It first started off as a poem, and it was written to inspire Mexican-American youth to embrace learning and education with a focus upon many of them obtaining a college degree.
The inspiration for the song came from an encounter I once had with a young Chicano who I met upon a bus trip years back. He told me that when he got to Austin, TX he was going to start doing hard drugs and join a gang.
I decided to humor the youngblood, and proceeded to enlighten him on what was in store for him if he chose that rocky road. I told him he would probably end up addicted to alcohol, drugs, or both. I also told him about all of the senseless violence found "upon the streets."
He listened as I told him he would probably spend a lot of time locked up with a bunch of vatos, and that this would probably put a hold on his love life. "By the way," I told the young blood, "Be prepared to hurt your loved ones, because they will suffer because of the bad choices that you will make if you choose that lifestyle!"
Also, as far as camaradas, in la Vida Loca there are none! Be prepared to be betrayed, snitched upon and sold out because that's the way it is. There is greed, envy, rivalry, rule, as everyone is always looking out for their own selves.
Oh, by the way be prepared to die an old man in prison just in case worst comes to worst because in thirty-five years of partying in la Vida Loca, I met a hell of a lot of strong Chicanos and beautiful and proud Chicanas and none of them could ever beat La Vida Loca. As a matter of fact most of them came out defeated and messed up as Hell, I said.
I told him that it was a hard road to go down, "Nothing but sadness, misery, heartache and pain live on that street little bro!" After listening to me we reached Austin and he thanked me. He asked me how I knew all this, and I replied. "Because I didn't have a father and I had to learn the hard way the lessons of the streets!"
I then explained, "What you need to do is go to school so you can get a good high paying job someday and make your loved ones happy! Then you'll enjoy all of the nice and cool things of life."
About a year later I was walking on the South Side of A-town, and I met up with a young blood that stopped me. "Hey, you remember me?" I said "not really." "Don't you remember you once gave a young guy some advice about being a loco?"
"Oh yea, I remember you now, how's it going?" "I'm doing well I'm making A's in high school and when I finish I'm going to college." I told him I was happy for him and that he had made the right choice of avoiding the tough as nails lifestyle of the barrio streets!
This is why I wrote the song, because I wish to inspire as many young Chicano's as I can to make the right choice and go to college. Then hopefully they will realize through
the wonderful power of education that that true happiness is not found upon the wicked streets of the barrio.
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I am a Chicano writer and poet working to help inspire Mexican American youth to get a college education. Knowledge is power and the only true way to achieve success in life. Author's website