Following on from that infamous Verzus battle, Ashanti music has been on repeat! I was a big fan of her so it’s nostalgic to hear some of her older songs again! This song from her “Braveheart” album was played during the warm up!
MC Solaar – La Belle Et La Bad Boy
As mentioned on the podcast, this song has been in my head since watching the finale of Sex and the City!! It’s a fairly old song but still just as great! Even if you do not understand French, the beat of this song is enough for you to get stuck in!
Brs Kash Ft. Da Baby & City Girls – Throat Baby Remix
Well!! This song is very wild! As I mentioned on the podcast, it’s definitely not the song you should be playing out loud in public!!! For me, JT stole the show on this song. She experimented a bit and tried some vocals with this one! The song won’t be winning any awards for content but it’s a catchy and fun song!
As always remember to check out the instagram page which is updated regularly:
Hello all, hope you are all well! It’s been a very traumatic month for most people, me included but I hope you are all taking care of yourself. Before we go even further, a friendly reminder that BLACK LIVES MATTER…ALWAYS HAVE…ALWAYS WILL.
This post is dedicated to all the incredible women out there doing their thing and working twice as hard to be considered on the same level as men. The post is specifically highlighting the talent of Black women. I truly believe black women have the hardest ladder to climb sometimes, in music, sports, the corporate world. With sexism and racism against us, sometimes I feel we are always underestimated and overlooked. Today’s post is about all the new music that has come out recently from some incredible black women. There’s always a misconception that female artists have to act or dress certain way to be noticed. Each women in this post represent different aspects of womanhood in their own unique ways. Hopefully the different women in this post prove that you can be anything you want to as long as you are unapologetically yourself.
Have a read and listen below to some female power! (HAVE A LOOK OUT FOR THE MOOD/THEMES IN EACH ENTRY DEMONSTRATING THE VERSATILITY OF FEMALE ARTISTS).
Beyoncé – BLACK PARADE
THEME/MOOD: ACTIVISM, HUMAN RIGHTS, BLACK POWER
Queen B is back with another song and this one is an ode to all things black. The song was released on the same day as the Juneteenth celebrations. A day that celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. In addition, she also released the song with a very important message; “Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right“. Words to remember. I liked how she emphasised her views in the second verse with; “Yeah, yeah, I’m for us, all black All chrome, black-owned“. On Beyonce’s website following the release she listed many black owned businesses celebrating black excellence reiterating the point in her verse. Another stand out part for me in this song is in the second verse when B sings; “Rubber bullets bouncin’ off me…Made a picket sign off your picket fence“; for me the metaphors are a representation of despite all that is thrown at her and black people, we will never stop fighting for our rights. This is not the first time and I’m sure not the last that B has spoken about injustice and racism and activism. I am however happy that the song is quite positive and motivational for the black community. Beyoncé’s harmonies in this song also make it even more soothing on the ear. Have a listen below;
City Girls are back in full form!!!! The duo had to unfortunately release the album earlier than scheduled due to a leak a few days earlier. However, as one of the millions of fans of this duo, it was great news for us! For me, City Girls represent women in an unapologetic form, I feel they say things that many of us women think but would never say. I believe every woman has an inner city girl within them! They’re fun and exactly what we need at a time like this! Listening to the album had me smiling throughout, I found myself living vicariously through the music describing their carefree and fun lifestyle. In comparison to their first two albums’ “PERIOD” & “Girl Code”, you can hear the maturity in this album, Yung Miami definitely takes more of the lead on this album too which I assume could be due to JT’s time away. I would definitely warn that this album is very Rated R! Here are some of my favourite tracks;
Enough/Better – This intro track features two different songs. My favourite is the second song ‘Better‘. While ‘Enough‘ is very fast paced and jumping straight into City Girls and what they do best, ‘Better‘ starts off a bit slower. On this track, JT & Miami summarise their life in the past few years referencing their growing success, their lows and the trials and tribulations they have faced. It ends on a positive note reminding us all that they have overcome every problem they’ve faced. A perfect way to start an album.
Jobs – After the release of this album, this was the promotional song that followed. In this song the duo express the fact that they no longer have to go to jobs as they are the work. A BIG FLEX!!! I loved JT’s verse on this song, she came in so sick too!
Broke N***as – This was one of my favourites from the first listen and still is! The song was produced by Traxamillion. The beat on this and the way Yo Gotti sounds on this is perfect! The song has a West Coast feel to it! Perfect beat to have playing in the sun!
P***y Talk – Produced by Yung Miami’s very own boyfriend Southside, this song is a great follow up to the above. The song features Doja Cat who unfortunately isn’t anyone’s favourite at the moment. Regardless, I liked the song and loved the fact Yung Miami took the lead on it. I’m usually more of a JT fan but I’m really enjoying hearing Yung Miami become more versatile recently.
