way
Of just rocking govt, funds.
- Graffiti Artist
From The Beat: It's not just the fact that it costs money to cover up
graffiti, it is the also the fact that it shows disrespect to all who do have
to pay for it, when no one asked them if it could be done. Just as much
as you think you have the freedom to express yourself, so too do others
know they have the freedom to not be forced to look at it.
Just before I went to sleep last night I thought about
going home next week. I was real worried about what my
mom is going to say or what she's going to do. I'm scared
to go home because I don't think my parents want me
home. Well that's all. I'm out. Peace.
From The Beat: We don't know your situation but we know families are
suppose to be supportive and loving. We are to expect our families to
welcome us back. Our families are supposed to provide us with a home
but sometimes it is not like that. Sometimes our families are not like
- agnannsH mmmm
If I Could Turn Back Time
Knowing what I know today, the one person I would bring
back from the dead is my grandpa. My life would be better
than it is now. It will be so good to see him. I love him so
much. My grandpa meant the world to me and still does.
I'm going to change my ways, not just for me but also for
my grandpa. If he was here I wouldn't be acting this way.
If my grandpa was here today I would tell him how much
I love him and how I wouldn't be able to feel the way I do
without him being here.
I would have wanted my grandpa to tell me to set
an example for all the ones that are doing bad and need
For the ones doing time, keep your head up because
one day it's going to be your time to shine.
From The Beat: Your grandfather sounds like a good man. We believe
the dead are buried but they still communicate with us through prayers,
dreams and sometimes they just speak to us. We hear their voices in the
wind and they free us to live the good life they would want.
When I Get Out
Straight out the No,
Steady blasting motha fools with a forty four.
Always runnin' from the po po.
Fresno 'ain't no joke, talking head
Will only get that body smoked.
It's always gonna be pop pop
Then you drop.
That's what I am going to do when I get out.
From The Beat: We ask you to think about lulling, violence, and your
involvement in it. Is all that violence a cop out from living a life of
creating and building rather than destroying? Think about it. If all you
know is how to shoot and kill, but you don't know how to take the
time to make positive things happen, how can you choose to do better?
There are so many constructive things that you could do with your life
and you can do for others. Who will be there for you when you need to
be put in the ground?
When You Mess Up
Well, the thing I was thinking about last night was
If I hadn't smoked then
I wouldn't be here right now.
I did have a job,
But I am pretty sure that they fired me.
So when I get out I have to go think
Of a way to get my life straight.
From The Beat: You don't have to get out to think of ways to fix your
situation. You can do that right where you are. You can make one plan
at a time and remember the Hall when you forget what you could face
if you don't do right by yourself on the outs.
Hey what's up Beat?
It's me Josh. I'm writing from these wall's again. Trying
to survive and work my way out of the system to support
my expecting and soon to be wife. What I really want to
say is I ain't guilty so I should be out. The main thing
is Jesus has made a plan for me to get out of gangs and
Jesus gave me a second chance. So I'm gonna take this
second chance to the heart and stick to the bible and
worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
From The Beat: The Lord works in strange ways. When we give our lives
to him, we have given our lives, therefore it is not our place to demand
or queston but rather, to accept the mission our life presents in front
I thought about Grandma last night. She was always there
for me and has taken care of me since I was 8 months old.
For the past few months I have been really rebellious. I
guess it is from holding so much pain inside because I
feel like my parents abandoned me. I would give anything
to have my mom and my dad back in my life but all I have
is my grandma. If I could take it all back, I would. I don't
enjoy hurting as much as it may seem and I just really
want to tell her that I am sorry.
From The Beat: Sometimes our challenge is to abandon our own wishes
and to accept what has been offered to us already. You already seem
to appreciate what your grandmother has done for you. Treat her with
respect and make good memories with the time you have with her.
Love for another
Just before I went to sleep I wrapped myself
in my blanket. It's my fault I'm in here.
After I said my prayers I still felt empty. I realized
what I was missing, I have an amazing boy.
He holds me close and makes me smile.
So, as I wiped away the tears. I know he's thinking of me.
He's the best boyfriend I've ever had.
When I'm a parent I'll treat each day like
my whole life's work in front of me.
I would try my best to teach wrong from right.
I would show my child to best path to be on.
I would hold my kids close and never let go.
Mostly, if I was a parent
I would ask for help to handle a child I can't control.
I'm not a parent though and I know why.
I'm still young, learning wrong from right.
If only my parents could learn
to handle a child who is out of control.
I have me and for now that is my pride and joy.
From The Beat: It is the ultimate freedom to feel for others and to love
them more than we love ourselves. By loving them we are no longer
concerned with our needs and by sharing in their joy we are joyful.
The Life As A Ganybanyer
I like stealing dogs, mainly dogs. I breed them. They are
fighters. I never fight 'em. I just sell them. I steal cell-
phones too. I take 'em out of cars and sell them for 50 or
60 bucks. I go to the swimming pool parks and take the
cell phones when they go in the pool.
I'm not scared to get caught because I gangbang. I
bang because I know people got my back and they help
me out. I got caught stealing a bike once. My friend and I
threw up where we were from. They tried to fight and my
friend pulled out a 9mm and shot in the air and they ran
I'm in Juvi for the 7th time. I'm angry I can't see my
mom. I gotta watch my back every time I step out the
door. I gotta be careful what I choose. I got my brother
and we bang different gangs but we get along so when I
got to Juvi, I'll plan something big like usual.
From The Beat: We are no sure if you notice at the end of your piece,
whether you did it on purpose or not, you started to write about the
negative consequences of your actions. You cannot see your mother
or your family, you have to watch your back everywhere you go, and
you have to be careful who you choose to talk to. The price to pay
your behavior is not only being locked up, but it is also not being able
to be with your loved ones and living a life where you are limited to
experiencing the world in a narrow way.
Almost a Miracle
Well I went to court and was worried because my
recommendation was 3 years in CYA. Well, when I was in
the courtroom I got the miracle that I have been praying
for the whole time. Well not exactly, but the judge said
that he didn't agree with the recommendation, which was
the miracle. The judge postponed my sentencing because
he wants me to take a psych evaluation. If I pass the
evaluation I have a good possibility of just getting time
here in commit. All I'm saying is that praying does work
so trust God.
From The Beat: We are happy you found a way to get closer to God. We
hope you realize that a psych evaluation is serious. Take the initiative
to look after yourself.
I'd Bring You Back
If I could bring anybody back from the dead, I would
bring back my cousin. I would just have a long talk with
him about how he got killed and tell him what's been
going on in my life. But most likely I would just come to
tears. If he was alive he would say stay in school and keep
my mom safe.
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss, and we hope that someday
you see that the best way to honor those you have lost is to live right
by their memory. If you know what he would say to you, honor that.
Hey Beat, do you want to know who I would bring back
from the dead? I would bring back my dad. My dad was
shot and killed, and he died in my arms. It has been about
seven months now and I've been hating life. I feel alone.
I still have my mom, brothers and sisters, but the day he
died, I lost my best friend!
I would do everything with my dad. You name it, we
did it! And now my life feels empty. I'm going crazy. It
feels like just yesterday we were kicking back. People
who I thought were my friends turned out not to be and
they shot my dad.
If I could bring him back, I would just talk to him one
more time and I would tell him I love him and I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for hanging out with the people he told me not
to. He told me they did not care about me, but I did not
listen. And look at me now?! I lost the person I love the
most! I just want to say, "I'm sorry dad". And to everyone
who reads this, choose your friends wisely.
From The Beat: We're saddened to hear about your dad's death, so recent
in your memory too. Losing people who are close to us is never an easy
thing to bear, but the important thing is keeping their memory alive.
We know it was painful for you to share this story with us, so thank you
for having the courage.
Best In Peace
If I could bring someone back, I would bring back my
brother. He dies at the age of fifteen. If he was alive today,
I know that I would not be in the Hall today. The day that
he died I lost all faith in life. If he was alive today I would
tell him that I love him. So all of those of you who have
I brothers, you better tell them that you love them.
From The Beat: It's always such a hard thing to understand when
anyone dies before their time, especially when they are as young as
your brother. If you know that you would not be in the Hall if he were
here, then honor him by changing the path of your own life, and bring
faith and hope back to your family through you.
Just before I went to sleep last night
I said that I want to go home
And not come back to the hall.
And that I don't want to be bad no more.
I need to change but I will be
Coming here all my life though.
I want to be someone
So I need to do the right things.
My mom taught me to do the right thing
But I don't so I am in here.
- Struggling Kid
From The Beat: Change is hard. It isn't something that you just want
to happen, you have to need it to happen just like you need to eat and
sleep. Find strength in dreaming for more and better, and take it one
step at a time.
My name is D.J. And I'm 16. 1 have a wife and a 10 month
old daughter. My wife's name is Nital and she's my little
Honey-Bear. So, that means I'm her BIG papa-bear. Our
daughters are named Melody and she's our little booger.
Nital is my everything and I love her so much. We have
something really good going on. It's like a feeling I have
never felt. I love her this much. This is for you Boo. I love
From The Beat:Well we wish you all the best and we hope you can be
reunited with your love and family.
That's What regret Means
When I was at home with my mom, I was on the monitor
and it wasn't working good so my P.O. called my house
and the told my grandma to bring me in so they could
check my monitor. I got ready and when we were driving
over, my mom and I were talking as we got to the hall.
When we were waiting, I was thinking, I hope they don't
lock me up. They called my name and when I walked up
in the office, they told me to get on the wall and they
searched me and put the handcuffs on me. I asked them,
"what were they doing?" they said, "you're going in for
Before they took me in, I wanted to tell my grandma
I love her but I was too sad to tell her. I felt in my heart
that if I would have told her I loved her, I would have
cried because I was sad. I didn't want to be away from my
grandma because she's the only person that ever loved
me and cared for me.
I regret not telling my Grandma that I love her but the
good thing was when I was in booking I got to talk to her
and she told me she didn't know they were going to do
that. They tricked her and I believed her because I know
she wasn't lying. I had to get off the phone but at least, I
got tot ell her I love her.
Now that I'm in here, I pray 6 times a day for God to
release me to my mom and I claim my grandma as my
om because she took me and my brothers and sisters
before CPS took us. I just thank my mom so much for
taking me in and that's what's happening. I love my mom
so much and I miss her so much and I miss my brothers
and sisters and my family so much too. I love you mom
From The Beat: It is very nice that you have so much love for your
Grandmother. She seems like a wonderful and selfless person. She
didn't have to do anything but she did everything she could. That is a
good person who deserves to be treated with the same consideration,
generosity and support.
What Life Equals
These walls equal one cell
Juvenile hall equals hell
Can't eat so I'm not strong
I'm thinking what the hell am I doing wrong?
I need to calm down and live right
or end up in a hearse with no life?
Moma keeps telling me "graduate." Get
a diploma. Do good. Basketball coach tells
me I got enough game to get out the hood
So I'm ready to get on a plane
take it up a step
Show moma I'm the best yet to be
I too high. You can't touch me.
From The Beat: We hope you can accomplish the things you want to
but we believe your mom is already proud of you and she loves you no
matter what you do.
What's On JBs Mind?
What's good with it Beat Within? Once again it's your
Boy Lil' Joey Boy from the World's biggest little city in
the U.S.A. You ain't knowing? The Fresno baby!
I went to court on the other day and I got boot camp
again for the third time. Damn! Delta again but it ain't
nothing to a guerilla like me. Just do this time and handle
business and get ghost asap. Yep! I'm gone . Be gone for a
little vacation but to all doing time "Do the time, don't let
the time do you." Feel me?
-Lil' Joey Boy
From The BeatiWe like that you have a plan to get out and to stay
out of Juvi hall. Do your time and put it to use. Do something. Learn
something. Pick up some skills. Be constructive.
The picture I carry in my wallet is of my girl. We have
been together for over a year. I like this picture because
she took it at school. Her hair and her clothes and her
upper body parts make her look beautiful. The first time
I saw her, I wanted to get with her so bad but I was too
scared. Me and my friend went to her house. I was going to
ask her out. I was scared but I asked and she said yes.
From The BeatiHey, that's a great story. We're glad you were able to
share love with someone. Too bad you're locked up and away from her.
If I was with someone I really loved, I would do whatever it took so I
never get split up from her. Good luck.
What Regret Means
When I was in Mexico I regretted that I never told my
mom that I loved her. I regretted to come back because
when I came back. I was only in town for three months
and I had a conflict with my brother and he told the cops
I had a warrant and the officer put me in handcuffs and
read me my rights.
I regretted coming back and took care of my problems
but since I didn't . I got caught up. I hope the people I hurt
will forgive me, and if they don't I forgive them. Everyday
that goes by, I can't forget what happened.
From The Beat: We know regrets. We've had a few and we know God put
eyes in the front of our heads. So we look forward and not backwards.
We have to learn from our mistakes and do what we have to do. It does
no one any good to beat ourselves up because of something we didn't
do. Take action Hombre. Write a letter to your mama right now.
They say I should say
I want to get out of here
I want to go home and be happy
But how can I?
Life is suffering. How can I ever be happy?
No drugs? No drinking? No stealing cars?
