There is always at least one song that can describe your emotions at a certain place or time. That’s why I love music. I am just a fan of music. I have enough rhythm to get me by on the dance floor, but I am in no way a dancer. I love to sing along with the radio in the car, but I am in no way a singer (so, please don’t ever record me). I played piano for five years (that was all a blur), but I am in no way a musician. I am no more than a true fan of music and appreciate the work that dancers, singers, and musicians put into songs and expressing themselves through this art form.
When I look through old photo albums I can easily track my musical time line. There are songs that I will always remember because they represent a significant period in my life. Below are some song and pictures that represent the gist of my musical time line. Enjoy!
1995- I was in kindergarten at this time and remember listening WPGC 95.5 ( located in Washington, D.C.) every morning on my way to school. TLC’s “Waterfalls” was a very popular song at the time and of course I had to learn the lyrics. Unfortunately, it took me two years to finally learn the correct lyrics.
My Version: “Go, go Jason’s waterfalls”
Correct Version: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls”
I don’t even think I understood what the song was about at the time. It all seems so obvious now. What would you expect from a five-year-old ?
1997- I used to be OBSESSED with the Spice Girls. I had the posters, roller skates with matching helmet, Scary Spice doll, gum, anything and everything Girl Power. In fact if you look at my pictures that year I am always doing some sort of lunge towards the camera while holding up the peace sign. Please note the pink leather skort (skirt +short) and vest set, with a Spice Girl necklace in the picture below. I had style. Right? By the way, those Spice Girls had a lot of sexual innuendos in their songs. They had little seven-year-old girls around the world singing about “Two Become One”. Hmph.
1999- I was in fifth grade at this time and feeling like a big shot because I was almost done with elementary school. Eiffel 65’s song “Blue” was really big on the playground. It was a big deal because everyone thought the lyrics were, “I’m blue if I were green I would die”, so there was some tension between kid’s who liked the color blue and kids who liked the color green. I was on the blue side at the time. It was a big deal (everything was a big deal back then). Yes, I know now that those were not the real lyrics. Chanel a.k.a Poopster doesn’t care too much for this song, but for me the memories run deeper than it’s musical content.
2003- I’m actually ashamed to mention this now, but I was a major B2k fan. It was ridiculous. I never liked having posters on my walls because I felt like they were always staring at me, so I wallpapered my closet with B2k, Mario, Bow Bow, and more B2k (J Boog) posters. You can say that I was a bit of a “closet fan”. It’s funny because I always point my finger at the Justin Beiber fans and think of them as crazy and obsessed. Then I remember “when you point one finger at someone else, three more point back towards you”. I can’t judge them because I’m sure if twitter was around back then I would have single handedly made “#IloveJBoog” a trending topic.
2008- All through middle school and high school we had dances and functions that always played the song “Cotton Eyed Joe”. I loathe that song with a passion. I find it annoying. It’s a line dancing song for people who can’t get with “The Cha Cha Slide” or “Electric Slide”. Graduating from high school meant that I would never, ever, ever have to hear that song again. I had to put my computer on mute just to find the video for you.
2008-This was my first year of college and Lil Wayne’s song “A Milli” was pretty popular around campus. In case you don’t know by now my name is Anuli, so when people would introduce me they would say, “Her name is Anuli, like A Milli, Anuli, Anuli,Anuli”. They would also point me out at parties when the “tougher than Nigerian hair” part came up because I also happen to be Nigerian. I eventually ended up making up my own rap to the beat of the song that only two people on the earth have ever heard. All I need now is a good stage name and then maybe I’ll get signed to Young Money. Just kidding. I bet you can’t find me in the picture below. I can hide better than Waldo, plus my hair was different.
2010- To be determined. I looking forward to the rest of the year and the songs that will help create some new memories for me.
I want to hear from you. What songs are on your musical time line?
I just began the daunting process of cleaning out my Ipod. The task seems simple enough, just click and delete. However, it is something that I have been putting off doing because I know that it will force me to face my own foolishness. I like to think of myself as somewhat conscious of the world around me. I do not claim to know everything or claim to always be correct, but I try to least be open to learning new things.
My Ipod is filled with a vast assortment of tunes. I have everything from Keith Urban to Anita Baker to De La Soul. In my group of friends I’m usually the first to point out discrepancies whether it is a typo in a book or a contradictory song lyric. Cleaning out my Ipod has made me think about my own discrepancies and contradictions. In addition to the Keith Urban, Anita Baker, and De La Soul songs featured in my Ipod I also have popular songs like “Donk” by Soulja Boy and “Shake it Fast” by Mystikal. I like to think that I am an empowered woman and I’d be damned if a dude called me a ho, bitch, harlot, slut, skank, whore, trollop, jezebel, the list goes on. Why? Because I’m a lady gosh darnit and should be treated as such. But if I’m such a lady then why do I allow myself to listen to degrading music about shaking my donk?
These thoughts led me to clean out my Ipod. As I write I am trying to think of a good answer to the question above. Why do I listen to degrading music? I can’t think of anything other than it’s convenient. People take what they are given. It’s sad, but it’s true. Songs that talk about “Busted Babies” and “Jumpoffs” are what is readily available to the public and when that is what you are used to hearing you don’t usually go looking for something else. It’s like sitting down in front of the television playing a show you don’t like and then all of a sudden realizing you lost the remote. Rather than get up from the couch to change the channel you just sit and watch what’s already on. Why? Because you’re lazy…and I was lazy too.
This isn’t to say that I only listen to booty-shaking music. I definately don’t, but I will admit it took up a good amount of gigabytes on my Ipod.So, how does one go about cleaning up their Ipod? Personally, I’m just letting my Ipod play on shuffle until a questionable song comes up. Then I ask myself some questions:
What is the song’s message?
Would I be comfortable with my little sister listening to this?
Would I mind if someone spoke to me this way?
If the song leads me to feel negatively about it in anyway then I just delete it. It’s actually easier than I thought because I realize that I feel uncomfortable when these songs are played at parties and I’m expected to dance to them.
Some people say that commercial rap music (rap of the booty-shaking and thuggish variety) is the cause of the problems in our society. Personally, I don’t think it is. The world was pretty messed up before guys started wearing baggy jeans and girls started dropping it low on television. The main issue is that music is a business and corporations will continue to allow commercial rap music to degrade women if it increases profits. In order to change the direction of music into something more positive more people especially women have to say, “I’m not buying it”.