Fresh Music Friday: Vibin’ Out With (((O)))

Moment of Inspiration: Every Friday, (I will try my best with school taking over my life.) the Heartbeat Life will feature dope music we think you should check out. I have been discovering some incredible music just this week. It will warm my heart to share the auditory love with you.

This week: FKJ – Vibin’ Out With (((O)))

Begin to effortlessly feel at peace; the vibes in this track are fly enough to keep you afloat. Drift off into paradise with this smooth rapture of solace; the singer’s light croons will gently rock you to a realm of joy. I love this connection between FKJ and (((O)). I hope you enjoy it too.

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Konkrete Big Apple by Shea Face

You know those moments when you are just hanging out with your homies. Cows could be falling out of the sky and an orange pig could be the supreme leader of the free world. But who cares when the vibe is just right while surrounded by some pretty dope people. Shea Face captures the excellence of chilling in his single “Konkrete Big Apple.” The MC invites us into a space in Brooklyn that evokes a “That So 70s” feel, but is garnished with some dope melanin personas, light energy, and a bit of his truth. “The Squad” comes together and reach a mental high through herbs and lyrical nourishment. SoSoon adds an extra slice of “nice” to the overall necessary positive vibes present throughout the video. Sit back, have some “yams and greens,” and chill out to this lyrical food.

SZA’s “Ctrl” Empowers

SZA

SZA my dear, I love your music. Even though your album has been out for some time now, I must write about it. I fell in love with your surreal sound about a year ago when Spotify introduced us. At first, I was thrown off by your ethereal aura which resonates through much of your music, but it is also what caught me. I was instantly attached when I heard “Warm Winds.” The streaming service continues to keep this love strong when they throw in your tracks from time to time on my playlist. So of course, I feel I must dedicate time to addressing my feelings towards your latest project “Ctrl.”

SZA, you are phenomenal. Weird and honest. Beautiful and loving. An emotional warrior who is true to herself and owns her self-discovery through the highs and lows of relationships. It is the combination that I see and others see, that makes you so easy to vibe to. Thank you for going against the norm and charging forward in your truth. This expression of said truth is eminent in “Ctrl.” This songstress is rated R – raw, real and relatable. Her music stands a testament to what many of us want to say, but have difficulty in finding the words.

In her track “Normal Girl,” the beat has a trance like energy that intertwines with a hip hop sound. This track resonates with me through its message. Many want their parents to be proud of them. However, it is difficult to be yourself with the weighing feeling of your parents’ approval. Now to be approved by your lover’s folks too? Ugh! It’s tough to get a break.

I can hear the passion from her croons in “Broken Clocks.” I cannot see her, but I feel it in the way she sings. “Ohhhhhhh!” Yes girl, I hear you. Her story is truth; she sings of having an overwhelming job while dealing with a chummy dude. LIFE!!!!! Hahahaha. Many of us deal with situations in which we shouldn’t entertain our energy into. But yet, nothing is ever so simple to do, because you know, “You love me.”

SZA continues in tales of self-discovery through “Pretty Little Birds.” Poor aves, they got to deal with flying into the stupid window repeatedly. And yet, they still flap their little wings and fly towards the sky. “Pretty Little Girls, Pretty Little Girls, we hit the window a few times;” in truth we are very much like these feathered creatures in how we make mistakes but are dynamic in our strength to never give up. My soul wants to twirl to this track. Heavenly and full of flight, the collection of sounds can make one want to soar.

Ms. Twenty Something herself reveals her truth about the fear of love, not being where she thinks she should be and holding onto those who matter most to her heart in “20 Something.” We stumble through these times making mistakes repeatedly trying to figure how to do this adult thing right. May she survive the stormy waves of this period; when the waves are rough they always become calm again.

Another tune about birds comes through in “Doves in the Wind.” The song is lit. The end. Oh, and clearly, we control men with our babymaker “flowers.” With bars from Kendrick Lamar describing the wonders of our wombs and the hype, the smooth sound pounce into the ears making one enamored with excitement from the track. Sit back, bob your head and chill to this feature.

SZA packs in a gutsy punch of honesty in  “Supermodel.” We all want to be a supermodel to someone. Perfect skin, hair, butt, boobs, abs, lips or whatever it is that society is telling you must be excellent in to make you a match for that person. She goes in on this track letting it all pour out on how much she needed her man and how she gave him a gift of “dirt” after he left her for someone else.

“Why I can’t stay alone just by myself, wish I was comfortable just by myself, but I need you, I need you, I need you.”

