I grew up in the vinyl -cassette tape era. In the early hip-hop years of the late 70’s- early 80’s. My middle school years were spent listening to NKOTB (don’t judge me), Debarge (In A Special Way was my jam) and McLyte. Music was my “thing” ya know.

Now, looking back music was my escape. Middle school years were challenging times for me, to put it mildly. At 40, I still bear the scars, haunted by those years. I will share more in a forthcoming blog post. I was a latch-key kid, so between the hours 3 pm -6 pm, I could get lost in the music. I could dance away whatever the pain of the day was in the living room of our small apartment while no one was looking. Tall, bony with long awkward arms gyrating in the air. My big feet guiding me across the tan, plush carpet. Inside that moment, life was ok.

Fast forward to 2017, my love for music is still the same. Vinyl records bring back a certain nostalgia, and comfort for me. I can get lost for hours captivated by the pain, passion, and spirit of Ms. Nina Simone. The ‘High Priestess of Soul’ is one of my favorite albums.

On Sunday afternoons with the sun beaming through the cracks in my blinds. The calm whisper of Solange’s voice is heard through the crackle of the vinyl echoing words of black life, survival, empowerment, strength, and healing. “ all my n’s let the whole world know play this song and sing it on your terms. For us, this shit is for us. Don’t try to come for us…”

I remember when “A Seat at The Table” album was released I pre-ordered the vinyl version and waited to listen to the album until I received my vinyl copy a few months later. I knew this was an album I wanted to experience on wax.

I present to you: Vinyl Playlist No. 01 Nostalgia, Autonomy, Bliss

-Black Bliss

The Chi-Lites Greatest Hits
With songs like, “Have You Seen Her,” “I like Your Lovin” and “Are You My Woman,” smooth ballads that make you wanna pull your lover close and slow drag the night away.

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell United

Released in 1967 “United” is the first collaboration of the adored duo. There’s no denying the chemistry between Gaye and Terrell. Their voices harmonize in sweet exaltation with a sexy energy that leaves you wanting more. The album is a reminder of how powerful, delicate and nuanced black love is with hits like “Aint No Mountain High Enough,” “If This World Were Mine,” “If I Could Build My World Around You,” “Your Precious Love,” and “Give A Little Love.”

 

-Autonomy

Royal Rappin
This is my only Millie Jackson album – a collaboration with the late great Isaac Hayes. I admire Ms. Jackson for her boldness. Jackson for me represents the power of women having agency over our bodies, thoughts, and lives. Jackson gave the proverbial middle finger to the formulaic idea of womanhood. She wasn’t afraid to use profanity, or talk about sex on wax or stage.

Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto
The “Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto” is a collaborative effort from the best of the Philly International Records artist. With songs from Lou Rawls, Teddy P, Intruders, Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes and the O’Jays. Created to raise money to support community development programs in black neighborhoods. It is an album reminding us to keep pushing for black autonomy over our communities.

-Nostalgia| Feel Good Music

O’jays Greatest Hits
This album is an ode to the 70’s and the album I play the most.Last summer, I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert. They put on an impressively high energy show. Babbbbbby, I had the time of my life! A collection of the O’jays hits from the 70’s with fan favorites “Backstabbers,” “For The Love of Money,” “Forever Mine,” “Love Train,” and my favorite “Use Ta Be My Girl.”

Sparkle Soundtrack
Sparkle! My all-time favorite movie. I’ve lost track of the number of occasions I’ve watched this film. The original Sparkle movie was released in 1976. I know yall didn’t think I was talking about that horrible remake a few years back- I digress. Nevertheless, I was so excited to get a copy of the soundtrack with vocals from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and transcendent composer Curtis Mayfield. This album brings back sweet childhood memories of fun times growing up in the ghetto.

What’s on your vinyl playlist?