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Title: Rem's Rant: Artist Essentials - Love Songs
Author: Speed ontheBeat
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By  @Remy_Ralph It's funny that a Kanye album not titled The Life of Pablo inspired this article. 808s and Heartbreak is the the...

It's funny that a Kanye album not titled The Life of Pablo inspired this article. 808s and Heartbreak is the theme--not so much the album itself (even in its greatness)--but the feeling that drove it to mainstream success. Heartbreak, the feeling of loss, and the emotion that goes into expressing your anguish for what's no longer there. We all know these things, we’ve all felt this things. But have we taken the time to appreciate how its inspired the greatest music of our time?

Now being as though I’m only 24--disclaimer alert--my individual feeling and knowledge as it pertains to music that predates the 90’s is a little cloudy. But from 1990 on, the past 26 years in music alone have given me gems that I will forever remember. From songs like Carl Thomas’ “Summer Rain” to Lauryn Hill's “Ex Factor”, and even Jagged Edge's “Walked Outta Heaven.”

Now the latter is a funny one, as I was just driving down 695 East trying not to slide on this fucking snow that we can’t stop getting. This song played, it was Toronto native Tory Lanez’ rendition of it. And it made me feel as if not just these songs but the emotions they invoke remained the same regardless of how you felt at that particular time. I started thinking about my own situation and how it directly applies to such lyrics as: “I’m rolling down a lonely highway, asking God to please forgive me. For messing up the blessing he gave to me, I see everything clearer now.”

Man! That shit resonates or am I the only one that thinks so? How many of us have walked away from a situation prematurely and cursed God directly for actions of our own free will? That might be too personal, but while I have you by the strings of your heart, I’ll drop another gem. But, not before I paint this picture. I’m talking about a voice so powerful yet soothing with a melody that could ease the Gods. Take a second and listen to another one of my personal favorites, it’s by a little known R&B diva by the name of Kelly Price.

How many of you remember her? I feel like at this point unless you’ve been living under a rock these past couple days, you know exactly who she is. She soulfully serenades us on the intro of that first album I diverted from. I'm sure we all are all familiar with “Ultralight Beam” and were quite surprised to hear an old voice. It was the same voice I remember singing ever so beautifully on a song called “Her.” The same song my mom would listen to in the living room growing up on the tape player. 

Yeah, Kelly Price brings back a lot of memories.

Speaking of memories, another artist that immediately comes to mind is D’Angelo. With this guy there are no “songs,” rather projects that come to mind. On the album Brown Sugar in ’95, we got to witness a 21 year old’s near-flawless interpretation of love. 

I’m sure we know and love the title track, where he drops lines like “let me tell you about this girl, maybe I shouldn’t. I met her in Philly and her name was Brown Sugar” to “The way that we kiss is unlike any other/ way that I be kissing when I’m kissing what I’m missing, won’t ya listen.” 

Or I and a certain special someone’s personal favorite “Cruisin’,” D’Angelo more than proves where he belonged in R&B’s hierarchy early. There’s no way to deny that on more than one occasion we’ve all cut a rug to “Lady” but more important is how that particular song still makes you feel today. Every man’s expression at some point for his lady had to culminate from that song or something was surely wrong with you. This was the purest form of feeling for your counterpart and he managed to take every word from your mouth almost verbatim (Scary isn’t it?).

Are there any songs you can think of right off hand? I could go for days. And considering we’re only a few artists in, I think I’ll delve deeper. Was there ever a time in your life when you questioned why it was so difficult to get next to someone? Now really quick, think of the one song that made you feel like that. I know for me (as fast as I can think) that would be Baltimore escapee Mario’s “Let Me Love You.” (Ed. Note: It’s one of mine too; #HiMPJ)

What guy couldn’t feel “You’re a dime, plus 99/and it’s a shame don’t even know what you’re worth?” (As I’m writing this, I’m LAUGHING MY ASS OFF) Corny, I know. But you get the point I’m making here. For every one of your immediate feelings and even the ones you can't quite fathom yet, there’s always a go to song. That alone should give you an idea of the power particular sounds and vibrations have over your mood. 

Ever notice how on the brightest of days Usher’s “You Got It Bad” can fuck up your day? Nope? Me neither. But, I have noticed how on bad days, a song like Lauryn Hill’s “Zion” can immediately turn things around for me. Bring back any memories with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill? I know you’re all intimately connected to that masterpiece.

All in all, how songs affect us? It’s relative to who is going through what at the time. Make no mistake of a song’s power to drive you deeper into a hole than where you previously were if you let it but don’t totally discredit their ability to right a wrong through a form of expression you may not have been capable of (Everyone ISN’T vocally inclined). The connection you have to a song is undeniably plausible when you feel as if your life is parallel to what’s being talked about.

So, what’s your song?

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