Everyday I go out my front gate I see this:
And if I walk just a few blocks, I'll see what can only be described as 'blight', and dope fiends pushing grocery carts and bangers on the corner, waiting for 'business'. It's straight up "The Wire" (literally, the show was based in part on Oakland).
But in a few spots, there is irrepressable artistry--all the more stunning given its context.
And speaking of irrepressable artistry, here's a little gangsta' soundtrack to go along with the view:
Look at the situation, they got me facing,
I can't live a normal life, I was raised by the state.
So I gotta be down with the 'hood team,
Too much television watching, got me chasing dreams.
I'm an educated fool with money on my mind
Got my ten in my hand and a gleam in my eye.
I'm a locked out gangsta, set tripping banger
And my homies are down so don't arouse my anger.
Fool, death ain't nothing but a heart beat away,
I'm living life do or die, what can I say?
I'm twenty-three now, will I ever live to see twenty-four,
The way things is going I don't know.
Power in the money, money in the power,
Minute after minute, hour after hour,
Everybody's running, but half of them ain't looking
It's going on in the kitchen
But I don't know what's cooking.
They say I gotta learn
But nobody's here to teach me.
If they can't understand it, how can they reach me?
I guess they can't,
I guess they won't,
I guess they front,
That's why I know my life is out of luck, foo!