Three Albums You Need To Listen To

So when I woke up Friday morning I was admittedly a bit overwhelmed by the amount of great music that had been released over night. I started listening and going through songs and albums and for each one I was thinking, wow I definitely need to write about this one. But since the listening alone will take you quite some time I don’t want to bore you with three elaborate album reviews and instead I’ll present to you the ones that I currently LOVE, short and sweet (in addition to “The Jungle Is The Only Way Out” by Mereba that I have written about in my last post which you can read here).

Solange When I Get Home

I’ll start with the obvious… “When I Get Home” by Solange. If there was a Guggenheim Museum for sound then Solange’s music would have its own exhibition there with her grand music filling the halls. I love that she takes risks, she’s rising her delicate middle finger up towards the mainstream and is dancing on her own little cloud of musical genre. She’s not letting anyone put her in a box and especially not letting anyone limit her to the label of being Beyonce’s sister. “I can’t be a singular expression of myself, there’s too many parts, too many spaces, too many manifestations, too many lines, too many curves, too many troubles, too many journeys, too many mountains, too many rivers”, she says in the second interlude of the album and I’m personally very inspired by that. Just one more side note, do not listen to her album on low volume! Either turn it all the way up or leave it. Anything else will be like turning your back to a sunset to watch it in the reflection of a window.

2Chainz Rap Or Go To The League

Next up is “Rap Or Go To The League” by my dear 2Chainz. This album starts out with a bang featuring the amazing Marsha Ambrosius which I’ve loved since 2010. As always, 2Chainz is coming through with the epic samples like “So Good To Be Alive” by the Truthettes on “Threat 2 Society” and the signature piano keys as on “Statute of Limitations”. In general, I have to say that even though he got quite a few interesting features on this one like Kendrick, Lil Wayne and Chance The Rapper and others, I like the songs without features the best. And I think that just speaks for him and his talent and presence. However, the use of Amerie’s “Why Don’t We Fall In Love” beat on “Rule The World” with Ariana Grande is pretty epic. So yeah an album for the whole family. Alright not quite but I’m extremely pleasantly surprised by 2Chainz shining at his best.

American Love Call

And last but not least is “American Love Call” by a group that I hadn’t heard of before but I am glad I discovered them and am therefore twice as happy to be able to introduce you to them now. They’re called Durand Jones & The Indications and I mean it in the best way possible when I say that they’re music sounds super old!! I was confused when I saw the release date of the album because they sound like they fit right into my “Classy Classics” playlist which features songs by The Temptations, Al Green, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Behind the music are a group of old souls in their twenties (counting in Earth years). Durand Jones, who is the singer, and his 4 friends who make up the group met at Indiana University and released their first project in 2012. Their new album “American Love Call” was recorded at Studio G in Brooklyn, New York and within it is a call to acknowledge the cruel reality of America’s history and at the same time step forward truly united to help create a future that our children will enjoy experiencing. So to describe it in short – this is relevant classic soul.

Watch the video to the first song on the album below, it made me really emotional.
(Oh and shoutout to Solange for making the visual to her album exclusively available on Apple Music…if you happen to know why she didn’t put it on Tidal please enlighten me)

XTINA IS BACK

After 6 years of silence, except for a song here and there and her incredibly moving single “Change”, released in 2016 (If you haven’t listened to it yet, do it, now!) Christina Aguilera is finally back with a bang! Her new single “Accelerate” from her album “Liberation” is everything! The track is produced by none other than Kanye West (yes that *fill in the blank* guy) and features Ty Dolla $ign and 2Chainz. I know right? Whuuuut? I knew it was going to be fire before I had even listened to it.

Her album, which will be released on June 15 (yes same day as the new Nas album, what a day!) will consist of 11 songs, including two that Anderson.Paak worked on and a track titled “Maria” which is also produced by Kanye and features a Michael Jackson sample. Yes, Christina knows what’s good! Another interesting collaboration will be “Fall in Line”, a duet with Demi Lovato and girl power anthem à la “Can’t Hold Us Down”-2002-Xtina.

Here is the track list:

Liberation
Searching For Maria
Maria
Sick Of Sittin’
Dreamers
Fall In Line feat Demi Lovato
Right Moves feat Keida and Shenseea
Like I Do
Deserve
Twice
I Don’t Need It Anymore (Interlude)
Accelerate feat Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz
Pipe
Masochist
Unless It’s With You

So I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna start counting down the days now. Meanwhile, I’ll have “Accelerate” on repeat. And now have fun enjoying this mindblowing video. Gahdaaamn she still got it!!

Why 2 Chainz, YG and Offset are just trying to make their momma’s PROUD

So the video for 2 Chainz’ single “PROUD” featuring YG and Offset, from his latest EP “The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It”, is hilarious, no question! The rappers’ mothers dressed up as their sons, lip-syncing their verses is probably the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. But besides being funny as hell, the 2 Chainz-directed video has a really strong message and underlying significance that most probably don’t really acknowledge. Each of the three artists has been going through their own struggles with money, drugs, the law…but they all have one thing in common – a Supermom, acting as mother and father figure at the same damn time.

2 Chainz, born Tauheed Epps, was arrested for the first time for posession of cocaine when he was only 15 years old. Since his father was in and out of prison, he was raised by his mother who went through the struggle of drug dealing and money issues with him. As he raps in the song “Me and momma used to trap out the same house, used to eat and go to sleep on the same couch, me and momma got busted at the same time, went to court and told judge the damn same lies”. 2 Chainz’ relationship with his father grew closer over the years but he passed away in 2012.

YG, born Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson, equally gave his mother a hard time. While his father was in jail, his mother took over and tried to support him in any way she could. However, this didn’t prevent him from getting arrested as well. Luckily, his sentence for residential burglery got shortened from 2 years to only 3 months, which allowed him to keep focusing on his music and finally getting signed to Def Jam Records. YG first openly showed his appreciation for his mother on his song “Sorry Momma” from his first album “My Krazy Life” where he apologizes for the hard times he has put her through. In his verse on “PROUD” he raps “‘Cause I know you wanna see me come home proper, soon as I get right I said I gotcha then I gotcha”.

Offset, born Kiari Kendrell Cephus was raised by his aunt (Quavo’s mom) and his mother, together with his cousins Quavious Keyate Marshall aka Quavo and Kirshnik Khari Ball aka Takeoff. Yeah I know right? Pretty complex names. Also pretty complex family situation! Took me a while to figure it out to be honest. But returning to the point I’m trying to make here. Offset’s and Takeoffs father’s left when they were still young and Quavo’s father passed away when he was only four years old. So clearly another Supermom situation! Also Offset isn’t just trying to make his momma proud he is also trying to make his grandmomma proud!! She suffered a premature death due to cancer and so Offset went and raised $500,000 for the American Cancer Society. Yeah I’m sure she’s hella PROUD!

But now, knowing these little background stories, watch the video! And if you’ve seen it already, watch it again! I think you’ll appreciate it even more now.