New Music: What I’ve been listening to this week:

New Music: Songs I’ve had on repeat this week…

Russ Ft. Davido

US singer/rapper Russ is back with another song I love! This time he links up with Nigerian singer Davido, Mr ‘Thirty Billion’ himself! There are so many reasons why this song works. Firstly I love how Russ attempts to try Pidgin English (a common dialect spoken in Nigeria), even Yoruba! I also like how he incorporates Nigerian references in the song. His references seem to be like paying homage rather than a forced idea. Although, He does say “Abuja” in a funny way! I had to rewind it to make sure thats what he wanted to say! He tried though! Secondly! The video is filled with Black women of all shades! I love that! Of course Davido does no wrong with his feature as expected! I have been singing “All I want is you” since I heard the song as well as “Don’t divide us girl abeg ooohhh”. The video had over a million views in less than 48 hours!! Have a listen and watch the video below:

Stormzy – Vossi Bop

THE WICKED SKENGMAN IS BACKKKKK!!! LIVE IN THE FLESH!!!! After what has felt like a very long time…UK rapper Stormzy has come back and hit us with a hit. The song was actually started off over 3 years ago via a guy on Twitter called Vossi who was doing a dance to Young Thug’s song “Check” which he called the “Vossi Bop”. Stormzy loved the video at the time and it has been in the works since then. I’m glad he’s used this song to come back as it is quite lighthearted and is here just in time for summer. I’m beginning to realise a secret to a successful song nowadays is to have some kind of viral dance that can go with it. With summer coming up, this song will definitely be played at events. While this song may seem lighthearted and “fun”, Stormzy still uses it to spread his views as well as witty metaphors. The “facial” metaphor is an interesting one. I won’t say too much as it is quite ambiguous but I did hear the little laugh he has after that line!! Naughty!! ha! Most importantly, I know Stormzy has a lot more greatness in his locker and I cannot wait for some new music from him! He has been missed!! Oh and the video is incredible!!! Honestly I really look forward to Stormzy’s videos! When he started out his videos were always creative so imagine now he has the budget for so much more, Amazing!!

Beyoncé- Before I Let Go

Speaking of viral videos, this song has one too! Beyoncé released this bonus song as part of her Homecoming: The Live Album tracks. The song actually reminds me of one of her songs “Ring Off” in terms of the production and hopefulness that comes with the track. In this song she is singing about the fact she will not give up on love with her man. This resonates with the theme on her ‘Lemonade‘ album. My favourite part of the song is actually when her voice tone changes “Pull up to Coachella”, her voice goes deep! She also goes into dance instructions reminiscent of her “Move Your body” song. The challenges that I have seen and she has posted have been great to! Have a listen below and see if you can recreate it for yourself.

Mist Ft Lotto Ash – Different Strokes

M I S to the T is back with another song recruiting Lotto Boys member Ash. Ash has one of the most beautiful voices in the UK at the moment and this mix really goes well. For me though, I feel Ash stole the show on this song. I found myself listening to him more than Mist. Regardless, it’s a good song for the summer and hopefully this is a sign we are going to hear more music from both of them.

Darkoo Ft Br3nya – Juice

I am here for this female power! Br3nya for me is 100% a talent and I have been enjoying watching her rise into the music scene. The song is a good vibe with a hint of an afrobeat fusion. Have a listen below:

Don’t forget I have a summer playlist. Have a listen below!!

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Revisiting Time: Beyoncé – Lemonade

In honor of not only Throwback Thursday but also the joy that Lemonade is FINALLY on Spotify, I wanted to revisit my views on Beyoncé’s most recent solo album. When I first heard this album my compliments were reserved as I was expecting a more upbeat album. However, having had time to digest I feel this album is possibly one of her most powerful, honest and mature albums. I love when songs on an album tell a story via the track listing. Most of the songs on this album follow on and finish off from each other. The album for me screams pain, struggle, loneliness and hopelessness. I’ve named some songs below that I feel are really poignant;

Pray you Catch Me:

The first track from the album as with most intro tracks paints a picture of what the future songs may be about. The title of the song implies vulnerability and is obvious at this point the album will mostly be about her relationship with her husband. The idea she repeatedly sings “Pray to catch you whispering, I pray you catch me listening” implies that she wants her lover to know she is seeing what is happening and is hurting. The song is quite mellow, but you can’t miss the pain that is evident in it. The last lines “What are you doing my love?” show the hopelessness and confusion she has been made to feel from this pain the man who she considers her love.

