1. Crookers – A Place in My Heart
This is one of the first songs my daughter learned to sing. I was always playing music when she was a baby. She was dancing and wiggling before she could fully walk, and this song serves as a reminder of how powerful music can be. Every time I hear it, I remember my daughter and I singing it together, and I get incredibly emotional.
2. Slum Village – Fall In Love (Instrumental)
I’ve always had a love for instrumentals, so when I found out about J Dilla, I immediately went through his discography of productions. It was like potato chips for me. I couldn’t get enough of his beats. This one in particular, though, gets me through writers block, anxiety and sometimes its nice to cook food to.
3. Tom Misch – Your Love
I found out about Tom Misch through a few remixes I’ve heard that were done for his original tracks. I was more into the remixes at first, but then I explored his catalog and became incredibly interested in the rest of his work ( my normal binge on artists I haven’t heard of yet). “Your Love” is my favorite by far, exuding a welcoming energy along with a beautifully written song. Very inspiring.
4. Kerri Chandler – Rain (Atjazz Remix)
The original version of “Rain” is incredible, but I’m actually hooked on the Atjazz remix. It’s an absolute banger, and it is one of my favorite songs to dance to. Every time I play it, I feel a rush of adrenaline run through me. Happiness, pain and strength mixed into a cocktail of unstoppable pleasure.
5. Jay Electronica – Exhibit A
I first heard Exhibit A while I was living in Brooklyn, New York. I remember riding the C train and being recommended the song by a room mate I was living with at that time. I couldn’t get enough of the relentless power that could be heard bar to bar. Incredible writing, indeed.
6. Missy Elliot – One Minute Man
Sometimes, you just need something to move to. One minute man was an overall banger before Missy even rhymed over it. With the edition of Missy, though, it becomes a timeless hit for the dance floor. I have spent a ton of time on the dance floor, whether it be in a club, studio or my kitchen while I’m making food for my family.
7. Mick Jenkins – Spread Love
Mick is one of my favorite rappers right now. Having the talent to say something in a clever way while ACTUALLY talking about something is a rarity in general. Unlike A LOT of lyrically talented rappers, Mick knows how to pick beats, which makes him even more enjoyable. Spread Love is currently my favorite from him.
8. Say Sue Me – Oldtown
Say Sue Me, as well as other bands I’m about to name, have brought me back into the contemporary realm outside of House, Techno and Hip-Hop. “Old Town” has a coffee shop alternative vibe I’ve been longing for since the cafe in Wicker Park “Filter” closed down. It is incredibly relaxing to listen to and provides a great vibe to start off the day with.
9. Flying Lotus – Massage Situation
First this on Adult Swim during there awkwardly placed nothingness commercials with amazing background music. Im very happy they chose “Massage Situation”, because it introduced me to another world of instrumentals to write to whenever I wanted. This beat specifically, though, is a favorite I’d listen on the orange line on the way to work.