Album Review: Kano – Hoodies All Summer

Kano is back with another album! In terms of UK greats when it comes to grime, Kano is considered one of the best we have. Personally, Kano is one of my favourite MC’s, he has a unique personality he lets out with his raps that make some of his lyrics unforgettable. Kano has been consistent with his hits and for someone who has literally been around for most of my childhood, to continuously release high quality music is a talent in itself. His delivery is so clear cut and for me, his clarity is one of the best things about him. I’ve picked some songs from the album that really stood out to me. Overall, the album for me is one of the best to come out of the UK this year. The replay value on this album is definitely high and I’m so happy Kano is back showing us how great he is. Have a read below.

Free Years Later:

The first track on the album is called “Free Years Later” and what an intro it is. The song gives us an insight on how Kano has felt in his life and how he has dealt with his success. He uses a lot of juxta positioning; “Waking from dreams, chasing my fears” and hints to the struggle he may have faced being successful; “Success brings more stress”. Another topic Kano talks about in this song is the effects of racism among black people. Kano even makes a mention to British rapper Stormzy in the second verse; “Babylon boy, look how they raided Stormzy”, referring to the time the British Police raided Stormzy’s house. Kano makes it known that even though some black artists have escaped their hardships and tough upbringings, they are still the topic of discrimination and racism. For me one of the standout lines in this song is when Kano says, “Lethal laughing to the Coutts account, now you approve of Pow”. It’s only now that Lethal B is making enough money to open a prestigious account that some people are starting to take him seriously. This is the idea that Black people must work twice as hard just to be treated like anyone else. Kano ends the verse with; “What D Double did for me, I just do for the youts” demonstrating the passing of the baton that is very evident in music. Kano is paying respect and homage to those before him and is aware that he has to carry on the torch for those after him.

Good Youtes Walk Amongst Evil

From the first few second of this song I could hear the grime straight away. The grime beat is crazy on this song and the pace matched Kano perfectly!!! On the chorus he says “Work so hard, we’re dying for a living for clothes and the cars” and that couldn’t be a real r statement. I feel this song relates to life. Everyone is just going along with the flow. For me the beat is what sells this record.

Trouble

This was one of the songs Kano had previously released as a single. The video is so creative too. Kano also takes on a softer approach as he sings a bit of the verses in this song. In this song, he explains to people the consequences of living in the “hood”. The interlude of the 999 call breaks up the song and makes it more real. For me I fee it is a direct example of life. When you think everything is going smoothly, something can just throw you off. In the hood, Kano is trying to show that life is not straight forward and nothing is safe. After this break, Kano begins to rap about the success from making it out of the hood, he mentions his friends and some well known fellow rappers; “Ghetts ain’t looked back since we blessed them stages”. I like the rawness of this track and it’s one of those songs you can vibe to as it’s slower paced. Kano gets out his message very clearly and you are almost reminded of the hardships he has had to face earlier on in his life.

Can’t Hold We Down Ft. Popcaan

This song brings out Kano’s Caribbean side out and I like that. I personally liked this song as it was a little different feel to the usual Kano song while still keeping his uniqueness. For me the line “All black Range Rover, all black women, I bet the Daily Mail wan’ photoshop a spliff in” mad me laugh. This is a reference to the fact stereotypically Black stars are usually portrayed negatively in the UK newspaper publication. Popcaan offers a nice relief and a dancehall sound to this song which is refreshing. Kano references his rapper friends again showing the genuine friendship they all have. I particularly like the outro as Popcaan and Kano vibes off eachother. Kano is so good at going back and forth with other artists as we see him regularly do with Ghetts and Giggs. Kano raps; “Fly guys summer (Hey) sent the kids out the ends (Hey, hey), but you can’t take the ends out the kid” reminding us that he remembers where he comes from and will always rep. I will definitely be replaying this song.

Got My Brandy, Got My Beats Ft. Lil Silva

This is the most emotional song on the album and I like the fact it’s towards the end. This song is definitely a love/heartbreak song. I get the impression it’s the facing of reality when you’re no longer with someone and trying to adjust with them not being in you’re life anymore. The beat on this song is minimalistic but somehow you can feel the exact pain and passion exuding from the lyrics. One of the lyrics that stand out for me; “So many lessons in love can’t be taught without the breaking of hearts“. For me this means that sometimes you have to suffer or go through pain in order to learn the most important lessons. Kano does sing “Don’t be sad for me, still got my brandy and my beats“, I like vulnerability of these lines. Kano is able to fine solace in the simplest pleasures despite all his wealth and freedom.

Class of Deja Ft. D Double E & Ghetts

Another song from the album that bad been previously been released as a single. This song is literally a combination of some of the UK’s BEST grime MC’S. This is one of those songs that would be amazing to watch live. The song reminds me of the old battle raps/cyphers people used to do. The wordplay in this song from the MC’S is incredible, there are too many bars to even pin point.

SYM

Another one of my favourite songs on the album and the perfect outro to a wonderful and memorable album. The song for me is aimed at everyone. It’s aimed at the ignorant people that believe that some Black men enjoy crime; “If you think niggas just love these drugs and crime“. It is also aimed at those black men that are getting money and doing good things; “Get your paper but you don’t get complacent, If we don’t hold each other down, we won’t make it”. This serves as a reminder that we are all in this together.

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#NewMusicFriday/What I’ve been listening to…

Apologies for the wait for a new post from me! There has been so much new music out in the past few weeks! I love this time of year as the “summer hits” die down and we start getting album releases and EP’s as the concert season starts again. I will be doing a few album reviews soon but for now here are some songs I’ve been playing on repeat…

Casanova Ft. Chris Brown – Coming Home

I don’t even know where to begin with this track. Firstly can we talk about the fact the sample is from one of the best songs from Case and Joe released almost 11 years ago! The original song was called ‘Faded Pictures. As soon as I heard Casonova’s song I knew where the inspiration was from instantly. A slow jam classic. Casanova and Chris did the sample justice and this new version is great! As usual Chris Brown kills every single feature he hops on and amazes us every song with his vocal ability. This song has been on repeat since I heard it. Have a listen below and have a listen to the original;

Yo Trane – Waves

I am SOOOOOO excited about this new release!!!!! I am a BIG fan of Yo Trane. His ‘Late Night Drive’ EP is one of my favourite R&B projects in the past 3 years. His music makes me feel every emotion possible and his production is always so complimentary to the song. I think he is one of the few artists that could release a project of all his instrumentals and I would still have it on repeat. I really hope this is the first of more new music this year released from Yo Trane. I’m really hoping he drops another project soon too. R&B can be played all year but in summer it is appreciated even more. Have a listen below;

Pusha T Ft. Lauryn Hill – Coming Home

Hearing Lauryn Hill on a song will always make me feel some kind of nostalgia. I really enjoy Pusha T and Lauryn on this track and after hearing the song was recorded in late 2015 I can hear why. I like the sentiment behind the song with the idea that love is the answer to so many questions. Lauryn sings; “When love is gone, you hold onto anything, some do wrong, just to feel anything but when the void is filled, you stand up to anything“. The words remind of the song by the Black Eyed Peas called “Where is the Love?”. Pusha also addresses the idea that Black people have had good activists that have stood up for them in the past. He also addresses the idea that Crack Cocaine was initially sold to Black gangs to benefit and profit the US government however it started an internal rivalry between Black gangs. Have a listen below;

KYLE Ft. Teyana Taylor – F You I Love You.

I heard this song at an event last week and added it straight to my playlist. It’s one of those songs perfect to play in the background when you want to chill. I actually had to shazam the song as I did not recognise Kyle’s voice. I will be checking out his other music as I like the tone of his voice. In this song he is able to sing along and find a way to sing with the deepest tone in the same sentence. Of course Teyana sounds perfect in this song as she is able to demonstrate her talent through her wonderful and unique voice. Have a listen below;

Aitch Ft MoStack & Steel Banglez – Weekday

Man of the hour Aitch has released his anticipated second EP today, Friday 6th of September. I have not listened to the whole tape properly and digested it all however this is one of those songs that grab you from the first listen. I knew from the lineup that I would be a fan as Mo Stack an Steel Banglez rarely make a bad song. As usual Mo Stack uses his cheekiness to provide us with a memorable phrase. He says;

She said “Men are trash”, I said “Yeah, that’s true”
But you’re the company you keep and I’m chillin’ here wid you
So what does that make you?

Classic Mo cheekiness!!! ha!

