The Rap Map

Downtown Newburgh

From “Talk to Strangers” by Saul Williams

Lyrics

I ain't got proper diction, for the makings of a thug
Though I grew up in the ghetto, and my niggas all sold drugs
And though that may validate me for a spot on MTV
Or get me all the airplay, that my bank account would need
I was hoping to invest in, a lesson that I learned
When I thought this fool would jump me, just because it was my turn

About

The ghetto in question is downtown Newburgh, NY, known during Saul’s childhood as “crack alley.” By law enforcement estimates, gang members with national affiliations outnumber the city’s police by a ratio of three to one, not counting the hundreds of young people in homegrown groups. The community routinely is at or near tops in the state in violent crimes per capita.