Music has been just as important to my life as books. It seemed like music was always booming out of the radio, or on tv, 24/7. When I woke up in the morning for school, my grandmother would turn on the little black radio on top of the fridge, to the only station we both listened to, WTLC 106.7, which played both old and new R&B and soul music. After school I would come home and watch MTV’s TRL and then BET’s 106th & Park. There are songs that are attached to very specific memories. When I hear This Lil Game that we Play by Subway ft. 702 and Superwoman by Karyn White I remember the bus rides in elementary school when the girls would sing those songs at the top of their lungs (quiet one that I am, I just sang in my head, lol). During a fraternity/sorority step show in college, the DJ played Candy Rain by Soul 4 Real and the whole crowd of hundreds sang along to every word. I can go on, but I won’t.
I turn to music when I’m happy, bored, sad and feeling any number of emotions. Losing myself in the music and lyrics allows me to temporarily silence all of the thoughts constantly running through my head. R&B is my favorite genre and there was such good R&B music released this year, so most of my favorite songs I’m going to highlight from this year will be in that genre. Hope you also enjoy these sounds and visuals.
Let it Burn by Jasmine Sullivan: This is my number one favorite song of 2015! Jasmine Sullivan just sings with such conviction and raw passion, that makes you really feel what she’s singing. Let it Burn is from Jasmine’s third album, Reality Show, which you should buy because it’s really good.
Alright by Kendrick Lamar: Kendrick had the most experimental, political and BLACK album this year with To Pimp a Butterfly, and this song became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. Alright pretty much ties with Let it Burn as my favorite song.
Yoga by Janelle Monae: Leave it to Janelle to make a trap song about yoga!
Classic Man (remix) by Jidenna featuring Kendrick Lamar: An extremely catchy song by newcomer Jidenna, and made even better with the addition of Kendrick.
That One by Teedra Moses featuring Anthony Hamilton: You can always count on Teedra to release mature, contemporary R&B about the ups and downs of relationships and life. Her and Anthony Hamilton’s voices also work so well together on this song.