1960s, 1970s, 1980's, 1990s, affiliate, covid-19, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes, Uncategorized

I Celebrated my 4 Year Blogging Anniversary on 01/15/2021! Happy 4 Year Blog-A-Versary To Me!

Vintage Retroman in January, 2021

Greetings friends and fellow bloggers, it’s me C.P. The Vintage Retroman, YOUR Neighborhood HOPE Dealer! It’s so hard to believe that it has been 4 whole years since I started my blog, http://www.vintageretroman.com on 01/15/2017! I started this mission with a vision: To bring the cultures of the past to the present, to spread hope and encouragement, and to educate and entertain through writings, poetry and songs. I am happy to report that despite the challenges of life, God has sustained me to still be here in 2021!

Recently, I have been thinking alot about the future. My children are now 17, 14, 11, and 9 years old, so much of my time has been invested in making sure they have everything that they need. With the current turmoil going on in the United States, I am hoping for a better future for my children. With that being said, this past year with COVID-19 we have connected on a level that we have never been on.

My family, New Year’s Day 2021

During the time I was working from home, I introduced them to a lot of classic music from the 70’s and 80’s, and I started making my own music and using samples from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. All of my music is on my YouTube channel, free of charge! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCllZ2c5bmKo_qwoHbzLguJQ) I believe that my kids have gained a greater appreciation for the cultures of the past. I know I have. Sometimes it is an escape from what we have to deal with.

My wife blessed me with a Nintendo Switch for Christmas 2020. It’s funny, because I have found myself playing more of the older NES and SNES games in comparison to the newer games. It’s something about the way they make me feel. They take me back to a simpler time in life. A time before hardship, before responsibility. A time when I didn’t have to be a serious teacher of youth called my children. A time when my biggest fear was if I would get picked on by girls for my haircut, or my parents buying the wrong video game because it was cheaper in price!

One big change this past year was the birth of my nickname, “YOUR Neighborhood Hope Dealer!” I got this name from the Friday night Christian Hip-Hop parties I was hosting on Facebook live from April 2020- August 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer. I started thinking, “People need hope like fiends need dope”, so I ran with it! It has really caught on well! My audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube love it! I love music of all types, so I am glad that God blessed me with a gift to help people with it!

I will end this blog post with some original lyrics from one of my songs, entitled “Some Real Talk” ft. my oldest daughter Zaria, aka Z Bank. 🙂

“Cause’ Hindsight’s 2020/ I’ve got the Spirit of God that’s flowing right through me/ I know my worth when the enemy is lurking/ I push up, hands in the air, so they call me burpee!/ and surely, by now yes you know what I’m all about/ Your Neighborhood Hope dealer coming out the south/ A hybrid of hip-hop, the old with the novel/ A fusion of the past and present, call me time travel!”

If you would like to listen to “Some Real Talk!” ft Z. Bank, here is the link: https://youtu.be/QrcKJeoMLRA God bless you all in 2021! 🙂

Original Christian Hip-Hop by me and my daughter, 2020

1960s, 1970s, 1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes, Uncategorized

Watch “A Feeble Attempt..(New Song 2021) ft. Adele (Adele “Always” Sample Credit to Psychosoundsbeatz)” on YouTube

Have you ever felt like you don’t measure up? Check out my new song “A Feeble Attempt”. I hope this new song touches the people. -Your Neighborhood  Hope Dealer

1990s, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes

More Than A Game- 8 & 24

Thinking back to the summer of 1996. Cassette tapes of 2pac Shakur’s “All Eyes on Me” and OutKast’s “Elevators” were inserted into my older brothers boombox’s, with the bass turned up. I was 13 years old at the time. As the music played in the background, I was intensely playing the newly released Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64, thinking how amazing the graphics were! I was still playing Madden 95 for my Sega Genesis as well as a host of other 16 bit retro games, including Mortal Kombat III and Sonic The Hedgehog 3. That summer was an amazing one full of pure nostalgia. I remember the NBA finals that year when my favorite player, Michael Jordan, led my favorite team, the Chicago Bulls, to an NBA title. It was my final summer living on the north side of town with all of my friends from Mineral Springs Middle School, and may have been my favorite summer to date.

Then the fall came that year, a time of great transition. After the intense snowstorm that swept across the Carolina’s in 1995, my dad decided in the middle of my 8th grade year that it would be a good idea to move because our house on Mineral Ave. was out in the middle of nowhere. So we did and I ended up switching schools mid year. I remember first attending my new school, being such an introvert. I always loved video games, and I found myself leaning on them much more since I didn’t have many friends. That Christmas was a rough one, but I ended up getting one of my favorite basketball games to date. That game was NBA live 97 for the Sega Genesis, featuring rookie sensation #8, Kobe Bryant.

NBA Live 97

At the time I was still a Chicago Bulls fan, but I was impressed how Kobe was playing as NBA player straight from high school. I never was a Los Angeles Lakers fan, but I always saw highlights of Kobe growing up on ESPN. As the late 1990’s and early 2000’s passed, I was in college watching Kobe rise to greatness. Throughout the early 2000’s, I remember being a student at WSSU and watching the dominance of the dynamic duo in Kobe and Shaq, as they won multiple NBA titles. I remember shortly thereafter when Kobe changed his number from 8 to 24. It was as if Michael Jordan had passed the torch. Still, I had a hard time accepting that reality.

As the decade came to a close in 2010, I saw Kobe Bryant extend his dominance after the Michael Jordan era as he won championships in 2009 and 2010, in the middle of a new era where Lebron James rising to dominance. Even as Lebron James began to take the torch, Kobe continued to be in discussion for the greatest player of all time. As the years went on, I paid attention to NBA basketball less and less, but I always respected athletes that worked hard and did not quit.

When Kobe Bryant retired, I was honestly shocked. It took me a couple of years to believe it because he was still such a great player. I believe his last game he scored 60 points! Then I realized that maybe he needed to invest more time in his family after overcoming his personal failures. Kobe was human. He made mistakes in his life. He was a flawed person that seemed to have grown up from certain behaviors off the court. I may not have agreed with everything he did, but I always respected him for striving to correct his wrongs, especially concerning his wife. Fast forward to the end of the 2010’s, and there was not much coverage in the media concerning Kobe Bryant. Then it happened…

At 3:30 pm on January 26th, 2020 I was sitting in my living room enjoying a Sunday afternoon on the couch. It was like most Sundays, with church in the morning and lunch after service, then football. As I watched the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl on TV, my 16 year old daughter came in the living room. She said “Hey mom and dad, did you hear that Kobe Bryant just died?” My heart dropped! All I could respond was “What!!!? No way! No way!” As I frantically searched on my phone for my news app, I remember when I first saw the AP news report. I got emotional like many of us did on that day. I felt like I lost a brother. After all I am 36 years old, and he was only 41.

There is an old saying that only the good die young. If this is true, the world truly lost one of the most influential young ex-athletes of all time. To hear the news that Kobe, his daughter, and a host of other individuals passed away in a helicopter crash is simply a tragedy beyond measure. As a man with 2 daughters myself, my heart goes out to Kobe’s wife Vanessa and the rest of the Bryant family. I believe that this is a lesson that all of us can learn from. We have to learn to cherish every moment on this earth that God gives us. Cherish each relationship, cherish the memories. Kobe’s nickname was the Black Mamba, which I researched and found out that he achieved that nickname from watching the movie “Kill Bill” during the lowest point of his life. When you look at how much good he did later on in life outside the basketball arena, it is truly a story of inspiration. I hope and pray that as we navigate through the pain and reality of him being gone, we remember that much more than just his basketball legacy lives on. Mamba out….. 😦

V. R.

1990s, retro, sega

Pace Yourself When Running The Race

Sonic The Hedgehog

As I sat playing Sonic The Hedgehog late last night, my oldest daughter who is now 16 actually took a moment to watch. A break from being the cool teenager, the varsity cheerleader, and the bookworm. I’m delighted to see her spending time with me! As parents with teenagers know, those moments are few and far between!

