music for a good mood

December 17, 2008 § 2 Comments

jean grae: keep living

some songs live with you.   i have had itunes for more than 4 years and this song has never lost its first place position.  this was the song i listened to in palestine, congo, mexico, virginia, minnesota, and chicago.  it is the song that i walk to– down the street no matter the continent.  it stays on repeat.

now why does this song put me in a good mood?  i guess because i believe in survival.  and it reminds me that no matter how bad things gets ‘out there’ those of us who are scrappy, who hustle, who are creative, who know how to survive, will do so…yeah they are destroying the money supply in this country.  the dollar is losing value.  a capitalism in crisis and even the capitalists dont know how to deal with it.  but its like claire huxtable said when she was asked about the ‘black’ perspective during the Depression: we learned that misery doesnt enjoy company.  (i love the ambiguity of her response)…in other words, welcome to our world…

tupac: dear mama

when i was in highschool, tupac was murdered.  the first thing i loved about tupac was his eyelashes. crush.  in the eastern congo and ethiopia in 2005 barbershops were playing tupac on their cd players.  and murals of he, bob marley, and che, a trinity of the brown and black ghettos and shanty towns, were splayed on white washed buildings.  it is amazing how he has become a global third world icon.  all three of these saints are complex figures.  neither pure angels nor devils.

lil mama: lip gloss

aza had just been born.  she was riding in the back seat in her lil car seat as we cruised through our minneapolis neighborhood on a warm afternoon.  giggling. two years later it still puts me in a good mood.  and since lip gloss is usually the only kind of make up i wear (much to my mother’s chagrin), i know how important a good lip gloss is.  it is a song that always makes me want to dance…how could i not?  and aza dancing to the song is beyond cute.

binary star: reality

Maybe you should grab a telescope to see my veiw its like astronomy
It aint all about economy
so the fact that these wack emcees is making G’s don’t bother me
Honestly, my number one policy is quality
never sell my soul is my philosophy

suheir hamad: first writing since

i listened to this everyday for months in 2003. i was living in a warehouse space that we had converted into a community theatre and art gallery.  it was so cold.  and we burnt lil space heaters, dragged them around from room to room to stay something close to warm.  someone made me a mixtape of spoken word artists and this was one of the first tracks.  i dont remember the other poems because this one stood out so starkly against the bravado of slam poets and dingy mc’s.  it was this poem that inspired me to go to palestine later that year.  ‘the only people who know how we are feeling right now are in the west bank and the gaza strip…’

affirm life affirm life we have got to carry each other right now

you are either with life or against it

affirm life.


update: how could i have forgotten this?  silly mama…

m.i.a.: paper planes

i can listen to this allday…pirates skulls and bones sticks and stones and weed and bones…

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