What will I eat, cottage cheese and be good
When my Glauck is hot in my pants
My mom wants me to mow the lawn
I want to boot heroin for the first time.
From The BeatiOften what we think is not the best thing to do. We
often think about not paying our taxes but we know the punishment
will be worse. No one is saying you shouldn't be honest and honor your
feelings but if our feelings are directing us to do destructive behavior
then maybe we shouldn't listen to ourselves.
Last night, when my mom visited, we were talking about
what I'm going to do when I get out of here. She was telling
me that it hurts her deep down inside her heart that I
come here and get into trouble. All she wants from me
is to do right in school and stay out of trouble because
it makes her very sad when she hears the stuff I do. I'm
going to show her that I can stay out of trouble because
My mom told me I have potential and I do. She wants
me to use it right and live my dream. I want to play football
in the NFL someday and play for my favorite team, the
I can't wait until I get out so I can eat some good food,
sleep in my comfortable bed, go on the computer, and
watch my TV. I'm going to do good for my mom, brothers
and sisters and get my diploma. I hope to go to college
and then try out for the NFL.
From The Beat: We're glad you had this talk with your mom. She sounds
like a wonderful and motivating force in your life. Your dream of playing
for the NFL will take a while, but it could happen if you keep working
Before I went to sleep last night, I was thinking about my
family and my girl. I was wondering if they think about me
before they go to sleep and at the same time was thinking
about what the judge told me at court. When I went, they
were telling me that my max could be up to four years at
YA. Just having that thought in my head everyday before
I go to sleep, I hate thinking about it.
I just wonder everyday if I'm going to see my family
and girl soon. I just pray everyday when I go to sleep that
I get out of here. I hope my next court date goes good. I
miss my family and my girl. I pray I will see them soon. I
love you guys!
From The Beat: We hope everything goes well for you. It's tough not
knowing what could happen next. We're praying for you!
Just before going to sleep last night I thought about
being out and havening fun with my family. I also thought
about playing games with my little brothers and going out
to the park with them and having fun.
From The Beat: Having people in your life that you choose to be there
for, and want you to be around can be motivation to do better the next
time around. Keep your head up and take it one day at a time.
I'm In Love With Her
If I were to leave or move away (which I actually am). ..I
would tell my best friend Jessika that I have been in love
with her since 7th grade. ..I have always been afraid to let
her know because I did not want to ruin the friendship
but she is the only one who knows the true me.
She sticks by me through good times and bad. I really
do love her but I'm moving across the country in a month
and I got out in little less than a month. I plan on telling
her before I leave. If she feels the same I will come back
for her.. I really hope she feels the same. ..If not... I will
still come back for her.
From The Beat: Love is a mighty splendid thing. We wish you the courage
and strength to express your emotional truth to this young lady. Good
luck and remember, all you can do is put it out there and offer to show
her a good time. She will decide the rest.
When I Get Out
Just before I went to sleep last night, I was thinking
about hella things. One thing on my mind was what I was
first to do when I get up out of here. I want to enroll at a
charter school and finish school and get a job so I won't
have to slang anymore. I probably won't be all goodie-
goodie but at least I'll be trying more.
Another thing I want to do is stop messing with a
bunch of girls because it gets me caught up and then
brings drama. I am going to find a girl who has a whip and
a job so that she is on my level. Plus so that I can spend
I time with her rather than doing bad things.
Another thing that was on my mind was about what I
am going to do in my future because I am first to turn 18
and my mom is first to kick me out. But yea, that's what
I was on my mind.
From The Beat: Thanks Nino, it sounds you're on track to do better for
yourself. You've got great ideas here, and you sound like a smart guy.
Keep at it!
What Should I Do?
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
whether I should do it or deny it. But as thoughts rushed
through my mind, it was a hard for me to think too much.
It all happened when one of my rivals started disrespecting
me in the pod I was in. It was hard for me to fall asleep as
my rival would think about what he's going to do to me
tomorrow. Now I am in a different pod. But as for me like
always, should I do it or deny it? Or just do my time?
From The Beat: It doesn't sound like there is an easy answer, but the
good thing at least is that you are taking time to think things through
rather than just react and make a poor decision. How can you use these
"thinking" abilities to your advantage when you're on the outs?
All These Thoughts
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
the outside world and my family. And then I still couldn't
sleep because thinking about my family in here is like a
drug. I can't stop doing it.
I tried to read a book but it didn't help at all. I also
thought about my friends and my room and my bed and
my mom's cooking. But the thing I thought about the
I most was being straight with the Lord.
From The Beat: It's hard to concentrate when we have all these thoughts
running in our heads. What is something that makes you happy when
you think about it?
I Would Never Do It That Way Again
I thought about my dad and how much I care about him
and how much I love him. I'm locked up because I got in
a fight with my dad. I don't know why I did that but now
I realize how much I miss him. I didn't mean to hurt my
dad but what I know is it was a big mistake. I know I don't
belong here. I'm a good person who likes to go to school
and play sports. If I could go back, I would never have
fought my dad and I would never have been here. It's my
first time here and I don't like it but I have to live with it. I
hope I get out soon to be with my family and friends.
From The Beat: Like they say blood is thicker than water. What we do
with our family will never be forgotten. That is why we put our family
first and we always behave in a way that considers our mothers and
Keepin' It Crazy Daisy
Fresno is my home. I grew up in these streets where I
did my first crime. I got put in a gang and now I have to do
what I have to do. I'm in the hall again and waiting to go
to court. Hopefully I get my charges dropped so I can go
home. There are fools here who run their mouth a lot but
when it comes down to fighting, they act like females. I'm
just gonna stay on my toes and keep it crazy daisy. To the
homies doing time, stay up and much love!
From The Beat: We realize it can be frustrating sometimes because of
other people's actions. But don't let their actions get the best of you. It's
totally not worth having to do more time.
I Have Two Pics
Both in Disneyland. My favorite is a picture just after my
dad proposed to my step-mother. In that picture, the four
of us [my dad, Step-Mom, Little Brother & me] are on the
Mark Twain boat on the Tom Sawyer river. My grandma
took it. My little bro was 2 years old. I was 6 years old.
The 2nd is me and my step-mom dancing in from of
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the forbidden eye ride
in fantasy island. My step-mom had just gotten her bride
Miney Ears. My dad is in the background with his groom
From The Beat: Sounds like a nice memory. It's always easy to remember
the good things. We always forget the bad things. That's the way life
is. It's reassuring because we know at the end of it all, when we are on
our rocking chair looking back over the events of our lives, we will only
remember the good stuff and leave the rest.
Before I went to sleep last night, I thought about many
things. At first I was thinking negative thoughts about
what might happen in the future. Then I realized I was
getting sad and angry. So I began to think positive.
I thought about what changes I could make for the
better. I thought about doing good wherever I went after
I got out of the Hall. I thought about how to do good
and change to go home, and be successful in society. I
thought about being in a public high school for the first
time. I had a lot more things I was thinking about but
not enough time to tell them. I learned thinking positive
thoughts help you to sleep well.
From The Beat: Right on! Having a positive outlook will surely be in
your best interest. There are so many things running through your mind
right now, and staying focused will help. You've got a bright future
ahead and many things to look forward to.
- agnnnnsH mrnmm
Too Much Talking
This time in JJC, some of these kids be talking crap
behind their doors but when they're out here, you tell
them "what's up" and they'll just stay on hush mode.
That's some of the crap that these wannabes do. They try
to act hard behind their doors 'cause they know we can't
open the door or tell the staff to open the door cause then
they'll be like "for what?" and I'm not as stupid to say I
want to beat that person up, and then before you know it,
I'm on high security.
This story is for all those phonies. This life ain't for
everyone so if you think it ain't for you then you better
stop 'cause you could end up dead. Listen to my advice
and do what I say and you'll have a good life.
From The Beat: Life on the outs is difficult, but life in JJC can be even
harder because you're around many young people who are involved in
gangs. What can you do to not cause any further trouble while you're
A Competent Family Picture
A family picture is the picture I love. I felt some much
of a bond when the flash hit my eyes. We all wore red and
black. Then we went out to eat after we put the pictures
up in the house. I felt like we were the strongest family
From The Beat: That's a nice picture to remember. We want to remember
occasions like that too.
Going Back In Time
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
going all the way to when I was a freshman. That's when
my whole life took a turn for the worse. I started to mess
up in school and started to do a whole bunch of stupid
crap. My life could be a whole lot better if I could go back.
My girl and I would probably still be together. I need to
turn my life around because it's really hard now that I'm
If I had hundreds of thousands of dollars, I would buy
my family a house and a car so we could all be together.
Even though I would have a lot of money, it would probably
be kind of boring, but I would be buying hella stuff. I'm
done, but I hope by writing this I can relieve and release a
whole bunch of stress.
From The Beat: We hope this helped you relieve some stress. It's usually
good to let things out rather than keep them bottled inside. It'd be
great if we could all go back and fix things in our life, but all we can
do is live for today and tomorrow. Don't give up on what your future
could hold for you.
____ — — _
If I could bring someone back from the dead, it would be
my grandpa because before he passed, we had everything
that a kid wanted I promise you. But if he was alive right
now, I wouldn't be in here because my life was going in a
perfect straight line. I could remember when I was little
and he would take me walking and buy me whatever I
wanted. But then it came, that day, when my aunt's
girlfriend walked in his room and he was dead from a
heart attack. Ever since that day, my life just went down
From The Beat: Your grandpa sounds like he was a great man. What do
you think he would have wanted you to achieve in your life? Maybe you
should set a positive goal for yourself in life, like to finish school, and
fulfill that goal as a way to honor his memory.
A Dead Homie
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
my homie. He was killed by one of my enemies. My homie
was not even in a gang. He just played sports. My homie
got killed at the place where he was always at since he
was seven years old, and he got killed when he was 15
years old. Some of my older homies were there playing
basketball, but they said that they did not know what was
The only reason I think my homie got killed was
because he kicked with us and they thought he was from
my set. If I had the chance, I would bring back my homie
and tell him I love him, that I will see him again up there.
Thanks for hearing what I had to say.
From The Beat: What a sad situation for him, to have his life taken away
for something that he wasn't even a part of. We feel your pain, and we
hope he knows how much you cared about him.
A Second Chance
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about a
lot of things. I thought about the program that I just got
screened for and if they are going to accept me back into
the program. I was once in the program but back then, I
was immature and didn't want to do anything but get high,
get with girls and go to parties. So obviously I ran over the
program like it was nothing but trash in the road.
They terminated me from the program and I got locked
up and sentenced to a group home. I've been in and out of
group homes for the last three years and ran away from
most or got terminated for something that I did.
The last two group homes I was in I did good but I
refused to go back to court. The judge said he wanted me
home, so he sentenced me to the Wrap Around program
and here I am. I was just thinking that if they didn't accept
me, that I will have to go back to a group home for a year.
So please pray that they find me capable of getting back
on the program.
From The Beat: It sounds like you really want that second chance. And
we hope you get it! What changes will you make for yourself this time
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about my
family and my daughter cause I wondered how they were
doing. I don't want to lead my sisters and brothers, plus
my daughter, in the path I'm in because I want the best
for them. I want them to finish school. Why would I want
my family growing up like me?
I thought about my court date because I don't want to
be in here anymore. Hopefully I get out. I was saying to
myself, talking to God, asking him to forgive me and to
give me another chance to be with my family.
Also, I want to talk about bringing someone back
from the dead. If I could, I would bring some people back.
First, my great-grandparents.
Second, I would bring back all my homies that passed
away from the hood. I would tell my grandparents that I
love them and tell the homies that I'm down to ride before
we all die. Thanks for coming Beat, and rest in peace to
all homies and familia.
From The Beat: Thanks for writing again this week Peanut! We hope you
get out soon too, and that you stay involved in your daughter's life. We
really wish we could bring back your loved ones who have passed, but
at least we can hope they are watching over and protecting you.
A Friend For Life
If I could go back in time, I would bring my homie Don
back. Don was with me most of my life. He taught me how
to function in a stable place and on the streets. When I
was one year old, I was taken by CPS and placed in foster
homes. He was too. So we were always with one another.
When I turned 6, he was 13. He was teaching me what
he knew and I looked at him as a brother. There were
a few times I saw him fight and I was scared but when
he was done, he would tell me "don't trip, little homie,
we cool". He started smoking and drinking and he was a
By the time I was 12 years old I was labeled a criminal.
I had seen and done many things than a normal 12 year
old or a grown man. I did many things, like sell drugs,
had shot guns, and a lot more I shouldn't say. I did it
all with him. I remember we would sit in front of the
Kearney Plaza and he would tell me about the streets and
he would always buy me stuff no matter what it was. If
he had money, he would buy me stuff, and if he didn't,
he would steal it. The truth is I loved him, but I guess
you could say I was scared of him too because he was
One time, there was a boy a little bit bigger than me
who wanted to fight and I was scared. So then Don told
me, "Don't be a punk, little homie, go fade him up". I did,
and I lost, but he gave me so much props I felt like I had
won. He was always there for me and I feel I owe him, but
when I tried to repay him, he said, "It's cool, pimp, we
And then that day came. We were on the west side,
posted at a store three deep. We were lined up leaning on
a Tahoe smoking and shots started. And when I started
running, I tripped, and Don ran into me and stumbled
back down. When the shots stopped, I looked around
and realized he not only stumbled into me but he had
gunshots in chest. I feel like it's my fault because the
people were aiming for me. I would bring him back from
the dead and tell I love him and I'm always thinking about
him. RIP Don-Don.
From The Beat: Writing this piece about your friend Don is a great way
to honor his memory and to keep him with you always. It sounds like
you both were lucky to have each other, and we're sure that even in
death, he is still watching over you.
Today, I woke up and I got a serious reality check. You
see, my mom's been stressing since September of 2007
because I haven't been home. This morning, I woke up
and crap, it hit me that I'm destroying my family. My two
sisters got taken from my jefita by CPS because my mom
can't care for them, but deep down, I know it's because of
me. That hurt.
I'm putting my three-year-old and eleven-year-old
sisters through this just because I want to go out, party,
mess with girls, and not obey the law. Now that I think
about it, I wish I could be a square, not a lunatic. I didn't
just mess up my life, but I messed up my sisters' lives
and I hope they can forgive me cause this playboy just
wasn't thinking. Sorry Diana and Esperanza.
From The Beat: Sometimes having this kind of self-realization can be
painful because it forces you to acknowledge all the hurt you've caused
other people. But it's only when you have these kinds of moments
or "epiphanies" that you can then progress toward something more
positive. Maybe you don't have to be a "square". You can still be happy
as a person but also not stress your family out. Do you have any ideas as
to how you can achieve this balance? Keep thinking, and maybe you'll
come to realize other important things as well.
Money VS. Love
Money ain't everything but I think money will buy things
or pay bills. But money ain't something you can always
have. But you're more loved than money. Money is just
for the government and you only can just buy clothes,
shoes and other things. I would want more love than
money because I want to be loved and not to be hated for
From The Beat: Money has its benefits, but you make a great point that
love can have more value than money.
Taking The Challenge
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about all
of the difficult obstacles I have to overcome today in order
to get what I want later. Then I started to think about
furthering my education and I said to myself, college is
going to be hard. Then an old saying went through my
head, "hard work pays off. Now I am determined to go to
college and take the challenge because I know it will pay
off in the end.
From The Beat: That's inspiring! When we work hard at something and
achieve it, we appreciate it more rather than if it were just handed to
us. Sounds like you've a great edge that's going to help you succeed in
For My Dad
Growing up, my life was great. But it came to a point
where I had to find out that life wasn't always going to be
easy. That point came to me at the age of nine. My dad
suffered a terrible accident that left him in a wheelchair
for the rest of his life.
At this point in my life, I had to grow up quick to help
my mom remain strong, both my brother and I. It was like
we had no childhood. This was a big change for me cause
I started to work little jobs to help out. But it was cool
because I still had both of my parents alive.
My dad spent over five months in the hospital. It was
the most terrible thing that could ever happen to me.
Having to see him lay there on a hospital bed with all
kinds of tubes going in and out of his body.
As I was getting older, my life was still the same. No
changes. Then I started to try something to calm the
pain. One thing's for sure. I thank God for giving me the
mother that he gave me because she's always there for
me. I would give it all to see my dad walk again. But it's
cool, I've learned to deal with it and I'm trying to keep
From The Beat: You're parents are so lucky to have you, to know they
can rely on your support in their time of need. Even if your dad never
walks again, he can be proud to know he has a son who loved him very
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
how it is going to be when I get out of here. I thought
about what I was going to do and how it was going to be
when I get out. I wonder if things change or if things are
still the same. When I get out, the first people I want to
see are my little sisters and the rest of my family.
From The Beat: Being stuck in JJC can make you wonder if things have
changed on the outs. It'll be a happy reunion when you finally get out
and get to see your family.
RIP To My Loved Ones
If I could bring back the dead, I would bring three people
back that I am close to. First would be my grandma. She
gave me everything I wanted. She left this world when I
was 14. This was when I was young and I shed waterfalls.
When I think about her, it seems like I'm sinking deeper.
The second person I would bring back is my uncle. He
passed away in his sleep. I was 16 and I guess it finally
hit me. It touched me because it made me realize that life
The third person would be my homie. He was shot in
a gang violence incident. It happened about three years
ago. Three days after I got locked up. I started to think
and got put in the hood. Now I'm from the hood but I want
to change. I'm gonna end this by saying rest in peace to
my loved ones.
From The Beat: Sometimes from death, we learn the importance and
value of life. It sounds like these people here all impacted your life in a
positive way. Thank you for telling their stories.
Hope They Won't Send Me
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
whether my probation officer is going to send me to CYA.
On top of that, this is my first time and I'm not saying I'm
scared, but to do 18 months is a long time. Till next time
From The Beat: We hope they don't send you there either. Stay strong,
and please know it's okay to be scared.
Your Loved Ones
You will only love the one that you stress about when you
are locked up in here. In a cell no bigger than a bathroom
with a light shining on you all day. 24/7. Nothing to think
about but your loved ones. So this is what I am thinking
to tell all of the kids. To really love the one you love stay
out of trouble. If you really love them, you will.
I hate this bleak hole. It's only my second time in
here. I am looking at a year and two months for putting
my intent in cement. I wake up at 6:00 o'clock in the
morning and work out until 7:00. The food is gross. It
sucks. Just stay out of here if you like good food and
seeing your loved ones.
From The Beat: Yeah, that's the thing about being locked up, it puts our
lives in check. We start to realize all the posturing we had been doing
and we start to appreciate the real things in life. Peace.
First off, I would like to say "Rest in Peace my cousin
Mike." Wish I would have said more than just "see you
later." It was a cold rainy day. We were at my nephew's
funeral I had gotten a furb to go to it. It was cool to see
my whole family but the whole situation was messed up.
Lots of people were there crying. I couldn't stand it so I
went outside. All the crying was hitting me. I fought to
hold back tears. Finally everybody started to leave. It was
time to go back to the hall when we got there. My parents
got my aunt. She said my cousin was dead. Wish I could
have told you more. We all miss you. God only takes the
From The Beat:We are sorry to hear about your loss and we offer our
I Miss My Daby Girl
If I were my own parent, well first of all, I never had a
father and my mom never did her job. She loved drugs
more than my siblings and I, that's why I've been living in
the streets either with the homies or with my baby mama.
I don't ever want to be like my parents. I have never seen
my so-called dad. He probably left when I was a newborn
or something. The hell with both of them! I will not be
like them. Even though I'm in here, I will go back to my
daughter cause I know she's waiting for me. I love her
with all my heart!
Just yesterday, my grandparent brought her to visit
me. When I first stepped into the visiting room, she was
crying, than when she saw me, she got a big smile on
her face and she started laughing. That made my day!
She made me feel hella good cause I know she hasn't
forgotten about her daddy! I will be different from my own
parents. I will take care of my daughter by being there
when she needs me no matter what. Through all the hard
That's who I won't be like, my parents. I will be a
better dad. Even though I don't know how, I will learn
fast. Thanks for listening Beat!
From The Beat: We believe in you, Bryan, and we know you're on your
way to being a great dad. This is the second powerful piece you've
written about your daughter. Keeping connected to her is so important,
and we hope you never lose that.
The only thing that is constantly on my mind is why I'm
in this dump. Everything I did on the outs was flawless.
I did everything right and yet I'm here. I'm always telling
myself someone had to snitch on me. When there's a
reward involved, people start talking.
I guess everyone has a price and that was theirs, a
homie who always came through like almost everyday.
Someone had to break him off with whatever profit I got.
How can they just turn their backs on me like that? So
cold. Screw the haters.
I'm not tripping 'cause once I get out, it's a wrap. To
all the ninjas who thought they had homies and then got
burned by them, stay up! Watch who you chill with 'cause
you never know when they'll burn you.
From The Beat: Sorry to hear your friends weren't exactly your friends
after all. In the future, what positive qualities will you look for in a
friend so you don't get "burned" in the end?
I'm trapped in a world
full of guns, cages, drug dealers and killers.
I will never see any changes.
So many people die.
Rivals trying to take your life, never knowing if you'll
make it through the night.
You're trying to hold on but your living on the edge.
Gangs and drug violence.
Always looking for revenge.
Life is getting hard.
I'm just hoping I can take it.
I just have to put all ten fingers together and hope for
From The Beat: We are so saddened that this is the reality many young
people in your situation face, this hectic teenage life of always running
and feeling hopeless. Don't give up this fight, not now, keep hoping and
praying for change.
I Am My Family's Counselor
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
how my actions affect others. My mom got kicked out of
the apartment. My little brother lost his first basketball
game. My uncle got locked up in prison. Another uncle
got jumped and thrown out.
II was the center of attention in the family. I came to a
thought of determination, where I was, in my right state
of mind thinking that because I was gone, the family was
Without me, no one can really think because I have
become my family's counselor. I promised my mom that
this would be last trip to JJC. Although those words were
kind of complicated to say. I want to make my mom proud.
I love my family. I'm going to be a big impact and make a
I positive influence on the whole world.
From The Beat: It's overwhelming to think that you are the glue that
holds your family together, but it's probably true. Your family needs
you, and we hope you get out soon. You arc like their mentor, but here
is something to think about, who is your mentor or role model? Do you
have one? We hope that when things get to be too much at home you
have someone to turn to for advice.
The Real, The Fakes
A man in the no is so hectic.
People have to put in work in order to be respected
And if you're a sucker, you'll be neglected.
If I had a wish I would wish for all my dead loved ones to be
And I would pray that the new life they'll have will be
Without being in prison,
Without their whole life collected,
Because us being African Americans,
We believe that in other people's minds, that's what's
And if we give them what they expect,
Then the credit for them will be collected.
But that's how things are these days,
I feel as if the world is coming to an end
For it's probably just me going through this phase.
I don't know what it is, but whatever it is, it's messing with
I feel like I'm locked away, but there's no key.
I am trying to get out of here and get rolling like it's on four
wheels with no brakes,
And separate myself with the real from the fakes.
From The Beat: You're a talented writer. Your writing expresses the
frustration of living in a society where everyday is a constant struggle.
Here's a thought, how do you determine a real person from a fake?
In Five Years
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about
where I'm going to be five years from now. It was a lot
of thinking cause honestly I don't know. I had a lot of
different thoughts. Some good, some bad. I thought I
could be going to college or something, but then I had a
thought, maybe I would be locked up again in prison.
The only reason I have those kinds of thoughts are
because five years ago, if someone asked me where I was
going to be in five years, I would have never said "locked
up". So now I think that's where I'll be in five years.
From The Beat: We're proud of you for asking yourself some very tough
questions. We don't know what our future holds, but what we can do is
plan where we'd like to be in five years and work toward that. Instead
of thinking you'll be locked up again in five years, where would you
really like to be?
Dringing Her Back
If were to bring someone back from the dead, it would
be my grandma and if I did bring her back, I would try my
best to prevent her death. I think my life would be a lot
different. I would not be as bad as I am right now. I would
probably not be in JJC.
The only reason I'm here is 'cause of my grandma's
death. I try my best to still be here with my grandma. I
would love to bring her back and to tell her a lot of things
I didn't get to tell her.
From The Beat: It hurts to lose someone you love. What would you have
done to prevent her death? If she knew you were in this situation right
now, how would she feel? Maybe one of the ways you can honor her
memory is to do right for yourself in life. She'd be very proud of that.
Bring Back My Grandpa
If I could go back in time, I would bring back my grandpa.
My grandpa died in 2006. He killed himself with a knife.
I was 13 years old before I even heard about it. I was sad.
I wish I could bring him back. We were like father and
son. On weekends, we would ride our bikes together. We
would do a lot together. I wish I could bring him back
From The Beat: How terribly sad. We're sorry to hear you lost such a
great friend, your own grandpa. Thank you for using this opportunity
in The Beat to honor his memory.
My Court Bate
Just before I went to sleep last night, I thought about my
court date and how it is still weeks away. I thought and
thought and was thinking my court date could go bad.
But people always say think positive and it will come true
but for me, it hasn't.
My last court date, I thought positive, but they said
that I still have to go back and this time, it's for two
weeks. I hope and I pray that my next court date I will
think negative and hopefully it will not come true.
From The Beat: Don't give up Kevin. You've made it this far! Keep the
hope that you will get out soon.
Losing My Mom
I lost my mother ten years ago. It started when she was
in her twenties. She got cancer and for some reason she
started smoking cigarettes to calm herself but that only
made things worse. She started losing her hair and she
felt like she was getting weaker and weaker.
Then her doctor told her no more tattoos or smoking,
and she told the doctor okay, but then her boyfriend
started coming around and he got her to get a tattoo of
his name. As soon as she got it, you could say she started
dying faster. She got sicker to where she had to stay in
the hospital. She was in there for about a month before
The thing I would tell her is that I love her with all my
heart and that I will see her again sooner or later. I'd want
her to tell me that she loves me and my sisters, and that
she'll always take care of us whether she's alive or not.
