Category Archives: Reviews

The Album About Nothing

THE TRILOGY IS NOW COMPLETE!

cover download The_album_about_nothing

Wale is known to create amazing mix tapes filled with coordination and just all around wave of known direction, but his albums always seem to flop, they’re always all over the place, and they never have a theme to them. He ended this mix tape theme with an album and i think he hit the nail on the head this time. 2 thumbs up.

But, I have no idea if its because he thinks too hard when it comes to working on album projects but they always seem to go really bad. Wale’s best songs are always the shortest ones and he tends to recreate them later on with a feature that doesn’t suit it and then later making a video that does not exceed my expectations. But his intentions are always so strong, the messages are there, i see the potential but either the beat don’t match the song, the delivery got lost and etc.

But Wale is one of the most overlooked under-rated under-credited lyricists and artists ever and he has hit his mark on this album. I hate his cockyness and the way he comes across sometimes but he’s always been like that, that is who is he is and can’t take away from talent.

TAAN is filled with messages and great music. The song titles and themes are soo cool. I think he gets lost in wordplay a lot and the messages tend to get lost but overall its good music.

P.S this album was the weakest use of the Seinfeld skits in my opinion.


On this blog post i am joined with my boy Geoffrey (the most hardcore Wale fan i know, you’ll see why) to break down each song on the album.

Read and Enjoy!


The Intro About Nothing

Talks about his growth and journey as time has gone by while living his dreams. The song is just a celebration of life and is not about anything specific, basically about nothing. But has that good ole feel good vibe that makes u wanna hear how it turns out – Rachael

The way this album started is how in my honest opinion ever album should.It gives you a certain enthusiasm to keep on listening to be hopeful. Wale nailed it with this one. – Geff


The Helium Balloon

You’re a balloon you’ve got that helium and we’re following you through the string. We’re following your message through the music. Talks about his connection with the people has changed, they wanna see him grow but not get better. I fell in love with this song first listen because i love when hiphop collaborates with reggae, im so in love with it. – Rachael

The merging of hip hop/rap/reggae makes for a good fusion. This here helium balloon is proof of that, with the inclusion of some Seinfeld narratives. Wale’s play on lyricism shines most definitely on here. – Geff


The White Shoes

The clothes and shoes you wear make you feel better about yourself/ Its not about where you going but how you’re looking. Even though you couldn’t afford the shoes you wanted you worked to get them. You’ll be alright as long as your sneakers white. But people kill for sneakers they die to be fresh. – Rachael

A very powerful message driven song, entailing that the latest trends within the urban community make or break you. When in fact its the man that makes the clothes not the opposite. Confidence comes from within the material is just an enhancer. The moral is to never let vanity nor materialism consume you cause there are more important things. – Geff


The Pessimist

“I don’t want hope, hope is killing me” I want to be hopeless, when you hopeless, you don’t care. Hard to exist in this world where everything that is going on around us is telling us we cannot win. All the problems going on in the world, and it still makes no difference. Different perspectives on the hopeless world. A cry for help for the urban community but at the same time giving up on it. J Cole stop singing hooks! haha – Rachael

Is the glass empty or is the glass half full. That is the question that is relevant to everyone. Satisfaction is one of the hardest things to feel. Race, gender, celebrity, occupation… all these things matter on how you’re perceived whether you want it or not. You’ll try as hard as you can to change it but society has a view that is difficult to alter so because of it hatred stems and we turn on each other instead of uplifting. This is the hidden gem within the album i should say ( Wanted a J Cole verse though) – Geff


The Middle Finger

People want to talk. Who is who, rumors and hear say. Trust is taken for granted. Wale don’t really fuck with nobody that hard. he’s basically saying how some people (fans) know of him and some people still don’t. He is growing through it all. But still fuck your feelings type attitude. –Rachael

People are gonna talk. Rumors will fester up its what you do when all that turmoil or hate gets in your face. What are you gonna do? Fold or keep ya head up high. This is definitely a song of empowerment to build the strength to tell others simply how the song says.. “fuck you leaveeee me alonee! yeaa ” ( my personal favorite) – Geff


