A weekly playlist of the music that made us and continues to make us.
Too Late - The Weeknd
This is my favorite song from After Hours. This song reminds me of earlier this year when the pandemic started. I can interpret this song in many ways, and it reminds me of how I feel whenever I think I am too late for certain moments or experiences. I remember going on daily walks and being empowered from this album as I felt that it is never too late to get what you want.
Drunk - SchoolboyQ feat. 6LACK
Love the vibe to this song. I would play this early 2019 everytime I commuted from Boulder to Denver to visit my ex girl. Everytime I listen to it, I just think of cruisin through the city at night and just enjoying the moment of being alone and blasting this song. A lot of thinking would happen in those long car rides.
Mr. Solo Dolo 3 - Kid Cudi
The title of this song represents perfectly how I feel these past two weeks due to contracting the covid virus and quarantining for two weeks. Being isolated definitely leaves a lot of time for thinking, and I am grateful that my symptoms were mild and just gives me a reality check of how a lot of others weren’t so lucky. As the year comes to a close, we can only hope that things will get better for next year, but only time will tell.
Sittin Sidewayz - Paul Wall
I think this song was my first introduction into Houston rap. My older brother was a huge Houston rap fan, so I would always remember listening to Houston legends like Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Mike Jones, and of course DJ Screw. We even met Paul Wall in person when we were probably about 6 years old, and I even think that was the first celebrity we ever met.
Stay Ready (What A Life) - Jhene Aiko feat Kendrick Lamar
The switch up on this song gives me chills every time. Jhene is my spiritual mentor, as this song reminds me that self-confidence and the ability to believe in yourself are extremely important. Without these valuable skills, we are limited by our own insecurities and fears.
Where Is My Mind - Maxence Cyrin
This piano instrumental has influenced my desire to learn how to play the piano. Accidentally discovering it through the closing of a Dave Chappelle special. This song has contributed to me allowing myself to go on a self discovery journey. This journey has taught me that anything with meaning is possible through effort and consistency.
Holy Key - DJ Khaled feat Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean
My favorite Khaled record and most listened to song of 2020. The energy of this track captures the hustler and dreamer DNA. This song has re-ignited the fire in my spirit more times than I can count.
Day N Nite - Kid Cudi
One of my favorite all time records. Kudi reaches into the depths of the pains many people struggle with: Stress and loneliness, among many other things life can throw at you . Using cannabis to free one’s mind from all these things, but never really solving the problem.
Over - Playboi Carti
My first pick is “Over” by Playboi Carti. The whole beat gives me chills every time I hear it. It is so simple yet such a vibe at the same time.
Ganstas - Pop Smoke
My second pick is “Gangstas” by Pop Smoke. The similarity between Pop and 50 Cent is out of this world. 50 Cent also played a huge part in the production of Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon. It blows me away how much of an influence these artists can have on future generations.
Delete Forever - Grimes
Some days you just want to erase completely, out of sight & out of mind. This folksy fusion of Grime’s strange blend of chameleonic electro pop is one of my favourite songs of the year, from one of the best albums of 2020. Sometimes we just want to erase everything, and there’s something liberating in that. After the flaming dumpster fire that was (most) of this year, we all need it.
Wait - M83
In a similar melancholic (but epic) vein, I’ve been reaching back into the past to some of the fundamental “before-after” albums that have shaped my taste and sound as an artist across time periods and styles. I’d be remiss to leave out M83’s epic magnum opus, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, on that list. It has everything you need to score a trailer… Cinematic emotive vocals? Check. Soaring choruses that reach terminal velocity in the last minute of runtime? Check. Pounding drum fills, sax solos, and melodies that literally make you want to weep, sing, and dance at the same time, preferably in the rain? Check. I saw them in Osheaga in 2016, and I remember “Outro” taking off into that beautiful crescendo and the heavens opening up right at the tail end of the song, a rare summer sunset shower that almost had the aura of a religious experience. There I was, dancing and yelling at the top of our lungs with the people I loved, smelling the petrichor of a blissful rain, a warm fire in my stomach, and it felt infinite. That time was everything, and I can’t wait to have that experience of live music again one day.
Brighter Day - Active Child
I listened to this song on repeat while creating the Dopesite Co. platform. It just seemed so appropriate to what I felt we were creating. I’m not sure I need to elaborate on this.
There’s nothing stronger
Lean on each other
Dream of a brighter, brighter day
Love one another
Help your brother
Lean on each other
Loving, what can we do?
It’s early in these hard times
Body's in Trouble - Mary Margaret O’Hara.
These days, we know all kinds of Toronto artists, but few are aware of the young artists that set the scene. I took a playwriting course in University. Part of the course was writing reviews for plays in Toronto. One such play was put on by Theatre Passe Muraille, which was about the gentrification of Queen Street West. This is the same neighbourhood the bred artists like The Weeknd and was named one of Vogue’s coolest neighbourhoods in the world. I’m going to age myself, but I can say, this was well before either. The play was an outdoor walking tour that ended in the penthouse of a new build where we interacted with all of the artists we’d just said goodbye to on the streets. One of the artists was Mary Margaret O’Hara, who is Catherine O’Hara’s sister (Second City, Beetlejuice, Home Alone, Schitt’s Creek) and they ended the evening with this song. I danced to it, in a vacant penthouse with strangers, and thought to myself, “Why does nobody know about this?” At that moment, I wanted people to know about Toronto.