“Higher” by DJ Khaled, John Legend & the late great Nipsey Hussle – Thoughts.

DJ Khaled has just dropped his new album and his most recent single is called “Higher”. On “Higher,” DJ Khaled enlists John Legend and the late great Nipsey Hussle for his first posthumous verse ☹ .

It’s crazy because when a well-known or well-loved artist dies, people always seem to find lyrics in their songs that hint that they were somehow aware of their future untimely deaths. With this being the last song Nipsey recorded a video for before he died, the lyrics were always going to be under the microscope. If you are just listening to Nipsey Hussle for the first time and heard this song, its understandable how you could come to that conclusion.

With this being the last song Nipsey recorded and filmed a video for before he died, the lyrics were always going to be under the microscope. The song feels very spiritual and I believe DJ Khaled was going for that exact vibe. John Legend fits perfectly in this song as his voice has a calming effect while he sings; “Oh, you keep taking me higher and higher (Yeah) But don’t you know that the devil is a liar?”. Nipsey starts off his verse by saying “My granny 88, she had my uncle and then a miscarriage back-to-back every year for like ten”. The reference to his Gran is similar to his previous release “Racks in The Middle” where he says; “See my granny on a jet, some shit I’ll never forget”. In his first verse apart from the mention of his Grandma, Nipsey references his girlfriend Lauren London, his parents, kids, his heritage and his area.  Nipsey has always rapped about those topics and it proves how much he believed and was fueled by all those factors that made him who he was. Regardless of the meaning behind the song we all knew exactly what he meant by those references whenever he mentioned them.

The second verse of the song people may feel more chills for. Nipsey talks about God and how “I was thinkin’ chess moves but it was God’s grace”, every time he thought he was lucky he has now realised was due to his faith and to God. Nip also states “South Central state of mind, high crime rate” demonstrating the lack of peace in the community he lived and loved. In his final lines of his verse he states “Homicide, hate, gang banging’ll get you all day (Yeah, yeah)…And look at my fate”. This is more chilling due to the fact he was also unfortunately killed in this area due to hate and jealousy.

There are so many personal interpretations for this record and I don’t believe anyone has a “wrong” view. For me, this song just demonstrated and reiterated the views and wisdom Nipsey had. He was also very realistic, he knew he lived in a society that could be dangerous at times and all he did was try to encourage us to do better. He didn’t specifically predict his death but he was describing the reality of his surroundings. Somehow the video to this song feels like a video done for someone in memory. Nipsey is in his usual Blue coloured clothes with his people wearing his clothing label which is great and most importantly, he is the main attraction of the whole song.

I found myself tearing up listening to this song and watching the video. However, I felt a sense of calmness and that is due to the fact Nipsey has left behind a legacy. People will learn about him for years to come and with DJ Khaled saying he is donating all proceeds from this song to Nipsey’s children, I couldn’t think of a more fitting song to leave them with.

We will forever miss you Nipsey Hussle but we will never forget you and what you have taught us. Long live Nipsey Hussle!!

THE. MARATHON. WILL. CONTINUE.

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Throwback Thursday: Bad Boy Hits!

In honor of Throwback Thursday, today’s theme is dedicated to hits from the Bad Boy franchise! The Label was founded by Diddy in 1993 and is one of the most known African American labels. The label is the home for so many greats including Biggie, Mase, Lil Kim, 112 and many more. During the 90s, it’s safe to say this label dominated many of the charts and even in 2019 are still consistent!! When you think about some of the hits released from Bad Boy, they were pioneers in the rap and hip hop scene. Even till today, their songs are being used as samples . I have left out songs originally by Biggie as I have previously written a post just for him and wanted to focus on some of the other Bad Boy artists.

Here are just a few classic hits from the Baaaaaaaaad Boooooooooyyyyy franchise!

Craig Mack – Flava In Ya Ear Ft. Biggie, LL Cool J, Rampage and Busta Rhymes. (1994)

The original of this song was actually the first song released from the Bad Boy label. The remix is my favourite version. The song contains a sample of “We’ve Only Just Begun” by O’Donel Levy. However, this song was also sampled in the Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule single, “Ain’t It Funny (Murder Remix),” as well as the song “Don’t Leave Me” from the Backstreet Boys. R.I.P Craig Mack!!

