Mood Music Pt. 1: Artists for all the feels

Chance The Rapper

In my All Summer 16 piece, you will understand the lengths I'll go to see Chance live, at the low price he intended for me to. The musical anointing and feel-goodness of Coloring Book carried my through 2016.


Anderson .Paak

On my way back from a local Chicago artist's show, my friend Justin out me on the Anderson .Paak and I've been shouting "Good Lawd!" ever since. Seeing him at One Musicfest in Atlanta was the highlight of my summer. His live shows are funky and seductive.

Corinne Bailey Rae

It was her first show in Chicago in six years. I went to her show at The Metro in August alone and after slithering through all the swaying couples, I found a good spot. Her show felt like how a star twinkles. Hearing her sing "Till It Happens To You" put the song back in heavy rotation.


Jamila Woods

I can't tell you how many times, I've played Milo & Otis' "Tiny Soldiers". It's my break-up anthem. I haven't heard much from her since 2014. I met her briefly at Donnie Trumpet's Farewell concert, before he went to LA and The Social Experiment became a group. When she dropped HEAVN, I was glad to have a new round of songs to sing to. From the "Ms. Mary Mack" sample in "Vry Blk" to the familiarness of "LSD," the album was just what I was waiting for and Chicago's Black Girl Magic that the world needs to hear.



In 2015 he had the world Cha-Cha-ing around the room. Then when Big Baby D.R.A.M. dropped, I had it on rotation consistently. I put DRAM on my concert bucket list (an arbitrary list that exists in my head). His concert was such a joy! Read about it here.



It took me a few rotations to get into the hip-hop/folk vibe, but his lyrical content is A1. Take a close listen to "Forbidden Knowledge" and "Trap Tears". I waited for him in the cold at The Chop Shop in Bucktown and the energy behind the show was electric. Also his collaboration with Donnie Trumpet for their interpretation of Corinne Bailey Rae's "Like A Star" owes most of their Soundcloud plays to me.



It's about damn time, Solange got her due. I've been a long-time fan and now the world is appreciating her artistry. Her aesthetic is now finding appreciation in the public conscious and while I would like to have her to myself, it's great when good artistry gets it's due. And once I read that Raaphael Saddiq co-wrote and co-produced "Cranes In The Sky," it was a wrap.


Honorable Mentions

Mac Miller for surprising me with The Divine Feminine. I'm not a fan, I could never get into him. I've heard he's pretty good, but I'm not one for white exceptionalism. Since Anderson ,Paak was on one song, I decided to give the rest of the album a listen. Once I got pass the desire to own a woman's body, it was sexy. Also the features from Bilal, Kendrick Lamar, and Cee-Lo are good additions to the album.

Travis Greene for "Intentional"Whenever I'm feeling discouraged I turn this song and sing it. I'm really hurt he performed this song at the Habanero Hitler's Inauguration Ball. Now it's tainted with Cheeto dust.

Anthony Brown and group therAPY for "Worth" This song brought me back to a honest relationship with God. It came on my shuffle and while the song played, I started crying. It basically reminds me that Jesus died for my sins and that he believes I'm worth saving. Restores a sense of value in my life. 

Beyoncé - What would this year be without Beyoncé? Lemonade caused a lot of conversation and it visually it was stunning. I saw her in concert, and while she didn't snatch my edges and I didn't have a spiritual experience, I have ultimate respect for her as a performer. (cc: Superbowl and the VMAs)

Travis Scott - Birds In The Trap Sing Brian McKnight, enough said. Between features from Cudi and Quavo, every time I played this album from start to finish I was always stunned that I could enjoy a body of work so much. And I would play it again, and again. 

BJ The Chicago Kid - In My Mind was solid work. I've seen him live three times over the course of his career and his passion evident in his tight grip on the microphone and  eyes squeezed shut. Also "Church" featuring Chance the Rapper and "Resume" will have you hot-n-ready like a Little Ceasars Pizza on a Friday night.

April McFadden