For The People x Dear 2016

DEAR 2016,

YOU SUCKED AND YOUR BROTHER 2015 DID TOO

See this 2 years left me stuck

This year feel like i got beat like we got trumped

Shit this year we got TRUMP

So much happened to incite me to give up but still I give love

I’m thinking January can you please arrive

I know a new year don’t automatically change your life

But what a time to be alive when you can die at anytime

See….I rather die for these rhymes then die by the law

I was born a statistic that’s dying to be a boss

What’s the price of freedom in 2016

I thought my people paid it when we were hanging from them trees

Grandma thought she made it when she could walk into a store and say can I try on these

She survived sixties in Memphis Tennessee but still see her grandkids fighting to be free

I know Martin had a dream and Huey had a shotty

Ali was for the people and X gave up his body

But we still protesting in the streets

Well unless us catching the bodies

I grew up in cap heights where you can get clapped and left flat like tires in broad daylight

At 20 I moved to baltimore and saw first hand what y’all saw on the wire

See I live in west baltimore close to round the same way they killed Freddie gray

So when the riots came I can see the smoke from the rite aid cause it’s less than a mile away

Headed to work seeing folks running through the glass doors of the Michaels Kors

Curfew at 8 same weekend of the Mayweather and Paq fight can you imagine what that’s like…

Handwritten notes from your employer to prove that you’re not loitering so they don’t lock you up that night

See this last couple year took me through some changes

I always knew I was black in America but never so much have I had to explain it or my language

i understand I’m not blameless i say nigga ALL DAY not even shameless

But I can see justice not free

I’m black and proud and i say that louder than James brown telling us Nixon was the key

A War on crack & blacks acting like white folks don’t do cocaine up on these streets

Even then I was taught to be all I can dream

But 9 credits short of a degree I paused cause bills was all I can see

Sallie is no joke and I’m not playing with her

and we have kids on they own we saying trying to be grown but teachers can’t call a parent teacher conference cause they know she can’t bring no parent with her

she may have gave birth and he may have dropped the seed

but if you don’t care to lead their life how we expect you to care if they can read or write

see i came to the conclusion that i have to start with me

how i treat people and devote my energy

but its tough cause every time i see the police  or man shot on tv my insides scream cause i thinking if you’ll do that to them what would you do to me not

even then I’m tryna blend in a society that constantly tells me what i can’t be

see the changes i been going through i thought were negative until i realized they made me think

so i apologize to my homeboys i called my nigga when i should have addressed them as bro or king

i apologize to my sisters i dismissed by calling a bitch when she really was a queen who just pissed me off to the 3rd degree

i pray y’all in corporate arenas let your character scream loud even when your tone of voice carries the blacker sound

i pray my sisters keep winning cause black women are the best fighters pound for pound

i pray you teachers can reach them so they don’t think the only way they can succeed is by filling bleachers

and i don’t mean to be preaching but i pray your peace is never defeated by your demons

anyone can teach you religion but only god knows your fate

and even when I’m tipsy off the Hennessy i still know that God guides my way

so 2016 you didn’t break me a bit

you just showed me why i need to love even when the heart cant forgive

you just showed me how to fight with more than my fist

so i thank you for showing me how to grow and let go and let me live

Love,

Dev Dapree