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.
It’s nearly the end of what has felt like a very long week! Hope everyone has a nice peaceful end to it. One of the features of Spotify I enjoy is the “Daily Mix” playlist. Today’s one for me brought back some memories of some classic throwbacks I thought I’d share with you all based on one of the best Donell Jones. I’m talking about some songs from his second studio album ‘Where I Wanna Be‘ as well as some other songs. I’ve been thinking and I genuinely believe Donell Jones could be considered to be one of the pioneers of R&B. When you read about how he has written music for acts like Usher, it makes so much sense.
Donell Jones – U Know What’s Up (1999)
Possibly one of Donell’s most well known tracks and literally his biggest hit to date. This song has been cemented in slow jam and romantic music history. “Ooh say what, say what, say what…Ooh girl, you know what’s up” are lines I’m sure most music lovers know very well. I can’t even talk too much about this record because the song literally does all the talking. If you somehow weren’t aware of this song, please have a listen. Also check out the remix featuring the late Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez.
Donell Jones – Where I Wanna Be (2000)
“But when you love someone, you just don’t treat them bad” another classic line from Donell that is reused in many of our songs today. The song itself is quite sad as it can be argued to be a breakup song as he sings “I’m not saying I’m gone, but I have to find what life is like without you”. Throughout the song he explains how much he cares for her and how sad he is that he has to eventually hurt her. The main message is that he is putting himself first and he is being honest about it.
Donell Jones – If U Want Ft. Bun B. (2006)
I’ve previously talked about my love for this song. I feel this is most likely my favourite song from him. The intro rap from Bun B; “Now if your man ain’t lovin’ you right, you need to roll with a ‘G’, get a thug in your life” grabs your attention straight away. The contrast of Bun B’s playful rapping style and Donell’s sweet voice work well. The song gives us the impression Donell is singing to a woman who is currently in an unhappy relationship with another guy. Donell encourages the woman to leave him so he can take car of her. The idea of him repeating the phrase “If u want” indicates that he is making sure she does not feel pressured to do anything. I enjoyed mostly the flow of this song, it’s very upbeat and vibrant.
Donell Jones – This Luv (1999)
This is another song embedded in my personal ‘Slow Jams Mix’. “Do you mind if I take this seat right here cos you’re sitting alone”….fist part of the song is my favourite. Donell has the ability to story tell in a song that just flows with his tone of voice which is so soothing. Something Usher also does so well. I think this is my most preferred love song from this album if I’m honest.
Donell Jones – I Wanna Luv U (1999)
Wow! Another contender in the battle for best Donell Jones love songs This song is so sensual and soft on the ear as Donell pleads how much he wants to love the woman. The lyrics are definitely very love fueled; ” You are the reason why I live, a newfound joy I can’t contain, yeah”. Whew! Love is sweet!!
Here is the album link below;
I could go on all day talking about Donell Jones songs! I will do another post soon with more recent songs of his.
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;
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;
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.
Some new songs and videos for you to take in and listen to.!
Hey everyone! Finally the end of the week which means new music has arrived! I’ve compiled a list of 5 songs recently released that I am loving! Have a listen below;
2 Chainz Ft. Lil Wayne & E-40 – 2 Dollar Bill
Lil Wayne has been on point with his features recently! This song, with West Coast vibes, is taken from 2 Chainz’ new album ‘Rap or Go to the League’ and is produced by DJ Mustard (so you know the beat is gonna be sick!). In the song the men compare themselves to a “2 Dollar Bill” which happens to be one of the rarest dollar bills in America. For me, Lil Wayne’s feature was the best on this song. There is a part in Wayne’s verse; ” I’m rare, like a commercial with Future and Cher, like a cop that’s fair, like a triple-double dare”, where the flow switches and you really see Lil Wayne’s talent. I like how all artists had great examples of things that were rare, some comical while some sensitive. Have a listen below:
Ms Banks Ft. Kida Kudz – Snack
UK rapper Ms Banks has been on a roll recently, having recently performed at the Brit Awards with Little Mix and now releasing a new banger. The song which uses a sample from Nigerian superstar Wizkid’s hit song “Don’t Dull” (2010) is a summer hit. The song which features Nigerian Afrobeat singer Kida Kudz is the first single released from her upcoming project ‘Coldest Winter Ever Pt.2’. I like the confidence Ms Banks exhibits in this song, I think this is a song that many women will be singing. The video is bright and bubbly too and gives me Nicki Minaj ‘Barbie Dreams’ vibes. I’m ready for this new and improved Ms Banks, it seems like she is ready to take over the female UK rap scene! Have a listen and watch below.
