Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 5)

Hellooooooooooo buddies.

Hope all is well. Strongly considering doing this every week and dropping it on the same day every week (Thursday is likely).

Onto the SONGS.

Rich The Kid – Who Dab Is That Ft. Migos & SKIPPA!!!!

 

I was openly opposed to listening to a tape called “Dabbin Fever”, because I’m pretty sure I’m dabbed out. Alas, we are here. This tape has a couple tunes on it and Rich is becoming a better rapper before our very eyes. This is pretty much a QC posse cut, with everyone going to work. Migos have made a TON of songs where they complain about wanting credit for dabbing (ugh) but this one is PRETTY damn good. Offset opens it (and he really hasn’t lost a step since he’s been free) but Takeoff is the star Migo of this one. Rich and Takeoff close the song off perfectly. See what happens when you channel your anger over your dance getting stolen into something productive???
 

SIDENOTE: Skippa is probably the best dabber in the universe.

 

Nef The Pharoah ft. Philthy Rich – #Saydaat

 

Nef has certainly been on my weekly list before, and he worked his way back there again. #Saydaat really sounds like Bay rap finding a sort of middle ground; the shit is hard (and very accessible) regardless of where you’re from. Nef is doing very interesting things with a distinctly regional sound that is pushing him higher and higher by the week. I love this song, I love the beat, I love Philthy Rich’s feature voice. Nef has a huge 2016 ahead, and I don’t ever have to have been to Vallejo to know that.

 

Jacquees – Hot Girl

 

Jacquees’ latest tape Mood is VERY good. Picking one song was a difficult choice, as I would’ve been comfortable picking nearly any thing on the project. Jacquees’ tone is interesting as always, the lyrics are very fun. He’s really got a young guy’s perspective to women, it feels natural and isn’t really overly graphic (well most of the time). The hook also passes the public singing test: I was singing the entire HELL out of it while I was waiting for the A train last weekend. GIRL SAY MY NAME I AINT JUST ANYBODDDAAYYYYY.

 

2 Chainz – Not Invited

 

I’ve been a 2 Chainz stan for a long time, now. He always finds a way to keep himself fresh, and usually has at least one tape a year that really impresses. Feel Like Cappin is that tape, so far. Not Invited is really simple: 2 Chainz’ girls are fine, yours are lackluster and can’t attend his party. While all of the praising of #foreigns and #exotics is kinda problematic, it is what it is, the shit is smooth. Btw, I highly recommend clicking play on every 2016 TM88 beat you come across. He is a contender for the best beat on a 6 song tape with Zaytoven, Cardo, Mike Will and Timbaland on it. Craziness.  The end of the song is also pretty hard too, 2 Chainz traphouse descriptors are second to none.

 

Travis Porter – 187

 

I appreciate Travis Porter’s growth/slight change of direction, musically. Ali is definitely a better rapper now, Strap is as raw as ever, Quez holds it all together. But I also remember peak Travis Porter; when if they came on at a party, it turned into a SEA OF ROTATING BUTTS. 187 is bringing the rotating butt back. Its cold and miserable in NYC; this song makes me happy, makes me imagine warmer temps and better times. This is pure “locate the finest girl in here” music, like undergrad is back (SHOUTOUT TO 2008!). If this song doesn’t snake its way into parties up this summer, I will be rather disappointed!

 

GoldLink – Late Night (ft. Masego) & Chaz French Ft. GoldLink – Ready

 

These two songs are permanently tied together for me, because they LITERALLY happened to me, nearly verbatim, with the same girl.

Long story short, Late Night is a story about admitting you have other women that you entertain, but liking one girl more than the rest of the field. It’s just passionate and heartfelt, and real. The first time I heard this song, my stomach turned. I was literally coming home from her apartment and thought “this whole thing is going to end so poorly”. Not because I didn’t clearly lay out that I didn’t want to be exclusive yet (because I did, quite plainly, more than once), but because I knew behind that smile of hers, there was a sense of dread. Anytime you’re dating someone, there’s a chance they could up and leave you. She was aware, and I think it was something bubbling under the surface that she refused to confront. I felt the change in the waters, and bought it up to her.

Ready has Chaz and GoldLink trying to keep a woman around who can no longer tolerate whatever it is they currently have. She eventually told me she didn’t feel comfortable dating me because I had other women, which I respected. I didn’t fight, I didn’t argue, I don’t do shit like that. GoldLink talks about the girl in question basically ignoring when he says how much he cares, the belief that he has a bunch of women (but lets be honest, when a girl really likes you, one more girl is too many), her friends trying to tell her he wasn’t shit; ALL OF THIS HAPPENED. Chaz tries to play the middle and hope things work out while knowing that the situation would eventually go toxic; which is also a stage I went through. She tried to “un-dump” me twice, I wouldn’t go along with it, and now we’re done, as of 5 weeks ago. I’m at peace with it. The best choice isn’t always painless, but it is freeing. I wasn’t going to be ready in a timely fashion, and we both knew it.

 

 

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 4)

Happy new year and all that there. Hopefully your 2016 is going swell. ONTO THE TUNES!!

 

Ye Ali – Ring 4x

 

I’ve known of Ye Ali for quite some time now, first due to this song. I saw Ring 4x (aka RING RING RING RIIIIINGGGGG) all over my TL for the past two weeks or so, but I didn’t actually listen until I saw it reposted on Soundcloud timeline. Vocally, he sounds derivative of #SomeGuyFromSaugaCity here, but I cannot deny this tune.  The tempo and the subject matter are in complete synchrony. There are plenty of songs about women blowing up your line; this is an extremely catchy one. The hook is pretty much perfect and the song as a whole would make the lamest of lames feel like a ladies man.

