Mid Week Update…New Music: What I’ve been listening to…

Just a list of some of the songs I’ve had on heavy rotation in the past week…

Hello everyone! It’s that time of week where I bombard you all with a list of what I’ve been listening to the past week! It’s been a while since I have updated you, have a look below of all the music that’s been on rotation.!

Stormzy – Wiley Flow

There has been a lot of noise and controversy in the UK grime scene surrounding Wiley. If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what started Wiley’s frustration. With this track Stormzy paves homage to one of the grime pioneers Wiley. The beginning of the song starts with a snippet of a clip where Wiley refers to the fact that everyone else in the scene are his “youngers”. Stormzy uses this to flip and relate to his song by referring to his own success. I feel that this is the Stormzy I prefer in comparison to his more commercial songs like “Vossi Bop”. Stormzy when he is raw for me is when he’s at his best, listen to his freestyles like “Standard” and “Scary” for examples.

Shaybo – Ya Dun Know

This song has blown up thanks to the power of the internet. I came across the song and video on twitter and have been playing the song ever since! I love the fact there are more female rappers coming up and even better them being British. There are a few really good British rappers in comparison to the men. Shaybo brings a uniqueness to her rapping as she spits in the Yoruba dialect too in this song. Yoruba is one of the many languages spoken in Nigeria and it is great she is able to incorporate both her British and Nigerian identity in the song. For those that aren’t aware, “Ya Dun Know” is a common slang used a lot in London and is a term usually used when someone is bigging something up. The accompanying video is good too, simple and fitting to the song. I also liked how she referenced her old video where she was much younger so we could see the growth in her music.

Mahalia Ft. Ella Mai – What You Did

I’m a big fan of this collaboration, women are really taking centre stage in all genres nowadays, rap and r&b are just examples. In this song we hear samples from Cam’ron and Juelz Santana’s hit song “Oh Boy” as well as Norman Whitfield’s “I’m Going Down”. The song exudes female solidarity in the face of a lover ho has wronged them. One of the lyrics that stand out for me are from Ella Mai’s verse where she sings “Oh, it’s funny how right when I let my guard down you play around”, I’m sure many women can relate to this line. I like in the chorus that they flip the scenario; ‘Cause I would not expect someone to stay around If I let them down, oh” insinuating that if they had wronged their lover they would expect them to be reacting in the exact same way. I hope this is the first of more collaborations between this two, their singing styles compliment each other very well.

Myers – Common Kid

I’m sure everyone is now aware of the Netflix series “Top Boy” that was released on the 13th of September. The original soundtrack has been released and while the album is great and filled with the finest UK talent, there was 1 song I feel should have been on there. While watching the series, this song in particular stood out to me. I had to shazam the song as I had no idea who was rapping. Since discovering, I have had this song on repeat. The song touches on the gritty street life which evidently was very relevant for the episode. Have a listen below; ( Also check out Bugzy Malone – Die By The Gun)

Normani – Motivation

“I’ma break you off, let me be your motivation” is what I’ve been singing since I heard this song. Normani who is famous for being a apart of the group ‘Fifth Harmony’ finally spreads her solo wings with this debut single. I have a feeling she is one to watch. The song is great and the video is absolutely mind blowing. Her talent spreads from vocals to dancing and it is clear she is finally showing the world her talents. I am here for any success she has in the future!!!

Dave – Professor X

This is one of the standout tracks on the Top Boy soundtrack for me. Dave outdoes himself with his witty wordplay in this song. I loved the Terminator “Not around no more” reference as that fir perfectly with the line he was spitting. I could be here all day picking out the talent behind some of the bars in this song. Have a listen below;

Gambimi – Picture

UK artist Gambimi caused a storm last week with a video on his Instagram that went viral showing him pleading a lover to forgive him for his wrongdoing. All of this was the lead up to the release of this single. The famous words “Can we fix, can we blend, can we contour” are possibly what stand out in the whole song. Personally I have been listening to Gambimi’s music for a while. He used to release songs regularly on SoundCloud. I feel his voice is a mixture of Trey Songz and UK singer Angel. A soothing R&B sound with the right kind of rifts and harmonies. Have a listen below;

Quality Control Ft. City Girls, Stefflon Don, Renni Rucci & Mustard – Like That

Quality Control have released a new album entitled; Quality Control: Control the Streets Volume 2. One of the things I like about QC as a label is their appreciation and support of female rappers. This song features their female Queens City Girls as well as new signee UK rapper Stefflon Don. We also are treated with an addition from Renni Rucci and Mustard.

