Sunday, July 10, 2011

Forever Young

I was listening to some of the artists that I record today and I thought about how easily their music would be to market because it's very easy to understand. The lyrical content isn't super-dense or anything but they ride the beat well and the punchlines make the song entertaining. Then I started thinking about some of my favorite artists through time and across genres and most of them, albeit had decent careers and were blessed with longevity, remained in obscurity until they began to make "crossover" music. This is a conversation that I have with a good friend of mine all the time. If you're trying to communicate a message to the masses through your music, then it is only effective if the masses can comprehend it. And it HAS to be jamming. Information wrapped in a tortilla shell of entertainment is the only way many people will consume it. Even Jesus used parables to spread the Word of God to Jews and Gentiles. One moment I'll feel compelled to push myself artistically and make something so complex that it has to be deciphered and studied just so that the listener will feel challenged by my art. The next moment, i just want to present my message in the simplest form possible so that people will respond to it and understand it. I know that the main purpose of creating art is not to appease the fans but to express myself so that I don't go insane. But won't I be even more likely to go insane if I create what I believe to be a masterpiece and it's completely overlooked by the people who it's intended to reach?

Anyway, after my satisfaction with the story joint from my last album "Bedtime Story," I decided to write another song that once again delves into the psychological and emotional turmoil that young people encounter in a quest for knowledge of self and a sense of place in the world. The name of the track is "Forever Young" and it's about an unnamed girl in her late-teens, early-twenties who is trying to escape from the harsh realities of her existence and a young man named Bobby who has been given a second chance to escape the justice system and find himself and his manhood by striking out on his own. (Don't ask me where these stories come from because I have no idea, lol.) The song came about through a series of power naps and divine inspiration. I took a nap in my room with my iTunes shuffle on and I woke up to this old soul song that I like a lot. Something about hearing the intro this time made me want to sample it so I did. I made a little skeleton of a beat with it and while I was trying to figure out what to add next, I fell asleep. Then I woke up again and had an idea for the first few lines but wasn't sure if it was gonna be a love song or what. Eventually I just decided to make it a story joint and the plot just came to me. I don't know how. So here's the song. I'll admit, the hook is kinda lazy but I didn't want to do anything too complex (or maybe I'm just saying that as an excuse for doing a lazy hook, lol).

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