Latest Listens

We have a full line-up this go round so let’s get into it…

Jay-Z: 4:44

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 Of course I have to start out with 4:44. Now, let me be the first to say this “Tidal release only” has become a real headache but, I understand why the artists do it. That being said…the album was awesome. There was truth and transperency in every song. I’ve even heard jokes saying this is his “Lemonade Album.” That is a fitting descripiton.  This is definitely in my Top 5 Jay-Z albums. He addresses topics such as the infidelity rumors, black excellence, financial freedom, shooting his brother, colorism and black empowerment. It’s an album that will take several listens to fully catch everything. I’ve listened three times now and each times, I’ve heard something i didn’t hear the time before!

Fave Tracks: Legacy, The Story of O.J., Smile, 4:44

Rating: 4/4 

2 Chainz: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

First off, I love the title of this album. I also love the pink cover! But, on to the music…as a whole 2 Chainz always puts out good collective works. I’ve been listening to him since the mixtape TRU Story dropped. He not only makes good turn up songs, but he has decent slow songs on the album as well. He features artists such as Monica, Pharrell Williams, Nicki Minaj, Jhene Aiko and more.

Fave Tracks: Burglar Bars, Bailan, It’s a Vibe 

Rating: 4/5

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DJ Khaled: Grateful

Between music, Baby Asahd and keeping his Snapchat fans entertained, DJ Khaled is one busy man. I love that he put Baby Asahd as the cover art, I mean look how adorable he is! Khaled has become know for his mega artist albums, and this one did not disappoint. He features artist such as Rihanna, Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott, and many more.

Fave Tracks: Wild Thoughts , Shining, On Everything  

Rating: 4/5 

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TLC: TLC

TLC is back! Their album was funded by fans who wanted them to make another album, and they delivered. Although Left Eye has been gone for quite some time, they do a good job of keeping her spirit alive. TLC is a group that has shown time and time again that they are still just as relavent now as they were in the early 90’s.

Fave Tracks: Way Back, Scandalous, Start a Fire 

Rating: 4/5

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Big Boi: Boomiverse

Big Boi gives us his classic southern sound on this album. He has features from artsist such as Gucci Mane, Killer Mike, Sleepy Brown, Curren$y and Pimp C. This album is definitely something to ride around to all summer long. The album gives off blissful vibes and catchy beats. Now all we need is a new Outkast album or an Andre 3000 album…wishful thinking right?!

Fave Tracks: Follow Deez, In the South, Freakanomics 

Rating: 4/5

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What are you listening to now? What’s on your playlist? Let me know in the comments!

Pac Lives On

 I have been waiting for this moment for the past year. The minute I caught wind of this Tupac biopic, I was ecstatic. I absolutely love biopics, and the fact that they are becoming more and more popular is simply amazing. This combined with my love of Tupac has had me on edge! So I’ll give out the disclaimer right now, this post is biased! Sorry, not sorry. Now before I get into the movie review, in honor of his birthday and the release of the biopic I am going to share a few of my top movies and songs from none other than Tupac Shakur.

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Top 10 Songs:

Me and My Girlfriend

Whatz Ya Phone #

Do For Love

I Get Around 

Rather Be Ya N****  

If My Homie Calls

Temptations

Pain

I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto 

So Many Tears

Top 3 Movies 

Juice

Gridlock’d

Poetic Justice

All Eyez on Me (2017)

Overall, the production met my expectations. Demetrious Shipp Jr. has an uncanny resemblance to Tupac, so that definitely helped with believability. He also had Tupacs’ mannerisms and speech patterns down. The way the film developed centered around Tupacs’ prison interview was an awesome way to tell his story from. The movie covered everything from the attack at Quad Record Studios, the East Coast/West Coast beef, and even the infamous picture taken with Faith Evans. It seems no topic was really left untouched.

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The hardest part of watching biopics is getting so intertwined with the person and their story, and wanting the ending to be different from the tragic ending we all know is inevitable.  Though he had occasional run-ins with the law, he was an artist that made a great imprint in the world within a very short time. It’s so hard to grasp that he was just 25 years old when he was murdered. Yesterday, Tupac Shakur would have turned 46 years old. Though his image has never really died, he has now been given a resurgence and introduced to a new generation through this film. His music, films, and political mind live on.

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If you want to read more about Pac, I recommend Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary by Jasmine Guy or Got Ya Back written through the memories of Pac’s bodyguard Frank Alexander.

What did you think of the film? What are your fave Tupac songs? Let me know in the comments!

Latest Listens

This edition of Latest Listens is jam-packed. So much music has been released within the  past month, that I’ve been having a hard time keeping up! But here we go!

Kendrick Lamar- DAMN.: Top Tracks: HUMBLE.LOYALTY.FEAR. 

Kendrick did not disappoint! Every Kendrick album thus far has been filled with classics from beginning to end, and this was no different. I listened to the album 3 times straight through and each time got something different from it. The thing that makes this album so great, is the complexity. You can feel that he really poured his heart and soul into this work of art. Artists features include Rihanna, U2, and Zachary.

Notable Quote: ” I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop
Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor
Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks”-HUMBLE.

