My admiration for New Edition is well known amongst all my friends.  And few months ago, for the first time ever in my life I was actually able to see them perform.  It was awesome.  I am generally not into concerts but this one was great.  Even though it was many years after my initial scheduled date to see them.  When I was about 8 years old or so my mother got me and my brother each a ticket to go see them when they came to Louisiana.  I was super hype about it and it was suppose to be a present for getting good grades.  But somewhere between my mom announcing that she bought my ticket and the actual concert my dad stepped in and made the decision that Jackson was too young to be out at a concert on a school night at 8 years old.  I was devastated.  And while I surprisingly didn’t cry about it, when my neighbor came over to roll with my brother to the concert with MYYYYYYY ticket, I was not above hating on him.  I had all sorts of internal comments about the freshly shined dress shoes, jacket and tie that he was wearing to the concert.  I remember saying to myself, Is he going to Church or a Concert?!  But all of my hating did nothing but send me to bed pretty vexxed that night.  And before anyone starts to hate on my dad, I came to understand his point of view.  Depriving me of that experience at 8 was tough but it was consistent with the order of protection that our dad always exhibited with us growing up.  The same sort of “follow the rules” sort of mantra that made us all grow up to achieve in school, never be in any sort of trouble and be respectful adults all the way around.  So while I was upset at the time I never was able to maintain any real resentment towards my dad.  But I felt like I missed out.  So when I saw them a few months ago, a couple days after Whitney Houston died, Bad Ass Bobby Brown did not disappoint.  And seeing them on stage dancing like I had seen in the videos made me feel like a kid again.  And it reminded me about all the emotions that the music can evoke in you. 

New Edition talked about love at its most pure and naive form.  The talk about that excitement and that innocence that is not clouded by the common messages that we get into today.  They never pushed the line about sex.  They didn’t refer to the women as hoes or bitches.  And as a result, it shaped what I felt like romance should be like.  It should be about me holding some girls hand in the park and kissing her on the cheek after I dropped her off from the movies.  It never embedded in my mind the idea that I needed to have a multitude of women all over me.  It didn’t convince me that I should be distrustful or disrespectful with women or that I needed yoke them up every now and then to make my point with them.  Basically my image of these things that I had not yet experienced were not shaped or molded in a negative way.  I am not a prude about sex but, I just don’t think that I ever really needed flashing lights always promoting it to get me to that place.  Nature did that for me.

  
But as I got older and I was exposed to the more sullied side of what male/female relationships are thorugh more sexually charged music that promoted the idea that we should all be hittin it and quittin it.  And that music is good and entertaining, but what is it planting in my subconcious?  Any psychologist will tell you that you can only listen to so much derogatory stuff for so long before it plays a roll in how you view things.  Especially your sense of write and wrong.  For example, I do not call women bitches and hoes but I am a lot less sensitive to hearing other people say those things in the street.  And my silence in many instances speaks to my complicity.

So I decided to step away from the Young Money/MMG/Kanye/Jay-z playlist for a while and go back to the sort of stuff that makes me feel good inside to hear.  The music that makes me feel like a young kid passing notes between classes.  If I play songs that say things like I don’t trust these bitches, Money over everything, She was dick Crazy and Cheddar Mad then it will eventually make me start to change what I see when I look at a woman.  So I would rather stick with lyrics like, Save tomorrow for me…I’m coming home to you……  Things that reinforce to me in my subconcious mind that I can always look at a woman as a friend and a treasure.  Things that make me feel young.

Give it a try for a a couple weeks.  Put all the hateful, hurful, woman-bashing, man-hating music to the side for a while.  Play a bunch of music that inspires you.  Feeds your soul and brightens your spirit.  You would be amazed at how much better I feel going into work when I have my New Edition CD playing as oppose to Bitches Ain’t Shit but Hoes and Tricks.

What do you play to pull you out of a negative mood?

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

@jacksonbracey

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