How To Kill It In Your Field: Inspiring Women

I am feeling so empowered as I scroll through Instagram and look at all these women currently killing it in their fields. I have always been one for girl power and supporting women around me, attending an all girls school fills you with it, having strong independent women around me gives me that drive and having a nan who is constantly drilling life quotes in my head does it. I love to appreciate women and praise them because honestly it’s not easy, especially when Mother Nature decides to rip our insides out once a month. If I start on her we’ll be here all day.

Anyways, here are some woman who are absolutely killing it in their fields;

Mulatto

Yes her name is controversial and there’s been constant think pieces on it but there is no denying she has cemented herself into this rap game. How has she done it? By being the authentic b*tch from the souf.

I cannot tell you how many times I play B*tch From The Souf a day. She recently dropped her EP ‘Queen of Da Souf’ with features from the likes of City Girls, Gucci Mane, 21 Savage and Trina, and her XXL Freshman Class 2020 freestyle where she has a little flirt with Fivio Foreign (I am not mad).

I’m so excited for what more she has in store. She’s gained a stan in me.

Bree Runway

Bree is our new Popstar on the rise and her visuals, dance routines and looks speak for themselves. Iconic. Her new single ‘Little Nokia’ is out now and as well as it being a hit single I just want to jump into the visuals and slay real quick. How has she done it? Her branding, the new blue hair and social media presence all go great together.

Cosigned by Missy Elliot I see nothing but great things and in all honesty because of the way our scene is set up I’m going to need her to do an Ella Mai in order to get her flowers.

Melissa’s Wardrobe

A true influencer, I stalk all of Mel’s stories just to get a glimpse at the latest luxuries she promotes and also to take in her mini rants which I find so amusing. How does she do it? Our consistent, truthful queen. If she doesn’t like a product we will know.

It’s very refreshing to see a dark skinned woman like me have such a presence on social media and yet be so humble. I look forward to her posts and I can’t wait to see her growth. I’m going to need her on billboards and to lend me some looks.

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Jade Vanriel

Now I have been obsessed with interior design for many years, always on Pinterest putting together furniture in sky high apartments and mansions that I dream of purchasing, she introduced me to Pampas grass plants and since I’ve been trying to convince my partner to allow me to decorate the living room with one to his protest but I will find a way.

How does she do it? She found her niche and works hard to keep us interested. Her personality shines through in videos and she constantly gives advice. The world of interior design is one that many may find intimidating but watch her YouTube channel and let your mind be blown.

Lydia Dinga

I’m not sure how I came across Lydia but I am hooked on her Vlogs on Youtube and she’s just a breath of fresh air. I always look forward to her content and her trip to Greece has me more than ready to do up lifestyle. 2021 here I come, I just hope God is hearing our prayers about Rona leaving as soon as the clock hits 12am on January 1st.

How does she do it? Her engagement with her followers is how, she gets us all engaged and honestly its inspiring. I see nothing but big brands going forward. The world of influencing for dark skinned girls is not easy and I can only imagine what her and a few others I have mentioned go through but I’m over here rooting.

Let me know in the comments any females who make YOU want to kill it in your field!

Drewmula explores a variety of sounds in new EP ‘Chemistry’

After following Drewmula’s journey via Instagram I was super excited to hear his anticipated EP ‘Chemistry’. Just after a much needed travel experience Drewmula decided it was time to buckle down and finish his EP with the successful releases of ‘No Palava’ & ‘Wanting’ in 2019.

 

‘Chemistry’ is what it says on the tin, exploring the chemistry in relationships, two people trying to spark chemistry and navigate all the motions between. Drewmula takes us through the beginning stages with the buzz and butterflies then towards the end of the EP reminded of the insecurities follow that and how they can affect the chemistry and connections.

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Tracklist

1. Step Correct ft Junior

2. Pull Up Interlude

3. Chemistry

4. Wanting

5. Pocket Deep Interlude

6. No Palava

7. Chop (Do It For Me)

8. Follow Interlude

9. Cautious

Chemistry could not have come out at a more perfect time, summer is here, love is in the air even during lockdown people have been securing and searching for that chemistry with a special someone. Drewmula’s EP is such a feel good project, one I advise everyone to take a listen to.

Exploring a variety of different genres from Afroswing to RnB to Dancehall and even Pop Drewmula really showcases his range. Drewmula tells me via Instagram DM’s

“I wanted to make something that makes you simply feel good, songs that make you want to move and vibe, and most importantly a body of work that will make you want to revisit it over and over again.”

This is exactly what is felt in the 9 track EP, I felt myself going back to take in some of what I may have missed while dancing around in my room.

‘Step Correct’ sees Drewmula effortlessly jumping on the beat telling us how we have to step correct in the club while catching a vibe and drinking alcohol. A hobby I truly miss but one that is recreated through his music. Who needs heels and Uber money when I can get cute in my room?

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This is definitely a head bopping track where we see him switch between rap and singing on the hook. The instrumental is fitting for the club bringing me to the good old days before Rona where the DJ would bounce between the likes of Skepta and Octavian.

 

 

‘Chemistry’ the name sake and of course a love song, maintains the feel good vibes. This song really showcases Drewmula’s versatility as there isn’t a genre missed, from Afroswing to Pop and a hint of dancehall with his use of patios I was left very impressed and excited for more music. Not only are the lyrics memorable they also capture the whole feel of the EP and gets the message across. “Girl move your waist because them hips don’t lie” shows the chemistry also felt on the dance floor when pursuing in the club. “Tryna feel a little chemistry.” There is also no denying the chemistry between Drewmula and each sound/instrumental he has created.

“Chemistry is a mixture of songs with elements from different genres that have heavily influenced me from the early stages of my music career. I believe that my debut EP represents that.” 

Track 4 ‘Wanting’ produced by AP Beats tells another story of Drewmula trying to seduce his love interest and finally getting what you want. Between tracks we’re gifted with Interludes named ‘Pull Up’, ‘Pocket Deep’ and ‘Follow’ with each breakdown I found myself laughing, taken from Nollywood films we hear a man trying to win over a girl, he talks about her beauty, his friends money to which the girl replies she will come along for a ride. These interludes really bring the EP together keeping us in the headspace of enjoyment.

‘No Palava’ meaning no bad vibes addresses some insecurities, wanting no bad energy. Drewmula provides us with sweet melodies perfect for sipping Pina Colada’s on a beach really embodying his previous travels. 

“My sound generally tends to be easy on the ear, so I wanted to make a body of work for the people who love to get up off their seats at every function they attend, or for those who love to vibe whilst cruising in their car on a hot summers day, or for those who daily commute to work. This is who and what the EP is for.”

‘Chop (Do It For Me)’ Chop my money means spending your lovers money with no regrets, a form of chemistry and love right? The instruments like the saxophone, slowed down vibe reminds me of old school Wizkid and Burna Boy with a hint of UK Afroswing with the beat. After chasing and falling in love we now have the love is sweet-o part of the story, a ride or die cruising in porshe’s. The catchy lyrics will be stuck in your head all day which is a perfect way to bring the EP to a close.

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The final track ‘Cautious’ addresses the insecurities we have when it comes to love however Drewmula leaves us with the hope of finding that chemistry and his passion oozes through the sounds he’s created. When asked what his favourite track on the EP was I wasn’t shocked at it being ‘Cautious’.

“It changes every time I revisit the EP, each track gives me a different feeling, a different mood. Right now as we speak, my favourite song would be Cautious – it just hits!.”

With ‘Chemistry’ previously set to be released in March 2020 but then the pandemic hit, this gave Drewmula time to refine and polish his EP to a tee and I guess it could be a blessing in disguise as us listeners have been blessed with new sounds and an insight into Drewmula as an artist.

“Now we are here today, after all the minor setbacks, ready to show the world the new sound I’ve been dying to showcase.”

‘Chemistry’ is about to send a new wave in the UK.

I May Destroy You: It’s All In The Title

It took me a while to start Michaela Coel’s TV series ‘I May Destroy You’ because of how triggering I imagined it would be but after the continuous chat on the timeline I decided to start so I didn’t see any spoilers, which Twitter is notorious for, and honestly it was one of the best decisions made.

*SPOILER ALERT*

I May Destroy You takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, I found myself laughing, crying, texting my girls about certain scenerios and overall super excited for each episode. The friendship between Arabella (Michaela Coel) and Terry (Weruche Opia) reflects a lot of my friendships so I had an instant connection with the two. The scenes where they were in school took me right down memory lane from school fights to bluetoothing eachother sexual videos of the girls in our school, which until I got older didn’t realise is a crime and while growing up it was just a bit of juicy gossip.

The show really reflects the essence of black joy and friendships and how no matter how mad your life may become or how much love and patience you may need, your girls will more than often have your back and understand your trauma. There is a moment where Arabella learns that Terry told Simon (Aml Ameen) to leave her to make her way home while intoxicated before her assault took place, and in that moment I felt that Arabella would lose her marbles completely and cut her off but to my surprise she acknowledged how great a friend Terry had been during her recovery. Just perfect.

I have to highlight how amazing it was to see black culture celebrated and shown to a T on TV, I was watching what felt like my own and my friends experiences as a Black British.

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The show really reflects the essence of black joy and friendships and how no matter how mad your life may become or how much love and patience you may need, your girls will more than often have your back and understand your trauma.

‘I May Destroy You’ is very educational in this aspects with new words and terms and many sexual assaults you may have not known were exactly that.

I feel Michaela knocks everything on the head and one aspect of her story which I felt related to me was escaping to another country as a escape from your own reality at home. Although I hadn’t been through Terry’s experience of being tricked into a threesome with guys who pretended they didn’t know each other but really did stuck, the topic of coercion and lies is a topic again to discuss as it could be seen as part of the culture to do so. With Arabella her assault might have been more straight forward (whatever that means, I mean that’s the point of the show) but with Terry how do you explain those feelings?

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With Arabella her assault might have been more straight forward (whatever that means, I mean that’s the point of the show) but with Terry how do you explain those feelings?

Kwame is also a part of the friendship group and is a character which is very important for the messages Michaela sends. As we got to know the characters individually Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) is sensitive, confident and loving and also experiences assault assault after he had previously had a consensual sexual experience with a Grindr date. As a gay black man the shows reflects how hard it can be to to be gay and accepted in the black community and to come forward after an assault to the police especially as a male.

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As a gay black man the shows reflects how hard it can be to to be gay and accepted in the black community and to come forward after an assault to the police especially as a male.

Kwame lies about his sexual orientation before an encounter with a female, again another complex situation as I felt sorry for him as he was processing his own abuse (as I did with Arabella’s outbursts and Terry’s lying). I think this reflects that in life there is no one villain and it shows how individuals deal with trauma in its many forms differently.

The title ‘I May Destroy You’ is such a great fit as there were moments where it did, but there were also moments where I was filled with the strength to destroy others, my own trauma, sexual predators, racism, generational curses and more.

 

Unknown T ‘Rise Above Hate’ in Collaboration with Music and Life Blog

Today’s post is extra special as I collab with the realist, most honest music blog ‘Music and Life Blog’! We were both excited for the launch of this tape so figured it would be the perfect time to collaborate together.

Since Homerton B, Unknown T has been on our necks, quickly becoming one of my favourite UK artists, from his adlibs, memorable deep voice and playful lyrics, he has really solidified himself in the scene. After his release from jail he tweeted how he had only released 5 songs but was here to stay and ‘Rise Above Hate’ has proven that, becoming one of my favourite projects released since the pandemic.

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He has features from M Huncho, a collaboration we have all been waiting for, Young T and Bugsey, Young Adz and of course his team KO and V9.

Here are some of the tracks that we loved:

Addicts

Shahna Says: Addicts’ with M Huncho has got to be one of my favourites and not because I’m an M Huncho super fan but because of the vibe they have together. We see Unknown T slow down his flow and sound a bit to compliment Huncho allowing him to take the first verse and chorus before we hear Unknown T. ‘I’m trapped in the ends with skengs, drug addicts and drillers, ballies and dingers’ lyrics like this give a nod to the artwork of the block of flats he grew up in and the whole projects theme. Other songs such as ‘Prison’ and ‘Fresh Home’ deal with the same openness with listeners appreciating the fact that he is out and all that he has been through.

M&L: I like the switch up from this song. The song starts off melodic with the voice of M
Huncho along a trap type beat. The breakup allows us to have a bit of a break from the
known greaze of Unknown T. It takes a talented artist to have songs with different sounds and still make it work. Unknown T is the king of this. When his verse comes in, it works so well without having to change the tone of the song. There are a few real messages I picked up in this song such as “It’s kinda sad that kids are killing kids” as M Huncho and Unknown T both touch on how the environment some kids are brought up is a key factor on how they turn out.

Main Squeeze Ft. Young T & Bugsey

Shahna Says: Main Squeeze’ has already hit the radio playlists, easily becoming the UK’s
fave alongside his promo single ‘Deh Deh’. Main Squeeze is a girl song you could say and we hear Unknown T singing to a potential love interest and the placement of the song allows the listener to move away from the drill lyrics to a vibe that can be played while driving or in the club. Balance. Young T and Bugsey always bring their own vibe giving the song that afro swing feel. I look forward to a video for this one.

M&L: This song features the UK duo who have owned this quarantine period after the success of their song ‘Don’t Rush’. They provide their signature sound on this song and provide us with a memorable chorus and hook. This is not to take away the way Unknown T did his thing on his verse. His delivery and entrance on the song was just a prime example of how effortlessly talented he is. This song is also a great indication of how the UK scene is on top right now with both artists showcasing their individual talents in one track. It will be extremely hard to convince me that there is a genre Unknown T cannot make his own. I can see this being a commercial single.

Ambition

Shahna Says: The final song ‘Ambition’ feels very heartfelt and reminds me of other rappers such as Skrapz, Blade Brown, Asco and Nines when it comes to rapping about your previous life and what you’ve been through. The pain and drive is felt and heard in Unknown T’s voice as he explains he’s coming for the game that’s his main ambition. Touching on now being able to have designer clothes, dealing with relationships and his dream and vision overall. A perfect way to end the project.

M&L: The final track on this tape and wow what an outro! The stripped back production and slow pace prepares us for what feels like a heartfelt response from Unknown T. He uses the track to look back on how far he has come and how much of it has paid off. He also lets us know that he is not done yet; “I’m coming for the game, that’s my main ambition”; hinting that he is only beginning. This is exciting to hear as I truly believe Unknown T is one of the most talented artists in the UK right now. It’s clear that there are no limits to where his talent can go, and it is promising to hear that he is just getting started.

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Aven9ers Ft KO & V9

Shahna Says: This is the song many of us have been waiting for, the boys together and the title is so fitting. They’ve come together to collect the stones and shake the scene. Their voices going perfectly together, lyrics such as ‘how many times have we’ signifying friendship, brotherhood and union even with the violent lyrics. I feel this is a perfect reflection of the friendships and loyalty that many boys hold no matter the circumstances or activities it may entail.

A few more tracks ‘Music and Life Blog’ loved:

Deh Deh

M&L: For me the intro track was just a preparation for what was to come. ‘Deh, Deh’ is really where it all begins. Unknown T’s signature emphasis on the pronunciation of words is so evident on this track too! In this song Unknown T reminds us that he raps about his personal experiences. The accompanying video is great too as we are able to witness Unknown T executing his signature dance moves!

SS Interlude

M&L: This was a pleasant surprise on the tape. It’s clear that Unknown T enjoys
switching up within his music. This may be a short track, but I feel he uses this interlude as a diary and a way to be vulnerable. He sings “Sometimes I struggle mentally”, a juxtapose from all the rough and tumble he is used to rapping about. It also seems like he is directing this at a love interest. I liked the change in pace at this point on the tape.

LV Ft. Young Adz

M&L: I really enjoyed this collaboration. Since the release, this is one of the
songs I’ve had on repeat. I love the production on this song, it reminds me of the type of
sound you would hear on a game.

Leave Dat Ft. AJ Tracey

M&L: I don’t know where I was when this song was originally released a
year ago but wow! I’m not usually a fan of AJ Tracey’s style but I feel this is the sound for
him. We are all used to hearing Grime AJ but maybe he should consider more drill. His
rapping style compliments the fast pace of the drill beats so well. These two could easily
make a joint tape! What a track! A year later or not!

Overall ‘Rise Above Hate’ shows Unknown T’s musical ability alongside his lyrical  and I have been loving his press runs from reactions videos with Renz and Denz to afternoon tea with Munya, where we have really been able to see his personality shine as well as the music. 

Don’t forget to pop over to ‘Music and Life Blog’ page (@musicandlifeblog) to read more great album reviews The great thing about music is that it hits everyone differently. Hopefully this is the first of many more collabs!

So Who Gon’ Buy Me A Birkin Bag?

If you don’t scream ‘Real ass bitch give a fxck bout a nxgga’ do you really believe men are trash? City Girls have been shaking up the scene and with JT coming home, us bad b’s have been waiting for the album and here we are with ‘City On Lock’. 

