Without really going into full detail, 2019 was one of my hardest years, personally, because of the constant instability, frustrations, and grievances that just kept coming and going, and it didn’t seem to stop. It didn’t help that I made matters worse on my own part towards the end of the year, which will surely shape out the course of my life moving forward, but within all the turmoil that I did have to live through, there were positives to come from it that have certainly helped make 2020 look like it will be a continued course of growth, but in a way that I hadn’t previously experienced before. Therapy was the big one for me that I started to take upon, and I am thankful that I finally started it, although it’s unfortunate that I had to be pushed to my limit to get it going. I’ve been a person who tends to hold a lot of things inside and not feel the need to have to burden people with my problems, because I didn’t think it was fair to them to have to take on my issues, when I’ve been that person for so many, so on the flip side, it’s unfair for them to really get to know what’s really going on inside with me, when I’ve always allowed people to be open with me in their most vulnerable states. Friends who have buried family members, experienced heartbreak, layoffs from jobs they love, family issues, etc. I don’t throw those things on other people, but they’ve been very present in my life. That lack of opening up is the reason why I’m in the position I’m in right now, but I’m looking to improve myself so that I don’t have to carry that weight alone, and it’s hard, but it’s necessary, because Lord knows there’s only so much I can shoulder, but I had to learn that the hard way, and it hasn’t been easy to cope with. It’s not a cry for help, more that it’s a realization about myself that things need to be better, and I’m going about doing the things that will hopefully help them.
A line that has stood out to me since I first heard it came from my favourite podcast, which is unfortunately no longer in existence, Gyalcast. The line goes “you have to laugh to keep yourself from crying,” and it’s always been a line that has stayed with me, because that’s pretty much how I’ve gone about life, and I know that there are many who share that lived experience. Music has a way of taking us out of those feelings, but also it has a way for us to feel the heaviness we’re going through, but at the same time allowing us to enjoy the production & lyrics in ways that we can feel good, and for the most part, it’s part of the reason why I haven’t gravitated to a lot of music in the genres that I often go to make me feel good. I’ve listened to more old school music more than anything, unless it’s been Bandana by Freddie Gibbs & Madlib or Ventura by Anderson .Paak, but in late December 2019, Kaytranada blessed us again with a follow-up to 2016’s 99.9%, and quite frankly it dropped at the perfect time in my life when I just wanted to experience a release that didn’t necessarily have to have lyrics to accompany the house-like production that was at the forefront.
If you know me, you know I love to dance. It’s been a while since I really did so in a way that I was in my element. Soca, Dancehall & Afrobeats are great genres that definitely have me moving, but it’s not the same as something that really hits you with rhythm in a way that you just want to free-flow with reckless abandon, and that’s what I’ve been missing in my life, and that’s where BUBBA has come in clutch like a certain Buzzer beater that hit the rim 4 times on May 12, 2019. From DO IT to Midsection, there’s no shortage of the urge to dance, period. No matter where you are in the world listening to this album, there’s a pulse that just reverberates through your system and makes you want to move, and in that, there’s the release that you yearn for. My personal favourite is Puff Lah, and I really have no articulate or expertise breakdown of why that is, but it just hits me in a way that not only makes me want to groove, but it relaxes me in a way where I can hone in on my emotions and really embrace the pain & sorrow I feel, but transfers it in a way where I can feel alright, even if it’s for the 1:53 run time (which is entirely too short). The features throughout the album fit right in with the House music experience that Kaytranada gives, which is not far from sonic nature of 99.9%, and the barrage of voices that created the futuristic atmosphere that garnered the project Canada’s Polaris Music Prize.
Lyrics are well and nice, but sometimes they’re not necessary. It’s partly the reason why I would love just listening to Hip Hop instrumentals, Jazz, or Classical music. It’s the escapism of it all, and at those times, I don’t need anyone to be a narrator of the thoughts swirling in my head. But all that being said, this album is a feel-good remedy that inspires me to keep pushing forward and recognize that the tough times won’t always last, despite them being out in full force in my face & in my heart. I think a lot of people will come to appreciate this album as 2020 moves forward, but I also think that it’s the perfect sound for what many people need, because in our modern music times, in the ‘urban’ section, there isn’t a lot of feel good music, or music to make your soul feel like it’s been hugged. This is that, and I’m thankful for it. Do take in the album, and most definitely enjoy. Let it flow through what you’re going through, and hopefully it either elevates you’re current high, or brings out of a dark place. This is my opinion, this is my review,
That’s My Word & It STiXX