Joey Bada$$- All Amerikkkan Bada$$: Top Tracks: Good Morning AmerikkkaY U DON’T LOVE ME (MISS AMERIKKKA)BABYLON

This politically conscious album left me somewhat speechless. It had the cool vibes that we are used to hearing from Joey Bada$$ but the lyrics were actually quite touching. He hit on so many current social issues such as police brutality, and racism. It’s was even a big risk to spell America with 3 K’s. It’s always refreshing to listen to rap that has more substance than talking about strippers, money and cars. So for that, salute to Joey Bada$$.

Notable Quote: “I know the end is near, but I just don’t know when
Turn on to CNN, look at what I see again
It’s another black man, died at the white hand of justice
To tell the truth, man, I’m fuckin’ disgusted
I fear for the lives, for my sisters, my brothers
Less fortunate than I, let’s formulate a plan” -BABYLON.

Rick Ross- Rather You Than Me: Top Tracks: Santorini GreeceI Think She Like MeScientology

Although it took me some time to listen to the whole album, Rather You Than Me has turned out to be one of the best Rick Ross albums in my opinion. It’s no Teflon Don, but it has some hits. Of course there are the usual features from MMG members Wale and Meek Mill, but also Young Thug, Jeezy, Future, and more.

Notable Quote: “The bank account done caught the holy ghost, 
I say the bank account done caught the holy ghost!”- Santorini Greece 

Drake- More Life: Top Tracks: PortlandTeenage FeverNothings Into Somethings

Unfortunately I was not really impressed with Drake’s album. I was looking forward to it because I was not too impressed with Views either. There are some hits but also some misses. I’m not really on board with this island sound he is shooting for. It was cool for One Dance and Controlla, but songs like Madiba Riddim, I don’t feel they are good for Drake.

Notable Quote: “Told me I’m lookin’ exhausted
You hit it right on the nose
I’m tired of all of these n*ggas
I’m tired of all of these hoes” -Free Smoke

Mack Wilds- AfterHours: Top Tracks: Bonnie & ClydeObsession Stingy  

This was a random download for me and ended up being well worth it. I have never really noticed Mack Wilds as a musical artist, but when I saw the release on DatPiff, I figured why not? The song that I started with was Bonnie and Clyde, I chose to listen to this first because Wale was featured. I loved the song instantly. I listened to a couple more and quickly realized why it’s named AfterHours. Loved this sexy album.

Honorable Mentions: GoldLink and Kodak Black both dropped projects that are definitely worth the listen. Until next time, happy listening! Let me know what’s on your current playlist in the comments below!

Latest Listens (March 2017)

This week in music, the biggest talk has been Remy Ma vs. Nicki Minaj. Although at this point with Nicki’s silence, it seems more like Remy vs. Remy. SHEther was one of the most disrespectful rap diss’s that the industry has had in a while. Remy came for Nicki’s entire existence. Everything from her personal love life, to her often speculated body enhancements were attacked. While I have taken neither side, I’m interested to see if Nicki will ever respond, or flip her hair and keep making money.

Syd-Fin: Many of you may not realize you already know who Syd is. She is the lead singer for the group, The Internet. I love that she has taken her smooth sultry voice and made an entire album! She has few features on the album, but honestly, she doesn’t need them. So put this album on sit back and chill. Fave Tracks: Smile MoreKnow

Big Sean-I Decided. Big Sean has been one of my favorite rappers for a while now, I feel I’m a bit biased. But this album was bomb! It lived up to my expectations of a Big Sean album, and I was not disappointed. Big Sean has features from Eminem, Jhene Aiko 😍, Jeremih, and more. Fave Tracks: Sacrifices, No Favors, Same Time Pt.1   

Migos-Culture: After several suggestions from friends, I listened to the Migos album. Their music is straight party/ turn up music. It gets me hype and ready to go out. They have features from Gucci Mane, Lil Uzi, DJ Khaled and more.  Fave Tracks- T-Shirt, Bad and BoujeeKelly Price

Future-Future/HNDRXX: I ended up liking HNDRXX way more than Future. On the Future album I really liked Mask Off. He had minimal features between the two albums. Fave tracks from HNDRXX are Lookin Exotic, Hallucinating

Extra: Check out these books…”Vengence by Zane” and “Don’t be a Wife to a Boyfriend by Shonda White”  

Let me know in the comments below your latest listens and loves!

Kanye Albums (Best to Worst List)

In light of J.Cole’s song False Prophets and COMPLEX’s Kanye West Albums Worst to Best  list, I decided to create my own Kanye Best to Worst list. I almost completely disagreed with the Complex list. No matter what Kanye does or says in the media, you can not take away the fact that he’s a talented music artist. You have to be able to draw the line between artist and person.  But still be able to value their craft and realize, they are human. Too often, people idolize and put artists on an unrealistic pedestal, and are disappointed when that artists does or says something they don’t agree with. I have always separated Ye the person and Ye the artist. His innovative yet sometimes cocky demeanor are what many have come to love and at the same time hate about him.

