Lots & lots & lots of music pushed me through this year. Teaching alone took me to some very dark places. As I fought my way out of that mess, I managed to get involved with some first-class losers in the first half of the year and had to make some decisions I thought I'd never have to make.
Then, all in one week, the school year ended, I met K, and summertime was here (and the livin' was easy.) This is my tribute to the songbirds and beatmakers that carried me out my door to face another day.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble + Meshell N'degeocello
And Me'shell...her new album is lovely, lovely... beautifully layered, a balance of feet firmly on the ground/head in the clouds sounds.
Georgia Anne Muldrow + Panacea
I hadn't heard of Panacea until a few months ago and right away I got all giddy, the way I did when I first heard Five Deez and Blackalicious. It's been a minute since I've heard a hip hop group that just made me smile and bob my head.
Karizma + Vinia Mojica
Over the summer, I was given a disc of Vinia Mojica tracks by a sweetheard friend of mine and I just don't understand how this woman does not have an official album out yet. "Force of Nature" steals me from my worries. That song is my wake up jam and my lullaby.
Nina Simone + Janelle Monae
Miss Monae makes me take notice in the same way. She tells great stories with her songs and I can't get over her voice. She's on her way!
Amy Winehouse + Talib Kweli
I was very skeptical of the hype over Talib Kweli's album. I liked his collaboration with Madlib (but due to Madlib's production). K snuck a bit of Ear Drum into my playlists here and there, and I am happy to have a new love for Kweli's music. There's no denying that he has always been about giving strong messages to Black folks, but it's nice to like the beats that accompany them this time. And I love that he continues to work with Res.