I still remember the first time that I saw the video for Paramore’s “Misery Business”. This was back when MTV and VH1 still had music videos.
It took me a concentrated week to learn the lyrics of that first verse and I felt so accomplished. Let’s reminiscence a little bit, shall we?
“I’m in the business of misery, lets take it from the start,
she’s got a body like an hourglass that’s ticking like a clock.
It’s a matter of time before it all runs out.
When I thought he was mine, she caught him by the mouth…”
Something about Haley William’s orange hair and her macho “ladyness” as the lead singer of her all boy band made me fall in love. The same thing happened when I came across Amy Lee of Evanescence. Her powerful vocals in Bring Me To Life and Call Me When You’re Sober were so captivating.
The funny thing is that before I heard Paramore and Evanescence, I almost only exclusively listened to Hip Hop, not including the Gospel music that I listened to in my mom or grandmom’s car. Listening to Paramore and Evanescence shifted my paradigm and opened my world up to a new genre of music that I had never explored.
Was my blackness tried? Absolutely, yes. A resounding hell yes.
My friends and family member were so shocked that I was listening to so called “white people” music. They mocked me, called me “White girl” and demanded my imaginary black card. They just couldn’t understand that I could like music that wasn’t created by Black people. It was fine with me though, I loved and still love Paramore and Evanescence and don’t see that changing over the ignorance of other people.
One thing that shocks people is that I listen to both music similar to Paramore and Evanescence as well as Hip Hop. Society so desperately wants me to choose a side of either being the so-called “Black White Girl” or “The Ratchet Girl” and I keep giving it the finger.
Listening Paramore and Evanescence helped me realize that I was multidimensional; that no one could put me in a box and that was okay.
I used to think being different was the last thing that I wanted to be; however, I realized that being me and liking the “beyond the normal” things that I like is perfectly fine. Even as a quirky, Black girl, people try to put me in a box and I refuse it. I don’t watch anime much though I adore cosplay, I dress how I want and I listen to what I want, not because it’s so called “quirky”.
So to the quirky, Black kids that listened to Paramore, Evanescence or whatever it was that you truly enjoyed listening to, rock on.
Thank you for being your true quirky self, no matter who was in the room.