20 albums that have impacted my life

First, I need to apologize for not having posted a blog since January! I’ve been busy with other projects, but that’s no excuse. I promise to do better in posting new blogs.

I became a member of Facebook.com a few months ago – and I’m now hooked! Outside of keeping up with friends, there’s always something to ponder or write about.

One of my boys (who happens to love music as much as I do), posted the top 20 albums that have had the most impact on his life. He then asked his friends to do the same.

So below, find the 20 albums that have had a great impact on my life. It was a challenge to stop at 20, but I managed to do so.

Erykah Badu: Baduizm – I was either on the verge of graduating or had just graduated from college when this album came out. Erykah’s music moved me because, from the get go, she was on another level. Her lyrics were unique and the voice kept me interested from one song to the next. Since 1997, she has been my all-time favorite artist – hands down. Favorite cut: No Love

Jill Scott: Who Is Jill Scott: Words and Sounds Vol. 1 – Honestly, I was so in to Erykah Badu that I didn’t know or care who Jill Scott was. I’m glad I woke the hell up! Jill is another artist who just has the lyrics that go beyond the ordinary. Jill never delivers the same old stuff. This album speaks to me on so many levels that, even now, I still find new meaning behind her music. Favorite cut: Show Me

2Pac: 2Pacalypse Now – When I first heard the single, Brenda’s Got a Baby, I thought, who is that??? I’ve never been a big fan of rap, but this guy’s music told a great story. Tupac Shakur’s songs gave me a glimpse into a life I hadn’t lived, and I thank him (as well as miss him) for it. Favorite cut: Brenda’s Got a Baby

Ice Cube: Death Certificate – At the time this album came out, I was a black girl at a majority white high school who had just discovered the Autobiography of Malcolm X. The combination of the two created a militant teenager and changed how I viewed the world. Favorite cut: No Vaseline (which I feel is the greatest diss song ever!)

India Arie: Acoustic Soul – I discovered this album when an older black woman I worked with asked me if I had heard this song called Video. I hadn’t, but quickly discovered India was talking about me. The entire album made me take a good look in the mirror. The person I discovered is one I love to this day. Favorite cuts: Strength, Courage and Wisdom and Part of My Life (whose meaning I figured out while driving to Los Angeles)

Love Jones Soundtrack – What’s better than having a great soundtrack that pairs well with the movie? The songs selected from my all time favorite movie compliment the flick well. I know what Dionne Farris is talking about when she sings about being Hopeless. Favorite cut: Can’t Get Enough of You by Kenny Lattimore

Maxwell: Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite – This album changed my life because here was a man (a fione one at that) taking love and romance to another level. The entire album leads up to a marriage proposal. What more can you ask for! Favorite cut: Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)

Mary J. Blige: My Life – It was hard for me to pick which Mary album affected my life the most (Growing Pains comes in a close second), but My Life – outside of being a classic – got me through a few things in my early college years. Favorite cut: I’m the Only Woman

Chris Botti: When I Fall In Love – My sister will be quick to tell you I was sleeping on Chris Botti. Not anymore. I listen to this album and just fall into a trance. My mind relaxes and troubles just disappear. This is a great album to play at a wedding. Favorite cut: When I Fall In Love

TLC: Ooooooohhh . . . on the TLC Tip – I heard this album and said, finally, women who are letting men know it’s not about them, it’s about us! They boosted my self esteem a few notches. Favorite cut: What About Your Friends

Floetry: Floetic – The Flocist and Songstress showed how spoken word and singing can blend well together – if done right. This album was just different, and I’m always a fan of artist who aren’t mainstream. Favorite cuts: Sunshine and Mr. Messed Up

Kindred the Family Soul: Surrender to Love – A duo who just happens to be married singing about love and relationships? My kind of group. Another artist I was sleeping on that my sister introduced me too. Kindred’s music is so real and it makes me happy to see and hear black love. It also helps me keep hope alive that I too will one day find the kind of love they sing about. Favorite cut: Stars

Kenny Lattimore: Kenny Lattimore – I first heard the single For You sung at a wedding. I haven’t missed a Kenny Lattimore album since. Like Maxwell, Kenny romances you; he makes a woman feel good with his positive vibe. I believe him when he says he’s Never Too Busy. Favorite cut: All I Want

LL Cool J: Bigger and Deffer – Three words – I Need Love! I can still recite that song word for word! A rapper with a tender side? He hooked many ladies just by doing something no other rapper had – a slow jam! I think I started listening to more rap just because of this one song. Favorite cut: I’m Bad

Salt-N-Pepa: Hot, Cool & Vicious – Between I’ll Take Your Man and Tramp, Salt-N-Pepa let it be known that they were not to be messed with – and I started to feel the same way! Plus, they were females making hot music in a male dominated field. Nothing like strong women busting through glass ceilings. Favorite cut: Tramp

New Edition: Heart Break – New Edition had been off the radar for awhile before this album came out. I was feening for them – and I’m not joking. I love me some NE! There is no bigger New Edition fan than me and when this album dropped, I wore it out. Please believe I tried to learn the dance steps in the If It Isn’t Love video! Favorite cut: I’m Comin’ Home

Jodeci: Forever My Lady – Jodeci came on the scene just as I was in my sophomore year of high school and I just thought they were so hot. Their image wasn’t clean cut like New Edition’s – and I liked it. Forever My Lady will always be a classic love song (for my generation). Favorite cut: I’m Still Waiting

Vivian Green: Vivian – This was her second album and you could tell she had been through some things. Turns out, so had I! I related to every single cut on the album and she made me realize that there’s nothing wrong with being Selfish and needing to leave. Favorite cut: Under My Skin

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