I haven’t done a Sound Off in quite some time, but I don’t want this series to be ignored on the blog. The Sound Off series is all about a wide range of issues I want to address and spark conversation. Warning: These are my views and I would love to hear yours in the comments below. This is not censored or filtered so if it that’s what you’re into, this series isn’t for you.
The holiday season is in full swing and I wanted to share my wish list featuring the website Spring.Com. Spring offers a variety of products from clothing to beauty, home decor, and entertainment from top brands such as: Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Warby Parker, Kate Spade, J Brand, American Apparel, Smashbox, and countless others. What’s great about Spring is that not only can you surf on the web, but there’s a convenient app to shop for yourself or your loved ones with just the click of a button. Small budget, no problem. There’s items for the high end and low end.
As for my wish list I comprised items based on need and want. I also made sure to keep my ideal budget under $500. I’ve been downsizing a lot from my closet to my overall possessions so I added items that I would actually use. There’s no sense in adding items to a wish list that I would not see myself actually using for a long period of time.
I picked out two pairs of eyeglasses. The two styles I picked out have a similar shape except one is a complete frame. Price wise, both frames fall in under $350, but for me that’s no problem since I wear my glasses ALL THE TIME!
Next up, SHOES! I’ve been having Hunter rain boots on my wish list for quite some time and until I actually buy a pair they’ll always be added. Then there’s FRYE boots which I love. The style i chose has a cute low chunky heel and they’re over the knee. Hunter rain boots are $160 while the FRYE boots are more of a splurge at $498.
I’ve always wanted a sheepskin jacket and this reversible one would be a great addition to my wardrobe. With the camel colored side I could pair it with countless outfits, but flipping it to the white side I’d love to do a white cozy outfit. White jeans, white flowy top, and a white beanie. I’d probably add grey as well since I won’t really wear all white. Great staple to a wardrobe especially in a colder climate.
I found this cute chain necklace that it one of my favorite styles of jewelry. This one has a gold plate in the middle. Then there’s the bluetooth speaker that I’d love to have. I wonder just how much ‘umph’ would come out of it.
My favorite add to the wish list are the lippie trios. The lipstick, lip pencil, and lip gloss are an awesome deal for just $69 from the brand Charlotte Tilbury. I couldn’t forget to add a bang for your buck item to my wish list. Awesome deal!
Click the links below to check out all the item featured. Happy Holidays:
The 2015 MTV VMAs aired last night, ,and in case you missed it there were plenty of hashtags on Instagram to keep you up to speed. Congrats to all the winners including:
- Best Female Video / Pop Video / Collaboration: Taylor Swift, ‘Bad Blood’
- Best Male Video: Mark Ronson x Bruno Mars, ‘Uptown Funk’
- Best Hip-Hop Video: Nicki Minaj, ‘Anaconda’
- Artist to Watch: Fetty Wap, ‘Trap Queen’
- Best Editing: Beyoncé, ‘7/11’
Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music. There’s so music that I’d like to highlight along with my take on the “new” sound of music. Click HERE to check out my previous edition and let’s get into this week.
Last year Queen Bey set the stage on fire with a medley of her self-titled album as she was honored with the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award. The year before Justin Timberlake performed a medley of his hits and even reunited with his NSync bandmates as he was honored. This year at the 2015 VMAs, Kanye West will be honored with the award.
Here’s another edition of This Week In Music. Click HERE for the previous edition and click the links below for other news this week:
- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to be Inducted into Library of Congress
- Single Review: Rihanna, ‘B*tch Better Have My Money’
In other news, Destiny’s Child has reunited, yet again, this time at the 30th annual Stellar Awards for a performance of Michelle’s ‘Say Yes’ (click HERE for that video review). From the Instagram clips Beyoncé was feeling herself last night (pun intended), but it was great to see all three on stage. Every artist has a zone and it was clear that Michelle was comfortable on stage, they all sounded great, and they were having fun. The show will air on TV One, April 5th. In the meantime, check out a snippet of the performance HERE.
It’s been a big week for Rihanna as she’s released a new single off her upcoming album (link above) and her animation debut, ‘Home’, has topped the box office with $54 million in its opening. She’s featured not only in the movie, but 3 songs on the soundtrack. Other artists featured include Jennifer Lopez and Charlie XCX. Click HERE to purchase soundtrack and be sure to check out the movie in theaters.
Moving on to chart news, congrats to Kendrick Lamar for having the #1 album in the country. To Pimp a Butterfly tops the Billboard 200 with 324,000 copies sold in its first week, The album was released a week prior to its scheduled date, but that didn’t stop it from topping the charts. In at #2 is last weeks #1 album, the Empire Soudntrack. Over on the Hot 100, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are sitting comfortably with ‘Uptown Funk’ (check out the remix HERE). So far the track has been on the chart for 17 weeks.
