Seven Songs to Save Your Life v.1

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Good music is a gift from heaven. It rights the ship when life hits rocky waters. I’ve lost count of how many times the perfect song has snatched me from the brink. So here are seven songs that saved me this week. Maybe they’ll do the same for you.

7. “Lost in the World” (Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) – This song feels like: communion, church, celebration. How it saved me: We always want to be “found,” or find ourselves. This song isn’t about the salvation of being found, but rather the adventure in being lost. It’s always given me a joyful Alice in Wonderland feel. And the hooks fill me like new religion.

6. “Spread Your Wings” (Queen – News of the World) – This song feels like: hope, resolve. How it saved me: “Sammy was low, just watchin’ the show, over and over again.” Freddie Mercury still has one of the most distinctive, powerful voices in music, almost 25 years after he left us. My confidence and belief in my ability to do “this” take hits all of the time. In a moment where I felt like everything was passing me by, this song played in my head and gave me the “more” that I needed.

5. “DEATHCAMP” (Tyler the Creator – Cherry Bomb) – This song feels like: explosion, evolution, kicked in doors. How it saved me: DEATHCAMP’s opening guitar riff (sampling this jewel) hit my ears like a grenade. Going nuts when this song comes on is a requirement. Tyler’s growth as an artist has been my pleasure to witness.

4. “Oysters” (Meshell Ndegeocello – Weather) – This song feels like: unconditional love. How it saved me: This song played two weeks ago during the premier episode of “Queen Sugar,” and it stuck with me. It made me think of all the things I believe love is and isn’t. “Sometimes you wont get it right/but when you do, it’s outta sight.” Indeed.

3. “Up the Ladder” (Herizen Guardiola and Justice Smith – The Get Down: Original Soundtrack) This song feels like: young love and dreams. How it saved me: These raw, young, strong voices literally bring tears to my eyes. Herizen Guardiola is not a voice or face we’ll be forgetting soon. The simplistic honesty in this song feels like the things we wish we were eloquent enough to write in our teenage diaries.

2. “Same Drugs” (Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book) This song feels like: growing up. How it saved me: Growing apart from a person is confusing, but it’s a valid part of life. This song is full of longing, without bitter resentment. The love that he still sends is palpable.

1. “Mighty Healthy” (Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele) This song feels like: epic boss shit. How it saved me: You become the boss by being ambitions. You remain the boss by remaining hungry. “We want it so bad, we might cry.” I feel this every bone tired night that I stay up to scratch out one more paragraph, idea, chess move.

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