from by Rico Sisney

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I used to try to be greater than racism.
Thought stereotypes gave birth to hateful feelings,
So maybe if I ain’t fit ‘em
I could change some opinions
Like, “I don’t say ‘nigga,’ use phrases with way bigger
words learned from great parents, which shows I was raised
And when I go see movies, I’m the quietest dude
And I usually tip the highest when I buy any food
I know there’s no way I could change society’s rules,
So I’m not sure what I’m trying to prove.

One Day my gifted teacher goes,
“Should I call you black, or Afro-American?”
I said, “Just call me Rico.”
I wasn’t trying to be deep though.
Struggling trying to be equal.
It’s funny I could see she ain’t know
And looking back, I’ve always been
really bad wih compliments.
These days, when you say it,
even if you mean it I just hear it as lies
and back then, I resented that air of surprise.
So when they said, “You’re really smart...”
I heard, “Smart for a black kid.”
Called me “well spoken...”
I heard, “You don’t tallk like a black kid.”
Same as when somebody said,
“I hate all of these rappers, but when you rapped I actually
kinda liked it.”
In my head it’s:

“You are an exception to the rule
Exception is the proof
The rest of them are unacceptable,
but you’re exceptional.
I will accept you
I didn’t expect you
I don’t like them except you.”
How you think that feel?

With codes and clothes, I prefer to remain switching
I can’t fit in a mold. I’m a shape shifter
A person you can’t pigeon hole or say that is typical.
Swimming through different oceans
Trying to assimilate or to seem original.
Which is why at times if people asked me my religion,
I didn’t tell them I was Christian
Cuz then I’d be “one of them Christian folks”
Or they’d see me as hypocritical.
So I’d sum it up as, “I’m spiritual.”
Unless they asked me to give them more.
In those cases, I might say that I know Faith gives hope
to save face with Atheists who’d call it craziness.
I question why I’m afraid, who’s approval I’m chasing
and why I choose to explain my view using their languages...
Maybe it’s kinda simple.
All your bars of achievement I’m tryna hit those
Soon as you have a way that you see me I change the info
and clubs that would have me as a member I won’t be in
In real life are we not all looking for Love that’s
At times I don’t like myself
Which makes me think I’ll never get it
So afraid I don’t deserve it,
I’ll fight any feeling that’s close
I pushed you hardest and you didn’t go.
That’s why

You are an exception to the rule
Exception cuz you’re true
and even though I’m unacceptable,
You accepted me.
I will accept you.
I didn’t expect to.
I need nothing except you
That’s the way I feel.


from Crying Wolves, released January 13, 2014
Drums by Tyler Berg



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Rico Sisney Chicago, Illinois

I am the emcee for Chicago bands Sidewalk Chalk and Treehouse and the founder of Chicago Artist collective The Gala. Artistically, those are my main pursuits so please follow and support them.
I rarely release anything solo and even when I do I enlist an "Army of Geniuses*" to help make it happen. I make music that I love. If you dig it, let's get down.
*Quote from Lawrence Binkey Tolefre
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