by Cesar Aguirre

Across the country gentrification has been affecting inner-city communities. From Brooklyn to San Francisco inner-city communities have been taken over by moneyed interests.

Some claim that it is development and improvement of poor, blighted communities with high crime rates and homelessness. But for those of us who live here it pushes us out further on the fringes of society, while erasing the culture and history of our community and the people that have lived here for generations. And now it’s happening in South Tucson.

As an artist and rapper I feel that art, music and culture is at the heart of the struggle and moves the soul. This song by Gift of Gab certainly does that for me.

Gift of Gab, one-half of the rap duo Blackalicious (which both me and Brian really like), tackled the issue head on with “the Gentrification Song”.

Check out this short article about it on NPRmusic.


  1. Caeser,
    Dios mio! I read this in July and kept reminding myself every few weeks to respond to it. It would be a shame not to make some effort to bring some reality to what you have come to symbolize in South Tucson. You are a user. You are an exploiter. Your protray Mexicanos in a very negative way. Caeser, you are an able-bodied man and yet you are still living in a Casa unit for the homeless and you have chosen to bring your two girls up in this environment and with this mind-set. I continue to watch you and the others from Casa and do not really understand what your goals are for South Tucson. Most of us here, pull our own weight.

    You comfortably voice your hatred of gentrification but you have no game plan for improving our community other than through your ongoing protests against one issue after another. We know what you hate and stand against but for what do you stand? Do you seek financial independence or do you think it is perfectly all right to take from the Catholic Church and other donors for year after year in order for you to be an “artist” and “rapper”? What are you doing to improve your specific living situation or are you not interested in improving yourself in any respect?

    See, I happen to think that people who are physically and mentally ABLE and who exploit organizations such as Casa and the Catholic Church are worse than those who want to bring business to South Tucson so as to open job opportunities and give our schools a better tax base. I happen to think that a man (or woman) who is ABLE should work as hard as s/he can to provide for themselves and their children. You parrot everything that Flagg says. Of course, he is your jefe. But what are your ideas and values. It does not look as though you have any.

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