From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your mom's death. It sounds
like you loved and cared about her a lot. It must have been painful to
watch someone you love die slowly each day. Thanh you for sharing her
memory with us, and we know she's probably watching over you and
Having My Son
Trying to get my girl pregnant was easy, but when she
did get pregnant, the reality hit me hard, maybe too hard.
It didn't only hit me, but a lot of people around me. I
thought to myself, how can I raise a kid when I haven't
even finished growing up?
When he was born, I thought I would be the happiest
teen alive, but I wasn't. It just made my life worse, but it
wasn't his fault. I wish I could go back, but I don't regret
having my son. I love him and I will be there for him when
he needs me.
From The Beat: Being a parent requires responsibility and commitment.
You have to make a lot of sacrifices and work hard at it. Thank you for
acknowledging that it is not an easy task. Can you think of the positive
impact your son has had on you?
Bringing Back Aaliyah
If I could bring someone back from the dead, it would be
Aaliyah because when her plane crashed, her pilot was
on drugs and took some just before the flight. Don't be
so quick to get home after every music video. In return
I would ask for a date. Her songs touched my mom, like
the song, Rock the Boat.
From The Beat: This is very sweet, Joshua, her music touched a lot of
people. Thanks for reminding us that life is valuable and it can be taken
away from anyone.
If I could bring back the dead, I would bring back my
great-grandma. I never really had the chance to meet or
talk to her so I just want that opportunity. I want to get to
know her more because I think I would be happier than
what I am today.
I always think how I would have gotten along with her.
And I would tell her that I love her. I would have loved to
hear my great-grandma tell her she loves me. To everyone
out there, I suggest you show your family love cause
someday they can just pass away and you'll feel sad like I
do. Stay up, much love to the Beat!
From The Beat: It sounds like your great-grandma would have been a
wonderful person to know. You might not have had the chance to know
her well, but maybe you can ask your grandparents or parents to tell
you stories about her. That's a great way to keep her memory alive.
Doing The Bight Thing
Doing the right thing still got me locked up. They told
me if I get another dirty, I would get locked up. I stopped
doing drugs and they told me to come in and test, but
they locked me up. So now I'm sitting in here wishing I
was on the outs. I go to court in a few days. Hopefully I
get out so I can do my best and not come back. The right
thing could still get you locked up, so to all you people
locked up just keep your head up.
From The Beat: Good luck at court! Keep us posted on what happens.
And even if doing the right thing gets you locked, KEEP doing the right
thing in life no matter what and eventually things will make a turn for
Me And Bard Times
Man its been hard for me the last couple of years. I've
been in and out of jail, now I might be goin' down for a
year or more. My b-day is in a couple of days, well in 2
weeks. But I have some stuff I wish I said to my family-the
one's who are gone like my grandmother.
I miss her and before she died I wish I could of told
her I love her, and me being locked up thinking bout my
mom I want to be there for her and my younger sibling.
But I want to learn how to be a good father to my baby
that's going to be born in 4 months.
I talked to my baby mamma last night and I just
want another chance with her so my baby will have its
father & mom when it opens up its eyes. She told me we
having a boy and I've never had a father in my life and I
don't want that for my baby. I want the best and give him
support and love, if she don't want me I'm still handle my
responsibility as a man and I want my son to be able to
call me daddy and do everything a father suppose to do in
Something I want to do with my son is take him out
go to the playground or to the mall shopping and I want
to be able to talk with him guide him down the good path
and not let him follow the way I did. I don't want him in
jail I want him to be able to come to me with no problem
and when he needs help. I want him to be happy and have
a child hood and be responsible for his actions—that's
what I want for my baby boy.
I have court this month and I pray every night for the
best to happen and plan for the worst but I'm running out
of space to write so get at me Beat.
From The Beat: We hear how important your loved ones are to you.
With your son on the way it's time to stop going in and out of jail
and be responsible for yourself so that you can live out all of your
relationships. The most important thing you can do for your son is
be a free man, trying to figure out life, and rising to the challenge of
showing up as his father. Good luck! You have much to look forward
to and work for.
/ don't want him in jail I
want Mm to be able to come
to me with ho problem and
when he needs help
Just before I went to sleep last night I thought about...
.1 was thinking that lately days been going by so slow
compared to other days, its like heck.
I got two more weeks to go so I could start getting
furloughs and two and a half months to kill up in New
Foundations. But it's all good I can hang. HAHA. Well
I don't want to say much more. That was just a minute
thing that was going through my mind last night.:)
The Beat Within: Your life is kind of on pause when you're locked up.
How can you make use of your time for yourself while you're there? If
you're growing as a person, the time will pass faster.
Just before I went to sleep I thought about three
One I thought about my family.... The second thought
was about my ex-...I was wondering whatever happened
to that fool the third troubled thought is my hood,
my friends, also my freedom. Orale pues I'm up and
The Beat Within: If you write about these things, maybe in a journal, or
in pieces to the Beat you might get clearer in your head about how you
think and feel about them — and they might not be so troubling in your
life, or in that moment.
If I Was My Parent
If I were my parent I wouldn't have changed nothing that
they did because I don't think they did anything wrong.
It's my own fault that I'm here. I live with my dad and my
step-mom and one of my little brothers.
Now, my real mom is a whole nother story. If I were
my real mom, I wouldn't have been as irresponsible. I
would have stepped up and made my kids life as easy as
possible. My mom didn't really give my older siblings a
chance to live a good childhood. She provided what she
could for them, but it wasn't the best that she could have
done. She wasn't strict enough. I'm not Anna tell ya to
much, but that's that...
From The Beat: How is your relationship with your Dad and step-mom?
You can choose to strengthen that relationship helping all of you and
your brother. It's hard to understand all the things that go into the
choices people make, like with your mother. You can learn from your
family how you would like to build your own family, when it's time.
' &Mnnnns& mammm
What's up Beat? Well Just before I went to sleep last
night, I thought about what my Genie was telling me. She
was telling me that she wants me to stop hanging around
with my friends for my own good, that they bad influence
So I told her like this, "I can't stop hanging around
my friends, you trippin', my friends is my family. I can't
just stop kicking it with them just cause you don't like
them and plus they're not a bad influence to me we all do
what we do."
She's mad at me right now but she'll get over it. But
yeah, she trippin'.
The Beat Within: We are wondering if this Genie is in your imagination,
or if she's real. Whichever way, we think its important you at least
consider what she's saying. Did they have anything to do with why you
are where you are now? Are you able to explore who you might become
when you stick to hanging out with them?
I got into a car crash in August, 2008 and I lost my
almost like brother, let me start from the beginning.
We were coming from his girl's house on the way
to get some gas, I look behind us and this lady started
bumping into our bumper and my half brother started to
speed and we started to run red lights and she hit the
side of my car and we swerved out and the car flipped over
and I jumped out the window after the crash and I ran, but
I didn't know what to do and a couple minutes later the
police found me walking and they called the paramedics
to come and pick me up and they took me to Kaiser and
kept me in the waiting room for like an hour and a half.
Then my dad came to pick me up, and the next day
I called my friend's mom and she told me he died in the
car crash and I just thought that if I never would have ran
then I could've helped him and I still be thinking about it
and that's what happened! R.I.P Jamaal Johnson
The Beat Within: We are sorry for your loss. It's hard to know what
might have happened if you did something different in the past. If
you ran it sounds like you were scared, and that makes a certain sense
after what all happened. You are not a paramedic so if you had stayed
you may or may not have been able to help your friend. You were all in
great danger, and you did not cause that. Can you write a private letter
to your friend, tell him how you think and feel about him, and that
you're sorry about what happened, and say goodbye?
Was up wit it Beat? Man I got like fifty seven more days.
I can't wait to touch down. When I get out Ima get on the
right path get enrolled in day and night school to catch
up on credits and finish school successfully, and go to a
But I aint Anna be livin' like a square yadadamean?
Ima still be doin' my thang & smackin' out my body &
getting dough but I aint Anna be involved in anything
more than that no more.
I'm Anna be celebratin wit my patnas and makin up
for every thing I missed out on. My boys miss me & they
cant wait for me to get back to the streets & get on our
money hype. But until then I'll be doin this wack time but
I'll be back to my streets so I aint trippin, Aight then I'm
gone.. T's up!
From The Beat: We're glad to hear about your plans for school. We're
not sure everything your talking about is legal, and we hope you think
about what your freedom is worth before you get back to your partners.
You might need to take a break from the streets to finish school...
What's up Beat? I'm just posted in New Founds waiting
to get out. Thinking bout if Imma go to school every day
or go back to the block or I might do both. I don't know
but I got four months to think about it.
The Beat Within: Maybe you should write one of those pros and cons
lists for yourself. Make a column under "pros" and list all the good
things about the block, and then make a list of "cons" — all the bad
things. Then do the same for school. If you make the lists honestly
they should be a good guide to what will lead you to the future you
I Should Have Been More Careful
Before I went to sleep last night I was thinking about
what I'm going to do when I get out of here and all the
things I did before I came in here.
I was thinking about some stuff I should have been
more careful about and I was thinking about my time I got
left in here and all the things I'm going to do when I get
out with my friends.
Then I woke up and was staring at these walls for
The Beat Within: We hope that as you think about what you did, and
what you plan to do — that you don't forget how it feels to be locked up,
and that you let that knowledge influence your decisions about what
you will and will not do in the future.
What's good Beat? This is your boy Marky. Imma tell
you what I was thinking about before I went to sleep ya
I was thinking but my Brah who was recently killed
and the last thing I said to him was to be safe and then an
hour later he was gone like in a blink of an eye, that shit
ain't cool man. I want my brah back man. Straight up.
The Beat Within: We are sorry for your loss. It must be hard to know
you just said you wanted him to be safe, and then he wasn't. Important
people in our lives are our teachers.. .what did you learn from him?
What would he say to you now if he could? Maybe you could write more
about him, tell him how you feel about him and anything else you didn't
have time to say.
&Mnnnn*EE mmm/mfm //
No Importa El Dinero
^De que te sirve el dinero si estas encerrado? ^De que
sirve el dinero si no puedes comprar tu libertad? ^De
que sirve el donero si no estas con las personas que mas
quieres en la vids cosas como tu mama, o papa, tu novia
o toda tu famailia?
IEstos son los peores momentos de mi vida. ^De que
sirve el dinero si no te puede dar felicidad?
From The Beat: Tienes razon el dinero no lo puede hacer todo, pero es
muy importante para nuestras vida. £Si el dinero no lo es todo, que es
lo que te da todo a ti?
Money Doesn't Matter
How useful is money if you're locked up? How useful
is money if you can't buy your freedom? How useful is
money if you're not with the people you love the most like
your mother, father, your girl or family?
There are the hardest moments of my life. How useful
is money if it can't give you happiness?
-Chele, San Francisco
From The Beat: You're right. Money can't do all this, but it is very
important in our lives. If money isn't all for you, what's everything for
Lo Que Pens. Anoche
Hey Beat! Es tu homie Lil' Pelon desde esta unidad. Este
fue lo que pense ayer antes de irme a dormir.
Sentado en mi cama anoche pense sobre mi baby girl.
Pensaba en todos los momentos inolvidable que pasamos
juntos. Pense que es lo que voy a hacer cuando saiga de
aqui. Con unas lagrimas en los ojos, pensaba sobre los
momentos felices en mi vida.
Tube un gran pensamiento, limpiandome los ojos
dije, "yo se que puedo y voy a salir adelante."
La neta Beat si se siente gacho haber quedado mal y
estar en este lugar extranando a mi familia, a mis padres
y a la nifia que ha estado en los momentos mas dificiles
conmigo, mi novia.
Te extrano Jenny. Mi noche fue triste por pensar en
mi vida de afuera.
From The Beat: Entendemos que ha de haber sido un momento triste
pensar en lo que realmente quieres. Pero sabes que? Tambien te sirvio
para refleccionar y darte cuenta lo que realmente quieres en la vida y
lo que realmente necesitas hacer para mejorar tu vida. Nosotros todos
aprendemos de nuestros errores y se nota que estas aprendiendo. Sigue
What I Thought Last Night
They Beat! This is your homie Lil' Pelon from this unit.
This is what I thought last night before sleeping.
Sitting in my bed, I though about my baby girl. I was
thinking about all the unforgettable moments we spent
together. I thought about what I'm going to do when I get
out. With tears on my eyes, I thought about the happiest
moment of my life.
I had a great thought, wiping out my tears I said, "I
know I can, and I know I'm going to succeed."
The truth Beat is that it is sad ending up bad and
being in this place missing my family, my parents and the
girl who has been with me in hard moments, my girl.
I miss you Jenny. My night was sad when thinking
about my life on the outs.
-Pelon, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We understand it must have been hard to think about
what you really love. But you know what? It also helped you to reflect
and to realize what are what really matters to you in life, and what you
need to do to better your life. We all learn from mistakes, and you are
learning from them.
Pues la neta es que no se que hablar pero lo linico que
quiero escribir en este dia tan aburrido es sobre que ya
mero salgo. Cuando saiga voy a mejorar y estar con mi
familia y pasarla a toda madre.
From The Beat: Ya conoces este lugar. Lo demas todo esta en ti. Cuidate
mucho y recuerda este momento para que no vuelvas a este lugar mas.
iCuales son tus planes para mantenerte afuera?