City on Lock Ft. Lil Durk – The title track on the album which features Lil Durk. I liked him singing on the chorus.
Flewed Out Ft. Lil Baby – The title of this song of course coming from Yung Miami’s infamous phrase. City Girls’ and their labelmate Lil Baby always make good music together. This is another song I can see doing well for a while.
Rodeo – You can guess what this song was gonna be about from the name already! Regardless I loved the beat on this song too and the way JT’s voice sounded on this.
I’m a fan of Teyana’s music. I’ve always felt she wasn’t given the respect she deserved. However I’m noticing that recently she has been respected and praised a lot more which is great to see. Her previous album was released 2 years ago and I enjoyed that project. This new album is even better in my opinion. There is so much depth on this album, we really feel all the emotions she feels on this journey. Her features on this album are some of the best I’ve seen. Nearly all of them work so well and compliment one another perfectly. Here are some of the songs that have stood out for me:
Come Back To Me Ft. Junie & Rick Ross – As soon as I saw Rozay on the tracklist for this song, I knew this would be one of my favourites on the album. The song also features a cameo from Teyana’s adorable daughter Junie. This is a signature Teyana song, slow…sensual and soft.
Wake Up Love Ft. Iman – This is one of the songs Teyana released with the album and I’ve really warmed to it. This song features her husband Iman and I really feel his rapping style is appreciated in this song. The song feels even more romantic with the both of them on, you can tell this is definitely an ode to their love. The video is beautiful too!
Lowkey Ft. Erykah Badu – I read an article where Teyana claimed she was so scared to ask Erykah for a feature as she was her idol. Honestly Teyana hit the jackpot with features on this album. This could be my favourite one! Erykah rides the song so well and her tone of voice is so refreshing.
Morning Ft. Kehlani – Another one of the songs released before the album release. For me this is one of the most sexual songs on the album! Kehlani provides one of my favourite feature verses from her on this song. She has about three different flows on her verse! Both of these women’s voice gel so well and I really hope this is the beginning of more features from them.
Boomin Ft. Missy Elliott & Future – It’s so nice to hear Missy on new music!!! Her harmonies with Teyana on this song were so beautiful to the ear. Future of course does his thing too! This song samples ‘808’ by Blaque which was originally released in 1999.
Killa Ft. Davido – This song contains a feature from popular Nigerian artist Davido. It’s nice to hear an afrobeat blend on this track.
Lose Each Other – One of the few ballads on the album, the song is quite stripped back. I like the realness and rawness of this song. it focuses on the times when you may not be with a person you love or once loved. Teyana states that it shouldn’t have to be a bitter situation, “I meant it when I said “I loved you” and love just don’t go away”. True words. The song highlights the sometimes-grey area in relationships and breakups.
Try Again – The beat, the mood, the sound of this song IS such a vibe. I think this a song that you will hear in a few years and remember how much of a banger it was. There’s no way you won’t be doing a little dance/movement to the chorus of this song.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album and it will be on rotation for a while. The album is filled with so many gems! Honourable mentions to ‘Concrete‘, ‘Friends‘, ‘How You Want It‘ Ft. King Combs, ‘Made It‘ and ‘We Got Love‘ featuring the legend that is Lauryn Hill!!!
Chloe x Halle – Ungodly Hour
THEME/Mood: Female Power, Love, Sisterhood
R&B Sister duo Chloe and Halle are back, this time with their second studio album. To be honest, I’ve never listened to a whole project of theirs before this album. I listened to this one and I really enjoyed it. It seems like the sisters have certainly matured in their music and content. This album for me is like a rebirth of Chloe and Halle, a new age, a grown and unapologetic version of them. I think my opinion on them has changed slightly and it’s nice to see their growth in the music business. One thing I will say is every single song on this album was produced so well, every beat is perfect for the song. Here are some of my favourite tracks from the album:
Forgive Me – I love the motto of the song; “Don’t ever ask for permission, ask for forgiveness”. The song is focused on the art of unapologetically being yourself. A very positive and inspiring song.
Baby Girl – The intro beat of this song is enough to get you hooked straight away. This is another female anthem, a nice song to help uplift you when you’re feeling down.
Do It – This is one of the popular songs from the album and a recent release. For me this song demonstrates their talented vocal ranges.
Busy Boy- This song emphasises the grown sides of the sisters. A playful song referencing the situations some female friends go through.
Don’t Make It Harder on Me – Another one of my favourites from the album, the sisters harmonise so beautifully on this song. The song is all about temptation and has an old school feel to the production.
