1999 was the year The Roots released Things Fall Apart and although The Next Movement was the popular single, my life was never the same when I heard the ode to hip hop featuring Common.
It was a year riddled with uncertainty as it we approached the new millennium, I was 15 and the stresses of being a teen were coming at me in all directions.
When I first heard Act Too (Love of My Life) I could relate to every line Black Thought and Common recited as they spoke about their love affair with hip hop.
Although I still listened to other genres of music, there was something so special when I heard my favourite hip hop songs – the music spoke to a different part of me. Hip hop has introduced me to a deeper sense of self – it made me think and question a lot of things around me. It also had me connecting with an array of amazing people simply because of the love of the same beat.
Any hip hop head will tell you that the love for hip hop is like no other – as a genre, movement and subculture; like any genre of music, it brings together people from different walks of life and creates a sense of familiarity based on beats and 8-bars.
As we welcome February, the month that has come to be associated with love, I’m going to pick a song a day in celebration of the most amazing feeling known to man.
I remember having a conversation with someone about love and he turned and said to me “Love is a lie.” I smiled and despite having been hurt more times than I’d like to remember, I said to him: “Love doesn’t lie and it doesn’t hurt – people do. Love is pure and to me it’s the highest form of existence.”
It sounds a bit out there and unrealistic but I sincerely believe in love. When we give it freely from an honest place and it’s reciprocated – it’s the best thing ever.
And so for the rest of February I’ll be celebrating love despite it being elusive at times, it’s still the best gift we can give one another.