 

Freddie Gibbs – Hot Boys

 

Pretty sure I was speechless off first listen. Had no idea what to expect, and got my head blown clean off. Pretty much Gibbs bringing the “Packages” flow back to life over one of the CRAZIEST beats he has rapped on in his entire career.  He is legit rapping over some goddamn late 90s RPG flute with 808s under it. Shit prolly shorted my headphones. Help.

 

Your Old Droog – Basketball & Seinfeld

 

First off, shout out to @NicholeGunz for retweeting this onto my timeline.

Now, I have never really been into Droog, I believe I got into a mini argument with him way back about that “IS HE NAS????” controversy (people had full blown “HE IS NASIR JONES” conspiracy theories, holy shit). HOWEVER, the guy can rap. He kills this song, which chops elements of the Seinfeld beat into a slick 80s jam. I barely watched Seinfeld, but all of the references I understood were great, the beat is fantastic, Droog’s obscure NBA player game is way up….everything is good. The very idea of the song is very cool, and the execution is even better.

 

K Camp – WCW

 

As you may know, I will pretty much listen to anything K Camp is tied to. He recently dropped K.I.S.S. 3, which is pretty good (and short, which I appreciate). WCW tiptoes between appreciating the woman you’re with and also just wanting sex from her (which isn’t exactly mutually exclusive). It sounds like a sweet love song but it isn’t. K Camp is spending whatever to put a smile on her face, and I support that.

 

Lil Uzi Vert – Enemies

 

I was avoiding Lil Uzi for a while because….. Imma come clean………I hate his name. Between that and that he reminds me of a couple guys who already exist, made me steer clear. His name kept popping up, so I gave Luv is Rage a shot.

I love this damn tape! He’s a better rapper than I originally gave him credit for and the tape is excellently produced. Enemies is a quickly paced and boisterous trap song about brushing off those against you. The production is attention grabbing to the point that it really does work me up into a good angry froth, as I think about people I hate. Songs that speak to the worst parts of my personality always win with me. Uzi’s use of empty space between the hook and verses is excellent; it really sends the emotion of the song home. It’s not a dark song about dwelling on the opposition; its more about why they don’t matter.

 

Kodak Black – Like Dat

 

I’ve kept an eye on Kodak’s output from afar over the last 5-6 months or so. Once he put out a full project after he got really popular (Institution, which I recommend), I jumped all over it. Like Dat has a really hypnotic hook, the beat is nuts (CHIMES!!!), and the flow he chose just fits perfectly. I also feel that Kodak has an excellent rap voice; the very overt grit of it with the sparkle of this beat are a match made in heaven. I also am extremely amused by “THATS A BORING CAR!!!!!!”.

Top 10 Albums of 2015. Top 10 Songs of 2015, too.

Top 10 Albums (1-10).

 

Freddie Gibbs – Shadow Of a Doubt

Gary, Indiana’s own Freddie Gibbs has delivered his darkest album to date. In a time where some may tell you street rap is in “dire straits”, Freddie shows up with Shadow Of A Doubt. Nearly every song on this project is a sonically brutal retelling of his time in the street, his paranoia, love…everything that comes with being an extremely talented rapper who wants to leave his checkered past behind. This album proves that Gibbs can rap on just about any type of beat, and not lose his flair for the technical. As Gibbs’ himself alluded to, moving with the times are a necessary part of a successful rap career. Freddie keeps pace with modern production and never sounds out of place or corny.

Kelela – Hallucinogen

Kelela has been making music for some time now. She kept feeding that dream from her parent’s basement, all the way to back to back sold out shows in NYC. While her music has transformed and evolved between projects (he previous work was the excellent Cut 4 Me), she has always managed to remain unique. Kelela’s current output has the feel of late 80s-early 90s pop, with the edge of a modern woman singing with raw emotion. Every lyric on Hallucinogen evokes familiar feelings, whether she’s singing about catching eyes with someone beautiful at a wild party, or the entrancing feeling of new and unexpected love. Her voice is strong, her taste in musical landscapes is incredible; this may be her true breakthrough moment.

 

Future – DS2

Future has had an excellent year, with or without all of the industry and personal life turmoil that he’s faced. Mid-year surprise release DS2 sees Future finally doing what he always wanted; making a major label album that was close to the heart of the type of music he is truly known for. Though the clear shots at his rather famous ex are jarring and in poor taste,  few other projects this year harness rage and confusion quite like DS2. Future is totally unbridled here; he’s truly rapping from his soul, no matter how ugly some of those feelings may be. There’s almost a vulnerability within how he sneaks the truth in between pained boasts of sexual trysts and the pleasures that money brings. This album is a man at wit’s end, channeling his emotions into the only thing that never betrayed him; the music itself.

 

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

POWERFUL. The only word that accurately describes Kendrick Lamar’s latest offering, To Pimp A Butterfly. Kendrick has always been somewhat socially aware; here, he parallels the realities of being black in America with his own personal demons. Kendrick is such a mercurial talent, that he was able to take a very complex idea and turn it into something that people from all walks of life can feel.  The middle of To Pimp A Butterfly is mired in pain, but just like life itself, brighter times lie ahead. Kendrick’s message is one of determination and knowledge of self, no matter what may be happening to or around you. That, is a message that I will always stand behind.

Disclosure – Caracal

Disclosure really broke through in 2014, with HUGE songs, accolades, headlining slots at festivals, and the like. So what’s next? How do you outdo that? You hone the very aspects of your music that shot you to the top, while going in a completely different direction subjectwise. While 2014’s Settle was brighter, with more of a focus on love and freedom, Caracal is darker, with more of a focus on the more painful aspects of love. The sound of the album matches the emotional weight of the lyrics, without losing any of the energy that Disclosure is known for. There are some very poopular vocalists on here, but they all play a role. To be invited to Disclosure’s party is to meld with their music, not to overshadow it. This is a dance music break up album, helmed by a duo of absolute stars within the genre. If only my split were this catchy.

 

Young Thug – Barter 6

Young Thug has rounded the corner, this year. With all of the attention placed on his clothes, or his terms of endearment for his friends, sometimes it gets lost that he’s a very skilled rapper. Barter 6 proves once and for all that Young Thug can excel in the framework of a structured project. His trademark strangeness and taste for bending the English language to its very brink aren’t lost here; instead, they are sharpened into one focused effort. The music here is less frenetic and Thugger is much more efficient with his words. The lyrics are extremely crisp and audible and he’s very comfortable here, no matter the subject matter. The project is concise, each song serves it’s purpose, and Thug further establishes himself as a rapper to take seriously in 2015 and beyond.

Robb Bank$ – Year Of The Savage (YOTS)

Year Of The Savage has been a long time coming for this Broward county rapper. While he’s been popular online since 2011, he announced this album 3 years ago. He’s released multiple projects, leaving his fanbase to almost believe they would never hear YOTS. Alas, he released it October of this year. Known for his hazy and unforgiving lyrics about his teenage experiences with family, drugs (using and selling), and women, most expected more of the same from him. On YOTS, Bank$ is happier; he’s a clever and lyrically adept young rapper, with an air of arrogance towards his past pains. He literally takes glee in showing his enemies little mercy, and no remorse with betraying those who had it coming to them. The album isn’t rife with misery at all; his youthful disregard for following the rules is refreshing. Expect special things from Robb.

 

Bankroll Fresh – Life Of A Hot Boy 2

Bankroll Fresh worked his way into relevance with 2014’s “Hot Boy“, a very catchy pseudo-tribute to the Cash Money legends of the same name. From there, Bankroll never stopped working. In comes Life Of A Hot Boy 2. He isn’t revolutionizing trap music, and some of the beats emulate peak Jeezy (purposefully), but he is very good at what he does. This is trap rap in its purest form; everything is about hustling, shooting, and women. Yet somehow, Bankroll is never stale or boring. He’s funny, his go-to flows are very entertaining, and he’s more technically sound than you think. You can tell that Bankroll really enjoys recording, and his personality shines through and more than makes up for his shortcomings. LOAHB2 is a very, very fun listen.

Abra – Rose

Abra is a R&B/pop singer from the well-known Atlanta collective Awful Records. The label itself contains a lot of varying talents, but Abra really adds something special to the team. Her pop sensibilities are 80s house, beefed up with a certain “beautiful darkness” to it. While she makes somewhat somber pop music, her singing abilities are no slouch. Every lyric comes out with legitimate confidence, the sound of someone who is very sure of her talent. Towards the end of Rose, the sounds become more minimal and Abra’s voice and lyricism take center stage. She soars here; her conviction and vulnerability really set her apart. Abra is a very special talent on a label that is a perfect fit for her. Greatness lies ahead.

 

Tinashe – Amethyst

Tinashe released Aquarius to critical acclaim, and put her name on the map. I thought the album was fine for what it was, but I honestly wasn’t as impressed as others were. Then I gave Amethyst a chance. This mixtape that she released post-Aquarius is short, yet really gets it’s point across. Amethyst is Tinashe minus the starry gloss; it’s honest music that sounds like it came directly from her personal diary. This is a peek into the mind and emotions of someone who is becoming more famous by the moment,  but can still establish her humanity. There are some strong songs on here; I want Tinashe to have more creative freedom (on her albums) going forward and I’m sure she’ll get it. She is young (nearly 23) and surely has room to grow; she has a very good chance of finding her true direction and reaching grand heights.

Top 10 Songs (1-10).

Disclosure (ft. The Weeknd) – Nocturnal

Kelela – All The Way Down

Drake – Jungle

K Camp (Solo Version) – 1Hunnid

Jamie xx/ Thugger/Popcaan – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)

Abra – Roses

Janet Jackson ft. J Cole – No Sleeep 

Sevyn Streeter – Consistent

Dej Loaf/Big Sean – Back Up

Snoop Dogg – R U A Freak

By Robby Rav.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 3)

Hi! Hope all is well. The year is almost over with, so make sure you try to flirt with that person  who ignored you the other 11 months. Go out with a *puts on sunglasses* BANG. ONWARD TO THE MUSIC.

Robb Bank$ – Griffith

 

Bank$ up and decided to let 3 new songs free on Black Friday. Griffith may honestly be the standout. Typical fare from him, aggressive raps over a beat that sounds like a circus nightmare. Just a fun song to listen to. There’s also a VERY TASTELESS stretch on here from1:37-1:41. I gave you a heads up; this probably made you want to listen even more than you did before.

Kelela – All The Way Down

This song came out 2 months ago, on Kelela’s excellent EP Hallucinogen. She’s made a lot of really, really good songs but this one…is the ONE. All The Way Down is evidently about dating someone younger and the emotion of being wrapped up in that. Even if you aren’t aware of that, the All The Way Down is just…beautiful. Its the feeling of being completely swept up in someone’s very being, turned into audio. I’ve listened to this song nearly every day since I became aware of how good it is. Lyrically, its up there. Sonically, its incredible. I really think it’s her best song yet.

