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And the Beat Goes On…

Author: Kristel Dion

A little-known fact about me, I love music like genuinely good music! My mom started me out early at the age of 3 or 4 years old and I learned to play the piano. Yes, I can still read some music thanks to my elementary school in South Dallas, Texas. In my day, the arts were pushed heavily so authentic music and dance are all I know. Now beat machines are cool but there is nothing like piano keys, drums trumpets or violins.  It makes the music genuine and for me, it adds a beat to my rhythm, kinda like a soundtrack to my day. The right music puts you in a good mood or gets through the toughest time. Music is universal, you can take one song play it all over the world and someone will know the lyrics. Sometimes the culture dictates what we should groove to, that’s where the culture fails me.

The other day, I was asked What am I not feeling about the current music that is played today and What am I currently listening to? You know trap music is cool for about 30 minutes or so… longer if it’s T.I. but after so long I can’t relate. I’ve made it out the hood mentality, I don’t consider myself ‘Bad and Boujee’ more like ‘Basic and Budgeting…’  If I can be honest, I’ve been broke too long to front like I got it like any of the lyrics that play over and over on the radio ( Thank God for Itunes, Google Play, and Sirius, etc). If you were honest with yourself, you’ve never cooked anything illegal in a crockpot, just the regular recipes from Pinterest. Music culture today will have you feeling like you don’t make enough money, keep you in the “hood mentality”, never experiencing real love, and all while keeping you’re trapped in unhealthy romances all because you got “trust issues” that should be addressed with a counselor. Nah, I’m absent when it comes to some of today’s trap-hop, it is the same thing over and over. In my opinion, the only ones that are staying true to the game are K.Dot, J. Cole and a few others. I’m missing the lyrical art of this game. Let’s not even talk about R&B, I miss songstresses like Anita Baker, Sade and Tamia. They could describe heartache or love in the most eloquent way without cursing or being vulgar. Instead, I am forced to listen to a combination of mistakes and melodies from a woman who never really loved herself in the first place. ( Pay attention to the lyrics! I’m not over exaggerating!) It’s oversaturated and sad. I wish artists would focus on the art instead of the mogul aspect. They can’t get a good melody out without shoving their shoe line or t-shirt line down my throat, not to mention the reality shows… Ummm yeah, it’s a distraction from the genuine gift they have. Again, oversaturated, sad and the culture vultures are eating it up.

What am I feeling?

Mr. Jukes– You’ve heard a sample of them on a commercial, but there is a whole album and I think it is pretty cool. Originating from the UK the album was released in July 2017 –  a collaborative album with artist features such as Lalah Hathaway, Alexandria, De La Soul and a host of others familiar artist. If I could describe the album I would say jazz-funk-R&B, a nice bowl of musical gumbo. You will like something from the album, if not all of it. My favorites from the album are the popular “Grant Green,” “Somebody New” and “Ruby.”

RC & The Gritz– One of my local favorites, I’ve watched this group develop and perfect their craft. They started about 2004 created by Dallas native R. C. Williams.  Initially, they began as Erykah Badu’s band and have taken a name of their own. If I got faith in anything hip hop, it would be them. “Pay Your Tab,” “Leave Me Alone” and “Hush” are just a few that will have you grooving and governing yourself accordingly. Although they have only two albums, Pay Your Tab and The Feel, quality rules over quantity any day! The music is timeless and sounds fresh. You notice something different every time. I do my best cooking to this music. LOL! You can find them on the Instagram or FB creating new music, rehearsing or getting ready for a performance. That’s always a plus especially if you are always working or can’t seem to step away to enjoy a night of music.

Other than my normal playlist Sade (who has a song on the A Wrinkle in Time Soundtrack) Anita Baker ( who is rumored to have a tour coming into play) Tamia and a few other artists. Mr. Jukes and RC & The Gritz currently have my attention. By the way, this is just my two cents on music. I have no degree in music theory, however, I know a little about music… I know that there is more to it than just what we are hearing on the radio. The art should be studied more, the artist should actually take their time, experience life, give us something that we can relate too! Bring back good music!

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R.C. and the Gritz