Before I get into any of this, I would actually like to thank DJ Lefty. He pitched this idea to me. Us writers get a lot of pitches regularly and frankly, they can be exhausting. Every so often there’s a diamond in the rough. Whether it be a single, EP, or an artist you just see potential in. This is the first time that someone requested coverage of a playlist. Being a DJ whose talent and taste I respect, I was very excited about it. This one’s titled SoulFood Vol.3 – Victoria’s Kitchen & Catering.
I also curate playlists myself, and hold some particular values with that. Anyone can just throw popular songs or the entirety of a good album (yeah, I’ve seen it) on a playlist. Few can construct a cohesive, flowing experience using different songs together in harmony. I like to be told a story. Take me somewhere. Make me feel something. I love being put on to an artist I haven’t heard. An older song I haven’t listened to in a while being returned to my attention is the best form of nostalgia.
Bergen County’s DJ Lefty is surely gifted behind the boards. His midas touch with the Apple Music links is a sight to be heard. I know that made zero sense but real ones gon’ feel me. For this playlist, he took a trip out to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the sole purpose of trying macaroni and cheese. I’d totally do the same.
Victoria’s Kitchen and Catering sits on Ogontz Avenue. It’s a small restaurant, but evidently through the music its impact on Sir WithTheLeftHand was enormous. This playlist is three hours and 10 minutes of love, loss, confusion, yearning, vulnerability. All emotions that I may or may not feel when I have the right plate of Mac and Cheese. Y’all know the vibes.
Upon listening, I didn’t feel like I was at my laptop in my living room. I wasn’t typing this and sipping water from a Gatorade bottle. Instead, I was at a romantic candlelit dinner. I’m sitting across from my beautiful woman, clinking our seventh glass of wine and finishing up our meal. We share smiles, laughs, banter but the most gratifying experience is the unspoken language we speak.
The opening tune of “Feeling U, Feeling Me (Interlude)” by my childhood crush Alicia Keys is warm. Solange carries that on with “Dreams.” Further along, the 1-2 punch of “Rain On Me” by Ashanti and “Lifetime (Uncut)” by Maxwell feels like a moment where I get caught up looking at her. Only I’m really staring into a future of bliss with many more nights like this. “Somehow your love set me free.”
I wrote about Lefty previously, being an old soul trapped in a youthful body that can set off any party if need be. A young man free of pride but reverent to his elders. A rising New Jersey talent who can see both sides. Only he takes it a step further and uses that vision to bridge the gap musically. This playlist is that and more.
My parents will smile at the inclusion of Joe, Janet Jackson, Tweet, and Donell Jones. I clap at the addition of Brent Faiyaz, Boogie, SiR, Lucky Daye, and VanJess. I’m pleasantly surprised Jeremih‘s “Forever I’m Ready” is on there, which I forgot I really enjoyed upon Chocolate Box‘s release. He brings it back to my sadboy middle school days with “All I Do” by B5 to end off the playlist. I must say, the sequencing of Drake’s “4422” followed by Jacquees on “4275” is not just clever but oddly fitting. I surely wasn’t hip to UMI, Sango & Waldo, Nick Wisdom or a few others so I appreciate those plugs. At least I don’t think I was?
DJ Lefty was truly cooking up. Making the Soul Food reference and theme even stronger. He’s dedicating the series to restaurants and his love for food but matching the delicacies with food for your ears. You better believe my next trip to Philly will include a stop at Victoria’s. You all should too. Let them know Lefty sent you. Tap into this playlist, and his older work. When have I steered you wrong?