So... another year is coming to a close, and I'm due to bake and cook and be Domestic Goddyss; Punk Rhyma today, LOL. Amidst all the prepping to make it yet another special holiday for my new little glaring/clan, I'm finishing up my album. It's been slow going, as it seems that EVERYTHING is trying to get in my way, but it is coming together quite nicely, and the more time I spend working w/my brother, the more inspired I get--which is good! I admit have some concerns that my 1st effort will sound a little commercial (eek), but I can only blame that on where the Universe took me w/some of the songs. I didn't write or dumb it down for anyone to guarantee myself and my team a slew of hits, I just followed the path PoppaRAzi's trax led me, and the ideas we came up with. I know I am staying true to myself and my brand, in that I am making "an eclectic style that runs the gamut from danceable ear candy to mind-searing aggression". So you can't say you weren't warned! You really cannot get more hip-hop than staying true to who you are. Run-DMC did it w/ "Walk This Way"...they took the gamble and it paid off for them. They stayed true because they really did use the first few bars of "Walk This Way" (the break beat) when they used to rhyme in the park; they just expanded on it at the urging of Rick Rubin. They were among the first--if not the first-- to use hardcore guitar riffs in hip-hop and make it more of a rock sound...but I digress.
If you hear more "mind-searing aggression" on my next effort, DO NOT run around bxtching about "GATA sold out!" -- cuz I totally didn't. I just decided to show you my shadow. I am a lot of things...I don't subscribe to any one label. You will see a lot of stuff from me, because I was exposed to a lot of different things growing up...and I'm simply utilising ALL my influences. I don't think there's anything wrong w/that. If it felt like I was doing something that wasn't "me", I'd have to put down pen and mic and leave. I wouldn't even bother because it wouldn't be fair to you, me, or anyone. I will never give you anything less than what I am if I can help it. I love to dance and have fun, I love my boyfriend w/a passion, and I have a lot of issues and insecurities I deal w/ thru music. These are a lot of what you will hear...and in some cases from a slightly exaggerated or extreme POV (I'll explain later; I can't really get into it before the album's released). It's not at my expense, it's just to tell the story, but it does come from a genuine place in my life.
Anyway...I'm having a great time recording. And I'm totally squeeked! I can't wait to share it w/you. I hope you like it.
Now, the holidays: I've trimmed my tree (fresh. Love fresh trees, and it's been awhile since I had one), I'm cooking my ass off today and tom'w. 20 lb bird going in the oven tonight for sure. I'm doing my trad of making cookies and decorating them w/my cubs, and we celebrate all month because December is special. My oldest cub was born in December, I found the love of my life in December, and most of my life lessons are learned in December, when I take inventory. I really am tripped on far I've come.
My brain's on overdrive too-- people just keep setting off my tendency to think hard and go off on storms. I've had storms on anything from Beyonce's cover of "You Oughta Know" to...well, this. Recently, one of my buddies on Facebook asked in her status what age was appropriate to tell her kids there was no Santa Claus. I saw some appalling answers that seemed to reflect selfishness, and some good ones. I offered up how I handled it:
"I told my son at about six or seven that Santa was more of a concept than a person...that was why there were people dressed as him in stores and on street corners and such. I told him he was the physical representation of philanthropy and kindness, and that these qualities could shine through any person at any time. One yr he had written to Santa and a few days later these women from like, East Hanover showed up w/all this awesome stuff for him. Illustrated my point perfectly. I told him most parents were automatic Santas...and that giving was more important than getting...worked for me. (^_~)"
I notice a lot of people disgusted w/this time of year, due to mass consumerism and what have you...people are still in the "whoever dies w/the most/best toys wins" mentality. One person was saying how Jesus and Santa were a "conflict of interest". What?! I disagree. I sort of addressed it here. I was answering the above buddy about the "house-w/-no-chimneys" obstacle Santa would face... but then, of course, brain kicked in and off I went:
"The movie "The Santa Clause" does a great explanation of how Santa supposedly does what he does, even in homes w/no chimneys, LOL... I was really impressed w/ how they handled the mythos of Santa's rounds. It was brilliant, creative screenwriting at best, but a nightmare for parents whose kids are hardcore Santa freaks!
I don't think that Santa represents consumerism and the evils of the season...most people seem to think he does. Blame that on the department stores and advertising. The Father Christmas/Sinterklaas story is as old as it gets, but he always gave and gave and gave. The only stupid part of the myth is the coal/beatings thing. And if I'm not mistaken, as far as the image of Santa that everyone is used to seeing (red gear/black belt ensemble), that was invented by Coca-Cola. Lemme check...
Yup, totally Coke's fault, LOL. That's prolly the only commercial bastardization treatment he received. Funny how things catch on...
I only believe the myth's good for teaching that it's good to give, even if you get nothing in return, though some would argue that Santa gets mad cookies and milk and crap...LOL. But think about it. Santa just gives and gives, and he's about love and children...it is possible to instill those traits in children w/o making them believe in a "myth". I think the image just makes it easier and more fun for them."
Of course, this was just my opinion. YMMV. I can't say I share in the belief of "Jesus is the reason for the season" because I was taught otherwise. But my dad said it really wasn't important when He was born (people were talking about when it really was). "He could have been born in summertime," he said. "The thing is, he came and said what he needed to say and did what he needed to do. He left his message...and the world changed. That's what's important." He's right (he often is).
I always thought it was fun to imagine that Santa was some young hockey-playing dude that used technology to his advantage, LOL...some alcohol company gave us a "Meet Klaus" campaign a few years ago and I thought that was so funny for some reason. He was a younger hipster Santa. Hilarious...
I am hoping this year that everyone has the holiday they deserve, whatever you celebrate. I hope each of you sees Santa in another person, and that you can play Santa to someone else. We've seen/done a lot of that this season, and it's beautiful. I love this time of year because you can feel the good energy more than the bad, and it is infectious when you do feel it. I wish people could be this compassionate and altruistic all year. That's what Santa's myth is about, and that is what makes him seem real.
Have the happiest of holidays, everyone. Make the most of what you have, share with others if you're able, and enjoy yourselves. Love each other.
And for corn's sake-- unplug your damned lights at night before you go to bed! I don't know how people sleep at night w/o doing that--I'd be afraid of a short or something. Be safe!