Album Review: Kano – Hoodies All Summer

Kano is back with another album! In terms of UK greats when it comes to grime, Kano is considered one of the best we have. Personally, Kano is one of my favourite MC’s, he has a unique personality he lets out with his raps that make some of his lyrics unforgettable. Kano has been consistent with his hits and for someone who has literally been around for most of my childhood, to continuously release high quality music is a talent in itself. His delivery is so clear cut and for me, his clarity is one of the best things about him. I’ve picked some songs from the album that really stood out to me. Overall, the album for me is one of the best to come out of the UK this year. The replay value on this album is definitely high and I’m so happy Kano is back showing us how great he is. Have a read below.

Free Years Later:

The first track on the album is called “Free Years Later” and what an intro it is. The song gives us an insight on how Kano has felt in his life and how he has dealt with his success. He uses a lot of juxta positioning; “Waking from dreams, chasing my fears” and hints to the struggle he may have faced being successful; “Success brings more stress”. Another topic Kano talks about in this song is the effects of racism among black people. Kano even makes a mention to British rapper Stormzy in the second verse; “Babylon boy, look how they raided Stormzy”, referring to the time the British Police raided Stormzy’s house. Kano makes it known that even though some black artists have escaped their hardships and tough upbringings, they are still the topic of discrimination and racism. For me one of the standout lines in this song is when Kano says, “Lethal laughing to the Coutts account, now you approve of Pow”. It’s only now that Lethal B is making enough money to open a prestigious account that some people are starting to take him seriously. This is the idea that Black people must work twice as hard just to be treated like anyone else. Kano ends the verse with; “What D Double did for me, I just do for the youts” demonstrating the passing of the baton that is very evident in music. Kano is paying respect and homage to those before him and is aware that he has to carry on the torch for those after him.

Good Youtes Walk Amongst Evil

From the first few second of this song I could hear the grime straight away. The grime beat is crazy on this song and the pace matched Kano perfectly!!! On the chorus he says “Work so hard, we’re dying for a living for clothes and the cars” and that couldn’t be a real r statement. I feel this song relates to life. Everyone is just going along with the flow. For me the beat is what sells this record.

Trouble

This was one of the songs Kano had previously released as a single. The video is so creative too. Kano also takes on a softer approach as he sings a bit of the verses in this song. In this song, he explains to people the consequences of living in the “hood”. The interlude of the 999 call breaks up the song and makes it more real. For me I fee it is a direct example of life. When you think everything is going smoothly, something can just throw you off. In the hood, Kano is trying to show that life is not straight forward and nothing is safe. After this break, Kano begins to rap about the success from making it out of the hood, he mentions his friends and some well known fellow rappers; “Ghetts ain’t looked back since we blessed them stages”. I like the rawness of this track and it’s one of those songs you can vibe to as it’s slower paced. Kano gets out his message very clearly and you are almost reminded of the hardships he has had to face earlier on in his life.

Can’t Hold We Down Ft. Popcaan

This song brings out Kano’s Caribbean side out and I like that. I personally liked this song as it was a little different feel to the usual Kano song while still keeping his uniqueness. For me the line “All black Range Rover, all black women, I bet the Daily Mail wan’ photoshop a spliff in” mad me laugh. This is a reference to the fact stereotypically Black stars are usually portrayed negatively in the UK newspaper publication. Popcaan offers a nice relief and a dancehall sound to this song which is refreshing. Kano references his rapper friends again showing the genuine friendship they all have. I particularly like the outro as Popcaan and Kano vibes off eachother. Kano is so good at going back and forth with other artists as we see him regularly do with Ghetts and Giggs. Kano raps; “Fly guys summer (Hey) sent the kids out the ends (Hey, hey), but you can’t take the ends out the kid” reminding us that he remembers where he comes from and will always rep. I will definitely be replaying this song.

Got My Brandy, Got My Beats Ft. Lil Silva

This is the most emotional song on the album and I like the fact it’s towards the end. This song is definitely a love/heartbreak song. I get the impression it’s the facing of reality when you’re no longer with someone and trying to adjust with them not being in you’re life anymore. The beat on this song is minimalistic but somehow you can feel the exact pain and passion exuding from the lyrics. One of the lyrics that stand out for me; “So many lessons in love can’t be taught without the breaking of hearts“. For me this means that sometimes you have to suffer or go through pain in order to learn the most important lessons. Kano does sing “Don’t be sad for me, still got my brandy and my beats“, I like vulnerability of these lines. Kano is able to fine solace in the simplest pleasures despite all his wealth and freedom.

