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Honoring Friendship With a Playlist

Making a repository of jams helps us maintain significant relationships

Photograph: Westend61/Getty Photos

A few days in the past, my expensive good friend, Sabrina Ford, texted me about constructing a playlist along with her. She described it as “the cutest friend activity” and insisted “we need to do one.” I used to be offered immediately. Friendship within the time of Covid is difficult. So any exercise to assist preserve it’s appreciated. And it includes music? Guess. Music is definitely one of many methods Sabrina and I first linked.

Greater than a decade in the past, Sabrina and I met whereas working at Folks journal. We bonded over popular culture and live shows (we love us some Teedra Moses, Amel Larrieux, and The Web), and lived inside a 15-minute stroll from one another in Harlem earlier than she moved to Los Angeles almost seven years in the past. The space between us didn’t chip away at our friendship. As an alternative we grew nearer, interacting extra now than once we had been dwelling in the identical metropolis. Earlier than the pandemic, we might journey to see one another at any time when we might. Certainly one of my final journeys in 2020, earlier than Covid modified every little thing, was to L.A. to look at the Lakers play the Path Blazers with Sabrina. (Once we made plans the month earlier than, we had no concept that recreation could be performed in tribute to Kobe Bryant, who died 5 days earlier.)

Lately, not sure of once we’ll see one another in-person once more, Sabrina and I are leaning on FaceTimes, snail mail, and day by day check-in texts and audio messages to remain linked. And now, we’re curating a collaborative playlist, a tiny solution to honor our friendship underneath these social-distanced circumstances. And that’s the factor about this pandemic, we’re all getting inventive in how we maintain the relationships which might be significant to us. Doing the most effective we are able to to point out up for one another, even within the smallest of the way.

Whereas making a playlist isn’t novel, I had by no means finished one with an in depth good friend. Sabrina was proper, it’s numerous enjoyable. A joyful solution to reunite with the sounds and tales which have us texting one another “that’s my jam!”

First we settled on a theme: unique songs + the songs that pattern the previous. It’s our manner of returning to the back-in-the-day bops we love and rediscovering the DNA of our favourite songs from latest eras. We agreed on the title “What’s Old Is New!” — a nod to the sonic lineages heard all through. We began with eight songs: Sabrina selected Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones, Pt. II,” which is sampled in Mariah Carey’s “The Roof” (Mariah’s most underrated music, when you ask me), and Minnie Riperton’s “Baby, This Love I Have” sampled by A Tribe Known as Quest’s “Check the Rhime.” I chosen: Roy Ayers Ubiquity’s “Everybody Loves The Sunshine,” which is present in Mary J. Blige’s “My Life,” and Betty Wright’s “Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do,” which is ever-present in Beyonce’s “Upgrade U.”

We have now greater than 55 songs, surpassing 4 hours of listening. And we ain’t stopping.

The playlist is all about connections — between songs, between eras, and between mates. It’s a shared reward and reflection of our friendship. One which I’m hanging onto till Sabrina and I can blast this, collectively, in one another’s presence.

Have you ever created a playlist with mates? Tell us the title and some of the songs included within the responses.

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