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The Before Times: Long CVS Walks Down The Road

I always thought “just do it yourself”…

Whenever I wanted something I would just go get it, if I could…

I used to play on my mom’s ‘Brother’ typewriter when I was a child. After some years, she got us a desktop computer.

In the days of AOL Instant Messenger, I was given the keys to everlasting music. The vibrations were my freedom from depression. I needed them like I needed water.

I was never able to get the music I wanted. I could only listen to the radio. So I saved up some coins to get some blank CDs.

I knew Windows Media Player could burn music onto CDs in the CPU of the Desktop.

I had the computer.

I had the blank CDs.

I had the Walkman CD Player.

But how do I get the music?

Buying the albums would cost my whole life…

“Branden… Branden. Branden! —We goin to the Sweet Auburn Festival downtown. C’mon. Get in the car.”

“What’s the Sweet Auburn Festival?”

“BOY! Get in the car and let’s go.”

Here we go again…

I took a nap on the way there. If you go to sleep, then it’s like a hyperlink to the destination; you won’t remember the journey.

This time the destination was the journey.

Auburn Avenue car traffic cleared to bring in people traffic

Cookout Tents… Fold-Up Tables & Chairs… Banners detailing any and every hustle known to man… Big Bahama Mama Drinks… Big Bahama Mama Booties… Art of prominent African American Public Figures… Natural Hairstyles… Someone playing Musiq Soulchild…

Aaaaannndddd there we are… Just what I wanted! Somebody is selling burnt CDs!

I look through the stacks and V O I L A! “Get Lifted” by John Legend! Ordinary People was my favorite song at the time. I couldn’t believe I found his album here.

I bought it (not knowing about Pirated Music… I never read the warnings on the screen when I was a kid lol).

I also used it to make playlists when I got home. I was so excited I found that album. It started my search for more music.

At school, I heard about Limewire.

A magical program where people can upload music or video content from their computer, and other people can search & download that same content onto their own computer. One of the first torrents that mass transferred content from one computer to anyone who downloaded the program.

With Limewire, I tried to download any and every song I could find lol some songs I would never even listen to. I just wanted access.

Turns out Soulja Boy also found Limewire and pioneered multiple new ways of marketing his music.

Sometimes I would search 50 Cent “In Da Club” or “P.I.M.P.”; when I downloaded the MP3, all you hear is UUUU-WAHHHHHH souljaboytellem… AIGHT I GOTTA NEW DANCE FOR YALL CALLED-

“Goddammit! He got me again…”

This is a perspective of many in the era of White Tee’s & Nike’s.

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