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 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.
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.
*Raises hand proudly* I want to rap. Honestly, I’ve grown to truly embrace this growing dynamic art from, but never thought I could spit a bar. But these guys Mike Wilson and Kaneki who are chilling “On The Green” make a lady want to at least try. In this visual, they bring forth “The Real” divulging that people of this passion don’t need to be on the streets, don’t need to know the struggle and could even rock “tree” poses as part of their intro.
Do you feel your arms slowly rising in the air to move along with the beat? Nope! Really? Well, you’re crazy cause this beat exhibits great possibilities for movement. “N****a, Why you rapping for? You ain’t got a baby girl on the way….you ain’t really live in the hood,” says the truthful chorus. It’s a breath of fresh air to find artists who embrace hip hop from diverse walks of life. Let’s remember that rap is a form of self expression. Why should it be forced into one box of who represents it? Well, “On The Green” represents it quite well. Check it out for yourself below.
This beautiful track finally has some moving pictures added to it. The video “Madison Square” by the dope, multifaceted MC Mike Wilson has dropped onto this crazy planet bringing in it’s own state of musical bliss. Hearing the very first few intricate creations of the beat will lead one to a place of immediate peace. Combining it with the graceful moves of the lovely Erica Ortiz was a masterful decision in making this beautiful package of tranquility.
The background of the urban jungle that is New York City plays well with the black and white filter in how it sets a chill, but slightly hype mood. Ortiz’s movements tell a story of a woman who’s focused on what she’s doing. But as the video plays out, the gentle variations of her arms and legs blossom into a vibrant, hip show of joy. It matches the inspirational tale Wilson portrays through his bars of fluidity and honesty. Do yourself a favor and take a visit to “Madison Square;” let it bring a little calm to your day.
If you’re ever in an NYC bar and you happen to see Deli Mag, scan the pages to find Wilson himself in their creative pages. He’ll also be streaming on Live 365 so give your ears some joy and listen in.
Cherry blossoms are falling in the wind. A gentle breeze is reminding you of how simple and peaceful life can be when you take a moment to notice it all. Warmth is radiating throughout your body with a quickness while rocking your soul to a nether world of bliss. It’s a captivating moment which appears at the first real sign of Spring. However, it also comes to be at the beginning of this great music video “Who Would I Be” by STEIS. Of course, the lyrical package presented throughout makes that feeling more special. Encouraging words of sticking to “your hustle” to make it to the top are littered throughout the word play from STEIS and Termanology through their own unique tales. The melody is topped off with a harmonious hook from the high-pitched croons of the lovely Erin Daneele. If you’re looking to feel inspired to make it to the top, check out “Who Would I Be” below.