The song is quite slowed down which if you’ve heard many of Aitch’s recent music, is a nice change. I think this will be a fan favourite. Have a listen below;

Blade Brown Ft. K TrapJoints

This is my favourite song from the Blade Brown project. Such a hyped up song! Have a listen below;

Stay tuned for my next album review post…

Album Review: Rick Ross; Port of Miami 2

I’m sure I’ve expressed before how much I love Rick Ross. He is without a doubt one of my favourite rappers currently. For me, Ross has the unique ability to provide us with a song that will have you thinking about so much. His flow and ability to get across his meanings remind me of Biggie, who is my ultimate favourite rapper. I always look forward to his albums because they always display the versatility of Rick Ross via his ability to spit bars on so many different kinds of beats. This album did not disappoint. Here are my opinions on some of the songs from the album.

Act a Fool Ft. Wale

This song was previously released before the album dropped and I still really like it. As an intro to the album the first line doesn’t get better; “It’s a beautiful day to get some money“, think that line sums up Rick Ross as a whole being the boss he is. I’m a fan of Wale and his wordplay is always spot on. Wale and Ross always work well together. Have a read of my previous review on this song here; https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/07/13/new-music-saturday-what-ive-been-listening-to-this-week/

Nobody’s Favourite Ft. Gunplay

‘GREAZE’. That is the word I would use to describe this song. As soon as the beat drops you know what time it is. Gunplay adds another form of aggression which I like. I don’t think there would have been anyone else that could have done the song justice more than him. The title of the song is quite interesting as Rick Riss claims that despite his success and talent, he is not usually considered people’s favourite in terms of rappers. Ross explores a truth here in the fact he has always been consistent. While some rappers may disappear and re appear regularly or have good times and bad times, Rick Ross has been consistent with his success. I hope that people start to appreciate Rick Ross a lot more. A lot of the reasons Nipsey Hussle is loved is due to the fact he always teaches us about ownership, giving back to your people, multiplying your money with businesses. All of these things Rick Ross has been doing too.

Rick Ross Boss Lyric;

My new house is on the river so I had to buy a boat, better yet, it’s called a yacht”

Summer Reign Ft. Summer Walker

A very big contrast to the previous song. This is a slowed down song for Ross which we know he can do so well. Summer Walker’s line “All I ask is that you hold it down for me ’cause you told me you would be my everything” echoes throughout the song. This is the versatility of Rick Ross and one of the unique things about him. He can go from sounding like a boss and someone not to be messed with from one track to this softer side displayed in this track.

Bogus Charms Ft. Meek Mill

If I heard the instrumental to this song without knowing who was on the song, the first featured artist that would come into my head would have been Meek Mill! In the song they talk about the downsides to fame and success and nobody explains pain more than Meek Mill. A line that sticks out for me from Ross is; “Half my team illiterate, I know it sound pathetic
But we can each get a brick that’s on a line of credit
“. The sad reality that due to some of their environments, many are not even educated. Meek Mill comes in saying; “Uh, I only remember nights that was post-traumatic
So I’m never actin’ bougie like I was supposed to have it
” meaning he is always thankful for what he has now. He knows and has lived through the struggle to get to his position now. Meek and Rick Ross always have great songs together and knowing the great relationship they have aside from music is great to know. Rick Ross is the king of showing us his flashy lifestyle but he never hides the struggle that comes with it. He paints a very realistic picture through his rapping, another reason I really like his music.

Rich Nigga Lifestyle Ft. Nipsey Hussle & Teyana Taylor

This is the last feature Rick Ross has with the late great Nipsey Hussle. Following on from the theme of the previous track Rick Ross says; “I’m just here to keep it real‚ not make you feel worse” reminding us what he is trying to do. In Nipsey’s verse he talks about the rise in Hip-Hop music and “How many niggas on your payroll?” meaning how many of your own people are you putting on. Nipsey was always consistent with the messages in his raps and it’s still a tragedy that we won’t get to hear from him again. Teyana Taylor provides a nice tone to the song too. Have a listen below;

Born to Kill Ft. Jeezy

The beat on this song is wonderful! Not much more to say on this one so have a listen below.

I Still Pray Ft. YFN Lucci & Ball Greezy

I really like the vibe I get from this track. This song is quite personal as it starts off with a reporter referring to the time Rick Ross was hospitalised. We see a more vulnerable side to Rick Ross as he starts off the track by saying; “Wake up out a coma, frozen in the moment you could have the biggest clique, but you gon’ die a loner“, the reality that everyone dies alone. Regardless of whether you are the most popular or if you have the most things, you die alone. The near death experience seems to have been a wake up call for Ross; “I’ll give you back the money just to get my health“. I think this song is just a reminder of how the most important thing to have in life has nothing to do with wealth or chains or cars or anything materialistic. The most important thing in life is to have good health.

Running the Streets Ft. Denzel Curry & A Boogie wit da Hoodie

I think this is my favourite song on the album at the moment. I recommend that when listening to this song, you have it connected to speakers with an excellent base to really appreciate the beat. The song refers to the idea that these men are in charge of their local hoods. In the song they are talking to their women in question letting them know that they have to understand their lifestyle. The idea that they won’t be coming home as they have work to do. Prior to the song I had not heard much from Denzel Curry but I am interested in hearing more from him. His verse in this song was my favourite. His flow and wordplay was so exciting to hear. Denzel even makes a random reference; “Like Stanley Yelnats, he caps, his head red” referring to the main character in the film ‘Holes’. What a random reference that fits so well. He was definitely the standout on this song!

Rick Ross Boss Line:

Went from sleepin’ on the floor to pissin’ Moët

Vegas Residency

This is pure Rick Ross. No features, just Ross slaying a beat as usual.

Maybach Music VI Ft. John Legend & Lil Wayne

This isn’t my favourite song in the numerous Maybach Music songs but I do however like the Lil Wayne feature. We don’t hear much from him so it was nice to hear a little verse.

Gold Roses Ft. Drake

Check out my previous review on this song here https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/07/30/new-music-what-ive-been-listening-to-4/

Album Review: Why I think Burna Boy – African Giant (2019) is a work of art…

As a Nigerian myself, I have grown up listening to Afrobeats and Burna Boy in particular. I’m a fan of Burna from his earlier days and the days when Afrobeats wasn’t as mainstream as it is today. From early, Burna Boy has always had a unique sound and despite his now worldwide success, he has stuck true to it. As a Nigerian myself, I have grown up listening to Afrobeats and Burna Boy in particular. His debut album L.I.F.E released in 2013 has some of my favourites from him; “Abeg, abeg (Remix)”, “Yawa Dey”, “Tonight”, “Like to Party” and “Smooth Smailing”. Most of these songs propelled Burna into the limelight but nothing has provided him with as much as his song “Yé released from his 3rd studio album.

I was excited for the release of ‘African Giant’ because I have always enjoyed Burna’s musical projects as a whole. His talent is always displayed in big bodies of work. On first listen admittedly the album did not stick out to me as quickly as his other albums did. However, after taking it in for a few days after and now weeks, I can honestly say this is his best album. For me, for a fourth album from someone who was already great to top his previous is a big big statement. In this album, you can hear his growth as an artist but also his improvement. His last album could be considered to be a mixture of all sounds but this is 100% an African album. From the beats, instruments and sounds, I felt like I was in Nigeria listening to this.

Another point to add is that this is more than just a music album. The album contains history and facts about Nigeria and Africa.

Whilst there are some American features, never did I forget I was listening to a Burna Boy project. Every song on this album has a different vibe and different feeling associated with it. Everytime you listen, a different song will stick out to you. To be able to do that with an album of 19 songs is somewhat incredible! I will talk about some of my absolute favourites from the album…

African Giant

A great intro to the album in my opinion. Burna Boy always has stand out lyrics in his songs and this song is no different. The song is an anthem for any African that has a dream for his people. It is the perfect taster for what is to come.

Stand out Line

“Because God no go give you more than you can handle”

Wetin Man Go Do

The title of this song is Pidgin English for “What will a man do”. In the song, Burna explores the idea of a man living in an African economy and the struggles he may face. The song has a very strong African feel to it. The last verse for me is sad as its obvious the man is helpless. Burna sings “Man go fight for money, man go fight for woman, man go fight for business, man go fight for nonsense (wetin man go do)…body don dey tire”. All of the struggling the man has to do is non stop. A sad reality for some people in African countries.

Stand out Line

“God I dey serve e…no go let my blessings to pass me”

Gum Body Ft. Jorja Smith

This is one of my favourite songs on the album. Similarly to his previous album, Burna Boy uses an English feature to help him on the song. Personally I’m not usually a fan of Jorja’s voice or music but the partnership with Burna in this song is perfect. The title of the song is a term used to describe wanting to be around someone. Jorja’s voice in her verse is sensational and plays on the theme of the song where they both sing “Why did I drink this Hennessy? as her voice sounds as it would, of someone who is a bit faded. I loved Jorja’s harmonies in Burna Boy’s verses, the blending of their voices without Burna Boy having to compromise his sound shows us how talented yet again he is. I have had this song on repeat since first hearing it.

Stand out Line

“Why did I drink this Hennessy?”

Killin Dem Ft. Zlatan

This is already one of the standout songs of the album and it’s not surprising. The song is performed so well by Burna Boy everytime he does a show. Zlatan’s verse in this is very underrated. His tongue twisting lyrics spoken in Yoruba with a fast flow are a joy to listen to. The dance moves associated with this song are great too.

Stand out Line

“We making money rush rush like indomie indomieee” and all of Zlatan’s verse!

Have a listen to the song and watch the video;

Omo

This song is definitely one of my ultimate favourites from the album. I love the flow and switch up Burna has in this song. His flow changes as he sings “Girl I’ve been scheming, plotting, planning…fuck a plan A, move to plan B” and switches up again after that verse. We hear singing Burna and rapping Burna in this song and it works well.

Secret Ft. Jeremih & Serani

This is the first song on the album featuring an American artist. Jeremih however adapts his voice to Serani and Burna meaning the whole sound isn’t compromised. I like this song because of that reason. The only issue I have with it is that sometimes the song can sound a bit whiny. Burna Boy’s voice does break up the high singing but sometimes I feel Serani and Jeremih were too much together on the song. Have a listen below;

Another Story Ft. M.anifest

Burna takes us on a history lesson on the colonialism of Nigeria in the first few seconds. In the song Burna Boy explains how the politicians in Nigeria are stealing from the country since Nigeria’s independence in 29160 and not doing anything to help like they should. Ghanian artist M.anifest’s verse is also similar as he talks about the fact he travels out of his country sometimes; “Sometimes I for dey move away, maybe a month, same shit, Ghana – Naija, man tire”. He is saying that even in his country he has the same issues. Similarly to “Wetin Man Go Do”, Burna is highlighting the worrying parts and unfortunate realties faced in Nigeria and many African countries.

Stand out Line

“Same shit, Ghana – Naija, man tire”

Pull Up

I like the softness of this song, Burna slows down the pace with this one and provides the album with a romantic side. He sings in the third verse “24/7 you been sitting on my mind, Baby you wey I think about like all day” emphasising the fact she is all he is thinking about”. The song gives the impression that Burna Boy wants to keep this relationship on the down low though. Further on in the verse he sings; “Loving the vibe that’s between me and you, baby don go telling no body”. He makes the affair sound as if it is sacred when really he just doesn’t want to get caught.

Destiny

This song reminds me of J Hus’ song “Spirit” with the idea that Burna is reminiscing on his childhood and the idea that his mental strength can never be taken away. Burna reminisces; “I remember when I used to hustle in the flats and the neighbors then had no love for me” probably exploring how he has risen from struggling conditions to the star he is now. The song is very positive as he basically implies that people can do many things to bring him down, but they can never take his “destiny”. This has a similar feel in J Hus’ spirit when he sings “Even when we never had a penny, yeah we always had spirit”. In the second verse of the song you can hear Burna Boy’s British accent a bit more reminding us of where he grew up but also making us realise how personal this track is. I feel Burna has done well on this album to show us where and what he has come from but also proving that this has shaped who he is today. They can take everything I have, they can take my life, they can’t touch my destiny

Stand Out Line

“They can take everything I have, they can take my life, they can’t touch my destiny”

Show & Tell Ft. Future

This was a song I really took in more with later listens. Future is usually really good on features and he did not disappoint on this track. For me it was enjoyable to hear the back and forth between both artists.

‘Songs to listen to when…”you’re in your feelings/in love” (Volume 1)

Hi everyone! Hope everyone is having a good and productive week! Today’s post is all about looooooooove! There are times in nearly everyone’s lives when they suddenly realise they are in love or have strong feelings for someone. Luckily for us there’s definitely a song that can describe exactly how you’re feeling.! Here are some songs that come to my head and to listen to when you’re feeling all loved up! Remember this is only part 1 so stay tuned for a lot, lot more!!!

Fantasia – When I See U (2006)

I’ve previously talked about this song but honestly when you think about songs that explore how you are feeling when you have just fallen for someone, this is it. The song explores the feeling you get whenever you see that special person . The funny thing is, in this song, it can even be related to unrequited love as Fantasia sings more about the feeling she gets just from “being in the sauce” rather than when that person in question is doing something specifically. I love Fantasia’s voice in this song and her lines “I start to stutter when I speak, try to stand but my knees go weak “<<<< I mean if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

Wyclef Jean & Mary J Blige- 911

Another song I’ve always expressed my love for. There comes a time especially if its your first love where you feel as dramatic as can be possible. When the love is so much that it even begins to feel like pain, “Someone please call 911, tell them I just been shot down & the bullet’s, in my heart”. It sounds illogical and over exaggerated to those not in love but if you are or have been, you can understand this song. Mary J Blige puts her all into this song and you can hear the pain in her voice.

Usher – U got it Bad

Pretty much most of Usher’s discography can relate to this topic but this is the signature song of “In your feelings”, when you begin to realise that you are developing feelings for that special person. The song reminds me of Fantasia’s “When I See U” as Usher also lists the signs that show you have started to fall. Anyone that has felt love can most likely react to some of the things Usher says in this song, especially for men. This song is so funny to me because I know for a fact most people have experienced most of the situations he states. As Usher himself says “Nobody wants to be alone…If you’re touched by the words in this song then maybe..you got it bad“. <<Forreal!

Whitney Houston – My Love is your Love

A classic love song and a legendary Whitney song! Whitney sings about the unbreakable bond she has with her lover and the fact it would “Take an eternity” to break them. She sings about the fact that regardless of what life throws at her or where she ends up, as long as she is with her lover, it will be okay. A beautiful song with a beautiful sentiment. R.I.P. Whitney.

Laura Izibor – If Tonight is my Last

I feel this song takes inspiration from Whitney Houston’s ‘My Love is Your Love‘.The song contains many similar scenarios and very similar sentiments, “If tonight is my last, I wanna spend it with you”, can’t get more romantic than that to be honest. I’ve always expressed my love for this song and the song lyrics speak for themselves. Check it out below;

Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran – Perfect

This duet is more recent but it’s no less of a beautiful love song. Both Ed and Beyonce’s voices blend into the “perfect harmony”. This is the kind of song that makes you sway upon hearing it. The song plays on the idea that when you find that special person and to you, they are the most perfect person in your eyes. Have a listen below:

Jessie Ware – Say You Love me

This song is more towards the “In my feelings” side. The passion and power Jessie exudes in this track is mind-blowing. She sings “Cause I don’t wanna fall in love, if you don’t wanna try…but all that I’ve been thinking of is maybe that you’re mine“. That feeling when when you are falling for someone but are too scared to let all your guard down in case the person isn’t feeling the same or in case you are going to get hurt. Unfortunately you cannot experience true love if you don’t let all your guards down…A catch 22.

Boyz II Men – I’ll Make Love to You

Released in 1994, this song was number 1 for a crazy 14 weeks!!! This song is the ultimate sexual song professing your love for someone.

Destiny Child’s – Cater 2 U

One of my favourite DC songs!!!! This song is the perfect ode to your love. In the song the women talk about all the things they are willing to do for their men in the most affectionate way. “You’re all I want in a man, I put my life in your hands“. For me, this is one of the most beautiful modern love songs released, it shows the selflessness women feel when they are happy and in love, the idea that nothing is too hard to do for their lover. The video is beautiful too. Side note, for me Michelle had the BEST verse!

Usher/ Alicia Keys – My Boo

“There’s always that one person that will always have your heart” is how this song starts and whew is that true! Falling in love will have you wanted to sing this with your own “boo”. Usher and Alicia did a fantastic job with this duet and the lyrics definitely resonate with those that have that special person despite anything going on.

New Music: What I’ve been listening to…

Hey people! It’s that time where I give you all an insight into what i’ve got playing on rotation. I just want to say, the past week or two has been a barrage of new music! There’s so much music out at the moment, that I’m even getting a bit overwhelmed!!!! I still have a few album reviews (Burna Boy and Chance the Rapper) to talk about and I will make sure I get to them! For now, here’s a list of some songs I’ve been playing in the past week or so. Enjoy!!

Big Sean – Single Again

Big Sean is back!!!! SO happy as he is one of my favourite artists. Sean recently said that he needed to take time off to work on himself and recharge. In this song Sean reflects on the fact he is now single after the breakup of his relationship. In the song he talks about the importance of “being strong on your own”. The song serves as a reflection of the lessons he has learnt while being single. One of the quotes he says that I like: “Looking for the love in somebody else that I probably should have given to myself“. It’s clear that this time away was needed for Sean’s mental health and I’m glad he is rejuvenated. Ty Dolla provides additional vocals along with Sean’s ex Jhene Aiko.

