But dag nabbit, I’m a walking bad habit
Not fit to give advice, but still taking stabs at it
Idealistic yet over pragmatic
Broken down to brass taxes, I’m sort of fantastic
– “Hold Your Breath”
Music is powerful. It can set, create, alter and disturb moods. It’s the soundtrack to life and what helps develop and cultivate memories. A lot of us can trace back to our childhood or teenage years the instant we hear a familiar melody or even unfamiliar lyrics that strike a chord. It’s an incredible part of our every day lives.
If you don’t believe me, try watching a horror film without accompanying sound. Scare chords and chilling instrumentation help add to the tension of pretty much every film meant to scare the daylights out of you.
Where am I going with this? I don’t know. I’m not good at transitions.
Music got me through college. It got me through stress studying for exams, long work shifts, sidepieceisms, coming into adulthood, learning how to take responsibility, etc. There are times where I can listen to a song from back in undergrad and it’ll either trigger memories of nostalgia or relief.
“Girls Like Me” is rooted in the former, but it’s not just for nostalgic purposes that I love this album.
Intuition (real name Lee Shaner) is an LA-based rapper who originates from North Pole, Alaska. He moved down to LA in his adulthood and was able to pursue a career in hip-hop from there, linking up and forming friendships with a few veterans and understudies from the Project Blowed/Leimert Park fellowship. He released his debut album “Stories About Nothing” in 2007 before putting out the “Buzz” EP with VerBS in 2009. He would release the album we’re examining in January of 2010 and a mixtape in March to compliment called “I Ruined These Songs For You” where he rapped over various R&B, Pop, Soul and Rock songs from the likes of Mayer Hawthorne, Raphael Saadiq, D’Angelo and more.
“Girls Like Me” stands out to me for a number of different reasons. It’s arranged in a way that tells a story to me (and I’m not saying this was intentional) as the theme of the album’s early entries are deeper and more inquisitive. “Say Hello To Goodbye” gives a proper introduction to the album allowing Intuition to just flow and introduce himself and who he is to you, you can tell that his style has developed significantly since his early outings and he’s aware of it. He also seems to be acknowledging his growth in confidence and not just from a music standpoint.
And that’s why girls like me, they find me exciting, relate to my writings
All they boyfriends wanna fight me
But I’m a lover brother go and tug another kite string
Thought about quitting but I fought it through
And now I’m dedicated, treat this shit like it’s a job to do
The album flows into a tug-of-war between being conscious of the responsibilities and struggles of adulthood while also taking an “aww, f*** it” approach. “Hold Your Breath” and “All I Got” are two of the more direct songs when it comes to this theme, with “Don’t Try” being full on F*** this mode before switching into drinking the cares away. Like, yeah, I’ve got bigger things ahead, but I can either stress out about them or I can just go have a good time. In college that translated to meeting women and being a charmer and this album peaked my confidence and ability to do just that.
To me, the back half of the album is where it shines most. It goes from Lee unloading his thoughts about what lies ahead and jumps into him just deciding to let go and have a good time, but also excels at just being GOOD MUSIC. It’s fun and it’s catchy. “Homegirl” and “Lonely” are probably the two best back-to-back tracks the album provides and “Buzzkill” might be my favorite track on the album, bar none.
All in all, what’s important to me is music that can make you feel something, no matter what my mood is, I can put this album on and I’ll feel good about what’s happening, my place in life, and who I am. It just works.
I’m usually the type of person who is hesitant when it comes to new artists (to me) or diving into their work because I don’t want to hear one song I love and then be disappointed by the rest. I remember never skipping a single track on this album, and becoming a major Intuition fan ever since. I hope that there may be some people out there who listen to this album and then feel the same way! I’ve linked to a stream of the album in Spotify as well as links to his other projects below. If I make one person a fan of Intuition off of this post, then I did a good job.
Intuition & Equalibrum (2014) – My personal favorite, but that’s for another time.