Because I Was Wrong
I consider myself a very open-minded individual when it comes to most aspects of life, but you must know I am very stubborn as well. This week I watched the documentary “Tim’s Vermeer” which I highly recommend to anyone who has fallen in love with the practice of making things, be it art, buildings or mix-tapes or is a skeptic of everything. This film forced me to see Johannes Vermeer, one of the most famous high realism painters in history as an inventor rather than a man of his artistic craft. This idea of taking something or someone familiar and forcing yourself to shift your views on the topic is something that everyone should do on a regular basis. You are intelligent and therefore you deserve to have your beliefs insulted in order to grow as a person; this is what rap and r&b did for me.
I was a hater and I thought that the only form of artistic, non-bullshit guzzling music out there fell somewhere within the hazy spectrum of indie rock and electronica. You see I used to listen to r+r&b when I was just entering puberty but I quickly shed that skin and decided that I was just trying to fit in with the people that my Hispanic parents assumed I would be friends with which including some of the only Latina girls I have ever met. Once I was in high school, I wanted to be different and I was but I cut out many of the things I loved in order to allow for myself to “grow” or whatever the hell I thought I was doing. The truth is that I thought I was better than my old self, that I had leave my old behaviour because it no longer reflected me. I will be twenty in March and let me make this clear, I WAS WRONG. By forcing myself to be myself, I abandoned who I was in search for someone better.
I use to see music to escape my body when I was in pain so I don’t think it comes as any surprise that my orange iPod Chromatic contained MGMT, Pheonix, Neon Trees, Kings of Leon, Owl City, Paramore, LIGHTS, The Script and other similar artists. Most of these people were hitting it big, yet I felt pride in thinking I was differing from the Billboard Top 100. In reality most of my list consists of artists that had at least on hit on the charts in 2010 and that doesn’t change their merit as I once thought…see where this is going?
I had no clue what I was doing and then I grew up. I consider 2012 to be the year that changed my life, I was sixteen and at a new school. I lost many of my friends whom I have probably not been in contact with since then and I knew no one so again I turned to music but this time I really did find what I had been hoping for. I started borrowing CDs from the library and picking them in bundles of 20 at a time. I probably listened to 150 albums that summer and these were artists I had never heard. It truly opened my eyes to the music industry and the good taste of my local librarians.
But it always starts with a beautiful girl, right?
One of the classes I enjoyed to my core was my art class. All my new friends were in this class, I had an amazing teacher and I had enough angst in me to cover a painting I had worked on for a week straight with white primer because I was too afraid to ask for extra time. Yeah, it was a rough time but I wanted to understand the people I was seeing everyday, especially that beautiful girl I realized I had been judging. So I did what any curious person would and I put myself in her musical shoes. Boy did that teach me a lesson. Turns out she has also done some musical exploring herself and we share a love for both Kendrick Lamar and Tame Impala now. I feel I understand her and what she was possibly going through at the time so much better now.
Thanks to the likes of SZA, Tei Shi, The Weekend, Schoolboy Q, Tupac, BANKS, Sonreal, and many more I have thrown out that hateorade and appreciate the lyricism and wit that is so evident in these genres I abandoned so readily.
I leave you with three songs you should give a shot