If there’s one thing I really love to share with people, it’s gotta be mix CDs. I am a collector of music, and I’ve got around 500 CDs—and a substantial bit more in electronic form—accumulated mostly during my college years, when I would go starving and live off muffins in order to feed my CD collection-addiction. Listening to music is not simply a hobby for me: it is a necessary and essential part of my existence. Without music, my soul would wither and decay. Music feeds my need for hope and understanding. I prefer it in its live and direct form, but will take it in CD processed form like a multivitamin supplement for daily consumption.
I thought I’d share an R&B mix that I had made for the long drive out to NYC from California. We didn’t even end up using any of the mixes I’d made for the trip, since the truck didn’t have a CD player. Oh well. But this is a good, well-rounded mix that I can play almost every single day. I call it my ‘Neo-soul Premium’, even though not all of it is technically neo-soul. But the term “neo-soul” kind of captures that essence of R&B that I really love, the organic, soulful gospel roots that combines with amazing production and deep hip-hop influenced beats.
You can easily substitute your personal favorites from these artists in your own mix. I didn’t necessarily compile a ‘best of’ from each artist; rather, I tried to think about rounding out the mix as a listening experience, selecting some songs for their different pacing or subtle challenge. But if you don’t have any of these songs, I would recommend acquiring them in any case.
1. Jill Scott: Golden, Track 3 from Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds, Vol. 2
2. Rahsaan Patterson: You Make Life So Good, Track 8 from After Hours
3. Goapele: Closer, Track 1 from Even Closer, or Track 15 from Change It All
4. Dwele: I Think I Love U, Track 9 from Some Kinda…
5. D’Angelo: Lady, Track 9 from Brown Sugar
6. John Legend: Show Me, Track 4 from Once Again
7. Erykah Badu: On & On, Track 2 from Baduizm
8. Sade: Cherish the Day, Track 6 from Love Deluxe
9. Musiq: Solong, Track 14 from Juslisen
10. Lauryn Hill: Ex-Factor, Track 3 from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
11. Angie Stone: Everyday, Track 4 from Black Diamond
12. Jill Scott: Whenever You’re Around, Track 11, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds, Vol. 3
13. Rahsaan Patterson: Deliver Me, Track 9 from Wine & Spirits
14. D’Angelo: Brown Sugar, Track 1 from Brown Sugar
15. Anthony Hamilton: Charlene, Track 4 from Comin’ from Where I’m From
16. Dwele: Without You, Track 12 from Subject
17. D’Angelo: The Root, Track 8 from Voodoo
18. John Legend: It Don’t Have to Change, Track 13 from Get Lifted