The song of Ghetto Girl

Pub date March 15, 2011

OPINION Editor’s note: POOR Magazine, one of my favorite publications, holds an annual benefit on Valentine’s Day featuring a “Battle of ALL the Sexes” poetry slam. This year’s event, hosted by Alexandra Byerly, had a mixed-martial arts theme and was held in an eight-foot cage built by artist Will Steel in the Submission Gallery in the Mission District. Judges were La Mesha Irizarry, Devorah Major and Laure McElroy. I agreed to publish the first- place winner, which follows. Find the second and third place winners on on the Politics blog. (Tim Redmond)

By Jewnbug

(this Battle came from the battle: Educated Ghetto Gurl vs. The Society)

Educated ghetto gurrl

born in a place

conditioned for death

raised on government cheese

parents targeted to be dope feens

houseless n hungry

society wants me to be ignorant

but ain’t no dummy

got wize to tha mizeducation

of yo surveillance


public skools


U.S. military enlistings

never assimilating or listening

stay thug life


rising to tha top

singing ghetto supastar!


cultivated underground

can’t afford yo brand name labels

making my fashion talk of tha town

rebel with a cause

speaking out against

yo policies, protocalls, laws

prohibited my native tongue




U ain’t my god

n I ain’t yo son

speaking too loud too fast

causing lyrical whiplash

I smash on u

U thinking u more dignified

cuz I rock a shoelace fo a belt on sum jeans


U put me down

then capitalize on my swagger

like, “that’s hella ghetto”

I don’t play tho

no diplomatic tactful rage

straight up in yo face

u label me

trouble maker

that’s code for

truth teller

fo real for real

no faker

I know tru essence of success

despite the mess

of yo civilized vest

my interest to do more then survive


came when I held my head high

with no shame

yea I’m from the ghetto

n I’m doing big thangs

educated ghetto gurrl

she was kung fu fighting

she was always writing

educated ghetto gurrl

puttin’ whole society on trial

n bringing them to their knees