Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Music Collective 46: 31 Days of Album Reviews

Every day in the month of May at 8 pm (EST) a new post will go live as a spin-off of the Music Collective series here on the blog. Ranging from old school classics to albums I grew up loving all the way to recent releases, I am challenging myself to write one album review per day for 31 consecutive days. This will give me an opportunity to re-publish reviews I've already written, catch up on some reviews that I've been meaning to dive into, as well as re-explore what I like, love, and dislike from my own collection.

For all the music-heads who would like to participate in 31 Days of Music challenge, share your reviews via Twitter @ChymereA using the hashtag #misfitMusicMay. It's definitely a commitment, but I think it will be a lot more fun if other bloggers got involved, so I really encourage you all to at least give it a shot. Also feel free to email me and/or post links in the comment section on this post, so I can tune in to what you've been listening to that particular day, share it with my followers, and maybe even fall in love with something new to my hears.

Who knows? I may even do a special give-away at the end of it to see who was committed enough to join me. I can't make any promises as of right now, but I will definitely look into it.

♥ @ChymereA
SHARE:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Day 4 | Lemonade (visual album) x Beyonce


source. LA Times : Parkwood Entertainment
It took a while for me to think of words that would justify the listen/watch experience of Beyonce's latest album release, Lemonade. There are so many things to love about this bold, ambitious piece of work; so many meaningful layers that conveyed so loudly the emotional journey of a black woman. It wasn't merely a tell-all of infidelity and betrayal in her own relationship, but an outstanding soundtrack to what every woman goes through, the cycles she becomes apart of, as well as the ones she creates/re-creates for herself. 

Watching the video for "Formation" exclusively on Tidal, the day before performing it live for the first time at SuperBowl 2016 was just the beginning of this daring dive into black womanhood. Two months later, Bey takes the world by storm and Lemonade is presented to on a silver platter as an HBO special premier. Here we have a lyrical story line broken down into 11 chapters (intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, accountability, reformation, forgiveness, resurrection, hope, and lastly, redemption). The layout of the track list essentially sets the tone for the compilation, accented by spoken word poetry on the from Warsan Shire in between tracks. Adding that poetic touch to the visual aspect, she was able to capture the essence of every song and simultaneously found yet another way to make the artistic intention loud and clear.

The creativity and production behind this album is what makes it as outstanding as it is. Content aside, the music aspect is incredible. The endless, heavy bass-lines, the instrumentation, the combination of psychedelic funk, classic R&B, NOLA bounce, are all executed so flawlessly, it's hard to even notice how many genres are represented, simply because it's all rooted in African excellence. Collaborations with artist like James Blake, Diplo, Jack White, and Kendrick Lamar also played significant roles on this project to bring out different sounds. My only issue is that 12 tracks just feels way like there's much to be desired by the conclusion...or maybe I'm just greedy. A part of me hopes there is more to come as a deluxe edition on the physical copy, so I guess we'll just have to see.

Favorite tracks: All Night, Love Drought, Sorry, and Don't Hurt Yourself (ft. Jack White)

The controversy and cultural conversations that surrounded Formation and this album were overwhelming, to say the least, and somewhat expected, however, I couldn't be more proud of the activism that lies in Beyonce's overall message with #BLACKGIRLMAGIC written all over it. She has made such a profound impact the music industry with her career alone, but now, has absolutely changed the way we digest music. 

SHARE:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Music Collective: vol. 45 {Contradiction}


This song and this video are both so lovely. Mali Music's soft baritone and Jhene's angelic soprano work so well together vocally. I also really enjoy the sort of reggae and rhythm & blues mash-up of this song. 

SHARE:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Music Collective: vol. 44 {Release Your Inner Trill}



So I have this new motto that I literally keep in front of my face all day and that is: Boss Up + Prosper. If you read my most recent Self Love Sundays post, you'll know how it came about. Basically I had to motivate myself to shift my mindset into execution mode, to really take the rest of this year to put myself in position to receive all the things I'm asking for. It's just become a daily reminder for me, because I know how easily it is for me to give in to my shortcomings. 

