Ray Charles once described music as “one of [his] parts.. Like [his] ribs, [his] kidneys, [his] liver, [his] heart.. Like [his] blood .. it was a force already within [him].. It was a necessity for [him] like food or water”. Similar to Ray Charles, I, Tiara Julien, a Sophomore Economics major on a pre law track from the Bronx, New York felt that music was essential to my being. Music has always been embedded in me. Growing up in an African American home, Soul, R&b, and Hip Hop were never too far from my ears. Whether it was family cookouts, birthdays, or just simply cleaning around the house, music was always playing. From my grandmother’s kitchen playing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and Aretha Franklin’s “R.E.S.P.E.C.T” to my mother’s taste of rappers like Lil Kim and Tupac. At the age of three is when I discovered my love for music. I would dance in front of the tv to the most recent Jay Z and Destiny’s Child’s songs , humming and singing broken sentences from what played on the radio. My foot rhythmically tapping, my head constantly grooving, and my eyes closed ears open, listening to the powerful expression of my culture becoming pleased and entertained by the lyrics I heard. While I have love for all types of music “Uptown is the place where I lay my dome. On the streets of the Bronx where my family roam” so many of my favorite artists are from New York because “New York rappers got crazy game”. They are “Blessed with flows that keep you hooked like dope”
An Uptown Baby Mindset:
While music has always been apart of my life, a focus on African American music, its roots, and its evolution were rarely topics of discussion. My Hip Hop dance teachers would emphasize that Hip Hop started in the Bronx. Acknowledging that “if it wasn’t for the Bronx, This rap stuff probably never would be going on, So tell me where you’re from”. This made me proud to say, “Uptown baby, uptown baby” but also made me realize that I did not know enough about the culture and how “We gets down baby, for the crown baby”. While I knew rap originated in the Bronx, I wanted to know more about African American music as a whole and where it started and how it lead to the music I listen to and love today. None of the schools I went to offered many classes on this subject, so when I seen this class I just had to enroll. Through this class I hope to broaden my musical horizons and become exposed to artists who were pivotal to shaping African American Music and artists from genres I may have not given enough attention to. I hope to learn more about my culture and our connection to music. While my knowledge may be limited now, I hope to leave this class more educated than most on our musical background. I look forward to leaving this class so knowledgeable of African American music that when people misspeak on the culture of our music I will be able to let the “Playa haters feel the flame from my heater” so they can respect our culture and “learn how to treat her”.
I Got a Story to Tell about my Experience:
My experience with music education is limited. Although I am an Economics major, my career path is not along the lines of banking, analytical analysis, or any expected career choice. I want to become an Entertainment Lawyer, explore careers in music marketing and development. I honestly just want to be a entertainment mogul, the female version of P Diddy or Jay Z. While Spelman does not offer many classes pertaining to my career interest, I try to take the few offered. I have taken Music Business and Entrepreneurship my freshman year during the Spring semester. Through the class I learned a lot about the business world of entertainment. Now it’s time to learn about the actual music side. Entering a career in entertainment is difficult. It’s about your experience however, it is hard to gain that experience without having EXPERIENCE. Because of the other class and my extracurricular experience on my resume, I am able to market myself to employers in the entertainment industry. This class will augment my self brand. Not only will I have the knowledge of the music business but a knowledge of music as well. Knowledge of the business aspect is expected but knowing about the music culture is even more impressive. This class will continue to add to my experience. This way I can continue “Puttin’ it down for N.Y. ya know what I mean… N.Y. and world wide”
Drops Mic and Opens Book .. Ready to Learn!
Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz – Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)