One month…

Exactly one month from today, I will finally be in the Philippines. I’ve grown so accustomed to the idea of wanting to go that it’s kind of surreal knowing that time is quickly approaching and it will actually happen sooner than I think.

This is a much needed, and well deserved, three week vacation. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure this is my first one in over a decade (not counting the occasional weekend getaway). I’ve been living on my own and basically supporting myself since my 2nd year of college, so even though I might not have a fat wallet, I’m proud of myself for handling my responsibilities and getting things done.

The Committee performing “Coming of Age” at FPAC 20.

This is one of my favorite songs of ours because it’s a reflection of how we’ve grown over the years and our different outlook from when we first got together in college. I’m not saying that we’ve lost our politically militant spirit, but we’re older now and have grown folk responsibilities to take care of. I think all of us want to have families of our own someday, but we also don’t want to be broke and living check to check. Isn’t that part of the “struggle” that we’re fighting for in the first place?

On a lighter note, I like how our practices are a lot more structured than they were in the past. Before, we used to show up hella late, bullshit for an hour and then kind of wing it. Now, we try to arrive promptly at the scheduled time and call if we’re running late. We figure out how long we’re practicing for and do a good job of checking each other throughout the night, “Time check:________, let’s get back on it.” With as busy as we are with other things, we can’t afford to waste time. Trust me, we still have a lot of fun, but we’re just more on point this time around.

This is coming of age, we breaking outta the cage
New goals, new sights, as we turning the page
This is coming of age, I’m still clenchin’ my fist
An understand of the system that the struggle exists

This is coming of age, just a brand new perspective
The story of my journey so my people feel connected
This is coming of age on the wheels of life
Happy endings, new beginnings, I’ma be alright…


5th Born
A working class root to a middle class youth
Saw mom and pops struggle as real class proof
That the system is built to keep shifting the wealth
Cause the more money they made the more it was hell
Pops broke the bank just to pay my tuition
Got his boy through college and accomplished his mission
Now I stand tall with a 4 year degree
But my salary is low I’m still fighting to be free
When they evaluate me they look at credit and gross
But what I net ain’t shit I’m turning less into most
To find a balance is a challenge cause I love the finer things
I want a paid off crib and buy my girl a diamond ring
So the system does matter when I’m climbing the ladder
And I promise to give back when my pockets are fatter
Outside my 9 to 5 I’m dedicated to change
You know the deal, keep it real, we all playing the same game


With age comes wisdom and much reflection
It’s inevitable that change of one’s perspective
Will happen in fact it’s impactin’ my actions
I just got engaged and family’s my passion
But a house with a picket fence
Is on that next level above payin’ the rent
So I navigate a system that I know is corrupt
In my attempt to climb a ladder that can lead to more bucks
At the same time slowly curbin’ down what I owe
I can see the end of the tunnel just past my student loan
I appreciate the bumpy road, from debt to credit
It taught me what’s important for that I am indebted
Real talk the simple things are great
Clothes on my back, roof over head, and food on plate
Stronger focus of mind I apply every day
Hard work and dedication there to pave the way


23 was the age that I graduated school
Gettin’ hella faded having fun breaking rules
Up in the clouds, life so out of balance
Immature in my mind, discipline was a challenge
Took a couple years and a couple mistakes
To make me realize I can’t live that way
Moved to Santa Cruz for school, near the Bay
New people, new perspective, if you can relate
Deeper dedication for national democracy
Study MLM for a sharper ideology
Steeped in theory, stepped up my practice
Self-criticism to change up my actions
Now my future isn’t only my own
Simple living, meet my needs as I think of the whole
Collective, because my future goals are connected
To advance the revolution in the victory direction


From the ivory towers to the 9 to 5 grind
From a 40 oz. bottle to a fine red wine
Not a kid anymore, got a new state of mind
Gettin’ grown, at a new place in life
Not just living for today, I’m thinking ahead
401(k), finding ways to get rid of debt
It took years to build up my good credit
Tryna save money, no unnecessary spending
Attending weddings, now my friends having kids
Got me thinking that I might be finally ready for it
Dividing my time with Music and the Movement
Integrating art with a message, a perfect union
Tryna find a balance, fighting contradictions
Winning little battles cuz it’s a game of inches
The one guarantee in life is change
I’m not a slave to the past, I’m breaking free from the chains


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