Hey Grads…The 90s Were Crazy Smart

It’s graduation season, and I was a grad of the 90s, an era that produced music that often is at odds with the tunes my dad likes. He’ll go for the even decades, but would rather pass on the odds.

Yeah, on the surface, the 90s are known for grunge and bi-coastal hip-hop feuds – according to this totally unqualified music critic who just likes what she likes.

But I’m wondering if some of the lyrics pulled from popular 90s songs offer quality life advice, some that might be overlooked by folks who may turn their nose up to music from that era. Or, those who may not even know the quality they’re missing.

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A few years after graduation, still living by the 90s, and laughing about it. Or something else. Who really knows.

Just by listening to a mix for a little while the other night (thank you, Amazon), I plucked some advice from probably the most influential decade of my music-loving life. Here’s what I found.

Never trust a big butt and a smile

Ok. Bad example to get started. I really don’t know 100 percent about this one, but those Bel Biv Devoe guys were seemingly anguished by a certain kind of lady. And that’s sad. But I’d say, keep an open mind. And, don’t judge a book by its cover.

If your ass is a buster, 2-1-3 will regulate

I believe it. I didn’t even know where the (213) area code is, but Google told me L.A. So yeah. Don’t let your ass be a buster. Or L.A. will regulate you, according to Warren G.

How you gonna win, when you ain’t right within

Not a huge fan of “ain’t,” but Lauryn Hill gets a pass. Always. Because she’s totally right. We are always hampered by our own inner deficiencies. Not that we’re lacking skill, because we all do, but that we’re lacking heart and passion and self-awareness and self-comfort. Get right within, first. Because even those who are wildly successful are still leaving even more success on the table if they’re not whole inside.

Groove is in the heart

Just, duh. Yeah. You find your flow, your magic, by following your passion. That’s where the groove is, baby. If Dee-Lite felt okay to follow their hearts with that music video, follow yours. You’ll be fine.

Am I right-side up or upside down?

Oh, Dave. Dave. So many Dave concerts. And this very concept just stopped my son cold, when we discussed not knowing where we were in relation to how the world was rotating. You don’t really know at any moment, do you?  Maybe you do – I’m not the smartest. But it’s a nice reminder, when things feel heavy, that you’re on a spinning ball in outer space. You’re tiny. And the planet is big. And it’s fun to wonder if you’re right-side up or upside down.

I keep living this day like the next will never come

I mean, it’s probably not always safe to live on the edge. But no one can go wrong by choosing to never take a moment, a place, a person or an opportunity for granted. Be here. In the moment. Be present. Enjoy it. Live it. Because even if a moment comes around again, it’ll be different. You’ll be different.

See? The 90s were smart. And I barely scratched the surface. Smarter than that dude singing about broccoli right now. I know that. Although, he was smart enough to get really stupid song produced, so….