Valentine’s Day 2018 Playlist

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Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love. Any type of love. Whether you are with a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, friends, pet or enjoying the day on your own, set the mood with this playlist below.

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Galentine’s Day 2018 Playlist

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What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and just kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas!

First introduced in 2010 during the second season of Parks & Recreation, Galentine’s Day is another Parks & Rec holiday that became a reality just like Treat Yo Self. Whether you are going out for drinks, having brunch, or just staying at home with your girls, check out a playlist below for your Galentine’s Day festivities.

Also, check out a clip from the first Galentine’s Day episode.

Taylor Swift Shows Her Love for R&B On New Spotify Playlist

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Taylor Swift released an updated playlist of her favorite songs on Spotify, and while it had expected pop hits, it also included unexpected R&B.

Some of Taylor’s favorite songs include Majid Jordan’s “Her” from their first EP A Place Like This,  and “One I Want” from their latest album, The Space Between.  Another new edition on the list was Jhene Aiko with “While We’re Young.”

She included Kehlani again, who she first showed loved to in an Intagram post of her favorite songs in 2015, with “Honey”  and “Good Life.”

It always fun to see what music other people like, especially an artist. Any songs on here that you like as well? Listen to the playlist below.

Seven Best B Sides of 2017

At the end of the year, we usually highlight the hit singles of 2017 as our favorite songs. While “Location” and “Bounce Back” were definitely bangers, we definitely need to give roses to great songs that weren’t singles. Below are the best B Sides of 2017, hidden gems on albums that just didn’t make it to radio as official singles.

“Get It Together”-Drake ft Jorja Smith, More Life

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Do all the little things, little things, little things
That excites me
As your woman
Give me a kiss goodnight
Over the phone
When you’re working late
When you’re out of town

It’s funny that one of Drake’s best of the year barely features Drake; he is only on the chorus. English singer Jorja Smith is basically asking for her lover to not be trife and for them to get their shit together and make the relationship work. Drake tried several times to mix Euro club music and island sounds on More Life and this was his most successful attempt.

“Personal”-Kehlani, SWEETSEXYSAVAGE

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I got good heart, good soul, good sex
No stress, next for me is best
Don’t you run your mouth ’cause in this song I say it best

No pun intended, but I personally love this song. All cheese aside, the recurring theme of SweetSexySavage of independence and growth through pain was most prominent on this song, becoming one of my anthems of the year.

“Wild Irish Roses”-Smino, blkswn

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It ain’t no Backwoods on this side of town
Wanna ride with me to get some more?
Pick a couple of Wild Irish Roses

“Wild Irish Roses” was my favorite introduction track of 2017 because it set the tone of the album perfectly. The casualness of the Backwoods, the Wild Irish Roses and making a girl feel like she’s the only one there ran throughout the entire album.

“Don’t Get Too High”-Bryson Tiller, True To Self

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Damn shawty, you know love not the same way I do it
I’m the only drug you need to get you through it

Of course the beat goes hard on this song, but I love the contradictions of the lyrics. He’s asking this woman not to do all the things he himself does (getting high, partying, being selfish). It is a party song which is really an examination of the male’s mind.

“Let’s Go”-Khalid, American Teen

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Can you feel this energy?
This is the start of something great
We might… be a little late… hey
Hey, but at least we’re on our way

While “Young Dumb and Broke” was too pop of a follow up to the R&B heavy, “Location,” “Let’s Go” was the obvious next step in Khalid’s journey. It’s laid back attitude about the future gives the youthful vibes of “Young Dumb and Broke,” but maintaining Khalid’s brand of woozy R&B.

“Inspire Me”-Big Sean, I Decided.

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My mama’s the man of the house
Mama you too good for them men
Even dad, you too good for him

Big Sean is known for having his signature inspirational song on each album (I Decided. had “Bigger Than Me”). However he also included an ode to this mother which is the best song about a mom since Kanye’s “Hey Mama.”

“Delicate”-Taylor Swift, reputation

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Just think of the fun things we could do
‘Cause I like you

While non singles “Dress” and “Getaway Care” are getting the most attention off the album “reputation,” “Delicate” needs to get its due. What’s best about this song is its simple lyrics.  Its not a complicated story that only Taylor could tell, it is just about a girl liking a guy and not wanting to reveal too much to scare him away, a position that everyone has been in.

