Spring, 2001. Second grade was alright, life was alright, I was . . . seven, so, honestly the inside of my head was just a hamster on a wheel. Squeak squeak, you got any good books?
I don’t remember if I watched my parents assemble this, or if it just appeared one day after school- but I used to have this ridiculously big stereo. Grey (maybe silver?), lots of dials and buttons I hadn’t a clue what to do with, and a see-through purple cover attached at the top. Through it you could see the slots for three (3!!) CD’s, a feat for the early 21st century, all for you to rock out to your heart’s content.
“This is yours, so you can listen to all your — music.” One of my parents said. I can’t remember if the adjective used was “wierd” or if they just used “own.” My seventh year is a blurry path of memories . . . but I remember owning COOL TRAXX! 2 (and 3, but chronologically, this story’s about 2).
My main music tastes up to this point relied solely on my parents. There were three genres I was familiar with: Reggae straight into Jamrock, Smooth Jazz on the Quiet Storm, and Disney hits. So where they got the idea I wanted a compilation of the year’s hits is really the biggest question here. But I digress. The point is I had two COOL TRAXX! CDs, which left an unsatisfying gap, like the lateral incisor I hadn’t been emotionally ready to let go of yet, but. What are you gonna do.
I put 2 in first, closed the purple top, and pressed play. Jessica Folcker nearly blew out my eardrums, and earned me an annoyed reaction from my parents (as if I had done it on purpose). Sheepish, I thanked them for the gift, and they left my room to let me enjoy this compilation with artists of which half I had never heard of. Until I got to “Larger Than Life” by Backstreet Boys. And I was happy to know that I wasn’t going to be completely lost with this CD. By the time Aaron Carter came on, I was shocked that all the kids at my school would go crazy at hearing the Macarena for the fifth time at P.E., but nobody was talking about COOL TRAXX? I concluded that my parents were just so outrageously cool, they had come up on this hot new music before it was even popular in our neighborhood. You know how hard it is to be first on the scene in a bottled lightning city like Miami?
If you never owned a COOL TRAXX CD in your life, and you are a millennial, then I’m sorry you missed out on a foundational experience. That CD was, I fervently believe, responsible for my Techno/House obsession for two years in middle school. That CD? Changed the course of my entire life.
Danny Fantom is a near totally Halloween obsessed writer from Florida. She is published in Defunct Magazine and (soon-to-be) Rejection Letters, with more work found on Vocal. You can find her retweeting pictures of dessert, horror movies, Eric Draven, and sunsets on Twitter @ThrillandFear.