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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 
their lives, 

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... 

"Hunting Illusions" 

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 
Of purity 

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 

Dancing... dancing,,, 

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. 
Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

Steve Serna 

Oak Hill - Washington, DC Staff: Alex Moe and Gabriel Prodder 

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

Monterey : Sam Peterson and Sarah Damico 

Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week. 

Spiritual Advisor: JackJacqua 

Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

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

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, 


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... 

My Intra 


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. 

Bad Influences 

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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My Concerns 


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 
bad things? 

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 
my side. 

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 
family again. 

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. 


My Life 

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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Locked up 


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, 

His smile, 

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 
you relax, 

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", 

- Orlando 

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! 

- William 


Bad Influences 


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 

- McNeil 

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. 

- Benjamin 


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 
paper green, 

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 
else's life, 

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 
to rewind, 

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. 

- Robert 


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 
at college? 

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 
really cares. 

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. 

-Vanessa, Fresno 

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 

-Samantha, Solano 
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. 

This Life 

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 

It's kraze-e 

-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 
to changing? 

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 
love you." 

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 
a thirst. 

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. 

-Ace, Solano 

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 
the past. 

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 
stay positive. 

-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. 

-Tyrone, Alameda 

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 
eighteen months. 

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? 

Could Never 

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. 

-Chow-Main, Solano 

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 
on money. 


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. 

-Stacia, Fresno 

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 
each other. 

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 

-Andre, Alameda 
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 

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. 

-Elice, Marin 

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 

-Ali, Solano 

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 
your mind. 

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. 

J L 

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? 

// ' ////// ' // ' /// 

'//// // 

r 1 

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. 

-Elice, Marin 

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! 

My Puzzle 

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 

-Luis, Solano 

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 
for it! 

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 

Sorry, Bad 

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. 



J L 

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. 

-Josh, Alameda 

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 
unfortunate fight! 

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 now. 

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. 
-Kris, Alameda 

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. 

-John, Alameda 

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 

-Robert, Alameda 

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 
my dreams. 

-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. 

-Deja, Alameda 

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 
struggle with. 

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 
more enjoyable. 

-Lenzy, Alameda 

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. 

■James, Alameda 

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? 


J L 

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 

-Josh, Alameda 

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. 

// ' ////// ' // ' /// 

'//// // 

r m 

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, 
I'm ready. 

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. 

-Jake, Alameda 

From The Beat: We can feel your love, regret and determination through 
this piece. 

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 
yourself too. 

Just Before I Went To Sleep Last Night I 
Thought About... 

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 
complete it. 

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. 

-B, Alameda 

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. 

Money Can't 


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. 

I'm Back 

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. 

-Ian, Alameda 
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. 

-Loony, Alameda 
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 

J L 

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 
we want. 

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 
the stuff. 

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. 

-Deaddrian, Alameda 
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 „„ „ 

Messin' Bp 


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 
it too. 

-Kash Money 

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 
than me. 


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 
used to. 

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 
treated them. 


From The Beat: What must you do to stay out of juvenile? Good luck 
returning home. 

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. 

-Monie Bo 

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 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? 




My Family 


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. 

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. 

-Lil' Monster 

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 

&Mnnnn*EE jw— 


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. 

-Lil' Seag 

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 
the way. 

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 
locked up! 

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? 


My Grandna 

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 

-Big Body 

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 
so important. 

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? 


J L 

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 
the dead. 

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. 

-Young Nuttso 

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 
aggravated assault. 

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. 

&Mnnnn*EE jw— 


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 
I love. 

-LIT Dizil 

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? 

)izil I 



My Family 

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. 

-Lite Brite 

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. 



J L 


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 
at home. 

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. 

-Lil' Chuck 

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? 



&Mnnnn*EE jw— 

W»»»J»»M»M77F77MTm //,/ 

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. 

-Lil' Charles 

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 
the beach. 

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 

Doing me 

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 
and bold. 

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! 

&Mnnnn*EE jw— 

w»»»»i»Mi>w77FT7rnm ,„, 

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? 


Summer Love 

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 

J L 

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. 

-Lil' E 
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. 

-No Name 

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. 

-Young J 

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 
my back. 

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. 

-Boi Acie 
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 
the dead... 

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 

fo' hours. 

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. 

-Rambo Rob 

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. 

Bettin' Older 


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! 

J L 

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 

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. 

-Free Me 

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! 


I * 

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. 

-Lil' Bra 

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 
for crime. 


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 

RIP, Reashawn 


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." 

-Dow Jones 

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 
comment on. 

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 
now paying? 

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 

-Free Ya'self 

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. 

-Queen Bri 

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. 

-Shar Goola 

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. 

-Young Vernon 

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. 

-Lil' Cali 

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. 


Fallen Soldiers 



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. 

-Shawni B 

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 

J L 

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. 

-Creamy Luscious 

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! 

r 1 

: 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 
your $200? 

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 


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. 

-Yung Dooda 

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 
with gravy 

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. 

-Young Dunny 

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. 

-Yung Von 

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 ////// 

m>i»u»}»M»w77mwnm „„ 

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 

-Free Ya'self 

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 
complain about? 

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. 

-J Mac 

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 
stop playing! 

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. 

Beat, What's 

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. 

-Boi Acie 

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! 

No Begrets! 

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 
head up... 


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. 

-Sergeant Newt 

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! 

' k+*M*w**d?t 

///// ////// 



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. 

My Primo 

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. 

-Big Nasty 

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. 

-Baby G 

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. 

J L 

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... 

Lonely Boad 

, 1 

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 

front unnoticed 

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 

to freeze. 

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. 

Last Night 

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. 

Hang On 

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 

■Moe Joe 

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 


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. 

-Yung Cash 

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 
is everything. 

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? 

Dad Thoughts 

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 
about myself. 

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. 

-Lil' Man 

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. 

' k+*M*w**d?t 

///// ////// 


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? 

-Lil' Man 

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! 

-M Jr. 

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 
one day. 


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 
great grandma! 

-Great Grandson 

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. 

-Lil' Boy 

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 Crackin'! 

J L 

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? 

r 1 


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 
way down. 

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? 


r//// ////// 

///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // 

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 
to change. 

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. 

-Lil' S 

From The Beat: Is there anything you would say to homie now, if you 
could. Soldier? 

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! 

-Lil' Bones 

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. 

-Man Child 

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? 

Crystal Nights 


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! 


J L 

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 

-Lil' Darky 

From The Beat: We hope that you take your mothers advice this time, 
and use it to your advantage. 

, J. 



They're Everywhere 


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, 
their precinct. 

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... 

-Lil' Bones 

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. 

My Grandfather 

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 


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 

Ranch Camp. 

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. 

J L 

Last Words 

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. 

-Hear me 

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 
about it. 

Sitting Alone 


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 
and happiness. 

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 
right now. 

I feel like I am letting him down, because I cannot fulfill 
his request. 

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 


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. 

r 1 

&MnnnnnE mmmmm 

m>i»u»}»»)>wT7FT7wnm „„ 

Cupid Attacked Me 


A bow shot my heart with an arrow, just as if Cupid had 

attacked me. 

Confusion came, but dignity did gain. 

You're like a forest with an enchanted garden - a solution 

for hate, 

which then becomes love, with humor, respect, and 


It sizzles the stage with hotness, sexiness, and absolutely, 

no weariness. 


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. 

Another Day 

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 
your head. 


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. 

-Picture Me 

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? 

A Picture 

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 

Think twice 

- Diamond 

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 
promise, Loved 


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? 

A Wish 

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. 

- Joker 

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. 

Why me? 

I chi 

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. 

J L 

Just before I went to sleep last night I 
thought about.... 

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 
thought about 

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. 

EmnunniE mmmm 


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 

RIP, Barvitas 

(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 
shhh first? 

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. 

-Baby Pitt 
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? 

This Pain 

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 

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 

Pretiius Fisher 


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. 

J L 

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. 

IS Baby! 

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 
you Shygurl! 


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. 

Going Home 

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 

J L 

Bear Grandma 

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 


BIP Cisco 


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. 

r i 

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. 

Bo Bight 

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. 

True love 


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 
AKA grandma. 


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. 

trnznn-niE wiMjmm 

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. 

Precims Picture 


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. 

J L 

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. 

My Dream 

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 
I can. 

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 

Just Praying 


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! 

Before Sleep 

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 
Mickey ears. 


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. 

Positive Thoughts 

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 
in JJC? 

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 
almost 18. 

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. 

____ — — _ 

Down Hill 

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 
going on. 

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 

Another Chance 



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. 

r 1 


m>iiiu»}»»)>wT7mwnm „„ 

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 
gang member. 

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. 

-Devron, Fresno 

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. 

Reality Check 



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 
my money. 


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 
the future. 

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 
strong again. 


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 

I Wonder 

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 
was important. 

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. 

-Lil Lophy 

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. 

-Pac Man 

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. 


Lost Two 

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 
times, whatever! 

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. 

Getting Durned 

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? 


J L 

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 

some changes. 


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 
becoming corrupt. 

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 
right now. 


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 
she died. 

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 
your sisters. 


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 

My Great-Grandma 

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 
the better. 




//// // 

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 

Last Night 

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.:) 

-Baby L 

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. 

Troubled Touches 

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 


She Trippin' 


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 
to me. 

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? 

The Crash 


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 
junior college. 

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 
another day. 


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. 


Sleep Tight 

J L 

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 
pensando positivamente. 

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. 

Salgo Pronto 

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 
dreamed of. 

-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. 

Cuando Saiga 

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 
about them. 


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 

Hola soledad 

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 

Aveces briago, 

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 
"Hola soledad 

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 
Bienvenida soledad 

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 

hola soledad 

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 
esta expresion. 


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 

"Hi loneliness 

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 

Things happens 

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 

Sometimes drunk 

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 

"Hi loneliness 

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 

Welcome loneliness 

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 

"Hi loneliness 

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 

li»»U»i»MI>W77FT7WFWn //,/ 

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 
for months. 

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? 

///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 

f/rf^Mmm MMf'jy/jjtjrr 



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 

Unshaven, uncouth 

I'm back in Ad-Seg. 

A 115 pending 

For defending a friend - 

Who knows how it'll end? 

My Path 

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. 

D»L-/./.L-M=J.-J=U^=L> i 

lend Me 

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. 


HBBB////- #////// 

'SHBwn MnnrnnM£0¥' 

7X2MZL m 


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 
is hope. 

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. 

-Knur D' 


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 

drug use 

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 / / 

///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 

'ISMff'IL, 0ffHMff/7' 

^^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 
mission-to DESTROY. 

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 
your degradation. 

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 
own crops). 

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 

-K33g8gB3!JjteEa@GBaftgIBBEi p 

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 
mission statement? 

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¥' 

AMI' Something 

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 ////#/ //. // //// // 

'Dff0&nn nnf?nif7' 

^^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 
never will. 

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 
hospital ward. 

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 
have integrity. 

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 
I life. 

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 
in me. 

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. 

The Consequences 

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 

our enemy 

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. 

Hey Beat 

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. 

*SWT MULtlsB/lE' 

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 
the past. 

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