As the summer is coming to an end we are getting some new music releases and they are lit!

( H.E.R. album cover for I Used to Know Her: The Prelude)

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H.E.R delivered something amazing with her EP I Used to Know Her: The Prelude. She reels the listener in with the first song being a sample of Lauryn Hill’s “Lost Ones” . Using anything remotely close to Lauryn Hill’s work is risky but there was no disrespect with H.E.R.’s “Lost Souls”. It literally made me eager for the next track. The EP in total is 6 songs, 20 minutes in duration. There’s no disappointments with this project. It’s definitely worth the listen.

(Travis Scott album cover for Astroworld)

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Can you say on repeat? This new album from Travis Scott is everything. From the cover art to the track list Travis Scott gave us something worth the wait since his last album Birds in the Trap Sing Brian McKnight . He didn’t overdo it with the features and the features he did have was a good fit for this album. It clearly lived up to the name of the album which was reportedly in tribute to an, now closed, amusement park in his hometown. The album takes you through many twists and turns with a whimsical undertone. Admittedly, if you aren’t a Travis Scott fan already you may not like everything but I believe there’s a song for everyone on this album.

 

What You Want May Not Be What You Need

When it comes to dating everyone has their preferences but I’m here to say that what you want may not be what you need.

Clear your mind. What is it that you find attractive when you are looking to date? Everyone has a type when it come to picking a mate which is cool but when it comes down to it what is it that you really need?

When you’re young and not truly knowing yourself you may end up with someone who is not a good fit. You may not be entirely sure what it is that you need out of a relationship. Dating young is all about trial and error. You learn from your experiences and it should give you some insight on what it is you need for a relationship to work.

The type of person you find yourself dedicating your time to should reflect the type of person you are. Equally yoked is an overly used phrase, instead think of it as finding someone who shares your core interest / positive traits (are they family oriented? Is religion important? Are they good with money?) You should look to someone who is not only attractive appearance wise but also with an appealing personality. Can you converse with this person without feeling as though you are talking to a wall? Do you share hobbies or goals? Do they support you in the things that you do? Do they challenge you to be a better version of yourself?

Let me be clear. Relationships are work for both parties involved. However, don’t be afraid to walk away from something if your mate is not bringing what you need to the table (I’m not talking finances here that’s a whole ‘nother post). Always speak your mind and let it be known what it is that will make you feel fulfilled. Someone who you think is your type may not be the one to provide fulfillment.

 

**Originally posted November 2014 on my older blog page. This post was revised.

Romantic relationships shouldn’t always be your focus. There are so many different types of relationships that are essential to your development.

Recently, as I worked on another video for my blog I thought of all of the work relationships I have and I became grateful that there are people I can call to either strengthen what I’m working on or give equal input.

If you are currently in college look around you. Sometimes the person sitting right next to you can turn out to be your business partner. Or maybe it doesn’t have to go as far as that but they may have something else to offer to your craft. Connect with professors because they may know someone who can help you on your path to success.

What if you’re not in school? You’re just working a 9 to 5. That’s OK too. All connections don’t come from educational institutions. Getting to know and linking with co-workers who may share the same interest can lead to great ventures.

The biggest factor is taking risks. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to build relationships. You don’t have to give all your ideas out but general conversations can lead you to knowing whether or not you can make a trustworthy connection with someone.

I applaud anyone who can get a lot done on their own but it is perfectly OK to have a helping hand in building up a brand. Especially if it is positive and fair.

A little about me: I like to provoke people. Let me explain. There are times when I find myself, sometimes unintentionally, asking questions or making statements that make people uncomfortable. I might ask just to see what their response is for my own little social experiment.

I actually enjoy social experiments. When I was in college one of my professors asked the students to take an elevator full of people and once in turn your back to the doors. Naturally, when you get into an elevator you face the doors as you travel to your desired floor. In that situation, so many people looked uncomfortable. They wanted to know what in the hell I was doing! As people hurried off of the elevator I got so many sideways stares.

Recently, while talking to different people, I casually said “back in my playa days…” and proceeded to detail my life as someone who juggled men in the fashion that men are expected to juggle women. I was saying all types of crazy things like “yeah, I’d take him to expensive dinners because at the end of the night he needed to drop them drawers” and anything that indicated basically that I was something close to being a sugar mama. (I would like to emphasize that me being a playa or a sugar mama never happened!)

Just like walking into the elevator and facing in the opposite direction I got a lot of sideways looks and a few who looked a little uncomfortable. But once that faded the question, sometimes not as bold, was: “so basically you were a hoe!?”

Huh?

I find it funny that no matter the situation, even if it’s one that men are generally praised for, a woman is going to be looked at as a hoe. It’s not right for men to treat women nicely only to look for sex in return but people are going to say, “boys will be boys!” If a woman is doing the same thing she is automatically a hoe.

When I asked for an explanation of how this made me a hoe I was met with a question of “well, you said you were with multiple men right?” Because that summed up everything. Well, thank you society!

Honesty and respect should always be given. I just want to wrap this up by saying this: men are the biggest hoes to walk the Earth. Just kidding, just kidding. No, honesty and respect should always be given (this is not a typo, I really want to emphasize this). And I believe that whether it be a man or a woman that’s being a player type, it only comes at the expense of putting your and others well being on the line. Be up front about your intentions and treat people in a way that won’t bite you in the ass later.

