It’s finally time for youth across America to join together and start wearing, listening to, and adopting African stuff because it is cool.
The import system between here and there is so desiccated that real/good African music/culture is actually HARD FOR US TO FIND. How many things can you say THAT about? Even if the music wasn’t enough to make you fall on your knees and weep, the very exclusivity should be enough to get the teenyboppers mobbing. You’d better bet mom and dad don’t understand!
Modern young person, are you obsessed (whether you know it or not) with how ideas disperse and what’s trending? Well, did you know that African culture is our own, reflected in an ancient, foreign, incredibly good-willed mirror? Imagine classic MTV shown on a tin-can telephone made of fruit cocktail. Lots for the mind to do there. (It used to take approximately ten years for an idea to make it from here to there and come out in the pop media. I think it still takes several years.)
Modern young person, have you been primed by your upbringing to desperately seek validation from all available sources? Well, how often have you come across a cultural reference to yourself made by someone who dances a lot better than you ever will? Could there be more wholesome font of positive reinforcement?
Modern young person, if all this gets complicated for you at times, don’t worry, because all of African pop culture is about one simple thing: AFRICA IS THE FREAKING BOMB. That’s it. Always there. And all of it agrees on this–how appealing is that? Don’t ask why!
I remember when I was twelve–I hope this trend was broad enough that I’m not dating myself–everyone who was anyone in the lunch room had to have a tie-dyed shirt and know the lyrics to CCR songs for some reason. This is the bar a fad among this age group has to jump, is all I’m saying.
(But it was good, because it taught us about the Beatles.)
Just on the slim chance that there are those among you in search of fashionable new ideas, have you recently pointed your focus group binoculars at that so overlooked….err, entire continent? Maybe there might be a few there. Their very names, I promise you, will be the freshest things you’ve ever heard.
And if you make money, even a ludicrous amount, don’t even worry it*. I mean, send me some if you want. But who cares? Because of what else will you be doing. Let’s not even speak of it because we’re so excited.
For the rest of us, best bet is to head down to your local ethnic music store.**
TEKE! Ok, I admit it, I’m not that young anymore. Does anyone still say TEKE?
**Starter kit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQffLVaQoT0