Jay-Z just released a new CD. How do I know? Because all of social media is buzzing about it.
It was just released 45 minutes ago and already folks have offered their full reviews, quoted lines from their favorite songs, interpreted what he meant by this or that, and has assumed it’s a response to his wife’s ‘Lemonade.’
Okay, it probably didn’t come out 45 minutes ago, but I don’t think it’s been a full day yet and it seems everyone but me has listened, critiqued, and ranked it among the best he’s ever done.
Old Man Me remembers when a new album came out, me, and now Reverend Michael K. Evans would put our quarters together and go buy the latest funk, soul, or R&B LP. He’d take it home for a week before passing it to me to listen to for a week. At some point one of us would take ownership of the album but always made sure it stayed in great condition just in case the other wanted to borrow it for a party or something.
We’d sit on the school bus and talk about our favorite songs which pretty much remained a conversation between the two of us because no one else really gave a hoot.
These days, everybody gives a hoot. All you need to do is say something about ‘4:44’ and instantly you’ll get all kinda Comments, Likes, Shares and Emoticons on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. Everybody has an opinion and the CD is only 15 minutes old (or so it seems).
It reminds me of the time I chaperoned a 6th grade class at Showalter Middle School to the Philadelphia Zoo.
I remember going to the zoo every summer with the Chester Central YMCA day camp and we’d be there all day and never get to see the whole zoo – and we didn’t have a chaperon. But this trip with the Showalter 6th graders was a different animal (pun intended).
Me and the 4 guys I was looking after saw the entire Philadelphia Zoo before lunch. Those dudes saw every bird, cat, bear, turtle, fish, giraffe, snake, camel, monkey and men’s room in less than 3 hours.
How’d they do it, you ask? Easy. They spent no time looking at the animals. They just ran from cage to cage, exhibit to exhibit, pool to pond, and dark building to dark building.
“Don’t y’all want to stick around to see if the lion roars, or the gorilla waves, or the polar bear swims toward you, or the big turtles having sex, or the monkey throwing feces at each other?” NO! There was no time to stand around and get to know the personality of the animals. There was only time to run through each section so they could get to the next animal.
Needless to say, I was wore out before the first bite of my sandwich. There was nothing to look forward to after lunch since we saw it all before lunch, and there was no way I was taking those guys on the hot air balloon thingee.
Like today’s new music, the younger folks just rip right through it, give it a thumbs up or down, talk about it with hundreds of others – whether they know them or not – and get geared up for the next new thing coming down the pike.
Younger people aren’t building a record collection anymore. The music delivery system is so dynamic these days that you can listen to whatever you like, whenever you like. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I will say that running through the entire Philadelphia Zoo in 3-hours is not the way I’ll ever do that again.