Watch “August Alsina – Lonely” on YouTube

August Alsina releases yet another video, spoiling his fans with visuals for each song he releases. The Lonely video makes it his third single to be dropped after the releases of his successful second Album This Thing Called Life.

The young talented singer/songwriter had his issues in the past with the leaking of his album, but on this occasion avoiding that happening he has released videos for each song. 

The first release was the beautiful and emotively driven song Drugs, followed by the song Wait and now Lonely. Listening to all three songs, it seems like he has been going through his own relationship demises. Perhaps the song is about a former lady he was linked to the Vixen Miracle Watts. Having listened to the lyrics carefully it sounds like the songs are about his inability to fully commit to her but still wanting her around, at the same time allowing her the option to leave but not wanting to let her go. We’ve all been there I’m sure!

The video for Lonley is just over two minutes long and is set in a convenient store, August is sporting his signature bun hair style which is a unique look for the singer!

Lately the artist has been experimenting with his look and creatively pushing the boundaries with his visuals. Below is a snippet from the Drugs video which is different to what we have seen from August. He has shown a lot of creative progression throughout the years and continues to express himself, which as a fan is great to see!

A favourite of mine! August has an amazing sultry voice with a lot of range, his ability to translate his deepest emotions and feelings within his songs is remarkable! All of which are very relatable to each and everyone. His music and lyrics give you a vulnerable insight into his reality!

Being a fan for many years, I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform live at Camden’s KOKO music venue in an intermate capacity, he was very engaging with the crowd which translates perfectly through his music and in person.

Check out the Vide for Lonely Above!


Stormzy Releases Highly Anticipated Debut Album: Gang Signs & Prayer 

The lead up campaign to South London’s very own exciting and talented giant Stormzy’s debut album Gang Signs And Prayer was curated and executed phenomenally. Despite a bit of controversy, he took full control and spun it to his advantage and this ended up being a huge milestone in his career. Having just been released Midnight the 24th February, despite only being a talking point at the time, the anticipation and yearning for his live performances and enthusiastic stage antics Stormzy’s fans went in their thousands, purchasing the entirety of his ticket sales. His UK tour dates were completely sold out titled #MerkyAcadamyTing. They were released on the 9th of February and sold out by the 10th! Astonishing, as it showcases his influence and notoriety as an artist. Since inception, fans have been drawn to the one they often call Big Mike, this tall figure of a black man who spews reality and intellect whilst still captivating his younger audience through his banging music. Lyrically considered as one of the best amongst a pull of talented MC’s dotted across the UK, and even Crazy Titch dubbed him as Neo.

The unity and push, not forgetting excitement from his fellow peers within music was endearing to bear witness! It was encouraging to see and is testament to his character as a man, which is often heard during interviews from fellow artists. Such actions in a genre that is often overlooked by heads and those in control, is wonderful to see.

It is very much clear to see that Stormzy is an artist that is loved by his peers and more so by his fans!

Stormzy released Big For Your Boots, gearing up for his album release. To date the YouTube views have already grossed over 7 million views! The video featured his extremely stunning and funny girlfriend, presenter and radio host Maya Jama

The Brit Awards, in which he was nominated for the Breakthrough artist category, the young talent graced the stage alongside another UK powerhouse music sensation Ed Sheeran. One of the few highlights from the night. The joining together of two genres captivated the audience and social media alike. The performance went seemingly, even ending with a huge. A hug that was felt through the television screens. Powerful and get to bare witness to  shape of you remix which is also out now.

Gang Signs & Prayer is his debut official Album, although he has released an EP and Mixtape this is his first commercial body of work. The 16-track album features respected talented rappers, MC’s and singers, also including a rising US singing star. They artists featured areCrazy TitchJenny FrancisGhettsJ Hus,KehlaniWretch 32MNEK and Raleigh Ritchie. and exec produced by Fraser T Smith

Such a momentous occasion all his fans as we were listening to the album as soon as midnight hit! till as late as 6am to fully absorb the album so we could an give an in depth track by track insightful review of the album to show you exactly why this album deserves to be the number 1 Record.

First Things First

Powerful first track entry into the Album, Stormzy is very honest, aggressive and holds nothing back. A young man with a vengeance ready to tackle anything standing in his way. He calls out the haters, those that pretend to be his friends but nonetheless use him for their own personal gain. At the same time, he talks about tackling his own demands by mentioning fighting his own depression.

I was going to church but doing streets at the same time’.

He speaks about living a very contradicting lifestyle, hence why he had to start praying to get his mind right.

‘Fuck DSTRKT night club, Fuck people that don’t like us but benefit from us! The beat is Hard! Harsh! Aggressive! It goes seemingly with the message and tone of his voice!

Cold

Classic grime instrumental and beat. Very nostalgic and reminiscent of that old-school gime vibe. The beat is energetic and hype. His flow is fast and sick! Stormzy’s wordplay game is strong! His tone and stance is very confident, cocky as he speaks about his lyrical abilities as a rapper and now he is handling business

#Merky the label I’m coming like Darcus

At the same time, honouring young black Kings and Queens! Saying It’s our time.

Cold refers to his style and his abilities as an MC! Expect lyrics like ‘I’ve been cold the whole season, I should call my next one Icey’‘I do the roads and do wifey no wonder why they don’t like me’.

Bad Boys (Feat. Ghetts and J Hus)

The song starts off with some aggression talk from the one and only Ghetts at 18 during his clash with bash and one of the most legendary moments in Grime to date! You hear some church type organ instrumental playing in the background leading to Stormzy opening the song. Once again, hold nothing back. He pretty much dismisses and strips down all the fakes and pretenders. All those that pretend to be so called ‘Bad Boys’ but have nothing to show for it and behind closed doors are living the complete opposite lifestyle.

Expect harsh realities letting you know the type of watered down bad boys in all different scenario ‘Them man are selective bad boys, Netflix Bad Boys, Can you get me on the guest list Bad Boys’ Damn! At the same time dropping some knowledge on these ‘Bad Boys’ he says

I take care of my fam so I am a gangster!

As soon as Ghetts steps forward on the mic, its over! His energy, aggression and tone gave me Goosebumps! Lyrically one of the best, he speaks his thoughts and holds nothing to the imagination. His ability to change the tone of voice, with great accuracy reflecting the subject of choice is genius! The bridge of the song is all J Hus. He brings calmness in between the two storms. With J Hus putting that class on yet another hook shows you exactly what this year he is also due for great things!

Blinded By Your Grace, Pt.1

Piano playing equating to calmness. The soothing sounds and tones of live instrumentals. A very peaceful song where you get to be preview to Stormzy’s vulnerability, his faith and admiration for the Lord in his life. Stomzy singing, yes!

I’m blinded by your grace through the darkness you cameI’ll be alright with you by my side.

This song is endearing and should be encouraged! A young black man who is appreciative of his faith and the role God plays in his life.

Big For Your Boots

The first song he dropped as he returned from his hiatus. Wordplay, aggression, confident, and lyrically wordy. This song received rave reviews and featured a few appearances which has been mentioned above. The song is bouncy, the beat is crazy! A definite Skank! Stormzy came back with even more aggression and confident, ready to take on the industry!

Velvet/ Jenny Francis – Interlude

The beat is very much a R&B sound, it is slow, classy and romantic. Stormzy is more relaxed and somewhat hypnotic as he speaks in a softer tone. This song softens the tone of the album and gives it a female touch with the legend that is Jenny Francis speaking at the end like this is exactly she would play if she was on the radio right now and to hear her say #MERKYFM and following it with another Stormzy track shows you his longevity in what he does and how he knows his music is that credible that it can be played back to back to back.

Mr Skeng

Speaking of himself in the third person, speaking his stats, commercial success and being a bible carrier ‘I’m with the Lord! Stormzy has no qualms in living his truth which is refreshing!

Mom if you’re listening close your ears’

There’s honesty, cursing, calling people out and not holding anything back. Instrumentals and beat is sick!

Cigarettes & Cush (Feat Kehlani)

Stormzy singing alongside Kehlani beautifully! His low tones are not bad at all. Kehlani’s vocals are amazing, the talented singer brings that soft element of R&B to this song. Stormzy remains himself by speaking love and relationships in his own way. The chorus which is sung by both parties is catchy and a great sing along with a legendary Lily Allen alongside.

21 Gun Salute (Feat. Wretch 32)

A short, straight to the point but very much needed style of song.

This song is almost a prayer, as Wretch 32 opens the song with a prayer, still being Wretch he drops knowledge and speaks his truth. Stormzy complementing Wretch by introducing his own prayer, he speaks about his love ones and prays for those who pray for his downfall referring to them as pagans.

Very unexpected, yet extremely refreshing!

Blinded By Your Grace, Pt.2 Feat MNEK

Part two of Blinded By Your Grace conjured emotions I didn’t know I had! Stormzy is vulnerable and completely stripped bare. His appreciation for the Lord in his life is very beautiful to see. This song resembles prayers and worship (the start of a church ceremony where the whole congregation stands up and sings their praise to the Lord by thanking him).

MNEK sings beautifully with grace and elegance, brought chills down my spine! This song will bring tears to your eyes and conjure deep feelings that need healing.

This song is truly healing and soul lifting and for that I commend Stormzy!

Return Of The Rucksack

Grime beat, energetic, head bouncing beat. Lyrical, wordplay, aggression and a lot of clever references throughout the song. Drawing the lyric from his verse on Bonkaz’s And Dat Remix and turning it to the theme of this track

I roll deep on these, put these MC’s on deep freeze’ strong and straight forward chorus!

100 Bags

His mother starts off the song by blessing her son, leading into a prayer she tells him to trust and put his faith in the Lord and he will bless him. Her voice is very emotional and endearing!


Speaking of the struggles that he put his mother through whilst growing up, Stormzy reflects on his past choice that had her extremely worried. This song is admiration and appreciation for her support throughout his demises. This song shows growth and depth within their relationship and his lifestyle choices as the man he is today. He refers to his mother as a Ghanaian Queen as she is! A Beautiful song!


Don’t Cry For Me Feat. Raleigh Ritchie

 

Instrumental is emotively driven, Stormzy speaks about his hood, the lifestyle, the street life, and young black men dying in vain.

Stormzy reflects on his life, looking back and appreciating how far he’s come, but at the same time feeling nostalgic and sad about those who didn’t make it out. Questioning but being thankful for his escape. A lyric that stood out that people should soak in is ‘Man are out here beefing, like we’re not broken enough’. Raleighs voice fits perfectly within the song, its beautiful and emotional.

Crazy Titch – Interlude

Stormzy calls Crazy Titch from prison as they converse through a phone call whilst Stormzy is sat in the booth.

Crazy Titch speaks about Stormzys position as a rapper, he drops some serious knowledge and gives his opinion and insight to his thoughts on the grime industry. This is legendary and Epic!

If you put all bias aside Stormzy HAS to be Neo, that makes me Morpheus!

When he said Mr. Smith is almost obsolete it probably hit home from so many and for so many that haven’t heard from Titch and the first time we have heard him he is giving a statement like that! Its powerful

 

Shut Up

If you’re listening to this album you know his lyrical ability and Shut Up is exactly that, enough said! Went to the park and charted with this one, remember?!

Lay Me Bare

The final song and exit of the album. The instrumental and beat is euphoric and calm. There is use of sound effects, the beat is deep and so is Stormzy. He speaks about an encounter with his father, and thanks his mom for holding the family down.

His exit message is strong, transparent and very melodic. ‘Satan, please not today!’ He continues strongly as he started by holding on to his faith! A sweet lyric and the importance of having the correct people around you

I got me a girl that prays for me

Salute to his Lady as it was one of the biggest inspirations and motivations in his life.

Hands down one of the most decorated and fulfilling albums I’ve heard to date! His Life, His Truth is laid bare for all ears.

His demons, life challenges and conflicting emotions are all present in this album, an open book to both his fans and critics alike.

Deep and powerful messages to attain from a debut body of work. A young man who has found solace in his faith and relationship with God.

Very refreshing, encouraging and humbling!

You are preview to the man behind Stormzy, transparency and an insight into Michael the young black man.

