Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Vintage Reality


Vintage clothing and sneakers have become a phenomenon over the last few years, creating an opportunity for people to not only express themselves through different colorways and patterns, but to also welcome a new opportunity for young people to make a living out of a passion. 
Twenty-four-year-old Carlos Reyes, who resides in Tracy, California, grew up in Oakland alongside his family. Due to a lack of money, Reyes was introduced to the idea of thrift shopping from a young age, as he spent his back-to-school shopping money at secondhand shops with his family. At shops with racks of endless clothing, varying in sizes and patterns resembling different generations, Reyes developed a love for finding hidden treasures. As he went through his four years of high school and his first few years in college, his love for shopping at thrift stores only grew.
“It got to the point where I had huge containers of clothing taking up space in my room,” Reyes says. “I had to start selling off all these clothes and that’s what got me into reselling.”
Vital Vintage Goods is a private boutique, carrying only vintage and streetwear in Tracy. Carrying an assortment of items ranging from ‘90s band tees to the latest items on the market from trendy brands such as Supreme and Bape, the shop is open by appointment only and can be booked from their Instagram @vitalvintagegoods. Inspired by his childhood and inspiration from clothing, Reyes opened his boutique nearly a year ago.
“Vintage will always be where the heart is,” Reyes says. “I always keep the younger version of me with no money in the back of my head. I try to become the store I wish I had when I was young and where I could get dope clothes at affordable prices.”
Earlier this year, The New York Times published a piece on the expense of shoes in the reseller market and how prices can exceed those at stores such as at Footlocker or Champs by hundreds of dollars. Vintage shops have shaped the way young people shop, as many people are on a tight budget as they juggle college expenses and working more than one job to be able to afford their lifestyle.
So what exactly impacts what people who consider as overpriced shoes? Well, thanks to the internet, fans of shoes and popular brands such as Supreme can use sites such as Stock X to calculate the predetermined value of an item, and push them to set their alarms at four in the morning to wait in the electronic line. In the real world, between Fairfax and Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, many kids and even adults line their field chairs up a day prior, in hopes of catching drops from Supreme every Thursday morning.
“Depending on what is releasing, and what we can get our hands on, my brother and I will normally purchase five to ten pairs of shoes a month,” says Eric Smith.
Alongside his brother, Smith uses apps such as StockX and GOAT to help determine what shoes people are in search for, as well as just how much they are willing to pay. These apps merge large brands such as Nike and Adidas and allow people to not only resell and purchase, but also to bid on items.
The question then becomes why exactly would someone waste their time sitting on the computer waiting in line in order to make a few bucks? The answer is bots. Bots are essentially a form of software used to automate the purchasing process. The software not only fights for a better place in line, but also completes the checkout process. These bot programs can themselves be purchased, usually for around a couple hundred dollars.
“It is really hard to purchase even though you have bots, especially when the sneaker community is getting ten times bigger than before,” explains Isaac Zhao, a student who resells sneakers on the side.
Despite the reselling trend, there are many apps and websites that exist to help people who are actually searching to buy the sneaker and t-shirt for themselves. Flight Club, Stock X, and GOAT are some of those places with hidden treasures. On these sites, the inventory is organized by popular demand, prices, and brands, allowing people to find exactly what they are looking for and compare prices within each site.
“Deciding what to buy and knowing the market is helpful,” Smith says. “The StockX app is very useful creating a platform for buyers and sellers to display ask prices and live bids. GOAT also helps forecast what shoes people want and how much they are willing to pay for.”
Sneakers have long been a big part of the entertainment industry.. With Nike partnering with models such as Bella Hadid to advertise their infamous Cortez, and Travis Scott collaborating with Jordan, the popular demand to dress like one’s favorite celebrity has grown. Adidas, for example has even taken it so far as to create a collection based on the popular anime “Dragon Ball Z.” Puma, similar to Adidas has brought the culture of childhood into their designs with a Barbie collection as well as Hot Wheels, released earlier this month.
Alongside the sneaker community, streetwear has become prevalent in the fashion industry and has sparked an experience when it comes to not only purchasing, but also reselling. Brands such as Supreme and Bape have created side jobs for kids to stand in line, only to later sell a released item for double the price.
The market has created an opportunity for people like Reyes to create a living out of a passion. Although sneakers are one of the items impacting the fashion industry heavily today, clothes continues to play a large role as it provides a larger variety of pieces for one to play with. With the very same desire to find hidden treasures in the clothing racks at a young age, Reyes takes in larger inventory in clothing at his shop to get a customer’s money worth and keep them happy as they walk out the door, reminiscing on the feeling he felt when he finished shopping.
“I love the community aspect of the resell game and all the friendships I’ve created along the way,” Reyes says. “There’s some people who only care about the money, and those are the people who don’t last. I’m not so much about the money, money comes and goes. I do it for the customers I get to meet, their stories I get to hear, and the young kids I get to leave a positive impression on. That means more to me than a pair of shoes or a piece of clothing ever will.”
As the popularity of fashion continues to expand, especially in large cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, the demand for brands and pieces continues to grow. Through inspiration and desire to have the latest items, people seek a newly found love for shopping from boutique retail shops to online.

