How am I getting through life? Pt. 1: Music.

**Now I know I said I was going to post this yesterday (Monday) but, after finishing it, I decided to wait. So it’s going to be talked about as if it was posted yesterday! I’m trying to figure things out, bare with me :)**

HAPPY MONDAY! A new week! A fresh start! Any chance I get to be grateful for the little things, I am. We tend to take life for granted. Waking up every morning is one of the biggest blessings and should always be treated as such. How was your weekend? Between Oregon beating Ohio St. this weekend and watching Garoppolo finally look worthy of some respect, it was a great weekend. NINERS 1–0 BABY! (might I add I’m really excited to see this Jimmy/Trey rotation this season) ❤️💛

Tooting my own horn real quick: Let’s toast to the fact that I have been consistently doing something that I LOVE! It’s something about being able to finally have the confidence to write how I feel and share it publicly. That’s a huge step for me. I had one of the best sessions of therapy last week imo since I’ve started Therapy. (I’ve been in therapy since March of this year. tearjerker moment. Let me just say, that one decision I made by taking that first step and acknowledging I needed help might’ve saved my life.) I am so damn proud of myself!! Just wanted to share that. Let’s get into my first and will probably be my favorite post that I do on here EVER! (yeah this is going to happen often. The music we’ve been blessed with this year 🔥 ) Let’s get into my favorites so far of 2021. A couple of things I want to note: My music taste is heavily influenced by R&B. I will *attempt but no guarantees* throw in some faves from all over but this is pretty much going to be a ’21 R&B Review. Mwah 😘

I am going to break this down into 3 parts so it flows, alright? The First part will be Artists I think you should be listening to that aren’t as “mainstream” I guess. I’ll throw in some of my favorite songs of theirs just because I’m nice like that. Part 2 will be my favorite singles from this year because they deserve their credit. I love me a good one and done. Lastly, Part 3 will be my favorite Albums and EPs from this year so far. Are you ready? 😭

Thank you for taking interest in my opinion. I am a music junkie.
  • Before we start, I want to just share that as I am starting to do this, I feel like I'm letting y’all into my secret community of 1. 😂 So, Welcome to Jo’s Musical Cabaret, where your every desire will be furfilled. aha 😏😂 *

Part 1: Artists I think you should be listening to (in no particular order, I'm actually going through my Spotify playlists lol):

  1. Cleo Sol. My God. The vast difference between her two albums was honestly one of my favorite things to witness over the last year. She dropped an album I believe the beginning of COVID and I stumbled across her on my explore page singing Young Love and 😳. Just go check her out, her album Mother is a beautiful work of art. Congrats new mama ❤️
  2. Yebba Smith. Yeah, get used to seeing this name during this read because she’ll be mentioned multiple times. I was introduced to Yebba in 2018 when the ever-so-talented PJ Morton (if you get the chance to see him live, I 10/10 recommend going. Nothing beats live music.) dropped his Gumbo Unplugged: Live Album and she absolutely MURDERED that second verse. Heavenly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F9pL06IC8k That serious. Go listen. Now I won’t lie, I didn’t keep her on my radar until she was featured on Lucky Daye’s album earlier this year. I wouldn’t be mad if they ever decided to do a joint album together. They sound THAT good together on How Much Can A Heart Take!
  3. Tone Stith. S/O To H.E.R. for putting me on! I saw Mr. Stith in concert in?? 2019? I don’t feel like checking dates lol. I got a picture with him too 😭 He opened for H.E.R. and I have never heard a man sing like him. Omg. My favorite song of his is actually off of his newest album, the song is called FWM, such a vibe. Definitely make sure you add this song to your fall playlist.
  4. Symphani Soto. For my ladies. Just go listen to Me vs You off of her new album. That’s all I have to say. Oh wait, that EP she dropped in 2018? Slept on.
  5. Jon Vinyl. Thank you TikTok lmao. His voice is just *chef’s kiss*. Told You? I can listen to this song on repeat. After a certain point though, I have to change the song cause? Girl, you are single. Now I know I will have a couple of male readers, so, free game: if you have a music lover as a S/O, make her a playlist and throw that song on there. Thank me later. ❤️ We cater to one another’s love languages around here.
  6. MALIA. If I ever got the opportunity to live my biggest dream of being a singer, I will credit this woman, I promise. The prettiest alto voice I think I’ve ever heard. Fussy on her Ripe EP? Literally me lol. Dirty Laundry ft. Syd (yes from the Internet 😍) is my favorite song of hers.