Check out all the songs in the playlist below.

Smino releases Spotify playlist based on his song “Netflix & Dusse”

Smino created a playlist inspired by his new single “Netflix & Dusse.” Featuring the ultimate music to set the mood for chill time…or more, with your significant other, highlights include OutKast’s “Vibrate,” Lumidee’s “Never Leave You,” and Saba’s “Most.”

I made my own playlist inspired by this. Featuring throwback “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” and current hit “Slide,” its great songs to talk and chill with.

Beyoncé releases playlist to celebrate 9th anniversary, check out the Spotify version

In celebration of her 9th wedding anniversary, Beyoncé released a playlist on Tidal of love songs. Some highlights include Frank Ocean’s “Pink + White” Drake’s “Get It Together” and Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U.”

The playlist was on Tidal, but I made a Spotify version of it. It is missing the Lauryn Hill songs, but check out all the other songs below.

 

 

Chance The Rapper’s Bath Time Playlist (Spotify Version)

Chance The Rapper released a playlist of his favorite songs to listen to while taking a bath, a luxury he doesn’t get to indulge in all the time.

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He treated his followers with a video of him singing Frank Ocean’s “Self Control” in the bath tub. He also showed off his mega speakers that he uses during bath tub.

While I’m more likely to listen though my iPhone speakers or bluetooth speakers, it will be nice to take some time out to take a bath with a bath bomb and this playlist.

Do you have a favorite bathroom time song? I like to listen to “Strawberry Bubblegum” by Justin Timberlake while brushing my teeth.

Rappers show their vulnerable side by talking about God

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“We’re all self-conscious I’m just the first to admit it.” This line from “All Falls Down,” Kanye West’s single from his debut album “College Dropout” was the first time I’ve ever heard a rapper be vulnerable. I was used to rappers being bragadocious, something I just couldn’t relate too. Being sensitive and guarded was something I understood completely, and Kanye’s “All Falls Down,” an anthem about contradictions and human nature, is one of my favorite songs.

There was a lull in venerable raps until Kanye put out the album “808s and Heartbreak.” The songs talked about the fear of being unloved and destructive relationships. This album changed how rap artists talked about love, paving the way for artists like Drake.

Rappers showing their vunerable side continued with the discussion of religion. Ironically, one of the first mainstream gospel rap songs was also off “College Dropout,” with “Jesus Walks.” Yet another reason that “College Dropout” is Kanye’s best album and I have lost respect for friends who have told me “Graduation” is the best, but I digress. The influence of God started coming back with artists like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. J. Cole’s second album “Born Sinner” was about dealing with temptation while trying to be a man of God. Kendrick Lamar’s music has always had religious undertones. On the 2010 song “Growing Apart (To Get Closer),” Kendrick talks about his relationship with God and how he has been lazy, and then he says “I promise to stay faithful, focused and sanctified.” Several skits in his debut album “Good Kid M.A.A.D. City” included prayers. The lead single from his last album, “i” was about his Christian faith.

Chance The Raper has further pushed gospel rap to the forefront. His profanity free song, 2015’s “Sunday Candy,” was about church and his relationship with his grandma. Chance made public declaration of his Christianity when he performed the song on Saturday Night Live, becoming the first independent artist to perform on that show. He also performed the song “Somewhere In Paradise” that included the lyric “I might give Satan a swirly.”

In 2016 he continued to bring his religion to the forefront. He again performed on SNL, this time with Kanye West, Kirk Franklin and Kelly Price on the gospel rap song “Ultra Light Beam” that he cowrote for Kanye. He referenced his previous gospel rap song, “Sunday Candy,” by pronouncing “I made Sunday Candy, I’m never going to hell.” The performance included a payer from Kirk Franklin and a gospel choir.

