Jake Greenstein

Childs Play – SZA (feat. Chance The Rapper)

5 September 2018

If you are at all familiar with the work of SZA and Chance The Rapper, this song will not come as a surprise to you. I can’t remember the first time I heard it, but I like to imagine the daze I must have fallen in to…

Tell Me Something Good – Rufus (feat. Chaka Khan)

29 August 2018

The intangible elements of a song like this are what separates good from great. The lyrics alone on paper might not make your hair stand up but the performance, the energy, the chemistry gives it a gestalt that often finds a home in soul classics….

Revelations – Mos Def (Now Yasiin Bey)

22 August 2018

A good playlist should be designed like a musical version Plato’s Symposium on any given topic or style. There should be variety, but there should be focus. There should be intent, but there should also be a playful looseness…

You Could Be My Lover – Jimmy Cozier and Melissa Musique

14 August 2018

I have to say, I’m not sure I have ever heard a song with a male/female back and forth sort of dialogue that I didn’t like. This track is no exception. Over an island style beat Jimmy Cozier and Melissa Musique sound like two true lovers that can’t decide if they are from 1960s Motown or a modern day Jamaican dancehall…

Never Get Over You – PJ Morton (feat. Busta Rhymes)

31 July 2018

Do you remember watching Mike Tyson come out in to the boxing ring and end fights before they ever started? In 1988 he knocked out then-undefeated Michael Spinks in 91 seconds. A minute and a half to obliterate a a grown man, a professional, and a really good professional at that. PJ Morton and Busta Rhymes followed a similar mold on this track, Never Get Over You…

Kill Your Mama – Alicia Keys

24 July 2018

Alicia Keys is obviously no stranger to making hits. What is especially amazing about this song is that the minimalism of the production and instrumentation actually enhances Keys’ magnetism. Apparently, less really can be more…

Darling – Kids These Days

17 July 2018

Fronted by adept lyricist and rising star Vic Mensa, Kids These Days was a band that combined awesome elements of different genres of music. Unfortunately, they aren’t together anymore but while they were, they delivered some exceedingly bounce-able tracks. Darling is one of those…

Sweet Thang – Shuggie Otis

11 July 2018

If the name Shuggie Otis by itself isn’t enough to compel you to listen to this song, I’m not sure my writing will be of much import to you. But I’m willing to try anyway, because if you decide not to listen the disservice is to yourself. For starters, a little bit of background should be established…

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – Beyoncé

2 July 2018

It doesn’t get more powerful than Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. There are a million versions of the spiritual, any one of which could be put on a playlist full of pain, struggle, and soul and still stand out. This version in particular is a lightning bolt of Beyonce’s most lethal weapon: her throwback voice…

Let Me Do My Thing – Hot 8 Brass Band

26 June 2018

This track is an eight minute melting pot of New Orleans bounce, jazz, hip hop, soul, and just about every other ingredient that makes you want to listen to a song. It’s one of those songs that will make you dance and laugh and clap and scream and shout and then do it all over again, because its just that infectious. 

9th vs Thought – Black Thought

18 June 2018

There is a point in this song when Black Thought says, “If lyricism is spiritual to you, then rewind this” and I couldn’t think of a better way to epitomize this track. As a worshipper of the school of The New Poetics (can I coin this term?), hearing this onslaught of aggressively intelligent bars for the first time felt like a religious ceremony…

Morris Brown – Outkast

13 June 2018

This is a track that falls under the category of basically uncategorizable. Like the artists responsible for making it, the song is not tied to one genre, one aesthetic, even one message. All in the same musical vehicle the listener gets a taste of the southern pimp, the college marching band, and the soulful starlet…