I know this may be an absolute shot in the dark but I am curious as to what you, yes you, consider ‘good music? What elements of music make it good to you? I say this having read countless posts and news articles about good and bad music. Seeming as though something so abstract and so personal can not have a definitive formula, how can we say or dictate what good music is?
Right now I have in my CD travel case Jay-Z’s the Black Album sitting literally on top of the Nancy Sinatra and Maroon 5. Neither of which complement the other but all of which says a lot about me.
Each record encompasses a different part of my spirit and attitude. Each touches me in a far different way. I love the sketchiness of Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang. It reminds me of Nina Simone all over again. It’s the words and the melodrama of her harmony that entices my earlobes almost bringing me to tears as if I’m holding onto a secret I can’t find.
Raw emotion, you have to love it.
I can listen to Jay-Z ‘what more can I say’ over and over and over because it epitomizes Hip Hop and lyricism. Its all about the attitude and that song embodies it:
And no I ain’t get shot up a whole bunch of times
Or make up shit in a whole bunch of lines
And I ain’t animated, like say a, Busta Rhymes
But the real shit you get when you bust down my lines
Add that to the fact I went plat a bunch of times
Times that by my influence
On pop culture
I supposed to be number one on everybody’s list
We’ll see what happens when I no longer exist
(What more can I say?)
It’s the finest poetry. How you ask? Think of Emily Dickinson writing about poetry in a poem. This is exactly what Jay is doing its all the same format just a different frame of mind. Its not so much what he’s saying ( although it is) as how he’s saying it. Think about being fed up. Think about proving a point to someone so obstinate that you step out of your calm self and get down to the bare essentials. I’ve been there! I’ve done it! I have been placed in the position where I had prove myself and for some of us it doesn’t come out squeaky clean, it comes out raw, illuminating my point, eliminating misconcepcion. Feel me? (If not, what more can I say)
Then there’s someone like Maroon 5 who has Harder to Breathe and Tangled. And they give you edgy and gritty:
How dare you say that my behavior is unacceptable
So condescending unnecessarily critical
I have the tendency of getting very physical
So watch your step cause if I do you’ll need a miracle
You drain me dry and make me wonder why I’m even here
This Double Vision I was seeing is finally clear
You want to stay but you know very well I want you gone
Not fit to fuckin’ tread the ground that I’m walking on
Why do I like this? If you haven’t noticed by now it’s identity. I have been in a position where I have felt exactly like this, so in this case before anything else the lyrics remind me and then the music controls me.
In any case whether its because I identify, exemplify or just feel the beats on some level all three have to be possible in order for me to take a record in and nurture it as apart of my beloved collection.
There are always bigger and more profound questions. Why do you listen to music? Is it too dance? Is it to escape? Is it to enjoy? Art? Creativity? Are you listening to melodies or lyrics? Are you passing time or capturing life? Is it all or none of the above?
I live music, it helps me write, it helps me think, it helps me live. I see every side and each point of view. I feel as though every new song is a new experience and I appreciate that almost like a mini story. I revel being witness to it. I take what I can from each song and move on or stay and stay and stay and stay until I have worn out my welcome or the record, whichever comes first.
Because I am a music lover, it does become an extension of me. I feel the pings and stabs when people blast Eminem (for example) because I identify with him. I understand why he is presented the way he is (because I don’t know him I can only assume a presentation). So when they down him they down that part of me that understands him. Maybe for some it’s not that serious and for others this is only scratching the surface but I can only dictate what music is to me. What about you?