75¢

75¢ is a homage to Harlem summers and the tension between bliss and bloodshed. It dances in between having everything and nothing at all, the laughter in the rubble. The inherent arrival of mourning or morning whichever comes first.

Summer of 2005, I was thirteen years old drinking a Tropical Fantasy 50¢ soda on my stoop when a black car drove up and shot the 16 year old boy across the street. Point blank. I ran upstairs in hysterics to tell my mother and without blinking she looked at me and said “Oh nena, this happens all the time” and continued watching tv. The police were called and they didn’t arrive until 4 hours later. You could hear his mother screaming in the streets, praying over his body for hours. The next morning there was a fresh blood stain and a dozen candles across the street.

There was a certain nonchalance in Harlem that used to make me feel undeniable. Summertime was the best because the sun and the right sound system could almost make you forget the violence, the poverty and the systemic chokehold on our community. The block parties, the chicken man, the broken AC's, the piragua lady, free summer lunch, PAL, D.A.R.E, the hydrant sprinkler (& the uncle who opened it), the summer reading list, 6pks of PBR and Henny, dominoes & talking shit on the stoop - nothing could stifle the vibrance. Poverty never stopped us from celebrating, it surely had me collecting Coke cans for them Six Flags discounts, but it never stopped us from taking in the sun and the high vibrations of our community.

 

lyrics

If all I had was you

I’d still, still be blue

 

Tryna make a dollar

Out of 75¢

Tryna take it easy

In all this nonsense

Trying to claim it

Trying to escape it

 

Body exhausted

From gravity

Looking for something

To calm me

Even when I

When I dream

I'm still, I'm still dying

 

If all i had was you

I'd still, still be blue

 

If it isn't a gun

It will be my mind

That makes of me a sacrifice

Makes me believe

I still have time

My love my love my love my love

Hold me till morning comes

Be my temporary

My momentary love

 

If all I had was you

If all I had was you

If all I had was you

Hold me till mourning comes

If all I had was you

Hold me till morning comes

If all I had was you

Hold me till mourning comes

If all I had was you