Happy Music Monday everyone and what a special one it is. Today, I hear by resurrect this music blog and bring ABOUT the revival of groovy tunes and funky fresh posts. It has been a while since I’ve posted, but I promise I’m back and will only adhere to the dopest of musical posting standards from here on out. The bad dad jokes are here to stay SO let’s get jiggy with it.
Today, we will be reviewing Chicago’s very best, Vic Mensa and his new album entitled: “The Autobiography.” If you don’t know Mensa, he is primarily known for his rock star leather jacket/tattoo aesthetic with a troubled teenage rebel like persona as well as a decently aggressive rap style.
With that being said, this album smoothens out Mensa’s rougher edges (at times) and hones in on some of the more intimate experiences in his life. Of course you have exceptions to this I.e. Down For Some Ignorance, BUT for the most part you experience a more personable side. Heavy on the self-reflection, this fifteen piece project was also worked on by the famous, No I.D. the same producer who just freshly worked on Jay Z’s recent hitter 4:44. You can definitely feel No I.D. ‘s influence in this album, which in part is what gives it the more rounded vibe. But before I give too much away, let’s dissect some tracks.
Say I Didn’t:
In this track, Mensa does a lot of heavy self-reflection and the growth he has experienced with his different relationships. The last verse in particular focuses on the relationship he shares with his father. He discuses their growth by stating, “you used to hate to hear the phone ring. Now you can’t wait to hear the phone ring ain’t that a beautiful thing.” This shows the development in their relationship and how it has changed over time. ALSO the track starts off with a recording of Mensa’s father calling out to him to cut the music off as he is listening to old school R&B. This not only introduces the beautiful soul that is incorporated into the tracks rhythm, but also subtly expresses the different musical influences Mensa has had growing up. This is a small glimpse into the window of Mensa’s creative mind and his inspirations. Overall, this is a great first track and intro to this reflective album.
Memories on 47th:
In this track, Mensa expresses feelings of being misunderstood but not giving in and still pushing towards his goals. He is misunderstood when the “teachers didn’t see my vision, had me in EIP.” SO just to give everyone some back ground info if you didn’t know, what that stands for is Individualized Education Programs. So he was most definitely misunderstood, at least for his creative streak. Also, Mensa raps about his goals and how his brushes with death have not slowed him down. For example, his experience at Lollapalooza jumping the fence and then taking 15,000 volts of electricity to the elbow. Like, Holy F*#^. Mensa raps “the doctor said I should be dead, still alive and still ain’t scared. In the hospital bed, writin’ these rhymes in my head.” These moments clearly had a strong impact on Mensa and have most definitely NOT slowed him down in his drive for success. Bravissimo my friend.
Down for Some Ignorance:
SOOO on this track we get more of the older Vic. This track throws us back to the older Vic style with a little more aggression and a lot more of imma bout tah roll up on your block and dot dot dot…. i.e. “Grab your gun, and pop a pill, and put your middle finger up in the sky.” Man CALLING ALL TO RUN. OR COME THE F&^% OUT. Either or, Vic is throwing down. So like I said before, this track definitely touches on his older style with reporting on his more violent experiences. You also have Chief Kief on this track which if you’re trynna round everyone up…. I mean the man isn’t allowed in a handful of states so you get the picture. I rest my case. Regardless, this track reflects on the darker and more aggressive experiences Vic has had growing up. It contrasts with tracks like “Say I Didn’t” but there wouldn’t be “Say I Didn’t” if you didn’t have the darker times. With ups there are downs and with the dark there is always the light. Over all, this is a great track that shows another side of Vic.
So in the end, this is a great first start to Mensa’s individual career as an artist. I would definitely recommend checking it out. Full of self-reflection, it is an insightful listen.
CHECK IT OUT.
Until next week,
So if you read my previous blog post on Agenda Fest last weekend, you might remember I mentioned I’d be heading to FYF fest for the following weekend. Well, I went and Fuck Yeah it was B.O.M.B. I have to say; the line up had to be one of my personal favorites this festival season thus far, with Coachella coming in second.