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Anyone that knows me, knows I am a Kanye music fan, no matter what.  I will not be including his collaborative albums, just straight Kanye West.

1.Late Registration (2005): Top 3 tracks: AddictionLateCelebration 

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I was only a 13-year-old 8th grader when this cd came out, but I listened to it on the bus on my way to school every morning. I fell in love with the beats, and samples, which became a signature for Kanye. This album featured artists such as Jamie Foxx and Lupe Fiasco.

2.College Dropout (2004): Top 3 tracks: SpaceshipAll Falls DownGet Em High

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I remember watching the Through the Wire video, and thinking “Wow he put Harold’s in his video, that’s dope.” Wearing a pink polo, and a Louie Vuitton backpack, Kanye burst onto the scene and immediately starting giving us hit after hit. The skits on this album were just as entertaining as the actual songs. It included artists such as Mos Def, GLC, Ludacris and more.

3.Yeezus (2013): Top 3 tracks: Bound 2Blood on the LeavesOn Sight

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This one took a few listens to really grow on me, but ultimately became one of my favorites. It wasn’t the typical Kanye sound that I was used to, but the new sound captivated me. I honestly love the whole album, it was very hard to narrow it down to 3 tracks.

4. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010): Top 3 Tracks: Devil in a New DressBlame GameHell of a Life 

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I remember the first time I heard the end of Blame Game, I was in tears from laughing so hard. This album had features from artists such as Rick Ross, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and more. The visual that he released for the album was thought-provoking and unique.

5.Life of Pablo (2016): Top 3 tracks: FadeFather I Stretch My Hands Pt. 1No More Parties in LA 

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Seeing this album performed live in October, was an amazing experience. Features include Charlie Wilson, Kendrick Lamar and more. The video for Fade, featuring Teyana Taylor gave me body goals out of this world! Most memorable from this albums is definitely “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, why? I made that b**** famous.” 😳

6.Graduation (2007): Top 3 Tracks: Good MorningFlashing LightsGood Life

I got this album for my 16th birthday! Featured on this album are Lil’ Wayne, T-Pain, Mos Def and more. Can’t Me Tell Nothing still gets me hype whenever I hear it.

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7. 808’s & Heartbreak (2008): Top 3 tracks: AmazingParanoidSay You Will

Although this is my least favorite Kanye work, it has some great songs on it. No matter how many times I try to listen to the album as a whole, I end up turning it off.

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Let me know your favorite Kanye albums, songs, beats, moments and features in the comments below! Until next time, peace and love!

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Latest Listens & Movies

I am far overdue with my installment for latest listens! That being said let’s jump right in! For the past month I have have literally the same three albums on repeat. I fall more in love with each one every time I listen.

Listens 

  1. Solange: A Seat at the Table: Full disclosure, I have never really been a Solange fan. Yes, I have liked her songs here and there, but not a true fan. This album though, has completely changed my mind about her. Her smooth and sultry melodies, and soothing voice has made this one of the best albums of 2016 in my opinion. She haS features from Lil Wayne, BJ The Chicago Kid, and The-Dream to name a few. My fave tracks: Rise, Scales, Don’t Touch My Hair, Borderline and Cranes in the Sky.Don’t Touch My Hair
  2. Bruno Mars: 24K MagicThis album gives me James Brown vibes out of this world! It’s so soulful. As with Solange, I wouldn’t call myself a Bruno Mars fan. I knew his more popular songs but never listened to any of his albums. But, with the suggestion of a friend, I listened. Now I’m hooked. It is truly feel good music. You cannot listen to this album and not get into a brighter mood. Honestly for this album, I don’t have any favorite tracks, I listen to the whole thing straight through without skipping any songs. If I had to pick one absolute favorite, it would be Calling All My Lovelies. Calling All My Lovelies
  3. Childish Gambino: “Awaken My Love!”: I don’t even know where to start with this album. Donald Glover first and foremost is a truly talented individual, I mean what can’t he do!? This album feels like I’m on the first row of a Bootsy Collins, or George Clinton concert. It is filled with funk from beginning to end. Fave tracks, Me and Your Mama, Redbone, and Zombies.Me and Your Mama

Movies

1. Hidden FiguresThis movie was full of black girl magic. From the three main actors,    Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae to the real life women they portray, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson. This lesser known story shows how these three women took on racism and sexism in the 1960s to help NASA successfully launch John Glenn into orbit and safely return home. Not only did I learn a thing or two from this movie, my emotions were fully invested. I even shed a tear or two. Definitely worth the money.Hidden Figures Preview

2. Fences: Although this movie was sort of long, the acting was astounding. It was set as if it were still a theatre production.  Denzel Washington and Viola Davis did an awesome job bringing August Wilsons’ classic play to the screen. The raw emotion was prevalent in several scenes including my favorite where snotty-nosed Viola Davis professes her loyalty to Denzel over the years of their marriage.Fences Preview

Extra

I am truly looking forward to the New Edition special set to air on BET on January 24th,25th,and 26th!New Edition Preview

Curren$y dropped a mixtape every single month of 2016! Check them out at datpiff.com.Curren$y 12/30 Landed

Until next time, peace and love!