2022 has undoubtedly been a fantastic year for Hip-Hop/Rap. Great releases from artists like Kendrick Lamar, Denzel Curry, Saba, Freddie Gibs, Conway the Machine, LUCKI (I did not like his album, but who am I right?), and Black Thought have dominated the rap scene this year. It is damn near impossible to crown any of these men the prestigious “Rap Album of the Year” award. But for those who don’t know, I correctly predicted Jazmine Sullivan’s 2021 Grammy win for “R&B Album of the Year,” and now that I’m rightfully cocky about my foresight, I’d like to try my hand again at another Grammy prediction.
Hello Hello! My name is Ehren Layne, and this is the first installment of a new series I will be writing for BP called the “Weekly Round-Up.” Each week, I will be discussing my favorite releases across a variety of musical genres. Though these songs will be of different genres, what connects them all is the color of the artist’s skin (blackity black y’all!). With this series, I hope to expose Black and non-Black students to the music of Black musicians across many genres. Not only is this an opportunity for me to discover Black music, but for you to engage with music they may otherwise have. I hope you can join me on this journey through Black music! For week one, I will be reviewing my favorite releases since the beginning of the academic year. No specific genre is attached to these songs, however, most of them are R&B or incorporate R&B aesthetics.
A smooth, sensual take on 1970s Funk, “Leave the Door Open” captures the essence of black love in an expressingly braggadocious, yet thoughtful fashion. The harmonies are reminiscent of the Isley Brothers - low, soft background vocals floating atop simple drum progressions matched with tenderly soaked tenor vocals.