Brother Ali - "Faheem"

I love this song. It’s beautiful, touching, and speaks to me on multiple levels. But I can’t listen to it anymore. I have a hard time listening to this song because, even three years later, it still brings up too many bad memories of my parent’s divorce. 

It’s a testament to the power of music. Music can evoke memories of days long past. Memories of people you have shared a bond with. Memories of first kisses or family holidays or simply being around cherished friends. We innately connect our memories to the music that provided the backdrop for the events as they took place. Hearing the same song again can place one back in those memories and trigger the emotions (good and bad) felt at the time.

I’m sorry for this post. I don’t like this site to be about me and try to remove myself from it as much as possible for the sake of journalistic integrity, but I just wanted to make a point about why music is an essential part of the human experience. Certain songs can immediately shift the mood of an individual. It’s a bit foolish, but for myself, whenever DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” comes on, I’ll immediately proceed to perform whatever I was doing harder, faster, and more aggressively. Likewise, whenever I hear the remix to “Ignition” or Dyme Def’s “LetitBe,” it immediately puts me in a better mood.

Kurt Vonnegut once said that “Music is, to me, proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic, and in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference.” Music is one of the common bonds that nearly every human being on this planet shares. In my experience, good music, hip hop or not, is one of the most pure, beautiful things in this world.

This astonishing track is further proof of this fact and it saddens me that I can no longer listen to it. There was a time when I could listen to this song and imagine that Ali’s words were the same that my parents would convey if they were to stop acting childishly. At a time when I was too embarrassed to tell my friends what was going on, it provided me with a comfort not otherwise available.  Now it has a bittersweet beauty, simply reminding me of a time in my life that I’ve done my best to escape.

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