This new playlist series is dedicated to the music that helped mold me as a woman. These songs are the soundtrack to my childhood. In this first playlist, I focus on me and my father's relationship from a little girl to now, a grown woman. He sang these songs to me as we walked to Dunkin Donuts to get my favorite donut [chocolate glazed] and as he drove me back and forth from New Jersey to Maryland for college. Although our relationship isn't perfect, I wouldn't trade my old man for anything in this world. I Love You Dad.
'You know you my girl, diamonds and pearls'
*posted on blackbloggerchick.com in July 2017*
On Mothers I'm not just doing this because this is my brother. I'm really on the road blasting his work just like I blast J. Cole. It's just dope to say that my blood is ill enough for me to do a write up on them. Nick Mills, a 28 year old rapper from North Jersey just dropped a new project titled "Forever Live" and it's LIT. Doing this write up means everything to me because it's my first, this is family, and also because I've seen my brothers growth from $tack to Nick Mills.
Before y'all ask, no I didn't ask my brother what the project meant in his eyes. This is strictly what I got from the project from listening
This particular piece of work is in my opinion his best to date. The vibe is really something different. From top to bottom this album was very nostalgic. "Forever Live" or "IVRLV", simply means after you die, your legacy lives on forever. This whole album is a lowkey reflection of his life and becoming a man.
"Beaming", is the first song after the Intro and it's actually a Part II to God Body from his last project, Dream Royale [which happens to be my favorite song on that album]. As you continue to listen, you'll realize that Beaming is basically a summary of the whole project. As he goes into each song it's like he breaks it down and addresses every part from each bar in Beaming. "Save Your Soul", "Sun", and "The World Is Yours" I feel like are the songs where he begins to settle into himself as a man and while also becoming more aware of his surroundings.
Now the Interlude "Help Me See", is giving me He's phoney/She fake/ That's The type of people I hate in a real chill kind of way. Used to be my dog you was in my left chest/ Scream ride or die but you die with the rest, joint had me reevaluating my whole circle and deleting numbers. Whoever crossed the fam like this gotta square up with me. All seriousness though, this song is dealing with the loss of not a friendship, but a brother at the time you really need them. Now "Ventilation", is addressing everything that he was going through at the time. The birth of his children, his relationship with his "brother" that he lost in "Help Me See" and his father. Basically it was the breakdown before the Glo. I swear to God I never lost a step. If I did, I got it back tho. In "Dreams Die" Nick is basically like, I'm in my bag again. Although Nick starting to catch the rhythm of being a man, he wasn't about to let his love of rap. Although he dreamed of the stable house and family situation, rapping didn't have to die with the birth of this new chapter.
"Fixin The House" is probably my favorite song that my brother has made in his whole career. [I'm bias in this opinion because I actually lived this] From "1113" to "917" to buying his own house, Nick raps about facing the same obstacles he watched our parents faced. While he reflects, he tries to avoid those same mistakes. He also briefly raps about me a lil' bit in the first verse. Yes, I really did go EVERYWHERE with my brother when I was younger. I sat in basketball practices, went to scrimmages and games, and ate his terrible Kraft Mac & Cheese. The last song "Goddess", honestly, I feel like this song is for my sister in law which is self explanatory considering the fact they just had their second child [Shoutout to The Boyz & Muncha]
Basically, my brother fire and y'all should listen to him. Click here to listen to Forever Live and here for Dream Royale. You can also buy Forever Live merch here.
Don't forget to follow him [@nickmillsmusic] and download the album.
2018 was trash but the music was memorable, especially in the last quarter. I wanted to give my personal reflections of my top 5 favorite albums of the year [key word = albums]. One thing about me is that I enjoy full bodies of work. Mostly because I’m always taking a road trip but also because I appreciate the thought artists put into making a whole project. All five albums (and the honorary mentions) below have all held a special place in my heart this year. Here is my personal reflection.
1. kod x j.cole
If you don’t know, J. Cole is my favorite rapper. I always talk about how much his bodies of work resonate with me personally on my platforms. Cole always seems to drop something at a time when I’m going through a pivotal moment in my life. At that point in the year, I faced a very low point in my life as I going through major professional and personal changes and really just my beginning stages of becoming a woman. Music has always been my coping mechanism, especially J. Cole’s.
“I’d rather see you stand up and face them than run away”
Honestly, this album is my favorite body of work Cole has dropped since Friday Night Lights [my favorite mixtape of ALL TIME. Yes, I said all time.]
Top 3: Window Pain, Once An Addict, FRIENDS
2. victory lap x nipsey hussle
West Coast rap always reminds me of the summer time. I’m a firm believer of full bodies of work being cohesive. Nipsey never fails to deliver. All summer 2018, I had this in rotation as I made my trips up and down the east coast [follow my Moves w/ Blu highlight on Instagram, by the way].
"I done took my name and carved it in the cement"
In my opinion, Nipsey has that thing that Jay, Rick Ross, & lately, even Meek, has. The ability to influence people to go harder. That get up and get to the money music. Nipsey though, has what they don’t have which is that ability to make it sound/ feel relaxing.
Top 3: Blue Laces 2, Grinding All My Life, Double Up
3. beloved x styles p & dave east
As some may know, I have two older brothers. One is a rapper, one is a producer. I also grew up on the North side of Jersey (the best side), traveling to the Bronx almost every other week. When I tell y’all, I grew UP on New York rap, I really mean that. The Ghost has always been one of my brothers favorites so any time I hear him, along with others like: Nas, DMX, and throwback Jay, it feels nostalgic. This album was where my childhood and my adult life met. Dave East is one of my current favorite rappers and Styles is what I grew up on. This album seemed to make me feel like I was that little girl in the backseat on my brothers Chevy Malibu again but this time, I’m driving my own whip down I-95.
“I ain’t dead or in jail so now momma can brag on me”
This album was gritty and truly what New York rap is. This duo was really the best thing I’ve heard to come out of north in a brick.
Top 3: In The Jungle, Do You Know What Time It Is, For All My N*ggas
4. tina snow x megan thee stallion
Now let me tell y’all about my HOT GIRL. I found out about Megan Thee Stallion on Twitter through this freestyle [here]. She gives bars and body. Every song on this album gives you those dancing in the mirror when you're supposed to be getting ready vibes. Megan, in my opinion, had the best project that came from a female rapper this year. When she said “Everything I write is a bad bitch theme song” she really meant that. This year was truly the re-rise of Freak Nasty female rap. 2019, Stalli is coming for you heauxs!
“I don’t hang with b*tches I ain’t getting money with”
Side note: I’m really here for a Beyoncé x Megan Thee Stallion collab. Do it for Texas, ladies. Please.
Top 3: Good At, Tina Montana, