“Humdi Lila, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Dios, Ma’at, Jah, Rastafara, Fire, Dance, Sex, Music, Hip Hop…”
This morning’s song battled for another in my head, but they’re from the same album. This particular songs music took over in my dreams and colored it with pretty red sashes and gold trims and decorative gold jewelery dangling from foreheads and waistlines. It’s a very calming and motivating song all at once. Her lyrics are wonky… but if you really try to see where she’s coming from – they’re not all weird. The words go on to explain how Hip Hop is bigger than religion and I feel where Erykah’s coming from. Reminding all that I’m not a huge proponent of RELIGION per se. But I’ll support a strong spiritual link and engagement with your maker (whatever you call him / her / it). To those that were there from the very beginning – or for those whose perspective on life was altered as a result, Hip Hop gave them something new to believe in and was definitely a force to be reckoned with. Yes. I said “was”. I’m one of THOSE types. There isn’t too much more insight I can give into the song beyond encouraging folks to listen.
This song does call to mind another mingling of ideologies to blend them for musical (social) purposes. I’ll forewarn — hearing this song AFTER knowing Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise is difficult at first… but only at first. Once you get a taste of the original, you’re hooked and the gangter’s nirvana becomes a distant faded memory. Stevie began in the homeland with the constant gourd shaker then took essential classical strings and married them to the conga drum and laid it all on a bed of hare krishna chants and bells clanging in conjunction with the shaker and all the while a gospel choir sings “We Shall Over Come” — and beyond all that, his words call out the injustices people wield onto one another. You really? don’t get artists who take THAT MUCH TIME to get one point across. Stevie got you at many angles – subconsciously if you’re one of those types that only listens to the music and not the words and right up front with the wording. After peeling back the layers and listening to how he brought it all together, Stevie solidified his position as one of my top 3 favorite artists of all time.
Finally the song I mentioned earlier that was jocking for position in my head with Erykah’s Healer was off the same New Amerykah album. Makes sense that they were coupled together because it’s the immediate next song. It’s called “Me”. Very deeply insightful song for her. Not overly adventurous musically – but she opens up her heart and pours out her feelings about growing older, her body changing, raising children from different fathers, being in the public eye. And to those who may find her “strange” they get a glimpse of her being quiet normal and introspective.
I guess we can look for the Healer anywhere we want. But it’s always something we end up finding in ourselves. Good to know that you never have to go too far…
— afterword… I published this post and looked at the date. 9/9/09. And read that “Baha’ism: A religion founded by “Baha’ U’llah” (“Mirza Husayn Ali”) in 1863 in Iran, with the desire “to unite mankind into one religion kingdom” and for them – “Number 9?, is their symbol of unity and stands for the 9 manifestations of God to Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Hare Krishna, Bab, and Baha’… Bab was the precursor of Baha’, like another John the Baptist. Their temples have 9 sides, 9 pillars, 9 gates, 9 fountains.”