Some other singles from some other Melanin Queens to check out:
Shenseea – Wasabi (Dancehall Queen treats us to another banger!)
Simi – Dudke (Nigerian singer Simi has such a sensual and soothing voice, check out this song from her) I absolutely adore her voice, reminds me of Nigerian high life music.
If you haven’t already…check out my Summer playlist below and feel free to follow and enjoy!! Have a nice weekend everyone!
Hello everyone! It’s that time of week where I bombard you all with a list of what I’ve been listening to the past week! It’s been a while since I have updated you, have a look below of all the music that’s been on rotation.!
Stormzy – Wiley Flow
There has been a lot of noise and controversy in the UK grime scene surrounding Wiley. If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what started Wiley’s frustration. With this track Stormzy paves homage to one of the grime pioneers Wiley. The beginning of the song starts with a snippet of a clip where Wiley refers to the fact that everyone else in the scene are his “youngers”. Stormzy uses this to flip and relate to his song by referring to his own success. I feel that this is the Stormzy I prefer in comparison to his more commercial songs like “Vossi Bop”. Stormzy when he is raw for me is when he’s at his best, listen to his freestyles like “Standard” and “Scary” for examples.
Shaybo – Ya Dun Know
This song has blown up thanks to the power of the internet. I came across the song and video on twitter and have been playing the song ever since! I love the fact there are more female rappers coming up and even better them being British. There are a few really good British rappers in comparison to the men. Shaybo brings a uniqueness to her rapping as she spits in the Yoruba dialect too in this song. Yoruba is one of the many languages spoken in Nigeria and it is great she is able to incorporate both her British and Nigerian identity in the song. For those that aren’t aware, “Ya Dun Know” is a common slang used a lot in London and is a term usually used when someone is bigging something up. The accompanying video is good too, simple and fitting to the song. I also liked how she referenced her old video where she was much younger so we could see the growth in her music.
Mahalia Ft. Ella Mai – What You Did
I’m a big fan of this collaboration, women are really taking centre stage in all genres nowadays, rap and r&b are just examples. In this song we hear samples from Cam’ron and Juelz Santana’s hit song “Oh Boy” as well as Norman Whitfield’s “I’m Going Down”. The song exudes female solidarity in the face of a lover ho has wronged them. One of the lyrics that stand out for me are from Ella Mai’s verse where she sings “Oh, it’s funny how right when I let my guard down you play around”, I’m sure many women can relate to this line. I like in the chorus that they flip the scenario; ‘Cause I would not expect someone to stay around If I let them down, oh” insinuating that if they had wronged their lover they would expect them to be reacting in the exact same way. I hope this is the first of more collaborations between this two, their singing styles compliment each other very well.
Myers – Common Kid
I’m sure everyone is now aware of the Netflix series “Top Boy” that was released on the 13th of September. The original soundtrack has been released and while the album is great and filled with the finest UK talent, there was 1 song I feel should have been on there. While watching the series, this song in particular stood out to me. I had to shazam the song as I had no idea who was rapping. Since discovering, I have had this song on repeat. The song touches on the gritty street life which evidently was very relevant for the episode. Have a listen below; ( Also check out Bugzy Malone – Die By The Gun)
Normani – Motivation
“I’ma break you off, let me be your motivation” is what I’ve been singing since I heard this song. Normani who is famous for being a apart of the group ‘Fifth Harmony’ finally spreads her solo wings with this debut single. I have a feeling she is one to watch. The song is great and the video is absolutely mind blowing. Her talent spreads from vocals to dancing and it is clear she is finally showing the world her talents. I am here for any success she has in the future!!!
Dave – Professor X
This is one of the standout tracks on the Top Boy soundtrack for me. Dave outdoes himself with his witty wordplay in this song. I loved the Terminator “Not around no more” reference as that fir perfectly with the line he was spitting. I could be here all day picking out the talent behind some of the bars in this song. Have a listen below;
Gambimi – Picture
UK artist Gambimi caused a storm last week with a video on his Instagram that went viral showing him pleading a lover to forgive him for his wrongdoing. All of this was the lead up to the release of this single. The famous words “Can we fix, can we blend, can we contour” are possibly what stand out in the whole song. Personally I have been listening to Gambimi’s music for a while. He used to release songs regularly on SoundCloud. I feel his voice is a mixture of Trey Songz and UK singer Angel. A soothing R&B sound with the right kind of rifts and harmonies. Have a listen below;
Quality Control Ft. City Girls, Stefflon Don, Renni Rucci & Mustard – Like That
Quality Control have released a new album entitled; Quality Control: Control the Streets Volume 2. One of the things I like about QC as a label is their appreciation and support of female rappers. This song features their female Queens City Girls as well as new signee UK rapper Stefflon Don. We also are treated with an addition from Renni Rucci and Mustard.
