It’s funny how money change a situation
Miscommunication lead to complication
I got you pregnant, now inside there is a life in you
I know you wondering if this is gon’ make me think ’bout wifing you
Like if you have my first child, would I spend my whole life with you?
Except that fame is
The worst drug known to man
It’s stronger than, heroin
When you could look in the mirror like, “There I am”
I posed a question the yesterday (October 14) on Twitter: Which ‘Lost One’ was the best? Lauryn Hill’s, J.Cole’s, or Jay-Z’s? The three songs all touch on issues ranging from making life decisions (abortion in Cole’s version), dealing with death and friendship departures (Jay-Z), and even the most common theme, break-ups (Lauryn). None of these songs are related in any way, and I was getting some Timbits for my mother when this question came to mind. Why I thought of it, I have no idea, my mind just drifts. But I figured that threes songs were important to really breakdown and talk about. Music serves as a remedy for dealing with issues, and we need music to get us through the tough times, and these songs really put them into perspective.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is one of the most important albums of the 90s, and probably ever in terms of female hip hop emcees. The album was empowering for women because this was a time when females actually rapped about issues that they had to deal with in their perspective; I can’t say the same for today, and who knows if it will ever get back to that point. Lost Ones starts off aggressive and powerful, and the context is that she’s an angry woman who just got played by her boyfriend (I guess he’d be an Ex now).
The confidence came out and she said “oh, you think just because you’re a man, I can’t speak out? Think again.” Many men don’t feel like the opinions of women matter at all. Wrong. Men & Women are equally hard-headed when it comes to voicing themselves, but Men like to have the control and upper hand when it comes to an argument. When you had female rappers like Queen Latifia, MC Lyte, and Roxanne Shante voicing their opinions on sexism and all of that, where did all of that go? Oh, I forgot, men run record companies and don’t want to hear any of that bullshit. True true. Lauryn Hill spoke out and she wanted her voice heard. Lost Ones was the beginning of it all. Everyone is entitled to their own defense, so Lauryn defended herself and said “ayo, straight up, you may think you have it all, but you lost the most important thing you had going for you.” Men have all heard this line before “You’ll never have someone as good as me ever again” blah blah blah, right? It’s one of those lines that’s said in the heat of the moment during an argument, but sometimes it could be true. It’s hard to find someone who was so good to us before as someone new and improved, but that’s why we live life and go through struggles. You win some, you lose some, but in Lauryn’s case, you lost one.
Cole. World. When I first heard this song, I was like “Damn, Jermaine, this is some deep shit,” and it really touched on an issue that many rappers don’t often talk about. It’s one of the reasons why I’m a fan of his anyways, because he keeps it real a majority of the time.
Abortion is one of the most heavily argued subjects that has been going on for well beyond my years, but the battle of legalizing it has been something of a hot topic for recent years, especially since it’s an Election year in the States. I’m a Canadian and shouldn’t care, but what they do, Canada often mimics. Young couples (not even necessarily couples) are having kids it seems at younger and younger ages, but that’s not anything new. I was a child to teenage parents, and a lot of my friends were too, and when you get to a certain age, you think about it “I wonder if my mom or dad ever thought about giving me up because they wanted to live their lives.” I’ve thought about it, but this song made me think about it. The thing that made this song great was that J.Cole played both parts, the father & the mother of the unborn child. Suggesting abortion isn’t something that a man would ever want to do because of the guilty conscience, and often times, especially if you’re a young couple, you don’t think you can handle the responsibility since you’re STILL in the process of growing up. Women have the same issue, but the thing is…men aren’t the ones who have to carry the baby and have to go through the procedure of getting rid of the baby (physically). The argument that Cole expresses in the song makes me think if my parents had a similar situation like this where it became a heated argument. I’ve never talked to my father about it, but me and my mother have, and I think that it’s something that a lot of kids of young parents think about, so if you have the curious mind, ask. It won’t hurt. Another song I look at related to this subject is Nick Cannon’s (yes I said Nick Cannon) ‘Can I Live.’ Deeply moving, and that video was something else too, wasn’t it? Woo! Homeboys and homegirls can be the worst people to go to for advice on life changing decisions. No disrespect, but I wouldn’t trust a lot of people with having to make a big decision. I usually just trust my own instincts or ask people who I know knowledgeable enough to help me out. Friends can be real idiots, so I just avoid that scenario if it happens. Lost Ones refers to lost souls or lost children due to these types of conversations. It sucks, but it happens. Life happens, and sometimes people aren’t ready to take on another life to raise other than themselves, so I understand why abortions happen and why the battle to make it legal is so…touchy. It’s something to think about. I know I have. I applaud J.Cole for this song. One of his very best, and his catalogue is quite extensive.
Relating to what I said about friends being idiots, Jay-Z basically said the same thing on his version of Lost Ones:
I shoulda been did it but I been in a daze though
I put friends over business end of the day though
But when friends, business interests they go
Ain’t nothing left to say though
I guess we forgot what we came fo’
Death and departure is tough to handle. The people who we’re closest to, they fade. Our family members, they die. Relationships, they end. I have a friend right now, and I know that a lot of people are going through something, but a friend of mine is going through a tough time dealing with the end of a friendship that has her in pieces. Dealing with loss isn’t easy, it’s the hardest thing on Earth if you ask me, but it makes us human; it makes us think about ourselves and how we can overcome adversity the next time, but as of right now, there’s hurt, there’s pain, and there’s just darkness where no light can be found. It’s a rough time, but Hov said in this song
Close my eyes and squeeze, try to block that thought
Place any burden on me, but please, not that lord
But time don’t go back, it goes forward
Can’t run from the pain, go towards it
Some things can’t be explained, what caused it?
Such a beautiful soul, so pure, shit!
Jay was referring to his nephew that died, but the line still remains true. Time goes forward, and the pain comes with it. You have to go through shit, hell and high water to get to the other side. You don’t just wait for things to die down. You can’t stop time and dwell in the moment, you have to move forward, even if every step feels like hot coals. It’s about just getting through that first step, and I said that to my friend. The first step is always the hardest, but the important thing is that you got past the first one. You have to crawl before you walk, but don’t crawl back to a place you won’t like yourself to be. There’s hope for everything, but if it’s hanging by a needle, as much as you want to hold on to it, sometimes, you just have to let it go. Let go and let God (If you believe in God).
My Grandmother died when I was 14 (wow, next year will be 10 years), and I was still at that age where I didn’t know who I was, and I wasn’t the brightest kid, so when she died, I went through a tough time of guilt and depression. I never got to have that close relationship as an adult with my grandmother and she was wise and was always teaching me about manners and having respect for others as well as my grandfather did. I definitely lost one. Lost an opportunity to grow with someone, to have a stronger bond, but to also just get an understanding of what her life was like. I loved her, but I just wish I knew her more as a person beyond just my grandmother. For the time that I was around her, I know she was a great person, and for that, I’m thankful.
These three songs put a lot about life into perspective; whether it comes down to dealing with money, friends, death, life decisions or even your typical bullshit from time to time, these are songs to use as references to ease the pain a bit. Thoughts are powerful things, and this post really just came from a simple thought. I hope you took something from this and it makes you think about something in your life, because we’re human, and it’s only natural that we go through our emotional stages. Music is that helping hand to lead the way on the road to recovery.
That’s My Word & It STiXX