Personal Life Lyrics: Still A Friend of Mine

Now it’s time to go Incognito with a little bit of Acid Jazz.

You know as true as trees are tall
And autumn leaves do fall
Oh, it sometimes rains in paradise
And even the warmest heart can turn to ice

“One band, one sound”

The quote from the movie Drumline that brings back memories, particularly of a 7th grader that watched this movie as a 9th grader as inspiration for enforcing the playing of a musical instrument I knew from the movie itself.

This was the beginning of a new season of a new skill set, a new talent acquired.

Only one problem.

Standing firm and erect as a tree in cockiness was the notion that making beats on the tables with my knuckles was the same as playing the instrument.

This was the year (2000 – 2001) that if you could make it rain with freestyle beats from either your mouth or hands, you were as popular as Lil Wayne and Juvenile with their hits The Block Is Hot and Bling Bling (Hits from my 6th grade year in the 99 and the 2000 that traversed through the 7th grade. The middle school setting was anything but paradise).

I know it happened to us all
Every kind of people fall
And after all the tears are gone
Do we have the heart to carry on

I hated middle school.

In the previous blog Personal Life Lyrics: My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark, I stated that middle school was a special kind of Hell.

Now you’ll get some details.

In this Underworld known as the 10th circle (ruled by Hades), the gates of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade are guarded by Cerberus. As in any hierarchical system, there are rulers that influence the masses. In the 7th grade, we had a girl that in all grades throughout middle school, was the most popular student in the school. I had one hell of a crush on her too. I wasn’t in the “in” crowd in this underworld of middle schools in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade but one thing was certain:

I had the heart to carry on and make this girl mine.

Here and now, still somehow
Still a friend of mine, oh you’re still a friend of mine
Still a friend of mine, you’re still a friend of mine
Still a friend of mine, oh you’re still a friend of mine

Man oh man, if I have learned anything (being a substitute and a student too) it’s that kids, particularly middle school kids, say and do the darnest things (damnest nowadays because kids nowadays have no filter until they take selfies and post them on social media).

It was in 7th grade where I wished that I was Hades and this special girl was Persephone but I had no means of gaining any popularity in this Underworld.

Somehow, I had an idea. A friend of mine instilled in me the courage to use music to get her (and the masses) attention but it came at a heavy cost.

To think of all the times I hurt you
And never thought it through
Oh, I treated you so badly baby
Could such a cruel heart ever be free

The past can hurt.

Death can be quick or slow but to be in the “in” crowd in the Underworld, you must be carried in the Ship of Theseus by Charon.

I paid the cost from peer pressure to become someone else.

The waters that I was carried from were deep (Deep Waters is another song from Incognito* too) but the lessons remained from that ego death (The Internet*).

The beat goes on.

I know it happens to us all
Every kind of people fall
Oh, and after all is said and done
Do we have the heart to carry on

Perhaps this death made me more persistent in my desire to better my abilities to play the drums. This fall from grace in the Underworld grasp that earlier on shaped me like a new canvas.

The drum (the canvas), the drumsticks (the utensil used to create the art work on the canvas) and myself (Tyler* the creator; My name isn’t Tyler but it surely is close) became one with practice and creativity throughout the years after 7th grade, into 9th grade and beyond (because Love Don’t Cost a Thing with Nick Cannon and Christina Millian’s never crossed over with my relationship goals with that particular girl, particularly in the 9th grade setting. For that reason, The Jones Girls song entitled You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else plays on the Threads of Fate in the life of this relationship). 

Here and now, still somehow
Still a friend of mine, oh you’re still a friend of mine
Still a friend of mine, you’re still a friend of mine
Still a friend of mine, oh you’re still a friend of mine

Here and now, I am still learning more and more about drums and how important they are in the lives of those that I surround myself with. Communication is a vital aspect in our understanding of culture and as a drummer, I learned that everyone drums to their own rhythm.

It is a language.

As every circle from Dante’s Inferno has a different group of sinners, every drum is tuned differently to sound distinctly unique.

I know as long as I’ve got you
And we do the things we do
The next time baby
That our love breaks down
I’ll do the best that I can
To turn it around

Disney’s Pocahontas signature song Color of the Wind comes to mind when it comes to comparing the painting with all the colors of the wind and the wonderful combinations you can get when playing with drums. 

Speaking of colors, there are three special types of them (like singles, doubles, and triples when playing notes on a drum with a single hand).

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary.

In my knowledge of understanding the colors of the wind (the drums and the wonderful music they make), I could compare the music theory to that of setting relationship goals.

Here and now, still somehow
Still a friend of mine, oh you’re still a friend of mine
Still a friend of mine, you’re still a friend of mine
Still a friend of mine, oh you’re still a friend of mine

Red, Yellow, and Blue 

My family of colors are the single closest people to me. Single strokes are the easiest to get along with. They are close family (and bffs), and these folks are vital for your own well-being. They are always there whenever you need them! They paint the center of your universe. The blood in your body, the sun in the day and the atmosphere in the sky.

Green, Orange, and Purple 

I enjoy my double strokes though. They associate with you and your close family. They aren’t always easily to get to know at first because, like parallel lines, both you and them need to intersect and meet more than once to warm up to one another. Like plants that go through photosynthesis when the sun and sky allow the nutrients to nurture them, the same can be said whenever the sun shines on your skin, soaking up Vitamin D (and this is still slightly kid friendly, by the way) but too much of anything is a bad thing, causing spots to form from overexposure.

And the six extras

Those triples.

Balance is the hardest aspect to grasp and to have your painting completed, you must have minor extras that individually don’t draw in a crowd, but when you add the single and doubles – the primaries and the secondaries – you get a grand finale.

But like many types of art, it takes time to create a masterpiece and to have a body of work to see your progress, it helps establish a solid foundation of creativity as the wind blows.

Time and time and time again
I’m gonna be right here for you baby
Seasons come and seasons go
Gonna be right here for you

When it comes down to the scheme of things, learning comes full circle over time. The perpendicular nature of achieving greatness in single moments in time, changes the tone for your mindset and the well-being of others. Whether there is a tint or shade in theirs (or yours) carries great value in the nature of self-expression. I find it surprising the parallels that can be compared when developing a passion for something (or someone you love).

For what it’s worth, the connection is timeless.



*Link to the other song from Incognito:

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