After a year of in-house dates, this Valentine's Day may call for a little more thought to get the proverbial "juices" flowing. While dinner and a movie can be a nice appetizer, the main event is most definitely dessert. When we think of the Black romance films that we all know and adore, we often remark on the music that scored the scenes we see ourselves reflected in. On this day of love, use these iconic soundtracks to set the mood right. If you're really looking to show out, try them all and see how long you can last.
Lauryn Hill. Maxwell. Xscape. Larenz Tate reciting his Brother To The Night poem? Listen, is the heat on? This album is full of music to take you from gift exchanges to exchanging sweet nothings of passion. Let these tracks take the lead in your still fresh but definitely settled in relationship while it helps you both unlock a new level of your sex life. I'm not responsible for what happens by the time you get to Nia Long's "I Am Looking At Music"— if you make it that far. Just know when that jones comes down, it's a mother…
LOVE & BASKETBALL
Whether you're longtime loves like Monica and Quincy or spending your first Valentine's Day together, this soundtrack can definitely get you where you need to go. The upbeat tracks like Guy's "I Like" and Lucy Pearl's "Dance Tonight" are perfect for cooking together or feeding each other chocolate-covered strawberries and sipping champagne. At the same time, Chaka's "Sweet Thing" and Bilal's "Soul Sista" can set the tone for some living room slow dancing. No romantic night is complete without Meshell Ndegeocello's sultry tenor register coming through the speakers. Never mind that this track is about the end of love. It's the vibe that matters. After that, let Maxwell's "This Woman's Work" play on repeat, and, hopefully, you'll see the sunrise together.
THE BEST MAN
I mean…does it get much better than this one? With tracks from Faith Evans, Ginuwine and others, this is a great choice for those of you in those relationships that are long-lasting and persevering. Remind your partner how much they mean to you while Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill serenade you with "Turn Your Lights Down Low" and relish in the time to slow things down with Kenny Lattimore's "Beautiful Girl." This soundtrack has love written all over it from top to bottom. Turn this on as your night is winding down, and pair it with a sensual oil massage to kick off foreplay.
This one is full of classic hip-hop jams for those of you spending some extended time with your significant other due to the pandemic and who want this to be a pretty chill night. It works well if you simply want to do away with any grand romantic gesturing expectations and just enjoy one another's company. Maybe you don't buy into the commercialized aspect of Valentine's Day but still want to just hit a two-step with the one you love, start this joint from the beginning and ride out with it. You'll still get your point across while exchanging verses on Erykah Badu and Common's "Love Of My Life (Ode To Hip Hop)" and Mary J.'s "Never Been" is a good track for settling in on the couch for a good make-out session.
Let Aretha Franklin take you away on this Curtis Mayfield produced gem for those of you with an old soul. "Something He Can Feel"…we can really stop there. If you've been wanting to express to your partner how deeply you desire and appreciate them, this album does all the talking for you. Old school music is always a great gateway into sharing memories and feeling real grown. Get dressed up and make it a classic night that neither of you will soon forget.
New to our cherished Black love movie canon, The Photograph is laced with the best of the best from Robert Glasper. The jazzy elements can underscore any vows of love you and your partner may want to share, while tracks like Lucky Daye's "Fade Away" and H.E.R's "Comfortable" are great for eyeing one another across the kitchen island or playing footsie underneath the dinner table. If either of you are planning to give any thoughtful gifts, this can be a good choice for keeping the vibe steady and letting you explain the meaning behind what you're gifting. Also, sensuality is a dying art, and having no one's words to interfere with the chemistry between the two of you can unlock some steamy possibilities.
Hopefully, these albums give you a good starting point for some special quality time this coming Valentine's Day. Let me know how it goes 😉