Huh! I couldn't be nobody but myself, you know that
But then they all started talking
They were talking about love being gone
In my house
They said that there ain't much left to love
Well, there's always something to love if you're familiar enough to recognize it
I mean have you cried for anything lately?
And I don't mean for your friends or your bills or yourself
I mean for this!
When do you think it's time to love something the most, child?
When it's successful and done made everything easy for us, huh? Psh!
Uh-uh, that ain't the time at all
It's when it's reached its lowest and you don't believe in it anymore
And the world done kicked it and its tail enough that it's lost itself!
Yes, that's when
When nobody cares
Jill Scott, De La Soul “Genesis”
De La Soul’s “And the Anonymous Nobody…” is an album that is genuinely unique all in itself from the way they rap to how the music is made. De La Soul tends to every track with care and each artist is told to contribute what they want instead of being forced in any way. The artist is then allowed to give a piece of themselves in the process, something a lot of albums don’t have space for. After 14 years of not releasing anything, many fans strayed away from De La Soul and some even began to believe that they didn't have a voice anymore. “And the Anonymous Nobody..” proves them right because they don’t have one voice, De La Soul chooses to represent a multitude instead.
One of those voices is Jill Scott, mainly recognized as the passionate and inspiring voice from Genesis, the first track that acts as a spoken word poem with an orchestra-like rhythm behind it. This start does wonders reaching the audience, especially to the 16 year old girl starting a new album from a band whose hiatus was older than her own memories can account for. There is no holding back in reminding the audience of the harsher side of love (the one that is beaten down and forgotten), which makes Genesis a lot more gripping. The purpose wasn’t to make anyone feel bad or believe that love is a horrible thing, it’s to let us know that love exists when it doesn’t feel like it anymore.
Slaps and Hugs is a student run initiative blog that takes after De La Soul’s philosophy, to let everyone have a space to have a voice and to give a piece of themselves. As college students, faith is much different than what we remember as kids (temptation is no longer just you wanting to eat your fifth brownie after your parents told you not to). There are more obstacles and hurdles to get over, and not going to lie, it gets hard. Sometimes, faith feels like a slap in the face. However, similarly to what Jill Scott has said, we remember that faith still exists even when it hurts. We still choose to believe and to love God especially when the going gets rough because we know that God has that hug waiting for us.
When I was 16, Genesis held my heart in its hands. Amazing how writing can do that to you, huh? I’ve loved reading and writing all my life, but it’s a precious thing when it moves you. Slaps and Hugs embraces that feeling of being moved by writing, whether you are the writer or the reader. This isn’t a foreign feeling either; Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and all the other writers of the bible used writing to tell us wonderful stories. Now, Slaps and Hugs gives you the outlet to be moved by writing again, whether you are the reader or writer.
“And the Anonymous Nobody..” reminded me that it’s okay to talk about things that aren’t easy because that’s when we realize we’re not alone. Genesis reminds me that love and faith exist at all times. Slaps and Hugs will remind us that we can grow together as a community and that our faith journeys aren’t meant to be lived alone. Genesis serves as the beginning to anything, whether it be the bible or a rap album. This is our genesis.