I use Google Play as my source of music because for a measly $10 a month you can listen to all the albums, stand up comedy, and motivational speakers you like as well as upload your own music. It lets you create music stations based on artists or existing playlists as well as explore new music and playlists based on genres and your known preferences.
Below are my 10 songs as of today in no particular order along with a short description of why I like each song, and a link to YouTube so you can check it out. Please feel free to share your list in the comments below, I am always excited to find new music.
- Too deep for the intro - A heavily lyrical song by my favorite artist, J.Cole. This was the intro track to J.Cole's biggest mixtape: Friday Night Lights. Cole has stated in interviews that he regrets releasing this collection of music as a free mixtape as opposed to a full release retail album. In the lyrics he talks about everything ranging from a woman dealing with domestic violence, his time in college, and the struggles of pursuing a dream that many would deem as "far-fetched". Very inspirational, and genuine. Listen!
- Music - A song about the power of music. Erick Sermon, a member of the 1980s rap group EPMD nailed this song when he produced Marvin Gayes distinct voice into the chorus. The verses send a positive message regarding how music brings people together. Listen!
- Cherry Wine - Another genius collaboration between a uniquely bright voice and a well-versed rapper. Amy Winehouse has such a vibrant voice, and by mixing her chorus with the lyrical content of Nas, this song truly paints an emotional picture. Before Amy Winehouse passed away she expressed a genuine interest in working with Nas. When this opportunity was presented, magic occurred. Nas and Amy describe what their ideal better half would be like. Listen!
- Where I wanna be - Many guys will argue this is the best break up song out there. The instrumentation is mellow but the lyrics are packed with content that describes a dilemma that every guy will experience at least once in their life time: a fear of commitment. Donell Jones sings about how he would rather let go of someone he cares deeply for, rather than to cheat on them. This is the story of a painful departure from love in order to explore lust. Listen!
- Castles Made of Sand - This song is a motivational masterpiece. Everything from the military-like instrumentation to the honest content gives you reason enough to go chase a dream you had last night. Pitbull speaks about his road to success and how the struggles and fragile situations build his "castle of sand". Former member of Destiny's Child, Kelly Rowland did an amazing job on the hook and there is also a feature by one of Pitbull's artist, Jamie Drastik, which adds a level of contrast to the song. Listen!
- Perfect Mess - This song by Mike Posner is off of a FREE mixtape called "The Layover". If you do not have that, go get it now. Mike Posner is most commonly known for his song "Cooler than you" but to be honest, he has so much more great music that I recommend everyone check out. In this song, Perfect Mess, Mike sings about how everything that glitters is not gold. Often times your life can take drastic changes, for the worse, or hopefully for the better. Either way, these changes can leave your head spinning and your soul a mess...a perfect mess. Listen!
- My Life - Pitbull features Jason Derulo while Jason was still very early in his career. In this song Pitbull raps about the struggles of juggling a relationship and a highly demanding career, a feeling any ambitious man can come to understand all too well. The lyrics are deep, the beat is solid, and Jason's vocals are well placed and catchy. Listen!
- If I ruled the world - By far the most lyrically descriptive song on this list. Nas paints his perfect picture of what the world would be like if he made all the rules. The lyrics are grimmy, extravagant, and inspirational all at the same time. Lauryn Hill on the chorus adds the perfect level of contrast to the story telling that Nas brings to the track. Listen!
- Changes - Many would argue that this was Tupac's most influential song. Every time I hear this track, I wish that rappers nowadays were half as passionate about their community. Today, it is rare that a rapper uses their power of communication to deliver much needed awareness. "I got love for my brothers but we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other. We gotta start making changes, learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers. And that's how it's supposed to be. How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?" R.I.P Pac. Listen!
- Runaway - J.Cole talks about a fear of commitment to a good girl. Cole describes in great detail a topic that almost any guy can relate to. The song tells an honest, and somewhat comedic story of infidelity and difficult choices. Listen!