I am often reminded of my childhood every time I turn on the radio or hear songs being played on the TV or now on our tablets. Being incarcerated causes many of us to reflect about this and that all day and night. Reflect about the good and bad, happy and sad times. What makes these memories so special are as all reflections are attached to a time in your life, these particular thoughts are triggered by the music causing us to think about the people and places we use to hear them.
I’ma take you back to the 70’s, 77..Is when I discovered the eight track’s in the floor model cabinet stereo system in Nana’s house. Being 3 years old was the beginning of discovery, learning what this and that was. Questioning everything you see and hear, touching shit! You know in everything, everyday life was like a new adventure! I had these three eight tracks 2 are black and one is blue all of which have words that are foreign to me at this time written on them. I took them to Nana and asked her what they were? She said “8 tracks baby, you want to listen?” Shaking my head “Yes” Nana went to the stereo and put the blue one in the slot and my 3 year old ears heard something they had never heard before. A Man screaming really loud with horns and a piano playing fast and even louder than the horns… Little Richard singing Tootie Fruity was blaring out of the speakers and literally blew my mind. Stop Laughing!!! I became a Little Richard fan at that very moment and every chance I got I would go down the basement and listen to Good Golly Miss Molly, Lucille, Tootie Fruity and all his hits from the 60’s. Yup! Little Richard was the shit to me when I was 3 years old. Because of my initial introduction to music, I realized that as I grew older I paid attention to the music I heard in people’s cars and houses. I remember going over to Aunt Kai’s and Uncle Juma’s house and it seemed like every time I went over there they had Stevie Wonder playing, sometimes loud sometimes low in the background.
So every time I hear Stevie I think about them. Earth, Wind and Fire…Uncle Brad’s, Aunt Clarisse always played them. Anything by Teena Marie puts me right in Esther’s living room. Stephanie Mills always takes me to my moms friend Ranell’s house. Side over too my God Mom Claudette’s house and Jeffrey Osborne or Ltd would take you on a journey.. Ironically Claudette’s last name was Osborne, but neither her or her ex husband Jerome were related to Jeffrey. May they all Rest in Peace…
Trina, Trina, my young hearts biggest crush. I was 10 and she was 13 and she taught me how to slow drag to Debarge’s song A Dream in the summer of 1984 at one of them Birthday Block Parties they use to have on her block Independence street.
The funny thing about writing this is I realize that in my own house there isn’t any one song, artist or group that I can reflect on. My Mom loves music, but didn’t buy albums, tapes or CD’s. It was simple, whether in the house or in the car, it was WDAS. Remember the call sign back in the day Wuuu Deee A Ssss Fmmmm…If I change it to Power99, Chandra would put it right back to Das! Shit I remember the first time we went to the station, she knew Georgie Woods. Even 40+ years later I equate music and time from the 70’s until now I can relate a song, artist or group to a particular time in my life. Although I have been incarcerated for the last 25 years I still relate.
Can you relate? Do you remember the first time you heard a song or reminiscence about a time or place through music. Share your reflections, your thoughts…
Lastly, when I want to mentally get away from this depressing place I close my eyes and go back in time and press play. Recently I went back to the 90’s the last time I was home and all I could hear was, The Chronic, 36 Chambers, Ready To Die, Tical, Illmatic, all the classic albums from the early 90’s damn y’all I’m in the car, at the Plat or just chillin in the shop or the crib, just bobbin my head ya dig..