Quick Thoughts on KOD

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I finally got around to listening to KOD (J Cole’s new album), and my main gripe with it is it doesn’t sufficiently answer the question posed at the beginning of the album and repeated throughout: “Life can bring much pain. There are many ways to deal with this pain–choose wisely.”

He made that the motif, yet he never really talks about what those choices are beyond the obvious ones. He lists off a bunch of drugs at the end of KOD and talks about his mom’s alcoholism on Once an Addict, but the only other “way” he mentions is “meditation” on FRIENDS. Maybe he meant meditation metaphorically, not literally–as in we need to address the root of the trauma and not just treat the symptoms (something that’s not always possible). But if we assume he meant it literally…

The ways in which people cope are as diverse as they are. Some are healthy, some are not. I personally use running and creativity as outlets (among others), so I don’t think you can reduce the issue down to either drugs or meditation. To do so would be oversimplification, creating a false dilemma. You can’t just tell everyone they need to “meditate, not medicate,” because some people NEED medication, or therapy, or help … and you know what, THAT’S OKAY. We need to stop making it something to be ashamed of. Our society takes individualism to an unhealthy extreme, to the point where we’re scared to ask for help or even talk about our mental health openly for fear of being ridiculed.

Instead of trying to make generalizations about which methods are good or bad, I think Cole should stick to letting people choose what’s best for themselves without piling on the judgement. While I generally agree with his message (we should try to use less substances and find a healthier way), I also understand that this doesn’t work for everyone–which is why I think weed, etc., should be legal. Though I personally don’t partake, I still respect others’ right to have the option. Also, there’s a big difference between regulating substances or using them in moderation and abusing them.

I feel like Cole is the complete wrong spokesperson since he admits to smoking medical grade marijuana he wasn’t prescribed on the same track, making him a hypocrite with no better alternative to offer us. But on the other hand, I totally agree with the points he made about how it sucks not having a say what our tax dollars go towards, and that trauma is often buried and ignored among black families and communities instead of being dealt with in a healthy way.

Thoughts?

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10 Albums

Recently I saw my friend participating in a tag on Facebook where you post one album a day for 10 days, then tag someone else to do the same. The idea is that they’re formative albums you find yourself returning to again and again, but the twist is that you can’t post an explanation of any kind. I assume this was meant to generate curiosity as to why your friend loved them so you’d then go and listen for yourself. I kind of like the idea of stating your favorites and letting people make their own judgments.

I wasn’t tagged but it seemed like a fun exercise, and was made even more challenging by the fact that I’m not an “album person.” It’s very rare that I’ll play a whole album in its entirety, so overall listenability was a crucial factor, but anyway, here’s 10 projects I loved from start to finish:

 

Thoughts on Pacific Rim 2 & The Weeknd’s New Album

I went to see Pacific Rim 2 this weekend. I know, judge me. What 24-year-old in the world cares enough about giant robots battling giant monsters to watch a whole movie about it? I do. Me, me, me! It may come as a surprise, but I kind of have a history with monster flicks. My dad used to have all the Godzilla movies on regular rotation–and I’m talking retro Godzilla, where he’s in black and white and smashing replicas of towns and power lines, and the English is dubbed over the Japanese so their mouths never line up right.

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Continue reading “Thoughts on Pacific Rim 2 & The Weeknd’s New Album”

Ugly Customers

I don’t mean ugly as in physically, but ugly in the way they treat people. Some customers come to you with a chip on their shoulder, already bitter and angry and just looking for someone to take it out on. It happened to me just this morning: a lady stepped up and before I could even say hello, ask how she was, or scan her items, she snapped, “I didn’t know [gas station] workers were allowed to be on their phones.” Continue reading “Ugly Customers”

Currently Crushing On: Drinks & Lipstick

I’ve been agonizing over what to write because I just haven’t felt the inspiration that’s come so easily to me lately. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been updating this blog with weekly regularity for the first time ever. It’s also probably the first time I’ve ever been so consistent with anything in my life, and all without even trying. After a week of living, the posts kind of write themselves because here’s always something at the forefront of my mind–it’s just a matter of getting it down. Continue reading “Currently Crushing On: Drinks & Lipstick”

Self-Care Chat + My Routine

Today I want to write about a topic very near and dear to my heart: self-care. Specifically, I want to talk about how for those with depression/anxiety/mood or mental health issues, self-care routines are one of the first things to fall by the wayside. What happens is we prioritize our jobs or other responsibilities (like the adults we are) and then we don’t have any energy left to spend on ourselves. Or so it feels. Continue reading “Self-Care Chat + My Routine”