September 28, 2010

That Good Good Music: Asa

Aa, pronounced “Asha”, released a new single off of her upcoming album entitled Beautiful Imperfection which drops worldwide on October 25. The name of the song is Be My Man and I am in love with it! This woman is an amazing artist. The raspiness of her voice really adds a whole other dimension to her music. If you are a fan of Nneka, you will most likely love Aa as well. Please enjoy! And a big thank you to my boy Toye for sending me the song :)


Press Play.
Be My Man by Aṣa
(If it doesn't work, click here.)


September 25, 2010

Street Etiquette Presents: The Black Ivy

I do love a man who knows how to dress! There is so much swagger in these photos that it’s giving me a headache. The ever so fashionable Joshua Kissi & Travis Gumbs of Street Etiquette bring us their latest project entitled The Black Ivy which features exquisitely dressed black males paying homage to the first black colleges. Here are a few of my favorite shots..


I love seeing young men wearing something other than fitted hats, baggy jeans, & Jordans. These guys have most definitely got that good good. To see the photo slideshow in its entirety click here.


Nneka in August's German Vogue

I am mad late telling you guys this but I’m going to tell ya’ll anyways because I haven’t talked about this brilliant woman on this blog yet. The ever so talented, ever so lovely Nneka was in German Vogue last month and she looked absolutely gorgeous! The dress she was wearing is by a Nigerian designer named Deola Saoge.




I am a huge fan of this woman’s music, she really goes deep into the soul in all of her music which you’ve got to love. Like I said in my last post, a true artist is one that is able to bear their soul in their music and that is exactly what Nneka does. For all of you who don’t know about Nneka, she is a Nigerian/German hip-hop inspired soul singer who grew up in Warri which is in the Delta region of Nigeria. Once she turned 18, she relocated to Hamburg, Germany and pursued a career in singing & Anthropology. Nneka states that her key inspirations in music are Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Mos Def, Talib Kweli & Lauryn Hill. The fact that she looks to such greatly talented artists for inspiration is a telling sign that her music is great as well.


Here are a few of her songs that I love: 

Africans 


Heartbeat 


Walking

September 21, 2010

People You Should Know: Chris Akinyemi

Hello people! I am back with another People You Should Know Interview and I am so eager to share this amazing talent with you all. So please allow me to introduce..

Chris Akinyemi


For any of you all who have read any of my posts about music, you should know that I don’t settle for anything less than amazing. Music is such a huge part of my life…it is my therapist when I am under emotional stress. It is my translator when I’m having trouble expressing myself through my words. It is my imaginary boyfriend when the guys in my life are slacking. It is what makes me who I am because I am inspired by it every time I hear it & I listen to it every single day. The music that speaks to me the most are the songs that I hear and I can tell that the artist put some thought into the words he or she are singing. Anyone can put a bunch of words together, make them rhyme, add a beat to it, and call it a song. It takes a true artist, however, to actually be able to inspire people through their music. It takes true talent to sit down and come up with a song that tells a story that listeners can relate to and be touched by. It takes true passion to use one’s own personal experiences, whether it was the moment you laid eyes on the person you thought you’d be with forever or the moment that very person tore your heart into a million pieces, and turn that into a masterpiece to be shared with countless other individuals who have most likely been through the same experiences. It takes a true musician to bear their soul through their music and I feel Chris Akinyemi does just that.
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Chris Akinyemi's sound is one that I find so unique & refreshing. In a world where most artists focus so much on their image that their music suffers and is mediocre at best, it is so heartening to find that there are still individuals whose focus is on showcasing their individuality and creativity through their music. Chris Akinyemi is definitely one of these special few artists, his personality and outlook on life shines through his music. Chris is a New Jersey based singer/songwriter whose song entitled Radio is earning him some much deserved attention.
                                          
How long have you been singing?
11, one of the reasons I started is because I was writing music and I couldn’t find anyone else to sing them, so I figured I’d do it.


What has your experience been like in the music industry thus far?
It’s been educating, I’m learning a lot of things that I never knew about.


Has there ever been a time that you seriously doubted yourself as far as your music career goes and if so, how did you overcome your doubt?
There was a time when I had doubt, but my passion for this is what keeps me going.


What is your favorite thing to write about when you are creating a song?
I love writing about life in general. The joy and sadness of it.


Who is one musician today that you have respect for and what about this individual caused he/she to earn your respect?
John Mayer, I respect him because he’s always himself and he’s personal with his music, which is something I could relate to.


Would you rather do a completely sold out show in Yankee Stadium or an intimate performance in a local café & why?
For me it’s not how big the venue is, it’s about performing for people no matter how many who paid to come and see you, they could have spent their money on something else.


If I went through your iPod, what kind of music would I find on it?
You would find everything from John Mayer, Amy Winehouse, Jack Johnson, Seal, Kanye, Stevie Wonder, Chiddy Bang to Fela. I can’t name all of them; we’d have a page full.


In your song Radio you speak on how a lot of the music played on the music sounds the same. So do you listen to the radio at all? And if so, which station(s)?
I barely listen to the radio. I mostly listen to CDs; albums of artists I like.


Where has Radio been getting rotation so far?
It has been getting airplay on PNC Radio FM, WHCR 90.3 FM so keep on requesting people!


What do you have planned for the future of your music career, can we be expecting an album soon?
I plan on getting the world to be familiar with who I am as a artist, person and what I stand for. Also I have an EP coming out this fall entitled “Autumn”.

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"Turn my guitar up and my radio down. The industry needs change and I'ma come now
These so called artists all sound so lame, and real music never get no play
everybody want three minutes of fame. One hit wonders are getting lame
This is what makes me feel like
I was born to keep the music alive"
This is the chorus to Radio and I feel it is so on point as far as addressing the current state of music. Nowadays, if you want to listen to that real music, that GOOD GOOD for your ears, you have to hunt far, deep and wide. It is so sad that the world will never get to hear some of the most beautiful music because radio stations keep playing the same 5 songs over and over and over again to the point where people forget that other music exists! I am someone who is greatly inspired by strong individuals. People who are not afraid to stand up and speak their minds in an artistic way. Chris isn't the only person who feels this way about music, trust me. I am the first person to complain about how the radio, a tool which was once the vehicle which allowed a wide variety of music to be heard by a multitude of people, has turned into this annoying machine which no longer serves its original purpose. However, Chris took it upon himself to create this absolutely amazing song which not only sounds great but also delivers a message. A message that challenges the industry to wake up and realize that it is ruining itself by allowing all this soul-deprived music to infiltrate the airwaves. Luckily, there are still dynamic artists like Chris Akinyemi whose music has the potential to affect the world in a positive way. He surely was born to keep the music alive. He's got that GOOD GOOD.

You can see Chris Akinyemi perform live in NYC, on September 23rd, 2010 at Jebon, located at 15 St Marks Place. Free entry.

Big Hair, Don't Care!

Topshop Unique Spring/Summer 2011 is nothing short of downright beautiful. Those shoes have me speaking in tongues! 



Backstage pictures are so much more interesting than those taken on the runway

Photo Credit: 2BD

September 18, 2010

New Music From Kanye's G.O.O.D. Fridays


For all of those who don’t know, Kanye West has been dropping a new track every Friday for the past few weeks and he plans on doing so until Christmas. So far I have been liking the songs that he has been releasing but the one he released today has to be my favorite hands down. This song entitled “Lord Lord Lord” featuring Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon, & Charlie Wilson is definitely that GOOD GOOD. It gave me goosebumps when I heard it. It has those compelling lyrics that you only find in true hip hop. I absolutely love it.

Press Play.



September 17, 2010

'I Forgot' Friday: Ms. Fat Booty by Mos Def

I forgot to post a throwback yesterday! So here is the video I would have shared with ya’ll had I not been slacking.


Usually I am the first person to complain about how most rappers only talk about big butts and such but I’m going to give Mos Def a pass because this man is such a good rapper. Only he can turn a song about seeing a girl with a fat booty into a work of art. Mos has such a way with words and he is such a storyteller and if you really listen to the words of the song the story that he is telling is actually quite entertaining. So please watch, enjoy & reminisce.


September 16, 2010

For Colored Girls


Tyler Perry has a movie coming out on November 5th of this year. The movie is a silver screen adaptation of the play by Ntozake Shange entitled For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf has been performed both Off-Broadway & on Broadway. It is based off of 20 poems and performed by a main cast of 6 female characters who each is represented by her own color (Lady in Yellow, Lady in Purple, Lady in Blue, Lady in Red, Lady in Green, & Lady in Orange). Each woman has her own personal story that she portrays in the play dealing with topics ranging from love & abandonment to domestic violence & rape. What makes me so excited about this movie is the luminary cast of women who will be acting in the movie: Loretta Devine, Kimberly Elise, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Jill Scott, Jurnee Smollett, Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson, Macy Gray, Omari Hardwick, & Thandie Newton. With such an inspired story line and so many greatly talented actresses, this movie is sure to be worth both your & my time. 

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September 14, 2010

7 Songs I Will Never Get Tired Of

There are certain songs that just stick with you. You know what I’m talking about…the songs that you instantly fell in love with the very first time you heard them. The songs that you listen to when you meet a new guy or a new girl because those songs give you the same butterfly feeling that he or she does. The songs that you listened to when ya’ll broke up and they made you feel like everything was gonna be alright. The songs that you like to play when you’re driving around because the booming bass from your car makes them sound even better and makes people turn to look. The songs that you would never, ever skip on your iPod. The songs that you find buried deep in the internet and will never hear on the radio which makes you even happier because you won’t have to worry about them being overplayed and you getting tired of them. Those same songs that you didn’t think would ever be on the radio but suddenly you hear all over the place about 20 times a day and everybody and their mamma is singing and humming them but you don’t even care because, afterall, you’ve BEEN knowing those songs. Those songs that are so dope you have to go online and find the lyrics so you can sing along…that's that good good music


Here are 7 songs I will never grow tired of listening to…


Ex-Factor by Lauryn Hill

Not only am I crazy about this song, I am also crazy about the album it came from. The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill has to be my favorite album hands down.


Satisfy My Soul by Bob Marley

I grew up off of Bob Marley. I remember my dad playing the CDs in his car when he would drive me to school. I loved the music then and I still love it now.


Electric Relaxation by A Tribe Called Quest


A Tribe Called Quest personifies true hip-hop. I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard the beat drop.


Beauty In the Dark by Mos Def & The Isley Brothers


I love Mos Def’s rapping but when I heard his singing, my heart melted. I actually discovered this song on Pandora a little over a year ago and it has been on heavy repeat ever since.



Butterflies by Floetry


This song is so beautiful to me; I feel it captures the feeling of getting butterflies perfectly. And you know it has to be a great song if Michael Jackson did his own version of it.



Come Close by Common feat. Mary J. Blige


This is just a fly love song as Common says. Not only am I in love with this song, I am in love with the video! I don’t think such a man exists but if you are out there and you are reading this, get at me! Just kidding :P….no I’m not.



All I Need by Method Man feat. Mary J. Blige

I am in love this song, even though the words aren’t super fancy. The meaning is so deep and so moving to me. I can’t help but smile whenever I am listening to it. And I also love the Original version of the song by Marvin Gaye!



How about you all out there, what are some of the songs you can’t get enough of? I’d love to know so leave them in a comment!

September 12, 2010

People You Should Know: The Fagbure Twins

So I recently reached 200 followers this past Tuesday! You all don’t know how happy that made me, especially since I’ve only been doing this for about 2 months. I want to give a very big thank you to all of you who have been following & commenting & just showing me love. If it wasn’t for ya’ll I’d just be talking to myself on here so I really appreciate the support. So since I reached this goal I thought to myself, girl it’s time to do something different. With that being said I am happy to present you with my very first (of hopefully many) interview! So without further ado, allow me to introduce:

The Fagbure Twins

I have always been greatly inspired by those who are able to take a vision, an abstract idea formulated from one's deepest dreams & desires, and mold it into something tangible. Something real & something great. Something that others can look upon and be not only inspired, but also be encouraged to step outside of our comfort zones and to dare to dream big. Being this way takes passion, persistence, sterling work ethic, and a strong faith in your own abilities…qualities that sometimes take years and years to acquire. However, there are some individuals who possess all of these qualities at a young age and who are able to utilize them in order to achieve the goals they set for themselves in life and to become the people they wish to be. 

I feel that Fela & Fola Fagbure exemplify this idea.
Fela & Fola are quite a dynamic duo. These entrepreneurial brothers are originally from Nigeria (like me!) but now reside and are based out of Edmonton, Alberta Canada where they are students in college. What makes these two so amazing, however, are their extra-curricular activities. While most people spend their weekends typing papers, going to parties, solving mathematical equations, playing sports, wasting the day away on facebook and/or twitter, etc., these two young men are doing all of those things PLUS managing their own company: Alex Folzi. Alex Folzi is the name of the brand that these brothers founded in January of this year and registered/branded in April. So far, Alex Folzi is a line of vintage inspired trunks that are available in a wide range of colors and in a classic brown print.


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Who is “Alex Folzi” & what was the inspiration behind this brand?
We are Alex Folzi. Well Alex is the short form of Fola’s English name “Alexander” and Folzi comes from Fola as well. That was the nickname given to him back in high school. People often ask why we decided to use one person’s name for the brand. But to us it doesn’t really matter. We decided to use Alex Folzi because Fola had the first idea to start the line. The inspiration for the brand came from our “Entrepreneurship Sprit” like our mum would say. We always had a huge passion for fashion. So we decided to mix that with the little knowledge of business to start our own line.
How did you two go about starting this brand?
I remember it was last year back in December after a trip from New York we decided to start this company because we had so many designs already drawn on paper. So we figured, why don’t we make it a reality by making what we already have drawn on paper exist?

What types of people are your trunks designed for?
We designed this collection for all sorts of people and all sorts of age group as well. Our target originally was from ages of 15-25 but a month after we launched the products the numbers increased more than we expected. We had skateboarders, dapper kids, preppy ones, working class, street style, vintage collectors etc. All sorts of people and ages rushed it. We came out with unique, elegant and colorful design. That, in relation to fashion today, is on point. So it made it a wider market range for our brand and it also increased the publicity as well.
Who are your favorite designers and do you look to them for inspiration when creating your trunks?

Funny enough we didn’t get inspirations from any designer. The trunk collection was inspired by the old Northern American/European couture. We remember watching an old movie, where we saw travelers using trunks to travel by train. Then we were like “Hey why don’t we design and make something like that because, it looks cool". But we would say Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Lauren are still our favorite designers to date.
What is the story behind the Alex Folzi logo?

There is a lot to know about the logo. Here is the definition of our logo:
• Nature loving: -the flowers on the letters “AF” (note: - the "AF" stands for Alex Folzi) stands for nature as well as the leaf on the eagle's right wing. It represents our freedom of expression and our passion for fashion.

• Fashion oriented: -The boot on the eagle’s leg expresses style.
• Photography: -The eagle is known as the bird with the sharpest eye in the sky. So we decided to portray the eye as the lenses of a camera and as we know a camera is the eye for fashion.
• Vintage: -Milan and Paris has always been known for the vintage old and beautiful structural buildings. So we decided to use that to represent vintage.
• Classy and Elegant: -The eagle is known as the leader of the sky. So we decided to use the eagle to represent classy and elegant.

• Four major cities of fashion: -London, Milan, New York, and Paris are the four major cities of fashion. So we decided to portray them as a street coming together connecting to the shield to form strength and unity.
• Strength: -The shield and the eagle are represented as strength.

How successful has your brand been thus far and what do you guys have planned for the future?

It has been going good so far. We are very impressed with the procedures we have taken so far and how much we have done as a starting up company within this short period of time. Sales have been going smoother than expected and publicity is coming up just fine. We are currently working on new designs for the apparel and accessories. By the grace of God they should be out in the market before October. We are also looking forward to the opening of our first retail store in Edmonton, Canada before the end of the year. There are so many exciting things coming up for the company before the end of the year, but due to sequential reasons we can only disclose as much as we have said above.

“God gives every bird its food, but He doesn't throw it into their nest. All the so-called "secrets of success" will not work unless you do. Start by writing out your plan, there is no time for frolic.” 
This quote is actually straight from Fela's current facebook status and I feel like it speaks volumes about why these two have been so successful in such a short amount of time. In order to be successful, you have to know what you want and to go after it with everything you've got. But how far you go in this world is essentially up to you! Life gives you so many natural tools but it is up to you to take those tools and to utilize them towards reaching your destiny. For many young people, including myself even, this is a difficult concept to grab because most of us are only living for the present and not looking ahead towards the future. We figure that all the big moves we will make in life can be delayed into our later years when we should really be viewing everyday as another opportunity to be bigger and better than the people we already are. There aren't a lot of people like Fela & Fola in the world which is why I felt the need to feature them on my blog. They took a huge leap of faith by deciding to build and own their own company but look at how far they have come! Like Jay-Z said in his song entitled So Ambitious, “I can’t base what I’m gonna be off what everybody isn’t”. And that is exactly the type of attitude Fela & Fola have. They've got that GOOD GOOD.

Oh yeah, did I mention that they are only 19 years old?
To learn more about these go-getters, check out these links:



September 9, 2010

Throwback Thursday: Girlfriend by Alicia Keys

As promised, here is the second installment of Throwback Thursday. This week I chose the song Girlfriend by Alicia Keys because I miss her older music. In my humble opinion, her newer music just doesn’t do anything for me like her older stuff did. I’m talking about those songs like Butterflyz, If I Was Your Woman/Walk Away, Never Felt This Way, You Don’t Know My Name, A Woman’s Worth, Fallin’, If I Ain’t Got You, etc…I understand that as an artist, one has to grow and one’s music has to evolve to satisfy broader audiences but the fact of the matter is, I only found a small handful of songs listenable off her latest album (I love Un-Thinkable) and DON’T even get me started on the As I Am Album. I mean, it was a solid album, no doubt about that...but I would take Songs in A Minor or The Diary of Alicia Keys over it any day of the week.
And I am not one to indulge into the private lives of celebrities but of course I have heard mad stuff about Alicia Keys and her husband and many of my friends have told me they have lost all respect for her and they refuse to listen to her music. All I have to say is...I don't give a flying piece of poop (excuse my word choice but it is what it is). Now I'm not saying that what she did was right, of course it wasn't, but at the same time it is none of my business so I'm not going to think about it. I'm just gonna try to remember her as she was because her songs about love always felt so real to me so I don't want her mistakes to reflect badly on her music because it was and still is good, even though I'm not crazy about it anymore. She is still doing her thing and still doing well so let me stop talking and ya'll just watch & reminisce.




AND STAY TUNED IN THIS WEEKEND PEOPLE, I HAVE A VERY SPECIAL POST IN THE WORKS FOR SATURDAY!

September 5, 2010

My Summer Haul Cont. & Other Random Thrift Purchases

So my last thrift haul post got such an overwhelming response! Thank you all so much for the feedback, I really enjoyed reading all the comments :) One thing that I did notice was a lot of people asking where I thrift and that is at my good ol’ neighborhood Goodwill, lol. The Goodwill store that I go to is about 15 minutes from my house and it opened at the beginning of summer. I am not quite sure how I survived before it because every time I go into that store I always find at least one thing that I like. So here are just a few more items that I bought during the summer and a couple that I’ve bought recently…

I actually bought this at the vintage store called The Attic towards the beginning of this year, it is one of the most unique looking bags I own & it was only $4.oo!

Both of the above bags were $3.oo

$6.oo

If you couldn’t already tell from my other thrift haul post, I have an obsession with knitted cardigans lol, this one was $4.oo

$7.oo

A close up of the funky pattern on this dress

$7.oo

A close up of the cute neckline 

I was so happy when I found these shoes because I can never find my size at thrift stores but I got lucky this time and they were only $7.oo! (I know what you are thinking...why are the shoes on my bed?! lol)

And of course a pair of fabulous $1.95 vintage earrings to be added to my collection :)


Another thing I noticed people said in the comments in my last thrift haul post was that I was really good at thrifting so for that I say thank you! That is a really high compliment to me :) But I am here to tell ya’ll that anybody can have great success when it comes to thrifting…here are 5 tips that I live buy when I go to vintage/thrift stores:

1.   If I want a baggy sweater/cardigan, I head straight to the men’s sweater section! That is where I find 80% of the sweaters I buy because I absolutely love the fit and the patterns that are on men’s sweaters. The maroon sweater in this post & the mustard yellowish sweater with the appliqués in my last thrifting post were both found in the women’s section at Goodwill but all the other sweaters I have are from the men’s section!

2.  I check out the purses before I look for anything else & I look at the women’s tops section last. Now, I am not quite sure why I do that but all I know is I can be in a thrift store for hours at times so before I get a massive headache and go cross-eyed from staring at blouses upon blouses I like to check out the purses.

3.   I always have an idea of the type of clothing I want and the looks that I am going for. If you walk into a thrift store or a vintage store with absolutely no idea what you like then you will either be in there forever, buy things you won’t wear, or leave empty handed. I peruse magazines, websites, and other mediums for clothing that I am attracted to before I go to thrifting just so I have an idea of what I like and what I want. This tends to cut down my shopping time (most of the time).

4.   I try not to take the clothes I see at face value, I try to picture how they will look with other pieces in my wardrobe. This method has proven very successful for me especially when I’m dealing with the bigger sections of thrift store such as the female tops section…for anyone who has gone thrifting I think it is safe to say that going through all those blouses in the women’s section can be very annoying, intimidating, & tiring. However, I do try to look at each piece of clothing one at a time and while I look at each top, I try to see if it can fit in my wardrobe. Of course there are some pieces that are so hideous that not even Kate Moss could pull off wearing them; however, some pieces may look bad at first but upon further inspection turn out to be quite nice! So don’t settle with a single glance, take some time and really inspect the articles of clothing you look at.

5.   I believe someone actually said this in their comment they left on my other thrift post; if I have an off day in the clothing department, I always go to the jewelry section! Nine times out of ten I am able to find a pair of killer earrings and it makes up for the frustration I may be feeling if I can’t find anything clothing or shoes.


There isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' way to thrift, this just happens to be my method and it has worked for me thus far! I hope my tips help :)


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