I'll Get Out Soon
The truth is that I don't know what to write about, but
the only thing I feel like writing this boring day is about
me getting out. When I get out, I'm going to try to become
better to be with my family and have fun to the fullest.
-No Name, Marin
From The Beat: You know this place now. What comes, it's up to you.
Take care of yourself out there and remember this moment, so you won't
come back. What are your plans to stay out?
Lo Que Cambiaria
Yo cambiaria mi forma de ser, y pensaria mejorar las
cosas. Tratarfa de no hacer sufrir a mis seres queridos
como a la mujer que siempre me ayudo tanto en esta
vida, y alguien que siempre estubo a mi lado. Me porte
mal. Quisiera volver atras para cambiar todo lo que hice.
Quiero ser alguien diferente y ser la persona que ella
siempre ha sonado.
From The Beat: ^Entonces que esperas para cambiar a esa persona que
realmente quieres ser? Nadie te esta deteniendo. Tienes el derecho de
ser diferente y guiar tu vida otro camino.
What I Would Change
I would change my way of behaving, and think about
things better. I would try not to hurt my loved ones like
the woman who always me help me in my life, who has
always been there for me. I did this person wrong. I wish
I could turn back time to change everything I did. I want
to be someone different and be the person she has always
-No Name, San Francisco
From The Beat: So, what are you waiting for to be the person you want
to be? Nobody is holding you back. You have the right to be different
and guide your life to another road.
Espero cuando saiga irme a casa con mi familia porque
los extranos mucho. Espero que saiga muy pronto
porque los extranos. Si, cometi un error y espero que me
perdonen porque los quiero mucho y nunca me olvido de
From The Beat: Esperantos que aprendas de tu error y que nunca mas
vuelvas a este lugar. Si los quiere, demuestralo estando con acciones y
no solo con unas lineas de escrituras.
When I Get Out
I hope when I get out to go back home with my family
because I miss them so much. I hope to get out soon
because I miss them. If I committed a mistake, I hope
they forgive me because I am very sorry and I never forget
From The Beat: We hope you learn from your mistakes and never come
back to this place. If you really love your people, show it them with
actions not just a few lines of writing.
aMnnnmEB mmm/Mwm // ///////
Aveces quiero estar solo
Que no me chinge la gente
Soy humano y traigo pedos en la mente
Cualquier cosa, persona o razon
Me puede hacer pensar que porque ando de carbon
La mayorfa de personas no me entienden
Entre mas les explico, no me comprenden
Cada quien por su lado y yo por el mio
Me vale madre si piensas que soy frio
Nadie en este mundo es perfecto
Y soy un ejemplo y lo digo bien honesto
Todas las persoans que he hecho mal
Me arrepiento y no me quiero recordar
Pero quien cambiarme como soy
Nomas me sacan de onda y hoy les voy
Y por eso mismo me gusta andar solo
Luego me conte yo solo esto
No me extrana tu presencia
Casi siempre estas conmigo
Te saludo un viejo amio
Que te encuentre uno mas
De un momento a otro
Suceden tantas cosas
Unas buenas y unas menos carinosas
Muy profundo dentro de mi ser
Camino solo con un triste amanecer
Pero bueno fuera pederme para siempre
Y nunca dar la cara entre la gente
Pero que cobarde fuera,
Si eso yo lo hiciera
Se que estas cosas no la aguanta cualquier
creo me pierdo entre los tragos
como so me valiera todo
Rolando dado mas tranquilo
Compa aguanta tantito
Tengo lo que debo
Pero quiero otro poquito
Aveces suefio con mis compass y mujeres
Aveces suefio que abandono mis deberes
Aveces simplemente suefio
Que me maldicen
Y aveces sueno que el mundo me contradice
No me extranaria tu presencia
Casi siempre estas conmigo
Te saluda un viejo amigo
Que te encuentres uno mas"
Aqui en mi mundo, comparo con mi sombra
Este compa siempre me acompaiia sin bronca
Aveces juntos compartimos aventuras
Por viejos amigos de conflanza sin duda
Pero adelante las cosas siempre cambian
Tambien me acuerdo con la jura
Ya me traian
Y ahora de nuevo
Solo tu conoces mi sentido de verdad
Como quisiera que me comprendan un poco
Y no me juzguen de loco
La neta sit e me acercas y no te pelo
Y te trato como hielo
guacha ocupo que me dejen solitario un momento
mientras yo me contemplo
dejame, con mi mente compartir
yo solo y me ponga a decir esto
no me extrana tu presencia
casi siempre estas conmigo
te saluda un viejo amigo
que te encuentres uno mas.
From The Beat: Se nota de volada que la soledad te esta atancando. Lo
bueno es que existe la expresion la cual te ayudara a sentirte escuchado
y comprendido. Nosotros te entendemos y queremos que sepas que hay
momentos en la vida en la cuales pensamos que estamos solo, pero no es
asi. Siempre hay alguien que te tenga en mente, y que desee lo mejor para
tu vida. Lo unico que tienes que hacer es abrir tus ojos y aceptar la ayuda
de las personas que quieren lo mejor para ti. Tienes un gran talento como
escrituro. Con escritura puedes hacer muchas cosas maravillosas, como
Sometimes I want to be alone
Not have people to bother me
I am a human and I have problems in my mind
Anything, people, or reasons
Can make me think why I'm making trouble
The majority of people don't understand me
The more I explain it to them, they can't comprehend
They're on their own and I'm on my own
I don't give a damn if they think I'm cold
Nobody in this world is perfect
And I am an example and I say this very honestly
All the people I've done wrong
I regret it and I don't want to think about it
But who can change the way I am
They just get me mad and I turn around
And for that reason, I like to be by my own
Later I say this to myself
your presence doesn't surprise me
you're always with me
I salute you, my old friend
I hope you find another one"
From one moment to another one
A few good and a few less welcome
Very deep inside my being
I walk alone with a sad morning
But, it would be good to get lost forever
And never show my face among the people
But it would make me a coward
If I were to do that
I know these things can be handle by anyone
I think I'll get lost in between drinks
as if I didn't care about anything
rolling dices very carefully
friend, hold on a minute
I have what I owe
But I want a little more
Sometimes I dream with my friends and women
Sometimes I dream that I abandon my responsibilities
Sometimes I just have simple dream
That people curse me
And sometimes I dream that the whole world contradict me
your presence doesn't surprise me
you're always with me
I salute you, my old friend
I hope you find another one"
Here, in this world, I compare it with my shadow
This friend is always with me without any trouble
Sometimes we share adventures together
We are old friends with trust without any doubts
But go on, things always change
I also remember the cops
They were on my tail
And once again
You know my truth sense of truth
How much I wish you can understand me a little bit
And not judge me as a crazy
The truth is that if you get near me, I might ignore you
And treat you like ice
Be careful I need you to leave me alone for a moment
While I contemplate myself
Let me share with my mind
Just by myself, and say this
your presence doesn't surprise me
you're always with me
I salute you, my old friend
I hope you find another one"
-Lavelle, San Francisco
From The Beat: It's very obvious how loneliness is attaching the best side
of you. The good thing about this is that serf-expression helps you to be
heard and understood. We understand you and we want you to know
that there are times in life when we might think that we are alone in this
world, but it's not like that. There is always someone out there thinking
about you and wishing you the best to your life. The only thing you need
to do is to open up eyes widely and accept the help of those who want
the best for you. You have a great talent in expressing your ideas, and
thoughts. With writing, you can go very far if you learn how to use it, like
you've done it with this expression.
' &Mnnnnn& MHmmm
Por Un Error
£Que ondas? Otra vez aqui contandoles de la vida que he
pasado en las calles. Con el dinero compramos muchas
cosas, pero nunca vamos a comprar lo que en la casa nos
espera. Por ej'emplo, la vida de nuestros padres que dia a
dia se van acabando, y los coraje que le hacemos pasar.
Amenos con el dinero puedo comrpar mi felicidad, voy a
comprar el voleto de avion para irme a Mexico y reunirme
con mi mama que llebo unos meses sin verla a ella ni a
mis dos hermanos.
Espero con ancias el dia 29 de Marzo para irme.
Quisiera que mi novia Maria que perdi por venirme a
supuestamente hacer dinero aqui en los Estados Unidos,
me espere. La perdi porque miren donde estoy encerrado
pagando un delito por andar con los amigos hechando
Ojala que cuando regrese no este casada. Con ella,
llebaba mucho tiempo. Tubimos unos afios felices que
pase a su lado.
Bueno, un consej'o les doy a todos que estamos
encerrado. Aqui no cometan la misma pendejada que yo
hice porque cuando se arrepienten es demaciado tarde.
From The Beat: Esperantos que esta nueva jira a tu pais, te de la
felicidad que te mereces. Recuerda y manten en mente los errores que
cometistes aqui para que no los vuelvas a cometer. Cuida a tu familia
y busca la forma como ser una persona mejor y dar un buen ejemplo.
Gracias por tus consejos y espero que muchos aprendan de tu error y
de tu consejo.
For A Mistake
What's up? Here I am once again sharing something about
the life I've spent on the streets. With money we can buy
many things, but we can't buy the things that is waiting
for us at home. For example, the lives of our parents that
day by day is getting to their end, or the pain we cause.
But, with money I am going to buy my happiness because
I am going to buy my airplane ticket back to Mexico to be
reunited with my mother and brothers who I haven't seen
I'm waiting desperately to leave on March 29th. I wish
my girl Mario, who I lost over making money in the US,
wait for me. I lost her for the place where I am right now
paying off for a crime I committed with my friends. I hope
her not to be married by the time I get back. With her, I
spent a lot of time. We spend a few years happy with her.
Well, I advice you all who are locked up, not to make
the same mistake I did because it would be too late by the
time you get to regret it.
-Chino, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We hope going back to your country bring the happiness
you deserve to your life. Always keep in mind all the mistakes you
committed here, so you won't make them again. Take care of your family
and find the way to be a better person to set a good example to your
brothers. Thank you for your advice and we hope many learn from your
mistake and advice.
If I am here is because I wade
it to be like this and not be-
cause of my mother who has
always been there for me.
Si Fuera MisPropios Padres
Hey, que ondas Beat! Pues voy a escribir sobre si fuera
mis padres. Si yo fuera mis padres, yo no cambiaria
nada porque mis padres siempre me han ensenado a ser
respetoso y a tener responsabilidades por mis acciones.
Si estoy aqui es por mi culpa y no por la de mi madre
que es la que siemrpe ha estado ahf por mi. Le estoy
agradecido. Es todo por ahora. A todos los homies que
estan adentro, no se aguiten, hablra tiempo mejores.
From The Beat: Que bien que tengas persona que realmente haya y
estan siempre a tu lado. Creemos que ya es hora que busques la manera
como empezar a darle algo de lo que se merece. No crees?
If I Were My Own Parents
Hey, Beat what's up? I am going to write about if I were my
own parents. If I were my own parents, I wouldn't change
anything because my parents have always taught me to
be respectful and to face responsibilities of my actions.
If I am here is because I made it to be like this and
not because of my mother who has always been there for
me. I am very thankful to her. This is all for now. To all in
here, don't get down. There will be better time for us.
-Grumpy, Santa Clara
From The Beat: It's good to know that you have people who are there
and will always be there for you. We believe that is it time for you find
a way to start giving back to this person some appreciation. Don't you
Antes De Dormirme Anoche
Q-onda raza? Yo les voy a contar a todas las morritas que
estuve pensando cuando me fui a dormir ayer. Se me vino
un recuerdo. Fue cuanto me torcieron. Estuve pensando
en mi familia y tambien en mi hermano en como estaran.
Deben de estar triste. Ha pasado un tiempo que uno no
piensa en todas las cosas que han pasado alia afuera.
Por eso cuando vienene a visitarme, les digo que no
se preocupen porque muy pronto voy a salir. Ahora mi
madre ya no esta triste que cuando cat aqui.
Tambien pienso en la muchacha que deje afuera.
Todos los dias pienso en ella, pero ni modo. Yo se que no
se va a portar bien porque yo se como son toda. Trucha a
todos los homies.
From The Beat: Claro que deben estar triste. £Que esperas? Ellos son tu
familia y te quieren. Esperanto que hagas lo posible por hacer todo bien
para tu bien y el de tu familia. Recuerda que no TODAS las mujeres son
las mismas. £0 vas a decir que todos los hombres son los mismos?
Before I Went To Sleep
What's up people? I want to share all the girls what I was
thinking yesterday before I went to sleep. A memory came
to me. It was about when I got locked up. I was thinking
about my family and how my brother might be doing. They
might be sad. It's been a long time that I haven't thought
about the things that have happened on the outs.
When they come to visit me, I tell them not to worry
because I'll get out pretty soon. Now, my mother is not as
sad as before when I got here.
I also think about the girl I left on the outs. I think
about her everyday, but what now. I know she's not
going to behave well because I know who all girls are. Be
-Paco, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Of course, they might feel sad. What do you expect?
They are your family and they care for you. We hope you do your best
to behave better and go back to where you belong. One more thing, not
ALL girls are the same. Or would you say that all men are the same?
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// //
Stupid is as stupid does,
The way I am, the way I was.
Though nothing good will stay
God grace is here today.
A Free Lunch
Look who is back! Our next writer is a primetime writer for our
publication, who has turned in pieces week in and week out,
especially during our 2008 season. Unfortunately, due to personal
matters, he has decided not to write for a while. He submitted this entry
a couple months of ago and we didn't publish it because we wanted
to print it in the Special Issue BWO's, but since it's not coming out for
another few weeks we decided to put Mikhail's last piece to us in here.
Sending us his thoughts from Ad. Seg. in Corcoran State Prison, in
Corcoran, California, we would like to welcome back Mikhail Markhasev
one last time until our friend decides it's time to enlighten us with his
writings once again. We send you our love and respect ol' friend!
Been a decade since I've thrown a punch
Now, I'm tossing baloney in my lunch
What's next? I'll have to wait and see
In prison, only the lunches are free.
Both feet in my mouth
Don't leave me a leg
I'm back in Ad-Seg.
A 115 pending
For defending a friend -
Who knows how it'll end?
I took the road less traveled by,
Can't say it made the difference.
Excitement faded to a sigh,
As I confessed my ignorance.
Next time I run across a path,
I'll pray for guidance, and to bless
The many forks upon the path,
To keep me from another mess.
Dear BWO Readers
Well as it says in the Bible, "To everything there is a
reason, and a time for every purpose under the Heaven".
(Eccl. 3:1). And so, after almost three years of programming
in Gen Pop. Unit, I'm back in the hole, writing you from
the illustrious Ad-Seg, here at Corky's. What was that
Forrest Gump said about life being a box of chocolates?
In any case, once here, "You never know what you're
going to get." So, I may be forced to take a brief hiatus from
weekly contributions-not due to lack, of time, material,
or desire, since in here we get one pen filler every two
weeks or so, and family/friend mail comes first.
God disciplines those whom he loves and so it's up to
me to receive his discipline with humility and submission,
knowing that in every situation and circumstance there
is a divine purpose, regardless of whether it is seen
or unseen, understood or incomprehensible. Life is a
mystery, but God's love is a fact. May he comfort you
wherever you are.
Thought I was smooth, trying to teach,
Writing and sharing with all within reach
Then, my endeavors crashed with a screech
Perhaps I need to practice what I preach.
Lend me your hope for a while
I seem to have mislaid mine
Lost and hopeless feelings accompany me daily
Pain and confusion are my companions
I know not where to turn
Looking ahead to future times does not bring forth images
of renewed hope
I see troubled times, pain-filled days and more tragedy
Lend me your hope for awhile
I seem to have mislaid mine
Hold my hand and hug me
Listen to all my ramblings
Recovery seems so far distant
The road to healing seems like a long and lonely one
Lend me your hope for a while
I seem to have mislaid mine
Stand by me, offer me your presence, your heart and your
Our next writer is a very special guest that goes by the aka of Casper,
who was introduced by veteran Beat writer, Herbert Schweigert.
Casper is a woman that's writing to us all the way from Huron Valley
Complex in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She's a first time writer with a lot of
feelings to get off her chest. So give Casper a warm welcome, and the
wave of emotions that she drowns us in!
Acknowledge my pain, it is so real and ever present
I am overwhelmed with sad and conflicting thoughts
Lend me your hope for a while
A time will come when I will heal
And I will share my renewal
Hope and love with others.
Dreams Are Forever
Dreams are forever
They never do die
Some make people happy
Some make people cry
Dreams are forever
They never do die.
It wouldn't be me if I didn't remind each of you that there
are three kinds of people; people who make it happen, people
who watch it happen, and people that things happen to. What
kind of person are you?
It's 2009 and, as they say, out with the old and in with
the new. What old are you getting rid of and what new are
you taking with you? Your past has passed. You lived it,
and I hope you learned from it. Three hundred sixty-five
days of countless new experiences, new conversations, new
revelations, and new inspirations.
Just in case you didn't know, Jeezy made it clear: Our
president is Black, not of Black America but of the United
States of America. Queen Latifah reminded us to put "ladies
first," and now, in 2009, Michelle Obama is our first lady,
carrying with her the soul of Mary J. Blige and the grace and
spirit of Beyonce Knowles. Lil' Wayne showed us how to still
sell "Milli," not just by being a rapper but by making rap his
life. T.I. encouraged you to "Live Your Life," not someone else's
life, by taking responsibility for your mistakes and evolving
into a better man and a public servant. Will Smith inspired us
all to say "I Am A Legend" and pushed us all to focus on our
own "Pursuit of Happiness." Puff said, "I am king," therefore
I can do anything; I am what I believe myself to be." And
Russell Simmons continues to remind us to relax our minds
and let our consciousness be free. Jay-Z reminded us that
Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King, Jr. could march. King
marched so thatBarack Obama could run. Obama ran so we all
can fly. So spread your wings and fly because this year there
can be no more excuses. Obama's road to the White House
embodied the spirit of hip-hop. He encouraged change when
some said things were unchangeable. He believed when most
said, "You are unbelievable." He achieved when everyone said
it was unachievable. We must all step up, step out on faith,
find our will and make it happen. President Obama's thrill of
victory has inspired me to encourage "The New Cool."
The New Cool is to be presidential; walk presidential,
talk presidential, and act presidential. No matter what you
do, where you are in your life, through crisis, frustration,
aggravation, good, bad, or sad times, carry yourself
presidential. Dare to dream the big dream and work hard to
be an agent of change.
In honor of Black History Month, please celebrate and
pray for those who made history before us, and continue
to encourage and inspire young America to make their own
history after us. The New Cool embodies faith, education,
wealth, and legacy. I will always encourage you to be you,
with one condition. Adopt The New Cool. Be presidential.
Our next writer is no stranger to our publication as he constantly
contributes great poems, and pieces of writings filled with real
game and knowledge. Shawn is a very intelligent man, but wasn't
always like that because he let his ignorance get the best of him. Now
he's a more humble dude that is dedicated to let all you readers know
everything he has learned over the past couple decades of being locked
down in Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida.
The Beat Within
I have had times in my life when just getting out of bed in
the morning was a struggle. I was so depressed. At those
times, I needed something to read, to keep me going, to
remind me just how important life is—to tell me that there
Holding and reading The Beat gave me the external
source I needed to remind me of the true meaning of who I
am and who I can become. I, like many other Beat readers,
use The Beat Within as a source for survival. When I wake
up in the morning, and life just seems unbearable, I open
the pages of The Beat and realize that I am really not
alone. When I seem to be slipping off the end of my rope
of life, having The Beat to read, gives me a knot at the end
of the rope to securely hang on to.
Your writings and inspiration lift me up. I can use
your words as a step stool to an internal window to the
wisdom of being all I can be. I can begin again to see
the kids in the world. The Beat gets me out of the rough
spots when I cannot see the way. If this is true for me, it
is true for many more.
Loving Loving you is not a matter Of having the same
Or being like you
Loving you is letting you be you, And letting that
expression of you Harmonize with the pattern of me As
light and shadow
Night and day
Left and right
In their own way Need each other for expression
So loving you can be the complement of our diversity
That is what it means to love
Happy Valentine's Day.
Meth the drug we all adore
The drug we stick in our veins
The one we like to call wife
At this point in time she's the one that's got me in this
The one I only got at my time
She made me throw my family away, lie, cheat, steal
But why most of all, we support her will
She's our best friend when really she ain't at all
She drains us of everything we got
Family, friends, money, wife, and kids
She puts us in prison
When we get this precious thing in our system
The devil comes out
Now I look back with me being 23 years old
Our next writer is originally from Detroit Michigan, but is residing
in Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy California. He delivers us a
sad but true poem about what drugs can do to you and how they can
take control and ruin your life. It's a sad story that we hear many times.
a very addictive and dangerous drug that goes by the name of "Meth.
So hear Baby D out as he pours his confessions on paper, and lets you
know his true inner feelings.
With nothing to show but tracks on my arm
And being sucked up it hurts bad
With my wife, family that turned against me cause of my
It's got me tore up inside and on the outside
It shows to the fullest in my eyes
Meth/crystal is the worst drug yet
Well I'll end my lil' poem or the feelings I wrote down on
rififj/r/ri/t, /// ////#/ //. // //// //
£ Tf?7Xl£7MMW&ffli 4f' VJJJf / /
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// //
^^5Mi Mr/ UJLL, r . (JL L L
'XSMB'XL, fPBHMnn nnnr. *
Guantanamo? What About Texas?
Considering all the recent uproar surrounding the extremely
harsh conditions that exist at the illegal prison that the
Bush Administration has set up in Guantanamo.
As a prisoner who has been held in a Texas prison
for over a decade, the last two in solitary confinement,
I'm puzzled by the lack of uproar about this illegal prison
system that former President Bush was very instrumental
in crafting as governor of Texas prior to being elected to the
President of the United States; a prison system that thrives
off torture, violent abuse, sexual humiliation and death.
One that's not accountable and that is beyond the rule of
Unlike Guantanamo, this prison is not located on some
foreign soil and the mass majority of the prisoners held here
are American citizens. This prison is the Texas Department
of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), whose false mission statement
says, "The mission of TDCJ is to provide public safety,
promote positive change in offensive behavior, reintegrate
offenders into society and assist victims of crime."
After reading this article, it's my hope that you would
understand what any person who has had any true contact
with TDCJ understands and that is, TDCJ's mission is not
designed to correct but to DESTROY.
Like Guantanamo, TDCJ is a virtual death camp that
should have every civil society, journalists, clergy, or
anyone else who's concerned with social justice, in an
uproar, demanding that TDCJ be shut down immediately.
Most people think of American prisons in light of what
they view on TV, in popular movies and series like Oz, where
inmates are allowed to roam freely, attend educational
classes, watch TV, lift weights and play basketball; where
every inmate shares a cell with one of his close buddies,
have the luxuries of huge boom boxes, unlimited food
and medical care and pleasant contact visits with family
members on the weekend at a picnic table.
Some people I've had the pleasure to correspond with
are even under the false illusion that inmates have access
to the Internet, telephones, and are paid for their labor on
a prison job. Well, while this may be true in some prison
systems in the United States, it's not so in Texas. None
of the aforementioned things are conducive to TDCJ's
When one first enters into a TDCJ prison, you instantly
know you have entered into a system that has destructive
principles at its core. You are ordered to strip nude in front
of various officers and inmates, include female officers
and female personnel from the medical and classification
department. You are forced to endure this sexual
humiliation, while these officers yell all types of obscenities
and degrading vulgarity into your ear, while the spectators
who are watching all laugh and entertain themselves at
You are then assigned a cell where you will be housed
with an unknown stranger. TDCJ does not issue out
deodorant, toothpaste, hair grease, or shower shoes to
anyone, not even indigent inmates.
If you are fortunate to have come to TDCJ with money,
you would be permitted a trip to the commissary to buy
these items after 30 days. It's all by design, that you suffer
some social alienation by having to go 30 days without
hygiene items, in a prison system that has no central heat
or A/C in the hot Texas temperatures.
This week, Ismail Rahman brings more than enough valid points
and gives us reasons why we (the public), should be more aware
prison is a mystery to a lot of us, unless you've been there, but some
of us have some false misconceptions about prison. So Isma'il is setting
all the facts straight and gives it to us raw. Writing to us from Michael's
Unit in Tennessee Colony, in Texas, Isma'il gives the get down on what
goes on inside!
During this time, you will undergo various evaluations
to determine what job qualifications you possess to best
serve TDCJ and their various industries (TDCJ makes
virtually everything that it takes to build and operate
prisons, including raising its own livestock and growing its
Once it's determined what prison you would be sent
to (TDCJ has 130 different prisons), you will be placed on
a bus in the middle of the night and sent to a prison that
can be as far away from your loved ones and hometown
as 600 miles. Once at this prison, you will once again be
assigned to a cell with a total stranger. You will be instantly
assigned a job that you are expected to work with loyalty
for absolutely NO pay.
Depending on what type of crime you were convicted of,
you could receive good time credits, but even if you qualify
to receive them, the parole board is not compelled to accept
them and grant you early release. So it's absolutely safe to
say that you are working for no pay—slave labor. These jobs
range from a cellblock janitor to a field worker (think chain
There are two TVs in the dayroom area, but the officers
have control over the stations. The mass majority of fights
that occur in TDCJ is over the TV that's instigated by the
guards utilizing the TV as a leverage to pit inmates against
one another. The TV stations are all local; depending on
what prison you're in, there may be as many as seven
different channels to select from, or as few as three.
After working for 10-12 hours on a job, most inmates
are too tired to watch TV. Some may brave the strip searches
that are mandated to go out to the recreation yard for an
hour and the strip search coming in, but even that's rare.
There's no personal TV for your cell; you are permitted
to purchase an off-brand clock radio that requires
headphones, but again, deep in these woods where TDCJ
prisons are located, you'll be lucky to pick up a radio
signal. Since TDCJ doesn't pay you for work, indigent
inmates are not allowed this luxury. It's even against the
rules for one inmate to purchase a radio, or toothpaste for
that matter, for an indigent inmate. If caught by the guards,
you will be written a disciplinary case and placed in solitary
Indigent inmates are allowed to process 5 personal
letters a week through the unit's law library, but these
charges are always deducted from your inmate trust
fund account. In the case you receive some money from
a loved one, TDCJ will deduct the amount you owe from
the correspondence instantly. The same goes for medical
services. TDCJ charges $3 for all medical visits. The amount
is deducted from your trust fund that is established when
loved ones send you money. If you are indigent, this $3 fee
will just build up until you're released on parole and it will
be added to your parole fees.