Curren$y – Superstar (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)

I think this is the song Spitta always wanted to make. Superstar is the major label version of his entire aesthetic: smooth, hazy tunes. For what it is, this is really a “song for the ladies” that is simply par for the course on rap albums. This one however, is very well done. The beat (that bass guitar..whew!) and hook are perfect, Spitta lays out the imagery perfectly, then Dolla $iiiggggnnnn slides in to tell you he’s going to relieve you of your girlfriend and bone her. Stuff like this is exactly what I want from Curren$y and I’m happy to see him get to this point.

Freddie Gibbs – McDuck (ft. Dana Williams)

This was extremely difficult for me.

There are SO many good songs on Shadow Of A Doubt. The first 6 songs are absolutely incredible.

I picked McDuck, a relatively underrated song on a quality album. First off, the keys are incredibly haunting. They also DIRECTLY remind me of the Resident Evil 2 save room keys. Now that I’ve got my bizarre yet extremely accurate comparison out of the way, back to the song. Gibbs raps about the paranoia that comes with success. He’s slowly distancing himself more and more from the street and is happier, but still has to protect himself. This very idea is approached in a really raw way, that can easily be masked by the tone of the song. Dana Williams is literally otherworldly on the hook. The song is really a treat, on an album full of them.

Jacquees – Ms Kathy (Make Up)

I saw Jacquees perform earlier this week. While i felt his presence needed some work, he definitely has talent. I immediately thought “he reminds me of Tevin Campbell”, which is certainly no diss. He went through a few songs, and I kept paying attention even though these girls in the front were yelling so loudly that me and my friends were concerned. He gets to this song, Ms. Kathy (Make Up) and my ears perked up.  Ms. Kathy is about winning over a girl’s mom, because you’re rough around the edges and she’s seen your type before. I can’t relate, because all the moms love me and tell me I am #beautiful, but I can dig the sentiment. Ms Kathy isn’t bad at all, but Make Up is really the highlight for me.  On Make Up, Jacquees tells of his plans to make things right with his special lady. He accepts blame (which doesn’t happen enough in RnB) and expresses how special she is to him. I like vulnerability in songs like this; it’s here in droves. There’s something very somber and serious about this song, something that forces you take Jacquees seriously. I believe in him, and I’m glad I got to see him live.

LNDN DRUGS – Fade ft. Mitchy Slick

 

I stumbled upon LNDN DRUGS on Soundcloud. Someone reposted the entire tape onto my timeline. LNDN DRUGS are a duo composed of rapper Jay Worthy and producer Sean House. They literally make G-Funk for 2015. I clicked play and skimmed through the songs and thought “holy shit, all of the songs sound like THIS?”. I LOVE 80s inspired stuff like this, so I was in heaven. Fade is about well….fades. Inviting people to come get their ass kicked. Jay Worthy sounds like what you hear in your head when you think “laid back LA street rap”. His voice and inflections are perfect for this type of production, and hes not bad at rapping either. Mitchy Slick (who my roommate in undergrad used to force us to listen to) has a nice verse here too. Such a fun listen. The whole project (Aktive) is enjoyable, do check it out.

loved.

I was afraid.

I inherently knew that I had to go back to my alma mater.

Not the school so much, but really, the city.

I had been through so much, this year. I knew I had to go where the love was at. Where I didn’t have to worry about arbitrary shit like “is my ex gonna be here?” and “what passive aggressive bullshit will I have to deal with today?”.

Just love. Love. That’s all I remember about Norfolk. Love. Any bullshit I had to deal with in undergrad melted away. Or I forgot about it. Or I grew past it. Past beefs no longer exist. It’s like entering another planet.

Nothing like home.

NYC is toxic. I needed a break from all that poison in the air, literally and figuratively. I can’t leave just yet, my life has really trended upward itself in the last few months. There’s a ton of opportunity; opportunities I can really take advantage of. With that said, NYC still kills you. Slowly. People will try to sell you on otherwise; they also tie their identity to living in NYC. I am not one of those people.

But I still love my city. And my borough. But when you spend a good year, year and a half, dealing with terrible experiences in it, you may need to go elsewhere for a few.

So I left.

What I was so afraid of was…….had my experiences permanently changed me? Do my friends in VA love someone who no longer exists? I am a dramatically different person from this time, last year. I physically don’t look the same (hours of gym solitude, with bouts of terrible, depression fueled eating in between), I am on another plane emotionally, and I am nowhere near as spiritually in sync as I once was. All of these things together affect your personality, what you do, what makes you smile, what pisses you off, etc. I was afraid that my friends would not recognize me, that we couldn’t hang out and laugh like we used to. The free-wheeling, carefree Robert was dormant for so long, could I bring him back? Was he even real anymore? I didn’t know. I never knew.

I was so concerned because…that’s my biggest fear. I have always been afraid of “losing myself”. I’ve watched people work their asses off to become successful, get there, and completely lose touch. I’ve witnessed people go through incredibly painful situations and never be the same after. The fact that these could become my reality, terrifies me. I have been afraid of recognition and being great at what I do (whatever that may be), forever. I never really think my bad experiences have affected me long term, but they certainly have. I’ve seen the pitfalls up close; I didn’t want to be a victim.

I knew that I was coming off of a bad stretch, and depression (and anxiety!) that existed before that only worsened over time. I was….sullen. I was not myself. Certain things going right for me, namely me getting into Cosmo and getting published on Noisey (the start of two things that have been dreams of mine, for a really long time). I felt…better.  Right before Homecoming, I started to feel regular again. But this would be a test; just how “regular” was I?

I was really regular.

Norfolk felt like 2009 again. Back when I was much happier. Back when I had weak ass struggle waves in my head. Back when everything was ok. Love at every turn. No pain. No suffering. No sadness at all. Old friends. New friends. It was great.

Everyone treated me like they always have. Some of them knew what was going on with me. They showed me a lot of concern, a lot of care, never made me feel awkward. It was therapeutic.

They didn’t have to look out for me. I haven’t stayed in touch as well as I need to. I don’t feel I’ve done enough as a friend.

But regardless of what I do (or don’t do), the love never left.

The love never left.

Lessons from the Sun.

Worst summer of my life.

Easily.

I would love to tell you that it was just 3 months of struggle and INCREDIBLE emotional anguish, but that would be false.

It was UNENDING struggle and emotional anguish. I still, somehow, got a lot out of it.

Love them while they are with you.

I knew, in my heart of hearts, that my relationship was doomed.

I knew it. I tried my hardest still, don’t think I’ve tried that hard at anything.

Didn’t work. But when I felt us very quietly and subtly hitting those dire straits, and that building dissatisfaction (it feels like nausea that does not cease), I decided to do something.

I decided to value every single good moment we had, and to feel honored to share her presence.

Good times do not last forever, so please…please…..squeeze every ounce of happiness out of them that you can.

I cherished every high and faced every low.

Until the low was too much for me. My appreciation and honesty and dedication to a journey that had no light at the end of the tunnel was not enough to keep my relationship from ending so jarringly.

But I don’t regret my relationship, or how poorly it ended, nor do I feel bad for putting effort forth and still failing.

I’m glad I did it. I learned who I am; I learned who my significant other was. I learned who my friends were.

I don’t speak to my friend of …13 years, over this shit. I loved him too. I loved my girlfriend. They simply could no longer be in my life, they were killing me.

However, I won’t die internally at your hands. No, I will not.

I loved the two of them as much as I could, until my very being gave away. Until I couldn’t.

One person simply threw my trust and good will out of the window; the other just…doesn’t support me when I needed him to.

Loving someone so much that you would happily tear your own heart to shreds, to save them from themselves. A worthwhile sacrifice.

And I’ll do it again, with someone else.

The inherent darkness of my split(s) this summer have made me appreciate the good times with everyone…because they do not last forever, and I must be at peace with that.

There is no shame in being a broke boy (or girl).

I mean really, I’ve been broke for about a year.

My brokeness SPIKED in the last 6 months or so, along with my break up, loneliness, my worsening depression, my inability to find a job, and no longer being friends with a close friend.

All at once.

So I was pretty much in an endless cycle of misery and loneliness that kinda never…stopped? The carousel is turning as we speak.

I had nothing, I felt worthless, I could not do what I want.

I still don’t have anything, really, but I don’t feel so worthless. Not so often.

Me not having money is somewhat out of my hands. I’m certainly doing what I need to do to get jobs, it’s just not coming together at the moment. So, I am slowly not beating myself up over it anymore and just trying to live.

I’ve had A LOT of money. I’ve had NOTHING. Money is cyclical, it will come back to me in due time.

I can only try to become my best self and keep applying, and keep thinking of places that I can contribute to, and roles I’d like to fill one day.

I only don’t feel so worthless, because people have shared words and time with me.

And because money isn’t everything, and it doesn’t define me, and it never has.

People will light your darkness with their honesty.

Knowing how badly I was doing this summer, I’ve had a lot of heart to hearts with a lot of people. Some who have been very close to me for quite some time now. Some who I was cool with, but not much more. Some I barely knew.

I was just seeking clarity. In that search, people have admitted to really painful things that made me feel like “I am not alone, here”. They showed me what love was, in a different light. They told me I would be ok, when I didn’t think I would. I’m still not ok, actually. Without their words, I wouldn’t even be on the road to “ok”.

I would be in the depths.

And I spent most of the last 3-4 months, in the depths.

Still, people reached out to me, texted me, hung out with me, emailed me, even though I was a total fucking burden, and surely no fun to be around. I appreciate you fine folks, for real for real. if you knew of my situation and shared a word with me, you’re good with me. I have no idea how I can repay that, but I’ll find a way, somehow.

I am just gracious for what was once part of my life, that which is no longer, that which I have now, and that which I will have later.

That is all that matters.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 2)

I took way too long to put this together.

So I had to really think hard and not put too many songs on this.

Anyways!

Key! ft. Retro Jace (Of Two 9) – No Where

First off, Jace SHREDS this shit. SHREDS. Mike Will has an eye for talent, man. I’m a huge Key! fan, so I recommend you check out this EP period (“No One Is Ready 3”). The song itself is very catchy and dark which….pretty much describes Key!’s (DONT FORGET THE EXCLAMATION POINT!) entire discography. That piano is crazy too.

Hil Holla – Backseat

Full disclosure: Hil is a good friend of mine. With that said….this shit is smooooooth. Hil walks you through the steps of a good night and does so with the confidence of someone who has actually lived it and details it so believably. He meets a fly woman, goes to a party, and shows you how to say things a bad one might wanna hear. Just hit “play” and try to talk to that girl that’s slightly out of your league (there is no league, I will expound on this later though)!

