Music is everything, it’s strength, it’s comfort, it’s love. Music is like hot cocoa on a cold winter day. It’s the motivation to help you power through a tough workout. Music is the comforting friend to get you through a difficult breakup (You know when you have to put number 12 on repeat). But how many of us have a playlist for each separate event? I have the playlist for all occasions. This list will motivate you, inspire you, and definitely make you feel some type of way.
Let us begin where Hip Hop started In New York with the Notorious and his song “Juicy” which came out in 1994. “It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up Magazine….” Though I’m an 80’s baby, the 90’s was “my” music decade. Biggie was a major force out of New York and inspired many rappers and you gotta pay homage to the greats. Equally as impactful was the revolutionary Tupac Shakur. The song “Changes” as well as “Brenda got a Baby” address some important issues in the black community, while having a great beat and catchy hook.
Like everyone, I love songs that make me feel good, songs that make me move, songs that motivate me. When we think of motivational songs, many times church songs with messages of hope seem to be top of the list, while those are amazing, many hip hop artists have motivated me to be brave and independent as well. Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said” is an amazing song. He got negative feedback for criticizing the president, along with some other comments but if you listen to the words of the song — that’s the point of the song – to speak his mind and exercise his freedom of speech.
Lupe isn’t the only one who speaks his mind. Kanye West is notorious for speaking his mind as well. I love his song “All Falls Down.” Pre-Cray Kanye was my favorite Kanye. In “All Falls Down”, he said some things out loud that many of us wouldn’t. He spoke about our self-esteem and self-consciousness. I remember hearing this and thinking wow did he really just say that. I gained much respect for him because he touched on topics that no other rapper would touch.
That’s what music is about — having a message and being unapologetic about speaking your truth. Much like Lupe, J. Cole with his song “Lights Please” or Kendrick Lamar in his song “I” put their souls on the track. When Trey songs first came onto the scene he was hungry for success. His song “just gotta make it” was so sincere. I loved that song and I could completely relate to the struggle. I was working at a job I had no desire to be at and I knew that I could be doing better.
When I feel discouraged and need to remember my dreams can come true, I have songs for that too. Young Jeezy and Keisha Cole “Dreams.” This song tells listeners that no matter what you got going on focus +hard work = success. Goapele’s “Closer” is another dream chasing song with a soulful vibe. “I Was Here” by Beyoncé is a powerful song, reminding the listener to leave your mark on the world.
No playlist should ever be called complete without the Jacksons. Jackson 5, “Never Can Say Goodbye”, Michael Jackson “Can’t Stop Loving You” and Janet Jackson “Together Again”. Real music lovers appreciate all types of music so I’ve also added Clean Bandit “Rather Be”, Nikki Minaj “Moment for Life” and New Edition “Cool it now.” I know this list is a bit random for some, but give it a try before you knock it. Let your mind and heart take a journey with these songs – I’d bet afterwards you too would see why I easily call it the Best Playlist Ever.
By: Tila G