 

Kind of on the subject… and mostly cause it’s like my favorite video on the internet right now:

 

Length: 282 Pages

trevor noah

You may know him from The Daily Show on Comedy Central but before then he was just a street hustler going no where fast. Trevor Noah, in his book Born a Crime,  recounts his days before being the well-known comedian that he is today. Life in South Africa didn’t come easy for Noah but he made it by becoming a disc jockey and a petty theft. Written as if he were presenting this book to an audience at one of his stand-up comedy shows Trevor Noah will make you laugh and (if you’re sensitive) cry. I’m not kidding! This book is worth the read.

Audiobook: 7 hrs 28 mins ; Released 2016

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Angie Martinez, in her memoir My Voice, details her life as she went from just a Hip Hop junkie, just discovering the genre, to being a staple in the Hip Hop culture. By the end of me listening to this book I was actually considering buying a physical copy to add to my mini library. The book was written in a fashion where you aren’t overwhelmed by what is being recounted. Some people can go on and on about their life without actually saying anything but Angie Martinez kept me entertained and enlightened. Even with information, that by no means is new, she didn’t draw it out and make it dry. I recommend reading or listening to this book.

(Cover: The Internet’s album Hive Mind)

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The Internet released Hive Mind on July 20. With most of the group members coming off of a solo run you’d think that they wouldn’t have anything left to offer but that is the furthest thing from the truth. I enjoyed the group’s latest release and it seems that the solo projects only strengthened their sound.

They draw you in with up-tempo instrumentals and Syd’s melodic voice for an overall experience of what I can only describe as “grown up” music. If you aren’t familiar with the group I would recommend, not only listening to this project but also to their 2014 album Ego Death. You won’t be disappointed.

 

(Cover: Silkk the Shocker’s album It Will Make Sense Later)

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43-year-old New Orleans rapper Silkk the Shocker released his album It Will Make Sense Later on July 17. This album comes 13 years after his last release. It’s hard to say how this album will be received. It’s a good chance that it would be a nostalgic 1 hour and 1 minute for listeners who are familiar with Silkk’s earlier work.  The younger generation may give it a chance off the strength of it being a new release and because there are a few tracks that fits the mold of today’s music.

There  are features from Master P, Lil Romeo and more. Overall, I will say it’s not a bad album but I don’t believe it’s one that would be on repeat. My two favorite songs from the album is “Finest Girl” and “Outta Here” featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again. I would suggest giving the project a listen.

(Cover: Shai’s album Musically Yours)

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The group Shai is probably best known for their 1992 released single “If I Ever Fall in Love Again” from the album of the same title (I know it’s still one of my favorite songs to date). On June 29 the group (with two new members in place of two originals) released Musically Yours.

I am going to go out on the limb by saying that maybe my expectations was too high for this project but I was very disappointed and bored. Listen to this album at your own risk. The group just don’t sound as good as before. And maybe it’s just old age or the lack of having all of the original members but it just wasn’t doing it for me. There were some songs that could have been good but then they started trying to do too much. They weren’t harmonizing well and the execution just came off as noise.

We’ve had several releases this summer. The last few weeks we’ve had albums come from Wiz Khalifa, Meek Mill and Future. So here’s what you have to look forward to:

(Cover for Meek Mill’s Legends of Summer, released July 6)

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I am the furthest thing from a Meek Mill fan but I was pleasantly surprised by the release of his first project after his stint in jail. His EP, Legends of the Summer consist of 4 tracks. Collectively the project is less than 15 minutes but I strongly suggest giving it a listen. (Excuse my corniness but…) This EP is like a box of chocolates. Meek gives you a little sample of everything. There’s the typical Meek anthem where he reps his city which is backed with a feature from Swiss Beatz. There’s a smooth track that one may say is for the ladies followed by a potential club joint. The project wraps up with a song that speaks to current social issues and his own fight with the judicial system. This EP is definitely worth a listen.

(Cover for Future’s Beastmode 2, released July 6)

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On July 6, Future dropped a “surprise” mixtape. The project Beastmode 2 was produced by Zaytoven and just by this collab you’d think that there would be a few hype tracks that we are use to from Future. However, the album is anything but hype. I was actually left a bit depressed. It seemed as if a lot of the songs were reflective of a lifestyle he does not want to be apart of anymore. Some of the tracks could have been good but they were overshadowed by lazy lyrics, even for Future. The 9 track mixtape, to say the least was boring and very solemn. Somebody should definitely check on Future, he may need a hug! I would say unless you’re just curious, don’t bother wasting 32 minutes of your life by listening to this album.

(Cover for Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers 2, released on July 13)

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news on this one because everyone loves Wiz but this album isn’t even worth giving the bad review that I have! *Shakes head in total disappointment*

I’ll give my two cents though if you’ve made it this far.

Rolling Papers 2. It’s 25 tracks. An hour and 30 minutes. In it’s totality the album was awkward. It’s like Wiz stumbled through each track with forced recycled vibes and lyrics from previous albums. Don’t get me wrong. Yes, we all know that Wiz is an advocate for weed smoking and a good time but this was a failed attempt at something that we’ve known him to be good for. There are a few decent tracks, obviously the song that had been released as a single “Something New” feat. Ty Dolla $ign, “Hopeless Romantic” feat. Swae Lee and maybe one or two others. But even on my third listen I just couldn’t help but cringe. The set up of the album is weird and it doesn’t flow well. Someone suggested that you break it down and listen to it, almost as if it was 2 or 3 albums in one, but for me that didn’t help. You may be enticed to hear something new from Wiz Khalifa but I’d say proceed with caution!

Seemingly, Drake is on a roll with his music this summer. On July 15 he stopped by another UK-based show and spit a freestyle for Fire in the Booth. I suppose he is warming everyone up for his upcoming tour Aubrey and The Three Amigos.

Check out the Canadian rapper in this latest clip