Mercston Ft Wretch 32 – No Banter
I previously uploaded the video to this on my Instagram page (www.instagram.com/musicandlifeblog). I love this song and the visuals! Wretch 32 was giving me Bob Marley vibes with his new look and sound and the two of them played off each-other so well with their playful lyrics. The chorus is possibly one of the most catchy hooks I’ve heard this year and I’m sure you will be singing “I feel a way” randomly throughout the day like I have been! The video reflects the fun vibe the song gives with the men having fun in the snow. I think this song will be played everywhere in the summer. Have a listen and watch the video below
2 Chainz Ft. Ariana Grande – Rule the World
Looking at this collaboration on paper, it’s hard to guess what this would sound like but you will be pleasantly surprised as their voices complimented each other throughout. The song also taken from 2 Chainz new album ‘Rap or Go to the League’ uses a sample from Amerie’s 2002 song “Why Don’t We Fall In Love”. Ariana sings the chorus “Top down on the Dawn like I’m used to it (Yeah), prayin’ you make it home like I’m used to it” with her unique soft but sensual voice. The song is produced by Hitmaka (or Yung Berg as I think of him as) and the beat compliments the fusion of both aritists. The song is one of those songs you can vibe to and feel good about. Check out below;
Here is the Amerie song that it was influenced by:
Giggs Ft. Wretch 32 Gwop Expenses
The Landlord Giggs arrives again with his new album ‘Big Bad’ which was released last week Friday. This is my favourite song from the track which features Wretch 32. Wretch has a memorable verse on this song and his witty wordplay does not go unnoticed. My favourite lines; ” I got Jaden in my will, uncle, how you feel?, Call me Fresh Prince, I bring Bel-Air up to your grill”…who does metaphors as good as Wretch?! With all these features that Wretch has been killing recently, I really hope this is a sign for us to look forward to a new Wretch project hopefully coming soon. Check out the song below:
Hey all, Happy Sunday! I know Sundays for most are quite relaxing or religious and laid back. I have compiled a list of a few songs I’m playing at the moment that have that chilled back vibe. Remember to check out my Spotify playlist on the top of the page! Have a listen below and next week I will be back with more content for you.
Kehlani Ft. Ty Dolla $ign – Nights Like This (2019)
Fun fact: Kehlani was actually the reason I started writing about songs. Originally I started writing as a therapy for me to express my thoughts and problems and it was all due to hearing one of her songs. She has the ability to sing a song and get you invested to the point you start seeing the similarities in your own life. I’ve already talked about my love for Ty Dolla in features and this song is no different. The pair in this song are perfect. This song plays on the idea of deceit and dishonesty as she sings; “You gon’ say you want me, then go switch it up, just gon’ play with my emotions” implying that she’s been messed about. You can feel the pain she feels in this song; “Feel like it’s too hard to fall in love again”, the experience has even made her wary of trying again. Overall, this is one of my favourite Kehlani songs. Have a listen below.
Eric Bellinger Ft. Chris Brown & OG Parker – Type A Way (2019)
This song is taken from Eric’ new 32 song EP titled ‘The Rebirth 2′. I’ve been a fan of Eric Bellinger for a while, he’s a great songwriter and has some great songs. He has a unique catchphrase “This gon’ be your favorite song” which I love hearing at the beginning of a song. OG Parker is a producer and sometimes I feel like producers don’t get enough credit so shout out to him has the production for this song is on point. Chris Brown and Eric fuse so well in this song that sometimes it is hard to even know who was singing. They have similar talents where they can hit high notes and low notes in the same breath. I like the fact that the song is quite mixed in terms of both of them singing. A featured song is mostly just a little piece of the featured artist but this is more a collaborative effort. Have a listen below:
Hypo Ft. Yxng Bane & Asco – First Night (2019)
This is a UK feature and boy is it catchy! The song reminds me exactly of Usher’s song “I Don’t Mind” (2014) where he states that if a woman chooses to be a pole dancer it doesn’t mean she is “loose” which is the stereotype associated with that profession. Similarly to Usher’s song Hypo, Yxng Bane & Asco sing about the same premise and even argue that sleeping with a man on a first night does not mean the guy will not “wife” her. The UK guys make a good group and I’m sure you’ll be singing the chorus repeatedly after a few listens. Have a listen to the song below as well as Usher’s song that possible served as inspiration for them.
Pia Mia – Ocean Drive (2017)
Pia is most famous for her song “Do it Again” with Tyga and Chris Brown but I’m surprised this song from her wasn’t more of a hit. I like how the tone of the song changes and the sound gets more upbeat throughout the song especially during the chorus. This song will be best to listen to with a speaker that has a great Base or with both headphones in at the loudest volume. If you close your eyes, in pretty sure you can picture yourself on a beach somewhere, I certainly can!
Angel – Thug Juice (2018)
UK singer Angel has just signed with a major record label which is great. He is so talented and has such a distinctive voice so I’m glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves. This song fits in with the theme of this post. If you want a song to chill to and just bop your head slowly, this is the perfect song. Have a listen below.
Hello everyone! Today’s post is based on Motown hits/era. After the Grammy tribute last week it got me reminiscing. Motown is the name a record label originally founded in 1959, the label/lifestyle played a huge part in the fusion of African Americans in popular music. Artists such as Diana Ross, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5 to name a few. Eventually Motown became more than just a record label but a genre of music. Here are a list of a few of my favourite Motown hits!
Gladys Knight – Midnight Train to Georgia (1973)
This is one of my all time favourite songs! The song was featured on Gladys Knight & the Pips’ 11th album “Imagination.” Personally I believe it is one of the greatest love songs I’ve ever heard. One of my favourite lines that is repeated throughout the song is when Gladys sings ” I’d rather live in his world than live without him in mine”. Throughout the song she sings about a man that has to leave and travel to Georgia while she is in LA. It seems like he did not find what he was looking for; “He kept dreamin’ (Dreamin) Ooh that someday he’d be a star (A superstar but he didn’t get far)”. Gladys is saying that she loves him enough to leave her “world” and her home to go and join him in Georgia (his world). There is no love without some compromise or sacrifice and this song is a prime example of both.
The Contours – Do You Love Me (1962)
As a 25 year old, Motown is not really my generation however with timeless music, no matter your age or generation you are almost guaranteed to hear a cover or an adaptation somewhere. I first heard this particular song on the teenage show ‘Sister, Sister’. The song is a real dance song and the way they belt out “Do you love me” throughout the song will have you wanting to dance along. In the show i saw it, the sisters Tia and Tamera were performing it with their friend Ray who happened to have a crush. The scene was quite comical which played into the theme of the song. Have a listen to the song below.
The Supremes – You Can’t Hurry Love (1966)
“You can’t hurry love, no you just have to wait…she said love don’t come easy, it’s a game of give and take”, classic words sung by The Supremes (with some vocals from Diana Ross). This song focuses on the idea that nothing in life can be rushed like love, you have to give it time. The whole song is based on the advice a mother has given advising her daughter to have faith regardless of heartbreak or the fear of loneliness, the right person will come along. Have a listen below:
The Temptations – My Girl (1964)
A classic hit! This song which I believe is co-written by the legend that is Smokey Robinson is a song which is played even till today. A beautiful love song. The song reminds me of a sonnet. The men sing about how love makes them feel due to a specific girl; ” I’ve got so much honey, the bees envy me, I’ve got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees…all these wonderful emotions they receive from being in love. Have a listen below:
The Jackson 5 – I Want You Back – (1969)
As soon as I hear the intro beat of this song i’m ready to burst out into song. Michael and his brothers as young as they were, hit all the notes in this song beautifully. It’s hard to believe that 11 year old boys were the ones singing this song. I also like the use of the instruments throughout which gives it a feel good factor.
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell -You’re All I Need To Get By (1968)
Its a wonder how much bigger the late Tammi Terrell could have been if she didn’t unfortunately die so young. Tammi and Marvin Gaye always made a great duo. This song apparently was recorded while she was recovering from a surgery following her cancer diagnosis. This song has gone on to feature in many romantic films and with the words they sing it’s no surprise.