Thursday, June 01, 2006

Life Soundtrack

Few years back, one of the members of the writing crew suggested that as a creative exercise, we should all create our life soundtracks: Meaning, we'd compile all the music that had influenced us from childhood to present, and create a personal catalog. Additionally, we would each swap our music catalogs, so that each member would have the other's life soundtrack. Kind of like a musical yearbook between us, of sorts..

Cool ass idea. Though at first, I resisted. The suggestion came at a time where "my life" seemed broken & beyond repair, and I was in a very dark place: I'd just lost my mother after a 10 year struggle with breast cancer, I was feeling overwhelmed in my roles of motherhood and womanhood, as a human being, and a citizen on this planet in general - I'd been unable to write, and my anxiety and depression had peaked to a level to where I'd taken some time off work, in the basic need to collapse and grieve and try to regroup and see if even felt like pushing on.

(Who'd want to listen to that music, the soundtrack of a breakdown in process?)

After some gentle prodding (eternal thanks, D & A), I sat down with the project. And yes it was painful, but it was also...healing. Fun. Restorative. Inspiring. A testament; a personal badge of honor.

Creating and listening to my life soundtrack gave me a personal, vibrating landscape of all the memories, the highs & lows, and defining moments that created me. I still bump them on the regular. Initially, I started out with four volumes (4 CD's, approx. 16 tracks each), and now I'm feeling the need to create the next volume or two.

Some excerpts from mine are:

Volume I: (the early years)

Bad Girls - Donna Summer (think I had to be around 7 or 8 when I first heard this song - didn't know exactly what a "bad girl" was, but I had the sneaky suspicion I was one..)
I'm Coming Out - Diana Ross
Atlantis - Isleys (memories of those old school house parties momma and auntie and uncles usta throw)
Don't Stop the Music - Yarbrough and Peoples (see above)
Planet Rock - Afrika Babattaa (Say WHAT? I think I still remember the dance routine me and my girls made up to this!)
Benny & The Jets - Elton John (I'd listen repeatedly)
Rapture - Blondie (down ass white girl)
Pass the Dutchie - Musical Youth (what happened to those kids?)
Sucker MC - Run DMC
Do For Love - Bobby Caldwell

Volume II: (Gettin' Grown)

You're the One for Me - D Train (
Heartbreaker - Zapp (Ohio in the house)
Slow Down - Brand Nubian (mad crush on Lord Jamar)
In A Sentimental Mood - John Coltrane
Hearbreak Hotel - Black Michael Jackson
Momma Use to Say - Junior (straight up old school jam)
It's A Man's World - James Brown
Funkin' for Jamaica - Tom Browne (still hot, to this day!)
Tumble 4 Ya - Culture Club
Wake Me Up (befor you go) - WHAM

Volume III: (Gettin Growner)

Runnin' Away - Pharcyde (loved these cats)
Fly Girl - Boogie Boys
My Stick - The Time ("I been driving baby, since the age 13....")
Walkin' In LA - Missing Persons (this some LA shyt)
Rio - Duran Duran
Pop Life - Prince
Tender Love - Force MD's
Microphone Fiend - Erik B & Rakim

Volume IV: (last installment, kind of a hodgepodge mix)

Nothing Can Come Between Us - Sade (always my girl)
No Half Steppin - Big Daddy Kane
Can't Trust It - Pubic Enemy
Umi Says - Mos Def
Spirits in the Material World - The Police
Iris - Goo Goo Dolls (beautiful song)
Feelin' Good - Nina Simone
Dynamite - Ms. Dynamite
(cause I'm Ms. Dy-na-mi-tee-hee)
All About the Benji's - Puffy/BIG
So Many Tearz - Pac (oh, Pac...)
T.R.O.Y. - Pete Rock (missing loved ones)
Ex-Factor - Lauryn (no explanation needed)
Every Day I Write The Book - Elvis Costello
Cupid - 112
(my lil' sis loved this song)
Heaven - Nas (song Nas wrote when lost his mom, dope dope lyrics)
Love of My Life - E. Badu (ode to hip-hop)

So - what are some of the songs that would appear on your life soundtrack, and why?


Anonymous said...

I was leaving a comment on your 'I'm Back Bitches' post when you was in the processing of posting this new post.

At this moment, right now, one song to the soundtrack of my life "Thanks For My Child" by Cheryl Pepsii Riley.

mrpunchcar said...

ahhh, and i was there for that. was it 4 years already???! damn. was just rocking my soundtrack the other night, reliving the lemert (sp?) park day. pink dot anyone? :)
good post as usual.

Supa said...

Aww, Skia. That pink dot sandwich will go down in history.

Good times, good times. We'll always have Leimert. :)

(and yes, four years already. scary.)

Knockout Zed said...

I generally hate contemporary R&B, but damn it if I didn't love "Cupid" too.

R.I.P. Little Sis


onecoolhoney said...

Oh snap. Me and Butta were doing this one a while back. I don't think I ever finished mine! LOL I'll have to finish and post that.

Supa said...

Thanks, Zeddie. Yes "Cupid" was something kinda special.

@ Storm: Hop to it, mama!

Butta said...

Girl, "Voyage to Atlantis" is my JAM. You don't even hear me though.

Aight, Storm, I guess we gotta get our soundtracks together since Supa beat us to it. LOL

P said...


First of all, Imma co-sign with butta, because Atlantis is the all time, yearning, wanting, haunting song that I love from the Isleys.


You know I'z got a big mouth. But this has me speechless. We are only bout two years apart, so I have visions of seventies and eighties dancing in my heads.

Aah. Music. Sweet Music.

I'm so overwhelmed at this point, Imma have to come back when I can think of some songs.

Miss Ahmad said...

Last summer when I was in Vegas I realized something...Stevie Nicks sings the sound track to my life. Black as I am, I swear I'm a rocker chic at heart!

Edge of Seventeen
My Wild Wild Heart
Leather and Lace
Silver Spring
Stand Back
Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?

I'm about to stand up at my desk and do a Stevie Nicks spin right noW

Supa said...


Glam - love me some Stevie Nicks! Was groovin' to her when she came on the itunes mix at your pad! :)

*bout to stand up and spin my damn self*

Rock on, chic!

Anonymous said...

The World is Yours - Nas
Ladies First - Queen and Monie. Self respect for the sistahs.
The Sweetest Taboo - Sade. Sensuality at its finest. I would love to experience something like this
Caravan of Love - Brotherly love at its finest. Pure feel-good music.
Love Stop Making a Fool of Me - Minnie Ripperton. Love at its lowest, yet finest because, if we pay attention, we can learn so much.

I'll have to think on the others...

P said...

Okay: First off, I love all of yours - ALL.OF.THEM. I was a HUGE Bennie and the Jets Fan, didn't know what the hell he was saying, but what does that mean to a lil chile - Nothing but to sing louder!

The Early Years

Do You Love What You Feel - Rufus & Chaka Khan
Devotion (Live) - EWF
Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
Back Down Memory Lane - Minnie Ripperton
Heart of Glass - Blondie
Back Together Again - Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway.
Sarah Smile - Hall and Oats
Knee Deep - Parliament/Funkadelic
Double Dutch Bus - Frankie Smith
Strawberry Letter 23 - Brothers Johnson

Getting Grown:
Keep Feeling Fascination - Human League
Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benatar
Finger on the Trigger - Donna Summer
Glamorous Life - Sheila E
I Try - Angela Bofill
They Don't Know Bout Us - Tracy Ullman
Time/Clock of the Heart - Culture Club
The Reflex - Duran Duran

Getting Growner:
Love is a House - Force MD's
The Show - Doug E. Fresh
Getting Funky - the D.O.C.
Sweet Love - Anita Baker
Love Changes - Me'Lisa Morgan/Kashif
The Finest - SOS Band
Adore - Prince
Computer Love - Zapp
Wait for Love - Lutha
Children's Story - Slick Rick
Sade - Is it a Crime
Anita Baker - Good Love

The Hodgepodge:
Old Friend-Phyliss Hyman
Rump Shaker - Wrecks N'Effect
Candy - Cameo
I Like - Guy
Every Rose Has It's Thorn-Poison
Slow Down - Loose Ends
Loving You - O'Jays
Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Kisses Don't Lie - Evelyn Champagne King
I'll Be There For You - Bon Jovi
Love's Taken Over - Chante Moore
No Rhyme, No Reason - George Duke
I Need a Project Chick - Cash Money(?)

There are so many. Can you do a part deux, please?

Supa said...

P, you took it there!

Fleetwood Mac, Knee Deep (just realized I don't have any funk on my soundtrack!), Hall & Oats, ANGELA BOFILL (OMG) - your life soundtrack is hizzot!

