New Music Saturday: What I’ve been listening to this week…

There’s been so much new music released recently, so here are a few songs that I’ve loved hearing so far…

Krept & Konan Ft. Headie One & K-Trap

After their recent song ‘Ban Drill’, Krept and Konan are back with another hit! This song features recently unmasked K Trap and UK rapper Headie One. As expected, the song is filled with so many punchlines…something you can always expect with a Krept and Konan song. The accompanying video is just as entertaining. My personal favourite is Krept dressed in Spanish attire while he raps “Chupa a tu mama“. Krept also came with the punchlines when he said “Bro done so much cheffing nearly gave him a job at Crepes and Cones”. Despite all the years Krept and Konan have been consistent with their flow and witty wordplay. I respect that a lot. Have a listen below;

dvsn – Miss Me?

Can you believe I’ve only just realised that dvsn are a group!!!?? All this time I thought it was one person! Anyway, this R&B duo are back with another seductive song. One of the things I love about dvsn music is that I know that I’m guaranteed to hear an incredible beat in the background. The production on this particular song is exactly what I mean. This is the kind of song that will have you singing to yourself randomly throughout the day. It will be added to my ‘Vibes’ playlist without a doubt.

Ed Sheeran Ft. Stormzy – Take me Back to London

Ed is back with his new album ‘No.6 Collaborations Project’. I will actually do an album review in due course as I think there will be so much to talk about. On first listen, this was the track that stood out to me. As a fan of Stormzy and having loved their previous collaboration, I had high hopes. Safe to say, I was not disappointed. I feel this song is perfect for the summer. Ed is not shy working with grime artists having previously had a collaborative album featuring many of the UK great grime artists. In this song both Ed and Stormzy reminisce on their success and achievements while both having a common love for their hometown London. Ed says; “I wanna try new things, they just want me to sing because nobody thinks I write rhymes” and throughout the song Ed graces us with his rapping ability. It seems from the song that Ed is some kind of mentor as he gives Stormzy advice on how to handle all his newfound success . I like their partnership on this song and most importantly , I love how the song is an actual collaboration. Both Stormzy and Ed own this song respectively and both have equal amounts of input. Have a listen below;

WSTRN – Maggie & Stardawg

WSTRN are the best male group to come out of the UK for a while. I have never seen a group have this many consistent hits! I have yet to hear a bad song associated with these guys. That is definitely an achievement. This song has a very Caribbean feel to it which i love. WSTRN are so good at bringing the island vibes to their songs. Perfect summer tune! Have a listen below;

Chris Brown Ft. Tank – Early 2K

Chris Brown recently released a new album and I must say…I am not disappointed. I will do an album review in due course but for now 1 song in particular stood out to me. This song features Tank and is one of the smartest songs Ive heard. The song focusses on a trip back down memory lane referencing well known R&B songs from the early 2000’s. I suggest people listen and see how many references to songs and artists they can hear!

Wale Ft Jeremih – On Chill

MMG artists Wale is back with another hit. This time, he recruits R&B hook master Jeremih. Ive had this song on replay since I heard it. The song provides you with such a chilled vibe. I like Wale because I feel his wordplay is somewhat poetic, he has a skill. Have a listen below;

Rick Ross Ft. Wale – Act a Fool

Port of Miami 2 couldn’t come fast enough in my opinion! What is a summer without music from Rick Ross? For this song, Ross and Wale team up as the MMG duo and provide us with a nice taster if what is to come. Rick Ross has the ability to make you also feel like you’re rich when you listen to his music! I was definitely rapping loudly to certain lyrics living vicariously through Ross for example;

“Thought it was Obama, way I came through (Haha)
I’m talkin’ different commas from them lame dudes”

Wale is a good addition to the song too as he provides the song with a more calm vibe. Either way I can’t wait for Ross to release the new album!

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‘Songs to listen to’ when you’re in need of…Motivation. (Volume 1)

Hey everyone, just a reminder of how amazing music is. I’ve previously spoken about how music is considered therapy to many due to the fact that there is pretty much a song for every situation in life. I’ve decided to do a series of posts dedicated to specific feelings and provide you with a list of songs to help you or support you through that time.

