Nov 29 2010

Thank Me Later: Associated

I’m not sure if it is a coincidence or not that I wait three weeks to finally get around to writing again, or that it is after Thanksgiving that I want to talk about Drake’s 2010 album Thank Me Later after it has been out for almost as long as I have been in Los Angeles.  I’m also not sure why I am trying to force this out when my mattress grew that much more attractive.

But I’m getting too complacent not writing.  Two episodes this week bought this to my attention that I won’t go into full detail here.  The first was when G asked me what my website was.  I couldn’t even remember my own website, although I was mainly surprised that she even knew I had one.  (Note to self: my website is  Self, do not forget this.)  The second episode was after a long night waiting on the 66 at 9th and Hope Wednesday; two drunk dudes were smoking weed (of course they wanted to share, and of course I wasn’t interested) and just geeked about Thanksgiving.  The one dude was Haitian and went into a rant about the media and the fact that it is too powerful and needs to be stopped.  He acknowledged that people have to stop it though, and encouraged me to “blog about it”.  I just might.  But not now.  Maybe later, when I remember the note to self.

Back to Thank Me Later.  I’m falling into the same pattern of apathy as far as music is concerned, but I’ll figure that out later (PEOPLE: if you think I am hyping up future production, let me know, I may have to do something about it).  For now, there are some tracks, artists, and/or albums that have my attention for one reason or another.  Music is associative; we connect to it in ways that may or may not be commonly shared.  I have a lot of tracks running through my iPod, and every now and again, I may write an “Associated” piece.  Thank Me Later is an album that, track for track, has served as good personal background music.  Of course, I don’t have money like that.  And I haven’t arrived like Drake feels he has.  But the confidence blended with uncertainty about status/standing and relationships?  Need to examine:

1) Fireworks (Feat. Alicia Keys) “October’s own but it’s looking like July 4th” … “…You never see it coming you just get to see it go/Yeah I should have looked up in the sky at first, now I see it in her eyes, fireworks” -I wasn’t born in October, but I did fly out to Los Angeles on July 4th weekend.  My first full day here was fireworks.  This is the first track of the album, and it brings me to the start of my time here.

2) Karaoke “I was only trying to get ahead… but the spotlight makes you nervous … and you’re looking for a purpose” -Sometimes, I get the feeling that we realize we live long lives, and that gives us a reason to maximize our youth.  You know, live it up, have fun, go all out.  But damn.  That complicates relationships whether you know wedding planners or not.  I’ll leave it at that for now.

3) The Resistance “Should I spend the weekend in Vegas/I’m living inside the moment not taking pictures to save it/I mean, how could I forget/my memory’s never faded” … “What am I afraid of?  This is supposed to be what dreams are made of…” –One of my goals when I came out here was to be a better photographer.  I’m more of a writer (obviously) and so I use words to recall my experiences.  It has been a challenge to take pictures, which is why there have not been any posted shots on this site.  I have taken some.  But I never look at them and I’m not sure yet what to make of them yet… There’s more to this track about Vegas and pics.  It’s about the decision to go all in or hide behind the veil of content.  Be bold or fall back into familiarity?  You can stay but here I go.  I’m in this until it’s over…

4) Over “I know way too many people here that I didn’t know last year…” … “…What am I doing?  Oh yeah, that’s right, I’m doing me…I’m living life right now man, and this is what I’ll do ’til it’s over…but it’s far from over” … “I’m really too young to be feeling this old” -This turned out to be my team’s theme song from 2009-2010.  I feel like this often this year too.

5) Show Me a Good Time “Now that I’m here baby…” -I’m in Los Angeles, somehow.  So I expect to have a good time.

6) Up All Night (Feat. Nicki Minaj) “I be up all night, whole crew’s in here, ’cause I don’t really know who I’mma lose this year… man I love my team…” -The people I work with know I burn that midnight oil for them, whenever.

7) Fancy (Feat. T.I., Swizz Beatz) “…You don’t do it for the man, men never notice/You just do it for yourself, you’re the * coldest/intelligent too, ooh you’re my sweetheart/I’ve always liked my women book and street smart/long as they have a little class like half days, and the confidence to overlook my past ways/time heals all, and heels hurt to walk in, but they go with the clutch that you carry your lip gloss in/and look I really think that nobody does it better/I love the way you put it together” -First, something must have happened to the point where Drake says all of that AFTER saying, “Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on: that’s when you’re the prettiest, I hope that you don’t take it wrong.”  Or maybe he’s like me (don’t switch that) and is learning to appreciate both styles.  Generally speaking, I don’t care for divas much.  I also like those ladies who don’t need to do much of anything to look good.  But, I have learned to appreciate the fact that women, generally speaking, don’t give a damn about my conservative thoughts.  Women know they look good.  But not every night is going to be spent inside, so under those dinner and dance lights you have to bring the styles.  Seeking admiration brings competition, which breeds confidence and compliments (and occasionally, complements, as in a guy dressing to match the occasion… still working on it).  I see you ladies.  Don’t overdo it, but I see you.  (Slick line alert: If I introduce philosophy about relationships, I will mention that time heals all, and heels hurt to walk in.)

