I often start my days off with music. As mentioned in the previous post, it gets my mojo flowing by allowing me to brainstorm or just relax and collect my thoughts. Therefore, I decided to share 10 songs, plus a bonus, that got my day going:
The Beautiful People by Lee DeWyze – “It’s not your fault that you’re always wrong. The weak ones are there to justify the strong.” Wow, what a statement. This song makes me think of politics, but more so economic systems, especially with lines like, “capitalism has made its way, old fashioned fascism will take you away.” Hmm. The downside of capitalism. Obviously, in a free market society, you’re going to have haves and have nots. That’s just the way it is. However, if the scale tips where there’s a massive economic downturn and the have nots turn into don’t have shit, then scapegoating and hateful ideologies rear their ugly little heads (having a middle class is important). There are plenty of examples of that in world history. Anyway, I would love to know what his inspiration was behind this song.
Blackbird Song by Lee DeWyze – Clearly I was feeling Mr. DeWyze this morning. In celebration of the premiere of the new season of “The Walking Dead” this coming Sunday, I decided to play this song. It was featured on an episode on one of the previous seasons (for those who watch, I think it was the scene where we saw what Bob was up to before coming across the group). His raspy voice is quiet alluring and I love the folksy, bluesy sound of the song. Also, whoever played the fiddle in this song played the hell out of it. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the song.
La Guarachera by Celia Cruz and Tito Puente – This is currently one of my favorite jams! Wow! Ok. So sadly it really wasn’t until I took a Caribbean cultures class in college that realized the African diaspora extends well beyond the U.S., Jamaica, and Haiti (who knew Brazil had the highest population of people of African descent in the western hemisphere?). As such, I discovered salsa in general and Celia Cruz in particular. The foundation of salsa music is the drum. This song emphasizes that to the max. I love the drum solo towards the end of the song. Freaking amazing. (On a side note, listening to music in español also really helped me learn vocabulary and syntax when I was a Spanish major once upon a time.)
If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill – I’m sure you can imagine from the title what this song is about. Basically, if Nas had his way, there wouldn’t be social or economic injustices and the have nots will, well, have. I don’t think I need to elaborate more. “Black diamonds and pearls… living for today in these last days of times.”
Uninvited by Alanis Morissette – Ha! So you know how you’re just kind of doing your thing, not really looking for anyone, and then… BAM! Someone comes out of the blue and you’re like “wow, I’m really feeling him/her” but then you think about how you don’t want to like said person because you don’t want to get screwed over in the end (ergo, that person is uninvited). Yeah. Ms. Morissette nailed that in this song. Additionally, the instrumentation is sick! I love the rock mixed with the classical orchestra. It’s heavenly music to my ears.
Work That by Mary J Blige – “Just because the length of your hair ain’t long and they often citizen you for your skin tone, go on and hold your head high because you’re a pretty woman…” Awesome! This song is just great. It’s all about appreciating your given beauty and flaunting what you have, no matter what society says about you. Don’t bleach that skin. Don’t feel pressured to straighten that hair (unless you’re on an interview for a job, lol) or wear those extensions. This song is all about self-esteem building. It’s also an ode to diversity. Without it, life would be monotonous.
There For You by Damian Marley – “Vexation of spirit is a waste of time, negative thinking don’t you waste your thoughts.” Now this is a great opening line! Ah! If I were a smoking woman, this is one song that I would smoke one to while listening. It’s just a really relaxed, chill out song. It also makes you think about all the people who have supported you throughout your life and how you should appreciate them being around, even when you’re at your darkest. Well-said Jr. Gong.
Daydreamin’ by Lupe Fiasco and Jill Scott – So, this song is definitely a gaping metaphor about a robot where the robot represents life, particularly urban life. Lupe makes tons of critiques on society. One of my favorites is where he’s speaking ironically about rap videos and all the “props” they should have (e.g. scantly clad women, guns, coke, blunts, “bling”, etc.) It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a video so I’m not sure if those same mainstays remain. However, something tells me that they’re still there and have probably gotten worse over time.
Love of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop) by Common and Erykah Badu – Yet another metaphorical song. I love the allegory of hip-hop as a woman, or a relationship in general. When you love whatever craft or hobby you have, it kind of does feel like you’re in a relationship with it. There are ups and downs, good and bad, and sometimes you just need some distance from it to see if it’s something you’re really into, or, to find much needed inspiration.
You’re So Vain by Carly Simon – I find this song to be hilarious! Clearly Ms. Simon had to get some things off her chest about a certain someone who screwed her over in the past. What better way to vent than to write a passive aggressive song about the bane of your existence (at the given moment)? Gotta love the arts!
**Bonus: Thriller by Michael Jackson – Because who doesn’t need a little MJ to start their day off! We’re getting closer to Halloween and this video was a Halloween staple. I remember seeing it on Mtv as a kid and being terrified. With my adult eyes, I now marvel at the choreography and the concept behind the entire video. Definitely avant garde for the time.
Well that’s what got me going today and inspired this post. What are some songs that get your day going? Leave a comment below. Who knows? Maybe I have it in my iTunes as well.