Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

2009: The Album

From Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides:

21st century is comin’, 20th century almost done.
A lot of things have changed, a lot of things have not: mainly us.

Depending on how you choose to count, the new decade is either one day or a year and a day away. I’ll avoid controversy and just stick to the past year. My album for the past year would include the following tracks:

  1. Crazeology 2. The intro track would be a nod to Charlie Parker and feature sounds from the harp festival.
  2. Dear Grandma. With my trip to India and my grandmother’s trip to the States, I got to spend more time with her this year than I had in years; it was appreciated.
  3. Through the Looking Glass. My thesis featured an Alice, and at times, I felt like I was in a mirror world. I mean this quite literally. For instance, I got to drive on the left side of the road when in India.
  4. Big India. Back in college, someone dedicated a song to me based on Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin”: “He be, Big India, spending rupees. / He be, Big India, eating the curry …” and so on. I totally felt like Big India the night I came back from Bangalore.
  5. Crossroads at Picante. Unlike the Bone Thugs song, this would have no religious overtones.
  6. Ducklets. Dedicated to an inside joke I’ve had with BN since our first year of grad school. From Ze Frank to my niece’s toy collection, ducks have made several cameos during my time in grad school. My night at The Mallard was the swan song (ugly duckling pun fail).
  7. Vitamin D. Apparently, I wasn’t getting enough sun this year, but there was a day I got plenty of it.
  8. Kitchen Unconfidential. A track for all meals and all people.
  9. PhinisheD. The title track of the album. It reminds me of a couple lines from Kanye West: “Oh, you graduated? No, I decided I was PhinisheD.”
  10. The Belt. A track about the little things that seem to matter a lot more than they do.

To auto-tune or not to auto-tune?

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