Cruz Montoya (Kuno Becker) is a rock star on the West Coast poetry circuit, where audiences from San Diego to Seattle gather to hear him perform. Just off the road from such a tour, he gets an unexpected phone call alerting him that his father, Senior (Ruben Blades), is fatally ill.
Cruz rushes home to be with his dying father, a proud, quiet man still leading a traditional life in their once bucolic mountain valley, now ravaged by poverty, drug abuse, and violence. Caught between the unspoken words of his judgmental father and the open arms of his former boss, local drug dealer Emilio (Miguel Sandoval), Cruz spirals out of control. Evading the increasingly anxious phone calls of his girlfriend (Persia White) Cruz buries himself in fast action and easy money at the local hip-hop club, losing his poetic voice, his identity, and almost his life, before finding a way to heal his relationships with his family, his community, and himself.