By Mahbuba Matovu
The moment I watched Joe’s cover of Adele’s dominating hit, Hello, an unexplainable chill rushed through my veins as I was reminded of an RnB icon left in the 90’s. The smoothness of his vocal cords across the lyrics of a song he didn’t even write, had me feeling angry at myself for forgetting what I wanted music to mean to me.
I couldn’t decide whether to drown in how beautiful he sounded, or wonder why he had been scrapped off the music scene for so long. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed him. His voice, his style, his emotion. It was the perfect Adele cover.
Soon the video was over and I went into a Joe-phase, playing Good Girls, Stutter, and Thank God I found You over and over again.
Today’s ratchetness in the form of music has engulfed me so much, that I haven’t realized how much I have missed the good old songs that made me appreciate audible art.
Where are the artists that used to put out good songs…not cool one’s, but good ones? Where are the artists that run the chats in the 90’s and early 2000’s? Where’s Lauryn Hill, where’s Tamia, where’s the dude who sang Sexy Cinderella, WHERE IS CRAIG DAVID?
There are times when I feel stuck in a world where it’s Rihanna or die. Of course I love Riri, but every now and then, I want to be all up in my feelings, and “work work work work work work” doesn’t cut it.
There is such a deficit of music that moves your soul, music whose words will reach your heart and run deep in your mind, and say out loud the truth you’re too afraid to face…real music. No wonder the world is obsessed with Adele. She is singing the songs people never want to stop playing.
I know a lot of these artists still produce music, some even with recent albums. But the way life works nowadays, you have to look for them to find out about an album release or a concert tour. My question is what are these artists missing, that Riri and the rest of them have mastered?
Justin Bieber could say nonsense on a record, and that song will find you in any hole you buried yourself in. You will be at your father’s funeral, thinking the last words he would hear before pouring the soil would be, May the Good Lord be with you, and right after you say “Amen”, some fool’s ringtone will go off and your dear father’s last words will be Is it too late to say sorry now, followed by a reggae-tone session.
So to Lauryn Hill and the rest of them, even though I can shamelessly drop all the lyrics of Fetty Waps’s 679, I just want to let you know that when my feelings creep up, and my heart opens, it’s you I run to. Not Rihanna, not Beyoncé (yes I said it), you Joe, you Tony Braxton, you Craig David. You’ve got to remind me you exist.
Miley Cyrus said it herself; she got undressed so that more people could listen to her music. I’m not asking y’all to get naked. All I’m saying is stop marketing yourselves to people that already love you. Book a performance on Good Morning America, not 106 & Park. Skip the Soul Train Awards and present a Grammy to Katy Perry. Collaborate with Drake, not with Meek Mill (shade intended). Be in our faces for goodness sake.
Till next time.