The schedule was Puuurfect with very minimal scheduling conflicts. This is always an unfortunate hit when you have a conflict because let’s be real, we’ve all been there, and ain’t nobody got time for that. SO we fortunately did not have to go down that dark path and had a pretty solid experience. I attended Friday and Saturday but skipped on Sunday. There were some very very rad performers playing BUT I had to pass. The performers I did see on Friday and Saturday where UNREAL though and killed it during their sets. Top performances had to be:
- Missy Elliot
- Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals
- A Tribe Called Quest
- Frank Ocean
And alright, I know that’s kind of a lot, but to be fair, I DID mention the line up was dope. So we proceed:
One word for her performance…LIT. But that is to be expected as Missy Elliot is a sure bet for a very L.I.T. time. I mean, the original queen of hip-hop has no shortage of top hits to pull out of her back pocket and simply just lay out on the floor. And ohhh she did. The crowd got down to hits such as Get your Freak On, Lose Control, Bomb Intro/Pass That Dutch, Work It and more. She also performed some of her more recent hits like I’m Better and WTF, which naturally got the crowd amped. Missy is NO LIE, homies, and she ain’t goin’ NO WHERE.
So I’m normally not a huge fan of being in the FRONT of shows, but I saw an opening in the crowd while watching .Paak and figured sure, why not. Well, I’m glad I did because seeing him groove and play the drums up close was a freaking treat.
Now this was my third time seeing .Paak with the first time being at the Hollywood Palladium, the second at the House of Blues Anaheim, and then shortly after he toured in Europe. Well, he just recently came BACK from Europe and then performed FYF and WOW, his performance was ohhhh soooo clean. The music organically flows through this artist already but after touring, it is evident that he’s only honed in on his skills as a performer. His set was spotless and absolutely polished. Maybe be the best performance of the weekend for me. Incredible. I mean also good god you just simply cannot go wrong with live instruments.
This made the top list because it was an absolute throw back for everyone. These guys have great vibes and are fairly consistent performers. I mean, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of someone coming back from an MGMT concert disappointed because the artists didn’t put on a good show. The music is basically modern day psychedelic rock so I mean trippy is trippy and that’s not gunna change. So on that note, FREAKING GOOD VIBES ALL THROUGH OUT THE SHOW. If I could buy everyone at the bar a round of this every time I go out, yeah I’d do it. JUST SOLID. Fun Funky and absolutely FRESH. The sun was shining high in the sky when they performed as well, so it was basically like we were all living in a bubbly music video. Awesome.
A Tribe Called Quest
Now if you think you’ve been to a hip hop show…. Think again because I thought I had been to my fair share until I saw Tribe. Maybe it’s the reputation or the deep roots they have, but nothing beats the authenticity of seeing true hip hop legends like A Tribe Called Quest. And hey, maybe I am biased, (Insert hyper link), but you just can’t beat ‘em. To all my hip hop fans, you feel me. Organic, raw, and real to the core, this show was where it’s at. At first, I was slightly bothered because there was some sound issues, BUT that eased up toward the second half of their performance. No lie, they have aged and they are in fact missing one of their main boys, (RIP Phiff) but they still came strong and their energy hasn’t faded. Absolutely classic hip hop performance. Can’t ask for anything better.
Then you had Frank. Now when you invest in Frank, you know you’re investing in a very low key and mellow show. One with a lot of feels too, if ya feel me. So this show was no different then what you’d expect. A lot of sways and groovessss. This was also a special performance because Frank seldom performs. I mean word has it our friend has some serious stage fright. With that being said, his performance was chill and well, beautiful. It was at the end of the night so we were all pretty beat, but still, it didn’t change the fact that Frank has a voice of an angel. Also, damn the man sure had some serious hunnies screaming for him in the pit. Damn.
All in all the festival was rad and well organized. The crowd was cool, the sets were awesome, and the line up was perfect. Next year will be AWESOME and I can’t wait to be back.
This last weekend I checked out Agenda Festival in long beach, an event put on primarily for over 500 independent street artist and clothing brands. This year the event expanded and incorporated live performers and a variety of food trucks.
The street brands showcased at the convention center were to no surprise unique and showed unbelievable creativity. What was more impressive was the merchandising of all the product lines. You had vendors transforming their booths into an outdoor shopping experiences with trees and soil all the way to vintage cars showing off product. The shopping experience was definitely taken to another level at this years event.
SO, I mean I was already down for this festival to begin with but then when I heard Ludacris himself was performing, I kind of lost it. We all know Luda knows how to get down. Shout out to all my hip-hop lovers who KNOW that watching Blueberry Yum Yum and Act A Fool live ain’t NOTHING BUT LIT.
So naturally Luda got down and so did we. He gave the crowd what they wanted and that was performing ALL HIS HITS. But out of all, some notable mentions have to be:
- Act A Fool
- My Chick Bad
- Blueberry Yum Yum
- How Low
He was unreal.
