Beware’s exceptional piece chronicling a sample of his favorite motivational songs was actually my motivation for penning this. That and the new Killer Mike album. A Tribe Called Quest, Faith Evans and Raphael Saadiq’s “Stressed Out” has always been a record I’ve revisited over the years when musical therapy was needed. For a variety of reasons you probably don’t and shouldn’t care about, I’ll refrain from talking your heads clean off about why this track is being highlighted. Prioritizing things and deciding “what’s next” has all but defined my life recently.
ATCQ’s soul bearing cut ironically glided across my iTunes the other day while performing open heart surgery on my resume and it was as if I was in a parallel universe for at least a good 15 minutes. I sat back, listened, ran it back, ran it back again, took a deep breath and carried on about my proceedings. My problems weren’t eliminated, yet the feeling of hearing a song basically become yourself is nothing less than an out-of-body experience.
Contrary to popular belief, a lot more is happening in life for yours truly (aside from watching LeBron chase a ring). If anything, that presents an escape and if that was the only hindrance I had to be concerned with, then I’d be doing alright for myself. And also contrary to popular belief, my favorite music – the stuff I listen to far beyond the year it was released – is the kind which tug at my heart strings whether it be sentimental value or just sheer enjoyment; the lyrics that make you sit back and all but say, “damn, I’m not the only one.” Tribe and Faith created what I believe is an under-appreciated anthem for when life’s hurdles always seem to be one step ahead of its blessings.
Everything’s an example of give and take. If God granted me the gift of seeing the future, I’d probably drive myself crazy. Meanwhile, not knowing what the future presents offers the same spread. If life was meant to be easy to live, then what’d be the point in looking forward to heaven? I’m assuming that’s why songs like “Stressed Out” were put in our lives to cope.