The Disney Craze


“My first memory of Disney goes back to 1994. The Lion King had just come to theaters, so my mom and aunt took me and my cousin to see it. Being the cool six year olds we were, we insisted on sitting a few rows in front of our parents.” explains Katy Vitus, “ The time came when Rafiki held Simba up on Pride Rock, I got out of my seat and threw my hands in the air in the middle of the theatre. That moment changed my life forever.”

Childhood memories often consist of playing in the parks, posing for pictures, and eating sugar. Disneyland embodied just that. 

Disneyland became a place where kids could be kids, and adults could soak in the idea of being a kid one last time. As years went on, kids became adults, continuing the tradition of visiting the magical place, also known as the happiest place on earth. To some, the park continues to embody just that, which is a reason thousands visit yearly, monthly, and even weekly.

“Disney was able to transform me into this dream world as a kid. It made me feel like anything was possible and it taught me to never grow up because it really is a trap,” says Vitus, a Disney fan from Oregon.  

Walt Disney, began his career with illustrations in Kansas City, sitting on his sister’s bed; she suffered from measles. Walt would use the illustrations to keep her company and entertain her as she was bedridden. 

Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in Steamboat Willie at the Colony Theatre in New York on November 18 1928, where he became iconic for his voice and movement, shaping a personality that would embody what Disney would come to be.

In 1940 Walt began visiting amusement parks, as he envisioned opening one of his own that would bring people from around the world to enjoy being themselves. On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened. Millions of people, already touched by Walt’s animations watched from the comfort of their own home on TV through the broadcasting, some even attending the ceremony. 

“In 2017 I became an Annual Passholder for the first time ever and besides the birth of my children, that was the happiest moment of my life. I try to get to the parks every other month if I can,” explains Vitus.

Katy, an annual passholder to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA resides in Oregon and has taken her love for Disney to the internet. Going by mainstmuse on Instagram, after the parks’ Main Street, she visits the parks every other month. She has become popular on instagram for her Etsy shop where she creates her infamous retro ears, which are available to purchase every few weeks with new colorway drops as well as apparel for other Disney fans to enjoy.
“You don’t know what you’re missing. It is not about the lines, the prices, the horrible pain in your legs when it’s all done. It’s about the people you’re with, if you love them you’ll have a great times,” says Noelle Villalobos, a cast member at Disneyland.
 If you're an ordinary individual who might be familiar with Disney, you might be wondering what the hype behind the parks and company might be. Fans continue to embody their love for their childhood memories, some of which they hope to pass down. People around the world save up yearly, to experience Disney and everything it has to offer, regardless of the price. 

