Music Monday: What Goes In Must Come Out!

Hello, and happy Monday friends! It’s been months since I’ve written one of these. Typically I pick a song, artist or album to discuss, heralding whatever musical artistry there is to be enjoyed and appreciated. This time, however, I want to show how music taught me a little lesson this week – and just how powerful it can be.

Have you ever heard the phrase “what goes in must come out?” I always associated this with food, or even work ethic with the sister statement “you get out of it what you put into it!” Well this past Saturday morning, I prepared a very short Spotify “hype” playlist just to give myself some extra upbeat songs to get me ready for the long workday ahead. I’ve become more open-minded to some hip-hop and even trap music artists in recent years (many of them really are artistic & have legitimate things to say in their music!). So what did I put on as I worked out and got ready for work?

This is ONLY one example, and I know what you might be thinking. And you’re right. And no, there is NO point to this song, no substance, no artistic quality, plenty of language, the list goes on. This song exists JUST to be a trap song – something to get you hype in the club. That’s it! And if that’s what you’re looking for, this might have you ready to yell “you GUESSED it!!!!…..WOO! You was RIGHT!!!” So yes, this song exists solely to get you straight turnt. (OG Maco didn’t make much money on anything else, so I guess we’ll let him have this.)

Now the thing is: this and the other songs I blasted that morning sent me to work PUMPED. And I mean PUMPED, as in I had way too much energy. I did the best I could to contain it for the sake of being professional at work, but I had such a rush from the music! It was as if I had an edge of danger in me. Not because it was this dark, evil scary music or anything – I was just way too hyped and could have yelled YOU GUESSED IT!! GRRRAH!! GRRRAH!! at a person at any given moment.

Fast forward to Sunday morning. I had another long work day ahead, and wasn’t feeling my best physically. This time, I put my gospel playlist on, including:

Gospel of course has always been my first musical love, as I’ve talked about on my site before. No matter what contrast in style the Gospel artist is using, there is always a comfort in the messages. I wasn’t even trying to get anything out of it, but as I was driving between church services, I realized that I was in a much different state of mind. I was calm, I was in a good mood, and not feeling my physical best didn’t matter all of a sudden. James Hall and his choir singing about joy, love and hope replaced the AAAAAAAAAAH sensation that I had day before. That translated into an overall controlled, calm and near-peaceful day.

My point? Music is powerful, and what you listen to can directly affect you. I can handle a trap song or whatever once in a while just for fun (or a pointless song to make fun of, like anyone else) – but I overloaded myself on getting hype. The gospel music was calming, artistic and existing to make a point (praising God). I’m not saying you should drop what you’re doing to listen to what worked for me Sunday, or that all trap music is bad. Country, rock or soul might be it for you! What I am saying: just watch what you put into yourself. How we think and act is going to be representative of the various things we put in ourselves or surround ourselves with. And with music being such a powerful entity, we’re prone to be affected before we realized it. I could do a whole ‘nother piece about music and its’ affect on us, but for now: just be aware of what’s going in, so you only get the best coming out.

Happy Music Monday! Now go listen to some good music!!!


P.S.: OG Maco’s music video is worth a good laugh.


Music Monday: Joy to the World

Good morning all, and welcome to another Christmas edition of #MusicMonday! In lieu of the most wonderful time of year, we’re taking a look at the best kind of music: CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!! (subjectivity not a factor)

There are several songs that serve as a staple of this season, whether traditional sacred carols (Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful), fun secular ones (Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman), but there’s one I hold near and dear to my heart because it exemplifies the meaning of the season, and the upbeat, joyous emotion contagious to so many. I’m talking about, of course, Joy to the World!

The Joy to the World was originally a hymn written by Isaac Watts, based on text from Psalm 98 in the Bible, used to celebrate Christ’s triumphant return to the earth. Today we know it to celebrate His birth instead with different verses, but the second half of Watts’ lyrics are still used today.

There are several (SEVERAL) versions and arrangements of this tune. What’s most remarkable about this song is that it encapsulates what Christmas is truly about: the birth of Jesus. There’s just no way you can hear this tune and not at least hear the celebratory sensation of true joy. This may be one of the hardest Christmas/holiday tunes to arrange for, because we’re all so familiar with the traditional arrangements heard in church services and such…but even more than that, you have to make your music truly capture that emotion of “this brings so much meaning to me, and I want to share my joy and peace with you.” And, after all, isn’t that a mindset we should all strive to have when possible in a time of year in which we are easily the busiest and most prone to being scatterbrained?

I hope this Christmas season, no matter how you celebrate the holiday, you can find some peace of mind and take a moment to reflect on the important things, slow down for at least a couple minutes, and enjoy what you do have. Once you do that, choose to celebrate it! We all have something different and we’re all very different people. So embrace that! More so, celebrate the reason for the season. Then, pop in your favorite Joy to the World arrangement! 🙂

Have a wonderful #MusicMonday, and an even better Christmas! 9 days left! What’s your favorite Joy to the World arrangement – a more traditional, or one that your favorite artist just kills at? Feel free to chime in and share your Christmas joy with the interwebs.

Have a great week, and sing on my brethren!