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Children of the streets

There's a sound that dwells within your body.

A predictable yet liberating sound.

A rhythm that makes you release, sweat, and heal.

With lyrics that make you yearn.


There's a sound you understand very well.

That raised you from an early age and never left you.

It accompanied you during your first break-up and your adolescent milestones.

It gifted you memories and occasionally enveloped you with warnings.


You were always repressed for listening to its lyrics.

"Who would grow up with good morality

That listens to chants degrading to the mind, the body,

And degrading to the women we love?"


Nevertheless, you maintained a good balance of your dualities -

Elements of the human condition experienced in your hood.

Where partying, laughter, tears, and lamentation exist.

That hood that nourished you with the hardest of blows.


How could they understand that your generation had to mature

And grasp the most trivial and ephemeral aspects of existence?

Because in your hood, there was always a slut and a gangero,

But there was freedom and beauty amidst the violence.


There was love and there was hate. There was support and there was envy.

Because all of that exists in a hood born out of subsistence.

Where scarcity was the daily bread,

Where you found art and uniqueness in a rhythm.


It has been 30 years of social development,

And there are critics who don't consider your art as music at all.

They compare your compositions to Bach's, and in their prejudice, they fail to understand

That your spirit manifests as a river of emotions in the melodies of your vocals.


The rhythm is the same because our streets are all the same.

Because it doesn't matter if you come from Humboldt Park, Santurce, Callao, or Buenos Aires.

Your streets are all the same - they follow a four-bar rhythm.

That's how your countries built them, and that's how you know your home.


Perhaps if you were born in nature, your mind would be different.

You would make room for other compositions, but you were destined to live on the streets.

A rigid street, where hip-hop and computers liberated you from the never-ending cycle.

No one fought for your liberation, but the timing of your journey is perfect.


So you freed yourself on that beat.

You sang with your soul, freestyled, and became an artist.

You were a flower that grew through the pavement.

You shone like a star amidst the light pollution.


Now there are thousands like you, who also want to become stars.

In a typical urban revolution, you exchanged drugs and weapons

For the mic that would lift you out of poverty.

Now your heart and spirit have claimed the frequencies.


But now you're David fighting against industrial Goliaths,

Who have appropriated this sound that helped you release it all.

Now they're trying to trap you in a new cycle.

A cycle of poverty where it's convenient for them to have you.


They pay you well to sing mantras of philosophical poverty,

Because they realized you were almost making it out.

Industries that use you and abandon you when supposed friends steal your fruits,

And abandon you when the streets come to claim your life.


There's a sound that dwells within your body.

It's a sound that wants to break free.

Listen to it carefully, it comes from your heart.

Harness it with your mind and give it reason.


There's still an opportunity for transformation.

Your neighborhood is waiting for your evolution.

You are urban art, worthy of exaltation.

But remember, beloved, that in nature, everything leads to healing.

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