Open or Closed

Verse 1:

I need travel across the world, see life from another angle
These pair of lens have seen enough in this lonely state
I close up and pray
Tomorrow is another day, but my skin complexion
Got me twisted
Like rubbers providing satisfaction
I stand with my concession
Holding my heart until I pass the intersection
They wanna sabotage my progression
Like I was gassing my drive when I wasn't tired
that attraction will burst at any second
They wish on my downfall, like December 32nd
Viewers discretion advised
Your words left me paralyzed
But I will never die
My spirit is too high
My vibe is too live
I'm too fly, to fall out the sky
Tonight, I'm on your side
Everything gon' be alright

verse 2:

I see angry face like its you and me
I'm just hoping my decisions don't ruin us until eternity
You know I believe, if you love me then I love you more
Mi amor, I adore the days we spent
Can I vent, spill the potions on the sheets
Got the frames shaking every week
I hate it when we barely speak
Missing every beat
The heart ask for reason
And you know that I'm still dreamin
Like the waves in the current
Brushing off the moments
The life and times of a poet
It's short, but potent
Thinking about my city, it got me open
I wanna spread arms and hug it
Let em know it's gonna be alright
I come back from time to time
And see the same things I don't like
I worry about my moms too
Late night bus rides
Feel like it's my time
To heal the city like dende would
I wish I could save the world like when goku thought gohan should
People tryna do right
We can't lose this fight
lets climb up tonight, lets climb up to the top and hope we don't lost this sight, lose this sight, I swear to god it pains me, I'm afraid to lose my life, 

Every time my feet touchdown, my nigga lost his cousin and I swear I seen his face painted on the bricks, and it hurts my heart every time I pass by  

God damn.

-CL 

Maybe October,  2016.

Before we looked in the mirror

I can't say that I'm proud

my emotions are up and down

my heart is racing

in the passenger seat expressing frustration,

you threw both hands and hit me

and before we looked in the mirror we were happy

but now I see how miserable you are.

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Introducing: GW

When I first met GW we were in high school. At that time, I never knew he could rap. A few years later, I started to notice his growth as an emcee. With his consistent grind and hustle I began to see his name on every flyer around Rochester. After numerous projects, GW released Native 2 which has gained him notoriety, locally and around the world. I took the time to meet with him for a photoshoot. As a fellow emcee, I understand how much work it takes to complete a project. It was important for me to highlight GW persona but also the human side to the rapper.

Check out the complete Photoshoot below accompanied by Native 2.

 

Too Soon.

is it too soon?

to call you my wife without jumping the broom

is there room in your heart for the both of us?

I can't imagine spending another night without you

but since the last time we spoke

you kept your distance

evading my words as swiftly as you can

escaping your lust is a full-time job

and I'm just your part-time lover.

I hope you see my potential before it's too late

and I'm forever out of your life.

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Streetstyle Vol. 1

I never thought I would take street photos of random people and actually love it. When I started walking the streets of San Diego, I became addicted to the feeling of capturing new faces and situations. Not only did I see people for who they were, but I saw myself in my subjects. I was capturing my life. There's a certain level of courage that is needed to take photos of random people without offending them. I try my best to create a comfort level between shots and focus on moments, rather than the quality of every image. Sometimes I produce images that sing, and other times I don't. I have learned to love each image regardless of how sharp, focused, or framed my subjects are. Ultimately, the idea of street photography is to evoke feeling between the viewer and the subject displayed. Interpretation plays a big part a well. I'm going to see an image differently from the next person. I might have a biased opinion about some of my subjects. Sometimes my favorite image comes from the experience I obtained while trying to make the photo. I appreciate the sentimental value. In other cases, I can take a photo and not feel anything. I once heard this incredible quote from Street Photographer Joel Meyerowitz that said; "I want to have an experience in the world that is a deepening experience, that makes me feel alive and awake and conscious.” 

