We reside in an imbalanced nation. The proliferation of women artists creating Goddess pictures serves to counterbalance the negative portrayal society imposes on them. Similarly, violent music resonates so deeply because our lives are often mundane and predictable, and these tales of individuals expressing our deepest desires connect us to the way we yearn to act.
In a world where suffering is stigmatized and profound loneliness prevails, we require a philosophy that carves out a space where intentional healing and enjoyment merge. We need a vision of ourselves and our relationship with the world that compels us to strive for personal growth. Unfortunately, we grapple with what Aristotle referred to as “Akrasia,” a weakness of will, causing many of our attempts to improve ourselves to falter, leaving us frustrated and bewildered.
Yet, yoga offers something unique that no other philosophy can provide: movement. It demands that we step onto the mat, move our bodies, and then breathe. Through this physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental process, we learn to accept ourselves wherever we are in the present moment. The world is plagued by loneliness due to numerous factors, and we can never presume to possess enough knowledge about ourselves.
Art is a tool that can help us balance the excesses and deficiencies of our lives, providing us with a glimpse of a more harmonious and meaningful existence. Art has the ability to counteract the negative influences of our culture, offering us a different perspective and reminding us of the beauty, complexity, and depth that exists within us and the world around us.
Imagine that we have fallen into a way of life that feels restrictive. We are yearning to truly live, yet as our wealth seemingly grows, our happiness steadily declines. Our friends are all occupied, leaving us feeling alone. However, when we find ourselves on our mat, instead of surrendering to despair, we transform it. We move through our loneliness, allowing it to flow through our bodies, exploring ourselves to uncover the reasons for our withdrawal. We acknowledge our deep longing to be loved and learn to revitalize our dormant souls, breathing life back into them. Alain De Botton speaks on our longing to be loved saying:
Yearning for love is not a weakness; it is a fundamental human longing, a recognition that we are incomplete without the love and companionship of others.
Hip-hop music has become a significant expression of Black culture, encompassing a diverse range of styles and artists such as Jay Z and Lola Brook. It reflects the multifaceted needs of a community striving for various goals, including freedom, wealth, and the release of pent-up emotions tied to violence, drug abuse, and pain. To overlook these elements in Black music would be akin to ignoring a burning house while going grocery shopping, hoping it will extinguish itself by the time one returns home.
It is important to acknowledge that we embrace this music passionately because it unveils our internal struggles and conflicts. When Chief Keef’s music permeated Texas, it sparked a wave of enthusiasm, with people adopting slogans like “BD” and “On GD” and enduring scorching temperatures to grow dreadlocks. However, upon closer examination, I realized that Keef provided excitement and served as a masculine hero in a world that often overlooked us. We rarely questioned why a young individual clung so tightly to a lifestyle we were unfamiliar with. Instead, we should inquire about the nation’s true needs.
In my belief, we require precisely what we are receiving: a multicolored and intricate vocalization of the Black experience. Hip-hop music serves as a platform for expressing the realities and complexities of being Black. It allows us to convey our stories, struggles, aspirations, and resilience in a way that resonates with our community.
Art is a tool to help us make sense of our lives and find solace in the complexities of our human experiences. Art holds a profound capacity to help us understand ourselves, to provide insights into our innermost thoughts and emotions that often elude conscious awareness. It serves as a mirror, reflecting back to us the intricacies of our human condition, the depths of our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears. Through the creative expression of artists, we encounter distilled fragments of human existence, encapsulated in strokes of paint, lyrical melodies, or carefully crafted words.
The essay discusses the significance of love, the impact of Black music, and the need for self-reflection. It emphasizes the central role of love in our lives and the importance of engaging in acts of love. The essay also explores the revolutionary aspect of loving Blackness in a world that relies on black blood. It criticizes the substitution of the will to power for the will to live, leading to wealthy individuals disconnected from love and embracing materialism.
Furthermore, the essay highlights the influence of Black music, particularly hip-hop, in addressing the yearning for love and providing a voice for internal struggles. It recounts personal experiences with Chief Keef’s music and its ability to bring excitement and a sense of identity to the lives of listeners. The essay concludes by emphasizing the multicolored and layered vocalization of the Black experience in hip-hop music.
In summary, the essay underscores the importance of love, the power of Black music, and the necessity of addressing and understanding our internal struggles in order to find fulfillment and connection.
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