Monday, February 22, 2016

Watch Rihanna and Drake "Work" in their new video(s) !

     Just a few moments ago the internet nearly broke as the video was debuted for all eyes to see. Streaming on Tidal of course, the music video for Rihanna's most popular latest single happens to not a be a music video but TWO music videos. She hit us with the two in 1. Check it out:

    Personally, I prefer the 2nd video. It could be just technical reasons, in terms of editing and cutting to music. The song itself has an interesting beat, the tempo isn't very slow nor is it very sad, it may be difficult to dance to as well as to cut to. More than likely for video #1 they filmed all of these people in this club while playing multiple reggae songs, not just "Work", therefore while editing they had to slow down a lot of the footage that was captured. Also, the second video is just cute. What many may call pointless, is a level of intimacy that provides a more personal touch. Who doesn't want to chill at home with bae and wine up themselves?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution

is an incredible film. The first feature length documentary about the legendary Black Panther Party presented by Firelight media and directed by Emmy Award winning founder of Firelight Media, Stanley Nelson is the beauty of Documentary film epitomized. Now available for streaming on PBS.

     "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" was an experience from start to finish. Well executed and equally entertaining as informative. Exceptionally edited, filled with an ample amount of dope archival footage, animated text, and beautiful images. This film guides viewers along the story of the rise and fall of the iconic group, with interviews with Black Panthers as well as archival footage of old interviews, protests, and soundbites of phone calls; as well as newspaper clippings, headlines, and legal documents. Originally called "The Black Panther Party for self defense", we learn the name is inspired by the nature of the Black Panther. The Black Panther does not attack until attacked and then retaliates, as expressed by one of the most famous Black Panthers Huey Newton. The party was originally created to protect Black people from the police officers who were terrorizing them in the streets on the basis of racism. Not only did they protect their people but the Black Panthers provided for the community in ways the government did not, with services such as free breakfast for children. This film does not only introduce to the famed men of The Black panther party Huey Newton, Fred Hampton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Bobby Seal; but the many women who supported the party and fought for their rights as well. At one point there were more women involved than men.

     The film premiered at Sundance last year and has been featured at many festivals including MoMA's Documentary Fortnight 2015, however last night's premiere on PBS could not have been at a better time. Just last month BeyoncĂ© performed her latest single "Formation" on which she declares her love for her Blackness, self expression, and where she is from; at the Super Bowl with an all Black woman dance ensemble who were wearing all Black outfits topped off with Black berets in honor of the Black Panther Party. This performance stirred a lot of controversy unveiling the White Supremacy that runs deep in this nation and the still thriving misunderstanding and hatred towards that Black Panther Party. Hopefully the nay-sayers tuned in because this film presented a large amount of information to properly represent the Balck Panthers.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution is phenomenal. A must-see.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Life of Pablo

     Yes, I am, as the kids would say, mad late. But I have finally given Mr. West's latest album a listen. First released to public on Thursday, during "Yeezy Season 3" an over stated fashion show and listening party at Madison Square Garden and live streamed on, you guessed it, Tidal. It seems that the prompt to download Tidal along with Rihanna's album release was all to lead us into this. After months of hints, twitter rants, and title changes KanYe West's long anticipate 8th studio album "The Life of Pablo" is finally here.

    Just last night he performed the 1st track of the album, arguably the best track of the album, "Ultralight Beam" with featured artists The Dream, Kelly Price, Chance the Rapper and an entire choir on Saturday Night Live. The new age gospel track on which Mr. West declares "This is a God dream" is just the liberation Yeezus himself needs at this point, and uplift for its listeners. Fellow Chicagoan and one who grew up on KanYe West, Chance The Rapper, nearly steals the show with one of his best verses of his still very young career, nothing short of a testimony. The Dream's soft voice paralleled with Kelly Price's strong voice and accompanied by the powerful choir, followed by a prayer from Kirk Franklin; Mr. West did that. The album takes a slippery slope down into the fluffy bullshit of too many samples and non-sensical song lyrics. Yes, straight like that. Musically each track is well composed and definitely reflective of the times of this new and very weird hip-hop style. Essentially each song is either really short, or 3 songs in one. Mr. West, the producer, has not fallen off and has not been left behind. The features are what make help make this album impressive with everyone on "Ultralight Beam", Rihanna, KiD CuDI, The Weeknd, Chris Brown, Frank Ocean, and more.

   A few standouts include "pt. 2" heavily sampling a song called "Panda" by a young Brooklyn rapper by the name of Designer; and "Famous" with a Nina Simone sample sang by Rihanna, many Swizz Beats ad-libs, and a sample of 90's reggae hit "What a Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy. A personal favorite of mine is "I love KanYe" a short A Capella on which he closes with "and I love you like KanYe loves KanYe"

Overall, this album confuses me. I am more baffled than Yeezus left me (see my review of Yeezus here). I appreciate the effort put into the tunes, the beats are "dude, lock yourself in a room doing 5 beats a day for 3 summers" fire. But I have no idea what this man is talking about. and maybe it's just that, maybe this an album declaring that Mr. West is "free" as he says and can say whatever the fuck he wants. However being free, is not the freedom for being an asshole.


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