Fun fact, hip-hop and jazz are the genres that are primarily responsible for my love for music. As you can probably gather, I listen to pretty much everything, however, I always those two genres always have this way of reminding me who I am and bringing me back to my center. Sometimes I need a calm, gentle reminder like a mother coaxing her crying baby to sleep and that's where jazz comes into play. Other times, I need that raw, tough, bossy, "in-your-face" type of life coaching via music and hip-hop becomes that. 

Now, I am very selective about what I consider to be hip-hop and what I feed my spirit (and I can roll into an entirely different topic on that note), but there tends to be a heavy usage of profanity in at least 80% of the rap music I listen to. Although I'm not apologetic about nor am I offended by what I choose to listen to, I still want to issue out a disclaimer to those of you who are sensitive to foul language. 

This play list is just fits so perfectly with the mantra I've come up with to keep working towards my goals and continue striving to be the best at everything I do, so I wanted to share it in the case that someone needs a bit of a confidence boost or a few dope tunes to replace stress with the inner trill that I believe is inside of you.

SHARE:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I Miss You...

I believe I’m homesick for things that don’t exist in my life anymore. The specifics vary-people, places, eras-but it all boils down to feeling a bit nostalgic, which can be a distraction from the present moment. Although it can be a beautiful thing to look back to think about all the wonderful memories or even to thank God for how far he’s brought us, it becomes problematic when we try too hard to hold on to the past and fail to accept where we are right now.

The what if’s don’t have the power to change what is, so I might as well accept it. I know it’s God’s plan to keep my eyes forward, focused on what lies ahead (Proverbs 4:25) and keeping into consideration all the good happening right now (Philippians 4:8). Despite me knowing this, it doesn’t change how I seem to always feel. It doesn’t stop my thoughts from constantly attempting time travel and gravitating backwards. Each time I think they’re just fleeing feelings, they all come rushing back eventually and I’ve tried all the tricks in the book to master the art of letting go, but nothing seems to work.

What baffles me is realizing all the other things I’ve been able to release and move on from with no problem. I forgive even the people who have never apologized to me directly. I don’t hold grudges or allow past conflict to stop me from rebuilding bridges. Every single day I do my absolute best to not allow past failure/mistakes hinder me from achieving great things in the future. Of course this is all by grace alone, because I wasn’t always like that. However, there is one specific time frame, one particular person, one long gone season of my life that I just cannot seem to let go of...and I honestly don’t know what’s left to do about it.

For a long time, I will admit, that letting go was scary to me, but now I’m ready; mainly because I feel like it’s the only thing stopping me from receiving greater blessings that are waiting for me. Maybe if I create intention with my heart, things will change, but for now, the only truth I can express is...

I miss you, sincerely...

SHARE:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Self-Love ♡ Sundays | BO$$ Up + Prosper

"In a world where there's so much pressure to be a specific kind of beautiful, it's important to know how to validate yourself..live for...dress for...transform/get fit/ "glo-up" FOR YOUR SELF."  
Chymere A.


In a matter of months, I've witnessed my entire psyche transform from the dark, depressed place I was in a few years ago to this powerhouse full of ideas, motivation, and creative energy. I don't know where it came from, but I can only thank God that I'm living in it. There have been a few times over the past few years, where I could literally sense good things manifesting and in the blink of an eye, the moment was gone, so I'm trying my best to hold on to what's happening right now without thinking too far ahead of myself.

So as I'm basking in this moment, I developed a new motto that I've shared on a couple social media platforms, which is: BOSS Up and Prosper. To be honest, I think it came to me while listening to my 'Release Your Inner Trill' play list on Spotify after experiencing some unexpected heartbreak and wanting to show that person the physical aspect of what they (plural to include the ones who came before him) were really missing. It wasn't because I actually believed I was physically desirable, but because I allowed my own insecurity to make me forget that I will always be a beautiful child of God and it wasn't up to me to highlight my beauty, just for someone else to applaud it. 