As she looked on, she let me know “Dad, I don’t like Sonic.” “Whaaaaat! How could you not like Sonic?” I said. He’s the fastest thing alive? She said (in her usual sophisticated teenage voice), “The game is messy, too much going on. Between his speed, moving patterns in the background, too many enemies, I can’t keep up.” Then she went back upstairs to her normal teenage routine.

As I continued to play one of my favorite childhood games, I started thinking about my life as Vintage Retroman. Could there possibly be a lesson in what she said? I believe there is. When we are going so fast in life that everything becomes a blur, life can become messy. Remember that you can’t be everything to everyone all of the time.

When running your race, focus on the goal and pace yourself. Remember that you should never run the race of others. Eliminate the background noise of busyness and focus on what is truly important. Remember that it is possible to be the jack of all trades, yet the master of none. One of my favorite characteristics about Sonic The Hedgehog is that as fast as he is, he paces himself to conquer each zone, one at a time. He never leaves his friends behind (well, occasionally tails but who’s counting😊) and he always keeps his eyes on the prize, which are those Chaos Emeralds.

I have been guilty of running the race of others. At times I still struggle with trying to do everything. When I think back to Christmas of 1991, my first time playing Sonic The Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis, pure nostalgia sets in. Back then, life was much slower. As an 8 year old kid, the only race I ran was with my friends outside in the neighborhood before the street lights came on. Times have changed, but principles don’t.

I encourage you all to run your race and pace yourself. Try not to get so caught up in the pressure that you can’t focus on your goals. Give yourself grace from time to time as you push to do your best. Remember that life is a vapor, it goes so quick. Lastly, take time to invest in yourself and your health, so you can be your best for everyone else. Signing off for now, V.R.

1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes, Uncategorized

Fun V.R. Retroquiz 8- Name That Video Game Character!

Yes, it is time for a new fun V.R. retroquiz my friends! Here are the rules: Based off of the picture, guess the name of the video game character(s) from the 80’s/90’s! It will start easy, but trust me it will get more challenging as you go along. Here we go!

20)

19)

18)

17)

16)

15)

14)

13)

12)

11)

10)

9)

8)

7)

6)

5)

4)

3)

2)

1)

Bonus to make up for the one you missed😀**

We’ll guys how many names did you guess correctly? Answers are below. Post your results in the comment section! I hope that this made you feel like a kid again! Signing off for now.

V.R.

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Answers: 20)Mario 19)Sonic 18)Megaman 17)Pac-man 16)Link 15)Samus 14)Kirby 13)Simon Belmont 12)Snake 11)Kid Icarus 10)Bill Rizor 9)Lil Mac 8)Bob&Bub 7)Q’bert 6)Dig-Dug 5)Bonk 4)Pauline 3)Alex Kidd 2)Peter Pepper 1)Mappy **Bonus is Keith Courage

1960s, 1970s, 1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes

Hitting The Pause Button To Express Appreciation!




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From retro themed poetry to moments scrolling down memory lane, I truly love what I do as a writer. When I started http://www.vintageretroman.com, I began a journey of self realization and creativity through writing. I am aware that I do not think or operate like many people. I enjoy everything from Christian Hip-Hop to Pac-Man. I like to wear masks and costumes. I am entertained by everything from Nascar to Marching Bands. Most importantly I love the vintage and retro cultures of the past.

I never would have thought that 100 people would actually see my vision. For many years I did not showcase my writing ability because I simply thought that it was not good enough. I purposefully try to surround myself with other bloggers who are much better than me. It keeps me humble, and I learn so much from them. As I continue on my mission to provide the best content possible for the masses, I want to take a quick moment to hit the pause button and say thank you.

To my 100 followers on my blog, and almost 1000 followers on Instagram, I genuinely appreciate your support. I have been through so many things this year that were negative, but my blogging community has been a true blessing in my life. When I lost my father in March, you have been there. When I was in the hospital 2 weeks ago, you encouraged me. Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for understanding me. I may not be the best at many talents, but rest assure with me you will always get sincerity and authenticity. It is how I live my life and how I will continue on.

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Me with my youngest daughter, 2018

Thank you for every like, every kind word, and every thought and prayer. You are appreciated. Please remember, my only goal is to make you feel like a kid again. Operate with passion. Structure your heart with love for others. Remember not to take life too seriously. Lastly, never let life dictate how far you can make it! On to 200 followers! 🙂

V.R.

1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes

Inside The Mind Of The Gamer, Time To “Level Up”

Get your playstation 4 or Xbox One! Click Here!

I’m about to level up! The term has many meanings in this life. I believe in next level thinking. Always looking ahead. Only reflecting back but never going backwards. Pressing forward, but never forget where you started and where you came from. I believe that the above song by the rap group Social Club Misfits may be a very fitting anthem for all of my game lovers and retro fans out there. The music, the lyrics, and the crowd all get me excited every time I hear this song and watch this video. Yet as I listened to this song, I felt inspired to share a “level up” experience with my readers out there. I will encourage you to search for the hidden meanings in the text, because you do not have to be a gamer to understand the importance of the “level up” experience inside the mind of the gamer.

I recently sat down with a good friend of mine who is a die hard gamer. He decided to keep his real name discreet, but in the gaming community he is known as Mr.Metroid64. I had a chance to do a one on one interview with him, get information and objectively capture a glimpse of the essence of what the inside of the gamer’s mind looks like. What I discovered truly astounded me. I have recorded the official interview for you, my reader:

Vintage Retroman: Thank you for sitting down with me today and taking time out of your busy schedule to share your thoughts with me on your perspective of the gaming community and what it stands for.

Mr.Metroid64: No problem, I’m always happy to help! As creator’s we need to lift each other up and help each other you know? I completely and unequivocally understand how important feedback is.

Vintage Retroman: Absolutely! So let’s talk a little bit about specific gaming characters. Who are your favorites off of the top of your head?

Mr. Metroid64: Man, there are so many. I would say Samus Aran, Link, Megaman and Mario, for starters. Although they were not the first characters in gaming by any means, they helped revolutionize mainstream gaming over many years.

Vintage Retroman: Very interesting! Lets dive into that a bit. I am going to go one by one and you tell me how each specific character impacted you, starting with Samus Aran from the NES classic, Metroid.

Mr. Metroid64: Well, Samus is a legend in her own right. During a time when there was no female representation of characters on the gaming stage in the mid 1980’s, Nintendo broke the gender barrier with making Samus the central hero in Metroid. When you think about the decade that this happened in, it was a defining moment because she is the original “gamer girl.” Her story, a child who had her life stolen from her and left with virtually nothing, was adopted and embraced by a new culture. Within the story, The Federation Police who trained her to be a warrior and eventually defeat Mother Brain and save the universe is so compelling. In my eyes, essentially the story of Metroid is one that says “You’re not alone, and it’s okay to be different.”

Vintage Retroman: Wow! That is some deep stuff! I appreciate your insight! So next on your list is one of my favorite characters of all time, which is Link from the Legend Of Zelda. Tell me your thoughts on how Link affected you growing up?

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Mr. Metroid64: To be brave and courageous in this life can be a daunting task at times. Link is the epidome of the “Heroes” Hero. From the beginning of the original Legend Of Zelda for the NES, as Link entered the cave with the old man, the words still echo through my head, “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this.” From the moment young Link hoisted up the wooden sword, and the player heard that heroic jingle, it still gives me goosebumps. There are life lessons we can learn from games like Zelda, because they tell a great story. One of heroism, love, compassion, loyalty, and persistence in failure. I died so many times in Zelda it is not even funny. There are truly life lessons in the amazing story of how Link loved princess Zelda, and how he would slay every creature from Moblins to Tektites in the Kingdom Of Hyrule, to rescue his damsel in distress. That evil Gannon was and still is no match, for the great green clothed warrior Link!

Vintage Retroman: Wow, incredible insight into the world of Hyrule! You know I remember being a little kid, making a homemade wooden sword from my dad’s 2×4′ wood planks in our shed, and taking the metal trash can top and running around my back yard as if it were Hyrule Field. I would battle fictitious Octoroks, all while humming the Hyrule song. You brought me back to that time. Thank you!

Mr. Metroid64: No problem! That is what it is all about, the nostalgia you get in the gaming frame of mind V.R. 🙂

Vintage Retroman: Very true, very true. Next up, you mentioned a man that my actual logo was framed after, didn’t you? The fighting robot himself! The most mega of any man in the robot universe, Megaman!

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Mr. Metroid64: Megaman is definitely one of the most influential game hero’s of all time. The half robot figure created by Dr. Light in year 20xx is a fan favorite for so many reasons. In my mind though, there is a deeper meaning behind simply defeating a robot master and taking his power. What makes Megaman unique is the way that he studies his enemies. He is about fighting for what he believes in and learning from mistakes, so he can adapt better to his surroundings. That is a life lesson that many of us could use these days. Attack the enemies of depression, self doubt, and anxiety. Then turn around and take their powers from bad and use them for good to help others. It is easier to attack someone’s depression when you have battled being depressed and been victorious over it. It is called a testimony. Megaman taught me to be strategic in the battles that I have fought, and how to take the bad and use it for good. Do you know what I am saying V.R.?

Vintage Retroman: I completely understand and agree. The first time that I beat Cutman in the original game and took his power to shoot those small scissors out of my gun, I was so excited. Now, I am even more excited because you have given me a different perspective. Since I have been damaged in the past and have conquered bad situations, I vow to use the weapons of goodness and positive thinking that I have acquired over the years to help others in their fight’s and struggles. Good stuff Mr. Metroid64

Mr. Metroid64: Think nothing of it Vintage Retroman. 🙂

Vintage Retroman: So last on your short list you mentioned none other than the legend himself, Super Mario! I am anxiously anticipating how in the world the plumber in red clothes with the M on his hat could have possibly had a profound impact on your life. 🙂

Mr. Metroid64: Ok, so think about the original Super Mario Bro’s for the Nintendo Entertainment System right? Now fast forward to 2017 with the release of the beautiful Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch. Where has Mario not been? He started in the Mushroom Kingdom, but he has been all around the world, and even out of this world to different planets in Super Mario Galaxy. He has fought Goomba’s and Koopa Troopa’s from the sunny shores in Super Mario Sunshine, to the icy tundra’s in Mario 64 and many other games. He has went missing. He has taught kids how to type in Mario Teaches Typing. He has been a doctor in Dr. Mario. He has been a professional boxing referee (See Mike Tyson’s Punchout for the NES). What has Mario not done? He recently even stared in a game called Super Mario Maker, where millions of gamer’s worldwide can create new levels for him to complete! Mario has simply taught me to enjoy life. Try new things, expand and grow, and never be stale. Do great things, while still being yourself and letting nothing or no one change who you are.

Vintage Retroman: Wow, this is a take on Mario that I have never thought about before! Thank you Mr. Metroid64. I have always enjoyed the Super Mario series, and even before that when it was simply Mario Bros. Great perspective on the red plumber! Well, I know our time is up and thank you for everything.

Mr. Metroid64: No problem Vintage Retroman. May I ask you one question before we adjourn our meeting? Why do you think that sometimes, people have the perception of the gaming community that we are just nerds, geeks, that play games all day and do not understand real life? I mean, we have jobs, families, and lives too. Why is that?

Vintage Retroman: It is my opinion Mr. Metroid64, that they just simply don’t understand our culture or influence as gamers. The gaming and retro communities are close knit. It does not matter where you are from, what age you are (or as we call it, what level you have reached), or whether you are primarily retro or an all around gamer. In our community from my experience, the color of your skin does not matter. Male or female, doesn’t matter. Single or married, does not matter. We are not a cult. We are simply a community of people who are united by the feelings of nostalgia and fun in gaming! Whether it’s Sonic The Hedgehog 1 or the new God Of War for the PS4, we just want to level up! Level up in gaming, as we level up in age. Collectively we support each other to level up in life. That is my take on it. Thank you for the question. 🙂

Mr. Metroid64: Thank you for your time as well Vintage Retroman!

Vintage Retroman: To my readers, this is Vintage Retroman and Mr. Metroid64, signing off for now.

V.R.

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1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes

The Lightbulb Moment. Music And Video By Andy Mineo Entitled, “Now I Know”. An Official V.R. Review.

Truth and realization of the world around us are something we all experience at some point in our lives. How many times as adults have we come to the conclusion that our perception’s are not reality? Our worldview is shaped by many different influences. It may be our parents, other family members, teachers, church members, or a number of other outside influences that affect the way we view life. That is what this song is all about, and I love it!

This song reminds me of my childhood, and it most likely will take most of you back to the past as well. I still remember growing up and watching shows on TV feeling like that was real life. I was so naive with love as an adolescent and a young adult, feeling like marriage would be like a ferry tale. That is, until i went through a divorce a few years ago and learned the rough side of love. Growing up I thought my family was a perfect replica of the Cosby show in the 1980’s, until one day 20+ years later my father broke down and told me i had 2 other siblings i had never met. I am sure that was difficult for my father to tell me, but i always respected him for doing it. I thought people were generally good and accepting, until i fell on hard times and many of my “friends” deserted me. I thought social media was how most people really lived, until i realized that mostly everyone puts their best face on for the camera. Now i know better.

I learned that although all that glitters isn’t made of gold, there is still a sparkle in the glitter. We may go through hard times, but there is beauty in the struggle. We may weep in the night, but joy comes in the morning. The sooner we understand that life is more than a rollercoaster but an amusement park, the better. What i mean is that there are several unpredictable games and rides, not just one. The key is in my value statement, “Never let life dictate how far you can make it.” Life has it’s twist and turns, but God can and will straighten the paths if you have faith in Him. When some piece of truth comes in and rocks your world, do not freeze in fear. It is part of your experience and God is using it for good. Remember, if you let your life dictate how far you can make it, it is easy to stop striving because you may feel that your past and current experiences are what defines you, and that’s not true. You were made for excellence. You are special. Everything happens for a reason. Respect that, confess that, and digest that. Signing off for now.

V.R.

1990s, retro, retrogaming, sega

A Vintage Retroman’s Plea From The “Green Hill Zone” Part 2, “The Search for V.R.”

Upon enjoying my vacation in beautiful Emerald Hill/

I felt refreshed laid back feet up sipping on coconut milk/

This is a much needed break for the fastest thing alive/

Sonic the Hedgehog is my name, into the mellow I dive/

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Which is the song I sing as I backstroke in the Aquatic Mine/

A zone in Sonic Adventure 2 where I like to swim and unwind/

This is the best vacation ever, not a care in this world/

I should do this more often with Amy Rose that’s my girl/

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Amy, hold on a second I can hear my phone ringing/

Hello…..oh hey Tails how are you my good friend?/

What…..Dr. Eggman’s ship just crashed and it’s sinking?/

In the Green Hill waterfall and he kidnapped Vintage Retroman?/

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You’re kidding? What an unbelievable turn of events!/

I have to find him he’s probably trying to survive in wilderness/

So much for the bliss of this vacation when duty calls I respond/

I am the blue spin attack, Sonic the Hedgehog after all!/

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Hold on V.R. hang in there buddy, I’ll find you in the tropics/

I know the tactics of the diabolical Dr. Robotnik/

Amy, take my blue car and I’ll be right behind you/

Vintage Retroman hold on sir, we are coming to find you/

To be continued……………….

1980's, 1990s, retro, sega

Memory Lane Moments Part 3- A Different Take On Time Travel

What if I told you that there actually is a such thing as a time machine? Would you my reader believe me, or would you think I am going crazy? Would you want to know more, or just write off what I am saying because it seems far fetched? My friends, I submit to you that time machines are real! I know they are, because I have seen them with my own two eyes! I have heard them with my ears! I am not going crazy here, please stay with me as I take you on this journey down memory lane.

