Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Update, But Not Really...

It's been a while...and I wish I had something innovative to say here, but unfortunately, I do not. I would love to predict that a new post will be up by next week or the end of this week, but empty promises are no good. Even my regularly scheduled Music Collective post have come to a semi-halt, because I've literally only been listening to everything I mentioned H E R E in rotation. I just wanted briefly pop back in to inform the people who read this blog that I am still alive. Also, I want to convey, ever-so-vaguely, that so many wonderful things has happened/is happening in my world! It's not exactly in my realm of comfort to discuss certain aspects of my life on here...just for the sake of keeping privacy sacred, but I will say that life is pretty dope and I'm extremely thankful that God continues to bless and protect me.

Other than that, I just haven't found the time to blog. I'm super behind on my blog reading. It's been said that you make time for what you want to make time for and I'm aware of that, but sometimes, there just isn't enough time in the day to cover all bases. I do apologize for the absence.  I take full responsibility for lounging and watching mindless television on off days, instead of dedicating more time to creating content and working on the project (that I've mentioned a couple times, yet haven't spoken much about). I strongly believe in maintaining balance between work/play/chill mode, but maybe, I use term "balance" as my excuse. Moments like this, I come back to this blog-my pride and joy-realizing that now may not the most opportune time to match relaxation with work, simply because the life of my dreams hasn't fully manifested yet, but you know...charge it to my head, not my heart. 

None of this is to say that I don't put in any work; I just feel like I don't work nearly enough as I should. I'm probably just being too hard on myself, which I do from time to time. However, I stated in my own words, that's it's not enough to be sometimes ambitious. The purpose of my little SLS series was to write little keepsakes to myself that would inspire others and right now, I'm feeling like I need to do a better job at taking my own advice, especially when it comes to chasing dreams at full speed. 

Anyway, for someone who didn't have anything to say, I certainly said quite a bit with a few shameless plugs, so thumbs up for self promotion.  This is post is all over the place and clearly isn't my best writing, as it has a more conversational, relaxed tone. Honestly, I haven't really been in the mood to edit or filter what decides to spill out. Sometimes, it's better to just wing it. Sometimes, all I need is to publicly ramble to whoever is willing to pretend to care, so thanks for that.

Catch you on the B-side! 
...Until then, feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChymereA
for other random thoughts, opinions, and day-by-day updates.




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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Music Collective: vol. 33 {Musical Mid-Year Review 2015}

Music has been explosive in 2015, which is a statement that is certainly becoming redundant on this here blog of mine. It's honestly been like Christmas-new albums dropping every week it seems-since January that it's been nearly impossible for me to do full reviews at an equivalent rate.  I could fill up my editorial calendar for the next couple of months with album reviews if I wanted to. Briefly, I thought about putting out "late" reviews to give myself enough time to write a decent one, but I'm hesitant for a few reasons. However, I may still decide to do that. For now, I'll just share mini-reviews of the records that I've been listening to non-stop lately. I think it's safe to call this a musical mid-year in review.

Albums iLove: 




  • I'll Be Gorgeous When I Die - Carlitta Durand : Jazz vocalist, Carlitta Durand, has such an amazing, soulful sound that is so captivating. When I found out she had a new album out, I was overjoyed. She has been working very closely with some of my faves for a while, including The Foreign Exchange and 9th Wonder, but this was my first time hearing a full length solo project from her. It has such a cohesive artistic flow and I love the explanation behind the title, which I won't ruin, in the case that someone decides to listen. Love is such an understatement, but I love it. 
  • Urban Flora - Alina Baraz : Last year, Alina Baraz and Galimatias were on heavy rotation if you can recall from 2014 Musical Year in Review. From the looks of it, Ms. Alina will make the cut yet again for best albums of 2015. She has a very mellow sound that I can just drown in. 
  • At.Long.Last.A$AP - A$AP Rocky : As a hip-hop lover, I can always appreciate artist like A$AP, who have that raw, gritty element to their music that seems to be prominent in rappers from New York. This record sounds like vintage hip-hop, so in that regard, this was a pretty solid record.  Not all the collaborations were my favorite, because they didn't necessarily fit with the overall presentation, but I still liked the album as a whole.
  • Surf - Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment : This is such a feel good album with a very positive and vibrant fusion of jazz, funk, and hip-hop. Everything from the instrumentation to the lyrics from start to finish is incredible with a lot of great features. There were a few disagreeing reviews floating around and I kind of wish they did more with the horns and live drums in production, but I could definitely recognize the potential/effort. Also, it was a free release iTunes, so perhaps they knew about the shortcomings of this project.
  • Boy - BOSCO : Brittney Bosco! I can't explain my excitement for this EP. Because I've been following her career for such a long time, it just makes me extremely proud of her progression as an independent artist. To see someone grow from a local Atlanta performer and make their way to mainstream airwaves is pretty amazing, much like Janelle Monae. Back in 2009, I even communicated with her via Facebook in hopes to write lyrics for her, which unfortunately went nowhere.  Nonetheless, I knew it was only a matter of time before the world finally caught on. 
  • Bush - Snoop Dogg : As someone who has never been a huge fan of Snoop Dogg, although I listened to his music, I was surprisingly impressed with this album. It was something beyond my expectations. Stevie Wonder on the first track immediately won me over and honestly, I probably wouldn't have continued listening if it weren't for such an incredible way to introduce the album. As much as I enjoy this album, there isn't much to say about it other than it's awesome, solely because it has a really positive and upbeat dance effect. 

