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by Ruby Ibarra

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Brown Out 02:08
They teach me to erase that brown, subconsciously I lose my crown/ ‘Til I don’t even recognize the person that’s inside me now/ We came from the slums once, now livin’ the humdrum/ In search for the green funds, we never can keep one/ My mama on 9-5, then switch to an 8-1/ An immigrant family losin’ our names, and our face, and the place that we came from/ These institutions working, the devil prove he lurkin’/ They shoot us down but first when, we play the part and curtains/ Open up til we prefer them, ‘til we don’t know we hurtin’/ ‘Til we become a version: a self that’s lost it’s worth/ So how can I breathe in this land of the free?/ My people aint free when the freedom ain’t free/ I look in the mirror then all that I see/ Is a version of me that they want me to be/ Plus all of these lies I adopted see/ I’ll never be what they want me to be/ The devil’s at work and he lookin’ like me/ Can you tell me my worth? and I’ll pay you the fee/ ‘Til I fall on my knees and I’m feelin’ defeat/ And so give me a reason, the image they feed/ To the flows that I breathe ‘cuz we parted the sea/ Can you pardon my speech? And the accent I speak?/ I whiten my skin ‘cuz it’s all that I see/ No image of me represented to be/ Myself so I’m looking for ways I could be/ Exactly like people they teach me to be!/
Here 02:29
VERSE 1 No need for introduction, you hear & you know why/ Nose dive into an era where the beats are lo-fi/ I put my “face in a book” ‘cuz my people are “profiled”/ We erased from the books and my people are told lies/ Sky’s the limit? Go fly! Cali green? We go high/ I mean back in ‘05, already knew I'd grow wise/ But surprise, we grow thighs, double dose of broke lies/ ‘Til we dove in those sides of losin’ hope it goes by/ I got Bam to my left and Eric on right/ Here to give a “New America” like Erykah Wright/ Try to take my “title?” never “will” to inherit the “rights”/ Yuh - Tacloban City's finest, put me on that 5 list/ Color out the lines ‘cuz “I color” like ya iris/ Hunger in my eyes, this is everything that I risk/ Kill it with my tongue every time I spit a free/ But the work is never done and believe I’ll never leave/ HOOK ‘Cuz I’m finally here, get your hands in the air/ Now the greatest is here, I’ma make this my year/ ‘Cuz I’m finally here, yeah I’m finally here/ Yeah I’m finally here, yeah I’m finally here/ VERSE 2 If you call yourself a rapper, talk less, and take notes/ We slay “sheep,” respect “GOATS,” we pray, sleep, and next toke/ We take beats to flex throat, finesse steeze to bless those/ They say freeze! they test hope, we say peace, but stay woke!/ Leave you cats phased to the point I catch praise/ Rhymes turn to catchphrase ‘til it starts to cascade/ Product of Mac Dre, Wu-Tang, and Kanye/ Break beats on beat tapes that break necks, we press play/ They say we from the slums where the heroes never won/ But my people always sung, brown faces to the suns/ Kill the satan wit my tongue, fuck the spinnin’ from the stations, I’m rotating ‘round the sun/ The axis my mattress, I pass out and pass this, abstract to masses/ Last laugh no practice/Back to back raps, Manila Noir, bar for bar, homie check the repertoire/ Ibarra with the bars, they sub-par while I set the bar!/ HOOK
Someday 04:32
VERSE 1 I wrote this album ‘cuz I want my life to change/ Tired of being shortchanged, I'm tryna remain sane/ Hopped off the plane, didn’t stop all the pain/ My father’s still in debt and we've been struggling to pay/ For a bedroom up on Meekland Ave., reachin for just meeting half/ Hands tied against the odds, how the fuck you even that? / The people from the slums once, now livin’ the humdrum/ Mama from the barrio so we dreamin’ we can stunt once/ Mama, I know it’s gon’ be fine wherever we go/ ‘Cuz we know, you raised this girl to dream and be a hero/ What’s an ego to an eagle? I free flow when I speak though/ My pipe dreams through a peephole, my skin so Filipino/ But oftentimes my pride, inside, is fightin’ high tides/ The day we broke the ocean was the day I learned to nose dive/ Closed eyes, fingerprint ink with the most dye/ Those times, mama never blinked, say the oath twice/ HOOK I said mama we gon’ make it there someday/x4 I said mama we gon’ make it here someday/x2 VERSE 2 So whats a freestyle to me? I been doing as a 6 year old/ Thinkin’ on my own 2 feet, survival pick & go/ Pick a role - you can be the swimmer or a sunken soul/ I was a 6 year old without a father figure role/ No silver spoons or dinner rolls, so will you fold or will you go?