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Wazup, family,

It is I, Sheleminem, checking in for the third installment of my Creators & Innovators newsletter tenure. We’ve made it past the halfway mark and I’ve spared you thus far, but today is where I break my silence and bring us back to the only thing I know: Music. Let’s talk about some songs I like!

  • Massing - Daisies

    Key lyrics:

    “If we were to die today, I guess we’d just be dead
    Happy that the fates allowed us to hang from the same thread”

    One thing to know about my music taste – that should be apparent when listening to the music I make – is that I find slow songs incredibly boring. If it’s got a chill vibe, chances are I don’t care to listen to it, because I have an affinity for high energy and powerful rhythms.

    Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. This song, Daisies, is more than an exception – it’s a reason to refute the rule as a whole! It is one of my favorite songs to come out in 2021 and is my absolute favorite song by Massing. It even ranks above the two Massing songs that have verses by yours truly on them.

    With all that hype, I suppose I owe you an explanation of why I feel so strongly about this song. The reasoning is simple: it sounds good. From the instrumentation and vocal performances to the audio mixing, every aspect of the song fits perfectly with the other. It’s all simple yet elegant, and undeniably entrancing. If you love a good love song, then you’ll love to love this.
  • Corduroy Brown - Who I Am For Now

    Key lyrics:

    “And I spend… every little moment…
    Confusing all my nothings… with who I am for now”

    This song is beautiful. The music video is centered around Corduroy’s sense of impostor syndrome, with one version of himself living his life blissfully while another version is lurking in the shadows watching with envy. It’s a fun video concept and a well-executed depiction of something I think most of us are familiar with. We all go through life experiencing moments that sometimes feel like they aren’t us or that we aren’t deserving of the life we live. To me, the video poses a very poignant question: if you can be in the scene or watching it unfold from the bushes - which do you choose? We owe it to ourselves to accept who we are in the moment, even as we strive to improve. 
  • Joey Aich - Zoom

    Key Lyrics:

    “‘Change the one who change the world’ been my whole life mission
    Whole time, shipping diaries abroad for the world do adore who you are”

    “Lyricism” can be judged many ways – especially when it comes to hip hop – but the root of the various criteria all focus on different aspects that stem from word choice. Joey picks the right words to get his thoughts across, that is undeniable. Set to a dreamy but powerful beat, he conveys his mentality of determination and a message of positivity in a way that I’ve never heard from anyone else. You can tell his mind is one of a kind. 

    I had the pleasure of sharing two shows with him this year in his home city of Columbus and my adoptive home, Huntington. The first thing I recognized in seeing him perform is how well his personality shines through his music, it’s almost unreal. Meeting him for the first time felt like someone you’ve known for years. He’s a genuine guy and this is a genuine song with lyrics you can feel in your spirit.
  • Shelem - Suga Wata

    Key Lyrics:

    “Tell her to leave, she’s dismissed
    The trick can skate, kickflip”

    Now, you know there was no way I was going to talk about other people’s songs and not mention my own, right? I like to focus my lyricism in the aspect that speaks the most to me. When it comes to what makes a song dope. I believe it’s all about the wordplay bayyybeeee!! I’ve broken down lyrics in this song multiple times, but there are still some lyrics I haven’t addressed yet. In the first verse, which of the following is the correct lyric?

    “Swing of the bat ad-mit, she’s a catch, uhh” 

    Or did I say:

    “Swing of the bat a, mitt, she’s a catcher”

    The answer is both! One of my favorite elements in writing lyrics is leaving it up for interpretation. I find it fun when people argue about lyrics so I purposefully present some of them in ways where both could be right. It’s all a game, but my love for this song doesn’t stop at wordplay. In totality, this song is my interpretation of excellent songwriting. That goes for the music as well as the lyrics. The instrumental has a repetitive base that creates that infectious feeling, but moves through phases with the vocals in a way that never lets it go stale. 

    I could go on for days about what makes this song special, but if I needed to, then it wouldn’t be as good as I believe it to be. Part of good songwriting is being digestible on every level, from the passive and inattentive listener to the astute listener dissecting each component. 

That’s it for me this week. I hope you’ll check out these songs, and maybe relisten to some favorites of your own. After all, there’s never a bad time for good music.

- Shelem

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