Now Playing: Young Thug

When someone first prompted me to listen to a one, “Young Thug,” I laughed in his face. Literally. I thought it was a joke. I thought we were done with the “Young’s” or “lil’s” but clearly I was wrong. Even as I listen to him now, I’m still confused as to my true feelings towards his latest album.

First let’s look at the fact that his most recent mixtape was dropped as “Barter 6,” when just days before it was titled, “Carter 6.” If you’re thinking that sounds familiar, it’s because it does. Lil’ Wayne’s previous five albums are titled “The Carter” followed by the appropriate album number. It was all very weird. I’m still not over it.

Regardless, I promised myself that I would listen to each track at least 10x before making a decision (I wish this was an exaggeration). While it took a little longer than expected, I came to the conclusion that I enjoy about 60% of the album, give or take. I went through the many phases of “oh-my-god his voice is SO f*cking annoying,” “why does EVERY track sound the same?” and “what in God’s name is he even saying?” It was not easy giving this kid a chance (he’s only 22- a child), but it was semi-worth it in the end. Let me break it down:

One of my favorite songs is “Can’t Tell” and it definitely has to do with the fact that he collaborated with T.I. who I do not hate. The song has a good beat and the three rappers (also collaborated with Boosie) mesh well together. Granted, this track is probably the most mainstream on the album, an obvious people pleaser. Guess what? It did the job.

Another classic is “Constantly Hating” in which Young collaborated with Birdman (another Lil’ Wayne reference, continuing to make the whole situation weirder). This is just your classic haters-gon-hate track that is necessary for every artist to recreate. Young just wants to know if you’re going to do something about it, or “turn to a pussy” and let the haters do their thing. Personally, I would go T Swift on them and shake it off, but that’s just me. I’d be interested to hear a collab between the two…

His most popular track, “Halftime” has a following for a good reason. It has a sick beat and he has a smooth free-style flow throughout it, regardless of the fact that I had to actually google 40% of the lyrics because I had zero idea what he was saying. It sounds like 4 different beats thrown together, but in a strangely cohesive manner. It’s weird but it works.

It’s decent shit. I don’t hate his voice anymore and I do crank it up in my car from time to time. By all means, you could 100% go through the rest of your life without hearing “Thugger” (apparently that’s a thing) and be pretty content with everything. But it’s worth a listen, or ten…

 

Now Playing: Kanye West

 

Kanye, Mr. West, Yeezy, The Louis Vuitton Don, Ye, Yeezus:

They are all one in the same: Kanye West. You may know him from his music, or from his famous relationship (and new baby North- I can’t even) with Kim Kardashian, or maybe from the 2009 VMA incident (it actually makes me cringe every time I watch). Clearly most people think Kanye is crazed, superficial and slightly narcissistic, and they are kind of right. Sure, he is a little out of whack, but hey, aren’t we all? Do we really need another boring artist who never stirs things up? I think he’s just keeping us all on our toes. But that’s not what this post is about; it’s about the music. Despite his crazy antics and slight anger problem, he’s actually extremely talented.

As you may know, I go through phases where I listen to one specific artist over and over…and over again. It’s an obsession and I will refuse to listen to anything else. My friends hate it. As of late, Kanye has been the subject of my OCD. When I heard him perform two songs from his latest album, “Yeezus” (yes, that is a combination of “Ye” and “Jesus”) on the finale of Saturday Night Live, I was taken aback by how intense and passionate he was about his music. Honestly, it was a little bit scary, but amazing at the same time (but more so scary).

After my revelation, I started re-listening to his whole discography: it was fabulous and well worth the hours I spent sitting in front of my computer. What struck me most were his lyrics. I love a good beat, but I’m a huge fan of understanding what the artist is trying to convey through his or her lyrics. Ye may talk a lot of shit, but I would too if my music was as good as it is. As someone who tends to shut himself away from the paparazzi (even when in a relationship with, tabloid Queen Kimmy K), he lets everything go in his songs. He speaks openly of the loss of his mother, growing up in Chicago, talking to Jesus (see below) and how killing’s some whack shit. Since the release of his first album, “The College Dropout” in 2004, he has grown into a stronger and significantly more talented artist (I really hope you see what I’m doing here). He’s turned into God, or “a” God (totally kidding, but like, I don’t think he is).

While his music career was getting crazy attention, he managed to make time to get involved in fashion and philanthropy (that makes his outbursts ok, right?). His love for fashion lead to the production of his own line, all while he teamed up with his late mother to create the “Kanye West Foundation” in order to battle dropout and illiteracy rates. He’s doing good for the community, people! Give this emotion-filled man a break! He’s clearly doing all he can with his time AND he is somehow handling the fact that he is going to be caring for a miniature version of Kim Kardashian. She got one of yo kids, got you for 18 years, Ye: guess you wished you listened to yourself back in 2005.

So he’s a little crazy and a little too much, but there is not doubt that he is going places. Baby on the hip and Kimmy on the arm; he’s got this shit.

That’s enough Mr. West, please no more today.

Now Playing: Yoga Beats

As of late (ok I’ve been slacking “lately”) I’ve been hitting the local yoga studio in my little slice of suburbia heaven (read: hell).  I get stressed very easily, as you can probably tell if you read my tweets, so sometimes I just need an hour to unwind and actually be told to relax.  I find that even if my crazed thoughts race right back after savasana, that hour of pure bliss can get me through another day of hell (ok, my life isn’t that hard, but sometimes it seems like it).

Since I haven’t been able (read: too lazy) to get to the studio recently, I’ve been compiling my own yoga playlist on my iTunes and I must say that I’m really digging it (do people still say ‘digging it?’).  I figured that I would grace you all with some of my favorite selections while you engage in some yoga poses.  I find that my all-time favorite pose is that of the child.  I hate kids, but boy do they know what’s up when it comes to relaxation.

1. Dream- Alice Smith

This song is perfect for vinyasa and sun salutations because it is upbeat, but Smith holds some of her notes a little longer so it helps with the flow.  I love the jazz-like tones in her voice and music, making her cd transitional to every mood and/or situation.

2. Coastin’- Zion I

This one is a little more upbeat and I find that it is great for running on the treadmill (last time I checked, like 3 months ago). This track is also great for vinyasa, maybe a little faster, and I like it for my stretches- definitely stretches pre-workout, as I find that more mellow tunes are better for my deep stretches post-workout.

3. Jar of Hearts- Christina Perri

This is definitely one of the more “angsty” yoga songs that work for me, but it does just that: it works.  I find that Perri’s words and beat are especially good for when I’m feeling exceptionally angry at the male population.  I’ve been working on channeling my anger into other outlets, one being yoga, and I’ve found that listening to songs about how men (and women) suck and we are so much better off without them, really helps me unleash everything (yes, I’m extremely single. I get it). This track is a little angry, very fluid and motivates me to be like, “hey, fuck you, I’m going to kick ass at yoga now,” and I love every second of it.

4. In the Waiting Line- Zero 7

While this is my favorite yoga beat, it is also one of my favorite songs in general.  Zero 7, much like Frou Frou (Imogen Heap), has such a chilled out vibe that goes perfectly with pretty much anything from yoga, to running, to drinking wine, to just laying in your bed staring at the ceiling. As you may have noted in previous “Now Playing” posts, I’m very big on really hearing the lyrics in a song and understanding them, and In the Waiting Line is one of those songs that speaks to me.  I know that I sound like the biggest music snob on Earth right now, but it’s too true not to talk/write/whatever about.  This track is all about throwing away the “9 to 5” ideal and not wasting your life with mundane acts. I’m definitely not a “9 to 5” type, so I often find myself switching to this track when I’m feeling like my life is getting too bland and I need to remember that there is an escape.

Sorry that was so deep. I really like this song, ok?

Now Playing: A$AP Rocky

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A$AP Rocky

With his newest album “LongLiveASAP” just being dropped, A$AP is becoming more and more popular.  I am a new fan and I hate that I didn’t discover his sick flow earlier (would have given my friends a break from listening to The Weeknd in my car).

ASAP-rocky-long-live-asap

Goldie

The first song that introduced me to A$AP was Goldie, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.  The beat is so raw and his flow is sick as hell.

And the red bottom loafers just to compliment the mink

So much swag.

Ridin’ (ft. Lana Del Rey)

As a general rule, anyone that collaborates with one of my favorite artists (here Lana Del Rey) is ok in my book.  While his lyrics aren’t nearly the equivalent to what he’s capable of, he still kills it next to my girl Lana.

1 Train (Ft. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T.)

Seven verses from seven badass artists.  I had to read the lyrics while listening along to this one to get the full affect and it hit me hard.  It’s like a mix of Immortal Technique, 2Pac and old school 90’s rap (IMO) and I love every second of it.  It’s so raw and feels like a true freestyle beat. Definitely one of my favorites from Long.Live.A$AP.

F*ckin’ Problems (Ft. Drake, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz)

A friend of mine recently gave me shit for not hearing of this song earlier- apparently I’ve been slacking when it comes to updating my iPod- my B.  Regardless, this beat is sick and the collaboration of rappers is beyond amazing.  Kendrick Lamar has been catching my eye as of late, and this track definitely left me craving more (post coming soon).  Drake is an obvious fav of mine, and I love when he busts out with his gangster side. Also, the girls are sexy as hell in the video.

You’ll notice that I disregard 2 Chainz because as another general rule, I hate anything his name is on, purely because I hate his name.  Obviously I’ve made some exceptions and this single was one of them.

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