Hedonistic Tendencies: Songs for the Spring
There is only so much words can express
A perspective on pleasure
Across many cultures, the dawn of spring is always seen as a period to guiltlessly indulge. The tense, introspective, winter months gives way to release. A relieving of the urges built up by the trappings of human nature- at least hypothetically- and if you have followed anything else I have written, you should know I do not find that this tradition is a problem. Pleasure itself is not remotely a bad thing, evolutionarily it is one of the reasons you are still alive, the problem is when a deeper issue is buried ruthlessly under the rubble of our fragile hedonistic tendencies. One of the great things art can achieve, is to help accept and appreciate necessary aspects of the human condition. The thesis of this article if you will, is that our hedonistic tendencies are an essential part of the human condition- below is a list of songs that flourish with this idea.
The truth about spring is that there is a reason we choose this time to splurge. As absurd as it is to group the ever-changing fabric of time into seasonal sections, it is a concept humanity has unflinchingly latched unto. The winter months melt away, and so does the optimism that seems to get us through them. Spring rolls by, and suddenly the reality hits that the new image of yourself that you were tirelessly trying to build has wilted away- the only thing left is you- so we drink and dance, possibly to forget we must live with our true selves the rest of the year. True to my word however, this article is not about self-love, it seems to be quite an elusive concept these days in all honesty. If anything, this article is to recommend the music to drink and dance to while the fight for acceptance kicks in. On that note I present British MC- Sam wise with Lizzie.
It’s rare to find someone rapping over an instrumental that sounds as luscious and extravagant as the subject matter being rapped about. Sam wise raps with such a carefree flow, that it sounds on something that could be on the trap version of a midsummer night’s dream. The song is gorgeous, slow, methodical, gracefully indulgent and with a perspective on what it means to be hood rich that only a British trap rapper could give-plus it’s just a great vibe.
Bounce out like tigger(save yourself the trouble, skip to second 39)
500 Benz- Joey badass
It is hard to recommend a song that seamlessly succeeds in the vibe I am trying to prescribe, without devolving into mindless braggadocio. In the defence of all musicians, introspective indulgence is a difficult thing to capture even without the trappings rhyme scheme. However, if any poet exists that could achieve such a feat, I dare anyone to find me a man more qualified than Joey Badass.
Joey Badass is a New York MC through and through- with the silver-tongued package that comes with the title. The song 500 Benz, captures the mindful, yet honestly nihilistic attitude that tends to come with this time of the year with elegance of a psalms verse. The instrumental sounds like sonic whiskey that floats you around with Joey as your lucid, drinking buddy. There is a slight urgency to the song as well. Lowkey, it feels like a warning to enjoy every second of this carefree attitude before the bar closes, last call is always closer than you think.
Balance out the imperfections
If I had to pick artists with a knack for being directly in tune with the cultural pulse of the new African man, Burna Boy would be my first three choices. Criminally underrated, Burna Boy is a Nigerian musician that is bringing a cutting-edge, psychedelic, musical ideas into a seemingly traditional afro-beat sound. However, that is not why he is on this list. I realise as I write this that a huge part of my identity is actively choosing what is, and more importantly what is not, important to me. Since I am sure that I am not as unique as I would like to think, this cannot be a mindset only I have- that is why Burna Boy is on this list.
Music captures ideas we could only dream of capturing with words, one of those elusive ideas is what does spring truly mean to us. My humble belief is that the joy of spring is the idea of freedom, an expression of what it truly means to choose what is important to you, what in life is what struggling for- and maybe even dying for. This song is a sonic rallying cry, a call to those raised in societies that treated the nature of the person you are as a bad thing, a reminder to stand for the identity you wouldn’t mind dying for.
"I no fit die for nothing"
Nxworries- Link up
Ultimately the point I am not trying to make is “throw all obligations to the sharks and just resign yourself to mindless partying”- although if you wish to do that- more power to you. The point of this article is to point out art that not understands the joys of spring, and the inevitable pitfalls. The other, more important point, is to suggest great music. So, without further delay, I present Anderson Paak and Knxwledge- link up.
I am a sucker for simplicity, or at least the illusion of it, and no one sells effortless better than Anderson Paak. Joining producer knxwledge; they craft musical vignettes out of blood, sweat and a little bit of sexy, and the end product is simply mystical. There is no deeper meaning in this one, it’s a story of a guy asking a girl to dance, a tale as old as time- but stealing a girl from her man to dance has never looked this slick (and probably never will). Have fun with spring, exams are here- but I personally refuse to die for nothing.
Just wanna dance with you
© 2018 Samuel