“This is going out to the whole wide Westside
you know what I’m saying,
yeah break it down for me
steady mob, rock, rock on
I was just a young boy, livin in the hub city-Eastside Compton G
Back in the days when Ice Cube and Eazy had every Nigga
Talking ’bout boy you can’t fuck with me
Remember Ice T had da power, hearing gunshots lickin’ by the hour
When Too Short bumped in every supersport
And taught us all how to ride for the West Coast…”
And so begins Westside by TQ and every so often I put on this exquisite piece of rap and think it’s the best song in the entire world. The best thing that has ever been put on vinyl or cd or download or whatever this week’s format is.
But why do I love it? It has nothing to do with my life. Never been to the west side and never will. Love Motown and Stax. Love reggae ‘n all and I’ve never been there. Any of those places. But I have…
See music takes you to places where nothing else can. Television doesn’t take you to those places. Neither does film. Yet those two media are visual.
And I put Life Goes On by Tupac Shakur and drinking Hennessy saying “goodbye at the cemetery.” And Life Goes On is the greatest song in the entire world. And I shuffle the ipod and I’m in North London in 1971 listening to tales of Rosie Rooke and the Muswell Hillbillies with Raymond Douglas Davies of the Kinks. And then I’m back across the ocean and I’m by that mighty ocean and “I got a job and tried to put my money away, But I got debts that no honest man can pay” and I’m away with Bruce on that mighty highway, drinking Bushmills and talking about Kerouac with Tom Waits and the ghost of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. And it’s Sunday morning coming down. Then back home on a sweaty dancefloor with Brenda Holloway and Major Lance and at the Old Vic with Dexy’s and I’m back in 1972 having Breakfast in Bed with Lorna Bennett and my mind is ten years on and I’m having breakfast in bed with another beautiful girl called Lorna… and I’m in love with the world for just that moment.