“To me, it is this place where I can be myself and let my freak flag fly, everyone else who is there with you is the same on some level,” explains Kaitlin Czurylo, a Disney blogger known as wishuponstarrynight on Instagram who resides in Chicago, “I can dress head-to-toe Disney, skip to Fantasyland to ride the tea cups, eat way too many sweets (and chicken tenders), and meet a princess. Like, come on! I get to be that second grader again, playing around in a whole world created to inspire the love of magic in everyone.”
By walking through the gates you are welcomed by cast members. As you continue towards Main St. you experience seeing characters you only knew through films and books, and notice people decked out in Disneyland merch as they hold the infamous churro. 
In 2018 Disney announced the rise in park admission, which upset several people. The reason was in hopes of helping with crowds with the upcoming opening of Star Wars’ Galaxy Edge, in summer of 2019. Disney implemented new ways to control entry into the park, including prices, hoping that it would create a balance between both parks. The highly-anticipated land spans fourteen acres and will merge the popular theme of Tomorrowland and Star Wars. The price for an Signature Annual Passport skyrocketed from $849 in 2017 to $999 in 2018.
 “The prices going up at Disney don’t get to me.  I pay it and move on.” describes Jenny Flake, a Disney food blogger, who posts all delicious snacks on her instagram account @disneyhungry.
The craze for the culture does not end here, as several people across the country travel to conventions such as the D 23 Expo in Anaheim, which merges all things Disney under one roof including Pixar, Marvel and Disney and Star Wars. The expo features benefits to fans as it pushes previews of upcoming films as well as additions to parks across the world. 
“The nostalgia and romanticizing of my experiences there will always make it worth to me. Will I need to cut back on trips, yes. But I would never stop going to Disney.” explains Kaitlin.
In 1964, Walt Disney toyed with the idea of having a private lounge for his guests.The lounge was used to host investors and sponsors that Walt would invite to Disneyland himself. According Disneyland, in May of 1967, the lounge became known as Club 33. According to the Thrillist, the rumoured initiation fee of $25,000 to $30,000 fee as well as a ten-year-waitlist might stop people from enjoying fine wine and a gourmet dinner inside the park.
Conventions and museums have also become an important way to stay connected to the magic for fans who do not live near a Disney park.
The Walt Disney Family Museum opens the door for Disney fans to experience a timeline of Walt Disney through his ups and downs and gives them the ability to relate on several occasions as a dream comes with challenges. With new refreshments to the exhibitions, two to three times a year, visitors embody the history of their favorite characters and the man behind it all. Opening in Spring of 2019, Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World, a new exhibition to the museum will give the world a view into the character who shaped art and entertainment over the past nine decades. 
The museum was created by Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller, so it is a biography of Walt disney’s life through his daughter's eyes.” explains Kirsten Komoroske, the executive director at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. “We have a lot of audio from Walt Disney himself and it is interesting to hear his story form himself, a lot of people want to get inspired.”
As new additions continue to emerge throughout the upcoming decades, Disney and the first animated character who embodies the role of childhood continues to influence people and their desire to never grow up. 
“Disney, to me, is the ultimate comfort. I know the movies, I know the history, I know the parks. On the whole, Disney sparks joy and happiness... what's so wrong with that.” says Czurylo.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

You Smile

"I really want to make you the happiest girl in the world because I care about you a lot, it makes me so happy when I see you smile"

October 1, 2019 8:29 PM PST

I would wake up to re read the letters you would write me following the parked car conversations in front of the park, across the street from my house. I used to wake up with the fear of falling in love, as I was scared of getting hurt once again. The truth is life has unexpected turns that often present themselves in ways we don't always prepare for. I had to learn that nothing in life is guaranteed, and that you could wake up one day wondering why the plan you had set in your mind over the years suddenly didn't feel like the right one to follow. How the person you once saw yourself spending the rest of your life with, was now a stranger who you shared a relationship with over text. I wouldn't say I was depressed when you walked into my life, because thats far from the truth. I was happy in my own skin, with flaws that resembled insecurity of whether I had even been good enough to take the next step with someone I once cared deeply about. I knew I deserved better, not because he was an awful person, in fact let me make that clear, he wasn't. I knew I deserved better because no one should ever have to second guess giving you what you hoped you deserved after years of losing sleep and taking missed absences in class to try to make something work. I've learned to hate the excuse of being too busy to see someone who wants to keep a relationship or friendship alive, because sometimes that invite might be an escape from reality that is too deep to climb out of.

 I knew I was confused, but if there was anything I learned in those last 2 months, was that life was unpredictable and that you often felt a certain way for a reason. Nipsey's death humbled me not because he was an artist who inspired millions through his words, but he shared a love with someone in one of the most honest ways one could possibly do so. You waited for me to open the door to my heart, knowing I was learning things about myself whilst still giving everyone around me a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to. You were one of the few people to give that in return, and for that I'll always be thankful. I learned that the hate that lived in my heart was a reflection of the pain I had held in me, and that things didn't have to end with me carrying it around, even if thats what I felt was necessary at the time. You motivated me to live a happier life filled with fewer expectations of a timeline that was unrealistic.

