Ben Young

Ben Young lives a life of polarity. He has split his life between the coasts: half his life on the West (California) and half on the East (Georgia and Virginia). He has pursued careers in the art world (film school graduate) and the corporate world (executive with Fortune 500 companies). And he is Biracial, the personification of being two things at once. Ben’s musical influences were formed by music loving parents, raised in a world of John Coltrane and John Lennon, James Taylor and James Ingram, Huey Lewis and the News and Prince and the Revolution. Saxophones, electric guitars, synthesizers, and breakbeats filled the air Ben breathed from birth. And being born one year after the birth of Hip Hop, Ben has been joined at the hip with the genre his entire life.

Song in 60 Seconds

24 September 2021

A MusicTo collaborative playlist of songs in and around one minute – featuring artists like The Clash • Bad Religion • M.I.A • Cru • Opeth • Pratley • BA Johnson • The Linda Lindas • Ramones

French Girl Nigerian Boy

22 September 2021

Do you want to get lost in a moment? – featuring artists like Lovage • WizKid • Burna Boy • DaVido • Sudan Archives • Juniore • The Avener • Sudan Archives

Stay — Where to Start With Jodeci • a playlist by musicto

2 September 2021

Every artist starts making music because they hear someone’s music that they enjoy, to the point they want to make it themselves. Jodeci was that group for me. Since the first time I saw them on TV as a child, I knew they were the coolest. The first member that I became enamored with was Devante Swing, A tall light-skinned pretty boy, with a high top fade, and dark sunglasses that gave him an edge that stood out to me as a youth. I would later come to find out that he wrote and produced every Jodeci record, until their sophomore album, Diary of A Mad Band. 

Hootie Hoo — Where to Start With OutKast • a playlist by musicto

2 September 2021

Retirement was invented to allow people, who were once but no longer good at something, to stop doing that thing they are no longer good at. That creation bore an offspring named Early Retirement, where they may still be good, but there’s someone better, cheaper, and/or fresher to take over.

Country Music for Country Music Haters

23 August 2021

Hate Country music? Of course you do. You’ve come to the right place – featuring artists like Paul Cauthen • Lyle Lovett • Willie Nelson • Sturgill Simpson • Hank Williams Jr. • Johnny Cash • Jesse Dayton • Merle Haggard

Nothing Else Matters – Miley Cyrus Feat. Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Chad Smith, Robert Trujillo, WATT

31 July 2021

Miley Cyrus, Yo-Yo Ma, Elton John, Metallica, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all walk into a bar…

MASSA – Tyler, The Creator

10 July 2021

Hop on the freedom train with one of the standout tracks from the mid-year candidate for Album of the Year.

Coolest motherfunkers on the planet

2 July 2021

For when you wish to chill amongst the cool – featuring artists like Larry June • Mac Miller • Snoop Dogg • Digable Planets • Tuxedo • Camp Lo • Outkast • Chris Crack

Wolves – Kota the Friend & Statik Selektah

8 May 2021

Separate from the pack with the leadoff track from Kota and Friend and Statik Selektah’s outstanding album

Let Me Fly – DMX

10 April 2021

One degree of separation between me, my grandmother, and DMX

Try Again – Ovrkast.

28 March 2021

Underground Bay Area hip-hop. What else do you need to know?

Infiltrate – Cappadonna

13 March 2021

Step back in time to the Boom Bap era, where lyricism was the foundation or rap. Throw up your W’s!

Dollas and Cents – TOBi feat. Juls

27 February 2021

A track that works equally well in the club, living room, or bedroom. Repeat value on high

FEEL SOMETHING DIFFERENT – Bea Miller feat. Aminé

14 February 2021

Whether stuck at home in a dead end job, or just stuck at home, “FEEL SOMETHING DIFFERENT “ is the stimulation you need to get up, get out and get something.

Rags – Chef

30 January 2021

Time to start stacking (or cooking) your cheddar, provolone, mozzarella with this breezy 2019 track

Travellin’ Man – DJ Honda feat. Mos Def

19 January 2021

Get me outta here! Deuces for the last time to 2020 and get your 2021 travellin’ plans in order with this 1998 classic dj honda/Mos Def track.

Chase It- Kosher, Eerf Evil & Joe Beard

22 December 2020

Remember, it’s all about the journey, pace it.

The Curse – Yellow Days feat. Mac Demarco

11 November 2020

This year is bananas, amirite? Maybe not the best time to be quitting jobs and all that, but hey, everyone’s gotta live their life to the fullest, pandemic/contested election or not. For the adventurous, this month’s featured track, “The Curse,” is a must listen. Performed by Yellow Days and featuring Mac Demarco, The Curse is The Cure for those needing that kick out the door. Maybe our current president could benefit from a spin or two?

The Edge of New Clothes – Open Mike Eagle

27 October 2020

Dude can really rap, and not rap as defined by Hip Hop Twitter (i.e. 20-year old suburban kids). Real rap. Poetic lyricism, expert flow, soulful musicality

freetime – Schwey feat. Satchy

12 October 2020

Start off your newfound escape by grabbing a drink and playing this track. Either Johnnie or Crown will do.