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Why I think Stormzy headlining Glastonbury is a huge step forward for Black culture in the UK…

It’s crazy to think that in 2019, we are still saying “first black” but any progress is appreciated.

On the 15th of November 2018, it was announced that Stormzy would be headlining Glastonbury 2019. Glastonbury, being the largest greenfield festival in the WORLD attended by around 175,000 people meant that this was a huge deal. Fast forward to Friday 28th of June 2019 when Stormzy takes to the stage. Stormzy is the first Black British solo artist to headline Glastonbury in its 48 year reign. If that wasn’t enough of a record to break he is also at 25 years old, the second youngest solo act to ever headline Glastonbury, the youngest being a 24-year-old David Bowie in 1971. However, Stormzy is used to being the record breaker throughout his career. He was the first grime MC to have a debut album go number 1 in the UK charts and has since had 5 UK top 10s. At a time where a lot of genres of music including rap or grime are blamed for the violence in London, I am glad the Glastonbury organisers gave Stormzy the opportunity to shine.

His stardom may seem random and quick to some but he has definitely been putting in the work from very early on. As a big fan of Stormzy, I have watched him grow from the beginning when he was releasing his videos and unique freestyles on his YouTube channel, which has just recently surpassed 1 million subscribers! . On top of his music, Stormzy is a voice for the youth in regards to saying and speaking on things that are happening in our society. During the Grenfell Fire, he was one of the key people rightly criticizing the government’s approach to the disaster. Stormzy is never afraid to get political in his music or performances and that is something to be admired.

In addition, he has collaborated with Penguin and started a Publishing company called #Merky Books. #Merky Books publishes around two to three books a year and is an outlet for a generation of voices. He holds initiatives for young writers to win competitions and a paid internship. Most recently, they have released “Taking Up Space…The Black Girl’s manifesto for Change” written by Black Cambridge graduates Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi. Stormzy mentions in his latest song ‘Crown’; “I done a scholarship for the kids, they said it’s racist, that’s not anti-white, it’s pro-black”. Stormzy is unapologetically black and is always finding a way to uplift and support his people despite the constant criticism. Stormzy also paved the way for a lot of Black British artists to see how possible it was to chart or to have commercial backing without having to feel the need to dilute themselves.

Knowing all this about Stormzy and having had the privilege of seeing him perform live at his sold out show in the past, I knew this Glastonbury performance was not going to disappoint and I wasn’t wrong. Filled with the most energy I have ever seen him have, his set consisted of his classic songs, a huge choir and backing singers, a very cute little girl with the sass to light up the world, dancers, bikers and so much more. One of my favourite parts of the performance was when Raleigh Ritchie came out and Stormzy had a little piece dedicated to the fact in the ballet world, black people no longer have to stain their shoes to have them in their skin colour as there are now shoes made for our skin colours.

We can’t forget the amazing duet with Chris Martin where they sang ‘Blinded By Your Grace Pt.1’ on the piano. Surely that iconic moment will go down in history. Stormzy always pays homage to those before him through his songs and this time was no different. He brought out two of the hottest young rappers in the UK at the moment, Fredo and Dave, who then performed their hit number 1 song “Funky Friday”. Stormzy later on gave a shout out to all the UK rappers before him and coming up after him. I think the key to the success of Stormzy besides his hard work is the fact he always remembers those before him and those after him. Despite his huge success and despite his co signs from living legends like Jay Z or Ed Sheeran, he never lets that overwhelm him.

Stormzy demonstrates to young black people that you can be yourself and still have people respect you. His confidence is a major lesson that we no longer have to keep quiet and hide away our talent in order to “fit in” or “not stand out”. It is great to see young Black kids growing up with artists like Stormzy doing so well in order to show them anything is possible. We should be at the stage in society where your skin colour should not be holding you back. His message has always been the same and he always gives glory to God. How on earth can you dislike someone like him? To me and to so many others, Stormzy is the chosen one. We are forever thankful that someone like him is representing the young black people. May his success forever reign and we will forever thank him for kicking down the doors for the ones after him.

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

New Music: Songs I’ve had on repeat this week…

Russ Ft. Davido

US singer/rapper Russ is back with another song I love! This time he links up with Nigerian singer Davido, Mr ‘Thirty Billion’ himself! There are so many reasons why this song works. Firstly I love how Russ attempts to try Pidgin English (a common dialect spoken in Nigeria), even Yoruba! I also like how he incorporates Nigerian references in the song. His references seem to be like paying homage rather than a forced idea. Although, He does say “Abuja” in a funny way! I had to rewind it to make sure thats what he wanted to say! He tried though! Secondly! The video is filled with Black women of all shades! I love that! Of course Davido does no wrong with his feature as expected! I have been singing “All I want is you” since I heard the song as well as “Don’t divide us girl abeg ooohhh”. The video had over a million views in less than 48 hours!! Have a listen and watch the video below:

Stormzy – Vossi Bop

THE WICKED SKENGMAN IS BACKKKKK!!! LIVE IN THE FLESH!!!! After what has felt like a very long time…UK rapper Stormzy has come back and hit us with a hit. The song was actually started off over 3 years ago via a guy on Twitter called Vossi who was doing a dance to Young Thug’s song “Check” which he called the “Vossi Bop”. Stormzy loved the video at the time and it has been in the works since then. I’m glad he’s used this song to come back as it is quite lighthearted and is here just in time for summer. I’m beginning to realise a secret to a successful song nowadays is to have some kind of viral dance that can go with it. With summer coming up, this song will definitely be played at events. While this song may seem lighthearted and “fun”, Stormzy still uses it to spread his views as well as witty metaphors. The “facial” metaphor is an interesting one. I won’t say too much as it is quite ambiguous but I did hear the little laugh he has after that line!! Naughty!! ha! Most importantly, I know Stormzy has a lot more greatness in his locker and I cannot wait for some new music from him! He has been missed!! Oh and the video is incredible!!! Honestly I really look forward to Stormzy’s videos! When he started out his videos were always creative so imagine now he has the budget for so much more, Amazing!!

Beyoncé- Before I Let Go

Speaking of viral videos, this song has one too! Beyoncé released this bonus song as part of her Homecoming: The Live Album tracks. The song actually reminds me of one of her songs “Ring Off” in terms of the production and hopefulness that comes with the track. In this song she is singing about the fact she will not give up on love with her man. This resonates with the theme on her ‘Lemonade‘ album. My favourite part of the song is actually when her voice tone changes “Pull up to Coachella”, her voice goes deep! She also goes into dance instructions reminiscent of her “Move Your body” song. The challenges that I have seen and she has posted have been great to! Have a listen below and see if you can recreate it for yourself.

Mist Ft Lotto Ash – Different Strokes

M I S to the T is back with another song recruiting Lotto Boys member Ash. Ash has one of the most beautiful voices in the UK at the moment and this mix really goes well. For me though, I feel Ash stole the show on this song. I found myself listening to him more than Mist. Regardless, it’s a good song for the summer and hopefully this is a sign we are going to hear more music from both of them.

Darkoo Ft Br3nya – Juice

I am here for this female power! Br3nya for me is 100% a talent and I have been enjoying watching her rise into the music scene. The song is a good vibe with a hint of an afrobeat fusion. Have a listen below:

Don’t forget I have a summer playlist. Have a listen below!!

“Through the Years”….2015.

Music has so much meaning for me and so many memories can be attached with songs, so I’ve decided to do posts dedicated to important years for me. Aside from the usual Throwback Thursday post I do, I will focus on specific years (in random order) and songs that I have enjoyed or have meaning to me from that year. The first year in ‘Through the Years” is 2015. I chose this year because personally 2015 was one of the most important years of my life. I graduated from University, which was one of the big events and had some of the highest highs of my life as well as some of the lowest lows. I look back at 2015 as a year of many lessons. I believe it was one of the most important years of my life because due to all these experiences I think this was the year I grew up the fastest. I hope you enjoy this series and feel free to follow the Instagram account where I have daily songs of the day too. (www.instagram.com/musicandlifeblog). Here are some of the songs that remind me of 2015:

Chris Brown & Tyga – Ayo (January 6 2015)

This is one of my favourite songs of 2015. The song was officially released in January but we had all heard it towards the end of 2014. The collaboration is taken from the duo’s joint ‘Fan of a Fan’ album also released in 2015. The song was produced by Nic Nac who produced most of the songs on their joint album as well as Chris Brown’s 2014 hit “Loyal”. This song gives me memories of the last outings in University and gives me summer vibes. The best and only way to listen to this song is with the speaker on full blast.

