Everybody is saying and feeling it; this has been an unbelievable and unprecedented 20 months!
Look what we all have been experiencing; working from home, job loss and remote learning for students of all ages. Standing in long lines outside to get into banks, grocery stores and the motor vehicle offices. We had to endure the death of unarmed black men, women and children at the hands of law enforcement. Remember, a year ago, the shelves were empty of toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant. Many thought the world was ending when we saw our favorite bars and restaurants empty. We were saddened by the silent echoes in arenas, stadiums and theaters. We were shocked the day we all watched the insurrection as thousands of people charged the U.S. Capitol. Compounding on all of this, the extraordinary loss of life and how we had to revise our normal way to mourn and send our loved ones to their new land of glory. This pandemic has been beyond stressful; defining our personal relationships and stretching our boundaries of mental, physical and financial health; not to mention our psychological fears. Basically, we been through it!
To date, the CDC is reporting half of Americans have received their first vaccination shot, approvals for vaccination for young people as early as 12 years old are becoming available and the mandate for wearing a mask is loosening. Gathering in entertainment spots is becoming a cautionary thing again. People are moving around again; air travel is increasing, lodging accommodations are sky-high and rental cars are difficult and expensive to secure. And, a mid-summer goal of first shot vaccinations for 75% of Americans is the new target. The sun is beginning to shine again and capitalists’ are thrilled. As we begin to see some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we should take a moment to rejoice.
If anything, we should have learned from the past two years to not take any of life’s joys for granted and we should allow ourselves to celebrate! Yes, celebrate every aspect of life; our families, friends, loved ones, careers and faith. Let’s take in the moments that brings us pure joy; a simple hug, a graduation ceremony, a gym workout, attending service in our house of worship, going to the movies and spending quality time with the ones that genuinely love and need us. By now, we should have a renewed respect for old-fashion face to face conversations (min. 6ft apart). We need to recommit ourselves to celebrating life at every available opportunity.
What better way to celebrate life then the sounds of music; beats, rhymes, rhythm and vocal artistry. We are still in a pandemic, but it is becoming safer for us to embrace the happiness that has been missing from our lives. As I begin my summer road trips, backyard cookouts or chilling on the front porch, I will be enjoying this playlist to celebrate and create my next memory as we move further away from this pandemic.
Alex Parchment f/ Phillip Doc Martin – Vibin’ In Time
Andra Day – Tigress & Tweed
City Girls – Twerkulator
Chris Botti – The Last Three Minutes
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Brand New Funk
Dojo Cat f/ SZA – Kiss Me More
Drake + Lil Baby – Wants and Needs
Funk Flex f/ Rowdy Rebel – Re Route
Gene Noble – Matching Tattoos
H.E.R. – Fight for You
H.E.R. + Chris Brown – Come Through
J.D’s Time Machine + Cleveland Jones – Kiss of Freedom
James Brown – Doing It to Death
Jazmine Sullivan – Pick Up Your Feelings
Karyn White – Slow Down
Leela James – Complicated
Lil Baby + EST Gee – Real As It Gets
Lonr. + H.E.R. – Make The Most
Loui + Saweetie – Talkin’ Bout
Mary J Blige – U + Me
Paul Brown f/ Richard Elliott – Notorious
Pop Smoke f/ A Boogie Wit da Hoodie- Hello
Raheem DeVaughn – Mr. Midnight
Raiche – Pick A Side
Sevyn Streeter + Chris Brown + AS$P Ferg – Guilty
Silk Sonic – Leave The Door Open
Snoh Aalegra – Find Someone Like You
Skip Marley f/ Ari Lenox & Rick Ross – Make Me Feel
Stevie Wonder – Love Life In Flight
Usher – Bad Habits
What songs will make your summertime playlist?