Snuggly in my 40s, I hesitated in writing this blog today because I didn’t want to come off like a crotchety, old lady who always whines about how things were back in the “good old days”. But I’ll be doggonnit (is that how you spell it?), I can’t take it anymore! I’m launching a grassroots campaign to find real music because obviously it’s missing and has been gone too long.
I was serenaded to sleep last night by the Unsung of one of my all-time favorite bands, “Mint Condition”. It felt good reflecting on their music, the instrumentation, their expertise, their live show (which is absolutely bananas), and the cohesiveness of it all that comes when you’re singing about something that really matters. Well, wouldn’t you know it, while riding into work I attempted to listen to a syndicated radio show of a wildly popular comedian whom I just so happen to adore and used to work for in the past. The music was making me want to peel the purple, painted acrylic off my nails one-by-one. Each song sounded the same, laced with non-sensical lyrics about drinks, drugs, diamonds, gold, cash, bands and booties that could have been manufactured with my Samsung tablet or my niece’s Barbie boom box with the voice altering recording feature.
I miss real music. Let’s me say now, that I understand that some segments of this generation live life and experience things that would have been completely foreign to me growing up (and even now). In some ways, I get why some people sing what they sing or say what they say. That’s all they know or choose to know. I’m not judging. I’m just asking what happened to creative genius or simple imagination that allows the brain to bless some other people with the ability to come up with things that are positive, fun, witty, substanitive or just plain make you want to dance? Where is the other side of the spectrum that has substance?
Music has always been a part of my life. I remember dancing around the house with my family while dusting on a Saturday morning growing up listening to WATV or WJLD. I remember being at my Aunt Vanteal’s house as a child, fascinating spectators by doing the “Worm”, the “Bump” or the “Popcorn” to Midnight Star, Atlantic Star or the Emotions. I remember hugging my very first Michael Jackson album cover (“Off the Wall”) at the home of a childhood friend, while we listened to it from beginning to end all night long. I remember embracing acts like Wham, the Go-Go’s, Duran Duran, The Police, Kenny Loggins, Eurythmics, and Hall and Oates because they literally rocked. I remember writing down the lyrics to “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince and asking my parents to by me a pair of biking shorts. I remember practicing dance routines to anything hot in the “Gump” with my cousins in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirror at their house on Jennifer Lane. I remember my first New Edition, Heavy D and Whoudini concert that my mother took me to. I remember Babyface/The Deele/After 7, Ashford and Simpson, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, Freddie Jackson, Ray Parker Jr., Vanessa Williams, Lauren Hill, Anita Baker, En Vogue, Tina Turner, and anyone else whose songs I still remember word-for-word today. I remember the pride I felt from Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power”. I remember the comfort I gained at a time I really needed it from the Stop the Violence Movement’s “Self Destruction”. I remember when music from people like Whitney, Patti, Luther, Mariah and anyone else who’d risen to one name status could be heard in any house or any car without having to be embarrassed to listen. Heck, I even remember the first time I heard things I shouldn’t have heard (Too Short, Prince, NWA, Uncle Luke, Kilo Ali), but NOTHING in me said I should be okay with listening to this and certainly not around my parents, other adults and definitely not on the radio.
A popular song today said “Bands a Make Her Dance”. It’s talking about something far too salacious for this blog. Well, bring back songs that sound like Earth, Wind and Fire, The Gap Band, Zapp featuring Roger Troutman, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Boyz II Men, Run DMC, The O’Jays, Cameo, Tony! Toni! Toné!, or Kool and the Gang and THOSE bands a make me dance!
All that said, I miss music. File a report. Real music is missing:(