He knows 

toss. turn. Ahh..it is heart wrenching when the ones you love constantly hurt you.

“I know. Trust Me, I know” said God. 

-Nadia.Vee

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PEACE AND LUV. GHETTO LUV

My name is Shaniqua Rogers. If you come round here looking for me with that name, you ain’t gon find me though. On these streets, they call me Shay Shay. Nah man, it’s Shay with a dollar sign. $hay $hay. Ya diggg.

I was born and raised in The Bronx, to an ex-serviceman (God rest his soul) and a janitor at the community hospital. My mama been cleaning decayed toilets and picking up faeces with her bare hands from underneath almost-dead-and-gone-patients (and mind you, these hands been cooking for me, sometimes, unwashed) for twenty two years. So you can imagine the kinda nonsense she will not have. I remember quite vividly that very rainy, rainy evening I decided to let her in on my plans to drop outta school and you know, chase my dreams of being the next Missy Elliot. Missy Elliot ain’t even half the legend I am now. Tsk. 

‘do not even finish that goddam sentence, you bastard child!’ that was my mums. Flaring up. Being loud like the black woman that she was.

‘but mama-‘

‘oohhhh ohhh so you can talk back at me now issit? Help me Lord, lest I molest this no good, still-sucking-boobs-at-twelve madafacka!’

*eye roll*

Long story short, I stood in the rain the whole night. Fast forward, nine years, I’m here and the whole city know my name. I made music for the strong. The fighters. Hustlers. I made music for the streets. That was until the night everything changed for me….

* * *

DJ: when I say $hay $hay you say poof! $HAY $HAY!

Crowd: POOF!

DJ: $HAY! $HAY!

Crowd: POOF!

It was a Saturday. One really fine Saturday night. I had landed this dope record deal so I gave my people a free show. Cuz ya girl boutta be expensiiivvee. The night was lit, crowd was on fire, everything was perfect. Soon after, everyone had left and there wasn’t a single soul in sight. I took in one last breath. The air was a cocktail of sweat, happiness and the ghetto spirit. I loved my people yo. The cemetery alley was the quickest way to get to my crib and I needed to get there fast. Besides, gyaldem ain’t scared of no ghosts. Headphones on, music loud, we move. It was really cold outside. I heard voices and looked up to see where they came from. There was a gang of teenage looking boys sitting on one of the tombstones smoking some pot. No respect for the dead whatsoever. Rasclats. It was very dark so I barely saw their faces but I could tell they needed to hit the shower. I tapped my left side to be sure my baby gun was safe. If any of these mofos pulled a fast one, this was going to be their permanent residence. I walked on a little and I met young Gaby going in the opposite direction. 

‘whatchu doing out so late Baby Gee?’

‘picked up a few things from Aunt Angie. Didn’t realise it was getting so late.’

‘ayt kid. Stay safe baby.’

‘bye $hay.’

The journey back seemed so long today. ‘gosh my feet hur-‘

‘AAHHHHH’

Someone screamed. I wasn’t sure coz the music was really loud. Then I heard thumping sounds. They were running. I ran back to see what had happened. I saw a slipper, then a carrier bag. 

‘no no no no no no’

I took a few more steps. There she laid. 

‘Baby Gee! Wake up baby! No! nooo!’

I knelt and took her in my arms. There was blood dripping from the back of her head and her clothes were torn. Then I saw the blood in between her thighs. The bastards! They mauled my baby girl like the animals that they were. They took away her innocence. She was only nine. Maybe I should’ve gunned those a-holes down when I met them. I would’ve been in jail but Baby Gee would be alive. I was broken.

Now, I make music for the helpless. The vulnerable. To strengthen and give them hope. I make music for my beautiful Baby Gee. 

Baby Gee, don’t stop watching over us. 

Luv, $hay.

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