In the midst of all of the grammy chatter I felt it was only right that I finally completed this post and shared my feelings and love of music, especially after the amazing performance by A Tribe Called Quest, Anderson .Paak, Consequence and Busta Rhymes . This isn’t about music and politics, just the healing powers of music. Enjoy.
I can’t remember a moment in my life when music wasn’t present. Happy, sad, angry, depressed, births and deaths. It has always been playing in the background. When my family celebrated there was music. When we were going through various trials and tribulations, there was music. When no one felt the need to talk and silence may have been unbearable, there was music.
Growing up (and to this day) music was where I turned to in order to deal with my emotions. This was a post that was supposed to be shared with the world at the start of 2016, late I know, and it was at a time where I was evolving. I’d finally found my baring after a valley of a year. I’d dealt with depression amongst other battles. At the head of 2016 I’d blossomed and began opening up, meeting new people and testing my comfort zone. At a slight high of this progression my grandmother passed and though it was tough (and at times it still is), music kept me sane. In the time between the drafting of this post (late 2015, yes, I know, I know) and the present my experiences have grown and so has the soundtrack. I will share a few songs that was on my playlist then and now that aid me in dealing with and confronting certain emotions and feelings.
The Way I Am and Kill You by Eminem
As an adult I feel bad explaining these two overall because I don’t want it to seem so negative. I love Eminem for these songs honestly (lol). These are songs that some way some how make me feel better when I am beyond angry. In dealing with anger I tend to want to be left alone until I can calm down and sort everything out. Some times people do not know how to leave well enough alone. But I found that in listening to either of these songs (depending on the level of anger I feel) I feel better. I can explore my feelings, I have someone who isn’t pressing me to alter my feelings or tell me that I am not justified in the way that I feel. Eminem basically feels me and makes me feel normal in my anger. Go ahead and judge if you must. It is what it is.
Better Today by Ne Yo and W.A.Y.S. by Jhené Aiko
These are my go to songs when I’m down about something not working out. It could be a business venture, family issues or relationship bouts. These songs for me are positive and up-lifting. They both have things that I can really relate to that always remind me that I was at this point or below it before and I survived it. I surpass it. This songs continuously help me soar above those feelings that can fester into depression if I allow myself to dwell on them.
Open my eyes and realized
That nothing’s quite that bad
Ne Yo – Better Today
Better Today is like my fake out song and W.A.Y.S. sets me straight. Better Today has a beautiful melody that’s light and the harmonies and Ne Yo’s delivery is powerful. When listening to this song usually I’m in the process of healing and dealing with whatever I’m gong through. I may repeat this song alternating with W.A.Y.S. to get my thoughts in order. Ne Yo says “life’s too short to dwell on all that’s wrong,” and some times hearing this and making it a mantra calms me down, because it is true. I can sit and wallow in self pity of think of all of the should haves, could haves and would haves. My emotions can be extreme in reaction to certain situations I am faced with and that line always conjures up the serenity prayer (which I absolutely love) and it soothes me. In W.A.Y.S. there is a build up for me and depending on how bad the storm I am in that build up allows me to think about the storm one last time before I let the tears flow and let it all go.
You have gotta lose your mind
Just to find your peace of mind
Jhené Aiko – W.A.Y.S.
After that moment I revisit the “question” the title poses, why aren’t you smiling? This helps me to confront what I am truly feeling and why. It helps me find that inner beast that helped me plow through many walls that once surrounded me. I do listen to these songs outside of low emotions. They do get me hyped and in positive spirits in many different situations. I can be over the moon happy and hear this song and my mood elevates to level out of this world.
Soundtrack to my Life by Kid Cudi
This song can be viewed as dark. I love it because he is brutally honest in dealing with his issues and to me accepting them and what is. He shared a piece of his darkness with us and so many times we are so afraid of doing that. This is a song that I get emotional on regardless of what my mood is when I listen to it. Often times I listen to this on a late night drive around the city to clear my mind especially when I feel a decline towards depression.
But they all didn’t see, the little bit of sadness in me, Scotty
I’ve got some issues that nobody can see
And all of these emotions are pouring out of me
Kid Cudi – Soundtrack to my Life
I have yet to master sharing my emotions. I tend to unconsciously bottle everything that is of importance up. Those rare times when it all becomes too much and I may back slide into some pretty dark thoughts this allows me to release it through tears. Certain things in the song brings back memories which does cause more tears, but then there’s a relief and joy that follows. Those were low moments and at that time I thought I’d never recover, but I did. Those situations flood my memory and I compare them with whatever I am currently feeling and it’s healing. It’s a reflector. It forces me to think back on times that – although I don’t regret them – I strongly feel the need t forget. This song, as strange as it may sound, helps remember where I came from and the victory of making it through.
There are so many other songs that I play for a specific purpose (like Marvin Sapp’s Never Would Have Made It as well as other gospel songs). The songs listed are just some that seem to heal me in a way that I some times cannot explain. No matter the situation, time that’s past or other songs that may surface these are essentially my confidant and safe haven.