Part 2: My favorite singles from this year:

  1. Not Another Love Song- Ella Mai. (yes this was dropped last October. It deserves the recognition.) Miss Girl taking a little while with the album but, this song is everything it’s supposed to be. The song is pretty much flawless. The production >>>
  2. Leave The Door Open- Silk Sonic. That’s it.
  3. Wasting Time- Brent Faiyaz & Drake. I’LL SHARE MY WORLD WITH YOU! Song speaks for itself. Next.
  4. Good Days- SZA. Again. Speaks for itself, what do I honestly need to say?
  5. Gravity- Brent, DJ Dahi & Tyler, The Creator. They are 2 for 2. Brent’s “Don’t act like I’m average” had me in a chokehold when it first came out lol. *He don’t miss. That ** just don’t miss!*
  6. Ur Best Friend- Kiana Lede ft. Kehlani. 👀
  7. Mine- Alex Isley & Jack Dine. This song was also released in October but I just can’t stop listening to it. Fall Vibe ✅
  8. Teach Me- SiR. No, this song wasn’t technically a single but I’m not taking up space to list the Movie album. SiR, in my opinion, might be one of the most slept on R&B Male Artists today. Chasing Summer is one of the best albums I still have heard in the last 2–3 years. The way he shows his range on Teach Me is crazy.
  9. Nobody but You- Sonder and Jorja Smith. I hope you all know that Sonder is Brent’s trio. Phenomenal Music. Brent and Jorja on a track? Together? *downloads*
  10. I Hate You- SZA. https://soundcloud.com/user-251587705/09-i-hate-you-rb-mix-082221I’m just going to post it.

Part 3: My favorite albums from this year, so far!

So, as I was doing this list, I realized that I needed to do two categories for this part because I ended up with a list full of R&B and Rap albums! I decided to do a Top Ten list from both genres. I won’t put my opinion on these because I’d hate for you to be reading for … 30 minutes 😂 All of these albums speak for themselves in their own ways. I have found comfort in every body of work I’ve mentioned. It’s something about music that’s just sooooo relieving! These are not in any specific order as well, I promise I’m not entirely biased lol. Enjoy 😊

TOP 10 RAP ALBUMS SO FAR: (got a couple of honorable mention albums too)

  1. CLB- Drake.

2. The Off-Season- Jermaine Lamarr Cole.

3. Soul fly (Deluxe)- Rod Wave.

4. The Voice (Deluxe)- Lil Durk.

5. That’s What They All Say- Jack Harlow.

6. A Gangsta’s Pain- MoneyBagg Yo.

7. Rich Shooter- Young Nudy.

8. Moon Boy- Yung Bleu.

9. Call Me If You Get Lost- Tyler, The Creator.

10. Orange Print- Larry June.

Honorable mention: 25-G Herbo; Sixtape 2- Bino & Blxst


  1. Back Of My Mind- H.E.R.

2. Heaux Tales- Jazmine Sullivan.

3. Temporary Highs in The Violet Skies- Snoh Aalegra.

4. Table for Two- Lucky Daye.

5. Heat of the Moment- Tink.

6. When It’s All Said and Done- Givëon.

7. Anniversary (Deluxe)- Bryson Tiller.

8. RY RY WORLD- Mariah The Scientist.

9. Ready is Always Too Late- Sinead Harnett.

10. Misunderstood…still- Queen Najia.

I hope this was different and a fun little read for you guys. I wanted to share this because I think it’s important to highlight ALL of the things that help you along your spiritual healing journey. Music has definitely kept me going, whether it be R&B and Rap or, if I have to touch into my roots and throw on some good ol’ Gospel! There’s nothing like a good boohoo crying session listening to my FAVORITE, Mrs. Tasha Cobbs-Leonard. So again, I hope you guys enjoy this and decide to take a peek at some of the artists I’ve mentioned, I promise you won't be disappointed! I’ll talk to you guys soon! Enjoy your week ahead 🤍

Here is a playlist I made back in July that includes some of the artists and songs I mentioned today, as well as some older hits because whew. Life definitely does feel a lot like 🥴 sometimes. I am going to try my best to keep this playlist updated as new music comes out. Sorry Apple Music users, IDK why Spotify has a hold on me! https://open.spotify.com/playlist/45Jxi5qkUO1D5ncjBFj4i4?si=69f676aa26a44f3f

“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.”
Edward Bulwer Lytton




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