Inspired by D-Nice: 10 uplifting, soul albums to get through quarantine
Here's a list of music that can get you through these trying times, inspired by the popular DJ's live social media sets.
If you’ve been following D-Nice‘s Club Quarantine on Instagram, you’ve likely been amazed by the vast catalog of music he carries around in his head. Spinning live from his Los Angeles apartment (with enviable views) he’s played across the spectrum of musical genres and eras.
But if you’ve been to a D-Nice party offline — and there have been some memorable ones- you know his specialty is the music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The youthful-looking DJ, born Derrick Jones turns 50 this year, so his wide range of musical tastes come as no surprise.
Whether it’s New York City club jams, album deep cuts, or the music you’d find at any backyard family barbeque, D-Nice has a special place in his musical heart for a certain mix of soul, dance, and what we’d describe as golden age hip-hop.
We’re all in need of some uplifting music right now. If listening to D-Nice inspired you to go digging into your auntie’s, uncle’s or parent’s record collection or Spotify/Apple/Tidal playlists to find out what he’s playing, we’re giving you just a little taste of some joyful/thought-provoking/inspirational/soulful albums from multiple eras just to get you started.
And don’t forget to check out the return of Club MTV with D-Nice on Saturday, April 25 at 10 p.m. ET and PT on MTV, and simulcast across VH1, MTV2, and PlutoTV.
Also, this is our personal, eclectic and admittedly leaning to the soul and old-school list … so don’t @ us. We heard what we heard! Let it be a guide, not a mandate.
Head To The Sky – Earth, Wind and Fire (1973)
Earth, Wind and Fire had so many inspiring hits, including “That’s the Way of the World” and “September” and “Reasons,” but this album epitomizes their intention to provide healing through music.
Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye (1973)
If you’re lucky enough to be quarantined with a significant other – and one you genuinely like – put this on, light some candles and take off your clothes. No need to press pause, just repeat. Yes, love and sex are uplifting and you should get/have as much of it as possible while on lockdown. You’re welcome.
Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder (1976)
We shouldn’t have to explain this, but for any millennials who stumbled across this post…this is, pound for pound, one of the greatest albums of all time in any genre. If SITKOL doesn’t move you in some way, well, we’re sorry that no one upgraded your musical sensibilities during your formative years.
Sign of the Times – Prince (1987)
The Minneapolis genius was ahead of his time in many ways and this album proves it. It will make you think, dance, dream, reflect and love. Not too many people can combine social consciousness and overt sexuality, but that’s why he was who he was.
The Evolution of Gospel – Sounds of Blackness (1991)
Prince put Minneapolis on the map but the city was rife with musical talents in several different genres. This underrated 80’s gospel/soul collective is responsible for music that can provide solace in any situation.
Growing Pains- Mary J. Blige (2007)
We all know Mary for her love-gone-wrong hits but on this album, she leans toward personal evolution and proclaims herself as “just fine.” It’s one of her most thoughtful releases and its one that can assist in some of the internal growth we’re all trying to enhance in this crisis.
Testimony Vol. 2 – Love and Politics India.Arie (2009)
India.Arie’s catalog is more than just hair. This album is packed with feel-good songs about the good things in life – love, self-esteem, spirituality, and family support.
A Seat At The Table– Solange (2016)
Yes, her sister’s a global superstar whose work of late has been more black-centric than ever before. But Solange’s first real grown-up album is the soundtrack for every Black girl or woman who struggles to be understood, appreciated, included, and valued.
Malibu – Anderson.Paak (2016)
Anderson.Paak had to have spent his youth taking in the greats before him. This is the result – a multi-genre masterpiece of sensual soul, hip-hop, R&B, and blues that encompasses all of what came before with an artistry that is his very own.
Black America Again Common (2016)
2016 was a tough year – that is, until 2020 came along. But in 2016, we lost David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Vanity, “Martin” actor Thomas Mikal Ford, “Do the Right Thing” star Bill Nunn, journalist Gwen Ifill, comedian Ricky Harris and singer George Michael just to name a few! And then, Trump became president. In the midst of all this, late that year, Common released this criminally underrated album. It’s a statement on the times, life, love, transition and more and it deserves more ears.