The Poet of America's Most Dangerous City

what doesn't kill you makes you go crazy if you live long enough I wish life was like the work world you know you could just put in your two weeks notice and be done everything and the people around will respect it because they want what's best for you okay the way all along – dad – more recovering of her quadruple shooting in east ball Northeast Baltimore last night is actually the second it just never stops society begs us to pull up my bootstraps and fly to Venus but keep his pad like the trenches and ain't easy to show our genius the trade pound strikes one don't they'll trauma to 100 souls yoga and meditation can't stop blazing bullets from piercing through the livers of my niggas guns leather and bra day when left off the light liquor the pain that bound his brain turned good kids the goodbyes PTSD is prominent on this side revenge is sweeter than new nookie and shoot your life away a piece of pie I never came giving us niggas no sliced today give kids fitting-out a treat that nostrils tell me what our pastas the kids who only go to church for funeral services most young hummingbirds and their trenches get they wings cut off or end up OD'ing like Bosque I imagine chasing your dreams then your dreams or enough I feel like my ambition was definitely learned if we say that someone is born and vicious then you can say someone was born lazy I think it's like 97% of the people that's born in poverty and Baltimore dying poverty I'm not gonna believe that 97% of the people are just lazy that ambition was learned my mother had me when she was 20 years old and my father was 19 drugs pushed into our communities and my mother and father they just fell into that what my grandmother Mary Phoenix is my mother's mother she's been raising me day one since I came home from the hospital as I resilience is something that's ingrained in you at a very young age going bottom oh I'm about was sleeping this probably like 2 a.m. or something like that and I just heard these knocks on my door and I thought I'd probably like junkie or something or somebody just outside while and then paying any mind so I went back to sleep cos the street and I seen these dark clouds boozing out of this air conditioner I see the firefighters they extended their ladders they snatched the roof off they bust open the window and they pulled our business limp salmon paint object like his whole body was pinging in it up and my little brother and then that's the day I got call Santa Fidel had passed away he was seven at a time I was 10 and I was like my first time dealing with death someone can be here you can touch them they can bleed they can crowdy can their heart can beat they can laugh with you and now he might handle more and he never coming back that's the spooky part but actually dying and only skimming death is like the ultimate sign of reality but if you from and live in Baltimore every year you using people that's just a fact nobody goes untouched you kind of grow up a large majority of life in the same place so you think that everything that goes on as normal until you go outside of your environment you see that it's not a lot of other people that's living like that you realize that only really got it bad I ain't never been wool I just read to my eyes bleed on the off day paper chasin high speed I ain't never been smart I just observed my surroundings a young humming bear who spar with vultures duck shot some Devils been losing for instance eyes was glued to bamm-bamm and pebbles playing Donkey Kong on my gameboy color until my mother stole it and sold it for that boy and that butter not to make pancakes ever seen a faint handshake when Ln a fix and biscuit rock your skillet for that cash a clear mandate hummingbirds just want to fly and sing our songs and the process and stay above water so we don't clash with the Loch Ness zombies goblins and disguise are killer cops and racist policies middle fingers to us why we twelve O'Clock dirtbikes to war ongoing traffic fearless you can't stand us can't manage God's plan we cannot be managed can you love a hummingbird if it's wild a team can you love a hummingbird a frightening named hummingbirds flow fearlessly like the now kill one of us and watch our soul run Wow I used to always feel like you can't treat your depression I've been talking to myself trying to convince myself that I should get a therapist just to say I did it if it work at work if it don't it don't but at least I can say I try my work helped me deal with this depression when my work helps other people service up I may cut my time down some but just keep it short responding I'm bout to perform autobiographical poem by some of the things that I wouldn't do memories can be beautiful memories can be ugly sometimes I ask my memories why didn't you love me memories old memories they burn me much sorrow but all I can do now is root for a better tomorrow I remember these memories just like that laying on the living room floor watching hangout and rugrats 62 police came and burst through the back fully equipped and strapped of black gas it had to be bad luck cuz I was a young black cat I leave Baltimore and I go to Virginia hoping to clear my mind but how can i with all of my friends I dropped like flies it's hard to carry no more no one loves you it's even harder when all your friends are floating above you lately I've been dealing with constant wicked thoughts others acts that when I doubt that's who I remember me I remember like it was yesterday my heart skipped a beat when I heard my mother call my grandmother a dirty trifling and said I hope you die in your sleep but I remember Easter Sunday I was merely grazed by a bullet from the business my brother Brian right in front of my steps nothing I'm speaking is made up yes I came up nothing I speak in my heartis to make me look tough I might have a little frame but my mind is true fuck my haters only but so bad sometimes I wonder how can it fit all this stuff thank y'all so much [Applause] a story you're getting a society of space to kill you [Applause] I have anxiety like crazy I perform because I know that it's always gonna at least be one person in the audience and I fall in love my work I'm relatable and I'm a reflection of them I'm one person with one voice with one pen with one story and I'm just telling you my story how I feel a role model has to play some kind of role but I want to be a real model and show people that you can be yourself and also become successful I love Baltimore because it made me who I am I want to be one of those people that start that culture of having people who make it mentally out of Baltimore and financially out of poverty and I keep all of that energy and those resources and those ideas head everybody that grows up here by the end of their life they have this warrior like spirit these survival tactics that you probably won't get anywhere else the community that we have outweighs the negativity if you accidently man for 24 years I'm emotionally spiritually and mentally connected to this place I want to live and die in Baltimore they say this generation is this this generation is wet I put my faith in the youngest how clever is that who apiece said they young always I have heard the revolution when y'all pick up them pistols just be mindful of who y'all shooting I know y'all ain't mean to put two slugs in granny's head but no one cares about intentions when someone's granny is dead emotional intelligence ain't talking our hoods so we lurk late strike straight when feelings involved when tension get thick I was six years old saw a kid get slapped in the face with a brick someone teased him about his fake J's made him reminisce about them dark days of not having a pot to piss seems like your world is caving in the black child's apocalypse but no one budgets will improve any budgets for Rexha education face it they don't care about me how are you so together we got a stick yes me how are you two skills to the unequip teach that girl how to fish so she can eat a lifetime teach that boy how to fly he'll take the doors off the hinges then show other hummingbirds how to get off the trenches some people build fences to keep roses cage there but we always find ways to never get in these mazes we've been placed there just gotta have patience and lift as we climb share plugs and resources on how to make a dime I know it sounds cliche but we all that we got we all that we need we rather die on our ten toes then live on our knees hummingbirds in the trenches

20 thoughts on “The Poet of America's Most Dangerous City

  1. I KNOW Kondwani is reaching youth – people of the poverty areas – especially in Baltimore – BUT – I am trying to bring awareness to those who think it's not THEIR problem – We are all one race HUMAN RACE as far as I am concerned and I bleed knowing this is happening-

  2. why o.d. like basquiat … seems an odd reference….Jean Michel Basquiat ..say what!?

  3. Been following this selfless visonary for 5 years – he is being the change – so proud of him!

  4. In a tiny brick house on Baltimore’s North Amity Street in 1833-1835 Edgar Allan Poe wrote some of the early stories that would make him the father of the modern short story, and create and define the modern genres of mystery, horror and science fiction.

  5. He's a genuine patriot being so attached to his place in the world caring greatly about what's going on with his neighbors there. True patriotism and brotherhood breeds courage to speak up the truths and integrity do the right things which is what we are so desperate for in America. Put the guns down and choose to have courage to communicate with one another is a real message of the poetry of the hood.

  6. The experience of death in Baltimore is usually dependent on your zip code. That’s the problem. Baltimore was the test case for redlining and state-supported housing segregation. The byproducts of this institutionalized cudgel against poor and black residents are systemic and that underlying ,entrenched racism has borne its fetid fruit in the city’s murder and incarceration statistics for generations.

    It’s why so much blight can be juxtaposed just as easily with $35K a year, Preppy Handbook private schools in Roland Park and multimillion dollar homes in Homeland and Federal Hill. It’s very easy for the city’s monied denizens to ignore the death and pain because it’s light years beyond their experience. And the city was carved out to be that way. Until the destruction matters to everyone, it will always drag down our most vulnerable.

  7. I can't even imagine.

    Emotional intelligence. It's something this whole country needs to be taught from top to bottom. This country's collective heart is decaying, and it's leaving all of our communities – especially our most historically oppressed communities – emotionally decaying as well.

    Don't let this shit happen. Be emotionally honest and strong; have active, universal, and unconditional love for yourself and your world; take emotional healing from the inside and manifest it into the world. Because none of this shit is going to get better for people the worst off until the people with power (all of us. Our stories, our thoughts, and our actions are our power.) wake up.

  8. Love the message he is sending! I'm the one in the crowd that he moved today!

  9. All I want to know is if The Wire was a good interpretation of the city?

  10. Really beautiful cinematography plus really great poetry. Fuckin incredible

  11. He's not very good as a poet or rapper. Surely they could have found someobe better

  12. 20 years since The Wire and Baltimore is still the same situation 🙁

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