Nef The Pharaoh – Big Tymin’

The song is just….fun. Fun as hell. So Oakland but still has a bounce you can’t ignore, regardless of where you come from. I really enjoy rap from regions that just has an authentic feel. Nef is part of the wave of younger Bay rappers; I like his style. If you say “BALLIN LIKE BAYBEEEEHHHHHHHH” and don’t automatically feel a wave of happiness, you are worthless and probably lying. Very smooth tribute to Ca$h Money too. There’s also a remix with TY$ and YG, but I had to show Nef his proper shine for the song he made.

Fetty Wap ft. Shy Glizzy – Why U Mad

This song is HARD. Much better than I expected….which doesn’t make sense, because I’m a really big fan of Fetty AND Glizzy. I guess I was just concerned as to how their styles would fit. Fetty’s versatility really shines here. Zaytoven shows up and I honestly believe Gucci (whenever he gets out) would really appreciate this one. Glizzy closes the show really well too. This ain’t “cook crack with bae” Fetty, this is “riddle your body with bullets for being short a few bucks” Fetty!

Makonnen – Leave It There

Now, I was a big fan of Makonnen maybe a year ago. Felt he got a bad rap. Then, he started to decline pretty quickly. In the Internet Age, if you put out 3-4 stinkers in a row, thats yo ass. After Drink More Water 5 dropped, I kinda gave up. Nonetheless, this song snuck onto my Soundcloud feed and….Makonnen might be getting it back together. This is a slow, emotional tune about trying to restart a damaged romantic relationship, and subsequently giving up on it. While one would think this is NOT the subject matter of a banger, you would be wrong. Very wrong.

Mélat – If Its Gold I Love

This song is just….wonderful. My man @YOUNGSAFE (FOLLOW HIM!) sent me her Soundcloud and her EP (“It Happens So Fast”) is really great. She has a good voice, her tone is wonderful, her ear for production is fantastic; I’m just very impressed. This song might totally be about some subtle filth (I’m not even sure yet), but use it as you will. Light and airy; feels like she’s singing to me in a dream.

Sevyn Streeter – Consistent

I am a huge fan of Sevyn’s music, I think she’s really talented. I also have a crush on Sevyn; she’s pretty damn hot, BRO. Her EP’s are consistently good, and “Shoulda Been There Pt. 1” is no exception. This song is about a dude who doesn’t treat her well emotionally, but he is dropping off that #pipe in them #draws. It’s fire, its sonically the best song I’ve posted here. I tweeted that all of her songs are about bad relationships, she tweeted me “not true”. Then followed me. She must’ve felt the thirst coming through my veins. No disrespect to B.o.B., thou shall not covet the next man’s bae, thats what the Bible says…or something.

Until next week, friends.

So, I got curved this one time, right…..

I’ve taken a few L’s with #da ladies, in my life.

It happens.

I am now one with the Sauce, so these were just stumbling blocks along the way.

ALONG THE WAY TO GREATNESS.

Walk with me.

My Very First Curve.

Her name was Courtney.

I was in 3rd grade.

It was Valentine’s Day. My birthday. Me and Courtney had afterschool together, so we were upstairs in a classroom, gluing shit together with the other kids. I had the huuuuugest crush on lil Court (or NeeNee). Light skin (THIS IS WHEN I WAS STILL A COLOR STRUCK YOUNG BROTHER….EVERYTHANG YELLA.), big brown eyes, two thick braids wrapped around the back of her head….she was THE ONE. My little 3rd grade heart swore she was gonna be my boo one day. I dont even know what that woulda entailed…holding hands??? Whatever.

Anyway, I made my corn-muffin complected QUEEN a Valentine’s Day card. Glitter, Hearts, The works. I was nervous as shit making it and put all of my effort into this more than likely trash card. She somehow comes up to me and asks me what am I holding. Fear wraps me like my small ass private school cardigan. I try to hide it and turn away…she reaches for it, I get away…she gets a hand on it and….

She reads it.

No emotion on her angelic little face. She basically tells me “its not like that!” then………SHE THROWS THE CARD IN THE GARBAGE.

SPIKED MY SHIT IN THE TRASH! I can still see the card in the trash like it happened yesterday. I think one of the teachers even saw the card and asked her about it. That day is when I learned…Earth is a cold, cold place.

The Two Piece Curve

I had a crush on this girl I went to school with in HS. She was Guyanese. This is relevant.

Guyanese families don’t play that shit, for the most part. You can’t bring Jamal in ya house for dinner. Grandma is not going to feel you on that one.

Nonetheless, I was head over heels for her and she actually liked my funny looking ass too. We spent a lot of time together at lunch, at breakfast, around school. Just all of that cutesy stuff. I was still afraid the cheeks at this point, so I wasn’t gonna escalate it to the #SmashLands. All good.

One day on a school trip, I’m sitting next to her on the bus. My soft ass teen heart was fluttering. We’re talking and she just stops me out of nowhere.

“I can’t bring you home with me.”

It’s because I’m black, as she later explains. Her family just wasn’t partial to an American black kid like myself, or kids of my “ilk”. My mom is Trini/St. Vincentian, but I don’t particularly look it (only to girls who are lying to me and trying to flirt), and I was raised pretty American, outside of my visits to Grandma Lorna’s and Papa’s (my grandfather) house. I was sorta crushed, but I got over it. I let it go. We remained cool. I still liked her. It was what it was.

FAST FORWARD!!! I’m like…22? I get the bright idea to ask her to go to Outback (I secretly have a Kookaburra Wings obsession). She said she would be down. I took my ass out there……..never showed up. Stopped answering her phone and all that. VOICEMAIL AND EVERYTHANG. Bruh.

She just didn’t like my black ass.

