Hello boys and girls.
June carried a lot of weight. It was a shift in quite literally the whole world. As divisive as it seemed and I mean, it was definitely divisive, I feel like June, especially the bridge between May and June, was the most connected and united I’ve felt with people I barely even know.
The #BLM movement was so universal, with countries applying it to their own deep rooted histories and I had so many genuine conversations with people I hadn’t spoken to in years. I think June, as painful and difficult as it was, led to a lot of growth, and a lot of opened eyes and minds.
I didn’t entirely process just how much music I was listening to through June. Adding to my monthly playlist has almost become a natural daily ritual for me, so much so that I don’t even realise I’m doing it sometimes, until I come to my playlist and find the perfect song has been added with me even realising I’ve done it. I listened to a lot of music in June.
Alright – Kendrick Lamar: This song was the song for the month. I’m pretty sure this song reached the highest it ever has on the charts during June, purely because of how interwoven and relevant it was for the movement.
Changes – 2Pac, Talent: I don’t know if this a common reaction, but this song just always makes me cry? Like all the time?? Regardless of the fact that it’s so upbeat, regardless of the fact that Pac goes in, regardless of how much of a bop it remains to be, to this day, I always end up crying at some point during this song. Add to the fact that it also became a song synonymous with the protests, and I was getting bombarded with videos of people in New Zealand, in Australia, in America, all singing this song and just … loving each other?? I was a mess.
Rain – SWV: This song – I don’t know what it is about SWV, but they always just do the job for me. Add to that the fact that this song suddenly starting making ROUNDS on TikTok, and I couldn’t escape it – obviously I have zero problem with that.
Gimme Love – Joji: As much as I hate making this reference because I kinda loathe the whole concept, this song is peak ‘main character’ vibes at it’s highest form. I don’t know why I’ve slept on Joji for so long, but this song was on repeat all month.
I Would Die 4 U – Prince: I think it was watching Miguel sing this for the Prince Tribute performance, and watching him dance around the stage like a KING that made me fall in love with this song. I don’t listen to a lot of Prince in my own time, other than Purple Rain and maybe Raspberry Beret, but I’ve been in love with this song since finding it.
Be Your Girl – Teedra Moses: Gimme some old school RnB, and I’m the happiest I could be. If Future Boo and I can’t dance in the kitchen to old RnB tunes just like this song, I. DON’T. WANT. IT.
Pain – De La Soul, Snoop Dogg: I’m a huge De La Soul fan, and this song came through while I had my WRAP playlist on shuffle, and it just seemed fitting.
Pink + White – Frank Ocean: Again, this month I was just really loving me some Frank Ocean, and it was Pink + White for June. Just his vocals, the piano, the subtle birds chirping in the background, it’s an experience. Not gonna lie, I used to be one of the people who thought the hype around Frank Ocean was warranted, but not that warranted, up until recently. I’m slowly falling in love with his entire catalogue and I can’t wait.
Tryna Smoke – Jhene Aiko, Micahfonecheck: This entire album is a trip. The entire intro made me giggle when I first heard it, but then you get Jhene kicking in, and the song wraps up into this beautiful piece of work. I think this might be one of my top three from this album.
Ex-Factor – Ms. Lauryn Hill: Lauryn Hill, I mean…what can I say? This song, just makes me feel some type of way, the same type of way Lauryn’s voice always does. This song in particular is kinda gospel for me. There’s just so much progression throughout this song, and her voice does THE MOST. I still remember getting physically mad when one of my friends heard this song for the first time and his reaction was, “Hey!! This song is a rip off of Nice For What by Drake.” Catch these hands.
Cycles – Jonathan McReynolds, DOE: I never really share any gospel music on here, ever, and it’s probably because as much as I am a Christian, I’ve stopped going to church and I don’t necessarily consider myself a hugely spiritual person. I think the one place within church and faith that I will always be able to connect to is the music and listening to this song for the first time genuinely made me cry. I don’t know if it was the song alone, or discovering it right at the middle of June when I was feeling my heaviest and probably needed it the most, but it was genuinely a spiritual experience. Even if you’re not spiritual, there’s so much about that this song that can be applied to anyone, from all walks of life, regardless of your beliefs. I highly recommend you give it a listen.
If I Ruled The World – Nas, Lauryn Hill: So good. So, so good. Two of my favourite artists, not only from their era, but just of all time. This song popped up a few times throughout the start of the month as another anthem for the BLM Movement, so I couldn’t help but take it as a sign and add it to my playlist.
Do It – Chloe x Halle: How good are these girls??? I remember seeing their Beyonce cover on YouTube when it first went insanely viral, and they’ve released a fair bit of music since then, but the lead up to their latest album, Ungodly Hour, was particularly fruitful. This song gets me going as soon as it starts, it’s like the best mix of old school RnB and this new pop princess sound that’s slowly making a name for itself, and I love it.
More Than A Woman – Aaliyah: I listened to hours of old RnB during June. My RNB playlist got a real good rinse this month, which meant I also got my fair share of Aaliyah, which is never a problem with me. This is one of my favourite Aaliyah songs, though let’s be real, it’s insanely hard to pick.
Catching Feelings – Drax Project, SIX60: I chose this song because, although I’ve loved it since the release last year, I fell more in love with it this month after covering it in a live set I had to perform on Instagram. It was honestly one of the most last minute sets I’ve ever thrown together, and I think I changed songs that much, that this song was added in maybe an hour before I was scheduled to go live, yet it was my favourite song of the entire thing. Such a pretty song, and both Drax Project and SIX60 are incredible. I’ve said this before, New Zealand has some of the best music in the world.
What They Want – Russ: I’ve been hearing of Russ since I was in high school. One of my closest friends loved him, but for some reason I never actually listened to him properly until this year, and I immediately loved this song. Add into the mix a dance trend going around TikTok for this song, and I obviously had to add it to my playlist.
The Way You Move – OutKast, Sleepy Brown: This. Song. Major throwback. OutKast were really at their peak when I was a little kid, like just before I started school, and no matter how much time passes, it’s like I know all of their songs by heart as soon as they start. This is probably one of their more popular songs, and it’s one of my favourite ones.
Who You Foolin – Gunna: Probably the only song by Gunna that I listen to because I haven’t really spent much time listening to his catalogue. I love the sampling in this track. That’s about it.
Still – Teyana Taylor: Teyana Taylor did the thing and she did it well. Definitely stay tuned for a post all about her recent album. This song is probably in my top three songs from the record. So groovy, and everything about Taylor and her album is so smooth. This song is no different. If you never listened to Teyana Taylor before, this album is the perfect opportunity.
Every Kind Of Way – H.E.R: There’s honestly nothing like getting in the car from a long, exhausting day in customer service or retail, and having some H.E.R play. I think this song came on shuffle from my NEW GEN RnB playlist after a particularly rough day and it was just what I needed, so when I came back home, I just played it on repeat.
I Can’t Breathe – Jerome Farah: I don’t know if I can adequately put into words how powerful this track is. I’ve been waiting for this man to release his own music for years now, so all I can say is go stream the damn thing.
I tried to cull this down as much as I could friends, but hopefully you got the gist of just how jam-packed with music June was for me! I’d love to know what you’re listening to at the moment, let me know in the comments!