What do you listen to when you travel?

I love music.

I can trace nearly every significant moment in my life to a particular song or an album. And for as long as I can remember, music has been inextricably connected to my life.

When I was growing up I’d listen to Jodeci and write fan letters about how fine I thought DeVante was (and I’d pine over some boy I had a crush on), and as I got older and more aware, I turned to hip hop because I felt it best expressed how I felt. Back in ’94 (I’m dating myself), when I was a freshman in high school I listened to Nas’ “Illmatic” for a year straight and scribbled into notebooks, lockers, and on the palms of my hands. It is because of that album that I’m a writer today. Seriously.

When I travel….it’s no different.

Sometimes I search for songs to fit my mood. And others, I might hear something while I’m on the road that becomes the theme of my trip. Gearing up to go to London, I was introduced to a UK artist named Shakka. After hearing his song on a mix, I googled him and found out he put out his own mixtape. Maybe it was the fact I was getting ready to go to London and he was British, or perhaps it’s just cuz I fell in love with his voice (it’s pretty dope), but I listened to that album insistently before, during, and now, after my trip.

For whatever reason, while I was in London I really just wanted to hear something soulful. I couldn’t listen to any ignorant rap (don’t get me wrong, I love it at times), and I didn’t want to hear any jazz. While I was there I stayed listening to Shakka, Jill Scott, Ms. Badu, the Roots, the Foreign Exchange, and a mixtape (download it, it’s hot) by my brotha in travel, Mike Bigz. Each of these put me in the mood to explore, reflect, and just experience the moment.

What do you listen to when you’re on the road? 

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