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[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 5
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 5 is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. Most of these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke 5 Cover.png
 

Solo — “Heaven”

My grandmother was recently moved into a facility to help treat her dementia. When I was younger, she overheard me playing “Heaven” and it became the only song I’ve ever introduced her to. It’s such a beautiful song and it always makes me think about her when I hear it. It’s a shame they didn’t put out more music. I also think it’s kinda funny that a singing group would call themselves Solo.
 

Miguel — “Adorn”

If you used to follow me on Tumblr back in the day, you already know why I included this—but if you didn’t, it’s because this song is my motherfucking shit. Miguel is one of my favorite musicians and this was one of the first joints I remember playing on a continuous loop for hours at a time.
 

Freddie Gibbs — “Palmolive” (feat. Pusha T & Killer Mike)

How can you not love a Pusha verse that starts with “Real bars are the ill bars/these scars are the only real proof they couldn’t kill gods/my coke hand is still sketchin’ out my memoirs/what I did to door panels on them Windstars...” That whole Bandana album is hard, but this is one of the standouts. One day, people will stop sleeping on the homie Gibbs.
 

Westside Gunn — “Sensational Sherri”

So I was super-late on the Griselda wave, but I’ve been listening to them pretty much nonstop for the last couple months. Westside Gunn’s ‘Flygod Is An Awesome God’ album has probably gotten more play than most of the others and this song is a big reason why. The instrumentals, the wrestling clips, the gun talk. I love all that shit. If this is your first foray, peep “Thousand Shot Mac” and “Lakers vs Rockets” too.
 

Rick James — “Mary Jane”

I don’t know why it took me so long to include this classic. Besides the obvious reference, the first time I remember hearing this song was on the movie Friday, one of my favorite films of all time (I’m fairly certain I can still recite it by heart). If I have to explain why this is the perfect song to start off the joint or why it’s one of my favorites, this probably isn’t the playlist for you.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 4
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 4 is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. Most of these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke 4 Cover.png
 

Dr. Dre  — “The Next Episode” (feat. Snoop Dogg)

When I first started curating this playlist, I already knew what I wanted the first and last song to be. As soon as I hear the beginning of the instrumental, it instantly puts me in the right state of mind. Not to mention Nate Dogg ends it perfectly with his “Heeyyyy-ay-aaayyy, smoke weed everyday!” crooning.
 

Rick Ross — “Elvis Presley Blvd.” (feat. Project Pat)

My wife works pretty close to Elvis Presley and when she was still pregnant with Lamb, we stopped by the Krispy Kreme there to get doughnuts and for some reason this song always reminds me of that. Even though I’m not a Memphis native, this joint always makes me feel like I grew up here.
 

Lauryn Hill — “Nothing Even Matters” (feat. D’Angelo)

This is one of the most criminally underrated love songs of all time. Lauryn and D’Angelo were a match made in heaven on this one and I don’t understand how it doesn’t get more recognition from others.
 

Dennis Edwards — “Don’t Look Any Further” (feat. Siedah Garrett)

It’s really hard for me to listen to this song without laughing because I either imagine Dennis Edwards giving the Bobby Brown face at the beginning of the video or the colonizer parody floating around the Internet, but this song still goes hard. Not to mention it perfectly sets up “Hit Em Up” next in the queue, which is one of my favorite diss records of all time.
 

Petey Pablo — “Raise Up”

As a North Carolina native (and Raleigh specifically), I HAD to include this jawn. It reminds me so much of high school, because it’s one of those things I look back on with a mild sense of embarrassment — but only because of how enthusiastic I was about it back in the day. You couldn’t tell me shit when this came on the radio or the video played on BET. It will always hold a special place in my heart even though I can admit to not having heard it in years. I knew it would be the perfect song to end on.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 3
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 3 is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. Most of these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke 3 Cover.png
 

Little Brother  — “Slow It Down”

Phonte spit one of my favorite lines of all time on this jawn: “I want a girl when I want a girl. And when I don’t want a girl, I want a girl who understands that. And that’s some hard shit to explain to a woman that’s in love with you...” My wife actually hates that lyric, but to me it really encapsulates what I ran into quite a bit when I was single. Sometimes, you like a girl but not enough to make a commitment — not because there’s anything wrong with her, but because a relationship isn’t what you’re looking for. It’s a line that I’ve always thought was underrated (mostly because Phonte is underrated in general), but it’s just a small part of what makes this song so great.
 

Ray J — “Wait A Minute” (feat. Lil’ Kim)

I know some folks kinda think of Ray J as a joke at this point in his career (or maybe they’ve always thought that), but I think it’s silly to underestimate someone worth $6 million. If you asked a hundred people about his most popular hit, most of them would probably pick ‘One Wish.’ But this is his best song IMO. Shoutout to OG Lil’ Kim rapping on the feature and The Neptunes on production.
 

