WARMER MIXTAPES #1098 | by Jeremy Zumo Kollie [Zumo Kollie]
1. Stevie Wonder | All I Do
I'm not the most technically gifted when it comes to my Musicality. I'm trying to teach myself, but, a lot of the time, I go off of feeling when it comes to how I get into songs. I had put Stevie Wonder's discography on my iPod out of some sort of weird OCD guilt about not being as familiar as I thought I should be with his work. I was riding back home from the University of Rhode Island, where I went to School, and left my iPod on shuffle when this song came up. I remember playing it pretty much the entire way home because it gave me a feeling that was something akin to seeing a curly haired girl break out a smile with the perfect glare of sunlight on her face... Subtle perfection in a moment. I could describe the instruments, the arrangement, the level of musicianship and what I think of the lyrics, but this song isn't really for analyzing; it's for feeling. It's for appreciating. You owe this song that respect.
2. Nas | Purple
I've probably changed my choice for my favorite rapper 7 times over my life and I discovered this gem of a song in the period when Nas was Jesus to me, no pun intended. I'm a big fan of the craft of Lyric Writing, the decisions that people make when they write raps and how they arrive in those decisions and I think that The whole city is mine, prettiest don/I don't like the way P. Diddy did Shyne with different lawyers/why it's mentioned in my rhymes? Fuck it/It's just an intro, hate or love it… is one of the illest moments of brilliance in Rap. I started writing Poetry around the time The Lost Tapes came out, which, of course, led to me rapping, and it's cool to me to think this song had influence on what I still try to do today.
3. The Jimi Hendrix Experience | May This Be Love
This is a late discovery for me to this point, as I've really been digging into older music and trying to understand why people have these albums that they swear their lives by. I don't have anything critically stunning or captivating to say about the song that hasn't already been said, but what I appreciate in my naïveté is the fact that he sings the word waterfall in the lyrics and then, in the bridge, creates the audio equivalent of the natural phenomenon with guitar sounds and the space of the song. Or maybe I was really high when I heard this and I'm making it all up. Either way, incredible.
4. Method Man | Torture
Method Man is one of the most slept on rappers of all time. Definitely in my personal top 5 (As of this moment, it's André, Meth, Mos, Dilla and Jay… Always subject to change though). Listening to it as I'm writing this, I'm realizing that Meth's on this entire album are probably the reason I rap how I do today. Meth never offends your ears, he has a crazy feel for the pockets of a beat and uses that sense to get his gift across... He could sound pissed off, but you'd never stop nodding your head to say, Shit, he sounds mad. That's when I realized people will let you say whatever you want if you can find the flow and play your part as an instrument in a song instead of just talking at people. I can't even remember now where I got the CD from, but I was playing this shit everyday of 7th grade, going to CYO Basketball games. Craziness.
5. John Coltrane | A Love Supreme: Part 1 - Acknowledgement
I will be the first to admit to you that I am barely scratching the surface when it comes to my comprehension of Jazz, even though I recorded an EP with Providence-based Jazz band Milkbread last year. They'd be wild disappointed in me... Haha. I trust myself as a human being to be aware of God-level vision when I hear or see it though, and every time I hear this song it scares me that people could make instruments speak like this. I was working at a shitty group home job for schizophrenics when I first heard this and I would just go in the office on my breaks, shut the lights off and put the headphones on and get out of the shit for a few minutes. Life saving music at a moment of crisis. Thanks, John.
6. Ginuwine | Same Ol' G (Dr. Dolittle Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
My mother never liked Rap Music that much, so she never played it in the car when she drove us around. My dad was more of the hangout-type and he would play Kix106, Providence's Hip Hop station at the time for me and my sister (it's called Hot 106 now and it's more geared towards the top 40 now). I don't even know if he really liked the songs as much he saw that we liked it, but this is the only song I can ever remember him saying that he really fucked with. He used to ask me who's song it was and he would say he would buy the CD (100% Ginuwine, I think it was). Don't remember if he ever did though, but it always stuck out in my memory as a funny thing that my dad rocked with a Ginuwine song.
7. OutKast | A Life In The Day Of Benjamin André (Incomplete)
You don't say anything about this song; You play it and watch the movie that plays in the view of your mind's eye and appreciate the fact that, when used by experts in moments of inspired action, words can conjure visions. André was always weird to me as a kid, as he was to a whole generation of people who are only now just catching up to him using his image as an examination of Hip Hop's staunchest stereotypes (myself included). As I got older and developed as a writer and performer, I realized that he was further ahead than my youthful understanding could fully appreciate at the time. Less of a rapper, more of an author. Easily my favorite.
8. Mos Def | The Boogie Man Song
I'm a firm believer of the idea that there is no one in the world more talented than Mos Def for the simple fact that Mos can do what a lot of people do, but there is no one that can do what Mos does. For an Intro to what I feel is a criminally underrated album, it doesn't get more grotesquely beautiful than the writing on this. The ultimate stunt by the only soul brave (and skilled) enough to pull it off.
9. The Diplomats | Dipset Freestyle On Rap City (2003)
This isn't really a song, per se, but this was a pivotal moment in the cultivation of the inspirations I draw from in Life. Dipset was huge when they permeated the Mainstream, but it felt that they had a particularly rabid fan base in my hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. Everybody wore pink. EVERYBODY. Two of the guys who produced for them (Wattz & AraabMuzik) are actually from Providence. I remember J.R. Writer seemed to always be in neighboring Massachusetts. Shit, there was even a bunch kids running around calling themselves Dipset that people were calling a gang. Wild shit. I used to watch Rap City everyday after School and I remember seeing this when it originally aired and being mystified by the virtuoso performance by Cam'ron. Juelz shows out as well, but Cam pulled the Rap equivalent of a Miles Davis solo in a pink Coogi sweater. He's doesn't even look at the camera half of the time, while saying things like thumbing a fistful of dollars and saying things like, Dirty whore want me to go raw, will ya? Smart Pisces/ Fresh from the Archdiocese's... You got heart? Fight me. I'll dearly depart wifey/I'm Anfernee, I do things the harder way. The shit just wasn't fair. There are numerous Cam moments that have entered the social lexicon in recent years, but this will forever be the most purely inspired moment of them all.
10. Styles | A Gangster And A Gentleman
I was living in my Aunt's house on the East side of Providence at the time this came out. My older cousin Dolf used to buy new CDs and when he'd leave, me and my cousin Nash would go in his room and take his CDs and play them joints forever, this song in particular. That's how I heard a bulk of whatever I became familiar around the early 2000s. Me and my cousin really fucked with this song and, in retrospect, I'd like to think it's because the reality and honesty that Styles had on this shit was something that was beyond Music and related to our situation. It wasn't even that our lives were even close to what Styles' was; we could just relate to that sentiment of always having to come up against some bullshit. Music about Happiness is really dope and necessary, Pain speaks volumes because everybody relates to it.