  • Still loving: 

    • Cherry Bomb - Tyler, the Creator : I actually meant to do a full review of this album. The creativity and composition of this record is highly impressive and exposed Tyler's talent on so many different levels, as he did write and produce entirely.  Essentially, he reminds me of a young Pharrell, as the variety of gifts he has as an artist pave a way for him musically. Anyone who wasn't a fan prior to Cherry Bomb probably wouldn't too much care for this album. There's so much sarcasm, satire, and hilarious cynicism-all of which I find to be amusing-that the average listener wouldn't immediately catch on to. 
    • B4.Da.$$ - Joey Bada$$ : {Yet another album I intended to write a full review on as I mentioned passively H E R E.} For this to be a debut record, Joey Bada$$ made really stamped his territory as a notable young MC in modern hip-hop with this one.  Prior to the release of this particular album, he was always extremely consistent, topically versatile, and forthcoming with his talent on previous mix tapes, as well as on collaborations with other hip-hop figures.  Even though the production team of this album definitely made a difference in sound quality and although his rap style is heavily influenced by old school hip-hop, he was absolutely the stand-out element; nothing outshines him on this album, which is how it should be, in my opinion.  This album was pretty epic and I believe there is still so much room for growth on the coming projects.

    Full Reviews:

    Singles:

    What music have you been loving so far this year? No such thing as too much music! I love it when you guys introduce me to songs and artist I've never heard of before, so please leave all your recommendations in the comment section. 
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    Thursday, June 4, 2015

    Summer 2015: Commitments + Wish List

    I will try not to be too chatty in the introduction, because this post is long enough without one. Summer really gives me this desire to create, an kind of energy that only comes around once a year that makes me want to breathe life into all my creative ambitions. Maybe it's because I'm so accustomed to having more time off during the summer season, leaving more space to get my hands dirty, figuratively speaking. Maybe, my birthday on the horizon inspires me. Whatever the case may be, I'm absolutely happy to be present at a time such as this. Because of that mind-state, the majority my goals for the summer and wish list items pretty much revolve around the spirit of care-free creativity.

    Summer Commitments:

    • Renew my U.S. Master's Swimming membership
    • Exercise more often; right now I'm good if I do 2 days a week, but I'm pretty sure, with regular swimming schedule, I'll be able dedicate way more time to fitness.
    • Go on a beach road trip!! Currently in the process of planning something for the birthday in July, because this is literally long overdue. My heart is craving the ocean.
    • Improve time management skills: It's so much on my palette right now that I sometimes get overwhelmed by the life I willing signed up for. Time management makes things a little less stress. 
    • Finance a vehicle, because the struggle without one (in these parts) is so real. 
    • Spend more time outdoors-tanning, exploring, and flourishing; that's what summer sun is all about! 
    • Complete the prototype and start the portfolio. This is extremely vague and I do apologize, but the details aren't necessary. However, I'll be sharing more about that in the future. Stay tuned...
    • Create more, as much as possible

    Wish List:

    ♥ Music:

    {For the record, let me just say that so many gems have dropped/will drop in 2015. My ears have been so happy and I'm already looking forward to my annual Musical Year in Review on the blog. I could probably write an entire post discussing the current state of hip-hop alone. It's been a fantastic year for music, long story short. Although I do enjoy the benefits of having the tunes I love available on my iPhone, I'm old school in a sense that I still like to buy the hard copy of albums I really like. These are the ones I plan to purchase at some point this summer.} 
    • {April 2015} Urban Flora EP - Alina Baraz
    • {May 2015} At.Long.Last.A$AP - A$AP Rocky
    • {July 2015} Boys, Don't Cry - Frank Ocean
    • {July 2015} Blood - Lianne la Havas

