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.

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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*

Robbin’ Season

Today in Black History, I want to honor Atlanta.

This show was good in so many unexpected ways. Not only was the acting good and the lighting right and the shots crispy, the stories of each of these characters unfolded in interesting ways with every episode. I really started to love each character for their quirks. At moments, it almost felt surreal, like what was happening on screen was happening in some other dimension.

In fact, there are several moments where I think to my, “Who the fuck came up with this?”

The Migos pop up in episode 3 for one of the most interesting cameos in television history, honestly. I was thoroughly entertained for their entire scene.

The B.A.N. was the most cerebral and most hilarious. Every episode puts you in a specific character’s shoes for 30 minutes and in this episode we got to get to know Paper Boy through an interview where he gets grilled on the issue of race. The ensuing debate had me on the floor by the end of the episode.

Not to mention, a dose of Darious, Paper Boy’s right hand man, in almost every episode is good for your fix for deep, philosophical offshoots.

It’s been a year now since the show earned several Golden Globes at the 2017 ceremony. Donald gave an acceptance speech for the culture for their winning Best Comedic TV series.

The show is set for return on March 1st, the perfect way to start my birthday month! I’m excited to see where this second season goes. Is Paper Boy gonna pop? Is Earn gonna get his shit together? Where’s Vanessa working now?

So many questions.

Then as if he could sense my growing anticipation, the good people at FX finally released a trailer

I want to do a separate post on Donald Glover himself. He’s a man of many talents who has influenced my artistic journey heavily. His “alter ego,” Childish Gambino is the name I first came to know him as and even though Because the Internet wasn’t his first album, it’s the album that made me a Childish Gambino fan. But more on that in a later post.

March 1st. Mark your calendars. It’s robbin’ season.

On Lacking Discretion

A lot of the things that happened this past week is primarily a result of niggas lacking discretion.

I purposely did not watch the Amara LaNegra interview on the Breakfast Club. And y’know….

I tried. I tried to give them their roses and commend them on a job well done in pioneering this urban radio thing and putting in so much time in the game and what have you. But I looked at that thumbnail every single time I logged in to YouTube and could not bring myself to click it. Deep down, I knew some bullshit was afoot.

They broke it down real nice on The Read and confirmed my suspicions. Like I said, I try to give Charlemagne the benefit of the doubt, but anytime the Twitter-verse is buzzing with his name, I know from past experiences to stand clear.

I still have yet to go back and watch it for myself. I don’t make a habit of entertaining ignorance. I was disgusted by what I heard, to say the least. Somebody brought up Cardi B (Envy, I believe), Charlemagne brought up Issa fucking Rae (boy.), and Yee didn’t say a damn thing because she’s lacking in a spine too.

Offset with this damn he “don’t fuck with queers” bit.

We all know what queer means. I use the word to describe myself, but it can also be a slur. Regardless, the fact that Offset’s dusty ass don’t fuck with me and mine doesn’t bother me personally. Of course, this has implications, socially. This nigga is a prime example of other ignorant folks who aren’t aware of words and their definitions. As a writer, it hurts me to see words abused. And then to have such behavior justified on the most ridiculous of grounds is outright insulting.

The answer is no.

Moral of the story: All the migos have been on my list since the first time I heard of them saying some homophobic shit. I really have to take them all with a grain of salt because I do acknowledge that these are individuals of questionable constitution. But my god, bitch, simple media training will teach that it’s best to say nothing when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

And of course, who can forget our dear Agent Orange?

Then there was the whole “shit hole countries” comment and ensuing debacle. And I’m sure he’s said some more nonsensical things in the past 24 hours.

This is really sick. Like really.

So I pose a question: Has everyone just lost their damn minds? Like what’s really good? As far as progress is concerned, it appears that we tend to take a step forward and take any number of steps backward in half the amount of time.

It’s too many people who should know better who are just lacking in discretion. This is the skill that distinguishes humans from the other animals – the ability to use logic to deduce from any given circumstance what they can do to navigate that situation as seemlessly as possible. And yet…

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.

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“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.