In 2001, everyone’s favorite sista girl Jill Scott was nominated for a Best New Artist grammy for her debut album, 'Who Is Jill Scott?' She lost to a white woman named Shelby Lynne whose album was titled, ‘I Am Shelby Lynne.’ God’s sense of humor? Mayhap.
Anyway. Critics noted that Shelby shouldn’t have even been in the new artist category since this was like her third album, and the fact that she was just beginning to receive acclaim shouldn’t have been a factor. But that is neither here nor there because she won. And I being a true Jill Scott fan wondered who was this white chick and how could her CD have possible been better than Ms. Jilly from Philly. I was intrigued. I mean the titles were so similar and yet different. One a question. One a declarative sentence. Both suggesting that their music would give you a hint into who they were as artists and women.
So. Being the type of person I am I went out and bought ‘I Am Shelby Lynne.’ And it totally rocked. Here was a white woman, singing a little bit country, rock, bluegrass and soul. Talking about heartbreak, love, and men. Sound familiar? Asking questions like: Did you miss me? Saying things like: I thought it would be easier after you were gone. And your lies won’t leave me alone. I ended up playing Shelby as much as I played Jill. And in the end I had to admit that her 10 track CD was a little tighter, a little neater than Ms. Scott’s.
So what is the point of all this? I’m not sure. Maybe that sometimes you have to find out things for yourself. Try new shyt. I know curiosity killed the cat – but they have 9 lives right? Tee hee. Even though what I did was something so easy – listening to a different kind of music, artist, etc – too often people are afraid or just unwilling to go around themselves and what they think they know, done heard or read in a book. Don’t want to try it for themselves. Can’t envision thinking and living outside the box.
And I’m not talking about anything detrimental or dangerous or illegal like smoking crack. Although you know if you wanna try crack, go ahead, it's your world! I’m talking about that seemingly simple shyt that might expand your horizons, but you’ve been reluctant to try. That ain’t gonna hurt nobody, we just dancing y'all, stuff – going to a concert of an artist you don’t know, trying a new food (at least taking 2 no thank you bites), throwing a dart on the map and then traveling to that place, learning a language, making a new friend, putting both feet in and being in love - head over heels, all consuming love.
Fcuk what they say. The critics. The naysayers. The people who done it already. Whether or not they liked it. Or that they said it wasn’t worth your time. Or that it didn’t work for them. Or that they told you it wasn't going to last. What the hell do they know? You’re a different person, right? With a whole set of your own experiences, feelings, and ideas, right? Cause I've lived by the rules they set. And been miserable. Taken jobs that everyone thought would be perfect for me and learned the hard way that they weren't. Been told that he's my type of man and we'd be good together. And realized - hmm not so much.
Now I'm not saying I live my life at 100% fcuk what they say level - mama has to keep a job cause I gots bills to pay. But in the day to day of the life that's my own, I do what I want and leave the rest. Try new shyt. And make a concerted effort to enjoy it. To find something good about it - even if I'll never do it again. Hear what they say. And then see for myself. Cause you never know. You might be pleasantly surprised. You just might like it...
That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot