The Playlist to kick-off Summer 2021

Everybody is saying and feeling it; this has been an unbelievable and unprecedented 20 months.  Look what we all have been experiencing; working from home, job loss, remote learning for students of all ages, long lines to get into banks, grocery stores and the motor vehicle offices, death of unarmed black men, women and children at the hands of law enforcement, shelves empty of toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant, emptiness of our favorite bars and restaurants, missing cheers in arenas and stadiums for our favorite sports teams and musical performers, traveling for business and leisure, a capitol insurrection and family fun became extinct; compounding on this time, the extraordinary loss of life and how we mourn and send our loved ones to their new land of glory. 

This pandemic has been beyond stressful; defining our personal relationships and stretching our boundaries of mental, physical and financial health; not to mention our psychological fears.  We been through it!

To date, the CDC is reporting half of Americans have received their first vaccination shot, shots for young people as young as 12 are becoming available, the mandate for mask is loosening, gathering entertainment spots is becoming a thing again, airline travel is increasing and a mid-summer goal of first shot vaccinations for 75% of Americans is the new target.  The sun is beginning to shine again… as we begin to see some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we should take a moment to rejoice.  

If there is anything, we should have learned from the past two years, is not to take any of life’s joys for granted and celebrate!  Yes, celebrate every aspect of life; our families, friends, loved ones, careers, faith; let’s celebrate all the things.  Let’s take in the moments that brings us pure joy; a simple hug, a graduation ceremony, going to the movies, spending quality time with our loved ones, face to face conversations with people, young folks excelling in their extracurricular activities; we need to celebrate life at every available opportunity.  

What better way to celebrate life then the sounds of music; beats, rhymes, rhythm and vocal artistry.  

We are still in a pandemic, but it is becoming safer for us to embrace the happiness that has been missing from our lives.  As I begin my summer road trips, backyard cookouts or chilling on the front porch, I will be enjoying this playlist to celebrate and create my next memory as we move further away from this pandemic.

After 7 – Bittersweet

Alex Parchment f/ Phillip Doc Martin – Vibin’ In Time

Andra Day – Tigress & Tweed

Audrey Nuna – Space

Blossom Dearie – Blossom’s Blues

Chris Botti – The Last Three Minutes

Dixson – Kream

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Brand New Funk

Dojo Cat f/ SZA – Kiss Me More

Drake + Lil Baby – Wants and Needs

Funk Flex f/ Rowdy Rebel – Re Route

Gene Noble – Matching Tattoos

Gwen Bunn + Faith Evans – Between the Lines

H.E.R. – Fight for You

H.E.R. + Chris Brown – Come Through

Hiatus Kaiyote – Red Room

Hil St. Paul – One Life

J.D’s Time Machine + Cleveland Jones – Kiss of Freedom

James Brown – Doing It to Death

Jazmine Sullivan – Pick Up Your Feelings

Julian Vaughn f/ Donald Hayes – On Notice

KAMAUU + Adeline Masego – MANGO

Karyn White – Slow Down

Kindred The Family Soul – Break It Down

Leela James – Complicated

Lil Baby + EST Gee – Real As It Gets

Lonr. + H.E.R. – Make The Most

Loui + Saweetie – Talkin’ Bout

Maeta – Doesn’t Mean A Thing

Mary J Blige – U + Me

Paul Brown f/ Richard Elliott – Notorious

Prince – Welcome 2 America

Raheem DeVaughn – Mr. Midnight

Raiche – Pick A Side

Robert Glasper + H.E.R. + Me;Chelle Ndegeocello – Better Than I Imagined

Sevyn Streeter + Chris Brown + AS$P Ferg – Guilty

Silk Sonic – Leave The Door Open

Snoh Aalegra – Find Someone Like You

Skip Marley f/ Ari Lenox & Rick Ross – Make Me Feel

Stevie Wonder – Love Life In Flight

Tyler Dumont – You

VanJess – Slow Down

What songs will make your summertime playlist?