“Define who you are and what you are, and be clear on that. Meditate on that and then, live and die by that…”
— Nipsey Hussle
I cried for Nipsey the other day, having finally listened to the Victory Lap album.
I was mesmerized by his voice and saddened that I will never hear it again outside of this capacity — in songs and interviews.
And I was reminded of the deaths of my favorite rappers, having grown up in the ’90s, exposed from the jump to the rise of rap and hip-hop and subsequent fall of some of the pioneers that paved the way for MCs like Nip.
So I broke down listening to “Last Time I Checc’d” and wished I could’ve lent my ears to his message a little earlier, when he was still alive.
Sometimes days are better, sometimes days, it’s light.
I live these days because I have to – and we have to.
“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
When “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival was first released in April 1969, the United States – as it was and seemingly always will be – in full disarray. Civil rights, racism, war, anxiety, assassinations, and an ever-present threat of death pervasive at family doors.
A quick listen of the song today — it reveals that despite nearly 50 years of time passed, the lyrics remain as poignant as ever.
I feel a great sense of connection to these lyrics and to those who listened to them and loved them throughout the years.
“I don’t think I was actually saying the world was coming to an end, but the song was a metaphor. I wasn’t just writing about the weather.”
When I listen to “Bad Moon Rising” today, I feel my anxiety heightening because of its lyrics, and knowing that an entirely different generation of Americans have gone through a similar tumult that I’ve endured these past four years.
And my takeway after a couple of repeat listens is that life persists despite of it all.
Then I eventually come down and think about this pandemic, the racial divide being wider than it has ever been, the election so vital and crucial to our immediate future, climate change, and wonder if death is in my room, and maybe, it’s already holding my hand.