What I’m Listening To December 2016

Childish Gambino – Terrified (2016)

I can honestly say, one of my top favorite albums of this year, and honestly a breath of fresh air. Or better to say, everything comes full circle. From this album to Bruno Mars 24K, the resurgence of soul/funk music is showing itself again, and Im all for it. That specific genre, personally, is really the core of who I am in terms of music. The live instruments, the voice mutation (in some songs such as Redbone, another one of my favorites), etc, is what makes this album magnificent. Gambino is giving me major Prince vibes in terms of his singing and Funkadelic vibes production wise overall within the album. I can’t wait to see some more live performances, such as his show at next years Coachella (who I gotta kill to go tho?). I purchased the virtual reality vinyl which comes thru next year in 2017. But take a listen below, and also shout out to JD McCrary who is the little angel singing at the end of the song!

The Weeknd – A Lonely Night (2016)

Just a quick note, this video below isnt the song seeing as it isnt legally released on the internet (you gotta purchase, give him his coins! or listen through a streaming network like Tidal or Spotify). This is weirdly enough my favorite song, and I instantly get Michael Jackson vibes to the point where I could picture MJ releasing this himself in the 2010’s {RIP :(..}. This song makes me want to get up and spin around dancing in some well choreographed music video, though theres a high chance I wont do that. Overall, I personally agree with my brother’s opinion that this is by far the Weeknd’s best album (House of Balloons trails very closely by). Other songs on the album I truly enjoy are “Attention”, more so tracks 1-4 and 10-16, thats more than half the album thats exceptional to me. The Weeknd is truly a master at combining R&B/Alternative/Pop into a perfectly well combination. But check out the video below titled “M A N I A” that features quite a number of song snippets.

J. Cole – Neighbors (2016)

“Okay the neighbors think Im sellin’ dope”. Plot twist…. He is!… Probably my favorite song on the entire album, the chorus brought me in when I clicked the sample play on iTunes. Though this is my favorite song, the album overall was kinda cool, and kinda cool albums obviously aren’t great. My theory is this is just a small project to throw out there for the rumored collaboration album with Kendrick Lamar, that was mentioned both by SchoolBoy Q  on twitter some time ago and Ab-Soul in an interview. J Cole basically explains the day in the life of a black person being judged by a white people (honestly what black person hasn’t experienced this). There are theories out there by his fans explaining the album is about a deceased friend and how he got to where he was, possibly right, but I do like a conspiracy theory.

Prince – Joy In Repetition (1990)

First I want to say RIP Prince, I honestly can’t believe he has passed on. I honestly can’t phantom that to this very day. He’s the person you expect to live forever, hell, at least another 30 years minimum, so his death was a very unexpected hit among this year of celebrity deaths (honestly, whats up 2016?). This is a throwback Ive been listening to a lot after listening to a series of his interviews that sparked back after his passing. Featured on “Graffiti Bridge” back in 1990, this song is in my opinion just a small piece of essence of Prince in terms of his theories and philosophies. As we all know, there is virtually no Prince music available readily on the internet…or anywhere except Tidal (only reason I have it tbh), so I found this pretty bad recording of his live performance of the song. You wanna hear the real thing? Get you a Tidal trial or simply purchase this magnificent album. Honestly get into this musical being if you haven’t already.

Tinashe – Spacetime (2016)

Honestly (I say honestly a lot btw), get into this album. NIGHTRIDE is also on my list of my favorite albums of 2016, but really what is Tinashe’s label doing?? This album (sister to yet to be released JOYRIDE album) is very reminiscent of her mixtapes, which I also love. This sound, in my opinion, though I may be wrong, is the epitome of Tinashe and the sound that I feel she would personally like, rather than the bubblegum pop stuff her label pushes with unrequested music features. Give this girl her well deserved creative freedom! Okay back to the song, one of my favorite songs on the album, the whole album is amazing. Very spacey like the song title, as if your floating on a nebula cloud in outer space riding on a star to another dimension (trust me, I took beginners Astronomy last semester). Other songs I love on the album include C’est La Vie, Company, Soul Glitch, Touch Pass, and the Dev Hynes produced Ghetto Boy (I really like Ghetto Boy).