Headie One – Rubbery Bandz

I’m beginning to become a fan of UK rapper Headie One. He has just recently released his tracklist for his upcoming album and it looks immense! This song is his latest single from the upcoming album and I love it. This is a perfect song to blast in the Summer and do a little dance to. The production and his flow compliment each other on this song. Can’t wait to hear more music from him. Have a listen below;

Rick Ross Ft.Drake – Gold Roses

Ricky Rozay drops another single from his anticipated upcoming album ‘Port of Miami 2’, this time featuring Drake. This may be an unpopular opinion but I am not a fan of Drake’s verse on this song. I feel that the song would have been fine with just Ross. I like the concept of the song with the idea that you should give people their credit and praises while they are still alive rather than waiting until they are gone to appreciate them. With the numerous tragedies that have been happening recently for example the tragic death of the late great Nipsey Hussle, this is more relevant than ever. I heard an interview with Rick Ross where he said him and Drake did have Nipsey in mind when they recorded this track. One of the reasons I love Rick Ross is because he has the ability to rap about something deep and meaningful in a way that does not sound like he is preaching. He is very consistent and him and Drake do usually have a wonderful partnership. Have a listen below:

Burna Boy Ft. Jorja Smith – Gum Body

Burna Boy has just dropped his latest album ‘African Giant’ and while I haven’t taken in the whole album properly, this song for me has had the most replay value. I won’t lie I’m not usually a fan of Jorja Smith but her voice on this song is sensational. Her voice has a kind of huskiness to it that makes me want to reload every time. So beautiful…have a listen below;

Davido Ft. Chris Brown – Blow My Mind

It took me a while to get into this song but I’m a fan now. Nigerian artist Davido collaborates with Chris Brown for this hit. Davido has colloborated with many American artists for example his song with Russ; “All I Want” that I have written about before. I really like how Chris Brown adapted to African sound on this song demonstrating yet again his versatility.

Quality Control Ft. City Girls, Saweetie & DJ Durel

This is a ladies summer song right here! Girl power galore! It’s nice to hear JT on a track with a new verse too. Have a listen below;

Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift Review…

My review on Beyonce’s latest project.

Beyoncé recently blessed us with an album inspired by the newest remake of Lion King. It’s so good to hear new music from Beyoncé but even more exciting to hear she took a different approach to the music this time.

The album is mixed with interlude’s with clips from the film as well as new original songs with Beyoncé and some of the best African singers. I’m gonna talk about some of the songs that gripped me the most.

Beyoncé – BIGGER

This is a great intro track as it really does soothe us in. To me, this song feels personal to Beyoncé herself as well as relating to the Lion King and it’s surrounding themes. She mentions “Trying to be a good wife, still really hard, I can’t lie” matches some of the content in some of her other songs. The idea that not everything is as easy and nice as it looks, in life there are challenges and we have to go through them. I feel that for this song Beyoncé encourages us all to see we are “part of something way bigger” in the sense that there is so much more to life. This relates to a scene in the film where Mufasa tells Simba something similar. Have a listen to the song below:

Beyoncé – DON’T JEALOUS ME Ft. Tekno, Yemi Alade & Mr Eazi

This is the first feature of Africa on the album and the song features 3 Nigerian artists. As a Nigerian myself, this of course is one of my favourite songs. From the first second I feel the African drums and you know this is going to be a good song. Throughout the song Tekno says “Sheep don’t run with lion…Snake don’t swing with monkey” which makes me laugh as it is such a typical Nigerian/African saying to have. The song also features a bit of Igbo (A Nigerian language) and Pidgin language. Yemi Alade starts her verse saying “Oh Oh Odogwu (Odogwu), abeg make them talk” which is a reference to a man in a high position, she is asking him. The song does not actually feature Beyoncé vocals which is even more refreshing. I say refreshing because it is nice for Beyoncé on her own album to give the stage to others to showcase their talents too. I like how respectful and inviting she has been in regards to Africa for this album.

Burna Boy – JA ARA E

Yet again, Beyoncé passes on the stage to someone else and in this case it is Nigerian superstar Burna Boy. For anyone that is not familiar with him, please search him up and look into his own music, for me he is one of the best current Nigerian artists. In this song Burna Boy does his thing while referencing “watch out them for them hyenas” which could be very ambiguous. It could be literally in reference to the film as they are the ones that caused the most trouble. In addition to that it could be a reference to life, where people who are like the hyenas are those that look forward to your weakness in order to pounce and take advantage. Stay away from people like that. The title of the song is a Yoruba term meaning “wise up” which could mean stay alert at all times and be prepared.

