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Music

Music has always had a way of evoking all the feels. When you’re down bad, mid-breakup, there’s nobody propping you up quite like music. The same goes for when you’re feeling love or lusty. When you look back in time, you’ll likely associate songs with the struggle. I mean, just think of the days of delicately crafting a playlist (to burn) that stimulated one emotion or another, allowing you to vibe out was a vibe in and of itself. It's the equivalent of that scene from Say Anything with John Cusack.

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At face value, one might not think the classical composer Bach and the rapper Future could occupy the same space. However, classically trained violinist Meredith Ezinma Ramsay (also known as just Ezinma or “Classical Bae”) proved that it's a magical combination when she responded to the viral #MaskOffChallenge on Instagram in 2017 with a violin rendition of the rapper’s hit song.


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Ari Lennox's soulfully crooning voice has blessed our ears with many tracks since the release of her first EP in 2016, PHO. Songs like "Whipped Cream," "Shea Butter Baby," and "New Apartment" showed us the songstress' undeniable staying power in the industry with the release of her 2019 debut studio album, Shea Butter Baby. There's no denying Ari's light, and with the recent announcement of her sophomore album getting a 2022 release, it's clear it's high time for "Pressure" to be applied.

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After the exhausting start of the decade that was last year, 2021 revealed itself to be yet another trying year for our patience with everyone and the audacity they held. Though, instead of wallowing in the uncertainty created by all of the unexpected, like we did last year, this year we were given a soundtrack that challenged how we'd interpret our world.

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When we think of R&B, we think of soul. Soul, by definition, is emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance. Black people are soul. Everything about us. Our hair. Our energy. Our skin. And, without a doubt, the creativity that courses through every inch of who we are. So, when it comes to our music, spiritual experiences are often what we call them. Makes sense, for there are no other people who remain unbroken the way we do. And every so often, an artist comes along who seems to be the physical manifestation of all that we are.

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Jill Scott is one of those timeless artists that we have to thank the ancestors for time and time again. She never goes out of style, her music always feels new, and to be honest, we probably don't deserve her. I remember the first time I head "The Way", it was so familiar even though it was the first time. That's the Jill Scott effect.

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