Memorize

Buckle up nerds, we got a long one


Do you remember when you memorized the alphabet? Or your mom’s phone number? Think of all the stuff you’ve permanently stored in your brain. Now think of all the stuff you would know if you remembered everything you learned. If I reflect back on all the things that I’ve memorized at some point and the time taken to do such a thing, it’s daunting…but also telling of how much time I wasted. I want to talk about several things that I will remember forever and their importance to my life thus far. This might get long so apologies in advanced.

First up, the beatings or spankings we got as kids. If you haven’t gathered, I am black and was raised in church. The Bible says “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” and my parents believed in punishing us when we did something wrong. There are two situations in particular that I will never forget. In our old house we had this deep fryer that sat on the counter. It was full of oil one day and one of us knocked it over onto the kitchen floor. Instead of us telling our parents, my brothers and I SKATED IN THE OIL WITH OUR SHOES ON. When our parents found out…they. wore. us. out. We deserved it, that’s ridiculous.

The second was when we were a bit older at our current house. We had borrowed a CD from someone and when our parents got home, it was broken. The only reason this was a big deal is because we were given explicit instructions to be careful. So parents get home, CD is broken. “Alright, who did it?” We all vehemently deny it. At this point the issue was less the broken CD but the fact that SOMEBODY was lying so boldly. So obviously, we all had to get it. Fair enough. What happened will go down as one of my proudest moments as a child. So like, I knew I didn’t do it. I was NOT about to get a beatin’ for either of my brothers.  I was pissed and said something like, “Well, I didn’t do it and I’m not getting beat for it.” Then walked away. Anybody with parents that value respect knows that I could’ve died right there. Later I found out that my dad, executioner at the time, was so surprised by my conviction and boldness that he concluded that I didn’t do it and let me leave. I hated getting beatings but my parents were very fair and we probably deserved everyone we got. I’ve memorized so many of those moments and learned that if I don’t act crazy, then I’ll be fine.

So the next huge amount of information that I have memorized is everything concerned with League of Legends. This game pretty much took over my life at the age of 18. I played so much and I still suck but I’ve memorized soooooooo much about the game. Names of champions, builds, strategies, mechanics, game history, the pro scene from its inception. Nearly eight years of consuming information. THAT’S NEARLY A THIRD OF MY LIFE. It actually makes no sense that I’m this bad at the game but whatever. Will all of this information help at any other point of my life? Probably not but it happened. I can only imagine what my life would be like if I had replaced that brain space and time with anything else.

Something that many of people never forget is their first time having sex.  Mine was interesting.  First of, there was a time in college that I was H A M M E R E D and almost/maybe did have sex with a friend of mines sister. I don’t think I could get it up but I don’t know, I’m not counting it. The first actual time was at a friend of mine’s wedding. Not at the ceremony but the hotel after the reception. It was Memorial Day weekend and I was in peak physical condition. I remember seeing this black girl sit in front of us at the wedding thinking 1. She’s definitely sitting on the wrong side because the bride’s people are on the other side and 2. She is stunning. Anyway, wedding is done and we travel to the other side of the world to the reception. She’s sitting nearby but ya know whatever I suck with girls. The newlyweds have a cute book for people to sign and decorate. Her and I get up to this thing at the same time and I make a quick joke about letting her go first. Get a smile and continue on. Food is being served buffet style, smiles exchanged again. Dancing starts (YO IF YOU DON’T DANCE AT A WEDDING I DON’T WANNA BE YOUR FRIEND) and she comes up and we start dancing together. She then whispers, “Are you coming to the hotel party afterward? I wanna fuck you.” I’m in shock but manage to say yes. “I’ll be in Room whatever(I don’t remember)” Fun time are had, things are winding down, people are heading over to the hotel and I ask my boy for a condom, he comes through. We are having fun at the party but I don’t see her. Fine, that was weird anyway. Out of nowhere she comes in, grabs me and leads me to her room. I remember that I’m wearing a brown wife beater (smh) because I was worried about losing any piece of clothing in this hotel as clothes start flying. We have sex, it was fine. She stops at some point and runs to the bathroom. She kicks me out because she wasn’t feeling well but makes me promise to text her the next day (LOL). I promise and leave. I remember that day/night so clearly. There are a ton of other sex things that I remember like specific locations, fear getting caught, anal for the first time but this is getting suuper long.

Hang in there. I only got one more thing left.

As all my adoring fans of this blog may know, I love music. I’m a musician and I spend a great deal of time listening, finding and thinking about music. I cannot even begin to fathom how many songs that I have memorized at one point or another. Whether it is warm-ups for Wind Ensemble, Portrait of Clown in Concert Band, the hits that were added years later in the third chorus of Things Fall Apart or all the odd metered breaks in Flounder Warehouse. Add on playing songs in church for years. Knowing how your pastor liked you to play a certain song, shout bumps, Fred Hammond songs that your praise team ambitiously wanted to perform. There’s more! Just listening to music played over and over again on the radio or finding songs that I like then sleeping to them for months on end. I’ve memorized beat changes on ten minute prog rock songs, piano solos on jazz odysseys, intros of pop songs and random ad-libs from A$AP Ferg songs.

It’s a lot.

On the flipside, I cannot remember song lyrics. For the life of me, I can’t do it. Gun to my head, if the alphabet don’t count, I’m dead. I would probably mess up the national anthem. It’s sad, even songs that I love to death I would stumble. It’s sad.

 

Well holy moly. I wrote so much. Most of these are just memories but I’ve memorized details about them and the lessons and feelings gained from these experiences.

Tell me, what was the last thing you memorized? (I’m kidding, nobody talks to me)

 

via Daily Prompt: Memorize

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Come on Taylor…

This song is bad. It’s so bad in fact that I decided to write about it at damn near midnight.


“Look What You Made Me Do” is the brand spanking new single by drama ridden, divisive pop star Taylor Swift. Personally, I don’t care at all about Taylor Swift. She seems to be this super nice girl that makes music about boys she once dated and people love it. For whatever reason there just ALWAYS some drama surrounding her though. The newish stuff with Katy Perry, obviously the seemingly endless thing with Kanye (apparently she really hates other famous people with K names) and the string of high profile relationships that end up turning into chart toppers. Something just seems a little shady and it rubs people the wrong way. On the flip side, 1989 was super good (“Style” is a banger, don’t @ me) and showed that once she finally shed her country skin, she can make really good mainstream pop music.

So much edge

I guess “Look What You Made Me Do” is her being done with her good girl image. The lyrics and production point to a more darker, attitudey, “I ain’t scared and you’re gonna get it” persona. Which is fine…but like…the song sucks. The track kicks off with some nice synths but quickly devolves into a uninteresting, 808 driven verse with dated snares and uninventive vocal melody. The prechorus brings in some piano that sounds like we’re going to build into a cool chorus and then…..

“Ooh, look what you made me do
Look what you made me do
Look what you just made me do
Look what you just made me do
Ooh, look what you made me do
Look what you made me do
Look what you just made me do
Look what you just made me do?

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Like come on yo. What is this? You reuse the boringness from the verse for the chorus which is a total let down. There is barely anything melodic anything in the song save the quick intro and the bridge. WHAT DID WE MAKE YOU DO? Oh we made you write another song about the people that wronged you? Surprise! This is basically same Taylor but now it’s not even interesting.

The first verse is clearly about Kanye and the issue that stemmed a line on his album The Life of Pablo. I’m not completely certain what the second verse is referencing but I don’t care enough to look it up.

“I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
I check it once, then I check it twice, oh!”

Who are you Santa? Arya Stark? What are you gonna do with this list of names? Murder?

