Tag Archive | music

A Supreme Bright Other

WARNING: The following film contains scenes of drug use. Viewer discretion is advised.

Last Tuesday Jhené Aiko released her third and final installment of her 3-part project, M.A.P. (movie, album, and poetry book). 2fish (a poetry book) has been highly anticipated since she released a surprise album Trip, on September 22nd. She released a short film by the same name just two days before.

Trip (the movie) follows the life of a young woman named Penny as she tries to navigate through life after losing her brother. She reluctantly takes a road trip with a stranger, and experiments with different types of drugs. While on the trip, Penny begins to accept the fact that her brother has passed and finds her way back to herself. The movie is emotional and captivating, containing original poetry written by Jhené Aiko.

Trip (the album) closely mirrors the movie, as Jhené processes her own feelings and emotions in dealing with the loss of her brother in real life. The 2 disc album serves somewhat as an audio diary as she expresses the pain of losing her brother. The album covers feelings of suicide, love, drug use, and hope.

I’ve been listening to Jhené Aiko’s music since her first single, “Dog” on B2K’s Pandemonium album, so I’m extremely proud of her. Being able to pull off a short film, an album, and book on top of touring is absolutely incredible and proof of Jhené Aiko‘s dedication to her art. She is in every sense a “supreme, bright other.” She also announced via twitter that she has been sober since the release of the album, so big kudos to her. I hope that she continues to find success and every good thing that comes along with it in the new year, and the years to come.

-xoxo

 

 

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The Greatest

Back in 2015, I wrote a post about alcoholism, which highlighted songs from both singer, Sia and rapper, Kendrick Lamar. Two years later I find myself doing it again, only except this post is on a different note. In this post I’ll be highlighting Sia’s 2016 single, The Greatest, which features Kendrick Lamar.
First of all, I was so excited when I heard that Sia and Kendrick Lamar were on a song together. They are both extremely talented artists. In the song, Sia sings, “I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive.” That’s basically the premise of the song, being free, alive, and great. This song has such an incredible message for anyone who’s ever felt like giving up or quitting. She even repeats, “Don’t give up” several times throughout the song. This song is so encouraging and it’s a song that everybody can relate to. It’s definitely been on repeat on my playlist! The music video is so haunting yet artistic, I just can’t stop watching it. The choreography is absolutely phenomenal. The kids are amazing. I’m sure by now everybody’s heard the song and seen the video, but if you haven’t (welcome back to earth. lol), go check it out! The Greatest is definitely one of the greatest songs written in the past couple of years, in my opinion. I love songs with a positive message. There’s so much negativity and horrible things happening in the world, for some people, music is their only escape. If you ever feel like giving up, remember that you’re alive for a reason. You have all of the freedom to be yourself and nobody can ever take that away from you, no matter how hard they try. In Kendrick’s verse, he talks about how his scars and letdowns only made him stronger. I don’t believe that Kendrick is an exception. I believe that anyone can turn their stumbling blocks into stepping stones if they don’t give up.

Fenty Beauty

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Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included, that’s the reason I made this line. -Rihanna

I’m not a beauty guru. I don’t spend insane amounts of money on makeup. In fact, about 90% of my makeup comes from target (because I love that place!). So on Friday when I opened up an email from Sephora and saw that Rihanna had a makeup line, I was intrigued. I clicked the link to the store and saw that I could get a free mini makeover at any Sephora. So why not?

I tried the ProFilt’r primer as well as the ProFilt’r foundation. At this point I’ve pretty much had it on all day and I have no complaints. Its super comfortable on my face and isn’t heavy or cakey. Oh and by the way, her foundation comes in forty different colors! Thank God for the color matching experts at Sephora! I also tried the Killawatt freestyle highlighter and the gloss bomb. The highlighters are super pigmented and the gloss is moisturizing, and long lasting. Her prices are pretty awesome too, so I am definitely planning on making a purchase of all the products that I tried.

Rihanna continues to expand her repertoire by making her mark in the makeup world; not an easy feat, but she seems to be easing in just fine. I’m so proud of Rihanna and excited to see what she does with the line in the future.

Until next time…xoxo

Scars To Your Beautiful

Last year, singer-songwriter, Alessia Cara released her third single, Scars To Your Beautiful. If you’ve never heard it, please come out from the rock you’ve been living under! Scars To Your Beautiful has such a positive, uplifting message for girls and women of all ages. It’s a nice contrast to so many other songs that degrade women and glorify their body parts, but never the woman as a whole.
In an interview with Lipstick.com, Alessia shares how overcoming her own struggles with hair loss helped to serve as inspiration for the song. Peaking Billboard’s charts at number 8, the chorus sings, “There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are. And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart. No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful.”
Those lines alone, make for a perfect song. There are far too many girls out there that judge themselves against some made up standard of beauty that doesn’t exist. They’re  implanting and injecting themselves according to whatever the newest trend is. I’m all for people being happy with how they look, but happiness is only temporary, and I’m concerned about how those girls will feel about the way they’ve made themselves look once the trend has died. Will they go on in pursuit of the next hot thing, believing that their own look is now subpar? Or will they finally draw the line and say enough is enough?
I am extremely grateful to Alessia Cara for this song; which is well on its way to becoming a timeless classic, and I wish her much success on her future projects. I’ll definitely be keeping an ear out.

Marz Ferrer

I first heard the voice of Marz Ferrer featured on Andy Mineo’s “Never Land”. Her voice was so intriguing  that I had to hear more from her. I was overjoyed to find her EP, Grave Clothes and Wedding Garments. Not only does Marz have an amazing voice, but  she is also an incredible songwriter. She was introduced to songwriting as a young girl, when she began playing piano. You could say that music is in her genes. She was born to a father who was part of a Doo Wop group and a mother who sang backup for several Christian music artists. Marz Ferrer’s style is very unique, as she is an alternative artist with a hip-hop inspired sound. She’s covered Kanye West’s “Amazing” as well as Drake’s “Hotline Bling”.  Marz has been featured in songs by Thi’sl, Beautiful Eulogy, Da’ T.R.U.T.H. and  many others. Last year, MTV’s Finding Carter featured two songs from her latest EP, Blur. Her voice welcomes listeners to travel  with her as she touches on topics such as love, heartache, and faith. She is definitely one artist that I can listen to all day for hours and hours. With her “poetically transparent” writing, she hopes to create music that connects with her listeners, and point to something more than self. She seeks to bring hope to a world which lacks sincerity and is starving for authenticity. You can follow Marz on twitter @MarzFerrer

Swimming pools & Chandeliers

DSCI0031In 2012 rapper, Kendrick Lamar released his single, Swimming Pools, which peaked Billboard charts at number 25. In his song he talks about people who “live their lives in bottles.” He says, “Some people like the way it feels, some people want to kill their sorrows, some people want to fit in with the popular, that was my problem.” Kendrick Lamar was by no means alone in using alcohol as a way to fit in. Studies by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism show that in 2009, about 10.4 million young people between ages 12-20 drank more than “just a few sips” of alcohol. Studies have also shown that on avaerage, young people have about five drinks on a single occasion. This is considered binge drinking and is addressed in the hook of Lamar’s song as the question is asked, “Why you babysittin’ only two or three shots? I’ma show you how to turn it up a notch”. Near the end of the song, we hear a conversation that takes place between Kendrick and his conscience. He is warned that if he doesn’t stop, he is going to die. Every year, 5,000 people under the age of 21 die due to alcohol-related incidents. This song, while explicit in language, takes a very different approach when it comes to alcohol references in music, but Kendrick isn’t the only one sounding off on alcohol abuse.

In 2014, a song entitled, Chandelier, by singer, Sia peaked Billboard charts at number 8. Unlike Kendrick Lamar, Sia’s reason for drinking isn’t centered around being popular. Sia wants to “kill her sorrows”. Chandelier opens with this verse, “Party girls don’t get hurt. Can’t feel anything. When will I learn? I push it down, push it down.” She is using alcohol to numb whatever pain she was feeling before she began drinking that night. She then continues, “I’m the one for a good time call. Phone’s blowin’ up, ringing my door bell. I feel the love…” She not only uses alcohol to to cover up her pain, but also sex as a way to feel loved; which is no coincidence since, drinking causes impaired judgement and leads to poor decision making. Sia echoes the notion of binge drinking in the pre-chorus, singing, “throw ’em back ’till I lose count.”

Whether you’re drinking to fit in or you’re trying to mask a deeper problem, you are compromising your values to become someone another person will like. Once you start sacrificing yourself to become someone you’re not, it gets harder and harder to find your true identity. Alcohol provides a false since of contentment, once it’s gone you’re left feeling worse than you did before. Sia illustrates this well in verse two, “Sun is up. I’m a mess. Gotta get out now. Gotta run from this. Here comes the shame, here comes the shame.” Remember Proverbs 23:20, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” -NIV