New Music: What I’ve been listening to…

Hey everyone, just an update on some of the latest music I’ve been listening to at the moment. Last week was a big week for music releases so stay tuned for some album reviews soon!

Chris Brown Ft Drake – No Guidance

FINALLY!!!! This collaboration has been LONG overdue!!! When I first heard the song I thought it was an old collab that had just been leaked but Chris confirmed it was new and released it. It’s nice to see that the two have sorted out their differences because I would argue that they are possibly two of the most talented artists we have at the moment. The song feels like a joint song rather than one featuring another. The end of the song when the tone changes and Drake has his verse sounds like an old school Drake vibe. Chris kept consistent energy too. I hope this is the beginning of a lot more collabs between the two.

Skepta – Gangsta Ft BBK

Skepta has finally released his new album ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ and it contains a few features. The premise of the song is focusing on people that act like they’re not. This song features some of the members of BBK. For me though, the stand out verse is from none other than Skepta’s blood brother JME. My favourite lines from him would have to be when he says “Waste of money and time, please stop (trust). You cannot buy gangster from shop, bare logos, bare designers you lot are looking like F1 drivers”. This is the idea that people equate status to the amount of labels they wear when really they look more ridiculous. Have a listen below;

CE Ft. Wavey – Drown

CE is back with another one. This time he recruits Wavey and the song is one of those songs that you would want to zone out to. It will have you singing “baby don’t tell me you’re leaving” after hearing it, trust me!

Skepta – What Do You Mean Ft. J Hus

I’ve repeated so many times that J Hus is the king of hooks! Have him on a song and it is an instant hit. Hus has the ability to give special meanings to normal words. The beat of this song was produced by IO, who has previously produced a lot of Dave songs. Someone mentioned that this song sounds very similar to 50 Cent’s song “If I Can’t” and I have noticed it ever since! Hus and Skepta bounce off eachother . As usual there are many quotables from Hus such as “You’re on the other side if you aint on my team“. A great paring.

Rotimi – Love Riddim

Rotimi is back with another slow jam for us. I love how his voice makes me feel. As a Nigerian, I hear the African influence in his music but as a r&b lover I also hear his influence from that genre. Have a listen below;

Mo Stack – Respect & Love

UK rapper Mo Stack has finally dropped his anticipated debut album. I will do a personal review on the project as a whole but this particular song has been on repeat since I first heard the album. It has such a fun vibe, I hope there is a video going to be released for it.

Tyga Ft. Chris Brown & J Balvin – Haute

Anytime Tyga and Chris Brown have a song together you already know it’s going to be a hit! This song is no different. I like the addition of who seems to be the star of features at the moment, J Balvin. I’ve always said how much I love the Spanish language in general and in songs so his addition was definitely a pleasure for the ears.

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Throwback Thursday: Bad Boy Hits!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

112 – Peaches & Cream Ft. Diddy (2001)

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

Original Song
Remix with Diddy

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

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

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

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

Drake: My personal Top 10 – Part 1 (Songs before 2013)

Drake has recently announced his European tour dates & it got me reminiscing on his incredible discography. Here are my personal favourite top 10 Drake songs (in no particular order) released before 2013. I will be releasing a list for more favourites further down the years. A big shout out to some people that gave me their suggestions, it’s easy to forget some of the great songs Drake has released when there’s such a big library.

  1. Drake – Closer/ Closer To My Dreams (Comeback Season Mixtape) – 2007

This is one of his earliest tracks and boy isit good! The feature from Andrea is beautiful too. For me my favourite thing about this song is the rawness you get. There are no gimmicks on this song, just a lyrically great song. Drake before he became Drake.

2. Drake – Over My Dead Body (Take Care Album) – 2011

The first verse on this song is personally one of my favourite Drake verses. I’ve mentioned my love for this song before but everything about this song to me is spot on. The beat behind the track, Drake’s flow, the background vocals…everything! Despite the background vocals and amazing simple beat, there is a stripped back feel to this song. This is the kind of song you just close your eyes and feel.

3. Drake – Best I Ever Had – (So Far Gone) – 2009

This is a classic Drake song and one of his biggest hits. The reason I personally love this song is because it demonstrates his vocal range. Drake hits the high notes and lowest of notes in the same line. This song feels like Drake verses Drake. Throughout the song it genuinely feels like you hear every version of Drake and to me that proves his versatility.

4. Drake – The Real Her Ft. Andre 3000 (Take Care Album) – 2011

Even though Andre 3000 has possibly one of the best feature verses of all time…the song wouldn’t be what it was without Drake.

5. Drake – Shut It Down Ft. The Dream

Singing Drake will always be a pleasure to listen to. Drake has the ability to have different sounds depending on your mood. This song is best when you’re relaxing or chilling. Drake & The Dream’s voices blend so beautifully on this track too. “I feel like when she moves, the time doesn’t” is one of my favourite lines in the song.

6. Drake – Shot For Me (Take Care Album) – 2011

“I can see it in your eyes, you’re angry”…those lines are legendary. Another song from my favourite Drake album. The outro for this song is one of the best. “May your neighbours respect you, trouble neglect you, angels protect you & heaven accept you”. The instruments used in this are perfect for the mood especially as it leads into Headlines…..

7. Drake – Headlines (Take Care Album) – 2011

Pure rap. This song is just filled with bars. A hit every-time you listen. One of my favourite lines is “I guess it really is just me, myself and all my millions”, simply because it shows a different side of a Drake, a more confident side. Drake is known for being sensitive and making songs for women stereotypically. This song reminded everyone that he can do both; slow and sensual songs but also rap hits filled with bars.

8. Drake – The Motto – (Take Care Album) – 2011

I picked this song mostly for the impact it had. This song had everyone learning the lyrics word for word. His line “25 sitting on 25 mill” were iconic at the time as well as the term “YOLO” (you only live once). Listening to this song you can hear the growth in Drake over the years. His confidence has grown and it provided his raps with a different perspective.

9. Drake – Replacement Girl Ft. Trey Songz – (Comeback Season Mixtape) – 2007

For this song, Drake was the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have a video premiered on BET. This song despite being released over 10 years ago and from his second mixtape, is still a hit. Drake’s little freestyle he drops towards the end of the song is my favourite verse.

10. Drake – Uptown (So Far Gone Album) – 2009

I hear a lot of this song in Drake’s later song from his “We’ll be Fine” on his “Take Care” album. I like the slow pace in this song. Drake has the ability to slow a song down without ruining the flow. There is a line that sticks out for me which is “And when they call you the answer, you are hardly questioned”. The idea that no one is really questioning Drake because he is “the answer” to what is missing. This is so fitting because honestly I don’t think we have a better artist in terms of consistency and versatility about. I like the feature from Bun B & Lil Wayne too.

30Day Music Challenge – Day 12; (Songs that I love from 2011)

2011 was an incredible year for Hip-Hop and music as a whole. As you can probably tell by now I can never seem to stick to one song for these challenges so here’s a few songs released in 2011 that I love;

1. Big Sean Ft Chris Brown – My Last (2011)

Wow! I remember exactly where I was when I first heard this song! It was being premiered on the old BET hit show ‘106 & Park’. I remember it being the day I fell in love with Big Sean and his music. The song definitely was the song that propelled Sean into stardom. We can’t forget the impact Chris Brown’s vocals have in this song, I’m sure Chris Brown can slay every feature.

2. Drake – Headlines (2011)

This was the first song to be released from Drake’s legendary “Take Care” album. To be honest, the whole album could be in this post but I’ll stick to one for now. The song gave us the impression that Drake was developing a lot of confidence from his success and was ready to share it with the world. The song was produced by ‘Boi-1da’ and ‘Noah “40″ Shebib’ and the production is incredible especially towards the end of the song. Favourite line has to be ; “I guess it really is just me, myself and all my millions”! What a line!!!

3. Wretch 32 Ft Josh Kumra – Don’t Go (2011)

UK music was big in 2011 and this song in particular was a popular one. Wretch 32 could be argued to be one of the country’s great rappers. Wretch 32’s clever wordplay and Josh Kumra’s soothing voice make a match made in heaven.

30Day Music Challenge – Day 9

As today is the 9th…I will include 12 different songs that make me happy & explain my reasoning behind the choices.

1. Notorious B.I.G – Juicy (1994)

Okkkkkkkk!!! I am a HUGE Biggie fan but this song does things to me! Whatever my mood, as long as I hear “IT’S ALL GOOD BABY BABY. IT WAS ALL A DREAM”, I’m sold! This song is probably already in the hall of fame for one of the most iconic songs of the past few decades.

2. Notorious B.I.G – Mo Money Mo Problems Ft.Mase & Diddy (1997)

Another Biggie entry!!! The video in particular for this song was released after his death and is probably why people have a sense of love for this song! The nostalgic feel of Diana Ross’ song “I’m coming Out” also provides the track with a unique feel. “B.I.G. P.O.P.P.A”….another legendary and memorable intro to a Biggie verse! Eugh! This song to me is the definition of happiness!

3. Blue – U make Me Wanna (2002)

My music preference is very wild I’m aware. I was a huge fan of Blue when I was younger and this song in particular has such a positive feel. The video is of them on a yacht and it used to make me so happy to watch when I was younger.

4. Westlife – World of Our Own. (2001)

Another pop classic! Another song I remember memorising when I was younger! The lyrics are beautiful and I love how pop music was just about happiness and love in those days. The harmonies in this song were also way ahead of their time! Even listening now, I am amazed! Have a listen below!

5. S Club 7 – Bring it all Back (1999)

I was also a huge fan of S Club 7 when I was younger & even now listening to this song I believe the message is relevant. “Don’t stop, never give up
Hold your head high and reach the top”…such an inspirational song.

6. Cam’Ron Ft Juelz Santana – Hey Ma (2002)

A CLASSIC! How can you NOT be happy listening to this song!? Even the beat makes me smile! Reminds me of simpler times when rappers were polite….when bandannas were in fashion, people used to crip walk, when men used to wear oversized clothes! Good times.

7. Bow Wow Ft Chris Brown – Shortie Like Mine (2006)

I was a huge Bow Wow fan for a very long time. I have all of his old albums and this particular song was huge when it came out! Chris Brown was just becoming big and this collaboration definitely had every girl in love! This song definitely makes me happy.

8. Ja Rule Ft Ashanti – Mesmerize (2002)

The video for this was a parody of Grease and I will never forget it! The blending of Ja Rule and Ashanti’s voices will always sound beautiful. They always has hits but listening to this song again makes me feel nostalgic and that will always bring out my happiness.

9. Drake Ft Young Thug – Ice Melts (2017)

A more recent song from Drake featuring Young Thug. This song makes me happy due to the fact the beats is wonderful, the drop is wonderful and Drake’s harmonies are a wonderful sound. The lyrics are also pretty sweet and all in all, this song definitely makes me feel a sense of happiness when listening.

10. Kanye West Ft. Chris Brown – Waves (2016)

“Sun don’t shine in the shade….A bird can’t fly in the cage”. Those intro lines resonate with me. This is definitely a song that needs to be played out loud to appreciate the beat!

11. Jay Z Ft. J Cole – A Star is Born (2009)

This song is so amazing to listen to now because Jay Z really predicted a lot of greats. “Drake’s up next…see what he do with it”…amazing to hear.

12. Keri Hilson Ft Kanye West – Knock You Down (2009)

30 Day Music Challenge 1-8

I recently posted a challenge that I am now going to backtrack.

Day 1 – A song with a colour in the title:

Love this song by Bonkaz on one of his EPs. Check it out below ;

Day 2 – A song with a number in the title:

I’ve posted this song before. It’s a track by British rapper Tinie Tempah from his “Junk Food” Mixtape. The song features UK Sensation J Hus. This in my opinion is one of the best J Hus feature verses he has produced.

Day 3 -A song that reminds me of Summertime:

Any 90s song reminds me of Summertime due to the fact I feel happy and free when I listen to a song from that era. However, if I had to pick a more recent one it would have to be Kano – “T-shirt weather in the Manor”. Anytime the sun is out and the temperature is high, this is one of the songs that comes to mind.

Day 4 – A song that reminds me of someone you’d rather forget about:

This is a funny one….for me anyone that’s had a part in my life usually has a song I associate with them. If I had to pick, I would choose K Camp – Money Baby. That song reminds me of all the mysoginistic people I have met in my life.

Day 5 – A song that needs to be played loud:

Every song needs to be played loud! If I had to pick one (of many) I would say J Hus – Did you See.

Day 6 – A song that makes you want to dance:

It’s hard to go all the way back but at the moment it has to be song of the moment “In my Feelings” by Drake. I dare anyone to listen to that song without busting out their Shiggy moves.

Day 7 – A song to drive to:

The best songs to drive to have to contain a big amount of bass. Not too hyped up so you can concentrate on the road but enough to make you want to bop your head. I would have to recommend two songs that will have you in your feelings. One by 169 and Dave – Got You & the second by Yo Trane – High Off You.

Day 8 – A song about drugs or alcohol:

First artist that comes to head is Eminem. Eminem released an album called Relapse in 2009 where he rapped about alcohol and drugs among other issues. One of the songs titled “My Mom” documents how Eminem blames his mum’s drug taking for the reason he is also an addict.