The One Time in Houston

Nobody wants to be with somebody that loves them, they want to be with someone that hates them. “I’m never saying i love you first” I get unrequited love from this. These girls mingle with everyone and are unattached all the time. He feels that women are choosy and in it for the fun. he says women don’t possess any real feelings of love anymore. – Rachael

It’s something about Houston, TX that makes rappers go loco (an oasis maybe) The i love you comment is heavy its one of those things where if you say it and don’t reciprocate it back its kind of like getting shot in the heart. Don’t ever love a stripper its a business in the modern day brothel, it guess it happens to everyone this was just wale’s unique story. – Geff


The Girl’s on Drugs

The women he observes are just partying and doing drugs all day. They are troubled and lost and at a stage in their life where they tend to be unfocused on real things. Its the new cliche girl we see today all over social media and in the popular scenes. They are soo insecure “Told me nobody love her and so she cutt her wrist, she wanna get high because she feeling low” Deep line right there. Message to society right now. The things we do to cope are drowning us. . – Rachael

If you’re a Wale fan this isn’t the first confrontation with this masterful track, being that it was already on “Festivus” I fell in love with it now and it still holds up even in the midst of new content and it fits perfectly even better then it did on the previous project. – Geff


The God Smile

My personal favorite song on the album. The production on this cannot fail to have me bumping my head or moving my body, i walk with more confidence when this song is on. Its like a soundtrack to life blessings in the winners circle. Luxury of life, feeling blessed. Having a good circle and knowing the people that were with you are still with you. Reminiscing on the old times when you were slept on and believing in god no matter how the system is set up. Nigga said “everybody slept, then i came back, killing everybody nap like a hot comb” I was crying laughing like wow woah – Rachael

The vibe of this song just screams (whip music), drop top sunny day with a rasp-berita feel good vibe, okay back on track. This track is about all the work Wale has done all the trials and tribulations he has gone through he still remains the same and the people he has grow with they still continue to this day to be his mains…he is the light that illuminates his friends so he could put them on and they can continue to do the same. DC is his castle. – Geff


The Need to Know

Friends with benefits. But actual friends. Keeping a relationship on the low and keep it steady casual. Sample from Musiq Soulchild’s “Just Friends”, SZA on the lyrics, i like the switch up with the gender and the riffs she added her spin to it. Keep people out your business, only tell them what they need to know. Getting to know someone. HUGE messages to society in this track because we live in a world where titles mean nothing and understanding mean everything and we either expose too much of our personal or hide it all. But keeping it on a NEED TO KNOW, wow perfect name. – Rachael

SZA killed it this was my most anticipated track on the album because i’m a big SZA fan. This track spoke to me because of its ability to relate, titles are unnecessary exposure to the public. As long as there is a level of understanding that’s all that matters. “So we keep it low, keep it all on a need to know” couldn’t have said it better myself. – Geff


The Success

Making nothing into something. Humility coming from nothing and thriving for more. The different perspectives of the struggle on the strive to success. Keep growing with your success. Motivation record, gospel uplifting feel. – Rachael

The Success that Wale has garnered is at times doubted. He often gets the title of arrogrant, cocky and asshole but with all those titles he never gets called overrated. He has worked to get his position. Often times heralded as this generations lyricist of lyricists this isa track that is subtle but yet smacks it into the public that he is successful and should be placed as one of the top 4 – Geff


The Glass Egg

Stay the same don’t ever change. Doing good business with good people. Balancing business with pleasure and knowing who is true. DO YOU. Grow and leave the leaches behind if it comes down to it. So many messages but this was one the clearest one.  “Balance a bitch. Cause who on your back and who got your back, i promise the line is this thin.” – Rachael

The message in this track is to never let anyone or anything compromise you as a person. If you know one way will get you good results don’t change them to accommodate anyone else. Either they get on the bus or get left. Feelings won’t translate into results. This is another one of my favorites because i had to play it over and over to get the meaning (like a puzzle of a song) – Geff


The Bloom (AG3)

Okay this is like pursuing a woman and telling her to be secure in him and to let her guard down. I accept you as you are kind of thing. An ode to the ambitious girl again. The metaphoric use to compare a woman to a flower from the ground up. Getting to know someone in and out and watching them bloom like a flower infront of you. – Rachael

Every girl is a flower but what makes them bloom is the drive to want to get the ambition. When they know that they’re god’s gift to the earth and can have anything handed to them but they choose to get it for themselves. Any guy with the right mind would find this beautiful, gorgeous and sexy no matter what. – Geff


The Matrimony

The roller coaster to marriage. A new experience, a commitment you won’t know how to do until you do it. A new chapter in life. Fighting temptation and putting your woman first, promising her a future and confessing your love. The feeling you get when you finally differentiate one person from the rest of the world and want to make them significant. Also the fear of love because of past breakups and experiences and Wale reveals to us a past miscarriage he had in the past. Ursher baby on the track and i sing along everytime. – Rachael

How do you act once you get to a wedding (personal question i always ask myself, never having the opportunity to be in one. That time is soon coming), let alone being able to get someone to marry you. Marriage is a big step. What if it fails? Its like telling whoever attended your a failure. This is grown folks music, that new black soul. Usher really went back to form 2004-2008 confessions- here i stand mode. I won’t be surprised if people get married to this in the future. Great Track – Geff


The Body

One of those songs pushed towards the female crowd. So flattering and motivational. It shows an appreciation for women that we all know Wale has. The trying to win a girl over phase. The lines and wordplay in this song are soo smooth and Jeremih gives it a soft vibe. Sexy lip sync vibe, production so chill. – Rachael

The sexual-ism of the woman body. An ode to women. The best way to end an album smooth, slow track. This is Wale’s second best album next to “Ambition”. This album got me looking forward to his 5th musical endeavor. – Geff


The Summer League

Summer League was the last song on TAAN btw – Rachael

I only heard it once, to be honest, my memory on it is vague. – Geff

I don’t really like it, im about to leave it out. Because you right, its not memorable. Sorry Ye’ – Rachael


Since this album has released. Wale has come out with two music videos. The White Shoes and The Girls on Drugs.

WATCH HERE

The White Shoes

The Girls on Drugs

GOMD Video Interpretation

 J Cole – GOMD. Enjoy!

The track GOMD, written and produced by J Cole on his 2014 Forest Hills Drive album is about him not giving a damn about how Hollywood is changing him. He is unapologetic of his mindset and the type of music that he is beginning to be influenced by. Then, he stops that rant about changing and redirects to how real music is not being made anymore. He talks about wanting to make music about real love and how we should all get back to when music had deep messages. Cole wants to go back to his hometown and back to Jermaine. My interpretation of the song is basically that you can adapt to Hollywood and change and make catchy poppin music as long as you don’t forget your main goal, and for him that is delivering music with great messages.


First look into J Cole’s GOMD music video. Expectations were of course, something off topic because he is known to have very mind bending shocking videos about more important topics rather than video vixens and flashy rapper status. The video is set in an old-school colonial slave period on a hot sunny morning. Cole plays the “light-skin” house slave. Then, as i kept watching i realized that he ran the house and the slaves, AKA the head house slave. All the slaves inside and outside the house don’t really like him, talk to him or show any form of respect for him. The plantation owners don’t really like him either ( for obvious reasons), BUT he is treated better than the rest and greeted by them. During these hard times J Cole seems to be the only happy mind in the bunch trying to uplift others. Everybody else seems to be stuck in their own routines and defeated mindsets. The daughter of the plantation owner seems to have a soft spot for J Cole and the slaves. Since he is the head slave in charge he is allowed to be around the owners in their vulnerable state and gains an opportunity to steal the keys to a closet that contains weapons. While stealing the weapons, J Cole is almost interrupted and caught but the young daughter distracts. After capturing weapons, he tried to gather up all the slaves of the house, some were hesitant towards him at first, until they saw the weapons. They go on to attack the owners and free themselves. They tie them up and dance around the bonfire. . . WOW.

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Overall, to me, this video is genius. But its way deeper than the reminder of the oppression we faced. Cole is trying to convey to us what could and would’ve happened if we worked together against the whites. Not that this probably wasn’t thought of and tried of back then but he’s trying to show what would happen if we worked together sufficiently. I also get like racial and complexion strains between black people in this. It depicts the root of the light skin dark skin resentment. Since he was lighter and worked in the house the darker slaves had a lot of animosity towards him and didn’t want to cooperate. This is a reason why slaves back then had trouble forming unity, because they were taught to hate one another.

Its clear that this wasn’t just about racism, it was about unity and togetherness. This video was compared a lot to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. I think both J Cole and Kendrick Lamar convey the same messages to the people. They are for a fact good friends and have admitted to bouncing ideas off of one another in the creative process of making their albums and just about society in general. They both touch on unity, racism and revolution. I like this video alot and it was daring and made me think outside the box, we also saw J Cole do a little bit of acting which was cool. Can’t wait to see his next visual project!


Comment below if you want to add anything i missed, have any commentary or just feedback! 🙂

To Pimp a Butterfly Critique

Caution: Before you read this critique, please listen to the album beginning to end because this might spoil it for you! Heard the full album already? Carry on.

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To Pimp a Butterfly, the Title. It was hard to grasp my mind around the title. I kept saying A Pimp to a Butterfly by accident and kept hearing “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee” in my mind. The title alone was beautiful. My initial interpretation was The butterfly is born in a weird state and now needs pimping? Hmm. I couldn’t wait for that Butterfly stuck in that cocoon to break free because we waited this long for it to be out. Uh like 2 years Kendrick? We all know Kendrick comes from a dark place and tries to release positivity to the people so i hoped the album could be a beautiful reflection of the name.

As i started to listen to the album im like OH NO … this is not for anybody, this is for the deep-rooted soulful eclectic mind. I admit i was bored in the beginning because i EXPECTED hype music because that’s what I’m used to right now as far as the “rap game”. The content and production hit me by surprise. I was wrong to expect and i was wrong to assume Kendrick was a follower. It was truly a reality check, like the turn up is over (for now). This is for the “raised right”, damn this is for the black empowerment movement. Most won’t understand this musical vibe Kendrick!, the composition. I got scared like man, they gonna kill this brother. Its real. This is not a hard knocker, this is not a chart topper, this is not an album of bangers, not hits and not smashes.

 

This album is opposite of the current topics of our music today (excluding the few positive influences we do have). If you’re used to listening to music like this all the time like i am you can appreciate its eclecticism. It is Hip Hop, but it’s also Rhythm, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Reggae and Soul. Like let me say this, LOOK UP THE DAMN list of producers, musicians and artists alone on this album, straight legendary. Plus these are genres that black people influenced and created. It represents the roots. Its music for the inner peace, about current events, made to make you FEEL. And in my opinion, inner peace matched with powerful words make beauty. The topics on this album were very clear. This album is very political, it includes topics on.. wait i can’t say topics because these weren’t topics, these tracks were more like scenes.. scenes about skin tone, complexion, the urban settings, racism, social acceptance, self relfection, money, influence, and conflicts amongst our people and you can go on and on. He is using his power to generate knowledge amongst the people and is using his tools for better use. Coming from another Kendrick Lamar fan, “He’s not gonna get love from one track minded people and he understood that and for him to take a risk and eliminate them from his targeted audience is genius” (@god.qualities_) Yo, he put up his rep to show his fans something different and i agree with that one hundred percent. Smart Move.

 

But Sidebar, this gives me Erykah Badu meets Pac and Em with Outkast and Spike-Lee vibes but Kendrick is as unique as they come with a flow, lyricism, substance, deliver and technique that cannot be duplicated. This is an album you close your eyes too and motivate yourself to practice self-love self-sufficiency and activism. It’s a message and an influence.

Sidebar Part 2 : He finally introduced us to LUCY (Lucifer) aka the evil influence to power of fame.

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” i remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence…”

That recurring theme kept happening that he kept feeding us more and more of the sentence and i didn’t question it just kept listening looking for answers.

My favorite song on this album is “Momma” At first i fell in love with the background music, the old slow jazz samples, the melodies and whole vibe because paints a small movie in your mind. You legit feel like you’re standing right next to Kendrick and as you vision the story-line it feels very antique. It automatically makes u want to light a candle or incense and walk around barefoot in your natural state. Its sultry and relevant. But, what got me was the reflection of self in this song, Kendrick reflects on what he knows now, what he knew back then and what he still needs to improve on. . . second favorite song, “u”, MY NIGGA, the intensity of his depression and choked up words had me choked up. Getting a person like ME to emphasize with someone who cries, its very hard and my eyes teared up and i got chills down my spine. Heart was felt on that track, expression appreciated.

 

The album came full circle like a movie when the a recurring flashback finally got explained with when the recurring skit ended the album with a shocking appearance of Tupac Shakur. Mind blowing shocker to say the least. I paused and stopped everything i was doing because I felt Tupac through my phone and im like how can i question this when i know for a fact that man is no longer with us? Kendrick began by sharing with Tupac a small spoken word poem he had written and shared with us in bits throughout the album and Tupac responded and he then asked him questions he always wanted to know. It has a very the teacher and pupil vibe, the mentor to mentee. This was a great conversation and exchange of energy and perspectives on both parts. Alive or not, edited or not this message was loud and clear. Then at the end when Pac stops responding to him and he calls out his name repeatedly, heart stopping.

To pimp a butterfly
Definitely is gonna go down in the immortal album classics best of all time one day in my opinion. We know Kendrick and we know what he is capable of, this basically broadened his capabilities and proved that he can do ANYTHING. This is a piece/peace of avant-garde ART to go down in the musical gallery. If To Pimp a Butterfly does not get a Grammy, I quit. Na man, fuck the stats and fuck the Grammy’s i take that back. That shit don’t mean shit.

Big Sean’s Dark Sky Paradise

 

Yesterday, Big Sean graced us with his new album Dark Sky Paradise. I heard it earlier of course, because music gets leaked im always too impatient to wait, im a music enthusiast and I got the plug lmao. Firstly, I’m not even a fan of Big Sean. I have never heard a mix tape or album of Big Sean. I actually only hear his songs via TV/ Radio. I think of Big Sean as a little slow/corny, but catchy and flashy. I knew he had something though, because he’s signed with GOOD MUSIC.

This album changed my whole mindset of kid. I downloaded the album (no i didn’t buy it) and decided to listen and give it a chance. Me giving an artist a chance is really giving them a chance. I pause everything I’m doing and straight LISTEN. I either listen on a long train ride, in the shower or while cleaning my room. With Big Sean I listened while in the shower and while cleaning my room.

It was SO 🔥! Beginning to end— it was amazing! He had bars, nice collabs, awesome samples, clever skits, great production, great topics and all around Good Music! I couldn’t stop playing it. The whole fucking album was on repeat. He killed it and he won me over. He is definitely underrated and I can’t wait to see him grow some more.

So go check that out, and if you don’t like it, hey, you’re probably not human 😊. Nobody put me on to it, nobody told me to “go listen to it” ..I did it on my own and I’m happy I did.

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BTW– not to compare, but to compare, it had more of an impact on me than Drake’s “If You’re Reading This Its Too Late.” Album or Mix tape, I never thought anything Big Sean would be better than Drake. I don’t know if it was the content or just production but it was very smooth and non repetitive and had a story/ purpose through the album. I haven’t put my finger on it yet and maybe I don’t need to… I don’t care who does more numbers, because in my opinion, numbers are based on popularity and not quality and Drake for sure has more fans and exposure than Big Sean (reasons why we call them underrated.) But ill MAYBE compare their albums later if i feel like it.

This was just my really quick and really raw opinion on the album. I am open to debate and feedback. And oh, if you want to check out the album, but you’re too lazy to fully listen and want to know the “best songs” or know which were my favorite tracks.. NO! lol. Go listen to the whole thing. I dare you!