There are times we all feel we are maybe not doing enough or feel like giving up in some situations. Today’s post is dedicated to songs to listen to when you are in need of motivation or a pick me up or just for something to keep you inspired. This is just part 1 as there are so many songs I could have mentioned so for now I’ve given you 10. Have a read below…

Yolanda Adams -I Believe (2001)

The first song that comes to my head when thinking of songs to provide me with confidence is this. The song is probably most known for being in the ‘Honey’ soundtrack. I used to listen to the song on the way to school whenever I had exams to give me the confidence and belief I needed. The lyrics are very motivating;

But never mind the nights you had to cry
‘Cause you have never let it go inside
You worked real hard
And you know exactly what you want and need

The song encourages you to believe that you can achieve your dreams and focus on the possibilities rather than the negatives tearing you down. My favourite lines have to be;

So just believe they will come true in time
It will be fine
Leave all of your cares and stress behind
Just let it go
Let the music flow inside
Forget all your pain
And just start to believe

This song should 100% make you feel some kind of motivation and self belief.

Bashy – Black Boys (2009)

UK rapper Bashy is possibly loved by so many men due to the impact of this song. In the intro Bashy says ; “This is out to all the black boys growing up, yeah. There’s bare positive black boys around you making movements…making movements toward success“. This song is an ode specifically to Black Boys all around. In a world where they are the minority and sometimes persecuted due to their colour, this song lets them know they are not alone. The song touches on the successful Black Men in media and in life that are doing and where doing well. All those men could be considered role models to young black boys listening. This song is still relevant today in a society where Black boys are killing each-other in every part of the world, some black boys may be feeling de motivated but they must remember “Ooh child, things are gonna get easier…Ooh child things will get brighter”

Beyoncé and Walter Williams, Sr. (of The O’Jays), Walter Williams – He Still Loves Me (2003)

Religious music is always considered inspirational as it puts things into perspective while putting you at ease. This particular song is also from a movie called ‘The Fighting Temptations’ but the message should not be missed.

I used to wake up some days
And wish I’d stayed asleep
Cause I went to bed on top of the world
Today the worlds on top of me

There are times when you wake up stressed or de motivated, it happens to the best of us. It’s good to remember that regardless of what religion you are part of, there is a greater spirit out there that believes in you unconditionally. Beyonce sings “Stand for him or fall for anything”, so those who believe in God…I urge you to always pray to him not only for thanks but also when you are in doubt. You have to believe he will always have the answers because he does. The Lord still and will ALWAYS love you.

Biggie – Juicy (1994)

I don’t know anyone that knows Biggie that doesn’t know this song. This could be considered one of his most memorable songs of all time. Beyond the catchy chorus, the lyrics behind are quite inspirational. The intro of the song Biggie states

Yeah, this album is dedicated
To all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’
To all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of
Called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter (it’s all good)

Biggie explores the idea that many people did not believe in him but now he has shown them that he has made it. Throughout the song he raps about the difference between his previous life before he became succesful and now that he has. The song is a good reminder to anyone that you may not be the only person that feels like the world is against you. If anything, that should be used as motivation to prove everyone wrong. Throughout the song we can hear Total singing;

You know very well
Who you are
Don’t let ’em hold you down
Reach for the stars
You had a goal
But not that many
‘Cause you’re the only one
I’ll give you good and plenty

^^^^If anything that chorus should be resonating with you whenever you whenever you start to doubt yourself. The hook sounds like your conscience talking to you telling you you’ve got this!!

DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win Ft. T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross & Ludacris (2010)

This is a more modern motivational song. This song is more of a song that when you listen to, you feel on top of the world and that you can do anything. Possibly when you’ve overcome your depression or doubts, this is the song for you. It’s all about winning in life. I just want to add that a win is relative, it could be something small from motivating yourself to get up if you’ve been feeling depressed or it could be something big like the fact you’ve saved up for your dream car. Celebrate every achievement in your life whether big or small. A win is a win and remember ALL WE DO IS WIN!!!.

