From Space Jam to Seduction, My Experience With R.Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly”

I’m sitting alone at a bakery near my house and content with the fact I’ve just scarfed down a breakfast most likely intended for two. “I Believe I Can Fly” is streaming over the speakers and the woman sitting in front of me is seductively mouthing the lyrics to the barista behind the counter. At one point, she even gets up to showcase a move to him, a slow motion twirl or something of the sort. In my silent curiosity, I can’t help but wonder what the relation is between the two and better yet how this song could ever evoke any sorts of romanticism. A few seconds pass as I peer over in a dazed confusion. Naturally, she picks up on the fact and retreats to her laptop as if erasing the act that had so obviously just taken place. I do the same, reluctantly, returning my gaze to the immobile square ahead that is my Macbook.

Contrary to what it seems, I came here this morning not to lurk but to attend to this machine, as I do most mornings. I have a task to fulfill; yet, in some way my above encounter was a serendipitous answer to just that. You see, I am supposed to be writing about a personal experience with music – whether it be a song, album, or artist. At first, the task found me struggling. I tried to weed out a select few tracks from my iTunes library that were especially esteemed in the context of, well, my life. Overwhelmed by the abundance of music that sits in my library, however, my mind strayed away to the melodies of R.Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” and the woman that would forever turn my Space Jam into something quite the opposite.

Truly, the experience was far from scandalous and I regret having to even use such a bizarre example, but the point I’m trying to make is this: no matter the song, artist, or album, music can mold an experience just as much as an experience can mold the music. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes it the universal commonality. Music is the mere seven note spread of organized sound that brings us all together, that defines and redefines moments in time, and leaves no one unscathed of its influential impression. From something as silly as this morning’s R.Kelly experience to an album that tended to a death or breakup, there is a certain degree of energy attached to any audible offspring. With that said, we at HardknockTV will dedicate a portion of our week to write about our experiences with music, especially Hip Hop. This week, I show you “I Believe I Can Fly” in a light it has not so typically shone. So without further adieu, please turn your ears to my seductive Space Jam …




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