Music Monday: I Used to Love H.E.R.

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“I Used to Love Hearing Every Rhyme.”

“I Used to Love Hip Hop in its Essence is Real.”

The day I fell in LOVE with Hip-Hop. Thursday, February 17, 2011. I was 21.

I had just been dumped by a guy who fell for his classmate, Victoria, who he would “tutor”.

It was the first time since my freshman year of college that I had been left for another woman. This time, though, I wasn’t left wondering. He straight up told me, “I like Victoria, so we need to break up.” That summer he told me the fling lasted 2 weeks and that he regretted his decision immediately after. Haha Funny how things work out that way.

All my engineering girlfriends and sorority sisters came over after I called them bawling my eyes out. They left and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt alone. I felt so ugly. I felt so…unwanted. I kept imagining this girl who apparently was “better” than me. I had never met her, but I drove myself crazy thinking about what she looked like, what her major was, etc.

I turned the TV on. I opened my computer and went to my blogspot blog and decided I would write about the breakup so I could vent and maybe, just maybe, get over it that way.

Then it came on…Yo!: The Story Of Yo! MTV Raps on Vh1.

I had always been around rap and Hip-Hop, but had never really paid THAT much attention to it. I considered all of it just music you listened to when you wanted to dance or do some old-school “twerking”.

After watching that documentary, I was hooked.

I spent all my free time after that researching Hip-Hop and finding old-school artists to learn about. I immersed myself in this research. I ate, slept, and INHALED Hip-Hop. I invested in a 64 GB iPod and downloaded all I could.

I read books, watched documentaries, and went to any live Hip-Hop show I could attend.

Hip-Hop was my “gateway” drug into music. After Hip-Hop, I started to learn more about the beginnings of jazz, funk, and rock. Hip-Hop is a product of music blending and coming together, so I had to learn about other forms of music before I could truly understand and appreciate Hip-Hop.

Hip-Hop also motivated me. I started running that semester and my infinite Hip-Hop playlist kept me going through my healing period.

Hip-Hop saved my life. Literally.

There was one night that I just lost it. It wasn’t about him. It was about her. I was in constant competition with any woman I met or saw because I knew that at any moment my significant other could just up and replace me with someone else; someone “better”. I would walk around paranoid that I would meet her or pass her on my way to class. I drank a whole bottle of wine by myself that night and ended up crying in the shower with my clothes on. I thought how much better it would be to just give up. Stop trying. Just die. My sister/roommate found me a few hours later. That night I listened to “I Used to Love H.E.R.” -Common for the first time and kept it on repeat until I fell asleep.

I started focusing on running and school after that and slowly I got over it. In the end, I was a stronger person for it, but I had also found a love for something I had never known before.

Hip-Hop walked into my life when I least expected it. Hip-Hop had all the answers for my life and love dilemmas. Hip-Hop became my best friend and my confidant. I don’t know where I would have been if Hip-Hop hadn’t found me.

Here is the YouTube playlist I made during that time if you want to listen to some of my favorite songs early on in my Hip-Hop journey.

Thank you Hip-Hop…for everything.

Stay in Love and Just Listen,

AM

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