A SEAT AT THE TABLE (ALBUM REVIEW)

HI GUYS!! Hope you guys have had an awesome week! I know I have. Today I’ll be reviewing a new masterpiece released by Solange Knowles which she called “`A Seat at the Table”.

I think it’s safe to say that 2016 has been a pretty awesome year for music. We’ve had a lot of unique and diverse albums come in different forms this year and I’ve been loving every bit of it. I haven’t been one to listen to any previous Solange albums until this one but, I know I loved two singles from her last album “True” which are Lovers in the parking lot and Losing You. Solange Knowles has never been a mainstream musician, that is to say that her sound is definitely an acquired taste and its very likely that a lot of people would not appreciate the artistry behind her music. Her sound is very unique in the sense that it reminiscent to the likes of Anderson Paak and Frank Ocean but still manages to set its self apart and solidify its ground as Urban Contemporary R’n’B.

With a track list of 21 songs including features from Lil Wayne, Sampha, Kelela, The Dream and BJ The Chicago Kid, “A Seat at The Table” is a very coherent album which explores very present human emotions at the same time telling an unapologetic story of black excellence. Aside from the music there are also heart felt interludes giving more depth and emotion to the story of this album. The first track is one of my favourite tracks and I feel it was a brilliant intro to the album, it’s kind of like a soft pillow preparing for the sweet sleep that is “A Seat at the Table”. I can’t even pick my favourite tracks at this point because every song has something different to offer from the next but the album is still so coherent so much so that its almost difficult to point out when the next track comes on (The Key is the interludes). As for her vocals on this album I was really surprised to hear her hit some notes, they weren’t big notes but that doesn’t matter because her music doesn’t need the big boisterous notes, there’s something about her vocals that just speaks to my soul.  The interludes are also amazing and somewhat uplifting, my best has to be Mama Tina’s interlude (Tina taught me) which comes right before Don’t Touch my Hair (listen to it and you’ll know why).

I’m really just in love with this album and it’s good to know that Solange has a very different sound from Beyonce and they really can’t be compared although lemonade and A Seat at the Table can be seen as companion albums in some ways. It’s not surprising though because they grew up in the same household and heard the same conversations. According to Solange they both have been pro-black their whole lives and I’m glad it’s very inherent in their music. I’ll definitely be snagging Solanges previous albums but remember if you don’t appreciate the music doesn’t mean it’s bad, shit or crap, it just isn’t your cup of tea but if you appreciate good music then this album is the right fit.

Sorry this is coming so late guys, the internet struggle is real. Please make sure you leave a comment, Let me know your best tracks from A Seat at the Table. Also, be sure to check my previous material, like and share this blog please!! See you next time!

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IS DANGEROUS WOMAN ARIANA’S BEST ALBUM YET?

Hi guys!! I’m back and I know I’ve been gone for a while for various reasons but I finally got to listen to Ariana’s new album and I really do have things to say about it. Released on the 20th of May, dangerous woman would mark Ariana Grande’s 3rd studio album and we can tell that this is a new Era for the pop vocalist and that’s not just because of her contoured breasts on the album cover. Listening to this album I knew that Ariana had left the little girl she was perceived to be behind and unleashed the dangerous woman within with sexier songs, sexier lyrics and sultry vocals. This album has 18 songs which feature; Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Macy Gray and Future (some quite unexpected features). So here’s the track list to set the mood;

  1. Moonlight
  2. Dangerous Woman
  3. Be Alright
  4. Into You
  5. Side to Side Ft. Nicki Minaj
  6. Let Me Love You Ft. Lil Wayne
  7. Greedy
  8. Leave Me Lonely Ft. Macy Gray
  9. Everyday Ft. Future
  10. Sometimes
  11. I Don’t Care
  12. Bad Decisions
  13. Touch It
  14. Knew Better/Forever Boy
  15. Thinkin Bout You
  16. Step on Up
  17. Jason’s Song (Gave It Away)
  18. Focus

With the exception of the singles that we have come to know and love, the songs on this album are just……dare I say awesome!!! I mean like I wasn’t expecting this from this album but I honestly had a pleasant surprise.

Moonlight, the first track of the album, was an amazing intro to this album. It’s one of those love songs that can tug at anyone’s heart strings. Very emotional and her vocals on this song were on a 1000% like Ariana just slays me vocally hunty yassss!!!

Moving on to the next song I was really interested in, Into You. From start to finish I was feeling this song like no lie. Gosh this songs production is on a level higher than cloud 9, like this song is just something else I really love it. The sad part is that this song is the next single off this album so I’ll probably hear it a million times and get tired of it. Oh well! I’ll love it while I can.

Side to side just supports my theory that little Ariana is dead and gone. GURL!!!! This song is so dirty, I really couldn’t believe this was Ariana. The song is very chill, it’s a different sound for Ariana and I’m feeling it heavy. Let me love you wasn’t doing it for me though, I don’t know why. There’s just this element to it that doesn’t sit well with me. Leave me lonely on the other hand reminds me of I put a spell on you by Annie Lennox from the 50 shades soundtrack. This song is probably the spawn of some black magic that was going on in that studio. Yes, a bunch of people wouldn’t like this song but Macy Gray’s Vocal performance on this record is magnifique. Ah!! He gives you what Everyday?! Hmmm somebody is really a naughty girl, so provocative a song. I’m not a fan of future but his presence on this track was Gold and Ariana’s whistle notes here are perfection.

I don’t Care really just fully describes where I’m  at with some people in this life. It’s honestly easier not caring than caring period. Bad Decisions and Touch It are beautiful songs because the production and vocals on these two tracks speak to my soul, my inner spirit animal and that’s the simplest way I can describe them.

Generally this album is arguably Ariana’s best album yet because these songs are modern, their fresh, they’re in tune with the times and most of all, they’re grown! Honestly you should just get yourself a copy and enjoy this music. Your first time listening to it is going to feel like such a ride but trust me you’ll be hooked on the best of them. Till next time guys peace Love and stay Slaying!!!!!

Dangerous Woman is available on Itunes and spotify. Let me know your fave songs from the album and what you think as well in the comment section below. THANKS!!

LEMONADE: THE VISUAL ALBUM

I failed to mention that my lemonade post would be in two parts; one for the audio album and the other for the visual. Well now you know, so suck it up lol! So while the audio album dropped with 12 songs on Jay-z’s music streaming service; Tidal, the visual album or should I say movie for the album premiered on HBO, it was an hour long special.

Without the visual I had some appreciation for the album, but after the visual? Boy did I know my life was complete. The movie has 11 chapters, showcasing the best and worst of the queen herself with various intermissions of spoken word by Beyonce written by Somali-British writer Warsan Shire. The movie gives a whole new perspective to interpreting the music and seeing into the minds of the geniuses behind this visual masterpiece. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect but 10 minutes in, it was hard to believe that this was the same woman dancing around her apartment in the 7/11 music video. It’s like a whole new vengeful Beyonce emerged the moment it began.

INTUITION

This is the very first of 11 chapters, it starts with the song pray you catch me. Showing scenes of what looks like a plantation, an abandoned landmark and Beyonce on her knees singing the soulful in what looks like a theatre (or at least the stage). Right in the middle of the song, Beyonce starts to speak. She speaks on how her female intuition makes her have a hunch, coupled with sneaky behaviour by her husband that she was being cheated on. For the setting I completely have to agree with her when she says “the past and the present merge to meet us here”. It’s a mix of modern settings and women convicted and united not just sitting in a plantation but owning it.

DENIAL

This chapter begins and we are greeted by a scene with Beyonce in what seems to be an ocean. From there we transition to a room filled with water. While this is going on Beyonce recants the events that take place while she refuses to believe that she was being cheated on. It was surreal because the raw emotion in the words and the visual made me feel like I was reliving moments I had never experienced. Her ability to convey such a deeply agonizing message in such a short span of time is profoundly unbelievable. What I think is peculiar about the next scene (which is the video for HOLD UP), Beyonce channels the Yoruba water goddess OSUN. Osun has been said to have an unpredictable temper and Beyonce clearly shows this “temper” when she goes around with a baseball bat busting windows, smashing everything and leaving destruction in her wake.vlcsnap-error059

BEY

ANGER

This chapter is kind of my favourite chapter of them all. So it begins after HOLD UP while Beyonce speaks “is this what you truly want? I can wear her skin over mine, her hair over mine, her hands as gloves, her teeth as confetti, her scalp a cap, her sternum my bedazzled cane” from this point the visuals began to give off a very dark aura. She speaks on after suggestive words, she talks about abuse and she asks “why can’t you see me? Everyone else can”. The song DONT HURT YOURSLEF begins to play and we are welcomed by a very cocky Beyonce who sings the first verse with a fiery persona. The song cuts to a speech by Malcolm X telling a story about the trials of black womanhood. Bey compares herself to a dragon breathing fire, a befitting comparison to the attitude around this chapter. She ends the song throwing her ring at the camera.

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APATHY

Beginning with the words “so what are you gonna say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me?” this chapter holds a certain element that captured my attention. The song playing in the background sounded like one of those songs you would hear from a music box in a horror movie and I loved it! Following the intense spoken word, the song SORRY starts playing with a cameo from the ever flawless, Serena Williams. Very much like the message from the song, Beyonce is surrounded by beautiful women who are having fun and not thinking about their problems, a clear depiction of the joy in true friendship. When the song becomes more subtle her body movements become very robotic and that was quite interesting.

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EMPTINESS

Gosh!!! Another very intense scene. This part was quite intriguing because it takes the darkness of the anger chapter and amplifies it. What she talks about before 6 INCH IS how men and women involved would say things that they don’t really mean when they were together. We are taken to a dark red hallway with a light at the end and taps into the darkness of the moon and what happens under its protection to heighten the moment. 6 INCH reminds me of partition but here’s the twist it’s her long lost evil twin sister.

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ACCOUNTABILITY

This features the song titled DADDY LESSONS. This chapter speaks on how little girls want to be like their mothers and there is a cameo from the youngest person nominated for an Oscar Miz Quvenzhané Wallis  . B also talks about how women are so flexible and are changed, made to morph (so to say) to suit the wants of men in their life. The song begins and Beyonce is adorned with a beautiful dress which seems to be made from the ever popular Ankara material. It features visuals of various places and people in Texas and also a video of a young Beyonce and her father.  From hood niggas, to church goers at a funeral service this video had a very country feel.

REFORMATION

Beyonce lays down on a field where she had performed earlier this year (super bowl halftime).she speaks about how infidelity hinders people from experiencing true love. LOVE DROUGHT begins and Beyonce in line with other women are walking through the shallow waters of a beach dressed in white which I think symbolizes them purging themselves of all the anger and frustration and beginning the journey to forgiveness. Reformation marks the beginning of the second half of the album which talks about rebuilding a stronger relationship from the ruins of the past.

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FORGIVENESS

“If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious”. This chapter shows that even after being cheated on, reconciliation is still very very possible. Nina Simone’s silk & soul plays in the background as Beyonce speaks on the wonders of childbirth. Beyonce bares it all for this song as she seats in front of a piano, plays the chords and sings SANDCASTLES. Husband Jay-Z makes an appearance in this video and we can see the remorse, affection and love between the two as they intimately touch each other.

RESURRECTION

Greeted by a mass of beautiful black women, this chapter begins with a voice over of a woman saying “I’ve never seen so many back women” and she asks “how are we supposed to lead our children to the future” can you guess the answer? We have appearances by Amandla Stenberg, Beyonce’s prodigies Chloe X Halle, twin sister Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz. FORWARD begins to play and a series of visuals begin. We have mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton; Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr; and Michael Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden holding pictures of their murdered sons. They among others hold pictures of the ones they have lost to police brutality and other crimes against the black race.

HOPE

This chapter has cameos of the above listed with the addition of actress and fashion icon Zendaya and model Winnie Harlow. Women are seated watching Beyonce sing the first verse of FREEDOM which has such a powerful meaning. The beauty of this all can be seen in the very many black women in this scene who have been criticized in one way or another about their blackness (including precious Blue Ivy Carter). They show that they are beautiful not in spite of their blackness, but in their blackness. They praise the black heritage by choosing to wear their hair in the natural kinky way which has been look down by not only the whit community but some of our very own. Before this chapter ends they stand all together in a united front.

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WINNIE HARLOW 
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REDEMPTION

Beyonce all but mentions that what she talks about in the start of this chapter refers to why the album is titled “LEMONADE”. Cut to a scene at Hattie White’s 90th birthday, Jay-z’s grandmother says “I had my ups and downs but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons but I made lemonade”. Beyonce talks about healing and coming back united as ever when she says “then my torturer became my remedy”. ALL NIGHT begins marking the end of the album. A video of Bey and J getting their “IV” tattoos among videos of other couples who clearly in love backed by the lyrics of all night just conveys the main message that we are all meant to take home from this album. This chapter is my best because it tells us that there is always hope and there are no lost causes, no matter how dark it may be there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

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From left to right; Chloe Bailey, Ibeyi Twins, Beyonce, Amandla Stenberg, Halle Bailey, Zendaya Coleman.
This visual album really did set a higher standard for pop-story telling in the highest scale possible. As I said earlier, the music had significant meaning on its own but the visual adds even more depth to the music. The album is so much more than Beyonce speaking out on her husbands’ infidelity. She uses her personal struggle to tell the story of many a black woman who has silently died on the inside because they saw their relationships burn to ash right before their eyes. From begging to be caught eavesdropping and reading text messages to proclaiming healing and redemption, no part of this visual lacked significant meaning. The decision to use spoken word to string the songs together and make them build up into one another was a stroke of pure genius and it is safe to say that we haven’t seen a purer form of self expression than lemonade. Beyonce keeps on outdoing herself in however way possible and that is true talent.