T.I. – Big Shit Poppin (2001)

From the beginning of the song; “Hey, hey, what you waitin’ for?
Do it, do it, do it—what you waitin’ for?
“, you already know what T.I is going to say. This song may make you realise to just go for whatever you are stalling on! He even raps; “Don’t listen to them suckers when they say you too irrational” meaning ignore the haters and doubters. So whateve you’re delaying doing due to fear or doubt or overthinking? DO IT!

Dj Khaled Ft. Nipsey Hussle and John Legend – Higher (2019)

Another spiritual song here. I’ve previously mentioned what this song does to me but I could argue it can be looked at as an inspirational and motivational song. The song reiterates the belief that we will always rise above any obstacles that may come in our way. Heres a link to my article on the song in more depth; https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/05/17/higher-by-dj-khaled-john-legend-the-late-great-nipsey-hussle-thoughts/

Meek Mill – Dreams & Nighmares Intro (2012)

This could be considered to be one of the most popular intros to an album of this generation. The song starts off slow when Meek says “I used to pray for times like this” as he talks about his past. The song then eventually builds up to Meek describing his success. The energy you get from this song is enough to get you out of your feet and ready to face the world!

Nipsey Hussle Ft YG – Last Time I Checc’d Ft YG (2018)

After Nipsey’s death I feel this song was one of the most common songs played around memorials for Nip. In this song, like his others, Nipsey spreads wisdom about the importance of self ownership. YG raps about the advice Nipsey gave him in the song “Fuck the middle man” meaning cut out all the extras and do thing yourself. The beat of the song is also very upbeat and I genuinely believe this is a song that will be played for many more years to come. Rest in peace Nipsey. All Money In!

Beyonce – Run The World (Girls) (2011)

This song is probably motivational for many women. I would say this is the perfect song to play when you are at work and feel possibly conscious of the fact that maybe you are being treated badly due to the fact there are few women. I would also say this song is perfect for mothers that need motivation to know how amazing they are. Women are amazing and conquer so much on a daily basis. Sometimes songs like this are great for reminding us our worth.

#NewMusicFriday Kintsugi EP by Lexi Tréble!

#NewMusicFriday is here and todays post is dedicated to the debut EP from Lexi Tréble!!

I had the privilege of hearing the EP a few days ago and honestly, hand on heart I have been playing it ever since. Having spoken to Lexi, it is clear her musical influences definitely come from artists such as Solange Knowles, IAMDDB, Lauryn Hill and many more soul/jazz/r&b artists. The EP title “Kintsugi” is Japanese and is the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. According to Lexi this is relevant as for her she believes it relates to life and the idea of growing and healing with situations in life. The Japanese theme is also reflected within the artwork and visuals she has released. From this I knew this EP was going to be a meaningful piece of art.

The first track “Crash and Burn” is a brilliant opening track. I always talk about the importance of intro tracks on projects as it’s the first chance for the artist to show us who they are. As soon as the track starts and Lexi sings, I can tell this is going to be an interesting track. The juxtapositioning of the anticipation provided by the background music and the title of the track for me is perfect. She is singing about crashing and burning which indicates it is the end of something, but the music makes it feel like more is to come. I feel this song will be perfect in a movie or tv show where there is something about to happen, maybe a chase scene. A great intro track as it leaves you wanting more and wondering what other sound can be produced!

The next track “Go” starts off with a slower pace but picks up throughout. It’s funny because I feel Lexi’s voice is quite unique which is rare nowadays. This song is the kind that would sound even more amazing with a live band! The vocal ranges she exhibits in this song is the standout moment for me. I get the impression that she is telling the romantic interest that he should leave because of his actions and she is realising all she has is herself. The content reminds me of Beyoncé’s “Me, Myself and I” with the idea that you can only really rely on yourself. The uncertainty continues into the track “Distant Memories” as she sings “I find myself questioning love…you called me your muse but now I’m just your fool”. This is one of my favourite tracks from the EP as I feel the combination of the beats and Lexi’s voice have the best combination. The uncertainty continues into the track “Distant Memories” as she sings “I find myself questioning love…you called me your muse but now I’m just your fool”. This is one of my favourite tracks from the EP as I feel the combination of the beats and Lexi’s voice have the best combination.

The 4th track from the EP “Superficial” is my absolute favourite. The content/message, sound, compositing is just perfect. Again, this is another song that would be perfect live with an audience singing back. This song is the kind of song I would play for my little cousins in order for them to take the messages being put across. This is an important song in a society where most people are superficial and distracted by unmeaningful things. Lexi sings “Don’t be so superficial, there’s more to life…when you go outside live life to your fullest, don’t need no designer to feel alright”. Lexi reminds us that life is about the simple things and not the artificial moments. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of maintaining an image or impressing others but we have to remember life is for living. There is more to life than designer labels, Instagram likes or chasing boys or girls. This will be the first single released from the tape too so I look forward to seeing the video for this!

Love Me Right” is a powerful self-loving anthem. Lexi sings “I’ve got to love me right” meaning that love starts from within before anything else. Going with the theme of the EP, the end of EP focusses on the regeneration of Lexi. In the song she sings “I know that real love has got to start with me”;

We have seen how she was broken in the beginning and how through the journey of healing she is realising what is important and is putting herself back together. The final track “Look At Me Now” is the perfect ending to the EP as Lexi reflects at how far she has come “Look at me now, I’m not the same little child…oh how I’ve changed”. A self-reflecting therapeutic song where we see how much Lexi has grown and how she now sees the bad moments as lessons.

As the first realised EP from Lexi, this is pretty impressive. The EP stuck to theme and took us listeners on a journey through every song. Every song had its own meaning and back story while still keeping a unique sound to each. I have personally added every song to my ‘Vibes’ Spotify playlist and I hope this is the beginning of more music from Lexi.

Check out her music below as well as her socials;

https://www.instagram.com/lexitreble/

hyperurl.co/d9frh5

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.

#ThrowbackThursday Donell Jones…A Pioneer?

Donell Jones…R&B Pioneer?

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.

DJ Khaled – Father of Asahd Review

On May 17th, DJ Khaled released his highly anticipated 11th studio album ‘Father of Asahd‘.  As expected, the album features some of the best rappers and singers out at the moment. I also want to add that DJ Khaled incorporates some of the best musical samples in this album and manages to add his own spin to some of them.

Here are my views on some of the songs on the album that have resonated with me;

‘Holy Mountain’ (featuring Buju Banton, Sizzla, Mavado & 070 Shake)

This is the intro track from the song featuring the recently released Buju Banton. I like the reggae vibe that Khaled has created with this song. My favourite verses of the song are from 070 Shake. Admittedly, I had never heard her before this song but her voice suited the song perfectly especially the tone change of her last “blessing” on her verses. I will be checking out more of her music. DJ Khaled has always incorporated Caribbean influence into his music and I love that he appreciates different cultures. Some of the greats always pay homage to different genres.

Wish Wish’ (featuring Cardi B and 21 Savage)

I was looking forward to this song due to the fact I feel recently Cardi has been on excellent form on her features. In this song Cardi oozes confidence as she argues she is here to stay from the beginning; “They say my time is almost up, tell them bitches, “Wish, wish”. She uses a lot of metaphors in this song and she reminds me of the old Cardi. The old Cardi that used to release freestyles. “Whatever you do sis, keep it cute sis” is a line that I’ve definitely been singing over.

Jealous’ (featuring Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Big Sean)

This is one of my favourite songs on the album! The song reminds me of the impact Chris Brown’s song “Loyal” had. It’s glad to hear Lil Wayne back on a record as he has been missed. He has a line where he says “The brighter the rainbow, the badder the weather” that had be thinking how real that statement was. Lil Wayne is the best at those kind of metaphors. Chris Brown’s voice makes the song easy on the ear and I am convinced this will be one of the songs of the summer. The video features one of the funniest moments where Khaled catches a piece of meat with his mouth. Music aside, I love how much fun Khaled shows himself to have when it comes to music. The summer vibes in the video are also very contagious! Another great video from Khaled, even the extended version haha!