Whoever is reading this, I want you to look in the mirror, look into your eyes and say “I need you.” There is no one out there that can do more for you than yourself. You can be happy with yourself. You can have peace by yourself. Whatever you are looking for in that other person is already residing right from within. Heaven knows, I used to feel like I needed to be someone’s supermodel, but I am super in just being myself; flaws and all. Know that you are too.

More tunes from this package of sound give me life through her journey of sharing a man in “The Weekend,” not-your-average girl anthem in “Drew Barrymore,” her bubbly wild tale “Love Galore and more. SZA makes us listen and warms the hidden parts of us afraid to live in our imperfect truth. This daring dive into her attempts for control decked out in 80s sounding nostalgia and hip hop grooves allow one to feel freer in accepting their own truth. For sure, I know I do. Thank you Queen for doing what you do best and never feel afraid to lose control.

Grass Ain’t Greener By Chris Brown

There is something about Chris Brown. What is it?  His soft croons. His fabulous dancing. His genius decisions to always choose such an r&b beat sometimes fused with techno. Ugh! I can’t stand his fine self. Well, he could chill with the constant changing of hairstyles. Lol. Anyway, “Grass Ain’t Greener” captures my spirit. The inconsistency of the hollow noises inter-playing throughout the track catches my ears and drags me into an orgasmic musical submission from his light, smooth croons. My head is at mercy to the beat for reasons I know not. Regardless of what it is, this track always makes my body want to move into a dance frenzy even if I am on a crowded subway. Stare at me and I may be staring mindlessly into an abyss of the world around me. But secretly, I am dancing in the “Let’s Go Get My Ex” induced video right along with Brown in my mind. Now watch me make my move.

I Would Like by Zara Larsson

I question why so many songs today choose to sample from the 90s. Nah! I’m trippin.’ It’s clearly because we’re all obsessed with the 90s. There have been some excellent re-dos to the oldies hits. Some of them should have been left alone however. This track is not one of them. Zara Larsson’s “I Would Like,” is not a bad version of the classic reggae tune “Dat Sexy Body” from Sasha. I could never forget the days when that tune used to bump through the East Flatbush windows of my old building as an itty bitty kid. Zara throws her millennial flavor into it creating a House/dance vibe sort of separating from the whining culture this beat originally ensued. It is nice to hear this tune again – and it’s not so bad hearing it in this 2016 twist. I bet this song will be on heavy base throbbing into the ears of 20 somethings at 11 pm on a Friday night. Anyway, let’s enjoy this track however you like to receive it.

Been to the Moon by Corinne Bailey Rae

This songstress has kept away from us for far too long. Yes! I know she has her own life. But Corinne Bailey Rae’s music has always been just the right sound I needed to hear without even knowing it. I am truly pleased to hear that she’s making music again. In her latest video, “Been to the Moon,” one can see how far she’s grown musically. The sound has a celestial approach that leaps along with her sweet, soft croons. Feel the heart of this production at the chorus – her voice soulfully intertwines with the light changes of the beat. This psychedelic track is a marriage between the new and the old. Don’t let your ears meander away from it; take a listen below.

 

Empowerment and Grooves at Leftfield

Leftfield-Bar-The-Heartbeat-Life

I’m super late with this post (One day I will be better at not procrastinating… one day). Although, the busy work life does have a lot to do with it.

On February 5, I had the pleasure to be in attendance of some truly dope performers at the Leftfield, a spot hidden in the swanky, urban ambiance that makes up the L.E.S. This chill bar/performance hub was an epicenter for the Friday night crew: youngsters ready to start the weekend RIGHT. Among the hipsters and inhabitants of the cool was a quaint little collective body of music lovers ready to be immersed with some pleasant noise. The first performer I heard for the night,  Conscious LEO, provided an incredible energy to the dwellers of Leftfield. The crowd was in full out cheers, enthusiasm and uninhibited energy during the blight of his performance. LEO served us some knowledge with his humble tribute to his home of Memphis and brought out the lion in us all with his powerful stance to the #BlackPower movement.

After Conscious Leo’s dynamic performance, I was glued to the energy of the room. My butt wasn’t going anywhere. My musical heart was overjoyed at my decision. For that night, two more artists took me on their lyrical journey where I was able to sway in elation from the sweet grooves of ISA and delve into the Chicago sound from R.O.E. (Rising Over Envy). Both performers packed a punch in how they creatively showcased their individuality. ISA’s gorgeous croons had me bouncing to the reality of having no money but also had me in the feels for that special someone from her sultry, genuine tunes. R. O.E did not fail to represent the artistry of his sound with positive messages about grinding, making it after leaving the nest, and more. All of these performers had that ‘wow’ factor which will keep myself and many others a fan for years to come.

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Conscious LEO

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ISA

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R.O.E.