A weekly playlist of the music that made us and continues to make us.
Pressure (feat. 451) - Eli Sostre
I love the slow melody buildup in the beginning which leads to a dope beat drop. This song reminds me of pre-pandemic times when I would be bumpin’ Eli on my way to class. I listened to this song over and over when I worked out because it hyped me up. It lit a fire underneath me. I also related to dealing with the pressures of life by looking for more of a connection with someone.
All I Do - B5
This is an oldie but a goodie. I remember when the music video would constantly play on MTV, and the video made me want to dress like the group. I thought they had a dope style and catchy vibe. Listening to this now, I would definitely dedicate it to someone special.
Don't Kill Dub (Poem by Sonia Sanchez) - Rob
Heard this song in a Lovecraft Country episode that David put me on, I really love the poem. I think it’s a powerful statement, and my interpretation of it results in this idea of using the fire we have as youthful people to create a life that we deserve, and to pass that fire onto other people in hopes of making an impact.
A Place Like This - Majid Jordan
I chose this song because it was my first introduction into Majid Jordan. I thought the production on this song was incredible along with the honesty of Majid’s voice being really soothing. It also reminds me of high school so it adds a nostalgia effect. I remember being at my older brother’s pool while listening to this album for the first time. The night was quiet and filled with great vibes.
FEED - Big Sean
Big Sean’s reflection on his road to success and description of his purpose of being the person that has changed his family’s course and focusing on being the missing link to their goals and dreams resonated with me. This fuels my drive of being that individual in my family who has a clear sense of personal purpose.
Futura Free - Frank Ocean
This song makes me reflect on my journey. Trusting the process even at times when the process can feel gritty and you want to abort. As long as I remain myself, and evaluate the quality of my decisions, everything will work out. This nostalgic song gives me hope.
C12H16N2 - Action Bronson
This is only for dolphins.
Dead Presidents II - Jay Z
This record features one of my favorite samples of all time: Garden of Peace by Lonnie Liston. Young Hov delivers an unbelievable performance. Instant classic.
Deep Pockets - Drake
I picked Deep Pockets by Drake because he has a specific lyric in that song where he says, “minding my business, building a business, etc., inspired by a few but my mind really drives itself like Tesla.” I relate to this a lot because I’m surrounded by a small circle of people who inspire me on the daily, minding their own business, are building businesses, etc…
Poof - Pi'erre Bourne
Pi’erre Bourne is one of my favorite producers & this song literally gives me chills. It’s a song that just makes me feel good; from the vibe of the beat to the way the artist delivers his lyrics, it hits like crazy. Pi’erre is a huge inspiration to me & has had a lot of influence on how I deliver my music to the world.
No One But You (feat. Mahalia) - Justin Nozuka
You know it’s cuffing season when folksy singer/songwriter Justin Nozuka makes his return with a soulful reinvention like this one. It’s an unlikely pairing, but there’s something so tender to each of their voices catching and gliding off of the butterfly highs of new love and letting your guard down that you can’t help but vibe to it. In a year as isolated as this one, I think we all need that feeling… Cozy up to your favourite person and let it simmer.
I'm Afraid of Americans - David Bowie
This might be a little self indulgent, but I found myself listening to a lot of industrial punk and politically tinged rock during the American electoral process. Maybe I needed to air some existential angst pre-and-post election. Maybe I’ve just been in a bit of a darker headspace as of late. But I thought this cut from Bowie’s 1997 Earthlings has an even darker resonance to what we’re experiencing right now than when it first released, if that’s even possible for “a sarcastic – at times seething – narration of capitalist pop culture ruled by man’s desire for pussy, cars, and Coke.” Rest in peace, Ziggy. We miss you.
WIN - Jay Rock
I had an extremely complex week. My brother was in town, which was exciting. My dad was having brain surgery, which was not so exciting. Meanwhile, I was trying to manage my other affairs. I pissed in a coffee cup in the back of my brother’s car while waiting in the hospital parking lot. I think I was getting like five hours of sleep. I was in the hotel room one night with my brother. We were looking out over the Toronto skyline, listening to music, and reminiscing about how far we’d come. He put this song on, gave me a knowing look, and we just smiled at each other. Sometimes, no words are necessary, and other times, you only need one. “WIN.”
Get Money - Junior M.A.F.I.A.
I began my career in the creative industries in Los Angeles. The first time I met my mentor (who would eventually launch my career) was through a mutual friend poolside at The Standard in West Hollywood. We left at some point, the valet pulled a Mercedes AMG S 63 around, the three of us got in, and he put this song on. His windows were tinted, which is illegal in California, so he used to drive with them down. The warm air, the music, the vibe, it was all so visceral. I was still in university at the time. A few weeks later, he offered me a job, and I dropped out. We still listen to this one whenever we’re together. It takes us back to a place, a time, a long lost feeling, recaptured, somehow, through this song.