In the Heights Lyrics – Stephanie Beatriz

In the Heights

Lights up on Washington Heights, up at the break of day
I wake up and I got this little punk I gotta chase away
Pop the grate at the crack of dawn
Sing while I wipe down the awning
Hey y’all, good morning

Ice cold piragua!
Parcha, china, cherry, strawberry
And just for today, I got mamey!
Oye, piragüero, como estás?
Como siempre, Señor Usnavi

I am Usnavi and you prob’ly never heard my name
Reports of my fame are greatly exaggerated
Exacerbated by the fact that my syntax
Is highly complicated ’cause I immigrated
From the single greatest little place in the Caribbean
Dominican Republic, I love it!
Jesus, I’m jealous of it, and beyond that
Ever since my folks passed on, I haven’t gone back
Goddamn, I gotta get on that
The milk has gone bad, hold up just a second
Why is everything in this fridge warm and tepid?
I better step it up and fight the heat
‘Cause I’m not makin’ any profit if the coffee isn’t light and sweet!

Abuela, my fridge broke
I got café but not con leche
Ay Dios, try my mother’s old recipe
One can of condensed milk
Oh wait, your lottery ticket
Paciencia y fe

That was Abuela, she’s not really my abuela
But she practically raised me, this corner is her escuela
Now, you’re prob’ly thinkin’, “I’m up shit’s creek
I’ve never been north of Ninety-Sixth Street”
Well, you must take the A Train
Even farther than Harlem to northern Manhattan and maintain
Get off at 181st, and take the escalator
I hope you’re writing this down, I’m gonna test ya later
I’m getting tested, times are tough on this bodega
Two months ago somebody bought Ortega’s
Our neighbors started packin’ up and pickin’ up
And ever since the rents went up
It’s gotten mad expensive, but we live with just enough

In the Heights, I flip the lights and start my day
There are fights, and endless debts
And bills to pay
In the Heights, I can’t survive without café
I serve café
‘Cause tonight seems like a million years away
En Washington

Next up, ding, Kevin Rosario
He runs the cab company, he struggles in the barrio
See, his daughter Nina’s off at college, tuition is mad steep
So he can’t sleep, everything he gets is mad cheap

Good morning, Usnavi!
Pan caliente, café con leche!
Put 20 dollars on today’s lottery
Okay, must be a lucky day
Gotta be
Oh my God, you’re so excited
My Nina flew in at 3 A.M. last night!
Sweet, Abuela’s been cooking all week
Compay when I see you this weekend
Are we gonna eat?

So then Yesenia walks in the room (uh-huh)
She smells sex and cheap perfume (uh-oh)
It smells like one of those trees
That you hang from the rear view
(Ay, no)
It’s true! She screams, “Who’s in there with you, Julio?”
Grabs a bat and kicks in the door
He’s in bed with José from the liquor store!
(No me diga)
The salon ladies
Thanks, Usnavi!

Sonny, you’re late
Chillax, you know you love me

Me and my cousin runnin’
Just another dime-a-dozen mom-and-pop stop-and-shop
And, oh my god, it’s gotten too darn hot
Like my man Cole Porter said
People come through for a few cold waters and
A lottery ticket, just a part of the routine
Everybody’s got a job, everybody’s got a dream
They gossip, as I sip my coffee and smirk
The first stop as people hop to work
Bust it, I’m like
One dollar, two dollars, one fifty, one sixty-nine
I got it, you want a box of condoms? What kind?
That’s two quarters, two quarter waters
The New York Times
You need a bag for that? The tax is added
Once you get some practice at it
You do rapid mathematics automatically
Sellin’ maxi-pads, fuzzy dice for taxicabs and practically
Everybody’s stressed, yes!
But they press through the mess
Bounce checks and wonder what’s next

In the Heights, I buy my coffee and I go
(I buy my coffee and I go)
Set my sights on only what I need to know
(What I need to know)
In the Heights, money is tight
But even so (even so)
When the lights go down I blast my radio

You ain’t got no skills (Benny!)
Yo, lemme get a- (Milky Way)
Yup, and lemme also get a- (Daily News)
And a- (Post) and the most important, my-
Boss’s second coffee, one cream, five sugars
I’m the number one earner (what?)
The fastest learner (what?)
My boss can’t keep me on the damn back burner (yes, he can)
I’m makin’ moves, I’m makin’ deals, but guess what? (What?)
You still ain’t got no skills (hardee-har)
Yo, Vanessa show up yet? (Shut up!)
Hey little homie, don’t get so upset (man)
Tell Vanessa how you feel, buy the girl a meal
On the real, or you ain’t got no skills

No no no!
No no no, no-no-no!
No, no-no-no!
No-no-no-no-no-no-no-no, no-no-no-no-no!
Mr. Johnson, I got the security deposit
It’s locked in a box in the bottom of my closet
It’s not reflected in my bank statement
But I’ve been savin’ to make a down payment and pay rent
No, no, I won’t let you down

Yo, here’s your chance, ask her out right now!
I’ll see you later, we can look at that lease
Yo, do somethin’, make your move, don’t freeze! (Hey!)
You owe me a bottle of cold champagne
Are you moving?
Just a little credit check and I’m on that downtown train
Well, your coffee’s on the house
Usnavi, ask her out
No way
I’ll see you later, so…

