In the immortal auto tuned phrase made famous by one Aaliyah, it has been a long time I shouldn’t have left ya, without a dope beat to step tah. Apologies. I finally found my way back to the workplace and have been stacking Washingtons. Aside from that I haven’t really had much to say, i.e. nothing that wouldn’t bore you to tears. Alas, I am mired in work and mundane life plots that I must spare you. You are welcome.
You find musical redemption in the most unlikely of places around here. A late night, last ditch effort stop over at Portland’s new haute new spot “Digapony”* scratched that ever present New Jack itch of mine. Random white dj man laying out the classics like bacon on a sizzlin grill. Memories flooded my body with the quickness, keeping time with the whiny pitch of Keith Sweat and the velvet misogyny of the only hook man that ever mattered, Nate Dogg.
I often visit the idea of nostalgia and what it means to me and mine. Am I one of those stodgy pricks that thinks things aren’t made like they used to be? Am I stuck in what was surely a simpler time strictly because I was twelve and things are always easier before you have a car payment? Probably to both of those. It is hard not to come up wanting when you compare the golden era of new jack swang to what now passes. When I am taken by an artist these days it is because they remind me of L.S.G or pre-Whitney Bobby Brown. Remember that acapella version of Shai’s If I Ever Fall In love? Butternuts!
If you want to get real up in it, one could suggest that our world is a harsher place and our music reflects a newer, tougher sensibility. The force that moves artists to create what they do is a mysterious and convoluted thing, I can’t begin to unravel it. But I want what I want. And that is that. That deep dark earnest voice of Gerald Levert telling me over a whispered beat, “you know girl, I always loved you, but you just gotta make up yo mind….” and so on and so forth, I just can’t deny it.
Mine is not to ask why, mine is just say thank you 1993 for being the platform upon which all music must stand. Steps shaved in your hair, sidewinders on your feet, pastel windbreaker blowing in the breeze. I love you for showing me that real men do cry but only after you get on your knees and then start jugglin’.