As I’ve stated in an earlier blog I indulge in music in an emotional sense. Some can enjoy it on the top most layer which is to simply hear it for what it is and not for what it means, but I simply feel it. Some songs just hit harder for me than others and I can’t express why no matter how much I look into it. Throughout my life, I’ve heard whole albums front to back that just formed the correct words, tempo and even BPM needed to sway me into the emotion the artist had when writing and it’s always a euphoria of feeling when I can connect them. Here’s a list of some of those albums that are sure to put me in the headspace of the artist that you should attempt to listen to. This list is in no way rated and is just curated by the images I have procured.
First off, gotta pay homage to the late, great MF DOOM! This project is one of my favorites of his as the track list itself is a reference to several different food items. I had a lot of fun with this, listening to songs like One Beer and Deep Fried Frenz to even having the chance to get this on vinyl! You want something that has great production value, try this!
Alright, this one is an all-time classic! I got made fun of a lot in middle school for listening to music that wasn’t “a part of my culture” and that I should only listen to “black music”. I’m here now as a thirty-year-old man to tell you that music has always been “black”, from the early adaptations of rock to the somber tones of country. John Mayer’s debut album was no different in depicting what music was for me without the labels from naysayers and I still love it. He even had enough talent to pull Kanye in for TWO production collaborations (One on Common’s Go and another for Kanye’s own Bittersweet Poetry) He really had me vibing to City Love and 3×5 like I was with him in the booth and it’s that powerful. Still played to this day!
I’m not wasting words on this one. Listen to Mural again and again until you catch the meaning of EVERYTHING! This man really got on the track and unlanded. A guilty pleasure and one that I can see whiffing over a lot of heads. He’s so unapologetic in his wordplay and that’s such a mood!
Baby, when I tell you they had me from the moment Disease starts up and ends? I’m not playing! Bought this album as my break-up CD in my super early 20s and it sent me to another world entirely and I don’t know if that helped or not, but all I know is that the early 2000s rock was on another planet. I belt all of their songs on my errands alone and I love everything about it! Go on, play Unwell next time you’re heading to the store and let me know when you hit that bridge to the chorus how you feel!
King Kendrick. K.Dot. Whatever you wanna call this genius, this is a literal masterpiece and an amazing four-album run in his career! When this debut studio album dropped, what song could I NOT let run its course? Kendrick’s single Swimming Pools flew over a bunch of white college kid’s heads when they used it as the background song to their drinking Vine videos, but that didn’t mean the song’s real intent to combat alcoholism was deterred in any way. In fact, it might’ve been what was intentional to shoot the single so high into the ratings and I can’t be mad about that. Great features, amazing inner monologues and sick beats makes this an all-time favorite of mines as does most of his works!
Why is this mash-up so influential to me? Well for starters: I received this album from a friend who bought a Linkin Park boxset and his father told him to get this CD collection out of his house because “I don’t want any nigger music in my home!” so at school he surprised me with this CD set AND the story. THANKS RACISM FOR BRINGING TWO OF MY FAVORITE ARTISTS TOGETHER INTO MY LIFE!
On a real note, this was a great idea. Not entirely new, as we’ve had Run DMC and Aerosmith as a good example, but one I didn’t expect to be done so well. To hear mashups like Jay-Z’s Dirt off you Shoulder to Linkin Park’s Lying from you is criminally underrated as Chester belts out the chorus over Jay-Z adlibs is godlike. RIP to that man as well, we miss you!
Kanye is one of the greatest producers in history and I’m not debating that with anyone. I do not care. Nope, and this proves it.
Late Registration is the most sophomore album anyone can get and that’s a great thing. The whole thing sounds like a major step up from his debut album, College Dropout, and even features his rapper big brother role model Jay-Z! I can’t stress how much this album had everyone in a tangent as Kanye raps over the Diamonds are Forever sample with bars like “Take your diamonds and throw’em up like you bulimic/ Yeah the beat cold, but the flow is anemic!” We were gifted a great album to enjoy for over what felt like a decade and it even houses my favorite Kanye West song Heard’em Say. If you have not heard this yet in 2022 and you love music, you do not love music. Kanye transcends genres, come see if I’m wrong.
And there it is, the end of the list. I see that lists on blogs do well with engagement and numbers as much as I like to compile these things. Have a list idea you’d like me to tackle? Come comment or message me and I’m on it. As always, drink plenty of water and stay up on my blog as well as my future work still in the pipeline!