Got Soul?

100-proof-aged-in-soul-st.jpg

Driving from Dallas to Houston (shout out Mac Brown) last weekend with one of my oldest friends for a wild weekend of Texas sized fun, I played DJ, scrolling through my Ipod and choosing a few songs less than a decade old. Aside from making me feel old, it brought up the question—where has the all the soul gone? Contemporary R&B’s soundscape is full of bombastic boasts of sexual prowess, faux empowerment ballads and trite words of psuedo-love and angst sung by some prefab overly made up kid who only knows soul when it’s spelled sole and referring to shoes.


For me, soul encapsulates the experiences of living a full life- pain, love, loss, triumph and failure. There is an authenticity not just on the words being sung, but the emotion being conveyed. When Donny Hathaway sang Giving Up or Teddy Pendergrass pleaded for you to Come Go With Me you felt ever word and breath that crossed from their lips through your speakers. When Otis Redding invited you into These Arms of Mine and Oleta Adams asked you to Get Here– you went. Even through the 90s, Jaguar Wright, Donell Jones, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Monifah, Olu, Jilly from Philly … they all carried with them soul and the ability to share that soul through their music.

To be fair, there are certainly artists today that are in touch with soul (Anthony Hamilton, Chrissette Michelle, Amy Winehouse) and the past is also ridded with plenty of soul deprived manufactured artists, but generally speaking, the cream is no longer rising to the top and fans of real music are stick with vapidity.

When Rihanna sings about not wanting to be a murderer and Beyonce warbles through dance instructions, it’s obvious that same authenticity and zest for life is missing. They just don’t feel it, and in there defense it is probably because they have no way of knowing it. When you are sheltered your entire life and molded into the perfect representation of hollow plasticity, thee is no way you can feel the pain and joy that life simultaneously offers. But let’s be honest, those chicks and 98% of the peers couldn’t do soul if you poured it over a stack of pancakes and force fed it to them for breakfast in a daily basis.

I’ve learned more important lessons on life, love and loss from good soul music- it has served as my personal soundtrack throughout most of my life, and I have no doubt it will continue to as the years pass, however it would be nice of new voices with new experiences were able to add to the mix.

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14 Responses to “Got Soul?”

  1. cMac Says:

    eskay has the quantity, but green…youve got the quality. It’s such a good thing to know that everyone aint snappin their fingers these days.

    I try to make it a habit of listening to some neo-soul music at least once a week.

    I asked this one dumb/pretty as hell girl I used to mess with, how does she like lauryn hill, badu, floetry, goapele, corinne bailey rae. She said to me “i don’t like that soulful music….but I love amy winehouse”

  2. The-XFacta Says:

    Great Post!!!! You’re so right the music has/is changing and it’s not for the good…. But I remember my own aunts and uncles saying the same shit to me when I was small. I think it’s more of a generational thing and taste.. Not to mention we are all getting older…. Stay up Baby!

  3. Big Homie Says:

    This is why Soul music and ol school music is what I listen to most. Music from back in the day was way better than todays. That goes for Hip Hop as well. Great post Greenie

  4. green eyes Says:

    thanks guys

  5. G7 Says:

    that pic is kinda like the Pete Rock Soul Survivor cover. One of my favourites.

  6. lo k Says:

    cot damn, I gotta say, I’m really attracted to the way you use your adjectives… if your music selections are anything like your word selections, you must be a very good dj…

    everytime I spin a wedding or something I get reminded of the same thing you speak of. Just this past weekend in fact, I did this marathon wedding filled with Al Green, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. When it was time to really get the party started a lot of the classic 90’s tracks came out and all was good until someone requested Soulja Boy… In their defense the person said they didn’t really know what the song was, but still, things are not the same.

    While I know Common isn’t in the same vein as the soul singers, I gotta hand it to him, his new album is truly musical and a very well put together piece of art. Now if we could just get the other 98% of the industry on the same page…

  7. lo k Says:

    How do you sell soul to a soulless people who sold their soul? (c) Public Enemy

  8. I Fux aka Willy Mo Swagger Says:

    *pulls up walking slighty to the side with a pimp like sensibilitly but classy sort of like Denzel does*

    *Makes eye contact with Greenie*

    *Raises eyebrows as a gesture saying wassup*

    *greenie walks over*

    *fuxie pulls her by front pockets with two index fingers*
    *kisses her on cheek*

    *whispers*

    “hey baby member that time we were at my crib and I popped in the bilal”

    *greenie nods bites bottom lip*

    Greenie says: Ya Fuxie can I come over tonight

    I say: Sure Baby would you like Zifendel or Yak

    Greenie whispers: Whatever you want and for dessert I want hard cock

    I say: I got you Mija

  9. green eyes Says:

    *floor*
    fuxie you fool

  10. candyraindrops Says:

    lol @ fux..good post green..im a soul girl myself.

  11. green eyes Says:

    thanks ll

  12. Phuque Says:

    Great post…and lol @ Fux….

  13. I Fux aka Willy Mo Swagger Says:

    *wakes up*
    *looks to left sees Greenie*
    *looks to right sees empty bottle of Patron*
    *looks under sheet sees Greenie Nekkid*
    *gets up walks to bathroom brushes teeth*
    *walks around naked looking for clothes*
    *puts on jeans and tee*
    *kisses greenie on cheek*
    *walks out of SoCo*

  14. green eyes Says:

    ^ wow

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