/ Pretend to sing like figaro, my people still invisible/ When you the spittin’ image of a person that you hate/ Makes sense im spittin images of dawn that never breaks/ Nirvana never waits, I was a pawn of bitter fate/ That spawned from inner hate, I never wanted to be great/ I study my mother wonder how she holds this family/ That minimum salary, stretched as much as it can be/ She stressed but keeps that shit from me, I’m just tryna fit in, see/ I crave for that acceptance like it validates my sanity/ I wrestle with affirmations, settle for masking faces/ After all, the stolen lands are always greener places/ HOOK VERSE 3 At school, reduced lunches while my mama skip her lunchtime/ 9 to 5 minimum wage, she at the bus line/ Here I am, filling a page, waiting to bust rhymes/ ‘Til I’m nearing the day I’m getting cosigned/ Snare rolls and punchlines to pay rolls and punch time/ We take shows like crunch time, we braved those like front lines/ My life on these lines ‘cuz we never had lifelines/ And these days I’m scared of what might go through my mind/ I flow like Rizal and I’m writing like Hagedorn/ Mixed with Gabriela Silang, now watch as the page mourns/ Say my name, it tastes foreign, type to make your face form in ways you never made/ Born from another place, thorns couldn’t break away/ Or am I just a break away?/ From being center stage from off the page or will I fade away?/ I never been the type to say I’m scared of what I have to face/ ‘Cuz all I ever knew is being me so all I ever need to say is…/ HOOK
VERSE 1 It started in the Philippines, Francis M to Killa Beez/ ‘Til I was 13 spittin soliloquies on Dilla Beats/ Silly me for thinkin these, television imagery/ Representin’ me when most these people never looked liked me/ Red, white, and blue’s really blonde, white, and blue/ I see my people wanna lighten but enlightenment’s in you/ Reflection of the hues, deflection of the truth/ Attention to the cues, we neck to neck and start to lose/ How can we be free and be a POC? cuz what do PO see?/ What’s their POV? When they see no me?/ They see you as a DOB or better yet a DOD, they hoping that you do OD, statistics of that lottery/ They playing yellow face, the other half are playing two face/ I feel they ain’t used to my face up in this new place/ New dreams to chase, too much baggage like my suitcase/ Feeling out of place and we got here on a Tuesday/ HOOK The grass is greener on the other side, forget your dreams, is you down to ride?/ The grass is greener on the other side, come fuck with me, is you down to ride?/ The grass is greener on the other side, follow me, they’ll eat you alive/ The grass is greener on the other side, now I’m feeling lesser brown inside/ VERSE 2 I’m from a country where lightened means you enlightened/ But what’s a color when the hue (you) is never brightened?/ And what’s your skin if the texture be reptile?/ Half these snakes reading this text be thinkin’ that they less bile/ That crab mentality, in actuality, reality/ Why you mad me when we just look the same to them? they put kuya in the pen/ So I put life into this pen, so when I write, I'm puttin’ light and I rewrite myself again/ Mama, why don't they like me? Comma, they don't look like me/ Papa, they ask his ID, ego, it wants to fight me/ Ruby, don't take it lightly, just focus on plottin’ nightly/ ‘Cuz we know, it’s never likely, If I don’t, then who will write me?/ I pray to a white God, prey to this system/ Put on a white mask, hating this brown skin/ Slave to the green bills, faker than Green Hills/ Hoping the fame will/ Make me escape, red pill or blue pill, a head filled with no real/ True feel of self, will, I choose fate or own will?/ See, we hopped up on that plane with the nosebleed seats/ And if we learn too much English, it’s a “nosebleed me”/ Juxtaposed with self hate, this flat nose goes deep/ ‘Cuz we know they turn they nose up when they don’t need me/ It always on their terms, any percent you earn/ They wanna sell your urn, but melanin don’t burn/ 4 counts in a bar - 4 counts behind bars/ How u make your voice count when they don’t even count ours?/ POCs be getting vilified, dreams be gettin nullified/ Kuya with that bullseye target when he walkin’ by/ Ruby Ibarra, first generation immigrant/ Tryna make a difference but times I’m feeling’ ignorant myself/ How can I lay a verse when I’m just lyin to myself?/ How can I start a movement when I’m frozen, I can’t help but think about the days/ My mama used to sit and pray, that all our problems go away, they knockin for that rent today/ My sister never learned to say our language cuz my moms afraid/ That she will turn to me someday and struggle to assimilate/ My father, he just looks away, I see the lines that changed his face/ I wanna tell him face to face, forgive him, and we'll find a way/ But anger's always in the way, my heart's consumed by pain and hate/ This country told us welcome but never asked if we wanna stay/ CHORUS Welcome to that place you know, a million miles from home/ Welcome to this place alone, this is now your home/
VERSE 1 (Ruby Ibarra) From Morro Bay to the East Bay, we stay survivin’ where stay/ They keep invading’ where we lay, there’s no debating’ that we pay/ That naval base up in Subic Bay, to all the places that they tried to take/ From Magellan’s day to Philip’s raid, when the land was raped and they changed the way/ ‘Til my father drowning’ in that alcohol and then my mama always be up in that Eskinol/ Cuz these thoughts make the brown skin start to crawl/ So I take the kush in (cushion) just to break the fall/ 2nd class citizen never been one/ Traded the pesos so we can have ones/ Darker the skin and you scared of the sun/ Silenced to speak with an accented tongue/ All of these faces I‘m lookin like none/ Taught to forget all the places I’m from/ But we grew up from the barrio and slums/ My aunties be drinkin' that red horse and rum!/ Never be stoppin’ the work’s never done/ Long as they keep on corrupting the funds/ Thinking the damage is done and they won/ But we stay militant daughters and sons/ Let’s take it back to the first day of first grade/ All of you thinking of throwing me shade/ My people are roses that grew in the shade/ We came up in places exploited by trade/ I kill ‘em wit’ a bar, so hot, ‘cuz it’s top notch/ Thinking that you top mine? Stop, not on my watch!/ Like it’s 12:30 on the dot, on the clock, watch/ All I see are “hands up and down” when the beat drops/ HOOK There’s some crazy Filipinos in here/ From the jungle, yeah the savage is real/ X4 VERSE 2 (Bambu) put my San Miguel in a ziplock so I know it's real/ put my red horse in a plastic bag so I know it's real/ ayan nanaman si bam-bam umi init ang ulo parateng ganyan/ pero dapat naman kung wala kang alam/ d’bat ka nag poporma ka na ganyan/ para kang Buko Pandan na wala man laman, and that’s “eehhh”/ buhusan kita ng marame/ politicians, police and capital greed, pare, ang dame/ I say say my name in the right way say her name in a pig’s face/ mispronouncing these linguistics might find you washing up ina east bay/ and at this point in time there are tribal tattoo tribes/ all these stupid fools put on costumes like indigenous Etas ain't still alive/ an while they massacre the first island man I see Fil-Ams make clans/ sporting tribal tats but not giving back an not ensuring the natives can hold land/ that's that part I can't stand push that PCN beyond dance/ push that PCN for your college club to build bridges up to homeland/ only time I do the tinikling is when the bullets ring an i gotta’ jump/ big up to eyes in the jungle that's ready to dump the guerilla-pinos that's a shout out to Nump/ and I murder a drum like it's out selling drugs in the barangay to get by/ and Duterte gave green lights to vigilantes - now drums must die/ got a little accent when I rap an I go batshit when ona track/ but I hold no candles to the sister-soldier, young Ruby Ibaaaarrrrrrat!/ HOOK VERSE 2 (Ruby Ibarra) You thinkin’ you winnin, but no you ain’t winnin’, they runnin’ this shit...right now/ And since the beginning, was taught to pretend, so we bleaching our skin...white now/ ‘Cuz even my roots is a product of when they were killing our kin...wipe out/ Oppression from systems that’s holding the power they huntin’again...right now/ But if they mispronounce my name again/ I make em take in every single syllable over again/ And so never say my name if you thinkin you never can/ Cuz my name is a part of me and be something I will defend/ So if you cross me, you end in the cross hairs/ Crossin’ you out when I’m tossin’ the bars there/ Twistin’ they face like they mispronounced names/ And I’m tearing them down, I’m not stoppin my reign/ Flow so cold goin off, from the top, so pro, break ‘em off when the bars go blow/ Ain’t no stoppin though, when I speak get ‘em coffins, so, I’m a problem that’s plottin slow/ Like a sharp bolo, when I’m talkin’ they all get froze, I’m like Pac, MDS, I throw/ Hella prophet flows, it’s approximate toxic dose/ When I got this I drop it so, keep it raw they know/ ‘Cuz they plot ‘til they stop that soul when they search off your pockets so/ Ain’t no option though, better run when the odds go low, got your arm in a lock and hold/ Hope you say ten fo', or they box and they lock you so, ‘til you rot and you lost control/ And they profit though, all these pigs that be plottin yo/ On these kids that they target, oh, it’s a constant flow/ HOOK
Playbill$ 03:33
VERSE 1 We pay, they rob us, these snakes don’t want us/ Each day, we all play/ this game that they taught us/ In God that we trust but they preying on us/ If he ate, then we scrape, til we hatin both us/ My mama’s education don’t mean shit still/ From accounting to McDonald's just to pay this bill/ And we tryna sell our soul just make this deal/ But the people in control are gonna hate me still/ And we tryna save face, but they paint us with a brown face/ Colonizer tongue will never like it how my name tastes/ Made it ‘cross the ocean, muthafukkas better make way/ 7,000 miles and they didn’t want us in the first place/ These days what’s the pay rate for a briefcase?/ Times 8, that’s the death rate and it’s prepaid/ Free wage, minimum pay, ain’t no leeway/ These stakes only get raised when the greed makes/ AK over these Jays, that’s a payday/ But wait, layin’ down straight on the pave, hey!/ Replay, cut up him great, like a DJ/ While they, throwin us bait just so we pay/ Brown face, was a Malay in my heyday/ These days, but you may lay in ya grave, wait/ Mayday, play the game straight or you meet fate/ Green face, how the ink taste, when it bleed hate?/ Seek change but we shortchanged in exchange rate/ Food chain, keep ya cake straight or you get ate/ Self made, everythings fake but we fixate/ On things that we don’t make til we self hate/ HOOK Watch me make it rain, bitches don’t know that I’m paid though/ Watch me make it rain, I made that dollar from a peso/ Watch me make it rain, watch me, watch me make it rain/x2 I said now...Watch me make it rain, people never know my face though/ Watch me make it rain, I trade the dollar from a peso/ Watch me make it rain, watch me, watch me make it rain/x2 VERSE 2 Kun puydi la unta ako makakuha hin cuarta para ako makaginhawa/ O bag-o bat trato ha akon kun mabusag pa ngan mestiza pat akon itsura?/ Gin tutdo kita’t aton panit basura, pag gamit nala hin busag na pintura/ Baga nan peliculat aton kultura, pag kitat pulitika puro na buwa/ Uran han Yolanda gin tago an cuarta/ Gin kuha, baligya, waray nakakita/ Ka damo’n patay, ngan na lunod na bata/ Sekreto na may tinatago contrata/ Kay ay na pakiana, isara it baba/ Ikaon it bala, hira nat bahala/ Ayaw kabaraka kun nagtitinawa/ Hira ha imo kay nakuha nirat imo cuarta/ Korakot imbis, tumulong sila at nakakainis/ Paano kumita ng pera? bitbit/ Ang hirap ng buhay, tiyaga at tiis/ Palaging gipit/ Walang bang hustiysa sa ating bansa at lahat nalang puro peke?/ At ‘eto grabe, marunong din akong gumanti sa korakot na negosyante at matapobre!/ HOOK Umuuran (I make it rain)/ Umuulan (I make it rain)/
Curtain Call 03:15
VERSE 1 Check this South East, mouthpiece, hit ‘em with that loud speech/ Funny that they doubt me, muthafukka crown me!/ I’ll be rowdy, what you know about me?/ Fuck all of that formulaic image that they tout me!/ Act out, lash out, here to take the fast route/ Brown out, I spazz out, then do it till I pass out/ No cutout, or layout, cuz Ima get that phased out/ My face out, my fist proud, so can you taste my name now?/ The hell that I raise now, I break out my place now/ No fakin’ my face now, I'm takin’ my name now/ They greyed out, they gave doubt/ The pigs out, no bail out/ They made graves, but gave out/ A false hope, we pray ‘bout/ This country of dreams, but weaved in the seams, a system that feeds/ On people that’s seen oppression, that means, a pyramid scheme/ What’s in it for me? We searchin for cream, in love with the green/ American dream, a fantasy theme, they runnin’ supreme/ Your back to the wall, your knees to the cracks/ Can’t breathe when you lack the freedom, with that/ They stab in the front ‘til you bleed in the back/ They point and attack, ‘til you crack and that’s that/ Eat up the facts, they feeding you, that’s/ A key to the hack when they need you to act/ In a way so they keep you believing you lack/ Any sense of yourself ‘til you don’t get it back/ Oh oh, when it’s curtain call oh, oh x4 HOOK Cuz when its curtain call, who’s the person after all?/ When the truth all start to fall/ Will you rise or will you fall?/ Systems that be standin tall/ All the powerful involved/ They been hopin that you fall/ Will you rise or will you fall?/ Tell me when its curtain call/ Oh oh, when it’s curtain call oh, oh x4 VERSE 2 Cuz when it’s curtain call, will they all give you applause?/ For playin’ the part they called you to be, you lose it all/ Hopin’ that you don’t evolve, ‘cuz they know that’s the pitfall/ Are you in it for the haul? Play a role and be involved/ Did you follow protocol? Like they wanted you to brawl/ Bloody knuckles ‘til you fall, curtains drawn ‘til you withdraw/ Everything about you, nah, you don’t recognize at all/ Person that you were, that’s all, this is when it’s curtain call/ This is when it’s curtain call/ HOOK ‘Cuz when the show ends and it’s curtain call, you die, you die/x4
Skies 03:39
