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Music Challenge: Day 8

Day 8: a song you know all the words to

I don’t know what bets were placed between label execs or how many bottles were passed between “crooners” after a lounge set but the likelihood of Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill & Gerald Levert coming together to create anything more than potentially a well-attended cook-out are still slim to none to me. I don’t know how this happened & swear I don’t remember but 1 other song on the album (My Body), but MY cut was All The Times.

It was New Years Eve 1998. I had just returned from Chicago for my shameful last return “home” for Kwanzaas done RIGHT. No disrespeck to how y’all do it where you’re at but you haven’t experienced Kwanzaa til you’ve grown up doin it in the Chi. Inteeweighs…when I got home, the Big Sis’s best friend, & by default my other big sis, was having a New Year’s gathering at her new-ish home. It was exciting for me because the other big sis was always an example of perseverance & NEVER give up-edness. She lives with Lupus, doesn’t suffer from it, & has had her life altered by it. Still, she is out here living many aspects of “the dream” & being just a couple years older than me, showed me what was possible. & the woman can cook, grown out of her Louisiana roots. ((fannin’ myself…Lawd))

So, me & Sista Jaffi (not her name, but my roommate & sista friend) went with the rest of the crew to The Other Big Sis’s house. We ate well & laughed lots. We also crushed hard on the star male in the crew, the Sexy Trini, who was never far away & always near to our youthful lust-filled hearts. We got to sit on the steps, in our early twenties & barely holding down our 1st apartment, watching the Big [Kool] Kids interact with all their worldly, college graduated, masters pursuing, home & car owning ways. Whatever “doin it” was, they seemed to be doing THAT! Me & Sista Jaffi were just glad to be welcomed.

As me & my girl sat quietly on the steps watching the dynamic between 2 friends who liked the Sexy Trini discover that 1 of them had one-upped the other & made a move, & me knowing the secret that someone on my side had already been there & done that, & us fantasizing about being there & doing that, the music switched up. The Other Big Sis had LSG’s unheard CD playing in the background & we all pretty much breezed it until My Body came on. The Big Sis’s mother made a comment that made us all laugh & broke the tension of being too many chicks in a room perspiring over the same dude. Not long after, All The Times came on & I literally fell into the words. The mélange of unexpected voices, the easy ebb & flow of masculine to feminine perspectives, the unexpected introduction to Missy Elliot as a woman who could actually SING… There was too much goodness all in this 1 song. I fell in love. Bump Sexy Trini!! I was all in this song.

On the drop-off came the surprise kiss Sexy Trini planted just off the corner of my mouth. He let me know that while I was the lil sis of the crew, he recognized that I had grown up from the 15 year old I was when he inherited me with my sister's friendship. I hunted that song down!! It eluded me for some time & I finally got it & kept it in my collection to sneak up on me as a surprise remembrance. & when it comes up in the shuffle, I sing soulfully right along with the memory of that night & all the Life that has brought me closer to the meaning of the lyrics.

You have no idea how hard it is to find a version of this song to share. So, I’m sharing a link to the lyrics that if you so choose, you can read & listen to the song. Enjoy.

Watch me groove.

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