What Your “Most Played” Section of Your Music Playlist Says About You…
“You are what you eat.”
This axiom rings true for the most part; and for those who are slow to grasp figurative speech, it doesn’t mean that you will turn into an alligator because you eat gator meat, or turn into Bambi because you eat carrion/road kill “venison.”
Side Note: I’ll never forget when this guy Roy, who was a friend of my grandmother’s, tried to bring her some several-times-run-over slab of road kill deer, and tried to SELL IT TO HER. She cursed him out and told him to leave her house. I nearly fainted when she told me that story. And knowing that Roy guy, I don’t doubt the veracity of the story one iota.
Similarly with music. Just because you stan for Jay-Z doesn’t mean you will become a half-billionaire
(hundredaire), but words have power, and when you passively listen to music, the words of a song have a way of indoctrinating you in a way. Sure, you can draw some inspiration to stab in the back everyone who helped make you who you’ve become, get jealous of artists outspinning you on your own label and stealing ideas, artists and rights from your co-founders and other artists’ lyrics to go on and do big things, but you do not live vicariously through the artist who creates a song. Music has a way of entrancing, and then pulling an end-around with a message that is often “hidden” in a sense. Ever recall listening to songs as a kid, and only loving it because of the harmony and the danceability of the track? Only to become an adult and examine the lyrics of that same song 25 years later and make that Ray Allen face that says “something stinks here” wondering why you liked it in the first place? That’s how music has an effect on you. The effect is rarely immediate, but if you look back 20 years, you’ll see how the song — depending on the content — inspired you to reach for higher heights, or become a bitter, man-hating old maid. For many people, this indoctrination is subtle, subconscious and gradual. They don’t see much of an affect that the lyrics have made in their lives until it is often too late.
The beautiful thing about music is that our tastes, the songs we listen to the most, are a reflection of our mindsets and where our hearts reside. There is no escaping this, like the Beatnuts used to say. Some people can masquerade the ugliness of their hearts in other ways, but music unveils the state of your heart and mind. You can ask someone how they’re doing, and they may tell you “I’m fine”, but go look at their Most Recently Played list and get a better reflection. It’s not all doom and gloom, as the converse obviously works as well. Personally speaking, when I am in a good mood, or reminiscing on good times when all of my older relatives were alive and flowing, you’ll see me listening to 70s, 80s and early 90s music heavily. When I am on the grind, I am usually listening to Golden Age hip hop. When I am juggling several tasks trying to hustle for cake, you can bet I am listening to anything Dipset-related. When I’ve been in healthy relationships, obviously the smooth grooves were played heavily. When I am cleaning the house, you better believe some Spanish music is blaring, or some funk grooves. Music is the soundtrack and background to everyone’s lives. It is the great unifier, but also the great REVELATION of what’s going on in a person’s life.
Before the contrarian who doesn’t understand that generalizations are never 100% accurate begins to chafe at these assertions, just realize that this is true more often than it isn’t true and move on.
I have personal tastes and dislikes when it comes to certain artists, because of the messages that they convey to their “stans” and worshipers. Without singling out any one artist in particular, examine the lyrical content of their songs and conduct a test of how their words become reality in your life. If you have tons of man-bashing anthems in your playlist, what do your relationships with men look like? Probably not good. You can sing about being “independent” and “I got my own” and “Bills, bills, bills” while calling guys scrubs, but you’re broke, fat, ugly and have a nasty attitude. Who would want you?
If you have to put up a façade of toughness by blasting M.O.P., D-Block or Hell Rell, as if you will become tough by proxy, then examine what’s leading to that assertion. Oh yes, music is entertainment, but it is also a conditioner like Tresemme. How often do you see guys like this who ice grill cats who have no beef with them whatsoever, or are always looking for trouble? They are nobodies as far as the streets are concerned, no one knows them, no one has beef with them, but they are always popping off for rep’. This is the difference between “music is entertainment” and young, impressionable-minded kids who go out and try to live out the lyrics of a song. I’ve seen guys catch beat downs or even get shot and caught up in the drug game because they heard a fake hustler rap about it in a song. Look at your younger male relatives and see that it is true in several cases, most likely.
With Father’s Day approaching, I challenge you to look at the playlists of single mothers who run around glad-handing other single mothers and telling each other “Happy Father’s Day.”
I’d be willing to bet that the Most Recently Played and Most Played list contain the same lyrical content, if not many of the exact same songs.