Aida Ade Music | St. Louis, MO | AidaSings314@gmail.com

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Music Monday ::: A Breakdown of "Home"

April 30, 2018

If you listen to my music, you should know the song "Home". It is currently the only song to have a music video and it is one that people have said to have the most impact. I have performed it on the radio in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as St. Louis, Missouri. People have asked to cover the song for their YouTube channel. The song has literally brought tears to the eyes of SoFar Listeners, concert-goers, and the likes. 

 

What is the premise behind the song that has been a blessing to say is mine? This post will break down the lyrics and meaning of my favorite song to honor St. Louis, "Home".

 

Background

 

I grew up, mainly, in two areas of St. Louis: the North Side (the side where everyone is afraid to go these days) and Florissant (aka "the county").

 

In 2014, I was away at Missouri State University when protests ravaged through my city. Michael Brown was shot August 9 of that year in Ferguson - a suburb of St. Louis County. All over, I saw my city plastered on posters, news outlets.... celebrities walked the same streets that I'd walked my entire life. While many people marched in solitude for the justice of an unarmed, black teenage boy who was killed by a white police officer, I was in mourning. 

 

All over the news, I witnessed people calling my home every insult imaginable. My home had become a war ground to the rest of the world while, to me, it was still home. I was four hours away in Springfield and all I wanted to do was go to St. Louis and stand up for my city but, I couldn't. My mama specifically asked me not to come home but, seeing my city burning and flooded with National Guardsmen made me anxious. I had to do something.

 

Out of pure passion and miracle, I found 4 chords that came to a nice and hopeful progression. It was G, then D, A, then C to end the progression. I repeated those chords on a guitar I'd bought from Target "Home" was born.

 

I remember sitting on my couch, watching my home burn to the ground, watching my people be tear-gassed, sobbing, and just singing. I only wrote one verse and the hook before giving up on the song. It was too painful. I'd made a recording of the song using an old cell phone and uploaded the trash recording to Soundcloud where the song (not surprisingly) got no play.

 

Three years later, the song came back around as I watched my city climb to the top of the list as the most dangerous city in the United States. What was even worse was that people were actually proud of that title. People were excited to have beaten Chicago as the deadliest city in the country. 

 

I was pissed. I was thinking of my grandfather's home that I'd just moved back into after finishing college and I was looking at the beauty in the architecture of the buildings and thinking about the love that flourished in the building and I knew the song "Home" was ready to be revived.

 

I'd recently decided to give music an actual run, gained a manager, and some great new connections. A couple months later, I played the song at Studio-A for Reace Beatz (a St. Louis great in producing and engineering) and Aye Verb (a legendary St. Louis rapper and battle-rapper). They LOVED the song. Aye Verb featured me on his Instagram where artists like Genuine and Ill Camille saluted my song. Out of nowhere, love poured in over the song.

 

Reace decided he would produce and record the song for me. His wife, Toya (another midwest music gem), helped me to complete the second verse of the song and laid background vocals (at the time I was too shy to even try to adlib). And, voila: "Home" as it is performed today.

 

The song is currently at over 2,000 views on YouTube and 3,000 streams on Spotify and Apple Music (which is dope considering I'm about as shy as they come when it comes to music). 

 

Even more importantly, the song strikes emotion within listeners. People have literally cried on my shoulders when listening to the story of St. Louis as told by 4 chords and my emotions.

 

The Lyrics

 

Where did my home go?

Where's the place that helped me grow?

Looking around, I'm saddened by what I've found

This don't look like home no more.

Shots going up

Hopes going down

No matter what happens

I'll always be proud.

 

Fairground park

On the porch after dark.

Music and life

Echo through the air

 

Kossuth Avenue

Summertime, firework view

Coming home to a neighborhood proud of you

 

This is my home, where the shots won't bring me out

And I've never had a doubt

And I'll always be a homeproud

This is my home

An arch intrudes the sky

And our dreams are flying high

And I'll never say goodbye to my home

 

No, not to my home

 

Where did my home go?

I was raised on the blue and gold.

Gateway to the promised land

This place that I call home

Cracks in the pavement

But, not a crack in our spirits

No matter what happens

The city is still surviving

 

VP fair

Everyone is there

Matching outfits smiling and laughing living without a care

Mayday parade

Natural bridge to Kingshighway

City pride

Tears fill my eyes thinking about my home

 

Where the shots won't bring me out

And I've never had a doubt

And I'll always be a homeproud

This is my home

An arch intrudes the sky

And our dreams are flying high

And I'll never say goodbye to my home

 

The Breakdown

 

Where did my home go?

Where's the place that helped me grow?

Looking around, I'm saddened by what I've found

This don't look like home no more.

Shots going up

Hopes going down

No matter what happens

I'll always be proud.

 

Fairground park

On the porch after dark.

Music and life

Echo through the air

 

Kossuth Avenue

Summertime, firework view

Coming home to a neighborhood proud of you

 

So, "Home" is kind of my plea to stop the violence in my city. I asked "where did my home go?" because, growing up, even though there was violence in the city, people still cared about their neighbors. Those who were engaged in the violence and drugs in the city would try to preach to younger people not to follow the decisions that they'd made. I remember my cousins and their friends telling us to get out of St. Louis and become something in life. That isn't the case anymore. Now, it's just murder. All the time. "Shots going up/hopes going down" comes from a place of wanting the gun violence to stop. That prechorus (Fairground Park-coming home) is a nostalgic look at the city that made me. I was reflecting on my childhood home and how we used to sit on the porch and just fellowship with one another and spend time at Fairground Park (not just on Sundays). We had a view of downtown and would watch fireworks. I still remember coming home form school and seeing one of my older cousins' old friend and they instantly recognized me and told me how proud they were that I'd made something of my life. All of that influenced this part of the song.

 

This is my home, where the shots won't bring me out

And I've never had a doubt

And I'll always be a homeproud

This is my home

An arch intrudes the sky

And our dreams are flying high

And I'll never say goodbye to my home

 

So the hook is just my breakdown. This was me in my bedroom cursing at the news anchors for dragging my city through the mud like we were just savages. This was my declaration that there would be no amount gun violence that would make me lose sight of the beauty in my city; there was no amount of negativity that would make me lose sight of the dreamers that made St. Louis a hub of culture and arts. It was like "this is MY home" and you could never make me lose sight of its beauty.

 

The remainder of the song serves the same purpose. Highlighting some of the classic St. Louis staples; being nostalgic of different St. Louis trends; and, once again, declaring my city as my home and my heart.

 

 

"Home" is my baby. As the first song I'd ever written to guitar, it will always be my favorite. It holds a very special place in my heart. When I perform this song and people vibe with me and even shed a tear, it gives me hope that my city will see the sun again.

 

Peace and Love,

Aida

 

 

 

 

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