The College Party Curve (Pajama Jammy Jam)

I was like…19-20. At my school, the Pajama Jam was THE event. You HAD to be there, no matter how lame you were.

Enter scrawny, young Robby. I put an outlandish amount of thought into my pajama pants-based outfit. I had to be #flee. I had to. I HAD TO KILL THEM.

I hit the party with my roommates, we split up like the savages we were. Lots of girls. A lot of foolishness. A lot of fine black girls grinding on my virginal loins.

But there was ONE….ONE….that I decided I wanted really bad. I don’t even remember why. It was some animal attraction shit. Or I was just a horny sophomore.

I pulled up on her, slid up behind her….she turned around….and time froze.

She looked me in the eyes and let off the most GUTTURAL laugh I have EVER heard.

Right in my silly ass face. Laughed like she saw Rick James grind his feet into that couch for the FIRST TIME.

I just walked away. Defeated. I’m pretty sure I heard that laugh in my nightmares.

The “You Were Almost A Legend” Curve

In high school, one of my homegirls was a lesbian. She was humping the whole school. Things were #lit. Anyway, she had a girl she was messing with, on and off.

This girl evidently saw my pictures on Sconex (basically Facebook for high schoolers who were trying to hump each other) and starts telling my home girl that she….wants me? That I’m handsome? That she’s gay but she’d go straight for me???

THE HELL?

She hits me up personally and expresses this same sentiment directly to me, and I’m pretty flattered. We talk for a long while, I accidentally see her butt in my phone, YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW HOW IT GOES.

We keep talking over time and she finds out I’m a virgin. She slides it out there that “you could practice on me, if you want”.

SHE WANTED ME TO PRACTICE ON HER “NEVER HAD HETERO SEX” LOVE BOX. PRACTICE. WE TALKING ABOUT……PRACTICE.

Being the young filthball I was, I agreed. She wanted to meet up first, and we set a date. We had never met up to this point but we clearly shared pics. She was an attractive girl.

Pizza date. I was hype. Put on my little ‘fit, threw on my Nike winter jacket, I WAS KILLING THEM, FO’ SHO’.

I get to the spot and she told me she was gonna be a little late. Cool.

Half hour passes. She’s not picking up. Then she’s sending my calls to VM. Hour passes.

She’s not coming, dog. I ate my pepperoni pizza slice, and went outside…AND GOT SOAKED.

I came home and tried to tweet her…SHE BLOCKED ME.

She was not about what was she was talking about, and powerfully curved me and disappeared.

She’s kinda huge in NYC on Twitter now and still has me blocked.

STILL.

STILLLLLLLLLL.

I would have been famous like MJ amongst my friends for that sex that I never got. And I wanted it. BUT ALAS….it was not in the cards.

I tell you that, to say this………..keep on trucking. Rejection is no big deal, success is on the way.

Songs I like this week! (Vol. 1)

Lets get right to business, shall we?

Chris Brown – Ghetto Tales

Forever in my “Talented Shitbags” list (its extensive…..Tyson, Rick James, KELLZ!, you get the picture), I find myself never TOTALLY counting Chris Brown out. He literally does some disappointingly dumb shit every year, but he keeps churing out good music. IN COMES “GHETTO TALES”. He’s basically telling whatever girl hates him this week to cut that pride shit out and hit him up so they can smooth it out and he can take her to the Bone Zone. I would say I can relate but I don’t beg for shit but an extra BBQ sauce at Popeye’s…FOR THE FREE. Chris eventually gets his wish by the last verse, where he tells you about delivering the #meat and doing drugs with the world famous Migos flow. He’s also getting A LOT better at rapping.

Drake – On A Wave (ft. TInashe)

This shit amazing. And leaked. And extremely unfinished. This ain’t IF YOURE READING THIS ITS REPETITIVE Drake, this is “Club Paradise” , lobster tails, butter sauce, and soft weeping Drake. He’s saving girls from his busy life (a change from his regular “saving girls”), Tinashe sounds like 2015 Aaliyah (AND ITS A GOOD THING) ; everything fits together. I’m pretty critical of Tinashe (I still don’t like Aquarius/she has the personality of a crushed Cooler Ranch Dorito) but she did well here. And Amethyst is multiple fire emojis. She may just be turning turning the corner. Here’s to hoping this song gets finished (it won’t).

Beatking – I Got Hoez

I really listened to this Beatking tape for a week straight, pretty much. Pure ignorance. He says so much shit thats in poor taste but guess what, he reminds me of OLD Houston. Great voice, great ear for beats, obscure ass references, misogyny….WHAT ELSE COULD YOU WANT! Outside of how funny he is, Beatking is actually a pretty clever rapper. Short Dawg’s verse is pretty damn good too. Please check out the tape ( “Houston 3AM“).

RJ – Hoes Come Easy

“Beach fulla sand WHY I GOTTA BRING MINE???” sets the tone. Song makes me feel like I’m in a gang in LA, doing my corresponding gang walk, yelling into my cell phone to whatever girl I’m treating terribly that week. I’m also off the Henny and I have no shirt on. I would be an ultimate goon. Just hit play and tell me you didn’t nod your head AT LEAST A LITTLE. He also references choosing to bring his gun to the club instead of his girlfriend; how could you not love this?

Trey Songz – Flick

Best song about having sex and recording it since….I dunno. Melody, hook, beat…all perfect. Trey Songz is quietly putting out better music nowadays. And instead of boning your girlfriend, he is boning your EX girlfriend and telling her he is better at sex than you. It’s somewhat predictable fare but guess what, “I wanna make a MOO-VIE!” is too easy to sing and remember…so I don’t care. The song also manages to avoid cornballery, which is very easy to tread into with this type of subject matter.