‘Just Us’ (featuring SZA)

Not much to say on this song apart from the fact the Outkast “Ms Jackson” sample on this song is perfect!!! This is a more slowed down version and Sza does the beat justice.

‘You Stay’ (featuring Meek Mill, J Balvin, Lil Baby and Jeremih)

Hands down my favourite song on the album and at the moment in general! On the track, all artists complement each other. The usual sensual voice from Jeremih as he wonders why the woman is staying with someone that doesn’t deserve her. My favourite lines from him; “I just want to see you happy, I just want to see you laughing, I just want to see you smiling “. The usual rugged flashy rapping style from Meek; “Because I caught you slipping, left you no choice, you ever cry again, it’s gon’ be in a Rolls Royce“. To make this song even better, J Balvin inserts his beautiful Spanish language to it. I wish I could understand Spanish because his part is my favourite part of the song.  DJ Khaled did so well with the production of this song too. The song could have done without Lil Baby’s addition but otherwise, such a tune, definitely a song ladies will love

‘Higher’ (featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend)

I’ve previously talked about this song and the accompanying video; https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/05/17/higher-by-dj-khaled-john-legend-the-late-great-nipsey-hussle-thoughts/

However, I just want to add that is the first song in a while that anytime I hear, I get chills from. Also, to add, John Legend really did his thing on this song because his voice is incredible. Rest in Peace Nipsey Hussle.

The Marathon is continuing.

‘Big Boy Talk’ (featuring Jeezy and Rick Ross)

I knew this could potentially be a big record. As a huge fan of Rick Ross, I know when it comes to features he always delivers. His memorable lyrics being “Much richer then I last was (Woo), you could tell by the laugh, cuz (Hahaha) .

‘Freak n You’ (featuring Lil Wayne and Gunna)

I know I complimented DJ Khaled’s use of samples originally but the more I listen to some of these songs, this one in particular I realise it could be considered an easy way out. This song was not redone enough to make it something other than a Jodeci remix. I like Lil Wayne on the  song but if I’m honest, I don’t’ think there was any need to re do the original.

Overall, those are the songs that had the most impact for me. Like I mentioned earlier, the use of samples for me had positive and negative connotations. I feel that some of the songs could have done better with an original production and I feel that the use of samples was an easier way out. I’m all for people paying homage to the greats but I feel it should be a hint of homage and not a whole dose. I’m positive this album will do well numbers wise and pretty much all the hits are summer singles so it’s nice to have some positivity within music. However, whether I will be still listening to this album as a whole in a few months time? Time will tell…

My overall rating is: 7/0

Revisiting Time: Beyoncé – Lemonade

In honor of not only Throwback Thursday but also the joy that Lemonade is FINALLY on Spotify, I wanted to revisit my views on Beyoncé’s most recent solo album. When I first heard this album my compliments were reserved as I was expecting a more upbeat album. However, having had time to digest I feel this album is possibly one of her most powerful, honest and mature albums. I love when songs on an album tell a story via the track listing. Most of the songs on this album follow on and finish off from each other. The album for me screams pain, struggle, loneliness and hopelessness. I’ve named some songs below that I feel are really poignant;

Pray you Catch Me:

The first track from the album as with most intro tracks paints a picture of what the future songs may be about. The title of the song implies vulnerability and is obvious at this point the album will mostly be about her relationship with her husband. The idea she repeatedly sings “Pray to catch you whispering, I pray you catch me listening” implies that she wants her lover to know she is seeing what is happening and is hurting. The song is quite mellow, but you can’t miss the pain that is evident in it. The last lines “What are you doing my love?” show the hopelessness and confusion she has been made to feel from this pain the man who she considers her love.

Hold Up:

This is personally my favourite song from the album. Many people loved the song due to the dramatic video but for me this song shows the depths of Beyoncé vocal ability. Aside from her vocals, we see another side to Beyoncé. Following on from her pleading in the first song she sings “Can’t you see there’s no other man above you? What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you” letting him understand how crazy it is that he would risk ruining the support she gives him. In this song she also ignores her usual politeness and reminds us she’s got a sassy side to her! “I don’t wanna lose my pride, but I’ma fuck me up a bitch”. As of recent Beyoncé has been more free with her language in her songs and this is a prime example. She questions herself as many women would in this situation; “Know that I kept it sexy, you know I kept it fun” meaning that she did everything she thought would be enough and yet he still strayed. Another point to add from this song is that not only is she expressing her love for him, she is also reminding him who was there from the beginning (her). The repeated lines “They don’t love you like I love you” and when she sings “Let’s imagine for a moment that you never made a name for yourself or mastered wealth….Never made it out the cage, never had the baddest woman in the game up in your sheets”. With those lyrics she reminds him that she is a ride or die and has been there despite his wealth unlike the women he has been cheating with. I love the instruments used in this song and the way they compliment the mood of the lyrics.

Don’t Hurt Yourself:

Following on from “Hold Up”, this song is a pure anger that it feels like a venting session. It feels like at this moment of the album, Beyoncé is at breaking point and is just filled with rage. Again, this shows a more explicit version of Beyoncé with the frequent use of swear words. The song reminds me of the tone of her older song “Ring the Alarm”. In the song she sings about the frustration she feels from his lack of trying; “You ain’t trying hard enough, you ain’t loving hard enough” again reiterating the point that the man in question seems to be giving up. The most important words for me in the song come right at the end as she calmly says “If you try this shit again, you gon’ lose your wife”. In all the songs leading up onto these words, she never dropped an ultimatum like that, she usually expressed her anger or hurt or frustration, so those words are quite final and chilling.

Sorry:

This unapologetic anthem is possibly my second favourite song on the album and is another female anthem. This song reminds me of the impact of her song “Irreplaceable” and even many of her Destiny Child’s songs. The song focuses on the aftermaths of a breakup as Beyoncé famously sings “I ain’t sorry”. In the song she encourages women to sing “boy bye” as an act of strength. Towards the end she sings “Me & my baby, we gon’ be alright” implying that she will survive despite the heartbreak she has endured. The song is accompanied by a strong video featuring Serena Williams. For me, the cameo from Serena is quite poignant as during this time and throughout her successful career, Serena has endured so much criticism. The idea of her in this video feels like she is showing how unapologetic she is being who she is.

6 Inch Ft. The Weeknd

While this isn’t one of my favourites, I like the message that is embedded in it. The song is a great motivational song that empowers women. The song uses the setting of a strip club where the woman in question is one of the dancers. In the song she sings “She works for the money, she work for the money” showing that she is there to earn money for the work she is doing. A professional approach to a job, just as everyone else would be in their job. 

Freedom Ft. Kendrick Lamar & Formation 

Similarly to 6 Inch, both songs are another examples of empowering anthems however with also the added focusses on race and black women. For me the visuals that come with Freedom song are powerful as the video features the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. The feature from Kendrick is perfect as I couldn’t think of any other rapper that would have done it justice like he did. Formation, another black power anthem references police brutality, race in America while also encouraging women to be strong and “slay”. 

All Night 

This powerful ballad is such a beautiful love song. Another one of my favourites from the album, Beyoncé vocals really shine. With this being the last song on the album alluding to love or even relationships, it can be argued to be a climax. I feel like Beyoncé is comforting her husband in this song and reassuring him “Our love was stronger than your pride. Beyond your darkness, I’m your light”. She expresses how she knows that together they are the best they can be and they are a pair. She further sings “But every diamond has imperfections” which could be a reference to her relationship and how every relationship has flaws. The last line of the song is Beyoncé saying “How I missed you, my love” which is in parallel to her closing line of her first song on the album when she said “What are you doing my love?”. The song can be argued to be the climax to the anguish, pain and suffering she had endured throughout the album.

The album as a whole contains so much emotion and rawness that it’s easy to see how and why it took so long to be released. Hopefully Beyoncé releases a new piece of work soon that can start where this ended, with her in a happier place.