Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Electric Relaxation: Blue Scholars "Loyalty"

I'm surprised I didn't do this sooner because this is one of my favorite songs of all time. But seeing Blue Scholars on Sunday reminded me just how much I love this and why I do. It's one of the best discoveries I stumbled upon and the minute I hear that intro, I get lost for the next 4 minutes.

The story behind me hearing it a good one. Just a reminder of how friends matter and share goodness with each other. Let me take you back to 2008 for a second before I break down the music.

I got a text from a friend who works at a radio station in San Diego. She told me to check out these guys from Seattle that she had just seen and listen to this song "Loyalty". I think I was up late at my newspaper so I went to YouTube and checked it out.

First thing I noticed was it used the same Sylvers sample that the Foreign Exchange used for "All That You Are". Yet it had a dreamy, uplifting groove like something you hear when you wake up for the first time. The video added to that with the clear skies and sun in the background but that sound just stayed in my ears and went to my soul.

Sabzi, left, and Geo met in 2002 and the rest is history.
That's when Sabzi became one of my favorite producers (as a bonus, listen to this soulful flip of Young Money's Bedrock). As for Geo's lyrics, the message of celebrating friendship and those down with you hit me deep. Especially the hook.

"Because I, got your back even if you don't got mine
Grind in the dark when the clock strikes hard times
We ain't nothing if this bond ain't solidified
Give thanks in war time that people still alive"

At the time, I was glad to hear it knowing I had great friends around me, mainly my family of college folks who I remained cool with. Hearing it makes miss them and while life has taken us in different directions, I know that the love that was there won't go away. Even now, this song is always a reminder of those who I feel privileged to know and consider friends and family.

I played that song heavy the rest of 2008. It led me to get on the Blue Scholars mailing list, get some more songs for free and then get my hands on their first two albums. I saw them in 2009 at the San Diego Street Scene where I realized they put on a great show.

Seriously, Blue Scholars puts on a great show. I recommend y'all see them (Photo by Evan Barnes)
Seeing them on Sunday at the Troubadour with my lady was a nice way to come full circle. I introduced her to Blue Scholars the same way I was introduced. Giving her the "Loyalty" video. We saw Geo and Sabzi have the whole crowd put their hands up for this song and it was a powerful feeling of being united in loving that song.

The best songs are often experiences. This song takes me higher every time I hear it and while it reminds me of the friend who blessed me with it four years ago, it's also an anthem of any great friendship I've had and still have.

As a bonus, here's Sabzi talking about how he made "Loyalty" and the story behind it

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