Thursday, December 13, 2018

Home Turf

Writing a song about your home could show a lot about some people. "Turf", by Aminé on the album Good for You,  could be about leaving his home of Portland, Oregon. By leaving he was able to see a different viewpoint of where he was from. This album was released after his single "Caroline" was released and since gone triple platinum. His first verse could be analyzed as him coming back home, and taking a look around.

Walking on the pavement I chipped my pride and my teeth on
The girl I grew up with lives a couple houses down
The 8 Bus run the same, dogs howl when the train...
Comes like my ex girl and next girl
Used to rock the S curl, wanted me a Nextel
But my momma copped a Razr, that's why I couldn't blame her
Flippin' through my past like I used to flip the phone
They kickin' out the blacks and all the houses getting clones
Friends used to do pills and only eat at Du's Grill
The food was pretty good but the times was better
These are the only days I missed, like the first shawty I kissed
I used to have dreams, now I dream
In the first line, "chipped my pride" seems to be a return to memories of how he embarrassed himself on these streets. It could be from hurting his pride to literally chipping his tooth on the pavement. "Wanted me a Nextel / But my momma copped a Razr", is a depiction on how he wanted to have the specific on brand Nextel flip phone, but she gave him a Motorola Razr showing that was what she was able to afford. The line "They kickin' out the blacks and all the houses getting clones" could be an example of gentrification. White families moving in, property tax increasing, black families are no longer able to afford it and therefore kicked out. Cloning of the houses could be new properties being built for white families. Portland, Oregon, or P.O. as Aminé later states in the song, is a major city in America, but it's racial diversity is poor. Over seventy percent of the cities population is white and the black populations were pushed to the outer edges of the city, due to previous historical anti-black laws.

The chorus of the song seems to be the generalizing statement of how Aminé feels about his former home.

I look around and I see nothing in my neighborhood
Not satisfied, don't think I'll ever wanna stay for good
Packed up my bags, told Mom and Dad I've gotta go, go
And once I do, they'll finally see the inner me
Looking around his former home, he seems to be disappointed in what it has come to be. Leaving his home he would be able to pursue his dreams and further expand his success in the music industry. His next verse shows more about his present time back in P.O.

Everybody wanna be a star, everybody want a nice car
Everybody wanna live great, have a good damn time
Never trip with the law
The popo up in PO dirtier than BO
Bullies from the past act like I'm they fucking hero, uh
Livin' in LA for the weather, I FaceTime mom when I miss her
I got some homies that'll never leave my hometown
When I pull up to the corner, it smell like Miley Cyrus
I told 'em I don't smoke, they say "Boy, you fuckin' wildin'"
Innocent and young, reckless and we dumb
Our heart is like our earth and memories the sun

He says that he's only in LA for the weather, and it could literally be in reference to how Portland is notorious for its rainy temperament. He could just be saying LA for the juxtaposition of "be a star" and "want a nice car" because most people move out to LA to achieve a dream in the music industry or Hollywood franchise. "The popo up in PO dirtier than BO" is saying how the police in Portland are a dirty or corrupt, dirtier than the smell of body odor itself. I love the last line in particular because it shows that our heart, the spiritual aspect, revolves around the sun of memories. The heart could be in a gravitational rotation around our own heads memories, in regards to the whole song, Aminé could be referring to how home is where the heart is and that despite the changes and negative outlook to P.O., it will always hold memories of where his childhood was.

Mentality the same from my folks
Momma wanna see me happy, she don't wanna see me broke
I sip red wine, sauvignon, Rastafar, Babylon
My youth will never die if I live it like a prize (hey!)
Who knows who I am, who knows who I are
Most people pretty sketch like a night at Echo Park
That's why I just keep it cool but my time is in a leisure
Everytime I'm home I catch emotion like a seizure

In many of Aminé's songs in Good for You, ONEPOINTFIVE, and singles like "Baba", he always references his parents. "She don't wanna see me broke",  is how Aminé's mother wants to encourage her son to reach for his dreams, but not at the expense of living in poverty. "I catch emotion like a seizure" is a play on words on how when he gets home he quickly gets emotional, but the motion comes quick which would cause an epileptic person to have a seizure.

I slip and slide through the times in my youth
What's the age? Too young to worry, too old to dream
What's the age? Imagination to me, tragedy to some
What's the age? I guess we'll find out when we're older. Touché
This bridge shows the constant contradiction of aging and knowledge, and how people need to take on a persona of a "grown-up" at a certain age. However, Aminé is at a time, where he's no longer able to act childish, but need to have their whole lives planned out a young age. The final chorus is sung by Charlie Wilson, who was the former lead vocalist of The Gap Band, and it can be shown that he sings it as an "older" version of Aminé as he's looking back again on his hometown of Portland, Oregon.


  1. Your interpretation and analyzation of the song shows your commitment to the song. It was fascinating to read about all the social connections you made in relation to the song.

  2. I agree that ones home can show a lot about someone. I think that home can mean so much more than a physical building. Home to someone can be a person and place or a thing. I like that you connected your analysis to show the growth of and development of his home and himself.

  3. Your analysis of this song was truly amazing and in depth. When I listened to the song after reading your analysis I was able to identify all of the strategies and meaning you mentioned.