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.

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King Combs – Cyncerely, C3

My favourite tracks from King Combs’ new EP ‘Cyncerely’

A new EP by Christian ‘King’ Combs has just recently dropped and wow do I love it! It’s also the perfect time for the tape to drop as we get into the summer and nicer weather. I am actually a fan of his music as I feel his sound has a nostalgic 90’s feel, you can definitely hear his dad Diddy in his raps as well as influences from legends like Biggie. Rap in this modern day is constantly changing and takes on a form of what the popular sound is at the time, it is good and refreshing to hear a different sound of rap, which I believe we get with King Combs. In 2018, King Combs released his first official single ‘Love You Better’ which featured Chris Brown and that built up his fan base and name. This EP is a nice refreshing tape that has a lot of future hits. I hope he keeps this up as there is definitely a space in the market for his style of music. Here are 4 of my favourites from the tape;

Heaven Sent

The first track from the album has a freestyle vibe to it and it uses a sample from the classic song “I’ll Be” from Foxy Brown and Jay Z (released in 1996).  He mentions the recent passing of his mother Kim Porter, “My mom’s just passed, I aint know what to do” and in one of my favourite lines he says “cut the chatter, money matter like black lives”. The rest of the song has a great flow, clever puns and will certainly have your head boppin’ and the video is carefree and vibrant. This was a good intro track to prepare us for the rest of the tape.

Have a watch and listen below;

Naughty Ft. Jeremih

Hitmaka (aka Yung Berg) has been on fire recently with his production and this song is no different, I’ve also noticed that his beats always usually compliment Jeremih’s voice who is the feature on this track. This song is more of a sensual and seductive track. King Combs raps about all the things he wants to do to show his woman how much he likes her. He raps “You deserve a palace, somewhere on Star Island” while Jeremih sings “I can see you in my future”, both of them balance the serenading together in their respective fields. This is definitely one of my favourite tracks from the project.

On It! Ft. AZChike & TakeJay

This song reminds me of a YG type of song from the beginning. King Combs comes in and spits his verse like a pro. The thing i don’t like about this song is that King Combs feels more like hes featuring on the track which is fine but seeing as it’s his tape, it would have been nice to have heard more from him on this beat. I really love the beat on this song which is why I’ve put this in the list.

Good To Ya Ft. Ty Dolla $ign

King Combs definitely has a great range of features on this EP and this song is a prime example of one. Another song to vibe to. Have a listen below;

Mid-Week Vibes!!!

Hello everyone! We’re halfway through the week and nearly at the end of March. I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone tuning into the site and reading my posts this month. I appreciate you all.
Today’s post is based a few songs I’ve been playing this week that you should check out!

Kiana Lede;

So I’ve recently stumbled on Kiana Lede and wow her voice is beautiful! Her style is very R&B and she has an EP that was released last year called ‘Selfless (2018)’ which is great! There’s a few songs from it that I’ve had on repeat;

Show Love; In this song, Kiana tells the man in question to show how much he wants to be with her rather than just by words. She sings; “Fight for me baby…if you want time with me baby, got to do more than enough”. This is another way of saying “Actions speak louder than words”.

EX; I think this is one of her more popular songs. The song is based on the idea that she wants to remain friends with her ex despite the break up. She sings in the chorus; “I don’t wanna be your ex, we way too good at being friends” emphasising the fact she didn’t wanna lose her friendship with him after the breakup. Have a listen;

Wicked Games; This is one of my favourite songs on the EP. The song plays on the idea that Kiana is in a relationship with someone who takes advantage of her and her nature; “It’s always later, later, later, later & I let you come back ’cause sticking ’round is in my nature”. She sings throughout the song how the man in question knows that he is her weakness and acts on that. I like the simple production on this song too. Have a listen;

Take It All; This song gives me acoustic vibes. In this song Kiana is singing about a lover that accepts every part of her. She sings; “You be so good to me, even when I don’t say sorry”. Check it out below;

Burna Boy & DJDS- Darko (2019)

Nigerian Prince Burna Boy has returned with a newly released EP with DJDS entitled ‘Steel & Copper’ with 4 songs. ‘Darko’ is my favourite on the project. The song is a chilled, relaxed Burna track and if you a fan of his previous song ‘ Don Gorgon’, you may hear a few references to it! Check out the song below;

Rich The Kid Ft Big Sean & Offset – Two Cups (2019)

Rich The Kid has just released his new album called ‘The World is Yours 2″ and this is one of the songs I like from the album. I’m glad for the return of Big Sean as he’s one of my favourite rappers. I liked his part of his verse where he raps “I go off, go in, go up, but never go back, I know we in a league of our own, bitch, I’m pro-black”. Hopefully we will hear more new music from Big Sean soon. Have a listen to the song below

The Rara – Elegance (2018)

A little bit of bashment for your ears. This song has actually been out a while but recently I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Have a listen below;

Oritse Femi Ft. Burna Boy & Konshens – Play Am (2019

This is what happens when Afrobeats fuses with Bashment! A match made in heaven. All genres compliment eachother so well. Have a listen below;

DC – No Manners (2018)

I mentioned this song on the Instagram account, but I’ve had it on repeat this week. I like the use of wordplays in this song, DC is releasing a new EP this week, so I’ll be sure to check that out. This freestyle sounds like it is played over the Fat Joe “What’s Luv” song so provides a sense of nostalgia for me. Check out the video below.

‘They don’t make ’em like this anymore!’ Usher – Confessions Review. #ThrowbackThursday

A review and reflection on the classic album “Confessions” by the one and only Usher.

Hello everyone! Today we are going back to basics. I previously started a theme based on reviews from older albums. Today’s feature is the classic and legendary album from Usher titled ‘Confessions’. I will be referring to the original released version of the album. The album which was released in 2004 and was the fourth studio album by US singer Usher and is possibly one of his most celebrated pieces of work. Timeless music is when regardless of its release date, anytime you listen to it, feels like it’s the first time. This album ticks those boxes. For me this album is my favourite album of all time. It’s an album that I can recite lyrics from every song, an album with a story, an album with everything I love about music. Most importantly, this album provides nostalgic feelings for me that provide me with elements of joy.

As we are all aware I’m sure, the album takes the theme of a series of confessions as he explains to us in the intro. The album cover shows Usher in a Confessions booth and throughout the album we are given reasons why Usher is confessing. As I’ve previously stated, music is considered therapy for a lot of people and Usher used this album to reveal some of his darkest and painful secrets making this possibly one of his most personal albums. I remember reading somewhere that while the album is an R&B album, he wanted us to also experience a hip-hop vibe which could be argued to be in ‘Yeah!’.

Yeah!’ features Lil Jon and Ludacris (who has my favourite verse on the song). Ludacris’ line “We want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed” is probably one of the most memorable lines in the song aside from the chorus. The three of them also have a great collaborative effort on East Side Boyz “Lovers and Friends” which is a favourite of mine.

The third song on the album is “Throwback“. It’s funny because I had the album for a long time before this song stuck with me. “You never miss a good thing ’til it leaves ya & finally, I realised that I need ya, I want you back”. These lines set precedent for the rest of the song. Usher sings about wanting his woman back after she leaves him for admitting his cheating. The whole song is dedicated to his anguish at the fact she has left him and he misses her. On reflection, he regrets all the bad things he did and said. I love the uses of instruments in this song, it would have been great to have heard this song live back in the day.

‘Confessions Interlude/ Part 1‘ and ‘Confessions Part II’ art possibly the most infamous songs on the album. The interlude is Usher preparing his woman and us, the listener for what is to come. Interludes on R&B albums were popular around this time and I like the added touch of them. After a while the interlude was turned into a full fledged song. Part II is Usher outright confessing about his infidelity and expressing his regret. Usher sings “Just when I thought I said all I could say, my chick on the side said she got one on the way” confirming that he has gotten the other woman pregnant.. The song is apparently not exactly true but is based on Usher’s friends similar experiences. The execution however is flawless and you really believe Usher is living this life. Throughout the song we can hear the stress in Usher’s voice as he sings “Man, I’m throwed and I don’t know what to do, I guess I gotta give part two of my confessions” implying that this is the conclusion to this first version and interlude. There’s a part in the song when Usher hits a high note; “I said one second, baby, please hear me“, at a part where he is trying his best to let his girlfriend hear him out. The high note feels like desperation from his part and Usher incorporates it into the story so well. This song told us a story with Usher being the narrator and main character. The song writing, production and vocal performance in this song will forever make it a classic.

Burn’ is another R&B hit from Usher. He sings the ballad with such passion. The video for this song is legendary and I can’t think of the song without seeing Usher with trees burning beside him. Verse 2 is my favourite part of the song. The song is based on the conflicting feelings of a breakup. He sings “Cause the feeling ain’t the same, find myself calling her your name“, One one side he is trying to move on but he keeps being reminded. The other feeling is feeling regretful as he sings ” What I gotta do now to get my shorty back? Oh oh oh oh”. The song is one of the best R&B vocal performances on the album and definitely a fan favourite.

‘Caught Up‘ is a more upbeat Usher song as he sings about catching feelings for a woman. The song is Usher singing his confusion as to how the woman “has a hold on him”. My favourite line is when he sings “Her body was so tight, I’m looking for her in the daytime with a flashlight“. What a funny analogy. While the song takes a more upbeat mood, the production does too, there are more uses of drums and brass instruments.

‘Superstar Interlude’ and ‘Superstar‘ are possibly my personal favourite songs on the album. He sings “I won’t stop until I see you sugar”, on the interlude to again prepare us for what is to come on the main song. On ‘Superstar‘ he sings about a woman who he idolises and puts on a pedastool. He has no shame expressing his love; “I’ll be your groupie baby
‘Cause you are my superstar, I’m your number one fan, give me your autograph, Sign it right here on my heart
“. The irony of this song is that Usher himself is the Superstar and is used to having fans and groupies who are usually in awe of him however he has found a woman he is in awe of. He uses the metaphors of being a fan he claims to “show you just how I adore you“. He hits the high notes in this song with ease I love how he flips the script throughout to show us his vulnerable side. “Girl you’re one of a kind cos they don’t make em like you anymore”….a beautiful ode.


‘Truth Hurts‘ is another underrated song on the album. The song can be considered karma based on the topic of the beginning of the album. In this song Usher sings about how the woman in the relationship has ruined the relationship due to her “infidelity; “Baby, everything we built on trust, you’re tearing it down“. The irony is that we find out that all of these “fears” are really a projection of how Usher really feels. He confesses he’s only been accusing his girl of cheating due to his guilty conscience. Usher sings “I’ve been blaming you when I’m the one that’s doing wrong” once again admitting he’s the one who’s been unfaithful.

‘Simple Things’ is another one of my personal favourites. I feel this is the song with the most important message from the whole album. It can relate to relationships, love, jobs, family and pretty much life in general. In the song Usher advises us that it’s really the simple things in life we always underestimate. Those are the things that are the most important. The song has incredible advice from the beginning; “Just copped your girl a brand new Rolex but you can never find the time to spend at home“. He proceeds to sing my favourite line; “But you don’t know you’re chasing a dime, losing a treasure” telling us to appreciate what we have already. He advises men to understand that splashing the cash on your woman is great but what is more important to her is you, not the materialistic things. “You hear her talking but don’t hear what she said“, sometimes we hear what we want to hear rather than what the person is trying to say. Usher ends the song by stating “Man, I tell you, cars, clothes, and fancy things don’t mean a damn thing” advising men to give them things money can’t buy, their time, love, appreciation and affection.

‘That’s What it’s Made For’, ‘Can U Handle It?’ and ‘Do it to Me’ are all songs that could be considered slow jams. These songs are classic Usher, stripped back, pure vocals. It can be argued that all songs have the same theme; sex. ‘That’s What it’s Made For’ is Usher singing about his manhood and the use of it, to pleasure women. The song explores how him and a woman are partaking in consensual sexual activity. ‘Can U Handle It?’ is Usher seducing and teasing a woman. ‘Do it to Me’ is another one of my favourites from the album. I don’t think it’s possible to hear this song without feeling the need to move. I like the production on this song. The big Base and what feels like a large bang(drums?) played throughout adds to the intensity. Usher hits the high notes effortlessly as usual and one of my favourite lines; “Squeezing, holding, biting, scratching, spanking, screaming, pulling my hair when you need me” with his high vocals is just 😍. Yeah this song is the one! Whew!‘Follow Me’ is Usher being real. In this song he sings about the fact he’s finally found a woman he can be himself with. “Sometimes I gotta smile (smile) when I don’t feel like smiling”, his lifestyle is tiring but he doesn’t need to pretend with the woman

What an album. I won’t lie, I don’t think since this release there has been an album that has provided me with so much joy and love. Hopefully real R&B can be born again because it will be a shame.

I am aware there are more songs after from the special edition version of the album. Songs like “My Boo” which I have reviewed before among a few more. Check out the special edition version below;

Dave – ‘Psychodrama’ Album Review.

Released: 8th March 2019

UK rapper Dave has finally blessed us with his debut album ‘Psychodrama‘. I was excited about the release of this album as it was a long time coming and I certainly haven’t been disappointed. With albums, I feel it’s only right you take a few days or even weeks, to sit on it and take it in. In the space of a few days, my favourites have already changed, and I was hearing things and understanding meanings to songs I never picked up on before. I feel Dave is very socially aware for his age, it’s hard to believe Dave is only 20 years old with some of the content he raps about. In his intro track “Psycho” he even states “I’m a hitmaker if you ever noticed, I could be the rapper with the message like you’re hoping”; he has the ability to relate to the youth with his experiences and possibly even language and make commercial and successful songs but also relate to a more mature audience with his subject matters and hidden messages. In his song “Purple Heart” he uses clever wordplay and metaphors to describe his love for a woman. Some of the metaphors are so clever, you probably have to listen to it more than once to catch what he is saying. Someone once told me that with lyrics, everybody’s interpretation is personal to them. I feel that with Dave’s album, regardless of who you are, your age, ethnicity, gender, you will find your own unique meaning behind Dave’s lyrics.

Psycho‘ is the first song from the album and it serves similarly to a monologue. There is no main chorus and Dave just spits his thoughts into one track. For me the most important part of this song is towards the end when we hear more answers. From 2 minutes, 20 seconds, the flow changes as does Dave’s mood. Dave raps “Brother I’m a careful, humble, reckless, arrogant, extravagant, nigga, probably battlin’ with manic depression”, he openly displays his weaknesses as well as admitting his battle with depression. I like the honesty Dave exudes with his music and I feel he does this with the sole purpose of helping other people to acknowledge and speak up too. Continuing with the theme of therapy, towards the end Dave raps; “And to my fans, the reason I could get to this, you’re my drug, the instrumental, my therapist”, Dave states that it’s through music and the support he gets from it that heal him. For most people, music is a form of therapy and for Dave it is his way of letting out all his worries and fears.

Dave has 3 songs with features on this album and it’s each featured artist offers something unique to the song . The first feature we hear is the JAE5 produced song “Location” featuring Nigerian superstar Burna Boy. When I first heard this song I was sceptical about the sound from Burna as I couldn’t work out what kind of sound he was trying to portray. After sitting on it and listening to it, I now really love this song. Of course JAE5 does no wrong with this track and especially around ‘2:11’ when the beat takes a turn before Burna Boy comes in with his verse. The song has a kind of seduction to it as Burna sings for the person in question to send him “the location”. Dave raps about his “come up” but keeps his cool throughout the track with quotable and memorable lines such as “Girl from India, sweet as naani, head so good, now I speak Gujarati”.

The second featured track features UK star J Hus as he assists him on the song “Disaster”. The two have previously collaborated on Dave’s 2017 song “Samantha”. This song for me is unique because it is not a Dave track featuring J Hus, it is a collaborative effort from both of them equally. The way Hus comes into this song and plays off Dave’s verses reminds me that J Hus is an undeniable talent in the UK scene. Hus shows his versatility by singing the chorus but by also battling Dave on the rap verses. This is by far my favourite song on the album.