“The world goes on, another day, another drama, drama
But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma
And then the world moves on, but one thing’s for sure
Baby, I got mine, but you’ll all get yours”

Ugh, yeah we’ll see if you’re done with the drama. She’s naming her album Reputation, so I’m assuming it’ll do nothing but cause drama.

“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now
Why? Oh!
‘Cause she’s dead!”

*Laughs maniacally* You know what. I’m ready for whatever new version of Taylor is coming with this release. Cannot wait for November. In the meantime, this song is booty and should be treated as such.

Can’t believe over 500 words about Taylor Swift at midnight. How salty am I?

Quickie: A Couple Standouts from Jay-Z’s 4:44

So I haven’t felt like doing a review of a whole album but Jay-Z’s latest release, 4:44, would have been a great candidate. By the time I listened to it I had already taken in too many outside thoughts to get across an untainted opinion. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed this album. The introspection and owning up to his past faults was incredibly mature and not something many rappers have the experience to write about. Jay-Z has a unique perspective on the industry. He’s pretty much conquered his genre, married one of the most beautiful women ever (don’t @ me) and is rich to a point that it should translate to wealth. Think of rappers you consider the best; how many of them are in the position Jay is in?

In any case, while 4:44 as a whole is excellent, some tracks have stood out to me and lodged themselves into my brain. First off, “Moonlight” is such a well made song. The instrumental isn’t hard hitting but makes me bop regardless. Add in different pitched “La La La” vocal samples and it’s definitely one of my favorite listens on the album. The song is influenced by the snafu at the Oscars last year but outside of that, Jay spends a great deal of time talking about new rappers and how dumb they are (in so many words). He’s from a different era and criticizes the current one from his point of view. The random bass drum drop outs, Jay’s flow and the old head, “What are these youngins doing??” lyrics.  I love everything about this song.

Another is “Marcy Me” with it’s Motown-like drums, heavy reliance on pianos and once again the prevalence of vocal samples throughout the song. Jay-Z reflects on his time growing up in Brooklyn in the Marcy houses. The instrumental matches the mood of the lyrics as reflective and some clever wordplay really accomplish the goal that was set. “Think I just popped up in this bitch like a fetus? Nah Pregnant pause” Hahaha that’s awesome.

Obviously the title track is special. I looked up the sample for this song because I had assumed it was some black women in the 60s ripping it up. I was wrong, it’s Hannah Williams and it was released just last year. The original is amazing and has similar themes of infidelity which is why the sample that was chosen is so perfect (like duh Justin). This album has no traditional bangers and I think that’s why I like it so much. That is not a crutch Jay could have leaned on. Gimme a beat that slaps and I care less about the message. To No I.D.’s credit though…the production is INCREDIBLE. This song is incredibly personal about Jay and Bey’s relationship and how he did her wrong. It’s great, just listen to it.

I’m not about to go through every song but I wanted to mention a couple other parts that I liked:

Giving out “Million dollars worth of advice for $9.99” is great on “The Story of OJ.” Jay-Z is letting his fans in on the secrets to financial success which I think is hilarious.

“Family Feud” features a lot of Beyonce vocals in the background and Jay’s cockiness is back. They’ve built a crazy empire of a life and that could all crumble if they are at odds with each other. It’s dope. Amen.

“Adnis” is cool even though there isn’t much happening. The simpleness and subdued nature of the instrumental feels like at any time it could break into something much more grandiose. Jay’s voice has more dynamics than the beat but not by much. The subject matter is a bit dark but still a really good song.

Maaaaan, I really like 4:44…like the whole thing. Perspective and production are the things that really set this apart for me. Jay-Z is technically great from a rapping stand point and it seems he poured his soul out onto this album. Three songs have made it onto my playlist but I regularly listen to all of it straight through.

Welp. This wasn’t quick at all.

Shuke? Lay? Sheitz? Reitzowicz?

Despite writing a ton, expressing feelings is not my strong suit. For that reason, I’ll try to keep this short. All this has been said before but I didn’t actually do anything for your wedding so here this is.

