We are introduced to the power of music from our infancy, cautioned about it in our religious lives, rendered mesmerized by its power in our private moments. “Scientists” have long convinced expecting mothers that by exposing their babies to classical music from Back and Brahms, they will exponentially increase the intelligence of that child. Pastors have warned many a congregation about the type of music they allow to penetrate their psyche.
“Your ears are a gateway to your soul!” they spit.
And of course, anyone who has spent a week fed on a steady diet of R&B (the old school sort, not this dishwater they are peddling today) knows the draw and power of baby-making music.
Yes indeed! Given the right circumstances, music has the ability to exert a certain kind of influence on any living soul. I ascribe to the notion that it’s important to discern what genre of music you submit yourself to; and if I had stayed true to my own convictions, I never would have ended up on my neighbor’s roof and breaking into her house.
A few days ago, VSB published an article recounting President Obama’s use of the term “pop off” during a press conference about his cabinet’s proposed response to the ISIS attacks on Paris last week. They coined it “the Blackest thing that happened this week.” The incident gave birth to one of the greatest moments in pop culture and Black internet history. Within hours, a POTUS Press conference playlist had been compiled featuring every crunk anthem that’s ever been the cause of street brawls, bar fights and Springer showdowns. And THEN, JX Cannon upped the ante and crafted this… Well, I don’t know what this is. For once, I’m at a loss for words and am not quite sure how to describe this piece of auditory magic.
All I know is that the POTUS Pop Off crunk remix had an immediate effect on me and I was ready to face my day with spurs on!
Here’s the thing about crunk (and trap and all related genres): It will have you convinced you are darn near invincible. I am a 37 year old, 225 lbs woman. I am the antithesis of “invincible”. And yet when L’il Jon interrogates humanity with rhetorical questions like “Turn down for what?!?” I find myself wondering the same thing. What, in fact, am I turning down for?
It was in this spirit that I approached my neighbor, Ms. Phoebe* on Tuesday morning. Ms. Phoebe is my 60-something year old Jamaican neighbor I’ve mentioned in the past. We trade favors for one another, as good neighbors are wont to do. On this occasion, she was standing outside with her Chihuahua looking quite perplexed. Marshall and I reached her at almost the same moment.
“Ahhh, I locked myself out of my house again,” she groaned. “I don’know what I’m gonna do…”
The wheels in Marshall’s head were turning but to no avail. He admitted he had no solution either.
“Can you open the door with a credit card?” Ms. Phoebe asked hopefully. “The last time I did this, a friend was able to do so fuh me.”
“No. I don’t know how to do that,” my husband admitted.
I snorted, disgusted by the spirit of defeat that had enveloped the pair. This was NO problem at all! I knew exactly how to get Ms. Phoebe back into her house!
“I see your bedroom window is open just a crack. I can get up on the roof, crawl through and let you in.”
Ms. Phoebe looked at me in surprise…and a good bit of concern.
“Oh, but you’re so well dressed. I don’wan yuh to get all dutty…”
I waved away her disquiet with my confidence. “It’s just jeggings. Marshall, retrieve the ladder! I have climbing to do!”
Knowing better than to argue, Marshall did as he was bid and got the ladder. I skipped over to Ms. Phoebe’s house and eyed the distance I was to eventually scale. Doubt overtook me, but just for a moment. Recalling the magical melody from the POTUS Pop Off mix I felt recharged, instantly.
Pop off, pop off, pop-pop-pop pop off…
As it turned out, the ladder was too short. We’d need another solution.
“I’ll have to climb on top of my car to get up there,” I announced.
Ms. Phoebe began to call on Jesus and the saints for my protection. I appreciated her prayers, but at that moment I didn’t quite need them. I was fueled on a presidential crunk/trap mix. Adrenalin was coursing through my veins!
Pop off, pop off, pop-pop-pop pop off…
Now that I was safely on the top of her garage, I gingerly made my way across the flimsy tin sheeting to her window. I was confronted by a glass pane that wasn’t securely set in place. Every time I slid it up, it came sliding back down. I imagined myself being impaled by the dusty glass in an attempt to shimmy through the 2’ high opening. I heard Ms. Phoebe bark her encouragement from below.
“Girl, jus’ break that sh*t if yuh need to!”
Pop off, pop of, pop-pop-pop pop off…
No need for that. I found a few pieces of wood on the roof, propped the window open, knocked over a side table and a fan on my way in, and made way down the stairs. Ms. Phoebe was overjoyed when I turned the knob and let her in. She thanked me profusely, and I told her not to mention it. This is the same woman who gave me a bottle of homemade pepper sauce not three days before. How could I NOT climb her roof and reunite her with her belongings?
Now, this is the part where you point out that we could have easily contacted one of the 12 locksmiths that work and operate in the Roswell area. And yes, you are right to note this. But in my defense, I was under the influence of crunk and cannot be held responsible for my irresponsible actions! Un-crunk Malaka would have done just as you suggested: Called the locksmith on my phone, waited for him/her to arrive with my neighbor, offered her words of encouragement and assured her she was not “stupid” for locking herself out.
But these aren’t the decisions one makes when you’ve got Pop off, pop of, pop-pop-pop pop off… on repeat in your head. Turn up ALWAYS wins.