I know, how easy it is to get carried away?!? I tried to narrow mine down - one of my homies has like 22 Volumes on his life soundtrack!!

I'm gonna have to work on my next few volumes, then post! :)

(you need to burn your cd's or get your itunes on!)

African girl, American world said...

dis right chere will be my homework.
bomb ass idea for real!!!!
stay tuned :)

Free said...

Girl, you have me strolling thru some memories!

Benny & the Jets (I remember trying to hit that hit note on "Ben-nee!")

It's a Man's World (Forgot about that one. Now I have to steal it and add to my book for the characters...)

I always LOVED that easy groove of Every Day I Write The Book

You have me anxious to get to the Music Engine & pull up ANYthing by Pharcyde. And Junior...

One I haven't heard, but am definitely about to check out is Heaven.

BTW: "the soundtrack of a breakdown in process"... (that was so beautifully sad)

Peace, sis

bunny said...

I'm lovin' these songs. It is seriously taking me down memory lane.

Just a few of mine for the gettin' grown era I was and still am a HUGE fan of the Stones so I have to say Satisfaction, Brown Sugar and my all time fav of my man Mick's is Waiting on a Friend.

When I think of Wham it automatically takes me back to 1984 and Careless Whisper that was my jam!!! I was in hot ass Bama, Tuscaloosa to be exact, away at that bootleg ass Stillman College. All I can say is total culture shock for me.

Stealing your idea Supa by way of Butta and Storm.

obifromsouthlondon said...

interesting compilation. reckon you could like release it on supasista records? like some kinda mail order thing? I'm in line dollars on the ready. nice

Zlogical said...

- Stevie Wonders' "All I do is Think of You, and all of his works
-Parliament and the Funkadelics
-George Clinton works
-The Temptations
-Michael Jackson before he went "Off the Wall"
-Curtis Blow
-Janet Jackson
-Full Force
-Bob Marley
-Public Enemy
-EPMD (before they broke down)
-Ice T
-The Isley Brothers
There was this oner song "Snoopy Hang On" that I used to listen to on a LP that my mom had in her collection that sticks out the most as the oldest. Anyways Supa thanks for making me reflect--all those this list is not all inclusive, and I fail to mention exact One Nation Under the Groove, Flashlight, Dukey Stick, and crazy songs like that comes to mind...I'll stop here...

Supa said...

@ Mwabs: Your assignment is due today! :)

@ Free: Yeah sis, check out that Nas joint. And "Everyday I Write The Book" is a classic! I knew you had a good musical ear. :)

@ Bunny: Careless Whisper. OMG! Love it. That is also like the classic, "drunk at karaoke" song to sing.

@Obs: You got all the hot ideas!

@ Z: No you don't have ICE T on your soundtrack!! *gasp*

Zlogical said...

Supa yeah FCOL Ice-T because of "Colors" oh my bad it wasn't that big of a deal to you--it was about your hometown somewhat huhn? I'm trippin'

Oh check out this friend of mine Theory from Flint, Michigan at she has a new album out called: Homegirls and Handgrenades. I was listening to it this morning--she reminds me of you--but there is only one you--don't get it twisted. I'm just saying there's similarity.

PS. I need to proofread my blogs because some how I hit the wrong keys from time to time pretending to be a typist LOL.

Dee said...

Wow that would be tough!!!! I love music sooooo much the list would be soooooo freaking long!!!!!

great post!!!!

Delaleuverses said...

My list would go on and on and on more like a dictionary of sorts,lol

Nichelle said...


I am too overwhelmed to even begin to list some of my favorites.

Supa, consider this post swagger jacked!

I shall post ze soundtrack ze the life of moi next week!

Anonymous said...

I am going to have to think on this one. I know one song that I have been bumping is DMX - Lord Give Me A Sign. I have been thinking about my future and there seems to be a lot of options

Paula D. said...

Aww man Supa! I'm with nichelle about swagger jackin' this post! I will definitely have to do an extended list on my blog. A few that would be on my soundtrack are:

Careless Whisper - George Michael
Love's Train - Konfunction
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Funny How Time Flies - Janet Jackson

Supa said...

Swagger jack, that's cute

Holla back when you post ya'lls!

Sangindiva said...

EVERYBODY'S list was great!!!
This will have to be a project because
there are sooo many!!
DANG supa- you damn Genius :P

Nichelle said...

Hey Supa, my list is up. Holla!