AYOOOOOOOOO

Fetty Wap – Again (August 13 2015)

Fetty Wap was the man of the moment in 2015! He became popular with his hits “Trap Queen” and “My Way” which was released from his debut self titled album. For me, I will always love his song ‘Again’ released from the same album. Fetty was one of the first rappers from this new wave of music that sang so blatantly on a song. The song is based on Fetty trying to win back someone he had broke up with. He sings “I cannot see myself without you” serenading his mystery woman. The song is just one of many songs Fetty released this year and each one was a hit.
Have a listen below:


Big Sean – Play No Games Ft. Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign (February 24 2015)

Ok, so in 2015 Big Sean released his third studio album titled ‘Dark Sky Paradise’. This was one of my favourite albums from Big Sean and although this isn’t my favourite from the album, it has the most meaning for me. This is because the video which was released on June 28th features my cousin Chidi Ajufo (see him clearly on the 21 seconds mark as well as throughout the video!). The video which is inspired by and pays homage to the hit sitcom ‘Martin’ is one of the most creative videos Sean has done. Have a watch below:

Rich Homie Quan – Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh) – February 10, 2015

I remember this song became really popular in the summer of 2015 but I remember playing it repeatedly. The song will always remind me of bright colours due to the extremely colourful video that accompanies the song. The video also contains Rich doing his infamous “hittin’ the Quan” dance. The extremely catchy chorus is a feel good song that came out around a time where “mumble” rappers like Rich Homie and Young Thug were being discovered and embraced before groups such as Migos were as big as they are now. One could argue artists like Rich Homie are pioneers for this kind of genre. Have a listen and watch below

WSTRN – In2 (6 November 2015)

UK time! Okay so WSTRN will always have a small spot in my heart for many reasons. 1, the group originate from West London (hence the name), also my home town. 2, the group release consistent hits and 3, they are quite unproblematic as far as groups go. The group also contains a guy by the name of Louis Rei who happened to go to the same primary school as me..even though he was a couple years above me. I find his verse in this song on of my favourites too; “Menacin’, men have seen all the crud that I’m steppin’ with, celibate, what are these words? not comprehendin’ it”. The song was huge in 2015, propelled WSTRN into the limelight and was played pretty much everywhere you went. The video gives you a tour of certain places in West London such as the infamous Trellick Tower. Have a watch and listen below! The remix is also great too.

J Hus – Lean & Bop (October 2015)

This song is different from many of J Hus’ other songs as it does not contain any swear words. Hus has stated that that was the aim as he wanted a song that his younger brother or his younger fans could play without the worry of hearing explicit words. I remember being able to play this song at work knowing I didn’t have to worry about anything inappropriate being said! The song became a viral sensation especially with the dance move accompanied with it. Have a watch below, there’s no way you won’t be smiling and doing the dance by the end.

Chris Brown – Back to Sleep (November 5th 2015) & Little Bit (2015)

The songs taken from Chris Brown’s 7th studio album ‘Royalty’ are two of my favourite songs on the album. ‘Back to Sleep’, which is very explicit feels like a serenade while ‘Little Bit’ also explicit, is a nice bop to vibe to. The beat in ‘Little Bit’ is sensational and with the right speakers, you could easily get lost in the music. Have a listen to both below:


Stormzy – Shut Up/WickedSkengMan 4

Stormzy is one of the UK’s best. These songs in particular opened the gates to the future and progression of UK rap. ‘Shut Up’ was originally a freestyle Stormzy recorded and put on youtube but ended up being the first freestyle (recorded in a car park haha) to chart independently. For the culture, this proved that we had so much power than we originally thought and it was possible for someone like an unsigned rapper to chart in the UK charts, let alone the top 10. WickedSkengMan 4 is the B-Side to ‘Shut up’ and the fourth edition to is WickedSkengMan phase. I remember how everyone joined together to get Stormzy this top 10 single and this is a moment that showed how powerful we can be when we all support one another.


Justin Bieber – Sorry (October 23, 2015)

Lat but not least, this song reminds me of the end of 2015 which was a very hectic time for me. However, when the song was released I genuinely loved it. It felt like a new and improved Justin Bieber debuting a new sound. The song from his fourth studio album ‘Purpose’, was seen as an apology song to his ex Selena Gomez however Justin stated many times that it was an apology to the world as well as about Selena. I love how the beat changes in this song when it gets to the chorus. Have a listen below.

Jupa

As soon as the verse starts and Stormzy raps “You can take my hand in marriage it’ll be my honour” I knew I was gonna love this song. I like how Stormzy incorporated an Afrobeat theme with his music for once. I also enjoy how there is Yoruba infused in this song with lines such as “Omo oshe baby”. The video to this song is quite poor though so I wish they could have done it better. Other than that, this is one of my favourite Stormzy songs for sure.