Amy Winehouse – What Is It About Men (2003)

I must admit I was not that into Amy Winehouse when she was alive (I was probably in 7th grade), but I most recently took an interest in her at the anniversary of her death this year when I couple of people I follow on Twitter were sharing their favorite songs of hers, almost all of which I liked. So I was in the mood and decided to take a listen to her debut album “Frank” release back in 2003, and let me tell you she can sang (though you probably already knew it). Now I understand what the buzz was about during her life. This is probably one of my favorite songs on her debut album, along with “You Sent Me Flying/Cherry” and “Take the Box” (highly recommend you to listen to those also). What makes this album and this song so great is that it incorporates live singing and instrumentation during the recording process (I could tell just my listening and confirmed my belief through reading). Her alto-mellow voice meshes so well with this R&B/Bossa Nova project she debuted.

Frank Ocean – Pink + White (2016)

Note: this is a sped up high pitched version of the song, see The Weeknd and/or Prince post as to what to do to take a listen. After a long wait for Frank Oceans 2nd album, his fans were just itching (highkey demanding) that this mystery man release another album since his very popular Channel Orange debut album. Frank then released a film (with heavy collaboration with one of my favorites Jazmine Sullivan) along with his album entitled “Blond (or Blonde)”. I must admit an unpopular opinion, I think this was a drift in terms of how much I liked this album as a whole compared to his debut, and felt it was more of an “okay fans, here you go, shut up now” type album. I personally am not too fond of consumers demanding the producers to shell out their soul, cause the best albums come out when you get that inspiration, that spark, but hey, what do I know? Other than the album as a whole, this song (which I found out very recently contained backing vocals from queen Beyonce) hits a beautiful chord with me. Though he isn’t belting out vocals, and more of a talk/sing type thing, it just works, tied with Bey’s vocals, and the production, its an overall great song that I wish was twice as long, cause its that good.

Blood Orange – Best To You (2016)

Blood Orange aka Dev Hynes fka Lightspeed Champion, released his album (very underrated) album “Freetown Sound” this year. Combined with and following another one of my favorite songs on the album “Chance”, this particular song is sung almost entirely by Empress Of, with a couple of ad libs by Dev. A high paced ride, what this song is. Check it out below! Also get into Dev Hynes, he’s the genius behind Solange’s previous EP “True” released back in 2012.

Kelis – Young, Fresh, & New (2001)

Probably one of my favorite artists of all time, she’s the blueprint, the girl (previously) tattooed on his arm, the girl who came back with an 808, the copied one (hence, the song “CopCat”, and the innovator. She released her album “Wanderland”, who unfortunately didn’t get to see the light of day in the United States (you can only purchase this album overseas), probably simply because the album was too innovative, too ahead of its time, with the help of The Neptunes. The first album she was able to get some major writing credits on. This song is my anthem for 2017, to basically get out there, and don’t hold back the real you. Other songs on the album I enjoy include Scared Money, Popular Thug, Shooting Stars, and Perfect Day. This album is praised by those I seem to have the same music taste as, such as Tyler the Creator and Syd the Kid from The Internet. If you can get a copy, check out the album, also some songs are readily available on YouTube!

“When the world feels like its closin’ in
And you don’t know what you know
And you think about whats holdin’ you
It’s relatives and clothes
Just leave it all behind
You got to get away
You got to get away”

Tevin Campbell – Alone With You (1991)

Now Tevin Campbell is one of my favorite male singers of all time. I truly believe we under-appreciate him and his voice, like he has a voice of an angel (in this particular album) just at age 15! Well, this song was written and produced by Al B. Sure and Kyle West, and they did that. I wish there was a video to this though it was still released as a single.

Other songs on my playlist (honestly some great songs, trust me)

Johnnie Taylor – I Believe In You (You Believe In Me) (1973)

Honestly there’s nothing like southern black soul music.

Syreeta – Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers (1974)

One of the most beautiful songs/voices in the world.

Xscape – Your Eyes (1998)

I have a huge thing for 90’s R&B.

Raphael Saadiq – Ask Of You (1995)

Raphael is literally a music genius, right next to Stevie Wonder, also had a huge hand in Solange’s “A Seat at the Table”, also Lucy Pearl…thats all I gotta say.



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