Some genius started this group on the crack formally known as the Facebook called ‘Damn I really love music!!!” and I immediately had to join because… well, DAMN I really love music. I was looking through all the albums and random tracks on my Dell (way better than the ipod by the way) and I realized that I just love just about every single kinda music and I listen to just about every single damn thing. On the plane back from Seattle, I had about 6 hours to listen to all the music I had. And never once did I get bored. First there was Etta James singing “At Last” quite possibly one of my favorite songs of all time. Then there was the classic hip hop joint “It Takes Two” (Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock) which is, unquestionably my favorite hip hop song of all time. Then the bittersweet and beautiful “Ready for Love”, “Hunter” by Bjork, “La di da di“, the haunting “The Blower’s Daughter”, “What you Waitin‘ for”, “Jamaica Funk”, “You Oughta Know”, “Toccata and Fugue”, and then “For you I Will” by Monica which holds a very special place in my heart. That is just a slight sample of the random tracks I listened to.
Many people have asked me why I wanted to get into the music business. It’s simple really. Music is the universal language. It is the common denominator between people that otherwise have nothing in common. It is the thing that understands when no one else does. Music is life, it is blood, it is oxygen to me. It is what I grew up with, the one constant in my life. For me, it was the thing kept me sane, gave me peace. I began to sing because it simultaneously stirred something inside me and calmed the storms in my life. Music has been my therapy, my best friend, my confidant, my angry and jealous lover. Music has been the one thing that I have loved unconditionally and completely and totally since I listened to my first Billie Holiday record at the tender age of 4. Listening to her sing about “Strange Fruit” taught me things about life that were unrealistic to me through history books but somehow started to make since when her melancholy alto filled the room with the words.
Music was there when I fell in love the first time. Our “song” was “For you I Will” by Monica because it was the first song we ever slow danced to. And music was there when I lost him to help me through. I swear I must have listened to so much Donny Hathaway and Brian McKnight that I’m surprised I can speak without singing the melody to “A Song for you”. Music was there when I was angry with my family and when I lost all my friends. I remember falling in love with Selena’s voice long before the movie about her life made it popular and singing along to “Techno Cumbia” and “I Could Fall in Love”. I remember my first Janet Jackson concert with my daddy watching her in her white men’s shirt and black leather pants sing “Black Cat” was one of the best memories of my life. Music was there to bond me and my best friend, the joy of my life. I remember us harmonizing to Fiona Apple songs like it was yesterday. “Bounce Skate” makes me remember skate parties at Skate Town on Old National in high school. Music was there through all the good times in high school, music (and cars) was me and my daddy’s favorite topics on our long rides in the car. I remember listening to everything from Earth Wind and Fire to Metallica and him telling me about his childhood. Music was there every morning when my mama and I got ready to go about our days and we used to sing through every corner of our house. Music was there when I fell for my first love all over again, when he played “Beautiful Skin” by Goodie Mobb for me in the front seat of his car and told me why the song reminded him of us, of what he felt for me. And Carl Thomas’ first CD was there when some other things happened in that car that I won’t get into on the Internet. Sade sang “No Ordinary Love” and I knew that was how I wanted to be loved. The Love Jones soundtrack was constantly on every night I spent at my ex-boyfriend’s house, the soothing melodies the beat to which we cooked and laughed and joked and flirted. “Beautiful” by India.Arie helped ease my growing pains my senior year in high school when I outgrew my old friends when I was preparing to go to college. “So Have I for you” helped me let go of some of the issues I had with my mother when I danced to it in a dance concert right before graduation. “Songs in the Key of Life” was the cd I listened to when I wanted to hear some REAL, soul stirring music. “Everybody got Their Something” by Nikka Costa was there when I started to doubt my future career goals in the entertainment business. Go-go will forever remind me of my first boyfriend in college and when he would take me to cabarets with his whole family. And Aaliyah will forever remind me of him as well because she was on when we were in his room in Drew when I first realized I was in some kinda trouble with him. “Imagine That” takes me back to Christmas sophomore year when he gave me the best present I have ever gotten and I had to ahem thank him. And “Walk Away”, “Ready for Love” and “Troubles” will forever remind me of him too because I listened to it so much when we were going through. Me’shell Ndegeocello’s album “Bitter” will remind me of our break up as will “Love Ridden” by Fiona Apple. “Breathe In” will forever remind me of Carlton and all his stories of himself in high school and I will think of him always when I listen to R. Kelly. Beyonce will always remind me of Dominique and how happy he was to see her in concert. All things Alicia Keys will remind me of my sister as well as all of “Stripped”, most of all “Keep on Singing my Song” and “Soar”. Right now, JoJo and Christina Milian remind me of our summer together in New York and “I’m Good” reminds me of us talking about how quickly we lose interest in boys. “Superstar” reminds me of this guy I kicked it with for a minute and kissing him outside underneath the city lights of New York. And “Candy Rain” will always remind me of Kyle, my favorite DJ, who’s taste in music is by far the best of any person I have ever known and our road trip to Richmond. “You put a Move on my Heart” reminds me of singing to Rob in the park before he left “And if I Ain’t got you” reminds me of the first time he said I love you. Ludacris reminds me of being in the car with my brother and Lil’ John makes me think of just acting goofy around the house with him. “Daddy” by Beyonce reminds me of how much my stepfather has done for me and how much I value having him in my life.
See music was there to heal my broken heart, soothe my sores, add to my joy, enhance all the important milestones in my life. It was there to help me remember my milestones and memories, there to teach me of my history, about love and loss, about the world around me, just about life in general. Music was the one thing that I had that was my own, the one thing that could understand me, and express me when I couldn’t find words eloquent enough to get across what I was feeling. Music has been what defined me as who I am, what made me realize things I need to let go of, mirrored my happiness, what held me during the hard times, made me smile, made me fall in love, made me wanna fight, made me wanna make love, made me wanna be a better woman. Music has been and always will be, the one thing that I can always understand, the one thing I can relate to in everyone, the one way I can talk to anyone and everyone about everything. It is, simply, life to me. It’s what I love; it’s what I do.
DAMN I really love music!!!!