Music

The Internet – “Girl” (Prod. Kaytranada) Music Video

June 25, 2015

Since I haven’t really blogged, I missed posting this but phew, this is my favorite song I swear. After giving us a little teaser of the track a few months back, The Internet is finally releasing the visuals for their Kaytranada produced single (banger in my opinion) “Girl”.  The song will make it’s home on The Internet’s forthcoming album, Ego Death, which will be out June 30th. You can pre-order the album now via iTunes as well.

Also, if you happen to be in the Bay Area July 11th, make sure to check out The Internet and more at Wine and Bowties presents the Feels 3. For more information on the event click here.

Wine and Bowties Presents The Feels 3

Music

Video: Overdoz – “Last Kiss”

June 25, 2015

As of late, one of my favorite songs has been “Last Kiss” by Los Angeles based group OverDoz. Let’s face it, OverDoz always makes jams- think “Dested” or “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” and that trend continues with this song. It makes me want to dance, have some ribs, a Corona and just chill.

The video for the Pharrell produced jam follows suit. In the video, we see the group trying to get rid of female drama while trying to have a party. The song will be making its home on Overdoz’ upcoming album 2008, which will be out later this year.

 

Books

‘The Opposite of Loneliness” By Marina Keegan Review

June 25, 2015

When I first read the story of Marina Keegan and how her collection of Essays and Stories in the form of ‘The Opposite of Loneliness” came together, I knew it was something I had to read.

I knew however with reading this book, I may be in my feelings and may even cry from reading it. You see the thing is, Marina graduated from Yale in 2012.  She had the world in the palm of her hands–she had been published in the New York Times, interned at prestigious publications, and had already created a resume that would make many jealous including myself.

During her graduation, Marina spoke to her class through an essay referred to as the same title of the book saying essentially how they were all young and had their whole world in front of them, and that the community they created while at Yale was the opposite of being alone. Sadly however, while on Cloud 9 with a new sense of independence Marina passed away after her boyfriend fell asleep at the wheel. She died instantly, and he walked away unharmed.

A terrible tragedy her passing was, and understandably so, her parents needed closure of some sort so they along with one of her professors Anne Fadiman put together a collection of essays Marina wrote and put them together in this book.

What these essays show is that if Marina were in fact alive, she may be one of the literary voices of our time. She wrote so well, and created pictures and stories that were almost so vivid and vibrant that you could see them happening. Some of the essays in the book were nonfiction and others fiction and for me, two stories stood out while reading the book.

The first story that stood out to me was the very first essay “Cold Pastoral.” The essay tells the story of a somewhat first love between a guy and a girl, where the guy passes away. Initially, I got a chilling feeling when reading the first page, but eventually I was able to actually absorb the essay. As the essay continues, you see the girl having another sense of heartbreak where I almost felt like crying for her. Without giving the story away too much, there’s a pretty sad love triangle that becomes exposed through a journal.

The second story that I love was in the non-fiction section “Against the Grain.” The story opens with a line that made me sad once again, “On my deathbed, I will instruct a nurse to bring me the following: a box of Oreos, a bag of Goldfish, a McDonalds hamburger, an assortment of Dunkin’ Donuts, a chicken pot pie, a Hot Pocket, a large pepperoni pizza, a French crepe, and an ice-cold beer. In my final moments, I will consume this food slowly and delicately as I fade to oblivion.” When you hear what her friends have to say about her, this essay really personifies the person who I think Marina was. She was funny, nonchalant, and witty. She also like her friend said, would speak about death in a way that it didn’t seem like such a sad or depressing thing. Some of the lines here were super quirky, but overall the essay made me laugh in it’s matter of fact tone.

Overall, when I posted that I was reading this book many asked if I would suggest this book and I can honestly say, yes. Marina was such a great writer. The stories are good and short but not so short that you’re left wondering what happened, but short and complete. It’s a quick read, but a great read. Also, the quotes from other writings from Marina that open each essay is a nice touch as well.

In closing, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book.

I want enough time to be in love with everything.

Purchase the “The Opposite of Loneliness” here.