I hope you’re ready for your new Instagram captions because the album is full of them, I think ‘I don’t work jobs bxtch I am a job’ is winning right now.  Another lyric I scream at the top of my lungs while I get ready for a shift. Sigh.  

So who’s going to buy me a birkin bag? Yung Miami and JT really make the lifestyle seem amazing, I personally feel like every black girl should live luxurious whether that’s by driving a Lambo truck (when I eventually get my license but to be fair it’s all about having a man drive you around right ladies?), going on shopping sprees, having a spa day or simply enjoying a meal out at a instagrammable restaurant. 

City Girls carefree lyrics have some shaking in their boots, from scamming and fraud to expensive gifts and having their pxssy talk for;

‘This cash, Bentleys, Rovers and Benz
Boy, this pxssy fly private to islands, to M’s
Boy, this pxssy talk Birkin, Gucci, Chanel
Boy, this pxssy talk Louis, Pucci, YSL (YSL)”

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Tracklist

1 Enough/Better 

2 Skit 

3 Jobs 

4 Broke Niggas by City Girls & Yo Gotti 

5 Pussy Talk (Ft. Doja Cat) 

6 That Old Man 

7 City on Lock (Ft. Lil Durk)

8 Winnin

9 Come Outside

10 Flewed Out (Ft. Lil Baby)

11 Rodeo

12 Double CC’s 

13 That’s My Bitch

14 Friendly

15 Ain’t Sayin Nothin

City On Lock has features from Yo Gotti, Doja Cat, Lil Durk and Lil Baby. I know Doja Cat has been cancelled (why do women receive continued cancellation over men? That’s a conversation for another day) but she fits perfectly on ‘Pussy Talk’ and the visuals are even better, the hair, the outfits, the bodies, I’m always in awe.City-Girls-doja-cat-Pussy-Talk-billboard-1548-1594063394-1024x677

‘Skit’ reminded me of Nicki Minaj ‘Pink Friday’ days or even ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’ tracks like ‘Still I Rise’. City Girls address Yung Miami being pregnant, JT serving time and their childhoods.

‘City On Lock’ ft Lil Durk the album name did not disappoint, with punchlines showing that the girls can go from ‘stripper music’ to rap with no stopping or limitations. I expected some playful instrumentals, samples from the 90s and the need to dance around my room with a brush for a microphone, pretending to address all my imaginary haters. 

‘That Old Man’ before I even listened I assumed it was about scamming old men and getting flown Dubai and one of the first lines is about making him buy you a ticket. Sampling the nursery rhyme ‘give a dog a bone’ shows just how iconic City Girls are.

The album as a whole has really solidified the girls in the music game and as Caresha mentioned in their City Girls series on YouTube why can’t they rap about the same things men rap about?

 

 

Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon – Words From The Woo

Taken way too soon, the scene is still grieving.

Pop Smoke’s Posthumous debut album ‘Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon’ has dropped and it’s so bittersweet.

The whole scene has been anticipating this album since Pop came out with his hit single ‘Welcome To The Party’ and when it was announced the excitement was real and of course there were high expectations for the art work, however Off White’s Virgil Abloh’s design caused an uproar this week when it was published. Honestly it looked like it was created on Microsoft Paint the 2007 version, minimal effort and the man even edited Pop’s ears off but we move as management announced they would replace it. 

The official cover is still a little rushed to me, a simple silver metallic rose on a black background, I would have liked a picture of him and the internet produced some pretty decent alternative covers once the Virgil one hit the net.

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Tracklist

01 Bad Bitch From Tokyo (Intro)

02 Aim For the Moon (ft. Quavo)

03 For the Night (ft. Lil Baby and DaBaby)

04 44 Bulldog

05 Gangstas

06 Yea Yea

07 Creature (ft. Swae Lee)

08 Snitchin (ft. Quavo and Future)

09 Make It Rain. (ft. Rowdy Rebel)

10 The Woo (ft. 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch)

11 West Coast Shit (ft. Tyga and Quavo)

12 Enjoy Yourself (ft. KAROL G)

13 Hotel Lobby

14 What You Know Bout Love

15 Something Special

16 Diana (ft. King Combs)

17 Got It on Me

18 Tunnel Vision (Outro)

19 Dior (Bonus)

As soon as I pressed play on ‘Bad Bitch From Tokyo’ I felt a tear, produced by UK producer 808Melo who worked closely with Pop, set the vibe for the rest of the album with 48 seconds of the Pop we love and missed. 

The album starts off with Pop’s iconic NY drill sound with huge features from Quavo, Lil Baby, Da Baby and then takes a different route with Pop Smoke singing and getting us in our feels with samples from Fabolous ‘I’m So Into You’ on ‘Something Special’ a preview clip of this has been circulating on the net for some time and the final track did not disappoint with Pop giving us sweet lyrics, talking about spoiling his girl and his flow reminding me of 50 Cent’s early years.

Pop has always been compared to a young 50 in his mannerisms, raspy voice and persona and we can’t forget that 50 is executive producer of the album, so this was a nice touch to the project alongside a feature with Roddy Ricch.

50’s influence is also found on ‘Got It On Me’ is Pop’s twist on 50 Cents ‘Many Men’. A hood classic. Pop does not disappoint with the lyrics, typical to the pain and violence of drill, some a bit too painful to listen to considering his murder. The title itself sending my mind racing about what happened in that house. 

‘Mood Swings’ ft Lil Tjay is where we are greeted with a smooth woo and ‘Diana’ ft King Combs is that hood love sort of feel with King Combs doing what he had to do, shockingly not ripping off his dad a little. ‘What You Know Bout Love’ giving us the RnB throwback of Ginuwine’s ‘Differences’ as a sample and again another feel good track. 

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‘Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon’ shows just how far Pop Smoke would have gone in the music world, from being crowned the King of NY Drill, known for fusing the UK drill sound with the New York’s and bringing along UK producers with him. I feel as if there were too many American rappers on the album considering Pop’s love for the UK scene, people such as M24 or Headie One should have been featured to really solidify the album. Having Quavo on there three times not including their single ‘Shake The Room’ I don’t know the dynamics but seems a bit excessive. His growl, fluidity and vibe is felt in every track leaving you for a split second forgetting that he is no longer with us. 

Choosing a favourite track is super hard but a few of the ones which stood out to me were ‘The Woo’ ft 50 Cent & Roddy Ricch, ‘Something Special’, ‘Gangstas’, ‘Yea Yea’ and ‘Mood Swings’ ft Lil Tjay.

The last song on the album ‘Tunnel Vision Outro’ legit made me cry with an audio of what he wants to be remembered by “Pop Smoke came in and changed the game, Pop Smoke came in and showed the niggas a new vibe, the whole sound, the whole vibe. Different.” and that he did in the time we got to enjoy him.

 

Who Needs Therapy When You Can Throw On Some Maxi Priest?

Therapy has been a big discussion lately. I recently started watching ‘Insecure’, I know I’m late to the party and the party is popping. One of the characters, Molly, decides to start going to therapy. It is something I have dabbled with in the past and I know with everything going on a lot of people’s issues, worries and anxieties are all in our faces and we’re having to deal with many things we’ve suppressed in our fast paced lives, the cultures and traditions we’ve been brought up in and if you’re like me who tends run, hide, avoid, abort all missions when it comes down to it.

Now I thought of ways which get me out of that dark place and it’s usually through prayer, food, alcohol (we all have our things so he who casts the first stone love) and music.

Here are a few of my pick me ups;

Cassie – Me & You

This song takes me right back to childhood, watching the video on MTV Base and then driving to every possible HMV to buy the single with my mum. Throwing a tantrum at each empty shelf. When I tell you this single was sold out everywhere but eventually we found it in Hammersmith. The good old days before streaming. 

Maverick City Music – Promises

Narrowing down Gospel is so so hard because honestly every song hits from ‘For Your Glory’ by Tasha Cobbs Leonard to ‘Who You Say I Am’ by Hillsong, when the Holy Spirit decides to enter the place whether that’s my room or the bathroom I’m left in complete awe and this is one of those songs where I instantly feel grateful and remember that God has me regardless of my situation, how far I’ve come, what I’ve gone through and honestly this song makes me surrender and give my life back to God each and every time. 

Maxi Priest – Easy To Love

One of my wedding songs, please the intro, the vocals, the unapologetic reggae feel, the lyrics. Pure perfection, every time I listen to this song I picture all the older couples doing up lovers rock in the hall party, the kids running up and down causing havoc, the grandma holding the new born baby, aunties serving behind the bar or by the food. One random uncle holding his plastic cup of Wray & his nephews while rocking to the song or from the rum, the older cousins sorting the table decorations and the random family friend cleaning up and trying to take off the chair covers. I love it.