Hey everyone! Hope everyone has had a great productive week! I’m gonna give you all a list of a few songs I’ve been listening to recently. Have a read and a listen!
Young Thug Ft. J Cole & Travis Scott – – The London
“The London” is the lead single from Young Thug’s forthcoming project, GØŁDMØÜFDÖG. The song features J. Cole and frequent collaborator Travis Scott. J Cole is rumored to be producing Young Thug’s new album so I wonder if this is a snippet of their collaborative efforts. The best part of the song for me is J Cole’s verse! I haven’t felt this excited for a J Cole featured verse since his verse on Jeremih’s song ‘Planez‘. Cole raps about his success, popularity and his demand in the form of witty metaphors. My favourite from him on the song is “I left a flock of rappers dead and buried, a verse from me is like eleven birds, I did the math, it’s like 2000 dollars every word“. Cole has the ability to make his words sound so simple until you digest and pull apart the lyrics and realise all the numerous meanings. For me, Young Thug’s verse started off well until he started making his usual noises and mixed his words.
London on Da Track Ft. G-Eazy & City Girls & Juvenile
Producer London on Da Track recruits the bay area’s finest G-Eazy and Yung Miami (Caresha) from the group of the moment City Girls and Juvenile. This song is another club hit and is probably destined to be a hit during the summer. G-Eazy went in on his verse on this song proving why he’s one of m favourite rappers. This kind of beat suits his rapping style. Juvenile does his thing on his verse too, complimenting the fast pace of the song. He reminds me of the rapping style of E-40 on this song. The song is mostly based on the rappers flaunting their wealth and materialistic possessions. Have a listen below;
Ty Dolla $ign Ft. J Cole – Purple Emoji
‘Purple Emoji’ is the lead single to Ty Dolla’s 3rd studio album. I could listen to Ty all day with that sensual voice of his . This is another A1 feature from J Cole too. Another point to add is they have only released the clean version of this song for the moment. The song is a beautiful ode to their loves singing and rapping about the importance of the women in their lives. Cole even raps; “If you was to leave me, I know I’m gon’ plummet, I know I’m gon’ plummet” playing on the idea that she makes him a better person. I like the collaboration between the two and hope they do more in the future. Have a listen below;
YG Ft G-Eazy & Kamaiyah – Do Not Disturb
YG just released his latest album ‘4Real 4Real’ and while I haven’t digested the album in full, this song stood out to me. Again, another feature from G Eazy that I love. YG always has the best beats and this song will have you dancing. Only thing I didn’t like was the Cocaine reference from G Eazy’s verse. Another good collaboration.
Wstrn Ft Unknown T – Medusa
I’m a big fan of Wstrn. I feel like they are the most consistent UK group at the moment. This song does not disappoint. Drill rapper ‘Unknown T’ adds his own style to the song and it’s a nice change to hear him on a softer song. I don’t feel Wstrn get enough credit because how many artists can you say have released nothing but hits! Have a listen below;
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!
OK so there’s been a few new releases the past week! I am going to put my 3 favourites below.
1. City Girls – In my Feelings (Remix)
OK so this version (of Drake’s hit “In My Feelings” featuring the City Girls) contains the full version of the ladies’ verses. I really like these girls and I’m so glad they are finally getting the recognition they deserved. It’s such a shame that one of the members JT is I’m jail but it’s nice to see that Reesha is still keeping it going. Im sure these girls are going to go far.
2. Nicki Minaj – Barbie Dreams
OK OK! So Nicki Minaj finally released her highly anticipated album “Queen”. This song in particular got the world talking. The song name drops a number of male rappers in a roast kind of style. For me what is more exciting is that the song pays homage to Biggie’s song “Just Playing (Dreams)”. As a big Biggie fan I could instantly hear the similarly in the flow delivered by Nicki and the one by Biggie. In addition we are used to hearing songs from male rappers dissing females or female celebs and it is refreshing to hear a female rapper call out men without sugar coating. The song shows why Nicki is one of the best female rappers about as her unique punchlines and flow stand out throughout the song.
Have a listen to Nicki’s song and the original by Biggie below;
3. Travis Scott – Sicko Mode Ft Drake.
“Sun is down, freezin’ cold, that’s how we already know, winter’s here”. As soon as you hear Drake you know the song is about to be good! This is one of the tracks from Travis Scott’s new album and one of my favourites. The switch in flow after the 3 minute mark is incredible, you could think it was two songs in one!