Mase – Lookin’ at Me Ft. Puff Daddy (Diddy)  (1998)

‘Lookin at Me’ was the 3rd and final single released from Mase’s debut album ‘Harlem World’. The song was produced and features Diddy (he was known as Puff Daddy at the time). The song is based on the idea that when these men go to the club with their ladies, their “ops” always stare not realising that the woman is just as fierce.  It’s funny because I always felt like Mase sounded a lot like Diddy so hearing this song it takes me a while to realise who is rapping in the verse. The infamous first verse contains “Now what the hell is you lookin’ for? Can’t a young man get money anymore?” which has been referenced in so many modern songs including Kanye West’s song ‘Theraflu’. Have a listen below;

Diddy – Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down Ft. Mase (1997)

Can you believe this the first single from Diddy?! The song is possibly one of the most important Bad Boys songs as it signalled the beginning of dominance for this record label. If you’ve heard Drake’s song ‘4PM in Calabasas’, you’ll recognise that Drake uses the Diddy sample in some of the song. He also sings “They look at me like the golden child…Can’t nobody hold me down” (in the same tune as Diddy did). This is further proof that Bad Boy records were the starting point for many of the songs released nowadays. Have a listen to both songs below;

112 – Peaches & Cream Ft. Diddy (2001)

Peaches and Cream!!!! What a classic song! This is one of those songs that can never get old in my opinion. As soon as you hear “From the car to the bar, from the bar to the telly, your neck to your bra, your bra to your belly”, you know what time it is!!!. I prefer the remix with Diddy but the original song is also great! Have a listen to both below;

Original Song
Remix with Diddy

112 -Only You Ft. Biggie & Mase (1996)

I feel like this is one of those songs that most people my have heard and not known who sang it. This was the debut song for group 112 and what a song to burst onto the scene with!! For me, growing up this song was played a lot and I loved the video which was filmed in Times Square. The infamous line “Bad Boy get more money than you can count” still gets me today.

Mase – Feel So Good Ft. Diddy & Kelly Price (1997)

“Bad, bad, bad, bad boy (Yeah), you make me feel so good (Bad boy)”…This song could be argued to be one of the most popular Bad Boy songs! This is Mase’s first single from his debut album Harlem World. Honestly Mase sounds exactly like Diddy, this is another song I had to double check who was rapping. Mase’s style of rapping was so chilled and laid back which is a big difference from some of the rappers today. He had one of the cleanest and smoothest flows I’ve heard from a rapper.

New Music: What I’ve been listening to…

Hey everyone! Time for me to review all the new music I’ve been listening to!

Mo Stack – Wild

UK rapper Mo Stack is back with the first single from his upcoming debut album. The song uses the sample from Cam’ron & Juelz Santana’s song ‘Hey Ma’. That song even takes the sample from the absolute original song ‘Easy’ released by The Commodores. Mo Stack has a fun visual to accompany the song and I’m pretty sure this is going to be a future summer hit. Mo Stack also successfully adds his own spin to the song which is great as when using a sample, it’s very easy to be lazy with originality. Have a watch of the video below as well as the Cam’ron favourite.

DJ Big N Ft Mr Eazi – Jowo

It’s nice to hear some new Afrobeats and this collaboration sounds fresh! Mavins Group DJ, DJ Big N enlists Afrobeats singer Mr Eazi and producer Dil. I’ve been singing “Oya baby oohh jowo” since I first heard the song. Have a listen below;

Logic Ft Eminem – Homicide

Ok so I am a big fan of Logic and of course Eminem.! It’s funny because I was just reading an interview where Logic was talking about his love for his idol Eminem. It’s great when an artists features with their idol. Logic absolutely delivered on this track and Eminem of course went hard. The song showcases both artists’ ability to rap extremely fast. The best part of the song comes at the end of the second verse, going into the third with Em’s verse. The “chika chika slim shady” reference is effortless and the transition into Eminem’s verse is perfect!! I can’t even pick out specific lyrics from this song because the speed and flow is so consistent and incredible throughout that it would almost be insulting to pick it out.

P!nk Ft Khalid – Hurts 2B Human

P!nk recently released this song featuring Khalid and I really like it. For some reason I feel this song brings out emotions and I could listen to P!nk sing all day. Her voice is so powerful. Have a listen below;