Monday, May 26, 2008

My base or, more musings about music

I think yesterday's chat with Macca has opened up a can of worms in me or something. I do believe I have underestimated the significance of music in my life. This could be because I don't always seek it out, but I don't know. I finally got my mobile situation sorted. If you're not on my Twitter (which, most of you aren't), you probably won't know that I've been without a mobile for the better part of a month. It's been torture. But now that's sorted, I can be contacted at all hours. But, and more relevantly applicable to this conversation, I have music back in my life.

I loaded a few songs this morning and walked nearly half way to work, plugged in. That's when I realised that I had not rated highly enough how much I need music. My morning's Leith Walk soundtrack of rap and R&B was unorthodox (unorthodox cos I live deep in Proclaimers country) but thoroughly enjoyed. Madonna's 4 Minutes to Save the World (she's not rap nor R&B, but that genius beat is) takes on a new interpretation when you see all these people rushing for buses and women in business suits and trainers motoring on to work. They only got four minutes to save the world! 2Pac's How Do U Want It: could the guy at the sandwich shop be saying that to me? When T-Pain sang (on Kanye's song), "Welcome to the good life!", I was believing it, despite not being able to speak from the shouting on the weekend.

So when Macca asked me this question, it's thrown me into a lot of thought. What is the role of music in my life? I obviously need it, but when? And why? I've been working my thoughts out, actually in this very blog. What you see is the final, composed version, but it was kinda all over the place before. This is what my answer to those questions above would be.

I have always had be a cultural chameleon. What I mean by that is that I've always have been in situations that I had to assimilate into the predominant culture. As a result, I feel, at times, quite deficient in my own personal culture; I've even felt like a fraud. No matter how one terms it, you can end up quite lightheaded when you spend most of their time outwith your own culture. And I spend a lot of time in character. Times of emotional extremities are when it is most difficult to keep up the facade -- you'll really hear the American when I'm angry or really excited. I guess that's my base culture, what I am at my most elemental level. And black American culture, including rap, is that.


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