Filtering by Tag: music
I found Joyce Wrice while traveling through Soundcloud some months ago and almost instantly became enamored. I feel like it's been a while since I've heard a female with such a soft, pretty sound, kind of reminded me of Brandy or Teedra Moses. Vulnerable but still very confident and sultry. About a month ago I saw her perform at a Soulection show at the Regent and my appreciation multiplied.
Let's cuff this vibe.
Warm and proper
I'm listening to your skin, inhaling this mood in prep for the take off
I wrote your name for months
I'll write your name for months
My god, when I reminisce over you
And you look like the dawn.
You know the sun is my favorite, Bathing in the glare.
You are floating. I'm breathing easy... So just call me.
In the midst of queen Solange letting her thoughts off on NY Times writer Jon Caramanica late last night, she reminded me of Brandy's iconic-ness. Thus, I ended up in a deep Brandy Youtube hole. I remember my teenage eyes tearing up as Have You Ever? got me in my feelings over my first love. And I think I also sent I Wanna Be Down to said "first love" as a symbol of my crushin.' I first discovered Angel In Disguise way after it came out and I treated it like golden treasure, not letting go of it for dayssss. The woman deserves any/all the musical praise she gets because... #vocals!
(In more #BrandyAppreciation, Saint-Heron just did a sit down with Brandy delving into the making of her major Full Moon album.)
Yasiin Gaye- The Panties
Common Feat. Cocaine 80s- Six Feet Over
Slum Village- Tainted
Lupe Fiasco- Sunshine
"the orchestra in my mind don't play like this... but I'm prepared for it, got a little rare for it"
Pharrell- That Girl
"You said my sex was a lot but my brain gave you more, and something bout how your ex was a toy. I guess he played games."
Talib Kweli- Hot Thing
"I hope that you're one. If not, you are the prototype."
👼🏽 J. Dilla Feat Common & D'Angelo- 👼🏽
So Far To Go
"This love, made unselfish, made for you to feel empowered at the same time helpless."
Pharrell Feat. Jay Z- Frontin
LL Cool J- Loungin'
"So see the moral of the story is a woman need love The kind you so-called players never dreamed ofYou gotta try love, can't buy love"
Pharrell- Stay With Me
Kid Cudi- Balmain Jeans
Outkast- She Lives In My Lap
Lil Wayne Feat. Drake- With You
"We probably ain't supposed to be togetherBut I wonder if our love affair could last foreverAnd shawty I'm with youSmoke a lot of weed but I could never forget youThen I told her to her faceIf everyone was like you, the world would be a better place
Damn you the shitAnd I’ll rip my heart out and hand you the shitAnd I dont really know how to handle this shitBut tonight its moonlight and candles and shitWith you baby, with you and only you"
Lupe Fiasco- Paris, Tokyo
"She said, Pursue your interests, cause even IfI'm ticket less, I'll be there, by your sideIn your heart and, on your mind"
Q-Tip- Vivrant Thing
Common Feat. Pharrell- Punch Drunk Love
Slum Village- Selfish
The Roots Feat. Musiq- Break You Off
Common-I Want You
Common Feat. Erykah Badu & Pharrell & Q-Tip- Come Close To Me (Remix)
"But what's up with them hater dudes Ma, hating is OK with you?Why? Cuz they drive in them fancy cars Look, well I can ride you on my handle bars"
"I don't stress it sweetie You write in cursive, I write in graffiti
Opposites, not really we just customize For my turfs, hey I'm instructing you to listen
I'm saying that a rat's ass I couldn't give Even though you're far away, in my heart you live
So bring your little sweet face closer to meAnd look into my eyes tell me what you see"
Last night I finally watched the much anticipated Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? and I was reminded that some of the strongest visionaries, true geniuses can never fully, freely, exist in these bounds, in this space. It's really like they are from the future, running on another frequency, trapped. We're gifted with their magic while they often sacrifice a copacetic well being. This doc is a must watch and here are some of the jewels:
“What I was interested in was conveying an emotional message, which means using everything you’ve got inside you sometimes to barely make a note, or if you have to strain to sing, you sing. So sometimes I sound like gravel, and sometimes I sound like coffee and cream.”
“I choose to reflect the times and the situations in which I find myself. That to me is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when everyday is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?”
“I want to shake people up so bad that when they leave a nightclub where I performed, I just want them to be in pieces.”
“I want to go in that den of those elegant people, with their old ideas, smugness, and just drive them insane.”
"To me, American society is nothing but a cancer and it must be exposed before it can be cured. I am not the doctor to cure it. All I can do is expose the sickness."
And Ambassador Shabazz (the eldest daughter of Malcolm X) with some fierce words:
"As I got older, I started to look at her and I thought to myself, 'wow she's from another time.--- How does royalty stomp around in the mud and still walk with grace? Most people are afraid to be as honest as she lived—she was not at odds with the times. Times was at odds with her. If we were living in an environment that allowed us to be exactly who we are, you're always in congress with yourself. The challenge is how do we fit in in the world that we're around. Are we allowed to be exactly who we are?"
I hope that you're the one, if not you are the prototype...
"America should deal with cleaning up its own house, and stop fucking with people, and stop pursuing its international interests with such disregard for how these people live, their cultural ties. It's some crazy colonial invader, Ponce de León–type shit. "We're gonna civilize y'all with Jesus and democracy and Chicken McNuggets. What is this you're over here eating? Hummus? That's some bullshit. Here's some French fries, and let's put some honey glaze on 'em. Now you rockin'!"
- Spin Magazine, 2009
I stretched my arms towards the sky like blades of tall grass The sun beat in between my shoulders like carnival drums I sat still in hopes that it would help my wings grow So then I would really be fly And then she arrived Like day break inside a railway tunnel Like the new moon,like a diamond in the mines Like high noon to a drunkard,sudden She made my heart beat in a now-now time signature Her skinny canvas for ultarviolet brushstrokes She was the sun's painting She was a deep cognac color Her eyes sparkled like lights along the new city Her lips pursed as if her breath was too sweet And full for her mouth to hold I said,"You are beautiful,distress of mathematics." I said,"For you, I would peel open the clouds like new fruit." And give you lightning and thunder as dowry I would make the sky shed all of its stars like rain I would clasp the constellations around your waist And I would make the heavens your cape And they would be pleased to cover you They would be pleased to cover you May I please,cover you,please.
- "Love Rain"
I wanna say stank you, smelly much...
DUHHH! Of course Kendrick's "Swimming Pools" and "Drunk In Love" would make for a match made in heaven!
After scavenging the internet streets following Jayonce's HBO 'On The Run' special I found magic.
In case you're like me and still not tired of Beysus or her super lusty number one hit, here, I bring to you dope ass remix performed by Melo-X live in the basement of the Sean Kelly Gallery in NYC. Hailing from my native hood of Flatbush, Brooklyn, Melo is also responsible for some of the sound and music production on Jay & Bey's On The Run tour.
He recently spoke to Billboard about working with the mutant couple, telling the mag:
“I remixed her project [Beyoncé], and did a live beat video for it, which was filmed at the [NYC] Sean Kelly Gallery,” he tells Billboard. “She specifically saw the [live performance video of] 'Drunk in Lust,' a remix to 'Drunk in Love,' and wanted to involve me in what they were working on for the tour.”
“They already had the story and the outline for the tour. The whole story is like you’re watching a film and it’s narrated by the music that they created together and separately,” he explained. “They had certain scenes throughout the tour, and they'd want a certain vibe for [each] scene. We’d sit and talk about that the sounds. Then I’d go and create something. It was a mix of my ideas, with Beyoncé and Jay Z. I’d try to compliment them. I’d try to find a meeting point of what I do and what they wanted."
Melo-X has a full EP of remixed Yoncé tracks. You can download it here and peep the amazing performance of the remix above.
You know... It was not that long ago I wrote this piece on Global Grind talking about all my up and down feelings for Kanye and vowing to respect his voice and opinion despite my disagreement with his approach but today... Kanye Omari West, I'm breaking up with you.
Yes on Valentine's Day.
If you haven't already heard, early this morning, videos surfaced of Kanye at one of his recent Yeezus tour shows, going off yet again. But this time he called out Sway and Charlamagne of Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club, proclaiming for them to "shut the fuck up" and asking:
"What have you done with the past ten years of your motherfucken life, Charlamagne..Sway! Fuck you did?”
*presses play on When A Woman's Fed Up* Alas, I give up.
How rude and disrespectful was that shh?! I would say this is up there with the Taylor Swift incident.
I'm so tired of Kanye getting so caught up in what people say about him. If you're great just be great! Secondly, how can you compare yourself to two men, who by the way are not even in the same field as you and on top of that, discredit them and their careers.
I'm pretty disgusted with 'Ye's behavior and I don't know what can save him. It's very hard for me to be committed to an artist that I can't get jiggy with as a person. (Yes I said get jiggy.) So I'm just going to cherish the memories (and the music) I have of the Kanye I used to know because I don't know who this man is anymore.
You can have 100 classic albums and a million and one innovative ideas to make the world a better place, that doesn't give you the right to discredit other people's careers and attack their whole being, especially Sway's who's help shine major media light on Hip Hop.
You know Sway... first you run around here with Kanye's old leftover TV and now come to find out you haven't done shit for the past 10 years of life?! You've had me so fooled, you should be ashamed of yourself. (insert sarcastic face emoji here)
Kanye, I don't know what's gotten into you and how you can act this way. What we had was so beautiful... but it's over now.
It's been real.
Tumblr is in my top 10 favorite things that exist on planet Earth simply because I find things like this. As I scrolled and scavenged I found that someone in all their brilliantness and maybe boredom came up with a film interpretation for Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid M.A.A.D City and it's pretty interesting and fitting for the album which is pretty much an audible movie.
If you didn't know I'm a lover of Kendrick and he is my soulmate in my head.
Nevertheless, check out the short film below. <3
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City: A Short Film by Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar (present Kendrick) K.Dot (young Kendrick) Sherane Kendrick's Mother Kendrick's Father Dave Dave's brother Keisha's sister Demetrius (Sherane's favourite cousin) The Two Brothers (Sherane's younger brothers) Granny (Sherane's Granny who she lives with) Sherane's Mother (a crack addict) Uncle Tony (Kendrick's Uncle who was killed) Joey (either childhood friend of Kendrick or cousin) L, Boog, Yaya, Lucky (friends/family members of Kendrick when he was 9) Unknown Woman (who gets the boys to pray)
Sherane aka Master Splinter's Daughter
The story opens as a flash-forward. K.Dot has known Sherane for a number of months by this point. He met her at a party where they flirted and exchanged numbers. They kept in contact with each other over the summer and got to know each other pretty well, he talks about her family's history of gang-banging that made him wary but didn't stop him from hooking up with her.
At the end of this song K.Dot is driving to Sherane's house in his Mother's van, he has sex on the brain. But when he turns up Sherane is outside waiting with two dudes in black hoodies (possibly her two younger brothers, or her cousins, one of which could be Demetrius).
Skit #1 - as K.Dot pulls up at Sherane's house his Mother tries to call him but instead gets his voice-mail. We learn from his Mother that K.Dot said he was borrowing her van for just 15 minutes. She warns him not to mess with “them hoodrats” especially “Sherane”.
****, Don't Kill My Vibe
The content of this song doesn't actually follow the Sherane narrative. It is a song told from the perspective of Kendrick Lamar the rapper and how as he gradually gets more recognition as an artist he sees people around him changing, "I can feel the new people around me just want to be famous." He also talks about trying to maintain his credibility while becoming a more mainstream artist, "I'm trying to keep it alive and not compromise the feeling we love/You trying to keep it deprived and only co-sign what radio does."
Skit #2 – The narrative begins. K.Dot's homies pick him up in their white Toyota with a pack of blacks and a beat CD.
The most self-explantory song on the album. Young K.Dot cruising around town with his homies, getting high and dropping freestyles in the backseat. This is a life is good moment, living free, no troubles. The calm before the storm.
The Art of Peer Pressure
The narrative begins to build. The pressures of hanging with the homies becomes more than simply having a laugh and freestyling. The usually drug free and sober K.Dot is brought in to a world of drinking, smoking, and violence when with “the homies”. Cruising around in a white Toyota, hitting up girls, jumping dudes wearing rival colours, and bragging about what they just did.
The stakes are upped when K.Dot and his homies rob a house that they had been stalking for two months. Cops pursue them but lose them.
Skit #3 - K.Dot is "faded" because he "hit the wrong blunt", this a true story of young Kendrick hitting a blunt laced with angel dust. The homies talk about dropping K.Dot off back at home, so he can take his Mother's van and go hit up Sherane – and then they can all meet back up later on the block.
K.Dot recaps the story so far.
He talks about robbing the house, "Home invasion was persuasive/From 9 to 5 I know its vacant."
He mentions ****ing Sherane and bragging about it to his homies, "I ****ed Sherane then went to tell my bros."
He references Backseat Freestyle when he talks about rhyming to beats,"Parked the car and then we started rhyming, ya bish/The only thing we had to free our mind."
And he talks about jumping dudes who looked like they had more money than them, "Then freeze that verse when we see dollar signs/You looking like an easy come up ya bish/A silver spoon I know you come from ya bish."
The line in the chorus "Everybody gon' respect the shooter/But the one in front of the gun lives forever." is deeply important, not just as a life motto, but in regards to the events that later take place in this story regarding Dave and his brother. It's also a reference to Kendrick's Uncle Tony, who was shot and killed at Louie's Burgers; this event is a snap back to reality from the "dreams of living life like rappers do."
Skit #4– K.Dot's Mother leaves another voice-mail. She wants her car back.
K.Dot has been dropped off back at home by his homies and is about to go see Sherane. He's probably driving on the way there in his Mother's van. He talks about her and their relationship so far - it appears they may have had some arguments, he talks about her meeting up with her girlfriends to curse him, and going out partying rather than talking with him.
Skit #5 – this is when we catch up with Sherane aka Master Splinter's Daughter. It starts where Sherane ended, and you can tell because that haunting female vocal (used in the beat to Sherane) comes back in this skit. The two dudes with Sherane approach K.Dot and ask him where he and his family are from (trying to work out what gang he is affiliated with). They force K.Dot out of the van and jump him.
This really sets off the theme of the second half of the album and it is all to do with - realisation.
K.Dot talks about getting jumped, "For the record I recognize that I'm easy prey/I got ate alive yesterday."
He discusses the negative effects of gang-culture, and being unable to escape the pressure of people wanting to know what gang he represents, "But what am I supposed to do/When the topic is red or blue/And you understand that I ain't/But know I'm accustomed to." Red or Blue obviously refers to the LA gangs of Bloods and Crips.
The red and the blue in the second verse become police sirens. K.Dot talks about getting no sympathy from the cops because they stereotype him as a gang-banger, making him lift up his shirt in order to look for a gang affiliated tattoo, "I heard them chatter: "He's probably young but I know that he's down"/Step on his neck as hard as your bullet proof vest."
K.Dot is trapped in a violent culture and can't get a reprieve from the gangs or the police.
More self-awareness and realisation of the corrupt city that K.Dot lives in.
K.Dot's recent beat-down brings back early memories of similar situations, witnessing someone with their brains blown out at a burger stand back when he was 9 (I'm not sure if he is talking about his Uncle Tony again, or someone else), he thinks he knows the person who did it but he censors his name. He also talks about how his cousin was killed back in 94.
He talks about his Father telling him to get a job but he got fired after his friends pressured him in to staging a robbery.
In the final verse he tries to let the good shine through and offer respite for the youth and how they don't have to succumb to the temptations and pressures of the street. He hopes that his experience and intelligence can do good for the youth living in similar situations. "Compton, USA Made me an Angel on Angel Dust."
Skit #6 – K.Dot's homies meet back up with him later as planned. They try to boost him back up after his beat-down, and they offer him alcohol to take his mind off it.
