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Here’s A Black Love Summer Playlist — Curated By The Hottest Authors Of The Season

Photographed by Serena Brown.
What makes a good soundtrack to a love story? That’s the question we asked authors Ashley M. Coleman (Good Morning, Love), Ebony LaDelle (Love Radio), and Akwaeke Emezi (You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty). For these authors — who are getting ready to release a romance novel or have just released one (Emezi’s hit bookshelves this week) — this summer is all about Black love. To tap into that energy, all three used music as a vehicle to drive and inspire their stories.
“What’s amazing about writing a novel about music is the influence songs have on not only my writing process, but the characters,” Coleman says of her latest book, Good Morning, Love, a fictional story about songwriter Carlisa “Carli” Henton, who is hoping to make her big break in the music industry. “Carlisa Henton is multifaceted as a guitar player, songwriter, and singer, and so the songs that motivated and inspired me while writing were right up that alley. She and [her love interest] Tau Anderson are this perfect blend of R&B, soul, and hip-hop, so the playlist I created when writing highlighted that marriage.” 
For LaDelle, songs like “Honesty” by Pink Sweat$ and “I Can’t Wait” by Sleepy Brown really helped her illustrate her story’s most tender moments. “In Love Radio, my main character Danielle isn't thinking about love until she meets Prince, which scares her because she doesn't want anything to mess up her plans of moving away for school. I love the vulnerability in [Pink Sweat$’s song],” she shares. 
And Emezi’s picks capture the sultry energy of a hot summer love. “Tracing from summertime house parties to slow island seductions, [the songs that inspired You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty] follow Feyi as she discovers her alive self and the possibility of a new and burning love.”
From fun club anthems like “Pop That” to what Coleman calls the musical masterclass of Alex Isley and Jack Dine, heat things up and get into Simon & Schuster and Unbothered’s Black Love Summer playlist below.

Akwaeke Emezi’s You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty Playlist

“Big Energy” by Latto
“Best Friend” by Saweetie ft. Doja Cat
“Diggin' On You” by TLC
“Steal My Kisses” by Ben Harper
“Make Out In My Car” by Moses Sumney and Sufjan Steven
“Por el amor de amar (Necesito amor)” by Buika 
“Incantation” by Moses Sumney
“Angel Of Mine” by Monica 
“Infatuation” by Christina Aguilera
“Oops (Oh My)” by Tweet ft. Missy Elliott
“Touch It” by Monifah
“Nobody Has To Know” by Kranium
“Doesn't Really Matter” by Janet Jackson
“Honey” by Mariah Carey 
“Amoré (Sexo)” by Santana ft. Macy Gray
“No Habrá Nadie En El Mundo” by Buika

Ashley M. Coleman’s Good Morning, Love Playlist

“Famous” by Ty Dolla $ign 
“Nothing Even Matters” by Lauryn Hill ft. D’Angelo 
“Without” by Alex Isley and Jack Dine 
“Self Control” by Frank Ocean 
“Pop That” by French Montana, Rick Ross, Drake and Lil Wayne 

Ebony LaDelle’s Love Radio Playlist

“Honesty” by Pink Sweat$ 
“Love Train” by Silk Sonic 
“I Can’t Wait” by Sleepy Brown ft. Outkast London - Bia (ft. J Cole) 
“No One In This World” by Anita Baker 
“London” by Bia ft. J. Cole

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