Ayy gurl, it’s Gabe and Abdulla again. We’ve been waiting to release an XXX playlist ever since we were given the green light to submit our first playlist to the Stanford Daily back in Winter Quarter; ever since we embarked on this journey to truly put the “life” in “Arts & Life.” If Stanford wasn’t a wet campus before, it sure will be now.
Behold, Cardinal sin.
“Life Round Here” – James Blake
“Life Round Here” is the second song from Blake’s bleak-yet-sexy 2013 album “Overgrown” we’ve chosen to include in our playlists. Much like “Retrograde” (which we featured in our first playlist) “Life Round Here,” with its hollow, expansive sound and distant falsetto, will leave you in a mood of wanting.
“Fantasy” – Alina Baraz & Galimatias
Gentle, airy “Fantasy” is the fourth entry in Danish producer Galimatias and singer Alina Baraz’s joint eight-song project, “Urban Flora.” The song (and its accompanying video) depict young lovers traveling between fantastic, shimmering spheres, aided by the seamless coupling of Baraz’s dreamy, breathy vocals and Galimatias’s light, atmospheric sound.
“Something About You” – Majid Jordan
One simply cannot have a sex playlist without Toronto duo and mainstay of the Drake-led OVO roster Majid Jordan. “Something About You” is an awesome blend of characteristically melancholy Majid Jordan vocals and moody house beats — a blend which feels like the all-too-real struggle of being at some fun party, all the while consumed by not-so-fun thoughts of lost love.
“Pyramids” – Frank Ocean
While we eagerly await that new Frank Ocean, we’re listening to some “Channel Orange.” Though the ten-minute-long, multi-part “Pyramids” almost feels like a mini-mixtape in and of itself, it’s worth every second. Hypnotic, heavy synth instrumentals dominate the first few minutes, but then undergo a sort of dreamy intermission, ultimately arriving at an uncredited guitar solo from John Mayer and a stretch of woozy, fading vocals from Ocean. An IPC Media perhaps best characterizes Ocean’s experiment, calling it an “R&B Odyssey,” slinking from ancient Egypt, where Cleopatra meets a “snakey doom,” to the present day where Frank is “living that sleazy motel room life.”
“My Love” – Majid Jordan feat. Drake
Sex playlist linchpin Majid Jordan once again teams up with Drake in “My Love.” Yet, unlike Drake’s softer hit single and collaboration with MJ, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” from 2013, “My Love” possesses an undeniable energy and a tangible ebb and flow, which mirrors the ups and downs of love.
“Don’t” – Bryson Tiller
Like “Exchange” — which we featured in our rainy-day playlist back in Winter Quarter — sweaty, sexy, smirking “Don’t” comes from Bryson Tiller’s recent trap-soul fusion album (aptly named T R A P S O U L). And, like “Exchange,” it’ll leave you feeling like you need to change your shirt after listening. By the end, with the song’s tantalizing three second pause in the song’s final minute, it’s clear that Tiller recognizes the gripping, consuming power of his music.
“3AM” – Mads Langer
In feel-good “3AM,” Dutch singer-songwriter Mads Langer employs Avicii-esque keyboard and infectious, rhythmic thumping to cheerily recount makeouts and love-making amidst crashing waves. “3AM” offers a gleeful, up-beat respite from the more sultry, down-beat songs that otherwise characterize much of the genre.
“Save Room” – John Legend
Our Lord and Savior is indeed present even in unexpected places — “Save Room” samples Gábor Szabó’s cover of the song “Stormy” by Classics IV, which, according to always-helpful genius.com, was brought to the attention of Legend by frequent collaborator Kanye West. Though the song’s initial jingle and cheesy vocals seem like little more than arousing elevator music, “Save Room” evolves into a showcase of Legend’s singing abilities and piano mastery.
“I Belong To You” – Lenny Kravitz
Flaming reggae-soft rock fusion “I Belong To You” represents the third single by iconic cheeseball Lenny Kravitz from his 1998 album “5.” Complete with funky percussion, breathy vocals, a groovy bassline, and an irresistible guitar riff around minute three, “I Belong To You” pulses with an all-around whisper-in-your-ear sexiness that we have yet to see replicated.
“Simplethings” – Miguel
As is true with Majid, constructing a sex mix solely from Miguel songs would not be an especially tough task. Steamy “Simplethings” boldly synthesizes gritty, rocking guitar with Miguel’s ever-emotional R&B singing. Originally penned for HBO’s “Girls,” “Simplethings” praises the the simple, hedonistic things in a relationship. Having someone to lay with; to laugh with; to smoke with. In the words of a 2014 sheknows.com review, this song “will do dark, delicious things to you.”
“Get You Good” – Roy Woods
We fully expect to see Roy Woods, the 19-year-old Toronto native and newer fixture of the OVO Sound squad, doing big things in the coming years. Woods’ primal calls and biting sing-rap vocals throughout “Get You Good” really seem to channel king-of-pop Michael Jackson and will no doubt get you good, too.
“the valley” – Miguel
“Why I Love You” – Jay Z and Kanye (feat. Mr. Hudson)
Wooing, roaring “Why I Love You” — “Watch The Throne” finale and, sadly, conclusion to this sweet mix — fittingly carries an undeniable climactic energy, laden with emphatic calls of “Ooh! I love you so!” from Mr. Hudson in the chorus. We will always love how “Why I Love You” juxtaposes a beautiful Mike Dean cello arrangement and soulful vocals from Mr. Hudson with cutting bars from Jay and ‘Ye aimed at unfaithful past Roc-A-Fella business partners — a paradoxical juxtaposition which captures the all-too-real struggle to continue to love and admire someone who has hurt or betrayed you.
Contact Gabe Knight at gknight2 ‘at’ stanford.edu.
Contact Abdulla Janahi at ajanhi ‘at’ stanford.edu.