Class of Deja Ft. D Double E & Ghetts

Another song from the album that bad been previously been released as a single. This song is literally a combination of some of the UK’s BEST grime MC’S. This is one of those songs that would be amazing to watch live. The song reminds me of the old battle raps/cyphers people used to do. The wordplay in this song from the MC’S is incredible, there are too many bars to even pin point.

SYM

Another one of my favourite songs on the album and the perfect outro to a wonderful and memorable album. The song for me is aimed at everyone. It’s aimed at the ignorant people that believe that some Black men enjoy crime; “If you think niggas just love these drugs and crime“. It is also aimed at those black men that are getting money and doing good things; “Get your paper but you don’t get complacent, If we don’t hold each other down, we won’t make it”. This serves as a reminder that we are all in this together.

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#NewMusicFriday/What I’ve been listening to…

Apologies for the wait for a new post from me! There has been so much new music out in the past few weeks! I love this time of year as the “summer hits” die down and we start getting album releases and EP’s as the concert season starts again. I will be doing a few album reviews soon but for now here are some songs I’ve been playing on repeat…

Casanova Ft. Chris Brown – Coming Home

I don’t even know where to begin with this track. Firstly can we talk about the fact the sample is from one of the best songs from Case and Joe released almost 11 years ago! The original song was called ‘Faded Pictures. As soon as I heard Casonova’s song I knew where the inspiration was from instantly. A slow jam classic. Casanova and Chris did the sample justice and this new version is great! As usual Chris Brown kills every single feature he hops on and amazes us every song with his vocal ability. This song has been on repeat since I heard it. Have a listen below and have a listen to the original;

Yo Trane – Waves

I am SOOOOOO excited about this new release!!!!! I am a BIG fan of Yo Trane. His ‘Late Night Drive’ EP is one of my favourite R&B projects in the past 3 years. His music makes me feel every emotion possible and his production is always so complimentary to the song. I think he is one of the few artists that could release a project of all his instrumentals and I would still have it on repeat. I really hope this is the first of more new music this year released from Yo Trane. I’m really hoping he drops another project soon too. R&B can be played all year but in summer it is appreciated even more. Have a listen below;

Pusha T Ft. Lauryn Hill – Coming Home

Hearing Lauryn Hill on a song will always make me feel some kind of nostalgia. I really enjoy Pusha T and Lauryn on this track and after hearing the song was recorded in late 2015 I can hear why. I like the sentiment behind the song with the idea that love is the answer to so many questions. Lauryn sings; “When love is gone, you hold onto anything, some do wrong, just to feel anything but when the void is filled, you stand up to anything“. The words remind of the song by the Black Eyed Peas called “Where is the Love?”. Pusha also addresses the idea that Black people have had good activists that have stood up for them in the past. He also addresses the idea that Crack Cocaine was initially sold to Black gangs to benefit and profit the US government however it started an internal rivalry between Black gangs. Have a listen below;

KYLE Ft. Teyana Taylor – F You I Love You.

I heard this song at an event last week and added it straight to my playlist. It’s one of those songs perfect to play in the background when you want to chill. I actually had to shazam the song as I did not recognise Kyle’s voice. I will be checking out his other music as I like the tone of his voice. In this song he is able to sing along and find a way to sing with the deepest tone in the same sentence. Of course Teyana sounds perfect in this song as she is able to demonstrate her talent through her wonderful and unique voice. Have a listen below;

Aitch Ft MoStack & Steel Banglez – Weekday

Man of the hour Aitch has released his anticipated second EP today, Friday 6th of September. I have not listened to the whole tape properly and digested it all however this is one of those songs that grab you from the first listen. I knew from the lineup that I would be a fan as Mo Stack an Steel Banglez rarely make a bad song. As usual Mo Stack uses his cheekiness to provide us with a memorable phrase. He says;

She said “Men are trash”, I said “Yeah, that’s true”
But you’re the company you keep and I’m chillin’ here wid you
So what does that make you?

Classic Mo cheekiness!!! ha!

The song is quite slowed down which if you’ve heard many of Aitch’s recent music, is a nice change. I think this will be a fan favourite. Have a listen below;

Blade Brown Ft. K TrapJoints

This is my favourite song from the Blade Brown project. Such a hyped up song! Have a listen below;

Stay tuned for my next album review post…

Album Review: Rick Ross; Port of Miami 2

I’m sure I’ve expressed before how much I love Rick Ross. He is without a doubt one of my favourite rappers currently. For me, Ross has the unique ability to provide us with a song that will have you thinking about so much. His flow and ability to get across his meanings remind me of Biggie, who is my ultimate favourite rapper. I always look forward to his albums because they always display the versatility of Rick Ross via his ability to spit bars on so many different kinds of beats. This album did not disappoint. Here are my opinions on some of the songs from the album.

Act a Fool Ft. Wale

This song was previously released before the album dropped and I still really like it. As an intro to the album the first line doesn’t get better; “It’s a beautiful day to get some money“, think that line sums up Rick Ross as a whole being the boss he is. I’m a fan of Wale and his wordplay is always spot on. Wale and Ross always work well together. Have a read of my previous review on this song here; https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/07/13/new-music-saturday-what-ive-been-listening-to-this-week/

Nobody’s Favourite Ft. Gunplay

‘GREAZE’. That is the word I would use to describe this song. As soon as the beat drops you know what time it is. Gunplay adds another form of aggression which I like. I don’t think there would have been anyone else that could have done the song justice more than him. The title of the song is quite interesting as Rick Riss claims that despite his success and talent, he is not usually considered people’s favourite in terms of rappers. Ross explores a truth here in the fact he has always been consistent. While some rappers may disappear and re appear regularly or have good times and bad times, Rick Ross has been consistent with his success. I hope that people start to appreciate Rick Ross a lot more. A lot of the reasons Nipsey Hussle is loved is due to the fact he always teaches us about ownership, giving back to your people, multiplying your money with businesses. All of these things Rick Ross has been doing too.

Rick Ross Boss Lyric;

My new house is on the river so I had to buy a boat, better yet, it’s called a yacht”

Summer Reign Ft. Summer Walker

A very big contrast to the previous song. This is a slowed down song for Ross which we know he can do so well. Summer Walker’s line “All I ask is that you hold it down for me ’cause you told me you would be my everything” echoes throughout the song. This is the versatility of Rick Ross and one of the unique things about him. He can go from sounding like a boss and someone not to be messed with from one track to this softer side displayed in this track.

Bogus Charms Ft. Meek Mill

If I heard the instrumental to this song without knowing who was on the song, the first featured artist that would come into my head would have been Meek Mill! In the song they talk about the downsides to fame and success and nobody explains pain more than Meek Mill. A line that sticks out for me from Ross is; “Half my team illiterate, I know it sound pathetic
But we can each get a brick that’s on a line of credit
“. The sad reality that due to some of their environments, many are not even educated. Meek Mill comes in saying; “Uh, I only remember nights that was post-traumatic
So I’m never actin’ bougie like I was supposed to have it
” meaning he is always thankful for what he has now. He knows and has lived through the struggle to get to his position now. Meek and Rick Ross always have great songs together and knowing the great relationship they have aside from music is great to know. Rick Ross is the king of showing us his flashy lifestyle but he never hides the struggle that comes with it. He paints a very realistic picture through his rapping, another reason I really like his music.

Rich Nigga Lifestyle Ft. Nipsey Hussle & Teyana Taylor

This is the last feature Rick Ross has with the late great Nipsey Hussle. Following on from the theme of the previous track Rick Ross says; “I’m just here to keep it real‚ not make you feel worse” reminding us what he is trying to do. In Nipsey’s verse he talks about the rise in Hip-Hop music and “How many niggas on your payroll?” meaning how many of your own people are you putting on. Nipsey was always consistent with the messages in his raps and it’s still a tragedy that we won’t get to hear from him again. Teyana Taylor provides a nice tone to the song too. Have a listen below;

Born to Kill Ft. Jeezy

The beat on this song is wonderful! Not much more to say on this one so have a listen below.

I Still Pray Ft. YFN Lucci & Ball Greezy

I really like the vibe I get from this track. This song is quite personal as it starts off with a reporter referring to the time Rick Ross was hospitalised. We see a more vulnerable side to Rick Ross as he starts off the track by saying; “Wake up out a coma, frozen in the moment you could have the biggest clique, but you gon’ die a loner“, the reality that everyone dies alone. Regardless of whether you are the most popular or if you have the most things, you die alone. The near death experience seems to have been a wake up call for Ross; “I’ll give you back the money just to get my health“. I think this song is just a reminder of how the most important thing to have in life has nothing to do with wealth or chains or cars or anything materialistic. The most important thing in life is to have good health.

Running the Streets Ft. Denzel Curry & A Boogie wit da Hoodie

I think this is my favourite song on the album at the moment. I recommend that when listening to this song, you have it connected to speakers with an excellent base to really appreciate the beat. The song refers to the idea that these men are in charge of their local hoods. In the song they are talking to their women in question letting them know that they have to understand their lifestyle. The idea that they won’t be coming home as they have work to do. Prior to the song I had not heard much from Denzel Curry but I am interested in hearing more from him. His verse in this song was my favourite. His flow and wordplay was so exciting to hear. Denzel even makes a random reference; “Like Stanley Yelnats, he caps, his head red” referring to the main character in the film ‘Holes’. What a random reference that fits so well. He was definitely the standout on this song!

Rick Ross Boss Line:

Went from sleepin’ on the floor to pissin’ Moët

Vegas Residency

This is pure Rick Ross. No features, just Ross slaying a beat as usual.

Maybach Music VI Ft. John Legend & Lil Wayne

This isn’t my favourite song in the numerous Maybach Music songs but I do however like the Lil Wayne feature. We don’t hear much from him so it was nice to hear a little verse.

Gold Roses Ft. Drake

Check out my previous review on this song here https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/07/30/new-music-what-ive-been-listening-to-4/

Album Review: Why I think Burna Boy – African Giant (2019) is a work of art…

As a Nigerian myself, I have grown up listening to Afrobeats and Burna Boy in particular. I’m a fan of Burna from his earlier days and the days when Afrobeats wasn’t as mainstream as it is today. From early, Burna Boy has always had a unique sound and despite his now worldwide success, he has stuck true to it. As a Nigerian myself, I have grown up listening to Afrobeats and Burna Boy in particular. His debut album L.I.F.E released in 2013 has some of my favourites from him; “Abeg, abeg (Remix)”, “Yawa Dey”, “Tonight”, “Like to Party” and “Smooth Smailing”. Most of these songs propelled Burna into the limelight but nothing has provided him with as much as his song “Yé released from his 3rd studio album.

I was excited for the release of ‘African Giant’ because I have always enjoyed Burna’s musical projects as a whole. His talent is always displayed in big bodies of work. On first listen admittedly the album did not stick out to me as quickly as his other albums did. However, after taking it in for a few days after and now weeks, I can honestly say this is his best album. For me, for a fourth album from someone who was already great to top his previous is a big big statement. In this album, you can hear his growth as an artist but also his improvement. His last album could be considered to be a mixture of all sounds but this is 100% an African album. From the beats, instruments and sounds, I felt like I was in Nigeria listening to this.

Another point to add is that this is more than just a music album. The album contains history and facts about Nigeria and Africa.

Whilst there are some American features, never did I forget I was listening to a Burna Boy project. Every song on this album has a different vibe and different feeling associated with it. Everytime you listen, a different song will stick out to you. To be able to do that with an album of 19 songs is somewhat incredible! I will talk about some of my absolute favourites from the album…

African Giant

A great intro to the album in my opinion. Burna Boy always has stand out lyrics in his songs and this song is no different. The song is an anthem for any African that has a dream for his people. It is the perfect taster for what is to come.

Stand out Line

“Because God no go give you more than you can handle”

Wetin Man Go Do

The title of this song is Pidgin English for “What will a man do”. In the song, Burna explores the idea of a man living in an African economy and the struggles he may face. The song has a very strong African feel to it. The last verse for me is sad as its obvious the man is helpless. Burna sings “Man go fight for money, man go fight for woman, man go fight for business, man go fight for nonsense (wetin man go do)…body don dey tire”. All of the struggling the man has to do is non stop. A sad reality for some people in African countries.

Stand out Line

“God I dey serve e…no go let my blessings to pass me”

Gum Body Ft. Jorja Smith

This is one of my favourite songs on the album. Similarly to his previous album, Burna Boy uses an English feature to help him on the song. Personally I’m not usually a fan of Jorja’s voice or music but the partnership with Burna in this song is perfect. The title of the song is a term used to describe wanting to be around someone. Jorja’s voice in her verse is sensational and plays on the theme of the song where they both sing “Why did I drink this Hennessy? as her voice sounds as it would, of someone who is a bit faded. I loved Jorja’s harmonies in Burna Boy’s verses, the blending of their voices without Burna Boy having to compromise his sound shows us how talented yet again he is. I have had this song on repeat since first hearing it.

Stand out Line

“Why did I drink this Hennessy?”

Killin Dem Ft. Zlatan

This is already one of the standout songs of the album and it’s not surprising. The song is performed so well by Burna Boy everytime he does a show. Zlatan’s verse in this is very underrated. His tongue twisting lyrics spoken in Yoruba with a fast flow are a joy to listen to. The dance moves associated with this song are great too.

Stand out Line

“We making money rush rush like indomie indomieee” and all of Zlatan’s verse!

Have a listen to the song and watch the video;

Omo

This song is definitely one of my ultimate favourites from the album. I love the flow and switch up Burna has in this song. His flow changes as he sings “Girl I’ve been scheming, plotting, planning…fuck a plan A, move to plan B” and switches up again after that verse. We hear singing Burna and rapping Burna in this song and it works well.

Secret Ft. Jeremih & Serani

This is the first song on the album featuring an American artist. Jeremih however adapts his voice to Serani and Burna meaning the whole sound isn’t compromised. I like this song because of that reason. The only issue I have with it is that sometimes the song can sound a bit whiny. Burna Boy’s voice does break up the high singing but sometimes I feel Serani and Jeremih were too much together on the song. Have a listen below;

Another Story Ft. M.anifest

Burna takes us on a history lesson on the colonialism of Nigeria in the first few seconds. In the song Burna Boy explains how the politicians in Nigeria are stealing from the country since Nigeria’s independence in 29160 and not doing anything to help like they should. Ghanian artist M.anifest’s verse is also similar as he talks about the fact he travels out of his country sometimes; “Sometimes I for dey move away, maybe a month, same shit, Ghana – Naija, man tire”. He is saying that even in his country he has the same issues. Similarly to “Wetin Man Go Do”, Burna is highlighting the worrying parts and unfortunate realties faced in Nigeria and many African countries.

Stand out Line

“Same shit, Ghana – Naija, man tire”

Pull Up

I like the softness of this song, Burna slows down the pace with this one and provides the album with a romantic side. He sings in the third verse “24/7 you been sitting on my mind, Baby you wey I think about like all day” emphasising the fact she is all he is thinking about”. The song gives the impression that Burna Boy wants to keep this relationship on the down low though. Further on in the verse he sings; “Loving the vibe that’s between me and you, baby don go telling no body”. He makes the affair sound as if it is sacred when really he just doesn’t want to get caught.

Destiny

This song reminds me of J Hus’ song “Spirit” with the idea that Burna is reminiscing on his childhood and the idea that his mental strength can never be taken away. Burna reminisces; “I remember when I used to hustle in the flats and the neighbors then had no love for me” probably exploring how he has risen from struggling conditions to the star he is now. The song is very positive as he basically implies that people can do many things to bring him down, but they can never take his “destiny”. This has a similar feel in J Hus’ spirit when he sings “Even when we never had a penny, yeah we always had spirit”. In the second verse of the song you can hear Burna Boy’s British accent a bit more reminding us of where he grew up but also making us realise how personal this track is. I feel Burna has done well on this album to show us where and what he has come from but also proving that this has shaped who he is today. They can take everything I have, they can take my life, they can’t touch my destiny

Stand Out Line

“They can take everything I have, they can take my life, they can’t touch my destiny”

Show & Tell Ft. Future

This was a song I really took in more with later listens. Future is usually really good on features and he did not disappoint on this track. For me it was enjoyable to hear the back and forth between both artists.

‘Songs to listen to when…”you’re in your feelings/in love” (Volume 1)

Hi everyone! Hope everyone is having a good and productive week! Today’s post is all about looooooooove! There are times in nearly everyone’s lives when they suddenly realise they are in love or have strong feelings for someone. Luckily for us there’s definitely a song that can describe exactly how you’re feeling.! Here are some songs that come to my head and to listen to when you’re feeling all loved up! Remember this is only part 1 so stay tuned for a lot, lot more!!!

Fantasia – When I See U (2006)

I’ve previously talked about this song but honestly when you think about songs that explore how you are feeling when you have just fallen for someone, this is it. The song explores the feeling you get whenever you see that special person . The funny thing is, in this song, it can even be related to unrequited love as Fantasia sings more about the feeling she gets just from “being in the sauce” rather than when that person in question is doing something specifically. I love Fantasia’s voice in this song and her lines “I start to stutter when I speak, try to stand but my knees go weak “<<<< I mean if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

Wyclef Jean & Mary J Blige- 911

Another song I’ve always expressed my love for. There comes a time especially if its your first love where you feel as dramatic as can be possible. When the love is so much that it even begins to feel like pain, “Someone please call 911, tell them I just been shot down & the bullet’s, in my heart”. It sounds illogical and over exaggerated to those not in love but if you are or have been, you can understand this song. Mary J Blige puts her all into this song and you can hear the pain in her voice.

Usher – U got it Bad

Pretty much most of Usher’s discography can relate to this topic but this is the signature song of “In your feelings”, when you begin to realise that you are developing feelings for that special person. The song reminds me of Fantasia’s “When I See U” as Usher also lists the signs that show you have started to fall. Anyone that has felt love can most likely react to some of the things Usher says in this song, especially for men. This song is so funny to me because I know for a fact most people have experienced most of the situations he states. As Usher himself says “Nobody wants to be alone…If you’re touched by the words in this song then maybe..you got it bad“. <<Forreal!

Whitney Houston – My Love is your Love

A classic love song and a legendary Whitney song! Whitney sings about the unbreakable bond she has with her lover and the fact it would “Take an eternity” to break them. She sings about the fact that regardless of what life throws at her or where she ends up, as long as she is with her lover, it will be okay. A beautiful song with a beautiful sentiment. R.I.P. Whitney.

Laura Izibor – If Tonight is my Last

I feel this song takes inspiration from Whitney Houston’s ‘My Love is Your Love‘.The song contains many similar scenarios and very similar sentiments, “If tonight is my last, I wanna spend it with you”, can’t get more romantic than that to be honest. I’ve always expressed my love for this song and the song lyrics speak for themselves. Check it out below;

Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran – Perfect

This duet is more recent but it’s no less of a beautiful love song. Both Ed and Beyonce’s voices blend into the “perfect harmony”. This is the kind of song that makes you sway upon hearing it. The song plays on the idea that when you find that special person and to you, they are the most perfect person in your eyes. Have a listen below:

Jessie Ware – Say You Love me

This song is more towards the “In my feelings” side. The passion and power Jessie exudes in this track is mind-blowing. She sings “Cause I don’t wanna fall in love, if you don’t wanna try…but all that I’ve been thinking of is maybe that you’re mine“. That feeling when when you are falling for someone but are too scared to let all your guard down in case the person isn’t feeling the same or in case you are going to get hurt. Unfortunately you cannot experience true love if you don’t let all your guards down…A catch 22.

Boyz II Men – I’ll Make Love to You

Released in 1994, this song was number 1 for a crazy 14 weeks!!! This song is the ultimate sexual song professing your love for someone.

Destiny Child’s – Cater 2 U

One of my favourite DC songs!!!! This song is the perfect ode to your love. In the song the women talk about all the things they are willing to do for their men in the most affectionate way. “You’re all I want in a man, I put my life in your hands“. For me, this is one of the most beautiful modern love songs released, it shows the selflessness women feel when they are happy and in love, the idea that nothing is too hard to do for their lover. The video is beautiful too. Side note, for me Michelle had the BEST verse!

Usher/ Alicia Keys – My Boo

“There’s always that one person that will always have your heart” is how this song starts and whew is that true! Falling in love will have you wanted to sing this with your own “boo”. Usher and Alicia did a fantastic job with this duet and the lyrics definitely resonate with those that have that special person despite anything going on.

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!

‘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.