Generally, when something is great I want to share it because I enjoy making others happy. But, there are some rare moments when I experience something so rich, I’d rather keep it a secret in order preserve it from some of society’s desperate, albeit natural elements that commonly pickpockets the intimacy shared between the object and beholder and cashes it in at the metaculture bank.
Today, July 30, 2013, The Aspiring Me drops his debut self-titled album, The Aspiring Me. Excuse my Dorian Gray mentality, but I don’t want anyone to hear it because it’s too good. The songs are too special. They deserve better than the mediocre listener’s capacity to appreciate them. One of the reasons the songs are so special is because, as The Aspiring Me described in a prior interview:
It encompasses everything from me growing up. A lot of people aspire to be a lot of things. I am aspiring to be myself. At the end of the day my music is a reflection of my continuous growth. That growth leads to my change and I believe those two things are separate…
His autobiographical album, composed of 11 solid songs (and three bonus songs), is the best Hip Hop album I’ve heard in a long time, simply because I enjoy every single track on the record; there are no skip to the next track tracks.
A few weeks ago The Aspiring Me was in NYC to attend Fat Tony’s CD release show. I was with The Aspiring Me on the subway and he asked me whether I thought anything was wrong with his upcoming album. As a part-time hater, I dug deep for something negative to say or for constructive criticism to give him, but I had nothing. I was a writer of Houston Hip Hop caught in the bubble eye lens headlights of a Lexus. I think I mumbled something about poor production quality on his bonus tracks. I had nothing negative to say because there wasn’t anything that I disliked on his album.
The Aspiring Me’s album is unrivaled because it is pure. When The Aspiring Me writes songs his only resolve is to make great songs. Everything else is secondary. This is not to say he doesn’t value important messages or stately symbolism, or that his songs lack any of those qualities. Those qualities are secondary because The Aspiring Me hyper focuses, to an autistic-esque type of concentration, to make perfect songs. As a result, whatever he lacks is stealth and just falls into place.
As I mentioned above, this whole album is magnetizing, but my favorite song, Going…Going…Gone is about The Aspiring Me’s bittersweet relationship with his old neighborhood Briargate, in Houston, Texas. Here, over a lullaby-like beat, The Aspiring Me illustrates the tension between his love for Briargate and his acknowledgment of all the apathy, failure, and hypocrisy by many of the people associated with it. The hook describes the positive and negative weight that comes with residing at any location for an extended period of time:
Gotta save my home/Briargate, Texas what I rep/What I put on/But when I step out to see what is going on/ ain’t nobody ever make it out this zone/ So I’m going going going gone/ HOME
Gotta save my home/Briargate Texas what I rep/What I put on/But when I step out to see what is going on/ ain’t nobody ever make it out this zone/So I’m going going going/ GONE.
Ending the first stanza with the word “home” and mirroring it on the second but instead ending the later stanza with “gone,” subliminally expresses the cycle of many of our leaving-this-place-for-another life styles and echoes a notion of loneliness that home may always be fleeting.
One more thing, props to the Aspiring Me for fitting “Briargate, Texas” into one syllable to make the hook work.
The album is below. Enjoy- Droopy (@droopydood)