1. Lauryn Hill | I Gotta Find Piece Of Mind (Unplugged)
I remember being a kid and watching her sing this on Unplugged, not realizing exactly what she was talking about but I felt it. I remember Crying when she did, somehow knowing her Pain. Now, as a Young Woman I play it and Empathize. I tend to get pre-occupied with Struggles/Thoughts... A Prisoner of My Mind. It’s so Honest. From the Correlation between Finding Peace of Mind in God, with Yourself, with Loved Ones, with a Man (for Myself), with Humanity and so on.
2. Nas | Halftime
Illmatic is Everything. Halftime always stood out to me with all of the instruments in the Hook and how Raw/Cocky he was in his verses. And he was 16! Nasty Nas in your area, about to cause mass hysteria… It’s so Nostalgic, I was just a little Girl listening to it Secretly since my older cousin wouldn’t let me listen to it with him.
3. Nina Simone | I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins Cover)
Classic in every sense. The Vulnerability mixed with Aggression in her voice, what she’s singing, the Piano then that Sax Solo! Forever Love this song.
4. Aaliyah | I Don’t Wanna
I was a HUGE Aaliyah fan Growing Up. My two older cousins lived with us and they would buy every R&B album that came out. This joint was on the Romeo Must Die soundtrack and even though I had it at the crib, I’d wait until the song spun in rotation on the radio during their Slow Jam segment before I let myself go to bed.
5. Jay-Z | Regrets
Reasonable Doubt is Undeniable. Regrets had to be One of the Realest tracks off of it. Straight to the Point, Entendres, Life Lessons, and Jay knows How to Body a Beat. His Flow is Never Monotonous.
6. Nas | Affirmative Action (feat. The Firm)
What’s not to love. AZ, Nas, and Foxy all together? And this has got to be Foxy’s best verse ever. I must have replayed this a thousand times when it first released. Literally, A Thousand Times.
7. OutKast | Babylon
I don’t know whether it’s the 90’s R&B hook or how much I love André and Big Boi’s Chemistry but I still play this to this day. ATLiens is so Classic to me. Before I fell in Love with Elevators and it became Everyone’s Favorite, it was Babylon for me.
8. Kendrick Lamar | The Heart Pt. 3 (Will You Let It Die?) (feat. Ab-Soul & Jay Rock)
I love how they go Back and Forth with Kendrick, the Aggression and Truth in the Content, and how well their voices mix into one another’s. Their Chemistry Together is Dope.
9. Smoke DZA | Diamonds (feat. Ab-Soul)
If Smoke had a Sound, this would be it. This might throw People off, but I listen to this track while getting ready to go out. It’s my Go To. DZA bodies his verse and Ab-Soul’s delivery was Everything. Not to mention, the Mixing on this track was Amazing. Word to Matt Cody.
10. The Roots | You Got Me (feat. Erykah Badu & Eve)
This song is my Heart. It can do No Wrong in my Ears.
+11. Goo Goo Dolls | Iris
I’m a sucka for Well-Written Love Songs. The Lyrics are Everything... This was One of my Favorite Songs Lyrically. Still is. His voice is so Subtle and the way he Crescendos into the Hook is such a Great Transition. The Guitar Solo! Sucka.