Kenyatta greeted me with all the disgust I'm sure you're radiating while reading this. She went to school in the suburbs of Chicago surround by white kids who played this joint incessantly. I labored under no such constraints and proceeded to put IV in heavy, heavy rotation. I'm a little upset that's it's dropped.
At any rate, here is your black privilege--The right to enjoy "Stairway to Heaven" without the weight of trite radio and a predictable "best of...," I hear "Stairway" and I don't roll my eyes. I hear it as something new and amazing, the way you hear "Daytona 500."
It's amazing how art ties itself to memory. I don't just remember "Triumph" as a great song, I remember the first time I heard it, I remember people whistling in the club during U-God's verse. It's how we make music our own. This song is tied to everything I was never supposed to like, and a lot of what I never thought I wanted.
So, in that vein, I hear "Stairway" and I am humiliated by my old young prejudice. It's awesome. Happens every damn time.
This article available online at: