The Soundtrack of My Life

the music that keeps me going…

Growing Pains

Its always awesome to me when I hear back to back songs that provide inspiration to blog. Today was one of those mornings. I also have one song in particular running through my head, its a sad song (yall know how I love my sad songs) and I really don’t want to speak that into existence so I’m holding that one close for the moment. So as I began thinking about what to write, what to share–and it came to me! Mary never lets me down.

from her 8th Studio album, Growing Pains, which features quite a few songs I enjoy–this one in particular spoke to me today

Some lyrics:

Life can be difficult.
No one promised that it would be…
(No one promised it would be sunshine all the time)
Sunshine all the time, easy.
Some pain is guaranteed.
But it ain’t impossible.
You can find the joy, you see.
Took me a while but I did finally.
Open your eyes and you will see I’m just like you…

Now obviously I’m not a celebrity, so certain aspects of the song don’t relate to me, but one thing that relates to us all is that we are all growing and progressing.

Just like you sometimes I get down.
Sometimes I just wanna cry.
Sometimes I get depressed.
And just like me, tryna be complete.
Just understand we’re all just a work in progress.

I thought the title of the song and album itself is fitting because I think at several stages in life we tend to go through growing pains. I can feel something big stirring and I know as I prepare myself for what’s next in my life there will be some sort of learning curve and probably some pains along with it. But I welcome the unknown and while I tend to have anxiety about certain things–mostly things I can’t control–I also feel at peace at knowing I am strong enough to handle whatever comes my way. Joy vs. happiness has been a recurring theme in my life this week, and I’m paying attention to that. If any of you are going through those growing pains also, know that we will make it through. Just felt like sharing…

now lets cue up “Just Fine” 🙂

“…Keep your head up high
In yourself, believe in you, believe in me
Having a really good time, I’m not complaining
And I’m a still wear a smile if it raining…”

Happy Hump Day!


Necessary Commentary, Pt. 2: Love Songs

Part 2 of Necessary Commentary: Love Songs

Reecie: “Mary’s Joint” I think actually fits well as a follow up to Badu. If the term “recovering undercover over lover” was thought of in 1994, I’m sure Mary would’ve stamped it as her title as well.

LaBakir: She sure would’ve.  It took that woman a minute to get over K-Ci.  I’ve actually have no recollection of ever hearing this song.  The production is classic 90’s R&B.  Especially the  percussion.

Reecie: “I know that you’re just a man, but you’re all the man I need…” from the opening line, I want to throw my hands in the air. As we all know that My Life is Mary’s most coveted release by her fans, dating back to a tumultuous time in her life. We can speculate that every single song is about her off and on again relationship with K-Ci from Jodeci. The type of destructive, confusing, intense love that many of us may not have experience to that extent, but still we can relate. This CD came out when I was in high school, and you couldn’t tell me back then that everything was REAL and deep and so SERIOUS. lol. Every relationship was! ha.

LaBakir: Mary definitely makes that hand waving music.  Although this is one of her more laid back songs vocally, the lyrics are still very “real”.

Reecie: Even still as an adult I revisit these songs and they are still relevant in my life. I like this song because its one of the most underrated on the CD, but lyrically it’s so telling, so pleading. “You promised that you never would cheat or lie, lie to me, don’t lie to me babe. And you promised that you’d trust and believe in me, please believe in me”

LaBakir: If her repetition isn’t a sign of her sincerity, I don’t know what is.

Why can’t we work it out? My baby can we try? You said our love would always stand the test of time.” At the end of the song for almost two minutes those lyrics are repeated.  I think it displays her desperation and the craziness she was experiencing at the time.  She wants answers that she probably won’t get.  But when you’re experiencing that crazy kind of love, you’ll keep trying… and repeating until you’re blue in the face.

Reecie: Mary has never been the best singer to me, but she’s my favorite female artist simply because of the raw emotion. She’s begging him and trying to convince herself at the same time. She wants to go, but no. She’s gonna wait. Yes. She’s willing to wait for him to come to his senses. To remember the things he’s told her–they will move forward together. Even better than before. This sometimes works, but almost always doesn’t. Even still, she’s hopeful because it just hurts too much not to be.

LaBakir: It’s as if the pain and hurt (although toxic) was so familiar to her…she’d rather stay around and try to change that than leave and explore other options.  As a Taurus, I can relate to that type of stubborn resilience…but sometimes you just gotta know when to let it burn.  Not everybody is worth your efforts, ya know?

Reecie: Now moving on to more romantic side of love. First of all, I think Tamia is extremely underrated. Ever since I first heard her on Q’s Jook Joint I’ve been a fan of her voice. This song is syrupy sweet to me. I think it’s a good wedding song, even though it describes everything about a relationship up until that point (the good things). I mean how can you not LOVE “When it comes to you I wouldn’t change a thing, I wouldn’t even change the things I could change. Cause baby you’re perfect, perfect to me. Simply means that you are perfect for me. You’re the answer to a prayer I haven’t prayed….”

LaBakir: This is my first time hearing this song as well.  And syrupy is an understatement. The lyrics will give you diabetes.  It’s definitely an over-the-top kind of love song.  Sort of unrealistically beautiful, ya know?  I mean this chick is head over heels with dude and definitely has created some well thought out scenarios.  But that’s what love will do to ya.

Reecie: “You’re the answer to a prayer I haven’t prayed?!” Whooo baby! That’s something special right there. From beginning to end, this song does it for me. But what can I say, I’m a hopeless romantic.

LaBakir: I can be a hopeless romantic as well Reecie.  But I must say, I’m not impressed with Tamia’s vocals.  I KNOW she can sang.  “You Put a Move on My Heart” is the perfect example.  Or the joint with Eric Benet “Spend My Life with You”. I just wish she would’ve displayed more of her talent instead of this Janet Jackson-esque singing.  I think it would’ve added a little more “substance” to the lyrics.  On second thought I suppose her vocals compliment the production. #shrug

Reecie: This song speaks on many “firsts” of a relationship. The giddy things that are part of “The Newness” tm Eric Roberson. The first kiss, the first time someone says ‘I love you’, the first time meeting the parents, etc. I know that we all have been enthralled with the newness at some point or another, but this takes it a step further only because it’s like she’s having a premonition–or maybe its just wishful thinking. The cynic in me (I’m a Libra, so there’s that conflict) thinks she’s kinda being presumptuous. “I hope that it’s the last first time I say I love you. Hope that it’s the last first, time you say you love me too” I mean all that? But yeah. ALL.THAT. I am also at a point in my life that I don’t really date for fun/leisure so “If you just wanna kick it, then you’re wasting my time, cause my plan is to not just have a hit and quit” suits me perfectly. But I do believe there is some space between THAT, and being betrothed, but that’s me!

LaBakir: Ha! Whether wishful thinking or well thought out scenarios, she definitely paints a picture. Call her Picasso.  But seriously, as you kind of touched on…it seems as though she’s getting a little too far a head of herself.  Though the sentiment is sweet and kind, the lyrics never elude to how her man feels.

And I can totally relate to “If you just wanna kick it, then you’re wasting my time,cause my plan is to not just have a hit and quit”. I’m at a point where I’m not interested in any games, yet I’m not trying to marry the first man that comes along.

Reecie: Also because I’m a geek, I try to imagine Tamia singing this to Grant Hill.

LaBakir: *giggles* I can see her singing to him too.  This is definitely a wonderful wedding song, but not something to play for your dude while still in the dating phase.  It may send him running for the hills. Lauren Conrad.

The end.

Good times! What do you think about my choices? Are you familiar with them? I literally sorted my iPod and pulled them from the top played songs played. I had to resist not using any Raheem DeVaughn, since I play so much of his stuff.

Asking for your favorite love songs would be too broad (I’m sure we call could go on forever and ever) but maybe others from the artists we featured: Jackson 5, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige & Tamia? Let me know in the comments. 🙂


No One Will Do…

so I had an MJB session yesterday. I was reading about the progression of her work and her life and overall growth and was a bit inspired to listen to her music–it doesn’t take much inspiration being that I LOVE HER. I’m STILL not feeling Stronger with Each Tear…and to be honest I’ve put it down, who knows when I’ll “pick it back up” for another listen.

Anyway, a lot of people say they miss old Mary, her new music sucks and she has to be going thru hell to make good music. I disagree. One of my earlier posts on this blog featured two of my favorite songs from Growing Pains, “Roses” and “Hurt Again” The latter song is still one that I have added to my growing list of Mary’s greats.  At the time it came out I was right in that place in my romantic life and it really articulated some of my thoughts and my actions.

But this song right here today? this is another great song, from Breakthrough. Many people that hated all of her albums from Mary on, loved this one–it had huge commercial success and from this point on folks were like “Mary is back.” It was her CD that kinda captured the type of sound that many felt were missing on No More Drama & Love & Life.

And I know you’ve heard before
These same old metaphors
My love is so much more
I don’t wanna change it
I don’t wanna do without ya baby
Cause he’s just above the rest
I must confess the best
Love that I’ve ever had
And I just gotta let you know this…

Don’t let ‘em tell you nothing different
You’re the only one I’m needing
I don’t want no one but you
Baby no one will do
And what they say don’t even matter
They don’t know what I know about ya
I don’t want no one but you
Baby no one will do

It’s me and him through the wire
Cause when it comes to love he delivers
My personal UPS
I’m sending him an SOS
That I love him and I want him
And don’t wanna replace him with nobody else
I’ma keep holding on
I’ma keep the loving strong….

Don’t want nobody, I don’t want nobody
You’re the only one for me boo…

This song also has the same melody as one of my favorite Ne-Yo songs “Get Down Like That”

and this song will forever make me smile.

funny how revisiting my old post, this is the song that I linked at the end…everything comes full circle.


