1)Faith Evans- Faith. I still play this CD like it was released yesterday even though it dropped in August of 1995. The entire CD reminds me of my junior year in undergrad. I used to play this CD everyday while I worked night security in my dorm. (Yes, night security). It was actually one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Fave tracks: “Fallin’ In Love”, “Ain’t Nobody”, and “You Don’t Understand”.
2) Mary J. Blige- What’s the 411? Ahhh the memories! This was the first CD I could listen to front to back, not skipping over any songs. One of the many reasons why I love Mary J. is the raw emotion and honesty which she never fails to deliver in her music. Fave tracks: “Reminisce”, “You Remind Me” and “Sweet Thing.”
3) Beres Hammond- Love from a Distance. This man remains the king of reggae/lover’s rock for eternity. His raspy voice, poignant lyrics and creativity don’t disappoint. Fave tracks: “Black Beauty”, “Can’t stop a man”, and “Much have been said”.
4) A Tribe Called Quest- The Low End Theory. A classic hip hop album and no one can debate it as far as I’m concerned. I still remember the video for “Check the Rhime”. That was back when hip hop was real. Fave tracks: “Jazz (We’ve Got)”, “Check The Rhime”, and “What?”
5) Square One- In Full Bloom. The best soca band EVER. I was sad when they broke up but I’m still an Alison Hinds fan all day. When I’m in a soca mood this CD is sure to be on the list.
6) D’Angelo- Brown Sugar. Another undergrad favorite of mine. Another classic. I think this CD came out at the right time. I was in need of something creative, innovative and most importantly “fun”. Secretly, I always felt “Smooth” described me perfectly. *smiles* Fave tracks: “When we get by”, “Lady” and “Smooth”.
7) India Arie- Voyage to India. What more can I say, this CD restored my hope in love songs and artist creativity. This is her best CD as far as I’m concerned. The healing and healthy love it promotes are refreshing. Fave tracks: “The Truth”, “Interested” and “Little Things”.
8)John Mayer- Heavier Things. I’m not much into light rock but I love me some John Mayer! I think he’s a true artist and is very talented. You can also hear the soul influence in his music. Fave tracks: “Something’s Missing”, “New Deep”, and “Split Screen Sadness”.
9) Buju Banton- Til Shiloh. Buju is the best dancehall artist out there. He can belt love tunes but he can also provide the conscious lyrics and talk the truth. “Til Shiloh” is my favorite CD but I like everything else he put out afterwards. Years ago, during my “pre-Islam life”, I went to his concert and I have to say, he puts on one helluva show. I was hoarse for three days afterwards! I’m hoping that one day he’ll play outside at a university or some other venue where I can actually go. Fave tracks: “Only Man”, “What ya gonna do”, and “Champion”.
10) Chrisette Michele- I am. Ahhhhhh! Smooth tunes, a voice that is reminiscent of old school jazz singers, and a modern neo-soul twist. That’s my girl! Now here is a contemporary singer who can actually sing! I like to put on this CD and just chill with a cup of tea. Fave tracks: “Mr. Radio”, “If I have my way, “Best of me”, and “Let’s rock”.