1. KEHLANI // You Should Be Here
This lady is just twenty (2-0!) years young, and her works speak to me. She tatted up. She from Oakland. This Bay Area QUEEEEEN is representing the Area all around the world as she tours with her humble, grammy-nominated, mixtape. She's a social media fiend, but what it shows is simply her authenticity. Kehlani is young, fresh, and Bay Area, and I love her. I saw her perform at the Fox Theater not too long ago, and she validated me in my advocacy... she fuego af. She danced, and spoke to the crowd, many of whom were quite young, to be kind to everyone. Life is too short, and #YouShouldBeHere
2. Erykah Badu // But You Can't Use My Phone
With all this Hotline Bling crap happening, the original from Timmy Thomas speaks volumes compared to Drake, and then Erykah and Andre 3000 look back at us with this mixtape. Baby, put your damn phone down, and if you don't imma make you! Thank you Erykah, we needed that slap in the face, the lil reality check, and this mixtape wonder.
3. Miguel // Wild Heart
Miguel, half black and half Mexican from San Pedro, Los Angeles. He swoons about beauty and booty's, but in this song, he speaks of how he doesn't feel like he can fit in with either side of his ethnicity. A common feeling for those of us who are ethnically mixed. A sexy album, undoubtedly meant for the ladies. When I saw him perform at The Fox in Oakland, there were times when he was feelin' his sexy more the audience, and at times I was like, 'does he know we are even here?' It didn't matter, he was wearing a white leather-stringy-cape-thing with no shirt on... he's ripped ladies.
4. Frank Ocean // At Your Best (Aaliyah Cover)
Dropped at the very beginning of the year, on the date of what would have been Aaliyah's 36th birhday, Franky gave us a gift. Sung like an angel, this song made us all stop, relax our shoulders, and just breath in... deep breaths. We love you Frank Ocean and miss you Aaliyah. <3
5. Chance the Rapper // Acid Rap
I had heard of this kid, my friend took his 14 year old nephew to see him, and I knew he was *supposed to be dope. It wasn't until I saw his performance on Saturday Night Live, that I was then convinced of his swag. Supposedly, he was the first Independent artist to ever perform, and if that is the case, he seduced us all with his Looney Tunes tone. He is just 22 years old himself, and he raps about how much he loves his grandmother, his hometown of Chicago, but also his affinity for LSD, hence the title of this album, Acid Rap. When I read that soul music in Chicago stems from gospel, and I see Chance rapping in front of full choir and band on stage, I found that a testament to his Chicago pride. Yes, he is the truth, but more than that, he is the future, and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead. LOVE!