Saturday, March 8, 2008

You'll never catch me in a Gucci suit...I'll be in my cowboy boots

I think it was either my mom or Ben Roller that once said: "It's not easy being a trend setter." It was never my intention to get everybody to follow my blogging ways...but coincidentally that is exactly what's happened. But instead of taking the Vince McMahon approach of having a longstanding policy of never acknowledging the competition, I have have read what the "Others" (nice Lost reference) have wrote, and have enjoyed them for the most part. I also think that what I have started to a certain extent is a good thing, because everybody should have the opportunity to express their thoughts and views on any particular subject while supplementing their own experiences.

I'm a big quote guy and whenever I hear a good one, I write it down. I have a notebook with pages stacked deep of ideas and quotes that I have accrued (great word) over the years. I usually keep these to myself instead of sharing every single saying/inside joke/funny moment on my Facebook wall that I see so often from my peers. But I will share this one with you because it ties in so well with the blog frenzy. One of my all-time favorites is from a renowned novelist named James A. Michener who states: "It is the moral obligation of every individual to put themselves through the process of chronicling their existence, regardless of the perceived value of their lives." I will write a book someday, in the meantime - this is just practice.

That not withstanding, I would like to welcome you back to the controversy that is blog nation. This isn't the place for flash and flare, and I'll never attest to having the greatest website appearance. Outside of being able to find the home row, I'm not too computer savvy. There was once a time where I had to have my roommate literally log in for me and show me how to post an update, but I've got that figured out now. And I've figured it out just in time to talk about my favorite flavor of music, or more specifically - The Best kind of music. Yee-Haw! - That's right...I said it. Why you ask? Well saddle up partner, I'll tell ya.

I do have to admit however that it hasn't always been about country for me. Throughout my life, I have been somewhat of chameleon when it comes to preferences in music. My earliest memories of music dates back to the first CD I ever received. At the time, I was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, and none of the music on the radio ever interested me. To me, it was all about one album...and that was the hot new Deion Sanders CD with his tracks: "Prime Time Keeps Tickin" and "Must be the Money" - undoubtedly classics. The Jock Jams stage that I was in eventually allowed me to segue into the gangsta rap phase of life. My mother appeared to be a little skeptical when I casually slipped the Coolio CD into her shopping cart on a routine trip to Target. The parental advisory slogan was a big red flag but I assured her that "Gangsta's Paradise" didn't have a single curse word in it, so there's no way any of the other songs did either. I later found out (and I didn't know this at the time), but apparently they do this thing on the radio where they actually edit out all the bad parts of the song or else it wouldn't be able to reach the airwaves - sorry mom, my mistake.

Overall, I feel like I have faded out of this phase and I generally can't tolerate the vast majority of rap music nowadays. It's not because I fancy myself as a moralist, but mostly because I've become so stagnated (great word) with all of it. All they do is talk about how much shit they have - it just gets so old. I'd like somebody to come out with a rap song titled: "We're happy for you." I think it'd be a number one hit. C'mon you MC's, work with me, TRY to relate to me. Talk about things that I MIGHT experience on a daily basis. Maybe, just maybe, I'll start paying attention.

The other thing that discourages me about the rhymers nowadays is I've noticed a common trend of rifling the hooks from popular songs in order to create your own masterpiece. Cash still rules everything around me and 50 is telling Kanye to go ahead and switch the style up. And it's just a little disappointing because strong supporters of the rap game would argue that the one thing that sets it apart is that it exemplifies the highest level of lyrical creativity and improvisation. But all I'm hearing is the same thing over and over again - Are we running out of ideas? Let me give you another example - Mr. T-Pain "Buy you a drink," which I honestly consider to be great song, but I am now starting to realize why it is so good. Probably because the thing entire is composed of references. Let's count em:

"Snap yo fingers, and do your step" -Lil' Jon
"I got money in the bank" -Scrappy
"Walk it out" -Unk
"On the patrone, you should get like me" -Yung Joc

Now there very possibly could be more, I'm not a great rap mind. But apparently the formula for droppin a hot joint merely consists of stealing someone else's ideas and considering them your own. It's kinda like the way I tell jokes.

And if you think it's a race thing, no no no sir - that's not why rap music is not at the top of my charts. Because although country music is my number one, I do have a pecking order for my favorite genres: 1) Country, 2) Soul, 3) Rock and Roll. See numero 2 there...Soul baby! I think it was either Bobby Brown or Ben Franklin that once said: "Country and soul comes from the same place." I consider Soul to be my feel good music, and and I have the tendency to throw James Brown, Temptations, Sly and the Family Stone, Al Green, Bill Withers, and of course Stevie Wonder in the mix on occasion.

But when it all comes down to it, for me, Country music is by far running away with the number one spot and all the other genres are just little specs in the rear view mirror. Although I don't exactly have the statistics in front of me, I would argue that Country music is also the number preference in America. It's popularity is so widespread across so many different age groups that whether you're 10 years old or you're my grandma - you can get into it. And that is the only thing that every other genre has going against them: They can only relate to one static, clearly defined demographic. I can't relate to rap artists because I'm not a millionaire, I can't relate to punk music because I'm not a reject, and I can't relate to heavy metal because I'm not psychotic (I love you Patch). All of these genres collectively relate to maybe 1% of the entire U.S. population. Now however, that's not to say you cannot enjoy the sounds of these types of music, but if the vast majority of the people who listen to these genres think that the lyrics of these songs are a reflection of them, then you're fooling yourself.

Why wouldn't you want your music to be a reflection of you? I've always felt that the power of music transcends everything - to the point where two people could disagree on absolutely everything, but if they enjoy similar kinds of music, they'd get along just fine. Music can do that like nothing else can. When it comes down to me, I don't know what it's like to make it rain those hoes, I've never robbed the jewerly store and told them to make me some grillz, and I'm definitely not arrogant enough to think that people should be honored by my lateness (are you kidding me Kanye).

But conversely: Busting my back for every dollar that I make, Miscounting all the beers you drink, Going back to the feeling of the 50 yard line, Taking a girl down to river with a $6 bottle of wine, Being a fool trying to play it cool, Growing up too fast, Seeing coolers in the back with tailgates down, and Watching my friends as they make me laugh are those simple, feel good things in life that I and everybody else can relate to. Country music has always been about simple pleasures, simple songs, and simple messages. When you have all of that combined with a great sound, you've truly got a work of art. I've always felt that the greatest artists in general are those who can express their talent while simultaneously telling a great story. And that's the true essence of country music: Great musicians who are also great storytellers - unparalleled to any other genre, and that's what set's it apart.

Although there may not be too many We-Fest tickets remaining, there's plenty of room on the bandwagon so feel free to hop on. Join the rest us who share the common interest of "liking it Country." Meet us out in the outskirts, you'll see a big fire burning but don't be alarmed, it's just country boys and girls gettin down on the farm.

In closing, I would like to say that this is a blog that has been waiting in the bullpen for a while now, and it kind of received a forced finish. I have big plans for my next edition, I want to make sure everything on it is perfect before it's release in a couple of weeks. It covers a topic that means a great deal to me, and hopefully will help you understand what would cause a guy to wanna travel 1,500 miles to Orlando, Florida.

No comments: