It’s 4 a.m., my alarm blares and I lay there thinking, “Do I really have to get up? I can just be overweight, out of shape and eat what I want. The Mister will still love me, so it’s cool”. I said the last part while stumbling into the bathroom to get myself together and get to the gym by 4:30 a.m. I’m barely awake but I make it to the gym with only a few grunts as hellos to the morning regulars like myself.
I grab my weight belt, do a couple of stretches and drop into my Spotify list “Work for What You Want”. Sounds ranging from No Limit Soldiers to DMX, Cube, Jay Z and Kendrick Lamar with a dash of J Cole come blaring through my Beats. Yep I’m the chick you see at the squat rack or doing deadlifts who’s practically dancing while racking her plates.
Music is a wide range of people, places, things, and moods. It is ten-year-old me singing the Isley Brothers or Minnie Ripperton in the back seat of a 1979 Ford Thunderbird. It’s the family reunions and Christmases that go late into the night with aunts, uncles and cousins where we used to sneak sips of beer and moonshine. It’s SOUUUUUUUUUUL Train and American Bandstand every Saturday. It’s watching the early days of MTV with VJs Kennedy, and Downtown Julie Brown along with watching Dre and Ed Lover bring us Rap City. Oh, and I can’t forget when BET was actually a good station with Donnie Simpson as one of its most memorable VJs. Remember those days?
There’s just something about music that’s magical. Music is practically indescribable at times and at other times, it is a refuge for many of us who need a do-over or pause from the days’ activities. It’s organized sounds of melodies, harmonies, beats and rhythms that can create unforgettable moods. Music always brings me to the most amazing memories and “shit you can’t make up” moments. You know, those things that no one will believe happened unless they witnessed it? Those moments!
Music transcends, gathers, separates, sends messages or as with “trap music” you find yourself listening to it because that’s where life was at that moment…when that one beat drops? It’s like the air gets sucked out of the room and we are transported to a different place and time. You know what I’m talking about.
When I hear Maxwell’s “Fortunate,”I flashback to the early years of me and the Mister. It’s me being in Kuwait when Amy Winehouse died. Now, every time I hear her raspy voice, I’m taken back to 110 degree plus temps and 14-hour work days. Also, enjoying the jazz and blues of NOLA during Veteran’s Day weekend on a girl’s trip. I can practically hear my stepdad and uncles singing the O’Jays after a long night of adult libations and herbal essences. I visualize my mom car dancing to Charlie Wilson only to catch myself doing the same thing; FYI she still car dances at 64.
It’s a Six Flags trip where my husband and youngest daughter sang “Don’t Stop Believin’” while waiting for lunch. It’s introducing your youngest son to Luther, Teddy P, and Barry White. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Close your eyes, think on it. What’s that one song that lights your soul on fire? Yeah, it’s okay to smile here, I had a good chuckle as I wrote this.
You see music gives zero F’s! Music doesn’t care how much money you make, where you live, about your skin color or any of the millions of other things that we value so much. Music creates a chance to bond on a level that can leave you speechless. Music gives voices to those who do not have them, while expressing words that cannot be said. Music removes the guesswork and lets you be whoever you want to be for just a moment in time. It takes away our cares, fears, and worries while being able to remind us of our place in the world. Music is a universal language…it is heart and soul. Music? Music is life!
is a retired veteran, mother, young pretty grandma, (“Ask my husband!”), wife, and friend who manages the voices in her head by staying busy, upbeat, and “prayed up.” Follow her writing on ‘Voices from the Bleachers’ on Facebook.