The visitation rules are horrible. TDCJ permits inmates
to have one to two hour visits on Saturday or Sunday. Your
visitors are subjected to all types of senseless searches and
must be approved on your visitation list, which can contain
up to 10 people. You're permitted to change this list once
every 6 months. There are no conjugal visits, and the only
contact visits allowed are with immediate family members.
No matter how clean your discipline record is, if you don't
have any immediate family members, NO contact visits!!
The food in the dining hall is horrible. Despite raising
their own livestock, TDCJ sells these livestock on the open
market. At the processing plants that are operated by free
inmate labor, TDCJ takes certain scraps from their cattle
and pigs, mix it with a soybean product and serve it in the
dining hall. Most of the meat you get looks and smells like
Spam— no steaks, no ham, no chicken breast. You work 10
hours a day for free raising and processing livestock that
you will never eat.
The veggies are disgusting and often inedible. There is
no psychiatric assistance, no substance abuse counseling,
no quality educational program, and no family counseling;
nothing to promote positive change or to help an inmate to
successfully reintegrate back into society. The majority of
inmates leave here untrained, untreated, poorer and more
disenfranchised than when they came in.
At any time a guard will come into your cell and throw
all your personal property (family letters, photos, etc.)
around just to torture you, to demoralize you. If you try to
speak up for yourself, it's possible you will be sprayed with
tear gas, slammed to the floor, written a bogus disciplinary
case and tossed into solitary confinement. At times these
placements in solitary confinement can be indefinite. I've
been here for two years without a disciplinary case. I'm
deemed a threat to the security of the prison institution
because I demand to be treated with dignity and respect, like
a human being. Officers are trained that we are subhuman,
criminals that have given up the rights to be treated
like humans. Officers believe it's their moral obligation
to oppress inmates.
In solitary, you are confined to your cell 23 hours
a day. You get one hour for recreation in a small cage
located directly in front of your cell. There's no human
contact except with the officers. The prolonged isolation
causes psychosis and many people lose their minds. The
officers beat on the cells at all hours of the night to cause
sleep deprivation. Daily it's like an experiment to see how
much an inmate can take before they completely lose their
sanity. The situation is hopeless, and many inmates end up
committing suicide. It's all about destruction.
If you look at all the executions Texas (TDCJ) carries
out yearly, you can believe that the same people who are
responsible for creating this death are the same who create
the destruction (death) I've outlined in this article. It's
worst than Guantanamo. We should demand more from
those who are charged with issuing out punishment and
promoting positive behavior.
How is TDCJ providing public safety when the product
they return back into our communities is more damaged
than they were when they left? With the highest suicide
rate of any prison system in the country, and the highest
rates of executions, why isn't there an uproar to shut this
place down? How is this allowed to operate under this false
The public is sometimes quick to call for a tougher
stance on crime but slower to understand the consequences
of such a stance. Texas prisons are criminal. Let's get tough
like we are with Guantanamo.
'L,TL, ' Bf?nO¥'
It's been a while since I've thought bout it, but this life
isn't easy. I've been both the victim and perpetrator of gang
violence and random crimes. If you knock at death door I
might be the one to answer. My lifestyle may be harsh and
unforgiving but I love it too much to let it go. I can't stop
this life and wont stop my ways. There's a better way to live
and though I've tried to grasp it, it remains ever elusive. If
I never learn another thing until the day I die I will survive
and I will prosper.
I am a product of my environment and circumstances.
These circumstances have molded me and made me become
a soldado (soldier) for the sight of my survival. If I ever said
to you that I would change it would be impossible for me to
hide my true thoughts. You would dislike the discrimination
in my eyes. However if I told you that I may cause you harm
you would be well advised to watch your back. I keep it real
and come straight from the teaching of the gang and the
goals of my cause. I wish harm upon my enemies and will
do all within my reach to fulfill this wish. I expect the same
in return so out of necessity I am a careful person to the
point of paranoia. I have no reason to give regard to other
people's lives or feelings. If you are not one of my loved
ones you are nothing to me. Survival of the fittest is the
oldest and trusted law that I know. It is the only law that I
choose to follow.
My goal in is to eliminate all those who oppose the
As we introduce to you our next writer we would just like to point
out that our boy, Lil' Brody, isn't trying to glorify the gangbang
life, he's sending us a message and trying to find a way of eluding his
current situation. Writing to us from a Correctional Facility in Soledad,
CA, Lil' Brody talks about the game from a different aspect - from the
strength and unity of my loved ones and myself by any
means and to make all other parties bow down in respect.
This is the way that I live my life, with no other purpose
but to come out on top and come up off others. It is the
warrior's way. Because of this I will survive and prosper in
any aspect of the game that I may choose to exploit. This
life is unlived and will remain that way. I have seen and
inflicted wounds from bullets, blades from other warriors.
I have seen the light of life leave the eyes of more than one
man in my life.
There is only one way I will ever leave this game is
death. The only pitfall to this life is prison. I am prepared
for this. It's nothing. I was born into this life and love the
way it's treated me. I've allowed it to take advantage of me
and turn me out. I will not stop. Could you live this life I
lead and not fall under the pressure? I can. Can you deal
with the possibility of a good life gone to waste or gone for
nothing? If it's your own? I can. Are you prepared for this?
I am. The life of a gangster is all I know and I am gone live
it to the fullest. Death is embraced and change is the only
rififj/r/ri/t, /// ////#/ //. // //// //
^^y 58 ——™ 1 * 7 /, ', F,fJJfJL
///////#/////. ff/ff ////#/ //. // //// //
^^SMa^ao ar / / ^#/// ///
Dear Beat Within Readers
Some of you may recognize my name from past issues of The
Beat Within. My name is Darron Garcia. I'm 41 years old from
Milpitas, CA. I've spent most of my adult life in California
prisons. I came into "the system" as a youngster. Not unlike
your-selves, I came in with the attitude "this is all part of the
game. I gotta pay my dues." I had no idea what I was facing
(environment in prison) nor how very, very long and lonely 15
years really is! You know the saying, "time flies when you're
having fun"? Well, prison is not fun. Not even a 111* bit. And
you can best believe I felt every single second, every minute,
every day of that existence. 'Cause make no mistake about it,
"life" in prison is not living or what God intended life to be.
It's a miserable, lonely, shameful, pathetic, existence. Nothing
I could go on forever telling you about the living hell that
is spending time in prison. But that's not why I'm here today.
I'm here to share a few "pearls of wisdom" that I only wish
that someone would have taken time to share with me. Who
knows? Maybe I could have avoided many of the hardships
that I've been through. Fortunately for me, I was able to endure
those setbacks but many of you won't. It is my goal as I sit here
writing this to you that I can help you avoid making that one
wrong decision that can very well land you in jail/prison.
When you really think about it, "life" is one long series of
choices. The direction of your life, your purpose, and the paths
you choose to follow are all based upon the choices you and
you alone make. As a young man I was very impressionable,
a follower. I was easily influenced by others. I had very HI'
willpower to resist temptation because I had no belief system.
I ran with the crowd and never once stopped to consider
the consequences of my wrong-doings. Not only the legal
repercussions, but more importantly, the moral implications
(that are eternal) that we will all one day be judged by. I
know that being Christian or attending church isn't "cool" in
today's culture and I know at your age it's very important to be
"accepted" by your peers.
Believe me, even at my age I had to make a conscious
decision to choose to follow God's path. Why? Because all
other paths lead to hell! Whether it be this living one (prison)
or the one ruled by Satan. I recently beat my third strike. For
9 long months I had to live with the very real possibility that I
would be spending the rest of my life in prison.
After doing all that time (15 years straight) I was back in
"the system" again. This has been a serious reality check for
me and has taught me how valuable, how very precious, life
truly is. By the grace of God I beat my 3rd strike. I promised
God, that if he would spare my life, I would serve Him faithfully.
We all have done that, right? In the most fearful, frightening
moments of our lives we made a silent plea/prayer to God to
"please don't let me die. If you let me live I'll do anything. I'll
read the Bible, I'll go to church, anything! Please just don't let
me die." Does this sound familiar? I bet it does.
But did you follow through with your promise, not only
to yourself (This is the last time I'm never coming back), but
more importantly to God? Probably not because if you had,
chances are you wouldn't be where you are now. Think about
that. How many chances at life do we get? Nobody knows. For
some, it only takes one wrong choice, just one, before you lose
your life! How many of us have known someone who has died
too young? I would say all of us. We are left with nothing but
memories of our loved ones.
We are left to ponder the questions, "What if he hadn't been
drinking/using drugs that night?" "What if he never would have
had that gun?" "What if he never would have got in that car that
night?" "What if?" "What if?" That's the whole point, brothers
and sisters. It all comes down to choices: Who you kick it with,
how you choose to live your life, the choice to go to school
and make something of your life. And most importantly, the
As time seems to fly not only do we get older, but we also get
wiser. Darron has found himself lockdown for fifteen plus years.
Locked down for that many years, he has gained plenty of wisdom and
knowledge. Our friend Darron usually contributes some kind of creative
writing but this time he has switched it up to inform us everything he
has learned throughout his years of incarceration. Writing from Deuel
Vocational Institution in Tracy, CA. Darron embrace the pages of our
publication and spills everything he has learned in life hoping that
some of you soak his advice and don't end up in his shoes, walking
down the same path he has.
choice to accept the fact that your ways aren't working and
No gangster in the history of gangsters has ever managed
to stay on top. You may have gotten away with that "lick" you
pulled or you may have moved that zip of D you were sittin' on.
You may have even managed to off that g-ride, you peeled last
week to a chop shop?? But it is an absolute fact that you will
get caught one of these times. It is not too late. You are not
doing a long stretch of time or "life" yet. But that (juvenile hall)
is where it starts.
That's the devil's breeding ground because he knows how
easily your young minds can be led astray. What's the defense?
God. Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior with all your
heart. Not a part of, not some of your heart, but God wants it
all. Once you do that, I guarantee, I promise you that you will
feel something that you have never felt in your life before. It will
feel like everything in your life will suddenly take on a whole
new meaning. You will think and look at things differently like
you have never done before, and all for the good. I don't hold
all the answers to life, but I know after 40 years on this earth
by a series of my own mistakes/choices and by others' as well
what works and what doesn't.
A lot of you may brush me off thinking, "He don't know
me; how does he know what's good for me?" I may not, but
could it hurt to try? If I could just save one of you from coming
to jail or prison I would be a very happy man. And who knows?
Maybe one day you could be the reason for someone else. A lot
of times in life you will discover that something you heard or
read really won't sink in until you hear someone else say the
very same thing to you. Suddenly it becomes real to you. I (by
God's grace) am at the half way point of my life (assuming we
live to be 80 something). It hasn't been easy.. .that's for sure.
I've suffered a lot and I've lost many loved ones along the way.
It took me 40 years for the light of God to be turned on in my
heart! Nobody really took the time to share God's word with
me. And if they did? I wasn't ready to listen. I was still stuck in
my ways. You don't have to end up like me is what I'm telling
you! You don't have to be sitting in a cell pondering where you
went wrong or what you plan to do with the rest of your life.
Or thinking back on all your regrets, losses. That is not God's
plan. Trust me, it isn't.
I only wish on all that I love, that I knew then (at your age),
what I know now. I would have done it all differently. What
would have been the #1 thing I did differently you ask? Good
question. Listen to me when I tell you this because for at least
one of you this will be the moment your life changes for the
good. I would have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and
became part of a church. If just one of you chooses to do that
now, today, I promise you that you will avoid a lot of misery,
loneliness, grief, and sorrow.
The following may appear to be a list of phrases, of random
thoughts, but they're not. They comprise the wisdom that I did
not know as a youth. Not all will apply to you, and that's okay.
But if you took the time to truly apply some of these principles/
thoughts to your life, I can assure you that your choices will
be more sound, reasonable and moral. With that said, guess
what? We're still going to make some wrong ones. We are far
from being perfect. God knows this and accepts our faults. I'm
trying to help you cut down on those wrong choices for you
never know which ones may cost you the rest of your life. Take
care, brothers and sisters, and may God bless you all.
'Dnf?f?nn nnxczn canr. *
Lessons I've Learned
1) When no one is watching, live as if someone was.
2) Love God more than you love yourself.
3) Never test the depth of a river with both feet.
4) It is better to ask twice than to be wrong/lost once.
5) Make major decisions in a cemetery
6) I have learned that when you think you've given all you
have to give, you can still give it a little more.
7) There are no such things as "big" words, only small
8) That God never said that the journey would be easy but
He did say the destination will be worthwhile.
9) Nothing restores perspective more than a visit to a
10) That we are absolutely not promised tomorrow.
11) That although I'm not everything I may want to be, I can
be thankful that I'm not what I used to be.