You guys are great. Along with my parents, you guys are very real examples that love is real and sometimes you just find the perfect person. I only see a very small portion of time you spend together but what is portrayed is very encouraging to even the most pessimistic love haters (not me…other people). I will just continue to 3rd wheel your life for fun.

Sure, I’ve known Luke a bit longer but at this point you guys have both become really good friends of mine. Luke, you’ve been just a solid dude and a great friend. Driving my ass to gigs, letting me stop fights in our more drunken days and making decisions for groups of people that sometimes generally suck at it. You’re endlessly self-sacrificing and way more mature than most. You also ain’t too bad at the bass. In another world we could’ve taken over the city as the GOAT rhythm section.

Shay, I’ve grown to enjoy your unwavering kindness over the years. At first, it just didn’t make any sense to me. The world sucks and people suck more. Why are you soooo nice?  I genuinely admire that part of you now.  We’ve shared a ton of drinks. You’ve always tried to help me when I was looking for a job or an apartment. I also feel the most comfortable talking to you about dating, women, relationships blah blah blah. Never change (sounds like a dumb yearbook quote).

The world should be endlessly thankful for y’alls mere existence. Despite being gross and kissing just like soo deeply in public (live your life, I don’t care) I couldn’t be happier that you two are together. If either of you hurt one another, I’m fightin’. Now go get those tax breaks!

With Love,

Justin Mark Davis aka Third Wheel Davis aka “I didn’t bring anything, can I have a beer?” aka “I don’t have any cash, can I just Venmo you?” aka “Last person to leave after a party”

PS: Also, you guys are both so fucking pretty…like what the hell. How is that even fair?

 

Foggy

On a fiction kick nah’mean.


Danny drank too much. He wouldn’t describe himself as an alcoholic but it was definitely above average. On this particular morning, he found himself stumbling out of his friends house at 10 am after a particularly turnt evening. He felt a full body exhaustion and his right hand was sore. “It must’ve rained last night…also this is definitely Ben’s shirt,” he thought to himself. The streets were damp and while it was still relatively early, the temperature was already getting uncomfortably warm. A thick fog covered the street while the humidity made his skin feel a little moist. The hangover combined with the fog made the streets he knew so well feel foreign. He looked left, then right and determined the red car on the corner looked more familiar and went that way.

As he slowly walked he determined that he was probably still drunk which is actually terrible when you don’t want to be. A rough day will follow when the hangover hits in earnest midday. His phone buzzes in his pocket. Whoever needed him at that very moment can definitely wait, he determined. Arriving at the corner with the red car he realizes that he went in the wrong direction. As to not look like more of a fool, Danny pulls out his phone and swiftly turns around as if his change in direction and the information on his phone are related. What he sees on the phone does surprise him though. “U owe me pal!” the text reads.

Who is this? Wat are u talking about?” Danny responds. Like the weather, the events of last night are extremely foggy. At this point, he has made it to the correct block and he is racking is non functioning brain for clues as to what this mysterious text means. His phone buzzes again. It’s a picture message. Danny furrows his brow, opens the message and barfs immediately. It’s all over the sidewalk, gross brown and clear liquid. It got on his shoes. A kid down the block quickly turns and walks away with some audible disgust. The picture is the back of man whose body seems familiar stabbing another stranger in the face. The scene was in what looked like to be a yard which also seemed vaguely familiar.  It was a bloody, gory, drunken mess.

“Wtf is this?!? WHO ARE YOU?” He was texting surprisingly well considering his current state. Danny looks back at the picture and realizes the person wielding the knife…How does he not remember this? Is that why he’s wearing a different shirt? Does that explain the pain in his hand?

In his drunken and now terrified state he does not see the metal pole and slams his head into it. Everything comes rushing back as he starts to fall; feelings of rage and then paralyzing fear before collapsing onto the pavement. Danny’s phone buzzes as a call comes in next to his immobilized body.

 

via Daily Prompt: Foggy