Suddenly, I remembered how pitiful it was to do things solely for the attention of someone so insignificant for years. I could recall how painful it once felt to become so attached to that kind of longing for a person I didn't need to the point where it slowly turned into an addiction. To avoid traveling that road again, I had to pull myself together quickly, because I don't have that kind of time to waste anymore. 

Once I realized certain things were just out of my control no matter how well I could pose for "the gram" or what I did on the outside, I had to redefine what BOSS Up + Prosper meant and I think the definition varies per person. For me, it means validating who I am as a person and not looking for other people to do that for me. Now, when I include the word 'prosper' in that affirmation, I'm not necessarily referring to material things, like money, fame, artificial success, etc. Although there might be a time to consider those things, I'm speaking about things that are more valuable, such as spiritual/physical/mental well-being, self-worth, and chasing dreams...because in a world where there's so much pressure to be a specific kind of beautiful, it's important to know how to validate oneself..live for...dress for...transform/get fit/ "glo-up" for yourself.

Ladies and gentleman, whatever comes your way that distracts you from your greatness, whatever level you're on, just boss up, prosper, and allow God (or whatever higher power you acknowledge) to handle the rest. It's a lesson I learn to practice daily, but knowing it and understanding it pushes me closer to my destiny. 

♥ @ChymereA
SHARE:

Friday, April 8, 2016

Music Collective: vol. 43 {#FlashbackFridays + On the Radar}

Lately, I've pretty much been pre-occupied and quite satisfied, might I add- with listening to the same 3 albums in rotation:
  • We are King - King
  • Too High to Riot - Bas
  • The Life of Pablo - Kanye West 
As well as the collaborative project released earlier this month from Big Sean and Jhené Aiko, Twenty88 EP, all of which I will be reviewing on the blog very soon (wait for it...):

Aside from that, here's a short list of songs I've been listening to in between time:
More recently, however, my mood has switched to circa 2010/2011 hip-hop and R&B. Those were both very positive years, where the best and the worst of times occurred pretty simultaneously. Feeling a certain nostalgic wave come over me, I decided to compile a play list of songs that remind of some of the best and worst times of my life to date:


1. 'Moment 4 Life' is probably one of my favorite Nicki/Drake collaborations. By this time, Ms. Onika had already started making her mark in the industry, but I think this was the year I really fell in love with her and gained a new respect for her as a MC. If I recall correctly, 2010 was the year that Young Money took over the hip-hop music scene and so many of the songs that emerged from them were pretty much the soundtrack of entire my summer that year. Ah...good times.


2. Otis is what I would consider to be a new age classic that emerged from 'Watch the Throne', which is still one of the biggest hip-hop collaborations to this day. With a rather bold sampling of the late Otis Redding and boastful, bigger than life egos, it's such a fun reminder of this dynasty the two have been able to build up over the years.


3. 'My Last' is yet another song I played in heavy rotation when it came out. By this time, I was already a fan of Big Sean. I always enjoy their stage presence individually and think they really bring a new dimension to their performances together. I also loved the party scene of this video, because I was convinced that they were genuinely having a good time. 


4. 'Ambitious Girl' was definitely every girl's theme song that year. It was something like an homage to a young lady who works hard for her success, a story told from a young man's point of view. Wale was another artist that kind of made a breakthrough in 2010 and 2011.

5. Tightrope isn't necessarily hip-hop; it's really just an upbeat, feel good song with positive message. Janelle Monae was also one of the underground artist who made a breakthrough into mainstream listening around this time, even though by this time, it had been a couple of years after she signed to Bad Boy records. Pulling her good friend and mentor Big Boi to feature just added to what I already love about this track.

What are some of your favorite tunes that remind you of a specific time in your life?
♥ @ChymereA
SHARE:
© Chymere Anais | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig