Songs Of My Life: The Farewell to 2011
Saying farewell to 2011 will definitely be bittersweet. I’ve experienced the highest of my highs, and the lowest of my lows. I’ve learned more than I’ve read, grown more than my legs, and saw more than I’ve said (and probably should’ve pursued a rap career too). I’m excited to see what could even come close to topping this year for me in the next. But before that, I’d like to share a few of my lessons over these past 12 months. Inspired by one of my favorite books, “The Songs in the Key of My Life: A Memoir” by one of my college professors, Ferentz LaFargue, I’d like to introduce to you my 2011 through a list of my Top 5 Songs of the year.
Appropriately, I’d like to start off with Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls).”
For far more reasons than having a great ode to sing on a daily basis about the awesomeness of being a woman, my favorite line of the entire song is pretty short: “I’m repping for the girls whose taking over the world/Help me raise a glass for the college grads.” Graduating from college this May has definitely been a milestone for me. Paying for college isn’t easy, and balancing school, work, and internships was definitely an irreplaceable experience. I wouldn’t take a minute of the blood, sweat, and tears back, although I wouldn’t mind trading in a few of these loans. But most of all, I met my best friends, found my true talents, and broke out of my shell. Truly, it was the time of my life.
Next up I have to go with Dirty Money’s “Yesterday” featuring Chris Brown.
When I tell you that this song got me through a very difficult time, it actually can be nominated for the understatement of the year. Letting go of a dream, and breaking out of a fairytale for an alternative reality is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Without going into details (have you heard this song?), I learned that sometimes you have to allow time to take its course. Situations arise unexpectedly, and you can never imagine how it’ll make you feel or how your current circumstances will allow you to react. I am grateful for the outcome of it all, and I believe I gained a stronger friendship in the end.
Third isSolange’s “Left Side Drive”
This song took on several different meanings, at several different transitions throughout my year. The overall relevance lied within the idea of being “stuck” and not being sure where to go. Many times people in life tend to forget who they are, why they’re doing what they’re doing, and how they got there in the first place. I needed a reminder of this a couple times, and thankfully Solange wasn’t the only one around to reinforce it. This song stands for the epitome of growing up, and allowing fate to take over. Some things are simply uncontrollable. You have to learn to move on–even when all turns look to the past–and wait for the rest to catch up, when it’s time.
Frank Ocean’s “Strawberry Swing” sums up my feelings about news and politics this year.
As an avid news reader and analyst (even if only for myself,) the events we witnessed this year have been unbelievable. From the Occupation uprisings globally, the fall of Libya, the death of Troy Davis, attempted assassinations, sports lockouts, and most importantly, the rise and fall of Herman Cain. “Strawberry Swing” is a song I would listen to when I just needed to escape. It’s sweet and harmonious; angelic. Reminds me that sometimes you just need to take off time for yourself to breathe and reflect; nothing more, nothing less. This summer proved no better feeling than the Botanical Garden, perfectly-functioning headphones and the bliss of nature with Ocean’s voice in the background for the cool breeze.
Last, but not least,Big K.R.I.T’s “Country S* Remix” with Ludacris and Bun B is all I ever really need in life, sometimes.
Having grown up in the South, to this day, nothing tops southern twang, banging subwoofers and a few favorite artists. I can’t say this song actually had an impact on my everyday life, but it was a smooth operator for my nerves when my anger took a few unexpected pitches. It’s a feel-good song, with feel-good rappers who also happen to not be too shabby in the looks-department. It screams ‘live, love, and laugh!’ Not to mention Big K.R.I.T’s “Return of 4eva” was basically God’s gift to me. I owe to it, my sanity.
That’s my year in a nutshell; a very small nutshell, but a shell nonetheless. Is there any particular song from this year you would throw on the tracklist of your life for the past 365 days?