As I sit here almost halfway through my 20's I've learned that people will make time for those they care about, and that fear guides you where you need it to, that is to test your limits and make you a stronger individual. Life proved me that most of the things I once told myself I would never be able to accomplish were possible if I wanted them. Although you might be reading this thinking I'm here to thank you for the food, the flowers, the gifts, please take it into consideration that you sitting in my car listening to the lyrics of good guy and ivy without feeling the need to lean over and kiss me or touch me was what did it. You had no doubt in your heart to give me the time I needed to heal and reassure me of what you wanted to leave behind in life.

After you leaned in for a kiss and quickly apologized, I decided my fears were stopping me from learning more about the world, because your innocence behind each move was pure. You allowed me to learn that the unpredictable was sometimes the change life put in place, to make you realize life is too short to map out your life on a timeline labeled "life".




Thursday, August 29, 2019

Summer Photo Diary I








Soulmates


The question always arises when discussing relationships,
even at the age of 17, thinking I had any idea to what love entailed.

"Do soulmates exist?"

The truth is, I've always been attracted to individuals as I feel entitled to learn every detail about someone in order to protect them at all costs.

Life has a funny way of showcasing opportunities and blessings in many ways that we might find confusing to us. Often times we consider the variables of what our mission on this earth might be. In fact I've considered this several times whilst I lay in bed, or write happy birthday messages to those I care deeply about.

You see, it might sound silly to several people living on the earth, because if were talking biology many might argue that our only goal on this planet is to reproduce and help the process of evolution. Quite frankly, my mission on this earth might contribute to 1% of that, that is if I get lucky.

Sitting at the adult table at every kid's birthday party, sitting on the opposite side of a crowd of kids screaming together, and paying attention to one's emotions, that became my specialty from a young age. I learned to evaluate and learn, simply by observing and paying attention to what kids my age never learned to.

Growing up I had issues with setting boundaries with my observations, as I overanalyzed everything. I would get bullied for being quite and staring, many thinking I was stalking. I never learned how to control it, so when I would get attacked I felt crazy and misunderstood by my peers. I lost friendships throughout the years due to this.

When the idea of love came to play a part of my life, the analyzations and details became even more prominent.

Soulmates has always been a tricky issue to discuss as many believe it to be a Romeo and Juliet type situation. The truth is, soulmates can be just about anyone that steps foot into your life, at least thats how I see it.

Although the process of evolution sounds like an interesting mission set forth by god or a bigger entity(whatever you choose to believe), I've always felt a strong connection to the idea that my mission on this earth is to help, to listen, and to simply learn... EVERYTHING.

I've come across hundreds of people in my life thus far, but theres been few who have resonated with me and allowed me to grow as a person. Its funny to think that someone can walk into your life, probably not thinking anything of it, and leave one of the biggest marks behind. The way it works in my eyes is, this person standing in front of you was placed here for a reason, whether they're meant to stay in your life for decades, or even an hour. Whether they needed to meet me, or I needed to meet them, we came across each others paths to contribute to my mission of learning. Few people can lend you their ears, or inspire you with their words, however those who do are destined to be your soulmate.

Life gets weird, after all I've had soulmates walk out of my life, but if were talking about soulmates we must understand the importance of realizing the soulmate is the person you met in that time frame. People evolve, people change, and that just something that we must learn to accept and move forth with.

Soulmates can vary from the friend you first asked for a piece of binder paper on your first day of college, to the person who fulfilled the idea of love in your head for the first time, to the chance at life living inside your 4-month-old belly. Individuals can tell you a lot about life and give you a purpose to evolve and change characteristics about yourself or the environment you live in. So why are we so scared to label someone as our soulmate? Let whoever's words sat in your head, resonate with you for life. Learn from those words, and don't be afraid to inspire.

Soulmate
/ˈsōl ˌmāt/ : A person ideally suited to another person under temperament 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

07.19.19 12:50 AM


The doubt sat in my mind months before I came to the conclusion that life didn't consist of the fairytales Disney movies and Nicolas Sparks books convinced us of.