Dave uses his song “Environment” to expose the truth behind some ideologies. He touches on the “culture” with lines like; ” Where I’m from, everybody wants to make it out but nobody wants to see somebody make it out”. He references the music industry with lyrics such as; ” The moment that you ain’t it, the labels are looking for replacements”. Dave mentions his upbringing and social issues in songs like “Streatham”, “Black” and “Screwface Capital”. He is very open about the struggles he faced growing up “Tell me what you know about a bag full of bills and your mom crying out, saying, son, I can’t take it” (Screwface Capital). In his single “Black”, Dave talks about the social and racial inequality he faces as well as other people his race or age group may face too. (Check out my review and video review for this single on a previous post) https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/02/24/videos-to-watch-mostack-dave-uks-finest/ .

Lesley’ is one of the sadder, emotional songs as Dave raps the story of a woman who is abused by her boyfriend Jason. The song touches on Dave’s first meeting with her to how she suffered and the dramatic conclusion to her story. Dave’s storytelling abilities have always been evident through many of his songs but this one seemed more fitting given the current “Me Too” movement. Hopefully the song helps women in that situation to walk away from toxic and abusive situations and gives them the confidence to understand their worth. ‘Drama‘ is also another emotional and personal song from Dave. The final song on the album follows the theme of the first track being a monologue without a chorus. Dave uses the song to speak to his older brother who is currently incarcerated. The track also features a snippet of his brother.

Overall, the album for me is possibly one of the best UK rap debut albums in a long time. A debut album in my opinion is supposed to let the world know who you exactly are and what you stand for. This album did all of that and more. From this album, Dave is a unique lyricist who cares about the world and wants to make a difference to the youth while also letting the older generation understand what it’s like to be him or someone like him . Dave is not scared to tell the truth and expose the falseness of ideologies. He uses his music to be real and honest. He touches on race, poverty, suicide, abuse, love, friendship, betrayal and so much more. Be prepared for intelligent wordplay, snazzy metaphors and incredible production. Hopefully this album can go to number 1 and if that is the case, it is thoroughly deserved.

I actually have tickets for the tour and I honestly cannot wait to hear and watch these songs performed live and feel the raw emotions.

Have a listen below:

Happy International Women’s Day 2019!! #BalanceForBetter

Celebrating women through music.

Hello everyone! So today, March 8th 2019 happens to be ‘International Women’s Day’. This is a day where we celebrate all the achievements of women. Every year there is a different theme and this year it is #BalanceforBetter which calls for better representation in the workplace indicating that balance provides a better working environment. Below is a list of a few female anthems that I love for their ability to express womanhood unapologetically! “Here’s to strong Women! May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them”!!!

Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Woman

When I think of strong women in history, Maya Angelou
(April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014 ) is at the top of my list. I loved how confident she was and how she openly spoke out in public over the fact women deserved the same amount of respect and ownership as men. Many of her poems expressed her beliefs and in her poem “Phenomenal Woman” she expresses how much of a powerful woman she is and all the things that make her feel great. I feel the poem is an ode to women in general and a lesson for women to understand and accept the power and grace we have. The first stanza of the poem is based on her interaction with other women; “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies , where she addresses what makes her special due to the fact she may not be stereotypically “attractive”. In the second and third stanza Maya describes her effect on men; ” I walk into a room, just as cool as you please & to a man, the fellows stand or fall down on their knees”, again showing how a woman’s physical attributes are seen but with the other sex. In the fourth and final stanza, Maya summarises her qualities and lets the reader understand the reasons for why she doesn’t “bow her head” or quiet down, it is because she is proud of who she is and is not willing to hide that. Her final words summarise the whole poem;
“It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me”.

R.I.P Maya Angelou!

A powerful poem with a powerful message by a powerful woman. Check out Maya’s powerful voice reciting this poem below:

Destiny’s Child – Independent Women – (2001)

When you think of female anthems, this song definitely fits! The song is released from their album ‘Survivor’, released in 2001 and was also the theme song for the film ‘Charlie’s Angels’. The ladies start the song off by stating “Try to control me boy, you get dismissed, pay my own car note and I pay my own bills, always 50/50 in relationships”. The girls sing about how independent they are and the fact they do not need to rely on anyone else especially men. The hook is a chant for fellow independent women “All the women, who are independent throw your hands up at me”, encouraging fellow women to celebrate their independence. The line “I depend on me” is repeated throughout the song and I believe that is a statement revealing how women can be self sufficient. Have a listen below!

Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman – (1978)

“I’m every woman, it’s all in meeeeeeee”, you gotta sing this out loud and feel the joy from this song! This is the debut single from her debut album “Chaka”. This song feels like a celebration of womanhood . Whitney Houston also has a version of this song which is equally good as Whitney puts her own spin on the song while still paying homage to Chaka.


Alicia Keys – Superwoman – (2008)

In 2016, Alicia Keys decided to stop wearing makeup (or very rarely) and stated “I love my lip gloss, I love my blush, I love my eyeliner. It’s not about that. At the same time, I don’t want to feel beholden — to have to do it”. Since then, Alicia has stuck by her word which, in this day and age, with all the pressure to look a certain way is a wonderful demonstration of her power and strength. This song plays on the idea of how strong women are with all the tasks they have to do on a daily basis. Alicia sings “Still when I’m a mess, I still put on a vest with an ‘S’ on my chest”, meaning despite all the drama and hard work women do on a daily basis, she still gets up and gets on with it, alluring to the notion of being Superwoman My favourite part of the song is when Alicia sings “For all the mothers fighting for better days to come and all my woman, all my woman sitting here trying to come home before the sun & all my sisters coming together say “yes, I will,” and “yes, I can”. Overall, I love how Alicia dwells on the powers she has being a woman and I believe as women, we should do well to remember just how super we are.

Beyoncé – Run the World (Girls) – (2011)

This song was released from Beyoncé’s fourth studio album “4” as the lead single. Beyoncé actually has a history of releasing songs based on female empowerment and this song is no different. One of my favourite lines in this song is “My persuasion can build a nation” which reminds me of a bit of Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” poem. (mentioned above). The song contains a lot of African influence which is evident with the dance moves used in the video. Beyoncé’ regularly sings about female issues and inequality and is infamous for her “all female band”. Some other female-empowered songs she has released are: ‘If I were a Boy’ (2008), “Irreplaceable” (2006), “Ring Off” (2013),”Pretty Hurts” (2013), “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (2008), “Sorry” (2016)

I could write all day about female empowerment songs. Empowerment songs don’t always have to be so modest or clean cut too. Part of equality is the idea men and women can be treated equally and women will be not be discriminated against due to the things they may say or do that do not fit with the “stereotype”. I will write a post soon about female rappers and their importance and influence in society and I will go more in depth. However, I just wanted to emphasise that feminism comes in all forms. I pray for a day women can state what they want or who they are, without the judgement of society and men. On that note, listen to City Girls – “Act Up” were women take the control back, do whatever the hell they want and “live their best lives” haha!



“Through the Years”….2015.

Music has so much meaning for me and so many memories can be attached with songs, so I’ve decided to do posts dedicated to important years for me. Aside from the usual Throwback Thursday post I do, I will focus on specific years (in random order) and songs that I have enjoyed or have meaning to me from that year. The first year in ‘Through the Years” is 2015. I chose this year because personally 2015 was one of the most important years of my life. I graduated from University, which was one of the big events and had some of the highest highs of my life as well as some of the lowest lows. I look back at 2015 as a year of many lessons. I believe it was one of the most important years of my life because due to all these experiences I think this was the year I grew up the fastest. I hope you enjoy this series and feel free to follow the Instagram account where I have daily songs of the day too. (www.instagram.com/musicandlifeblog). Here are some of the songs that remind me of 2015:

Chris Brown & Tyga – Ayo (January 6 2015)

This is one of my favourite songs of 2015. The song was officially released in January but we had all heard it towards the end of 2014. The collaboration is taken from the duo’s joint ‘Fan of a Fan’ album also released in 2015. The song was produced by Nic Nac who produced most of the songs on their joint album as well as Chris Brown’s 2014 hit “Loyal”. This song gives me memories of the last outings in University and gives me summer vibes. The best and only way to listen to this song is with the speaker on full blast.

AYOOOOOOOOO

Fetty Wap – Again (August 13 2015)

Fetty Wap was the man of the moment in 2015! He became popular with his hits “Trap Queen” and “My Way” which was released from his debut self titled album. For me, I will always love his song ‘Again’ released from the same album. Fetty was one of the first rappers from this new wave of music that sang so blatantly on a song. The song is based on Fetty trying to win back someone he had broke up with. He sings “I cannot see myself without you” serenading his mystery woman. The song is just one of many songs Fetty released this year and each one was a hit.
Have a listen below:


Big Sean – Play No Games Ft. Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign (February 24 2015)

Ok, so in 2015 Big Sean released his third studio album titled ‘Dark Sky Paradise’. This was one of my favourite albums from Big Sean and although this isn’t my favourite from the album, it has the most meaning for me. This is because the video which was released on June 28th features my cousin Chidi Ajufo (see him clearly on the 21 seconds mark as well as throughout the video!). The video which is inspired by and pays homage to the hit sitcom ‘Martin’ is one of the most creative videos Sean has done. Have a watch below:

Rich Homie Quan – Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh) – February 10, 2015

I remember this song became really popular in the summer of 2015 but I remember playing it repeatedly. The song will always remind me of bright colours due to the extremely colourful video that accompanies the song. The video also contains Rich doing his infamous “hittin’ the Quan” dance. The extremely catchy chorus is a feel good song that came out around a time where “mumble” rappers like Rich Homie and Young Thug were being discovered and embraced before groups such as Migos were as big as they are now. One could argue artists like Rich Homie are pioneers for this kind of genre. Have a listen and watch below

WSTRN – In2 (6 November 2015)

UK time! Okay so WSTRN will always have a small spot in my heart for many reasons. 1, the group originate from West London (hence the name), also my home town. 2, the group release consistent hits and 3, they are quite unproblematic as far as groups go. The group also contains a guy by the name of Louis Rei who happened to go to the same primary school as me..even though he was a couple years above me. I find his verse in this song on of my favourites too; “Menacin’, men have seen all the crud that I’m steppin’ with, celibate, what are these words? not comprehendin’ it”. The song was huge in 2015, propelled WSTRN into the limelight and was played pretty much everywhere you went. The video gives you a tour of certain places in West London such as the infamous Trellick Tower. Have a watch and listen below! The remix is also great too.

J Hus – Lean & Bop (October 2015)

This song is different from many of J Hus’ other songs as it does not contain any swear words. Hus has stated that that was the aim as he wanted a song that his younger brother or his younger fans could play without the worry of hearing explicit words. I remember being able to play this song at work knowing I didn’t have to worry about anything inappropriate being said! The song became a viral sensation especially with the dance move accompanied with it. Have a watch below, there’s no way you won’t be smiling and doing the dance by the end.

Chris Brown – Back to Sleep (November 5th 2015) & Little Bit (2015)

The songs taken from Chris Brown’s 7th studio album ‘Royalty’ are two of my favourite songs on the album. ‘Back to Sleep’, which is very explicit feels like a serenade while ‘Little Bit’ also explicit, is a nice bop to vibe to. The beat in ‘Little Bit’ is sensational and with the right speakers, you could easily get lost in the music. Have a listen to both below:


Stormzy – Shut Up/WickedSkengMan 4

Stormzy is one of the UK’s best. These songs in particular opened the gates to the future and progression of UK rap. ‘Shut Up’ was originally a freestyle Stormzy recorded and put on youtube but ended up being the first freestyle (recorded in a car park haha) to chart independently. For the culture, this proved that we had so much power than we originally thought and it was possible for someone like an unsigned rapper to chart in the UK charts, let alone the top 10. WickedSkengMan 4 is the B-Side to ‘Shut up’ and the fourth edition to is WickedSkengMan phase. I remember how everyone joined together to get Stormzy this top 10 single and this is a moment that showed how powerful we can be when we all support one another.


Justin Bieber – Sorry (October 23, 2015)

Lat but not least, this song reminds me of the end of 2015 which was a very hectic time for me. However, when the song was released I genuinely loved it. It felt like a new and improved Justin Bieber debuting a new sound. The song from his fourth studio album ‘Purpose’, was seen as an apology song to his ex Selena Gomez however Justin stated many times that it was an apology to the world as well as about Selena. I love how the beat changes in this song when it gets to the chorus. Have a listen below.