Welp… Today I’m officially 31 years old!! PEACE OUT to my time as a youth!! In 2013, I attended one of 114 global youth conferences called for by the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Baha’i Faith. These conferences defined a “youth” as someone between the ages of 15-30.
The conferences further described youth as young people who come from varied backgrounds, at different stages of life – some in school, others pursuing professions, and still others thinking about marriage and raising a family. But what unites this age group is a desire to contribute to the advancement of society, and a unique set of emerging powers that must be channelled toward selfless service to humanity.
These past several years have definitely shaped my worldview and will guide me into the future. I’m thankful that my youthful years were dedicated to developing my capacities, and learning how to apply them to contribute to positive social and spiritual change. With a solid foundation of formal and informal education, a wife and child, and many professional skills now developed, I walk into the 4th decade of life, eager to see what the future brings!
To celebrate my 31st birthday, I look back on the period of youth and share with you 10 Inspiring Songs About Youth!
1) Colby Jeffers (ft. AWU) – “The Movement”
My contribution to the list! The is the most recent Colby and Awu creation, released on my Wizdome album. The song was inspired by the 113 youth conferences in 2013, but came to fruition when I had my 2nd visit to Bamenda, Cameroon in December, 2014. Awu added an amazing chorus to the song, local producer Gohh Prime composed a dope instrumental, and then we brought the local youth together to shoot this music video! “Everybody wake up, get down with the movement!”
2) Karim Rushdy – “The Power”
Sampling “Youth Can Move the World” by Nigerian artist, R-Mixy, Baha’i-inspired rapper Karim Rushdy puts together a fresh creation which calls youth to examine the social forces around them and realize the power they have to create change! As he states in his lyrics “They think that if you’re young, then your brain you can’t use. They make fake realities that they hand you. They stuff it in your ears as if you can’t hear the truth: the power’s in the hands of the youth!”
3) R Mixy – “Youth Can Move the World”
Here’s the original track referenced above by Baha’i Nigerian afro-pop and hip hop artist, R-Mixy. Using examples of youth in the history of the Baha’i Faith who used their energies to make significant social change, R-Mixy calls out to young people “Youth can move the world when in action!”
4) Andy Mineo (ft. KB) – “Young”
One of my favorite rappers, Christian-inspired artist Andy Mineo explores the journey of a young person striving to live a spiritual life. Mineo calls on young people to not accept the lies society feeds us, and to instead, look to scripture for guidance on how to live out our lives. Stating “It don’t matter if I’m young”, Mineo makes it clear that we shouldn’t wait until after our youth to find God and live a righteous life.
5) Lecrae – “Just Like You”
“Just Like You” is a beautiful story shared by Christian-inspired rapper, Lecrae, exploring his experience as a youth looking for an example to model his life after. Verse one features the male family members he looked up, often not the best examples. Verse two unveils a young Lecrae looking to the media on what he should value, again feeling empty. Finally, verse three reveals his realization that Jesus was the best example he could find on how to spend the energies of his youth.
6) P.O.D. – “Youth of the Nation”
Released back in 2001, “Youth of the Nation” by nu metal band P.O.D. is hauntingly relevant in 2018. Inspired by the Santana High School and Columbine High School shootings that occurred around that time, “Youth of the Nation” tells the story of violent tragedies affecting youth in American culture. Singing, “Who’s to blame for the lives that tragedies claim? No matter what you say, it don’t take away the pain”, P.O.D.’s message resonates with the recent wave of school violence in America, a clear indication that the youth of this nation are facing a myriad of negative social forces that must be addressed.
7) Fashawn (ft. Aloe Blacc & Devoya Mayo) – “Hey Young World”
Fresno-based rapper, Fashawn, drops a classic inspirational track in “Hey Young World”, giving words of encouragement to the young people of society. Teaming up with artists Aloe Blacc and Devoya Mayo, Fashawn and crew call on young people to persevere, recognize their gifts, and go out into the world and chase their dreams, singing out, “Hey young world, the world is yours!”
8) K’Naan – “Gold in Timbuktu”
Somali-Canadian artist K’Naan offers a deeply reflective song with “Gold in Timbuktu”. Looking out into the future, K’Naan imagines what his elder years have in-store for him. Highlighting the fleeting nature of life, K’naan raps “Youth! One day you have it and then, Poof! It’s gone with the wind.”
9) So They Say – “Forever Young” (Rod Stewart Cover)
Remixing a classic Rod Stewart song, American rock band, So They Say, puts out a jammin’ version of “Forever Young”. A lyrical masterpiece, “Forever Young” is filled with words of wisdom on how to keep your life and spirit young. The song admonishes, “May you grow to be proud, dignified and true. And do unto others as you’d have done to you.” I remember the first time I heard this version of the song in my youthful college days, and it’s been a staple of my music library since!
10) Jose Maria Fierro (ft. Colby Jeffers and Kishan Raja) – “Youth Can Move the World”
The homie Jose Maria Fierro came out with this track back in 2014, inspired by the same 114 youth conferences referenced earlier. In 2017, the song was remixed, featuring myself and fellow Baha’i-inspired rap artist, Kishan Raja. It’ll be featured on Jose Maria’s debut album, set to release in the coming months!
10+) Colby Jeffers – What If?
“What If” is part of my lyrical remix album, “LIT”. This song remixes “YOUTH” by Troye Sivan, using the same instrumental, but infusing the lyrics with spiritual concepts related to the period of youth, such as our purpose, positive and negative social forces, and service to humanity.
Youth… it was nice while it lasted! Hope these songs help keep us all feeling young! 🙂 Please share a comment below!