12) That one of the healthiest things you can do is learn to
smile more often.
13) You'll never have lasting prosperity if you don't first
14) That when you start to compromise, you will hear that
alarm go off in your conscience. Don't ignore it. Do
what you know in your heart is the right thing to do.
15) To do things in life with the proper motives, the right
attitude and out of a grateful heart.
16) Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning,
activity without direction, events without reason.
17) Life without love is really worthless. Paul made this
point in the Bible; "No matter what I say, what I believe, and
what I do, I'm empty without love."
18) I have learned that relationships, not achievements
or acquisition of material wealth, are what matters most
19) That your time is the most precious gift you can give
somebody because you only have a certain amount of it.
Make no mistake. Time lost will never be found again.
20) The best use of life is love. The best expression of love
is time. The best time to love is now.
21) To never outgrow sunsets.
22) That if you're still waiting for your "ship to come in" but
hasn't- try swimming out to it!
23) Never take "freedom" for granted. Many people have
died (including Jesus) so that we may live.
The Rebel In Life
Born a rebel, I never knew life would be so corrupted until
I found out I had a revolution in my blood. Whether I'm
incarcerated or free, the pressures of life just won't let me
forget that I'm stuck in the belly of this beast struggling to
survive until this oppression has released me. Until then
I'll be living a life with blood in my eyes. I've been having a
pain growing inside of me since this system has captured
me. I guess you can say it's gonna take a surgeon to cut
this pain outside of me that's growing inside of my heart.
I'll never forget I'm at the bottom looking up. Each one,
teach one that's where the revolution starts.
Every morning that I open my eyes I'm reminded that
I'm living to die and when I'm dead in my sleep I'm living
the dream of Martin Luther King fighting to be free. I'm
constantly having visions of seeing small children die
from starvation in these third worlds. And I can't sleep at
night it's like I'm forever searching for warmth in this cold
What I know and what I see has birthed a rebel in me.
I remember the ghettos had "feed the children" programs
thanks to a Black Panther named Huey. Born American but
lived the life of a refugee.
Sometimes it seems like I'm not wanted here and then
I remember the back to Africa movement and when Marcus
Garvey said, "We don't belong here." Against all odds I'll be
fighting against this established order until this world had
murdered me. Rest in peace to the freedom fighters known
as Emmett Till, Nat Turner, Medgar Evers, George Jackson.
It is from the murders of them that give flame to this rebel
It's important for the youth to know that we must stop
killing each other. For the streets is not your enemy the
streets is your living army. Is you no longer your brother's
E-Money is back! We're sad to see our boy E- Money go back to the
belly of the beast and into the hands of this Correctional System,
but we are glad he is back in The Beat Within! Unfortunately, bad
decisions got him facing the consequences, but still E-Money doesn't
stop battling the system from within. Writing to us from San Quentin
State Prison in San Quentin CA, E-Money brings out the rebel from deep
keeper?"They got money for wars but can't feed the poor,"
the greatest passion I ever known was from a man named
Tupac Shakur. "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is
our duty to win. We must love each other and support each
other. We have nothing to lose but our chains." She is a
refugee in Cuba names Assata Shakur. Malcolm X said, a
revolution meant blood-shed.
Is not America built from bloodshed? Nothing in this
world is given to you for free. The greatest nation in the
world is made possible from the sweet and blood of a
cemetery filled with murdered souls known as the poor.
Before I was born there was a rebel in me. I take my
hat off to Farrakan for "The Million Man March" and the
millions of brothers that's cut from the same cloth as me.
I feel the pain of these brothers like a growing seed that
was plotted in me. And to my sisters I got a mayflower from
Angela Davis looking to plot a black panther in you.
Until starvation is no more and innocent children had
stop dying as casualties of war; until the freedom fighters
of the civil rights movement are let free and those who
died in order for me to live has found peace; until love is
replaced by all this hate and lifers start to receive parole
dates; until poison (drugs) has stopped being brought to
these ghetto shores and poverty has come to escape the
poor; until families have stopped losing their homes and
homeless is no longer known; until my people had buried
me and the sun I can no longer see my heart will always
continue to pump this rebel in me!
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// //
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// //
One True friend
In the life you do have love
From one true friend up above
He gives you peace and gives you care
No matter what he's always there
He will stay and he won't leave
Until your love he has received
He's been there now he'll be there then
You will not be alone again
He saved my life he could save yours
Just give him your heart and open the doors
He will come in and this you will know
Because your love and faith will start to grow
He will be with you through thick and thin
Protecting you through evil and sin
And through heaven doors he will let you in
He will be with you on your toughest day
And walk with you the entire way
He will walk with you to show no end
And give you love that he has send
He will be with you through good and bad
To keep your heart from being sad
He will be with you until you're out of breath
And send you to heaven for life after death
He was there before, he will be there again
Because he's your only one true friend.
Some of us thought that gangs were good
So we got jumped into a hood
With out thinking of what might be ahead
Some of us would live, some of us would end up dead
Selling, smoking drugs, and dying for a street
Riding with the homies or getting beat
Some of us will die, some of us will survive
Then we'll be lucky, to go through another day alive
Some us couldn't see what the game was really about
I guess we were blind when we were out
Some of us took lives, some of us lost friends
People we loved, that we will never see again
He might have been our family, or he might have been
Either way, we still hold the memory
One day he's alive, the next day he's gone
And we still can't see that we've been wrong
I guess it takes more for us to realize
That it's our family as well whom we victimize
And then without thinking , we try to retaliate
That it's our family as well who we victimize
With our heart full of pain, and full of hate
Without looking at the message that's really there
We gang bang harder without a care
Knowing that they're people who love us all around
And would get hurt to see us buried under-ground
Some of us start thinking about getting out
Being able to do it is our only doubt
We won't know if we can do it until we try
It's better if we do it now, before we die
Getting shot in the streets, or getting stabbed in the pen
Because in this game you could never win
What happen to the homey can happen to me and you
So take a look around, and see what's true
Either we stop now or we die too
Over some thing that ain't worth losing our breath
To never be remembered after our death.
Oscar Torres has come along way, as he used to be involved with
gangs and was heavily induced into the street life. We would like to
give our props to Oscar as he has left the street banging alone and is
continuing to move forward with a brighter positive life. Sending us his
s us some deep writings.
Life is hard without that special girl
It's hard for me to face the world
I don't think I could go this far in staying alive
Without her by my side I could hardly survive
It's one big love I can't explain
Not having her with me, it just causes me pain
Every time I think of her, I get depressed
I truly love that girl from inside of my chest
I can't explain how she makes me feel
My love for her is a lifetime deal
Even though she isn't here
Her love for me is always near
I wish I had her by my side
To show her my love, I wouldn't hide
I want to tell her how sorry I am for doing her wrong
That my love for her is just too strong
I knew we had something special going on
For my stupid choices all that is gone
It was ma fault for letting her go
Then I acted as if her name, I didn't even know
I tried to get her of my mind
But the way out I couldn't find
I quit trying 'cause my love for her can't fall apart
Not ever since the day she took my heart
I will always love her no matter where she goes, or how
No matter what she'll always be my lovely star
After all this I still thank the man above
For giving me this endless love
All the time we spent together
Our precious memories that will last forever.
jjj^SMi^Poai Br/ / 'tJLUjJJJL L
'OSnnt? T£7f?J?ES cnnr.'
Check this out
In this life, drugs I do not need
My drug of choice was always weed
Out in the streets just smoking blunts
Got me locked up doing 22 months
I knew what it would bring me, but I never cared
When I was on drugs, I was never scared
I didn't care about no one
I didn't care about myself
I didn't realize I was affecting my mom's health
I didn't care about my problems when I was out
Smoking weed would get me through without a doubt
Even though it hurt me to think about my dad
Him dying when I was 5 years old, just made me sad
Now that I'm locked upa at 18 years old
Winter comes and it starts getting cold
But there's no one around so I can hold
Not even my girl who I treated like gold
Homies and drugs just put me under pressure
Thanks to them, I lost my whole treasure
I lost everything I had over a gang
What I regret the most is starting to bang
You don't know how valuable something is until you lose it
If you realize, it's never to late to quit
What you've lost, you could get back
Forget about the homies and drop the sack.
I am waiting for you to send some poems that I wrote,
throughout the time that I have been locked up. All my
poems are dated. They are in order. Each poem is how I
feel or see things now. It's what I've been through. I hope
you like them. I've been locked up for almost 4 years. It
will be four on Jan. 26. 09.
Through out my life I have experienced a lot,
spiritually, and learned a lot. I went through the process
of change and I pulled it through. It took me a while to get
it. I stopped banging, 11-26-05, 3 years ago. It was hard
but with God by my side I was able to make it through. My
poems talk about reality, the truth and great love. I hope
you truly enjoy them. I want to ask if possible if I can get
the whole package, with my poems there. And if when
you publish them you put Oscar Torres.
Through out mu life I have experienced a
lot, spiritualty , and learned a lot.
Dear Beat Within
Thank you for the heads up! Yes please add me to the new your
mailing list. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your mag- all
the people speaking from the heart. That's what's real. People
touching people through expressing themselves on paper. Reach
out a helping hand.
I'm 37 years old. I was a gang member for 20 years, but I
climbed that latter to the top and when I got there, I realized there
wasn't anything but madness there. All the so-called work we put
in as youngsters were for nothing. It's all just a big waste of life. I
chased the entire false hero's trying to be that guy, until I got to the
top, and there was nothing there but hate, racism and a misserable
existence. I opened my eyes when I caught this 13-year term, my
4th prison term.
Three months prior to this term my wife's aortic value in her
heart burst from speed (meth). She died in my arms. We have a son
who's with her family now. I've got to change my life for my son but
also for me. I've lead too many youngsters up wrong paths. I've now
got to try to clean-up my life and lead some youngsters up the new
path. My message to others is long but I'll start with saying, stop!
Examine your life. Don't let people use you. Take control of your
The whole criminal way of life is a self-destruct button and all
the shot-callers at the top are feeding on your life. "Misery loves
company." That's a fact. Don't be a follower. Don't let the ones who
life is over end yours. There's nothing to be had, nothing noble, no
righteous causes, just a big lie. Stand on your own two feet and
say no to racism and to hate and to the life. Rise above and your
family, and society will honor you. Trust and believe the first time
you do the honest right thing-or the first time you helps someone
in need or the first time you actually work and earn honest money,
you will suddenly feel a rush of goodness flow through your veins
that swells your heart with purpose and meaning! Stronger than
any shot of dope or ill-gotten money' ever gave you. Nothing feels
better than being a good person even when people can't see.
Especially then, I've tasted this new life. Now I work everyday
to identify and break my old habits and I examine others who are
already living clean honest lives. I no longer see weakness in them.
I now try to be like them because they have homes, cars, children,
jobs, friends, family, and freedom, meaningful existence.
It's all so very new and amazing to see a tattoo (covered from
head to toe) straight 20 year penitentiary solider, huge life long
criminal on the outs - (me). Now I see that life doesn't wait for
criminals, doesn't remember us when were gone.
What I'm saying is it took me 25 years of practicing criminal
immoral shhh to become the gangster I became.
We welcome Sam Mullane who writes from deep behind the razor
barbed-wire fence at Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, CA. Sam gets
real personal with us, telling us readers things that most OG's wouldn't
tell you. He has been in the game for about a quarter century, and tells
you what he has learned both positive and negative. Sam finally has
realized that you get what you make out of life. If you think and do
positive then positive things will come your way. So give Sam a read as
he inspires us with the story of his life!
And so remember it will take practice to function as a honest
moral good person as well. But the rewards are far more profound
than any dishonest gains. I practiced and pushed my gang politics
for many-many years, and never reaped a single meaningful reward
or ever accomplished anything good. Nothing, but to wake up with
25 years gone into smoke leaving busted burnt broken bridges in
In just three years of trying to practice good honest moral
behavior I've got my GED, I've got certified in alcohol and drugs
counseling, and I've made my children proud of me, as well as
happy; all from the inside.
My family began to write and cared and sent moral and financial
support. From time to time doors opened. I've dropped out of the
gang. No more hate and prison politics. It took strength to make
that move. The weak ones stayed. I have a future with hope and
promise now. I'm able to hold my head high and plan a future of
honest community and be a part of real life; to be honored and
remember instead of spit on and forgotten.
I never push religion on no one or judge anyone elses religion.
But I will say that my Lord and Savior is Jesus Christ. And in His
name I pray for all of you struggling through life as I have. God
Bless you and God Bless The Beat Within.
I went out on a limb and reached out to The Beat Within. Thank
you with the utmost respect!
Change Is Heal
I awoke to see the sun so bright
It filled my eyes with its white light
The clouds are gone now I can see
Change and set me free
I left behind the crazy life
All the pain and all the strife
No more wars or lives to cheat
It's time to stand on my own two feet
My heart is strong and its path clear
A new life has begun without hate or fear.
he whole criminal way of life
is a self-destruct button and all
the shot-callers at the top are
feeding on your life. "Misery loves
company." That's a fact. Don't be
a follower. Don't let the ones who
life is over end yours.
read the rest of Sam Mullane's BWO piece on page 67