1 “I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos
Even if you haven’t met the one. Even if you don’t believe in the one. Maybe you’re with the one. Either way, this song will make you believe in only having eyes for that one special someone.
2. “Zealots” by Fugees
Listen closely and you’ll notice the sample from that previous Flamingos song. One of the Fugees’ strongest tracks off their 1996 classic, The Score.
3. “Ostavi Trag” by September
Just listen to this wondrous, ceremonious, thelonious, harmonious creation and travel to heaven’s train station. This song is the main sample for Kendrick’s “DUCKWORTH.”
4. “DUCKWORTH.” by Kendrick Lamar
The best art of storytelling since Aquemini era Outkast from the greatest lyricist in the game. It’s also one helluva unbelievable story. You’ll understand the allure of K-Dot after this.
5. “Footsteps in the Dark, Pts. 1 & 2” by The Isley Brothers
The foundation of Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day,” Thundercat’s “Them Changes,” and J Dilla’s “Won’t Do,” just to name a few.
6. “Them Changes” by Thundercat
Thundercat is the best contemporary bass player. Debate me. Rather, just turn this up and escape into the bass line or those Isley Brotheresque drums. Ariana has a spottieottiedopalicious cover version of this too, by the way.
7. “What You Won’t Do for Love” by Bobby Caldwell
I guess you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. I’ve been to the park and back again just to stay on track again, listening to Bobby Caldwell, dreaming of Lesane Parish Crooks.
8. “Do For Love” by 2Pac
R U still down? [remember me] — that’s the name of the record that this song’s from. I encourage y’all to revisit your ‘Pac collection and return to this classic. And if you don’t know, now you know.
9. “Didn’t Cha Know” by Erykah Badu
The Queen of that so-called neo-soul. Whatever the genre, Badu is a goddess and one of my favorite free-thinking poet artists in the game. The otherside of the game.
10. “Too Deep for the Intro” by J. Cole
I couldn’t put this at the start because it might be too deep for those not inclined to call themselves “J. Cole fans.” Plus, it has to follow the sample it uses (the previous song).
11. “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” by Gil Scott-Heron
The Godfather of hip-hop is Gil Scott-Heron. He’s the man who told us the revolution will not be televised. And here is one of my favorite by him, sampled in the next song.
12. “My Way Home” by Kanye West & Common
Common basically just raps over the instrumental of “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” and Kanye seems to be writing roses on this one. Still, it’s one of my favorite Common verses and an absolute essential off of the GOAT Ye album, Late Registration.
13. “Bad Idea” by YBN Cordae & Chance the Rapper
Although rather catchy in a generic pop type way, these two leaders of their generation revitalize the classics by Kanye, Common, and Heron. They hold it down, no worries.