Music I’ve Been Listening To pt. 2

Aaron Romero

While every day is a day that we should acknowledge, uplift, support, and appreciate black artists, I feel that BHM (black history month) is a chance for black people to have their voices enhanced and their art praised even more than usual, especially queer and/or trans black people. So here is a list of songs from my favorite black artists that I listen to regularly and some songs that I have just gotten into as well.

Chanel- Frank Ocean (2017)

Ivy- Frank Ocean (2016)

Eternal Sunshine- Jhene Aiko (2014)

Bed Peace- Jhene Aiko ft Childish Gambino (2013)

U KNOW- WILLOW ft Jaden (2019)

Time Machine- WILLOW (2019)

Good Days- SZA (2020)
I cannot stress this enough… this song was literally made from heaven and laced with a happy drug or something because I’ve listened to it religiously for a month and have not stopped since. After releasing her single/music video “Hit Different” featuring Ty Dolla Sign, her fans begged her to release the snippet of the song that she included at the end of the music video. And she delivered, releasing it on Dec. 25, the birthday of her grandmother. Since then the single has been included as #1 on Apple Music’s top hits and has stayed on the top 10 Hot Billboard chart for weeks now.

9 – WILLOW ft SZA (2014)
This song is featured on Willow’s album “3” which includes SZA, and it is a real spiritual song. I regularly listen to this when I am trying to relax or meditate.

Like a Bird- WILLOW (2019)
Featured in her album “WILLOW,” this song is the very definition of freeing. It’s a very simple song with simple lyrics but the meaning behind it is so much more complex if carefully analyzed. It explains how painful living can be but there are times where you will find yourself feeling open to new beginnings, lessons, pain, love, and to things in the past you’ve avoided due to fear. Her work is very spiritual and you can really tell that it is meant to help you reflect and work on different areas of your mental health.

10k Hours- Jhene Aiko ft Nas (2020)
Jhene Aiko has always been an inspiration to me and I will always strive to be as down to earth and spiritual as she is. In this song, she talks about loss and the passing of time, how it can be overwhelming, and how there’s not much you can do but sit down, close your eyes and reminisce about the one you lost. This song is featured on her most recent album “Chilombo.”

I Wanna Get Out- Niiasii (2020)
Niiasii is a new artist and has just released new music for her EP. This song is now one of my new favorites because she uses a “speaking audio” during her song. It is an audio clip from her mother that is split up to flow with the song. It’s a really entertaining addition that can be seen in music from other various artists. The song is about the troubles of a teenager and wanting to escape and be free from the trapped feeling that parents/authority figures give as you grow up.

Forrest Gump- Frank Ocean (2012)
There are too many reasons why I adore Frank Ocean but the main ones are that he is a queer artist who has not only made it a bit easier for his supporters and fellow artists to come out and be true to themselves but he uses MLM(male love male) lyrics in his songs. And while it may seem like a small thing to others but to us queer males, it felt so refreshing and thoughtful to finally see queer lyrics in music that correlated to us in such a normal way.