I was in my friend Kyle’s car this one time, about 6 or 7 years ago, when I found this cassette tape single in his glovebox. He was real cool with me rummaging through his things, or at least he maintained a level-headed appearance about it. He saw how ecstatic I was about my discovery, and he went ahead and obliged me by playing it. I think the excitement was more about the memories I had already attached to the song than for the song itself. No doubt though, it’s a head-bobber. I remember picking up the slang phrase “baby boo” from this song.
The cassette started to play, and at first all you could hear was the sound of reels turning and tape hissing through the speakers. Then that funky bass and that first snare hit kicks in and then momentarily- garbled audio, seconds of silence, and then what sounded like the tape rewinding itself – then a piano piece pushed its way to the front of the mix. I asked what was going on, but my friend only smiled back.
Then what followed was this amazing bedroom-recording that our friend Kevin had made of a song named “Emotion”. It was one of the most exciting three-and-a-half minutes of my life. I had already heard the studio version of the song before, but wasn’t aware that such a rough demo existed. It was so different and so pure, and I imagined Kevin playing all of the parts for a four-person band by himself on a keyboard in an attempt to translate his vision.
I always feel cheesy when describing how a piece of music, a scene from a film, or hug from a stranger can deeply affect you or change your way of thinking. Even if the change is temporary. I know you all get it though, right? If you don’t “get it” then you would quit reading this.
Anyways, I then pictured Kevin searching his room for a cassette tape to record this bit of his heart and soul onto, and debating whether or not to tape over Nate Dogg’s seminal 1997 G-Funk classic in the rush of urgency to capture his song. I think he made the right choice.
The song ended in time for the tape to cut back to the final minute or so of “Never Leave Me Alone”, where they reprise the chorus. You know, right after Snoop’s verse.