Posted by: Stella Glass
Years ago when I first got together with my boyfriend he made me a bunch of CDs and loaded them all on to my computer, so I could put them on my ipod and listen to them as I went from miserable temp job to miserable temp job and hopeless interview to hopeless interview.Each CD had a really diverse playlist Gram Parsons, Jon Brion, Run DMC, Kaada, Smokey and Miho and Otis Redding and like that. I didnt have the CDs on in any order and so I just hit random and let my iPod shuffle things up.
One particular day in February I was waiting on the downtown Q platform at 42nd Street with my headphones on, when this song came on for the first time. The beginning is slow and almost mechanical and for a minute I thought the sounds were coming from the subway, but when I first heard the piano I felt my breath catch in my chest. The music was so sweet, classic and light and the lyrics so funny and true that even though I was going to see him in 20 minutes, I felt a sharp, homesick longing for the guy who gave the song to me; I teared up and was so wrapped up in the song that I missed my stop and had to get out at Canal and walk back, playing it over and over until I got home.
I still have a bit of a physical reaction to it now, and I think what I love about it is that it’s a love song, but it shows dirt. It’s not a simple romantic arc of adoration turning to pain, it’s the fraught beginning of something new, it’s both at the same time. It’s one of the most beautiful hip hop songs I know.