By: Shea Harris
The end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 has really blessed me with some bomb music. I have really been able to breathe slowly and whoo-sah through some situations because of some talented artists. There may be a few songs that get me in my feelings but after I shake the words, I just listen to the soothing beat. Let me just go ahead and jump right into it.
For the longest, I’d seen this silhouette circling the web and wasn’t really sure who or what it was. One day I randomly decided to give this project a listen and completely fell in love. From the first record to the last, H.E.R. had me hooked. She samples some of your favs and does it in such a smooth way. I can honestly say my favorite record is U. I know it’s easy to say “oh I relate with this song so much”, but I seriously do. It’s something about being a single Southern Belle in South Florida and seeing how different you are from everyone. The way you talk, walk, dress, think, etc. The line that says it all for me is I’m not like those other girls, I don’t be acting brand new. Like ma’am, what?! I’m really trying my hardest not to dissect this entire song and album so let me move on. Just go give her a listen.
So I actually came across this album through my Tidal app. Anytime a new album drops, it’s listed with the other albums that come one within the same day/week. I think I waited about two or three days before I pressed play, but of course my timeline was already supporting her so I had to see what the hype was about. I recognized Syd by her name and face from The Internet, but didn’t know that much about her. Her voice is honestly everything I need to hear whenever I’m getting annoyed or stressed about sitting in traffic. It’s kind of hard for me to describe the music genre though. It has an urban, neo-soul type of vibe to it. Every time I listen to this album I just want to dress up in my sexiest outfit, put on makeup and act like I’m in a music video. Syd literally gives me all the feels and confidence to be sexy with this album. My favorite song by far is Drown in It. Unfortunately it’s only 1:11 (she knows good and well she could’ve given us an extra 2 mins 😑), but it’s still perfect though.
Solange-A Seat at the Table
QUEEN. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Solange and this album. As soon as her project dropped in 2016, I played it completely through. I will honestly play this album all the way through without any skips. I barely skip the interludes! This album was exactly what the culture needed, but most importantly Black Women. She paints this raw and uncomfortable picture of what it is to be Black in America, but helps you deal with micro-aggressions at the same time. When I listen to this album it’s usually to remind myself that I’m a strong, beautiful and purpose-filled Black woman. Don’t Touch My Hair. That’s all. I know it’s big, thick and different, but just don’t. It’s weird.
Childish Gambino-Awaken, My Love!
This👏🏾Talented 👏🏾Young 👏🏾Black 👏🏾Man. What planet does he come from?! Does he have a cousin? A brother? A nephew my age? Just kidding! I’m honestly quite upset that I’ve missed out on this mans talent all these years. Childish Gambino’s most recent album is exactly what I needed. He dropped this project right on time. Just when things were getting rough and uncertain at the end of 2016, he dropped this album and I got my entire life. I hate that I had not listened to any of his music before this album, but he has my attention now. I’ve been able to connect with so many of my peers just because of this one album. His songs are so simple and unique on this album that it’s impossible to dislike it. I don’t think I can pick just one favorite song off this album though. It’s a tie between Me & Your Mama and Redbone.
I first heard his angelic voice on Solange’s Don’t Touch My Hair. I didn’t know his name until I looked at the featured artist, but completely fell in love with his presence on the record. A few weeks after Solange dropped her album, Sampha proceeded to do the same. Funny thing is Sampha and Syd dropped (I believe) in the same week. Listening to this man’s voice brought me into a different space. I was ready to hurry and get home to light some candles, meditate and do some yoga. No joke. Each time I listen to his album, I get a different message each time. I’m reminded to breathe and live each time I take a listen. Sounds a bit deep but its the honest to God truth (from my perspective). His voice always gives me chills and makes my heart flutter. You’ve got to check him out!
I know this was an extensive post, but I definitely felt like it was necessary for me to share some of my favs with you all. Is there anything you listen to that puts you in a calming mood? Let me know below!