  San Diego, CA 2017

San Diego, CA 2017

It makes me question, who am I shooting for and why is my story important? It may seem simple to answer, but I've caught myself asking the same question more than once while I'm out photographing the streets. As I reflect, I couldn't imagine myself photographing anything but the streets. These people have a voice and it's my job to document them. It's my job to make those who feel less important, become important. To feel Bigger than life and larger than the image itself. I now feel comfortable with sharing these photos with the world. At first, I felt apprehensive about telling these stories and revealing the disconnect between you and I. It's something I truly understand because at times the way I view people is equivalent to a social worker. I'm digging deep into the root of the issues thats going on within the communities I live in. As I learn and progress, it's important for me to heighten the stories and struggle we carry on our shoulders because the world needs to pay attention. I'm excited for what's next in my adventure, so I decided to create a monthly series called Streetstyle. Originally shot in April 2017, these images serve as the first batch in the series. 

I would like to hear your stories. Share your images and drop a comment below. 

Introducing: Angela

There's so many things I would love to share about this shoot but I'm going to try to keep this short. The idea for the "Introducing" series is to release some of my work with others. Because of my music background, I grew accustomed of not sharing all of my work. With photography I want to do the opposite. I've been a fan of Angela and her work for quite some time. She has an incredible vision and sense of structure that I admire. We always spoke about collaborating with one another and last October we got the chance to make it happen. Being one of the most inspirational shoots this year, I learned so much from working with Angela. She inspired me to keep creating and always remain confident. As we approached our shoot, we decided to keep it low-key but still street. We wanted to capture the essence of the streets by choosing areas that are less noticeable. I truly wanted the focal point to be Angela instead of the background. We played around with three different locations. To say the least, It was a success.

I want to thank Angela for this incredible opportunity and the experience I gained by learning from her. She's truly an amazing artist that everyone should be able to see grow and shine. 

Click the button below

Room

I never wanted to leave you 

there were days I spent alone

sitting in this room, contemplating leaving you

Selfish thoughts I suppose

To leave without further notice

I stood at the door while you cried 

pouring your heart to the ground like the rain

like the lightening in the sky, the darkest night took it's toll.

I carried my ground without being phased,

finding the comfort of my own choices and after living with disappointments.

I wish you would've changed me. Made me become another person.

I guess that's how life is though, living in your truth while walking with a heart filled with lies.

Paranoid

Somedays I see you

and other days I don't

sometimes I need you

and other days I don't 

 

with you my life is toxic

and if your heart feels like mine

then you shouldn't stand out in the open

 

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The offer

money isn't everything but we need more of it

so much that my heart looks counterfeit

not easy to admit but of course I'm proud of my accomplishments

and it comes with a price, steep like the mountains and valleys

scrolling down the pages, it reads

sign here* __________

and of course I said "gladly".

 

you see I'm aware of the devil and his games

I was warned by my friends, family, peers and old flames

I didn't listen, so the alarm on my new apple watch is like music to my ears

I struggled to pay attention, so this iPhone 7 plus is painting a clear picture

your display view isn't the same as mines

although I check the same timeline filled with money, cars, fashion and woman

to tell you the truth i don't think I will be done with sinning

as checks continue to clear i'll be rolling in a new benz by next spring

but thats when it gets tricky and i'll fold

they said follow your dreams and never squeeze your goals

you're hunting for decades plotting on the weight of your shoulders like pressure was made of gold

to be honest it's not my soul that i sold.

it's the doors I closed before the offer was chose.

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Forgive Me.

Forgive my broken shoulders 

but I'm tired of lifting us both.

I am no longer suitable to continue with this lifestyle.

It saddens me to see us fall apart

as if hatred amongst our culture isn't bad enough.

I try to look at the bright side but truth is

we're hurting and the pain is waist deep.

The start of a friendship starts with the captain's controlling their ship.

It take real commitment and dedication to not only keep your boat up float 

but mines as well.

If I failed as a friend then please forgive me

I never meant to cause you any harm or pain

I'm just simply rotating my life around the universe hoping that good things will come,

and I hope you do the same.

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Almost a Facebook post.

you ever wonder about the time we got left

never waste a day and hold your breath

it's easy to fall underneath the steps

without making a move, you will suffer under stress

take these words from the wise

take your heart from the pride

divide the soul and ask the question that has never been told

 

we're dealing with the process

with no room for progress

what started out as free post

became a profit.

 

I'm smart enough to know that you will

steal my words and keep em concealed

but fuck all that

you say because I'm not you and you're not me then

that means, these words, my heart and soul will never be free

I'm going to give you this one for free, you will not divide my freedom because you don't agree on my creed

 

to those scheming just let it be known

your racist thoughts aren't condoned

it's important that you know

that i will never fall and ever be told

what to say or do.

 

I am free because i am the man your'e afraid to be.

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001

This record was made for a demo. Written and recorded at my home studio, I decided to make something that was quick and easy to listen and absorb. I haven't announced any music projects this year but I'm working hard on new material for the world to hear. Right now I'm living in the moment. These last few weeks have given me purpose and a great deal of focus. I'm finally making art freely and it feels good to release a song without any expectations. 

 @stilldreaminofyou

@stilldreaminofyou

Value

When words are being said

there's no going back

the immediate response could be catastrophic to the ones in its path

I learned early on that the more work you put into a conversation

the more progression there will be.

Whether its positive or negative, progress is being made.

It's important to value the people around you but also make sure you're being valued as well. 

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One Love (Thoughts)

Yo, world wide

for the people that can't hide

it's fucked up

cause the way I feel inside

got me screaming for life

 

some words from hell

since the leaders don't care

It ain't fair to see my people scared

holding their breaths

we don't qualify for air

if they kill us tonight

the rest of us will be dead

 

freedom of speech until you're one step ahead

I'm with kap, cause i know my rights

but something is wrong

my people in puerto Rico trying to be strong

while the president criticize players about kneeling through a song

god bless America, salute to the heroes that are gone

Im talking about Martin Luther and Malcom X, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony

Im not ignorant, I can't forget the soldiers that fought for the country.

we appreciate you're honor but on the streets it's deadly

cops shooting brothers for being black

no snitchin' on the block but there's more to be adressed

either you live to take the shot or die from the stress

 

It's not peaceful anymore and I'm tired of the wait

sitting here alone, carrying this weight

sometimes I don't wanna speak, you can read it on my face

so before I finish my last thought

Lets come together and speak about the change

it doesn't matter who crosses first as long we all complete the race.

 

 

Off Beat

I said I'm sorry cause I have to leave

the sound of my feat is a little off beat

but I can't stay in this seat

and watch my life fade away like the closing scene of a movie

 

 

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The day we parted ways.

I remember your tears falling from the skies

you thought I wasn't built for the world and the evil's that surrounded me

I had a dream about us rebuilding but you told me I wasn't ready to commit 

I felt angry, so with both hands I smashed your book into the ground

I felt broken but complete.

you see, what they don't understand is that our relationship has been an uphill battle

we would climb to fall, then climb to fall again

some days we felt defeated but today you broke through my thick skull

I'm nothing without your guidance. 

I'm nothing without my guidance

it's important that I value my opportunities for what they are and not for what they could be

I want to thank you for the day we parted ways

it made me stronger knowing that you respected my decision.

 

 

Taking Chances in the dark.

Every day I forget about my purpose in life and I begin to second guess all the risks I'm taking. It's not easy to admit, but taking chances this year has been an uphill battle. I second guess every decision and ultimately it hurts my drive and creativity. I don't expect anyone to understand how I feel. But, I know that some of you will understand because you might be or know someone that is going through the same struggle. I try to write my thoughts down but Im clouded by the fear that consumes my process. There's no easier way to describe it, but there's a level of discomfort when you're constantly releasing work and it seems that nobody is paying attention.  It feels as if everything I'm doing is being recycled by the lack of motivation I carry. It's not hard to take chances, but its harder when your blind folded to the truth. I can sit here and say, "Im not going to care anymore" but that isn't true. I have to care about what I create because if not, my work will continue to suffer. 

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