Aretha

OK.

I can’t say I have a real appreciation for Aretha Franklin’s music. I’m not a fan. . .in the sense that I don’t know anything about her / her music / what makes her great / why one record is her best work vs another record / which song is my all time favorite, (you know like a real fan would do) and all that jazz.

Right off the top of my head, I can’t name any songs outside of the ones that are best known and unfortunately now so fucking clichéd: songs like  R-E-S-P-E-C-T, the natural woman one, the one in that annoying Big Lots! commercial, etc. This is because my taste in music is not as eclectic as it could be. I do listen to a little bit of everything* but the airwaves in my room and the memory on my MP3 player are dominated by sounds from THE GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME, THE BADASSERY OF 90s ALTERNATIVE ROCK/METAL (INCLUDING MY FAVORITE BAND EVER! ! !, etc.,) and the GODS OF 80s ROCK. So basically no Aretha. (Unless TOOL has a cover out there that I don’t know about. And if they do, then you gotta let me know about it because I’m sure it’s fucking awesome and I have to hear it! ‘][‘[[]][[]][[, FTW! ! ! Haha.)

But obviously, I do know who Aretha Franklin is and I can’t imagine that there are people in this country who don’t even recognize her name; at this point it’s like you either know who the fuck Aretha Franklin is, or you’re a vegetable. Young and old, I don’t care–you should know who this woman is. The name says it all. ARETHAThe Queen of Soul!

And yes, I can vouch for her being the Queen of Soul having little knowledge on her musical career. This is the beauty and the power of Ms. Franklin’s music. I don’t have to be a hardcore fan, or have her albums in my iTunes–I’ve heard one song, and now I know that voice. I’d know that voice anywhere. And I think her music has stood the test of time because she is seriously and purely talented. That’s it. There are no gimmicks. She’s not a brand name. All the strength, all the magic, all the success, and the longevity are due to that voice and that voice alone. NOBODY has that voice. NOBODY sings a song like Aretha Franklin. NOBODY. And this is why as I get older, I understand why people bitch about music not being the same today as it was during “the good old days,” (whenever the hell that was), and the youth not knowing anything about anything. Because we don’t. Because back in the day people grew up with someone great like Aretha Franklin or Aretha Franklin herself and music carried a little more weight than it does today. Back then there weren’t all these advancements in techonology, music videos and that God awful autotune. It was just Aretha and a mic. And I give her so much credit for that. Especially today when there are these global superstars in music and I think to myself “Wait, how the hell are you so huge right now? You can’t even sing, wtf. Oh, it’s because all the kids love you. Geez.” But I’m not a teeny bopper anymore. I’m growing up. And though most things are so much better when you get older, there are a surely a few things I do miss. But I am not at all bothered by the fact that I’m not spending my teenage years alongside the music of Justin fucking Bieber right now. Because that’s the shit this generation has to offer. Justin Bieber. Or at best, Beyoncé. 

: : Ugh: : Don’t get me started on fucking Beyoncé. I know that bitch is so popular and “it” right now, but Beyoncé is no Aretha Franklin. I don’t care what you say. It’s the truth. Beyoncé is no Aretha Franklin. She’s not even half as talented as Aretha, umkay. Don’t worry, even Beyoncé knows this so let’s all calm down. (It’s all good: I like a couple of her songs, like this one and this one, they are catchy as hell–but trust me, in 100 years, nobody–and I mean nobody–will be singing “put a ring on it,” or “diva is a female counterpart to hustlers,” or whatever the hell she sings about. But civilization will still know the lyrics to R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Absolutely. You can bet on it.) But yeah. Beyoncé. That GaGa creature. Fucking Timberlake. None of them are on Aretha’s level.

And now that the news has broken of The Queen of Soul’s current battle with cancer, it makes me genuinely sad to know we might lose one of the greatest voices to ever sing on the Earth. It will be a huge loss for the music industry and American history as well.

A while back I caught something on the internet about possible actresses being considered to play Ms. Franklin in an upcoming biopic. It was reported that The Queen has personally requested the role go to Halle Berry. And I know what you’re thinking. “Halle Berry? Are you serious? Whoa, Aretha. I mean, you’re the Queen of Soul and all, haha. . .but Halle Berry? Halle Berry is. . .way beautiful, like the most beautiful woman in the world. Oh, and she also has no relevance to the position. Um, that, too. Aretha, you’re being a bit ridiculous here, don’t you think?”. . .Anyway, If this does happen, I’d like to see the role go to Miss Queen Latifah, for obvious reasons, but that’s just me. But in the end I’m like “Wait. What the fuck. This is Aretha Franklin’s biopic we’re talking about, people. She’s The Fucking Queen of Soul! Give the Queen whoever the hell she wants. Get her the best. Get Daniel Day-Lewis on the case!” So I say, if Aretha wants Halle Berry, get her Halle freakin Berry, fatten her up some, and give that chick some singing lessons because The Queen of Soul has spoken!  

I wanted to share these few words about Ms. Franklin before she bites the dust and everyone starts to shower her with insincere praise–because that’s what happens when you fucking die. You’re all of a sudden an amazing person, loved by all. I just want to let Aretha know, she’s fucking great NOW, in this life, and if God wants to take her back then so be it. That voice belongs in Heaven, anyway. Damn. Can you imagine you’re God and Aretha Franklin is chillin with you in Heaven and she busts out on her greatest hits right in front of you, your own personal concert. Damn! God is so lucky! I mean the acoustics in Heaven must be so out of this world! Haha.

Here’s a song I do know. . .that I came by naturally. . .a while back. . .and I have a real fondness for. I guess you could say it’s my favorite one of hers. It gives me that great feeling you get when you listen to a truly great song. Chills me to my soul and I love it.

I love that voice.

I’d know that voice anywhere.

*except John Mayer.

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