I am the proud winner of East Chapel Hill High School's best person to aux superlative award.
I have never once deleted a Bluetooth connection from my phone. Currently, I have over 75 connections to countless headphones, JBLs and car speaker systems from over the years.
While I pride myself on my ability to "aux," I've realized that it's a manifestation of my unhealthy need for external validation. Often, I drift toward playing those songs that everyone knows — your classic sing-along jams — while avoiding the music I want to listen to in the moment.
In high school — as for most of my life — I was a people-pleaser. I hate saying no. I hate canceling plans. I often apologize for things I shouldn’t and I have far too often let people take advantage of me to avoid confrontation. This is something I struggle with on a daily basis, and have been working toward changing.
Recently, I’ve found great pleasure in curating playlists for my personal consumption. I go through phases where I make a few a day, or work on one for the entirety of a month.
I have over 190 public playlists on my Spotify profile. Is that a sensible amount to have? In all honesty — no. And from a surface level, a lot of them appear to be the same, or fit similar situations and moods. But all of these playlists mean something different to me and were created by me, for me in a rare act of personal individuality.
To quote Pharrell Williams, “Individuality is the new wealth.” I’m a little late, but I’m cashing in.
I've compiled a playlist of everything I listened to on Friday, Sept. 30 as I auxed for myself. Here are some highlights:
"Something to Rap About (feat. Tyler, The Creator)", Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist
On a whim this past May, I went to a Freddie Gibbs concert at The Lincoln Theater in Raleigh, N.C. with a few good friends of mine. I wasn't a huge fan of Gibbs previously, but had a blast at his show. To close out his set, Gibbs sang along to Gunna's "poochie gown," which includes a line dissing Gibbs. Gibbs embraced the hate, laughing and singing along to the song and encouraging the audience to do the same. His disregard for another rapper's hate of him resonated with me, and I've been a follower of Gibbs ever since.
"Lady Day and John Coltrane", Gil Scott-Heron
In this song off of his debut album, Scott-Heron sings about "plastic people with plastic minds". When I feel myself fading from the present or molding myself like a synthetic polymer to appease others, I can put this song on to let "the sun shine through."
"Didn't I", Darondo
"Didn't I" serves as a reminder that if you let others' perceptions of you run wild, you can start to spiral. In this track, Darondo questions why his partner left him if he "treated her right". It's a reminder to us all to center ourselves rather than others' perceptions of us.
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