Philadelphia poet Ursula Rucker has teamed up with Daniel Rateuke, an Afro-house artist from Dusseldorf, Germany, for the new single “Or Stay Alive.” In a time of global fear and uncertainty, it is a call for self-reliance and strength, laid out first by Rucker in a series of dualities.

“strife or strive, survive or thrive
live it narrow or live it wide
sneak around in the shadows or never hide”

Though these lyrics were written well before the coronavirus pandemic, they have a particular resonance at this moment in time when the country and world around us are shut down, tens of thousands are affected by COVID-19, millions are forced out of work and into uncertainty, all of us asking what comes next. 

“We gotta figure this shit out all on our own / no instruction manuals upon entrance,” says Rucker. “We gotta find our comfort and energy zones all on our own.”

Listen below.