8 ) Shut It Down (Feat. The-Dream) “Hey baby, every time you come around, shut it down like computers…” … “Ice cream conversations, they all want the scoop…” … “Even though she’s standing out she looks like she belongs here” … “I know it’s gettin’ late, but girl I don’t want you to leave/You tell me you’re just not the type, you wanna do this right/And I’m not tryna say I don’t believe you, but I refuse to feel ashamed/And if you feel the same, this wait ain’t gonna make us better people” -Besides the fact that this song refuses to end, it is an appropriate sequel to the previous track.  The night begins with “Fancy”, and usually ends with this.  Or the next track.  Dream has some great lines, and I’ve been shutting things down like computers (RE: I need to do that soon).

9) Unforgettable (Feat. Young Jeezy) “I’m looking forward to the memories of right now/Never forgettin’ from where I came, and no matter where I’m headed, I promise to stay the same” -This is THE time right now.  I’ll always be me through it, but it’s going so fast that I can’t sit and reflect upon it.  But when I do, I reckon it’ll be a great moment.

10) Light Up (Feat. Jay-Z) “Welcome to Hollywood, don’t let this town ruin you” Seemingly the answer to “The Resistance”.  Drake had Jay-Z come in to add to his defense; I don’t have that luxury.  I do have my people here and elsewhere though, and though I don’t intend on losing my head out here, it is always good to have people see through that plan.

11) Miss Me (Feat. Lil Wayne) “I know things have changed, know I used to be around more, but you should miss me a little when I’m gone…”  Scenario One: So, you miss me as in you miss our shared times?  I miss those too!  I’ll always remember them fondly. -OR-  Scenario Two: So, you miss me as in you wish that I was there now with you?  As in right now?  Well, how long can you wait?  … I’ve been relocating in some form or another often.  Ever since I graduated high school, I’ve had people missing me.  It’s all good if I can see them and relive what we’ve been missing.  But I’ve been dented by selective memories; those who miss me but allow it to become such a source of discontent to the point that the only way to not “hurt” from missing me is to forget about me altogether.  I’m not sure if this is acceptable, but it happens all the time.  I don’t want people to miss me if it will only result in losing a relationship.  If you say you miss me, I’m not supposed to be happy about it.  I’m supposed to do something constructive about it!

12) Cece’s Interlude “I wish I, was still in school…” One reason I’m here in Los Angeles is to apply to graduate school.  However, I’m only marginally more motivated to explore graduate school this year than I was last year.  I have an educational award that I can use, and I am working towards a second one.  But do I need the experience, credentials, and liabilities that will come with going to USC or UCLA?  Is that the best way to network, to experience being young and independent in a professional setting?  I am fighting a battle with this question as intense as the guitar solo in this track that seems transplanted from “Shut It Down”.

13) Find Your Love “Too many times I’ve been wrong/I guess being right takes too long/I’m done waiting, there’s nothing left to do but give all I have to you…” -After awhile, this starts sounding like the cousin of “Karaoke”, but the track is simpler than that.  Here’s one of my lines that I’ve been reminding myself of: Good things come to those who wait.  Better things come to those who just take it.

14) Thank Me Now “I swear sports and music are so synonymous/’Cause we want to be them, and they want to be us” … “I’m in the world where things are taken, never given/How long they love you will never be your decision/And I’m aware that this could be the last time you listen so while I’m still here in this position/You can thank me now” I listen to this track and realize that this sounds like a victory lap or a retirement track.  It’s odd coming from Drake.  It’s almost like he’s defending himself against being a one-album wonder, or setting himself up to defer to Weezy whenever appropriate.  I don’t know that for sure if this is an invitation to coast after 14 tracks, or if it is the end of Drake’s relevance.  I do know that I won’t be in the position I’m in this year next year, for better or for worse.  I need to think about my future and be me.  But I also need to slow down and celebrate when I can.  As for now?  You can thank me now or later…

…And because I wrote this, there is a chance I am not going to listen to Drake until Take Care comes out.


2 pings

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    […] like my review earlier this year on Drake’s Thank Me Later, this post on Kanye West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is being written when […]

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