Beyoncé Ft. Jay Z & Childish Gambino– MOOD 4 EVA

This is a celebratory anthem that I love! Personally I don’t think Jay Z was really needed on the project however it would be strange to have a Beyoncé project without her featuring her husband. The song features an intro from another African star, this time coming from Mali, singer Oumou Sangare. In the song Beyoncé sings “‘Cause every day above ground is a blessing” and Amen to that! In Hov’s verse, he name drops some of the legends; Nelson Mandela, Nigerian artist Fela Kuti as well as Biggie and Prince. The song is just a feel good anthem, perfect for the summer!

Beyoncé Ft Wizkid, SAINt JHN & Blue Ivy Carter- BROWN SKIN GIRL

Where do I even start with this song?! Before I even get into the lyrics, I just want to point out that for me, this song has one of my favourite productions. The beat is so simple but so effective. I’ve seen so many challenges where young girls have been dancing to this song and I can see exactly why they love it. It is such a feel good song to heat. I know this is one of the most popular songs from the project and with good reason. This album as a whole I feel, was a way for Beyoncé to pay homage to the African culture which inspired Lion King. This song pays homage to black women and brown skin, dark skin women in particular. Beyoncé wants these women to embrace and be proud of their skin and celebrate it. I love how she puts her daughter Blue Ivy in the song as she sings; “Brown skin girl, your skin just like pearls” to give it a more personal touch. Beyoncé also name drops some dark skin celebrities; “Pose like a trophy when Naomi‘s walk in, she need an Oscar for that pretty dark skin. Pretty like Lupita when the cameras close in…Drip broke the levee when my Kellys’ roll in”. Those that are young listening to this song can know there are so many role models that look exactly like them which could comfort them.  

There are so many beautiful words Beyoncé sings in this song. One of my favourite lines is when she says “Melanin too dark to throw her shade” and “Same skin that was broken be the same skin takin’ over“. That last quote is so powerful, it shows the contrast between the way black skin was discriminated against leading all the way back to slavery and now when you look at countries such as America (even with those she name dropped as examples) we are now “taking over”.

Personally when I first heard the song I felt very emotional because I know the criticism and isolation many brown/dark skin women have faced growing up. This song is a perfect love song to them with the lesson to be proud of who they are. This is such a powerful and uplifting song that I hope is played for many generations to give hope and confidence to future ‘Brown Skin Girls’. Have a listen below:

Tiwa Savage Ft. Mr Eazi – KEYS TO THE KINGDOM

Nigerian matriarch Tiwa Savage takes control of this song. It took me a few listens to get into it but now I feel it’s a song that you can have playing in the background and just vibe along to it. I like Mr Eazi’s addition to the song too.

Beyoncé Ft. Shatta Wale & Major Lazer – ALREADY

YES!!!!! This song is such an anthem!!!! I LOVE how dedicated Beyoncé was to incorporating an African sound in her own voice with this song. It just shows her versatility just in case people ever doubted her. The way she pronounces and emphasises the word “Already” is such an African way. African’s will hear it but it may go over the head of others. The song features Ghanaian star Shatta Wale and American dance trio Major Lazer. Since listening to the album, this song has been on rotation! The song has references to Lion King where Beyonceé sings “Long live the king” which is what Rafiki says to Simba. Shatta Wale had a blast on this song and his addition really added an authentic vibe to the song. I will definitely be playing this song for a long while to come. Have a listen below:

Beyoncé – SPIRIT

I really REALLY like this song. I feel this is one of my favourite ballads from Beyoncé in general. The song exudes so much raw emotion from me and gives me a sense of spiritual energy. Listening to this song for the first time literally made me weepy and I have no idea why. Beyonce’s voice in this song is just out of this world, I can’t even express the power. The video is just as beautiful and having watched the video before I saw the film, when I saw the exact scene in the film, it had a different meaning for me. The song is extremely uplifting too; “Your destiny is comin’ close, stand up and fi-i-i-ight” meaning never give up! If there was ever a doubt that Beyoncé has one of the most incredible voices in our lifetime, this song will put that debate to bed. Beautiful, beautiful song.

I also recently read a beautiful review on this album via the newspaper ‘The Metro’. Have a read below: