Lessons Learned Through R&B Lyrics

By Rio Jackson

As the American artist SZA once said, “God bless these 20 somethings – good luck on them 20 somethings.” Your twenty’s can be an interesting ride. High school is over and you’re journeying into adulthood. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, adulthood is defined as maturity and “being fully developed”. In other words, you’re a grown-up now and should have this thing called life figured out. But we all know, life is not simple, and our goals do not always go according to plan. With finals here and everyone starting to feel exhausted from studying, I hope I can provide some wisdom to get you through this period. I personally love music, so, I am going to provide a few life tips hidden in the music genres known as R&B and Hip-Hop.

1.Count On Your Friends

“I’ll be there for you
When you’re going through
Times that you may think that you need a friend
You can count on me
Call me when you need”

-Song: Best Friend – Brandy

Life comes with a lot of hiccups and unexpected turns. Friends and supportive colleagues make life challenges a lot less painful. Empathetic friends remind you that the bad times are not permanent. Feeling isolated? Dreading graduating? Undecided about talking to your family? Having work related issues? Identify a friend. You do not need many friends, one good friend will make a difference in your experience in college, and adulthood. Quality friendships are vital in your twenty-somethings. Friends reduce your stress and friends give you a sense of belonging.

  1. Identify Your Problems

“I tried to drink it away
I tried to put one in the air
I tried to dance it away
I tried to change it with my hair
I ran my credit card bill up
Thought a new dress would make it better
I tried to work it away
But that just made me even sadder”

-Song: Cranes In The Sky – Solange

Solange ,who is now a 31 year old Grammy recipient, explained the origin of her “Cranes In The Sky” track in an interview with her sister, Beyonce.  She said that he wrote it in her 20’s when she had self-doubt. This notorious track was able to “put into perspective all of those ugly things” we experience in our twenty-somethings. Like Solange, it is important to identify your pain in order to find inner peace.

You can read more about her interview here: http://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/solange/#page2

  1. It’s Time To Let It Go…

“Just let go
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow
Everything’s gonna work out right, you know
Just let go, let it flow, let it flow, let it flow
Just let it go, baby”

-Song: Let It Flow – Toni Braxton

Toni’s voice is soothing and calming and in “Let It Go,” her lyrics speak to letting go of a relationship. However, this song can be relatable to numerous areas in our life outside of relationships. When “things” fail, which sometimes in life they do, let it flow… I’m not saying let it entirely go, but don’t let it weigh you down. When you’re feeling anxious and sad – remember to self care. Keep pushing and move forward! You have your thirties and a long life to look forward to.

  1. Remember, You Are Not Alone!

“And no matter how it’s said or done
We are one no matter what we do
We are one love will see us through
We are one and that’s the way it is”

-Song: We Are One – Frankie Beverly featuring Maze

There is often times in your twenties when you feel isolated. Lean on your friends and family and friends. Don’t get caught up in the mix. It’s easy to get distracted and feel slightly jealous when you see other people your age doing better than you on social media. Don’t fret. We are all people journeying and finding our way in life. Check up on your friends and hold others accountable when they do not follow through.

  1. Save Your Money

“Money trees is the perfect place for shade”

Song: Money Trees – Kendrick Lamar featuring Jay Rock

Your twenties may be the first time in your life you received a large sum of money. Whether it’s in student loans or your first work paycheck, spend wisely. Remember to budget and spend within your means (i.e. don’t spend it on spring break). Use your hard earned cash on reasonable items and/or investments. For example, invest in a quality laptop, reliable transportation or tools you need to secure the bag( in other words, to land your dream job). You are saving your money for your future!

Featured image by Daniel Go on Flickr

Rio is a second-year graduate student studying Social Work. She was born right here in the city of Los Angeles, California and has immersed herself in community activism and service. Rio has worked and lived in the many diverse cities in Los Angeles, from South Central to Redondo Beach, and as an undergrad, lived four years in the South. Rio received her bachelors degree in Psychology and managed to flourish in several organizations and leadership roles as a first-generation college student. She also shares adventurous stories traveling all over the U.S. Recently, Rio worked for a community based organization and interned as a school social worker and for the Department of Child & Family Services. Ultimately, Rio enjoys yoga, traveling, and attending concerts on her free time.