I don’t know if you ever listen to the NPR podcast, Code Switch, but they have a segment each week called “Songs Giving Us Life“. There used to be a similar segment on the NPR Politics Podcast with Sam Sanders during the Hilary/Trump campaign, and his was called “Can’t Let it Go.” Both segments were/are so great. Well, today is Friday and I had a really intense week so I’m going to do a “What is giving you life this week” for me!
I watched Notorious BIG’s Netflix documentary last night “I Got a Story to Tell” and it started getting me thinking about how music influences people across time, across continents. I loved that his neighbor was a jazz musician who walked BIG through drum segments. I loved that his uncle in Jamaica was a rapper. I loved that he listened to country westerns. What an eclectic life that should not be reduced to “gangsta rap” or whatever new term there is to describe black men who choose to engage in musical careers.
I was introduced to Camilo’s new record called Mis Manos this morning and it is fire! His first song, Millones, sounds like I’m in Colombia (which is where he is from). Which reminds me of what P. Diddy was sharing when he was collaborating with BIG. He wanted his music to transport you somewhere when you listened to it – for the song itself to feel like how you feel when you’re watching a movie.
Camilo’s second song, KESI, feels like afrobeats! If you don’t believe me, listen to it first and then listen to Burna Boy. The african influence should come at no surprise to you if you know anything about the history of Colombia. If you don’t, this in your invitation to dig deeper.
At the end of the album, he travels to the DR with a bachata song, BEBE. I love bachata. One of the main reasons is because when I used to go to salsa clubs, it was honestly the only dance I was really good at. It’s also just absolutely beautiful music.
Ok, that’s all I got for what is giving me life this week. Happy Friday!