First and foremost I would like to apologize to my neighbors in my dormitory. At any given time you may have heard a loud “brrrrr” and wondered what it was. No, it was not me complaining about the brutal Chicago cold (it has actually been a temperate winter). More importantly, we have central heating. You may have also heard a loud “what”. No, it wasn’t me yelling into the phone because of poor signal. I always have perfect connection in my room. I’m almost positive that you have heard an unidentifiable language that sounded like pig Latin mixed with a foreign colloquial dialect.  If I’ve been disturbing you I’m really sorry. But technically it hasn’t been my fault. I have a confession. Those sounds you heard weren’t me.  They were the voices of Radric Davis, Johnathan Mortimor Smith, and Jauquan Molphers. These three individuals are better known as Gucci Mane, Lil’ Jon, and Wacka Flocka Flame. The “brrr” was from Gucci, the loud and probably obnoxious “what” was from Lil’ Jon, and the unidentifiable language was Wacka Flacka screaming OOOOOOlaaaaydooooit (Oh let’s do it). Ladies and gentlemen, I enjoy “crunk” music. There I said it.

Before all you fist-pumping neo soul heads or “conscious” rap aficionados tear me apart, please allow me to explain myself. I have a very eclectic taste in music. When I want to study or write (like right now) I listen to the sweet melodic sounds of Norah Jones or Corinne Bailey Rae. When I want to just relax and clear my mind I youtube search a Maroon 5 song. When I’m getting ready for class I’m usually listening to Earth, Wind, and Fire. Their upbeat songs coupled with all the instruments usually put me in a good mood (even at 9 a.m. with 3 hours of sleep).  When I feel like not thinking at all and just bobbing my head I listen to Gucci Mane. At one time in my life I was ashamed to admit that I not only listened to, but enjoyed this genre of rap. But no longer do I hide my affinity for the catchy beats and dim-witted lyrics of guys like Soulja Boy and Gucci. Why? Because I’m not trying be educated by them.

Music, like any art form is what you make of it. You don’t need to have a PhD in art history to appreciate the aesthetic quality of the Mona Lisa. You can like a work for various reasons. Maybe a song evokes a certain feeling that you like, maybe it makes you dance, or maybe it makes you think about a loved one. Nevertheless, music does different things for different people. I usually listen to particular artists, at particular times, for particular reasons. Usually after my last class of the week I like to come to my room, sit in my comfortable chair, and blast “Oh Let’s Do It” by Wacka Flacka Flame. After a grueling week of intellectual gymnastics I like to unwind by listening to music that doesn’t make me ponder about the world or make me ask big questions. I just want to bob my head and chill. Many people call this kind of music ignorant, and I agree that it is most of the time. Yet, some of these same critics run to the movies every time a Tyler Perry film comes out or they buy a Kings of Comedy DVD.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a mindless consumer. In fact I’m probably more aware or conscious of the material I listen to than most people. This is why I rarely buy albums (the last album I bought was Graduation by Kanye West). I do not illegally download music either. I just search a song on Youtube.  I don’t contribute to an artist’s royalties unless I feel moved by their work. Hence, I don’t feel moved by the Gucci’s of the world, which is why I don’t buy their albums.  I love music, and I love entertainment. I love to be entertained by “crunk” music.