The year was 1999, and I was a hip hop DJ. I’m not sure what a hip hop DJ consists of in 2013, but my formative years of a DJ meant deep crates, mixing and beat matching, scratching with both hands, and beat juggling. This also meant that was that I was a hip hop radical, from head to toe. My days began and ended with hip hop, for it was all I listened to. Things like R&B and soul weren’t in the equation, as well as other forms of music that comprised the very music I was listening to. Although my prowess of hip hop music and culture was admirable, my views were ignorant as can be. At this point, I was a hard core record digger, but because of my musical exclusivity, I rarely strayed outside of the hip hop section. It wasn’t until 1999 when I bought my first piece of wax that wasn’t hip hop. It was Stevie Wonder‘s Songs in the Key of Life.
Of course this wasn’t my first introduction to Stevie Wonder. Truthfully, I don’t remember first listening to Stevie. Who can? His music and persona has always been intertwined with all of our lives. And this particular Stevie Wonder record is hugely successful and millions of copies were printed, so there was no obsession over its rare status. My first listen to this prolific album was the first complete thought I’ve ever heard from Stevie, while every listen prior was just a “quote” or a “stanza”. This complete thought taught me so many values; Love, poverty, spiritually, life, birth, inner city, culture, just to name a few. Metaphorically, opening the bi-fold album cover was like opening a door to an uncharted, euphoric world, filled with beauty, information, and maturity. Upon first sight and sound, I knew that was a world where I will forever live, and grow, and nearly 12 years later, I have done just that.
Here are my favorite 5 songs from that particular album.
Ngiculela – Es Una Historia; I am Singing
Written by: @Haylow