Marvin Gaye’s question “What’s Going On?” seems to be lost in the lack of dignity and purpose in music other than to get a hit single and now that person is the most popular idea and identity. Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” song was great and interesting and makes us all feel as though we could possibly be happy but the scores we see played out in Chicago in terms of African American deaths, scores of HIV, the scores of domestic violence, and the scores of prison population might speak to songs that allow us to look at who we are. Pastor Charles Jenkins has created a wonderful song “My God is Awesome” so there is some possibility over the last couple of years that songs are decent.
We look forward to hearing something new from Erykah Badu, maybe she can bring us through. We also look for something different so that we don’t have a boss who has an industrial payroll. The creation of new music and music that is moving, that touches our souls is struggling to be seen. The artists that we do see make a name for themselves because they are marketing cologne and perfume like Nicki Minaj. We look forward to a new record from Rihanna so that’s a possibility. We also look forward to a community that can sing something intelligent and that will motivate us to have a cause. Maybe a song titled “I Will Not Kill My Brothers” or “I Won’t be the One to Shoot You” or maybe a song called “I Ain’t Going to Gang Bang.”
The summer is going to be hot and we hope that based on the lack of opportunities still in the community that music and Black Music Month begin to have a meaning, begin to issue a call to action for us to come to come together as a people, to celebrate each other, to love each other, and to know we can make music that is loving. I love holding my kids, I love holding my daughter, I love the fact that my daughter graduated and my and her momma didn’t get along but we got along enough to get her through school and her brother too so now we have two graduates. What are you going to do? Maybe a song like “We Left the Club,” “We Shook It Up; You See Our Family Just Graduated,” “We Can Do Great Things Each and Every Day But Our Family Chose to Graduate Hip, Hop, Hooray.”
We want to graduate from juvenile music that was left in the ’90s when Versace was the rage and people didn’t know what designer wear was. Now we’re thinking about Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs; it’s not clear to me why for Tom Ford hasn’t made a donation to the UNCF or NAACP, but we sing songs about how great this designer is. It’s not his fault, but we need to blame those who induce others to check out or buy merchandise from people who really don’t love you. Let’s sing a song that makes us happy today. Keep a song in our hearts. Whatever you do, let’s not keep a destructive song that causes us to harm our brother or sister.