#30DayMusicChallenge Day 2 – A Song You Like With A Number In The Title
Music has and will always be in an on and off relationship with numerology. There have been folktales of legendary composers like Bach and Mozart constructing their music to, “add up,” but I’m more specifically speaking on artists who implement the studies into their lyrics — though arranging a sheet of music to add up numerically is nothing to scoff at. On day 2 of the 30 Day Music Challenge Series, the task is to choose a song with a number in the title. For this one, I pondered over many tracks. Songs like, “48“, “135“, “1:25” and even “2PhoneShawty” came into play. But in all honesty, there was only ever one choice, and that choice is the criminally underrated solo cut from Flatbush Zombies renaissance man Erick Arc Elliott, “222.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the eccentric trio from Brooklyn, you should probably get from under your rock, Patrick. The Big 3 have been making splashes all around the industry the past couple of years, aligning themselves with Pro Era and crafting the BeastCoast movement, as well as releasing their highly acclaimed debut album, 3001: A Laced Odyssey. Though 3001 showcased a crew of men who had evolved from a ragtag group of acid-loving wordsmiths, to full blown artists; it’s the cult-classic off of their second tape, BetterOffDEAD, that has always caught my attention, no matter what I’m doing.
To many people, the song “222” represents way more than the base suggests. When I first heard about the theory behind the number sequence, I decided to do some research and essentially came to the conclusion that the succession of numbers represent either a shift in the power grid of life or a shift in the way you brain operates. Armed with this definition, it’s easy to see the metaphor that Elliott is putting forth in the track. Throughout, he mentions things like, “Nigga lose his job, blame it all on some bad luck,” & “Roller coaster, my eyes not open/ the cold comes every season, trick,”; creating an obvious theme of change. More specifically, the urgency to not only change your mentality but to be prepared for physical change in the most literal sense.
But it’s not the theory that captures my emotions whenever the song blares through my speakers, it’s the nostalgia.
Like any music fan, live shows create an experience for me that is unmatched. There have been many occasions where I completely dismissed an artist, only to see them live by accident and become a huge fan — I’m talking to you Mick Jenkins. When I went to see Flatbush for the first time in Tempe, Arizona in 2013; “222” wasn’t even one of my favorite songs on the project, let alone their discography. It was something about Erick’s performance in the packed out and sweaty Club Red venue that night that took the track from sleeper to necessity in my playlist that night, though. Maybe it was the fact that it was only my second concert ever, leaving me easily influenced by the many intricate nuances of a live show. Or maybe it was the fact that my friends and I played fully into the Zombie theme and were umm… a little out of it mentally.
Whatever the case was, the NYC native absolutely murked his performance of this track. It was, by far, the most impressive performance in a night that included Bodega Bamz crowd surfing, a ridiculous rendition of, “MRAZ” and Meechy Darko stopping a fight and giving a speech about unity, only to follow up with the uber aggressive, “Face-Off.” To put it in better words, “222” posed as the key moment in a night full of faded memories, which always equate to the best nostalgia.