The old saying is "Music is food for the soul", and I have always believed this to be true. Music is a true link to various cultures, races and people from different generations. People who know me are familiar with my strong passion for music. If you only know me via Social Media, you might believe that I'm only a "Hip Hop Head", but that is far from the truth. I enjoy Rock, Jazz, Soul (R&B), Gospel, Rap and some Country Music. The overall creativity with 80's Music has a place in my heart as well. With that being said, only a few albums have totally blown my mind and left me amazed.
I always loved Marvin Gaye and if you know me, you know he is my favorite artist. Gaye's 11th album (yes, 11th and he had 7 more released afterwards) What's Going On is the project that forced me to look at music and life from a different perspective. There are other albums I love, but no body of music expressed life in such a vivid depiction as this album managed to accomplish. Marvin Gaye completed this concept album (a lot of people don't know it's a concept album) in 1970 and released to the world on May 21, 1971. The album is a 9 song story about a Vietnam Vet coming back to America to find that hate, division, racism, poverty and inequality was still a reality. I mean, imagine returning home after fighting in a WAR, only to find that you have to continue fighting against a system that view you as a second class citizen. Marvin Gaye's introspective lyrics and poetry was delivered flawlessly.
Several tracks resonate with me over 47 years after it's release. The title track "What's Going On", "Inner City Blues", "Mercy Mercy Me", and "What's Happening Brother" stay on repeat. Well, the entire album stay on repeat. This album could be used as a Case Study on Systematic Racism, the Civil Rights Movement, and what Veterans continue to deal with decades after The Vietnam War or The World Wars. Marvin was magical to me on this album and there are only a few other albums that came close. These albums are NAS Illmatic, Miles Davis Kind of Blue, Stevie Wonder Innervisions, the poetry Sade displayed on Love Deluxe and a song called "Who Is God" by Hip Hop Legend Rakim (of Eric B. & Rakim fame). Of course there are other amazing projects but these come to mind the fastest.
Music is truly one of the best creations in the world. Whenever you are totally blown away by an album or song, it will nourish your soul without a doubt. I enjoy sharing my random thoughts here on Da Dome and on other Social Media outlets. What album totally changed your views on music, life and put you in a zone? What artist feed you with their words, instruments and/or passion? When I think about Marvin Gaye, Tupac and SADE, I often think about Philosophers that I learned about in High School and College. They are the musical versions of a Robert Frost who I respect, or Langston Hughes who I love. They are my versions of Shakespeare. They were able to go deeper than most. As I sit here listening to K Solo's Times Up album, the song "Who's Killing Who" blast from my speakers as I think about life on this Labor Day Holiday.