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.
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.
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.
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.
There are actually so many songs that I never get tired of but I will name a few;
1. J Hus – Did You See (2017)
Whether it’s J Hus’ voice or JAE5’S gift of producing the best beats, this song can never get old in my opinion. It’s the sort of song that should also always be played out loud to feel the beauty of the production. This was possibly one of the best songs released last year and as of now, I am still not tired of it.
2. Chris Brown – Little Bit (2015)
You can probably tell that beats are very important for me in songs and this song is the prime example of an excellent song production wise. I have been playing this song regularly ever since the album was released.
3. Notorious B.I.G – Juicy (1994)
This song is a classic! One of Biggie’s biggest hits and still today gets played as if it were released recently. The song provides a sense of nostalgia that can never be matched!
4. Usher – Confessions (ALBUM) (2004)
If I was stuck on an island and was only given the choice to listen to one album for the rest of my time there, it would be this one. Every single song on this album can be played daily depending on what mood you are in. The album can never be overplayed and I can never get tired of it.
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.
OK so Friday was a big day for new releases this week, mostly because a lot of songs and projects were released even earlier.
J Hus – Big Spang
It’s been over a year since UK rapper J Hus has release a project. J Hus is possibly one of the best and most versatile artists the UK has at the moment and his catchy, songs have been missed. This EP consisting of 3 songs provides us with a little taster of what to expect for his future album. ‘Dark Vader‘, a catchy song and in terms of commercial popularity, it could be as big as “Lean and Bop” with its catchy melody and unique punchlines. My favourite line has to be “Auntie put rice in a container”. & the way he mentions “G-g-g-g-Unit”. Definitely my favourite off the EP. “Scene“, a more rough and hyped song. One of those songs that reminds me of old school J Hus. Pure rap! Straight to the point rap. Nothing more needs to be said. “Dancing Man” is a song with great vibes & the production on this song is out of this world. Again, J Hus provides us with lyrics we will be singing forever…”I take a risk and I take chance”.
Obviously J Hus delivered as usual but the unsung hero has definitely got to be producer JAE5. He is consistently providing us with solid pieces of music and he does not seem to be stopping. Overall, a very catchy EP. Have a listen below.
In 2015 British rapper Tinie Tempah released his ‘Junk Food’ mixtape. The tape featured some of the UK’S best artists. The mixtape was Tinie Tempah reminding people that he was still a rapper. This particular song ‘100 Friends’ features one of our best… J Hus.
The verse from J Hus could be argued to be one of his best guest verses. A particular line that sticks out “If she don’t like Hus, then she must like women”. Hus uses his clever punchlines to articulate his talent throughout the whole verse. Another great thing about this song is the production produced by the incredible Nana Rogues. He also produced ‘Been The man’, ‘We don’t play no games’, ‘Autogas’, ‘Look at me and ‘Might Flip’ on the tape.
Have a listen below if you haven’t heard the song or the mixtape.