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to like, comment, reblog, share and FOLLOW for amazing content. Till next time my beautiful bitches, stay slaying!!!

MARITAL STRIFE? #LEMONADE

Hi guys!!! I’m back again and today I will be reviewing the album I have been looking forward to all year. Yes! You guessed it, LEMONADE bitch! Anyway, without wasting too much of your time I’ll get right into it.

The four octaves singing, 20 times Grammy award winning, vocal powerhouse released yet another surprise album and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we have been waiting for QUEEN B to pull the rabbit out of the hat since formation dropped. Honestly when the trailer for the world premiere came out and I found out, I was literally dry heaving because I was so excited!! There were so many speculations that accompanied trailer, I even thought she wanted to start a series or some shi, well I think I was in over my head. The album is a two part album (a visual album and an audio album) and what gets me thinking is how 3 times in the last 3 years, miss or should I say Mrs. Thang has been able to successfully release projects of hers in complete secrecy. I mean in this day and age where privacy and secrecy are arguably the hardest things to come about she has managed to keep this album secret from the entire world.

This album is a story full of chapters, a journey in itself. In some ways you could say it is the album I AM…..SASHA FIRECES elder sister because it was constructed in such way that there are two halves of the album. One half having a centralised theme and the next half having its own theme, very much like the singers third album. You would think that somewhere along the line you would get lost but that is not the case. Instead the album gradually leads you to its end as events unfold and you are taken on an emotional roller coaster.

TRACKLIST

  1. PRAY YOU CATCH ME
  2. HOLD UP
  3. DON’T HURT YOURSELF (feat. Jack White)
  4. SORRY
  5. 6 INCH (feat. The Weeknd)
  6. DADDY LESSONS
  7. LOVE DROUGHT
  8. SANDCASTLES
  9. FORWARD (feat. James Blake)
  10. FREEDOM (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
  11. ALL NIGHT
  12. FORMATION (place link)

PRAY YOU CATCH ME

“You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breathe.” Listening to this song, I couldn’t help but think that it was an amazing way to start off the album. The beginning vocals were a bit unsettling at first but when they fully blossomed into something that would give the faint hearted an ear orgasm (like myself) I totally fell into a trans. The production of this is stellar from start to finish. I want to believe that in this song she sings about a relationship with a dishonest partner, knowing full well that he/she was being dishonest. I’m officially addicted to this song anyway and I also love the fact that we started off on a light mood because I didn’t know what to expect from the rest of the album.

HOLD UP

YONCE was definitely serving me island realness with this song huntyyyy! I mean it’s so different from my usual Beyonce and quite frankly I’m in love with it. The drums in this song were something else and her vocals were flawless as usual. There was this one part where I got a snippet of the drum sequence from countdown in her 4th album and it fit perfectly. I think for this song she sings to a cheating partner and she tells him that the other hoes he’s messing around with don’t love him as much as she does. She also makes it very clear what she would do if she laid her hands on his side-bitch. I just realised that it kind of had the same theme as say my name from the 1999 Destiny’s Child album Writings On The Wall, do you think so as well? Let me know in the comment section.

DON’T HURT YOURSELF (FT. JACK WHITE)

“Who the fuck do you think I is? You aint married to no average bitch boy.” From the first beat on this song you can tell how aggressive it is going to be. She really expressed some anger in this song and she really went full on rock queen on this record. What really made it stand out for me were jack whites rock vocal tricks and the fact that there is something beautiful in the discord of the song. The lyrics of this song really made the internet (twitter) run wild on the release of lemonade. Production wise, we can tell that B and her producers must have had some fun with this one. In this song she really tells this partner of hers that she is not to be trifled with, that she isn’t just an average person. This one part got me all riled up though; “this is your final warning, you know I give you life. If you try that shit again, you gon’ lose your wife”.

SORRY

I honestly wasn’t a big fan of this song until my 4th or 5th time listening to the album, and after watching the mini-movie. This song is so different from my usual Beyonce and I definitely love it. Here she sings on forgetting about the man who did her wrong and constantly distracts her from her grind and making her coin. Also the song publicly gives us a description of this mysterious side bitch where she says “you better call Becky with the good hair”. This Becky with the hair is allegedly Rachael Roy

6 INCH (ft. THE WEEKND)

OMG!! First of all can we just acknowledge the pitch that this song started on? This song in itself is such a sexy song that I can totally see being played in a club of specific taste (if you know what I mean). There are so many different ways to interpret this absolutely intoxicating song. It speaks of a chronic heart breaking seductress who as she murders everybody (figuratively speaking) also works hard at whatever she does without relenting. I think this song describes not only B but many other women. Not in the sense that all women are heart breakers but it describes women who are hard working in any and everything they do with no remorse what so ever.

DADDY LESSONS

CMA’s better get ready cus the Queen is coming and she’s here to snatch all your edges! This being Beyonce’s first country song, she delivered everything. The guitar and horns in this song give it a story and a historical background like no other, while she sings about her dad, lessons learned, problems solved and even those quite unsolved. She bares it all letting us know how it was growing up with her father, the ups and downs of having her father. I definitely expected something different with this song but I was definitely pleased with what I found. It was a nice way to close the first half of the album.

LOVE DROUGHT

This song is one of my favourite songs of the album. Not just because it gets me in my feelings or the amazing production behind the amazing vocals, but the fact that B reminds us all that underneath everything she remains a human being like every one of us and that she has feelings. Obviously life isn’t rosy for everyone, even Beyonce. This song starting off the second half of the album symbolises the beginning of the road to forgiveness.

SANDCATSLES

Okay everyone! It’s time to get your tissues, this is not a drill!! If you thought you would cry listening to heaven from the self titled album or 1+1 from 4, then you are officially not emotionally ready for this song. Thinking back to all 5 of her albums I don’t think there is a ballad as gut-wrenching as this record. The piano was the perfect instrument for this song and her vocals, gurrrlllll!!!!! I was almost in tears. This song just simply tells us of the difficulty of forgiveness and not keeping to the rash decisions we make in times of immense grief. She sounded so vulnerable in this song and it gives it this authenticity that is hard to find.

FORWARD (FT. JAMES BLAKE)

I honestly thought I was still listening to sandcastles the first time. When I realised that this was a separate song I had one question; why is this song not three times longer? It’s so short and maybe, just maybe that’s what makes the song sound so magical. Both James Blake and Beyonce might have as well been holding the keys to the flood gates in my eyes. Even though it was so brief it still has this effect that I can’t explain.

FREEDOM (FT. KENDRICK LAMAR)

Electrifying is the first word that comes to mind when describing this song. It’s another political piece and it’s completely genius. While addressing her personal problems, B also addresses the lingering problem in our society today which is the oppression of the black people. She sings of being free from metaphorical chains and bondage while making it very clear that it is impossible to stop the movement because winners don’t quite. Kendrick being in this song was appropriate because he is one of the artistes at the forefront of the black lives matter movement and I have to say he added more attitude to this song and that was the cherry on the cake. The speech given by Jay-z’s grandmother Hattie on her 90th birthday explains the demographic behind this album.

ALL NIGHT

The last piece of the puzzle, the end of the story, the last chapter to the emotional journey that is LEMONADE. It’s so uplifting that this album ended on a somewhat happy note. This song completes this masterpiece showing that true love conquers all. She remembers the good times and uses them as a life line to pull her out of the negativity of dealing with the infidelity of a partner, carefully ushering her into the light and solace that true love holds to be discovered

FORMATION

Gurrrrllll! I have discussed this song and video at length. Click here to read it all.

 

In a nut-shell, this album is Beyonce’s most emotional album and it is also her most sonically adventurous one of them all. I’m just happy that I’ve been able to witness a pop artiste like Beyonce totally evolve and grow into her own and become a legend of our time. None of her songs from other albums can outmatch the emotional rawness that this album brings forth. She was at her most vulnerable and most profane at different points in this album which makes it more unique than the rest of them. Obviously this album will not seat well with some people but that doesn’t change the fact that it is an absolute work of art and should be praised for the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into it. Anyway that’s all for now, let me know what you think about this album and let me know your fave songs in the comment section below.

Thank you guys for reading and for your support, sometimes I question why I’m still doing this and you guys always keep me coming back. Till next time my beautiful bitches, stay slaying!!!