#SkinnyBlackJams: Songs About Boys – The Mixtape

In case you haven’t heard, I recently published a book: Songs About Boys: The romantic musings and misadventures of my 20s.

The subtitle is pretty self-explanatory, but the title Songs About Boys is a nod to my love of music. I think of the book like a mixtape–an independent release from an underground favorite curated with the hardcore fan in mind.

While editing the book, I was drawn to songs that reminded me of those chapters in my life. Falling in love. Falling out of love. Embracing cynicism. Reveling in the memory of good sex. I live my life to a soundtrack. The more I worked on the book, the more I wanted to re-live its stories in song.

Of course, there’s a playlist.

Songs About Boys – The Mixtape. Sixteen songs; a song representing each essay and a final track that ties up the overall theme of the book. Let’s look at some of my favorites.

Chapter: The Storm
Song: The Point Of It All – Anthony Hamilton 
This chapter–detailing the consequences and difficulties of an open relationship–is named after a lyric in “The Point of It All”: “And no matter what the storm may bring / I’m fine / With you.”

Chapter: Seduced By Solitude 
Song: Porcelain Doll – Chrisette Michele
This essay discusses the end of a committed relationship when I realized I wasn’t the “girlfriend” type. Chrisette’s message–being her own woman and not a possession, resonated heavily with me.

Chapter: Lines
Song: Take Me Home – Terror Squad 
This may or may not tell a story of me seducing someone’s boyfriend. Remy’s line “If he got a girl, I know she heated / Cuz right now, I’m all he needin’ / If he crush me, then trust me / It’s a guarantee that he’s not leavin'” is autobiographical.

Chapter: Remnants
Song: I Don’t Care – Elle Varner 
Ever had someone put it on you so well, you know you’re a goner? Yeah. “Gone and I’m goin’ / Into the deep end / Far over my head / It’s so unfair…” Tell me about it, Elle.

Chapter: N/A (Overall theme of the book)
Song: Not Afraid – Bridget Kelly 
“Can’t see the future / I don’t know what’s in store / But I feel like I’ll be fine as long as I stay the course…” Deciding to live and love my own way (especially when that way seems counter to what I read/see) can be tough. This song reminds me to stick with what feels true to me.

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