Let These Words Be The Colors, I’m Just Painting My Heart/I’m Knee Deep In The Game And It Ain’t What I Thought. – J. Cole
How fitting that the title of my blog and now first post, is about J. Cole. But before I dive right into my J. Cole-ness (my friend, Jon coined and dedicated this term to me), I should probably start, where most good stories do, at the beginning.
I’ve always listened to a lot of music, from the times I tagged along with my dad to the golf course with my sister’s walkman and tapes in hand (to entertain me for a looooong day of golf) to the times my sister, a family friend and I would lip sync and give a show to our parents of all of our favorite songs (TLC’s “Creep”, Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk?” and MoKenStef’s “He’s Mine” just to name a few). This, start of a love for music, later evolved into memorizing so many lyrics to songs that my dad would exclaim to me, “Why don’t you use the same technique you do to memorize all these lyrics and do it with your school work.” Well that didn’t change either, soon I was in high school…making my own CD mixes, playlists for friends, the music that my volleyball team would run out to (Lil Flip’s “The Way We Ball), and never forgetting to leave the house with out my portable CD player and headphones. I began downloading A LOT of music, spending hours sometimes in the “dungeon” at my cousin’s house and then volunteering to go with him anywhere he was going because I knew I could play the CDs that I had just made in his car that featured, what I thought to be a state of the art sound system — you could hear the car blocks away before you could actually see it. I’ll always remember one time we were driving past a Whole Foods playing Notorious B.I.G.’s feat. Junior Mafia “Player’s Anthem” and there was a guy outside the store nodding his head to our beat as we drove by. During high school, I lived for those moments.
Do you see a pattern yet? As the technology evolved, so did my means to getting and listening to music. I’m going to fast forward a bit and give you the short version…I’ve had iPods, a few laptops (some that crashed and lost all my music, but luckily I was able to transfer from iPod back to iTunes), an iphone, and a constant access to the internet — all of this is necessary for me to stay in tuned with my music (pun intended).
The first song I ever heard by J. Cole was “Lights Please” off of his 2009 mixtape The Warm Up. I fall in love, all over again, with that song every time I hear it. But, no, that wasn’t when my J. Cole-ness was born. It wasn’t until I was walking through my college campus one day and I saw a flier for a free concert the following week, starring J. Cole. If I went, I would have to miss one of my favorite classes, Spanish. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take that risk or not so I decided that I would go to the concert and wait and see how I felt while I was there. I commuted to school and therefore didn’t have very many friends at school, but it was no bother to me…I was going to see a free concert, on a sunny warm fall day, by an artist that I didn’t really know but knew that I liked at least one of his songs.
That concert was truly a turning point for me. Soon after, I was listening to Sirius radio and J. Cole was there and they were playing songs off of his new mix tape Friday Night Lights. All the songs being played were tugging at my heart and captivating my mind like almost no other song had ever done before (with the exception of “Lights Please”).
Friday Night Lights is when my J. Cole-ness was truly born. I began researching him more, finding out what type of person he was, watching YouTube interviews and music videos of him, I was constantly on a quest to find new, unheard song by him, I created playlists just of him, counted down days until his Debut album came out, pre-ordered my copy (and when it wasn’t at my house the day it was released, I went to the record store to buy a copy), bought a T-shirt, have since seen him perform multiple times but never again for free) and I have displayed all of this J. Cole-ness on my Facebook profile.
I still post about J. Cole now, but I also post about other artists and other music that I enjoy. I frequent concerts almost once a month (except for as of recent, I’m trying to save money), and spend a lot of time on the computer: finding new artists, new songs, and listening to hours of music in and out of my iTunes library.
My sister suggested that I start a blog about my music especially because I ultimately want to work in the music and entertainment industry some day. Right away, I decided that I wanted to “let these words be the colors, I’m just painting my heart.” Hopefully, this blog gives insight to who I am as a person, a writer and, in a sense, an artist.
So I invite you to read my posts, listen to the music I post and hopefully, enjoy some of it along the way.