Throwback Thursday!

Hey everyone! So today is Thursday which means it’s the perfect day to reminisce on some older songs. Today’s feature contains three songs that are oldies but still goodies and all seem to have one thing in common…New York!

1. Jay- Z – Anything (2000)

I mentioned this song earlier in the week on my instagram story and I have been playing it repeatedly since. I love this song because it is living proof that music can be made from any sample. It also shows how and why Hov is considered one of the greatests with the ability to make a great rap song with a sample from the musical ‘Oliver‘. This was the second time Hov sampled a song featured in a musical after using “Hard Knock Life” from the musical Annie in his 1998 hit “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”. The song could be considered quite motivational as Hov regularly spits words of wisdom throughout the song. It seems as if Hov is reminiscing on the lessons he has learnt from people in his life; “Strive for what you believe in, set goals and you can achieve them”, this one from his mother. The standout lines for me in this song and the words that resonate are; “Don’t listen to your crew, do what works for you”…Standing back from situations gives you the perfect view”. The song feels like Hov is writing an open letter to young people teaching them all the things he has ekarnt from growing up. Have a listen below!

2. Lil Kim – No Matter What They Say (2000)

Following on the theme of life lessons, the second throwback song is by the Queen Lil Kim. The song is song expressing that in life you have to ignore what others may say “Who cares about what they think” and live your own life. The song alone has three different switches in the song. The beginning, the verses Kim provides us with her hard hitting taps while the chorus sounds more playful. The third switch up (my favourite bit) is after the second verse when the song changes tone and Diddy has a small interlude. Kim has a little freestyle where she states that she is “highest, your highest title, numero uno”. There is even a reference in the third verse to “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang. Another rap song using references in such an amazing way. Have a listen to the classic Kim below.

3. The Notorious B.I.G. – Would You Die For Me Ft. Lil Kim & Diddy (1999)

Following on the theme of Kim & Diddy features, this song by one of my favourite rappers is an old school vibe. The beat of this song, Biggies unique flow and wordplay, Kim’s signature voice, & Diddy’s calm but catchy hook all make a match in heaven. I don’t know many other pairings other than Biggie and Kim that can consistently make hits. Check out the song below and get that nostalgic feel!

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New Music Saturday!

It’s Saturday so that means more new music has been released this weekend. Here are a list of a few new releases I’m loving at the moment.

1. Zayn – Fingers

It’s been a while since Zayn has released new music and it’s clear that in his time away he has spent it perfecting his sound. This R&B vibe song is about a failed love that has affected Zayn from using his fingers properly to message. It is clear in the song further on that the the fingers are used as a metaphors for his heart as he sings “Cause my fingers ain’t broken, but my heart is”. I’m a fan of this song and I hope his next album is filled with more songs like this.

2. CE – On & On

CE debuts another sensual track this time in the form of his new single “On & On”. I feel this song could be the song that demonstrates his versatility, uniqueness. and huge potential. The catchy hook “on and on” is a standout line throughout the song that hopefully people will be singing for a while. Personally I’ve had this song on repeat since its release and while you’re at it, check out the video too!

3. Brent Faiyaz – Lost (EP)

Someone introduced me to Brent’s music a couple years ago and I am forever grateful. Brent has just released a new EP called ‘Lost’ and it is everything I expected and more. My favourite songs have to be;

-‘Came Right Back‘; Standout line for me is “Why do I feel cursed if I’m so blessed now?” he sings in the second verse. I get the impression Brent is talking about the downfalls of his success in this song but I mostly like how his voice just has you gripped throughout.

– ‘Trust’; The best thing about this song are the adlibs. Brent uses his inner thoughts as backing vocals which you can hear throughout. You get the impression the song is him thinking out loud and questioning himself which I feel is a unique way of portraying a song.

-‘Target on My Chest’; The beat on this song is great and the way Brent transitions to singing from rapping is the best part too. The middle of the song cuts to some kind of instrument solo possibly from a brass instrument which further reiterates the feeling Brent’s songs can put you in. As a listener you feel invested in whatever he is singing.

Have a listen to the EP below:

Songs to Start your week;

It’s Monday again! & the weather in London is miserable so I’ve made a list of 5 songs, new and old to listen to and set you up for the week. Have a listen below;

1. Quavo – Swing Ft. Normani & Davido

It’s nice to hear Quavo on a different kind of beat & the features from Normani & Davido fit so well. The soothing voice from Normani provides the song with a feminine touch. The vocals and broken English from Nigerian artist Davido provide the song with an afrobeats vibe. Definitely a song you’ll be doing a little shimmy to.

2. WSTRN – Round Here Ft. Skrapz.

I will provide an album review of the new Wstrn album shortly but for now this song is a good pick to start your week! The mix of Louis Rei spitting his usual talented bars, the sensual voice of Haile & the ‘rough’ sound of UK rapper Skrapz is a great match. Definitely a song I’ll be playing all week.

3. Shakka – Long Ting (Produced by Jae5)

OK, I’ve mentioned before Shakka is one of my favourite UK artists & Jae5 is also one of my favourite producers. Together they have already made the 2018 hit “Man Down”. Shakka has a regular event called “Tribe Tuesdays” where he collaborates with someone or himself to create a song within the hour. A few weeks ago he did with Jae5 & this is the song they created. I wish it was longer but hopefully these two work again in the future.

4. Octavian – 54321 Ft. Swift.

British rapper Octavian brought out a really cool tape earlier this year called ‘Spaceman‘ & this is one of the stand out tracks. His unique singing style is a nice song to have in the background when chilling or relaxing. Have a listen below.

5. Ella Mai – Whatchamacallit Ft. Chris Brown

Ella Mai album review coming shortly but in the meantime, have a listen to this beauty. R&B royalty Chris Brown features in a song with R&B newbie Ella and the song is great! It will definitely have you singing “it’s a Whatchamacallit” all day. Both Ella and Chris suit this song and I hope this is the beginning of more joint music from them.

New Music: Album Review: Usher – “A”

Ok, so Usher is considered one of the best artists of my generation and his infamous “Confessions” album has gone down in history as one of the best R&B album of the 20th century. (Personally one of my favourite albums of all time). It’s hard when you peak so well to follow up with work anywhere as close.

This new album called “A” is a collaborative album with American record producer Zaytoven. Zaytoven famously won a grammy for his collaboration in Usher’s ‘Raymond V Raymond’ album so it is clear the pair usually make good music. This album features only 8 songs (I say “only” due to the fact there seems to be a trend with artists releasing longer albums at the moment).

Overall, the album contains a few good songs and it is clear that Usher has changed his singing style as the album sounds like a different version of him. I do prefer the older version of Usher which is more of him hitting high notes and less of the rapping but times change.

My favourite songs are:

Stay At Home Ft. Future (1) – The first song on the album, I like the beat and Future’s feature (haha) is great.

ATA (2)- This is the second song on the album and I like the way Usher sings the chorus with his use of wordplay.

She Ain’t Tell Ya (6)-  This beat in this song sounds like a remixed version of ‘Lovers and Friends’ (2004) released by Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz featuring Usher and Ludacris. I have not been able to confirm if it is the same beat but it definitely gives me a nostalgic feel. This is possibly my favourite song on the album. The song seems to be Usher explaining his side of a situation with a woman explaining all the things she has supposedly left out in her version. He starts the song off by singing “Today I’m’ma tell you my side, I hurt you, you hurt me, even exchange” implying they both have done something bad to each other. The irony and juxtaposition in this song is that Usher will say something to stand up for himself like “She ain’t tell you she was motivating me” and “She ain’t tell you I boost her self-esteem did she?” but then go on to sing things like “She ain’t tell ya I paid for her body yeah” and “And she ain’t tell you how I flaunt her up in karats”. He goes from expressing positives and how she influenced him in a positive way and vice versa to then describing her in a materialistic way. To indicate he paid for her body and express how he showered her in diamonds is quite egotistical, gives the impression she is easily bought. I do however like the contrast in the song, Usher plays the role very well and it would be great to hear a female singer or rapper do their own version of the song.

Have a listen below.

Songs to start your week;

So much music has been released this past weekend. Before I review some of them in more detail, here are three tracks I currently have on repeat.

1. Asco – Goin On Ft. H the Great:

British rapper Asco has just released his new EP and it’s filled with features and proof that the UK rap scene is so unique and versatile. This particular song contains a catchy hook and quick punchlines that will have you singing along without even realising.

https://open.spotify.com/track/7sCQjtzYD0UJOl1a7Wn0MC?si=zkyNiztGSSO8R_tcS3UW0A

2. T.I. – Jefe Ft. Meek Mill:

T.I. is back with a new album which on the first listen sounds quite good. This particular song features Meek Mill who as usual provides us with a upbeat song. The use of Spanish in the song is also great and the mix is perfect. I particularly like the sound of instruments in this song (sounds like trumpets).

https://open.spotify.com/track/1vw4TJRXkLuuJUtwh4UbYD?si=J3YTC-R9SNGluWeHx8kXZg

3. Tauro Boys – Tempo:

Italian band Tauro Boys are back with another EP called TauroTape2. This particular song is one of my favourites so far of the tape. “Tempo” provides a nice chilled Italian vibe. I believe this band have a big future ahead of them. Take a listen below;

https://open.spotify.com/track/2G990jZJyf4xUtua1XhUrA?si=ReOdaOabQ-e9nfcyfbyokQ

Throwback Thursday (US Style)

Today’s throwback entry is from the legendary Destiny’s Child called ‘Emotion’. The song released in 2001 explores song of the emotions associated with a breakup; betrayal, loss and loneliness to name a few. The first line of the song “Its over and done but the heart ache lives on inside”, reminds us that even though the relationship is over, the pain is just getting started. Anyone who has gone through a breakup or had their heart broken will relate to this song unfortunately. The idea that when you break up with someone you love, you can never find better 8/ expressed; “Don’t you know there’s no (no body left in this world to hold me tight)”. One of my favourite lines is “Cry me a river that leads to your ocean” The symbolism in that line is overlooked. The idea that she wants him to be as sad as she is as long as it means they can be together again one day.