When I was a child growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s, I could distinctly remember certain places, people, and events easily in my youth. Fast forward to 2018, it is not as easy as it use to be to remember those things. As we age we still have our memories, but our mind generally is not as sharp as it used to be. Sometimes I forget what I was talking about 5 minutes ago, yet I can remember an event from 25 years ago through one particular vehicle, or as I like to call it, time machine.

I will not make you my reader wait any longer. The time machine I am referring to is the vehicle of music. Yes my friends, music is a time machine in which I use to travel back down memory lane to remember specific details of life. Below are a few examples of specific events I am reminded of, every time I hear these songs.

  1. screenshot_2018-05-12-12-32-45-1208133503.pngStevie Wonder’s “Another Star”– When hearing this beautifully crafted piece of music, I instantly travel back to 2 different era’s of my life. The first is 1996, sitting with my brother Julius in the back room of my parents home talking about life and eating Hot Pockets. When this album played, my brother did not realize the values he was instilling in me that had a long lasting positive effect on my life. He was molding me in several subjects, from how to handle my business as a young man, to how to impress girls when I went to high school the next year. He taught me to be smart and not get caught up in the system, all while Stevie was playing in the background. The second era was 2001. This was my freshman year in college at Winston-Salem State University sitting in the stands watching the Durham N.C. Battle Of The bands. Virginia State University’s marching band marched out to “Another Star” and it sounded amazing! They were a primary rival of my school at that time, but I must admit I loved the way they played this song. I joined the marching band at WSSU the next year, partially to battle VSU because of this event.
  2. screenshot_2018-05-12-12-34-52-11921006611.pngJames Taylor’s “Shower The People”– When hearing this song, I instantly think of my father and warp back to my childhood. The year was 1988. I was 5 years old at the time. I remember that being the year my parents had a sun room completed in our home. I remember my dad playing this beautiful song on his guitar and the whole family would sit and listen. Then we would go outside right after and play. My dad would continue to play and sing, while me and my 8 year old sister Tomeka made mud pies. I was young, but I remember the message of this song because it was full of emotion. The lyrics were so powerful back then and now.  In the second verse of the song, James passionately sang, “You can run but you cannot hide, this is widely known, what do you plan to do with your foolish pride, when you’re all by yourself alone? Better to shower the people you love with love.” -Classic
  3. screenshot_2018-05-12-12-31-13-1-2125786138.pngNas’s “The World Is Yours”, leading track on his classic album “Illmatic“- Ah spring 1994, I will never forget. I was almost 11 years old and definitely not supposed to be listening to hip-hop music, but tell that to my 5 older brothers! I take this time machine back to that spring, walking with my older brother’s Westly and Julius to Greg’s house, their best friend. I distinctly remember playing Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Mortal Kombat on his Sega Genesis, when I heard the piano cords at the beginning of this song before Nas started rapping. I turned the TV down to hear what the rapper was saying. Even at my young age, I was taken away by his words and descriptions of the living conditions in the infamous “Queensbridge” Project Homes of Queens, New York. The lyrics that rapper Nas stated on the second verse were incredible to me. He stated, “They aiming guns at all my baby pictures/beef with housing police, release scriptures that’s maybe Hitler’s/ Yet I’m the mild, money-getting style, rolling foul/ The versatile, honey-sticking wild golden child/ Dwelling in the Rotten Apple, you get tackled.” Nas had incredible talent, because he has the ability to make you feel what he saw everyday. That is what great artists do, in my opinion.

These are only 3 examples of many others where music is the vehicle to travel back in time. I can see almost every detail. Music is so powerful. It is a form of art that brings back many feelings and emotions for the masses. I would love to know how many of you agree, and what songs specifically allow you my reader to travel back in time. It is a great feeling, because we are all just trying to figure out this thing called life. I highly suggest that at some point this weekend, pull out a few of your old time machines and take a ride down memory lane. They come in many different forms. Back then there were only 8 track, vinyl, and cassette time machines. Today we have CD, MP3, and Digital Streaming time machines. No matter the format, pull them out, push play, and fly away. This is Vintage Retroman, signing off for now.

V.R.