Notable Quotable – Rocky Rivera’s “Heart”

03.18.10 8 years ago 34 Comments

We don’t get enough edutainment in Hip-Hop anymore. With the industry in ruins and artists scrambling for the exact same dollar, few would sacrifice the opportunity to get on the radio opposed to conveying a deep-rooted message that may touch younger listeners. Thankfully, Rocky Rivera is one of the proud and few. But she’s no Marine…

“LEFT HIM ON A Tuesday, found him on a Sunday
Cried when I saw my handkerchief in his suitcase
Letter folded neatly in his pocket
With my perfume
Knew that he was lying when he told me he’d be back soon
I couldn’t sleep the night
He left me with a promise
That he’d always keep me close, when the struggle got the hardest
So I…wiped the tears, tied the handkerchief around me
Rallied up the troops so we could find the Spanish army
It was time to stop the cryin’
Time to start the fightin’
Love was the beginning but my people steady dyin’
…and so I promised him the same thing
Gabriela’ll blast in the name of the Philippines…”

“STUDYING OVERSEAS WHEN I heard about the blast
And I knew the little girls who were killed in Alabama
It was Carole, Addie Mae, Cynthia & Denise
And the Klan got away in cahoots with the police
Knew that it was coming when the Panthers started forming
So I…booked the first flight to the states in the morning
To show them my solidarity
Tightened up my afro
Books in my hand, revolution in my heart, so
I used my education to combat the injustice
It was more than Malcolm X and Martin Luther in the trenches
…sistah soldiers put ya rifles up
Angela Davis ride when the Klan try to light us up…”

“It WAS MODERN DAY slavery, livin’ in the Valley
Stockton, California pickin’ grapes with my family
And my people broke they backs just to make a couple bucks
While the whiteys in the town ridiculed us in they trucks
So I…picked up the megaphone
Shouted to my people, ‘El
Pueblo Unido, Jama Sera Vencido’
Told em to stick together, demand to be treated equal
Otherwise these fucking crackers will continue to abuse us
Threw me in the slammer, 20 times and some change
Yeah they broke a couple ribs but the spirit remains
Do it again in a heartbeat, para mi gente
Dolores’ what they call me…”


Rocky Rivera from “Heart” off the album Rocky Rivera

Believe it or not, Hip-Hop can have other influences besides brainwashing you to purchase or consume something. By channeling some of history’s tragic heroines, Rocky Rivera not only makes an impression for female empowerment, but for human courage as a whole.

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