Music For Your Soul

You are looking into your music and you noticed you don’t have any new music on your computer. You don’t want to play the same old stuff. Do you need new music to buy? Well, here is some recommendations to help you get started?

 

blkswn by Smino

This was the year of blkswn. The 18-song project features contributions from artists such as theMIND, Rayvn Lenae, Akenya, Jean Deaux, and Noname. Blckswn was mainly produced by Monte Booker with help from Phoelix, THEMPeople and Sango. Its March 17 release date was chosen as an homage to Smino’s hometown of Saint Louis, MO. To promote his album, he released four singles – “blkswn,” the Hidden Figures-inspired “Anita,” the #OscarsSoWhite inspired “Blkoscars,” and “Father Son Holy Smoke.” He really grabbed my attention with this album, specifically because he displays the power of women and I’m here for it. To sum it up, PUT SMINO ON YOUR PLAYLIST!!!!

CTRL by SZA

I’ve been waiting for SZA’s debut album for three years and Ctrl did not disappoint. All the snippets on Snapchat had me asking for more. June 9 was the day I cried and my prayers were answered when she dropped “Drew Barrymore”, which perfectly explained my life. She dropped “Love Galore” featuring Travis Scott and the creepy, but beautiful video was just as amazing. Other features include Kendrick Lamar, James Fauntleroy, and Isaiah Rashad. Even after the long wait, I can say that I am very impressed with the album.

4:44 by JAY-Z

After 4 years since his last solo album, 4:44 marked the return of hip hop’s greatest: JAY-Z. He dropped his 13 studio album, 4:44 through his streaming service Tidal. Many listeners speculated that the album was response to Beyoncé’s Lemonade¸ which took over pop culture in 2016 as the tale of recovering from infidelity. While he did comment on the situation on several tracks, most notably the title track “4:44,” JAY-Z also discusses his family, black culture, racism, and Hip-Hop. This album is also about legacy: how he wants to be remembered, what he leaves behind for his children, and what he has done for the culture.

SweetSexySavage by Kehlani

SWEET. SEXY. SAVAGE. The title reminded me of TLC’s CrazySexyCool. Throughout the album, I hear samples of Aaliyah, Akon, and New Edition. She is blunt, honest, and speaks her truth on love and relationships. Kehlani described the album as having three elements; Sweet, Sexy and Savage, which are intended to be reflected in the album's lyrical content and production. For her debut album, I think this deserves a round of applause.

Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator

Back in his Odd Future days, Tyler, the Creator would rap violent and misogynistic lyrics. This time, he raps on love, self-improvement, and nostalgia. While he has been accused of homophobia in the past, he does mention his own sexuality on Flower Boy. He shines as a producer and did not disappoint on this project as every song was created by the man himself.

Pretty Girls like Trap Music by 2 Chainz

We all like to turn up to trap music. However, pretty girls love it more than guys. This album can get you from ratchet to calm the whole time. 2 Chainz pays tribute to his beginnings and his evolution from hustler to superstar. Thanks to 2 Chainz, we have something to cruise to and party to.

At What Cost by Goldlink

I heard about Goldlink through the XXL Freshmen 2015 cover. I wanted to know who he was and the first song I heard was “Unique” with Anderson.Paak. I loved the sound and it was something I could dance to. I ended up downloading his mixtapes and falling in love instantly. At What Cost was dedication to his roots in D.C., using funk and go-go for his sound and tells stories.

Into by Sonder

I heard about Brent Faiyaz through “Crew” by Goldlink. Along with producers Atu and Dpat, they create the trio Sonder. The “Into” EP gives offerings with 90’s vibes. Brent sings with vulnerability and love about complicated romances and living the fast life.

DropTopWop by Gucci Mane and Metro Boomin

After a year and half, Gucci Mane shows no signs of slowing down. He celebrated the anniversary of his release by collaborating with Metro Boomin for his ten-track mixtape, DropTopWop. Production by Metro showed why the producer became a household name. Gucci continues to demonstrate his growth and his place as the Trap God.

Fin by Syd

I remember Syd Tha Kyd as a DJ for Odd Future. In 2011, she created The Internet. The first project I heard from the group was “Feel Good” and been hooked ever since. For her first solo project, she finds her comfort and focus. From beginning to end, she portrays confidence while singing and rapping. She also sings on her admiration for women. It has a quiet storm feel anyone can relax to. 

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