So after Luda went on, our boy Tyler was up. This was a unique performance because it was Tyler’s first time performing his new album“ Flower Boy”
The show opened up with Who Dat Boy, a new track from his album. The intro was slightly anti climatic because Tyler started, stopped, and then re-did the intro. But it was ok…. because he then brought out A$AP ROCKY. This performance had to be one of the best out of his set.
So other then that, the crowd was semi tamed. Now this is my second time seeing Tyler and normally the crowd is HYPE but this performance was slightly slower. We noticed the energy just in time and decided to head into the pit. Word of advice for a Tyler show, if you’re gunna do the show right you gotta get yourself into the pit. I mean, I’m not gunna lie at one point I thought I was gunna get stabbed but I mean, that’s the pit.
So some other notable performances have to be:
- Domo 23
- Fucking Young/Perfect
When he performed Yonkers I lost it.
So all around, the festival was cool. This was the very first Agenda Festival yet so there is much room to grow. It will be interesting to see how next year will turn out if they do in fact decide to do another year.
So in future news… this weekend I’m checking out FYF fest and THAT will be UN-F^&*ing-REAL. Yo girl is DEFINTIELY getting down to hip-hop queen Missy Elliot as well as Anderson .Paak and Frank Ocean. But let’s be real… I’m really checking myself in for A TRIBE CALLED QUEST. I already know I’m in for a spiritual experience with that one. RIP Phife Dawg, we celebrating you this weekend!
Stay TUNED my friends.
All right so I did it. This year I FINALLY committed and I purchased A 2017 Coachella Weekend 1 pass. And honestly…. Call me cliché but it might have been one of the best weekends of my life. FINE I said it. Damn it, you win this time Coachella.
So with that being said, I’ve got 3 BANGIN’ performances I’m dying to report on. It’s not easy narrowing it down, but with that insane line up, I had to simplify. So here are the nominees for best Coachella performances:
Now you might be asking yourself, wow what an interesting combination… We’re talking Glass Animals and Future? That’s like thinking about putting pickles in your nuetella sandwich. What the F*&$, GROSS. But really, both artists SERIOUSLY hit it out of the ballpark with their performances, as did Goldlink.
So, Let’s talk Future, and I mean in current time. Hehe…
Alright, maybe I judged Future too hard. In fact that maybe is actually a definitely. I definitely judged Future too hard before Coachella. Maybe it was the dreadlocks… I mean honestly, it could have been the dreadlocks. Regardless, the man can seriously perform, and he’s got some killer style and finesse. He put himself out there as a creative and talented artist.
He had a great set list of all his hits and he also catered to his super fans by performing some of their favorites, too. Also, not to mention the man had a dam flute player with him. Pretty awesome. He brought out two performers, Migos and oh… wait for it… DRAKE. He definitely took over the stage for a minute… Have to say, he truly does have an insane presence… but that did not deter us from our homie, Future.
You would think having a big boi like Drake perform could potentially throw off your game. But I mean, after Drake left the stage…..Future hit us with Mask Off so I mean he brought the show BACK. Easily. So we all gladly boarded the Future train and rode that mofo all the way to the end of the line. All in all, Futures performance was killer.
And then GoldLink
This performance was dope and was actually probably the most unexpected. I LOVE GoldLink’s new album, but have to say I was not expecting the straight up litness that happened in the pit i.e. insane mosh pit. When he played ‘Koko Mo Freestyle’ everyone went HAM. He further more killed it on ‘Meditation’ and ‘Have you Seen That Girl.’ All in all, GoldLink had a rad set.
Finally, last but not least… GLASS ANIMALS
All right this is where I truly went to heaven. I have been straight DYING to see these guys for years now and it finally happened. Praise. I finally ate the golden apple and it was DELICIOUS.
To no surprise these guys seriously jammed out on stage. And I mean extra extra strawberry jam with your peanut butter sandwich. That’s right. Glass Animals had it goin’ on. They have this naturally funky electric rock sound that can’t help but be super stellar and groovy and honestly a bit creepy. But that same creepiness gives them that unique edge. I had been waiting for them to play ‘Toes’ and it did not disappoint. It was a bomb performance.
All in all Coachella was pretty tight. It is like Disneyland only music style. The fairgrounds were jam-packed with culture, style, food, and interesting people. The ticket price is insanely expensive, but it’s worth it to check out different artist you wouldn’t normally see and experience all the interesting art and culture. I mean I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to be looking forward towards next years line up. And yes….. Beyoncé.
So if you haven’t gone, check it out. I guarantee it’ll be a trip.
Alright, so I saw The Internet last Monday and damn normally Monday’s are rough but… I was willing to get my butt out for this show. ANDDD It was one for the books.
