Summer Playlist

Hey everyone, Summer/good weather is round the corner so I’ve curated a playlist for you all to listen to. Theres a lot of songs that should keep you occupied anytime the weather is great!

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Appreciation Post and #NewMusicFriday UK style

Hey everybody! I hope everyone has had a productive week and is ready to relax a little this coming weekend.

First off, I just want to thank you all for supporting me on this journey. This blog has officially surpassed the whole of last year’s views and it’s only mid-April!!! I can’t even express my joy knowing that so many of you enjoy my posts. I will do my best to continue with the same energy and hopefully I can continue to entertain.

Another point I wanted to add was that this week has been very reflective for me. The death of Nipsey Hussle and even recently the UK rapper Cadet, who I was also a fan of, has really made me think. Music has been my therapy for as long (how my blog started) as I can remember and I get some comfort from listening to their music. In all honesty, even if you have never heard a Nipsey Hussle song before or do not know what he was about, I beg you to listen to some of his work and digest his lyrics. One of the things about meaningful music is that it is timeless. It is never too late to catch on to what the artist is trying to teach you!

Anyways! Time for some new music!!! The UK scene has on fire for a while now! Here are some new songs that I think you should check out!

Young T & Bugsey – Again

The UK duo are back again with another catchy song. I don’t think these two are capable of making a song that you will NOT be singing non stop once you hear.One thing I like about these two is their pronunciation. I feel they annunciate their words so fluidly in all their songs. “Took a small loss now I’m back up again”is what I’ve been singing all day! This song will have you dancing or somehow bopping your head. I hope these two have a lot more of songs like this in time for summer!! Have a listen below and watch the video.

3Robi x Fredo x Lacrim – Not My Dons

It seems in this song it is Netherlands mixing with the UK & Algeria! What seems like a very random combination actually works! It’s clear to say now that Fredo can rap on any beat.For those that think he has the same flow, have a listen to him on this song. Lacrim’s verse was great on it even though I didn’t understand a thing! Have a listen below;

LD (67) Ft. Young Adz – So Fly

The song actually came out a while ago but the video has just been released. Have a watch below:

Geko Ft. French Montana & Ay Em – New Money

I’m a fan of this song . Geko recruits Ay Em, who has been on a roll lately, and US rapper French Montana! Have a listen below:

Big Narstie Ft. Donae’o- It’s Yours

I won’t lie, I’m not usually a fan of Big Narstie when it comes to his music however this song surprised me! It feels like a new direction from him and of course Donae’o is one of the best UK artists when it comes to hooks! Big Narstie even switches it up and raps in Spanish many times in this song! Who knew! A man of many talents!! This song has definitely been added to my “Vibes” playlist. Have a listen to it below, definitely a song you can sway to.

Mid-Week Vibes!!!

Hello everyone! We’re halfway through the week and nearly at the end of March. I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone tuning into the site and reading my posts this month. I appreciate you all.
Today’s post is based a few songs I’ve been playing this week that you should check out!

Kiana Lede;

So I’ve recently stumbled on Kiana Lede and wow her voice is beautiful! Her style is very R&B and she has an EP that was released last year called ‘Selfless (2018)’ which is great! There’s a few songs from it that I’ve had on repeat;

Show Love; In this song, Kiana tells the man in question to show how much he wants to be with her rather than just by words. She sings; “Fight for me baby…if you want time with me baby, got to do more than enough”. This is another way of saying “Actions speak louder than words”.

EX; I think this is one of her more popular songs. The song is based on the idea that she wants to remain friends with her ex despite the break up. She sings in the chorus; “I don’t wanna be your ex, we way too good at being friends” emphasising the fact she didn’t wanna lose her friendship with him after the breakup. Have a listen;

Wicked Games; This is one of my favourite songs on the EP. The song plays on the idea that Kiana is in a relationship with someone who takes advantage of her and her nature; “It’s always later, later, later, later & I let you come back ’cause sticking ’round is in my nature”. She sings throughout the song how the man in question knows that he is her weakness and acts on that. I like the simple production on this song too. Have a listen;

Take It All; This song gives me acoustic vibes. In this song Kiana is singing about a lover that accepts every part of her. She sings; “You be so good to me, even when I don’t say sorry”. Check it out below;

Burna Boy & DJDS- Darko (2019)

Nigerian Prince Burna Boy has returned with a newly released EP with DJDS entitled ‘Steel & Copper’ with 4 songs. ‘Darko’ is my favourite on the project. The song is a chilled, relaxed Burna track and if you a fan of his previous song ‘ Don Gorgon’, you may hear a few references to it! Check out the song below;

Rich The Kid Ft Big Sean & Offset – Two Cups (2019)

Rich The Kid has just released his new album called ‘The World is Yours 2″ and this is one of the songs I like from the album. I’m glad for the return of Big Sean as he’s one of my favourite rappers. I liked his part of his verse where he raps “I go off, go in, go up, but never go back, I know we in a league of our own, bitch, I’m pro-black”. Hopefully we will hear more new music from Big Sean soon. Have a listen to the song below

The Rara – Elegance (2018)

A little bit of bashment for your ears. This song has actually been out a while but recently I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Have a listen below;

Oritse Femi Ft. Burna Boy & Konshens – Play Am (2019

This is what happens when Afrobeats fuses with Bashment! A match made in heaven. All genres compliment eachother so well. Have a listen below;

DC – No Manners (2018)

I mentioned this song on the Instagram account, but I’ve had it on repeat this week. I like the use of wordplays in this song, DC is releasing a new EP this week, so I’ll be sure to check that out. This freestyle sounds like it is played over the Fat Joe “What’s Luv” song so provides a sense of nostalgia for me. Check out the video below.

‘They don’t make ’em like this anymore!’ Usher – Confessions Review. #ThrowbackThursday

A review and reflection on the classic album “Confessions” by the one and only Usher.

Hello everyone! Today we are going back to basics. I previously started a theme based on reviews from older albums. Today’s feature is the classic and legendary album from Usher titled ‘Confessions’. I will be referring to the original released version of the album. The album which was released in 2004 and was the fourth studio album by US singer Usher and is possibly one of his most celebrated pieces of work. Timeless music is when regardless of its release date, anytime you listen to it, feels like it’s the first time. This album ticks those boxes. For me this album is my favourite album of all time. It’s an album that I can recite lyrics from every song, an album with a story, an album with everything I love about music. Most importantly, this album provides nostalgic feelings for me that provide me with elements of joy.

As we are all aware I’m sure, the album takes the theme of a series of confessions as he explains to us in the intro. The album cover shows Usher in a Confessions booth and throughout the album we are given reasons why Usher is confessing. As I’ve previously stated, music is considered therapy for a lot of people and Usher used this album to reveal some of his darkest and painful secrets making this possibly one of his most personal albums. I remember reading somewhere that while the album is an R&B album, he wanted us to also experience a hip-hop vibe which could be argued to be in ‘Yeah!’.

Yeah!’ features Lil Jon and Ludacris (who has my favourite verse on the song). Ludacris’ line “We want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed” is probably one of the most memorable lines in the song aside from the chorus. The three of them also have a great collaborative effort on East Side Boyz “Lovers and Friends” which is a favourite of mine.

The third song on the album is “Throwback“. It’s funny because I had the album for a long time before this song stuck with me. “You never miss a good thing ’til it leaves ya & finally, I realised that I need ya, I want you back”. These lines set precedent for the rest of the song. Usher sings about wanting his woman back after she leaves him for admitting his cheating. The whole song is dedicated to his anguish at the fact she has left him and he misses her. On reflection, he regrets all the bad things he did and said. I love the uses of instruments in this song, it would have been great to have heard this song live back in the day.

‘Confessions Interlude/ Part 1‘ and ‘Confessions Part II’ art possibly the most infamous songs on the album. The interlude is Usher preparing his woman and us, the listener for what is to come. Interludes on R&B albums were popular around this time and I like the added touch of them. After a while the interlude was turned into a full fledged song. Part II is Usher outright confessing about his infidelity and expressing his regret. Usher sings “Just when I thought I said all I could say, my chick on the side said she got one on the way” confirming that he has gotten the other woman pregnant.. The song is apparently not exactly true but is based on Usher’s friends similar experiences. The execution however is flawless and you really believe Usher is living this life. Throughout the song we can hear the stress in Usher’s voice as he sings “Man, I’m throwed and I don’t know what to do, I guess I gotta give part two of my confessions” implying that this is the conclusion to this first version and interlude. There’s a part in the song when Usher hits a high note; “I said one second, baby, please hear me“, at a part where he is trying his best to let his girlfriend hear him out. The high note feels like desperation from his part and Usher incorporates it into the story so well. This song told us a story with Usher being the narrator and main character. The song writing, production and vocal performance in this song will forever make it a classic.

Burn’ is another R&B hit from Usher. He sings the ballad with such passion. The video for this song is legendary and I can’t think of the song without seeing Usher with trees burning beside him. Verse 2 is my favourite part of the song. The song is based on the conflicting feelings of a breakup. He sings “Cause the feeling ain’t the same, find myself calling her your name“, One one side he is trying to move on but he keeps being reminded. The other feeling is feeling regretful as he sings ” What I gotta do now to get my shorty back? Oh oh oh oh”. The song is one of the best R&B vocal performances on the album and definitely a fan favourite.

‘Caught Up‘ is a more upbeat Usher song as he sings about catching feelings for a woman. The song is Usher singing his confusion as to how the woman “has a hold on him”. My favourite line is when he sings “Her body was so tight, I’m looking for her in the daytime with a flashlight“. What a funny analogy. While the song takes a more upbeat mood, the production does too, there are more uses of drums and brass instruments.

‘Superstar Interlude’ and ‘Superstar‘ are possibly my personal favourite songs on the album. He sings “I won’t stop until I see you sugar”, on the interlude to again prepare us for what is to come on the main song. On ‘Superstar‘ he sings about a woman who he idolises and puts on a pedastool. He has no shame expressing his love; “I’ll be your groupie baby
‘Cause you are my superstar, I’m your number one fan, give me your autograph, Sign it right here on my heart
“. The irony of this song is that Usher himself is the Superstar and is used to having fans and groupies who are usually in awe of him however he has found a woman he is in awe of. He uses the metaphors of being a fan he claims to “show you just how I adore you“. He hits the high notes in this song with ease I love how he flips the script throughout to show us his vulnerable side. “Girl you’re one of a kind cos they don’t make em like you anymore”….a beautiful ode.


‘Truth Hurts‘ is another underrated song on the album. The song can be considered karma based on the topic of the beginning of the album. In this song Usher sings about how the woman in the relationship has ruined the relationship due to her “infidelity; “Baby, everything we built on trust, you’re tearing it down“. The irony is that we find out that all of these “fears” are really a projection of how Usher really feels. He confesses he’s only been accusing his girl of cheating due to his guilty conscience. Usher sings “I’ve been blaming you when I’m the one that’s doing wrong” once again admitting he’s the one who’s been unfaithful.

‘Simple Things’ is another one of my personal favourites. I feel this is the song with the most important message from the whole album. It can relate to relationships, love, jobs, family and pretty much life in general. In the song Usher advises us that it’s really the simple things in life we always underestimate. Those are the things that are the most important. The song has incredible advice from the beginning; “Just copped your girl a brand new Rolex but you can never find the time to spend at home“. He proceeds to sing my favourite line; “But you don’t know you’re chasing a dime, losing a treasure” telling us to appreciate what we have already. He advises men to understand that splashing the cash on your woman is great but what is more important to her is you, not the materialistic things. “You hear her talking but don’t hear what she said“, sometimes we hear what we want to hear rather than what the person is trying to say. Usher ends the song by stating “Man, I tell you, cars, clothes, and fancy things don’t mean a damn thing” advising men to give them things money can’t buy, their time, love, appreciation and affection.

‘That’s What it’s Made For’, ‘Can U Handle It?’ and ‘Do it to Me’ are all songs that could be considered slow jams. These songs are classic Usher, stripped back, pure vocals. It can be argued that all songs have the same theme; sex. ‘That’s What it’s Made For’ is Usher singing about his manhood and the use of it, to pleasure women. The song explores how him and a woman are partaking in consensual sexual activity. ‘Can U Handle It?’ is Usher seducing and teasing a woman. ‘Do it to Me’ is another one of my favourites from the album. I don’t think it’s possible to hear this song without feeling the need to move. I like the production on this song. The big Base and what feels like a large bang(drums?) played throughout adds to the intensity. Usher hits the high notes effortlessly as usual and one of my favourite lines; “Squeezing, holding, biting, scratching, spanking, screaming, pulling my hair when you need me” with his high vocals is just 😍. Yeah this song is the one! Whew!‘Follow Me’ is Usher being real. In this song he sings about the fact he’s finally found a woman he can be himself with. “Sometimes I gotta smile (smile) when I don’t feel like smiling”, his lifestyle is tiring but he doesn’t need to pretend with the woman

What an album. I won’t lie, I don’t think since this release there has been an album that has provided me with so much joy and love. Hopefully real R&B can be born again because it will be a shame.

I am aware there are more songs after from the special edition version of the album. Songs like “My Boo” which I have reviewed before among a few more. Check out the special edition version below;

#NewMusicFriday

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:

Happy Valentines Day! ❤️❤️

Happy Valentines Day everyone Hope you all had wonderful days/nights!!

Just a quick one. Here are 5 of some of my favourite modern love songs. I’ve focussed on the theme of the beginning of the relationship when everything is all rosy and fresh. I have also included my current slow jams and throwbacks Spotify link. I am in the process of filtering out some songs from there and as soon as I have a new an improved slow jams mix you will all know. Have a read and listen below.

1. Fantasia – When I See U (2006)

I’ve written about my love for this song before and boy is it perfect for a day like today. Fantasia sings her heart out in this song and you can’t help but feel the love. The opening verse describes how it feels when you have that crush or first love for someone; “I put your picture on my mirror, start to blush when somebody says your name” a feeling many of us know. The main reason I love this song so much is because of how relatable it is. It’s one of those songs that will have you thinking of a particular person as you belt out her verses. Fantasia’s voice in this song is sensational and the video is just as beautiful. Have a listen and watch below.

2. Beyoncé – Dangerously In Love (2003)

Okay so this is one of my favourite Beyoncé songs of all time. I love the sentiment behind the song and the calming vibe it provides you with. The opening lines “Baby, I love you, you are my life..my happiest moments weren’t complete if you weren’t by my side”, beautifully sung. Beyoncé harmonises with her own voice in this song and I feel like we are intruding on a duet between herself and herself! The lyrics are beautiful in this song.

3. Usher – U got it Bad (2001)

If we’re being honest 99% of Usher’s discography can be featured in this list. I picked this one because it plays on the theme of the beginning of falling in love. The song plays on the idea Usher is ready to leave his player ways as he has found the woman of his dreams. Again, this song focusses on the honeymoon period; “You got, you got it bad. When you’re on the phone, hang up and you call right back”, the beginning of the relationship when you’re in looooooove. Have a listen below.

4. Jennifer Lopez Ft. Fat Joe – Hold U Down (2005)

“You don’t know how much you mean to me, whenever you’re down you know that you can lean on me”, wiser words have never been spoken. I love how wholesome this song makes me feel. The idea that in a relationship you both help and support each other. I like how the partnership is demonstrated with the merging of verses with JLo singing her verse and Fat Joe rapping his but sometimes linking together.

5. Bob Marley & The Wailers Ft. Lauryn Hill -Turn your Lights Down Low (1999)

Last but not least one of the greatest songs from Bob Marley or Lauryn Hill in my opinion. I know I’ve written about this song before but I will always bring it up when talking about love songs! This remix features the two legends’ voices merging like it was meant to be. My favourite lines have to be when Lauryn raps “Loving you is a like a song I replay, every three minutes and thirty seconds of every day”…I mean what better analogy to express love than with music! Haha! Honestly the harmonies in this song are heavenly! Check the song out below.


*A MOTOWN POST WILL BE UP SHORTLY*

#ThrowbackThursday 31/01/19

It’s that time of week where we reminisce on older but still classic songs. Here are a list of 3 throwback tracks. Have a read and listen below.

1. Usher Ft Alicia Keys – My Boo (US – 2004)

I was listening to this song on the way to work today and suddenly the song had a different meaning. The song taken from his HIT album Confessions I’ve always considered the song a love song and a song about two people singing about their love for one another; “You will always be my boo” especially sticks out. However, after listening to it today the penny dropped that the song demonstrates two people who still have feelings for each other despite no longer being together and both being in different relationships. The idea that “There’s always that one person that will always have your heart ” is common however the idea that that person may always be there even when you are with someone else is quite scary. How can you give your all to someone if someone is already occupying space? In my opinion there is a difference between a “first love” and someone “who always has your heart”. Despite the realisation of the meaning of the song, it is still one of my favourite Usher songs and the duet with Alicia is beautiful. They both hit harmonies angelically. Have a listen to the track below.


2. NSG – Referee (UK – 2016)

UK group NSG who are on fire at the moment with their smash hit ‘Options’ have been grinding for a while. This track which was featured in their EP “Grown Up” is still a banger today. The JAE5 produced track is also accompanied by cool visuals. NSG have been working hard for years but its great to see them shine and get the recognition they deserve. Have a listen and watch below.

3. Kendrick Lamar – LOVE – (US -2017)

The final entry for Throwback Thursday is from US rapper Kendrick Lamar. The song from his 2017 fourth studio album is one of my favourite songs from him. The song is quite soft in comparison to his usual work and focusses on the love and devotion he has with his fiancée. The vocals from Zacari blend very well with Kendrick’s rough but unique rapping style. Have a listen below;