WHEN THE LEVEES BREAK

“Even the sun goes down heroes eventually die. Horoscopes often lie  and sometimes “y”. Nothin’ is for sure. Nothin’ is for certain. Nothin’ lasts forever. But until they close the curtain it’s him & I. Aquemini.” OUTKAST, “Aquemini,” Aquemini, (1998)

TRUTH. Happy Monday Daily Dosers.  I hope today’s DDR finds you off of a refreshing weekend. Congratulations again to the many students who graduated from Atlanta University Center Schools. Today begins week 3 of 30 Days of OUTKAST, and will focus on their third – and in my eyes – their most classic album, Aquemini.  Why don’t you dig into the crates and pull this one out.  Many thanks to those of you following and listening to the albums as we go along.  It seems you’re finding another appreciation for the Education of Big and Dre by listening to the albums and songs that shape this month’s DDR commentary. If Southernplaya… introduced us to the flavor and style of OUTKAST, and ATLiens imagined change and growth, Aquemini sealed the deal of a duo who had much to say about a lot of things, including their relationship as a team. Hence, the title.  More importantly, Aquemini was OUTKAST”s “levees breaking” album. In other words, OUTKAST went crazy global with Aquemini. If folk weren’t feeling OUTKAST before, by this album, they were definitely clued in.

I like this album the most because one of its primary themes is SACRIFICE. Remember how the album starts with “Hold onnnnnn. Be Stroooonnnng”. In a nutshell, Big Boi and Andre 3000 – on this album in particular – took things up a notch and opened the flood gates on storytelling about the sacrifices necessary to achieve balance and strength. Herein lies, the focus of the DDR’s this week.

For example, the opening of flood gates in Louisiana to let out water from a fraction of the spillway’s bays in order to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans from severe floods was breaking news this weekend. Click here for more information. This is a last effort to save these cities from severe flooding, but more than 4000 people will still be effected. My heart and prayers go out to all of the people experiencing the consequences of these tornadoes, heavy rains, and floods. And because I am not an engineer, I don’t know if opening these gates is the best solution.  It’s a big sacrifice, and I can only ask questions. I wonder do we really have to open the flood gates and flood other cities to handle these rising waters? How severe will the damage be to Baton Rouge and New Orleans if we do not open anymore flood gates?

The DDR: Genesis 7 in the Bible tells of the great sacrifice of “The Great Flood.” This flood marked the end and the beginning; a new start for humankind of that era. What is the flood gate in your life? What has poured out so that something else can pour in and manifest itself? Is this your end or your beginning? OUTKAST opened their flood gates on Aquemini and it was the beginning of their end just before achieving global notoriety. Was ‘Kast’s opening of their flood gates a good thing? That depends because two or three albums later they “broke up.” As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opens more flood gates, some people will have to engage in new beginnings in a different town and in a new house because what they have might be destroyed. Is this the best way to handle this issue? As the seniors of the Atlanta University Center graduated this past weekend, their flood gates were opened and new beginnings have started. Little do they know how much work they are about to do to make life work for them. However hard it might be to let go and move forward, perhaps it is time for us all to open the levees in our life.

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2 Responses to WHEN THE LEVEES BREAK

  1. Antwann Michael says:

    When levees break…this one is timely. There is a necessity in comparing the levees and the great flood…one of them reduces the stress of water, the other caused Noah to be uncomfortable and at a lost of direction due to water. After reading this DDR what I find is that water is necessary in everyone’s life, this water I shall call truth. There are often times where what you see, really is what it is. Although I am not a senior that graduated, I am an underclassmen that supports himself through school and I am actively watching levees break in my life and causing “great floods.” When your job report times is interfering with school (which helps pay for some of my schooling), a levee is breaking (because they don’t sincerely don’t care about your education). When financial aid is losing its resources (especially at an HBCU), floods are beginning to deplete the land. What I have found is that its up to me to build an ark that will keep me safe from the floods. Perhaps Dre and Big did the same; perhaps maybe their separation was a survival tactic and not necessarily a dying one. One thing about about it is that when levees break it’s a sign the water is coming and we have the responsibility to either see this as a problem or as nature offering us an amazing window of opportunity and self advancement. I choose to select the latter having been laid off from my position as a staff accountant in Orlando, FL my leeve broke I got myself to Atlanta and it has been quite a ride ever since. Either way you look at it water is a life giving source, you however decide which life it will give.

    • dailydoseofrealness says:

      Antwann, I’m glad to know that this DDR spoke directly to your experience and that you were able to relate to our own life. It seems as though you look at things from a positive perspective, trying to make the best out of whatever situation you might find yourself. I noticed this about you in class, and I think it is a value you should hold fast to. Stay in touch, and let’s keep the conversation going.

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