An anti-alcohol song, that again plays in to the second half of the album's realisation about the vices previously holding Kendrick back. Kedrick talks about growing up around alcohol both within his family and group of friends.
Skit #7 – this is the big impact moment of the narrative. The plan is to take revenge on the dudes that jumped K.Dot. One of K.Dot's homies (possibly Dave) talks about maybe dropping K.Dot back off at home, but this idea is turned down, and K.Dot stays. The homies see the dudes that jumped K.Dot and a shoot-out begins. During the battle K.Dot's friend Dave gets shot. The dudes that shot Dave drive off and K.Dot is left holding Dave as he dies in his arms.
Sing About Me
Verse 1 – from the perspective of Dave's brother. He says the blood is on Kendrick's hands because the whole situation happened out of revenge for something that happened to Kendrick. But he says he appreciates that Kendrick was there for his brother and held him while he was dying. Dave's brother wonders if he will ever discover a passion like Kendrick to get him out of the hood – he says he hopes Kendrick will remember him and sing about him when he makes it big, and if he dies before the album drops...pop, pop, pop – he gets killed.
Verse 2 – from the perspective of Keisha's sister. She is mad at Kendrick for putting her sister on blast (on Section 80) without even knowing her properly. She talks about how she is living the same life as her sister, as a prostitute, and is proud of her living and what she does. She claims not to be just another woman lost in the system. She says her sister died in vein. Unlike Dave's brother she doesn't want to be sang about on the album. She feels great and says she'll never fade away....but then she does, her vocals slowly fade out in to obscurity...perhaps she died or just became another nameless "hoodrat".
Verse 3 – from Kendrick's perspective. Looking in the mirror. His fear of death. He speaks to Dave's brother, agreeing that Dave was like a brother to him. He speaks to Keisha's sister saying that Keisha's story was the one that drove him to write something that powerful and real – he didn't mean to offend. He talks of how music saved him and pulled him away from the drugs, money and guns.
Skit #8 – K.Dot's homies talking after Dave has been killed. Some of them want to go back and get revenge. K.Dot finally snaps and says he is tired of this ****.
I'm Dying of Thirst
Kendrick talks about been tired of running and gunning people down. It's just a circle of death. The perpetual struggle.
Skit #9 –(EDITED) K.Dot is still angry and upset over Dave's death. An unknown woman (perhaps a passer-by/shop-keeper) approaches the boys, she sees that one of them has a gun “That better not be what I think it is.” She tells them that they are dying of thirst and that they need to take a new path and let Jesus in to their lives. She makes them prayer. From here on K.Dot begins to live a new life as Kendrick Lamar.
This is Kendrick disregarding the street life and turning his back on gang-banging, drugs, alcohol, violence etc. The different meanings of being “real”. Are you real because you represent your hood and shoot people? Are you real because you try to escape that life and make something of yourself?
Verse 1 – about certain girls (but could be Sherane). She loves handbags, French Tip, bank slips. But what love got to do with it when you don't love yourself?
Verse 2 – about certain homies (but could be Dave's brother). He loves fast cars, fast women, beef, streets, ducking police, hood-life. But what love got to do with it when you don't love yourself?
Verse 3 – about Kendrick. He explains the previous two verses - “I love first verse cos your the girl I attract.” and “I love second verse cos your the homie that packed burner.” “I love what the both of you have to offer.”
He wonders if he should hate her for what happened or should he hate his homies for convincing him to seek revenge. Or should he hate the fact that none of that **** makes him real.
Skit #10 – voice-mail from his Father. He tells Kendrick not to make the same mistakes he did, and that none of this stuff makes him real and that he should get out and make something of himself. His Mother tells him that Top Dawg called and wants him in the studio – she tells him to take his music career seriously – that it is his chance to get out and tell his story to the kids of Compton so that they have hope. This is technically the end of the story in a narrative sense - the tape is ejected and then rewound.
The narrative is over. This song is after Kendrick has made it and is now giving back just like his Mother told him too. It's a positive outlook of a city that is often full of darkness and violence.
Skit #11 - the narrative starts over again when K.Dot borrows his Mother's van.