Excerpts from This Morning's Alphabits: Positive Reinforcement

At work, my iTunes playlist labeled “Random Dopeness” plays tracks from Radiohead, Alicia Keys, Jean Grae and more recently Ghostface and Lupe Fiasco, as I work on my company’s upcoming conferences. In my car, should I feel the need to take a break from Little Brother to hear what hot topics Chicago’s radio DJs want to speak on, I will occassionally catch the sounds of what passes as music these days broadcast to listeners who still decide to tune in.

I’ve noticed something, ya’ll. It’s no grand epiphany by any means. In fact, it has been the case for some time now but it’s become more obvious as of late… at least to me and my limited radio experience. Women have become much more uplifting in their music than men. I know. Maybe it means I’m dense, but it also means that I’m still learning.

As I hear Mary J. Blige sing about not changing her life to such an upbeat tempo and Alicia Keys demand that no one will change the way she feels about her true love, or insist that she is a super woman capable of anything, I can’t help but shake my head at the men that still talk about taking someone else’s woman at a club because they’re a flirt, or that they need to leave their girlfriend quick because the girl that they’ve just met at the club is a ’10’. Now, there are some songs that are a bit more positive that say how a woman deserves to be treated with respect and so forth, but unfortunately it seems to always be coming from the guy that isn’t dating her.

Ne-Yo has a complex about going back to ex-girlfriends. I happen to kind of like his music, mostly because there’s a tad bit more originality to his writing, but there has been more than one occasion where he is either no longer with a girl and wonders if she still thinks of him or he’s alone and sees the girl of his dreams on the arm of another guy. I think Trey Songz can’t help but wait for her to realize how much better he is for her than whomever she’s with now.

It’s just so disappointing to not be able to have three songs play on the radio without one of them including T-Pain or the digitized voice that so many people are using (again) nor will any of them be a positive, encouraging, uplifting self-assuring statement of who we are as a people and as a generation through the eyes of a male. Women lift themselves up because men don’t. Period. Especially according to what’s in heavy rotation.

Now, I’m not saying that no guys put a song or two out that does some justice to what I’m speaking on or that there are no female artists that go against it (like a Trina), nor am I saying that this is a new phenomenon in music. I’m just saying that for all the jump-off pimpin’, drug choppin’, street hustlin’ playas that fall in love with strippers and bartenders and can make it rain on b*tches whenever they want, there are women who don’t give a damn about any of that. I’m sure it’s me. I’m sure that I’m reinventing the wheel with my redundancy, but at the same time I can’t help but wait for something better. Maybe Trey has a point.

Be good.

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