Filed In: listen

Don’t Call Her a Side Chick: My Review of @SZA “CTRL”


The first time I heard “Ctrl” by SZA, I knew it was a classic. The hip hop undertones combined with her raspy vocals create an environment that many of us have thoroughly enjoyed.

Many people however, find this album and proclaim that it is a outcry against men and a statement that “men are trash” (see Dev’s: “Men Are Trash: True, False, Draw?“). In the words of Jill Scott “Well, if they had listened to the lyrics in the first place, they wouldn’t have any questions”. What I find today is that many people hear albums but don’t listen to the messages and stories that the artist tells. As a warning, I am very pro-SZA and this is a album review.


This album is so intricately interlaced with itself it’s amazing. What I gathered was that: “I can be everything you want and desire if you desire so. However, for some reason you still seek other women.” (Point 1). “Where is a man who wants to know all of me, the quirky and interesting side in this world of women that I differ from?”  “ I could be a lot of things but I’m me.” Before I go any further I want to jump to point 1. Did anyone else catch the reference in “Love Galore” to “The Weekend?” Ok. I wanna stop there because the song “The Weekend” is being heralded as the side chick anthem, when in actuality I never once got that vibe. That song continues the narrative of the album. “I am me and I’m in control of my decisions, regardless of how other people feel about them.” “People have so many bright ideas. (Point 2). When in actuality, you can observe but your opinion isn’t necessary.” Point 2 refers to the amazingly placed interlude which when you initially hear it, sounds random but fits into the narrative of the work. “Go Gina” immediately became my favorite with it’s Martin Lawrence with what I gathered to be Pam saying “Damn Gina, why don’t you just live a little and let me live”. The rest of the album flows very soothingly with the stand out “Wavy (Interlude) Feat. James Fauntleroy” and the amazingly worded “Normal Girl.” It’s the perfect album for us “20 Something’s” out there just living life and finding our own way forward. I applaud SZA for crafting this album and can’t wait to see her live.

I typically tell people to listen to a few tracks outside of the normally discussed ones and ask for feedback to open up listeners to the rest of the album. Let me know what you think: Tweet me at @b_rockz_

 #DefinitelyDownload:

1. Doves In the Wind Feat. Kendrick Lamar

2. Go Gina

3. Normal Girl

8 Songs That Will Get You Through The Week! 


Photo|Bing Images

It’s the first Monday of the month which can only mean one thing…a new 8 Songs That Will Get You Through The Week playlist! Since we’re mid-summer and everyone is feeling those chill summer vibes, below are 8 feel-good songs that will put you in the mood to jam out while soaking up the summer solstice. Listen to them now!

1. Crew x Goldlink ft. Brent Fiyaz and Shy Glizzy

2. Legendary x Joey Bada$$ ft. J. Cole

3. Ride Of Your Life x Tinashe

4. Keepin’ It Real x Mack Wilds

5. Prom x SZA

6. Borderline (An Ode To Self Care)  x Solange ft. Q-Tip

7. Got Her Own x Syd

8. 4AM x 2 Chainz ft Travis Scott

I hope you all enjoyed the list! What songs will you be listening to get you through this week?!

Xo,

*Please note: some links do not contain full length songs. 

#LearnFromYesterday: Timeless and Underrated Albums of the 1970s


Usually, the term underrated is associated with a body of work that was never acknowledged to its full extent. Experts comment on the importance of that piece including the ironic twist of its influence yet lack of acknowledgement. These pieces of work tend to grow a cult following. Often, this work is praised amongst the who’s who of the industry. Moreover, those who recognize the work add a level of sophistication to their artistic taste. Nevertheless, the masses still ignore the body of work. (more…)

5 Artists You Should Know!


Happy Monday Loves! It’s that time of the month again when I introduce you to your new favorite artists that you’ve never heard of yet. The 5 artists I’ve decided to feature this month breathe some new life into the R&B genre. Whether you’re just vibin’ in your car, laid up with your beau, or taking a relaxing candle-lit bath, these artists’ music will create the perfect soundtrack. Check them out below.


#1. Gallant

Originally from Washington, DC, Gallant is a singer/songwriter. Gallant’s music is the perfect fusion of throwback 90s and early 2000s r&b mixed with a futuristic modern sound. Fun fact: I named his debut album Ology as my favorite album of 2016.

♫ Miyazaki x Gallant


#2. Tiffany Gouché

Tiffany Gouché is a singer, songwriter, and producer that hails from Inglewood, CA. Gouché’s music is what many would call baby-making music. It’s sultry, sensual, and creates a seductive vibe.

♫ Red Rum Melody x Tiffany Gouché


#3. Sampha

Sampha is a British singer, songwriter, and producer from South London. You’ve probably heard his euphoric sound before as he has been featured on several artists’ songs from Drake to SBTRKT. Sampha’s sound is unparalleled and transcendent, and you can tell it’s a track of his by only hearing one note.

♫ Under x Sampha 


#4. Sabrina Claudio

Sabrina Claudio is a Latina singer that hails from Miami. Claudio’s sound is ethereal. What I love most about her music is how relatable it is, it tells the perfect story of an millennial woman like myself.

♫ Unravel Me x Sabrina Claudio


#5. Daniel Caesar

Originally from Toronto, Daniel Caesar is a singer/songwriter. Caesar’s sensuous sound is very reminiscent of old-school soulful r&b music, and it makes you want to find a beautiful soul and lose yourself in them.

♫ Get You x Daniel Caesar ft. Kali Uchis

It will only be a matter of time before these 5 are mainstream, don’t forget who told you about them first! Who are some of your favorite under-the-radar artists?! I would love to hear about them in the comments!

Xo,

8 Songs That Will Get You Through The Week! 


Photo | Bing Images

Happy Monday Everyone! If you’re anything like me, you are currently feeling all of the drinks you had on yesterday for Sunday Funday, and are probably in need of a pick me up. Well…your prayers have been answered! I’ve composed a list of 8 songs that will not only help you get through the rest of your day but help you effortlessly help the of the week pass as well. Check it out below! 

1. Kickin’ Back x Mila J

2. For My People x Joey BadA$$

3. Swang x Rae Sremmurd

4. Lay Up x Ella Mai

5. Get You x Daniel Caesar ft. Kali Uchis

6. Grown Woman x Xavier Omär 

7. Coaster x Khalid

8. Incomplete Kisses x Sampha 

I hope you all enjoyed the list! What songs will you be listening to get you through the week?! I would love to hear about it in the comments! 

Xo, 

5 Artists You Should Know: Women’s Future Month Edition


Happy Monday folks! It’s that time of the month again when I highlight some of my fave artists. In honor of Women’s History/Future Month, I’ve composed a list of five of my favorite female musicians at the moment. Be sure to view the list below!


#1. H.E.R.

I discovered H.E.R. via soundcloud about 6 months ago, and I’ve pretty much listened to her everyday since. The identity of this artist comes with an air of mystery, very similar to The Weeknd before he was a mainstream artist. All that is known about H.E.R. is that she is a woman, and a highly talented one. Even though her identity may be a mystery, she completely exposes herself in her lyrics. H.E.R.’s music is very vulnerable, and often describes every millennial’s love life down to a tee.

♫ Losing x H.E.R. 


#2. Ella Mai

Originally for London, Ella Mai is a r&b singer/songwriter. I credit Google Play for helping me discover her music, however Ella was discovered like many artists these days via Instagram. Ella is a true talent, and has a beautiful sultry voice.

♫ 10,000 Hours x Ella Mai


#3. Bibi Bourelly

Bibi Bourelly is singer/songwriter. She gained notoriety for being the co-writer of Rihanna’s hit single “Bxtch Betta Have My Money.” I discovered Bibi Bourelly one night while watching BET Jams, and her fiery tune “Ego” instantly became my theme song for most of 2016. Bibi music is raw, heartfelt, and honest. After listening to one of her songs you’ll feel prepared to take on anything this world may throw your way.

♫ Riot x Bibi Bourelly 

#4. Dreezy 



Dreezy is a r&b/rap artist that hails from Chicago and reps her city to the fullest. I discovered Dreezy as a rapper first, and then after researching her music later found out she was a singer as well. Even though she is equally amazing at both, I love what she is bringing to the male-dominated rap game right now. Her lyrics often reflect the importance of women power and ladies sticking together.

♫ Serena x Dreezy


#5. Kelela

Kelela has been on my radar for maybe the past 3 years or so now. Her dope aesthetic screams artistry at it’s finest. Kelela’s music is the epitome of chill vibes. She is also very culturally aware of what’s going on in the world, and she is never afraid to speak out about it.

♫ Send Me Out x Kelela

Hope you all enjoyed the list. What female musicians have you been vibing to this Women’s History/Future Month?! I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Xo,

The V-Day Playlist: 14 Songs That With Create The Perfect Sexy Vibe 

I’m sure if you are attached to someone then you’re aware that tomorrow is the lover’s holiday. That’s right people, February 14th has rolled around yet again. Couples everywhere will be partaking in romantic dinners, sharing intimacy, and umm…having lots of sex. I’ve curated the perfect playlist that will set a sensual and sultry mood for you and your bae to enjoy tomorrow’s sexy festivities. Check it out below.

1. Jupiter x Gallant

2. Hit Of You x Paloma Ford 

3. Blind Man x Xavier Omär 

4. Keep You In Mind x Gourdon Banks

5.  Found x Ella Mai 

6. Lovesick x Banks

7. Last Cigarette x Ro James 

8. Love You x SiR

9. No Less x SG Lewis ft. Louis Mattrs

10. Queen x SiR

11. Wait For You x H.E.R.

12. Apple Cherry x Nao

13.  Sacrifices x Tinashe

14. All 4 U x Kyle ft. Yuna

I hope you all enjoyed the list. What songs will be on your Valentine’s Day Playlist this year?! I would love to hear about them in the comments!

Xo,

8 Songs That Will Get You Through The Week! 


Photo | BingImages

To say these last few days within america were unbelievable is an understatement. Our country is in one of the worst states it has ever been in. As a creative, I will be heavily depending on all forms of art to be my saving grace (well that and ALOT of prayer). Below I’ve composed a list of a few of my favorite feel-good songs that will be sure to put you in a pleasant mood, and make you (temporarily) forget all of the worries of the world.

1. Trust Somebody x Cashmere Cat ft. Selena Gomez & Tory Lanez

2. Blind Man x Xavier Omär 

3. I Wanna Be x Kehlani

4. Blow Your Mind x Dua Lipa

5. F*ck With Myself x Banks

6. Villa Mentality x J. Cole

7. You’re The One x Kaytranada 

8. Trophy x Nao

Hope you all enjoyed the list! What songs will be on your playlist to get you through the week? Tell me about in the comments! 

Xo,

The Top 10 Most Underrated Albums Of 2016!


Last year was a big year for the music world. Beyoncé made women everywhere feel empowered with the greatest that is known as Lemonade, Solange reminded Black people it’s okay to revel in the magic that blackness is with A Seat At The Table, and Frank Ocean released his highly anticipated sophomore album Blond. All three albums were fantastic, and received the adequate amount of praise that each deserved. However, there were several albums that were on heavy rotation on my playlist that just did not get the accolades I felt they should have. As an artist, I know the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that go into making real artistry, so I’ve decided to compose a list of my top 10 underrated albums of 2016 to give these musicians the recognition they deserve. Check it out below.

10. “ANTI” X Rihanna

I know you’re probably thinking why is Rihanna on this list, she’s Rihanna? While it may be true that she is an ultra famous pop-star, her album was not given the praise it deserved from the mainstream media world. ANTI told the unapologetic story of what most women feel about their love lives as they journey through their mid to late 20s. I identified with every song on the album, and it may be my most favorite Rihanna project to date.


