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Manoa 16.1 (2004) 83-89

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Three Rap Lyrics from Dalama


i was welcome into this world,
nineteen seventy-nine was the year.
those was the time,
the end'n of the killing field in Kampuchea.
i love Cambodia, cuz i was born there.
but during those time,
my people was living in fear.
all cramp up in camp concentration,
millions of refugees can u hear me?
are u listening?
there just gotta be a way out of there.
so i sah-ma sah-put-toe ta sac
then disappear.
my country crumble'n
cuz communist is conquering
from all the brok'n promises
anonymous sponsoring.
fleeing the country, knees deep in defeat.
i can't sleep. some make it through,
the others may they rest in peace.
cuz after one thousand, three hundred,
and sixty days, struggle'n for life.
dodge'n booby traps, land mines,
travel'n day and night.
we fight for our rights,
because we refuse to lose.
flee'n for freedom use'n flip-flop for shoes.

i was welcome into the U.S.
nineteen eighty-three was the year.
soon our feet hits the ground,
my mom busted in tears.
words can't describe, [End Page 83]
a moment so rare.
and right by her side,
my father was there.
staring at the skies,
hold'n each other.
realize we survive the genocide,
and still together.
thvay bongkum (lok yey-lok ta)
and praise to Buddha.
cuz from that point on,
"it can only get BETTER!"
bright lights, big city,
we sheltered under shadows.
a refugee community,
two family per household.
needed clothes, neighborhood thrift store.
needed food, check the fridge for leftover.
our first car was like a cart,
push it to start, and once it spark,
it's already dark.
days turn to night,
night turn to day,
something gotta change,
we couldn't live that way.
so we round up the spare changes,
from over the years we save.
then bless the rest,
and move west to the Golden State.
California, Long Beach.

Art of Fact

beyond the killing field,
a quarter of a century after the genocide.
after 2 million people murdered,
the other 5 million survive.
the fabric of the culture,
beauty drips the texture.
i find myself in Long Beach,
the next Cambodian mecca.
beside srok Khmer, veal srae, Angkor Wat,
some people still struggling,
from the aftermath of Pol Pot.
for some futures so bright, looks like high beams,
for others are lost in the American Dream. [End Page 84]
for me it seems i'm on the road to nowhere fast.
hitting speed bumps, drive'n in circles,
vehicle running out of gas.
there's a gap in our generation,
between the adults and kids.
but since i'm bilingual,
i'ma use communication as a bridge.
first i'ma knock down the walls,
between me and my parents,
listen to their stories an' all
without interference.
what they experience,
was evil in its darkest form.
their mind, body, and heart,
shattered and torn.
the trauma of the war,
affect the refugee and foreigner.
suffering from deep depression,
post-traumatic stress disorder.
it's a new world order,
new threats that we're facing.
terrorist and INS deportation.
you can try to fight it go ahead be my guest,
cuz it's one strike and you're out of the U.S.
there's an epidemic that's killing us surely,
over things we don't even own,
like blocks and territories.
so-call OG recruiting young ones.
jumping them in gangs,
giving them used guns.
not even old enuff to speak,
already hold'n heat,
walk'n a dangerous route,
talk'n about "code of the streets."

seek and you'll find,
the truth is where my heart's at.
i'm speak'n my mind
and let my rhyme design this art of faCt,
line to line from front to back,
from the heart of praCh,
comes the "art of faCt."

i've been asleep snore'n,
now i've awaken from my nap.
my brain been storming, [End...


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