There's something in the way that art heals us. When I scroll through the dozens of playlists I created on Spotify, one too many times i'll fall in the same routine. I'll click "Lolsmh" by Westside Boogie and sing the lyrics with my heart out. The last half of that second verse just never fails to hit me. You can hear the damn conviction in this man Westside's voice. Sometimes if the day is really feeling heavy for me or if i'm just riding the struggle bus with everything I feel, these lines just resonate and give me the words I need when I sing/rap them.
" Scared if you open up, niggas just might have leverage on you
Uh, and I'm like "God, why you give your line
But you ain't been replying"?
I'm like "God, say you had my back
But nigga you been lying"
I'm like "God, it's gold I got inside
My shit just needs refining", uh
And yes, sometimes I need reminder
Remind me that I'm gonna be
Remind me that I'm gonna be straight
Remind me if my heart do break, remind me that it's gon' reshape"
My favorite thing about music is that most of the time, we sing them in first person. Almost as if they're our stories to tell, the thoughts we think, or the feelings we hide. No one sings WAP by Cardi & Megan the Stallion in third person. It's a ratchet bad bitch's anthem, it's fucking fun to sing in the club. You're probably listening to WAP wrong if you listen in third person. The only time I really take a second/third person view is if I know the context of the song. I just tend to put myself into the shoes of the song and take it's journey. (Is that weird? lol) This is also why Kanye West's discography is one of my top favorites of all time. Have you ever heard "Only One" by Ye? It's heart wrenching. It sounds like a love letter from Ye to his daughter because Nori was his first and only child at the time of this release. You'll then realize Kanye's name means "Only One" and that he is an only child. You'll then listen from the perspective of his mother who passed away, then it hits you. Right in the damn face.. or at least it did for me. I can't describe it but I can feel it when I listen to it. I can't relate to the pain, but i can empathize how painful it must be to lose the most important person in your life while your life is spiraling.
"And you're still my chosen one, remember who you are
No you're not perfect but you're not your mistakes"
Whew, I’ve had this song on repeat and as I write it makes me want to cry. If you enjoy Kanye's music and haven't seen Jeen-Yuh's on Netflix yet, I highly recommend it. His discography will sound different after the second act, but I understand it's not for everyone. I don't believe art is created for everyone. What's that one saying? Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. We all find our healing in different songs or mediums. It's what resonates for you and your experiences. This is why I could never understand one of those "kNoW yOuR hIsToRy" punks. Don't get me wrong, I respect music history and how everyone up to now has had a main influence for a lot of my favorite music. I know I wouldn't have the music I listen to if it wasn't for the historical music figures like Tupac, The Beatles, and Mariah Carey. I'm not here to defend my music taste. Life is too short to have to relearn rap/metal/punk/music history, and for what? So I can be ready when someone tests me? So I can prove to someone I don't care about that i love music? Oh, please.
I listen to bring different parts of me to life. It's a form of healing. Yes, even when I play "Crank That" by Soulja boy, it's a form of healing. My inner child emerges, I just have fun and dance like a fool in my room. Who am I to care if you judge me? Your music is yours and if you find someone to share your love for it, it'll make that love for your music even more special. My favorite thing in the world used to be going for long drives going nowhere just to have sing alongs in the car with my friends. For a few years in my life, I felt like a lot of my friends and I were no longer on the same page when it came to music so I used to frequently go to concerts, shows or festivals by myself. But when I sang or danced my damn heart out with the rest of the crowd, i'd feel so much less alone. It was never the end of the world of the world when I had the comfort of the magic in my favorite music.