Gang Signs & Prays will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions, but will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated!

Through hardship there is strength in believing and having faith! A Great Body Of WORK!!

Stream it if full here, but support this moment in music because he has put in a bigger plan and he wants to show the world he is credible enough and this album shows that and that is a fact!

 Stream Below!

https://open.spotify.com/album/5fkFWJ9LZizXE4yPenNGuy

Watch “Sevyn Streeter – Fallen feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Cam Wallace [Official Music Video]” on YouTube

If you haven’t heard the latest form Sevyn Streeter, make sure you check out her latest video for the single titled Fallen.

If you’re a fan of the graceful classic soulful sounds of R&B which include hypnotic beats and rhythms, you’ll love this song as it is a concoction of all those elements and more. The harmonising and vocals accompanied by a very sexy video of course, those characteristics can be expected from Fallen.

Sevyn Streeter is everything I love about R&B music. The Florida songstress is classy, has an amazingly graceful voice and is an extremely talented singer and songwriter.

Her latest song Fallen features Ty Dolla $ign & Cam Wallace. The release of Fallen is gearing up to her highly anticipated upcoming album Girl Disrupted, which I am very much looking forward to hearing!

The beat is a sample of legendary R&B group New Edition, if you listen carefully you’ll hear Johnny Gill.

Check out the Video above!


In The Morning Visuals From Sultry Singer @thisNao

Soulful singer and an absolute talent of an artist Nao has releases visuals for her In The Morning song.

The original video for In The Morning was simple yet classy as it featured Nao in her element performing in an acoustic setting. With great popularity, the video has over 3.4 million views on YouTube alone.

 

Firstly, as someone that is consistently mesmerised by her tone and vocal abilities I was drawn by her falsetto and voice. Vocally she has you sat in between the clouds, putting you in a euphoric space. Hence why she was nominated for a Brit award in a category that was filled with talent the British Female Solo artistcategory to be exact.

 

In an Instagram post promoting this video, she mentioned being a shy person so this video challenged her inner shyness. This is because the video reflects the lyrics and tone of song very well. Visually set in a bedroom, it features a topless piece of chocolate or in other words a very good looking scrumptious man.


In this video, you see Nao’s vulnerability. Looking beautiful in her natural state, she is letting the guy know that she no longer wants to be a part of the relationship.

The song is powerful, it will absolutely resonate to those trying to break away from a lover they no longer want to be involved with.

 

Watch the video here!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHCKQfUwC6Y

Afro-Beats Artist Eugy Releases Video For Don Corleone @Just_Afrodita 

Eugy is a UK afro-beats artist with Ghanaian roots. He is fast rising and establishing himself as an artist to keep an ear and eye out for.

The UK based Ghanaian artist already has a few popular songs which has slowing helped with building his catalogue, songs such as Dance For Me and Body which features another artist that continuously, continues to grow by releasing successful music Mr Eazi himself! Those two video alone have already grossed over 12 million views on YouTube! Which is testament to his style of music.

 

The afro-beats artist is back with another song titled Don Corleone.

 

For those unaware Don Corleone is a fictional character from the classic mafia film The God Father. As a mafia don, he built a mafia empire. A man that demanded respect, even his closest friends called him Godfather. Visually Eugydemonstrate all those characteristics in this video which was directed by Gabriella Kingsley. You witness him sitting on the kings throne. His whole look and vibe is one of a boss, from his dapper attire to him sitting around a table with some friends filled with the best of African food. Served eloquently for a King!  

 

The beat is a vibe, in this song Eugy managed to intertwine the different cultures very well, from his Ghanaian influences to UK and even some Caribbean culture too.

 

The beat is Fresh! Instrumentals tantalising and enticing, it will absolutely have your heart beating and make you want to dance! A song that encompasses exactly what afro-beats is all about! The tone of his voice and the language used works seemingly with the beats! The song was produced by MikesPro himself!

 

Watch the video here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjb-ZeXRdfw



Hip Hop vs The Police – The Unfortunate Casualty Within Music

The Hip Hop police have existed within the music industry for decades almost being part of the furniture. The term itself refers to a group of policeman who target a certain demographic of rappers, which they refer to as street or gangster rappers.  Unfortunately, this type of policing which originated in the United States, has managed to manifest itself into the UK Urban music scene, or for a lack of a better word UK Street Hip Hop. Many artists have fell casualty to this type of policing, from the days of The So Solid crew to current rappers Giggs and Sneakbo.

The presence of this type of policing to an artist restricts their movement and progression. From sudden show cancellations, to being banned from certain venues and limiting their radio plays throughout mainstream airways, and also lack of displayed physical copies of albums on shelves. Being labelled as a gangster or street rapper systematically works against you, the negative connotations and perceptions make you an institutional target.

In an interview on Not For The Radio, London gangster rapper Giggs spoke about his battles with the ‘Hip Hop police’. Speaking openly about the racial bias and prejudice he has encountered since his inception into the music industry. Giggs spoke about being told by music insiders that nationally syndicated radio stations such as BBC 1xtra were refusing to play his music, and club DJ’s across London were not being allowed to play his music. The politics did not stop there, he revealed at that stage he had yet to be allowed to perform in his home town of London since he started rapping. Until recently the rapper had to perform secret gigs in London (Carefully planned unadvertised gigs) and perform outside of London, but to everyone’s surprise and excitement the rapper finally announced his tour dates for his LandLord Album which includes a London date, for the 11th of November. Finally, his London fans can celebrate with the LandLord himself!

We can all agree that ‘they’ as DJ Khaled would say, have been trying to supress the man’s growth and stop him from having a successfully smooth journey within the music industry. The truth within his lyrical content and storytelling is what the police and the non-hip hop lovers search for when trying to incriminate and stereotype him and other rappers.  Often ignorantly without understanding the man behind the message, not caring enough to understand one’s journey through hardship, struggles and perseverance, they convict you without knowledge.

As law enforcement, the police have a job to serve and protect those who they believe are a potential danger to society and are capable of polluting the minds of those who are easily influenced. Unfortunately, some of the language and lyrics that certain rappers use to glamourize the gang lifestyle justifies their actions and concerns. In every situation there are a minority of ignorant people who choose to use their platform to encourage negativity and ignorance, and Hip Hop often falls casualty to that.

There is a big difference between biographically depicting your lifes journey through lyrical content to empower, encourage and uplift your audience and spewing venomous lyrics that hype and encourage impressionable people to go out and commit criminal activities against one another. Young people these days can be extremely impressionable and believe everything they hear. I believe that a rapper like Giggs represents the first example, but he is treated like someone who is doing the latter, which is unfortunate.

There’s a huge elephant in the room when it comes to inequality within the music industry as a whole.  Other genres of music that are typically associated with Caucasians, such as Heavy Metal/ Rock/ Punk and satanic music focuses and glamorises negative notions of death, rioting, killing and suicide etc. The artists are rarely individually held accountable, but Hip Hop artists seem to be singled out and personally targeted.

Can one question whether institutional racism has a lot to do with this type of treatment towards black rappers? Just to elaborate on Institutional or systematic racism (They are forms of restrictions that were put in place deliberately or indirectly into political and social institutions, limiting certain ethnic groups’ human rights). To the naked eye the restriction and prejudice is not seen but it takes into effect within organisations, institutions and within government.

For those artists who clearly have a much more decorated past than other artists, it is unfair and unfortunate that they are continuously judged and treated like a criminal when it is clearly a thing of the past. There is a saying ‘The choices you make in life, predict and shape your future’ but that narrative should be retracted if growth has been shown and they no longer choose to live that life. Just because one has had a disruptive start in life, does not mean that another should continue to disrupt their future.

Surely as a person of the law, you’d encourage change and progression amongst people. In light of the police brutality towards young black men in the United States of America, there was mention of police departments having targets in which they have to arrest a certain number of individuals daily, to make up systematic targets. Is it wrong to insinuate that in order to reach those targets, there needs to be a few black men being involved in illegal activities, therefore helping eliminate gang related crimes and uplifting those already involved or trying to get out would defeat the purpose and would affect targets? There is no certainty whether it relates to the police in the UK, but systematic racism is exactly that. Not obvious, but effects certain groups whom are unaware.