Overall although the song is not written by the girls or originally sang by them, I love the emotion (No pun intended, haha) they exude from the song. It also reminds us that sometimes our emotions are out of our control. The song is a beautifully presented song about the negative symptoms of the drug we call love.

https://open.spotify.com/track/0v1FiNbsrogBpgITmV9qTG?si=BcJgyqM3Sc2Lsx352H9u6w

Lil Wayne – ‘Tha Carter V’ Review

Lil Wayne finally dropped his highly anticipated twelfth studio album last week. Lil Wayne is one of the two scenes legends and it’s wonder to here him get back to doing what he does best. It’s taken me a few days to digest the music and there has been a lot of mixed reactions. Personally I liked the album, the music scene has missed Wayne and his metaphors and this album for me was a good piece of work. I am going to talk about my favourite songs on the album below and digest some of his infamous lyrics.

Track 1 – I love you Dwayne – This first track is a heartfelt spoken word from Wayne’s mum. She speaks about her love for her son and how proud she is of him. I believe that this track was necessary for the beginning of his album. This indicates a new direction in Wayne’s life where family is what matters most to him. It also shows a vulnerable side to him that I belive is a key reason why this tape is alot more deep, as it is very personal and honest.

Track 4 – Uproar Ft. Swizz Beatz – This is the latest song that has started a new dance challenge and you can see why! Swizz Beatz has the ability to change a whole song with his signature sounds and he certainly did. My favourite line is the simple “Where the love go? Five, four, three, two, I let one go”, the song is a feel good song. However let it not be overlooked, Wayne is warning his enemies and haters that he is ready for battle! Check out some of the dance challenges online and even 1 from the main man himself!

Track 6 – Dark side of the Moon Ft. Nicki Minaj –

Wow!! This is one of my favourite Lil Wayne and Nicki songs and my favourite song on the album. Nicki really surprised me with her vocals and her voice with Wayne make some perfect harmonies. Again, you get a glimpse of Wayne’s vulnerable side and Nicki’s compassion with lyrics such as “The sky is falling down, I am falling for her quicker” and “High above the ground but I’m under her charisma”. These lyrics are classic Lil Wayne metaphors and I like the juxtaposition in his words. Another beautiful thing about this song is the way the beat compliments the words and the harmonies. I have personally been replaying this song since the release and I’m sure it will be a fan favourite for both fan bases.

Track 7 – Mona Lisa Ft Kendrick Lamar

This is probably one of the best songs on the album. The storytelling talents of Kendrick and Wayne are amazing. The song is based on a woman who sets her boyfriend to get robbed and the way the story is told is very creative. Just as you get used to Wayne and his storytelling, Kendrick comes in with his equally powerful verse! The two of these rappers together is a match made in lyrical heaven. The beat and tone change in Kendrick’s verse is genius! The whole song grips you and you feel the point of views from the characters they are talking about.

Track 9 – Open Letter

This song is pretty personal where Wayne speaks to his family and friends about his fears about life. He opens up about his depression and low points. The song fits with the personal theme/touch of the whole album.

Track 10 – Famous Ft Reginae Carter

Another family affair as this song features his first daughter Reginae. Reginae sings the chorus so well and the song contains typical Wayne lyrics such as “Can’t talk to myself, ’cause mama said don’t talk to strangers” and “And you can’t spell fame, without me” which stick out throughout the song. The song touches on the highs and lows of Wayne’s rise to fame and how it has affected his lifestyle. It’s great to see Wayne collaborating with his daughter and I hope this is the first of many more.

Track 23 – Let it all Work Out

The outro track of the album finishes of where the intro began. Wayne talks about the frustration he felt waiting to drop this album; “I’m in this bitch, Yeah, was on the outside, looking in this bitch” but also reassures us that he is back and here to stay; “I’mma sit in this throne so long, ‘Till it’s a fucking rocking chair, nigga”. I like the fact that despite all the trials and tribulations Wayne had to endure he still shows us that he prevailed and made it through. The ending lines “Let it all work out” (yeah)” resonates and makes you think about life as a whole.

Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this album, rap may have changed but Lil Wayne is still consistent in terms of his content. I like the personal touch to the album as I belive it makes it more authentic and more effortless. It was a long wait for this album but I’m definitely satisfied!