On That Note

"Around the Way Girl" single artwork
In the early stages of most relationships, it is difficult to get too much of your newly acquired obsession, whether person or object.  With that said (and given my more recent posts), I think you'll find it totally understandable that I was recently longing for hip-hop.  On top of this, I volunteered this past Friday and Saturday (most of both days) for my church's annual women's conference and had limited access to my normal musical diet, furthering this craving.  Regardless, it's genuinely a blast to help out with, knowing that the things I do directly make the weekend possible for the near 1500 who attend.   The work I do isn't necessarily enjoyable in and of itself: setting up an auditorium multiple times a day (waiting decent periods of time until this can be done between sessions), seating people who don't know each other [if you're that person, please don't leave the empty seat between your and the party next to you or give those volunteering an attitude - we are people simply trying to make your experience as smooth and efficient as possible whether or not you think we are], resetting the massive room (replacing flyers found on each seat within, picking up trash, etc), among other random blips that may appear on radar.

I found myself Saturday afternoon between the conference's morning and evening session entirely unmotivated.  This isn't normal for me - I find it fair to say I am driven and focused on whatever my present task may be, although due to the demands of the weekend, I was pretty tired.  Naturally, other volunteers had music on in the auditorium during this time, but it was more draining than anything.  I asked a few people "Is there anyway we can get the radio on or something?  I'm unmotivated.  I need something with an actual beat right now."  Mentally drained and not one known for their filter even when not exhausted, I likely said other things...

All that said, it was extremely refreshing to turn on my car radio as I left to go home after the conference had concluded Saturday night.  The first song I hear?  LL Cool J's "Around the Way Girl" - a staple in my insignificant hip-hop library.  (I'd think it's a staple in any hip-hop collection.)  J's first top ten single, the track peaked at ninth on Billboard Top 100 in 1990.  The song went gold in early 1991, a few months after its release.

Sampling primarily from Honeydrippers' "Impeach the President," the track additionally samples from Keni Burke's "Risin' to the Top," and Mary Jane Girls's "All Night Long."  

The atmosphere of the track is completely chill.  When I hear this, I think of what hip-hop once was (not that I was there, but what I imagine it may have been): innocent - in comparison to contemporary rap - and upbeat, not too heavy, having just enough rhythm to get you moving a little, enjoyable, and fun, but still real.