For some folks music is nothing more than accompaniment, something that plays in the background of everything else going on with little or no influence on our actions. Not for me. For me music has the power to influence and shape my world. It is the soundtrack of my life. There are moments and memories I look back on that are imbued with the the songs that mattered most at the time. When I think of elementary school and my neighborhood growing up I hear B.I.G’s “Ready To Die.” When I think of my first crush – in 6th grade, I hear Tevin Campbells “Can We Talk” and “I’m Ready.” When I think of high school all I hear is Hov. Yes, for me, music is affecting. Today is the first Friday of cuffing season which means many of you will be boo-caking all weekend. Next week the homey Streetz is going to bless you with the how to guide for getting your cuff on. But before all that, let’s make sure you got your music together. This right here is my official cuffing season soundtrack. Let’s jump right in.
Diary of a Mad Band – Jodeci
If you don’t have this in your collection – you fail at life. Diary of Mad Band is Jodeci’s magnum opus. It introduced us to an unknown producer named Timbaland and an unknown producer/singer named “Misdemeanor” who later became Missy Elliot. Key songs to add to your rotation include “Cry For You” and “Feenin.”
Voodoo – D’Angelo
Forget about the fact that D’Angelo looks like ODB’s long lost twin brother. Forget about the fact that he got caught soliciting a prostitute in the park. Voodoo is a classic. Voodoo is the kind of album you you put on when the forecast reads rain all weekend and you’re planning on spending the entire time with someone special. Voodoo is so subtly smooth and soulful that when it plays, you can’t help but want to make sweet, slow, passionate love all day and all night long. Songs to add to your playlist include: “Devil’s Pie,” “Send it On,” and of course “Untitled (How Does it Feel).”
Ready – Trey Songz
I’m not sure if you’re like me, but after all of the allegations, I had to remove all R.Kelly songs from my love making playlist. Making love to his joints just seems to skeevy. Thankfully, Trey Song dropped “Ready” right on time. Where as Voodoo makes you wanna make love, Ready makes you wanna bone. Not much more to say than that. Key songs to add to the playlist are: “Panty Dropa,” “I Invented Sex,” and “Neighbors Know My Name.”
Love Deluxe – Sade
It was really difficult to choose between this, Sade’s third album and the first album “Diamond Life.” The trump card in this game is the classic “No Ordinary Love.” Is it possible to not love “No Ordinary Love” – particularly the extended seven minute album version? Wow. Other songs to add to the playlist from this album are “Kiss of Life” and “Cherish the Day.”
Janet– Janet Jackson
Janet took there on this album. It was like she said, you know what, I’m a fully grown woman, I love sex, and I’m going to sing about it. This was the first album where Janet went totally R&B on us and let us see just how sensual and loving she could be. Songs to add to the playlist for this album include: “That’s The Way Love Goes,” “Again,” and “Anytime, Anyplace.” By far, my favorite Janet album – especially during cuffing season.
Purple Rain Soundtrack – Prince
If you ask most people, the most important album of the 1980’s was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” While I won’t deny the cultural importance of MJ’s joint, it is not my favorite album of that decade. My favorite album of that decade, and the most important album of that decade for me was Prince’s “Purple Rain.” The joint is just perfect. Never before and not since this album has anyone ever captured the musical sweet spot that sits between funk, rock, soul and rhythm and blues. It’s just a perfect album. My favorite joints for the cuffing music playlist include: “Purple Rain,” “Take Me With You” and “The Beautiful Ones.” As an aside, if you really like “The Beautiful Ones,” Mariah has an awesome remake of this joint on her album “Butterfly” featuring Dru Hill. Check that out and thank me later.
Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
This is the album that changed the face of Jazz music. Miles knocked it out the box with this one. It’s the sort of music that is both conversational and romantic. It’s suitable for a nice home cooked, candle lit dinner, while also suitable for post coital cuddling. Songs to really focus on are: “Flamenco Sketches,” “Blue in Green” and “So What.”
Thursday – TheWeeknd
Gotta add something current to the list and I can’t think of anything better to add than TheWeeknd’s latest offering. I already wrote a whole post about one of the songs on this joint so y’all know I dig it. I know reviews of it have been mixed but there are definitely some joints worth noting on here. My favorite joints include: “Thursday,” “The Birds pt. 1” “The Zone,” and “Lonely Star.” Looking forward to more new music from this dude – clearly talented and clearly soulful – this guy is poised to do something special.
That’s my soundtrack. What’s yours? What do you listen to when you want to set the scene just right. Are you cuffing season certified yet? If not, download the above, load it on your playlist and this weekend… stay low and keep firing.