Posts Tagged ‘Erykah Badu’

NEO-SOUL


Lately, i’ve become a neo-soul fan. So much that i thought to myself i may be slowly shunning my gangsterish hardcore ghetto nature. But wait, this was not to be as therez sometimes when we need some relaxation and escape from the harsh realities of life. I’m so enjoying neo-soul that i kinda regret not discovering this genre earlier; when my life was at crossroads. Between 1 and a half and 2 years ago i was going through shit that i would have been able to cope with if i wasn’t following the teachings of hip-hop and reggae. As far as i’m concerned, any other genre than the mentioned above according to me was not meant for males. Boy, i was WRONG…
Let’s state the obvious first, only because it’s so obvious I’m amazed no one has noticed it. When the Columbia Journalism Review recently wrote an excellent piece criticizing the way print media have bungled the very real threat of NEO-SOUL to RnB, every Tom, Dick & Harry sounded their critisism over the article. The writer nonetheless referred to NEO-SOUL as a “crossbreed” of oldschool soul and newschool RnB in a classic way of giving the devil his due. However, nah right! Neo-soul is rhythmatic and brings a sensual relaxing mood, that RnB fails to do. Neo connotes ‘modern’ while Soul is self explanatory ‘soul’. This article implied that in a few years everyone will forget RnB ever existed. Why? Just look at hiphop, nowadays rappers and producers are remaking classic 60’s music and giving them laid back beats to bring out nice oldschool feeling. Does it mean there are no more ideas? No. People are no longer in the hurry to get trendy, rather just get that classic groove back…like NEO-SOUL.
While we should all pay attention to the lyrics of any artist’s work, we should also pay close attention to the equally important ‘beats’. I agree the lyrics are not really manly as they revolve around the subject of love, heartbreak and coping with or without them. In the case of Reggae and Hip-Hop which were my favourite, I would argue that they had been noticed and celebrated only because of what they preach and, according to the prejudices of the dominant classes (the rich and the poor), are perceived by its fans as advocating for their interests respectively. Thus the wide range of acceptability and hype. When darker-skinned men rap endlessly of fucking women, selling dope and becoming billionaires, killing gays and shooting each other, no one in our commercial media seems to be bothered. No one even cares whether little children will learn from the messages potrayed. After all, this is what happens in the society.
This is what kinda got me thinking otherwise; NEO-SOUL. The lyrics are about how life’s hardest situations are solved by easiest solutions. The message is LOVE and relaxation. In fact the beats themselves say it all, you can just derive your peace of mind by listenng to the instrumentals.

Tell this to my colleagues (and they are almost always men) and you might actually be crucified. I know. Until recently, my music playlists did not have any thing with the word soul, love or blues in it. But now, it is a different story. I wrote this article to enlighten someone somewhere to discover this genre that i have been neglecting, well…until now. For a start; find music from the following artists: John Legend, Alicia Keys, Angie Stone, Amel Larrieux, Anthony Hamilton, Chrisette Michele, Conya Dos, Dionne farris, Erykah Badu, Floetry, Glen Lewis, Goapele, Heather Headley, India Arie, Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Lucy Pearl, Lyfe Jennings, Macy Gray, Sade, Maxwell, Joss Stone & Vivian Green…The list is endless, these are just a few i sampled from my i-tunes library!!!

Have a SOUL-ful day, wont ya?

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