The truth is, I never understood the idea of heartbreak and how it could shape someone to better themselves. After all, wasn't love what shaped the world? This is where I discovered that the world lacked love.

Heartbreak created fear within myself for the months following our split, it created a sense of confusion and feeling lost within myself and  the environment I so relied on. I came to the conclusion that the love we shared was selfish on my end as I was too caught up in the idea of how I wanted to be portrayed or how bad I wanted my plan to go as followed. I lost sight of loving you in the right way, if there even is a right way to love. I planned years ahead rather than focusing on what mattered in the moment, and if there is anything I'd like you to know now, is that you taught me a lot about myself.

You taught me that my love for others is far bigger than that of myself. You taught me that regardless of how scary life gets at times, you have to rely on fear to guide you. You taught me that school itself wasn't what was necessary to make a living, but rather the experience and knowledge you get out of it alone. But most importantly you taught me that no one can give you the reassurance of waking up one day and promising that they won't feel differently. That simply isn't realistic.

Doubt might live to create confusion and loss within ourselves, but often times it creates ideas that become realistic and open our eyes to what matters the most. I thank you for allowing me to take the doubt and be grateful for the memories we shared. Doubt left me feeling butterflies within my stomach knowing that the last four years were some of the most memorable ones. Doubt allowed me to accept that the world really doesn't need any more hate out there, and that regardless of how things ended up, you'll always have a place in my heart as I could never hate someone I once loved so dearly.

I don't expect anyone to understand the thought process that lives within my doubt and acceptance, but through my spiritual whirlwind, I've accepted that life goes on, and that all beautiful things come to an end one day.

Monday, September 3, 2018

LIFE'S A TRIP: MY THOUGHTS




SPOILER ALERT: I rlly fucking like it.

Trippie Redd, surprisingly a name that not many people are familiar with when it comes to the rap game.

Trippie has had a few break through hits over the last two years, but had his first breakthrough moment with his hit 'Love Scars' which was uploaded on Soundcloud in November of 2016. (Seriously, if you're not on soundcloud, just download it. I always get questions on how to preview songs before they are released, heres the answer).

As the emerging "SoundCloud Rap" began to take light in the rap game, Trippie Redd's name became relevant through the 62 million streams on 'Love Scars' itself. The year 2017 became an important year for Trippie and Soundcloud as he released his first mixtape on May 12, 2017 on the music platform, which was later released on Spotify and Apple Music through the label known as TenThousand Projects.

Like many of the emerging artists from SoundCloud, Trippie has been criticized and glorified for his sound as he incorporates a mixture of genres and sound.

Through various conversations I've had with friends in relation to Trippie's music, the conflicting opinions are usually "music god" or "he just moans".

Life's A Trip was one of the albums that I was looking forward to  dropping, as I had just began to delve into Trippie's music a few months prior to its release.

The album features 14 tracks, with a few singles that had been previewed and released. I wanted to share some of my favorites as always :)

Taking A Walk
This track was previewed back in Dec of 2017 and later in March of 2018. At first listen I wouldn't say this song had mad much of an impression on what the album had to offer, but the more I listened, the beat won me over. I listened to the song a few times the day it was released and found myself later bumping to it. Produced by Scott Storch, which can I say was a shock to see, as he has produced for artists such as Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, Fat Joe, Ginuwine, & several others. The song describes suicidal thoughts and death and how people don't want to see one succeed/or alive.
"Bet my coffin would be nice, yeah.. cause people don't want me alive"

Missing My Idols
I noticed that months prior to the album dropping most people were talking about hoping Trippie would include more of him rapping on his album. Back in 2017 on A Love Letter to You, you might recall the song Can You Rap Like Me?, which Trippie raps about being a better rapper to both his hater and competitors. Missing My Idols is actually a sequel to the track in the 17' tape. I appreciate that the track breaks up some of the versatile tracks throughout the album as he plays around with rap and alternative throughout.
"I grab a bible, pray for my rivals"

Bird Shit
One thing to pay attention when it comes to Trippie is that he will most likely always leak or preview a song through instagram. That being said, I was watching one his lives back in May when he pretty much leaked Bird Shit. The song follows songs like Missing My Idols and Can You Rap Like Me in singing about being in first place and watching his haters basically shitting on him for being on top. If you're someone who hates when Trippie moans and screams 14 over and over on a song, beware for the bird noises. Jokes aside, the beat on the song goes hard in the car.
"All that bullshit for the birds"

UKA UKA
The song kinda just glorifies the life of a rapper as many previously have been involved in violence related crimes or gang related acts. Trippie mentions guns, drugs, and the idea of being ontop by taking shots at other rappers in the game. The beat transitions well with Trippie's lyrics and gives a slowed down track.
"Do the dash in the racecar"

As the album featured tracks such as Wish and Dark Knight Dummo, which were released as singles, I wanted to focus on songs that were really only previewed before the album release.

