I’ve come to regret my last blog.
I had an inkling that it might cause problems for me when I asked a fellow staffer, Vanessa, to edit it two weeks ago. She’d only read for 30 seconds when she let out a disgusted yelp.
“You like ******?” She shot me a look of horror and shook her head. “J-Poe, I thought I knew you.”
Exposing such a deep, personal and frankly embarrassing part of myself turned out to be a horrible decision. There was a chilly silence from my friends. Snide comments from my staff. Even my parents reacted to my confession with disappointed mutterings of, “Why would you?”
So I’m here to defend myself and, more importantly, my taste in music.
Just because I like ****** does not mean that I only listen to ******. Far from it, in fact. My workout playlist consists of a mix of Les Misérables and Eminem. While I’m doing homework I listen to Coldplay and Fleet Foxes. When I’m in the car, I’m constantly turning the knob from country to K-Love and back again. In short, you could say my taste is a little diverse.
I think this comes from being a dancer. Well, from being a Christian dancer raised on Toby Keith and Phantom of the Opera, but let’s start with the dance part.
Believe it or not, I used to spend around 10 to 12 hours a week in the dance studio. In fact, that’s how I spent the first nine years of my life – leaping and turning, worrying over how the tiniest twitch of my foot looked in the mirror. By the time I quit last year, I’d picked up a love of everything from Nelly Furtado to James Morrison.
Many dancers nowadays don’t confine themselves to training in just one style of dance. At Miller Marley, my last studio, I was taking ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and Broadway, meaning that I might dance to Claire de Lune, Jason Mraz, The Drowsy Chaperone and LMFAO in one week.
Oh, it’s certainly a weird assortment. But since I was trained from the age of five to just enjoy whatever track my teacher would select, I never really gained a distaste for a genre of music.
From an even earlier age, my mother created in me a love for two other genres of music- country and theatre. By the time I was six or seven, I could belt out every word of “I Wanna Talk About Me” by Toby Keith. I can’t help it- my mom was going through a country phase while I was at my most impressionable age, and despite myself, the second I hear a deep drawl paired with an acoustic guitar, my heart melts a little.
Broadway music does even more than that. When I was eight, my greatest aspiration was to play Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera. I could sing nearly all of the musical and hit about 30 percent of the right notes, and I was sure that Broadway needed me.
A few years later, I discovered my mom’s two-disc recording of the original cast of Les Miserables over winter break. It only took me a few weeks to memorize every line, and to this day I can only listen to Valjean and company to get pumped up for basketball games. Again, don’t blame me- blame my mom.
And finally, the Christian part. K-Love, Christian music, Christian rap – I don’t care what it is, I love it. I joined youth choir at Village Presbyterian two years ago, and ever since, I’ve been hooked. It’s not weird at all to see me walking in the halls singing in Swahili about walking with God.
After all, most Christian music is just alternative rock and Christian rap is just standard hip hop. I actually feel like more of a badass when I’m rapping verses from Revelations than when I’m rapping Eminem lyrics about drugs I’ll never do.
So now you’ve gotten a little bit of a glimpse at my iPod. It’s eccentric. It’s weird. You should probably never put it on shuffle. But I think it’s better to stick to loving all music than to box myself in by hating genres.
Even if that means I listen to ******.