Lauryn Hill — “Ex-Factor”

Is there any song about a past relationship that’s more relevant than this one? I mean, does the significance even need to be explained? It’s just one of those songs that’s hauntingly beautiful and I’m afraid the pain in Lauryn’s voice will forever be etched in my mind.
 

TWENTY88 — “Deja Vu”

One day last summer, I played this song about 100 times in a row. I just couldn’t get enough of it. Jhene Aiko and Big Sean need to make songs together forever, because there’s something about their music that just makes sense. This is another one of those relationship songs that I believe we can all relate to.
 

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes — “I Miss You”

I’m a huge, huge, HUGE fan of this song. I mean, how many of us had to beg for their lady back after we inevitably fucked up? Even still, while I can admit relating to the outro on more than one occasion, I still think it’s wild the song goes on for about seven minutes before he asks about his son’s whereabouts — I’d assume that would be brought up a little quicker. A sign of the times, I guess. Even still, this is another classic breakup song.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 2
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower 2 is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. Most of these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke 2 Cover.png
 

Todd Rundgren — “Hello It’s Me”

I’m a huge fan of ‘That 70s Show’ and I’ve probably watched every episode about a hundred times. During the first episode, the gang goes to a Todd Rungren concert in Eric’s Vista Cruiser and end up having to exchange a muffler for two tickets. It’s one of my favorites, but I always slept on the actual music, thinking it was just an old song by some white guy. One night when I was smoking, I actually paid attention for once and discovered that shit actually slaps though.
 

Nas — “If I Ruled the World” (feat. Lauryn Hill)

Nas was the first rapper I ever fucked with heavy. In fact, this was the first rap song I ever memorized from beginning to end. I actually wrote all lyrics out and listened to it over and over until I could recite it without any mistakes. When I got older and started writing, it became the first song I’d play before starting an outline for a new story because it always put me in a contemplative state. I mean, as I began world-building, I would just ask myself: what WOULD you do if you ruled the world?
 

Kendrick Lamar — “Kush & Corinthians” (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid)

I actually wrote a script for a series called “Kush & Corinthians” about two brothers who live completely opposite lives until one finds God — I still need to put that out. Anyway, Kendrick snapped on this jawn, and there aren’t nearly not enough people who know how talented BJ the Chicago Kid is. This is another song that really puts me in a creative state of mind.
 

Kanye West — “Devil in a Blue Dress” (feat. Rick Ross)

I know we’re not fucking with Kanye at the moment because of the “slavery is a choice” comment, but this is arguably his best song. The production is A-1 and I still get hype every time Ross spits ”when it come to tools... fool, I’m a Pep Boy!”
 

Lupe Fiasco — “Mural“

Niggas forget how dope Lupe is because he goes over our heads sometimes (well, a lot of the time). This joint doesn’t even have a hook. It’s just nine minutes of him rocking over spectacular production. TETSUO & YOUTH dropped like four years ago and it still feels like I’m discovering new metaphors in this joint, because of how dense his lines are.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Songs For People Who Smoke in the Shower is a playlist I created because I like to play music when I smoke in the shower. I cut the lights low, turn the music up and let all the stress of the day melt away. All these songs have been played ad nauseam over the past year or so, and although theres no single cohesive theme among them, once you spark your lighter and let the music take you away, I think you’ll immediately get the vibe.

Songs For People Who Smoke Cover.png
 

Nipsey Hussle — “Blue Laces 2”

Even before he passed, I knew this would be the first song on the playlist because I’ve played it like a thousand times. This has always been my second favorite Nipsey joint (“4 in the Morning” still reigns supreme) and from the very beginning of the song, it just gets me in the right headspace. RIP Nip. 
 

Ari Lennox — “GOAT”

When I heard she was dropping her debut album, I had to double take, because I could’ve sworn she already had one - her 2016 EP ‘PHO’ still gets major play and “GOAT” is def my go to joint. “Shea Butter Baby” with J. Cole also goes hard and I hope it ends up being her breakthrough hit, because her music has been dope for a minute.
 

Freddie Gibbs — “Triple Threat”

Surprisingly, my daughter lights up whenever she hears this song, so every time I hear it, I automatically think of her. More than that though, I played this album more than anything last year, so I had to include it here.
 

Little Brother — “The Pressure”

I may be the last holdout for one more LB album, but the production on this (and pretty much every Little Brother track) is so incredible and always reminds me of being back in North Carolina. Not to mention, Phonte goes the fuck off on this joint.
 

OutKast — “SpottieOttieDopaliscious”

If I ever get serious about completing this spoken word album, I have to feature this instrumental at some point. I’ve always wanted to spit something dope over this. If you can’t smoke one and vibe out to this joint, I don’t know what else to tell you.
 

Listen to the playlist below or simply click the link.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

[PLAYLIST] The Official Soundtrack For CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM
 

BY P. CURRY

 

We asked P. Curry to curate a Spotify playlist for Calliope of Atalan: The American Dream and he selected a whopping 56 songs featuring Cardi B, Ice Cube, Kriss Kross and Frank Ocean.

