Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Intelligent Hoodlum/Tragedy - Grand Groove (Bonus Mix)

One of the proudest sub-subgenres in hip hop is the "back n da dayz" nostalgia song. Another is the "pour one out for the brothers who ain't here" tribute track. The artist who vacillated between the names "Tragedy," "Intelligent Hoodlum" and "Tragedy Khadafi" combined both sentiments with "Grand Groove," off his second album Saga of a Hoodlum.

The swirling piano keys and the female vocal vamps throughout the song give it a lighter, quasi-R&B feel, which is probably why I wasn't that into the song way back then. But in retrospect, it's a hot track, and a thoughtful, well-constructed song.

The first verse is about being born and growing up, the second verse is about his mother, and the third is about his grandmother who had -- apparently -- recently passed away. ("Grand" Groove, get it?) It comes off as sincere without being overly sentimental or corny, and though he injects a bit of his own experience (going to the penitentiary, for example), but also rings surprisingly universal.

I understand you're going back to the essence
But I do miss your presence
Too busy tryin' to be slick and get over
Back in the days I used to wish I was older
And I remember, and I remember, and I remember
I used to sneak in the house with my eyes all red
Duck the blow that was aimed for my head
Run in the streets like a runaway slave
I didn't know you was headed for the grave
Never miss a good friend until they're gone
As long as I'm alive you're gonna live on and on
Who says your best friend has to be a brother
A friend is someone who's always there for another
No more snakes in the grass when you're near
Grand groove, I love ya and I wish you were here
I still love ya to this very day
One love, grand groove, ya passed away

No comments: