Love is a whirlwind. It chases you in dances, with some songs going longer than others. You know from the first time you hear certain songs, that you love it, immediately. Pushing others to the side, wanting more time and rewinding back to it every chance you get. The magnitude of something like this crept over me over the past 4 months, as if not to frighten me too much, but it still did. Of course, it did. Being showered with romantic love began to teach me so much more about myself that I could ever imagine. It wasn’t so much of a “change” necessarily as it was as if there was a dimension of myself that was being unfolded for me to see finally. 30 years of learning to love all the small nuances about myself and then here comes this new girl, coming to shake things up for sure. This moment of realization began to show itself with intentional timing and the very first listen of Tyler the Creator’s IGOR album impacted the biggest turning point in my life.
Monday, July 1st-
I’m back in Cleveland for the week. I sit in the passenger seat of the car comfortably, legs crossed in his direction with My eyes breaking away from him for only seconds at a time. I studied his face, like always, trying to decide which part would be my favorite for the day. His smooth glances over, quickly sell me on the eyes each time. I slipped my hand around the back of his head, sandwiched between the headrest and his skin. A wonderful warmth. I felt myself drifting as the fog in the space continued to relax me and feed me. I was being welcomed into love the right way-the way that took hold of me gently and pulled me closer every single moment, without question. I sat there stunned in disbelief, recieving something so good and examining all the beautiful reasons why I deserved every bit of it.
As a new writer, I have been steadily working through my own creative process and with that being said, I had set a rule for myself that I wouldn’t listen to any new music until I was finish writing this first series as to not interfere with the work I was carefully creating. Up until this day, I had done well at sticking to this, however forgetting that I had not shared this part of the process with my man. On the car ride I had fallen into a fantasy trance, unaware that there was even music playing in the background but when I did, my mind fired off in various directions. He had at some point switch the music over to the Igor album. Not only did it disrupt my creative process but I felt it shift my sprirt-so much that I decided that I had to make an addition to this series, with this article in particular. Tyler, The Creator is that indeed. Let me explore all the wonderful things I felt when I listened to the following songs: Earfquake, I Think, Running Out of Time and New Magic Wand. If you haven’t already, I hope this encourages you to take a listen to this album to get a glimpse of what I felt.
Tyler The Creator-Earfquake
There are theatrics throughout, hearing flipping and tumbles with this old school r&b jam feel as the drum line follows the claps that catch you at the end of every measure. I felt a unique controlled chaos, letting love shake and shape me in a form that I had not seen but found so familiar at the same time. My head nodding rhythmically fell in sync with my heart beat, providing strength and assurance in what I was allowing myself to feel. Fearsome, for sure but the explosions within me were immediately settled into a charming calmness with every glance, touch, kiss and the exchange of affirmations between us. I began to trust the safety of his arms as they were my own; he is my safety net-extended.
Tyler The Creator- I Think
The crackling invites you into the beat slowly as the piano tells the back story. There are a lot of elements used but they all work so well together. Tyler’s music has a lot of themes as complex as this one which is something that I definitely enjoy and admire about his work. The female vocalist chimes effortlessly as we hear the lyrics, “I think I’ve fallen in Love. This time I think it’s for real.” The relevancy to this statement and how it feels so much different than any other time. Actually, even attempting to compare, I’m seeing that there was no other time I felt this deeply for someone and being the Pisces woman I am, have fallen too easily in the past. Those other instances weren’t even on the same plane as what I feel, for I wasn’t who I am now and this love would have never found me without her. This is the time and this is real.
Tyler The Creator- Running Out of Time
This song was personal for me. It accurately expressed the anxiety I felt each time I had to depart from this man. During the beginning of a budding relationship, you learn that every time that you know you may have to separate from your significant other, you dread those seconds coming to a pause while you’re apart. With that being said, a long distance relationship, to me, feels like you’re always running out of time when you see each other. I was only there for a week, just 7 days with all of this goodness. I didn’t want to let it go so suddenly. This track circled in my ears, encouraging me to share more of myself, but my mind and body could not rush the process. I was opening up but to be fully bloomed was still awaiting. He would see me soon enough, a rare flower to be protected and treasured.
Tyler The Creator- New Magic Wand
The heckling laughs and screams in the background, taunting with excitement as I was declaring this happiness in life. Comfortably crazy as I turn over my heart and release control. Then the ringing comes, acting as an alarm, telling me to claim my wildness and to drop the insecurities entirely. Directly linking to the voice recording of Comedian, Jerrod Carmichael as he states, “Sometimes you gotta close a door to open a window”. This is my time to shut out negativity, finding growth in what this love intended to show me and teach me. My undivided attention was given intently, not wanting to miss a beat.
There was no way of telling how long our song would last quite yet, but I knew that I loved hearing and feeling it over and over again. Continuing letting the words pour over me as it sweetness soaked into all of my being. I had already met Love before but she was reintroducing herself to me in the most powerful way, wildly exceeding my expectations. A blossoming relationship, being admired and cultivated by me; a work of art on its own.
Written by Michelle Hill
Join us next week for the next Black artist appreciation post: Octavia Butler