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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/

I said mama we gon’ make it there someday/x4
I said mama we gon’ make it here someday/x2

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/


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…/



from CIRCA91, released October 3, 2017
Produced by OJ The Producer
Guest Vocal by Ann One, Pallavi Gunalan, and Evelyn Ballais Peters


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Ruby Ibarra San Lorenzo, California

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

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