I seem, with increasing frequency, to be inundated with songs that are filled with a sense of revenge, a sonic middle finger to those who thought that the artist in question wouldn’t make it, a “look who’s having the last laugh” vibe. Admittedly, such songs typically come from the rap community where, these days, everyone seems to be a victim, surrounded by haters but who have struggled on despite such setbacks…even those still living with their parents in gentrified Connecticut suburbs!
But, although Ahmad McCown is out to express a similar sentiment, one of “I’m proving you all wrong, I’m getting to where I said I wanted to go,” the way he goes about it is much more dignified.
For a start, he takes a more upbeat and pop-infused sonic vehicle as his mode of musical transport; My Destination is also spacious and soulful, addictive and accessible. But also, the language he uses is more eloquent.
Yes, he is saying that people should have had more faith in him, and he is also happy to acknowledge that there is still a lot more work to be done, but he is just gently pointing out that he is establishing himself on the path that he told everyone he had chosen. No mention of retribution, haters, guns, or money. No bile, no smugness, no condescension, no self-aggrandisement. Success is the best form of revenge, and Ahmad McCown knows it.
Rather than beat down those he left behind, he takes a more positive view and sets his sights firmly on the road ahead. And if, especially as the song winds down, he does allow himself a little admonishment aimed at those who lacked belief, then surely we can forgive him that slight indulgence, don’t you think?
Music with a purpose, music with a vision and, more importantly, an artist who doesn’t wallow in its own self-pity. How wonderfully refreshing. Positive pop…I like the sound of that.