June 5, 2012
By Craig Henry BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
Craig Henry BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Music has always been a passion of mine. But before the age of 13 it was always more instrumental, not lyrical. Well that all changed when Kanye West released his 808 & Heartbreaks album, which was my favorite album at the time. If you haven’t heard it before, for starters, you need to listen to it, but for now, you can guess what it is about, “Heartbreaks”, like the title suggests. The year it was released it was my eighth grade year, the year I of the “player”; I was chasing girls left and right. Ironically, the chase had come with a heartbreak by a girl named Samantha, who at one point was like a little sister to me. Well, while Samantha and I were talking, she still had a boyfriend, and, to me, he wasn’t treating her right, so I felt she needed to be with me instead of him. However, she didn’t feel the same way and decided it would be best if we stayed friends. Heartbroken, I turned to my favorite album for comfort. I played “Heartless”, one of my favorite songs and number one hit off the album, over and over again, until it was stuck in my head.

The next day I went to school, the song played in my head continuously, especially, whenever I saw Samantha. While reciting the lyrics out loud, I accidentally added my own little lyrics in to the song, and when my friend Denzel heard me say it, he said, “Those not even the words, but that was decent”. When I heard this, an idea popped in my head, why not remix the Heartless, just for fun. Immediately, I asked Denzel if I could use his notebook to write my “bars”, a term for measures in the rap culture, and I went straight in. The first couple of lines came easily, but finishing it was the tough part. However, I managed to finish it and I told Denzel to read it, and he told me that t was “decent as H-E-double hockey sticks”, as he always says. With his comment in mind and my own ego, I was hyped up for the rest of the day about the wonderful “bars” I had written, I went around telling every body to read my lyrics, and sometimes rapping it myself, so people could feel the rhythm and flow I had. The feedback was almost the same with everybody that heard it or read it, it was “decent”, and that was good enough for me. One of my teacher's let Kanye West hear it and he wanted to bring me in to the studio, but I didn't have time to do that, so I politely turned the offer down. I even rapped it while Samantha around, hoping that she would see how I really felt and enjoy the heartfelt message I delivered, but of course she didn’t, just like any other movie when someone reveals their feelings subliminally and their crush doesn’t realize its about them. Well that day, was the day I wrote my first rap verse, which would lead to my array of verses I wrote and posted on MySpace for the rest of that school year and to my current pursuance of a career in the music industry. In today’s music industry, rap and hip-hop are often confused with each other, and I realize now that that remix of “Heartless”, actually conveyed a quality of the hip-hop culture. That just for fun song, expressed true feeling and meaning and told a story, unlike current rap music that is filled with superficial and materialistic messages that do not have any characteristics of hip-hop culture. That hip-hop feel, is something I strive to deliver today, and, therefore, a quality I have instilled in me, since I managed to portray this quality in eighth grade due to a puppy love type heartbreak.

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