Raheem DeVaughn returns with his 2018 album Decade of a Love King. The project consists of 13 tracks that would make anyone believe in love and passion, even the most jaded of hearts would fall in love with this album.
More new sounds:
Nao – Saturn
Keith Sweat – Playing for Keeps
Pink Sweat$ – Volume 1 – EP
Summer Walker – Last Day of Summer
Audiobook: 7 hrs 48 m ; released 2017
This book by Gabrielle Union is a collection of stories told by the actress in relation to her childhood, career and her life as a mother and wife.
This book was great! It’s engaging, intriguing and downright hilarious at times. Gabrielle Union narrates the audio version of this book and it was like having a conversation with a good friend. Her story telling ability is clear and articulate. There are stories that some may already know about the actress and others people may be hearing for the first time but with the way that everything comes together it is an amazing read (or listen).
I feel as though this book is one that you can read over and over and each time still be entertained.
As we get further into this fall season we are met with some new music releases.
The self titled album by Ella Mai is a story within a story. The album itself is set up in an acrostic format. And from there the singer seamlessly gives us music that falls under each “category”. I definitely enjoyed this album from start to finish and it has been in heavy rotation since its release.
I was relieved to hear that the tracks were relatable and not too sing – songy. Additionally, I was equally elated that the three features (Chris Brown, John Legend and H.E.R) that she had complemented the project and didn’t take away from people enjoying her and what she was trying to accomplish with this album.
Mario’s Dancing Shadows album was released without much promotion. In its totality it was an OK listen but I haven’t been running back to hear it again. There are a few songs that stuck with me such as the opening song “Drowning” and the following track “Too Many Options” but there are others that weren’t all that great. I think this is a hit or miss and it will definitely depend on the listener.
Everything Must Go, Vol 2. This is a cool release to listen to while you are cleaning. Out of the 7 songs on this project I enjoyed 5 of them. I’m a T-Pain fan and although I liked the majority of the songs on the album this isn’t exactly what I would like to hear from T-Pain at this point in his career and I’m hoping that there is a full length project to follow this.
Pleasure P, or as you may find him on the internet, Marcus Cooper, recently released his second solo album called She Likes. I really liked this project with the exception of the first song, “Reaching”. I think I may have been put off from the first track because I wasn’t aware that Pleasure P was really on anyone’s radar for him to be snapping off like that. Outside of the opening song though, I liked what I heard.
And Pleasure P is a known songwriter, it definitely sounds as if a lot of the songs were a collaborative effort with some of our favorite trendy songwriters / singers and if he didn’t work with anyone there was some strong inspiration!
Overall, I think it’s worth the listen.
It’s been four years since we last heard from Marsha Ambrosius and since then she has had some life changing experiences. Her album Nyla is one that you have to listen to more than once to really feel. You can tell that there is a story that she is trying to tell but this album is not one of my favorites from her.
Audiobook: 7 hrs 46 mins; Released 2017
Most may know him as one-third of “the most dangerous morning show”, Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club but many may not know how Lenard McKelvey a.k.a Charlamagne Tha God got to be in the position that he is in today.
In the biography, Black Privilege, Charlamagne gives the reader an idea of the kinds of things that goes on in his mind. There are parts of the book that make you wonder “is this guy serious” and others where you come to the conclusion that maybe he doesn’t have them all. But as the book continues Charlamagne, or Uncle Charla as he has been dubbed, recounts many childhood memories; his brief rap career (that thankfully never took off); his relationship with many well-known industry people, which gradually lead to his position in broadcast and his relationship with his wife. There’s also a portion of the book where he speak about how he came to be known as Charlamagne.
Overall, the book was both informative and entertaining. By the ending I felt as though I personally knew Charlamagne.
*** Since the publishing of Black Privilege, Charalamagne has gone on a many of press runs (that are worth a YouTube search) and is set to release another book at the end of October.
Currently, his book Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me is to be released on October 23, 2018.
Check out the review on Hip Hop releases that are getting a lot of buzz.
WALE. Again Wale has released an EP. This year there has been three EPs from the D.C. rapper. His latest is entitled Free Lunch. The track list consists of five songs and I must say that I was not disappointed with the 20 minutes I spent listening. Free Lunch is reminiscent of his earlier projects such as Attention Deficit and More About Nothing.
EMINEM. The 45-year-old rapper dropped his Kamikaze album on August 31 and it was a full display of Em’s lyrical skills. Beyond his clear ability to still put it down in the booth it was not lost on anyone that the ‘rap God’ was rapping from a hurt place. With his last album not being the best in his discography, he rhymes about the lackluster reaction from fans and amongst all else he took shots at many of the new school rappers and some veterans. Em’s approach caused a stir for a lot of people who saw this as a bitter old man trying to prove a point that doesn’t need to be proven. The album though is still worth the listen.
LIL WAYNE. After five years the long awaited Wayne album was finally released. Tha Carter V came a day after the Louisiana native’s birthday (September 28). Personally I held my breath with this one. No one really knew what to expect from the album that had been held up due to a lengthy legal battle Wayne faced with the label head of Cash Money records and his father figure / mentor, Birdman. This was a good album. If you’ve been listening to Wayne for as long as I have (since the late 90s) you’d hear that this is Wayne in his most vulnerable and authentic state. I enjoyed this album from start to finish.
T.I. On October 5th T.I released his tenth studio album Dime Trap. Despite what most may take away from the title, T.I. used this album as a way to express what trap music means to him and how it has been used as a method to reach people in the black community. The album as a whole is a good project. There are a few songs I personally did not like but everything is not for everybody. I was not disappointed with this release. After ten albums T.I. is still able to give the people good music.
I love Tori Kelly and I love gospel but that’s where it stops, as two separate things. Kelly has a beautiful voice and her previous projects were amazing. I have absolutely nothing against her testing the waters with gospel music but the release of her gospel album Hiding Place is one that I wouldn’t want to hear again and again. Nothing really moved me. It seems that the songs she was singing were not for her. I would have liked to hear her sing something that didn’t teeter on the line of pop or “safe” verbiage that almost made it sound like she was singing about something other than God. I enjoyed the features but I did not enjoy the album.
Recently, I deleted all of my social media apps. It’s something that I do every so often just to get away from being attached to my phone for long periods of time and to declutter my brain from all of the filth that I typically see on my timelines.
I’m pretty old fashioned when it comes to a lot of things but I’m not immune from getting sucked into spending lots of time scrolling on different sites. I’m sure by this time we’ve all heard the warnings of what being connected all the time or too often can do to us and how it is important to disconnect from time to time.
In this fall season here are a few things you can do as opposed to being on your phone:
Go Outside. Yup. Outside. Away from your cozy couch and from behind your computer screen. Even though the temperatures are starting to drop there are so many cool outdoor activities such as going to the cider mill or apple orchard, a local fall festival or football game.
Stay Inside. Ok, so maybe you aren’t the outdoorsy type. This time of the year there are usually a lot of Halloween movie marathons. You can also bake! Tsk the season for pumpkin spices and cinnamon. Use those ingredients to make homemade baked goods and drinks.
And when all else fails, engage in my personal favorite of reading a book. Find a cool series so that you can stay occupied.
The point is to stay off of your phone for a while and give yourself a break. Too much screen time can cause restlessness and for you to miss out on some pretty awesome opportunities.
Gucci Mane: The Autobiography of Gucci Mane Length: 6 hrs 29 mins
Forget everything that you know or think you know about Radric Davis aka Gucci Mane. This autobiography is very good. I’m sure a physical copy would be a true page turner. With my experience it was a good listen. It was one of the few audio books that I listened to in its entirety in one day. I was not bored with Gucci’s recollection of his early childhood memories, his introduction to drugs (both the ones he sold and the ones he used) his life as a rapper and life after he realized his world was spiraling out of control. If you are my age and into Hip Hop you may remember some of the stories that are being recounted but even if you aren’t this book is still a truly engaging read.