I remember when the Nobel Prize winning book, ‘Beloved’, was made into a movie. I was relieved I was finally going to be able to understand what the book was talking about. Like other Morrison fans, I understand that to indulge in one of her books you have to completely abandon yourself and become involved in the art. ‘Beloved’ was one of those books I had not been able to finish because I found it too complex. Or maybe it wasn’t complex at all, perhaps it was the direction that didn’t allow me to finish the book. I remember the narrative being very haunting when it spoke to me. There were times in the book when it spoke directly to me and I felt like I had to protect or defend for myself.
The other day when riding in my car, my 12 year old niece wanted desperately to listen to a hip hop radio station. Even though the language is altered to be radio ready, I cannot stomach the majority of the new hip hop music today. I agreed to let her change the channel from my jazz station and we began to listen to a song, “hit her with a left, hit her with a right, I’mma knock her out like fight night!” (those aren’t the exact words but definitely the intent and close to it). My niece knew the words and sat happy smiling and bouncing in the passenger side dancing to the song.
When we got home, I got on the internet and pulled the song up. I called my niece in my room and let her hear the real lyrics, “hit her with a left, hit her with a right, I’mma knock that p*ssy out like fight night!” The expression on my nieces’ face changed solemn. It was a mixture of embarrassment and disappointment. Needless to say, I was pleased to see that the narrative disturbed her and she didn’t want to listen to the whole song.