Liner Notes with Amir and Amir Ali Said: A Frank Discussion About Music, Between a Father and his 13-yr old Son
|By Amir Said (Sa’id) and Amir Ali Said|
Sa’id: Listening to that song, “Love’s Gonna Get’cha” by BDP (KRS One), what’s your impression of that, when that joint comes on?
Amir: ungh… [long pause]I like that song, and in that song, KRS One is making a lotta good points. Like, he’s talking about his mother struggling; she’s working hard, and that’s what happens when you live in the hood… poor areas, the projects and whatnot. I like how he’s talking about when he comes home from school, he gotta deal with these dudes in front of the building… Then, he’s talking about he only has bread on his shelf. He also talkint about he gotta help his moms out, cuz they not pullin’ in as much money, so…
Sa’id: Right. But as far as the music goes and what he’s sayin’… like put it this way, the points that he’s describing, he’s making serious points, but do you feel that you’re being taught or do you feel that you’re being taught and entertained at the same time?
Amir: I feel I’m being taught and entertained at the same time!
Sa’id: Why would you say that?
Amir: Because he’s making points, but then he’s also joking around in the song, sayin’ “I come home hug my mother, kiss my sister, punch my brother.” [laughs]
Sa’id: That’s cool, he’s using humor, but when I say “entertainment,” can you imagine this being something that bangs out at a club or is this something that you just listen to in the crib?
Amir: I think it sounds like a song that would be like something you would listen to in the crib.
Sa’id: Well, then it doesn’t have that much entertainment quality. Because these songs was playin’ 10, 12, 15 years ago in the club. So, that sounds like you only answered because you thought I was leading you one way. The point that I’m trying to get across is that what dictates so-called “club music” is not the idea that you’re going to make something for the club. Club music can be anything! Hip hop/rap started from various breaks of music that didn’t even have vocals. A lot of times what was going on was that people were playing music, DJs were playing music… alot of times if it was some early funk record. The DJs would cue up certain parts in the music where it was just breaks playin’… where it was just like the drum break. And people in the crowd would listen to that music and go crazy. They didn’t know that in some cases it was The Band, which is a classic rock group. They didn’t know all these things were going on. Sometimes you could go to a party and you could bang out to “Funky Drummer,” by James Brown; you could bang out to all sorts of James Brown music; all sorts of music from The Jimmy Castor Bunch. And then you could hear another group, you know, a little bit of disco. So that’s what I’m trying to get you to understand that what constitutes “club music” isn’t the idea that you gotta consciously think that this is going to go over big in the club. The idea is that you make quality music first, and quality music is going to find itself anyway!
Amir: Right. It’s just like the music from the movie, A Piece of the Action. Curtis Mayfield made music for the movie, not the club…But that didn’t mean that the music couldn’t be played at parties and stuff like that, back then.
Sa’id: Indeed… Great point… And yo, Another thing that determines what you’re going to hear in the club is the tempo. This isn’t a song that in today’s contemporary Hip Hop, you’re going to think like, I’m going to dance to this. But if you listen to the music, and again this is what I mean by if it was your club, your spot… if this is being played in any atmosphere, whether it somebody’s birthday party or whatever, people who have never heard this before…
Amir: Ain’t gonna go to it!
Sa’id: Right, exactly…
Amir: They wouldn’t know what it was…
Sa’id: Right, but they’re not going to hate on it. They’re going to be drawn to it. If you put somebody that’s your age or somebody that’s a little older and hasn’t been prejudiced one way or the other against any music, they’re going to listen to this music and it’s gonna sound good, because it has a common theme. The things that you talked about, as far as the points that it made, that’s what I’m getting to: the points are being made right along with good music! So it’s not like anything wrong is going on with the joint. That’s why I’m sayin’, you know, you maybe won’t hear of too many people doing dance routines to the shit, but that whole idea of music being played in the club, it depends on a person’s perspective of what they like, you understand.
Amir: Right, I understand that.
*Amir Ali Said’s own writings can be seen at his blog, Amir13.com
For educational purposes…
BDP (KRS One) – Love’s Gonna Get’cha (Material Love)”