Letter to the Youth

from by Truth Universal

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The violence which exists in the streets of New Orleans is amazing. This is a conversation with the Black youth in NOLA. At the time of this writing the New Orleans murder rate was triple the national average. Many times the violence perpetrated was by a young Black person against another. Our young people need outlets, opportunities and advice. Borrowing from the Slick Rick classic "Hey Young World," this song is my contribution to the discussion.

lyrics

Verse I

Hey young the world is yours
But keep your work legal, please avoid these laws
Them people want us workin’ free like it’s 16th century
(and) Kids w/ Black skin destined for the penitentiaries

Chorus:
I know you feel like you’re on your own
(and) All your luck is gone

Verse II

We in the streets killin’ ourselves as if we were savages
Murder rate triple what the national average is
We don’t love ourselves, wreckless chasing benjamins
Angola bound or up in University hemorrhaging
it’s just so much to put in a verse
Bottom line is you’re ORIGINAL, you were here first
Black is the maker, owner, cream of the planet earth
No way you should be 16 carried away in a hearse
You like, this old dude don’t even make sense
And parents don’t understand like Jeff and the Fresh Prince
But the funny thing is, we actually do
And 20 years ago, we was exactly like you

Chorus

Verse III

Sometimes school is boring and teachers be aggravating
Stick with it, 4 years you could be graduating
(At least) 4 years of college could boost your finances
Ain’t nothing guaranteed, but you have better chances
The thing you love most, it’s worth pursuing it
figure out a way for you to get paid doing it
I offer these words to help you stay on the right course
don’t advocate military or the police force
That’s just my advice, still it ain’t no joke
They don’t work in the interest of the poor and the Black folks
I never sold dope, a day in my life
But found ways to help my mama keep on the lights
I thought of creative legal ways that I could get loot
Kept kicks, Polo, Izod and Adidas sweatsuits
Entrepreneur, sales I had a knack for
13, Slingin Mama noodles right out the back door
Making paper, doing homework, watchin’ Looney Tunes
Then, sold subscriptions to the (times) picayune
I love my Mama, kept me offa the corner
Bussed tables, dropped fries till I got my diploma
Then I left home to get professional knowledge
Pell grants and bakin’ bean pies got me through college
On the real, I still owe for them Stafford loans
But now I (computer) program, and see the world rockin microphones

Bridge

Verse IV

Your dreams and passions you should chase behind
You’ll face struggles, I was faced with mine
I really hope you embrace this rhyme
I love you, if I didn’t wouldn’t waste my time

Chorus

credits

from Invent the Future, released October 8, 2013
Written by T. Ujasiri
Produced by Shawde Banx for Muzik Dude (ASCAP)

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