Updated: Apr 4
By: Marc Cameron
Analysis of a fear is rarely an easy task, nor is it very comforting to acknowledge something as a “fear” to begin with. Scenarios of fear often involve a desire to escape, where the slightest opportunity to break through will alleviate any uncertainties that have made one feel disabled. Recently, mine has felt different. It is an uncertainty that does not involve threatening pain or ominous danger, but the fact that it continues to linger piques my curiosity as days pass. I find somewhat of a surprising peace in its inevitability; however, as age builds and I heighten in wisdom, I fear a loss of vision – an ironic situation where I cannot feel the same passion for the loves in my life as I did during the golden years of my youth.
The man that I am ten years from now will have his nostalgic memories and enjoy revisiting moments where the answers to a teen’s life questions were up in the air, literally and figuratively. Nights searching for the faintest comfort of guidance in a star-studded sky were often a precursor to the days of my most cherished learning. Hectic areas in my life became alleviated by the music I yearned to study as a child, and as experience grew with my age, what existed as a sole interest evolved into the investment I always yearned for. Those who followed suit within their youthful age anticipated the same – becoming studious of music that provided life-altering emotion for generations that shared that same bond, and adapting the knowledge as a lifestyle.
Music did that for me. Hip-Hop, specifically, did that for me above all. In a space of my life where the majority of time was spent at school and online, I found various outlets to learn; more importantly, learn from those who shared my features. My Father had the ability to sharpen my interests in earlier acts that I had yet to exist for, but someone my age had the ability to become a student for rap’s past and present due to the resources that were available. The Internet diluted the generational passing of hip-hop folklore, and that does not necessarily carry a negative connotation — as the web grew with more users and more access to content, the opportunity to broaden your musical knowledge was at its peak. All users who were bettering themselves have their own nostalgic charms they can reference, but most importantly, these trips down memory lane offer a moment to revisit years of devoting yourself to this genre.
That was my era.
It’s difficult to even put into perspective that this journey began about fourteen years ago. These days, I have the ability to read up on sites I frequent and view celebrations of the ten-year mark of certain projects that held importance in my life. It is an ease to revisit these albums in 2016, but one area that leaps out to me was the way that I viewed the future, and what kind of fan I would be, in 2006. At fifteen years of age, the furthest thing on my mind was the man I would be at twenty-five, nor did it involve any worrisome feeling about how I would consume music ten years later. I had tunnel vision on the final bell to cap off my sophomore year of high school, preparing for the most memorable summer at that point in my life. All music that was releasing around that time existed as a time stamp for when life was gradually elevating into something spectacular, and at that pinnacle of excitement, the single wish I had for myself would be to continue the desire of being a student as time passes by. Now, technology has advanced, hip-hop has succeeded in positioning itself as a global entity, while I take a distinct look at Marc Cameron, ten years the wiser…and I cannot help but acknowledge this familiar emotion.
I’ve met this proverbial figure before, noting all of the characteristics I once had a strong rapport with. Analyses of our conversations with the knowledge I currently possess expose a well amount of trivial scenarios, but that comes with the territory of being young and curious – thoughts of complacency, scholastic anxiety, failed relationships – all three were similar in the fact that life ended up alleviating these issues through time and patience. This, however, utters a different tone…a tone where time plays an infinite factor.
I fear enough time passing to the point where age places me in area where it feels all the answers are obtained. In an atmosphere generally revolved around the idea that I’ve already experienced and learned from the best of my era, how can I continue the same curiosity that built me? What happens when the love for being the student becomes a haunting opposite of the jaded teacher?
Before this even formed as a possibility to me, I could not pinpoint whether this was fueled off losing a passion as time continues on, or if this was a fear of aging itself. I am positive many of those within my age can share similar stories of that single thought crossing their paths on a random notice, attempting to identify who they will be in their older age. Sometimes, it’s an area that cannot help but trigger; almost a human nature to form the pieces of an incomplete puzzle. Although it creates more unnecessary thought in an area where tranquility is key, somehow this curiosity contributed to putting things in a double-edged perspective. Life has the opportunity to be extremely rewarding ten or fifteen years down the road, so it might not be all trash! Anticipating the doors that unlock within your thirties or forties can provide a sense of excitement over stress, and piquing that interest outs me in a space of comfort. However, I am more than aware that with age comes a refined view of wisdom, and that change in experience can hinder many viewpoints that seem elementary to me now.
…It’s almost like it’s unexpected.
Imagine a world where one forgets of their curious youth, belonging to a generation who had an intense hunger for learning and success. Imagine a world where one views their successes past similar oppressions with a higher standard, and thus, looks at the new generation with a consistent, unnecessary side-eye. It sounds like hell, from the outside looking in. Unfortunately, I’ve grown up in a hip-hop atmosphere where the egos of the youthful prospects and the respected legends that came before them clash in various aspects. In instances where artists I viewed as icons found themselves slighting artists who were responsible for moving my generation forward, I tended to pledge my allegiance with the youth. There was not a specific intent in my teenage years, but as I continued within my maturing, there was one similarity I could immediately connect to: establishing a love for the up-and-coming, the talented artists who appear and push this culture forward with unprecedented sound. Apparently, there are fans within our community who share a similar feeling of treating this with priority – it is the main factor that has contributed to this genre breaking previous boundaries, and becoming a global entity that was impossible to fathom before the new millennium.
…But change worries me.
Change within the future sound of this genre is the last thing on my mind…it’s how I will receive it. Being inept to change worries me. Removing all nostalgic elements to the music I love and implementing it as the golden era of my time; absolute fear. From a psychological standpoint, I would have no issue attributing this to the daily battles between fans and artists of different eras. With consistent comparison to prior times, growth becomes stagnant, and complacency in a genre that has no issue with evolution would be terrible. I would hate to be in a world where Gene Simmons’ misinformed opinion comes true. I want to do everything in my power to contribute to one of my most passionate loves, and make sure the first forty years continues to another forty for the next generation. Hopefully, even my own little contribution to the next generation…but the unknown is a fear that I am not sure I am ready to conquer yet.
Thankfully, there are figures within this game that do not exist as outliers, but instead have adapted, spreading their passion as their growth continued. I find the most serenity in this atmosphere – a lesser need to beat my chest on what I’ve seen in my experience, substituting pretentiousness for admiration of how any entity can evolve. Sharing game instead of hindering it pushes more than just a culture forward, and yet, seeing this proverbial torch passing is damn near a rarity. As much as it worries me to not be the fan that conceals my loves, I think about how terrible my beginnings would be if my family did the same. As much as my father did not see, I took key understanding of how he viewed the music he loved as I was a young teenager. He found such happiness in telling me what was top tier product before I was born, and yet, his influence lead to recommending me who he had an ear for in the new generation. Never could I deny the future this gift, especially at the helm of parenthood. Unfortunately, this excitement to provide will still continue to reside in my mind as a self-appointed present. The pieces will fall into the puzzle in time. It’s a difficult concept to let go of things you cannot control, dropping all thought into the hands of time. I can only hope this time stamp holds its merit when it is revisited with a brighter clarity, absent from the clouded mind that follows so many peers of mine at this point of this beautiful life.