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Curtis Mayfield – Superfly

20 06 2011

Listened: Monday May 9

I always knew of Curtis Mayfield as a person, but I wasn’t familiar with his music at all until a few years ago when I saw SuperFly on BET (it was a double feature with Blacula). The film itself was edited for TV in a truly bonkers way – because it’s about a cocaine dealer, all the cocaine use was openly shown, since the story wouldn’t make any sense otherwise, but any marijuana use or sexual content was blurred out. This was a major distraction throughout.

I immediately appreciated the music, though, and it was anything but a distraction – it fit right in. I bought the deluxe version of the album immediately after I saw it. Despite some of the glorification of the drug and thug life throughout the film, the lyrics of the songs actually speak directly against glorifying drugs, thugs, the ghetto, and does a good job explaining a lot of the hopelessness that makes people want to glorify them.

Strange that such a low budget movie had such an amazing soundtrack; I expect that it’s a large part of the reason it did so well.

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