1. ‘The Fire’ by The Roots. This song is a stand out for me. The lyrics paint a strong visual. “The only thing I feel in my heart is inspired/ By the challenge that I find myself standing eye-to-eye with/ To move like a wise warrior and not a coward.” Rhyming along to this before a show gets me psyched and ready to go.
2. ‘Desire’ by Pharoahe Monch. Soulful and uplifting. This is for those who are passionate about their goals. Once you’re driven or aware of where you want to go, you need to put your head down and push towards your destination. This song pays tribute to that desire.
3. ‘We Are’ by DJ Jazzy Jeff feat. Cy Young and Raheem DeVaughn. This song reminds me to remain present. We’ve all been through hardships in life. Each individual in this world has a story. The difference between those who get through and those who don’t is faith and persistence. I often come back to this song for inspiration.
4. ‘Be’ by Common. This is my favourite intro song to an album. Common’s lyrics sit perfectly over this soulful jam. “Walk like warriors we were never told to run/ Explored the world to return to where my soul begun/ Never looking back or too far in front of me/ The present is a gift, and I just wanna be.”
5. ‘Move On Up’ by Curtis Mayfield. Curtis Mayfield has influenced many great artists. He’s one of the most sampled artists in hip hop. This song is such a feel good jam! It’s the ultimate happy song. I wish I could have seen Curtis perform this live; one of my all time favourites. It puts me in the right mindset before a show.
L-Fresh The Lion plays the Trans Hotel November 9.