Last year, as part of Billboard’s Black History Month celebration, we asked Black artists spanning all genres to compile unique playlists exclusive to Billboard‘s Spotify account. Everyone from Normani and Khalid to DJ Premier and& Rapsody shared tracks that represented their love for the culture across the diaspora — from childhood favorites to songs that make them feel free. We continue the celebration in 2020, with R&B singer/songwriter SiR sharing his soundtrack today.
“Black History has been a part of my life and growth since I was a young man,” SiR tells Billboard. “It gave me insight into the problems I would face as a young Black man growing up in the inner city as well as provided me with examples of strong Black leaders from the past.”
He continues: “As an adult, it is now my responsibility to pass on knowledge about our rich history to the younger generation, and to lead by example. The biggest lesson I want to teach young Black men is to be the change they want to see.”
The Inglewood, Calif. native and Top Dawg Ent. signee breaks down some of the key songs on his playlist below:
1. Jay-Z, “Legacy”
[This is a] legendary conversation with his daughter. These are the kind of conversations we should have more with our children.
2. J. Cole, “ATM”
It’s a modern-day “For The Love of Money” [by the O’Jays]. Cole expresses how much money controls our life and decisions.
3. D Smoke, “Bullies”
My favorite song on D Smoke’s new album Black Habits. [Editor’s Note: D Smoke is SiR’s older brother]
4. Beyoncé, “Sweet Dreams”
It’s hard to choose just one Beyoncé song for the playlist. But this happens to be my favorite.
5. Andre 300, “Prototype”
Outkast’s whole album [2003’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below] changed the way I looked at creating music. André 3000 changed how people looked at southern rap/artistry.
6. Anderson .Paak, “’The Bird”
This song got me through some dark times.
7. Missy Elliott, “Get Ur Freak On”
My favorite song from one of my favorite artists.
SiR released his sophomore major-label album Chasing Summer last August, which features fan favorites like “Hair Down” alongside Kendrick Lamar and That’s Why I Love You” featuring Sabrina Claudio. Get into his BHM playlist below.