    ♥ Style:

    ♥ Art:

      ♥ Technology:

      ♥ Books:

      {I've been finding new books to add to my book collection, as well as some coffee table reads. I read a ton, but very rarely do I buy the book. It's been a goal of mine to build my own library of the literature I find fascinating, to have access to in the case that I want to read again later.}

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      Monday, June 1, 2015

      City Finds | Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema

      original photos

      Just to give a brief back story, I want to start this post by explaining why this place is so much more than a coffee shop for geeks. Looking at my life in retrospect, I'm always so amazed by growth and how different my life is compared to what it was a few years ago. Embracing where I am throughout the phases of my life has lead me to so many opportunities to be authentically me, design the life I was meant to live, and attract people who are beneficial to my destiny. It has also allowed me to better understand the familiar mantra 'Everything happens for a reason.'

      One of the first things I noticed about growing is seeing the change in how I chose to spend my time. Because I spent so much time trying to fit in and getting lost in the crowd, I lost myself in the process. It's been a long journey to get to a place where I am comfortable simply being me. Although the changes were sometimes difficult to adapt to, every single step was worth it. At this point, I value my time and energy way too much to be around people who drain me or to venture into places I know don't belong in. Considering what I've been through, reaching this mental space is like nirvana to me and it feels so good to be able to come out of my shell and not be ashamed of who I am.

      Over the years I've literally gone through a reverse transformation; I went from being a social butterfly to a quiet caterpillar wrapped in her cocoon; from bar hopping and entertaining pseudo friendships to finding contentment in complete isolation. As much as I enjoy my own company, it's not always fun to be alone and so trapped inside of my own little universe. It's beautiful to return back to loving and honoring myself, but I had to realize what experience I wanted to create in my relationships with others. Once I recognized what kind of souls and experiences I wanted to attract into my life, I knew I had to share my presence and connect with people face-to-face, eventually. In a strange way, losing a pet taught me that. 

      After moving back to North Carolina a couple of months ago, two of my good friends recommended Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema, a local coffeehouse in the area.  Taking their advice lightly initially, I realized more and more why I needed to be here. As I gradually began to trust my reliable sources, I decided to take myself on a date Saturday night, exploring this place I'd heard so much about.

      Upon arrival, I was immediately intrigued by the charm of the exterior, but I probably sat in the parking lot for at least 15 minutes speculating. I was so nervous to walk into a room full of strangers and debated if I should stay or leave. Ironically, a side effect of the previously mentioned transformation was a mild case of social anxiety. Once I finally mustered up the courage to walk in the door, I was greeted by someone who seemed to sense my nervousness. He kindly helped me feel more at ease and made sure I got settled in properly. I ordered a coffee and found a comfy loveseat to occupy. Something about the atmosphere put me in such peaceful state-of-mind and I felt completely safe to simply...be.

      The eclectic decor of this little hidden treasure caught my attention. The neon green walls and exposed brick were adorned with film/anime/comic/gaming posters, as well as artwork/photography from local creators. The book shelves that lined one wall were filled with everything from old school board games to figurines and souvenirs and the room was accented by fun objects like the phone booth from Dr. Who and a spaceship-like structure. This particular night, the cozy space was set up for live music and a comedy show; intimate, which is the perfect setting for my kind of fun.

      The store itself reminded me of something I'd find in Little 5 Points, one of my favorite areas to explore back home, except that it was like nothing I've ever seen before. It spoke to me on so many different levels. Anyone is welcome; whether it's to watch movies, play video games, see different performances on the weekends, or just serve as a place to escape to and unwind. It's the perfect grounds to interact with a community of positive people who all share a variety of similar interest. My inner artist, nerd, music/coffee lover, and wannabe film buff were all happy to reunite in a common vicinity. 

      The entire night was full of quirky music, lots of laughter, and all around good vibes. It felt liberating to spend time in a place where I felt accepted, where I had the freedom to be me without fear of judgement. Needless to say, I've fallen so in love with this perfect little coffee shop and adopted it as my go-to hang out spot. With all the upcoming fun things listed on the events calendar, I know exactly where I'll be spending most of my spare time this summer and the extent of my stay here in NC, however long that may be. Whether you're in town for a brief visit or currently residing anywhere in the triad area, I strongly recommend stopping by Geeksboro. It isn't just your everyday coffee spot; it's an experience.

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