Uncategorized

Music: SiR – “Love You” (Prod. by Knxwledge)

June 10, 2015

On one of my SoundCloud binge sessions, I came across the page of Los Angeles based singer SiR. On his interlude, “Playa” which is a Dilla track, he says this line which I was then and still am convinced speaks to the core of who I am as a person: “…The whole town know I’m all about dark skinned girls with thick hips and pretty smiles, and she fits the description” (I know my selling points). But ever since then, I’ve been keeping track of what Sir has been coming out with and am very excited that he’s about to release his debut album Seven Sundays on July 31st via Fresh Selects. 

From the album, SiR is releasing his first offering in the form of “Love You” produced by Knxwledge (Stones Throw & To Pimp A Butterfly) . This song is smooth and makes you want to two-step and just be in love. Sir’s album Seven Sundays features Andersoon Paak, Chris Dave, Iman Omari, Tiffany Gouche and more.

Listen to the single and pre-order the album here.

Books

Summer Reading List – 50 Books to Read

June 5, 2015
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With Summer comes the need for the complete reading guide–the guide that tells you what you should be reading poolside, at a beach, or an airplane to your travels. This list was created as a cumulation of a few things.

First, people always ask me for recommendations because I like books (and music). Secondly, a few weeks ago New York Times wrote a list of books to read leaving off all minority authors. As a response, The Grio did a great list of 25 books that you should read by African American women that I 100% agree with.

This list however, isn’t just a list of African American women, or women. It’s a list of authors from multiple ethnicities and from both the male and female gender. These are books that I’ve read and loved aside from The Opposite of Loneliness that I am reading now.  Initially, I was going to separate this book by genre however, I was procrastinating and wanted to get this out so please just check out the links for the books which are in alphabetical order.

You can also download the list as a PDF here and take it with you to the bookstore or wherever you’re going. If you have any recommendations please let me know.

  1. A Taste of Power by Elaine Brown
  2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseni
  3. After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye by Janis Gaye | Read my review here
  4. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  5. Bitch is the New Black by Helena Andrews
  6. Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood
  7. Born To Use Mics: Reading Nas’ Illmatic by Michael Eric Dyson
  8. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
  9. Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me by Jerry McGill
  10. Decoded by Jay Z
  11. Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye by David Ritz
  12. Drown by Junot Diaz
  13. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  14. Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho
  15. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  16. I’m Down by Mishna Wolff
  17. Jazz by Toni Morrison
  18. Just Kids by Patti Smith
  19. Long Division by Kiese Laymon
  20. Love in My Language by Alex Elle
  21. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
  22. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  23. Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art & Demons of Marvin Gaye by Michael Eric Dyson
  24. Mo’ Metta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmed “Questlove” Thompson
  25. Nigger by Dick Gregory
  26. NW by Zadie Smith
  27. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  28. One Day It’ll All Make Sense by Common
  29. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
  30. Salt by Nayyiah Waheed
  31. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  32. The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
  33. The Autobiography of Assata Shakur
  34. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
  35. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  36. The Color of Water by James McBride
  37. The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
  38. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni
  39. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae | Read my review
  40. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan | Read about her life
  41. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs
  42. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
  43. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  44. The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
  45. This is How To Lose Her by Junot Diaz
  46. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
  47. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
  48. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
  49. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  50. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

 

Books

After The Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye by Janis Gaye Review

May 27, 2015
Marvin and Janis Gaye

We all have those memories from our childhood’s that we can see so vividly. For me, one of those memories came from a car ride with my grandfather in his black Peugeot.  I had to be about six or seven at the time and we were driving by the zoo, up the hill to his house while listening to KBLX. On the radio, they were playing Marvin Gaye. I remember feeling mature and fascinated by the music because it made me want to dance, but also felt an eerie feeling when my grandfather mentioned to me that Marvin’s father had killed him. I sat thinking to myself, what could make a father want to kill his child and how I hope this wasn’t a normal practice when you reach a certain age. From that memory and moment, I became a little fascinated by the complexities and sadness of Marvin’s life. Continue Reading