The Best You Never Heard (Jan 26)

“Oh why do I live this way? Hey, must be the money!” What we’re listening to this week…

“We are rare, we are rare / mama told us we are rare / we are rare, we are rare / we were born extraordinaire.”

Your playlist should always include some tracks that make you stand a little taller. Our Love Your Self anthem of the month is Extraordinaire from Jidenna, right-hand man to Janelle Monáe, and member of her Wondaland Records family. Jidenna stepped into the spotlight last year with his debut hit Classic Man and has carried on the sartorial tradition of Farnsworth Bentley, raising the wardrobe bar for men across the country.

February is almost here. And contrary to the tragic comments from Stacey Dash earlier this month, Black History Month is very much still a thing. To help you get – and keep – your mind right this month, we like the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Kevin Powell Mix CD, the new mixtape from Brooklyn author and activist Kevin Powell. This is a beautiful compilation of today’s hip-hop, ’70s & ’80s soul, classic gospel, and ’90s R&B. The music is supplemented by interludes with reflections from Kevin, excerpts from Dr. King’s sermons, and commentary from various Black thinkers and scholars.

The arrival of February also means we are about the enter carnival season across the the Caribbean. Our Soca 2016 playlists starts off with Oh Yay from Trinidad & Tobago artist Olatunji Yearwood. The rising star has described his music as “afro-soca”, a genre category we hope catches on throughout the soca industry. The drums speak across the continents and over the oceans.

Our final selection this week is So Far Away (feat. BigBrooklynRed) by California producer Mars Today. This a beautiful acoustic soul track that stands in the blues tradition of speaking honestly about the dark while continuing to look towards the light.

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