But the answer lies in me….

“I just want to be so, so happy…but the answer lies in me.

happiness to me is……

baked macaroni and cheese. yum. no seriously. it is. doesn’t that make you want to drool on your computer?!

I am happy. Why, because simply…..why not? not to get too spiritual on you all, but when we woke up this morning….somebody didn’t make it. think about that. being able to type this makes me happy because expressing myself is one way I unwind. listening to music is like breathing, so writing about that music is like….walking? hmm. I dunno. I’ve already posted about the greatness that is MJB, so I won’t go too much on a tangent about her, and moreso just the song. its one of my favorites. But I think its a favorite of most MJB fans, especially women. This song came out in….94. I can say with sincere honesty I was in the 8th grade. ponder on that. 8th.  and I’m pretty sure I thought I was in love with some boy,  that probably thought he loved me too. or maybe he didn’t, and I was sad about it. I thought all thru my HS years that this My Life CD was the soundtrack to my despair, my heartache…..Lord, I was a child! I didn’t know heartache! but that puppy love was real. 15 years later, that cd still moves me, but in a much more mature way. I understand that Mary was younger singing these songs than I am now. ponder on that too. she was about 23, singing on the pain in her heart. creating a soundtrack that soooooo many of us have identified with.  the song starts with the realest shit she possible ever sung. in life

“How can I love somebody else
If I can’t love myself enough to know
When it’s time,
Time to let go”

Now my girl doesn’t write these lyrics, but nobody sings them quite like she can.

if we all knew when to let go we probably wouldn’t deal with any of the people we deal with for any considerable amount of time. those that hurt us I mean. we cling to what’s familiar.

I’m not really gonna dig deep on this love yourself thing because, I’m not that type of blogger. I mean, I can give some great individual advice to those that need it, but I’m in a good mood and I don’t want to dwell on things that make me sad. thinking about people that don’t love themselves makes me sad. so I’ll just assume you all do. if you don’t…fake it til you make it. yahmen.

but I do feel that the answer lies within us because you know what makes you smile, makes you angry, makes you cry. you also know that sometimes you have NO CONTROL over when these feelings are gonna manifest. For example, I was having a great day yesterday and all of a sudden my feelings were hurt. I felt unappreciated, I started to doubt myself and I soon realized–I can only be me.  I realized that I have to change my attitude and not let what others do translate to how I feel about myself. Those that truly know me, love me. but even those people may hurt me without knowing it. I’ve already talked about human nature, so no need to dwell on that either.  bottom line is, I realized that knowing that I am a good worker, friend, daughter, sister, lover, and girlfriend makes me happy. knowing that I add value to and enrich the lives of people that do the same for me, makes me happy. even when others don’t identify with or understand that greatness that is ME, its okay. there are others that do,  and I recognize it in MYSELF. and that is enough.

I have spent some time having an argument in my head with an ex. i’m talking a old old ex. that sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? but its true. and argument based on things he posts online (I promise I’m not a e- stalker, these things are very public). comments that quite honestly make me feel sad for him.  sad and sorry because its obvious to me he doesn’t know love.  and as much as people like to pretend that love doesn’t matter, it does. and it always will. now I know you love your parents and your friends, but loving another person in a eros type of way…is different.

now I’m not saying single people are miserable, because thats NOT the case. But I don’t think he’s EVER been in love. with anyone. or even open to the idea of it. and of course if I say that to him, tell him my theory on how he hides behind his “toys”, the so much “fun” he has on his trips, being a “baller”, and on his go hard in the gym obtained physique…we will argue.  we will argue because nobody wants to be confronted on those type of things and honestly we are friendly, but not friends anymore so I really have no right to tell him what to do with his heart–how to stop being so cynical and bitter and just allow himself to fall in love. How despite his asshole ways he’s actually very smart and would have a lot to offer some nice woman. maybe. lol.  So when the thoughts pop in my head, I just smile and say to self  “thank you that that phase in my life is over and I know love, and I am not afraid to admit that.” I also believe when people show you who they are you should believe them. too bad back then I saw what I wanted to see, and didn’t realize how compatible we were NOT.  I am not afraid to be vulnerable because there is happiness in what comes out of that. I know its hard, and  of course I know I can be hurt, I know my love can turn to something else in the blink of an eye. but that’s okay too.  I’ll dust my shoulders off and do what I’ve been doing. striving for happiness and smiling! I know what it WON’T turn into is me shooting a man dead  in the head and chest while he is asleep! Sorry, I had to get that one out. I just had to!

“Life is too short
To be tryin to play some games
Now take some time and think about
If it’s really worth losing me”

replace “me” with anything else, and ask yourself is it really necessary to play games? to NOT just allow yourself  to be happy? now my happiness story is about relationships with people, I cherish the relationships of those close to me. but what is happiness to you? oh I sound so sappy. maybe its hormones…..

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