Slow Claps for Cardi: An Album Review

 

Cardi B’s got a new album and y’know… I can appreciate it for what it is. A bop here and there, I fast forwarded through a couple. Overall, I wasn’t disappointed.

From the top, Get Up 10 is brazy. Cardi’s coming out the gate with bars for that ass. I love a good Migos feature and “Drip” is no exception.

“Bickenhead”: a bop.

I can never hear Bodack Yellow ever again in my life, I’ll be just fine.

Now, a lot of folks on the twitters and the grams and the shade rooms had a lot to say about “Be Careful.” Cardi, herself, addressed the flac she got after releasing the single in an interview with The Breakfast Club. But I loved the song the first time I heard it. The Lauryn Hill sample really won it over for me. And to hear that Lauryn, herself gave Cardi the blessing to use the sample – validation.

If you check my track record, I’m clearly Chance the Rapper’s biggest fan. Upon scanning the track list and seeing his name, I actually started the album out of order with “Best Life.” Talk about a personal anthem.

Anything with that Caribbean/hip hop flavor immediately has my attention. “I Like It”: I love it.

I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m not saying it’s right but I really just loathe Kehlani’s voice so that really shot “Ring” in the face for me. Skip.

“Money bag”: it was cute the first time, but it’s a skip 8 times out of 10.

“Bartier Cardi”: it goes off in the gym.

I suppose the last three tracks were cute. It got a little more reserved, a little more introspective, which was nice. You can’t go wrong with a little SZA… And just like that it was over. I say it was a good show and a solid debut. I didn’t not like it. I thought it was cohesive. There are certainly some bops for the summer time.

giphy

I’ll give it to her. I sincerely hopes she keeps going. She’s already begun cultivating a lane of her own and I definitely see room for growth. Perhaps, the new baby will kick the creative juices into a new gear. That seems to be a thing. Regardless of all that, she’s apart of the canon now. If you can’t find it in some part of you to commend this woman on a job well done, regardless of if you like her music, I contend that you are simply a hater.

*Kanye shrug*

Happy Kwanzaa, Y’all 12.27.17

Habari gani? Kujichagulia.

Self determination.

To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.

I’ve really been thinking about the fact that I actually maintained a blog for a whole year a lot. Like that’s really my main accomplishment this year, besides finishing college and all. I hold it higher than graduating, actually. I’m genuinely proud of this.

All accomplishments are attributable to some amount of self-determination.

In 2018, I plan to take this blogging thing full throttle. I like what I’ve got going here. Barring some consistency, I think this year has been a success on the ethnic hair section. This year has had no shortage of inspiration.

I blog about a lot of my favorite people making shit happen: Issa Rae, Chance the Rapper, Ava DuVernay, Justin Simion, Michaela Coel, Lena Waithe, Donald Glover, The Migos, and Drake. They’ve shown me that where I want to go is a real place. It just takes a whole helluva lot of work to get there. But work don’t scare me.

Challenge mfn accepted.

Kujichagulia means self-determination.

And I’m determined to shake some shit up some way, some how.

More plz

2017 was a look for music. I’ve been blogging about a few of my faves throughout the year and even some shit that I loved to hate. But there’s no doubt that the range of sounds and styles that are emerging are nothing we’ve ever heard before. Music is constantly evolving and I got a feeling that some dope shit is afoot.

Batter up:

We got HERstory from the BK rapper earlier this year and there was no shortage of bars. M.A. has the bars for that ass and that’s a fact but she continues to talk her shit and still mind her business which is just such an attractive quality in these days and times.

I’m here for Young M.A. I really hope she’s got some hot fire for your asses in 2018.

Next up:

C’mon, I’m always excited to see what he’s going to do next. Coloring Book was from May 2016 and I know he’s been cooking since then. That joint he dropped with Daniel Caesar on Colbert is timeless and I’m ready to see some new collabs. Chance just brings a new flavor every time he steps on a track and I watch his IG stories on a daily basis.

He’s goals.

Screenshot 2017-12-02 21.44.20

Say what you want about these dudes but I fucks with em. I like their attitude. Their dreads are starting to thrive. Their jewelry game is always on point. They seem like they’re having a good time and I’m having a good time watching them have a good time. I can’t say I condone their habit of jumping random niggas for no good reason but hey, everyone has their flaws.

drake5

“hey aubrey, wya?”

Questions that need answers. I’m always excited for some new Drake to drop. He seems to have the Midas touch and I’m not mad about it. I hope he’s bringing more bangers in 2018.

This guy Smino.

He had an album drop not too long ago and even though I’d never heard of him, I knew from jump he was the newest latest. I like him. He’s got style. And his remix of Anita featuring T-Pain makes me smile.

More please.

I need more Daniel Caesar in my life. I’m usually not an R&B type of bitch but young Danny does it for me. His 2017 debut Freudian is still on replay and if he’s joined forces with Chance the Rapper, there’s really no telling what kind of flavor he’ll bring in the future. It’s a yes for me. I want more.

Now, last but certainly not least. I’m sure y’all saw the pictures of Bey out here with the laptop and the braided ponytail so I guess it’s about that time again.

She’s coming for your necks and that’s all I have to say about that. 2018 is shaping up to be something to watch. Let’s all head into the new year with high hopes and wigs secured.

 

Songs in the Key of My Life

This time of year always gets me in my feels. Tis the season for reflection on all the fuck shit that went down and lots of celebrating with weed and alcohol for just how in the hell you managed to make it through.

My last few posts of the year are probably going to be tinged with a touch of nostalgia cuz bitch, I can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel and to that I raise my hand and say hallelujah.

I was poking around on SoundCloud and found some old jams that I used to listen to in my dark days. When I think about it, music is a big factor in how manage to make it on the day to day. I generally don’t keep much company so music, the occasional sex-capade, and a decent amount of weed are what keep me going.

I’m one of Chance the Rapper’s biggest fans. Not even on some bandwagon shit, I found Chance’s music at a difficult transitional moment in my life. I was leaving high school, starting college and more or less trying to figure myself out. In his early days, he released a project with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, something like a mixtape and on this particular mixtape was this song “Wonderful Everyday.” It was Chano’s own remix of the Arthur theme song and it always just touched me.

Gives me the feels every time.

Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon was my saving grace. I had been a fan of Cudi since middle school. His music just spoke to me. The shit he talked about going through were things that I could identify with and I always felt like if we ever met irl, we’d probably vibe.

Last but certainly not least, J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

I mean, do I really have to explain myself?

The third anniversary of the release of this project is coming up which is crazy because I distinctly remember sitting in the dark, alone listening to this album, crying during my freshman year because a bitch was especially in her feelings. Freshman year was… whew.

Honorable mention goes to, Big Krit’s King Remembered in Time was like my bible in high school.

I’ve grown more appreciative of my southern roots over the years. This place irks me but it also produced Krit which has to show for something. He’s refreshing… Not to mention, his new shit, Forever is a Mighty Long Time, is some fye.

I’ll probably be doing a post on my faves of 2017, but until I️ get around to it, kids.

Gotta blast.

The Day is On Its Way

Have I ever told y’all how much I love Chance the Rapper?

He recently performed a new song with Daniel Caesar on Colbert’s show and… ugh. I love him.

Its a three verse ballad articulating his toils in fatherhood, being a celebrity, and grappling with troubling matters of our times.

Chance never ceases to amaze me. I love his live instrumentations, the deep gospel influence, his flow. When he performed at the BET Awards last year with Pamela Mann and Kirk Franklin, even my heathen ass could feel the spirit moving through the computer screen. He has a way of making music that just hits you on a spiritual level.

I hear the seams snappin’. And I’m the team cap’n

Chance has never been shy about his activism. The thing that I like about him is that he’s a smart guy. He uses his platform to do some real work.

  • Police brutality
  • Homophobia
  • Urban Poverty/Neglect
  • Racism

Some of the “first world problems that niggas make up” that Chance and other activists are constantly addressing, yet… these hoes (i.e ‘Merica) keep on playing.

He warns, “Keep on playing we gone shake this shit up.”

When I think about the times we are in, I don’t get sad. I’m not even mad, truely and honestly. In the grand scheme of human history, this series of events comes about cyclically. Be it a Henry the VIII, a Hitler, a Stallin, a Napoleon, a Mao-Zedong… a Trump.

Just as sure as we are here, the day is on its way when the jig is fucking up. Though it’s hard to see it now, evil never truly triumphs. Maybe this is attributable to the vitality of the human spirit, or a collective low tolerance for bullshit – regardless…

The day is on its way

It could not wait no more

Here it is.

 

 

 

Bad Mutha Shut-Yo-Mouth

I really can’t even lie… I fucks with DJ Khaled.

Like on some real shit, the man is the shit. Not only is he business savvy, but he puts on a damn good show. In every sense. I start my days, most of them, with his snapchat story.

Sidebar: I’m a loyal one. I still haven’t been won over by the Insta Side.

That is truly someone who works and lives what he speaks – unapologetically. He’s very well adjusted to this 21st century life. He’s tech savvy. He’s got deals with Beats and Jordan. He’s practically the king of social media. If you won’t concede that, he’s certainly mastered the medium as a means of personal branding.

He’s aspirational.

He looks good.

He seems to be enjoying life.

The relationship between he and his son makes me like infants just a little more. That is the happiest baby I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Screenshot 2017-06-25 15.10.03

Asahd just handles the cameras like a G. I mean it’s almost as if Khaled’s constant reinforcement that his son is a don, a mogul,  a legend, god’s gift to earth, or whatever else he says to empower that baby.

An empire is on the horizon, I feel.

One of RussellSimmons/RickRubin/DefJam or Puffy/BadBoy or JayZ/RocNation proportions. This man is smart. This man is focused. This man is talented. And say what you want, he’s talented. He certainly has an ear for quality shit. He recently posted a video of just him speaking into the camera saying he’d had some offers from major record companies to become president of those respective labels. Of course, a video on the gram is a minute so he didn’t go into much detail but…

B I T C H.

giphy

Y’all remember that: “We taking over!” 

Like that song is damn near a decade old and I still know all the lyrics and rap along every single time I hear it.

But I don’t mean to dick ride or anything. I listened to Grateful and aside from the singles and the song with Chance the Rapper (of course), I really could do without a second listen.

But “To the Max” goes off. I think it’s going to be my summer song.

“Wild Thoughts” goes off. I love it.

He could’ve missed me with “I’m the One.” And that’s okay. I don’t have to like all his songs to know that Khaled is a bad mutha shut-yo-mouth and that he’s quickly on his way to the stratosphere.

All that said, all praise to DJ Khaled and the young don, Asahd. They’re the tops. I only wish good things for them. I’m truly inspired by them and y’know… they’re really two of the most refreshing people in the world right now.

And hell… give this man his roses NOW. He’s really a treasure.

**ALL pics courtesy of dj khaled’s instagram**

Chance is for the Children

The World’s Best Dad sat down with Complex to discuss some real shit earlier this week and as a Day 1 Chance the Rapper fan, I clung to every word with bated breath.

For about 25 minutes Chance and @N_C_B waxed philosophic on the joys of fatherhood, his personal qualms with the music industry, and what’s next. Personally, I enjoy listening to my favs talk. In fact, to be one of my favs, one must strike me as, at least, somewhat intelligent.

It’s one thing to be a successful entertainer but are you a successful human being? Can you form a coherent thought and articulate it? These are the questions that matter to me.

Not only am I a fan of his music, but also Chance just seems like a dope dude. He’s smart, funny, good looking, and woke AF. If you’ve had your ear to the streets, you know he recently donated one million dollars to Chicago Public Schools and a couple months back raised like $60K for a campaign to give winter coats to Chicago’s homeless.

Man of the people. Check. Activist. Check. Philanthropist. Check.

Not to mention, this man keeps excellent company.

In the ever expanding shit show that is America, I sleep at night knowing that this dude is truly a force for good. Call me a stan, I don’t care. Chance is for the people and there’s nothing you can do about it.