Mid Week Update…New Music: What I’ve been listening to…

Just a list of some of the songs I’ve had on heavy rotation in the past week…

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.

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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:

Videos to Watch… MoStack & Dave…UK’s Finest.

Hi everyone, I know I usually talk about songs and lyrics but this post is dedicated to two important videos that have recently been released.

MoStack – Daily Duppy

The first video is a Daily Duppy from from UK rapper MoStack. He’s possibly one of the UK’s best rappers at the moment and this freestyle showcases his versatility. He raps about his lifestyle “see my eye bags, I carry nuff baggage” demonstrating his use of clever puns which is shown throughout the whole freestyle. The beat/instrumental used in this freestyle is great too and MoStack rides the beat like a pro. Some of my favourite bars are; “We don’t speak but your secrets won’t leave my mouth” and “How dare you think a weapon’s more stronger than prayer, I’m more than blessed, I’m more than flex”, MoStack is so talented with his words. This is definitely one of my favourite freestyles from a rapper and I love the rawness and the mention of his love for fellow UK rapper J Hus. I like freestyles when an artist spills out their true emotions and this is exactly what MoStack did. I look forward to more music from him coming in the near future.

PS: Free J Hus!!

Dave – Black

Before I start this I just want to remind everyone about Martin Luther King’s famous speech; “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character”. This dream is seeming less and less likely as the days go on.

UK rapper Dave is infamous for his thought provoking music and incredible videos. This song and video is no different. This song is the first from his upcoming debut album ‘Psychodrama’ produced by the legend that is Fraser T Smith. Dave uses this track to discuss social and racial inequality and how it is to be a Black man in a white man’s world. As a fellow Nigerian, I love the accompanying video as it was filmed in my country and shows the beauty of it. As a Black woman, I love the issues raised, I feel this a song I would love my younger cousins to hear and to digest. I relate to so many things mentioned in this song as i’m sure many other people do. Statements like “Cause you need to do double what they do so you can level them” are things my mum told me from a young age and advice I know many other young black people have been taught. So many statements in this song are powerful; “A kid dies, the blacker the killer, the sweeter the news and if he’s white you give him a chance, he’s ill and confused” reminding me pretty much of the term “Black on Black” crime. We never say “white on white crime” so why is it a specific issue when black people are concerned? I love the awareness Dave brings to these issues and it’s so sad to see the constant battle many of us have to face just because of the colour of our skin. Another point to add is that Dave features many fellow Black celebrities in the video to showcase the positive role models we have. Dave ends by saying “Black is all I know, there ain’t a thing that I would change in it” which is my sentiments exactly. Have a watch below;

5 Songs to start off your Week… #MusicMonday

Can you believe we are already halfway through January!? Before you know it, this week will be over just as it’s beginning! I’ve made a list of 5 songs (old and new) to start off your week. Look out for more posts this week too. Enjoy!

1. Headie One Ft. Dave – 18 HUNNA  (Rap)

UK rappers Headie One and Dave unite on their first collaboration to create a new song for the streets. I personally think Dave makes this song and his feature is definitely one of my favourites from him. Have a listen below.

2. Bhad Bhabie Ft Tory Lanez – Babyface Savage (Rap)

I know… I cannot believe I am suggesting a song from Bhad Bhabie either. Surprisingly, this song is hard! I was very very surprised at her flow on this track and the feature from Tory in my opinion has to be one of his best rap features. Opinions for her aside, the song is worth a listen.

3. Benny Blanco Ft. Halsey & Khalid (Dance-Pop)

I’ve been playing this song for a few days. The fuse of voices from Halsey & Khalid is just magic. The song is focused on two people falling in love and reminiscing on their memories together. I like in particular how Halsey and Khalid provide different perspectives but with the same agenda. The song starts off with Khalid singing the verse and chorus before Halsey songs her verse and chorus. The song eventually finalises with both of them singing the chorus together. This demonstrates the narrative that while they both have their own versions, the main idea is that they come together. Such a beautiful song with beautiful voices.

Check out the song below;

4. Trey Songz Ft Ty Dolla & Tory Lanez  – Shootin Shots (R&B)

If you’re looking for a nice r&b melody this is the one for you. I mentioned this song on the Instagram page last week but I just want to elaborate on it. Trey Songz is arguably one of the best male r&b singers we have at the moment and this song is one of those that are pleasing to the ear.

5. Rick Ross Ft. Kanye West & Big Sean – Sanctified (Rap)

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this song in the past but I gotta mention it again! One of my favorite songs from Ricky Rozay and the features were spot on. There is no way you wouldn’t know all the words after a few listens.

Hangman

I’ve been slow with the track of the day. I apologise. I’ll just upload a few at once.

This first one is a song by English rapper ‘Dave’. He is probably one of the best young British lyricists out at the moment. He’s the definition of a wordsmith. He has the ability to articulate his words in a rap format that appeals to the younger audience. Anyone that tells you rap isn’t poetic definitely doesn’t listen to rap properly.

“Too may youts are dying and I’m sick of it”. That line there sums up youth in Britain and especially black youths. So many of us are killing one another and it’s sick.

As long as I’ve remembered every month knife crime amongst young people increases. It’s sad.