Monday, January 2, 2017

NYE Look!

Of course my outfit is very #UOonYou. I am wearing the Silence + Noise Backless Shimmer dress, black opaque tights, and studded platform heels from ShoeDazzle. NYE always calls for glitz, glamour and glitter. The shinier the better. This dress shimmers with metallic detailing all over and being backless adds wow-factor. The high heels were thrifted and finally got their chance to shine on this night, they are all black suede covered in small gold studs that catch the light. I completed the look by curling my locs using flexi rods(tutorial coming soon) for subtle sophistication.





Sunday, December 25, 2016

Bow-Bun Holiday Hairstyle!

In my last post I described my outfit, now here's a look at my hair !


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays !

This holiday my look is a repeat of last year's NYE style. I actually have not worn this romper again since, so here it is! This time I've paired it with the Out From Under Shimmer tights from Urban Outfitters, of course. I have complete this look with my hair in a bun topped with a decorative bow.






Monday, December 12, 2016

For Your Eyez Only, That new J. Cole

     J. Cole has released a new album in what seems to be a midst of new shit from your fave young/old rappers. Drizzy seems to have something on the way, CuDi will be releasing his project on the 16th, and Childish Gambino just released a new album. In his befitting style J. Cole's latest project has done impressive numbers while still disappointing a large number of listeners. He is one of the most notable contemporary rappers and is still referred to a "trash" or "Boring".

     Just a few days before releasing the album he premiered a documentary entitled "Eyez" available for streaming on Tidal. This film gives us a very discreet look into J. Coles process in creating this album. We see the certain tracks being created from scratch and the instrumentation going into them without even knowing what these tracks are. Based on the sounds and the lyrics we hear Cole recording, the 31 year old super-star is certainly staying very true to himself and who he has come to be as an artist. There does not seem to be anything particularly "New" forthcoming but the anticipation is still built. The film also features music videos for two new tracks "Everybody Dies" and "False Prophets". "False Prophets" received a lot of attention and even stirred some controversy for Cole's lyrics seemingly calling out and criticizing KanYe West as well as other mainstream rap artists.




     However neither "False Prophets" nor "Everybody Dies" are featured on this album, "For Your Eyez Only". An intimate story strung together as what seems to be a memoir-like love letter. Cole speaks on his own struggles with life and death, the plight of a Black man in America, Family, and ultimately love. We come to learn that one of Cole's closest friends was killed when he was only 22 years old, which implies that a lot of what Cole has had to say throughout the album may not be his own first person experiences. He is describing the world as how he has seen it but also telling the story of his late friend and the lifestyle he led. This however does not take away from or diminish Cole's narrative, if anything it supports it. Story-wise "For Your Eyez Only" is simple and easy to follow. Cole also describes love, the romantic kind, and we can easily assume he is describing his relationship with his wife, especially on the track "Foldin' Clothes". However it is not easy to understand who's eyez this project is for, only. At least not until the last track of the same title.

     Unfortunately, the album is not the most entertaining. Many are describing this project as boring and I agree. Standout tracks include "Immortal" on which Cole proclaims "Real niggas don't die" exhibiting what it means to have lost people close to him due to violence; and "Deja Vu" as it is the closest to being a club banger describing meeting a girl in the club and feeling as if it is love at first sight. Both of those tracks could possibly go mainstream. Lyrically the entire project is not the most impressive, Cole does not necessarily "Go there" nor does he present the hunger we would expect based on the bonus tracks featured in the documentary. Very basic bars paired with slow melodic tunes/beats offer listeners really decent background music, elevator music for the hip-hop head if you will. I appreciate Cole's story and his use of his platform to tell such a story, however this album does not put forward anything new or innovative artistically for J. Cole or in general.