Hold Up:

This is personally my favourite song from the album. Many people loved the song due to the dramatic video but for me this song shows the depths of Beyoncé vocal ability. Aside from her vocals, we see another side to Beyoncé. Following on from her pleading in the first song she sings “Can’t you see there’s no other man above you? What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you” letting him understand how crazy it is that he would risk ruining the support she gives him. In this song she also ignores her usual politeness and reminds us she’s got a sassy side to her! “I don’t wanna lose my pride, but I’ma fuck me up a bitch”. As of recent Beyoncé has been more free with her language in her songs and this is a prime example. She questions herself as many women would in this situation; “Know that I kept it sexy, you know I kept it fun” meaning that she did everything she thought would be enough and yet he still strayed. Another point to add from this song is that not only is she expressing her love for him, she is also reminding him who was there from the beginning (her). The repeated lines “They don’t love you like I love you” and when she sings “Let’s imagine for a moment that you never made a name for yourself or mastered wealth….Never made it out the cage, never had the baddest woman in the game up in your sheets”. With those lyrics she reminds him that she is a ride or die and has been there despite his wealth unlike the women he has been cheating with. I love the instruments used in this song and the way they compliment the mood of the lyrics.

Don’t Hurt Yourself:

Following on from “Hold Up”, this song is a pure anger that it feels like a venting session. It feels like at this moment of the album, Beyoncé is at breaking point and is just filled with rage. Again, this shows a more explicit version of Beyoncé with the frequent use of swear words. The song reminds me of the tone of her older song “Ring the Alarm”. In the song she sings about the frustration she feels from his lack of trying; “You ain’t trying hard enough, you ain’t loving hard enough” again reiterating the point that the man in question seems to be giving up. The most important words for me in the song come right at the end as she calmly says “If you try this shit again, you gon’ lose your wife”. In all the songs leading up onto these words, she never dropped an ultimatum like that, she usually expressed her anger or hurt or frustration, so those words are quite final and chilling.

Sorry:

This unapologetic anthem is possibly my second favourite song on the album and is another female anthem. This song reminds me of the impact of her song “Irreplaceable” and even many of her Destiny Child’s songs. The song focuses on the aftermaths of a breakup as Beyoncé famously sings “I ain’t sorry”. In the song she encourages women to sing “boy bye” as an act of strength. Towards the end she sings “Me & my baby, we gon’ be alright” implying that she will survive despite the heartbreak she has endured. The song is accompanied by a strong video featuring Serena Williams. For me, the cameo from Serena is quite poignant as during this time and throughout her successful career, Serena has endured so much criticism. The idea of her in this video feels like she is showing how unapologetic she is being who she is.

6 Inch Ft. The Weeknd

While this isn’t one of my favourites, I like the message that is embedded in it. The song is a great motivational song that empowers women. The song uses the setting of a strip club where the woman in question is one of the dancers. In the song she sings “She works for the money, she work for the money” showing that she is there to earn money for the work she is doing. A professional approach to a job, just as everyone else would be in their job. 

Freedom Ft. Kendrick Lamar & Formation 

Similarly to 6 Inch, both songs are another examples of empowering anthems however with also the added focusses on race and black women. For me the visuals that come with Freedom song are powerful as the video features the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. The feature from Kendrick is perfect as I couldn’t think of any other rapper that would have done it justice like he did. Formation, another black power anthem references police brutality, race in America while also encouraging women to be strong and “slay”. 

All Night 

This powerful ballad is such a beautiful love song. Another one of my favourites from the album, Beyoncé vocals really shine. With this being the last song on the album alluding to love or even relationships, it can be argued to be a climax. I feel like Beyoncé is comforting her husband in this song and reassuring him “Our love was stronger than your pride. Beyond your darkness, I’m your light”. She expresses how she knows that together they are the best they can be and they are a pair. She further sings “But every diamond has imperfections” which could be a reference to her relationship and how every relationship has flaws. The last line of the song is Beyoncé saying “How I missed you, my love” which is in parallel to her closing line of her first song on the album when she said “What are you doing my love?”. The song can be argued to be the climax to the anguish, pain and suffering she had endured throughout the album.

