I have been directed to a new document about my home city this weekend and the music of the film had me hopping on the couch in my rental. My roommates were bemused by my enthusiasm but tolerate it as I prepared them in some capacity for the homecoming that would be released in watching this movie about the music that is the heart of my city. It is called club music. And while I have grown adjacent to it, I have a fondness for it. Let’s explore that in this essay.
I have mentioned in other essays that my music choices have been directed by embracing the insults directed at me in some capacity. I have embraced aspects of this but that acceptance of insults to reclaim them did not stop me from being aware of the music that drove my community. I have enjoyed club music created in my city throughout my teens. When I left for college, I was exposed to gogo, a club variant popular in the city nearby me. I have no fondness for that music as it is remenicent of other genres to me. But my city’s music is unique. I recall a woman that led my dance class stating that ideas are born in my city and thrive in other parts of the country. Our music is like that in some aspects.
I recall MIA, an artist that has questionable stances on Black culture borrow loosely from my city’s music in earlier tracks. Her use of the music did not put my city on the map but it helped people look at it. I valued those elements in her music as it brought up the djs that used to be apart of my childhood. I still recall with sadness how one was lost in a il timed pool action and the other fixture shifted their religious affiliation and ceased sections of their contribution to the club music scene. I miss this era in some ways not only for the music but the binding power it had among me and my family. Listening to it made me feel like I belonged.
Watching this documentary and others like it starts to wear on me in some ways. I have not finished this current movie partly because it shows a part of the city that I am not affiliated with and makes me mildy sad that I was not granted such rare community spaces. Granted the spaces were notoriously rare so my ability to find them in those neighborhoods would have been a stretch but despite being able to keep the beat and know the call outs, I still feel left on the side lines of my city, knocking at the door of the cool club.
listening to the music of my youth and the music I enjoy now and how it resonates with me and this quest.