There are a lot of changes that need to incur in order for equality to be present amongst all genres and groups within music. The challenge is to tackle a system which in its core isn’t set up to benefit minorities especially those with a past that the government is aware of. It is up to us as a genre to change the narrative. We should all be held accountable for the information and the message that is delivered to the young generation, to those impressionable and most importantly the media, who in the end will not have any ammunition to assassinate the characters of our black brothers. To end on a positive note, there are plenty of positive influential rappers who have chosen to use their platform for greatness and they are the ones that should be celebrated and championed!

The Black man : A life systematically deemed invaluable

Dehumanised and Imprisoned, an insight into the revealing Netflix Documentary 13th. Such a narrative is extremely important, 13th is powerful and eye opening, accurately depicted story that allows a deep understanding into the lives of the oppressed.

13th brought me to tears, Tears of sadness, deep sadness. A sadness that stems from grown up with and positively being influenced and lead by strong Black males. Men of substance and intellect who have a lot to offer the world, fortunately for them, they’ve had the opportunity to live a progressive life, which wasn’t the case for young Black Men in the past. Innocent lives of young Black Men were taken away because of government systems that were created by the oppressor, designed to imprison and take away their freedom and livelihood for their monetary benefits and control. The biggest casualty being the Black Man.

In America, Black men make up 46% of Prisoners, bearing in mind Black People only account for 12.2% of the entire population which is absolutely astonishing! Described as ‘Super Predators’ during Bill Clintons’ reign as president, black men were subjected to longer and tougher prison sentences for petty crimes. A detrimental description of the Black man, which lead to an epidemic fear of the Black Man. A fear felt by both White and Black people, due to a media smear campaign that brainwashed the large majority of a lost nation. A stereotype that has forever haunted the Black Man, the term ‘Super Predator’ created a stereotype that today is still the unfortunate narrative!

In 2016, police brutality and systematic oppression is still very prominent. Living in a Social Media era visuals circulate immediately despite how gruesome they are. We as a society have been subjected to first-hand videos of the unfortunate killings of innocent young black men across the United States.

Social Media has given us the access to the actions of law enforcement. We have seen policemen get away with first degree murder! It is bitter sweet, as we have knowledge and evidence but still we’re unable to stop their actions, with the Law on their side and a blue code of secrecy, the question is What Action Can We As A Global Society Do To Make Changes??

As a very big fan of Hip Hop music, I am appreciative of the music and the people behind the talent. Black people have created a culture that has taken on a world of its own. Hip Hop music is more than just words and a beat, it is a culture that sees no race, no colour or economic status. Hip Hop unites people globally purely on the strength of Music. Music that originally derived from the disadvantaged black man, for the disadvantaged black man. In 2016 Hip Hop music is the biggest influencer globally, from the music to the lifestyle, culture, dress code and the language. It’s all Hip Hop!Reflecting on the Hip Hop culture as a whole and analysing the contradictions between the fear of black men and the global love of the hip hop culture. I began dissecting the contradictions between the fear and the influence which is ironic, people fearing something they imitate in all aspects of their lives. A fear that many non-black parents have, the worry of their children being caught up in a ‘Dangerous’ lifestyle of gangs, drugs and violence, which is the narrative of Hip Hop culture to those who are ignorant. It is hearsay based on the media’s perception of the black man and its culture which is perceived a negative.

Is the power of Hip Hop greater than the ‘Hate’ of the Black man? Despite the negative media portrayal of black males. The power of the internet means that the government cannot stop the force that is the black man and its culture. Despite their attempt too, from the incarceration of certain rappers and the ‘Hip Hop Police’ on constant patrol, it hasn’t stopped black men from succeeding against all odds. Successful black men such as Jay Z, P Diddy, Kanye West are all testament to the power of the music.

Long may black men continue to showcase their importance, talent and intellect on bigger and bigger platforms globally! May they continue to disregard negative notions that depict them wrongfully, and may the NEVER allow people’s perception to cloud their dreams! we are proud and appreciate you!!