9. “Redemption” X Dawn Richards

Dawn is one of those artists that music takes you on a sonically spiritual journey. As you listen to Redemption you can feel the evolution of Dawn’s journey not just as an artist, but as a person.


8. “Late Nights: Europe ” X Jeremih

I’ve always been a fan of Jeremih and his sultry lyrics, so when he released this follow-up album to his 2015 hit Late Nights back in August I had to give it a listen. I was not disappointed. Jeremih took his listeners on a sexy journey through his European tour-stops and gave us a taste of each city using various tempos to match the mood and tone of that particular place.


7. “There’s Alot Going On” X Vic Mensa

Vic Mensa has been one of my favorite artists for a while now. His transition into the mainstream music world was a swift one, and he reflected that on this album. Mensa tells the story of what it feels like to be a Black man in today’s society, all while trying to enjoy the fun that comes along with being a young rap star.


6. “ELDORADO” X Ro James

Eldorado is uncensored, sensual, and seductive. Ro James reminds you exactly of what real r&b should feel and sound like. It’s the perfect album for a date-night in with your baby.


5. “B4 The Heartbreak” X Sy Ari Da Kid

When this album dropped I kept it on repeat for at least 5 weeks straight, it was just that great. B4 The Heartbreak tells the age-old story of a man that falls in love but isn’t ready to commit just yet, and then finds himself in a bit if a love-triangle. The lyrics are raw and relatable, and paired with well-composed mild tempo beats. There’s just nothing not to love about this project.


4. “FREE 6LACK” X 6LACK

I discovered 6LACK through a Pandora Radio station. After researching his music, I discovered he had recently released his debut album. After just one listen to it, I was hooked. FREE 6LACK takes you through the journey of a disastrous love story. You feel every once of pain, regret, denial, and finally redemption.


3. “Chapters” X Yuna

Yuna is one of those artists that artistry literally feeds your soul. The soft-tone of her vocals are just so darn soothing. Chapters takes you on Yuna’s voyage of letting go of her non-deserving lover, learning her strength as a woman, and then becoming emotionally vulnerable to fall in love again. The album puts you in a trance, and helps you momentarily forget about the world around you.


2. “The Altar ” X Banks

Words can not express how I love the artist that is known as Banks. With her second studio album The Altar, Banks takes you on her journey of how she’s grown into the woman she’s come to be. As dark as the album is there is this contrasting sense of purity you feel while listening to it.


1. “Ology” X Gallant

There is just something so tranquil about Gallant’s voice. Ology exudes the awesomeness that r&b was in the 90s and early 2000s. This album is the perfect soundtrack whether you’re taking a relaxing bubble bath with a glass of wine, or need something vibbie to listen to at an intimate house party. The old-school nature of the album mixed with contemporary undertones made it my favorite album of 2016.

Hope you all enjoyed the list. What were some of your favorite underrated albums of 2016? I would love to hear about them in the comments.

Xo,

 

 

The Woosah Playlist: 8 Songs That Help You Find Your Chill


Photo | fridaychildofgrowth.com

For the last few weeks the universe has been throwing me some major curve balls, and I’ve found myself having to find my inner chi more than usual. Life is not always going to be pleasant, but you can’t allow the cosmic demons to get you down. Most often, when I need to have a “come to Jesus” moment I take time to meditate and pray or do yoga, and those few moments of peace make all the difference in the world. Whenever I do meditation and yoga I always accompany that time with the perfect woosah playlist. I’ve decided to compose a list of my top 8 songs that help me find my inner peace. Check them out below:

1. Those Days x Kaasi

2. Penthouse Cloud x The Internet

3. Colours of Freedom x Tom Misch & Bearcubs

4. Cranes In The Sky x Solange

5. No Less x SG Lewis

6. Beautiful Escape x Tom Misch ft. Zak Abel

7. Young x Vallis Alps

8. Fall x Chloe X Halle

I know you all will enjoy the playlist. I can guarantee you half way through listening to it you’ll forget all about what was stressing you out in the first place.

What songs help you find you inner chi? I would love to hear about them in the comments!

Xo,
img_1901-1