Like I mentioned, many people have yet to dive into Trippie's music, as he's not as well known. What many people don't realize is that the features and collaborations this young rapper has had in his career thus far are actually pretty big, so to another touch I have created a playlist of some of my favorite Trippie songs.



I actually really enjoyed the album as Trippie is one of the few artists in the game right now with a versatile sound. I follow him pretty close on Instagram and have heard snippets of future projects, which I'm sure will be released within the upcoming year. I'm pretty excited to see him live this month and see what his production live is like!




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ASTROWORLD: MY THOUGHTS




WELCOME TO ASTROWORLD.

I wanted to take my time to post this review because I really wanted to delve into the production of the album and the samples used throughout it. Astroworld, named after the amusement park in Houston, Texas, which closed back in 2005, incorporates snippets of amusement park goers' screams & portrays the energy present throughout the park and city of Houston.

In an interview with GQ Travis explained his reasoning for naming the album after the park and explains how the closure of the area took away the fun and how kids simply wanted to turn toward it to enjoy their youth, despite the area turning into room for new apartments/homes.

As always I'm sharing a few of my favorite songs from the album.

Before I begin I wanted to make a quick note to say I respect Travis as an artist as he was one of the earliest performances I attended and despite the turnout for him, he continued on to create music based on his environment and the inspiration behind it, if you know, you know I'm big on the environment's energy.

I. STARGAZING
The very first song on the album. Although this song was previewed a few times earlier in April, I thought this was a perfect way to open up an album that explores creativity and self awareness. The song describes the intake of a substance, or psychedelics creating an astronomical world thats unlike reality.  Through this experience the idea of being ontop provides an opportunity to give other's dreams a chance to become reality, which correlates to the reasoning of  bringing back the park for the kids.
"Just to drown out all these thoughts, I tried all kinds of things"


II. CAROUSEL
I'm not even gonna lie, I actually lost my shit. Are you kidding me? I die for Frank Ocean hooks on songs, but the fact that he had a verse, made this song even better. I mean theres not much to say about this song besides the fact that the lyrics are talking about being under the influence of drugs. The mixture of auto-tune and genuine singing created an organic transition between both artists throughout.
"New world, new sky that's so blue its black too"

III. R.I.P SCREW
Featuring Swae Lee, a tribute to DJ Screw who passed away in 2000 due to an overdose. The track involves two elements that I took away from the album which were self awareness and play on words. Throughout the track, the idea of slowing down the beat and tone creates the illusion of the passing, and creates an aurora of what its like to take away life. In correlation to the lyrics, Travis played on words by creating the loss of life on this track.
"Rest in peace to Screw, tonight we take it slowly"

IV. CAN'T SAY
The track features a beat produced by London Cyr, Frank Dukes & WondaGurl which is is not only catchy, but flows well throughout the song. Like the last three songs the lyrics present the idea of being under the influence and how it compares to reality. From what I took away, Astroworld's closure, which once was a pure joy to young kids, only pushed them to create their own reality by experimenting with astronomical worlds provided during the usage of drugs.
"Gotta watch out where you go cause shit get real"

I was a little skeptical coming into listening the album for the first time as the production length kept getting teased and pushed back for a quite a while. At first listen, I really enjoyed the first three songs and felt the album slow down towards the end, but understood the reasoning when I looked into the storyline to the album and why the production played a huge role in the story. I was surprised to hear the decrease in auto-tune throughout the album, and Travis trying a new type of sound with a mixture of his infamous auto-tune in between. I was not expecting as many features throughout the album, but felt like it helped add a different sound and add to each track itself.

The album should be available on all music platforms, but like always I have linked the spotify link attached to the post so you can give it a listen for yourself.



Sunday, May 27, 2018

TESTING: MY THOUGHTS

via GIPHY


I know I promised a post on TESTING a few nights ago on Twitter, and ever since I've been receiving texts from friends asking me how I feel about this album!!

I apologize for being a little late to the party as I decided to cram all my school work till the very last minute (as always).

Lets get to it!
A$AP Rocky's last album dates back to 2015 (AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP), and just like everyone else online, I've been waiting for new music to drop. 

I think something that a lot of people can agree on, when it comes to respecting an artist like A$AP Rocky, is that there is never a rush to put out bullshit tracks. 

"People are scared to test new sounds, so they go with what’s current, ‘cause it’s the easy thing to do. I don’t just rap – I actually make music. That’s why it takes time. These sonics represent me."

When listening to TESTING, you understand the production of the album, and how Rocky simply wanted to take time to grow as an artist. The album includes personal songs as well as a few samples within songs. 

Like any other post, I'm going to share some of my favorites from the album and share a little insight on things I've learned from the songs. The album features 15 tracks and is worth a listen, even if you might not be familiar with Flacko.

PURITY
The final track on the album, and to be honest the perfect way to end the album. The song features Frank Ocean, and is one of the most personal tracks. If you listen closely to the lyrics, the track talks about a busy lifestyle and it taking over the important things like time with loved ones and even talks about fame ruining relationships with family. The track also features a sample of Lauryn Hill's "I Gotta Find Peace of Mind". 
"Lose someone every release, it feels like the curse is in me (A$AP)
Press is gone and I grief, I share with you my peace."

FUKK SLEEP
The track talks about how A$AP Rocky went from having nothing to being ontop. Joyner Lucas' "FYM" is a sample on the track. I was surprised to see Flacko featuring FKA Twigs, and definitely presented a new sound to the album.
"Got new bags under my eyelids, new bags up in my closets."

BUCK SHOTS
As the title suggests, the track discusses guns and violence. Flacko features Playboi Carti on the track. I really like the use of transition between both artists throughout the song. 
"Buck shots, left this man dead in the damn lot."

PRAISE THE LORD (DA SHINE)
Listening to the lyrics the song seems to be discussing the act of being patient and getting to the top only for people to envy you. You focus on yourself and live your life without letting people in your past get in your way. The song features Skepta and includes DMX's words on "Who We Be."
"Give thanks, get fresh, praise the lord then finesse, bless."

I think these albums really makes you appreciate an artist when they take time with production. I had to listen to the album about 3 times to fully get into it, but it I highly recommend you take time looking into the production and mind behind creating an album. Oftentimes people are quick to rush through it and demand more!!




Friday, March 30, 2018

MY DEAR MELANCHOLY,: MY THOUGHTS

via GIPHY


wow wow wow, I was totally not expecting anything new to drop anytime soon, but of course we got this beauty!

In case you have been living under a rock for the last 24 hours and are in search for something to listen to, I highly recommend you click play... like right now. The Ep only features 6 songs, which is a perfect opportunity for someone to be introduced to The Weeknd and find themselves emerged in a quick story. The EP played out so quick that I got confused when Spotify changed to the album radio and started playing Starboy songs. 

I have been absolutely lacking on creating music playlists, so instead I thought I would pick a few of my favorite songs from this small trophy. 

To begin... Privilege, which is the shortest song.. is by far my favorite. In this song it is said that Abel references The Matrix when talking about red/blue pills, which is his way of saying "back to reality". The song discusses the pain of a breakup as he looks toward sex and alcohol to cure his broken heart. Something about how the song plays out is so beautiful.. seriously its under 3 minutes just listen. 

Try Me : When looking at the lyrics, The Weeknd paints and image of him trying to contact and ex as he tries to convince her to give him another shot and leave her new man behind. 

Wasted Times: I think if there is one song that people were going to be able to relate to the most on this album is this one. Wasted Times tells the story of first love breakup where you rely on someone else to cure the pain from your previous, knowing that you are still very much in love. Here he questions what his ex is up to and states that he still has things to offer. 

Despite the length of the piece, I think Abel was able to convey emotion through his lyrics, which is why the internet is describing the comeback of the "old weeknd"

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

JANUARY 18



I found myself listening to old albums this month.
enjoy.


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