I’m a little bit into hiphop. For a white kid who grew up listening to classic rock and easy listening, this is kind of strange. I don’t quite understand how it happened, but I’m glad it did.
I like hiphop, I think, because I am a fan of writing, and lyricism in hiphop is more than putting pretty words together. The good kind is clever and conscious and political and sometimes life-changing.
One of my favorite artists, Childish Gambino (real name, Donald Glover), released his first full-length album a week ago. I have been listening to it pretty obsessively. It speaks to me. Sometimes albums do that. They articulate exactly where you are in your life. And so I have been finding all of the lyrics profound.
Childish Gambino in his hiphopster glory
There’s this one chorus, though, that goes “There’s a world we can visit if we go outside/ outside/ outside/ We can follow the road/ There’s a world we can visit if we go outside/ outside/ outside/ No one knows.” Or something like that. I find it very profound, but I don’t really know why.
Ohio University went on break today, which is cool. It’s cool to not have to worry about homework and class and stuff. But break scares me because I’m scared that even when I have no excuse for not going outside, I still won’t. We should never have to articulate that there is world outside. We should be engulfed by it.
I wrote a post a while back about listening to jazz while I do work. Recently, I fast forwarded to listening to 1950s R&B, and I think that was a marvelous decision. Ray Charles has been one of my go-to’s
Ray has this one song called “What’d I Say.” It’s almost a six minute song and Ray wrote it by improvisation at a show one night, and it quickly became a crowd favorite. It became so popular that he made his producers record it.
The problem was that at the time, singles didn’t really go over three minutes. In the dramatized cinematographic version of Ray Charles’s life, the producers threaten to cut out a verse or two. I don’t know if that’s true. But I imagine something like that is. We always want to put new things into the mold of old things.
Ray and the studio came to a compromise – they would record the whole song, but they would split it up into an A-side and a B-side. While that worked out, I suppose, the entire six minute song is really worth listening to all the way through.
And the song deserves a full listen. It almost brought on the genre of soul all by itself.
The point of all of this is to say two things.
1) We should probably stop trying to make new things like old things. New things would be more successful if we let them be new.
2) Sometimes, though, even when we mess up and think that new things need to be like old things, magic still happens.
I am horrible at waking up. I was supposed to wake up at 8 today to give myself an hour to write my blog post because the rest of my day has been scheduled away to the man. Instead I woke up at 8:40. So that is really horrible.
I wish I had a really creative way to wake up. I have a good friend who does. Instead of just drinking coffee or something, he turns on a good, upbeat song, gets in front of his computer and dances and wiggles his way to morning awareness. He recently started posting these “morning rituals” on Youtube, and you should check it out. Maybe he can help you wake up, too!