Burna Boy – Ye

This is one of my favourite songs of all time. I don’t know what it is exactly, I just instantly light up, I don’t understand every word I just know that it reminds me I can’t come and kill myself, I want to buy a house, I want to chop life, I want everything and I guess it gives me hope that all of this will happen but even if it doesn’t I will still have lived an amazing life. While writing this I think I’ve reloaded it about 5 times. Iconic.

Michael Jackson – You Rock My World

This is one of the last songs my dad played for me, what a banger. You were not enjoying if during the break in the middle you didn’t go in trying your hardest to copy MJ’s moves or make up your own while shouting the house down, because I know we have all tried to copy his scream. He also played Destiny’s Child ‘Survivor’ for me I remember going to the DJ booth (a habit I have never seemed to have broken) and requesting it, now it’s a constant reminder.

Music really can be used as therapy with all it’s feels and how you can time travel to the exact moment you heard a song, how you felt, what you saw and where in life you were. What would we do without it?

I Wanted To Scream At Queenie, Yet She Felt All Too Familiar!

During this pandemic I have spent my time reading, reading books has always been a love of mine and with all this time to myself, the push to self reflect and a burning desire to relearn has led to me these books.

Some of my favourite books which I have read have been ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, ‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi and ‘Queenie’ by Candice Carty-Williams. 

‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ is about the Biafran war in Nigeria between 1967-1970 which was something I learnt more about while reading. Black history is something I have shied away from to an extent growing up because of the reoccurring theme of trauma however there is so much joy in some aspects and this book reflects that in some parts.

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Each character felt like family and I fell in love with all of them. the book is written in the perspective of Olanna, Ugwu and Richard.

The ending of the book is one that you will carry with you through life, always wondering what happened to Kainene. Echoing the thoughts of those who experienced the war, those of missing family members and friends and those who go out and trace the roots of their ancestors

 

 

‘Homegoing’ is a type of book which I have never read before, each chapter a different character and descendant. Each story linking to the other and it left me craving to find out exactly where I’ve come from. I hear the stories of my great grandmother who came over to England from Dominica but whose parents came to Dominica from India and that’s it, that’s where my story ends or starts whichever. But is that it? 

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This is all reflected in the book of how we lose our roots but in some form they are engraved in us like Sonny who is afraid of water or James who has no clue why his skin is the colour it is or Akua who has nightmares of the fire lady. The fire lady being Maame mother of Esi and Effia.

Speaking of the fire lady it also has a lot of focus on black spirituality and folk lore, there is not one day I go without hearing what I shouldn’t do as a consequence takes place in the spiritual world or even manifests into this one. 

 

Queenie is about a girl who’s life just isn’t going to plan. I have found myself being so angry at the character, her constant need of validation from a man, over texting, over thinking, over analysing. Then the treatment she receives from her friends, two are supportive the other a completely vile person who needs Queenie’s mess ups to feel good.

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There are a lot of themes which many have been through from depression to being shamed for therapy, a ‘hoe phase’, being a side chick, gentrification, poverty and abuse. I find myself looking for a happy ending and I think this book shows that sometimes life is life and happy endings only come when you’re happy with where you are and your circumstances. A Word.

Keep a look out for more Culture to come.

Let’s Get Rid Of ‘Urban Music’ Shall We?

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Black Lives Matter.

We’ve been shouting this for years and again this past week. Honestly I can’t begin to tell you what we go through on a daily basis but from this pain comes beauty and of course creativity. Black creatives have made history and continue to do so, black musicians have created every single genre of music. Yes every single one. Hip Hop, Rap, Rock n Roll, RnB, Drill, Gospel, Pop, Reggae, Bashment, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, should I keep going? The Blues is an entire genre based off of our pain. You can hear it in the voice, in the slowness of the guitar, in the drums, the lyrics, the musicians stage presence. 

IMG_1706Every single genre reflects our struggles. While listening to us and dancing like us why is it so hard to value not just the sound and dances but the colour they come from too? 

Our songs dominate, chart, creating Tik Tok sensations throughout the world. There is never a viral moment without a black person involved whether its a dance, a song, a meme. Bringing not only our struggles to light but peace, joy and love. The most inclusive culture, the most influential.

Oh and we need to throw out the term urban music. Urban? Do I need to list the genres again?

Urban is such a throw away term. I recently read that the Grammy’s have renamed the category ‘best urban contemporary album’ to ‘best progressive R&B album’ to make it inclusive. The word progressive says enough, as in look ‘here’s to progress’. I don’t think that’s what we meant, this to me just screams that we have to keep getting better.

Regardless of whether the changes are changes from urban to progressive, taking down statues and other things, this movement is getting bigger and bigger. More change will come and I hope more black people are recognised for their talent, beauty, creativity, brains but first and foremost for being human. We will keep our knee on their necks, a change is coming but regardless we always prosper and persevere through it all.

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Töme Comes Out Of Her Room & Into A Whole New Sound In New Album ‘BT4W Bigger Than 4 Walls: Chapter 2’

Töme has released her new album, ‘BT4W Bigger Than 4 Walls: Chapter 2’ and it is breathe of fresh air in this lockdown. From the exploration of different sounds and exciting production I couldn’t help but dance all around the house.  

‘BT4W’ is part two of her previous body of work ‘Tömesroom: Chapter 1’ and has some huge features on it including Runtown, WavyTheCreator, King Promise and Zlatan, who all add their unique sounds to all the different genres explored.

Töme’s new single ‘Vie de Estabelle’ is in both French and English, totally embracing her a Nigerian, French and Canadian heritage and if you know me you know I absolutely love French music so I was super excited to hear the both.

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“Vie de Estabelle is about a hopeless romantic who fantasies about the man who never arrives. It is in three different perspectives, the first is the narrator, then herself and her friend all in one song.’

Töme and I spoke via Instagram DM’s and the switch between her French and Canadian accent was something I thoroughly enjoyed listening to.

“I find fusing my sound is natural, I definitely listen to the beat and create melodies first, I always think in English first, when ‘Vie de Estabelle’ came to me that was the first time where I was like ‘No this is a French song’, it stood out more, it was a cultural sound.”

‘BT4W’ is a genre-melding album and it has been one of the most exciting projects I’ve listened to in lockdown, Töme easily slips between genres from the rap sound taken from the feel of Toronto to Afro Fusion. We hear her sing, rap and create a vibe through her lyrics and tones on the music she has worked so hard to create. 

“At first we were in my room in my private centre and getting a little of my vulnerable side of me as well as my shamelessly confident, ‘BT4W’ is when we leave that room. The project becomes bigger than me. The project is not specific to a certain sound or genre, as an artist I am not bound and I don’t want to be, it is okay to be able to execute on different genres and still make it make sense.”

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The Tracklist:

1 Cherry Blossom

2 Magical Fruits (feat. Wavy The Creator)

3 Sol

4 All To You (feat. King Promise)

5 Free

6 Concentrate (feat. Runtown)

7 Vie de Estabelle

8 No Love

9 The Money

10 Energy (feat. Zlatan)

Powerful track list right?

“The features have different stories for Wavy we were in Ghana together, King Promise I had met him in Toronto after that we were able to make a song together, we pitched it to his team and he was awesome for the track. With Rundown and Zlatan, the beat itself says Zlatan all over it, Rundown heard the song with Zlatan and we shared beats and that’s how that happened.”

Lockdown has been tough on us all around the world, while creatives and musicians have been trying to stay creative and positive during these times, one thing that helps is listening to music. Töme explains what’s been hot on her playlist. 

“Drake’s new mixtape is amazing, in terms of french singers Angèle’s song ‘Perdus’ I love that song, Vegedream’s last project. I’m familiarising myself more with the French music. I’ve learned my true potential as an artist, I think quarantine was a blessing in that sense I was able to really focus on myself and my purpose in music and entertainment and this is only the beginning. This is what I am meant to do, when you’re really trying to find your purpose it’s a long journey.” 

Tome Free cover art (1)Töme also filled me in on what’s to come from her including a lyric video for ‘Vie de Estabelle’ and an acoustic version of the album with her playing the guitar.

Töme is here to stay and show just how versatile she is, and finally in her words “Stay blessed, stay safe, stay creative, stay productive during these times they’re hopefully almost behind us, make sure you learn something and I hope you’ve gained something out of this whole pandemic.”

Watch Töme’s visuals to ‘Free’ down below: