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t~l CllO wonderful Beat writers, readers and fans. Once again, as we 
do every week, we're bringing you this knock-out publication of writing 
from the warehoused in juvenile halls and beyond, and once again, we 
are so proud to be associated with this unique publication. Each week 
we type and respond to our young writers who fill our pages, sometimes 
with childish dreams of riches — dreams that require ignoring the 
circumstances in which they write; sometimes with unaccustomed 
thoughts that reveal a mind in transition from childhood to adulthood; 
and sometimes with profound depth of insight and knowledge that make 
us shake our heads in wonder at the amount of human talent that is so 
easy to overlook. Even after more than thirteen years of weekly Beats, 
we are still blown away by what you produce every single week. The 
Beat Within is truly a treasure. 

So, what would your lives be like without this treasure? We want all 
of our Beat family to think about that question. What would your world 
be like without The Beat? We're not on the verge of collapse, so don't 
panic, but the economic disaster our country (and world) are confronting 
right now does affect The Beat. (The economic collapse we are facing 
comes from our crushingly expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; 
some of you deeper thinkers will be able to see a connection between 
the devastating effects these wars have had on our economy, and the 
devastating effects the street wars have had on your lives...) 

Like other non-profit organizations, we need to face this economic 
downturn and make some changes, if we are to thrive. If we don't make 
these changes, we could lose the whole project, which is why we asked 
you to consider what your world would be like if you didn't have The 
Beat in it. We know what our world would be like — gray, ordinary, 
unexciting. We'd have to go back to 9 to 5 jobs (if we could find any) , 
and it would be like climbing down off a mountaintop and having to 
adjust to life at the bottom. We would hate it! 

We have already gone over with you some of the changes we plan 
to make in order to continue publishing The Beat. But it never hurts 
to drive the point home, because things aren't getting better out there, 
and this is nothing we have any control over. Either we make some 
changes, or we will be crushed. The Beat's biggest expense is in the 
amount of paper we use to print enough issues to give to all our writers, 
plus anyone who asks for a subscription. But cutting down on that 
mailing, we can save a substantial amount of money, so that's our first 
economy. We will, of course, continue giving out Beats in the workshops 
for all who write something that's serious enough to be in The Beat, but 
we will not be sending Beats out in the mail any more, except for those 
(mostly prisoners) who write a piece for publication, and want to see the 
issue it was printed in. 

It may be that the hardest part for our workshop writers is the 
phrase, "write something that's serious enough to be in The Beat." Until 
now, we have been very generous with what we publish. Although we 
work long hours putting this magazine out each week, we've noticed a 
large number of Beat writers who put in almost no effort or thought or 
tim e into what they write. Instead, they just put down a few sentences 
so that they can get The Beat to take to their rooms. That kind of writing 
is now a thing of the past, at least as far as being published in The 
Beat is concerned. We will not publish any more two- or three- sentence 
pieces because there's no way you can say anything worthwhile in 
just three sentences. But even if you write more than three sentences, 
you will still have to spit some knowledge, say something serious, be 
thoughtful, to be in The Beat. We have seen so many pieces that require 
no thought on your part, pieces that usually begin, "I want outta here 
so I can go back to the block and do me..." Yes, we know you want out 
of here, but that kind of statement teaches nothing, and The Beat is 
about teaching something. So you writers who have relied on a lazy 
line or two that tells us what we already know, you will find your pieces 
missing from The Beat. Of course, the kind of pieces that were never 
appropriate — love letters, threats, graphic descriptions of violence that 
you try to justify, hate pieces, and pieces holding your set or 'hood up — 
are still not appropriate, and we'll probably be even stricter on keeping 
those kinds of pieces out of The Beat. 

While we're trying to trim the budget at one end, we're also trying 
to increase our income at the other end. We have been meeting with 
various people in the community about how to increase The Beat's 
visibility, how to reach out to individual donors as well as foundations 
which give money to non-profits like The Beat, people who believe in 
what we (you) are doing and want to support it. We are developing a 
number of public events to expose The Beat to new people and groups, 
and, of course, we are extending The Beat's program to places like New 
Mexico, Arizona, Monterey, Fresno, Washington, DC, and now Miami, 
Florida, while responding to requests we get each week to see about 
bringing The Beat to other counties and states. (If any of you fans of The 

Beat know of individuals or organizations that you think might be 
interested in contributing to our future, we would love to know who 
they are...) 

We don't want to discourage any of you. But we have to be honest 
with this kind of warning; we have no choice. We have to increase our 
efforts both to trim our budget and to add to it in order to keep The 
Beat alive. Far from discouraging you, we hope this inspires you to step 
up big and deliver those doubles, triples and home runs that fill every 
issue of The Beat, and which the many fans of your writing have come 
to expect. Here are a few of the diamond-brilliant gems in this issue you 
hold in your hand: 

"If the PO, DA or judge could live in the conditions we do they would 
realize that this is not a 'rehabilitation process' as they like to call it. 
Have them spend around 16 hours in their room, eat when people tell 
you to, wake up to ice water showers, and not have people listen to 
what you have to say." (Ballard, SF). 

"At least in this place I can escape the madness 

The sun shines bright, here I have no sadness 

I was a kid who was hurt physically and emotionally 

The pain is like a disease that will stay in me permanently 

When I awake from sleeping, the walls close in 

Reality hit home, I lived a life filled with sin" 

(Chango, Santa Clara) 

"I've decided to stop doing drugs and running the streets so I can focus 
on my schoolwork, which I really want to do so I can have a chance at 
getting my diploma. I've become more dedicated to my schoolwork in 
these past few months. I took my exit exam, and I think that I did a 
good enough job to pass. I tried my best." 
(Donald, SF) 

"I have to give up a lot in this world 
but it's a sacrifice that I need to succeed in life. 
I'm going to do this for me and my family, 
the people that I love and need in this world. 
What I need is what I'm going to achieve." 
(LiT Joker, Alameda) 

We could have chosen dozens of other examples, but you get the 
point. Without The Beat, our world would be so much poorer, and 
we believe your world would be too. So we need all of you to do your 
part. Writers, step up and take The Beat seriously so you can teach 
and we can publish what you teach. Readers, step up and take The 
Beat seriously so that you can introduce us to potential hinders, both 
individuals or organizations. 

While you're thinking of what you might do to help us, these are 
the topics in this issue that have produced such outstanding writing: 

The first topic is "Sacrificing for my future" What do you think you 
have to give up to change your future, to make it better? What's keeping 
you from making that sacrifice? When you think of the sacrifices your 
mom or grandmother have made for you, does it make you want to 
sacrifice anything for them? What have they given up for you? What are 
you w illin g to give up for them? 

Topic #2 is, "Can the rich put themselves in the shoes of the poor?" 
Last week, a news reporter began a month experiment to live on food 
stamps, trying to learn what over 30 million poor Americans experience, 
having to live on only $6.28 a day. Do you think he will have a better 
understanding of what life is like for those who have to struggle to put 
food on the table? If DAs, POs, PDs or judges had to spend a little time 
in lock-up, do you think it would make them less likely to put young 
people there? Can "rich" people learn about the experiences of the 
"poor" by putting themselves in their shoes? What would they learn? 

The last topic is, "Lucky or unlucky." Do you consider yourself 
lucky or unlucky? How do you define both those words? Have you been 
lucky in some situations but unlucky in others? Do people bring their 
own good or bad luck, or does it just happen that way? Who's the 
luckiest person you've ever met, and what's the luckiest thing that ever 
happened to you? Who's the unluckiest person you've ever met, and 
what's the unluckiest thing that ever happened to you? 

Okay, good people. This issue goes out to all of you taking that 
extra step to put 

The Beat on a secure financial footing. As long as there are juvenile 
halls, The Beat wants to be there to capture the talent that is so 
casually thrown away. As Abraham Lincoln said, "We — even we here 
now — hold the power and bear the responsibility." 

WJMM/M ' // ' //////// 

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 

JDS - Dade County, Miami, Florida : Edward Ahmeel 

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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I've been locked behind cells 
trying my hardest to get out of here. 
My mind is taking over, I'm about to explode. 
I got to let y'all hear what I'm carrying in my load. 
I been riding on the same road since I was young 
but now I think it's time for a change. 
I want to be like Martin Luther King 
And I don't want nobody judging me. 
I used to live my life on these streets, 
y'all criminals use to be just like me. 
Yes violence is taking over these streets, 
young people hear now and listen to my speech: 
I use to be committed to crime but now 
I'm committed to these cells. 
I'm trying to make it better while I'm in here. 

-Baby Boy 

From The Beat: We're glad you've taken the opportunity to get things 
off your chest, and in a very effective way. If you were to continue this 
message, what other similarities do want to share with MLK? 

Jam Up 

Being jammed up in DJJ. When you're back to your 
room, just pray to get out the next day. Then you look up 
at your wall and think "Is that all? All this that I'm doing, 
is it hurting my family or friends?" You look out a little 
hole out the window, look up at the dark skies then tears 
start to come down. You're teary eyed and you're like, 
"damn, I'm jammed for petty stuff." Then you say "I'm not 
doing the crimes 'cause I can't do the time." 


From The Beat: You've drawn a great comparison between the freedom 
you hope for and the reality of being in detention. Seeing the sky from 
a little hole is not satisfying, and it's an image that all of us should 
carry with us in the future. 

Bad Times 

RIP to my dogs that are gone. You was balling when you 
were here and you still balling while gone. A boy still 
going through hard times but now that you gone, know 
that a boy done stop doing all these bad crimes. 

When the time comes for me to take the throne you 
best believe I'm going to take it straight home. I can't say 
I'm ever going to change. 

I never use to be a goon. I use to be a smart book- 
addicted kid that stayed in school. 

-Baby Boy 

From The Beat: Baby Boy, does saying goodbye give you the freedom to 
get back to the books.. .to find that lost part of yourself that you begin 
to speak about here? If so, saying goodbye may allow you to say hello 
to something hopeful. 

The Beat Within 

Today I just joined a group called The Beat Within. I 
really like it, it's okay. I'm gonna really keep trying so I 
can stay in this group. 

Yesterday we just got a new black president and 
we made history 'cause he's black. I think he is really 
gonna change the world for not only black people, but 
for everyone in this country. And he's really gonna make 
a change for the world. He's gonna make prices go up on 
people's pay. 


From The Beat: Welcome, Shayon! We hope you stick with this and 
continue to develop your writing. It seems that you have hopes for 
Obama and what he'll do for this country. Maybe you should consider 
writing him at some point. 

From The Beat: We welcome these incredible SUBMISSIONS FROM 
DADE COUNTY, Florida. A big thank you to you writers and to our 
wonderful friend and colleague, Miami Eddy bka Eddy Ameen. 

The Outside World 


I'm wild on the outside but deep down I'm clod. I done 
had my chance to walk through the hospital doors. The 
machine once used to be strapped to my chest and here 
now I law with a bullet-proof vest. I want to be able to treat 
my child with much respect. 

Man can change the world but he can't change me. I 
done reach the end. DJJ - that's where all my problems 
had begun. Once you come once, you best believe that 
you're gonna come twice. This is my change to a better 
life. This is where I start my life all over again. 

-Baby Boy 

From The Beat: You really show a metamorphosis with this piece. If it's 
true that detention repeats itself, what can you do to break this cycle? 
You sound convinced that you're going to change. We'd like you to tell 
readers what that change means so you can inspire others! 

J L 

My Grandmother's My Mother 

To me, my grandma is my mother. Under God, the 
person who gives birth is your mother. But what about if 
she was never there? What if she left you in the hands of 
your father, a cruel and malicious man? "Is she still your 
mother?" Not to me... 

To me the person who raises you is your mother, the 
person who teaches you right from wrong, the person who 
will be there for you no matter what. Good, bad, right, or 
wrong, your mother will never turn her back. You can life, 
cheat, or steal and your mother will love you no matter 
what. That's why to me, my grandmother is my mother. 
No matter what I've done in my life, she's always stands 
by my side. From birth till the end of time, she tells me 
she will be there,. The bond we share, the love we have 
surpasses any other. That's why to me my grandmother's 
my mother. Forever. And ever. Dedicated to my abuelita, 


From The Beat: This is a heartfelt piece. You clearly express how 
fortunate you are to have a relationship like you do with your grandma. 
For many, family is how you define it. 


HEM £nr&¥ 

Just Me 

Just before I went to sleep last night, 

I thought about who I used to be. 

And the life I lived. 

What I thought then to be right, 

I know now to be wrong. 

All the nights in the street, 

Posted up smoking reef. 

I put my family through grief, 

I let them down, like the Cardinals, 

Who suffered deafeat. 

But who can I blame? 

Nobody but me. 


From The Beat: Taking stock of your life like this is not easy because 
you have to accept that you've hurt those you care about - yourself and 
your family included. But acceptance also means that you can move 
forward, playing a new ball game.. .You go first and maybe the Cardinals 

will follow! 

Vibin 1 On That Beat 

I'm vibin' to the beat with the lady. 

I'm just vibin' to the beat with my baby. 

Vibin' to the beat. I'm vibin, no stoppin. 

People be jokin' my vibe while I'm on the street 

Just bopping, move to the beat. 

Every day of the week 

Ya could catch me vibin' on that beat. 


From The Beat: Joselin, this has got great rhythm and a good break 
from the stress that many readers face every day. Let's all vibe to the 
beat (no pun intended). 

On My Mind 

I got a lot going through my mind, especially court 
cannot stop thinking about it. I don't have any idea what's 
going to happen. I'm very nervous. 

My public defender has not come to talk to me. I just 
can't wait till she comes to speak to me - I have so many 
things to tell her. I tried calling her but I just cant get in 
contact. I'm really frustrated because of that. Hopefully 
she'll come talk to me this week, and I'll feel better. I need 
to tell her the facts of my case so that she will fight for me 
in court and let them know what happened. 

I hope the judge will let me go home and I will be a 
happy kid again. Then I can go home and deal with my 
family problems. 


From The Beat: You've got a LOT on your mind and show how hard it 
can be to never reach your lawyer. Hopefully through writing this piece, 
you were able to transfer some of that frustration from your head to the 
page, and leave it there. 

What's On My Mind 

What's on my mind is: Can my grandma see me or not. 
'Cause when I talked to her the other day, she said she 
was very sick. She said she was very, very sick. But she's 
been sick since I was 12 and now I'm 16 and she's still 
sick. But she's been trying to get get herself fixed for the 
longest. So right now she's in a wheelchair everywhere 
she goes, but that's just one thing that goes on in my 


From The Beat: Thanks for sharing a little bit of you and putting into 
words your concerns about your grandma. It is tough to see a loved one 
get sick. We hope she is able to visit you - it sounds like it would mean 
a whole lot! 



People show ways of joking. 
People treat things as a joke. 
So why don't the world do a joke? 
Because jokes are evol (evil) and evol spelled backward 
is love. 

So what's love. ..evol. 
So evol is a sin but love would always be there. 


From The Beat: You did a nice play on words here, and show what a 
good thing it can be to turn things around, literally and symbolically. 
Let there be love, but not evil/evol. If you're up for it, please share your 
thoughts on good jokes and humor, if you think that exists. 




J L 

I ask myself why. 
Why do I feel all this pain? 
Why did I take that day as a game? 

Why have I brought all of this shame upon my family 

The family and the glory -- 
It's not worth it to hurry. 
Thru the fog and clouds, 
I ask myself out loud, why? 
The money means nothing 
Compared to my freedom. 
All I hear from the judge 
Is "boy, you're done." 
Funny thing is, I didn't even use a gun, 
Just walking down the street looking up at the sun. 
I get rushed, beaten, and jumped - 
I run to my home and ask myself why? 
So I call up my friends and tell them the story 
They come to my house as quick as a flurry, 
We decide to walk back to the scene 
With anger on my mind, I decide to be sheen. 
See a blade on the counter, I decide to be keen. 
I come through the shadows, not to be seen. 
We begin to fight, he pulls out a knife 
And he's aware that I'm only seventeen. 
He makes a move but he's quick to lose 
My blade is no longer clean. 
I turn around and see my friends, 
both bleeding like the blood won't end. 
I pick them up and begin to run 
This madness has just begun. 
They're both in pain, I don't feel the same. 
And then I ask why? 
Why did this just happen? 
Why did I just do what I did? 
I dirtied my life, in a simple act of rage. 
Next thing I know, I'm surrounded by red lights 
And I knew my life would never be the same. 
Now I sit here in my cell, seven months of this cold hell. 
And it's my first offense. 
They gave me a plea, to which I agreed 
And now I have to be among criminals that compare 
nothing to me. 

I know now that life ain't fair. 
But still I keep that hope in me. 

So the world can see that time will never, ever break me. 


From The Beat: Thank you for giving the readers a play-by-play of that 
fateful day. We know that for many in your shoes, it repeats like a tape 
that's stuck in the VCR. Is there another way you can move the tape 
forward to the next chapter? 



HEM £nr&¥ 


Death is a cruel think and it hurts people's hearts. 

It's easy to say but hard to tell. 

If I don't get out of jail, I'm gonna raise hell. 


From The Beat: We hope you do get out and live life! Keep writing and 
expanding your thoughts through words, you're on to something! 


Couldn't find that four letter word until I approached u. 

Couldn't find a reason for L.O.V.E. until you gave it a 


You console me, you bring me closure when you touch 

and hold me. 

My misses never temped to leave me lonely. 

Your silent whispers sooth my body. 

If I kiss her, will she feel the magic? Ecstatic. 

Her body shivers in pleasure when I deliver. 

Not lust - more than a crush. But this is pure passion. 

When you cry I'm quick to clear your weary eyes. 

Tell me where it hurts. 

I'll hurt myself to ease your mind. And ease the tension. 

My better half finishes my sentences. It's worth it. 

Just be persistent, so ardent. 

We'll go the distance. On an expedition. 

In our mind when we're together. And savor this precious 


'Cause nothing lasts forever. 

Never felt this way so at first the feeling scared me. 

Scared of something new. Comfortable. 

She says she's there for me and through my darkest 


When I was low and couldn't feel her. 

Words were justified by action. 

Kisses like fireworks and touches make me tingle. 

Your eyes are two stars in the night. 

I watch them twinkle — I get lost in them. 

Feening for that bottom lip. 

Your words are inspiration, makes me say stuff like this. 

This feeling caught me off guard. 

No question 'bout what it was. Damn. U found love. 


From The Beat: This is a wonderfully descriptive poem about love. As 
complex an issue love is, you broke it down while still retaining its 
beauty. You are credited for talcing the chance at expressing yourself 
through just the right words. 

Birdie says 

"Different fo'you — 

Somebody wanna find you real bad. 

So many folks! And them dogs! 

Feel the hunt? 

All night an' now day. 

When it was me, nobody looked." 

I say, 

"No one? Never?" 

Birdie says, 

"So long ago, anyways. 

Ain't nobody left knows my name. 

So what they call you?" 

I look at my ghost hands. 

Fingers melt away. 

I have no edges. 

I tell Birdie, 

"Well, once I was Shayon." 


From The Beat: Wow, Shayon. This is powerful and the images are 
crystal clear. You've melted and are feeling invisible, in the shadows. 
Please think about how you can emerge from them once again. And if 
you do, would you want to be something different? Would you want 
the dogs on you? 

Money Can't Change Relationships 

Money can't fix a relationship with your parents. And 
it cant fix a relationship with your girlfriend either. All 
many can do is pay financial bills. 


From The Beat: Yes, yes, and yes. So what does it take to repair these 
relationships? What inside of you needs to come out in order to heal 
what you think you can heal? And what do you wish for in those you 
are in relationships with? 

Wlj nit me? 


Why it couldn't have been me? I always ask God why 
he took my vultures away - why not me. Then I ask God 
when it's my turn. But I know if I stay on the right track, 
I might go to heaven. 


From The Beat: In between thoughts of people you've lost, we hope you 
consider all the lessons you've gained and we wish you all the strength 
you might need to stay on that right track. 


\\M If 

v. i \ 

MP \ 


HEM £nr&¥ 

The Set Up (Parti) 

D-Dog: "Hey, JJ, you want to go see them girls that we met 
at the club other night? 'Cause they been begging me and 
you to come over there for the last three days." 

JJ: "Man, bro, I really don't know about that crap going to 
meet them girls, I got a bad vibe about them girls 'cause 
they look like they just trying to get in a man's pockets, 
and I heard that them girls down the way be getting' fools 

D-Dog: "Man, JJ, them girls ain't on that stuff, the only 
thing they want is a man and that's it, so what's up? You 
gonna slide with your boy or what?" 

JJ: "Damn, dog, you always getting me with that shhh. Yes, 
I'm gonna slide, but how we gonna get down that way?" 

D-Dog: "I had already hollered at Cam-D about letting me 
use his car, alight, then let's go and holla at Cent and see if 
he would let us hold the Mac II and the four-five, alright?" 

JJ and D-Dog went to D-Dog's house to get Cam-D's car. 
When they got to the house, they went straight to the car, 
got in and D-Dog started it up. 

As they drove out of D-Dog's yard, JJ said "Dog, Cent 
should be around by the Cookie Store and you know he 
always keeps the you know what on him." Within two and a 
half minutes, they saw Cent posted up on the Cookie Store 

JJ: "Hey, Cent, check it out bro bro." 

Cent: "Yeah, what up J?" 

JJ: "Hey, Cent, me and D-Dog is about to go down the way 
and I want to know if you would let us hold your FYE?" 

Cent: "What y'all need J is the Mac II and the 4-5. Damn boy 
y'all lucky today 'cause I was just about to sell them things, 

but hold up. ..I'll be right back." 

In seconds, Cent came back with a black bad and two 

pairs of black gloves and said "Here, you lil' ninjas, go ." 

D-Dog: "A'ight, Cent, we out bro. We'll holla at you later." 

Now J J and D-Dog are on their way to the town. In about 
a half hour they were in town, and at the girl's house they 
met the other night. JJ got out of the car and went to knock 
on the door when D-Dog said, "J, how much money do you 
have on you?" 

JJ: "About $5,600. And you?" 

D-Dog: "About $7,000. A'ight JJ, let's go in there and see 
them girls and then leave. 

JJ: "A'ight, Dog." 

When they got into the house, Sarah and Kim greeted them 
and they began getting heavy. Within about ten minutes, all 
of a sudden three boys came through the house by kicking 
down the door with a loud noise and said "GET ON THE 

JJ: "Man, screw you" 

The boys repeated, "get down!" 

D-Dog: "JJ, get down before they kill...." 

One of the boys shouted, "Y'all shut the hell up!" 

JJ and D-Dog were both thinking the same thing: Why in 
the hell didn't they bring the damn FYE and park the car 
in the yard. 
To the continued... 


From The Beat: John, we all want to see how this ends up! You write 
vividly and take us directly into the action. What are these characters 
about and what brought them here? Where are YOU within this story? 
Hopefully we'll learn more about this soon. 



Why do I have to feel so alone? 
Like walking in the rain, as a bum with no home. 
Got stress on my mind, feels like a ton on my back. 
The pressure's building slowly, I swear I'm gonna crack. 
Wishin' I wouldn't have done what I did back then. 
Now I'm trapped in this cell, till God knows when. 


From The Beat: Remek, you use a few words to paint a picture worth 
1,000. Well done. We hope you can find some support to case the 
loneliness and pressure. 

J L 

Briny Back My Dead 

If I could go back in time, knowing what I know today, 
and prevent that one death from happening -- a homeboy 
from violence - I think my life would be better. I think I 
would be on the outs. He was a special person. I would 
tell him that I love him. 


From The Beat: In simplicity, you have expressed true feelings about a 
lost friend. We can't go back in time but we can move forward knowing 
how important people we've lost are in our lives, and just how precious 
life really is. 



HEM £nr&¥ 

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If I change Htif life that would make 
mif grandma happy, and If I would 
make mif grandma happif that would 
make me happif I 

Better Days 

Better days seem so far. 

Times keep moving like miles on a car. 
As I watch days go by, I always wonder why? 
Why are these days so bad, why am I sad. 
I know if I just hold on, better days will come. 
Like when I was little, always having fun. 
Yesterdays worries are gone, that's all in the past. 
Tomorrow is a mystery that will come fast, 

today is a gift that's why it's called the present. 
Hope for better days with a blessing. 
Better days will come but it's a matter of time. 
Wait for days to change be better and shine, 
we just got to hold on. Things will get easy, 
I just got to have faith and keep on believing. 
Hope for the best expect the best, 
that's all we can do forget the rest. 
Bad days are hear but won't last. 
Soon this miserable life will be in the past. 
If we can survive today, 
tomorrow will bring happiness; 
better days will come and grant your wish. 

-Xavier, YDDC 

From The Beat: The key to what you call "Miserable life" is what you 
learn from them. Learn to better your life, so your not back where you 

The Good And Bad In Me 



I'm sitting in my cell thinking what the hell, I could be 
doing something better with my life then sitting in jail. 
Starring at these white bricks making me trip, I miss my 
familia and my Lady, shhh, I know I can do better then 
this, but when I'm on the streets I'm to stubborn to see 
that there's more to life then gang banging, and serving 
them friends. 

I'm trying to snap and see where I'm going to be in 
the next three years, but I'm facing eighteen. That's not a 
sight to see, I hope I get out. 

I would make a perfect life for me. Starting with 
making Reyna, my wife to be, and getting a good job to 
keep me free, I got people to help me when I'm in time of 
need. I know in my mind what I need to succeed, it's just 
when I'm on the streets it's a hole different me, Baby Syco 
comes out, he's got a reputation to keep. He thinks in his 
mind that he has to hurt people to survive, Baby Syco, is 
a creation from the streets. 

Jesus, that's a whole different part of me, still 
stubborn, but sweet and smarter then you think, going to 
college for criminal justice. Not that's a sight to see, yeah, 
I got to personalities. I don't care what you think, I wrote 
this for all to read, there's good in everybody even me. It 
just takes a while for you to see. 


From The Beat: It's sounds like you know exactly what you have to do; 
now the choice is yours. Do you want to be "Baby Syco" or do you want 
to be Jesus? Know, if you continue as Baby Syco, you'll remain where 
you are, or you can have the flip side, to the life you're living now. 

Sacrificing for my future 


To make my future better, I got to give up a lot of things. 
I got to give up all my old ways, my old friends, my old 
doings, my old everything. 

Lots of things have kept me from making this sacrifice, 
but now that I'm locked up nothing is, but me. I've been 
in the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center for 
a month, and none of my friends have wrote me or even 
tried to do anything to get a hold of me. The only ones 
that have are my Grandma and my parents. 

When I think of the sacrifice's that my Grandma has 
made for me, I think to myself 'why can't I make a couple 
of sacrifice's to make her happy?' She's done everything 
for me, why can't I do a little bit for her? My Grandma 
has given up a lot for me. When I had no place to go she 
welcomed me with open arms, when I got kicked out of 
school she was there too pick me up, when I came to jail 
she was the one to pick me up, when I needed money 
she gave it to me with no questions. Whenever I needed 
anything she was the one to give it to me. When I think 
about all the stuff my Grandmas done for me I think 'why 
would it be hard to change my life. If I change my life that 
would make my Grandma happy, and if I would make my 
Grandma happy that would make me happy! 

-Ian, YDDC 

From The Beat: It's sad to think of how you treated your family and the 
way you treated your friends, but when it comes down to it you have to 
learn the hard way, who your true friends and family are. 

I don't care what h oh think, I wrote 
this for all to read, there's good in 
everifhodif even me, It just takes a 
while for ifou to see, 

Chanyin' My Way's 

J L 

Changin' my way's 

Walkin' down the streets 

Sayin' I'm an ex-convict 


Gangs don't mean nothin' to me, fool 

Cause I'm keepin' my head up 


These two words 

I'm ex-convict 


Ain't goin' back 

Had put my life to pause 

Right then an there 

Had kept me from my 111' boy Jeremiah 

He name came from the bible 

He goin' to be holy 

This is no preach 

This is the life 

This is true story 

It ain't comin' from my mouth 

It comin' from my heart 

The tears comin' from my eyes 

Is no day, feelin' lonely 

In that cell havin' nobody to talk... 


From The Beat: Life's all about a choice, take your life out of "pause", and 
start living, so you can be with that "lil boy Jeremiah". Stop thinking as 
an "ex-convict" and start thinking like a mom. 


HEM £nr&¥ 

Memory lane 


Take a trip with me down memory lane, but this isn't 
a happy trip to feel my pain. See what I see and know 
why I'm me, hold my hand, close your eyes and just 

It starts at age 5. The chaos is no lie. Daddy's leaving 
in a cop car, why is mommy crying so hard. Now my pops 
is in prison. No dad around. This is when my life gets 
lost and will never be found, now fifteen moms trying her 
best. This kid who loved school and sports no one would 
have guessed. Young with no fillings gives his life to his 
hood. It seems like every things wrong, nothing all good. 

It never gets better, it only gets worse. Crying out for 
help, stuck with this curse, mom's grip is slipp'in, she 
can't hold him no more. He's full of tattoos, his mammas 
hart is tore. He's well known in the streets. Loves to carry 
his cold heat, gots it in his waist line, pulls it out in the 
drop of a dime, now he's 16 and feeds on pain, and hate. 
Seen his homie die, and used to being behind gates. Every 
day selling grams to make life good, cuz he know no one 
makes it out of the hood. December, getting faded out 
of his mind, hate mixed with being drunk. His eyes are 
blind. Pulls out his peace, lets it exploded watching that 
person stumble and fold. Now he's in jail can't get out of 
this cell, mom cries asks him why? 

2008 spent locked behind doors, wearing jump suites, 
scrubbing floors. He wants to cry but the tears never 
come, he can't face his pain so he always runs. 2009, 
he spends locked up to, all by myself no gang, no crew, 
now hell sit in this 8 by 10 letting my mind free with this 
pen. 22 months of life he'll never get back, and will never 
be the same he knows for a fact. Parole seems to never 
come, frustrated, cuz this time isn't done. So he sits back 
and waits for my day, regretting the game he used to play. 
Now you seen what I have felt, my pain, never forget my 
memory lane. 

A "Beat" wuts good? As for ya boy X just posted 
in DC. Still, now in Sandia cottage, but my times almost 
done, so I ain't trippin'. Here's some of my work enjoy. 
Peace out 

-Xavier, YDDC New Mexico 

From the Beat: It sounds like you have had one bad thing after another 
happen in your life. Now that your time is almost up, don't give up, but 
most of all don't go back to your old ways. Do your best to change for 
the better and learn from your mistakes. When you get out don't forget 
to send us updates on your life, and how you're doing in the outs. 


Sometimes I wonder what's going on in my own head. 
I think that I want to do something with my life. 
I wonder what it's going to be like ten years from now. 
I know that as a young man I am going to have to step up 
to the plate, I wonder what it would have been like 

if I did this or did that? 
I wonder what it would have been like 
if I would have gone to school every day, 
and arrived on time to class. 
I wonder what it would have been like 

if I did not get on probation and then violate my probation. 

I still wonder what it would be like to live my dreams 

and bring my homie's with me. 

I wonder, 

but I know wondering isn't going to get me any where. 

I know that I got to try and accomplish what I need to do 

in order to be where "I wonder". 

From The Beat: Now that your "wondering" is done, do as you say, 
"step up to the plate", and do what you have to do, so you can stop 

Feeling The Beat! 


I feel The Beat 

When my feet start tappin' 

But it's just a reaction 

I feel it in my hand 

When it hits the paper 

But my flows keep bustin' out on paper 

This is a girl feelin' "The Beat Within" 

With another excitement 

To The Beat! 


From The Beat: Thank you for the quick poem, it always makes us at The 
Beat feel good, knowing that were making a difference, no matter how 
small the difference may be. 

It never gets better, it only 
gets worse. Crying out for 
help, stuck with this curse, 
mom's grip is slipp'in, she 
can 't hold him no more. 

HEM £nr&¥ 


If I Had a Second Life 


If I had a second life I would want it to be better than 

my first, 

And it would be full of love and hurt. 

But in my second life would I be born from birth? 

And would I get ringworm from that same dirt? 

Or would I have spilled that juice stain on my same 


And instead of shooting that gun I should have been in 


I wonder what is a second life worth 

But if I had a second life, I would do things different 

Like staying out too late and my mother thought I was 


In this life her feet I should be kissing 

But I appreciate you all for listening 

To my second life 

But keep your first one it's worth no price. 


From The Beat: You keep blessing us with wonderful work, Paul! You ask 
some interesting questions about what a second life might look like, 
while reminding us to cherish the life we have. All while keep a strong 
rhyme and rhythm. Given that we only have one, are you ready to make 
the changes you mention for your second life in this one? 

Remaking America... 

Before I Sleep, I Pray to The Lord My 
Soul to Keep 

When I sit back in my room and pray, 

I wonder do my enemies say the things I say. 

I wonder do he listen, or put us aside. 

But at some times, I sit back and cry. 

Because all the things I have done, it's been a sin. 

But all I ever tried to do was go out and win. 

Be the best man I could be. 

But some of my family ashamed of me. 

'Cause I robbed and sold ninjas drugs 

They say I'm just being another young thug. 

All my intentions are good, 

But overlooked 'cause I'm from the hood. 

Late at night before I lay in my bed, 

I pray to God he could bring back my man Lil' Ed. 

- Sam 

From The Beat: Sam, we loved this piece. You're saying some powerful 
things through some good rhymes. How can you find new ways to show 
the people around you that your intentions are good? What are some 
ways you can "go out and win" without getting yourself in trouble? 

Pictures and Times 

Pictures remind me of old and good times. 

Sometimes I think what was I doing on that day and 


Sometimes I wonder what's going through my mind. 

I feel like a spy looking from behind. 

Trying to find out who I really am on the inside. 

I am not a person that likes to commit crimes, 

I was just around the wrong people at the wrong time. 

But I can fix all this just in the right time. 

My favorite picture is of me when I was a baby on 4th 
of July. I was 2 years of age. I was also real cute and 
handsome. A lot of my family was in the picture. 


From The Beat: You do a great job capturing the feeling of looking at a 
picture and trying to remember how things were back then — "like a spy 
looking from behind." And we love your optimism. There is plenty of 
time to change things, and show people the kind of person you really 
are. Make it happen! 

I think that the only way we can remake America is to go 
out there and work for our money. I think Obama is going to 
put the people that are in poverty in nice houses. 

First thing we have to do is change ourselves. Not mess 
up the community. We need to fight for what's ours. We need 
to help our young youth finish school and go to college. But 
also the way we grew up is to fight. 

All these people were leaders, like Martin Luther King, 
Jr., and Malcolm X. Barack Obama is going to spend the 
economy money on something positive. Like many people 
said, we thought we would never see a black president. But 
look, the work is done and there will be change. But now I'm 
about to dig deeper. 

I heard a lot of people talking about Obama being killed. 
I'm glad that no one actually tried to do something like that. 
There's one thing I wanted to see which is that Obama would 
put us in schools with his daughters. That will be another 
historical moment. I also think Barack Obama will make 
marijuana legal. I think violence is good and bad, because 
you need to protect yourself, but the bad thing is that you 
can kill and hurt people. We want to help and nurture people. 
I think that everyone should be valedictorian. I don't think 
that it is good to fire people and take their jobs from them. 

From The Beat: We love your commitment to supporting the community 
and young people in school. We'd like to know more about your thoughts 
on violence. You say it's necessary to protect yourself, but do you think 
we could ever move away from having to protect ourselves? Is this a 
possible or realistic goal? 

Cianges Made in the Ecoiumj 



In DC they are pushing the poor out of the hood as fast as 

they can. 

Is it because of the violence or the young black man? 

As the economy starts to change day by day 

They move us out of our home just to get us away 

As things get worse, I can see the difference 

All homeowners care for is the money they're getting 

It shouldn't be that way in our economy 

But everyone knows that the world revolves around money. 

From The Beat: In rhyme, you remind us of an old fact: the world 
revolves around money. You also address the changes taking place in 
neighborhoods all over the city. Are there things that can be done to 
give poor people in the city more power, so that they can't be pushed 
out so easily? We need strong voices to call attention to these issues the 
way you are, and we hope you'll keep it up. 

J L 

Picture that I Can Reminisce On 

I have two pictures that I will always remember. One is 
my baby picture because when I get older I can reminisce 
on my child life. Your child life is the best one. 

Second is my Oak Hill picture because I took a popular 
pose that everybody would remember. This is the best 
one because I can show my mom when I get home and my 
little brother. And also when I have kids I can show them 
what it was like. 

When I get home I'm going to put that picture in a 
frame on the wall of fame. All the girls are going to like 
it because of my smile and also my pose. Yeah I did send 
that picture to everybody. 

And when I publish this I'm going to send it to my 
family and when I get home I'm going to read it again. 

-Lil' Whan 

From The Beat: We're glad you share your work in The Beat with loved 
ones. What will you tell your littler brother, and others, about your time 
at Oak Hill? What other pictures do you hope to be able to share one 
day? Graduation pictures? Vacation pictures? There is so much ahead for 
you, we look forward to hearing about what other pictures await. 



wifj£iffiEr//ifj- ft/ * #/// 

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Who Really Suffers From The Choices 

So what's up, Beat Within? This your boy, Frank, coming 
at you guy's from the hall. So I wanted to let you guys up 
on some game about how my life has been since I started 
making some messed up choices for myself, and who my 
choices really affect in the long. 

So, it all starts about when I turned 11 years old. My 
grandma had passed away and she was like a second mom 
to me, and from when she had past I started messing up 
in life. Started doing drugs, getting caught up with the 
5-0, and started getting locked up and I kept telling my 
parents I'm done with my mistakes but I was not real, I 
was lying. 

Not only was I putting my mom and dad in tears and 
pain, but I couldn't see that I was just bullshhhing myself 
but I could not see it but I had to find out the hard way. 
As days went by and years, I find myself, at 16 year's 
old, now hurting more than just my parents, I'm hurting 
all my family and my baby mama, but not just them but 
myself too. 

Now I'm an alcoholic, about to be a dad, sitting in 
this unit thinking to myself, "I'm done hurting my family, 
my girl. I'm done putting myself in this place because of 
the choices I wanna make," and the reason why I know 
that I'm done making bad choices and hurting everyone 
is 'cause now I'm not only talking about it, I'm doing what 
I got to do to get my life back on track and I could tell you 
this, I'm being real. This ain't just talk. 

I'm ready to clean myself up and be a good soul and 
a good dad and ready to make the right choices that will 
make my family happy and put us in a good spot. I'm done 
with the hall, third time and last time. Trust me, you ain't 
hearing from me again. I'm out and to all, just make that 
right choice 'cause it ain't just effing you, alright Late. 

-Frank, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You're right, you have a child on the way and you can't 
afford to mess it up this time around. You're life is worth more than 
what you're making it and your child deserves a father who will be 
there. We hope that you can really step it up and make the changes you 
need, you never know when it might be too late. Keep us posted! 

Only Free With Closed Eyes 

My heart is aching, my memories are now dreams 

Every time I close my eyes, I see darkness, but still I feel 


I'm gone but haven't left; everything looks so clear 

The sky is cloudless and the light appears 

At least in this place I can escape the madness 

The sun shines bright, here I have no sadness 

I was a kid who was hurt physically and emotionally 

The pain is like a disease that will stay in me 


When I awake from sleeping, the walls close in 

Reality hit home, I lived a life filled with sin 

They say the simple plan for life is change 

Then why am I still this person who remains the same 

Years keep passing, tears begin to fall 

Held them back to hide feelings, oh too long 

I was happy once before, at least that's what I thought 

Did everything my way then... was mad and upset when 

I got caught 

-Crazy L, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is such a powerful and painful poem, CL! That pain 
you carry around like a disease may be permanent, but it doesn't have to 
weigh you down all the time. The memory of pain is not the pain itself, 
so we can understand why your own mind could be your sanctuary. To 
be honest, your words remind us of a character in a Shakespeare play. 
King Lear, who said: "I am a man/ More sinned against than sinning." 
Whatever you have done — and we don't want to minimize it — what 
was done to you as a child is the true sin. Forgive yourself. 