The album as a whole contains so much emotion and rawness that it’s easy to see how and why it took so long to be released. Hopefully Beyoncé releases a new piece of work soon that can start where this ended, with her in a happier place. 

Appreciation Post and #NewMusicFriday UK style

Hey everybody! I hope everyone has had a productive week and is ready to relax a little this coming weekend.

First off, I just want to thank you all for supporting me on this journey. This blog has officially surpassed the whole of last year’s views and it’s only mid-April!!! I can’t even express my joy knowing that so many of you enjoy my posts. I will do my best to continue with the same energy and hopefully I can continue to entertain.

Another point I wanted to add was that this week has been very reflective for me. The death of Nipsey Hussle and even recently the UK rapper Cadet, who I was also a fan of, has really made me think. Music has been my therapy for as long (how my blog started) as I can remember and I get some comfort from listening to their music. In all honesty, even if you have never heard a Nipsey Hussle song before or do not know what he was about, I beg you to listen to some of his work and digest his lyrics. One of the things about meaningful music is that it is timeless. It is never too late to catch on to what the artist is trying to teach you!

Anyways! Time for some new music!!! The UK scene has on fire for a while now! Here are some new songs that I think you should check out!

Young T & Bugsey – Again

The UK duo are back again with another catchy song. I don’t think these two are capable of making a song that you will NOT be singing non stop once you hear.One thing I like about these two is their pronunciation. I feel they annunciate their words so fluidly in all their songs. “Took a small loss now I’m back up again”is what I’ve been singing all day! This song will have you dancing or somehow bopping your head. I hope these two have a lot more of songs like this in time for summer!! Have a listen below and watch the video.

3Robi x Fredo x Lacrim – Not My Dons

It seems in this song it is Netherlands mixing with the UK & Algeria! What seems like a very random combination actually works! It’s clear to say now that Fredo can rap on any beat.For those that think he has the same flow, have a listen to him on this song. Lacrim’s verse was great on it even though I didn’t understand a thing! Have a listen below;

LD (67) Ft. Young Adz – So Fly

The song actually came out a while ago but the video has just been released. Have a watch below:

Geko Ft. French Montana & Ay Em – New Money

I’m a fan of this song . Geko recruits Ay Em, who has been on a roll lately, and US rapper French Montana! Have a listen below:

Big Narstie Ft. Donae’o- It’s Yours

I won’t lie, I’m not usually a fan of Big Narstie when it comes to his music however this song surprised me! It feels like a new direction from him and of course Donae’o is one of the best UK artists when it comes to hooks! Big Narstie even switches it up and raps in Spanish many times in this song! Who knew! A man of many talents!! This song has definitely been added to my “Vibes” playlist. Have a listen to it below, definitely a song you can sway to.

R.I.P. Nipsey Hussle. The Marathon will continue…

R.I.P Nipsey Tha Great!!

On the 31st of March 2019, 33-year-old Los Angeles rapper Ermias Asghedom, known commonly as Nipsey Hussle was killed outside the parking lot of his store, ‘Marathon Clothing’. Nipsey Hussle was a well known West Coast rapper who had most recently had his debut album nominated for a Grammy at the 2018 awards. Almost as soon as the story broke, support from all part of the world poured in all grieving the loss of not only a great rapper but a man who was trying to change the world and his community for the better.

As a West Coast Rapper, he was among the greats and frequently collaborated with them too. Fellow West Coast rappers such as The Game, Snoop Dog, YG also all expressed their sadness over his death. On a personal level, I also liked how much he uplifted his girl Lauren London on a regular basis. I liked how much passion he had when speaking about the good he was doing for his community and how eager he was at spreading his wisdom around. Nipsey released his first project ‘Slauson Boy Vol. 1’ in 2005 and I think of some of the songs I used to listen to in the past that he featured in reminding me how long he has been doing this for. Nipsey was vocal about investing in ourselves and apparently owned all his masters for his album. He had previously said “I just believe in ownership… I believe in investing in yourself…Your foundation should be strong”. Once again, spreading his wisdom.I know that Nipsey’s death is not the end of his legacy and pray that young people are inspired by all the good he did and was trying to do. He will never be forgotten.

REST IN PEACE NIPSEY THA GREAT.

Here are a few songs that I personally like featuring Nipsey in no particular order;

Hussle in the House. (2008)

“IT’S HUSSLE IN THE HOUSE”!!!! This is arguably one of Nipsey’s most known songs. The song is a treat for old school rap lovers as it samples Kris Kross’s “Jump, Jump”. The beginning of the song is my favourite part of the song as Nipsey pays homage to NWA by rapping “Look, I’m comin straight off of Slauson, a crazy motherfucker named Nipsey” similar to Ice Cube’s classic opening line from “Straight Outta Compton“. It’s in this song he mentions how he makes his money; “Now it’s rap money no advance it’s all royalties” indicating how makes money from his fans buying his music rather than through record companies.

Dedication Ft. Kendrick Lamar (2018)

It’s crazy to think Nipsey only has one actual album considering the amount of songs he’s released over the years. When I think of songs from the album, this is one of the first that pops into my head. Funnily enough it’s been the most popular one I’ve heard been played recently as fans gather to mourn his death. He refers to himself in the song as “2Pac of my generation” which many refer to him as.

Double Up Ft. Belly & Dom Kennedy (2018)

This is another from his debut album (a bonus track). In this song Nipsey talks about his difficult childhood and argues that some rappers don’t actually know what growing up with a hard life actually is.

Killer Ft. Drake (2013)

Ayyyy Drizzy Drake and Nipsey. The only sad thing is that they didn’t do more tracks together. These too make a good combination. This for me is one of the most memorable Nipsey tracks. The two rap about what motivates them to be where they are and how much it is paying off.

Mark My Words Ft Rick Ross (2016)

In the intro of this song Nipsey states “I’m different”. Listening to this song now makes me quite emotional if I’m honest. Nipsey says; “Pass the power to your people, it ain’t nothing realer. Faced with this decision it’s a funny feeling, knowing when you tell the truth they gon’ come and kill you”. Hearing those words now couldn’t be more haunted. Nipsey saying to pass the power to his people is really an example of what he was about. He always was ready to help others like him especially from his community in order to bring the up with him. That alone, makes him different from a lot of rappers. He always kept it real and for that some people didn’t like.

A Hunnit a Show Ft. Rick Ross (2014)

For me this is my most memorable Nip and Ross record. This song details the two’s extravagant lifestyle. “Trying to do it like Puff do it, do it like Russ do it, real life, said, “What’s up?” to it”; It also talks about his upbringing and how he looked up to legends from the game.

Real Big Ft. Marsha Ambrosius (2018)

Another favourite from ‘Victory Lap’. The song feels like a conclusion to his thoughts and is quite celebratory. He reflects on all the success; “I switched it up, that’s me singin’ on the chorus”, even reflects on his progression. His concluding words “Real big, real big, I knew one day I would do it real big” will forever resonate with me and have a bitter sweet meaning behind it. In one way you can argue that he had achieved what he wanted. He was a worldwide success. He was loved by so many and he was motivating and changing people’s lives for the better.

Racks in the Middle Ft. Roddy Rich (2019)

So this was Nipsey’s final released single and takes a switch ftom his usual music. In this song he talks about the highs he was experiencing with his commercial success. There’s a line where he says “How you die thirty somethin’ after banging all them years” in which he was referring to his friend that had died however the words unfortunately can now be applied to him. In the song he also acknowledges his recent celebrations; “Grammy-nominated, in the sauna sheddin’ tears”. His debut album had been nominated for a Grammy so it was good to see he was being recognised.

What these Bitches Want (2016)

I like Nipsey’s verse on this song. He says “Hope you niggas get rich and then reinvest to it” reiterating the fact he was always spreading his knowledge to those coming after him. Nipsey was always willing to help people; “Wish you niggas success and minus the stress to it”.

Down As a Great Ft. Kirko Bangz (2016)

This song sums up all of Nipsey’s legacy. He was constantly uplifting us and teaching us how to be great. If there are any words you should remember from Nipsey I would recommend listening to this song. Everyone will take some words from this song that will relate to them or motivate them equally. For me; “It ain’t a force in this world like the focused drive. You gotta focus on yourself like an only child. You make your dream realer, and you make your team better“. I will live by those words. The words “I’m tryna go down, down as a great” are repeated throughout the song and I promise you Nipsey, you are 1000% going down as one. Rest in Power Nipsey the Great.