Melanism on Shuffle, Part II

“Because music, like color, or a cloud, is neither intelligent nor unintelligent – it just is. The chord, the simplest building block for even the tritest, silliest chart song, is a beautiful, perfect, mysterious thing, and when an ill-read, uneducated, uncultured, emotionally illiterate boor puts a couple of them together, he has every chance of creating something wonderful and powerful. All I ask of music is that is sounds good.”
— Nick Hornby

The rules are simple. I’m going to put my iPod on shuffle and write about the first 10 songs that play.  Some of these will be really stupid or have nothing to do with the song but hey, who doesn’t like to hear me go off on a tangent.

“Laugh About It” by N*E*R*D: I thought this album, Seeing Sounds, was better than a lot of people thought.  I would love to be driving somewhere and have this song pop-up on my iPod.   Instead I’m at work writing about it. Such is life.

“Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan: I love this song (although I would be scared of dating a woman who REALLY loved this song). The first time I heard of Jazmine Sullivan was on a Kindred track a few years back.  Hopefully this will help make her sell more records:

“Make The World Go Round” (featuring Chris Brown and The Game) by Nas: Why, Nas? He sounds weird on over-produced hip-hop songs meant to be radio hits. This sounds like 2008 version of “You Owe Me” and not in a good way. It’s also funny listening to Nas’ “I’m rich!” raps in lieu of his troubles with Kelis

“I Won’t Be Left” by Tegan and Sara: I can’t remember who introduced me to Tegan and Sara first, Sheila or Grey’s Anatomy.  I saw them perform last Spring and they were great.  It was more fun for their conversations and stories between songs than the songs themselves.

“Operation Lock Down” by Heltah Skeltah: This reminds me of NYU when Boot Camp Clik was the shit. I didn’t really appreciate Sean Price’s (a.k.a Ruck) lyrics then but now I realize he was always great. I always thought Rock would be the one to blow up.  Shows you what I know.

“This Is Me” by Juelz Santana: Talk about a crew who flamed out quickly.  The Diplomats were never overflowing with talent but they seemed to just put out so much music that it appeared they were prolific. I’m not sure how good I actually think Juelz is. He may just one-eyed man in the blind kingdom of Dipset. However, this song sucks and am deleting it.

“I Am” (featuring Jazmine Sullivan) by Kindred The Family Soul: How ironic! The very song I mentioned first hearing about Jazmine Sullivan.  The first time I saw Kindred, a bunch of Okayplayers piled into my car and we drove to D.C. for a Black Lily. That was the first night I met Kristy who would become one of my best friends ever. But I also remember getting pissed because a) my friends wouldn’t get their asses together to leave and b) that I drove the whole way back by myself while everyone slept. Fuckers.

“Birthday Girl” (featuring Patrick Stump) by The Roots: I still think not releasing this as a single was a huge mistake.  I know the Okayplayers/hip-hop purists scoffed at this song but I liked it.  It was definitely an attempt at a crossover hit but I don’t think it compromised what The Roots are about too much. Maybe because I also like Fall Out Boy.  Also, I wouldn’t have minded seeing the video with porn star Sasha Grey get some airplay.

“Heaven” by Jamie Foxx: Am I the only one who thinks Jaime Foxx isn’t that great a singer?  It was a novelty at first: “Oh look it’s a comedian/actor who can carry a tune and sing some jokes.”  But now this guy is a full-fledged R&B star. A slow song like this works to his strengths but in general, he’s average.

“Signs” (featuring Charlie Wilson and Justin Timberlake) by Snoop Dogg: This song will forever be associated with my trip to Amsterdam.  So when Derreck and Eric arrived, I had already been in England for a week so I was used to the time difference.  But every morning, they wouldn’t get up until Noon and I would wake up at 9-10 AM.  I would shower, get dressed, go out and get pancakes, come back to the hotel and watch TV until they got up and dressed.  There was one music video channel and there were only five music videos that they played that were in English and this video was one of them.  In five days, I saw this video at least 12 times. By the time, I left Amsterdam, I despised this song.


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