“Spark the leaf my back is stressing. Who I am and where am I headed—” Gina pulled out an earbud and paused the music when she felt a familiar tap on her head. “Oh hey Sam, wassup?”
“Watchu listening to,” curious brown eyes examined the light-skinned girl’s phone.
“Princess Nokia. She just dropped an album. 1992 Deluxe,” Gina said, handing him an ear bud. “Trust me, you’ll like her.”
“Princess Nokia? Who’s that?” Though Sam questioned the artist, he took the bud from Gina, placing it in his ear with a cocked brow.
“That girl is a tomboy, check it.”
Gina’s thumb slipped along the screen of her iPhone and tapped on the song. There’s a flash of light. The scene blurred and morphed together, creating a distorted image in front of the two of them. Upon their vision clearing, they found that they were taken to a new location, away from the park where they’d been sitting by the basketball court.
Sam looked over at Gina, looking entirely confused at the sudden change of scenery. His mouth opened slightly, trying to rationalize the situation, but only finding it more difficult when Gina gave him a knowing smile.
Drums started to play off in the distance. Sam looked in front of him and saw a strange dark line in front of him. Blinking, he tried to completely clear his vision. He started to notice that the line was really a marching band. He realized that the drumming he heard was coming from the instruments held by each boy in the band. In the middle of the line of drummers was an individual that had hair down to their chest. The one in the middle was a girl, a fact that he had almost missed as he was making sense of what he was seeing.
“I think that’s her. When I started to listen to the song, I got taken here and in almost every song, scenario, whatever this place is, I saw her. I felt her. We are in the music.” Gina began to shuffle through the album, and with each song came a new feeling and scene. “How do you like it?”
“Well,” Sam chuckled slightly as he ran a hand through his kinky hair that grazed his dark skin. Upon listening, he noticed “Green Line” playing in the background. It seemed very fitting, the sombre cityscape around them providing an accurate representation of the feeling he got when he listened to it. “If I just read the lyrics, I don’t think I would like it all that much, you know?”
“I feel you,” Gina turned her head to watch the pick-up game that was starting to get heated on the basketball court.
“But, I’m not even gonna lie, she has a nice delivery so that doesn’t really matter. She has nice beats and a great flow. And, like, her voice is really versatile.”
Gina giggled and nearly squealed with excitement. “I know! Yo, did you know that she’s Afro-Puerto Rican? Like, she’s just like me. I mean, I’m technically Dominican, but I can still get down with her. Actually, she grew up in New York and started on Soundcloud and Youtube.”
“Really? That’s wild! I feel like she made each song, like, based off of experiences as a tomboy and, like, a woman of color. She talks about issues that women of color face everyday,” Sam noted as he continued to think about it.
“For real, I just love her. She had two other albums in case you wanted to listen to them too, Metallic Butterfly and Honeysuckle. She has a certain sound that makes her really distinctive from a lot of other female artists nowadays.”
Sam paused before suddenly turning to Gina with a smile on his face. “Alright, I got a question for you. What’s your favorite song from her album?”
Gina’s brows now furrowed, legitimately stumped by the question. “You know, now that I think about it…I think my favorite song would be “Kitana.” Like, the beat goes hard, and I—ugh, I just love it. It’s honestly so lit, and it’s just a feel-good kinda sing. I love it. Hold on, let me show you.”
Gina’s thumb moved quickly, changing the song immediately. The lights blurred once again, the strange sensation of being moved flooding the two of them. Sam was shaken when they were suddenly in an arena. They both could tell that this was going to be an adventure.