This morning I woke up with Chris Brown’s “Winner” stuck in my head. From there my mind wandered to “Poppin’,” “Yo,” “Gimme That,” and lastly, “Say Goodbye.” I immediately smiled to myself because of all the memories I have centered around those songs from the singer’s self-titled album. Only myself and three other young women know why…
Back in 2006 I joined my sorority with three others. Those songs (in addition to a host of several Gospel songs) were the soundtrack of our pledging experience. Because a considerable amount of time was spent driving to various destinations, we had to rely on CD’s. Only one of us four had a vehicle (my father waited to give me my red car, Cinnamon, until a week after I crossed…he is a smart man lol) and because she was heavily involved in the church the only CD’s she had were Chris Brown and Gospel.
Majority of us had romantic interests so “Winner” easily struck a chord. In addition, we liked to think of ourselves as winners for enduring the pledging process. For anyone who’s ever joined a sorority or fraternity in college, whether it be a Panhellenic, Interfraternity or National Panhellenic organization, you understand the challenges. In addition to your own classes and extra-curricular involvements, you are now responsible for attending numerous mandatory meetings, memorizing mass information and winning the overall approval of the chapter you’re trying to join. It is draining. For me and my fellow linesisters, “Winner” was our victory chant.
“Poppin'” was one of our favorite greetings to do for a previous line (pledge class) of the chapter. The slow, seductive buildup of the song went with the aura of that line…simply put, they were SEXY! The entire chapter used to get the biggest laugh out of watching our conservative line literally “pop” along in our dance routine to the lyrics, as our way to pay homage. It was SO hard to keep a straight face and be serious back then…heck, it still is now! I am sitting here now getting SO weak…all that poppin…lol!
“Yo” was easily the greeting that was used whenever our line wanted to pay our respects to Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. When they heard it (at our show) they got so excited and showed so much love. The dance routine that went along with it was easy enough and the overall presentation didn’t seem quite as corny as other greetings we had to do (like “So Icey” for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. lmbo).
“Gimme That” is the song of completion! It is the song my line chose to present ourselves to the Miami University campus. There was a bit of debate initially because we were torn between that and “No Weapon” by Fred Hammond. Seriously! Clearly the chapter stepped in and offered a strong suggestion. We went with it. To this day we laugh about it…man.
And finally, the last song that commemorates the experience for me from Chris Brown’s album is “Say Goodbye.” Throughout my entire pledging process I was in a long distance relationship with my high school sweetheart. I had known for quite awhile that he wasn’t the best man for me, but I saw his potential. Unfortunately as I began meeting other men, who were driven, focused and involved, my guy who was toiling away at some junior college in New York didn’t seem as capable anymore. A week after crossing I made the difficult decision to end our three-year relationship. Everyone was shocked. I was too…I couldn’t believe I’d really done it. But as Chris Brown sings in the lyrics, “There’s never a right time to say goodbye, but I gotta make the first move ’cause if I don’t then you’re gonna start hating me. ‘Cause I really don’t feel the way I once felt about you, it’s not you it’s me I, kinda gotta figure out what I need. There’s never a right time to say goodbye, but we know that we gotta go our separate ways. And I know it’s hard, but I gotta do it…” I’ve never looked back. And no, I don’t regret it.