Variety key to a good mix

Jessica Coello

It’s time again for playback. This week’s playback comes courtesy of Chris McBride, a junior music education major from Homewood. McBride, a musician himself, performs at various clubs in Homewood and downtown Chicago, including the Velvet Lounge. The last concert Chris attended was a free showing of New Edition at the Taste of Chicago, but he’s quick to add that he doesn’t approve of the “new” New Edition, which his friends dragged him to see. McBride believes that mixed CDs should not feature the same artist twice. If he could make the ultimate mix CD, these would be the tracks:

1. “NY State of Mind Pt. II” – Nas. “Nas is my favorite living MC. The song is so chilling in how it talks about his environment and how he grew up.”

2. “My Philosophy” – Ben Folds Five. “They are an awesome group and Ben Folds has a great voice.”

3. “My Funny Valentine” – Miles Davis. “This song is just full of gorgeous ideas. Miles sounds so great on it.”

4. “The Rain Song” – Led Zeppelin. “This is a relaxing song. It’s just beautiful. I’m getting into rock more. Led Zeppelin is an awesome, old-school rock group.”

5. “Web” – The Roots. “Black Thought has an awesome [talent for] lyricism. He needs to be listened to a lot more.”

6. “I’m Really Hot” – Missy Elliott. “I like how the song gets people to dance and groove. It’s just full of adrenaline.”

7. “The Greatest Show On Earth” – R. Kelly. “I feel that R. Kelly is really talented. This song is just a nice, slow song the ladies like.”

8. “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” – Roy Ayers. “This song is just a classic and it’s so mellow. Roy Ayers was one of the first vibraphone players to mix jazz and hip-hop together.”

9. “Sparks” – Coldplay. “Coldplay is very tranquil, but it’s organized tranquility, if that makes any sense. It’s relaxing and calm and yet, very intense.”

10. “Equal Rights” – Peter Tosh. “If reggae was hip-hop, then Peter Tosh would be Biggie and Bob Marley would be Tupac. He’s so slept on – nobody checks him out at all. When I wore a Peter Tosh shirt at DePaul, everyone thought it was Bob Marley.”

11. “Don’t Change” – The Isley Brothers. “The Isley Brothers are musical geniuses in a sense. They keep coming out with hits. The ‘70s was their golden era, in my humble opinion.”

12. “Superstarr Part 1” – K-Os. “K-Os is usually a rapper, but he made this as a rock song. It’s reminiscent of Coldplay, but louder with a nice, calm groove.”

13. “Niama” – John Coltrane. “This is a tribute song to his wife. The song is so gorgeous. His tone makes me shiver.”

14. “Kickin’ the Door” – Biggie Smalls. “Biggie was my favorite MC for a long time. They sampled from the song ‘I’ve Got a Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and flipped the beat of that song and just killed the lyrics. He was talking about Nas in it.”

15. “Africa” – D’Angelo. “The song sounds like it’s about Africa, but it’s actually about his son and how much D’Angelo cares about him. The vibe in the background sounds just like a lullaby. It’s a beautiful song to chill to.”