VERSE 1 The grass is green on the other side, but you cut it up and so the snakes will show/ I got a one way ticket out this town, wait, never really knew I would go/ But for my damn sake, I ain’t gonna sit, wait, this is my time and I know/ That I ain’t ‘bouta waste another damn year, sittin’ here, thinkin’ if I’m gonna make it and blow/ It go Circa ‘91, as we follow the trajectory/ So check the text that I left for me, I do this ‘til the death of me/ But I’m fruitless in my victory, if losin’ myself and my history/ ‘Cuz all of these systems depicting me, they buildin’ us up then eventually/ We wear it like jeans are American denim, we act like our genes have American in ‘em/ We fearin these mirrors, so how we be livin’, when given reflection no merit within ‘em/ So tell me how much you wanna be like them? Eat like them, wanna be breathe like them/ Change my speech till my teeth like them, teach myself I got a reach like them/ ‘Til you realize then, that you're denied when, you'll never be like them, I got a free mind when I’m stayin.../ HOOK Way up, way up (make ‘em understand me that I’m) x4 BRIDGE Way up! I'm goin’ way up!/ Deuces to haters ‘cuz my fingers raised up, they goin’ way up/ Forever, will never, I never, gave up, I'm goin’ way up/ All of them bringin’ me down, but I’m way up - I'm goin way up!/ VERSE 2 They say some stories need to wait to be told, but I need a way to unfold/ All of the weight of the people before me who never got chances to speak from they soul/ That’s why when I’m speakin’ it: cold, mamas “degrees” ain’t valid here so/ We never agree to be lesser than gold, cuz in our most basic of element know/ We shine - just like the sun gets, remind me that I need to run less/ From my insecurities holdin me back and that’s makin’ me feelin I’m one breath/ Away from saying I’m calling it quits, when both of my feet feelin’ heavy, it gets/ To thinkin’ that I got the weight of the world, on both of my shoulders or will it unfurl?/ You see, I’m flawed as they come, huh? It’s odd to forget where you from, huh/ I’m asking myself: Ruby, when did you change? Was it when you believed that they won, huh?/ but I’m goin’ up in the sky, high, I'm tired of livin’ that 9-5/ I’m aimin’ for higher, I’ll never retire, I’m givin’ a riot, no closed eyes/ when the cards down, I will never back down/ Put us on the map, it’s a wrap when I’m back now/ HOOK
VERSE 1 They sense the vibe in my vibrato, love the skin I’m in but I know/ That’s the reason that my father always drownin’ down a bottle/ Mama I’m tryna make it, but the odds against me/ These people say to fake it, but my selling points me/ Pray for me, dont praise me - / I got too many inner demons that constantly doubt and always try to break me/ They wonder why I hate me - / I don’t see myself in places of power but I’ve been thinkin’ like it lately/ I’m feelin’ like I’m 8 feet - / With two tongues, my words aimin like the guns that they point at kuyas face see/ Ate can you paint me - / Is what my youngest sister’s sayin’ ‘cuz we never seen her face up on that TV/ That’s nothin like me, until, I don’t like me/ I mean, is it likely, So I, I just write me, in these, poems nightly/ Which means, I just fight me, between songs that might be/ A scene from my life, see, I seen/ My head above the water, so how will I raise a daughter?/ When the currency don’t offer, same piso to a dollar/ I’m the daughter of 2 immigrants been workin that blue collar/ And these days they barely talk unless they dream across the water/ HOOK I’m tried of playing just the background, background/ But when I’m down, it go back ‘round, back ‘round/ I never been the type to back down, back down/ I bounce back and I’m back now, back now/ I never been the type to… CHORUS I don’t know why sometimes I feel blind/ They say you’re gone all the time, but trust it weighs on my mind/ Maybe all I know is I’ll make it this time/ You see, I do this for mine, trust I’ll make it this time/ VERSE 2 I make my mind stretch for every line that I might etch/ Thinkin’ ‘bout the next rhyme like how come I ain’t signed yet?/ My dreams ain’t farfetched, I’m feelin like this is the last stretch/ Runnin’ through that finish line, been runnin’ from the past yet/ So bare with me the wait to, my magnum opus debut/ Mic check, first take it’s Day 2, we live, we never take two/ Swimming’ the high tides, we swallowing our pride/ We buy into their lies, I’m silent with my cries/ We trying to cut ties, a citizen part time/ She holding a 9-5, he holding a nine, five times/ He couldn’t swallow pride, so he called it a piped lie/ My father, he don’t cry, he talk, but I don’t try/ The music flowing deep under the “flat” nose and skin “tones”/ “Sharpest” of the “accents,” but we at home in these poems/ Thicker than the fumes in the Manila sky, broken dreams and severed ties/ Came here when we broke the sky, check it/ I’m the “food for thought” “heavyweight,” make the letters levitate/ Trying to be one of the greats, trust me, time will tell my fate/ So tell me, Ruby, tell me, why the hell you still afraid? Your only enemy is you and that’s from yesterday/ HOOK CHORUS SPOKEN WORD I scrub. Over and over/ With each stroke a technique masterfully taught to me by my colonizers/ That skin as brown as my father’s hands and as deep as the lines around my mother’s eyes/ Nose and skin/ Eyes and smile/ Name and accent--/ Indicators of where I came from, past the Pacific Ocean where the air is a bit more tight and the sun's rays a bit more strong/ I imagine the distant days when we'd bathe in the rain, the water naturally warm as it fell on my skin/ I would look down and see my reflection in the puddles that would form beneath my feet/ Distorted - but perfectly clear/ Brown body gleaming in the reflection/ But scrub harder/ They say papaya soap only works when it burns. And It burns deep. So scrub harder/ When we played outside on hot days, our mothers would say we smell just like the sun/ You don’t wanna be in the sun...they all say/ We are taught to fear darkness but ironically find solace in the shade/ But this skin, was built to change colors like chameleons/ This skin was built to absorb the sun til it blooms/ This skin that many spend their days hating, was built to reflect the stories of our ancestors/ You don't want to smell like the sun!/ Ruby stay out of the sun!/ So scrub harder!/ Scrub harder!/ I look down now/ And this time/ I see my color wash away with the water./
VERSE 1 Reflections of a 5-year old lookin’ in the rear view/ Wonderin’ why she ain’t got a father like her peers do/ Instead they gotta babysit it, ten years later, been a minute/ But before you learn to lose trust, it takes a certain limit/ Product of a single mother, fucked up, when I think of love ‘cuz/ Father figure packed up, it’s never been enough/ So I’m duckin when I catch a feelin’, hate is what my heart is spillin’/ Papa killed this fate, a million times, so how do I forgive him?/ Pop a pill when pain is killin’, poppin veins, the proper feelin’/ People poppin’-up are just a prop to me, to hurt I’m willin’/ Porcelain turned poison venom, probably won’t prosper when I’m/ Seed without the poppy, prophecy's the problems pourin’ in and/ Pop that pussy, my position, lyin’ more than politicians/ Call ‘em daddy, guys are billin’, opposite the opposition/ Papa’s never far from vision, carbon copy pop’s reflection/ Fuck a mirror, it paints a villain, cuz its always papa in em/ HOOK I keep lookin’ in the mirror like, lookin in the mirror like - why do I just hate myself?/ I keep lookin’ in the mirror like, lookin in the mirror like - I can’t even find myself/ I keep lookin’ in the mirror like, lookin in the mirror like - why do I just hate myself?/ I keep lookin’ in the mirror like, lookin in the mirror like - I can’t even find myself/ I can’t find, no, I can’t find me, I can’t find, I can’t find me/x2 VERSE 2 Reflections of a 18, daydream in a motel/ Bruises and they both swell, he’s toxic, but she won’t tell/ He promised but she knows well, he’s talking just to cope well/ And often they don’t go well, but options never go well/ Now I’m laying lifeless, my eyes can’t even cry, it’s/ Distracted by the lights that a reflection of my iris/ Staring at these mirrors on the ceiling/ He holds me, I can’t feel ‘em, these bed sheets feeling haunted when we in ‘em/ They say ‘cuz she's tall and the way that she dresses, right?/ He rapes it’s her fault, she should've been dressin’ right/ Like when they catcall, she shouldn't be out at night/ But fuck ‘em, it’s all of them that's been taking away her light/ So close your eyes, you feel like you stuck/ Take those hips, you nip and you tuck/ No consent, he feelin’ the rush/ Feel the burn with every touch/ Open wide to bruise in the guts/ Deep inside, you feeling the cuts/ All these mirrors never enough until you feel you never enough/ HOOK Reflections to a young girl, a queen, and a young me/ Glass ceilings and these mirrors, these fixtures try to shut me/ They hope my light broke or maybe I might choke/ And wait I “shift weight” like walking a tight rope/ Mirrors that we use ain’t a reflection of truth/ But a direction of you or a correction of you/ Expectations vs. you, how do you separate the two?/ When the one inside the mirror ain’t as beautiful a view/ So please, baby don’t fold, baby don’t go/ Maybe we losin’ control, but don’t lose soul/ When we breathe, feelin’ so cold, stories untold/ ‘Cuz what these broken mirrors don’t show is my soul/ Please, baby don’t fold, baby don’t go/ Maybe we losin’ control, but don’t lose soul/ When we breathe, feelin’ so cold, stories untold/ ‘Cuz what these broken mirrors don’t show is my soul/ HOOK
HOOK (Klassy) Island woman rise, walang makakatigil/ Brown, brown woman, rise, alamin ang yung ugat/ They got nothin’ on us (aye!) Nothin’ on us (aye!) Nothin’ on us (aye!) Nothin’ on us/ Island woman rise, walang makakatigil/ Brown, brown woman, rise, alamin ang yung ugat/ They got nothin’ on us (aye!) Nothin’ on us (aye!) Nothin’ on us (aye!) Isang bagsak!/ VERSE 1 (Ruby Ibarra) Yo fuck a story arc if it don’t involve no matriarchs/ Our mothers work from the ground up, they craftin air like ATR/ With the butterfly sleeves naka Filipiniana, pag nagsalita mga banat ay bala/ ‘Wag magtaka kung ako ay makata bulok na sistema, korakot sa pera, bagsak!/ But we puttin’ our heart into darkness, they puttin’ these pigs into office/ Oh you thinkin’ you schoolin’? but you hella lost ‘cuz you Betsy Devos while I taught this/ But Look at my ate she movin so cold, can’t hold a candle to her when she glow/ Flick of the wrist with the ilaw she hold, Pandanggo sa Ilaw, she drippin’ in gold/ VERSE 2 (Rocky Rivera) We pullin' up in a Jeepney All of my soldiers greet me/ Hand me bandanas and pull back my hammer, it’s warfare, when you see me/ Skin you alive for my country, I live and die for my country/ I kill a pig in a white hooded suit on the low....for my country/ They got evil plans in the devil’s hands, but I don't pray cuz I organize/ They got new ways to impose strength, so I teach mine how to mobilize/ We don’t fight for the money, for the greedy, for the white man/ All we want is our freedom, and the right to live on on our motherland/ HOOK VERSE 3 (Klassy) Goddess of guerilla warfare in every lifetime/ We don’t take no shit except an oppressor’s lifeline/ If you step out of your line, I will protect what’s mine/ Kahit merong rosaryo, sinong magliligtas sa’yo?/ Puro dugo, pugot ulo, mula sa dagat hanggang mundo/ Reclaiming what ours, the high and the low/ These women are Gods, you already know/ Roots deeper than water that run in our village/ The river runs red, you’ll be dead in a minute/ Like Nieves Fernandez, have you beheaded/ Fuck with my tribe, quickly regret it/ VERSE 4 (Ruby Ibarra) Abaniko sa kamay at isang mikropono sabay/ At ang tapang ko gaya ng inay, at halimaw na ang sumasabay/ Mga bara nyo lahat sablay, mga rappers na puro bangkay/ Tinamaan ko lahat, patay, kaya, walang magiingay/ I got that, Filipino phenotype: kayumanggi, mestizo-white/ But give me that moreno like that Rufio or Keno type/ My lolas they be speaking like, those balisongs or bolo knife/ I breathe the ether need no hype, two tongues that’s sharper with a mic/ Anino in my history like from a land where greed is weaved in tight/ They thieve until one piso might just turn to C-Notes, see no light/ Hacienda like Aquino, right? Rodrigo vigilante type--/ They kill my titos left and right, when smoke and mirrors fill the night/ SPOKEN WORD (Faith Santilla) So let it be known, if you don’t already/ Pinays have always been part, and parcel, if not, imperative and critical to the struggle/ Filipinas are no strangers to wielding our own power/ Of all the privileges that exist in this world, none of which you may be a benefactor of/ There is at least one you bare/ And that is the privilege of having been born a Filipina/ Your DNA contains building blocks made from the mud of over 500 years of resistance and survival/ And when you are ready, sis, we’ll be right here/ HOOK
The Realness 04:06
VERSE 1 3 days before my birthday, it’s beautiful outside/ Watchin’ the sun rise, barely opening an eye/ When the orange meets the yellow and the sun seems to dwell low/ I hit you wit’ a Ruby, nice to meet you, and a hello/ While I dream about the days up in Eastern Leyte, lately/ Raised in San Lorenzo, but Tacloban City made me/ Knew my life would change from the album mama gave/ Magalona to this day, and the poetry that saved me/ Like Uzumaki when I spiral with the skill/ If you take away this body's just a vessel for the real/ Destination to the moon like I’m Heinlein, in my mind/ Watch the thoughts bloom, ‘cuz if I rhyme, then I find/ Writing monsoons from my bloodline, in due time/ Owe it to my mother, lines deep like her smile lines/ The womb too the moon every tune make you miss this/ Summa cum lyricist, tell me who da realest is!/ HOOK Hit em with realness one time, one two/ I hit em with realness one time, one two/ Gotta hit em with realness one time, one two/ Come look into my eyes, I got a bird eyes view/ Hit em with realness one time, one two/ I hit em with realness one time, one two/ Gotta hit em with realness one time, one two/ Come look into my eyes, I got a bird eyes view/ VERSE 2 And when the sun go down, do you feel that moon?/ I was that seed in the dark that no one thought would bloom/ The places that I’m from, people gone too soon/ So like a fly on the wall, I try to gauge my room/ Like what you wake up for when the dawn breaks?/ When everythings at stake, how you work with that mindstate?/ You wish for a clean slate, I’d rather have a full crate/ Of drum breaks and heart breaks, my one plate, can bear weight, that might make/ You less of an enemy, we feed off the energy/ M E before M C, i.e. you get all of me/ Fools dream of fools gold, I won’t be a fool, so/ Drown me in a pool of Atomic 79, “aye you,” can you remind how gold and ruby be divine?/ But if the object is to shine, I wanna brighten up this mind/ There's a picture bigger than this, emcees that’s better than me/ If we talkin’ ‘bout the realest then it better be me! Aye!/ HOOK VERSE 3 Mama look at me, this the person I become/ Half beast, half girl with a sword for a tongue/ Oddly, being this godly, take my prey and disembody/ I gotta drop it and rock it to top its more than a hobby/ But, ain’t no "deal" for "I" like I talked to a Shinigami/ My rhymes are "death notes," how many beats I gotta body?/ I’m a “mad villain,” I relapse and “do miles”/ Y’all “Doomed MF’s” can’t mask your used styles/ These idioms I’m sendin ‘em to idiots and simpletons/ Don’t pity ‘em, I sentence ‘em, opinions, depending when/ We role models so the stage like runways/ We tryna run away to one way, the sun’s rays/ Focus on our daughters and the way our son’s raised/ Uh, Ruby Ibarra, I’ma make it one day, yuh... Ruby Ibarra, I’ma make it one... way, uh... Yuh, Ruby Ibarra, I’ma make it some... day/
VERSE 1 Hello America, break your backs for dollars, they don’t carry ya/ 7,000 miles away from home with language barriers/ Land of opportunity, tell me is good to ya?/ But 6 feet deep on stolen land is where they bury ya/ November 1991, papa came here with a wife/ 2 daughters, no money, but they wanted them a better life/ Piso to their name, so they piecing up the pain/ Ain’t no peace in a position as an immigrant that’s prayin/ For a piece of that Americana pie or for the C.R.E.A.M./ To appease the dream they sold you, but it only was a dream/ For a piece of mind to thinking that my mama could be seen/ As an equal not a foreign immigrant, or in between/ I was a kid in the sky nothing but dreams in her eyes/ Hopin that we would survive, but mama those were the times/ They tellin us compromise, they always feeding us lies/ Made to believe I don’t exist unless I wear a disguise/ ‘Cuz I been constantly lied to, broken down til I cry/ Til I no longer recognize the person that was inside/ Until we fade like the sun, and we forget where we from/ Then we self hate til it’s done, and never question it once/ So mama tell me won, the person that I become/ I have a sword for a tongue and a skin that shines in the sun/ And because the place that I’m from it still lingers deep on my tongue/ And so every word that’s from my lungs can hold the weight of a ton/ If I’m ever slippin’, I’m never looking down/ I do it for myself, til the end I hold it down/ And even when I’m sinkin, I’m never looking’ down/ I do this for myself, til the end I hold it down/ VERSE 2 Feeling homesick as we go, mama’s never really home/ Cuz she workin all alone, livin broke, we need a loan/ Papa threatened mamas life, papa left with no goodbye/ Promised to myself inside no man will ever make me cry/ Now I’m thinking that I’m grown, all I wanna do is roam/ Runnin far away from home, in a crowd I feel alone/ Mama she be workin late, lines are showing on her face/ Too much pressure on her plate, I’m too selfish to relate/ Auntie said stay in your home, might get darker cuz you prone/ Look into the mirror, oh, Filipino blood and bones/ Questioning my skin and tone like I should I be embarrassed though/ Whiter skin is seen as gold, this is what we’re always told/ Mama said to learn their way, every day I emulate/ ‘Til identity erased, overcome by inner hate/ Teacher said to hide my tongue, they don’t understand me none/ Hold my breath these foreign lungs too powerful they like a gun!/ I’m correcting mamas words, I’m embarrassed when she slurs/ What makes me better than her? this language wasn’t her first/ Ruby can you get a grip? Find a balance, you might slip/ Mom and Donna need you quick, stop thinkin’ that you the shit/ 7,000 miles from home, but a million more to go/ Gotta make it on my own, I can feel I’m gettin’ close/ 7,000 miles from home, but a million more to go/ Gotta make it on my own, I can feel I’m gettin’ close/


released October 3, 2017

All Songs Written by Ruby Ibarra
Executive Produced by Fatgums and Ruby Ibarra
Recorded at the Beatrock Music Compound, Inglewood, CA and Ruby’s Pad, Antioch, CA
Mixed and Arranged by Fatgums at the Beatrock Music Compound, Inglewood, CA
Mastered by Jared Hirshland at JLH Audio Services, Los Angeles, CA
Interlude Sound Design by Fatgums + Gammaray (Ray Sutton at Gamma Sound, San Francisco, CA)
Album Photography by Jaymar Elen (@jmrln) and Donna Ibarra (@sheselle) Album Art Layout by Bambu


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Ruby Ibarra San Lorenzo, California

Ruby Ibarra is a rapper, spoken word artist, and director from the Bay Area, CA.

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