Yo, smooth operator, aw, damn, there she goes!
Yo, bro, take five, take a walk outside
You look exhausted, lost, don’t let life slide
The whole hood is struggling, times is tight
And you’re stuck to this corner like a streetlight

Yeah, I’m a streetlight, chokin’ on the heat
The world spins around while I’m frozen to my seat
The people that I know all keep on rollin’ down the street
But every day is different so I’m switchin’ up the beat
‘Cause my parents came with nothing, they got a little more
And sure, we’re poor, but yo, at least we got the store
And it’s all about the legacy they left with me, it’s destiny
And one day I’ll be on a beach with Sonny writing checks to me

In the Heights, I hang my flag up on display
We came to work and to live and we got a lot in common
It reminds me that I came from miles away
D.R., P.R., we are not stoppin’
In the Heights, every day, paciencia y fe (ooh)
Until the day we go from poverty to stock options
In the Heights, I’ve got today
And today’s all we got, so we cannot stop
This is our block

In the Heights, I hang my flag up on display
Lo le lo le lo lai lai lo le!
It reminds me that I came from miles away
My family came from miles away
In the Heights, it gets more expensive every day (every day)
And tonight is so far away

But as for mañana, mi pana, ya gotta just keep watchin’ (in the Heights)
You’ll see the late nights, you’ll taste beans and rice (in the Heights)
The syrups and shaved ice, I ain’t gonna say it twice (in the Heights)
Turn up the street lights (ah)
We’re takin’ a flight to a couple of days
In the life of what it’s like
En Washington Heights!

About Stephanie Beatriz

As ‘Detective Rosa Diaz’ in the American police procedural comedy TV series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Stephanie Beatriz is an Argentine-American actress. As a college student, she started performing on stage and later moved to New York City where she pursued her acting career. She made her film debut in the 2013 drama Short Term 12 after making her screen debut in 2009 in Kyra Sedgwick’s ‘The Closer’. The long-running sitcom ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ cast her as the smart, tough, and aloof detective ‘Rosa Diaz’ after she played a series of guest roles. As a result of the show, Stephanie established herself in the American TV industry as a major critical and commercial success. In addition to playing important roles in films such as ‘The Light of the Moon,’ Stephanie Beatriz has also received critical acclaim for her performances.

Stephanie Beatriz grew up watching her parents struggle to make ends meet as a child. Acting was no different for her in her early years. Despite having already made her debut as an actress, she hadn’t become famous until she landed the role of Rosa in the series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”


Her 20s were spent working in theatre. She played ‘Juliet’ in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with ‘TourTheatreWorksUSA’. She also played ‘Isabela’ in ‘Measure for Measure,’ ‘Bianca’ in ‘Othello,’ and ‘Lady Rosaline’ in ‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’ at ‘Oregon Shakespeare Festival’. She also played the eponymous character of ‘Lydia’ at ‘Mark Taper Forum’ and ‘Yale Repertory Theatre.’

Her first television appearance was in 2009 on TNT’s police procedural drama ‘The Closer’ in the episode titled ‘The Life.’ For ABC’s mockumentary family sitcom ‘Modern Family,’ she was cast as ‘Sonia Ramirez,’ the sister of ‘Gloria Pritchett,’ played by Sofía Vergara.

Her film debut was in ‘Short Term 12’ (2013), in which she co-starred with Academy award-winning actress Brie Larson. She appeared in NBC’s crime drama ‘Southland,’ Disney Channel’s sitcom ‘Jessie,’ and HBO’s comedy series ‘Hello Ladies.’

A single-camera comedy produced by Fox in Los Angeles, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, cast Beatriz as Rosa Diaz. Based on the true story of NYPD detective Jake Peralta, played by Andy Samberg, and his colleagues at Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct, the series follows their ups and downs.

She portrays Rosa, a loyal and effective squad member with anger management issues. Beatriz’s performance was deemed “a standout even in a cast filled with very funny people” by Alison Willmore of Indiewire. The show has won multiple awards, including a Creative Arts Emmy and a Golden Globe.

During her time on ‘You’re Not You’, she worked with another ‘Oscar’ winner Hilary Swank. The adventure comedy ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’ (2016) featured Beatriz as a bank robber. As well as acting in ‘Closure,’ which she also produced, she voiced ‘Gertie’ in the fifth installment of the ‘Ice Age’ film series.

Additionally, she served as executive producer of ‘The Light of the Moon’ besides playing the main character Bonnie. SXSW 2017 awarded it the ‘Audience Award’ for ‘Narrative Feature Competition’ at its premiere.

She voiced ‘Elizabeth’ in the 2016 animated web series ‘WIZARD’ and ‘Sheriff Luke/Captain Banjo’ in the 2017 series ‘Danger & Eggs.’ She also appeared as ‘Elena’ in the TV movie ‘The New V.I.P.’s’. She also starred in Heather Graham’s comedy film ‘Half Magic’ in 2018.

In 2019, she voiced the role of ‘General Sweet Mayhem’ in the adventure comedy film ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ of Avalor.

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