Lupe Fiasco with the relevant rhymes

On March 11, 2013, 6-month year old Jonylah Watkins dies in Chicago after being shot 5 times from bullets intended to shoot her gang affiliated father who was holding her.

Four days later, on March 15, Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, a rapper from Chicago known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco releases a song imagining how Jonylah’s life could’ve turned out if her father would’ve turned his back on gang life.

In the alternate reality that Lupe Fiasco describes in his song “Jonylah Forever”, Jonylah lives on to become an intelligent young woman dedicating her life to helping others, also crossing path with Hadiya Pendleton (another victim of gun violence shot dead at 15) and eventually saving herself from what happened to her in real life.

Read the lyrics to the song below.

[Verse 1]
How about them bullets ain’t slow you up
You ain’t really die, we watched you grow up
At 12 months you took your first steps
Awkwardly across the kitchen floor to your best
Your first breaths that we can call words
Were in your father’s lap on November 23rd
And they were “live for me”, and he did for you
Flipped to Neutron and stayed inside the crib for you
And this commitment from your father
Imparted a deep sense of value you’d forever harbor
And we were all so proud as we seen you getting smarter
And bond grow deeper between a mother and a daughter
But you were not a martyr

[Verse 2]
At six, you started reading whole books
At seven, you knew how a brain looked
And could roughly describe, all the different regions
Could tell when we was sick and even knew the reasons
The world wasn’t at peace, gunfire every weekend
But you were hardly there, cause you was always leaving
Field museum, planetarium, aquarium
You saw something special in that tank you were starin’ in
And those moments as a little girl
You realized it was a bigger world
Bigger than the South Side, bigger than Chicago
You were bigger still wanted rims on your car, though
And big ass woofers in your car door
So you could wang like your daddy at the park eating sharks
Went to King where you were teased for being smart
Where you bumped into Hadiya teaching art
You live forever

[Verse 3]
At sixteen is when you got your scholarship
At twenty-two is when you got your doctorate
Even now it’s kind of hard to believe
But your father taught you work hard, and achieve
And you complied, accepted by every medical school you applied
But the coolest thing is when they offered you that high paying slot
You replied: “they need me in the hood” and that’s where you reside
Free clinic, nobody denied
That’s where you heard the shots and quickly ran outside
And saw a man and a van and a bleeding baby in his hands
Fading fast, but you knew she could survive
Did everything you could to keep this girl alive
Stabilized until the ambulance arrived
And in that moment, where you gave your help
I bet you didn’t know that you saved yourself

This is just one of the incredible tracks featured on Lupe Fiasco’s latest album “DROGAS WAVE”.  Listen to the rest here:

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