Sia is a great part of hip-hop
The scene is 2012. I am a sophomore in college and it’s the day of my Calculus final exam. I hear the song Titanium by David Guetta and Sia. I watch the music video. In it, a boy rides his bicycle to school, is confronted by parents and teachers and, at the last minute, discovers his psychic powers. I listened to Titanium while I walked to my exam, feeling like that boy.
I never got psychic powers. And I failed my exam and calculus, for the second semester in a row. But I felt confident doing it. I felt so confident that I emailed my professor and told her I studied very hard and that I did not want to take Calculus a third time. She never replied and bumped my grade from an F to a C.
Since that day I have had an Elastic Heart and have fallen in love with the sound of Sia’s voice. Sia is a genie and she records her vocals from inside a genie lamp.
Two summers later I graduated from college and moved back home with my parents. I applied to 50 jobs in June and 60 jobs in July and was making similar progress in August.
LinkedIn. Monster. Glassdoor. It was getting desperate and was close to settling for a pyramid scheme. On August 25th, it was 90 degrees and I pushed my overheating desktop towards the window so it could get some breeze. I was sweating. My forehead sweat was on my chin. My chin sweat was on my neck.
That night, at midnight, Eminem released the first single from Shady XV, an album that would celebrate Shady Records fifteenth birthday. The single was Guts Over Fear featuring Sia. I pressed play, and waited to hear what advice two of my favorite artists had to tell me.
The first lines of the song are, Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is find different ways to word the same old song, ever since “Hi My Name Is” dropped. And the last lines are, The legend of the angry blonde lives on through you when I’m gone. Then Sia closes the track.
I cried. I laid on my floor and put the song on repeat and cried. Eminem’s life is so unique that the messages he says are not messages anyone else would be able to tell. Hearing Guts Over Fear made me think about how long life is. How much there is to accomplish. And that I’d look back on this summer and laugh at how many times I had to write terrible cover letters in the heat, sweating on my keyboard, pretending to love companies I could care less about. I felt good that night and found a job in the next few weeks.
Sia and Eminem came out of the lamp when I needed them.
On Wikipedia, the word Eminem is not on Sia’s page. I did cntrl F and could not find it. There is no record of how this song came to be. Can anyone interviewing Sia or Eminem, please ask? Sia is on the song Beautiful Pain off the Marshal Mathers LP 2. Eminem is working on a new album right now. Lets have another collab. Make this a trilogy, a threepeat. Please, music journalists and friends of Sia or Em: instigate this. Make history. Thank you.
Fast forward another two years to this past September and I was sitting in a field looking at a sunset. I saw a butterfly fly in front of me, a bird flew above the butterfly, and then above the bird flew a plane. A propeller plane. An old school propeller plane. I had never seen a propeller plane before. My friend put on the song The Greatest with Sia and Kendrick Lamar.
I looked at the sky and saw that the clouds were shifting. The clouds were moving into the shape of two hands. The clouds became a pair of hands moving as if to speak sign language. I felt at that moment god wanted to talk to me. Then a baby appeared, cradled in the hands. The baby slept and was passed to other hands in the clouds. The trees surrounding the field looked like a stadium of people cheering, looking up towards the baby.
I felt like that baby was me, and that the hands were not god’s but Sia’s. And the other hands were Kendrick’s and other artists, artists who had shaped my life and the way I lived. I felt like I was being told something. I felt I was being told that I had always been taken care of, that good influences were always watching me.
Sia is with Miguel and Queen Latifah on the Hamilton mixtape. The song is called Satisfied. Sia raps on Satisfied.
Cause I’m the oldest and the wittiest and the gossip in New York City is insidious. And Alexander is penniless. But that don’t mean I want him any less.
That is rap. That is r.a.p. And that is fresh rap too. Not typical lyricism. The rap lyrics that come from a vocalist and songwriter like Sia is bound to be unique and a thing that traditional hip hop would not have given us otherwise.
My hope for Sia in the future is that she continues to share her magic with hip hop because hip hop and its fans need it. My other hope is that Sia and SZA make a song together. Their names each have three letters and that is good harmony.