Why Do We Hate Disco?

Why Do We Hate Disco?

Where did the groove go?
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Two Saturdays ago, I went to an Earth, Wind & Fire concert (rest in peace Maurice White) where Chic and Nile Rodgers opened for the show. Chic is known for hits such as We Are Family and Le Freak, while Nile Rodgers is a music producing icon credited for the Grammy winning song Get Lucky featuring Daft Punk. You might have heard of it. For the giant stadium I was in, it was a relatively small crowd size and definitely an older crowd, but man, do they know how to get down. By 'they' of course I mean both the crowd and Earth, Wind & Fire, not to mention the band served some serious aesthetics. How can you not gaze upon these screens with awe?



The band also sang a beautiful tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire founder and main vocalist Maurice White who passed in 2016.

While jamming out to their hit Let's Groove that funky fresh Saturday, I wondered what happened to the groove. Where did it go? What happened to disco? What, or who killed disco? And is it even worth bringing back?

Anyone who has a stereotypical knowledge of the late 1960s and 1970s knows that disco and disco dancing became an extremely popular genre on the charts and in the nightclubs, with the famous John Travolta film Saturday Night Fever at a critical pinnacle of disco's popularity. Disco graced us with an array of legendary artists such as Diana Ross, KC and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summers, Chic, and brought some of Earth, Wind & Fire's greatest hits, even if their songs weren't always purely disco, but let's not kid ourselves here. Listen to Boogie Wonderland and tell me you don't taste disco flavors in that jam.

To some groups, disco was more than a music genre. It was a creative outlet to express what society deemed deviant or against the norm. Disco provided an effeminate vehicle of expression for the LGBT community as well as Blacks and Latino men and women stuck in strict gender expectations. I mean, come on, have you heard the lyrics to YMCA? From the fun and seemingly silly to straight up sultry (i.e. Donna Summers' erotic Love To Love You), disco anthems gave marginalized groups an inclusive space for expression.

On July 12th, 1979, that space would be threatened by what is known as Disco Demolition Night where hundreds of disco records were destroyed and burned as a radio promotion during a double header game between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers thanks to a disgruntled DJ named Steve Dahl. As I mentioned before, Disco became insanely popular and took over airwaves previously ruled by rock 'n roll. The promotion, hosted at Comiskey Park (now known as Guaranteed Rate Field) in Chicago, sold 98 cent tickets to fans if they brought in a disco record to be burned, snapped in half, or demolished. Butthurt rock fans swarmed in droves to the stadium.

Disco's limelight went out fast after Disco Demolition Night. Artists faded into the underground disco scene or focused more on R&B, pop, or electronic. Director Spike Lee produced a documentary called Off The Wall about Michael Jackson's musical journey leading up to his breakout solo album Off the Wall, but the film also talks a bit about the perceived racism behind disco's hatred.

Disco deserved and still deserves better. In a country where its residents believe to be more divided than ever, perhaps disco can invite us together. On a chart where all the top hits have the same single sounding synths with depressing tones, Disco can bring a pep in those steps.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash.com

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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