Tag Archives: nyc

say something baby: hip hop and telling our stories

it’s time to say something.

there are signs on the new york city subways that read: if you see something, say something. drake’s new timbaland produced release, is called, say something baby. “precious,” a soon to be released movie outing a story of incest and illiteracy (based on “push”) recently blew audiences away at cannes film festival.

whether you the type to pay attention to signs or not. i think it is time to say something. time to tell your story.

seven years ago in october, i shrugged the chains of sex based slavery and said something. i said no. i said stop. i said i can be more free and more safe than this. i said this to my family, who i still love dearly (with the help of healthy boundaries) and sometimes hate. i did not know how to put an end to patterns of family based sexual violence, but i did it anyway. because it was time to say something. you can too.

say something baby.

i respect drake’s flow. video choices not so much. why was “you da best,” such a good, courageous, women loving song and such a same ol’ same ol’ objectifying video? someone needs to do a remix of that missed opportunity. but on the flow tip, drake is a writer’s rapper. with his lyrics and sound, drake is able to pull recognition, alignment, allegiance from our ears which are our eyes when it comes to music.

“say something baby,” is a message women usually don’t get. often we’re told to be quiet, explicitly or implicitly (you know when you get that look? or when you hear that dismissive tone in how they address you?). so i’m digging the message from jump, plus i’m drawn in by the opening strains of timabaland’s juice laden synth and drake’s sexy-smart-boy next door flow. there are only a couple thousand hits on the youtube of this song, but i imagine that won’t last long. especially when they release the full version. till then, ima be playing the two minute version. music is definitely my drug of choice.

here’s to saying something.



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62nd Annual India Day Parade (NYC): Photos by Roopa Singh

62nd Annual India Day Parade, New York City (August 15, 2009)–


India Day Parade: Shennai, Shilpa Shetty, Desi NYPD, Miss India, the club kids matching sneaks, Kingfisher, Haldiram, Jay Sean, an exuberant dance group called Aatma, striking posters of Ghandi and Nehru on floats advertising Desi tv stations, the whole nine.

Members of SALGA (the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association) and allies met at Starbucks before today’s India Day Parade to create signs amplifying the discrimination that excluded a visible contingent of Desi gays and lesbians from the march. But good times were had by all, in the heat, in the shimmer of so many cultures right at our feet. We are all Indian, including the gays. We are all New Yorkers, all night and all day.

For MORE PHOTOS on SALGA and allies protest go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/politicalpoetry/. Please do CREDIT photographer ROOPA SINGH on any photos you pull. Vande Mataram!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/politicalpoetry/walk 4 ur motherland 2

photo: roopa singh/india day parade (nyc, aug 15)

photo: roopa singh/india day parade (nyc, aug 15)

photo: roopa singh/india day parade (nyc, aug 15)haldiram 4

photo: roopa singh/india day parade (nyc, aug 15)jay sean

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/flags on float

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/flags on float

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/child labor signs

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/gardi with pride

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/gardi with pride

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/shennai fine

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/nehru 3

photo: roopa singh...just for one picture, home

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/parikh 2

parikh woman and me

photo: roopa singh/india day parade/salga reppin 2

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc)/salga reppin gay hind with cops

photo: roopa singh (india day parade, nyc) salga reppin.all ofus

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nyc poems for the work week: you got some sun, now step up!

dear readers,

you know you’ve channeled native new yorker when 40 degrees feels warm. or when 55 degrees makes you ecstatic. i corralled some of this weekend’s spring-ish energy and walked new york city with clear eyes and a light step. truly, walking new york city is one of the best parts about living here. walking new york city is like tv, but you’re alive.

here’s one weekend in the life of a nyc walker.

from the old school pay a quarter and look real far machine at riverside park

step up: from the old school pay a quarter and look real far machine at riverside park

saturday: i walked through prospect park, where mud and slush and the melting rush reigned. i sat on a red picnic table and soaked in the sun. red cheeks satiated, i strolled to barnes and nobles, where i got stephen kings’s down to earth, “on writing: a memoir of the craft.” writers heart aflame, i marched up to (free) first saturdays at the brooklyn museum of art. there i ran into folks i havent seen since the u.s. social forum, listened to famed choreographer (and mcarthur genius award winner) bill t. jones talk about art, and danced hot and sweaty to a james brown vs. fela session. dj rich medina threw in some rakim and public enemy, because its brooklyn, and everyone, i mean everyone went bananas. jam packed masses, all shades, all ages, all genders, pounding and aflame with the beat.

off. the. chain.

sunday: i walked with a friend from west 145 through bustling harlem, thawing central park, and over to west 72nd street. we started at a capoeira ceremony in harlem’s riverside park, we crossed streets to catch the sun, found ourselves in the bustle of harlem, dipped into the famed studio museum (free on sundays yall), and, in homage to the sun, kept marching till we reached our final destination: dallas bbq.

that’s one weekend. moral of the story: as long as your resourceful, you can really engage with the city, even on a budget.

some fruits i penned along the way. these poems are from saturday in the sun at prospect park.

the sun in winter

sunny muddy

oil slicks in the park

people breathing

candlesticks in the dark


shot in the dark

a poet plays in the park

pen and then

a sun fed poem

pen and then

a blue ink home

pen and then

lowride dip chrome

pen and then

im not so alone

pen and then

fuck the phone

take this pen

spread rise moan

take this pen

and write

shot in the dark

a poet plays in the park


i’ve only got a few dollars

but there are millions in my bank

stacks of poems/days of sun/sailed oceans in my bank

tears of love/communities in my bank

cousins/anti’s/new little children in my bank

full bellies/music/luna the cat in my bank

fuck yous/i miss yous/jokes on yous in my bank

supreme court/chowchilla/619 in my bank

i’ve got too many bills

but while im here i’d like to thank

my bank


stay tuned for more.



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