Vince Staples – Get Paid

I saw some people saying they weren’t digging this song because it was “too commercial” for Vince. I don’t particularly agree. It’s just a fully formed song that’s kinda catchy with Vince getting his usual underlying point/message across. It’s gritty, its visceral….but it has that bounce! There were some other songs I coulda tossed in here from “Summertime ’06”, but this is the one that hits on all cylinders.

Stay tuned. More to come. Soon. Or never. 0_0!

EDIT: follow me on Soundcloud.

bullshit.

Man.

Everything is crazy.

I broke up with my girlfriend about 4 weeks ago, I’ll probably never publicly explain why, just know it was fucked up. No one cheated.

While breakups are terrible, the fallout that comes with them may actually be worse.

I’ve kinda had to weather the storm, so to speak. I am definitely lonely, and I sometimes feel a vague listlessness that is just “there”. I’m doing MUCH…MUCH better now than I was at first, but I did what I had to do.

In the first two weeks, I had to clench my jaw so I wouldn’t throw up, on a daily basis. I was consistently nauseous. That is how much the shit was bothering me.

So, I dealt with that, I didn’t do any dumb shit, I didn’t diss my ex then, and I will not now. My healing regimen is solely based on seeking inner peace and making sure I’m around people who love me. I didn’t know being amongst people who put your well-being first felt like this; its been quite some time.

I’ve learned that people don’t actually know me, at all. People who have known me forever.

When some foul shit happens, they accuse me of being motivated by things that have never meant anything to me.

I was told I broke up with my girlfriend because I wanted to be single for the summer.  Not a chance.

If you think I broke up with my girlfriend because I wanted to get my meat moistened by other women and have more time to listen to Young Thug, you are a moron.

“You don’t work through things” “You don’t care about your girlfriend”. “You’re selfish”, “You’re unfair”.

There’s an underlying problem with all of this shit throwing. When you date someone for a year, there will be things you have to overcome between the two of you. I did it. I did it multiple times. I didn’t say a word publicly, because I respect her up to this very moment. To say I don’t care, or I don’t work through things, or I’m not loyal….when I’ve TRULY given all of myself, is amazing. Even worse, I’m all about justice and always have been. So “fairness” is paramount to me, even though very few things about reality are “fair”.

I’ve had to listen to these things, while I mourned my own relationship. I was even spoken to as if I enjoy breakups. Ive been dumped twice, I’ve initiated break ups twice(only two were “actual” relationships). All 4 were extremely trash, albeit this one isn’t as bad as the last one. If I could AVOID breakups, I would. And good lord, did I try to avoid this one.

I’ll never tell you what to tolerate and not tolerate in your relationships. Do know, however, that if you tolerate something you actually can’t deal with, it’s going to kill you from the inside. Then your choice becomes “do something about it” or “die”. I hope you won’t choose the latter.

I will never be that person who bends their moral and personal standards so far that they are no longer themselves, Just to keep the peace. Just to be happy. Just for “things to be ok”. My ex is a good enough person, but I can’t get down with certain shit she does, that she is not willing to change. So, I went on my way.

I knew in my heart and soul I could not deal with said transgression long term. So I made my choice. That should be fine with everyone. It’s not. Oh well.

When I say “transgression” do know I don’t mean “STOP MAKING ME SLEEP IN THE WET SPOT!!” or “HOW MANY TIMES ARE WE GONNA WATCH LOVE AND HIP HOP, OMFG!”. It was SERIOUS. You can ask anyone who dated me (no you can’t, you don’t know them), I’m really not a nitpicker, I’m going to let you live. I just want you to be safe, I want you to be happy, I want you to be alive. I don’t care about anything else, honestly. I want you to operate as your best self, even if our visions don’t align on what that means.

People are treating me “differently”….because I broke up with a woman. It’s unbelievable. It’s irritating. It’s a SUPER minority (I’m talking less than 5 people here), but it exists. I haven’t really paid attention to it recently, but the fact that they even EXIST makes my blood boil.

One of my very close friends told me “you always run, you should talk it out, you don’t love your girlfriend???”, the MINUTE I told him we split. No “are you ok?” or “whats been going on with you two”, just that, scolding. Chastizing. Then acted like I was ridiculous for requesting empathy first and disagreement later. He went on to say that “I always take the moral high ground and expect it from other people”, as if what I ask is too much or the wrong thing to do.

Took him two weeks and two separate arguments to admit he was wrong. I just stopped speaking.  We probably won’t be speaking too much going forward, because he’s done this repeatedly, and questioned my character in such bullshit ways. He told me to not break up with a previous girl and said I was being hasty, and “omg she’s so cool and so smart how could you” etc., etc and basically went to war with me over MY breakup. Never mind the fact that said girl came back in a few months and said “you were right for dumping me, I understand why.” So if she understands, why can’t you? And if I’m of such poor character, wouldn’t this be coming from someone else? It NEVER has. It’s all so crazy.

Her “mistake” that did us in, opened my eyes to other weak points in our relationship that I didn’t make enough of a stir about, that I let spin out of control. I am an enabler, in that sense. That means I wasn’t without blame for what my relationship became. But it simply was past the point of fixing. So I stepped up and handled it. Predictably, she said some totally out of line things in the aftermath, that just solidified my decision. I don’t lose sleep over those words; I don’t lose sleep over being vilified by people that don’t matter. I can only be true to myself, and I live that every day I wake up.