Harder Than My Demons – Big Sean

22 September 2020

The trials and tribulations of Big Sean have been thoroughly documented over the past decade. It’s that perseverance and devotion to God that he raps about on this track, that manifests itself as success despite the obstacles.

CUT EM IN – Anderson .Paak

1 September 2020

CUT EM IN is just another hit off the assembly line. Throw in a tight Ricky Rozay verse and you have a track that can’t be played enough.

Why Don’t You – Cleo Sol

17 August 2020

This is a summer vibe, that kick-off-your-shoes-relax-your-feet-just-kick-it vibe. If you ever needed to hear a message in 2020, this is it…

Know My Rights – 6LACK Feat. Lil Baby

9 July 2020

A$AP Rocky. Ty Dolla $ign. !!!. CHVRCHΞS. And our artist of the week: 6LACK. These artists are instigators. Symbols and numbers in names were supposed to end with whatever Prince called himself, but here we are.

Blessed – Buju Banton

30 June 2020

Is there a more universal genre of music than reggae and dancehall? There’s a reason Bob Marley is the first international superstar from a so-called “Third World” country…

Free – Teenear

22 June 2020

A worthy entry in the “R&B as empowerment anthems” genre

Do What You Like – Phenomenal Handclap Band

9 June 2020

While the country seems stuck in the 70’s with our backwards race relations and anti-fascist power struggles, might as well jam to some Space Disco…

Find A Way – Duckwrth feat. Alex Mali & Radio Ahlee

1 June 2020

Chance The Rapper and Ariana Grande if they were transported to 1984, over an synth-pop track

Paradise – Tha Third I

12 May 2020

Music is art. Art is subjective. Some art is considered indisputably great, with critical and commercial acclaim….

TakeCareSoul!!!! – 9th Wonder

5 May 2020

We are currently living in the #QuarantineEra, where creatives are forced out of their comfort zones to stay productive, happy, and paid. There have been some moves that have catapulted artists into hero status, credited for saving us during these isolated times…

In Search of Balance – Reginald Omas Mamode IV

28 April 2020

Stay-at-home orders excuse us to do things we would otherwise do in selfish embarrassment in a free-range world…

Dancing in the Rain – Blu & Exile

21 April 2020

Everyone has their comfort food. In times like these, we may be overindulging on it. Molasses cookies. Mexican food. Those are my go-to’s when I need my food to hug me. The same can be said with music…

BOSS – The Carters

6 April 2020

In these uncertain, unprecedented, and unfathomable times, it’s always good to be surrounded by the familiar…

Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) – Sly & The Family Stone

31 March 2020

If you know the phrase Que Sera, Sera, it’s likely you heard it sung in “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, the 1956 classic from my all-time favorite film director, Alfred Hitchcock…

We Will Always Love You – The Avalanches feat. Blood Orange

22 March 2020

You literally can not go wrong with Smokey Robinson opening your song. It’s a scientific fact, like the 5 second rule when you drop food on the floor…

Monday – Kota the Friend

17 March 2020

“Monday” is a negative word. Which is crazy, cause it’s just a day of the week, and not even the first day of the week…

S’en aller – Swing feat. Angéle

3 March 2020

Parlez-vous francais? You’ll wish you did after playing this ultra-cool track from the European home of hip hop

Sudden Death – Quelle Chris & Chris Keys

18 February 2020

“It cant all be all sudden death / We’re so much different than the rest / Just clear that desktop start fresh / Just let your seat back take a breath / You’ll find it’s worth it cause life ain’t perfect.” That’s it. That’s the song…

Let Go – JClay

11 February 2020

The first time I heard “Let Go” I was confused. The big, cinematic sample leads into a clear, spoken word-styled flow…

Blue World – Mac Miller

4 February 2020

You know who can make some depressing music? ‘50’s crooners. Maybe it was all those wars, maybe it was the fact no one was allowed to dress casual…

Who Am I – Genra (Produced by Smartface)

28 January 2020

In honor of the 49ers unexpected Super Bowl season, it’s time we gave some love to underdogs from the Bay. Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, I was exposed to almost every genre of music at a young age…

What’s Up? – 4 Non Blondes

20 January 2020

As we enter a new decade, waiting to hear what 2020 brings us musically, we are given an opportunity to reminisce on some of the great songs that served as our life’s soundtrack to this point…

Stay High – Brittany Howard

7 January 2020

You don’t have to love Brittany Howard, but you HAVE to respect her. Her voice. Her lyrics. Her passionate stage performances….

Time Machine – Alicia Keys

10 December 2019

She can sang, plays the piano like it’s her last name, and is one of the best R&B songwriters and producers in this generation. She’s one of those artists that are so good we take her for granted…

Friday I’m in Love – The Cure

26 November 2019

 Don’t you hate when you see people putting them up in November, before Thanksgiving? I mean, we all love the reminder of the songs we loved, and maybe get hip to some we haven’t heard before, but can it wait until we’re a little closer to Christmas…

Whom amongst you decided that Funk music was no longer a thing? I can’t blame millennials for this, Funk left the mainstream’s consciousness by the mid-80’s, if not earlier. According to legend, Funk died on July 2, 1979, when it was kicked off the Mothership by George Clinton and drowned…

7 Reasons to Hate Music Curators

7 November 2019

I get it.

You have a strong dislike towards Music Curators.

But is it justified?

You notice your eyes twitch every time you check musicto.com for the Track of the Week. Have Music Curators somehow become both the kid you hate – the one who sits like a right angle in front of the class, raising their hand before the question is asked, AND the kid you hate – the one who sits like a protractor in the back of the class, talking noise with their crew about how no one uses geometry in real life?

Dreaming in the Daytime – Tuxedo feat. MF DOOM

5 November 2019

So much on my mind / Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused

Whom amongst you decided that Funk music was no longer a thing? I can’t blame millennials for this, Funk left the mainstream’s consciousness by the mid-80’s, if not earlier. According to legend, Funk died on July 2, 1979, when it was kicked off the Mothership by George Clinton and drowned…

Get Back Up – Tidal Volume

1 October 2019

One of the perks about being a music curator is unearthing new acts that are growing beneath the surface, but for some reason have yet to emerge…

Real Life – Emeli Sandè

16 September 2019

Church organs (or maybe it’s just called organs) are objectively the best way to open a song. That and a Pharrell 4-count beat. This track of the week is from British songwriter/singer Emeli Sandè, “Real Life”, off her new album with the same name…

Broke ft. J.I.D – Ari Lennox

27 August 2019

Amen, sister. Whomever among us has not been Broke may cast the first bill payment. This is why we work. And when we quit, being broke can be our biggest fear. But not to worry, backed by worry-free guitar plucking, Ari Lennox sings lines like…

Leave It All Behind – Sleeping With Sirens

14 August 2019

If you Google “Sleeping with Sirens”, the excellent decade-old band behind this week’s Track of the…Week, you’ll see the first question in the “People Also Ask” section: Is the lead singer a girl? In today’s muddled sonic landscape, you need a voice like Kellin Quinn to front a band that quite simply, rocks…

Change – NF

7 August 2019

I like to rap but I ain’t gonna do it forever.”

Here’s a riddle: What is the thing all us claim we want, but deep inside, if we’re being honest, terrifies us?

Here’s a hint: it’s the only constant in life.

You guessed it. Change…

Stuck – OSHUN

23 July 2019

“Neo soul” is a common, if not overused term in the music world these days. Everything with a smooth, jazzy beat and soft vocals can be labeled as neo soul, providing the contrast from “old soul” like Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding…

What If – Tensei feat. Liv Warfield

16 July 2019

Tensei is a Japanese word that translates to reincarnation in English. Reincarnation is what this playlist is all about, and the group named Tensei is the author of this week’s addition to the playlist, an R&B infused track, “What If”…

Beside Myself – WILLS

9 July 2019

WILLS is not a household name. In fact, a simple google search will leave you right where you started. I’m happy to make introductions: everyone, meet Will Johnson. Best known for his “Woes vs. Whoas” track, which was made in 2016 but gained popularity for being featured in a TV commercial for the 2019 Acura ILX. That should tell you all you need to know about WILLS’ struggle with commercial (no pun intended) success…

Spaceship – Kanye West ft. GLC and Consequence

3 July 2019

While we wait for Kanye to release his next album, Yandhi (“I’ll announced the release date once it’s done”), now is as good a time as any to remember the old Kanye. Whatever you think of him as a person, there’s no doubt that he has been through some trauma, most notably with the unexpected passing of his mother. He admits to having a mental illness, which is more common on the “genius” level of artists than we realize…

Changing – ARLO ft. Mick Jenkins

25 June 2019

Change is the only constant of life. And yet it always seems to come as a surprise when it hits. All living beings have an instinctual desire to be safe, and safety usually equates to all the things change is not. At the same time, life without change is boring. Stale…

I Don’t Want To – Mal Blum

19 June 2019

Anti-establishment music is my favorite genre. The best songs, artists, and movements are almost always born from a need to crack the status quo and stand up to whatever is currently holding people back (socially, creatively, economically, etc.)…

More ft. Anderson .Paak – Flying Lotus

5 June 2019

Quitting is about wanting something MORE. For yourself, from others, for others and from yourself. This latest banger from Flying Lotus and Anderson .Paak takes us on a musical ride like only they can. In particular, Flying Lotus (born Steven Ellison) is uncategorized as a producer extraordinaire…

Quit – SonReal

5 June 2019

What better song for a playlist called “Music To Quit Your Job” than a song called “Quit”? This laid back, funky R&B track from Canadian artist SonReal seems to have borrowed some swag from his fellow countryman, Robin Thicke. Where Mr. Blurred Lines is still trying to get past his ex-wife, SonReal (Aaron Hoffman is his government name) shows no roadblock in sight…