Can Black people go 5 minutes without music?

…or rather why do we have to blast the music during every gathering?

Having been back in Harlem now for about 4 years — after being away for over 20. There are plenty of improvements but one thing about this community that gets on my nerves is some folks apparent belief that we all want to hear their music or that it is fine to just blast you music out of your car, open window, or mobile boom box.

I know I live a a big city, and I don’t expect silence. However why do men, and it is usually men, have to blast music all the time.

It seems if there is more than two of us together someone is blasting music. When did it become a requirement for every picnic to have ultra loud music. Lately the music is not just loud but obscene…

My next door neighbor was blasting music out of his window one afternoon while my daughters and I were hanging out in the backyard. The lyrics went something like this;

I getting some head
gettin gettin some head
I getting some head
gettin gettin some head

..ad infinitum (or so it seemed)

I yelled, “A brother can’t even go OUTSIDE without subjecting his daughters to obscenities!” The song was skipped mid stream. My daughters thought the situation was funny. They seem to take pleasure at their old man’s irritation with the words in some of the rap music. Now when we hear the song in the street, the oldest will say, “there goes Dad’s favorite song”

Sure there are times for loud music; like at a dance party, or a concert, but the concept background music or silence seems alien in our community.

IPODs — same thing. Many people walk around all day with music blasting from those little white ear buds. Are people ever interested in being alone with their own thoughts? Has loud music replaced conversation?

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About Troy

Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of AALBC.com, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, AALBC.com has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.
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  • Jacki Simmons

    LMAO @ this post. I had to stop myself before I sat here and read every post. And yes, I’m guilty as charged, I will not leave my house without my little white earbuds. Anywho, thanx for the shout out. I will for sure let you know when the tour brings me home.
    Keep lovin, keep livin, keep readin,
    -J

  • Anonymous

    No
    Living in New York or any inner city you are subjected to loud music. Black people must have the “thump!” Its sad but its almost as if we’re trying to reach across the sea to our ancestors through our loud SILLY music that makes no sense except to the senseless that listen to nonsense all day long. Yet many cannot do Algebra but they can spin a song degrading human kind.

  • Anonymous

    lol. interesting read. yes we can be pretty over bearing w/ music, I’m only 24 but I definitely have witnessed my share of situations where I could only hold my head down in dismay.

  • http://aalbc.com Troy

    I got notification that this Blog post, from 5 years ago was read today. I did not remember writing this, based upon the title, so I decided to check it out. Yep I remember this clearly now.

    Nothing has changed. I not longer live on that street where I was constantly assaulted by someone else’s music. Now I only have to contend with fire engines, car alarms, ice cream trucks, gun shots (just two days ago), arguing, etc, etc.

    “Well why does he live in NYC”, one could reasonably ask.
    I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment :-)

  • http://aalbc.com Troy Johnson

    Now in 2012 there are these, I’ll call them “biker boys”, who ride these very loud motorcycles in groups of 20, 30 or more, burning lights all the way, holding up traffic, setting off car alarms — a real nuisance in addition to the noise pollution they create. Life in Harlem!