As you all know, music is basically my favorite art form in the world besides writing, and I just have to share another playlist with you. During the past few days, I caught myself going back to music that remind me of my childhood, and memories that go with it. For instance, I know the artist that introduced me to Hip Hop, the songs I listened to when I had my first crushes, and songs that remind me of television shows and movies. In the spirit of “Throwback Thursday”, here are a few songs that are connected to the sweetest and difficult memories of my adolescent and teenage years.
1. Miss You – Aaliyah
The day I heard that Aaliyah died, I was too young at the time to have an emotional reaction to death. This was actually the first song I heard of hers shortly after, and I remember back in elementary school, everyone was singing it. Particularly, I remember my best friend and I would run to the swings during recess and sing word for word. She would sing the first verse, I would sing the second (or vice versa), and then sing the chorus in harmony. Fun times.
2. Makes Me Wonder – Maroon 5
This song was back in 2007, and I believe it sparked my interest in rock music. All my life, I grew up around gospel and R&B music, so this was something different. I remember waking up in the morning before school at 7AM, turn on VH1, and wait for this video to play. I still love it today.
3. Rockin’ Robin – Michael Jackson
This was the very first Michael Jackson song that I can remember listening to. It was back in preschool playing musical chairs. It was only a few years after that when I heard “You Rock My World” for the first time, but it took awhile for me to figure out that both voices were the same person. Now you see why my love for Michael is so deep.
4. Prayin For Help – T.I.
Now, if you grew up with me, you know how OBSESSED I was of this man’s music. Thinking back on it, I was ridiculous. Growing up, I didn’t hear music with profanity and vulgar language because my mother is very into R&B and Gospel. It wasn’t until I heard of T.I. that I began to listen to Hip Hop. I remember going to Newbury Comics when I was 12 or 13, and bought the King album–the explicit version. The language took away all of my innocence, and I remember my head started hurting when I heard too much of it. Once my mother and brother caught on to what I was playing on my CD player, my brother went to the record store, and got me every T.I. album, except I’m Serious, but they were edited versions. That allowed me to listen to him and protect me from the explicit language at that age. At first, it was a regular celebrity crush that every young girl experience. For instance, I wanted to get a fitted hat and tip it sideways like he used to do, and I would mimic his gestures and mechanisms whenever his videos came on. Yes, it was that bad.
However, over time my admiration grew much more than that. I remember printing out lyrics from his songs and practiced them like I was about to perform, and this is why I know word for word of most of his songs that span from 2003 to 2007. I realized later that I was curious of the issues and lifestyles that some Black men go through, since I wasn’t around my father. T.I. is such a story-teller that I was intrigued of his messages, but not all of them because let’s be real, he was violent sometimes. I’m not so much into his music as I used to be, but he’s forever a legend in my eyes.
As for me and explicit language, I’m used to it now, but I always go to edited versions of hip hop music if it’s available.
5. Imagine Me – Kirk Franklin
During my time as a church girl, I was a part of a liturgical dance team, which means that we act out the lyrics of gospel / worship music. I believe I was about 15 years old when I learned the dance to this song. This might just be the only song out of my 2-3 years of dancing that I can remember most of it. This song also touches me on a personal level, and I tend to go back to it during the tough days.
6. Love Is All That Matters – Diana Ross & Brandy
Do you remember the movie that starred Brandy and Diana Ross, called Double Platinum? This was by far my favorite movie growing up. We had two Black queens singing their own real-life music, while playing mother and daughter, and the story-line was so good. This song was by far my favorite, and I wish the original version had Brandy on it.
7. He Still Loves Me – Beyonce and Walter Williams Sr (Of The O’Jays) (The Cast of The Fighting Temptations)
Back in February, I binge-watched a few of my favorite films to lift my spirits, and The Fighting Temptations was one of them. This is also my favorite character thus far that Beyonce played in a movie. The soundtrack is so good with amazing original songs, and this one touches me the most.
8. Things Are Changin’ – Gary Clark Jr.
This song has been one of my favorites for a while, and I heard Gary Clark Jr. sing this at Afropunk last year, but faster tempo. I’m shocked that I still remember this memory, but back in high school I was a part of a talent show during my senior year, and there was a student who was a part of the show and sang this song. A year prior to the talent show, I lost my friendship with that student, so I had to accept the fact that I couldn’t talk to them during that time, and I didn’t communicate with them until recently. Despite all, I just remember admiring their performance and their talent.
I hope you enjoyed reminiscing the good ole’ days with me, and heard a few of my favorite songs. What song or artist is your favorite out of these? Leave a comment or if you have specific memories that you have connected to songs, let me know!