14 Beats: Spring, Is That You, Playa?

Listen to this week’s 14 Beats playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.


Hey Chi-Town, did you miss me?

Welcome back to 14 Beats, your one-stop playlist shop curated by yours truly. This week’s playlist is titled Spring, Is That You Playa? In celebration of the youthful fun of spring, I have put together a mix of old school hits that remind me of the bouncy energy of the season. This playlist is perfect for spring cleaning, homework, or just general purpose feel-good dancing. Without further ado, 14 Beats: Spring, Is That You Playa?

  • We start this week with “Dazz,” a 1976 hit from the soul band Brick.
  • Second on the mix is the Isley Brothers’ classic “That Lady, Pts 1& 2.”
  • In the third spot this week is Heatwave’s speedy disco track “The Groove Line.”
  • Fourth is Rick James’ horn-laden heater “Give It To Me Baby,” one of my favorite tracks that he ever laid down.
  • Fifth is the phenomenal Earth, Wind & Fire song “Let’s Groove,” one of my favorite songs of all time because of the airy vibe, as well as the beautiful Afro-Futuristic music video.
  •  George Clinton’s absolutely iconic track “Atomic Dog,” which is actually recorded in reverse!
  • “Rock Steady” by The Whispers, an energetic Babyface-penned track, marks the halfway point.
  • “Watching You” by Slave glides us into the back half of this week’s playlist.
  • Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real,” which has a special place in my heart.
  • After that is The Gap Band’s joyful love song “Outstanding.”
  • Up next is the Shalamar bop “A Night To Remember.”
  • Penultimately on the playlist is the Cameo song “Candy,”  guaranteed to make any Black uncle jump up at the function, or serve as the music in one of the most joy-inducing videos.
  • Last up is Teena Marie’s soulful track “Square Biz,”  a masterful song which Rick James appears on.


As we mourn the loss of Daunte Wright during the trial of Derek Chauvin for the unjust killing of our brother George Floyd, I want to remind Black people: please take care of yourselves. This link is to a directory of Black therapists in Chicago who provide services for under $75, also linked in our newsletter. Here’s seven virtual mental health resources supporting Black people right now, including Chicago-based community organization Sista Afya’s support groups. Talk to each other and lean upon your community. In the words of Malcolm X, “Truth is on the side of the oppressed.” Have faith, for I believe, hope, and pray that justice will be dealt. 


Until next week, where we’ll get into some of my favorite ballads with 14 Beats: Damn, That Girl Can Sing! Aneesah out.



Header image by Jake Runnion