To no surprise, The Internet was soulful and sultry as ever. The show was absolutely packed with raw talent and the band members did not shy away from shelling out all their old and new material. On top of The Internet performing, band member Steve Lacy performed his new EP, as did Matt Martians who performed his new LP. And drum roll please…..then OF COURSE you had Syd breaking it down for us at the end, serving up Fin (no pun intended). A lot of artists show up, perform their set, and then dip. Well, The Internet had a Jam sesh on stage and we all got to be a part of it. And ain’t NOBODY mad about that. It was rad.
The band started off with Special Affair from their album Ego Death, which was a hit. The crowd went absolutely wild. Slow and sultry, Syd performed in her classic, laid back and smooth fashion. The venue shook with the heavy bass that bassist Patrick Paige so effortlessly performs. It was perfect.
After playing some hits off of Ego Death, they transitioned into Steve Lacy’s New EP “Steve Lacy’s Demo” which was electric. The mans got style, ain’t no doubt about that. His funky guitar sound was a nice break from the deeper, slightly darker style of Ego Death. Regardless, it was beautiful. Then shortly after we got to hear Matt Martians new LP which was also rad.
SO then….. Syd performed Fin to wrap it all up. Nuts, absolute nuts. Hey maybe I am biased, but her album is unreal. I mean I think we were all waiting for her to come out with some hot fresh solo material and she really didn’t let us down. Well she didn’t disappoint performing this either.
Smooth and effortless, Syd connected with the crowed as if she had known us since day one. Also, the Fonda made this energy easier to portray, as it is more of an intimate setting. Regardless, she was cool and relaxed. Calm and collected. She had it goin.
Now all was fairly laid back while she was performing…. up until she hit us all with No Complaints. We lost it.
“Ridding round your city in a mother fucking space ship.”
“I will tell you that I am the greatest but you knew that.” Damn.
All in all, the show was phenomenal and they absolutely KILLED it live. If you haven’t seen them perform, do yourself a favor and DO IT. and do it NOW. Because they are touring now so get it while its hot!
Alright ladies and gentleman, HAPPY MUSIC MONDAY. Now I know I have been posting about a lot of R & B artists…. But like I just HAD to do one more…
Today’s guest is a Hip hop/R&B artist from Inglewood, California. GIVE IT UP FOR SiR. SiR is a multi talented singer/song writer, producer, and engineer who just released an EP entitled Her Too.
The beautiful EP Her Too has a total of 6 smooth and absolutely sultry tracks that each individually act as a sliver to a bigger love story. The tracks essentially reflect the relationship between artist SiR and his wife of 7 years. Vague and slightly ambiguous at times, the EP contains beautiful poetic lyrics as well as sultry and oh so smooth melodies. A prime example of this is the track “The Canvas”.
“The Canvas” is a sweet and poetic love song where SiR uses an actual canvas to symbolize the beauty of his woman and their relationship i.e. “You’re such a work of art.” and “I’m just here to add a little color to the canvas.” It might be cheesy, but 100% genuine my friends. In the end, it’s a beautiful track, expressing his true affections. The melody is elegant and soft as well as slow and fluid.. It’s a blended work of art.
As gentle as “The Canvas” is, you’ve also got “Don’t Call My Phone” which is a little bit spicier… I wouldn’t say Cholula hot (shout out to all my fellow fans) BUT I would say this song clearly packs a punch i.e.”If I offend you bro, I promise that I really meant to ” Dwammm. Well regardless, this track shows another aspect of SiR’s relationship, because lets be real…. there are gunna be some lows. BUT dang he made this low sound super FUNKY. This track contains little hints of the trumpet here and there keeping the track light and airy….and well sassy.
And if we are gunna vier back onto the intimacy road, the track “Ooh Nah Nah” expresses the development of SiR’s feelings for his significant other. It’s tranquil and well…. quite sexy. SiR also keeps the beat fairly simple EXCEPT when Masego (featured artist) comes in and does an improve scat singing with the trumpet. This adds a slight flare to the track, which remains fairly consistent throughout the 4:00 min duration.
An honorable mention on the EP has to be New LA, which is an incredible track that opens up the EP. It’s light, airy and well…. Anderson .Paak is featured so its incredible. I can’t say it is one of my favorite tracks on the album, but it is definitely unique. The track almost has this Caribbean sound which definitely set’s it apart from the rest of the EP. Worth the listen.
Well that’s all for this Music Monday folks. If you haven’t checked out this EP, I would highly recommend. Its smooth, sweet, and sultry… perfect for a relaxing evening.