Spotify Cover Calliope copy.jpg
 

Tracie Spencer - "This House"

What would a book set in 1992 be without some New Jack Swing? While this particular cut is rather obscure today, it suits the nature of the story very well. Upbeat, but a little chaotic. Spencer uses a happy, yet trembling voice that shows an optimistic outlook in spite of troubling circumstances, which defines not only this book but just the overall series of Calliope of Atalan as a whole.
 

Bruno Mars - "Finesse" (Remix) feat. Cardi B

Okay, so I’m sure we’ve all seen one of those movies or TV shows set in the past that are set to modern music. Anachronism can be very fun….when it’s done correctly. The problem many said films and series suffer from is how nothing about the modern music choice even makes sense. That being said, while us 80’s and 90’s babies may have a lot of nostalgia for the 90’s, the nostalgia factor will indeed be lost on younger audiences. So this is why I chose Finesse as the theme music for the series; it manages to simultaneously sound like a throwback for those who came up in the generation while still being familiar to younger audiences AND also making sense in context. Anachronism done right.
 

The Jackson 5 - "Lookin’ Through The Windows”

A major plot element of this book is how Calliope seems to only know the world from bedroom window. Suffice to say, there’s another mysterious character who also spends most of his time looking upon the world from her window whom she briefly comes in contact with. Although this song is more romantic in nature, I think another way to interpret it is to try to look inside the numerous people who pass you by that you never meet, which is what Calliope has spent her entire life doing.
 

Kriss Kross - “Jump”

Only the quintessential song of any 90’s party; parties which happen the house next door to Calliope’s quite often.
 

Randy Crawford - “One Day I’ll Fly Away”

Calliope’s favorite song, and probably her theme song as well. The message suits her very well; living life from dream to dream, and yet, she wants to actually live her dreams, not wait until the day when they must end.
 

Smokey Robinson - “Being With You”

One thing Demeter loves is her oldies, always playing and humming along to them whenever she cooks. That being said, there’s a certain irony to this. After all, she may wish she’s happy being with her husband, but she can no longer pretend that the marriage is indeed falling apart.
 
CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM by P. Curry
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CALLIOPE OF ATALAN: THE AMERICAN DREAM by P. Curry
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228 pp. Inside the beloved polis of Auburn, Calliope Thessaly is a teenage writer bound to an immaculate home at the behest of her strict parents. Once summer break begins, her father announces an unexpected move to nearby Griffin where she is granted a little more freedom, making sure to explore the new area at every turn. As summer carries on, she finds the new area mundane and it doesn’t take long for her to discover that many of its pretentious inhabitants are intolerable. Even worse, stress from the move begins to reveal cracks within her family dynamic. As Calliope prepares to begin school in Griffin for the first time, things come to a head when she discovers a mysterious box that exposes the city’s dark past as well as a supreme force that has the ability to change everything.

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Frank Ocean - “Sweet Life”

After the move is made from Auburn to Griffin, I imagine that Calliope and all four of her siblings to have grown increasingly disenchanted with the upper middle-class life their family lead. After all, there’s nothing to complain about, but it often times feels like there’s nothing to live for either.
 

Madonna - “Material Girl”

Another song that satirizes affluence, Calliope comes across a number of girls with the sort of attitude and mindset which Madonna describes in this song.
 

Alicia Keys - “Diary”

One major element of this book is that of secrets and interestingly enough, it seems that Calliope is the bearer of all of them. However, as Calliope will always looks out for those whom she loves, anything anyone says will remain safe with her.
 

Bobby Brown - “Humpin’ Around”

You know, now that I think about it, Brutus’s character arc does correlate with Bobby Brown’s life in a number of ways. Like Brown, Brutus was reckless, arrogant, loudmouthed and just didn’t give a f-, only for his life of indulgent chaos to suddenly come crashing down. This song plays at the very moment that happens for Brutus. Originally, I just put this in because I needed another 90’s song, but this creative epiphany I’m having here makes a lot of sense. I dig the coincidence.
 

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - “They Reminisce Over You”

A sort of shared theme between Brutus and Julius; two brothers with a very strained and turbulent relationship. While this song largely represents grief over the death of a loved one, I still think it works as one major plot point involves them having a massive fall out.
 

Beck - “Loser”

I’m well acquainted with the feeling of being a deer in headlights. On Calliope’s first day at her new school, she’s the same way; staring around at everyone, ever so mousy, only to end up feeling like, well, a loser.
 

Geto Boys - “Mind Playing Tricks On Me”

The Megalopolis is a very unsettling place indeed, so this music definitely fits what’s going in Calliope’s mind whenever she’s there.
 

You can listen to the entire soundtrack below or on Spotify.


 You can purchase Calliope of Atalan: The American Dream here.