I Ain't Mad At You 

I ain't mad at you primo, 'cause you put it down. 
I feel you right next to me, even though you not around. 
You was a well known "g" up in Sacramento 
who covered ground, with his gold crown 
I remember the phone call when I was in the hall 
A tear fell down my cheek as I hit the wall 
Then it hit me that my cousin was long gone 
Legend to his hood, so his name forever lives on. 
I stood strong, because his life was a sad song 
Everything that ever happen to him went wrong 
I always wondered to myself how he made it through? 
He had nothing in life that he could pursue 
He held his little brother's body when the slug ripped his 

Closed his eyes with his fingers and his head he caressed 
He witnessed his step-father take his mothers last breath 
Then he used a hammer and beat his step-fathers ass to 

He did his years and got out on parole 
Moved in with my cousin and had himself a set goal 
He promised us he'll protect us with his help 
We were everything to him, he had nobody else 
He was one of a kind, the craziest fool you'd ever meet 
Stuff he did would even sometimes scare me 
Steve from Sacramento 

Bring an army, he'd bring himself and you can't compete 
I blame myself when I feel guilt creep 
But the truth is he fell victim to these bloody ruthless 

And when I sleep at night I could hear my heart beat 
echoing away 

following my cousin deep weep 
He got shot a few times and he still survived 
He said he'd never let an enemy take his life 
And he was right, 'cause that stupid vato took his own 
He said that he'd always live and die by the chrome 
He stole my homies gun and I said "the hell 
and supposedly before he died he told his lady he "loves me too". 
I never imagined my big cousin being suicidal, 
yet again held act like a bleeding brood without her midol. 
You didn't just take your life, you took a little piece of ours 
And I still lie to myself and say your floating with the stars 
I miss you fool. ..How much more can I do? 
Than lace this game with your name and pour a 40 out for 

You took a bigger bite, then you thought that you could 

But you really took a bite out of what the city fed you 
We can't blame each other, 

but we could blame the animal living in the jungle of 
California's State Capitol 
I don't know what it is? 

But I do recognize, that it hasn't ate me for the fact I'm still alive 
I've witnessed hell, through these light brown eyes 
But compared to what you seen would make an OG cry 
So I'll finish what you left and climb up that ladder. 
Take care of the family and those who really matter. 
Did you wonder what it'd look, if you seen your blood 

But it's whatever, 'cause I love you and I can't be mad at ya. 

-Jon Jon, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We're sorry for your cousin, for his loss and for the crazy 
life he had to put up with. But in this writing, it seems like you are 
going to follow his lead. Or are we wrong? Think about what happened 
to him? Killed someone, served years in prison, got shot a few times 
and ended up taking his own life. Tragic. You don't want this type of 
life for your life? Do you? Take care of what's yours and learn from this 
experience. By the way, you got a great talent as a writer. Don't throw 
that away. 


wifj£iffiEr//ifj- ft/ * #/// 

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That Lucky Leaf Clover 

What happens when it's all over 

When you plucked your last lucky clover 

You got shot and lived... that was luck 

Took it for granted, and it was pluck after pluck 

Look around, there's no more 

And you wonder why death is at your door 

Open up, you might as well 

Don't act surprised if you're sent to hell 

You earned your way, now you should stay 

Ain't no point on kissing ass to the Lord 

You were down enough to pull out the sword 

From the rock claiming your king of the block 

So take responsibility for what you've done 

Now that it's over, including the fun 

You were higher than the sky late at night 

Surprised to see the sun shine its light 

Couldn't even think straight 

Heart beating at a horse's rate 

Too dizzy so you passed out 

Should have listened to your soul shout 

You lived with nothing but luck 

And there you go, pluck after pluck 

It only took a finger, pop, pop, pop 

Disappointed because your target didn't drop 

Wrong people screaming so you ran 

Wondering why the bullet didn't stick to the plan 

You're disturbed from your nap 

By a detective talking about a murder rap 

You could have sworn so one was hit 

But they claim you're the perfect fit 

They didn't have to be as sharp as a knife 

To stick the case and put you away for life 

On your hands and knee looking for a clover 

But you forgot you were pluck after pluck 

Now your cloverleaf luck is over 

-Cisco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We had to change the number you used in your title, 
Cisco, but we have only admiration for this tragic poem that tells such 
a sad, and much too familiar, story. We've come to hate those guns 
that, in the hands of children, so easily destroy lives in an instant, 
and not just the lives of those that get hit and their families, but also 
those of the hitters and their families. Now, your world has changed, 
so it's a good thing that you arise from your hands-and-knees search 
for clover and start putting the pieces of your life back together. Even 
behind bars, human beings can rise above their circumstances. Some 
develop relationships with people on the outs that they may never 
otherwise have been exposed to; some write incredible books which 
change people's perceptions; some are able to explore their own minds 
in ways they never had the opportunity to do before. Of course, none 
of these "benefits" outweighs the loss of freedom, but we know far too 
many so-called free people who never explore anything beyond their 
very limited experiences, and who are truly imprisoned by a lack of 
imagination. Fortunately, you are not one of them! 


All day I think think about me ma family, ma girl, ma life 
ma future. Sometime thinking lead's to stress and you 
get mad. But you really cant get mad because you only 
thinking. That's like you getting mad at the truth. Feel 

But when people think sumthing about you it really 
can't hurt you because it's all in their head. Only if they 
speak it to you and it fits you then you can worry but 
other than that it shouldn't matter. 

Me I don't care what people think bout me because 
I'm me feel me, but this young Nuttso I'm gone. 

-Young Nuttso, Alameda 

From The Beat: We agree it really doesn't do much good to worry about 
what other people think about you, unless you have a good chance to 
set it straight. What makes you mad when you think about your life? 

One Day in Our Shoes 

If the PO, DA or judge could live in the conditions we 
do they would realize that this is not a "rehabilitation 
process" as they like to call it. Have them spend around 
16 hours in their room, eat when people tell you to, wake 
up to ice water showers, and not have people listen to 
what you have to say. 

People don't care about what you've done or what 
you're trying to do. None of that matters to them. They 
don't care about our futures because they think we're 
all going to be failures. And that's the purpose of jail, to 
oppress (hold people down) and not let us up. 

-Ballard, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We've come to expect your deeply analytical thinking 
that lets you get under the surface of things. Jail has many purposes, 
but oppression is certainly one of them. (Another is job security for 
thousands of people.) But if keeping you down is what they're about, 
then it seems to us that true revenge is beating this system, getting 
out and educating yourself so that you can expose some of the worst 
abuses, and live your own life while doing it! 

One Love, One Life, One Struyyle 

Days passed and I'm still incarcerated. No release date 

Court dates continue to pop up; continuing to mark each 


That slowly passes by 

Start losing pages on the calendar; stressing on how 

months fly 

I just want on answer from the Father up high, 

"Why hasn't the judge sentenced me for my case?" 

I created all this dead time 

I'm slowly losing my mind 

I don't think I could take it 

I always think about letting go but I know I'll regain it I 

It's like a game between life and death 

I'm slowly trying to live my life without going through 


By being incarcerated, but it's the evil ways inside of me 

I love them, plus the game play all day every day 

Engraved in my veins 

But when you see Peanutt going insane 

Don't trip, I'm just letting out the rage 

That be carried throughout the hardest days of the life I 


So please, Lord, when I go to court I would like to see a 


When the judge is eying me I start sweating and 


Thinking what the heck is going to happen to me 

Am I going to get out, get sentenced, or get another court 

date thrown at me 

Well Beat, that's something little for you, but you know 

I always got more. But I would like to say I'm going to 

probably serve three years in CYA. I hope everything is 

OK when I get out. I hope my wife holds our love down 

(Elissa) and keeps it 100% real. Also, it's always and 

forever Precious. Stay solid straight up 100 rounds you 

feel me my love. 

- Peanutt, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We hope you don't mind that we typed your piece up 
as a poem (and separated it into two different pieces). It just sounded 
like that to us. Waiting can be the hardest part of this process since you 
have absolutely no control over moving it forward, but simply have to 
wait for things to happen. We're not worried that you'll really go crazy, 
Peanutt, because you've got too much going on for that to happen. 
Three years is long, but not so long that you can't start planning for 
the life you (and Precious) want to live when this is all behind you. The 
only advice we can give is to avoid the provocations to fight inside the 
Y; that's just a trap to add more time. 


wifj£iffiEr//ifj- ft/ * #/// 

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Rich To Poor Or Poor To Rich 

Poverty! Being poor has its ups and downs. See, as I 
was growing up, money was a huge factor. My mom drove 
us around to stores that accepted food stamps, and we 
would go in with one dollar in food stamp money and buy 
a ten-cent candy. The cashier has to give us change in 
currency, so that's mainly how we got our money. It was 
hard, don't get me wrong. 

If any judge, PO or DA ever went through my situation, 
they would understand out struggles that poor people 
had to go through. I bet they were born into rich families 
and are stuck up. 

Also, like I said, being poor has its ups, too. Being poor 
brings your family closer than ever, and you learn to stick 
together. I believe if you put a PO in my position, then it 
would open up his/her eyes to all the crossroads we have 
to face. They would learn that being incarcerated is not 
so good and it would make them put all their efforts into 
putting us youngsters into rehabilitation programs. Also, 
my mom told me money is not everything. It won't make 
you happy, and if it does, then you're an unthoughtful 
person. She says money is for survival, and without it, 
our family has no structure and we would eventually live 
on the streets. 

So, to all the people that strive to get money, pursue 
on what talents you have to offer to society. So, do you 
think money is everything? It's not... 

-Chango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We love the advantages you list for not having money 
because they are worth so much more. We also think people with power 
would learn to use it more wisely if they had to experience that their 
decisions meant. At the same time, it might also work in the other 
direction. You might learn, if you got to be in their shoes, that not all 
were born into it, and that some people had to make major sacrifices in 
their lives to get what they have. Not everyone, but some. 

An Innocent Child Made Wile 

A creature that runs free and wild, 

It's beautiful in the eyes of nature 

And in Mother Earth's eyes beguiled 

Astoundingly magnificent, but unaware of its danger 

Blinded by freedom, it maintains an oblivious demeanor 

Protected by Mother Earth and secretly cast out by 


The creature wanders unknowing like a dreamer 

In an instant his world is jarred and gone are his skies 

Looked upon by society as a savage 

But in his mind run thoughts of an innocent child 

Society frightened by the rumors, cast him out like 

burdens and baggage 

They put him in a cage and his mind runs wild 

His mind pumps furiously as he wonders why 

He grows numb as he mills with the previously captured 

His mind no longer innocent, his eyes refuse to cry 

As time slowly flows, freedom is no longer reassured 

The creature feeling no longer magnificent and free 

But society has him feeling like an outcast 

Once released he goes to the life society said he would lead 

He throws away his innocence and says good-bye to the past 

A creature no longer free but definitely wild. 

-Cisco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: For a wild creature, you have a remarkable ability to 
tame your words, to make just a few of them count for so much. Don't 
surrender to what "society" predicted for you, Cisco! Look deeply within 
yourself, and you will find, still, that beautiful child, wanting to love 
and be loved. Sometimes, feeling numb is necessary self-protection, but 
numb is not the same as gone. You are still there, even though your 
innocence has been badly bruised. But even injured, you are full of life 
and hope. Saying good-bye to the past is one thing, but someone with 
your gifts must never say good-bye to the future! 

From Past To Present 

Sure, you could say I knew it was a bad idea, 

that years would be taken 

and leave a dent in my soul. 

Tears of disbelief ran down my mother's face 

as I stood in silence, 

listening to that voice, 

a language that felt foreign, 

telling my story. 

It's been three years now. 

I think I have another chance 

to change the question: 

Is she a fool? 


What would you like? 

My fear has turned to trust 

as I breath in and face the rest. 

-L, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: This is a fine poem. And we like the language you're 
speaking here. Good work L. 

"Yes I Can' 

What I would like to say to the new president is, I am glad that 
you became president because I believe that you're going to 
make a big difference in our life. 

With the war, 1 know you'll try to stop it and I love that you 
don't start judging people, you help people. Thank you for saying 
No against Prop 8 because I believe that everybody should be 
treated equally and fair because they are people just like us, 
there's no difference. So I think that's a good thing that you 

When I found out that you became president I started crying 
because you're going to make such a big difference. Financial 
problems, health care, and jobs are the main things that people 
need help with, especially me because with my financial problems 
I am having trouble. 

My dad's on disability and we don't have money; we barely 
have money for the rent, food, and electricity. I wish we could 
have more this Christmas. I didn't get anything for Christmas 
'cause we didn't have no money but I didn't care. It just hurt me 
that my little sister and brother didn't get a Christmas gift, they 
only got a card with candy and they were happy but I started to 
cry for them because it hurts seeing my little brother and sister 
without nothing under the tree. 

The same thing with health care. My dad's really sick right 
now, he has diabetes and liver problems but my parents don't 
have health care no more. My dad's been in the hospital more 
then five times because he's really sick 'cause his liver. The 
doctor told him that it's going to take up to five years to get a 
new liver. I wish that I could just take my liver out and give it to 
him so he could be okay again but sometimes its not that easy. 
He's getting sicker each day and I can't see that no more. 

But I know you're going to start changing things, I am really 
counting on you because you change so much. Obama, what was 
so inspirational about you, you said in one of your speeches "yes 
we can." That's powerful because you can make a difference, so 
can I. "Yes I can" make a difference in my life and get out of here 
and go to school and graduate high school. "Yes I can" go to 
college and study to be a doctor and do good with my life. "Yes I 
can make a difference" a difference but there's a problem. 

My parents don't really have enough money for college, I 
wish they did, but no matter what I will succeed on going to 
college. I promise you, Barack Obama, that I will accomplish on 
my dream the same way you did. Thank you so much for making 
a change in my life. 

-Alicia, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: You are going through such a hard time, with your dad 
being sick and with all of the financial difficulties you're going through. 
How do you feel about being away from your family knowing that your 
dad is sick? We know that you must be a valuable source of comfort to 
your father and we hope that once you get out you stay out, to help 
your dad and to be a better role model to your brother and sis. Great 
heartfelt writing! 


wifj£iffiEr//ifj- ft/ * #/// 

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I Ain't Mad At You 

I ain't mad at you primo, 'cause you put it down. 

I feel you right next to me, even though you not around. 

You was a well known "g" up in Sacramento 

who covered ground, with his gold crown 

I remember the phone call when I was in the hall 

A tear fell down my cheek as I hit the wall 

Then it hit me that my cousin was long gone 

Legend to his hood, so his name forever lives on. 

I stood strong, because his life was a sad song 

Everything that ever happen to him went wrong 

I always wondered to myself how he made it through? 

He had nothing in life that he could pursue 

He held his little brother's body when the slug ripped his 


Closed his eyes with his fingers and his head he caressed 

He witnessed his step-father take his mothers last breath 

Then he used a hammer and beat his step-fathers ass to 


He did his years and got out on parole 

Moved in with my cousin and had himself a set goal 

He promised us he'll protect us with his help 

We were everything to him, he had nobody else 

He was one of a kind, the craziest fool you'd ever meet 

Stuff he did would even sometimes scare me 

Steve from Sacramento 

Bring an army, he'd bring himself and you can't compete 

I blame myself when I feel guilt creep 

But the truth is he fell victim to these bloody ruthless 


And when I sleep at night I could hear my heart beat echoing 


following my cousin deep weep 

He got shot a few times and he still survived 

He said he'd never let an enemy take his life 

And he was right, 'cause that stupid vato took his own 

He said that he'd always live and die by the chrome 

He stole my homies gun and I said "the hell 

and supposedly before he died he told his lady he "loves 

me too". 

I never imagined my big cousin being suicidal, 

yet again held act like a bleeding brood without her midol. 

You didn't just take your life, you took a little piece of 


And I still lie to myself and say your floating with the 


I miss you fool. ..How much more can I do? 

Than lace this game with your name and pour a 40 out for 


You took a bigger bite, then you thought that you could 


But you really took a bite out of what the city fed you 

We can't blame each other, 

but we could blame the animal living in the jungle of 

California's State Capitol 

I don't know what it is? 

But I do recognize, that it hasn't ate me for the fact I'm 

still alive 

I've witnessed hell, through these light brown eyes 

But compared to what you seen would make an OG cry 

So I'll finish what you left and climb up that ladder. 

Take care of the family and those who really matter. 

Did you wonder what it'd look, if you seen your blood 


But it's whatever, 'cause I love you and I can't be mad at 


-Jon Jon, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We're sorry for your cousin, for his loss and for the crazy 
life he had to put up with. But in this writing, it seems like you are going 
to follow his lead. Or are we wrong? Think about what happened to him? 
Killed someone, served years in prison, got shot a few times and ended up 
taking his own life. Tragic. You don't want this type of life for your life? 
Do you? Take care of what's yours and learn from this experience. By the 
way, you got a great talent as a writer. Don't throw that away. 

Just Because 

Prostitutes, go-gettsa, hustlas, and drug dealers 
Robbers, thugs, gangsters, and killas 
To me it's a daily to see these types of people 
And the game has a special hold as my soul keepa 
Here's the thing people mess up 

Just cuz I'm white don't mean my house aint been shot 

Just because I have no scars don't mean I haven't been 
in a war 

And just because I don't cry openly doesn't mean I'm not 

Just because I aint been shot don't mean I aint been shot 

And just because I smoke don't mean I smoke crack 
Just because my parents got money don't mean I haven't 
lived on the streets 

And even though I'm a hustla I have tear stains on my 

You wouldn't believe my story, even if I told you 
You can tell from my writing that this shhh is true 
Just open your eyes from racism and see 
That just because I'm white doesn't make me one thing 

-Walnut, Solano 

From The Beat: You understand the frustration of being stereotyped. 
Writing is often a great way to authentically express who you are, in 
part because it goes beyond immediate appearances. 

In My Fresh J's 

If you took a walk in my shoes 

You'd see money 

You'd see females 

You'd see the good and the bad side of life 

When it comes to bad 

You see my family dying 

People getting shot and killed 

People getting robbed 

You see poor 

You see people addicted to drugs 

You see pain, suffering, guilt 

And loneliness 

Oh yeah, and depression 

When it comes to good 

You see love 


You see little children playing 

You see happiness 

You see friendships 

And you see loving family members 

If you take a walk in my shoes 

This is what you see 

-Chubbs, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a great piece, thanks for sharing. You really give 
the readers a sense of where you come from and what your life is like, 
both the bad and the good. Keep up the writing! 


WMiffiisMmfM ft/ * #/// 

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Como Nos Volvemos Violentos 

Hola amigos y amigas. Pues aqui les Saluda Luis. 
Respondiendo a la pregunta sobre como los jovenes se 
vuelven violentos. 

Bueno, desde mi punto de vista, yo digo que se vuelven 
violentos cuando se meten en pandillas. Quiza porque lleban 
el nombre de un barrio y por defenderlo se pelian. Por el 
honor a ese barrio, terminan peliandose hasta matandose. 

Yo si era violento tiempos atras cuando empece a 
juntarme con pandilleros antes de llegar a este pais cuando 
vivia en el DF, Mexico. Ahi empece a meterme en pandillas. 
Me peliaba constantemente con otros pandilleros segiin 
porque eran mis enemigos y no eran de mi barrio. 

En Mexico tube una vida violenta. Despues me vine a este 
pais, anduve en pandillas por medio ano, pero todo cambio 
cuando conoci a una novia. Ella me conocio pandillero, pero 
ella le dio a mi vida un jiro total. Me enseno que la vida es 
linda. Me enseno que la vida solo es una, me enseno la palabra 
"amor." Aconsejandome me dijo que tomara otro rumbo en 
mi vida y que no fuera aquel pandillero del tiempo pasado 
porque sino algiin dia mi padres me iban a estar visitando 
en la carcel o llebarme flores a un funera. Me dijo que a ese 
punto seria un gran dolor para ellos. 

Ahora miren donde estoy aqui encerrado en la juvenile. 
i,Y por que estoy aqui? Simplemente por un robo que hice 
en Diciembre del ano pasado. Mi vida nuevamente cambio 
cuando empece a juntarme con un primo. Me dijo que 
fueramos a robar. 

From The Beat: Se nota que tu vida ha sido ntuy dificil. Gracias a tu 
novia pudistes ver la realidad de la vida, pero cometistes un error mas. 
Lo principal es que ahora tienes un conocimiento que puedes usar 
para tus siguientes pasos de la vida. Mantente alejado de las malas 
influencias que te lleben al mismo camino de antes. Si tu novia te dijo 
que no eres la persona de antes es porque ella debio haberlo visto en ti. 
No pretendas ser la persona que no eres. No te niegues la oportunidad 
de ser una persona diferente. Ella es una Buena influencia en tu vida. 
Quedate ahi y no andes con tu primo u otro homie. 

How We Become Violent 

Hi my friends. Well, this is Luis responding back to the 
question about how young people become violent. 

Well, from my point of view, I say that they become 
violent when they get into gangs. Maybe because they claim 
the name of a 'hood and for defending it. For the honor of 
their gangs, they end up fighting until they kill themselves. 

I was violent back in the days when I started hanging 
around a gang, before I came to this country in DF, Mexico. 
There I started messing with a gang. I would fight constantly 
with other gang members just for the simple fact that they 
were my enemies and were not from my 'hood. 

In Mexico I lived a violent life. Later, I came to this country, 
joined a gang for a year and a half, but my life changed when 
I met my girlfriend. She met me as a gangster, but turned my 
life around totally. She taught me that life is beautiful. She 
taught me that life is only one, and taught me the meaning of 
the word "love." By giving me advice, she told me to change 
my path of life and to stop being the gangster I used to be 
because if not one day my parents were going to visit me in 
jail or bring me roses to my funeral. She told me that once I 
ended up to this point, it was going to create a big pain their 

Now, look at where I am, locked up in juvenile hall. And 

why am I here? Well, for a robbery. My life changed totally 

again when I started hanging with my cousin. He asked me 

to go rob. 

-Luis, Fresno 
From The Beat: It's obvious how hard your life has been. Thanhs to your 
girlfriend, you got to see the reality of life. But you committed another 
mistake. The good things about all this are that you now have the 
knowledge that you can use for your next steps in life. Keep yourself 
away from bad influences that can lead you to past road. Don't deny the 
chance to be a different person from yourself. She is a good influence in 
your life. Stick with her and not with your cousin or other homie. 

Sacrificing For My Future 

What I think I have to change about my life to make my 
future better is everything I was doing before I got locked 
up. I was doing everything that I wasn't supposed to be 
doing. I wasn't going to school, I was running with my 
ninjas, smoking, sippin' on some drank, goin' to parties, 
gettin' with so many females I could've been mistaken for 
a pimp. I have a mouthpiece for females. That's how it is 
with the men in my family. 

There are so many things that I've done wrong in my 
life, and when I get out, I'm going to change for the better. 
I've decided to stop doing drugs and running the streets 
so I can focus on my schoolwork, which I really want 
to do so I can have a chance at getting my diploma. I've 
become more dedicated to my schoolwork in these past 
few months. I took my exit exam, and I think that I did a 
good enough job to pass. I tried my best. 

I really want to get my diploma because it would open 
so many doors for my future, which I'm going to sacrifice 
a lot to make sure it will be a good one. 

-Donald, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Even though your plan seems simple, it is profound. 
And if you follow what you've laid out here, we truly believe that the 
sacrifices you make today will pay you back a hundred times tomorrow. 
Congratulation on doing well on your exit exam, and frame that diploma 
when you get it so it can go on the wall right next to the college degree 
you'll earn afterwards... 

Fulfilling Her Dream 

Wow! You know I've never really sat down and thought 
about what I would sacrifice for my future! I mean yeah I 
can name off some things like sacrificing my drug habit, 
how I spend my time, yeah those are easy to sacrifice, 
but I don't think I could make the sacrifice that my mom 

Gosh I admire her so much, she had to quit school 
and she had to stop going out and partying with her 
friends, just to have me. Those parties turned into jobs 
and her dream of being a nurse faded away. Dang! 

Now she had to take care of me and her life revolved 
around that. But now that I'm older she fulfilling her 
dream, she now a registered nurse R.N. Working a good 
job with not as much money worries, yeah she struggles 
sometimes, but not as much as she did back then. 

I really don't think I could do what my mom did, but I 
guess that's why she's my mom and I love her! Moms rock 
socks! Lol! Well I'm out! 

-Lil' Skittles, Solano 

From The Beat: It sounds like your Mom re-organized her priorities 
when you were young, and it's cool she was able to return to school and 
achieve her dream. We hope it helps you to understand her — to know 
and appreciate this part of her life. 



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

'//// // 

Changing My Womanizing Ways 

To change my future for the better and make things easier 
for myself I think I need to change my womanizing ways 
and stop being involved with so many women at one time. 
It gets kind of difficult to juggle all those women. Then 
they start complaining about how they feel neglected and 
I don't spend enough time with them. I wear myself thin 
trying to keep them all happy. And when feelings start 
to develop, that just complicates things even more. What 
can I say, I don't want to be a player no more. 

-B, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is an important piece, B. Your current situation 
sounds stressful for you, and also for the women involved. It also sounds 
very time consuming. Ideally, what kind of relationship would you like 
to have? And what are the challenges you see yourself facing? 

What Goes Around Conies Around 

What's crackin'? This is Jon Jon placing some words 
in your face about my perspective of luck. Some believe 
it's a false superstition. Others think it's the reason stuff 
happens to them. 

Me, I like using the superstition of luck. But the truth 
is it's a law of attraction. You pull positively or negativity 
into your surroundings, like a magnet, except you don't 
attract the opposite. 

When you going around acting a fool and messing 
shhh up, a boomerang of what you consider bad luck will 
hit you from behind. When you doing cool and doing good 
things, good things will happen. 

What goes around, comes around, but hit harder. I 
have a homebody named Mac. He always has cool shhh 
going good for him. All the homies consider him hella 
lucky. We even started calling him clover because he 
attracts luck, like a four leaf clover but really he just 
cool and laid back. He just handles situations when they 
comes his way or when we bring them his way. 

Me and my canal are now unlucky. It always seems 
like messed up shhh always happens to us. But in reality, 
we be messing shhh up for ourselves. Yeah, we'll go 
out looking for trouble and getaway. But trouble always 
comes back looking for us to catch us on the rebound. 

-Jon Jon, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It's like you said, if you're handling things right, good 
things will come your way, but if it not, then your current situation is 
the result of your actions. What would change the way your destiny is 
going? You should try to do things right and see what can come out of 
it. Give it a shot. Your life situation can change from bad to good. 

A dp Male Me Realize 

I'm going to write about me. I'm locked up because I 
wanted to start funk with an undercover. 

I thought he wanted problems 'cause he was hella 
staring at us. So we went up to him and asked him where 
he was from. He said nowhere and said to leave the school 
before he knocks me out. 

I got mad so I started walking up to him to hit him and 
he pulled out a gun telling me to get on the ground. I was 
talking smack to him so he slammed me to the wall. 

He took me to the place where they take your 
fingerprints and talked to me about why I got "*#@& 
love" on my wrist. He thought I got it because some girl 
broke my heart. I told him," No, me and my girl are doing 
fine. It's about something else." So he started talking and 
asking me questions and he actually made sense. 

A cop was making me realize what I got and what I'm 
doing to my mom and my girlfriend by being in here. I'm 
gonna try to change for them. It's gonna be hard but I'm 
gonna do it because I love them both. 

-Daniel, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You lucked out, you should feel lucky. You didn't die that 
night but what if you come across someone mean mugging again? You 
might not be so lucky then. Don't take this close call to the head and 
just chalk it up to luck 'cause luck won't always be there to pull you out 
of another sticky situation. 

lust don't sacrifice your life for 
the negative stuff in life, Mif 
whole family is a screw up, hut 
that doesn't mean I have to he 
one too. 1 


Sacrificing is a very hard thing to do. In my opinion, 
is extremely hard. I've been incarcerated my whole life, 
mostly,- and all I've heard is people talking lots of shhh 
and tons of peer pressure. 

Me, being a ward of the state and all my life and I 
personally sometimes want to blame the government for 
my failures even though I know it's my own fault. I was 
put in places where others did drugs, fought and were 
active gang members. I was raised around that stuff and 
then people expect me not to except it as a way of life. 

I think it was their error in putting me in those 
environments, but I am also aware that I am 100% 
responsible for my actions that is something that they 
have had no control over. My point to all this is that 
just take responsibility for your actions. I learned that 
if someone wants to talk their mouth off then let them, 
especially if you know you can beat their ass. 

Drugs be above the influence of others. Just don't 
sacrifice your life for the negative stuff in life. My whole 
family is a screw up, but that doesn't mean I have to be 
one too. Just think about it. 

-Mike, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Wherever you go, you will witness the same type of 
environment. But whether you get hooked or not, it's your choice and 
mistake, like you've said. We understand that growing in an environment 
full of negativity guided you to be the person you are, but what about 
now? You're an adult. You have hands, legs, and a brain to do anything 
you want in life. Now let's turn the page over, what do you think can 
make your life and choices easier? 




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

v/// // 

Lucky Or Unlucky 


I feel like right now I'm unlucky. But to me, you make 
your own luck by the way you carry yourself. People treat 
you accordingly. I know I'm in here because of my own 
actions, but I know when I get out I'ma go back to my 
lucky ways, 

I've got a master plan that will keep me out of here, 
and luck has nothing to do with it. Every time something 
goes wrong, people say they're just not lucky. But they 
don't notice that it might be their mistakes that brought 
the bad luck. 

I've learned to use my luck, good or bad. 

-Nothing But Time, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Having a plan for success puts the luck in lucky. We 
agree that most "luck" or "unluclc" is the result of the choices we make, 
so if being here has caused you to plan to make different choices, then 
you should be able to put this unhappy experience behind you and 
move forward in freedom. 

In The Halls 

Man, I been up in here for thee months now... OMFG! I 
am so ready to get out of here. I was sittin' in my room 
lookin out the window the other day just wishing... 
wishing I was out, feeling the business of the streets of 
San Francisco. I hate being in here. It's not the place for 
me. This shhh is draining me. Making me lazy. 

I know The Beat is gone ask me, "What are you going 
to do to change? How will you stay out of here?" Well, I'm 
tired of hearing those questions. The questions I wanna 
hear are: How'd you survive? Can I have your autograph? 
Did you learn from your mistakes? 

All I'm sayin is I just need to get out and finish doing 
my music thing! Go back to the studio and make music. 
That's what I'm missing being in the "Halls." 

-Dow Jones, San Francisco 

From The Beat: How'd you survive? Can we have your autograph? Did 
you learn from your mistakes? 

Will Goes Ariunl Games Around 


What's crackin'? This is Jon Jon placing some words 
in your face about my perspective of luck. Some believe 
it's a false superstition. Others think it's the reason stuff 
happens to them. 

Me, I like using the superstition of luck. But the truth 
is it's a law of attraction. You pull positively or negativity 
into your surroundings, like a magnet, except you don't 
attract the opposite. 

When you going around acting a fool and messing 
shhh up, a boomerang of what you consider bad luck will 
hit you from behind. When you doing cool and doing good 
things, good things will happen. 

What goes around, comes around, but hit harder. I 
have a homebody named Mac. He always has cool shhh 
going good for him. All the homies consider him hella 
lucky. We even started calling him clover because he 
attracts luck, like a four leaf clover but really he just 
cool and laid back. He just handles situations when they 
comes his way or when we bring them his way. 

Me and my canal are now unlucky. It always seems 
like messed up shhh always happens to us. But in reality, 
we be messing shhh up for ourselves. Yeah, we'll go 
out looking for trouble and getaway. But trouble always 
comes back looking for us to catch us on the rebound. 

-Jon Jon, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It's like you said, if you're handling things right, good 
thing will come your way, but it not, then your current situation is 
the result of your actions. What would change the way your destiny is 
going? You should try to do things right and see what can come out of 
it. Give it a shot. Your life situation can change from bad to good. 

J L 


Wkit I Heel 

My future is to be a staff at Juvenile Hall. 
I have to give up a lot of things like my friends. 
Also I have to give up the place I live and go to a good 

I have to give up a lot in this world 
but it's a sacrifice that I need to succeed in life. 
I'm going to do this for me and my family, 
the people that I love and need in this world. 
What I need is what I'm going to achieve. 

-Lil' Joker, Alameda 

From The Beat: It can be really empowering to know that what you 
need is something you can control. You know how to get to where you 
want to be, you just have to turn that plan into action. Take that first 
step now, keep up school, so you'll be able to reach that goal. 



Sacrificing is a very hard thing to do. In my opinion, 
is extremely hard. I've been incarcerated my whole life, 
mostly,- and all I've heard is people talking lots of shhh 
and tons of peer pressure. 

Me, being a ward of the state and all my life and I 
personally sometimes want to blame the government for 
my failures even though I know it's my own fault. I was 
put in places where others did drugs, fought and were 
active gang members. I was raised around that stuff and 
then people expect me not to except it as a way of life. 

I think it was their error in putting me in those 
environments, but I am also aware that I am 100% 
responsible for my actions that is something that they 
have had no control over. My point to all this is that 
just take responsibility for your actions. I learned that 
if someone wants to talk their mouth off then let them, 
especially if you know you can beat their ass. 

Drugs be above the influence of others. Just don't 
sacrifice your life for the negative stuff in life. My whole 
family is a screw up, but that doesn't mean I have to be 
one too. Just think about it. 

-Mike, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Wherever you go, you will witness the same type of 
environment. But whether you get hooked or not, it's your choice and 
mistake, like you've said. We understand that growing in an environment 
full of negativity guided you to be the person you are, but what about 
now? You're an adult. You have hands, legs, and a brain to do anything 
you want in life. Now let's turn the page over, what do you think can 
make your life and choices easier? 




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

'//// // 

The Struggle 

I think the rich wouldn't be able to survive in the shoes 
of the poor. They wouldn't know about how the poor 
struggle because they haven't experienced it. They're 
used to havin dough in their pockets. 

If they lived the life of a poor man for one day they 
wouldn't be able to take it and they would be ready to 
return to their old life. If a judge spent a week in jail they 
probably would stop sentencing young people to jail for 
so long for misdemeanors and violations. 

My family doesn't really know about living poor. I grew 
up in a family of middle class, my auntie has a decent 
job. I may not have everything I want but she provides 
everything I need. 

If there is something I want Ima get on my money 
game and cop that D-game, connive, or work to get it but I 
will get it! But I don't really know how it feels to struggle. 
Aight I'm gonc.T's up. 

-Juice, Solano 

From The Beat: We wish there was a way for people to really understand 
how others live. Maybe it would be easier to make changes in our 
communities if we did. We're glad you're motivated to work for what 
you want! 



Street game, street fame. What's it all about? Nothin' but 
incarceration or six feet under. The thrill is breathtaking, 
but isn't worth it. I know and everybody else who is doing 
hard time knows it. It ain't worth a family member's life or 
your own. I mean who will die for you? Or who will take a 
sentence of a year or more for you? You're not even going 
to take the rap for anybody. 

Some people do take the rap for their so- called 
homies, not knowing that the person they took the rap 
for is out there messing with their mind and emotions. 
Just know that your only friends is your family. So to 
the wise, think of your family and yourself before you do 
something stupid and get put behind bars. Much love to 
the homies. Late. 

-Saetern, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It sounds so obvious, so simple, but obviously it's neither 
since it often takes the harsh consequence to motivate the thinking 
you're asking everyone to do. But if your words can save even one 
person from having to experience what you're experiencing, that will 
be a great accomplishment. 


Right now I consider myself unlucky, every time I get 
back on my feet I do some thing wrong. It's because of 
my decisions I make at times like I was post to go home 
yesterday, but the week before that I wrote something and 
they said it was "gang related." Every time I do something 
it always has to do with that. So to every body think twice 
before you do some thing. 

Every time you don't think you will get in trouble you 
probably will. When my PO finds out what happen this 
week I hope he won't send me to Fouts or back to the 
hall. Hope he gives me a break. I'm post to get out soon, 
in March been here for about 9 months. 

I pray it all goes well for me. I don't talk to much 
people cause I'm going crazy think about snap'n-may 
snap on you for the simple reason why? That's why I stick 
to myself. Unlucky. 

-Think'n bout Snap'n, Solano 

From The Beat: We know who you are and have carefully edited your 
pieces for the Beat every week. That piece last week was evaluated 
before we could edit. This is your last opportunity to give yourself a 
chance to consider a different life before you are released. You do not 
need to change your being, your self — but you need to change your 
actions if you want to have a life! We wish you luck. 

J L 



Man I'm not into luck but I do believe in karma, karma 
hit me so many times I'm tired of doing wrong, so all I 
think about is what's going to happen if I do this or that. 
I believe in karma so much that I help others for it can 
come back when ever I'm in need. 

For example, I was going to the store and there was 
a guy asking for money, he asked for a dollar and I gave 
him five, then a couple days later I walked into a store 
and I was hungry. I just went to use the bathroom, I found 
twenty dollars sitting on the ground, I was happy, that 
brighten my whole day. 

But karma isn't always good because it hurts you 
down forever. I remember I was going to a school with a 
lot of trouble makers, and I wasn't thinking, me and my 
friends went to take somebody stuff. Then two years later 
I wasn't thinking of doing nothing illegal and I was going 
to my uncle house and these other gang members saw me 
walking, it was close to mid-night, and they ran up on me 
with a gun. I didn't know what to do. They took my money 
and everything, but I thank God I wasn't shot-so that was 
karma too. 

-Cutthroat Ray, Solano 

From The Beat: We think it all matters, and that what you think about 
the world, and what you put out into the world is what you will believe 
about the world and what you will get back. 

One Person, Many People 

Money can buy the world if you have enough of it but 

money doesn't necessarily bring you happiness, 

Out in the streets, I made innocent people become 

victims. Inside I'm hurting going through personal 


I stay quiet on how I really feel, but deep down I want 

somebody to listen. 

At night I look at these walls that grabbed me. My 

heart's aching from all the broken promises, 

They say for you to love and you will be loved, but that's 

just to get you to believe in something. 

Once you open your heart and it's crushed, it seems 

you'll never get back that same feeling. 

Why even try to find the one when all the ones before 

were deceitful. 

Trying now to have fun, but a big portion of me is missing. 

Why is life so hard, and how come "why" is always the 

question no one can always answer. 

You can take it step-by-step and still come to the same 


Guessing won't help, and trying to find it will just lead 

you to get lost in a sea of letters. 

Where did it begin and when will it all end? I'm so tired 

of living in this illusion. 

Voices talking, but none directly to me. My mind says 

otherwise; now I'm gone into heavy thinking. 

I talk back and hear no reply. No one knows what I'm saying. 

I speak English, but in a different sense where every 

time I fall into my own conversations. 

Only a few can keep up, but really it's only one with 

many shadows. 

-Crazy L, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: In a way, we are all many people at different times. 
But what we find so interesting about this piece is that you make it 
sound like the various people you find within yourself carry on their 
own conversations with each other. How does that work? Do you hear 
different voices? Do your conversations lead you anywhere? What is 
the illusion you're so tired of living? Are there steps that you can take 
(or any of your many shadows can take) to make life less difficult, to 
give you a sense that the future will be easier than the past? We hope 
that you haven't given up on love, even if your heart has been crushed, 
because nobody knows what — or who — is around the next corner. 




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

'//// // 


Right now all that's important to me is my friends, girls, 
and getting high, yacked out, and drinkin. I steal, lie, 
cheat and hurt people who don't have a fightin chance. 
I hang wit the friends and we always lookin for a way to 
get into trouble. 

But I'm gonna have to change all of that so I can join 
the Marine Corps and I'll be forced to sacrifice all that 
because in the corps they drug test you, and your girls 
probley gonna warm up to someone else. 

You can't workout 22 hours a day if you drink every 
night, and you can't keep skippin school or you'll probley 
blow yourself up~heck you can't even get into the corps 
without a high school diploma. 

And for some reason I don't have a problem given any 
of that stuff up. 

-Ace, Solano 

From The Beat: Interesting that you say you don't have a problem giving 
up the things that you started out saying were all that's important to 
you. So why are you willing to sacrifice them for the Marine Corps? Or 
is it for you, and your future? 

Sacrificing For My Future 

First off, I know I gots to give up my "associates." The 
reason being is because your "associates" are going to 
bring you down no matter what! Ain't nothing holding me 
back from this sacrifice. It's already in full effect! 

I'm making three types of sacrifices so I could be with 
my son at all times, instead of being up in JJC. OR 850! 
Jail ain't got nothing but violence and homosexuality. I 
ain't involved in neither one! Peace! 

-Nicoya, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You wrote that you're making "three types of sacrifices," 
but you only give us one example. What are the other two sacrifices you 
are making? We hope you get out of here and back with your son soon, 
because that's where you belong and that's where you want to be. 

Happy Valentine's Day, My Love 


Happy Valentines Day, love, to the fullest. No girl will 
take me from you, so I hope I get the same in return. It's 
one love, one life, one struggle, so we will get through 
this. Stay strong. 

Also Beat, I been going on OT, so that's been helping 
me get through these days. Hopefully I get sentenced 
fast so I could start my time and be out once again living 
that life I always dreamed of having with a mother who's 
always there for me, my sweet sisters and nephews right 
along with my niece. 

No one's perfect, but I have realized a lot. I want a lot 
in life, but I'm the one that gots to be a success to get 
it — from getting married to my wife Elissa aka Precious, 
to graduating from college — live the life I always been 
running from. Well, I should say I got halfway robbed 
from it. 

So Beat, stay up. Plus to the homeboys, do what you 
got to do and keep your head up high. Don't look back. 
To my primo Eagle, stay focused on the day you wake up 
to be strong. Well, time to cut it, but to all, keep a good 
mind frame on your shoulders. Gone. One love, one life, 
one struggle. 

-Peanutt, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We think the life you want — to be a man with a loving 
family, a decent job, an education — has been more than halfway robbed 
from you. You may have been running from it, but until you were able 
to think like an adult, you didn't know what you were running from. 
Now you're running toward something good , and we know you will get 
there. In the meantime, we hope you don't forget about The Beat. We 
want to know what you find at the Y, how your experiences continue 
to broaden you, and to be able to pass on your wisdom to our many 



If They dull Hani 

Can the rich put themselves in the shoes of the poor? 
HAHAHAHA! If they could hang. Rich people will never 
understand of what life is like to live a struggle. 

What kind of question is "can rich people learn about 
the experiences of the poor?" Hell nah they won't learn 

How you gonna try to learn some with out livin' by it. 
The only way to know how it's like to live a struggle is by 
experiencing life as a struggle. 

-Baby, Solano 

From The Beat: It's unlikely that many people with money will experience 
the struggle of poor people. Some believe that people do care about 
others less fortunate, especially when they know more about what's 
really going on. What kind of communication might work? 

Luck) Or Unlucky? 


Wha's up, Beat? Once again I would like to give much 
respect to the homeboys out there. This is the homeboy, 
G, coming at you. Well, today I am going to be writing 
about luck. I do somewhat consider myself lucky. But, at 
the same time, I feel not so lucky. 

I do feel lucky, because at this moment, I could be 
dead. Maybe there is a reason why I am in here. I could 
have died on the outs. But I don't feel so lucky, also, 
because even though I am alive, I am incarcerated and I 
am going to be in here for a long time, and I won't be able 
to see my family and homeboys. 

I kind of feel that luck comes and goes. Sometimes 
things go your way and sometimes they don't, it kind 
of depends on the situation. The luckiest person I have 
ever met is probably my grandmother. I think she is the 
luckiest person, because she made my mom and had a 
loving family. Even though she is gone, I know she lived a 
good life. 

Well, Beat, I'ma go for now. All right, then. 

-Baby G, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Do you ever think that luck (or bad luck) comes in 
groups? You might have a bunch of lucky things happen together, and 
then you might have a bunch of unlucky things happen. We think you 
are even luckier than you know because you realize that being in here 
has some benefits, which leaves you feeling upbeat and positive. That's 
the kind of attitude that brings good luck with it. 

Until That Day 

Who are they to say 

That I need to change? 

Who are they to say 

If they have never felt my pain? 

How can the rich feel our pain 

If they have a good house to go to the next day? 

How can they live our lives 

If they have never felt locked inside? 

Maybe one day 

I won't need to change. 

Maybe one day we will switch sides. 

Maybe one day 

They will realize 

How everything is slow when it comes to time. 

Maybe one day 

The judges will need to change 

When they're locked up 24 hours a day. 

Until that day 

I am stuck in here for 24 hours pain 

To feel everyday. 

-Angel, FRESNO 
From The Beat: Your poem reminds us to treat each other like human 
beings and empathize before we act or judge. Keep writing, and using 
poetry to tell your side of the story. 




// ' ////// ' // ' /// ' #, 

///// // 

at fimix 

f I70M£JJ ff&ffl k 

Are You Lucky 

Lucky or unlucky? I think that the difference between 
the words is obvious. If you're lucky, you get things in 
life and you succeed if you're not, you end up here with 
us. Luck is like karma with a different word. If you do 
good things, good happens to you. And for the bad things 
you do, you end up with us. Obviously if you want to 
have good luck, do good, and I'm sure you want god luck. 
But continue in the bad direction, and you know what 

I think the luckiest person or people in the world are 
the ones who have what they want. And the unlu8ckiest 
people are us in the max units. Well, not me as much 
'cause I only have 12-18 months. But to the others who 
are doing years, they will always be in my prayers. Much 
love to all. 

-M Vest, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Are you using those 12-18 months to carve out a better 
future for yourself? If you use this time to advance your education, to 
learn as much as you can about living on the outs without risking your 
freedom or your life, to build your loving relationships, then you will be 
a very lucky person, indeed! 

What's Been on my Mind 

Comin' back to bein' locked-up has messed with my 
head a whole lot. With my birthday one week ahead and 
family problems also got a ninja think bout my master 
plan that's supposed to keep me out here. 

Keepin' my head up at all times not trustin' no 
females, wit no religious beliefs, dependin'on the fast 
money coming out the streets, getting' tired of getting 
locked up. Only leave a ninja wit a few choices. 

Don't want to get a job cause the money they be given 
away. Tired switchin high schools, they trippin on me 
smoking, drinkin, and lighting up my Newports getting 
on my nerves. Dope prices hella high I'm not about to give 
them what they want. Women aint about shhh these days 
but givin ninjas a STD, can't be trusted hard to find wifey 

The system is messed up, waitin to see what Obama 
going to do. Sometimes I feel glad that I cam to jail cause 
it gave me time to think bout really getting' on my shhh 
and that what I'm do and aint nothin' getting' in my way. 

Man it's hard to find ninjas like me these days, that's 
why I know how to keep certain ninjas in my circle cause 
you can't mess with everybody. 

I'll see you when I see you man and best believe I'm 
make it do what it do. Peace. 

-Brand New 3000, Alameda 

From The Beat: One thing Obama has done is made funds available for 
people to finish high school and go to college. If you do both those 
things, you'll make more money over your lifetime (than if you didn't — 
statistically) and you won't have to get locked up! Maybe you should 
take the GED? (Peace) 

Sacrificing For The Future 

I don't know if I'm sacrificing but I'm willing to stop 
everything that I did in the past that was tearing my life 
apart and willing to make the path for my future more 
successful and brighter. 

Drinking and smoking on the outs is just tearing my 
life apart and robbing people and roaming the streets just 
don't do no good for me. 

Listening to my parents will better my future for me 
because they know what's right for my future. 

-Halatoa, Alameda 

From The Beat: How does it feel to be sober and clean for awhile? What 
do you want for your future? It's good to listen to your parents, and to 
your self as well. 

66B For Life 


Chorus (X2) 

Triple 6 for life triple 6 for life, triple 6 for life 


As a youngster I wanted to hang with the older men. 

I wanted to eat the flesh of my enemies and show no 


I hated every being because they hated me. 

They used to call me Satanloks, and now I throw away 

that name 

Like it means nothing no more. 

I used to say, "Forget the east, south, north and west" 

And hail Satan 'cause that's all that mattered. 

I take it back. 

Now I'm down with Christ. 

But my best friend still haunts me and will never stop. 

I talk to him in my dreams and visions, but never see his face. 

I got to keep my enemies closer and my friends out of 


I used to be a slave; I used to be a psychopath and 

I keep hitting the wall to let the pain go away. 

What's there to say? The walls close in 

And they put me in the chains of hell. 

Why? Why am I a slave? Why am I afraid 'til this day? 

Now I'm working towards my future to be a wrestler, 

Get a house and a beautiful wife. 

I used to be down to sacrifice and torture; now I lost my 


I back down too much. It feels like this ain't me no 


But I feel better, and just feel free. 

I used to watch my sisters get beat and never did a thing 

'Cause I listened to Satan. 

Now I'm free; now I can defend them, fight for their life. 

My family's love is the only thing that changed my life, 

But I guaranteed that if I never would've changed my 


I know y'all been dead. Man, I just can't stop. Amen. 

Chorus (X3) 

-Moe Joe, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We're confused by your title, MJ. You make it sound like 
you're about to salute Satan r but then you write how bad your life was 
before you let Satan go and gave your life to Christ. We love what you 
wrote, but think you should consider changing the title. 

Thoughts On Death 

J L 

Life's hard and than you die. Death is everywhere. That's 
something you can't escape, something that is prone to 
happen. I mean, death is not just get hit up. People die all 
kinds of ways. So when death come for me, my chin up 
high, hand on my crotch, looking that grim reaper right in 
the eye. Feel no pity for myself, but for the people I leave 
behind. I wont be able to feel, or will I? But I know for 
sure they will, everybody that got love for me. 

So for a ninja like me, it's important to live every day 
like your last, because you never know when death is 
coming. Life is the greatest gift given, but most overlooked 
and least appreciated until it is no longer. Death is treated 
more delicate and most looked at knowing that people 
look at life after death. When I die, the whole world gone 
know me. Or will they? 

-Pinky An' The Brain, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Last month, the writer John Updike died. He left the 
following poem about death: "It came to me the other day:/ Were I to 
die, no one would sayj 'Oh, what a shame! So young, so full/ Of promise 
- depths unplumbable!/ Instead, a shrug and tearless eyes/ Will greet my 
overdue demise;/ The wide response will be, I know,/ 'I thought he died 
a while ago.'/ For life's a shabby subterfuge,/ And death is real, and 
dark, and huge./ The shock of it will register/ Nowhere but where it will 
occur." Is death the end of everything, or the beginning? 




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

'//// // 

Life Strange 

Wats good Beat this young Nuttso about to get at yall 
about how life strange. 

Life strange because we born to die and the bible 
give us certain rules to live by like honor thy mother and 
father. And if you don't you sinning. 

But everywhere you go its rules and some people cant 
really follow rules because they got a mind that say heck 
rules but life is short and tomorrow aint promise that's 
why you got to live life to the fullest and stay outta jail 
feel me-but I'm gone Beat. 

-Young Nuttso, Alameda 

From The Beat: It seems like you're saying that it's more important to 
realize that we can be grateful for all we have, instead of fighting 
rules. We think it's important to decide what you're really dedicated to 
fighting for, thankful that we're able to live to love and know what's 
important to us. 

Sacrificing For My Future 


To make my future better. I'll sacrifice the time I've 
spent doing wrong things to make them right. The thing 
that's keeping me from making the sacrifice is being kept 
behind this wall. 

My mom has made plenty of sacrifices to help me 
become a man, and this is the way I repay her. I'd give 
up anything for my mom, except for my life because that 
would hurt her more then anything. 

Me and a friend of mine had a saying "To be successful, 
sacrifices must be made." The other way of saying this is, 
"Sacrifices must be made to be successful." 

-Ballard, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We often read pieces where the writer proclaims that 
he would "die" for his mother, which is why we especially like your 
thoughtful rejection of that particular "sacrifice." (What mother would 
want her son to sacrifice his life for hers? We can think of none.) We 
hope you are saving these wonderful pieces and showing them to your 
mom because, despite where you are and what you have done to get 
here, we know she must be proud of how much you've matured, and of 
the future you've now dedicated yourself to achieving. 

Checking In 

What's up, Beat? This is your girl, Angel, aka Shay, 
writing from the girls' unit. I go to court on March 19. I'm 
ready to see what's going to happen. I might go home or 
to this transitional house. We shall see. I'm trying to keep 
my thoughts clear and free of bad shhh that will end me 
back up in here. I just want to at least graduate from high 
school and take it from there. 

I've been through so much shhh and I'm tired of 
coming to jail. It's getting played out. Plus, I'm getting 
closer to eighteen and I can't be getting the D-cases going 
to 850. Man, I'm just trying to keep my head to the sky, 
but not in the clouds, ya dig? Your girl trying to make it in 
life and get out of this poverty. For me, my mom, my dad, 
and my future kids, I'ma make it. I promised myself I will. 
I know it's gone take determination, patience, endurance, 
but I will. 

God's got my back, and I know my mom is looking 
down on me from the sky. But, anyway, that's all for this 
week. I'll write next week. P.S. I don't ever see my stuff in 
this Beat. What's up with that? 

-Tercha Angel, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're not sure why you haven't found your writing in 
The Beat. If this is an example, it should be seen by all. Keep your goals 
simple and achievable. Don't try to change everything, just one thing at 
a time. If you follow through on graduating from high school, so many 
other problems will be solved at the same time! When you examine your 
life on the outs, what is the one thing that keeps bringing you bade? 
If you can look at that one most important thing (Drug use? Alcohol? 
Anger?) and focus just on that, you'll realize just how much you can 

J L 

Lucky Or Unlucky 


The luckiest person I ever had in my life was my step 
dad. If my mom never met my step dad, I would never 
know how to have manners or know how to be respectful. 
He taught me a lot of things that I know today. I really 
miss his ass. But now he's gone. He passed away on 12- 
5-05. Now I just gotta go on with time. And whatever he 
taught me I'm going to have to teach his son which is my 
little brother. 

The Unluckiest person... Well, I've met a lot of those 
people so I'm not going to write about them. 

-Ceaser, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It warms us to read such a tribute to your stepfather. 
Mostly we read in The Beat about fathers that abandon their children 
or, in some way, are selfishly focused on themselves. Your step dad is 
not really gone because he continues to live in and through you, as you 
live by the decent things he taught you, and as you pass them on to 
your own brother. 


Well, first, I would like to send my love to all the 
homeboys that I know and that know me. I will like to 
send my respect to all the homeboys staying solid. With 
that said, what's up, Beat? As you could see, I'm Cisco, 
the real one, the one with real poems. There is another 
Cisco in the hall, but don't mistake me. I'm the one who 
rhymes in his poems. 

Well, I'm still here, but I'm done with my court 
situation. I've been in here for a little bit over a year. On 
January 27th, I got sentenced to ten years. Pretty wack, 
huh? But to make my matter worse, I have to do my time 
with two strikes hanging over my head. Now that's some 
BS. Ten with two was the DA's (from adult courts) plea 
bargain. I asked for something with one strike, but he 
wasn't having it. He didn't even take in consideration that 
I didn't hurt no one. But I can't change what is done. All I 
could do is stay strong and ask the man up above to help 
me get through this struggle without catching my third 
and final strike. I see my situation as if I was punched in 
the jaw and got knocked out. 

Now that I'm sentenced... I woke up on January 29 of 
'08. 1 fired a gun at a car with two people in it. Of course it 
wasn't like an action movie where someone that is about 
20 yards away, shoots and hits his target and the car 
crashes, and all that movie action shhh happens. I shot 
twice. One hit the car and the other missed and traveled 
through a restaurant window and into a beverage fridge. 

I am so thankful that I'm not here for accidentally 
murdering an innocent person. You should be thankful 
for not being at that restaurant and getting a soda. 

But, yeah, I took a deal, or should I say, I was forced 
to take a deal? If I would have taken it to trial, I had about 
a 70% chance of losing. They were tryna get your boy for 
attempt, which is stupid, because no one was injured. 

Anyways, I'm just chillin', trying to stay away from 
punks and half-breed wannabees. Well, Beat, Im'a let 
you go so you could publish mines. To all doing time, 
look at the brighter side. Also, to all the females in the 
girls' units, much love, and stay strong and sexy. Because 
when this gangster walks free, I'ma be looking for a good- 
looking dime. 

-Cisco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Ten years plus two strikes is a big price to pay, Cisco, 
but when you consider how close your actions came to something far 
more serious, it's a kind of blessing. We hate when anyone has to go to 
prison, but at least you won't have the burden of someone's death on 
your conscience forever, and you will be able to get through this time 
and start a new life. Develop those "chillin' skills," because state prison 
is not much better than juvenile hall for being filled with punks and 
snitches and people without a thought of the future. So, watch your 
back while you nourish your head and heart. And keep writing! 



// ' ////// ' // ' /// ' #, 

///// // 

at fimix 

f I70M£JJ ff&ffl k 

Get It How You Live 

Get it how you live, is what I was told and now I did it 
my childhood was put on hold, 

when I was stripped of my innocence it was like a loss 
of virginity 

and it took many long years to find my true identity, 
so I turned to the streets to turn a new leaf 
and I found myself being swallowed by the streets, 
when they spit me out I landed in jail 
and that's how I started my new living hell, 
so I pinched myself and it wasn't a dream 
and reality hit and I didn't want to intervene, 

I found out getting it how you live is the naked truth 
but you will never find a ninja that's bulletproof 
I find that life is like baseball, 

three strikes you're out or you could get knocked down 
in these streets and be out for the count 
in these Oakland streets you gotta walk after you've 

and if you've accomplished that then you deserve a round 
of an applause 

Life is like a box of chocolates, 
but sometimes you have to receive what you get, 
because tomorrow is not promised to you and your past 
will be a debate, 

so enhance your thoughts and arouse your hands, 
because getting it how you live is more physical than you 

-Meezy, Alameda 

From The Beat: You may have walked before you crawled but now your 
mind is standing tall if you take the thoughts you've had in the hall and 
stick with them outside then you'll never fall! 

Younger Kids 

The last two times I came here, I've been seeing kids 
younger and younger for crimes more serious than me. I 
be looking at them like, "If I was your big brother I would 
beat yo' lil' ass." I always ask them their situation at 
home, and they tell me it's cool, but I see in their face that 
it's bad. So if you got a lil' brother, pay more attention to 
them before they end up on the wrong path. 

-ER-Daddy-O, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We wish everybody would think of their little brothers 
or sisters before they do the things that lead them here. If you don't 
want you're little brother doing what you're doing, then don't do it! 
We're curious, though, whether you really think beating their ass would 
change their behavior. After all, how many times do you think they've 
already had their ass beat before getting here? Is there any other way 
to make people think about what they're doing to themselves and to 

Tears In Manna's Eyes 


Dadadoe! What's good with The Beat, maine? Well, I ain't 
got that much on my mind, so today my topic is being 
locked up. Maine, being locked up is messed up because 
you can't see your girl, your fam, and especially yo' moms. 
Everybody that's in juvenile halls should thank yo' mom 
for supporting you and being there for you when you need 

Man, I feel bad because I'm putting tears in my 
momma's eyes because I got locked up. When I see my 
mom cry, then it makes me want to kick somebody's butt. 
So my advice to you is stay out of the halls and keep your 
mom proud. (I love you, Momma!) Everybody in the halls 
keep your head up. 

-Harry Potter, San Francisco 

From The Beat: When you see your mom crying because you're here, 
whose butt do you want to kick? Seems like the only butt that needs 
kicking is yours! But your mom doesn't want you to luck yourself, she 
wants you to stop doing the things that let the system take you away 
from her. She wants you to put tears of joy in her eyes, and not tears of 
pain. So, how are you going to follow your own advice to "stay out the 
halls and keep your mom proud?" 

Sacrificing For My Future 

those that love them? 


Man, the way my life going, I have to give up a lot to 
change my future. I'm seventeen. I'm running the streets 
with all my friends, smoking weed and staying out hella 
late. Things I gotta sacrifice is being with my friends, 
because being with them, I missed out on my daughter's 
life. I felt like I abandoned my one-year-old daughter. She 
barely even like me. To me, I think she love my grandma 
as a mother more than me, 'cause when she cry, she don't 
even come to me. She will run to my grandma before me, 
'cause she barely know me as her mother, 'cause I choose 
to be in the streets than to be at home with my daughter. 
To be honest, the only thing keeping me from making 
the sacrifice of not being with my friends is not wanting 
to be at home. I like to be out enjoying myself, but 
sometimes you gotta give up the things you like doing to 
get somewhere in life. For my momma and my grandma, 
I would sacrifice anything for them, because I love them 
and they helped me so much with my daughter, while I 
been a mess up towards my daughter. 

-Priscilla, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You say you would sacrifice anything for your mom 
or grandma, but what have you sacrificed for them? In truth, you've 
sacrificed your mother-daughter relationship because you were too 
young to have a child. It's not a surprise that you want to be out in 
the streets with your friends instead of at home with your own child, 
because you are still experimenting with your own childhood. But you 
did have a child, so now is the time to put away childish things and step 
up to your responsibilities. It will not only save your child from what 
you have had to go through, it will also save you. 

Sacrificing For My Future 

What's up, Beat? I need to stop twistin' that pizzle. What 
was keeping me from doing it was that I thought it was the 
best feeling in the world, being up in the many galaxies. 

The truth is, I've been clean for a month, and it's a 
good feeling. I know what I'm doing. I do miss trippin' 
hard, but I still trip a little. 

Tweaking made life at home so difficult. I let my mom 
find out and everything went upside down. My mom did 
sacrifice a lot, too much for me to be hurting her this way. 
We're practically broke because of me. 

I have to stay sober. It's a little sacrifice. I'd rather 
sacrifice that, then the love of my jefita. Peace out Beat. 

-Blank, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Surround yourself with clean, sober friends and family 
who want to help you kick this habit. It's going to be hard but like you 
said, tweakin' isn't half as good as having family. 

J L 

Lucky Or Unlucky 

What up Beat? I'm writing 'bout being lucky or unlucky, 
and if I'm lucky. To tell the truth, luck comes from one 
person. That person creates his/her luck. Say, if a person 
is having a good life or a good time in that moment, 
then they will probably have luck. Like when you're at 
an amusement part and you're having a good time and 
etc. you will probably have luck and maybe find money 
or something, or run into someone that you haven't seen 
in a while. 

Some people believe in luck and others don't. But to 
me, luck comes from one. It depends on that person. 

-Brandon, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We like your idea that when things are going well, or 
you're having a good time, more good things will happen. Do you think 
the opposite is also true, that if you're not doing well or having a bad 
time, more bad things will happen? 


aMnnnmEB jw— 

Luck Or No Luck 


Whats up, Beat? This Lil' Shadow. I been up in Alameda 
County for almost three months. Well I'm 'bout to write 
about lucky or unlucky. 

Well, I consider myself both. I consider myself 
both because sometimes bad things happen to me and 
sometimes good things happen to me. 

One time I was lucky was when me and my homies hit 
a lick under a bridge by McDonalds and we got hella weed 
without getting caught. 

One time when I was unlucky was when we jumped 
some people and somehow he got stabbed and we took 
his shoes. We got caught 'cause the people I was with 

Being lucky, to me, means to get away with hella 
shhh, having hella money and hella shhh. Being unlucky, 
to me, means to get caught when you do something bad. 
Also, being unlucky when you lose hella money or go to 

The luckiest person I ever met was this ninja named 
Kevin. First he was a bum then inherited hella money. The 
unluckiest person I might know is me because I always 
mostly get caught. 

-Lil' Shadow 

From The Beat: It's all on you and the choices you make in life. If you 
make the choice to jump a random guy then you'll have to take the 
consequences that come along with it. We hope that you take the time 
to sit down and really think of where you're headed with this lifestyle, 
a lifestyle that will keep you down and out. 

Sacrificing For My Future 


I will have to sacrifice my friends and be by myself 
because all of the people I hang out with get me in trouble. 
So I should be with my family and do stuff with them like 
go to the movies and family things. 

I will like to do more stuff with my mom and dad on 
weekend but sometimes we don't have the money and I 
just go and do stupid stuff. That's what got me here and 
hopefully I won't come to jail no more. 

-Yung Rell 

From The Beat: Maybe you can talk to your family and suggest that 
there should be more family time? Being more open with your family can 
help you to understand each other more. 

She Wait 


The best thing that happen to me is when I found Mi 
Hina. She is the best thing that happen because she is 
always here for me and always write me and all that good 
stuff. My lady shorty... she stays true. 


From the Beat: Now you have to figure out how to be the best thing 
that's ever happened to her too.. .a free man she can rely on. 

lor a Reasin 


Time goes by but my life is on hold I-ve got 41/2 more 
month to go. I feel lucky that I've found some body to love 
me for me. 

She's the love of my life we plan on getting married 
when I get out-7 days before my 18th birthday. She writes 
me all the time and is at all my court dates. 

I don't feel unlucky cause every thing happens for a 

-Mr David 

From The Beat: You are lucky to have someone to love who loves you 
too! What is the reason for the time you're doing now? How will this 
time help your future? What are you learning? 


Love. When you say you love someone and they say they 
love you back, do it make the relationship grow, or does it 
become harder, or does it mess up your relationship? 

Is you scared to tell someone you love them? Is it the 
same when you tell a homie "I love you" or you tell a girl 
"I love you" or when you tell your parent "I love you" or 
is love all the same feeling you get when you truly care 
about somebody? 


From The Beat: These are great questions to ask, Moe, but are you 
asking for the answers or are you asking your peers to ask themselves 
these questions? 

Sacrificing For My Future 

What I think I need to give up is the way I live my life. 
What's keeping me from making this sacrifice is mainly 
because I love living the way I live. 

Yes I do want to sacrifice the way I'm living my life for 
my family, because I want to keep my family and I don't 
want to leave away from them or lose them ever. My family 
have gave me all their time, and attention. I'm willing to 
give up anything that's going to get me in trouble and 
took away from my family. 


From The Beat: Willing to do something and actually doing it is two 
different things. So what steps do you need to take to make it happen? 
For you, for your family, and for the love you got. 


Can The Rich Put Tleaaaselves In Ike 
Shees Of Peor 

I think that the rich, PO's, judges, etc. should put 
themselves in here so they can feel what we feel. I 
guarantee that if they come in here they will regret putting 
some of as in here. 

But for the people who have killed, or tried to kill, or 
committed crimes should stay in here. They don't know 
what we feel in here and they should provide us with 
better quality food, clothing, and etc. 


From The Beat: Do you think once a kid or adult kills that that person 
should be locked up forever? Can they still be a good person? 


&Mnnnn*EE jw— 

RIP Shonnie-Bo & Lil' Mori 

Through the years ever since I can remember my ninja 
Sonnie-Bo been a factor throughout Richmond. He was 
the type of ninja that played his part to the fullest not 
fearin' nobody, my ninja gets down. One min he was there 
in tha hood the next he was dead and gone, got whacked — 
shhh was terrible. 

Lil' Mori was fresh out of Camp Sweeney, came home 
been out not even six months wit only money on his 
mind. Just saw him hoopin' in tha hood the next he tellin' 
everybody he be back. The next thing we know he get 
whacked by a store clerk, he get hit at least five times, 
died on a get money mission. 

Shhh messed up my young ninjas gone and can't 
nobody do shhh to bring them back. All I'm sayin' ninjas 
miss y'all, may y'all Rest in Paradise, love y'all-peace. 

-Brand New 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your losses. It's a tragedy that the 
choices in life your friends had, and made led them to die so young. We 
can't afford to be losing young men like you, we need you to be part of 
the world, our lives and communities. A lot needs to change and we 
can't keep losing you. 

To Be In Mj Sties 


A rich person can't put themselves in my shoes, they 
might get hurt or just kill they self from all the stress and 
danger. I think I'm a strong dude cause I'm still dealing 
with all these problems I've been having since I was in the 
7th grade. I think if a rich person put his/herself in my 
shoes they would probably get killed, it's sad to say but 
it's true and I just learned how to survive through it and 
deal with the everyday pain. 

A sick person would try to use drugs to hide all the 
pain from being in my shoes. I have some good times in 
my life, like the money I make, the girls I be with and the 
great family and friends I have. All the people I find myself 
with' till this day is SOLID. And that's the type of people I 
like to be around. 


From The Beat: While you go through tough times, it sounds like you 
have some great things in your life that some other people (even rich 
people) might not have. Not everyone is lucky enough to have people 
who love them and are there for them. We're not trying to say you've 
got everything easy, but it can be good to be thankful for what we do 

Drinking at School 

The most lucky thing was that I found 20 dollars in a 
jacket when I was 10 years old at school looking through 
jackets kids leave behind. 

My sister said I'm not finding nothing, but I did. The 
most unlucky thing that happened was when I got caught 
for drinking at school-that's why I'm here. 


From The Beat: It's always fun to find money. Why were you drinking 
at school? Are you an alcoholic? Maybe it's lucky to deal with this now 
while you are young and have your whole life ahead of you... 

Independently Thinking 

I'm lucky in this situation cause I woulda went to jail 
with my friend that just went down, cause I'm always with 
him. And while I'm here I feel lucky cause I woulda prolly 
did sumtang dumb. 


From The Beat: How can you get stronger yourself so that you make 
decisions based on what you think is right and a good idea, instead of 
doing whatever someone you're around is doing? 

RIP Uncle Charles, Jerm, Scooter / The Rich 

Man last times you didn't show ma RIPs man, that hella 
disrespect on the real RIP Scooter and Jerm an Uncle 

And naw I don't think they would be able to ever spend 
a day in ma shoes, it's sick and hella ugly. 

-Lil' Marv 

From The Beat: No disrespect. We always ask that people write a 
testament to those they love and lost-not just a list of names. Tell us 
about these people, what they were like, what they loved, what you 



I think I'm unlucky. I say this because it seems like 
almost every time I do something bad, I end up getting 
caught. On the other hand, I know other people who do 
crime on a regular basis and NEVER get caught. 

I sit here day-by-day and try to figure out what is so 
different about me and the other people that I know who 
get away with crimes and I got nothing. They're definitely 
not smarter than me by any means. Not "street smart" or 
"book smart". 

Although most of them live in different neighborhoods 
than me, most people wouldn't do crime in their own 
hood anyway. 

The only explanation I can come up with is that I 
simply don't have good luck at all. Everything I have, I had 
to do my own thang to get it. I don't get nothing handed to 
me from money to females. Maybe not females but from 
money to other material wants. 

-Sawsaw Young 

From The Beat: We all go through times where it seems life is easier 
for everyone else, that all the bad stuff only happens to us. But if you 
look around you, we're sure a lot of your peers in the hall feel the same 
way as you about their bad luck. Everyone has good and bad luck 
sometimes, but when it comes to getting caught, you can make your 
own luck better by not doing stuff that you can get caught for. 

Who I Am 

I'm someone I thought didn't exist. American Gangstas 
inspire me everytime I watch the documentaries. I hate 
suckas and people that's all talk, and the people that 
thinks marijuana is a drug. 

I believe there's no love in this world and that you can 
not trust nobody that don't trust you (and I mean trust 
you with they house keys trust). 

I also feel that someone needs to do something about 
our messed up system. 

-Brand New 3000 

From The Beat: What do you think marijuana is? And we find it hard to 
believe you have no love — and therefore there's at least That much love 
in the world. ..We agree that "someone" needs to do something about 
many things, including the "system." What can you do? 

Certain Lessons 

I don't really believe in good or bad luck. I believe in god, 
he has things happen for a reason to teach you certain 
lessons about life like when new born babies die. 

I think he lets people know that they're not ready for 
parenthood. ..I believe life is hard that gets you the wrong 
way most of the time if not everytime, but you still have 
to deal with her cause you need her. 

-Been Rough 

From The Beat: When some things happen, like when babies die, it's 
very hard to understand. We don't think the "reason" is ever to punish 
or reward, but like you say — to learn about life and death, and love 

J L 


aMnnnmEB jw— 

Being Top Citizen 


I like being top citizen. It makes me feel good to know 

that I'm being 

a good person and doing the right thang up in here. 

Plus it's helping with my court 'cause they not seeing 
me as a bad ass little ninja ...they saying "oh okay, he got 
another side to him and he ain't just a heartless ninja." 
So I'm going to a group home. 

I can't wait to get out of here! 


From The Beat: Congratulations - you were in the hall, and you saw 
something you wanted to do to make your life better, and you made it 
happen! That is a "good side" to you, a side that can help you survive 
in the future. What can you do build on this success in your next 


If you live to win, you're going to lose, but if you live to 
enjoy life you will win. 

-Fat Boy 

From The Beat: This is short and sweet. 

Lil' Mama 

Lil' mama see time you see me jocking 

You got me stalking 

Think about jocking 

I got you an my life you can't stop me 

We going shopping and buying the thangs you jocking 

I remember like it was yesterday 

I was down and you picked me up 

And you was special 

At first was scared to talk to me 

Until I got out the car an' told you walk with me 

And we was going head to head 

You got my mouth watering like the candyman 

Lil mama you seeing time you see me walking 

You got me jocking thinking about stalking. 


From The Beat: We hope that when you get you have a chance to treat 
your girl right, and stay out of jail! 


I can't believe that shhh homey. 

It's all bad enough I got all this 

shhh going on on the outs but now I'm locked down and 

I'm stuck 

stressing about it. Some real warfare type shhh going on 

in the hood 

right now, plus my charges and all this court shhh, I got 

a female 

pregnant, family problems and the stress this all causes. 

But all I 

can do is maintain and keep it solid you feel me. 


From The Beat: Too much stress! We're glad to see that you are trying to 
stay positive despite everything going on at home. It's good you wrote 
about it for The Beat - you keep all that inside and it can eat you up. 

Sacrificing For My Future 

Still Alive 


I don't consider myself lucky or unlucky because both 
have happened in my life. I'm not dead even though I've 
been stabbed a few times. I guess I've been lucky about 
that but right now I don't have my freedom. Just like the 
five times I've been here before. 

Combined to all the six times I've been here I've lost 
three years of my life. I do believe in karma, what goes 
around comes around. Cause I've robbed people, sold 
drugs to kids younger than me, so I guess this is my 

The luckiest person I know is a friend of mine. I've 
know him all my life in Oakland. He's been shot, stabbed, 
beat, hit wit a car and he's still alive. He's got a lil' baby 
girl and I'm her Uncle. So I guess I lucky about that u feel 


From The Beat: It sounds like you like being an Uncle! Stop giving away 
your time to jail. If you believe in karma, how can you put out what 
you want back? 

I'm willing to give up my hustle to stay free. 

I'm willing to give up robbing and other things I do 
as a negative hustle. I would do so because I'm big 18 and 
I'm ready to take that next step towards the positive path, 
and experience the college life and college parties, but I 
got news, only I can change me and I'm in progress. 

I would say that my upcoming temptation would be 
girls, money, and drugs why do I say this? Because those 
three things named, would be a big temptation because 
it is a deadly combination and will make you a nervous 
wreck and can cause you to self-destruct. 

-Big Temptation 

From The Beat: It's good that you recognize the things that are 
temptations hopefully you can stay away from them and resist the 
urges. Maybe if you find that one girl who is on a positive path, and a 
job to get you legit money, it will help you resist temptation. 


I'm Lucky 

Every day has some luck. 

I thank God for letting me open my eyes eveyday and 
I'm lucky for that. I'm lucky my judge didn't give me the 
whole eight. I'm lucky the judge and my PO is giving me 
another chance to walk the streets. And when I get out I 
have to make a change. 


From The Beat: Step 1: Appreciate your luck, which you've done. Step 
2: Make your own luck - meaning once you get out, be careful what 
decisions you make about what you do on those streets! 


If the rich were in my shoes they sure enough panic, 
I'm so wild they think I'm schizophrenic 
and naw I'm not lucky, unless I had a woman 
member I was young ninjas tried to jumpy 
play with luck cause it's all in the mind 
I'm mobsta one of a kind. 

From The Beat: Time to play your good luck. 

Lucky Me 



J L 

I am lucky because god blessed me and my case because 
I'm doing 8 months in here till I turn 18 then I'm tryna do 
4 to 6 months in Rita but god really blessed me and I hope 
he continue to bless me. 

And if I get my 2nd chance I'm gonna take care of my 
two sons and go to enroll in college and get anotha job. 


From The Beat: We're glad you feel blessed! Here's another reason you're 
lucky: Obama has dedicated money to help more people go to college — 
you are just in time. Think how great it would be for your sons if you 
go to college. 


aMnnnmEB jw— 



If There's a Sun Let it Shine 

It's like the same thing keeps on happening. I fall, I get 

up, I fall again and continue to get up. It seems that I 

probably don't get the point that one more fall and I might 

not get up again. 

It all happens when I'm locked up that I notice all 

these things. It seems like I realize all my mistakes by 

being in between four walls and a steel door. It's so easy 

to see sunshine while you on the outs but just so hard to 

let it shine on you and I wait to be in here to realize all of 

the good stuff while I'm in here. 

But I get it and that's what matters. If there's a sun, 

let it shine as bright as it wants you won't notice when all 

that light is gone and that's when it's too late. Surviving 

is the clue. 

From The Beat: Great piece written with lots of heart. Sorry we had to 
shorten your name to just M (we're not allowed to print last names in 
the hall). Give us another name to use so we can let your light shine! 

God Bless My Ninjas 

God gives me D-Scrilla back for 24 hours 

So we could mob in a rental car like it was ours 

hit the block bra smoke and sip bo' for hours 

Show him how some of our real ninjas done went sour 

Plus the girls on the block getting wilder and wilder 

The gunfire ain't stopped bra 

It's louder and louder yo' legacy live on my ninja 

I'm getting prouder 

I used to be a hot boy but now I'm getting milder 

A ninja doing jail time but ain't forgot about ya 

wish you was still here can't do it without ya 

God bless Laron he on a timeout 

and please watch over Dolo until he shined out 

I know we did a lot of things in this past year 

over jail time you can stress but I won't shed a tear 

lost my auntie to a stroke just a week ago 

plus my potna got shot 

again but he made it though 

we was out hustling hard just to get the dough 

a ninja made it through the rain just tryin' to survive the 


(Chorus four times) 

God bless my ninjas baby, yeah, yeah, yeah 

I know I ain't been good so God bless my ninjas 

'Cause it be hard for the kid surrounded by killers 

Everybody wants to be a thug in these streets 

But where I'm from shhh ugly gotta hustle to eat 

That's why I'm praying to you God 

That you reach out and help us 

It seem like the rich folks getting richer and selfish 

Show us all the right ropes guide us through the maze 

It's ninjas out there starving who ain't ate in days 

watch over all the youngsters as they grow of age 

who rather load up a gun before turning a bible page 

bless the young lil' sick one who dying of AIDS 

free my ninjas out the jail who got caught in the raid 

show that girl that's tryin' to get in the club underage 

help the ones with anger so it don't turn to rage. 

(Chorus four times) 

God bless my ninjas baby, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

-Lil' Purp 

From The Beat: This time you add a new dimension to all the skills 
you've been developing as a writer over time: Compassion. It's a mark of 
artistry and also shows how much you've grown as a person. You're not 
growing milder, just smarter. 

Three Topics, Three Answers 

1. To change my future I might have to give up being 
lazy, smoking and being careless. I'm not feeling like I 
have to, even though I know I'm going to have to. When I 
think of my mom sacrificing all the fun she used to have 
it makes me feel like there's nothing I would do for her. 

2. I think rich people would be very grateful if they spent 
a month on food stamps. If DA's PO PDs and judges put 
them selves in certain positions maybe they'd try to 
understand situations more before they lay down a big 
sentence on someone who didn't really deserve it. 

3. I consider myself lucky for everything I have even 
though it's not much, just because I've seen how a lot of 
people live and I'd be stupid to say I'm unlucky. Unlucky: 
Someone who had something's happen to them that they 
didn't deserve. 

Luck: If someone got something they didn't earn or 
need or you could be lucky to get something that not 
everyone has or that a lot of people wish they had. People 
don't always get what they deserve and they don't always 
deserve what they got. 


From The Beat: Wise insights all the way through, next time focus all 
your energy on the one topic you like the best, that way you can go 
deep and develop your ideas some more. 

200 Days 

I been in this thing for 200 days and some change. 

My release date is in four months, and I feel good 
because I am getting out real soon. It feel like I been here 
for years. ..seen people come and go a couple times, and 
that's why it feel like I been here a long time. 

Kay gave me a juvenile bullet... and for you slow 
learning cream puffs that's a year in juvenile hall I 
turned 18 in here he wanted me to go to Santa Rita . 
But I been doing a good program, so my public defender 
recommended I do my program in the hall, and now I am 
sitting here doing my time by these lil' kid rules but I 
ain't trippin' though. 

I feel God put me here to slow me down some cause I 
was really wilding out but when I get out I'm gonna try to 

-Stan Da Man 

From The Beat: You only got a lil' more time left to go. Keep your head 
up. Hopefully you learned something from doing all the time locked up. 
Don't mess up again when you get out. 

Have A Plan 

What is good Beat, this is your boy Michael, coming 
at you from the honor unit at Alameda County Juvenile 
Hall. I am writing to all my ninjas out there, you all need 
to look at your life. Do you want to be locked up your 
whole life or do you want to die? Stop doing what you are 

See me, I am going to stop. I have a plan, and my plan 
is to go back to school get a job, go to a college become 
a diesel mechanic for Santa Clara County VTA. I have a 
plan and I will stick with it. I get out in April that is when 
I am going to start my plan. 

To all, keep your head up stand tall and stay strong 
much love and respect. 


From The Beat: It's great that you have such a clear goal. What are 
the obstacles you see in your way, and how do you plan to overcome 

J L 


&Mnnnn*EE jw— 

Oakland Streets 


... is where I grew up, I've lived there basically my whole 
life. I never really sold no drugs but that really don't mean 
nothing, I'm happy I never had to sell drugs. 

My father is a hard worker and I never had to break 
the law because my dad kept food on the table. I really 
didn't have to do anything bad but I chose to. 

Where I'm from everybody else was bangin' their 
block so I started bangin' because that's were I'm from. 

-Lil Boobie 

From The Beat: When you think of the people who grew up with you 
who didn't bang. ..what did they do? You'll need to think on how some 
are able to stay away.. .so you don't get caught up again. 

Answers on Two of the 14.10 Topics 

1. 1 think there are a lot of things a man will have to give 
up to change his future as life goes on it will never stop! 
You will always have to sacrifice something in order to 
get something! 

My parents made a big sacrifice for me every visiting 
day they come and see me! They are sacrificing their time 
to visit me here and I am very thankful for that! 

I sacrifice not smoking weed for the time that I'm in 
here now am clean 'cause I been here for a month I don't 
think weed and bad as long as you don't disrespect it! 
But now think I can get a job now a good one without 
worrying to find some clean piss. 

2. Yes I think he will have a better understanding 
because he is experimenting to see what I would be like. 
Now if the DA or PD was in our shoes in ail I think they 
would like it at all! They will learn that being locked up 
will make you crazy. I think they will keep locking teens 
up, but for a less amount of time maybe! 

But being in the hall also messes up your mind 'cause 
when you get out you're going to want to go out more and 
that might get you into some messed up shhh! Or just the 
cops might just mess with you for one reason.! 


From The Beat: You bring up a lot of good points in this piece, especially 
about the sacrifices our loved ones make for us, and the need for 
powerful people in the system to understand where young people are 
coming from - but we also want to ask you about that last point. What 
are some other things you could do with your time on those nights you 
might want to go out and get in trouble? 


I'm The Lucky One 

The luckiest person I've ever met is myself because I 
got away with a lot of robberies and fights in school and I 
mostly never get caught with that. 

The unluckiest is my cousin because he used to get 
robbed, went to the hall and the pen, then when he got 
out he had got shot. 

His name was Sione Maha. 

He was a person who was strong by lifting weights, 
but people had guns to rob him, so it don't matter how 
strong you are when it comes to guns. 


From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your cousin - especially 
because it sounds like he struggled so much throughout his life. Do you 
think it was because of getting robbed so much when he was little that 
he ended up getting involved in crime? 

The Real Choice 

Friday need to hurry up come so I could see what they 
got to say to me it might be good it might be bad, but I got 
faith in the lord so he would be the one who makes the 
real choice. 

Can't nobody judge me but the lord. Not the judge, 
D.A, nobody that's why I don't care what people say to 

-Lil 1 Rolo 

From The Beat: We know these times have been rough for you, and yet 
we also know that you are a good writer, and someone who wants to 
do right. We hope you can find the strength in your mind and heart 
to live through your time, and become the man you can be! We think 
you can do it. 

Thank You 

I would like to thank The Beat for this program. It gives 
young people a chance to freely express themselves in a 
positive way. 

By reading several issues of The Beat I have learned 
a lot from what others have wrote. I think The Beat is an 
amazing creative writing program. I appreciate the chance 
to get in The Beat. 


From The Beat: You are very welcome, B. What are the some of the 
things you've learned from tThe Beat? Do you have a favorite Beat 

J L 

Lucky And Onlucky 

I don't got nothing to say but I think I'm lucky and 

I think I'm lucky 'cause I got a good mother who 
take care of me. Also, because she comes to visit me and 
comes to my court dates when she really don't got to. 
Another reason is because she do what ever she could do 
to keep me out of trouble. 

I think the reason why I'm unlucky is because I got a 
bad environment. Another reason is I been in out of jail 
six times in one year and I'm only twelve. 

I think I could do better if I really want to but it's 
something that's stopping me. I don't know what is it. It 
just seem like every time I come in here I just be a kid. On 
the outs it's like something that's making me do bad but I 
don't know what it is, but I think I should just live my life 
instead of going down the wrong path. 

It's like every time I got to duck blue and red lights. 

-Lil' Smashin 

From The Beat: You're right, your mother doesn't have to have your back 
and care the way she does but she does it anyways. You're her son, her 
flesh and blood do you think this is what she wants for you? 


aMnnnmEB jw— 

Lucky or Unlucky 


Do I consider myself lucky or unlucky? Urn, I think both 
I'm lucky in many ways, like what family I came from. I 
have an amazing family I came from we all "go" (means 
cool). They all taught me a lot in the world and more to 
come to teach and were always there for me in anything. 
Then it goes my "bruh's" (friends). Some of them been 
there for me through whatever. We steady mobbing with 
them everywhere, boyee! They always had my back but 
some didn't, they was never down and never "active" and 
that's how I'm unlucky and lucky. 


From The Beat: Do you think the situation you're in right now is unlucky. 
Juice? Do you think you can change your luck by just keeping it straight 
and staying out of trouble? 

These Streets 

I don't think you can just get anyone and throw them in 
these streets. They just won't survive like us, who just 
get enough food so they can make it through. The days 
are hard, it's stressful for us when we get shot at and the 
police don't let us just live. 

I have so much things I have to do, I have to go to 
school with no food to eat then after school I gotta grind. 
I put my life in danger every day by just steppin' out that 

That's why we get caught with guns. It's because we, 
ourself, have to be the police. Lookin' everywhere front, 
back, side to side, just to make sure that I can see another 


From The Beat: It's tough on the streets and either the public turns a 
blind eye or they don't care. There are people who care but there's only 
so much they can do because they're struggling too. 

Change for My Daughter 

The things I need to give up to change my future, to 
make it better is hanging with the wrong crowd of people. 
Wanting to be outside so much is what's keeping me from 
making that sacrifice. 

Right now I'm willing to give up a lot for my future 
daughter. Three months from now I plan on being a father. 
I plan of taking care of my baby the best way I can. So 
when I get out of here I'm gone give up hanging out with 
my friends, so I could be there for my family. 


From The Beat: Having a child, full of love and innocence, can help 
motivate you to make that change. Think about it - you want her life 
to be better than yours has been, right? So what are the concrete steps 
you will have to take? 




This beef shhh is crazy not knowing if you're going to 
see the next day worrying about getting shot having to 
watch yo back everyday every minute of everyday having 
to worry about my family... it's just crazy out on the 

But in here you don't have to worry about guns or 
dying from bullets, the most you have is if a lot of your 
enemies is in here you can get jumped, but its not as 
crazy as on the streets-then when u in beef and you have 
your gun on you you have to worry about the police. You 
can go to jail or they can kill you. Beef is just crazy. 

-Young Boobie 

From The Beat: It sounds terribly stressful no matter where you are. 
What's the solution to this craziness? 

This And That 

My life is about this and that. 

Dodging the read and blue. 

Sometimes I wish it would be easy 

But my dream disappears when I hear screams. 

Population 400,000 

But most of it the population you see is 

Thugs, hoes, crack heads, and people 

Suffering from the shhh that goes on. 

Why can't it be easy? 


From The Beat: We wish that we could just wave a magic wand and 
change the horrible conditions in our neighborhoods but it's not that 
easy. You never know, this poem could start the movement to reform 
our hoods! Nice work! 

I Have To Give Up Hanging With My Friends 

What do you think you have to give up to change your 
future, to make it better? I think I have to give up hanging 
out with my friends in the streets. I think if I give up most 
of my friends I can study more and get a good education, 
and not be in the streets causing problems and stuff. 
Being with my family, going to church once a week. 
Nothing will keep me from making that sacrifice. 

My mom has given all her life to raising me as a good 
child. I am willing to give up most of my friends that put 
me into trouble. I think that will make me have a better 


From The Beat: Giving up your friends is indeed a big sacrifice. But if 
you know it will help your own future, it's an important step towards 
making the right choices for yourself. 


I'm Blessed 


I don't believe in luck I believe that either you're going 
to be blessed or not blessed. People are chosen by the 
way they live they life. I always use to think in luck but 
not no more. 

God has a life for you and if you are living your life 
right then God will bless you. He isn't gonna get you luck. 
He's got to bless you. Everyday I wake up by being blessed 
I don't take it for granted but I just trying to live my life 

Hope all y'all be good and stay blessed. Wake up and 
don't forget to thank God. 


From The Beat: Do you believe that everyone is born blessed by God, 
or do they become blessed once they've chosen a life path? And what 
happens when someone lives a negative life for many years, and then 
they change halfway through? 

Sacrificing For My Future 

I think I should give up skipping school to change my 
future. If I start going to school I can have a better future, 
even though I hate school. Fma just finish high school 
and then I'm done, that's it. 

I started out skipping classes then later on I started 
getting caught and I said to myself," If I don't go to school 
the whole day I wouldn't get caught no more." But all that 
is going to change now once I finish freshman year in 
Camp Sweeny. 

When I am a sophomore that is when I'm a start 'cause 
I can't go back home yet. 


From The Beat: That's a great start, but what will you have to do to 
make sure you don't start skipping again? You're young and you have 
room to mess up but what's the point if it lands you in the hall, right? 


aMnnnmEB jw— 

I Consider Myself Lucky 

I consider myself lucky because when I got in the high- 
speed and then the car crash they said I should've been 
dead, how the car came out to be, but God had my side and 
I ain't doing that stuff again. That wasn't a good decision 
but since I been in jail I'm going to be wiser. 

I'm not getting in no more trouble 'cause jail is hecka 
boring and now that I'm getting out on 2-2-09 I got to do 
what I got to do to be successful in life and I'm going to 
church, home, and hanging with my family. Forget the 
block where it's hot, it ain't cool like that no more. 

The stuff that's going on is 'bout to be more than ever 
'cause people 'bout to try to beat the violence record from 
last year. If they didn't make the violence papers showing 
how many people got killed every year the violence wont 
be that high, it wont even be like this. But if they stop 
making those a lot of people going to have they life 
'cause it's 2009 and people 'bout to start dying 'cause the 
newspaper people keep telling the world how many people 
got killed and stuff and they need to stop the violence. 


From The Beat: You're right, we wished that the media would use their 
stories for good, to help the communities but it seems like it's just 
another story to them. Maybe you can go to school for journalism and 
do some justice to the stories floating out there? 

Sacrificing For My Family 

Me I'm willing to sacrifice going out in the streets late 
at night. I'm willing to do that for my parents so that they 
won't be worried that something is going to happen to 

I'm also willing to sacrifice my friends that are bad 
influence to m. the reason that I'm willing to do that is, 
because I love my family and I'm going to do anything to 
make my family really happy. 


From The Beat: Are there other friends in your life that are more 
positive, people you could turn to that might help you take those steps 
towards change? 

My Mom's Sacrifices 


I think mom has made a lot of sacrifices for me. She has 
raised me and my two brothers by herself, working hard 
for the years that I remember. I feel like I should sacrifice 
things for her too. 

I feel bad that I am in here and can't help her do 
anything , but when I get out I will sacrifice what I think 
I should to have a better future for me and my mom who 
has sacrificed so much for me. 


From The Beat: What are you willing to sacrifice for your mom, and for 
your own future? What will be hard to sacrifice? 

Rich People Are Ignorant 

Hell naw, rich people can't put themselves in the shoes 

of the poor. 

Why? Because rich people would never even stop to shop 

at Walmart. 

Rich people are ignorant because they think poor people 

are not 

considered humans, but "they are animals" (They say) 

-Sad Boy 

From The Beat: Do you think that reading The Beat, or talking to a 
person without money, or seeing a movie about poverty might help 
a rich person see the other point of view? Have you ever personally 
experienced getting looked down on by someone with money? What 

J L 

My Parents 

I think some people sacrifice themselves for other 
people, like how my parents sacrifice their lives for me 
and my brothers by working and giving us a better life. 

I think I owe my life to my parents and I'm very 
thankful for them for giving me a better life and sometimes 
I think I let them down by being in here and that's what 
makes kind of sad. 

When I get out of here I'm going to do my best to not 
come back in here because I really do miss my family and 


From The Beat: Are you willing to make some sacrifices of your own, to 
ensure that you don't come back? What are they? 

Dwelling and Reminiscing 

It was October 31st, the year of '07 

Them ninjas, they slid through and sent my cousin Bill 

to heaven 

He didn't have nothing to do with that block shhh 

But they still let him have it 

I'm talkin' about a full clip 

I was on the block that night in front of my uncle's 


It was me and my ninjas 

But we had seen 'em first 'cause they ridin' slow in a van 

They drove up to the liquor store and they was goin' fast 

Next thing you know I seen Bill from a block away 

And then they let it rain, doors open, 

And I would've been dead too if I would have stayed up 

the block Now I'm dwelling and reminiscing, I could've 

got shot. 

Rest In Peace Bill Ray Taylor 

We miss you. 

-Lieutenant Alley Bo 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful and raw tribute to your cousin's death. 
So many innocent people get caught between the crosshairs because 
we've turned our streets into a war zone and they're getting caught 
in between. This fight for power will soon tear apart our communities 
beyond repair. What do you think we could do, as a community, to 
strengthen our kids and streets against this type of violence? 


&Mnnnn*EE jw— 


I Need To Say, "Forget All This!" 

What's good with The Beat? Me, shhh keep my head 
above water, hoping the sky don't fall, ya feel me? But 
y'all asking what do I think I have to give up to change 
my future to make it better? I need to stop selling drugs, 
robbing people, fighting, just basically this whole 111' hype 

I need to really just calm down and get back into the 
books, instead of worrying about what's going on and the 
streets. I just need to go back to the old Brittany and 
say, "Forget all that other shhh" and just do what I know 
what's right and get me a job, and be in the house by 
a certain time. The only thing that's keeping me from 
making this sacrifice is I like fast money, even though 
fast money leave fast. But I can't help it. I just love to 
have the finer things, feel me? I mean, that's what's really 
stopping me. Hell, yeah. 

My mom made hella sacrifices for me and she still do. 
One sacrifice that my mother made for me is when she 
gave birth to me. Something could have happened during 
her giving birth to me. To keep it real, I give my life back 
to my mother. 

So, yeah, that's a lil' something I just wanted to drop 
down on paper. So, yeah, I'm out. Love, your girl, Bri. I'm 
out here. Man, get with it or get lost, 'cause I'm a boss. 


From The Beat: The one thing you seem unwilling to sacrifice for your 
mother is that child's attitude, "I can't help it." Of course you can help 
it. There were many times when your mom wished she could be doing 
something she wanted to do instead of taking care of you, but she made 
her desires second to yours. She doesn't want you to give your life back 
(why would she go through all that trouble to have you if she wanted 
you to give it up), she wants you to be the responsible young woman 
she saw in you as she was raising you. You know exactly what you 
need to sacrifice, both for your own advancement and for your mother's 
peace of mind. When you reach maturity, you will do it! Just don't wait 
too long... 

Word Of Advice! 

What's up with The Beat? This Young Life, ya know? 
But, man, all you cats that's trying be hard and carry 
guns, just stop while you got a chance! You ain't ready 
for yo' mama to be walking out that big-ass church, when 
all yo' people cryin', hollerin' 'bout, "Why you had to take 
my son?" That's what them choppas 'bout, is you 'bout 
that boy! 

-Yung Newt 

From The Beat: Why is your piece so similar to C's piece called "Stop 
Talking"? We're not sure which one of you copied from the other, but 
when we read the same words in two different pieces, it makes us 
suspicious of both writers. So, don't use others' words as your own, and 
don't let others use your words as their own! 


I'm Sick In lie Mini, Ya Heard? 

What's good with The Beat? This the Young Life back 
strap. Man, it's so phony up in the Ranch. I'm missing the 
females right now, and my ninjas. We do the same shhh 
every day up here — eat the same food every day, talk 
about the same shhh. 

I miss my freedom, my moms, my sis, my family. I'm 
tired of all this. Something got to be done. My head is 
spinning. I'm stressing. I feel invisible. I'm going ill, but I 
gotta go. 

-Yung J Newt 

From The Beat: How tired of this are you? Are you tired enough to make 
some changes when you touch down so that you won't have to suffer 
through this again? We can understand why you'd rather be home than 
here, but what would make being here a better experience for you? 
What could they do that they are not doing already that might better 
prepare you for a life of freedom on the outs? Are you using your time 
to think about how to stay out? What conclusions have you reached? 

Money, Weapon, Woman 

That's all a ninja need, fo' real. Me, man, I got to do me. 
That's just who I am. So if you ain't my hype, get wit' it 
before I get on ya head. Get active! 


From The Beat: Seems like you need one more thing besides the three 
you named: freedom! Without that, all the money you make is going 
into the systems pockets, the only weapon you have access to is your 
mouth, and as for women... well, only in your dreams! 

Word Of Advice 


What's up wit' The Beat? Man, this CB, ya heard? I'ma 
let y'all know that when ninjas go to jail and they gotta 
do more than a year, they might as well off-top know that 
they girl getting flipped. Man, you can't trust them girls. 
They unfaithful and weak -hearted. 

Being in jail really ain't coo' because if I didn't do 
what I did, I would be out with my female, cuddled up in 
bed and chillin'. Damn, I need to get out. I miss my girl 
and my thugs. 


From The Beat: Aren't you the one that's being unfaithful? After all, if 
you get yourself locked up, then you left her first, she didn't leave you! 
Why should a girl wait around for you when you weren't thinking of her 
when you put yourself here? Do you think getting yourself locked up 
makes you "strong-hearted"? We combined your two pieces because they 
were too much alike. 

The Rich Have No Clue 

Hell no, the rich can't put themselves in the shoes of the 
poor. I have friends that are rich and who talk about some 
stuff they don't even know. Most of the rich girls that I 
meet normally think I'm a wannabe "black" or something 
stupid like that because they're just used to their racist 
things they know. 

Rich people ask me all the time why I be this, why I 
be that, and I tell them, and they don't get it because they 
don't have these problems. Rich people don't know what 
it's like to come home and have no food to eat for days to a 
week at a time. They always have food on the table. A poor 
man has to worry about so much, like paying something 
like a cell phone bill. 


From The Beat: Do you think poor people could be helped if the rich had 
to sacrifice their riches for a period of time — say a year — and have to 
live on food stamps in the projects. Or, do you think that by the time 
we are adults, our ideas are already fixed and can't be changed by new 
experience? What do you think rich people worry about? 


My Racism 



J L 

I wasn't feelin' none of the topics, so I'ma write about 
racism, feel me. I hate when I get on the bus and them 
others be tuckin' they purse and people be callin' the 
police all the damn time. Plus, the Mexicans be always 
callin' me the "N" word. 

But me, I'm very racist. I talk about every race and 
I'm not ashamed of it, because when I talk about white 
people, it's payback for when they enslaved us; and 
Asians because they always act like they know karate but 
they don't; and the Mexicans think they sick 'cause they 
in gangs. Either way it go, I don't like white, yellow or 
Mexicans' color. 

-Angry Black Man 

From The Beat: It's terrible that you have to hear those ugly racist words 
thrown around. But if you respond to racism with racism, what does 
that change? Since very, very few of us are "pure" anything, what would 
you do if you found among your ancestors some whites, some Asians or 
some Latinos? Would that change your view of yourself? Have you ever 
imagined what it would be like to be another race? 


't+j:M*M**dj mmwrn ///////// ////// 

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

//// // 

Can The Rich Put Themselves In The 
Shoes Of The Poor? 

Man, Beat, when I seen this topic, I was just laughing in my 
head. This is a stupid-ass topic. No offense to the person 
that came up with it. It's just stupid in its own way. Can't 
no rich person put theirselves in a poor person' shoes. 
They gon' die before the day is over with. They don't have 
the survivor skills like the poor do, so they wouldn't 
make it. That's just like saying George Washington — you 
put him in my shoes or some other people' shoes like 
us — imagine that. 

But, yeah, I'm out. I'm still loving my haters, because 
they know we out here and we got many of haters just 
make my ice on my neck shine even more. I'ma do 
something good for my haters today, God help me with 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: You may be right about the rich not being able to survive 
what the poor have to survive, but human beings are very adaptable. 
Have you ever heard of the story, 'The Prince and the Pauper"? It's 
by Mark Twain, and it tells the story of what happens when a prince 
changes places with a poor boy. Both of them have to make some major 

Living In The Shoes Of The Poor 

I think that the news reporter might understand a little 
better, but he won't completely know how it feels to be 
poor. They won't know completely because he knows he 
has money to go back to. Also he didn't have to grow up 
poor and experience poverty and gang violence or drug 
abuse at a young age. 


From The Beat: We agree with you. He might be able to learn something, 
but he can never truly understand what real poverty is because he knows 
he can escape from it. What about the other part or the question? Would 
it help if judges, POs, DAs and PDs had to experience a little jail time? 


Don't Get Trapped 

Your Daddy Loves You 


What would I sacrifice for you? 

Would be anything to keep you, 


And the impossible things, 

Just to make you see, 

That your daddy loves you, 

And for you always be 

I just don't got much to say 

Today, so I will be back again 

But all I wanted to say, 

Is that I love you Lavelle 

And for you I will do anything 

Just to see a smile in your face 

And to make of your future the best 

Just 'cause I love you so 


From The Beat: It is touching to read each week of your overwhelming 
love for your daughter. We only hope that when you get out of this 
situation, you don't do anything to put your freedom in jeopardy. Words 
of love are great, but you need a real relationship with your daughter, 
and she needs a real relationship with her daddy. 

Live life to the fullest. Don't hold back. 

Make millions and never look back. 

Do it right so you don't get trapped. 

But if you a youngsta, you can afford one minor setback. 

One's enough but you don't need that. 

Always remember mo' money mo' problems. 

So take it how you want it... 

You want money wit' problems or no money without. 

Choose! It's up to you, but never forget live life to the 


Whichever is best for you, and I'm gone fast. 

-Mo' Money Mo' Problems 

From The Beat: Well, you've laid out the choices, but you haven't 
given us a hint of which one you'll choose. If you plan to take the "no 
problems" alternative, what's your plan for when you get out of here in 
order to stay out of here? 

Back To It 

Dadadoe! What's good, mayne? I'm just in this thang 
waitin' till I go to court again. But it's most likely they 
goin' waive my time again to another month. It's good, 
though. I'ma do all my time, but when I get out, I'ma be 
on shhh, all blacked up, ya'msayin. But I'ma try and be 
smooth about it though, so I want get locked up. 

-Jerry Geez 

From The Beat: We don't care how "smooth" you think you're going to 
be, JG. You can dress in black, creep around the 'hood, do "your thing," 
but you won't be smooth enough to avoid the consequences, unless 
you think you're that much smarter than the 200,000 other people in 
California prisons who, like you, thought they could do it smooth. 

Every Project Is Deefin' 

I wish teenagers claiming they 'je'ts would all be coo' 
'cause hella of these kids is dying at a young-ass age. 
Every Project is beefin'— Potrero Hill, 6th Street, GG 
Boys, North Beach, Jackson Boys, Sunnydale, Harbor, 
West Point, Kirkwood, Lakeview, Quesada, Hollister, 
Palou, Shatter, gcolu, Shorview, OC, The muck, 800, 
Westside, The O, Tp, Ko, Russia block, E-mob, VG's, 
Oakdale, Alemany, Double Rock, Tower block, Holly 
Courts, 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 
30th, Army Street, Page, Hayes Valley, Bishop block, even 
ninjas from the Aves. You just gotta think about why are 
we doing this when we could be doing things to be making 
us rich as hell. 

-Tall Dude 

From The Beat: Well, you got in every street, 'hood, 'je't, and turf in the 
city! When you say you could be out there making money, what did you 
have in mind? Isn't the search to make you rich what leads too many 
people to places like this? The best way to make yourself rich is to finish 
school, prepare for a career, and start stacking your chips slowly, little 
by little. 

Two Kids 


J L 

Man, what's good with this Beat shhh? Me, just being 
this 100% real ninja I was born to be. 

But man, I just had a boy and 'bout to have a girl. 
Man, this life shhh a trip. I would say the "B" word, but 
even they got feelings, and this life can give a damn how 
you feel, fo' real. So I'm ready to knock this dead time out 
and go do my real time in that real world and get on my 

Vonnie Pooh Pooh the only ninja Fa kill and die for. It 
'09 and it our time to shine straight like that. 

-Shawny B 

From The Beat: If you just had a boy and you're about to have a girl, 
does that mean you're responsible for two children by two different 
girls? If so, then we have to take back the word "responsible," and 
substitute the word "irresponsible!" Why would you bring children into 
the world when you are still unable to take care of yourself? How will 
getting on your "grind" help your children? Where will it lead you? Your 
son doesn't need or want you to die or kill for him. He wants and needs 
you to live for him and be responsible for him. When will that happen? 


' &nnnnnsB MKHmmu j t / f t i ////// 

Sacrificing My Future 


I think I need to change and give up struggles that get me 
caught in the game. I wanna be a better person by talking 
to my mama to the troubles I have, for my mama can see 
that I really wanna change to become a better person, 
which I can be. It gets hella hard when I feel triggered by 
others' actions towards me. 

Also, I feel by me giving up sacrifices for my family 
makes me feel like I can make it. I can live to become 
who I want to be if I challenge myself enough to where 
I can be honest and loyal to my mama. I am blessed for 
having a mama who always have my back, even when I got 
difficulties on my shoulders. Mama, when I look at you, 
I see a mother who really cares about her daughter and 
who wants the best for her, which is me. Thanks, Mama. 
I love you 'til I die. 

-Young Cali 

From The Beat: We hope you show this piece to your mama. She will see 
in it the beginnings of the responsible young woman she has always 
seen in you even when you didn't see it in yourself. Work on those 
anger issues because losing your temper and going off on someone is 
the quickest way we know to lose your freedom and everything you've 
worked for. When you get out of here, stay out of here; that's the best 
way to honor and respect your mother. 

Lucky Or Unlucky 

I really don't believe in luck or unluck, I believe in God 
and faith. That's what I believe in. You know my brother, 
Darious, got killed and we didn't have a piece of him on 
earth. But February 8th, God gave me a beautiful niece. 
She so adorable. She is premature. At first, she wasn't 
eating and they had to feed her through a tube, and, on 
top of that, her body temperature kept dropping. Now 
she's eight days old and she is getting breast fed, and 
that was all through faith. 

But she a survivor. She got it through her blood, and 
all these beezies that's already hating on her know what's 
up. She's a beast an' she going to be ready to attack. Like 
they say, she get from her daddy. But, yeah, I'm out. Love 
y'all. Her name is Derion September copper. But I'm out. 
Until next time. 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: We're so glad Darious has left a part of him behind, but 
we have to ask why you would encourage your baby niece to become a 
beast, to learn how to attack. That sounds like a prescription that leads 
exactly to where you are right now! Wouldn't it be a better tribute to 
your brother to guide her, protect her, teach her, and help her to become 
educated, intelligent, and independent? 



The Love I Have For You 

The love I have for you is more than love. The love I 
have for you is respect. The love I have for you is more 
than love. I see you as my king. I see you as my role, my 
everything. And then you go and move on without even 
telling me. 

You told me you loved me. You said you will always 
be there for me, but you lied to me. You promised me you 
will always love me, but you know what? I don't care no 
more. You can get it moving. The love I have for you is 
gone, so, boom! I don't love you no more. 

So I am going to keep it moving on you and I am going 
to drop you like a pack of Newports. I don't want you no 
more, so, boom! I don't want you. 

-Liss Baby 

From The Beat: Before you give your love to any boy, you have to give it 
to yourself. By that we mean you have to find a way to live on the outs 
without risking your freedom or your health. When you're in a better 
place — in school, thinking about your future, helping yourself — then 
you will find someone who loves the real you. 

J L 

Cash Rule Everything Around Me 

What's happenin' with The Beat? It's ya boy Jeez. Let 
me tell ya how money rules everything and how people go 
past they limit to get it. I hustle every day on the outs, but 
I ain't shhh but a brotha tryna do me. Tryna get rich or 
die tryin'. People goes through people' house, kill people, 
and hella otha stuff. It's mainy but get it or get spitted 
trying to. Feel me. 

-P Jeez 

From The Beat: Are you really feeling what you're writing? Get rich 
or die trying? We think if you actually thought death was around the 
corner, you would rethink that "get rich quick" strategy and realize 
that the slower, step-by-step approach is not only more likely to lead to 
riches over time, but to keep you alive and well until old age. 


Fed Up Completely 



What's really good? This Von gonna get at y'all fo' a 
min. Man, these attorneys and POs keep asking the 
soldier where I get my way from. They think I come from 
a dysfunctional family, but my family don't got nothing 
ta do with my ways. Man, I'm me, I'ma do me and can't 
nobody do me betta than I can do me. If they knew betta, 
they'll do betta. 

They also be sayin' shhh about my environment, 
but what do you expect? I'm from San Francisco, and 
the majority of my district is violent. They tryna make a 
brand new map without us. But it ain't gone happen. But 
I'm getting fed up with this lil' kid life comin' back an' 
forth to the halls, so I gotta get goals together so a ninja 
don't gotta worry about this shhh. I'm fed up, gone. 


From The Beat: Without an education or a job, it is very hard to stay 
out of places like this. But if you're tired of this back and forth, then 
you have to take control of your life and make some changes, since 
the system for sure isn't going to change. What goals can you set for 
yourself that you can accomplish without having to risk your freedom 
or your life? You say you're family had nothing to do with who you are, 
but we can't accept that. They are a part of you and you are a part of 
them. What would they like you to accomplish? 

So Real 


Started with nothin', turned into somethin' 

Neva had a job, so you know ya girl hustlin' 

I keep it so real, while these otha females frontin' 

But bein' locked up got me feelin' like I'm nothin' 

And everywhere I turn it's my bustas that's provokin' me 

to get mad 

Plus, I'm sad 

I'm not jokin', it's really all a cycle 

'Cause I'm young and steady thuggin' 

My big homies told me, "Thug it out 

But no dumb shhh" 

And, "It just a game 

But the rule is 'not to get caught'" 

Bein' up in here make me stronger 

Show no "weak" thoughts 

And knowin' that the squad raised a savage 

Ain't no big loss 

I'm jus' missin' school 

And the shhh that got me locked up! 


From The Beat: Those "big homies" who told you to thug it out and that 
it's all a game may look "big" to you, but their minds are small, very 
small. Why pattern your behavior after a bunch of people who have lots 
of experience as prisoners, or taking orders from shot-callers on the 
street, but never taking control of their own lives. It's not just school 
you are missing Safearia, you are missing a way of thinking that could 
lead you away from this and toward something more meaningful in 
your life, like a good education to prepare yourself for a life of freedom 
and family. As long as you're down to follow, you'll be getting a lot of 
behind-these-walls experiences. 


- t+j:M*M**dJ mmwrn ///////// ////// 

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

Palabras (Response To The Editor) 


Orale, check it out. My piece, "It All Comes Back" is 
based on a double meaning. It's a hypothetical piece that 
challenges the average youngster who has plans to become 
a gangbanger to really contemplate if that's the decision 
they truly want to sacrifice themselves at a critical price; 
therefore, causing them to rethink the decision. And in 
order to do that, I just stated it is necessary to tell it like 
it is. That's my nature, take it or leave it, it doesn't get any 
more simple than that. You can't tell one side of the story 
without the other — it just doesn't function that way, and 
contrary to popular belief, exposing what's mandatory 
does in fact, discourage. 

So mi consejo to you is to be more open-minded 
instead of trapping yourself in a judgmental box. In 
conclusion, I must state that you sound a bit hypocritical, 
considering the fact that on several occasions I have 
personally heard Beat facilitators promote individuality 
and to express ourselves honestly. In conclusion, if you 
dislike what I write, don't publish it at all and skip all 
the inane palabra changing mierda, or better yet, I just 
won't submit mi wilascos to hypocrites. Orale, pues, this 
jaina's out. Al rato. 


From The Beat: You're right, there is a certain hypocrisy in encouraging 
self-expression, and then censoring what we can't or won't print in 
that expression. But that is the nature of every publication; there are 
certain rules that, if we did not follow, would lead us to be kicked out 
of county facilities very quickly (as we already have been in some). So, 
you either have to put up with our "inane" words changing your mierda, 
or not write for The Beat. The rules are the same for all. You say that 
by putting it down honestly, some will be discouraged by the reality. 
But we think you're not being entirely honest. You make it sound like 
you're being objective, just describing both sides of what you see, but 
there is much too much passion for one side of the "balance" you say 
you're presenting — too much boasting about being a gangster and too 
much ridiculing of those you find wanting. To you, those that take the 
challenge have courage and those who are weak shouldn't be in it. That 
already prejudices the discussion. We hope you'll step back from your 
stated position here ("If I can't play by my rules, I'll take my marbles and 
I just won't play"), because we have tremendous admiration for your 
skills and — despite your certainties to the contrary — we hope your 
excellent brain will cause you to rethink your dedication to someone 
else's creed. We want to encourage you to keep writing, but only if 
you're writing does not sound like an advertisement for gang banging 
(as in your last piece, "Dark Angel" in which you salute your rag and 
laugh at the "fools" who try but fail to emulate you). 

Getting Out And Doing Right 

The times I have been unlucky is when I am outside 
and I get in trouble over some stupid stuff. But if I get 
with a good crowd, all that will change I think and then I 
wouldn't get in trouble so much. If I start going to school 
and I never get in trouble, that's good and lucky because 
I am doing the right thing. When I am doing right, I don't 
get in trouble. So when I get out, I am go do the right 
instead of the bad. But it is me, Ya Boy Speedy Bad Ass . 

-Speedy Bad Ass 

From The Beat: Are you really talking about luck? It seems like you're 
saying that if you do bad things, bad luck follows, but if you do good 
things, good luck follows. So, when you say you are going to "do the 
right" (and bring yourself good luck), what kinds of things are you 
thinking about doing (and not doing)? 

If mtf mom or grandma ever 
asked me to sacrifice any- 
thing for them, I would,,, 

Love At Night 


I love making love to someone older than me. I love to 
play music. The older women love it. They love me. Older 
women have experience with their love making. 

-LIT Goo 

From The Beat: If you're talking only about the act of sex, then you may 
be right that older women can draw on their experience in ways that 
younger girls cannot. But are you using the term "love making" in the 
same way? In other words, have you experienced love (with or without 
sex) with either older or younger women? Is there a difference between 
love and sex? 

Awake From Within 

Death circling around me 

And it's drownin' me in 

Been losing my whole life, now it's time to win 

Learnin' to separate fakes from friends 

The real me now's awake from within 

I'm done livin' at the bottom, time to rise to the top 

Interrupt my hustle get left in the grass 

And phony wannabe friends get left in the past 

Psych, sorry my ass 

You haters gone with the wind 

Nothing else to say but good-bye Beat Within 

-Young Panch 

From The Beat: We're not sure what has awoken within you. We'd like to 
believe that it's an awakening of what changes you need to bring about 
to avoid the consequence of imprisonment, but we had to removed some 
lines that threaten others, so we're waiting for the evidence that you've 
had enough of this. The system won't change; it's up to you. 

Money Lucky 

One day I go to my friend's house. On the way I see a 
100-dollar bill. Then I pick it up. That's called lucky. 


From The Beat: We almost didn't print this, Alex, because it's too short! 
Don't be lazy! You can write a lot more than this. Where were you when 
you found that money? Did you spend it all on yourself, or did you buy 
things for others, too? Was that the only lucky thing that happened to 

Sacrificing lor My Future 


What's up? This be the one and only Jessenia. I think 
that in order to make my future better, I have to change 
my ways, which would need a lot of work. I have gone 
through a lot of situations that God has put me in, but I 
would have to give up my block, and that's one thing I can 
never do, not because people gonna talk or peer pressure, 
but because that's where I was raised. That's my second 
home. That's where I spend all day and every day of my 
life. I feel that if I can do something good for myself, it 
would start from there. 

If my mom or grandma ever asked me to sacrifice 
anything for them, I would, but I know they would never 
ask me to leave my 'hood, because they know how much 
it means to me. All they ask me to do is be successful and 
be something with myself. But for now, I just want to do 
my time, get out, and get on my feet, and be happy with 
my friends, family, and my man, Chris. So if haters gon' 
hate, I'ma let them, because in the end I'ma shine. 


From The Beat: We applaud your commitment to "shine," but what are 
you planning to do to make that happen? The fact that you are here 
tells us that your strategy has not worked well, so you need to come 
up with something else. We want to encourage you to leave the 'hood, 
at least temporarily, and to explore the much, much bigger world that 
lies beyond. Unless you know what's out there, how can you compare 
what you have to what you might have? Don't you think your mom and 
grandma would like you to sacrifice whatever it is you're doing that 
takes you away from them? 


' &nnnnnsB MKHmmu j t / f t i ////// 

Waiting To Hear: "You Are Released' 


My son is coming through 

But am still not out yet 

I feel myself lucky to find a caring baby mama 

But I feel unlucky to have a sick mind 

I feel lucky for still breathing 

It was unlucky for them people I hurt 

But that was the past 

And now I'm looking toward the future 

Fma raise my sun with care and love 

I'ma try to provide him with all his needs 

Let me out of here 

I have a life and responsibility to take care of 

Can't wait till the day they say "you are released" 

Till then I'm still waiting with hope... 

-Free Me 

From The Beat: Unless you deal with the "sickness" that brings you 
here, you can't be the father you want to be to your son. Finish school 
and prepare yourself for the responsibilities of adulthood. To be the 
best father you can be you first have to be the best person you can be. 

Vons Strategizing 


What it really is with The Beat? This ain't the kid but the 
grown man, Von, up in this dirty rat hole wit' no way out. 
I'm tryin' to keep my head up and doing a lot of thinking. 
I'm strategizing how to find my way to the exit and not get 
lost up in here again, ya'msayn? The big dawg getting too 
old fo' all this shhh, havin' these 111* weak-ass big mouth 
staff thinking they got the strongest hand, threatenin' us 
with all this room time. But I'm fed up gone. 


From The Beat: The sad reality is that, whatever you think of them, 
the staff does have the strongest hand in here. If you're truly fed up 
having to take orders from strangers, there's only one solution: when 
you touchdown, don't come back. Are you making a plan for when you 
get out? That's how you should be using your time here, making plans 
that go from step one to your goal, so that you can follow your road 

Missing The Action 

What's poppin'? I've been down for a minute now. I don't 
know where I'm 'bout to go. Times been goin' fast lately. 
I'm up here holdin' it down, ridin' solo bolo. I'm missin' 
out on the action, but once I'm out this thang, bruh... 


From The Beat: What's "the action" you miss so much? If you go back to 
the "action" that got you here, what makes you think the consequences 
will be any different the next time? 

The Boy Boy Getting' But 

Yeah, it's that ninja Grimey. What's good with The Beat? 
I'm just waiting these last few days in here. I'm go do 
me at this grouper down the way for a minute. Can't say 
where I'm going. You know how them hatas is. 

But yeah, get at me. You know where I'ma be when 
I knock this group home out, so come see what's up. I 
miss the block hella much, man, holdin' them hatas and 
getting the paper, ya'msayin. Dadadoe is what it is right 
now, but all the thugs stay up. I'ma see you when I get 
the home pass. I'ma be out here for the summer and you 
know I'm getting active straight up. 

-Grimey The Realist 

From The Beat: If you think you can "get active straight up" — go back 
to the block you miss so much and get back into the same stuff that 
led you here — without facing similar or worse consequences, then 
you're still thinking like a child. The prisons are filled with men who 
thought they had learned how to be slick in their juvenile years. We 
hope you don't have to join them before you see the path you're on 
leads nowhere. 

I Need To Be In School, Learning 

Well, it's boring in here. I already know this is not the 
place for me. I mean, we do get a lot of time outside the 
room, but being in my room is just reading and sleeping. 
It's not me. 

I'm used to being with my friends, being on the phone 
38/7, and texting. But I know God let things happen for 
a reason, so I'm just go' put it in his hands and let him 
do what he think is best for me. I know he would never 
do nothing that can hurt me or that I can't handle. But I 
know I'm going to change, because I know what I want to 
do in the future. This will not actually help me, because I 
need to be in school, learning. 


From The Beat: If being in here gives you the motivation you need to 
finish school (which should be your first priority), then maybe it was 
worth it to be here. Nobody likes being in jail, being told what to do 
and when to do it. Jail is designed to make you want to stay away. 
Staying in school is the best way to accomplish that. 

Window Warriors 

Many brothas in here be window warrioring, like muggin' 
behind windows they gone hurt somebody, or they get 
stripes for it. I'm P Jeezy. I don't got to explain myself, 
but the othas think they do. 

People come in here talking 'bout what they did and 
stuff. (But it never happened) Real brothas do real things 
and don't tell, and the fake let everybody know. So when 
you hear stories, don't pay 'em no mind 'cause it's fake 
like the brotha who told you. 

-P Jeez 

From The Beat: We always read pieces saying, "I'm real but they're fake." 
We never read a piece that said, 'They're real but I'm fake." Everybody 
thinks they're real, so forget about the ones you think are fronting, 
and focus on things that will keep you from coming here, like finishing 
school on the outs. 

Stop Talking 

You ain't 'bout what you be talkin' 'bout 
You ain't ready for ya mama to be walkin' out 
That big-ass church with all them people crying 
Hollerin' 'bout why you had to take my son 
That's what them choppass 'bout 
Is you 'bout that, boy! 


From The Beat: Are these your words? Who are you writing to/about? 
If this is your original writing, we'd like to read a piece by you that 
describes what was happening in that "big-ass church" with all the 
people crying. 

This Place Has Changed My Life 

Some people think that the halls is a bad thing. I think 
that coming here four times in six mouths was a good 
thing for me, because I hate this place so much that I will 
change my life not to come back. And thanks to all the 
staff that hated on me, and did me wrong, 

'cause all they did was make me better as a person, 
and changed my life forever. 

Every time I left this place, I said that I was not 
coming back, but in the back of my mind I knew I was 
lying to myself. But this time around it will be different, a 
lot different. 

-Snow Man 

From The Beat: Hating this place and they way you are treated when 
you're here should be enough to make anyone want to give up the 
things that lead you here. But what you did not explain is why it took 
you four times to stop lying to yourself? How do you know that this 
time is truly different? What's your plan for success when you touch 

J L 



r//// ////// 

Sacrificing For My Future 


What I have to give up to change is I have to stop smoking 
weed and getting in trouble, start to get my life together 
and get a job to help out my family. What I do now is not 
going to lead me anywhere. 

When I get out of here, I am getting my life together 
and I will start working. And I am going to stop smoking 


From The Beat: Well, it's all up to you. You already know what's holding 
you back. 

My Family Is Sacrificiny 

My family has given me their money and there time. 
They went out of their way for me. They cared because 
they were there for me. 

What I want to sacrifice is my time and also to show 
them that what they sacrifice was worth it and that they 
did it for a good cause. I'm going to go to school and get a 
diploma and a job and show my family I cared also. 


From The Beat: Do it! They deserve this and more. Make it happen. 
Make them proud and don't let anyone hold you back from making this 
happen. Show no weakness when it comes to this! Ask for help if you 
need it too! 

Sacrificing For My Future 

Sacrificing my life is like giving up everything I have. 
One of the things I should especially give up in my life is 
my attitude and my bad language at home. Also, the thing 
that keeps me back from not making that sacrifice is by 
trying to be cool in front of my friends and not being a 
good teenager. 

When I see that my parents always sacrifice something 
for me, especially my mom, I want to show her that I would 
sacrifice anything for my mom because she showed me in 
my life that she really loves me and cares about me. 

Like one example, in my life, was when I was smaller 
I use to be a really bad troublemaker. They would always 
call my dad from work and next thing you know my dad 
sacrifice his job to take care of me at home. 

One thing I'm willing to give up in my life is my respect, 
my language, and my attitude because my parents have 
showed me a lot in life. And when you're willing to give 
up and sacrifice, you should go right ahead and go for it. 


From The Beat: Friends can play a big role in our lives, but why let 
someone control the way we are? Although they might not directly 
"control" you, your actions are still based off of what kind of impressions 
you can make on them. In the end you have to decide. 

Remaking America 

It means a lot to us just because we need change. Obama 
said that he wants to remake America and that he needs 
our help. That stuck with me just because we're losing a 
lot of things we need. 

A lot of people are losing their jobs and homes. They 
talk about taking away welfare and housing, some of us 
really need that stuff. They're making it so that medical 
won't even pay when you go to the doctors. 

That's sad, we really do need a change. It would do 
us a lot of good. Maybe even then some of the people will 
change too. We would have better lives that way. I really 
hope Obama really helps us change this world around. 


From The Beat: We hope so too! 

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

//// // 


I'm changing for the better. All my life I've been messing 
up, never going to school and giving my mom a hard time. 
Just running the streets doing whatever to get money, 
having a lot of dudes. 

I didn't care how no one else felt about how I was 
living. I wasn't even living at home at 15. Then I got a 
reality check when I almost lost my mom. She had got 
stabbed and lit on fire. That woke me up and made me 
think. I wanna make my mom proud. I wanna make myself 
proud. I wanna be able to look at myself and say I made it 
and I am somebody. 

I'm 'bout to be 18 in 5 months and I know if I keep 
living this life, the same thing that happened to my mom 
could happen to me. I have dreams, I wanna be a nurse. I 
want my kids to be proud to call me mom. I've been doing 
a lot better I'm get out of here on the 1-29-09. I got my 
GED and I'm going to start community college. 

Me and my mom are getting along. I've been staying 
at home. I'm changing and I like this change. I just wanna 
thank you to my mom for being strong and holding on 
and never giving up on me. For helping me get through all 
of this I love you. To my boyfriend of two years now I love 
you and thank you for sticking with me through all my 
shhh... I know it's been hard. 


From the Beat: What was going through your head when you found out 
what happened to your mom? Were you locked up or on the outs when 
you found out? Even with this going on, you still found the strength to 
step up and change! We know you can do it and we're pulling for you. 

Your Gonna Regret It 

You cheated, you lied. 

You hit me, I cried. 

You said that you loved me, 

But I want you to see, 

That you'll regret this, 

And I'm the one you'll miss. 

You're going to cry, 

And come to me on your knees, 

I'll look down at you "Sigh" 

Then say "ninja please!" 

-La Foolish 

From The Beat: What advice would you give to others who may be stuck 
in an emotionally/physically abusive relationship? What are you doing 
for yourself? 

The Wrong Ways Of Life 


To change my future I would have to give up everything 
I had, which means all my tattoos removed, and I would 
have to give up all my friends, at least the ones who don't 
drink or smoke. But I would also have to give up my social 
life which means no drinking and smoking, or kicking it, 
and I would have to get a job and start being with my 
family because in the end they the only ones that's gonna 
be there for you, and if I would have listened to my family 
in the first place I wouldn't be here at all. But I would give 
up everything right now just to be with my family and my 

Well, for all you youngsters out there just to let you 
know that there's nothing to prove to anybody and it's not 
worth it, you guys should just be with you families and 
enjoy life while you're still young. 


From The Beat: Are you ready and willing to make the break? This break 
from the ol" you, will be the best thing for your future. You want to look 
back on your life with pride, nor regret. 



Unlucky Times 


Well, what's up, Beat? It's the homeboy, Cash. Well, I 
just went to court today and I feel like I'm going through 
some unlucky times in my life. I just found out that I'm 
a suspect on another murder charge. Now it's two of the 
worst charges on me. But I don't really know, 'cause I 
didn't do shhh. But the other murder charge, I might have 
to go through the time. 

It's crazy. I once felt lucky and now I feel unlucky. Two 
murder charges are too much. Damn, sometimes I feel 
like there's nothing I can do to change the situations I 
put myself through. I've been through a lot, for only being 
seventeen years old. Well, that's what's been happening 
with me. Gots to go. 


From The Beat: We don't want to put any more pressure on you. Cash, 
but we have to ash if you ever think about the victims of those two 
murders, whether you had anything to do with either one of them or 
not. We ask that because we see how easy it is, when you're cast into 
a dungeon and are perhaps facing years in an even darker dungeon, to 
forget your own responsibility, and the people at the other end who are 
having to deal with a permanent loss of someone they loved as much as 
you love your family. Do you see any connections between you and your 
life and them and their lives? 

Gold Father 


What up Beat? This is Sleepy from Santa Clara. Well, 
Beat I'm hella mad because I'm going to Nevada, an out 
of state group home. Man, I wish I never ran away from 
Visalia but then I don't because I might not have met my 
beautiful girlfriend Nissa that I love so much. I wish I could 
be out so I can be there for my son and my grandmother 
that has been there since day one. She's pretty much like 
my mom. 

My mom was pretty much locked up most of my life 
and I never met my dad. I'm trying to be a good father and 
be there for him. That's why I'm going to do my time and 
not run. I'm trying to get hall time but I don't know, I 

I was mad too because I'm not going to be with my 
lady Nissa. I love her a lot, she is my everything. I don't 
want anyone think, I'm my own person I don't follow 
other people, I do my own thing. 


From The Beat: You're on the road to bettering your life, but how will 
you get the ball rolling? For now, all you can do is keep your head up, 
but don't think that this time in the hall is just dead time! Use this time 
to your advantage - read and write- and make your plans for the outs 
now; it'll be easier to avoid the places/people who might land you back 

in the hall. 

r//// ////// 

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

//// // 

Luck And Unhid 


What up, Beat? I remember when I used to blaze it up 
every day at school. Never got caught, not even once. Felt 
pretty damn lucky. 

All that luck changed one day, the day that got me 
locked up. Well, I was blazin' with my lady. I had two 
grams, so we were blazin' it up like crazy. All of a sudden 
I felt someone watchin' me, but to realize it was my vice- 
principal. He searched me, me not knowin' I had a filero 
(knife) in my backpack. 

Even though I got caught, I didn't stop blazin' it 
up, mayne. I blow smoke like a chu chu chu chu train. 
Unlucky? Shhh, tell me about it. Stay up and stay 

-Mr. Green 

From The Beat: We hope that all that smoking at your age doesn't lead 
to some feared disease down the road, like testicular cancer! Now that 
would truly be unlucky! And by the way, what do you need to carry a 
knife to school for? 

J L 

Sacrifice For Your Future 

If there is anything we must sacrifice as humans 
it is our pride and arrogance. 
The world moves on, 
but we are if we still hold dear our pride 
and to write and become stronger, 
combine our knowledge and advance. 

If any have kids, let go your haughtiness and give them 
the life 

that never you had. Take them out and have fun be there 
for them. Advance and let go of your anger. 


From The Beat: This is a great piece! Maybe you can make it longer and 
explain in detail what you mean by this. 

Hit All Mi Life 


What up, Beat: This is Yoggie from last week. Well, I am 
thinking about being a homeboy from my 'hood. I don't 
know yet, but I would like to, because my mom is one, so 
is my sisters, but I am scared. All my life I been hit, so 
that why I am scared to be a homeboy. 


From The Beat: If you've been hit all your life, Yoggie, we hope you don't 
follow in the footsteps of your mom and sisters, but carve your own 
path in life. Stay in school; get your diploma; find someone you love and 
want to spend time with, and move forward with your life. The other 
way leads here, or worse... 

Talk Now 


I'm looking in the shadows of the valley of death, looking 
up, praying to the lord, "Take my guilt away," but the 
cops wanna hold me for eternity. They better count their 
blessings. I go to juvenile hall... look how many fans I 
get. I'm loving it. I'm gonna make their graves, 'cause they 
ain't got nothing on me. They can't hold me down. 

The cops talk smack because they wear their badges, 
but they better tell God they're sorry for holding an 
innocent person in chains. 

■Moe Joe 

From The Beat: If there is a god that we all have to answer to, then 
there will be a lot of cops trying to explain things that have no good 
explanation. But, of course, there will also be a lot of young men trying 
to come up with some good stories, too. Do you really want god to take 
away your guilt? Maybe he gave it to you so you wouldn't be tempted to 
repeat the mistakes of the past. 


Gotta Keep Fighting 


I keep on praying to the Lord to take my sins away. I keep 

on suffering. Why can't I see my sis? I keep holding on. 


I keep on ducking from the cops, ready to run. But I could 
neva run, I could neva hide, so I gotta stay strong. I gotta 
fight my battles, just never lose. I was raised by the dead 
so ain't no stopping me. My blood keeps falling every 
time I win. They see a beast, but they see wrong. My heart 
stops every time my family shed a tear, but there ain't 
no running, so I gotta fight, 'cause no one can hold me 

Chorus (X2) 

-Moe Joe 

From The Beat: "They" see a beast, but what do you see? You say you 
have to fight, but what are you fighting for? Or against? If you're in it 
to win it, can you define what "winning" means? 



r//// ////// 

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



Yeah, it's about that time to get money and be positive. 
That means to climb mountains and go through mazes 
or be that negative person and get money by any means 
necessary either or I'm getting money and doing me but I 
really want to live life to the fullest. One day make it big 
in business or be the next O.G. dope dealer. 

That's my life, I'm fighting a battle. I think I'm going 
to lose but I know I'm going to win the war so get money 
and be successful. That's the business, that ninja shine. 


From The Beat: You can be successful in life, you don't have to settle 
for dealing dope! If you're willing to work hard for what you want and 
work to get it then you can do it. 


I think the more you're patient with something, the more 
it will come out the way you want it to. 

The phrase "nothing changes overnight," to me 
means that you can't expect things to be different from 
bad to good because it will still be there. 

For example, if you have a death in your family you 
can't expect for the person to come back the next day or 
get over it in a day. You have to be patient with things. 


From the Beat: You're absolutely right. Patient, you can't expect things 
to change in a day. But how do you start the process of change? 

Ya Boy's Luck 

What's up Beat? My court date went well. The judge 
gave me a few months in "Life Skills" and I get out with 
no probation. You can say I'm lucky, but unlucky at the 
same time because I'm doing a few more months. 

It's lucky but unlucky 'cause I'm in here messing up 
my school and college plans. I'm also lucky 'cause God 
has gave me the athletic ability to have college scouts and 

A coach even came to visit me in here and has plans 
for me when I get out. So overall you can say I'm lucky 
and I'm going to change my ways and friends so my luck 
won't change. 


From The Beat: If you are gifted with opportunity, use your talent to 
your advantage. Keep us posted. 

Guns Are Necessary 

I think that's guns are necessary just for the fact that 
people need protection and you never know when its 
going to be needed. I know that me and my family have 
been in situations where if I didn't have a gun I wouldn't 
be here today. I'd be 6 feet under. 

Off something that pushes my buttons, I hate when 
someone talks shh about people that are mentally 111. I 
think that's messed up. I mean, I don't trip off someone 
saying that someone looks retarded but when someone 
talks about how they can't do shhh for themselves or 
they should die. Hell no. 

Then about me. Well, I get out in 30 days, on the 5th 
of January, and I am hella excited. I might not see this 
one but have to say it's been a crazy journey. I can't come 
back here no more but I know that I'm moving on to bigger 
and better things. 

-Baby Face 

From The Beat: The way our neighborhoods are now, guns do seem 
necessary. What can we do, as a community, to make the streets safe so 
we don't have to pack heat all the time? 



Lucky or unlucky 


I feel lucky that I have a family that cares about me and 
a girlfriend that's there for me. 

I just get unlucky sometimes and I end up being in 
the wrong place at the wrong time but all I can do is learn 
from my mistakes. 

It's just my luck that I end up in the hall and about to 
do 5 month, but I'm going to do my best and try to turn 
my luck around. 


From The Beat: Maybe it isn't luck, it could be (like you said) being 
at the wrong place at the wrong time or the choices you make or the 
people you hang out with. Now is the time to think about whether it's 
luck or not and see where the problem lies. 

Lucky and unlucky 

I feel that I'm lucky because I got a lady who shows me 
she really cares and that has a good head on her shoulders 
and that is also hella beautiful. 

But I also feel unlucky because me growing up since 
I was younger basically without my family going through 
a lot. 

Having to get my own things and having to take care 
of my little brother so I really have a tough life but when 
I get out I plan on getting a job and help my lady as much 
as possible. 

Love you Anthony & Amanda. 


From The Beat: Thank you for sharing this with us! You're going through 
a lot now but you can choose your future, you just have to apply 
yourself and work at it! We know you can do it, it might be hard at first 
but when the alternative is being locked up or dead then it shouldn't 
be I 

i too hard to choose. 


My Family Is Sacrificing 



My family has given me their money and there time. 
They went out of their way for me. They cared because 
they were there for me. 

What I want to sacrifice is my time and also to show 
them that what they sacrifice was worth it and that they 
did it for a good cause. I'm going to go to school and get a 
diploma and a job and show my family I cared also. 


From The Beat: Do it! They deserve this and more. Make it happen. 
Make them proud and don't let anyone hold you back from making this 
happen. Show no weakness when it comes to this! Ask for help if you 
need it too! 


My Baby Mama 

What up, Beat? It's Nino. Well, today I am going to write 
about my baby's mama. 

Well, when I got out this last time I met some girl and 
it was love at first sight. We talked on the phone for like 
four hours and it seemed like I knew her for a long time. 

Well, we hit it off and before I got locked up she told 
me she was pregnant and I was hella happy and I started 
to look for a job. Also, I was doing hella good and I got 
locked up for something I didn't do. Hopefully, I get out 
on my court date. 

Now, my lady is a couple months pregnant. Also, she's 
going to move in with me. Well, that's all for today. To all 
locked up, stay up. Much love. Alrato 


From The Beat: You really have to think now, you're going to have a 
baby and the world won't just be about you. Sunny. Congratulations on 
your bundle of joy yet to come and we wish you the best in getting your 
life right, for you and your baby. 



r//// ////// 

If They Knew Me 

Living in my shoes is not an easy thing. I wish my PO 
and judge would live at least one day in my shoes. They 
would never last. 

I've live in a car for a couple of months, to around 
four or five. After that, I lived with family and strangers. I 
lived a normal life from around nine to eleven, but no one 
really raised me. 

My father got locked up and my mom would care 
about the three little bro's, so I was raised basically by 
homeboys and the streets. 

So now I'm in here. I wish the PO and judge could 
feel like I feel, living the life I lived. I wish they could see 
how hard it is for kids like us to make it, 'cause we don't 
know the way. I wish they could see how hard it is to look 
at these walls all day everyday for a long time, I wish they 
could give us a break. 


From The Beat: We appreciate the piece and we understand how you 
feel, though it is in your best interest to get your life back on track and 
start working hard to never return to juvenile. You cannot rely on the 
homeboys to make things better, it's on you to see the way. Stay focused 
and determined! 


For My Mother 



What's up Beat? Todays topic is about sacrificing for my 
future. Well, here I am willing to sacrifice for my family 
my love ones. I am willing to sacrifice for my love ones 
because I think they have sacrificed enough for me. 

For instance, my mom has been willing to sacrifice 
all her life just to put a roof over me and my brothers' 

I think she has done enough for me and now it's my 
turn to return all the good things she has done for me. 
Anyways I am willing to do the same for her. 

For instance, when she is having a hard time looking 
for a roof to put over her head. I wouldn't even want for 
her to keep on struggling looking for a job when her son 
can be their for her. I would want her to spend the rest 
of her life just relaxing and enjoying her last few years of 


From The Beat: Exactly! She has a son that can help her situation and 
make her life easier. What are you planning to do to help her when you 
go home? 

Stop Running! 


Man, to all, stop running! You're just running away from 
your problems. What, are you scared? You can gangbang, 
drink, steal cars but you can't do a program? 

I see homeboys come in all the time running from the 
Ranch or failing or cutting off EMP. 

I ran from the group in San Jose and Visalia, I cut off 
my EMP, I stole cars, I did a lot of bad stuff. I'm going to 
stop. I'm cool off getting in trouble. This is my seventh 
damn time, forget this, it's a messed up life to live. 

People, just do your time and be cool, go to school, 
and stay out of trouble. 

Well, much love to everyone that's locked up and to 
my lady that's here, I love you and you're always in my 

Well everybody, I know what you're going through, I 
feel your pain. Much love and respect!! 


From The Beat: Thank you for this piece, it's so true! What made you 
want to change this time, though? What inspired you to finally stop the 
bullshhh and focus on what you want? 

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

What They Should Do 

Hey what's up Beat? This is Carlos again. Well I am going 
to write about the topic what I think of PO's if they were 
ever locked up. They would go a lot easier on us. They 
would probably let people get a couple of dirty bottles, 
because the PO I got is hard on me. She gave me six to 
eight months and I would have expected to get EMP. So 
then that's all I could think of writing. 


From The Beat: Why not making it easy and just follow your probation 
rules? Do your program and no drama! 

Lucky And Unlucky 

I think some people get lucky and some people are 
unlucky. This ya boy Dre speaking from the max. Some 
people get released when they do a big charge because 
they're lucky. 

Some people might do the same charge as them and 
get washed. 

Also other races that ain't African American they're 
the one that are unlucky especially in this county. 


From The Beat: Which of those people are you? A lucky or unlucky one? 
So, if you were in charge of sentencing people equally, how would you 
do it? What would be fair? 

I Hardly Know You 

I hardly know you, but I feel I need you. 

I feel like your that responsible young woman 

That I've been looking for. 

I hardly know you but I wish I could hold you 

In my arms and gaze into your eyes, 

For me to say I love you and for you to say it back. 

I hardly know you, 

But girl, I need, I want you 

I don't know why but I do. 

-Love Struck 

From The Beat: Great poem. Love! We hope that the special someone 
you're talking about feels the same about you. Maybe next time put a 
name on your piece and the girl's name, then she'll know it was meant 
for her AND she'll know who the young Casanova is! Remember, in 
order to make a relationship work you need to be free! 

Don't Try To Speaking On something You 
Don't Know 

Well first welcome back, Beat. So first, I hope everybody 
is in great health and spirits. So about don't go there, well 
where to start? 

Okay, I member a while back when I was talking to 
this certain youngster I was talking about my primo that 
passed away (relax in paradise) and she started to talk 
about how she chilled with him, drank, smoked with him 
all the time. 

I was letting her talk then it hit me hard. I told her to 
keep his name out her mouth. So the point is, I hate when 
people try to speak upon shhh they don't know about. It 
just strikes me bad when people talk about my family or 
loved ones. 

Just don't go there. It's just all out of respect, it could 
get some one mad. I'm out with most love and hate. 


From The Beat: When someone close to us passes, it hurts to hear other 
people speak about them but that doesn't mean that that person is 
trying to disrespect you. She might've known him too and just wanted 
to reminisce on the good times, Nena. 



r//// ////// 

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

Sacrificing For My Future 


In life I would like to see myself succeed. When I think 
about succeeding in life I come to a list of things I wish I 
should have done. 

I also know in life you can do anything you put your 
mind to so I don't necessarily base my life on what I wish 
I could have, should have, would have done but I do know 
this, now that I see things clearly and have a better view 
on life I wish I hadn't set myself back in life as many 
times as I did. 

Some say," God throws obstacles in your path to see 
how you work around them, but it is we who stall our 
time on that one obstacle in life that we should have been 
bypassed." I'm not too sure of the exact saying so that's 
the way I put it but to me that means when your mother 
tells you to clean the kitchen you should do it and get 
it out the way 'cause even if you stall or leave and come 
back, that same dirty kitchen is right there waiting for 

So that is my only wish: that I don't keep setting 
myself back. I'm ready for change. 

-Bear Iyisha 

From The Beat: Although you may have set yourself back you still have 
your whole future to look forward to. Keep positive and keep your goal 
in your mind and you can do anything, even with obstacles blocking 
your way! 


Shhh is too, too crazy, 

Look, got bad luck like I ran and messed with the voodoo lady 

Every other week I'm in handcuffs, 

Stack something, lose something, something keeps 

mucking my plans, 

Moving in a hurry thinking some time slow 

When I pass the cemetery where 111* brother is buried. 

All I can do is salute and pound my chest. 

God got his army and we all His recruits 

But every other night I see demons do something crazy 

And don't the reason blame it on the ass so I say it's the 


tell my ninja's light the hell up 'cause I'm gonna get it, 

Something when the sadness turns into madness, 

Got me doin' shhh where I'm running from badges 

I can see my life in some flashes, 

I pour more Hen in the glass, 

I go to sleep in my soul, 

I cry, it's no lie, why you think I'm so high? 

And just watch the time go by, funny when ya mine gold 


And ninja's is gold diggaz, 

Guess you gonna know when it's your time, 

Stress built up on my shoulders 

Forget it, now I'm gonna ride, now bring the hat low sitting 

over the eyebrow, 

Look at the stash, and think that I'm gas, 

On some godfather saga 'cause Veda wouldn't lay down, 

Me and destiny got a date, 

However rolling if I'm not go get your faith, 

'Cause I ain't fold I take whoever I been die for the day to 

my war on 

Reflect on the days when played grown man get my 



From The Beat: It seems like being able to write in this style is a good 
way to get things off your chest-you can just let everything flow off 
you, but not many people can do this, instead they act on their feelings. 
What would you say to a friend that was in a bad mood and looking 
for a fight? 

Speak Up 

I know one time that I was in a situation like this my 
boy was slamming heroin and I saw how it was starting 
to slam him. 

One day I went by his pad and I told him that he 
needed to kick it or else he was gonna end up dead. I told 
him to call my dad 'cause he has been clean for 19 years 
- off heroin. 

He said he wouldn't but when I left I wrote it down 
just in case. He got pissed and I didn't hear from him and 
then a few days later my dad told me he called and he's 
been off it for almost a year. 

I'm proud of him. I mean, he still does shhh but he 
ain't slamming no more. 

-Baby Face 

From The Beat: You did a good thing, it's hard to stand up to our friends/ 
family but sometimes we just have to. Are you two speaking now? 



J L 


What's good, Beat? This Yung Uso Kefl, once again today 
I'm not really feeling the topic so I'm going to write about 
my time going by slow. 

When I was in max looking at CYA, my time was going 
by hella fast. I don't know why, it seemed kind of messed 
up because I was going to the Y and I thought I was going 
to be mucked but then my PO was on my side. She's the 
best PO you could get because she talked to the judge 
talking about all the good stuff I was doing and she didn't 
even talk about nothing bad. 

But anyways now that I'm in another unit, time is 
going by slower then slow. I think it's because I know I 
was going by slower then slow. I think it's because I know 
I was going to do a lot of time on my hands but I didn't 
and it's hitting me by making every day go slower for me. 

Well Beat, with that said I'm out. Too all doing time 
keep your head up. 

-Yung Uso Kefl 

From The Beat: When you're unaware of what will happen with your 
life, if you'll get a strike or a life, time will take forever. We wish we 
could do something to speed up your sentence but we can't. All you can 
do now is keep your head up, write, read, and TALK with your PO! 

Soon To Be A Bad 


Well I have a story for you, the story of a girl that has my 
baby on the way. In two weeks, she will be a few months. I 
am hoping that she will be fine without me there. 

I was going to take her to get ultrasounds last week. 
I hope she made it there without me. It's funny. I got out 
the last time on December 6, and that night I express my 
feelings of love to her all night. You know what it's like to 
get out and see your girl after all that time. I wasn't able 
to control myself after thirty minutes. That morning, we 
checked the condom and it was ripped. 

At first, we did not care. We were too busy, but life 
went on as much as I wish we could have stayed in her 
room. At first, it was cool. I did not even have to go to 
school. And would just kick it all day with the homeboys 
and my chicka. 

About a week later, my lady told me she was pregnant 
and I am the dad. I am locked up and can't be there for 


From The Beat: How can she be fine without the support she needs. 
She'll need you more than ever. Having a child is a lot responsibility, so 
if we were you, we would do whatever was possible to be there and stop 
fooling around with your friends. Get smart! Seek help too! 


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

r//// ////// 

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

Forget Me And You 


You said you loved me but you played me for a fool 
It's cool 'cause I knew the real you 
But to tell you the truth I'm the one who played you 
I hated how you said "don't do this" and "don't do that" 
And in the end you just stabbed me in the back 
But I ain't trippin' off what you say 
'Cause I still be sittin' and hittin' that dank 
I'm sorry, but it's all business 
I ain't got no time for you anymore 
All you were was a little girl, nothing more 
Girl, I remember when you used to do my chores 
Had you on a leash you sneaky chick 

But look here, girl, you long gone and no where to be 

But by the way I was tired of giving you 
The wham, bam, thank you ma'am treatment 
And I'm a end this with a forget you and have a nice day. 


From The Beat: It seems like you're harboring some ill feelings towards 
an unlucky girl. Do you think this old flame has affected you in the way 
you look at other girls? Well this relationship didn't work out, and it will 
make both of you stronger!! 

Still Waiting 


Sacrificing For My Future 


With me, I have a lot to sacrifice if I want to change, if I 
want my future better. Which I do. 

I would have to sacrifice and slow down with the ways 
I'm getting money. With all the dudes and females I run 
with. My attitude. There a lot of things, I can go on and 

The reason why I haven't sacrificed anything is 
because I'm not ready and it's hard. Really because I'm 
very independent and if I can't get stuff done than I'ma end 
up going back to that life style. My mom has sacrificed a 
lot for me and I would be willing to sacrifice everything 
for her. 


From The Beat: You shouldn't need your mother to tell you it's time to 
change, you have your cell to tell you it's time to change. Being in there 
should be enough to make you want to turn your life around. 

Hey Beat, what's up? I'm just gonna write about how my 
court's been going. Well, it's still taking its time I have 
court on May 6. I just want this to all be over already. 
But it's true what some people say, that being in juvie 
ain't that bad 'cause it ain't county, YA or jail. So we're a 
little lucky to be here. Just change your life in here and 
everything that comes in life you can learn in here. I am. 

The only reason why I wanna bounce already because 
I'm ready now. I've been locked up since Oct. 3, '08, for 
attempted murder. The DA's trying to give me life, but I 
know that I'm getting out soon having faith to always just 
stay up. 

We could make it better for us in here when we go in 
the right path, just have to know which way to take it. 
Took me a really long time. Here's a hint on what to do... 
Look up! 

So yeah, well, I'm just gonna stay strong and forget 
what everyone else says. This is my life, not theirs. 
Everyone should do that. So late. I'm out. 

■Moe Joe 

From The Beat: Whether you get out soon or not, we think your faith 
should keep you strong and positive. What are the things you are doing 
to make it better for yourself? 

J L 

You Make Your Own Luck 

I don't consider myself lucky or unlucky, but lucky 
and unlucky things happen to me. ..You bring your luck 
on yourself. If you're thinking positive, good things will 
happen. If you think negative, bad things will happen. 

I've been lucky in situations and unlucky in others. It 
just depends on how my mind set is at the time. 


From The Beat: What about now, are you thinking positive or negative? 
What do you see for your future? What's in it? 

One Size Doesn't Fit All 



What's good with the Beat? It's Lil' Man dropping some 
lines this week, about how it would be for the DA's, PO's, 
judges to put themselves in my shoes, or any other 
homeboy that's been in the system. 

I would love to see them lock themselves in a cell 
with thin mattresses, rough ass covers, somebody else's 
underwear around your waist and some cold ass rooms, 
waiting for mail that never comes, visits that never take 
place, vatos telling you what to do, when to shower, and 
when to brush your grill. 

These system people wouldn't last a minute in this 
life that I'm living. Well to all doing time, don't let the 
time do you. Que no? alrato. 

-Lil' Man 

From The Beat: It's hard to live in the system, but remember, you don't 
have to live here. It's your choice. Right? The time is now to not only 
recognize you have a drug issue, but to put your words into action. 
You're too smart for juvenile, get back to school! 

If They Were On Our Shoes 

What I think if the DA's, PO's, PD's or judges step into 
the cells that we live in or be us for a second. 

I think it would make them wanna not give us that 
much time or send people to CYA or prison as often as 
they do to us nowadays. 

I also think that rich people can't just step into the 
poor people's shoes. I think that they have to live it to 
experience it. 


From The Beat: Well, you can be p[art of the change if you choose to 
become a DA, PO, PD, or judge, you can then give young people a better 
chance to rehabilitate, better than being here. What kind of program 
would you create that can help our young generation to stay out of 

Locked Op 

It's been a week in the cell 

Now I'm just living in hell, 

I'm wishing everything is gonna be well, 

doing time for the crimes, 

every time I sleep hoping it's all a nightmare, 

wishing I was never living this fear, 

16 years old 

the world I'm living in is so damm cold, 

I be thinking and thinking 

time is ticking 

so what is there to do now? 

Once I'm out everyone will be saying wow 

Trying to take a stand screaming out 

who the better man. 


From The Beat: The way to make things better to is address what 
brought you to juvenile and begin to work on bettering you. Are you 
ready to put in the work? It is not an easy task, but can be done! 



r//// ////// 

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

Lucky Or Unlucky 

I think I'm pretty lucky because I've been in situations 
that I probably wouldn't be out here. Like when I was 
drunk with one guy that lives in my 'hood and it was the 
first day he moved in from Puerto Rico. 

This guy was pretty big, so everyone thought he was 
tough. Anyways we were drinking because one of the 
homeboys brought him over. We were drinking, having a 
good time, but the whole time I was kind of giving the new 
guy an attitude. So, we were hella drunk. The homeys 
from the 'hood and I sparked a blunt up and I didn't let 
him hit my blunt, so we started arguing and we ended up 
fighting. That fool was hella bigger and older, so he ended 
up beating me up. That's when I pulled out my shank 

An hour later, they called my brother and they told 
me that they were going to call the cops and that's when 
I knew I was going away for a long time, but they called 
me and told me they weren't going to call the cops any 

So, I went to his pad a couple of days later and 
apologized and we started chilling hella cool. We ended 
up being boys and me and the Puerto Rican got hella 

I found out he was schizophrenic and one day he was 
going to go get his medicine and later on that day his 
mom told me he was dead and told me that a cop tazed 
him to death. 

I was tripping I guess they tazed him for no reason 
and his mom sued the police and she got hella money, but 
it wasn't worth it, so that's my story about being lucky. 


From The Beat: We're sorry for the loss of your friend. Yes you were 
lucky he didn't press any charges against you that one day; otherwise 
your story would have been different. What did you learn from this 

Sacrificing For My Future 

What I have to give up to change is I have to stop smoking 
weed and getting in trouble, start to get my life together 
and get a job to help out my family. What I do now is not 
going to lead me anywhere. 

When I get out of here, I am getting my life together 
and I will start working. And I am going to stop smoking 


From The Beat: Well, it's all up to you. You already know what's holding 
you back. 

Somethiny I Will change 

What's good with it Beat? It's that one and only Kefi 
coming at you. 

Well today I'm going to talk about something I will 
change. Something I will change is being there for my 
mom. As you know I talked about my mom going back 
to Samoa. Even though when she comes back, I'm going 
to be there for her. I'm not going to let anything stop me 
from doing that, not even my boys. I'd spend more time 
kicking it with the usos/homeboys more than with my 

I think ever since I know my moms is going somewhere 
faraway don't mean I can't change and do what I said I was 
going to do. 


From The Beat: Sounds good to us. Now that she is going away, she 
will need your support — doing things right. You don't want her to worry 
about you when being far away. Do you? 

My Mommy Martha 

Hey what's up Beat? This your girl Esmeralda. Well, 
I'm not feeling these topics so I'm gonna write about my 
mom, Martha , and how much I miss her and how I want 
to be home with her. 

Damn, I wish she could forgive me 'cause I put her 
through a lot and she still by my side. 

Well mommy, I love you and this poem is for you. 


Even though we have our ups and downs 

You will always put a smile on my frown 

Even when I put you down 

You were always around 

And maintained your ground 

So here I am once again 

Telling you I will be here 

'Till the very end. 


From The Beat: This is a beautiful tribute to your mother! What other 
ways could you show your mother your love and respect? Changing your 
lifestyle could be a way to show her that you care. What do you think? 

My Angel 

My angel I express some words from my heart and it 

speaks to you... 

I thank you for love and your time for always staying 


True to yourself, because by that then you're also true 

to me. 

True to our future and everything that we will be... 

I wish I could hold you in my arms and gaze into your 


And tell you that you are special and truly 1 of a kind... 

Your beauty is more than skin deep and it's that I've ever 

wanted and thank god for you... 

Thank you, God, for this wonderful and caring woman, 

thank you for answering my prayers. 

Audrey, this poem is for you. Since we have been talking, 

I have over come so many obstacles because of you. 


From The Beat: This is a really touching tribute to somebody who is 
obviously very special to you. It's a beautiful poem and we hope that 
whoever it was written for was able to read it on Valentines Day last 

I Miss You Mom! 

What's up, Beat? This Yung Uso Kefi coming at you once 
again. Today I'm going to talk about my moms. 

Just the other day my mom went back to her 
hometown. She went back to Western Samoa and I don't 
know when she's coming back. What I'm trying to say is 
I miss you, mom. I hope you come back soon, your son 

-Yung Uso Kefi 

From The Beat: Did you and your mother speak about her trip before she 
left? What happens when you're released, Uso? Do you think you would 
ever live out in Samoa with your mother? 


J L 

RIP Too My Unborn Sis/Bro 

Just know that I love you even though I never got to hold 
you, kiss you, and even got to know you. I just want you 
to know that I'm one of your big bruhs and you won't be 

-Yung Uso Kefi 

From The Beat: Even though your little bro/sis didn't leave to see the 
world he/she might come in another form, Uso, you never know. 


' agninnnts mmmmtrnt / a £ ////// 



Hey Beat! It's your girl Lugo coming at you from Honors 
Unit. Well, I'm really not feeling these topics today but I 
have a lot on my mind chest right now and I want to get it 
off. First off, I'm on C program right now but the staff are 
letting me go tonight, so I thank them for that. 

So, when I'm posted up in my room I just reminisce 
about everything. I think a lot about my family and how I 
was never there for them, especially not for my sister. 

It kinda hurts talking about this but I need to get it off 
my chest. I just want to be the big sister. It kinda hurts 
talking about this but I need to get it off my chest. I just 
want to be the big sister I never was. I hope one day she 
can find deep down in her heart to forgive me. 

Also, I hope my whole familia can do the same. I put 
them through hell. But they were by my side through 
thick and thin. And I really truly thank them for that. 

Another thing I've been thinking about is my husband. 
Damn I hella miss him. It kills me to know what kind of 
situation he is in. But I hope for him the best. 


From The Beat: You may not have been there for your sister or your 
family in the past but the past is over and done with, you have the 
future to look forward to. Now that you've gone through these hurdles 
in your life you can go forward with the knowledge you've gained. 

licked Up 


It's been a week in the cell 

Now I'm just living in hell, 

I'm wishing everything is gonna be well, 

doing time for the crimes, 

every time I sleep hoping it's all a nightmare, 

wishing I was never living this fear, 

16 years old 

the world I'm living in is so damm cold, 

I be thinking and thinking 

time is ticking 

so what is there to do now? 

Once I'm out everyone will be saying wow 

Trying to take a stand screaming out 

who the better man. 


From The Beat: The way to make things better to is address what 
brought you to juvenile and begin to work on bettering you. Are you 
ready to put in the work? It is not an easy task, but can be done! 

For My Mother 


What's up Beat? Todays topic is about sacrificing for my 
future. Well, here I am willing to sacrifice for my family 
my love ones. I am willing to sacrifice for my love ones 
because I think they have sacrificed enough for me. 

For instance, my mom has been willing to sacrifice 
all her life just to put a roof over me and my brothers' 

I think she has done enough for me and now it's my 
turn to return all the good things she has done for me. 
Anyways I am willing to do the same for her. 

For instance, when she is having a hard time looking 
for a roof to put over her head. I wouldn't even want for 
her to keep on struggling looking for a job when her son 
can be their for her. I would want her to spend the rest 
of her life just relaxing and enjoying her last few years of 


From The Beat: Exactly! She has a son that can help her situation and 
make her life easier. What are you planning to do to help her when you 
go home? 

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


Plenty On My Mind 

What's cracking, Beat? Well, I have a lot, a lot, on my 
mind lately and sometimes I feel like I'm gonna go crazy 
with all this thinking I do. 

Well, today my momma was supposed to visit me 
today but she didn't. It's all good though 'cause I won't be 
here for long. 

Last time I was here, I did like 30 days and like a extra 
15 days dead time and she never visited me. But I can 
understand her 'cause she hates seeing me like this and I 
don't like it when I see her cry, like when I turned myself 

It killed me seeing her hella break down like she did, 
but like I said I wo'nt be here for long, so until my release 
date in April, and it's almost March, I'll see her again! 

Well, I have hella other shhh on my mind that really 
gets to me and brings me down, but I dunno I could 
probably write on and on 'bout that but for now I'll just 
end it here before I get all depressed. 


From The Beat: It hurts for any parent when they have to see the 
direction their kid is going, Christina. Do you think when you get out 
you'll try and change for your mother and yourself? 

My Loved Ones 


I've decided to write about being lucky which I do 
consider myself. 

I believe I'm the luckiest person in the world. 

I'm alive, I got a loving family, girlfriend and something 
to look forward to 

when I get out. I feel that even though I'm here I'm 

There are a whole lot of people out there in worst 

Everything happens for a reason and it's up to you to 
make the best of it 


From The Beat: You're right! There are a lot of people in bad shapes of 
situation. It seems like you got something that brings a smile in your 
face. Well, what are you willing to give up for them? 

Never Know What It's Like 

What's cracking, Beat? This is Christina here to drop a 
few lines for whoever reads these things. 

Well, one of the topics says if DA's or judges were 
to put themselves in our shoes or any other people 
incarcerated, would they know how we felt and see what 
it's like for us or especially if they incarcerate you for a 
long time or if they mess with your case unfairly? 

Well, my answer to that is hell no. They'll never 
know what's it's like for us and what we think if they're 
just gonna do it for like an "Experiment". Only maybe 
if it would happen for real to them, but even then I got 

They would have to know what it's like to miss out on 
so much with the people that matter most to them and 
lose a lot just 'cause of being incarcerated. Especially the 
young heads that be doing hella time and facing maybe 
life sentences or years. 

I know have a lot to say about this but I don't even 
know if I'm making sense right now 'cause I'm rushing so 
I'ma cut this here. 


From The Beat: This was a great effort. You're right, the DAs, judges, 
or anyone really wouldn't know what it's like to be locked up. We hope 
that you will keep writing and get everything off your chest! 


'&Mnnnn*MB mmmKBMt / Ji j ////// 

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

Sacrificing For My Future 


As I was reading down the list, "Sacrificing for my future" 
caught my attention. 

Since I've been associating myself with positive 
people, I've started to change drastically my thought 
process. I've been analyzing my life and mindset and I 
wasn't glad with what I came up with. 

Now that I've had a long time to really, really think 
about my life, I am willing to sacrifice myself- pride for my 
family or the girl I am going to have in my life soon. 

Before I got re-incarcerated, I had that typical "I don't 
give a fuge" mindset. I was the homeboy who would attack 
anyone who disrespected my fellow carnal (homeboy). I 
thought everyone was the same as I. I was mistaken. 

For example, I was with two other people when I came 
back into juvenile hall. One of those people was one of 
my family member the other is a guy I considered a loyal 
friend. I've been through so many things with that guy. I 
knew him since I was attending pre-school. 

When he heard "years" he sang like a bird about me. 
Since that happened, I started to think about the people 
I associate with. So friend or homeboys are something I 
am willing to sacrifice for my future or the future of the 
loved ones in my life. One love to all! 


From The Beat: Well said! Do it and you'll see how your life will become 
full of happiness and joy surrounded with the people you care about. 
Whatever you past and thoughts from the past were, leave it in the 
past. Start building up a new life that can make you proud and happy. 
It's on your hands. 

Sacrificing Fir My Future 


What's up Beat? Right now I'm in a position where 
sacrificing for my future is exactly what I have to do, 
because I'm being sent to Wyoming. From this point, I've 
been running from everywhere else so I got to make a 
lot of sacrificing, so I can try something new and be out 


From The Beat: So what are you thinking to sacrifice to change your life 
around? You're not just saying this just to say it are you? 

You Make Your Own Luck 


I don't consider myself lucky or unlucky, but lucky 
and unlucky things happen to me. ..You bring your luck 
on yourself. If you're thinking positive, good things will 
happen. If you think negative, bad things will happen. 

I've been lucky in situations and unlucky in others. It 
just depends on how my mind set is at the time. 


From The Beat: What about now, are you thinking positive or negative? 
What do you see for your future? What's in it? 

Lucky Or Onlucky 

I think I'm pretty lucky because I've been in situations 
that I probably wouldn't be out here. Like when I was 
drunk with one guy that lives in my 'hood and it was the 
first day he moved in from Puerto Rico. 

This guy was pretty big, so everyone thought he was 
tough. Anyways we were drinking because one of the 
homeboys brought him over. We were drinking, having a 
good time, but the whole time I was kind of giving the new 
guy an attitude. So, we were hella drunk. The homeys 
from the 'hood and I sparked a blunt up and I didn't let 
him hit my blunt, so we started arguing and we ended up 
fighting. That fool was hella bigger and older, so he ended 
up beating me up. That's when I pulled out my shank 

An hour later, they called my brother and they told 
me that they were going to call the cops and that's when 
I knew I was going away for a long time, but they called 
me and told me they weren't going to call the cops any 

So, I went to his pad a couple of days later and 
apologized and we started chilling hella cool. We ended 
up being boys and me and the Puerto Rican got hella 

I found out he was schizophrenic and one day he was 
going to go get his medicine and later on that day his 
mom told me he was dead and told me that a cop tazed 
him to death. 

I was tripping I guess they tazed him for no reason 
and his mom sued the police and she got hella money, but 
it wasn't worth it, so that's my story about being lucky. 


From The Beat: We're sorry for the loss of your friend. Yes you were 
lucky he didn't press any charges against you that one day; otherwise 
your story would have been different. What did you learn from this 

Lucky Or Onlucky 


People say that I'm lucky for what I got sentenced. I kind 
of agree to that. But I kind of think I'm unlucky 'cause my 
loved ones got some pretty heavy sentences. 

My brother got six years and two strikes. Two of my 
co-parts failed fitness and are getting charged as adults. 


From The Beat: Well, from your side, things look better. Focus on your 

L situation and how to get out of this lifestyle aka misery. It seems that 
life has given you another chance to do something with your life. 

Lucky And Onlucky 

I think some people get lucky and some people are 
unlucky. This ya boy Dre speaking from the max. Some 
people get released when they do a big charge because 
they're lucky. 

Some people might do the same charge as them and 
get washed. 

Also other races that ain't African American they're 
the one that are unlucky especially in this county. 


From The Beat: Which of those people are you? A lucky or unlucky one? 
So, if you were in charge of sentencing people equally, how would you 
do it? What would be fair? 


Luck) Or Unlucky 

I consider myself pretty lucky 'cause I'm still alive 
today and most of my homeboys are alive. I feel unlucky 
sometimes because I always end up writing on this yellow 
paper for The Beat Within. 

In some situations when some homeboys get locked, 
I might get or they might get away and I might get caught. 
So really you're never "lucky" or "unlucky" all the time. 
Shhhh happens. 

My luckiest homeboy off top! I don't know how 
many times he's cut off his EMP, ran from the Ranch or 
alternative, but he always gets out some way or another. 
Good shhh though! We need the homies in the 'hood not 
in the cells. To all in here just keep your head up. 


From The Beat: Why do you need your homeboys in the 'hood? To be 
productive legit citizens? To go to school toget good grades? To be good 
sons to the parents? Or to go back to the lifestyle that brings great pain 

J L 

and sadness? 



r//// ////// 

Sacrificing For My Future 


To make my future better, I am going to have to give up 
a lot of things that I got used to. I have got to sacrifice 
most of my old friends who are not going to sacrifice old 
habits with me. 

I am trying to make change for my own benefit. If I 
have to do it on my own so be it. 

I have never known anyone who has sacrificed more 
for me than my parents. My parents have sacrificed a lot 
of time and money for this crime I have committed. I know 
that when I get out, I could not repay them. 


From The Beat: Sounds a good start to us. What are your plans? Why 
can't you repay them bach? What are your obstacles? If they've done 
so much for you, don't you think they deserve some appreciation in 

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

Ya Boy's Luck 

What's up Beat? My court date went well. The judge 
gave me a few months in "Life Skills" and I get out with 
no probation. You can say I'm lucky, but unlucky at the 
same time because I'm doing a few more months. 

It's lucky but unlucky 'cause I'm in here messing up 
my school and college plans. I'm also lucky 'cause God 
has gave me the athletic ability to have college scouts and 

A coach even came to visit me in here and has plans 
for me when I get out. So overall you can say I'm lucky 
and I'm going to change my ways and friends so my luck 
won't change. 


From The Beat: If you are gifted with opportunity, use your talent to 
your advantage. Keep us posted. 

What I Need To Sacrifice 

Today I'm going to write about something I have to 
sacrifice for my future. 

Something that I'm going to sacrifice to benefit my 
future is to stop selling drugs. By me being able to do 
this, it's going to help me stay out of jail and it's going 
to help me go down the right road and become someone 
important in life and not just another statistic. 


From The Beat: That's a good thought, but also think about an education 
for brighter future. With a good education you can get a better job and 
better chances to succeed and earn things in the proper way. 


Love is a strong word 

A word that I have often heard 

But it has no meaning 

My body doesn't want it, but my heart is fiending 

I've been with a couple of boys 

No love, but I stay with them, a bad choice! 

My heart feels torn 

But when you're born with a broken heart it can never be 


I want to find love... I think I did 

But my feelings for him I hid 

Love between a boy and girl 

It's wonderful, so I heard 

Never experienced it, that's no lie, 

All the boys I meet seem to get all sly, 

Well next time I write on these Beats 

I hope I find love ... 


From the Beat: What does this poem mean to you? Does it come from 
personal experience? 

To Want 

Well if you got a rich person like Bill Gates and he 
volunteered for 30 days to make minimum wage and get 
food stamps. He would probably think it's gonna be a nice 

Well the first couple of days will go good, until he 
starts to want things like new clothes, go to fancy 
restaurants, need gas, or wants jewelry. Then he's gonna 
feel sad to want. Then we could just tell him how does it 
feel to want. Well, I got to go Beat late. 


From The Beat: What do you think he would do to help the poor after 
this experience? If you had his money, what would you do to help the 
poor? Would you help? 

J L 

Some Of Us Are Lucky 

I think I'm lucky but at the same time I feel very unlucky 
because I was gonna get out last week but instead they 
brought up two more gay charges on me. 

It just seems that sometimes they want to set you up 
for failure but I guess that's how the system is. But at the 
same time I feel very lucky because if I weren't 17 I would 
be facing 9 years in CYA. But thank God that I'm not, 
because I got most of the charges dropped and I'll be out 
in about a month and a half. 

I also feel very lucky 'cause I got my family right 
behind me to help out with everything. So good luck to 
all you people and homeys out there doing time and have 
messed up families or what so ever is your problem. 

Just remember to always keep your head up and just 
take it day by day and never look back at this place 'cause 
who knows, you might end up right back? 


From The Beat: Wow, you really could have ended up with a messed up 
sentence. Has this close call made you think back on what you want to 
do with your life? It's time to think fast and think ahead because the 
next move you make could land you in places far worse than the halls 

I Would Say toObama 



I would say to Obama I want to meet you, it would be the 
happiest moment in my life. I think you are so inspiring to 
me, you persevered in everything you did, you never gave 
up and you tried your hardest. I wanted to break down in 
tears and cry when I found out you were President. 

Also, I wanted to say Thank you on not discriminating 
on Prop 8 because I think us lesbians, and also gay and 
bisexual people, have the right to get married (Because 
in the constitution it says NO DISCRIMINATION). I think 
it's wrong to discriminate, we don't hurt nobody we just 
want the right to get married. Marriage does not have to 
be between men and women. Marriage is love, it does 
not matter what gender it is and if they wanna talk about 
the bible it says DON'T JUDGE PEOPLE, ONLY God can 
judge me. And also the bible says don't have sex until 
you're married, look around, everybody's having sex 
without getting married. But everybody's judging gays, 
and lesbians, and bisexual's and that's wrong. 

Well thanks for your time. I hope this letter gets to 


From The Beat: We loved how you put it in terms that we all could 
understand. Hopefully the LGBT community is able to get the rights 
that they deserve and finally be apart of their neighborhoods without 
being discriminated against. We are all one community, one world, and 
we should all have the same rights. 



Dear Mr. President 


Hello Mr. Obama, this is a 16 year young teenager from 
Santa Clara California. 

I really would like to congratulate you for becoming 
president of the USA. I really hope that you can encourage 
people to keep making changes because just by you 
becoming president you already made a change, it proves 
that people in America are ready for change. But those 
who aren't they might never be so that's when people 
who can make change should start showing that were no 
longer in the past we're looking at now. 


From the Beat: Great letter. If you were Obama what would you change 

Put On My Shoes 


If the DA had to switch shoes with me and was stuck in 
here for multiple drunken mistakes he would probably 
not last as long as I have with the positive attitude that I 
think that I have. 

If the DA had to deal with all the things that I have 
had to put up with, all the stupid people thinking that I 
am nothing but another juvenile screw-up, but if instead 
of just throwing me in here and making me wait a whole 
month before even giving me a sentence. 

If the DA switched with me they would probably 
realize that there are probably some people that can't be 
fixed by just looking them up. And if I was a DA, instead 
of just thinking every single person that comes through 
the system will keep screwing up, I would give them one 
chance to switch their life around (which I plan to do 
myself) but if they don't then those are the people that 
deserve to stay in here. 

-Don't Judge Me 

From The Beat: Sounds like you have a good plan there, if you were the 
DA. Do you think the system will ever change the way it works? Do you 
think there's something you could do to change the system? 

Sacrifices, Good and Bad 

If I want to change my future I will have to start by 
giving things up and start making small changes in the 

For example, I want in my future a good job that 
brings in good, clean, money. But to do that I need to 
go to school, get good grades but if I want to get good 
grades I need to go home after school so that I can do my 
homework and study, instead of going out with my friend 
right after school smoking and drinking and then come 
home so messed up all I can do is eat and sleep, let alone 
do homework. 

So the sacrifices I will have to make to get the good job 
with the clean money, that I can take pride in. I will need 
to stop smoking weed and drinking everyday because 
that is the biggest obstacle in my way other than these 
walls keeping me in. 

But in a way I am glad to be locked up in here because 
I know that when I get out and will be on house arrest 
I will have no choice but to go home after school, stay 
clean, and get good grades and when all that is over I will 
find this whole experience has actually bettered me more 
then I thought possible. 


From The Beat: It's hard to stop doing the things that were once fun for 
us but when that fun could land you in the halls then it shouldn't be 
too hard to make your decision. We have faith in you and we hope that 
you can turn your words into reality because in the end your decisions 
can either make or break you. 

r//// ////// 

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

J L 

If They Were On Our Shoes 

What I think if the DA's, PO's, PD's or judges step into the cells 
that we live in or be us for a second. 

I think it would make them wanna not give us that much 
time or send people to CYA or prison as often as they do to us 

I also think that rich people can't just step into the poor 
people's shoes. I think that they have to live it to experience it. 

From The Beat: Well, you can be p[art of the change if you choose to 
become a DA, PO, PD, or judge, you can then give young people a better 
chance to rehabilitate, better than being here. What kind of program 
would you create that can help our young generation to stay out of 

Dear Barack Obama 


I really hope you change a lot about what is going on in the 
United States. My opinion is I don't think that they should try 
minors as adults and if they still are, I think they should have 
more programs for us instead of just sending us away for a really 
long time because what about the ones who want to change? 

I think everybody deserves a second chance, Mr. Obama. So 
I really hope you can make a lot of change. TAKE CARE, GOD 
BLESS YOU. Sincerely, 

From The Beat: This is a great letter for the president. What kind of 
programs do you think at risk youth are in need of?\ 

What I Need To Sacrifice 


Today I'm going to write about something I have to 
sacrifice for my future. 

Something that I'm going to sacrifice to benefit my 
future is to stop selling drugs. By me being able to do 
this, it's going to help me stay out of jail and it's going 
to help me go down the right road and become someone 
important in life and not just another statistic. 


From The Beat: That's a good thought, but also think about an education 
for brighter future. With a good education you can get a better job and 
better chances to succeed and earn things in the proper way. 

What I Need To Sacrifice 

What I have to sacrifice for a better future is giving up 
the things I do like for instance smoking, doing dumb 

I need to stay focus on my schoolwork. I'm so close 
to graduate, I need to sacrifice, be quiet and stay on task 
just for a few more months and hopefully graduate. So I 
have to sacrifice my attitude towards my behavior to stay 
focus on what I need to do 


From The Beat: You're saying the things that you need to sacrifice for 
a better future. The question is: are you willing to do it? Is it in your 

My Loved Ones 


I've decided to write about being lucky which I do consider 

I believe I'm the luckiest person in the world. 

I'm alive, I got a loving family, girlfriend and something to look 
forward to 

when I get out. I feel that even though I'm here I'm happy. 
There are a whole lot of people out there in worst situation. 
Everything happens for a reason and it's up to you to make the 
best of it 

From The Beat: You're right! There are a lot of people in bad shapes of 
situation. It seems like you got something that brings a smile in your 
face. Well, what are you willing to give up for them? 


' kM=M*M*kd?i WMWMMh 

The Question 


The question is, when you look at the mirror 

do you see an error, maybe a bad habit, 

or, do you see the treasure inside? 

Forget the sins. Pause for a moment 

and find the message that makes you feel like a hero. 

Stop! Look at the clock. 

It's time to realize you are a beautiful child. 

Look at the mirror now. 


From The Beat: Good writing and good thinking, Alex. Have you always 
been comfortable looking at yourself? What did it take? 

Nothing Changes Overnight 


I know that nothing changes over night. Sometimes it's 

extremely hard to change something when you are so 

used to it. I can't really imagine my life without drugs. It's 

going to take some time for all that to change. Nothing 

changes overnight. 

From The Beat: Obviously, you need some help with your drug problem. 
Remember that it is a sign of strength and growth to ask for help when 
you need it. We wish you good luck. Work hard. Stick with it. 

Best Gift I've Given On Valentines Day 

The best thing I've done for a woman on Valentine's Day 
was break up with her. She was my girlfriend and I did 
not give her anything but some kisses. And that was it. 
It wasn't intentional. It just happened because it had to 
happen. I guess we weren't meant to be together. 


From The Beat: There is wisdom in knowing when to change course, 
and when to keep on the same path. We bet you're both better off for 
the decision. 

Old Habits 

The old habits run us into that same stone wall 

with no hope that we can get up when we fall. 

As children, we made errors and sins 

and didn't realize what we were getting ourselves into. 

But eventually, we pause and think about what we do. 

And a change in the air makes us change 

and we get to act like heroes. 


From The Beat: Good poem. You're already our hero. 

I'm Trying 

Trippin' on society 

Always having cops lie to me. 

They call me a criminal, 

lock me up like an animal. 

But to myself- I'm phenomenal. 

I'm trying to take responsibility 

and I know with this liability 

I'm gonna do the best in me. 

And I'm feinding 

to be treated like a human being. 

I never keep my body leaning. 

I stand up straight 

and I have faith. 

Keeping my mind straight, too. 

From The Beat: Cool A. Great rhymes. You do your best and it really 
work out. 




No Heart 

I never had anybody to give my heart to on any Valentines 
Day, until this year. But I'm locked up, and yet she is still 
the sweetest little pudding a young man could ever want. 
I really love the woman. 

So, the best gift for Valentines Day is my new puppy 
love and sweet heart whose name is like a silky cloud from 
heaven. Due to my incarceration, I have not been able to 
give this poetic offering to my babe. But just the thought 
of my girl has my blood flowing like Niagara Falls. 


From The Beat: Nathan, we're happy for you. We hope you know the 
story about Niagara Falls and the barrel. So don't get too excited. 

Marijuana And Cancer 

I think that because it's only a possible link between the 
two that it is not enough to stop the use of this substance. 
I'm sure people only wear seatbelts because they know, 
or are related to, someone who has seen the severity of 
a car crash. I think from my own experience that many 
of the young men, and women, are willing to risk their 
health because they don't really know that what they use, 
or experience, might affect them in the long run. Or, they 
want to have fun, or, just don't care. It's hard for me to 
criticize or point the finger. 


From The Beat: You're probably right, Nathan. We hope you will use 
common sense. Read the study. Become a voice of reason. 


SMnnnnnE mwmmm 


Breaking The Rules 

Always breaking the rules. 

Not fiction, just facts. 

So close to the edge 

I can hear screams echo 

in the distance. 

Never catch me again. 

I'll disappear in the shadows. 

You'll only see my dust. 


From The Beat: We admire your poem but we have a few words of 
caution for the narrator (whoever that might be). If we had a dollar for 
every time we've heard ...they'll never catch me again... we'd be able to 
buy the Empire State Building ten times over, or maybe. The Brooklyn 

A Trip 

It's a trip I'm here looking at white walls and bricks. 
I used to get high and fly like a pigeon. 
Now I'm reading and talking about religion. 
I have all these problems. I just want to solve them. 
I want to get out soon and eat with a metal spoon. 
I'm in a small space, getting a taste 
of how life can be a blur and thick like fur. 
Feels like I'm trapped in a web, half dead. 
I never had wealth. Always in bad health. 
I wish I could be reborn so I could survive on this earth. 


From The Beat: Top rate poem. We would love to see more. Terrific 

The Voice Of Knowledge 

I like the voice of knowledge. It's the type of wisdom I've 
always wanted to learn. Everyone needs to know about 
life. It tells you to have faith and to love everything you 
do. I have a different perspective on my life. I've realized 
that life is a story, that it's what you make of it. I am going 
to change my life with my faith. 

I recommend this book. It's what everyone needs. It's 
taught me about faith, love, respect, and understanding. 
When I say faith, I mean never giving up, and believing 
in yourself. By love I mean to love everything you do, 
and everything people do for you - to have a love that 
will stand out in anything. To Respect is to appreciate 
everything in your life, and everyone's life. When I say 
understand, I mean to comprehend the meaning of your 

I would like to read a book that is about philosophy, 
that asks questions about life and the world. I want a 
book that gives me knowledge about my surroundings. 


From The Beat: Those are wonderful aspirations Damian. We'll look for 
a book, or two, that might help you on your quest. 

Encounter With A Spider Web 

I knocked my head on a spider web. 

I fell down and when I woke up 

everything was a blur. 

I got mad, picked up a brick 

and threw it through it. 

All this happened on earth. 

From The Beat: Terrific poem Edward. 



Thank You 

I just want to say thank you to Jill and Gwen from The 
Beat Within for the book "Forgotten Memories" by Art 
Rodriguez. It is a great book about Art's life. It's a sequel 
to "East Side Dreams". "Forgotten Memories" is similar 
to the first book. They both talk about Art's teenage years, 
and when he was younger. It's about the problems he had 
to overcome and what he went through with his parents 
and his brothers and sisters. So thank you Jill and Gwen 
for such a great book. 


From The Beat: They both say: you're very welcome. 


He Threw It 

He threw that brick, then tripped, got a bump on his 

He thought he saw a pigeon. They gave him a spoonful 
of medicine. His vision blurred. He dreamt he was stuck 
in a spider's web, had lost his wealth, didn't even know he 
was on this earth. 


From The Beat: We really like your poem. What inspired this work? 

Is The Soul Solid, Like Iron? 

(title from a line by Mary Oliver) 

The soul is as weak, 

or as strong, as you make it. 

But if your heart is right, 

so will be your soul. 

From The Beat: Lovely poem Nathan. 



Just Another Day 

J L 

I'm stuck in the hall, looking at a toilet and a sink. 

And these cold walls. 

I have to maintain without my girl. 

I have to change my ways, if I want to get out. 

Some days, it seems I need weed and brew, just to stay 

I'm addicted to the blocks and avenues. 
Soon, I'm to be in a group home, because I'm in this alone 
-just lonely me. 
I have the qualities of a poet, a smoker, and a G. 

I have to get my stuff together because I can't live like 
this forever. 

I need to stand tall and stay out of the hall. 
I need to calm down or soon I'll be county bound. 
That's what I've got to say. It's just another day. 


From The Beat: Sounds like you might be addicted to more than the 
block. Are you open to getting some help with your drinking problem. 
By the way, who are your five favorite poets? Can you answer that 
question? Maybe we should find an anthology for you. 


EmnnnmE m/mwm 

Three Topics In One 


When I get out, something I have to sacrifice is my 
behavior, because if I don't, God knows what would 
happen to me. But one thing I would want for me is trying 
to go home and get enrolled in school. 

If rich people put theirselves in poor people' shoes, 
they wouldn't like it. They would feel cold. They will be 
dirty and no bed to sleep in, no money to get nothing to 

If someone kill someone and go to jail and go to court 
the next day and get out, that will be lucky. Unlucky, if 
you steal something from someone, but before they steal 
something, they look around before they take it and when 
they take it, someone is in the back of them. 


From The Beat: First, Socorro, please choose only one topic to write 
about. You chose three topics, and didn't write enough about any of 
them. So we put your pieces together. Next time just choose one topic 
and write a lot more about it. As to what you wrote, how could killing 
someone and going to jail, or stealing something from someone, ever 
be considered lucky? Are you here because of bad luck or because of bad 
choices you made? 

Free Me 

When I'm free I don't trip 

Because I don't gotta be in my room countin' bricks 

The same routine every day 

Come out, eat, go to sleep 

I try so hard 

But I can't stay away from the back of a cop car 

Lookin' through a glass window wishin' I had some indo 

San Francisco, where I was born and raised 

I pray I could stay out of here someday 

-LIT Husalah 

From The Beat: How does wishin' for that indo help you stay out f the 
back of a cop car? Seems like you should use the forced time you have 
to spend here to think about some of those reasons you keep getting 
arrested, and think hard about how to avoid them. The system will not 
change, so unless you do, prepare for more of the same. 

One Love To All My Loved Ones 

Much love to all my loved ones 

Good night to all my haters 

To the ones I love, I'll see you later 


From The Beat: Sweet little poem, but really too short. Next time, add 
more details. If your loved ones could write a poem to you, what would 
they say? 

The Studio 

I like going to the studio, because I can express my 
feelings. Then, when we finish the song, we listen to it 
from the beginning and rate it from one through ten. We 
be like, "Ugh, that's tight." Another reason I like rapping 
is because I just like the sound of music, ranging from 
R&B to rap to hyphy. 

I got put on to music by my uncle. I got a lot of rappers 
that I like. I will name a few. I like Messy Marv, Husalah, 
Young Curt, Mac Dre, 2 Pac, LIT Obei, J Mak, Young Bari, 
Keak Da Sneak, J Diggs, and many more. I want to get in 
the studio with a couple of friends, My favorite song is 
Mac Dre, "U Beezy" and Husalah', "Murder On My Mind," 
and Messy Marv, "Thug Life," and "Sei Love." That's it. 
Peace, Beat. Oh, yeah, RIP to the homie, Mac Dre. 

-Lil' Husalatt 

From The Beat: Can you write a new rap for The Beat. What do you 
like to write about the most? Do you have fans for your raps? What do 
they tell you after they listen to one of your raps? Are you working on 
CD? As soon as you're home, we hope you get on it, and leave the rest 


My Struggles, Now No Love 

All I can do is think about my struggles 

Wishin' I could step back and really stand tall instead of 


While I was in the hospital 

I sho' wasn't alone 

And to the people that wasn't there, call me up ova the 


Twelve days in a coma, I was beat with a baseball bat 

Got ran out of the mall 'cause of my certain football hat 

Ya boy been shot at — not sayin' it to brag 

My boy was messin' wit' a bobber 

Turned around and got the clap 

I was on the run one day in San Rafael at the Mic 

It was Dread Heads, police and all kind of fights 

My bro met a girl 

Been together for the crazy 

And it's crazy... only fifteen with a baby 

I almost lost my life as a new teen 

Now I'm fifteen 

No females to hug. so love to me is a mystery 

I've been away from home since I was put in the hospital 

My love is the size of the mouse called Stuart Little 

My experience is the reason 
For my fatal decision 


From The Beat: If you want to be around females, you're going to have 
to figure out how to stay out of this place. As long as you keep putting 
yourself behind walls, the only females you'll have will be in your 
dreams! What's fatal decision you made? 


tmntt-HIE W1MJSM/7A 

She Makes Me Lucky! 


I think I am unlucky because of my lifestyle. I never had 
a dad and my mom got lost cause of that damn dope she 
was on. So I am on my own. It's been like five or six years 
like that with no one to care for me. I was forced to live a 
thuggish life. 

The street mentality is what I know. Robbing people 
and selling dope, that's the street code. On the other 
hand, I am lucky cause two years ago the Lord gave me a 
little girl who I love so much. That was the happiest day of 
my life and I thank him for that! My little girl is incredible 
and makes me so lucky. 


From The Beat: No young person deserves to experience what you had 
to go through growing up. Your daughter is a symbol of hope, and a 
gift, that you can make your life better, and she is lucky to have you 



I feel unfinished 

Will my future be diminished 

Or come back to this bad business 

I'm doing some time 

But I've learned to keep this as a reminder 

In mind 

I will stay on the grind 

But in the right way 

My lesson got me stressing 

Putting my mom through worries 

The homies that I used to call brothers 

Didn't care if I stay here a few summers 

I hope the judge will see my eyes 

And see the suffering 

And just say release period. 

From The Beat: It seems like you've learned a lot from this experience. 
We hope things work out for when you see the judge. 

Giving It Up 

Giving up my gang life would be a big sacrifice because the 
only way out is to be six feet under, so I don't think that I can 
do it. But that is the way that it should be. 

The one thing that keeps me from doing it is my boys 
because they are more just than family, they are like brothers 
to me. I don't think that I will ever retire; I think that I would 
just probably have a lot of kids and then lay low. 

-Doubtful Guy 
From The Beat: Everyone has to go down some day because we are not 
immortal. Do you want to spend your whole life avoiding death, or do 
you want to spend it living? We would like to ask you what do you 
want for your children? Do you care if they have to live in the same 
neighborhood and violent condition that you are living in? Do you think 
that your children will have an easy time being a free human being and 
making choices in an environment that is as rigid as your gang. ..either 
you side with the gang or you die? 

~~ ~ 

Ever Since 

Ever since you left me alone I haven't been the same. I feel 
like a lost child going insane. Mama I love you and you know 
that's true so why do I feel so sad and blue? I know I am 
so suppose to be strong while your gone but it just so hard 
when you're all alone. I sit in the cell wondering what you'll 
think but all in the end it's up to me. 

Mama I'm sorry I let you down but one day I'll be around 
until that day. Mama I want you to know that I love you 
and this is true. Your guardian angel and I hope to see you 

From The Beat: Focus up on yourself and let your momma be. She can 
look after herself. You need to work on yourself and do what you need 
to do to get out and to stay out of Juvi. 


If a rich man put themselves in a poor man's shoes, 
then for sure they would understand what it means to 
struggle. Not going to college or finishing high school will 
definitely make a difference. 

A day in a poor person's shoes would make them 
understand why people do what they do on the streets. 
Whether it is selling drugs or prostitution. They would 
learn that it is not as easy as they think to put food on the 
table, not only for themselves but for their families as well. 
People struggle, not because they are lazy, but because it 
is hard when you do not have the right education for the 
job that you want. 

The families that struggle are out getting their hustle 
on. Trying to make some money for rent or whatever it is 
that they need. Basically struggling would teach anyone 
to get their education. 


From The Beat: But being able to get an education takes staying out 
of trouble and being responsible for paying to go there too. These are 
hurdles you should think about as well. 

Getting Released 


J L 

Today, my public defender came up to me and said I was 
going to be released on JED. It's a one-year program that 
has mini programs within the main program. When he 
told me this, I was surprised! Was this really happening? 
That's all I could think about. 

The hard part will be to give up all the negative things 
in my life, things that make me happy, but the funny 
thing is I ain't tripping about having to change for the 
better. I'm willing to change if it means being out and 
being free. I don't know why I didn't realize this sooner, 
but it's better late than never. I'm also going to forgive the 
people who told on me. I ain't going to let hatred build up 
in me. People have to learn to forgive one another. I did. 
Believe me it is easy to do if you try. 


From The Beat: Congratulations on getting out! Making those changes 
won't be easy, but keep working on it and you'll get there. 



I'm Not Bitter 


I wrote you a poem today 

Still I don't know what to say 

The day I was put away, we started to fade 

The look in my eyes is still and gone 

Never to know why you left after all 

I hold on to our memories squeezing them tight 

being in your arms felt so amazingly right 

I'm sitting in my bed sobbing through the nights 

You know the only question to God is why? 

I thought it was meant to be. Still I try 

to grab the moments you made me feel fuzzy inside 

Forget us being best friends this is where 

it has to end 

You know I'm not bitter. I just want you 



From The Beat: Resentments are like poison. We use them to get back at 
other people but all we do is infect ourselves. 

Giving It Up 

If I want to have a better future, I would have to change a 
lot. I would have to give up my second family, which is the 
gang. My criminal mind and I would have to be positive. I 
don't know what's keeping me from making the sacrifice. 
When I think about what my mom and grandmother did 
for me, it makes me want to sacrifice anything for them 
but yet I haven't. 

I guess I'm still growing up from my kid mind, but I 
do know I have grown up over the years. I am willing to 
give up the gang life and whatever they want me to give 
up. I need to change in life and succeed for me and for 
them. I'm about to graduate from school and am looking 
forward to college. I got a few positive friends in life, and I 
o accept one of them as a brother. He's on his way to Iraq 
soon and I hope to see him soon — best of luck to him. He 
wants me to do good and I want him to do good. 

-Lil Lophy 

From The Beat: It sounds like you've been doing some serious thinking, 
which has helped you realize what you need to change about yourself 
in order to have a better future. Many good things can come your way 
when you graduate, so start making those important sacrifices now. 
Good luck, and thanks for writing The Beat. 

Sacrificing For My Future 

I need to make sacrifices to make my future better. 
Nothing is going to be held back. It's just that I make the 
bad choices. When I think back I feel bad because my 
mother's sacrificed her life for me. 

She was only 16 years old when she had me. She could 
have had an abortion and continue to lead her regular 
life and go to high school but instead she had me. She 
gave up school and her fun times at a young age. She has 
struggled so much to give me the best she can. It hurts 
me when she has to see me in here. So for her, I got my 
high school diploma and certified at a young age to be a 

But I made a bad choice. Hopefully, I'll be home soon 
and for her I'm going to work and help her in what ever 
way I can. 


From The Beat: We agree that if we want to improve our lives, we will 
have to do some things we don't necessarily like and we may have to 
stop doing destructive things we enjoy. We commend you for graduating 
but we want to remind you that although your mother may be proud 
of your accomplishments, you are the one who will reap the rewards of 
your accomplishment. Live your life and do the right things for yourself. 
It is your life. Live it. 

Changing Shoes 

I think the rich should put themselves in poor people's 

shoes so they can see the life they live. They don't have full 

plates every night. They have to make ends meet any way 

they can. It is especially hard for the parents too so that's 

why the rich should start appreciating what they have. 

Judges and POs should also put themselves in our 

shoes so they can see the problems and challenges we face 


From The Beat: Thanks for sharing Joshua. We agree there is so much 
for people to learn from one another, and this is one of them. 

Both Parents 


I think I am a lucky kid because there are a lot of kids in the 

world that do not have both parents. But lucky for me I have 

both of my parents and I love them and they love me. On top 

of that, they are still together. I'm lucky because my parents 

want me to live in a good place and stay in school. I don't 

want to offend anyone who doesn't have both parents. 

To all the kids who don't have any parents, or maybe your 

parents are separated, just have hope that one day they'll be 

back together. If you don't have any parents, you have my 

sympathy and I am sorry. 

From The Beat: You're right; many kids live in single-parent homes while 
others have no parents. You've made an important realization about 
what keeps a family strong. Thanks for offering your support to others 
who are not in the same boat as you. 

Making A Sacrifice 


I know what I have to sacrifice in my life, but I don't think 

I can. One of the things I know I must change is my attitude 

against my teachers. I say this because now I'm having a 

daughter and I know I need an education to get a good job. 

Now I have a new responsibility, a new challenge, and I am 

willing to do anything for my baby girl. 

When I say anything, I mean I will give up my home, 

friends, and life just so I can see my daughter be successful 

in life. I know what my mom had to go through when she was 

in my position. I love my daughter with all my heart. 

From The Beat: You must have bad experiences with teachers in the past. 
But please know there are many teachers out there with a passionate 
heart and desire to help you. If you willing to make changes for your 
daughter, start by ensuring that you get your education. 



Midnight Candy 

When you look at me I get shy 

When you talk to me I lush 

When you take my hand I get a little scared 

When you kiss me my heart starts to pump 

When you say 6l love you: I can't breathe. 

When you tell me everything will be alright 

I start to believe you. 

When you say I'm your only one I hope it's true. 

When you say I'm your only one I hope it's true. 

When you say by my side hope it's forever. 

When you leave I cry. 

When you tell me good night I don't want to sleep. 

When you ask me to be yours I will 

When you say you will never have another bitch but me. 

Damn straight you won't. 


From The Beat: Wow! We see Juvi isn't all that bad after all? Appreciate 
the gifts life offers everyday. God bless and thanks for sharing. 



I'm Lucky 


I consider myself lucky simply because I am alive. I wake 
up every morning to a bed, water, food and shelter so I'm 
lucky. I may be locked up but there are some people that 
would like to be locked up rather than where they're 

I do sometimes feel like I'm unlucky but I have to be 
thankful for what I have which is life. I have been lucky 
to get out of an abusive home but unlucky that I could 
not bring my sisters with me. The luckiest thing that 
happened to me is surviving being thrown out of a moving 

My step-mom threw me out of the car and I cracked 
my skull on the cement. The doctors said I could have 
died if the crack was any bigger so I am lucky to be alive 


From The Beat: Yes, God bless. No matter our situation we can decide 
and we can see ourselves as lucky and blessed. Making this decision 
makes us feel better. A lot of life and the way it rolls out is all a result 
of how we think about it. We think we're lucky and we are grateful for 
your thoughts. 

What Honiies? 

For me, the sacrifice would be to drop the "homies" I 
finally came to realize that they weren't even friends 
that I thought they were. Turns out those ladies were 
some flipping snitches, flipping the script the about the 
situation and making it light on them and giving me the 
short end of the stick. They'll be there as long as there's 
still some grass but once it's gone and you get caught 
they'll let you take the rap and rot. 


From The Beat: It's strange how important it is to depend on others 
when we are up to mischief but when we walk the right path, we need 
not have anyone else with us. When we walk in righteousness we do 
not need anyone else with us but when we play games, we need our 
friends to play them with. 


My life is very unlucky and not safe 

It's unlucky because of my race 

I'm in juvenile hall because I had a chance to walk away 

But instead I chose to stay, that's why I'm locked up 


Luck is a wall that I cannot see 

Because it's hidden deep inside of me 

I am unlucky and want to ignite 

Ignite and go crazy like dynamite 

I feel I have a ghost lurking at my insides 

I still feel unlucky because prides holds my side 


From The Beat: Being in juvenile hall can make you feel stress and 
anguish. But don't feel you are alone, many writers to The Beat also 
share your same feeling. We also want to encourage you to think about 
how you don't have to rely on luck to move through this world and 
your life. 

No Place Like Home 

I have two weeks. I don't know if I can hold on. I'm 
scared. Now I know there's no place like home. And no 
one cares about you more than your family. Just to see 
their faces. How I hurt them is really hurting me. 


From The Beat: It hurts to be away from your family. But keep faith and 
know that this time will pass. 

J L 

The World Would Be Better 

I think if the rich put themselves in the shoes of the 
poor, the world would be a better place. Less people 
would be poor because most of those rich people who 
put themselves in the shoes of the poor would give more 
money to charities. Rich people wouldn't be as greedy 
and would be more willing to share their money. 


From The Beat: When we put ourselves in the other person's shoe, we 
begin to feel compassion for what they go through. Your theory about 
the world being a better place is very cool! 

Mom Knows 

My life was hard to control 

Another blunt I rolled 

Once my eyes were glazed over 

I felt so much better 

Mom said stay away from drugs 

So I picked up a bottle 

Misunderstand me as I start to waddle 

Friends came up with pills and shrooms 

Then I was flying across the room 

Now I'm back 

When I'm on the streets 

that was whack 

Now I know for a fact 

When my mom says stay away from drugs 

She knows it's hard 

but she means it with love 


From The Beat: Listen to your Mama. Nothing good happens when 
we started to abuse drugs. Only our money disappears as we chase an 
escape from life. It is better to just face it and make it good. 

WiuN Yin? 


If I were poor, would you still love me? 

If I were rich, would you still love me? 

If I was on the streets and I didn't have any money, would 

you still love me? 

If I were still gang-banging, would you still love me? 

If I'm locked down, would you still love me? 

If I was murdered, would you still love me? 


From The Beat: Such bold questions! Perhaps you are trying to find trust 

The Way I Act Hurts Me 

The Way I act keeps me in and out 

of juvenile hall. I think 

it's because I listen to people 

that keep wanting to bring me down 

and if I would just listen to the people 

that want to keep me out of trouble. 

Maybe I wouldn't be here. Sometimes 

I feel unlucky because I'm here, 

locked up. I can't eat when I want, 

wear my own clothes and just do me 

and feel free but I'm on the out. I'm 

really lucky because I can do some of what 

I want to do. That makes me lucky 

in a way. I just want to go home. 


From The Beat: It is never good when our actions can limit us by 
getting us in trouble. Actions should be a means of freedom. An action 
is triggered by a thought. We can use this time to meditate on the the 
actions we will be taking by contemplating our reason beforehand. 



What I Think 


If a rich person had the chance to put themselves in the 
shoes of the poor, it would probably help them understand 
what a poor person has to go through just to make it 
through the day. They would really know what life is 
about when money is not always there. Just because rich 
people try to put themselves in a poor position, they're 
still going to be the same as before. It's just that for some 
people, it's a bigger struggle to live like a rich person. 

Now if a rich person were to get locked up, what would 
he do there? Is he going to use his money to say he's not 
guilty? I don't think so, but he will learn that it's not all 
about money. Money is the best, though, everyone loves 
it but some people are just different because of where 
they are from. 

I think if a rich person were to put themselves in 
the shoes of a poor person, that person would kind of 
understand how bad it is to be poor and would probably 
never want to be in that situation again. 


From The Beat: It's not fun to be locked up or poor, but you make a good 
point about how switching sides would create more understanding. 
Thanks for sharing your perspective. 


Lucky Or Not 

I would have to say that the unluckiest person is myself. 
Everywhere I go and whoever I am with, I have bad luck 
Most of the time the bad luck gets me put in here. Even 
when I am in here I have bad luck. I could be on my way 
getting out, and I could get into a fight and then get 
rebooked, and it has happened. The only luck I think I 
have is getting with girls. 

-Doubtful Guy 

From The Beat: Are you sure that bad things happen to you because of 
pure luck, or is there something that maybe you are doing to yourself 
to make bad things happen to you? Also, have you thought about the 
intentions or purpose behind some of your past behavior? 

Good News 


I got into the program I've been writing about every week! 

That's good news. When I get out, I'm gong to have to 

sacrifice a lot if I want to stay out and do my program, but I 

am willing to do it. I'd have to give up smoking in order to be 


I have now realized that my family and loved ones are 

more important than anything and if I'm going to be putting 

in work, it's going to be for them and no one else. 

From The Beat: We're happy for you Thor! Good things will come your 
way as long as you avoid negative things. Take care of yourself out in 

Reuniting with my family. 

I have had a bad relationship with my family. The last 
two years my family and I have had a split up. I will be 
reunited with my family once and for all. No more on the 
run. I leave this place of probation because I will be 18 
ears old and now I'm a grown up woman. No one can tell 
me what to do except my mom and dad. 

Me and my dad are closest out of my family. I have 
not seen him for a year because he has been locked up so 
now we are going to be best friends again. Love always. 


From The Beat: That's wonderful that you are reuniting with your family. 
There is no substitute for family because we only have one family. 

I'm Getting Out Today 

Damn, I'm getting out today. I'm so happy. I'm never going 
to come back. I just want to tell my homegirls in here that 
I'm going to miss them. Keep your head up girls. They 
know who they are. I don't want to fight anymore because 
if I do then I'm gonna come back here to JJC. Well that's 
it. Peace out. 


From The Beat: We hope you stay out but it takes a lot more than 
wanting to stay out to stay out. We need to change who we hang with, 
we need to change how we think, we need to change how we react. 


Can They Do It? 



The rich people think about the poor because some people 

have money. That is why some people work in the fields to get 

money and some people work in an office, for other people. 

Poor people need to work more than rich people so that's 

why they work harder than the rich people. The poor need to 

educate their children so that they can help them not have to 

work so hard. 

From The Beat: People who want to be comfortable in life need to work 
hard to get what they want no matter how rich or poor they are. And 
working hard requires skills that you can't get while being locked up. 


I would sacrifice anything to get myself home. I would give 

up all but one friend. I would give up cigarettes and weed 

and whatever else it takes. I am 12 years old and I've already 

messed up so bad that I'm in Juvi. I personally believe that I 

need to go home to be a good role model for my sisters. 

When I get out, I'm not coming back. I know that there 

are some things that I can never take back. But I also know 

that there are other things that I can fix. 

From The Beat: That's the way they say the wise one goes; she knows 
what she can change and what she can't and she does the things she 
can and let's the other things go. 


Never Giving Up 

That's what I would have to give to change my life and 

future. What is keeping me from giving up is the fact that it 

makes everything I love so much better. The sacrifices that 

my grandparents made up for me make me feel a lot of guilt 

when I don't change but I continue to do the same. 

My grandparents are giving up time, money, and love for 

me and that's what I am willing to give up for them if need be. 

But not my drug of choice. 

From The Beat: The drugs you choose to do can take away your ability 
to repay your grandparents, are you sure you want to take that risk? 



Your Love 


My life is filled with love 

Especially the love for you 

Love is in my heart 

It's starting to break through 

It's starting to flow through 

My blood 

I can see it my love 

It's starting to come out 

Pretty soon the words 

I love you 

Are gonna come out my mouth 

This crush for you is deep 

It's down 

It's deep 

So deep, that you can't measure 

My very love using feet 

It's clear to me 

What I can see is my love 

For you 

My love for you 

Can inspire what we can do 

It is also based on 

What we been through 

What we been through 

Are the greatest series of events 

So to not love you 

It wouldn't be likely 

It wouldn't make sense 

But at least my life is filled with love 

From all kinds of people 

You can see it 

You can spot it from a mile away 

Just like you were an eagle 

So I'm gonna live this life of mine 

That's filled with joy and pain 

But please baby, without your love 

It wouldn't be the same 


From The Beat: We sense there is a deep longing in your poem, but 
there is also some sadness. It's good to write it out and not keep those 
emotions inside. Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece. 

Addicted To Mary Janes 

When will I change? Only God knows. Will I go back to 
the street, runnin' into the five-o, on the outs. It's real 
tough to stay away from all the drugs that I will see all 
day. Right now I am locked up and ain't thinking of her, 
but Mary Jane is the only way I know how to calm my 
nerves. I know that I am addicted. 

My grandma doesn't like it. But it's my stress, and I 
can't fight it. She is not the reason that I am in here, but 
she didn't help me. I am hurting my family, but most of all 
myself, when will I change? Only God knows. I have my 
mind set strong, on not getting blown. 


From The Beat: When we don't want to do something, we should replace 
it with something else, so what can you do instead, that can help 
you grow and be happy? We noticed that you focus on the drugs, the 
outward behavior, and what's happening outside of yourself. However, 
you did spend a moment to talk about calm nerves, stress, and hurt. 
We encourage you to think about what's happening on the inside, 
your emotions, why you feel anxiety. Spend this time to understand 

Sirrj Mil 


Sorry Daddy for growing up so fast. Sorry for giving up on 
myself. Sorry Daddy for not being Daddy's Lil Gurl no more. 
Also Daddy, sorry for yelling at you. 

Also sorry for hurting Momma. If I could I would say 
sorry for giving my love away. Sorry for walking off on you. 

Also sorry Daddy for telling you that you are dumb. Sorry 

Daddy for making the same mistakes you made. If I could, 

I would tell you that I love you and ask you to forgive you. 

Sorry Daddy. I love you always. 

From The Beat: We admire your willingness to accept responsibility 
and your willingness to ask for forgiveness. We hope and pray that you 
receive it and if those who can, don't forgive you then we hope and pray 
that you forgive yourself. Peace. 

Ninety More Days 


I went to court on Thursday and they gave me a pretty good 

deal. Instead of giving me a year in boot camp they gave me 

three months. I almost got two months but some other stuff 

came up and I got thirty more days. I have done forty five 

days so far, before I got committed and it's not even that bad 

here. Even now it is not that bad but I don't want to come 

back so I can do productive things in life. 

When I get out I am just going to kick it with the homies. 

I am going to finish my year and a half on probation and try 

to stay away from dealing. 

From The Beat: You are very lucky to get a break, and the wise thing to 
do is to keep in mind that you may not be so lucky next time! So don't 
take the wrong chances! 

The Lucky One 

I am lucky because I still have my mom here supporting me 

and even though my sisters are with CPS, I am lucky they 

are still alive. 

There are many things I guess I am lucky for, and one 

of those things is life, and life goes on even though I am 

incarcerated. It doesn't mean life stops. If you think it does, 

then think again cause this is just the beginning. You can 

use your time wisely here and get educated, or you can use 

your time to rebuild trust and love with your mom, like me. 

From The Beat: Your piece inspires! Each week, we see you are really 
making an effort to reconnect with your mom. We hope she knows how 
lucky she is to have a son who wants to make things better. 


- agnnnnsH mrnmm 

Lucky And Unlucky 

I am writing about being lucky and unlucky because I myself 
am both. This is my first time here, so I can't say what I have 
been through much yet. One day my big brother had to go 
to county, and now he is on parole. The police came looking 
for him but he was in custody two nights before that. They 
searched my room and found some stuff so I had to come 

Court released me with a monitor. I violated that, so now 
I am in here and my court date is next week. I know that 
I am not at fault because they searched my room without 
consent and papers, so I am hoping that the judge will drop 
the charges. 

The worst thing about it is that I wasn't even on probation 
so I hope I get out of here because this isn't the place for me. 
I love my family and my baby girl too much to be here. 

From The Beat: You are lucky that you have a brother whose struggles 
you can avoid in your own life. You only make yourself unlucky when 
you do things that you should have in the first place. 


This is what I live for. I live for the weekend. Forget a 
nine to five job. All I want to do is to have a fun time. I 
literally have the time of my life every time I go to one. It 
is a life-time experience, and once you do you will never 
want to give up. I don't really have a reason not to do 
these things. 

My mom is the root of all of the reasons why I do the 
stuff that I do, so that's not a reason because of all of the 
stuff that she has done to me. But I guess maybe my dad 
is a good reason to not do these things, because he has 
done a lot for me and I do want to pay him back for that. 


From The Beat: Showing others respect will help you to respect yourself. 
How can you show him respect, because that will pay him back for sure! 
We would like you to think a bit about your comment about how all you 
want to do is to have a fun time. We would like encourage you to ask 
the people who seem to enjoy their life and seem to be healthy.. .do they 
work, do they spend time to have fun, what are their friendships and 
family relationships like...? 


I think that I should give up drugs to make my future 
better. I have been smoking herb since sixth grade. I was 
introduced to it by my older cousin. I have too many 
problems, that is what I think keeps me from making that 
sacrifice. Usually when I have problems I smoke pot most 
of the time. 

My parents have given up a lot of things for me, I bet. 
I don't think that I could give up smoking. I am addicted 
to it, I think. I tried to stop for my girlfriend, because she 
is there for me. But I couldn't. But maybe I could stop. 


From The Beat: What other things can you do when you get stressed out 
by problems, that won't get you into trouble? 

Just To 


They try to stop me but police don't even have a chance 
Don't even try it 'cause my pistol poppin' out my pants 
And it's itchin' to pop on those tryin' to cap on me 
You can't catch me 'cause I am trigga flnga happy. 
But I can't help it. 

I told you that it is just the way I am. 
If you don't get it by now 
I will make you understand. 

-Lil' Whodini 

From The Beat: We would like to see you give yourself a chance to live 
your life, but if you don't want that chance for yourself, life will never 
get better. If you had a choice to choose between a life that is changing, 
evolving and learning OR a life that is fixed, "it is just the way I am," 
which would you choose? 

mnmnE mmi/rMM 


Can The Rich Put Themselves In The 
Shoes Of The Poor 

Na they can't do it they wouldn't know what to do if they 
was in their situation because they wouldn't know how 
to live with a little bit of money especially since they use 
to getting everything they want so they won't know how 
to save money. 

-Real Talk 

From The Beat: What would they learn if they tried? 

I'm Not Feeling The Topics 

What up Beat this ya boy Happy Feet doing it live up in 
the hall. Well today like usual I'm not feeling the topics 
so I'm just gonna write what's on my mind but yeah let 
me tell you about this girl I know on the outs she's hella 
fine and she's really nice and this song is stuck in my 


From The Beat: We had to edit your song... It was not appropriate for 
the peaceful intentions of the Beat! We hope this girl on the outs is a 
good influence for you. 

Notebook and a Pen 


I'm in challenge tryna finish this track note book and 
a pen always on my lap boy I'm never faking the boys 
I'm shaken because everywhere I go I got the trunk earth 
quaken fasho lil Alex gotta bring home that bacon every 
dang thang I do is straight money making and man I got a 
all pro team like John Madden beezy slapping irby beats 
clappen man what is it let me get her digits I'll pay her a 
visit because that's just how we do it in the town. 

-Lil 1 Dopey 

From The Beat: We had to edit your piece a little, but hopefully we still 
got the flavor of your piece. 

Can The Rich Put Themselves In Our Shoes 

The rich people could not put themselves in our shoes. 
They won't last 30 days in our shoes. They probably get 
on dope. Real dope. 


From The Beat: What would they find so difficult they'd have to escape 
on dope? Is there anything they might find, in your shoes that is 
positive and would help them? 


&M£nnnntE mwi/wim 

Sacrifice If Necessary 


The only time I would sacrifice anything that I do or 
anything at all if it's had to be done. For example, if I had 
a baby on the way and I knew I couldn't take care of it 
unless I change and get a job then maybe I would have to 
sacrifice a lot. 

The sacrifice is going to be a lot because when you 
try to stop doing one thing it ends up to be everything 
you do. That's a real big step in life but if its important 
enough then its worth to give it a chance, but if it aint 
then most likely I'm not going to make the sacrifice. 

-Chow Main 

From The Beat: You make the point that everything is connected one 
way or another in our lives. Steps end up being more far reaching 
than they look at first. You'd change everything for a baby, which is 
important. Could you think of your own life and potential as being as 
fresh and worthy of commitment? You and your life count too. 

Good Conies to You 


Yes I believe in luck most people say you can just be 
blessed! But when you're doing bad and sinning every day 
and good still comes to you I think that's luck. 

I remember one time I was going around tighten, 
stealen, roben all nite the next da I hit tha block early 
before every one got there and did it live all day and nite. 


From The Beat: When did that luck run out? Sometimes if you look at 
the really big picture luck in the moment looks different. Maybe one 
guy doesn't get caught up (and seems lucky), and one guy does — and one 
guy ends up changing, and having a life.. .and the other guy doesn't, 


Lucky And Unlucky Sacrifices 

What's up Beat? Sacrificing for my future, see sacrificing 
is a big deal in life, sacrifices can be made for the good or 
for the worst. 

Many people have sacrificed a lot for me and I've done 
the same, now I need to sacrifice a habit not just for me, 
but for everyone else around me. 

And if you ask me I'm an unlucky person, that's just 
one view from me. I could sacrifice something to do good, 
but sometimes after that, my luck just drops. 

My ninja (m) is the luckiest person I know. He do 
everything that I do an more an never gets into it with the 
law, an when I just side step on that line, I come to find 
myself hemped up on a curb, but guess time catches up 
with everyone. 


From The Beat: We think your hard work on yourself will get you a lot 
farther than relying on luck, good or bad! If you could see the really 
big picture of your life you might evaluate your lucky or unlucky times 

Real Boys Get Real Lucky 

I remember when I had only like 30 dollars then I went 
to go shoot dice and at the end of the game I had like 230 
dollars. I got lucky that day. 

Another time when I was only like in the six grade and 
I seen this girl she was in the 8th grade she was bad too. 
At first I was scared to say something but then I called 
her over where I was and I snatched her from somebody. 

I was mess'n wit her for a cool little minute. We 
was mess'n wit' each other for like two years~I was the 
luckiest man on the team. 

-Lil 1 Rashawn 

From The Beat: Maybe it wasn't luck! Maybe you're a great guy and she 
could see that. ..The thing about luck is it can be bad or good right? If 
you are a good guy people will respond to that, it's not luck. 

Forget The Rich Man 

The rich man won't be able to have the shoes of a poor 

because they don't now how it is to be poor. 

The rich people don't care 'bout us they wanna run 
every thang around them because they think money is 
every thang. So the poor always find a way to get money. 

-Sleepy D 

From The Beat: How will things change if there's no understanding? 
Do you have any ideas of what might communicate between rich and 

Lucky Or Unlucky 


I've been lucky in some situations with staff, some staff 
really work with you and treat you like you're in a group 
home like the real definition of New Foundations, and 
they know who they are... some staff in here, just come 
here just to get paid and treat you like you the lowest 
thing on earth... They know who they are... Those been 
my unlucky situations... to the staff that really works 
with kids don't stop doing what you doing... 

-Running the Best Program 

From The Beat: All through life you'll find people who understand you 
and support you, allies, and those that don't and don't care to. Put your 
attention and energy into the people who give it back to you! 


There's been several of situations I could of died, but I 

didn't. Also there has 

been times I could of got caught in any kind of way 

especially when 

you're living this crazy life...Orale pues I'm out 


From The Beat: Do you think you're lucky to have this chance to get 
yourself together, and make good plans for your future? 


A Good Program 


What's up Beat, I'm up in challenge right now, I been 
up in here for a minute doing my time I'm tryna get this 
money and I been in here for hella long. 

I been running a good program in here so it's all good 
I'm Anna touchdown in June. I've been taking it one day 
at a time. 


From The Beat: When you were a little kid what did you want to be 
when you grew up? There are more job training programs now thanks 
to Obama. How would you like a "green" job? 



J L 

Everyday I make sacrifices for my future. Before I would 
never even think about sacrificing anything. I was hard 

Now, I have to sacrifice my friends, thoughts, anger, 
lifestyle, and even living situation just so I can better 

I had to do this so I wouldn't go back to my old ways. 
The ultimate test is when I get out so I can see if I follow 
through with these sacrifices or if I go back to my old 

I have to stay focused or else I will end up in a bad 
situation again. 

-Hard Headed in the Past 

From The Beat: You do sound focused. What helps keep you motivated? 
What helps you stay focused? We think it will help you to keep what's 
really important to you in the front of your mind... 


&Mnnnn*EE mmmmm- // 

Mi Vida Desde Nina 


Cuando mi mama se vino a US, yo era muy pequefia y 
apenas tenia unos cuantos afios. Mi mama me mandaba 
dinero para la comida, pero en tres meses que ella se 
habia ido mi hermana mas grande murio. 

Mi familia no sintio nada por ella porque ella no vivio 
con nosotros. 

Despues un dia un nifto me ofrecio droga y en ese 
tiempo yo tenia un apenas 11 afios. Viviia en Mexico. Lo 
acepte. Yo me sentia muy bien. Le segui poniendo a la 
cocaine hasta que mi abuelita se dio cuenta y me mando 
con mi mama aqui. Mi madre le dijo a mi abuelita que 
no me queria aqui porque era muy peligroso por las 

Al ano y medio, mi mama le llamo a mi abuelita y le 
dijo que en dos meses me iba a mandar con ella y ahora 
estoy aqui. 

Cuando tenia 12 y medio de edad, commence a 
juntarme con pandilleros, pero no me traia nada bueno. 
Solo me la pasaba drogandome. Ahora tengo muchos 
problemas lo que yo nunca habia querido. Ahora mi 
mama me apoya y me da consejo sobre lo que tengo y no 
tengo que hacer. Ahora ya tengo 14 afios y estoy mucho 
mejor con mi mama. 

From The Beat: Sentimos mucho lo de tu perdida y tambien sentimos que 
desde pequena edad hayas tenido que aguantar una vida sin control. 
Ahora las cosas ya han cambiado. Ahora ya tienes el apoyo de tu madre 
quien te aconseja y esta dispuesta apoyarte en lo que sbhs. Es tiempo 
que tomes un nuevo rumbo en tu vida. Ahora ya eres toda una dolecente 
que necesita la vida normal de cualquier joven que se merece. Tienes 
toda una vida que disfrutar. 

Ever Since I Was A Little Girl 

When my mom came to the US, I was very young, and I 
was a few years old. My mom would send me money for 
food. A few months after she left, my older sister died. 

My family wasn't affected because she didn't live with 

Later a kid offered me drugs and I accepted. Around 
that time, I was 11 years old. I was living in Mexico. I felt 
very good using it. I continued using cocaine until my 
grandmother found out about it and sent me to my mom. 
My mother told my grandmother that she didn't want me 
here because it was dangerous due to the gangs. 

A year and a half later, my mom called my grandmother 
and told her that she was going to send me back to her in 
two month, but I came here. 

When I was 12 and a half. I started to hang with 
gangsters but it didn't do anything good to me. I would 
spend my time getting high. Now I have a lot of problems 
I never wanted. Now my mom supports me and gives me 
advice about what I have to do and what I can't do. Now I 
am 14 years old and things with my mom are better. 

-Emilita, Marin 

From The Beat: We are sorry about your loss and we are also sorry 
for that uncontrollable life that you had. Now things have changed. 
Now you have the support of your mother who gives you advice and is 
willing to work with you to help you out. This is the time to take a new 
lead in your life. Now you are a youth who needs to get back the life a 
normal youth deserves. You have a whole life to enjoy. 

/ started to hang with 
gangsters but it didn't do 
an ^ thing good to me. 

Para Que Se Den Cuenta 

Alguien pregunto que si los ricos se pueden poner los 
zapatos de los pobres. Claro que si me gustaria para que 
se dieran cuenta como es ganar el pan de cada dia porque 
los ricos malgastan el dinero. Cuando tienen mucho 
dinero, compran drogas mientra el pobre no tiene para 
comer. ^Por que en lugar de comprar drogas buscan como 
ayudar a los pobres para que tengamos un mejor futuro. 

From The Beat: Tienes razonf^Si fueras rico, como ayudarias a los 

So They Would Know 

Someone asked if rich people would put themselves into 
the shoes of the poor. Well, I would like that so they can 
know how hard it is for us to gain the bread we eat when 
they waste their money. When they have a lot of money, 
they buy a lot of drugs while the poor don't have anything 
to eat. Why won't they help the poor instead of buying 

-Conejo, Marin 

From The Beat: You're right! But, if you were rich, how would you help 
the poor? 

Esa Foto 

Las fotos se toman en fiestas, cumpleanos o cuando 
andas en un equipo de soccer. Las tomas para asi tener 
un recuerdo de las cosas que pasastes bien. 

En tu cumpleanos, te tomas fotos con todas las 
familias. En la fiestas, te tomas con tus amigos o con 
personas que mas quieres que son buena onda contigo. 

Cuando andas en un equipo de soccer, te tomas fotos 
cuando andas jugando o cuando ganas un trofeo. 

Esas fotos tu las guardas porque pasastes un tiempo 
hermoso, compartistes muchas cosas y asi tienes algo 
con que recordar lo de tu vida. 

Hay veces que tu familia te toma fotos cuando estas 
chico y te empiezas a contar de tu niiiez, el tiempo que 
pasaron felices contigo. 

Por eso es bueno guardar tus fotos para tener recuerdo 
de tus pasado vivos. 

From The Beat: Te agradecemos tus opinines siertas sobre las rezones 
por las cuales nos tomamos fotos. £Dinos y tu tienes fotos de tu ninez? 
iTienes fotos de algunos momentos bonitos en tu vida? ;Deberias! 

That Picture 

Pictures are taken in parties, birthdays or when being part 
of a soccer team. People take them to keep the memories 
of a good fun alive. 

In your birthday, you take picture with your whole 
family. In parties, you take pictures with your friends or 
with people you care and who are good to you. 

When you are part of a soccer team, you take pictures 
when you are playing or when you win a trophy. People 
safe those picture because they spent a good time, shared 
good things, and you keep it to remind people of it. 

There are times when your family takes picture of you 
when you are younger so they can tell you about your 
childhood and about the good time they spent with you. 
That's why it is a good thing to safe your picture, so you 
can keep your past alive. 

-Pitufo, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We thank you for your inputs on this topic about the 
exact reason why we take and keep pictures. Do you have picture of 
your childhood? Do you have picture of any happy moment of your life? 
You should! 


&Mnnnn*EE mmmmm- // 

ion get to realize that money 
doesn't give if on health, love, 
peace in your heart or make you 
proud when knowing that you 
are spending money you stole 
from someone. 

El Dinero No LoEsTodo 


Sacrificandome Para Mi Futuro 

Para empezar lo que debo cambiar es mi caracter y 
mi forma de ser. Al menos a mi no me detiene nada y 
simplemente no he querido. Ahora que cahi en la carcel 
si quiero cambiar. Cuando pienso en sacrificios que han 
hecho por mi es cuando estoy en mi cuarto y mas en las 

La neta es que nunca me he sacrificado por ellos, 
pero quisiera probar que es lo que siente sacrificarse por 
alguien. Si les platicara lo que han hecho por mi, nunca 
acabaria de contarles y seria capaz de hacer todo por 

Claro que nunca se van a poner los ricos en los 
zapatos de los pobres porque les costaria mucho. 

Si los jueces pasaran el tiempo encarcelado que yo 
he pasado, pes apuesto que no durarian ni una hora por 
querer salirse. 

Si he conocido a una persona con suerte. El fue mi 
amigo quien fue mi maestro. El maestro salio y el alumno 
que soy yo le dieron un tiempo en la carcel. El salio sin 
programa y sin nada. 

From The Beat: £Sabes que nadie te detiene a cambiar, entonces porque 
no lo has intentado? £Que es lo que estas esperando que pase contigo 
para que puedas cambiar? Deberias de buscar la forma como sacrificarte 
por aquellos quienes te quieren y darte una oportunidad de ser feliz en 
la vida. Alejate de las malas influencias que solo te metan en problemas. 
Aprende de tus erores. 

Sacrificing Myself For My Future 

To start this off, what I need to change is my way of 
behaving and my attitude. Nobody is holding me back, 
but I just simply don't want to change. Now that I am in 
jail, I want to change. I think about the sacrifices people 
have done for me when at night when I'm in my room. 

The truth is that I've never sacrificed anything for 
them, but I want to try what it is to make sacrifices. But If 
were to tell you about all the sacrifices people have done 
for me, I wouldn't have time to share it with you. But yes, 
I am able to do anything for them. 

Of course that rich people would never put themselves 
in the shoes of the poor because it would be something 
hard for them to do. If judges were to spend some time 
I've served, they wouldn't handle it, not even one hour. 
They would want to get released. 

Yes, I have met a person with good luck. He was my 
friend and my teacher. The teacher got out and the student 
got time in jail. I'm the student, and he is the teacher. He 
got out without program, and clean. 

-Chino, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: If you know that nobody is holding you to change, 
why don't you try? What are you waiting to happen to you in order to 
make this change You should find the way to make sacrifices for those 
who care for you and give yourself the chance to live a better life. Stay 
away from bad influence that can get you into trouble, your teacher for 

Pues yo siempre habia pensado que el dinero era la mejor 
manera de salir de problemas y salir adelante pero ubo un 
dia donde el dinero que ganaba, haciendoles un mal a la 
gente como robando, solo me sirvio para joderme mas y para 
gastarlo en drogas. 

Te das cuenta que el dinero no te da salud, amor, y paz en 
tu corazon muncho menos te sientes orgullo cuando sabes 
que estas gastando dinero mal habido que robaste de otra 
personas. O sea que el dinero no es todo en la vida. 

Hay otras cosas mas importantes al igual que estar bien 
con nuestro criador y todo Poderoso Dios, que nos deja ver 
cada nuevo dia el amanecer con 

nuestros propios ojos. 

From The Beat:Estas en lo cierto el dinero mal habido. No te d alas cosas 
que el dinero bien habido te pueda dar. Asi como lo obtienes, de esa 
misma forma lo pierdes y hasta peormente. Solo date un vistazo a las 
cosas que ese dinero te ha llebado. £Alguna vez has ganado el dinero 
en buenas maneras? 

Money Is Not Everything 

Well, I've always thought that money was the best way to get 
rid of problems and succeed, but one day that money I would 
get by hurting someone, was used to hurt me more and spent 
it drugs. 

You get to realize that money doesn't give you health, 
love, peace in your heart or make you proud when knowing 
that you are spending money you stole from someone. In 
other words, money is not everything in life. 

There are other things that are more important like being 
ok with our creator Almighty God, who let us see another day 
with our own eyes. 

-Armando, Alameda 
From The Beat: You're right about fast money. It doesn't give you the 
things that good money could provide. The same way you get it will 
be the same way you will waste it or even worse. Just take a look at 
what fast money has gotten you to. Have you ever gained money in the 
proper way? 


I P™ 


La Mujer De Mi Vida 

Hoy me encuentro solo recordando a un amor que tube. 
Estoy recordando a una lindisima persona que ame, pero 
le tube que fallar una y otra vez. Despues de perderla, hoy 
me encuentro encerrado en la juvenile pensando en que 
voy a hacer cuando saiga. 

Pienso que la vida mia dia tras dia se consume sin 
poder ver a mi ex-novia, sin poder pedirle perdon por todo 
el dano que le hice. 

En las noches me despierto con lagrimas en los ojos 
por no poder estar con ella. 

From The Beat: Todavia no es tarde. Tendras la oportunidad de salir y 
tartar de ganarte el amor de tu amada. Si la anas, has la cosas bien para 
ti y ella. £Crees que puedas con eso? 

The Love Of My Life 

J L 

I find myself thinking about a love I had. I am thinking 
about the person I love, but I had to fail her over and over 
again. After losing her, I find myself locked up in juvenile 
hall thinking about what I'm going to do when I get out. I 
feel that my life get is getting to its end day by day without 
being able to see my ex-girl and without being able to ask 
her to forgive me for the harm I caused. 

At night, I wake up with tears in my eyes for not being 
with her. 

-Luis, Fresno 

From The Beat: It's not too late. You will have the chance to get out and 
try to gain the love of your life back. If you love her, do the right thing 
for you and for her. Can you do that? 


EBmnnmE mmmmts 


Los Dos Amores De Mi Vida 

Pienso en que tal vez los unicos dos amores de mi vida 
se apartarian de mi. Son mi mama y mi novia. Me duele el 
estar pensando que no puedo estar con ellas. M u y 
pronto tengo corte y tengo fe en que voy a salir de este 

Si mi madre muere, me gustaria que en el entierro 
vaya alguien que la ame mas que yo. Si mi novia me deja y 
se casara con otro me gustaria que se casara con alguien 
que la ame mas que yo. 

Solamente quiero que ellas busquen a alguien que las 
ame mas que yo quien las ama como no tienen idea y que 
yo daria la vida por las dos. 

A ti madre: Te doy las gracias, aunque estoy en este 
lugar, por darme todo tu amor, carifio, tus consejos, y 
tus abrazos. Gracias madre por traerme a este mundo 

A ti mi amor: te doy las gracias porque contigo he 
aprendido a luchar en esta vida. Aunque estamos jovenes, 
pienso en compartir toda mi vida contigo, y no importa lo 
que page. Sea bueno o malo, yo siempre voy a estar a tu 
labo para ayudarte. Yo voy a ser mejor. Se los prometo! 
Las amo! 

From The Beat: Que Linda dedicacion! Se nota miicho que las quieres 
mucho y que estas dispuesto a dar lo que sea para que ellas sean felices. 
£Pero que estas dispuesto a dar por ellas? Ya tu sabes que es lo que 
necesitan para que lo esten. £Cuales son los planes que tienes en mente 
para cumplir tu promesa? Te recomendamos que si vas a prometer algo, 
que siempre cumpla. Las promesas quebrados duelen mas. 

The Two Love Of My Life 

I think that maybe the two love of my life would leave me. 
They are my mom and my girl. It hurt me to think that I 
can't be with them. Very soon, I'm going to have court and 
I have faith that I'll get out. 

If my mother dies, I would like someone who love her 
like I do to be over there. If my girl leaves me, and marries 
another person, I would like her to marry someone who 
can love her more than I do. 

All I want for them is to find someone who can love 
them more than I do. I love them like you got no idea and 
I would give my life for them.' 

For you mother: I thank you, even though I'm in this 
place, for giving me all your love, caress, advices and 
hugs. Thank you for bringing me to this world. 

To you my love: I want to thank you because with you 
I've learned how it is to fight in life. Eventhough we are 
young, I'm seeking the chance to shary our lives together, 
and I don't care how much it will take. Good or bad, I will 
always by your side to help you. I'll be better. I promise! I 
love you! 

-Alberto, Fresno 

From The Beat: What a nice dedication. It's obvious how much you love 
them and are willing to give up for them to be happy? But, what are 
you willing to give up for them? You know what they need from you? 
What are your plans to keep your promise alive? We recommed you not 
to promise something that you can't keep. Broken promises can be more 

The most beautiful thing I've 
gotten oh Valentine's Da if was 
being with mtf family, That's the 
best gift of all, 


Nadie Gambia De Un Dia A Otro 

Hola a todos los compas. Pues nadie cambia de un dia 
a otro. Yo les voy a contar algo. Yo no podria cambiar asi 
porque todo se toma su tiempo. Por eso hay que pensar 
en las cosas cuando quieras algo. 

Lo que quiero en mi futuro o cuando saiga de aqui es 
empezar a continuar mi vida. Quiero dejar de andar con 
personas que no tiene nada en el futuro, y dejar de andar 
haciendo cosas que son malas. Ya no me quiero meter en 
problemas con otras personas como venganza. 

Lo mas bonito que me han regalado en un dia de San 
Valentine fue estar con mi familia y convivir con ellos. 
Ese es el regalo que me han dado. No puedo estar con 
ellos porque estoy encerrado. 

Muy pronto voy a estar con ellos. Ya mero me voy 
para estar con ellos. No tengo mas tiempo para contarles 

From The Beat: Nos parece que tienes razon en dejar de juntarte con 
personas que no te convienen. Solo el hecho de estar con ellos te puedes 
meter en serios problemas. Busca como conocer amigos que tengan 
mejor chanza de futuro, personas que te puedan llebar un lugar mejor 
que este. 

Nobody Changed From One Day 
To Another One 

Hi to all my friends. Nobody changed from one day to 
another. I'm going to share something. I couldn't change 
like this because everything takes time. That's why you 
have to think about things when you want something. 

What I want for my future or when I get out from here 
is to continue my life. I want to stop being with people 
that don't have a future ahead of them and stop doing 
things that are bad. I don't want to get into trouble with 
other people like revenge. 

The most beautiful things I've gotten in a Valentine's 
Day was being with my family. That's the best gift of all. I 
can't be with them because I am locked up. 

Very soon, I will go with them. I'll leave soon to be 
with them. I don't have more time to say more. 

-Paco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It sounds good to us that you're thinking to stop 
hanging with people who are not for your convenience. Just to be with 
them, you can get into very serious problems like other have. Seek to 
meet people with a better chance of future, people that can lead you to 
a better place than this one. 


&Mnnnn*EE mmmmm- // 

Perdoname Ama 

Perdoname ama, 

no te quise lastimar 

me quisiste avisar 

no te pude escuchar 

me mandabas ala escuela 

me pintiaba con los homies 

en la casa de mi amigo me pasaba 

tome y tome le entrabamos a todo 

no teniamos perdon 

el jefe del barrio era mi homie 

el mas chingon 

Pero todo yaga al fin 

la lana se acabo 

quise ser un jale 

asaltar la licor 

No quise usar mi cuete 

pero mi homie se aselero 

le metio un cuentaso al chino 

y al piso se cayo, 

en medio del pedo 

no supe que paso 

corri pal otro lado 

y la jura me alcanzo 

me dijo no "te muevas o te trueno aqui pelon" 

despues de ese dia otra vida enpeso, 

cuando iba en la patruya 

pense en mijefita 

ora si que la regue 

yo recuerdo que mi jefe me decia 

no hay ni pandilla 

ni homeboy que te saque de este olio, 

Ahora encerrado 

el resto de mi vida sufriendo un gran dolor 

por fayarle ami jeflta 

ya no se que hacer 

mi vida esta perdida 

pagare las consecuencias 

ya no habra salida, 

en la calle fui chingon 

pero aqui no valgo nada 

Soy un simple numero como otros camarandas 

aunque no fue mi culpa 

y no quise yo matar 

si andas en pandilla 

lo mismo te va a pasar 

vas a estar encarselado 

pensando que hacer 

si me hubiera yo quedado hacer el bien 

por eso yo les digo 


Buenos paisas hay que ser cumplidos, y sigan estudiantos. 

Destroce el corazon de mi madre la que medio su sangre, 

la que me dio a luz y me quito el hambre y el sufrimiento 

que tengo mi vida. 

Perdoname ama. No te quise lastimar. 

From The Beat: Esperantos que esta carta llegue a las manos de tu madre y 
sepa entenderte como lo hicimos. A veces cometemos errores que nos hacen 
paga muchisimo de lo que nos imaginamos. Aunque tu no hayas hecho el 
crimen fuistes parte del crimen. Se llama conspiracion. Esta experiencia 
te ayudara e entender bien tu situacion. Esperantos que busques la forma 
como mantenerte con fuerzas para poder enfrentar las consecuencias de 
tus actos. La vida no se acaba aqui, sigue con tu cabeza en alto y lucha por 
salir de este lugar con seguridad. 

Forgive Me Mother 

I didn't want to hurt you 

You wanted to warn me 

And I couldn't listen to you 

You would send me to school 

But I would hang with my homies instead 

I drank and drank, I would use anything 

We didn't show any mercy 

The boss of the 'hood was my homie 

The tightest 

But everything has its ending 

Money was spent 

I wanted to do a dirt 

To steal from a store 

I didn't want to use my gun 

But my homie got accelerated 

Shot the Chinese guy 

And he fell on the ground 

In the middle of the scene 

I didn't know what to do 

I ran to the other side 

and the police caught me 

and told me, "don't move or I'll kill you, bold headed" 

After that day, another life started 

When I was in the police car 

I thought about my mother 

This time, I messed up 

I remember my mom would tell me 

There isn't a gang 

Or a homeboy that can get you out of this hole 

Now I am locked up 

The rest of my life, suffering a big pain 

By failing my mother 

I don't know what to do 

My life has ended 

I'll pay the consequences 

There will never be an exit 

In the streets I was tight 

But I'm nothing here 

I am another simple number like other friends 

Even if it wasn't my fault 

If you're in gangs 

The same thing will happen 

You will be locked up 

Thinking what would I be doing 

If I had stay to do right 

That's wrote I say this to you. 

Well my friend you have to be reasonable and keep going 

to school. I destroyed my mother's heart, the one who gave 

me her blood, the one who gave light, the one who took 

away my hunger, and the sufferings I have in life. Forgive 

me mother. I didn't want to hurt you. 

-Lil' Joker, Fresno 

From The Beat: We hope this poem gets to her and take the time to 
understand you, like we have. Sometimes we make mistakes that make 
us pay so much that we can ever imagine. Even if you were not the one 
who pulled the trigger, you are part of the crime. We call the conspiracy 
This experience should teach a lesson that will help you understand what 
things should not be done. We hope you find the strength that you will 
need to confront the consequences of your action. Your life doesn't end 
here, keep your head up and fight hard to get out of here safe. 

/ destroyed nn/ mother's heart, the one who gave we her blood, the one who gave light, 
the one who took awatf nitf hunger, and the sufferings I have In life. 

/ 7^ wzz nnzMzzzzzmz m 


The Cheapskate 

I never really needed seeing glasses 

Just always expected more from a vision 

Come to find it empty 

No matter how detailed you slice it 

I still don't see the point 

Vivid imagery only appeal to the soul blinded 

Those who will only see beauty in light 

Traveling at tip of the iceberg speeds 

A dark side at every fathom 

Along yet unimagined spectrums 

A lump of coal has a long way to go 

Before it becomes a diamond that is 

Only forever because we've never 

Cared to really go there 

Just figured it would come to us. 

I made for my girl a ring 

From dried celery fibers 

The only insurance that it needs 

For life 

Is that she never go too hungry. 

Mama Fortuna 

Put the key in the ignition 

Twist it in, hit switches 

Let 'em spin while the world just stops 

I move across the hills 

And through the valleys in a mist 

Na-na-na-na ya just missed me again 

It ain't about nothing 

I shall not want. 

Oh, you didn't know 

I've got ho's and homies in hell too 

At times I do worry 

And I wonder 

What the devil a man 

Like I must go through hoop after hoop 

And every crack of your whip I just lick my lips 

Why don't you think... 

You've got it coming? 

We would like to give a warm welcome to our next writer, Jacob, 
as this is his very first experience of The Beat Within. Jacob is a 
first time writer as he looks to submit his creative pieces of poetry 
and have them heard throughout The Beat Community. In these three 
very outstanding poems Jacob's writing goes above and beyond trying 
to get his message across. A first time writer, and a very skilled one at 
that, Jacob sends us his work from a Correctional Facility in Camp Hill, 

A Fully Grown Doy Playing Like A Puppy 

See, my idea of anarchy is a 

Compost heap on a concrete street 

A non-profit economy so we 

Wouldn't all be forced to become thieves 

Ownership is the essence of order 

A counterfeit clockwork at the 

Expense of natural hierarchy 

No longer a grazing herd or hunting pack 

Humanity has abandoned its pride 

We've colonized, becoming fully automated 

Earth may have evolved apes from primates 

But the origin of the intellect that 

We are possessed by is alien insect 

A parasitic species probably a decomposer 

Carried on dominant genes of our weak 

They unravel brain coils learning 

To better exploit our appetitive selves 

Procreating pale, ungainly beetle 

Faces breeders that feast on the naive and the meek 

Who's humble indifference to desire is an inherent 

Resistance to the controlling greed 

But the difference has become apparent 

And we are now targeted directly 

Reluctantly subdividing our purity 

And selling off bits of soul piecemeal 

Just trying to remain under the radar 

It starts with being, and knowing of the good 

But wanting of, and becoming the evil 

The will to choose is too alluded 

To produce truth in self 

So our curiosity creates a life of it's own 

The lie- 

From where we justify 

Our daily labor 

Biting the handoff the feeder. 

Hmanittf has abandoned its pride 

We We colonized, becoming fully automated 


As an angel came to visit me 

At least that's how it seems, 

We walked and talked about you 

as we drifted through my dreams 

In a moment full of happiness and a moment full of bliss 

I handed her my love 

for you in a form of a golden kiss 

As she took it upon her finger tips 

She promised me, she would visit you, 

and placed it on your warm tender lips 

This the only way I thought I could send my love to you 

As they got me locked away 

what is your man suppose to do? 

'f?nn snn unsE' 

Our next writer wants to share a short poem/dream that he recently 
wrote for all of us. We welcome Rob San Jose originally from San 
Jose, yet today finds himself In Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, 
CA. We thank Rob for expressing himself through this short poem. 

We walked and talked about t/ou 
as we drifted through my dreams 
In a moment full of happiness 
and a moment full of bliss 

rt/t/ifwifiii. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 


-nffBL, L,EE HOULE' 

To The Beat Within 

Probably every community in the world has needs and 
problems which could be metby the involvementof prisoners 
and juveniles of their near by institutions. Men and women 
who really need to experience the thrill of helping out. It is 
time now in our social development, to begin recognizing 
this natural pool of volunteers rather than trying to forget 
they exist. 

This is something I'm addressing on how they are 
trying to "pass a law" that will (prohibit) prisoners, male 
and female from being put on pen pal web sites. This is 
being pushed forth by Polly Klass' father. I understand how 
he feels. I can't begin to express how much my heart goes to 
him in regards to his daughter. However myself, and many 
others strongly disagree. 

Men and women in prisons, and jails, and juveniles have 
a "right" to be heard. To cut off outside communication is 
like saying "you're no longer human." Your feelings and 
emotions no longer matter. 

A lot is learned by prisoners and juveniles when people 
reach out to find hope, and good in another. The fact that 
this is even being thought about is disturbing. For the only 
thing that will be accomplished would be to make prisoners, 
juveniles, etc, hate life and society. "I hope that people will 
see that the best things for these prisoner and juveniles is 
positive friendship and guidance." 

It's time to let all the authorities know that prisons/ 
juvenile halls are part of the community. And to begin 
discussing ways prisoners/juveniles can contribute to 
the community life even while they are inside. We have to 
remember that every human being needs to feel useful, 
and therefore we need to present as many opportunities as 
possible for prisoners to experience their usefulness. 

In this way the community becomes part of a person's 
(rehabilitation), which in all reality is really how it should 

Many people feel though that things wont get better 
until we tear all the prison/juvenile halls down. I say that's 
cop-out. It is obviously going to be a very long time (if ever) 
before such profound changes take place. Meanwhile, 
hundreds of thousands of human beings live in prisons/ 
juvenile halls as they are, and we can begin making a 
"real" (change) in their lives without waiting for such major 

We must help prisoners and juveniles to change their 
feelings towards prisoners/juveniles. What better way to 
show how unnecessary the present system is. 

Kindness towards prisoners isn't pity, and it's also not 
gullibility. Kind people have to lock people up, or refuse to 
let people out on bail or parole, or remove them even from 

We would like to welcome back our next writer who is writing to 
us from The Main Detention Facility in Santa Rosa, CA. This week 
Carl Lee Houle graces the pages of our publication with some very 
helpful ideas on how to go about taking the prison system down. Carl 
does more than voice his opinions as he gives great ideas that these 
people (or whoever in charge may be) some consideration to what he's 
saying. So without further ado we present to you Carl and his latest 
essay on how to uplift our communities! 

the mainstream prison population if they continue to be 
dangerous or act up. A great Indian sage once said. "Do 
what ever you must with people, but never shut anyone out 
of your heart." 

Most prisoners and a lot of juvenile have been shut 
out of society's heart for a long time. Taking their only 
form of love, and guidance in communications is wrong, 
cruel, and un-usual. Many of them have never been in an 
environment or had a form of communication of kindness 
and encouragement. Many also have never experienced the 
satisfaction of helping out others. That is what it will take 
to make us safer from crime. I don't know whether our 
prison and juvenile halls will ever be empty. But I know 
that we could drop their receiving rate from 70% to 10% 
if we could drop out "out of sight, out of mind" attitude 
and focus some creative attention on the humanity of the 
people... all the men and women, adults, and juveniles that 
we lock up. 

With this being known I continue to write my raps for 
my next c.d. And while doing so, I am studying (law) and 
many other areas of rights of juveniles and prisoners. I will 
continue to spend time as I do with my music, advocating 
human rights and political rights for all of you juveniles 
and prisoners. Doing this by publicizing various issues 
with regard to governments and multinational corporations 
violations against you all. 

I thank my beautiful and wonderful woman, Cassandra 
Macias, for encouraging me to step up and be the leader I 
can be. My heart forever belongs to you (smile for me). And 
to our "Lil' Poppa," Dominic Macias. I love you as my own 
mijo and I'm always here for you. You also have helped me 
do what I am doing now for the people. I miss your smile 
and laughs and cant wait to play with you again. Much love 
to Vivian and Jessica Macias. Jessica the Mexican Paris 
Hilton. You all are great women and are in my prayers. I 
want the best for you and your families. You're beautiful 
and smart. You're possibilities to success are endless. 
Listen to your hearts. 

And to all my brothers and sisters locked up in prisons 
and juvenile halls I will continue to be an "activist" for you 
all. With that, until pen dances on paper again next week. 
Take care Mr. Inocencio and I love you all at The Beat. 
Cassandra Macias I love you with all my heart 

Sincerely and respectfully submitted, 


People are always blaming 

Their circumstances for what they are 

I don't believe in circumstances 

The people who get on in this world 

Are the people who get up 

and look for the circumstances they want 

And if they can't find them, make them. 

'nuns¥ siBum,' 

The one and only Bugsy Siegal has a short poem that he would 
like to share with everyone. He writes from a Correctional Facility 
in Lancaster, Ca. 

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

£ ]/?JWJ *7MMMaMfM / ' #////// 


Ten Years After The Beat 

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon. The birds outside are chirping 
away happily. It seems even they take a day off from the everyday 
hustle and bustle. I finally get around to organizing my house 
and I come across a box buried beneath a pile of old clothes. 
Peering inside the box, I immediately recognized the black and 
white pages of The Beat Within. Joy and pain churned too and 
fro as I flipped pages upon pages of pieces I had compiled over 
those dreadful years. 

This was a special box. This box held my history, years of 
it tucked away so that one day I could reflect on my journey. 
Although I still have a long road to walk, looking at how far I've 
come just amazed me. I sat for about an hour reading over the 
pieces I wrote; some happy, some sad, most were filled with the 
ferocity of my youth embellished in anger and turmoil. God I 
was an angry kid. 

This box held my life from the age of 12-18. I'm pushing 30 
now and although it's been this long I will never 

forget those walls. ..the banging on doors. ...the fights. ..the 
screams.... the hate teeming inside. ...Man if I knew what it felt 
like to be almost 30 when I was at that po -int I would have 
done things different. I would have ruled the world or at least 
attempted. So my young friends let me be your crystal ball into 
the future, your time machine, your fortune-teller. 

I used to pity myself. I cursed the gods for having a broken 
home and being poor. I never had this. I never had that. Why 
this why? Why that? Forget it. I'll be a gangster. I'll turn my 
heart into ice man. I was a little crybaby. That was me inside, 
but there was no way in hell you would ever see it. I had my 
thoughts trapped inside a place even I couldn't find. I thought 
I was invincible. I felt the world owed me my own show on 
MTV. Boy was I naive. If you don't know the word then look 
it up because when you hit my age and you don't have more 
and more words people won't even look at you the same. Trust 

REGRET IT. What I mean by that is "don't fall into a category. 
"Don't just be a thug because maybe the girls like it now, but 
they sure as hell don't like it at 30. They will just laugh at you 
and think you're immature. Lots of my friends never amounted 
to much. Not because they weren't smart of intelligent; it was 
because they were stuck with that mentality. They could only 
be one thing. 

Who the hell stays a gangster when you start hitting my 
age? It's not cool anymore. By this time the whole group is 
either in jail or paralyzed or cracked out. Ya' get my drift. Try to 
do something for your family by doing something for yourself. 
Because if you don't know anything about anything neither 
will your kids, and I'll be the one to say that it's your fault. The 
difference between the rich and the poor is intelligence. That's 
it. Donald Trump was bankrupt and had lost everything during 
one point, yet he could come back from owing millions to 
making billions. He knew much more than the common man. 

Read my friends. Read whatever. It doesn't matter as long 
as it interests you. And if you can't read then you better hurry 
the hell up and learn because the world is moving faster and 
faster. More people are getting born each day and you aren't 
just competing against Americans, nowadays, you're competing 
against the world. The thing about juvenile hall is that you 
might not think the judges and P.O.'s care about you and most 
likely they don't. Wait till you hit mainline Adult and you'll 
wish for the days in Juvie. I promise you. You don't know jack 
right now, 111* friends, and truthfully I don't even wanna waste 
my time telling you this but I feel like I owe it to the one thing 
that helped me get through Juvie. 

I was in B5 San Francisco which is the max unit looking at 
8 years at the Y. I had so many lockdowns they wouldn't even 
let me out of my room anymore. Having a solitary cell really 
battered my soul. I didn't know if I was alive or dreaming. Half 
the time I was losing my mind in a hurry. A guy named Josh 

ood decade 
plus ago, back when he was dwelling in the maximum security unit 
in B5 of San Francisco's Youth Guidance Center. 007 was one of the first 
writers to step out of the workshop boundaries and write epic pieces 
for The Beat Within. Even back then he was an outstanding writer who 
used to write about his street life and various topics that inspired others 
to take writing more seriously. Upon his sentence to CYA Alternative 
Glen Mills in Pennsylvania, 007 came to work for The Beat, and even for 
a spell use to assist with Beat workshops and editing! Now after a long 
drought and absence from our publication, agent 007 returns to give 
y'all probably the most important and realest advice someone his age 
can give you. Writing to us from his home in San Francisco, CA, here's 
007 with a brilliant piece of work once again. 

from The Beat would come by with the issue every week and I 
would see that 

I wasn't the only one with a bad life and that people were 

I snuck some pencils into my room. Broke them in half, 
pulled out the led, flushed the outer layer into the toilet and 
would write throughout the night, under the moonlight or 
fluorescent. It would just flow like it does now. Do whatever it 
takes to get into college and go to one far away from home. You 
need to take yourself outside on your city to actually reflect on 
who you are as a person. Just like writing in The Beat. 

I used to catch myself writing gang affiliated messages of 
hate and crime glorifying the street life as if it was something 
to be proud of. I realize now that I wrote those things because 
that's all I had. That's all I could hold onto. I would write like 
I was a crazy demon, but inside, I would wonder why I had to 
prove myself. Writing is like a mirror into your soul. Sometimes 
at the tip of your pencil you can find yourself. It might not 
happen to most of you but I assure you that it's someone 
who can listen. I used to think of it as a news reporter really 
interested in what I had to say about my life. Getting back to 
the subject about your future I want you to know that every 
second counts. 

Tick someone, somewhere just died Tick 

someone just had a baby.. ..Tick you just got a second 

closer to where I am right now. You will get old whether you 
like it or not. No one prepared me for this. I'm still a little kid 
inside a grown man's body. It's like with every year that passes 
time just speeds up until I'm no longer here. 

I once read a book called "The Art of Happiness" and it was 
probably the most influential book in my life. It changed my life, 
chapter by chapter, and page by page. The level of intelligence 
and profound philosophical tact I gained will be implemented 
throughout my life. Since you will probably forget to drop by 
the library and pick it up I'll give you a breakdown of what the 
book teaches. 

BE HAPPY IN JAIL! Crazy? Am I insane?! Yes. ..Be Happy 
anywhere. Be an Optimist. Always look at what you have, not 
what you don't have. You know the old saying "is your glass 
half empty or half full." If you can remind yourself that every 
second of every day, you just figured out the secret of life. It's 
about being happy when you have absolutely nothing. You 
don't need anything, you don't want anything, you'll do fine 
with some payless shoes because you're humble. Most kids in 
the world can't even get a meal let alone Jordan's so stop being 

Everyone in America is spoiled -even the homeless, so get 
over your small trials and tribulations and do some good before 
you leave. I never knew it till now that I was blessed to be in 
jail for that long. To be put on that journey at such a young 
age I learned so much. I came out a man wiser than most and 
humbled for no man on earth knows much. Einstein knew the 
theory of relativity but could he race me on a motorcycle? I 
highly doubt it. Life is predestined to some degree. If you think 
you are completely in control just remember that you never 
chose to come here to this world. You were brought here. That 
alone should prove my point. 

I'm Chinese so that already sets me up for a path I will 
follow. Just choose good not evil. And be nice to David 
Inocencio, he's my friend. ..or I'll jump-kick you! 

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

£ Z/£JWJ*7MMMOMfM / • #// //// 

My Grandmother, A Member of the Community 

My Grandmother lives in Oakland, California as a retired 
nurse from Arkansas. She raised five children of her own 
and four grandchildren. She's my great Grandmother and 
raised my mother when her own parents passed away in 
a tragic car accident. My mother didn't know her mother 
because she was four years old when she passed, but 
my great grandmother loved and cared for her. She is a 
sweet little woman who's involved in the neighborhood 
activities and church celebrations. She goes out of her 
way to help the youth in the community, by feeding them, 
taking them to school even sheltering them. 

She's like a youth counselor in the community. She 
listens to your problems and tries her best to come up 
with a solution. You can ask people in her neighborhood 
about her and they'd tell you how wonderful she is and 
how much she has done for them. She has delivered 
babies in the community, fed homeless people, cleaned 
streets, and home schooled young children. She is an 
active force in the community, but due to sickness she 
isn't as active as before. 

My Grandmother suffers from diabetes and arthritis; 
this slows her down from completing simple tasks around 
the house. People still love and respect her because she 
has supported a lot of people. She is the oldest person on 
her block and has lived there the longest so she is more of 
a positive figure in the neighborhood. If she hadn't been 
there babies wouldn't have been born, children would've 
missed school, people would've been homeless, and the 
community would've been even more violent. 

I believe the mayor owes her a thank you because 
before she moved to the neighborhood the crime rate 
was very high but statistics show since she moved, the 
crime rate has came down about 37 percent in the last 
ten years. It was said that about 2 out of ten crimes in 
Oakland came out of the area she lives in. But now 1 out 
of 15 come out of the area. She is a strong figure to the 
neighborhood and people would be devastated to see 
her leave. Even the police call her to settle feuds in the 
community that symbolizes power and respect. 

Due to this economy the government wants to shorten 
her social security and she cannot live without it. She 
has two options; to move away, or live with one of her 
children. I don't think that is fair at all, so I feel sorry for 
elders who have lost their other government funding. I 
realize that this is a huge issue for our elderly citizens, 
who haven't done anything to deserve this. 

Our next writer is sa\ intelligent young man that has just started 
his internship for The Beat! He's a 17-year old young man that has 
already accomplished acquiring his GED and now wants to move on 
to bigger things like being active in the community by advocating for 
his elders. Coming all the way from Oakland, CA, please give Shawn a 
moment of your time as he tells us the important role his Grandma plays 
not only for him, but for everyone in the community! 

My Great Grandmother 

Is a force that holds the family together and a role model 
and motherly figure. She is our history and an elder my 
family looks up to. Ms. Dorothy Smith provides for the 
hungry and homeless and people in the neighborhood 
have witnessed her accomplishments. Born and raised 
in Arkansas but moved to Oakland, CA, to raise her five 
children. When Ms. Smith was young she provided for the 
family and watched her children grow older, unfortunately 
her middle child Dorothy Davis died in a bicycle accident, 
which was my grandmother. She passed when my mother 
was four years old. So my great Grandmother Dorothy 
Smith raised her as her own child. 

Ms. Smith, eventually, was infected with diabetes and 
arthritis, till this day she suffers from these conditions. 
Getting to the hospital has become a struggle for her 
because she doesn't have the transportation and the 
medicine have little effect on her. During this financial 
crisis she needs as much support as she can get, not to 
have her funding reduced. She has been some one I could 
look up to since birth and has played a tremendous role 
in the neighborhood. Anyone who knows her will literally 
vouch for her, she's sweet and compassionate and 
interested in helping people, which most grand parents 
are. Almost all her children are grown and have been 
successful in society. 

She plays a big role in our family, without her we 
wouldn't be as close as we are now. My Grandmother does 
receive Medicare because she doesn't have the strength 
to go out and buy food, clothes and other necessities. So 
she knows the hassle of leaving the house and living with 
sickness in her body. She can feel the struggle of needing 
help and didn't receive it. 

We don't really understand the burden Elders go 
through because we haven't felt it. There's two sides to 
this puzzle, life and awaiting death. These people like 
my grandmother deserve to be pampered because they 
pampered us as babies and our future lies between their 
wisdom. Youth problems can wait because without elders 
who will we possibly learn from. This generation needs 
Elders in the community to teach and reach the youth. 
Thank you Grandma for the support. 

These people like mif grand- 
mother deserve to he pam- 
pered because they pampered 
ms as babies and our future 
lies between their wisdom. 

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

£ J^I^ 7mg m f l f^JJ^fJJJJ/J. 

'PGHFESSnG BL,nrt<MinD' 

Blackmind Intro 

Beat: We're glad to have you back, Professor. 

Blackmind: The pleasure is all mine. 

Beat: We see you got some new pieces for us. Tell us 
about these pieces and what inspired you to write them? 

Blackmind: Well, I've written four new pieces to honor 
and celebrate Black History Month. I had to continue what 
I started in The Beat issue 14.03. 

Beat: How did it feel to see your " Black President" 
piece on the cover? 

Blackmind: Wow. It was a very humbling experience. 
I've never felt anything like it. It was surreal, like I was 
reading someone else's work. It also shows that the Beat 
appreciates President Obama as much as I do. I love y'all 
for that. 

Beat: Thanks. Change is good. Now to stay on subject, 
tell us about "Black Supremacist". 

Blackmind: My definition of a Black Supremacist is a 
black person who treats other less fortunate blacks like 
they are inferior to them. 

Beat: Have you met any Black Supremacists? 

Blackmind: Unfortunately, I have and it's a sad sight 
to see. 

Beat: How do you think other African-Americans will 
receive "Black Supremacist"? 

Blackmind: Hopefully, they will read it out and 
understand my meaning. I'm not trying to diss our people. 
I wrote this piece to let people know that prejudice is not 
only between different races, it exists within the same race 
as well. This is not new, it's been going on for centuries, 
usually between the rich and poor. 

Beat: Okay. Now tell us about your other new pieces. 

Blackmind: Well, it's back to the basics. When I first 
started writing The Beat, I wrote pieces that the readers 
could relate to. I was writing solely for the readers and 
not so much myself. The Beat is bigger than me, it's about 
empowering the youth with a powerful message and 
words of encouragement. I wrote "Black Mayor", "Black 
Woman", and "Through These Black Eyes (Part Three)" 
strictly for the readers. I'm not writing any therapeutic 
autobiography pieces anymore. It's not all about Professor 
Black mind anymore. It's bigger than me and I want the 
youth to benefit from my writing. 

Beat: That's great. Speaking of the youth, what kind 
of advise do you have for the record teenagers being sent 
to state prison with major time? 

Blackmind: To all the incarcerated youth going 
through hard times, please keep your head up. Stay 
strong, and realize that you're life is not over. Listen to 
those who are wise, but do not trust anyone but God and 
yourself. Keep your eyes on the prize and do whatever it 
takes to get your freedom back. Educate yourself and use 
your knowledge to succeed in life. There is no future in a 
life of crime. 

To all the incarcerated youth going 
through hard times, please Keep uour 
head up, Stat/ strong, and realize 
that uou're life is not over. 

Professor Blackmind is back with some more pieces of inspirational 
writing and empowerment. In his latest pieces Blackmind gives us 
some thoughtful pieces, which brings up some great points. Blackmind 
speaks from his heart with a lot of courage and authority. Tells us 
what "Black Supremacy" means, and dedicates all his pieces to Black 
History Month and History in itself as we stand back and watch our first 
African American President work towards change and a better America. 
Sending us his work from Folsom State Prison in Represa, CA, Professor 
Blackmind is back with some words to refreshing our own minds! 

What Kind of world do we live in? 
What maKes t/ou better than me? 
We are both beautifully blacK 
Or are you too blind to see? 

Black Supremacist 

What kind of world do we live in? 
What makes you better than me? 
We are both beautifully black 
Or are you too blind to see? 
So what I come from the projects 
Who cares if you went to jail? 
Our ancestors were slaves 
They went through living hell 
I know you grew up in the 'burbs 
And I can't knock you for that 
We have many white friends 
But we will always be black 
So take a second to think 
About our similarities 
You can't possibly believe 
You're superior to me 
Remember Dr. King 
And the message that he preached 
Or did your private school 
Disregard what he taught 
Even the white folks 
Can't stand bigotry 
So I ask you again 
What makes you better than me? 
'Cause I like BET 
While you watch A&E 
'Cause I eat collard greens 
And you dine at cuisines 
Okay, my clothes ain't new 
And I got them from my brother 
Everybody ain't rich 
With a father or mother 
So save the wrinkled up nose 
Like you smell your own shhh 
Blacks hating on blacks 
That's a black supremacist 
Blacks selling blacks dope 
That's a black supremacist 
Blacks killing blacks hopes 
That's a black supremacist 
Blacks shooting other blacks 
That's a black supremacist 
Blacks degrading other blacks 
That's a black supremacist 
If you hate your own people 
You're a black supremacist 
Don't forget where you came from 
And why we exist. 

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

^^w^mmmmmm y / . # / / / / / / 

Black Mayor (Kevin Johnson) 

My black brother 

You have made history 

Sacramento's first black mayor 

You made it out of the slums 

But never forgot where you came from 

From college to the NBA 

Scoring big for the Phoenix Suns 

You made a name for yourself 

And had a successful career 

Retiring gracefully 

You went back to your old neighborhood 

Saddened by its condition 

The teenage drug runners 

On every block 

The senseless murders 

And violent gang wars 

The youth had become endangered species 

Products of the environment 

Victims to the streets 

Numbers in the system 

You promised to make a change 

And rebuild the community 

And you didn't fail 

Building youth centers 

And new businesses 

To increase employment 

Restored old buildings 

And created homes 

For those with low-income 

And shelters for those without homes 

You stressed the importance of education 

Repairing and restructuring our schools 

My black brother 

My black mayor 

You have accomplished so much 

And we are so proud of you for it 

We believe in you 

And we trust you with our city 

In hopes that you will set an example 

For other mayors in other cities 

We supported you when they call you "baby Barack" 

And continue to make a change 

My black mayor. 



Black Woman 

Hold your head up high my black sister 

Even when this world leaves your heart blistered 

Remember to love God and be loyal to your man 

When times get rough give it all you can 

Love your children and teach them to share 

Shower them with tender and loving care 

Respect yourself and your father's wishes 

And cook your grandma's favorite dishes 

Be independent and never rely on a man 

Cause you can do for yourself whatever he can 

Believe in you and the essence of your beauty 

To love yourself in your duty 

Don't be fooled by charm and good looks 

Educate yourself and hit the books 

Live your dreams and achieve your goals 

Find what makes you feel whole 

Say your prayers and pray for others 

Be a good daughter, wife, and mother 

Remember that true beauty comes from within 

Break free from those who live in sin 

Take care of your mind, body and spirit 

Give good advise to those who'll hear it 

Don't get obsessed with material things 

And cherish the joys that life brings. 

Through these Black Eyes (Part Three) 

The hatred 

The pain 

The oppression of my people 

Forced into a life of slavery 

Then freed 

Just to be forced into modern day slavery 

Praying that we could be freed 

From these mental and physical chains 

Beaten and thrown into this deadly pit 

By the guards of the dungeon 

Forced to scrub these toilets 

And mop the blood from these floors 

New slavery 

Either work or go back into the pit 

Where ghouls and goblins live 

And feed off the souls 

Of the living dead 

But although the conditions are depressing 

We remain strong 

Building our resistance each day 

Empowering each other 

Through the strength of God 

Sharing our love 

And standing undivided 

We will make it through anything 

There is nothing that can break us 

Nothing but ourselves 

We destroyed slavery once 

And we will destroy it again 

We wont be denied 

Our people is too strong 

Freedom will come 

This is what I see 

Through these black eyes. 


///// r //#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// // 

vgmmffM/' #/ /// / / 

Your Imagination 

A source of vast infinite 


Yet we fail to utilize it for the quest to better ourselves 

Instead using if for selfish gratification and frivolous 


It has the answers to your unanswered questions... 

Thoughts and ideas... 

Without it mankind ceases to exist. 

mi \ 

The Blueprints To Greatness 

To learn, grow and then put into practice your work, is a 
beautiful thing. The will to succeed is what should keep 
you motivated, unless misery and failure is something 
that you have welcomed to stay in your life. There is a 
way to overcome the obstacles in your way whether they 
be physical, mental or emotional, but you've gots to be 
willing to work hard and achieve! 

You have nothing but time on your hands to perfect 
your blueprints to greatness. Stop being fooled by the 
same ole tricks/lies and take control of your future. We 
can't change the past but you can dictate your future! 
Knowledge is priceless, but to achieve it and put it to 
good use is what brings you true happiness. Build, grow, 
and strive to reach your dreams, goals, and aspirations. 

Too much time is wasted on frivolous, unnecessary 
games and fantasies that you don't even believe yourself! 
Progress, perseverance and your potentials will bring 
you prosperity. So push for nothing less and surround 
yourself with people who can help you improve. Failure 
should never be an option. 


Our friend Mr. Daniels stays delivering pieces that get us to know 
him a little bit better. In his upcoming pieces he does a great job on 
getting his messages across. His words paint a crystal clear picture 
of all the pain and strife that you'll feel when you lead a life through 
the criminal justice system. In his piece titled " The Blueprints To 
Greatness" Mr. Daniels drops some inspirational writing. Probably some 
of the realest game that you'll ever hear is found throughout that piece. 
Sending us his utmost respect from California Corrections Institute in 
Tehachapi, CA, we would like to return that respect by publishing his 

Then I Cry 

Freedom taken 
Life forsaken 
Steel bars 
Painful scars 
Mental strains 
Waist chains 
Concrete walls 
Collect calls 
Nothings fair 
No one cares 
Mind games 
Nick names 
Count bells 
Masked strangers 
Constant danger 
Jingling keys 
Trembling knees 
Lonely hours 
Faith sours 
Years wasted 
Hope tasted 
I question why? 
Then I cry! 

Young Life 

We should protect it by any means 

It's our future 

Yet we continue to let them become what we despise 

And after there gone 

We call them riders martyrs, lost souls, etc. 

But if we truly love them 

We would protect them from the bullshhh 

While they are alive and with us! 

Their life should be protected 

To where silly shhh don't happen. 

Your Culture 

It gives you history, 

knowledge to fill that empty void that we call a soul. 

We are people with no true identity. 

And what you are taught in schools 

is probably (one) percent truth and the rest fiction. 

History class is really his-story! 

So dig deeper than the surface 

to find out who you truly are. 

We've been through too much 

to not be proud of whom we are: 

Offsprings of wars, 

lost/confused, drugged, targets of genocide, etc. 

Learn your true self. 

It gives you something to be proud of... 

something to stand for. 

///////if/////, ffgff ////#/ //. // //// // 


'&&¥ snnrHEZ *jb. '. 

My life Is A Cell (chapter 2) 

I live in a bathroom. That pretty much sums up "home for the 
next 18 years, at the very least. I live in an 8 by 12 bathroom, 
with another man. Oh yeah, and our toilet has limited amount of 
flushes. When your forced to not only live in a very small space, for 
a very long time with someone, but also have to smell that person 
defecate, you either become really good fiends... or you learn to 
friggin' hate the guy. 

I've been lucky in the fact that my last couple of cellies 
(roommates) have been really easy to get along with. Mostly 
because we shared the same values and had some sense of common 
courtesy. You learn to tolerate each other's faults- like how Bugsy 
forgets to flush the toilet after he takes a leak sometimes. Or how 
I'll cut some righteously nasty gas, but pretend to be asleep so 
I don't have to hear Bugs complain- and adapt to each other's 
program (daily routine). Good cellies are hard to find. So I was 
pretty happy when they threw me and Bugs in the same cell in the 

The hole sucks. Well, it does at first. You get none of your 
personal property, and are stripped down to the bare minimum: two 
pairs of socks, boxer shorts and t-shirts; one raggedy blanket, two 
sheets with various mystery stains, and two thick foam "mattress" 
that's supposed to make the slab of sheet metal they call a bed 
softer. You get one bar of lye soap, one small packet of bleach that 
is suppose to disinfect a toilet that looks like it might try to bite 
you if you attempt to crap in it; and tooth powder. Tooth powder 
tastes like chalk with less flavor. So, yes, the hole sucks at first. 
But, you adjust. You don't have much of a choice, really. 

The system of "due process" is unique here. It goes something 
like this: A cop doesn't like your attitude so he throws a piece of 
trash in your cell through your door. You feel disrespected and 
mad, so you throw the trash back out. The cop steps in the way- on 
purpose- so the trash hits him. Boom! Assault on an officer! Loss 
of good time, a year in the SHU, you lose what little property you've 
amassed. Game over. I'm not exaggerating, though not every cop 
is crooked, just most of them. You're basically guilty 'till proven 
innocent. Beyond a reasonable doubt by another cop, who probably 
sees you as a lying sack of shhh, and it's usually your word against 
COs' (correctional officer), or like me; you get snitched on. God 
how I hate snitches! 

Me and Bugsy are unique in that we didn't do what the 
"confidential informant" claimed. Which is to say, we did make, 
own, or know of any weapons in our cell. We had no clue they were 
there! Much like it is on the street, in a cell block, you can move to 
a new "neighborhood". Me and Bugsy moved to cell #116 to be near 
friends in the adjoining cells and area. Our little 'hood was coo'! 
Everyone got along. People were respectful of each other and their 
space. No problems! We had just moved there a few months before 
we got caught up. And, as I said before, it all started when a child 
molester got his face sliced. 

There are three main types of rats: Ones' who tells on you out 

Ray Sanchez Jr. has been a part of our publication since damn near 
the beginning of time. Ray had made a name for himself through 
our pages as he has always submitted well thoughtout raps, that 
included a vast vocabulary of frivolous wordplay. But not only does Ray 
specialize in making his rhymes jump out these pages and into reality, 
he is also great in painting a picture about the realities and struggles 
one faces once they are trapped behind bars and face the realities of life 
in prison. Always coming through with some food for thought and great 
writing Ray sends us his masterpieces from Pleasant Valley State Prison 
in Coalinga, CA. Ray first started writing for The Beat when he was 
fighting for his life in San Mateo County Jail a number of years ago. 

of jealousy. One who telsl in order to gain a favor with police. And 
ones' who tell on you to get their butts out of trouble. That day 
the ChoMo got cut, someone (or someones) got caught, and then 
all of a sudden, ISU (Investigative Services Unit) gets a snitch who 
can tell them where to find a pair of knives. The whole time this 
is going on, I'm just barely waking up to wipe the sleep out of my 

They found the shanks behind a steel plate that houses 
the port for our TV cable and two electrical outlets. The plate is 
attached to the concrete wall with four security screws that require 
a special Allen wrench to loosen them. There is no way we could've 
known about those weapons. It's not as if you move into a new 
cell and decide to start ripping open light fixtures and electrical 
outlets. Somebody who had access to tools and previously lived 
there must've put them there. I really wish they would have taken 
them when they left. Inconsiderate bastards. 

What got me screwed up is how the rat knew about the knives 
when I lived in that cell and had no clue. Us getting hit only after 
the slicing is pretty indicative that someone told to try and get out 
of trouble. Remember how I said due process is different here? 
Well, we don't get to face our accuser. It's kind of messed up when 
one man's lies had the ability to keep you from ever going home. 

I got a 24 to life sentence and have to stay straight if I ever 
want to parole- and you can't even cross-examine him to prove 
your innocence. On top of the in-prison write-up that could screw 
your good-time/parole date, the DA could choose to press charges 
and add another case onto your sentence. So it's quite possible for 
you to end up like my junior prom date and get done more than 
once on the same night. 

Prison food is crap. At least, it is here. We supplement our diet 
with products bought from the prison commissary/canteen. You 
get to go once a month at a specified time depending on the last 
two numbers of your prison I.D. numbers, one through thirty-three 
usually go to canteen the first whole week of the month, followed 
by the next thirty-three numbers, so forth and so on. My last two is 
eleven. Lucky me. Me and Bugs just ran out of food and I was about 
to go to canteen to get us some much needed coffee, Top Ramen 
soups, and various toiletries. But we hit the hole before this can 
happen. I miss canteen. So does Bugs. Second draw has already 
passed in the hole! Great. No food no deodorant. No toothpaste, 
soap or shampoo for another month. Maybe I ain't so lucky after 
all. Ah well.... Fudge it! At least I got a good celly. 

Nock This 

I'm the liar's liar 

Strung out like piano wire 

Asbestos laced paper 

Everything I write, is fire 

Missing from the black pages 

Hitta's in the back page us 

Economic down-turn 

Down you for my back wages 

Tired of yo' false truths 

You frontin' like you's false tooths 

Constantly bump yo' gums, 

'bout nothin' in the sound booth 

The Beat Within 

The Beat Without my mouth is nothin' coo', dude 

An instrumental patient, 

loosing patience with yo' foul moves 

I'm the king of my castle 

My vassals move at my call 

Checkmate, wit' check shredders 

You should check yo' vest y'all 

Not like it's gonna do nuthin' 

You just runnin' with it showin' 

Telling where, not to hit, when you wear it in the open 

Chasing after what's fashionable 

You get smashed in yo' mandable 

My baby girl, Nina, eat yo' face like she cannibal 

Accountable fo' animal's 

Who could snuff ya' like a candle, brah 

You wearing that bandana like the color doesn't matter, 


Making light of our dark times, the chalk lines, that 


Our fallen fellow factors 

Aren't for you to use and get shine. 


ho the hell stays a gangster when 
you start hitting my age? It's not cool 
anymore. By this time the whole group 
is either in jail or paralyzed or cracked 
out. Ya' get my drift. Try to do something 
for your family by doing something for 
yourself. Because if you don't know 
anything about anything neither will 
your kids, and I'll be the one to say that 
it's your fault. The difference between the 
rich and the poor is intelligence. That's 
it. Donald Trump was bankrupt and had 
lost everything during one point, yet he 
could come back from owing millions to 
making billions. He knew much more 
than the common man. 

read the rest of 007's BWO piece on page 62