WARMER MIXTAPES #1100 | by Antwan Wiggins [Awon] of Deph-A-Cation, Awon&Phoniks and Awon&Kameleon Beats
1. Al Green | What A Wonderful Thing Love Is
This song reminds me of my wife. It takes me back to meeting her and fostering an old fashioned friendship. The respect and admiration I have for her was only magnified by our shared love of Music. She taught me so much about Music and History while riding around in our youth smoking blunts, enjoying each other's company. I can't help but to think about her every time I hear this song.
2. Barrington Levy | If You Give To Me
This song was released in 1979, a year before I was born. I did not hear this song until 2007 when my friend Remy gifted it to me via his hard drive. I love the grooves on this song and the passion in his vocals. Barrington Levy is one of my favorite Reggae singers, but what he did on this track vocally and lyrically touched me in a way that I cannot describe. When I hear this I think of my heritage, because I am Bajan on my father's side. I also think of the power of Love. This song had to be inspired by real love because of the delivery. He basically says that all the riches in the world can't compare to her love. That's powerful.
3. Nas | N. Y. State Of Mind
My memory of Illmatic is cemented in my head because I listened to this for the first time in the backyard with my father, my uncle, and a couple of my cousins. I was 14 years old and we all listened to this relatively short album in silence. Blunts were passed, not to me of course, even though I was already smoking. Brews were sipped, but no one said a damn word until it abruptly ended and I remember my cousin saying Yo, Run That Back!... N. Y. State Of Mind is the true opener after Genesis and DJ Premier changed Hip Hop with this one. Nas has a delivery on this story telling track that no one ever heard up until he spit it. He paints a picture so vivid of a shoot out that you feel you are there. After Illmatic Hip Hop would never be the same. This track was part of my coming of age. I was becoming a man.
4. Brand Nubian | Wake Up (Reprise In The Sunshine)
It was 1991 and my mom and dad were temporarily separated. He requested that I come to Brooklyn for the Summer. My mom agreed and I arrived in NYC that June right after School ended. I was entering Junior High School that year and my life was changing right before me. Puberty hit and I started to see my world a bit differently. So during this summer in Crown Heights there was a controversial case going on that stirred racial tension in the community involving a Jewish man who involuntary ran over two small African American children playing on the sidewalk. The community went into an uproar and riots began when he was acquitted. This was before L.A. and the incident was isolated. I just remember my dad having this tape One For All and made me listen to it just like he made me read the autobiography of Malcolm X a year later. I gravitated toward this track which contains a sample from Roy Ayers who I would grow to admire when I discovered Jazz. The music was so soothing and the lyrics from Grand Puba were so telling. I don't agree with everything that is said because it is not helping to hold hatred in your heart because that is racism. I do agree with the way this track uplifted the community at the time. I was proud to be a young black man because of these lyrics. At this point I gained Knowledge of Self.
5. Isaac Hayes | Walk On By (Dionne Warwick Cover)
Isaac Hayes is a legend and his rendition of this song is incredible. I have even sampled a cover of this classic. His voice is so lush and smooth over the dark and intense guitar. The back ground singers even become an instrument in this extraordinary composition. It's so much pain on this track, yet it's so groovy you nod your head like you are listening to a Rap record. There is a hidden power in Soul Music that I can't describe. I pull this record out in winter with cognac and cigars and I just kick back and nod. Isaac Hayes actually inspired me to grow my beard. I even have a bald head! I feel like this track went against all conventional wisdom during this period in which it was recorded. It was totally against the grain and the way the musicians came together to compose it feels like they didn't give a damn about format. They only cared about sounding great.
6. Foster Sylvers | Misdemeanor
I was a kid when I first heard this song and it was already a classic. I thought it was Michael Jackson until I was an adult. This song is so awesome. It is about puppy love, and I have had many young ladies break my heart when I thought I knew what love was. This track is so sweet, but the music behind it drives the voice of this child star. Dr. Dre reintroduced the world to this track with the D.O.C. - Funky Enough and when I finally put two and two together I had more appreciation for the original. Foster is also the voice on one of my favorite Dilla tracks - Only Two Can Win. Foster opens my first album Beautiful Loser as well on the Intro too. I have great respect and admiration for his voice creating Soul staples for all those 70s kids out there. I still dance to this if it comes on at an old folks party. LOL.
7. Aaliyah | At Your Best (You Are Love) (The Isley Brothers Cover)
Ron Isley did this first, but Aaliyah owns it! Her take on this track blew me out of the water when I first heard it. My mom played it non stop when it came out. Her voice was so beautiful. I knew Aaliyah would leave a huge mark on Music, I just never thought she would leave us so early. I was a fan of her since her debut and I still listen to her ground breaking R&B until this day. She really sounded like an angel in your ear when she sang this song. One of the greatest covers I have ever heard. It's just my opinion, I know some will beg to differ, but her voice moved me in such a way you would pray that your girl could sing this way to you. This song will always have a special place in my heart.
8. Marvin Gaye | I Want You
The harmonies on this song are amazing. Marvin was a master of harmonies and melody with his voice. The track has this certain groove that mellows you out. I'm a melody type of guy, I love the soothing and chill melodies that we get from R&B and Soul Music. Marvin sang this song so effortlessly it sounds as if he is talking to a woman in harmony. There are some people who owe their existence to Mr. Marvin Gaye. Many babies were made to his music, and many more will come due to his musical contributions to our world.
9. Janelle Monáe | It's Code
Janelle Monáe's album Electric Lady is an amazing album throughout. This song really grabbed my attention because of the nostalgia that she carries with her beautiful voice and melody. You can see her inspirations in the tone of her music, but she still manages to keep a modern twist on it. Much respect to her and everything that she is doing. She will be around for a long time. She is one of my new favorites, I have been listening to her album everyday for a while now.
10. The Black Keys | Too Afraid To Love You
I love The Black Keys! The soul and rhythm in their music is very Bluesy. This song is a perfect example of their sound. This is my favorite off their album Brothers which is a classic LP to me front to back. I love the lyrics and the music behind them, it's such a powerful and emotional composition. The nod factor is extreme on this one. It makes me want to take a drive around my city and listen to the whole album. For some reason The Black Keys sound better in the car of a Hi-Fi system. Their music reminds me of road trips, luxury cars, cigars and champagne with beautiful women.