     I believe Cole is now used a scapegoat for being "Trash" because he has yet to reach anyone's expectation of being this exceptional rapper with enough old school influence to make us feel the way Hip-Hop has always felt and also bring forth a Hip-Hop renaissance or a revolution. On top of that, it is not very easy to classify Cole as an artist. He's conscious by default as he speaks the truth on the state of the world and his own experiences over slower beats with real instrumentation however disappoints listeners with misogyny or not digging deep enough to evoke change. He's not like Kendrick, yet he's definitely not Drake. His albums always leave consumers wanting more.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fit, Fit, FIT !

Here I've gt some UO on You as per usual and the shoes are from Forever 21. I paired my favorite BDG High-Rise Seam Jeans with an Out From Under sheer mock-neck tee and an out from under cage bra underneath the top.







Monday, December 5, 2016

"Awaken, My Love!"

    The latest from Childish Gambino. The quadruple threat had mixed reviews for his previous album Because the Internet as he simultaneous seemed to be going trough depression since then he has remained in a eyes and hearts of course with random visuals and single and ultimately has lasted television show "Atlanta". However the while TV thing is Donald Glover fans have desperately been awaited the return of Childish Gambino. He is here, with a bit of a surprise. Fans had not really know when to expect the release of new music from Gambino and certainly did not know exactly what kind of music we would be getting. The NYC born, Atlanta raised Rapper has given us anything but rap. Awaken My Love is a psychedelic collection of funk, soul, alternative, rock musical bliss.Just a couple of weeks before the albums release he released the first single, which also the first track, Me and you momma.


      The album presents a very 60's/70's feel reminiscent of The Zombies, Mamas and The Papas, Jimi Hendrix, etc. There is obvious Prince influence as well. Childish has harmonized hooks here or there in the past but on this album he is giving us pure vocals, no bars, just soul. Soul matched with experimental instrumentation and subject matter. Has this been his plan for the duration of his career? Is this the soundtrack for the next season of Atlanta? Is this joke? Who knows. Whatever it is, it is GREAT, and certainly a must-listen. The only problem I have with this is that it is not very lengthy, 11 tracks makes this album perfect for a subway ride commute to work or art exhibition/mingle hour background music. "Awaken, My Love!" takes a huge risk as I am sure Gambino is still considered a rapper, however the music is quite exceptional. If anyone is to take a risk in whatever they do this is how to do it.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Help Support Kearmonie Films!

I believe that the way we receive spoken word visually and digitally can be more than just a stage and a microphone, more than just a live performance. Poetry can be visual. Film can be poetic and lyrical, not just that it can be accompanied by actual poetry but a film can be a non-linear string of images that tells a story just as concrete, understandable, and as beautifully as a narrative film. I am raising money to purchase equipment and start shooting poetry shorts much like my latest “This Gen’”(below). I plan to create a space for poets, a digital space for spoken word artists that is not one-dimensional. To bring forth a combination of the beauty of film and the beauty of spoken word. Also to normalize the idea of “Non-traditional” and “Experimental” film.

Learn more and donate at: http://gofundme.com/KearmonieFilms.


 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

My Halloween look: In Honor of The Black Panthers

     2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for self defense. The revolutionary and even controversial group was founded in Oakland, California in 1966 and soon went national, with chapters in major cities across the U.S. What started as an organization to protect Black people from the police who often terrorized us, became a phenomena. At one point the org became bigger than itself, with divides among each other and of course the government trying to tear them apart. The documentary film "The Black Panthers: The Vanguard of The Revolution" premiered at The Sundance Film Festival Last Year and was aired publicly on PBS earlier this year. BeyoncĂ© Knowles caused a stir in the media by paying homage to The Black Panthers during her super bowl halftime performance. So, naturally, one can assume the Black Panther costumes are coming this year. I am not the only one who payed homage this Halloween, but here is my very simple look:




   From head-to-toe this look is very #UOonYou. My complete outfit is brought to you by Urban Outfitters. A Black Beret, A Silence + Noise bomber jacket, The BDG High Rise Seam Jean, an Out From Under Bodysuit, and my Matte Black Doc Marten Boots of course. and I complete it with LimeCrime Black Velvet Matte Lipstick, also from UO.







Dressed in all white

   This weekend I visited my Great-Grandmother for her 80th birthday celebration. It was an elegant all white affair she had been preparing for for months, held in a large hall of her local church filled with friends and family members. Beautiful Black folks in all white. Originally I had a short white lace high-neck lose fitting dress that I wasn't too fond of, I brought that along with another little white dress from Forever21 that was alright. Upon arrival I still was not the most confident in my outfit for the celebration. The next day my great grandmother showed me a long flowy sheer dress her daughter originally had to wear for the event but was too small. It was great on me and only needed to be taken in at the sides. It was miraculous. A few weeks before the trip my great grandmother gave me a call and asked that I wear a head wrap the way that I have styled them before, and it had to be white. So I bought a yard of white satin fabric for only $3. This look came together effortlessly, to finish it off the jewelry is her own and I bought the shoes last minute from Payless.








Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New music from Drake and the unfortunate diss track

   This weekend everyone's fave Drizzy dropped not one, not two, but four new songs on the eve of his 30th birthday. Two of which "Sneakin'" and "Fake Love" are available for streaming on Tidal. Drake is doing what he does best one all of these tracks, playing it safe, remaining mediocre and giving the fans what they love. "Fake" is the Drake theme of the year and forever as he proclaims "Smile in my face, whole time tryna take my place" lyrics from The Ojay's classic "Backstabbers". "Sneakin'" takes a a different route as this is a song for the streets, reminiscent of the feel SchoolBoy Q has been going, this is elevated trap music. A feature from upcoming rapper 21 Savage also helps.
   The track that has stirred up controversy is "Two Birds One Stone" on which he disses both rapper Pusha T and our beloved KiD CuDi. The lyrics directed at Scott are what's riding most listeners gears and go as follows:
"You were the Man on the Moon, now you go through your phases
Life of the angry and famous Rap like I know I’m the greatest and give you the tropical flavors
Still never been on hiatus
You stay xan and perked up so when reality set in you don’t gotta face it."
     Earlier this month KiD CuDi checked himself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges, he notified fans and followers publicly via Facebook and twitter. CuDi was open honest and apologetic in his account as he repeated "I'm sorry" as if he had let his fans down. Most consumers who may not listen to CuDi's music were probably unaware of his prolonged ever-present battle with depression and struggle with self medicating. Self-Medicating is a symptom of most mental and social disorders, whether related to depression or forms of PTSD, commonly where those "suffering" abuse drugs and alcohol to cope. Drake's comments struck listeners as a direct jab at CuDi's metal health, which is a big no no. Drake's timing could not have been worse. Yes, he is responding to CuDi's criticism of his craft via twitter but that was before CuDi checked himself into rehab. For Drake to say this after CuDi's befitting sadness was made very well known publicly is insensitive and tacky. It is also pretty lack-luster being that he does not actually address KiD CuDi's original statement, instead he has some harsh criticism for the lonely stoner's lifestyle with some not very well thought out hits below the belt. Diss tracks are an important part of hip-hop but I think they should at least be good, what Drizzy had to say does not make much sense in content nor context.

     However, as an avid KiD CuDi fan (since day1) and someone who is dealing with major depression, I am not necessarily offended by Drizzy's comments. I am disappointed because those bars are weak, less than mediocre, and much less than creative. Drake poked fun at Scott for something that he has already told the world about himself, that is not much of a diss, that is something you say when you have nothing else to say. To me it seems Drake is still riding off of his "Back to Back" high. "Back to Back" being the diss track directed at Meek Mill after Meek called Drake out for not writing his own lyrics. Last summer that song was everywhere, Drake is currently trying to protect his own brand and get that kind of popularity again. "Two Birds One Stone" falls completely flat. The earlier verse in the track directed at Pusha T is also quite awkward, Aubrey is taking all of the L's with this one.

  If anything this shines light on how ignorant many people are on mental illness, especially in Hip-Hop. Hopefully it sparks conversation about the bigger picture, and not blow over as a simple petty rap beef.

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