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Say My Name Twice, Baby


Say My Name Twice, Baby

Alexei Muravsky

What happens to a dream differed?

Does it dry up like a raisin?

Or does it e        x       p       l        o       d       e?


People didn’t know what purpose brought them here,

Most only knew that they didn’t fit in with their families, schools, and towns,

Were welcomed to a criminal underworld, prostituted to produce, finance art.


My cousin started smoking cigs, then succumbed to sucking on crack

after moving weight, but only ended up losing money and mass.

No wonder I had no dreams; I only had nightmares back then,

Police was no help, extorted own, had their gang protected by badges.

Anarchy prevailed when the hand of the law was complicit in crime,

Citizens were left to fend for themselves so we took the times into our hands.

My visions were vicious, circular; squares didn’t accept them, tangentially me,

They figured I had a shady past, so I was left to sell to shady characters.

Without people to engage I was delegated to minding mine own business,

Did what I had to do – Black? White? No, my world was, is grey.


I liked the bleakness of it all, cause you could dream in that,

Dream new things – innovate from the rabble, the rubble.

Opportunity to project self from the projects, an astronaut builds a spaceship

in New York City – economic engine of the world! Hot, yet was

on the cusp of going chill that winter – bankrupt.

1981, a most violent year bubbling over the New Year in New York City.


Lawlessness led to a population jaded, desensitized to violence,

Milkmen had to protect wares with guns, crowbars, broomsticks cut down,

Whatever they could get by with, pick up from where they left off.

The challenge lies in acting or forgetting, no in between half step,

Try to engage in this dance and you’ll get stepped on.

Without a wholehearted attempt, good or bad, you can’t be in it and not of it.


I was immediately schooled when I entered this jungle,

On how to avoid violence, shelter oneself from evil doings,

But sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time,

Sometimes you have to do some wrong to turn your life right.

Saw a kidnapping, but shit… this wasn’t a kid, this was a major drug dealer,

Decided to turn a blind eye, mind my business, but the greedy keep pushing,

The next week they attempted to kidnap me, and I wasn’t about to take it lying down,

They lied, so I ended up lying in a pool of my own blood,

Shot in the back, exact position of the .38 slug in the base of my neck.


This was a violent, chaotic, dark, grim atmosphere, an incredible fall out –

A duality arose, incredible positivity, stemming from a culture of authenticity.

The times kept changing but we enjoyed those years. Was it tough?

Yea… it was tough, but I refused to give up – it's the challenge,

I couldn’t live without challenge, and I can’t live without it now,

I need those OH YEA moments – OH YEA, you think you can get away…

You don’t want to live the rest of your years looking over your shoulder,

Coked up sleep, eyes wide open, sweatin’ it out by the window paranoid,

Worried ‘bout fam, your main, sides, and moms, cause a motherfucker would

threaten with a hit like that, just to flush you out of your hole.


People from all over the world are attracted to NYC,

Because it’s got the best of the best and the worst of the worst…


New York, New York,

so bad…

they had to

name it twice.