The iHeartRadio Music awards air tonight (3/29) so be on the lookout this week for a review of the performances.
In celebration of Ne-Yo’s 32nd birthday, I thought I’d highlight my favorite album of his, Because of You. The album was released May 1, 2007 and four singles were released: ‘Because of You’, ‘Do You’, ‘Can We Chill’, and ‘Go On Girl.’ It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and became his second #1 album. In My Own Words debuted at #1 as well. The album sold 251,000 copies in its first week which was about 50,000 less than his debut. The album went on to win Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 2008 Grammy’s.
Out of the 12 tracks my top 5 would be (in no particular order):
- ‘Because of You’
- ‘Leaving Tonight’ (feat. Jennifer Hudson)
- ‘Make It Work’
- ‘Do You’
- ‘Say It’
- BONUS – ‘Go On Girl’
My friend was so obsessed with Ne-Yo that anytime I would be with her this album would be playing in rotation. At the time I was about sick of hearing it, but there’s no denying that this is every bit of R&B classic, to this generation at least. I love an R&B album that does not have many features and this one only features two: ‘Crazy’ with Jay-Z and one of my favorites, ‘Leaving Tonight’, with Jennifer Hudson. The album touches on just about everything and hones on his skillful writing of love songs. There’s the breakup tracks (‘Go On Girl’/’Leaving Tonight’/’Ain’t Thinking Bout You’), let’s hold on tracks (‘Do You’/’Make It Work’/’Angel’), the love songs (‘Crazy’/’Because of You’/’Can We Chill’) and he wouldn’t be an R&B crooner without singing about sex (‘Say It’/’Addicted’/’Sex With My Ex’).
While I’m not the biggest fan of his latest music, this is definitely one for the books and even seven years later I can still listen to it from beginning to end, reverse, and on shuffle. I would love another Ne-Yo album like this. His music stands alone to not have to keep up with what’s currently on the radio.
Jazmine Sullivan is back with another track off her upcoming, yet to be titled, 4th studio album. After a four year hiatus Jazmine gave fans what they were waiting for, new music. Her first single back out the gate was ‘Dumb’ featuring Meek Mill (CLICK HERE for my review) and compared to her previous work it was not a good lead single at all. While I love her voice I just wasn’t a fan and I hated the video. What should’ve been able to hit the radio waves after a hiatus did nothing. R&B singers like to put rappers on their tracks to reach a broader urban audience, but not in this case.
This time around she dropped the bass and released a ballad, ‘Forever Don’t Last’ and I absolutely love it. She starts off singing in a lower tone before transitioning into her raspy sound. Moving into the second verse she does the same thing and I love that versatility in her voice. Lyrically she sings about being in a relationship that seems perfect from the start and then goes left. Hence the title, ‘Forever Don’t Last’. That picture perfect image that all comes to a halt in this track. I absolutely love it and if this is the direction she is going I’d rather listen to an R&B album than something that is just trying to make her mainstream.
Take a listen to the track below:
Usher performed his latest single, ‘She Came to Give It To You’ LIVE at the VMAs this past Sunday (8.24) and the visual has arrived along with a new single ‘Believe Me’ (review on its way). The theme of the video is an underground club. He was into a corner store, walks to the back and there’s men playing cards as he makes his way past them moving to the club part. That part of the video isn’t anything that I haven’t seen before as Trey Songz featured a similar concept in his ‘Na Na’ video (CLICK HERE for that review). Initially upon seeing still shots from the video I thought it looked a lot like ‘U Don’t Have to Call’, but I am surprised and really enjoyed it.
Getting back into the review, once Usher gets into the club, the beat drops and he is dancing his ass off. He’s performing the song with a band at certain scenes and at other times he’s singing in shadows with a dancer. The choreo is really nice and while it’s nothing crazy I love the vibe of the moves with the sound. As I stated in track review, this vibe reminds me of Earth Wind and Fire. I love how he was able to build on the groove and make it modern.
Insert Nicki Minaj who doesn’t make her appearance inside the club, but she’s in the TV room which was shown earlier in the video. She raps and does her thing and then she and Usher have cute little still shots in the video. Other than the short Pharrell cameo, Usher’s love interest in the video was Taylour Paige from Hit The Floor. Kudos to Usher on this one. I really like it.
“This album means a lot to me. People been waiting on this album and I’m just at the point in my life and stuff to have my mom on there. It’s more than an accomplishment, it’s an achievement.”
The album will feature ‘Believe Me’, ‘Krazy’, and ‘Grindin”