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Old School Friday: Songs That Inspire

6 November 2009 4 Comments

Maybe it’s just our recent culture of “brushing off haters,” but I have a heard time drawing a full distinction between “I’m so inspired!” and “I’ll show ’em!” Let’s say, for example, your goal is to make a bunch of money. Do you focus on flashing your bling in the faces of people who mocked you for having flat pockets, or do you remind yourself everyday that riches are within your reach? When trying to lose a few pounds, is it about that guy who rejected you for a slimmer companion, or is it just about proving to yourself that you can have anything you want? Now that I’m outlining all of this it sounds so spiritually grounded to draw motivation from within, and so tacky to let the whims of others and your own bitterness give you the drive needed to accomplish your goals. But I won’t front, revenge in all forms just tastes so sweet. For the sake of balance I’ll post both sides of the coin.

As corny as it may be and as religious as I am not, “Optimistic,” by Sounds of Blackness is undeniably one of the most inspirational pop/gospel songs ever. As a rule, any lyrics talmbout “keep your head to the sky,” are equal parts cheesy and effective. This song WORKS, and the video is so 1991 (jewel toned wardrobe and set design, topless men gazing wistfully at released doves, randomly inserted African dance routines).

I might have to rock that on repeat! If anything, though, I can’t just ignore the urge to show everyone else how wrong they were about me when they said I’d fail at everything I want to achieve. Who said that, you ask? I dunno, but Kina’s “Girl From The Gutter,” makes me wish I could tell someone “I hope your hell is filled with magazines, and on every page you see a big picture of me!” while storming about in the streets in leather pants. Sadly, Kina’s sass was incompatible with the minimal success of her first and last album, 2000’s Kina. “Girl From The Gutter,” was the big middle finger to her former group Brownstone (who, by the way, was discovered by Michael Jackson). I played Kina’s album constantly that summer because she was one of my natural hair role models and I was going through a sort of break-up, but today I can only tolerate a few of the tracks. Brownstone is back together in its original form and Kina is working on new music, so it’s fun to watch Kina get her saltiness on in this video while we wait for new material.

Check out other OSF Participants!

Electronic VillageFresh And FabDanielleKimMs GrapevineQuick|Marcus LANGFORDCassandra|iriegalMahoganyHagar’s DaughterLisa CChocl8tDPDallassouthJohnCC GroovyKreative TalkMarvalus One |ReginaClnmikeVivrant ThingAJSharonThe Creole PimpInvisible WomanBeleiver 1964CooperSJPBriaBklynQueen 86Hey ShaeFrom the BattlefieldThembiD SpotMalcolmPop Art DivaPjazzypar |MsLadyDeborah


  • Ti Kendrick Randall said:

    D Train’s “Keep On.” It’s old school but i love the motivation it gives me.

  • Dream said:

    Oooh, I lurved “Girl from the Gutter”, it was such a jam! Good call.

  • PPR_Scribe said:

    I am learning a thing or two this OSF! I have never heard that second cut. I love it–I love those “so-there!” songs: “I hope your hell is filled with magazines, and on every page you see a big picture of me!” What an amazing quote. Thanks, and happy OSF!

  • ntngale said:

    i am partial to melba moore’s “other side of the rainbow”. how can one not be encouraged after hearing her hit that looooooooong “end”? i’m almost inspired to get off my couch– and sit back down ;0).

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