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.
- Stevie 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.
- James 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
- Nas’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.