“Coloring Book,” the highly anticipated follow-up to his 2013 mixtape, “Acid Rap” which was heavily influenced by acid use, was influenced by the completely opposite subject matter, God. Songs included “Blessings” which featured the chorus “I’m gon’ praise Him, praise Him ’til I’m gone/I’m gon’ praise Him, praise Him ’til I’m gone/When the praises go up, the blessings come down/When the praises go up, the blessings come down/
It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap/It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap.” The song “How Great” opens with “How great is our God/Sing with me, how great is our God/All will see how great is our God”

The inclusion of God into rap shows a more vulnerable side to rappers. Showing any type of vulnerability makes rap songs more relatable. However, this inclusion of God shows a progression in rap. Rap, a genre is is often cricticised for not being progressive is showing growth by increasing its subject matter.

Listen to some Gospel Rap songs below:

Drake, one of the best rappers alive, has a huge effect on the R&B genre

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A few weeks ago, in the iTunes Spotlight section which features albums based on a theme, I saw that the current offering was titled “Spotlight on Post Drake R&B” and included such albums as  DVSN’s “Sept. 5” and Majid Jordan’s “Majid Jordan.” It was interesting to see a rapper being highlighted for his effect on R&B, but if you take a look at his career, he has been an R&B artist from the start.

Drake had been putting out mix tapes since 2006, with “Room For Improvement” and his 2007 followup “Comeback Season.”Both these mix tapes had elements of R&B  mixed with his raps.  For example, “Room For Improvement” included a sample of Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour.” “Comeback Season” sampled Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love.” “Comeback Season also yeiled the music video and single “Replacement Girl” featuring R&B singer Trey Songz.

Drake’s delved deeper into R&B with the first single for “So Far Gone,” the mix tape the propelled him into the mainstream. With “Best I Ever Had,” Drake went back and forth with his delivery style, singing and rapping the chorus of the song. Many songs on the mixtape featured him exclusively singing, such as the song “Sooner Than Later.” With this mix tape, which acted as an offical introduction of Drake to the hip-hop world, Drake showed that he was a multi-genre performer who was not going to choose one lane.

With Drake’s official studio albums, he was known to release both R&B and rap singles. His debut studio album “Thank Me Later” included the R&B single “Find Your Love,” on top of the rap singles like “Miss Me” and”Over.”  He was featured on R&B songs singing, like Beyonce’s “Mine.” and even wrote R&B songs like Jamie Foxx’s “Fall For Your Type.”

It was not just the delivery that was different with Drake. The subjects matter was different.  Drake music was able to touch on more sensitive topics like family, unrequited love and mistakes, topics that weren’t traditionally talked about in a vulnerable way in rap songs. Drake propelled what Kanye started with 2008’s “808s and Heartbreak,” showing that rap arists can be vulnerable and sing.

Other artists have been influenced by Drake. Bryson Tiller, an R&B singer, frequently raps on his songs that are rooted in soul music. PARTYNEXTDOOR, an artist signed to Drake’s label OVOSOUND, also mixes rap and R&B.

While Drake is not to first to mix the two genres, he was the first artist to build his career with this angle from the start. It will be interesting how he approaches this on his new album, Views From the 6, which was just released on April 29th.

Check on some of Drake’s best R&B songs below.

 

Skylar Grey releases video for new single “Moving Mountains”

Skylar Grey has made a name for herself in the hip-hop world for the better part of a decade. She has earned Grammy nominations for her collaboration with rap artists. She was a writer for “Love The Way You Lie,” the Rihanna and Eminem song that received a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year and Best Rap Song. Her collaboration with Dr. Dre and Eminem for “I Need a Doctor” earned her nominations for Best Rap/Song Collaboration and Best Rap Song. She has also been a featured artist for many hip hop heavy weights songs, including T.I., Diddy and Nicki Minaj.

Following her previous solo projects, the albums “Like Blood Like Honey” and “Don’t Look Down,” she has released the single “Moving Mountains.” The video, filmed in Utah, where Grey now calls home, has the well known collaborator solo, attacking a snowy mountain climb on her own. Grey soulfully sings about going with the flow and living in the moment.

It will be interesting to see what direction Grey goes next. While this track definitely has a folkish vibe to it, I wonder how inspired she will be by her new home in Utah, or if she will continue the hip-hop collaboration that she is known for.

You can check out the video for “Moving Mountains” below and also listen to a playlist of her most popular collaboration.