Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hey girl. You know you wanna play with my Jukebox...

So I feel like all of the bruhs on the blog have written an article or two on music. The P!per has not. This article will be about the music of my life. I have been told that I’m very stubborn in my musical tastes, and I say, “I like what I like.” I’m trying to branch out but I’m very determined in my tastes and it takes a special song/album/artist to make me go against this. I recently found out, due to the help of Bob George, that my musical tastes can pretty much be summed up in two words for $6.99. Joe Public.

As a boy, I owned one cassette tape before the age of eleven, at which time I bumped up my repertoire substantially with Uncle Luke’s “Raise the Roof.” I only had the single which had two versions and an instrumental, and I thought that little dance was the shit. Anyway, the cassette I listened to night after night for literally about a year and a half was Joe Public. This album had the smash hit, Live and Learn, which has already been featured on this blog by me. I will break down the three main aspects of this album and how they relate to today’s music, and if you know me, you know this is my bread and butter music. These are dance hits, love music, and conscious rap. Different types of music that fulfill different roles in my life.

Dance hits
Joe Public tracks that relate: I’ve Been Watching, I Gotta Thang, and I Like It
Please notice how all the songs are directed at the listener to self-identify. Simple and effective.

Hate them or love them, they have their function. Gucci mane’s retardedness gets him fans. Soulja Boy’s infectiveness to adolescence wanting to be the coolest kids at the party by knowing how to do a choreographed dance for 3 minutes, make him a banger. And my “mature” and “non-following” the trend  behind shakes my ass just as hard as the next nig. I jig wit it and rock wit it. I lean the left and yoooooullll! Why? Cuz I be drunk and having a blast.

These songs usually have an infectious beat and when you hear them you can’t help but to “snap your fingers and rock yo hips.” The lyrics of these songs is all but pointless and only adds to the array of sounds produced from the speakers. Well that’s unless its someone like the New Boyz and they are requiring you to jerk.

Joe Public does this like every other early 90’s group, with electronic and synthesized instruments as well as live ones. Uptempo drums and wild vocals drive home the message: “If you rest yo butt, you get no cut. And without no cutty u bust no nutty.”

Love Music
Joe Public tracks that relate: I Miss You, Touch You, and Look in Your Eyes
Notice how all the songs are directed at the listener to identify a lover. Once again simple, and effective.

I’m a sucker for a good love song. Ask my roommate what I do in the shower. No nigs I’m not homo. I sing. And ask him what I sing, my caucazoidial roommate would attempt to make out the words he often hears. This is Shai’s “If I ever fall in love”. CLASSIC! I only sing the chorus, bc I really can’t sing and the verse is some sick shit with harmony for days. I wouldn’t do it justice. Boyz II Men “End of the Road” is a second favorite, I believe my friend of the caucazoid mountain region even knows this one, everyone does. My favorite R&B artists out right now are Musiq Soulchild and John Legend respectively.

I don’t do female artists. I think they are sexy and can sing their asses off and I admire them deeply.But am I the only nigga who feels weird singing lyrics that are directed toward the affection of a man? I got sick of changing the words “him” to “her” and “he” to “she”. I’m not homophobe but like the Roots say, “It don’t feel right”. Incomplete by Dru Hill? RIDICULOUS! And old school jams? Too many to name, love them all.

Joe Public does this with simplistic lyrics and not too hot vocals, but when you’re seven, you just feel cool with headphones on. These are all songs that you can have sex to. But you don’t “fuck” to these jams baby. Oh no. You “make love” (My next article topic so heads up).

Conscious Rap
Joe Public track that relates: THE ONE AND ONLY, “Live and Learn”
Notice how the message is not hidden. Like with all 90's music, what you see is what you get. is by FAR my favorite type of musical indulgence. Conscious rap is second to none with me. If I had a man crush, no homo, it would be on Common. I also love Black Thought (who is actually a better lyricist than Common), Guru, Mos Def, Talib, Rhymefest, De La Soul and the list goes on and on and on. Conscious rap has been a guilt free pleasure for me. I love the music, but I’m no killer or drug dealer,  so I needed something I can relate to and take something away from. I’m not taking away shit from gangster rap, but I can’t condone myself listening to it too much. The first conscious rap song I think I recognized listening to was Common’s "The Light".  My favorite Common joint to this day simply because it introduced and brought me into a whole nother world or music.  I appreciate the song and Common for that. Now while this is a love-rap song or w/e, it did have a deeper meaning in depicting the type of woman to go for and for what reasons. My favorite conscious rap song of all time? Gangstarr’s “Moment of Truth.”

Joe Public was actually my first dose of this genre of music. I had no idea, but the message conveyed in “Live and Learn” was a great one and was probably the only reason I had the album.  Edwina (mom-dukes) wasn’t letting me get no Tupac. Probably why I think that bald headed scallywag is over-rated.  Joe Public gave a concise message and didn't sugar-coat it:

"Here`s a little story about life
Everybody that lives surely dies
A lot of people ask the question why
Some people have to go through so much more
Before they really learn about life`s score
The subject is not to be ignored"

I appreciate that.

I listened to Joe Public every night before I went to bed. I would fall asleep to it every night. But because it was on cassette I think I only ever listened to Side A cuz I passed out. I don’t really remember the second half until I recently reacquainted myself with the glory. I think Side A is embedded in my subconscious, maybe that’s why I’m so stubborn. I wonder if that thing about listening to stuff while sleep makes you memorize it really works.
***Sidenote, I actually put time, energy and effort into memorizing the lyrics to Raise the Roof. I could talk really fast as a young’n. I bitched out of performing the song at the family reunion talent show.***

So what album would you say defines or created your musical tastes?

L’Chaim… P!ed P!per

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