Lyrics vs. beats

When it comes to music, I pay a great deal of attention to lyrical content. What the person(s) is/are saying pulls me in quicker than the beat.

For me, lyrics are usually more important than the rhythm. I feel a lot of today’s music is popular simply because it has the hot beat of the moment.

I generally don’t listen to music or artists that are here today and probably won’t be around in five years. If I can’t understand what the musician is saying, you can forget about me buying his/her music.

If I’m at the club and a song comes on that I feel is degrading to women, I usually step off the floor. I mean, how can I dance to a song where I’m being called every name but the Queen I am?

Now, I do have some exceptions. I have a liking for a few songs by 2Live Crew; Juvenile’s Back that Ass Up used to get me going (I’ve since come to my senses).

When it comes to most music today – in particular rap – it’s challenging for me to come up with an artist that I really enjoy listening to. Outside of Kanye West, Outkast, Common, Tupac and sometimes Jay Z, I really don’t listen to hip hop.

As I continue to mature, I’ve noticed I listen to more music where the lyrics are such that I can relate to. When Jill Scott sings, “My love is deeper/Tighter/Sweeter/Higher/Flyer/Didn’t you know this/Or didn’t you notice” I know what she means because I’ve been there.

Mary J. Blige’s Just Fine was my anthem for 2008 (and it’s carrying over into ’09 as well). Those lyrics get me amped every time I hear them because Mary’s telling me that no matter what someone else may think, I ain’t worried about them cause my life is Just Fine!

I fell in instant love with Erykah Badu’s Baduizm. Every song on that album said something to me. My favorite song on Baduizm is No Love. I remember driving down Interstate 20 betweenShreveport andGrambling,Louisiana with my then boyfriend in the passenger’s seat. When that song came on, it was like I was hearing the lyrics for the first time.

I looked over at him and thought to myself, “She’s talking about you.”

He’s now an ex and I will forever be a fan Erykah’s music.

When I need a reminder about how grand I am, I put on either Private Party or I Choose by India.Arie. I really believeIndia when she sings, “My past don’t dictate who I am/I Choose.”

So you see, I enjoy music that motivates and inspires; songs that touch my heart and feed my soul. With all that’s happening in the world, music allows me to escape from reality one song at a time.


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