Growing up, I was immersed in a culture that values romantic love in a highly exalted sense. I watched wedding themed shows on TLC such as Four Weddings and Say Yes to the Dress, meticulously maintained the aesthetic of my very own Pinterest wedding board, and religiously kept a mental catalogue of the characteristics I would hope to find in a future spouse.
After a stint of personal heartbreak, I’ve grown out of this commodified, confectionery, Capitalized, and capitalistic version of Love. The cast that held my soul in form while it set back into a healthy state: the music of the visionary wordsmith Shayna McHayle, AKA Junglepussy.
I am no music expert, and I know the long and troubled history of basic-ass white people such as myself appropriating the excellence of black music culture. I’m not here to claim the music of Junglepussy. I’m simply here to share my own personal listening guide, a playlist of tunes that feel like a cool washcloth to the forehead when you find yourself feeling the hot-headed pressure to settle into a life that you’re leery of.
Without further verbal assault on the institution of hetero marriage and in no particular order, here is a list of Junglepussy’s discography correlated to totally hypothetical situations that I’ve definitely never experienced:
When to listen: You’re at Christmas and your extended family members are asking where your recently-made-former S.O. is, while you scroll through an Insta feed flooded by couples in front of a huge-ass tree while the girl is delicately placing her hand on the guy’s chest in a very specific way that you never quite learned (almost like she’s afraid of breaking him? Is he made out of paper mache? Is a paper mache boyfriend my next big craft?)
Memorable lines: “Brazilian steakhouse with the unlimited plates, great!/Café up on Ludlow where we kissed and just ate crepes/No boo up in Malibu, soul food up in Flatbush too/Relationships are more than food & lusty interactions dude”
Got-me-hype meter: I’m groovin’ in my swivel chair at the Rock while I peruse applications for law school
When to listen: You casually mentioned that you might not want to get married and now your elders are aggressively reassuring you that you indeed will, you’ll grow out of this “women’s lib stuff,” you don’t want to die alone, you just haven’t met that special ~one~ yet
Memorable lines: “Bling bling bitch do my own thing bitch/Fuck a wedding ring that ding a ling was just a fling bitch”
Got-me-hype meter: I’m inexplicably throwing up the double-middles to Sandals Resorts commercials while wall twerking (so hype that I’m defying physics)
When to listen: You tried to make a Tinder late on a Tuesday night when you should have been writing that one essay you’re putting off, but then the app won’t properly connect to your Facebook so you swallow the pea-sized amount of pride you have left and make a Bumble instead. You’re swiping left until the cows come home
Memorable line: “I’m not bougie, I’m selective”
Got-me-hype meter: I have ascended into a removed spiritual state while swaddled in a bomb faux fur coat