This week, I’m taking a more serious turn from my regular Throwback Friday posts in light of Rihanna speaking out about abusive relationship at the hands of Chris Brown. Also, I have maybe a handful of artists at most that are my absolute favorites and Tracy Chapman is one of them. It was actually my dad that introduced me to her. He received a copy of her self titled debut album, released in 1988, on cassette tape and dubbed a copy for me (a real treat in our house growing up) after realizing that I enjoyed listening to it so much. Again, that’s probably a cassette tape that I still have stored away in a shoebox or one of my cassette tape storage cases (you youngins won’t know anything about that).
Yes, that’s the album that had “Fast Car,” but it also had this song “Behind The Wall” among many others that were full of spirit and meaning. I was drawn to her soulfulness of her voice. In general, I am particularly drawn to artists that excel lyrically, vocally connect with the audience to the point where you feel every word, and musically I’m not as picky (hence the fact that I listen to a variety of music genres). I have every one of her albums, and remember going to see her in concert at Merriweather Post Pavillion with one of my best girlfriends back in high school who shared an equal love for Tracy Chapman’s music. Back then, it was mostly Tracy and an acoustic guitar. Simple and beautiful.
To tell you about how much of a fan I became comes with more stories than I have room for in this post and for most of your attention spans. I mean, I remember being out in San Jose, CA at a record store with my cousin and convincing the store to give me the Tracy Chapman poster they had hanging up on the wall.
Now that I’m a writer, I should try to reach out to Tracy’s people and see if she will grant me an interview. It would be a dream come true for me.
“Behind The Wall” speaks of domestic violence and is sung a capella. There was never a video made of the song, and I didn’t see a quality enough live performance of it online to share with you, but in a way, that’s absolutely perfect because this song is more about the message than visual effects.
Rihanna, this one’s for you, girl! I got yo back.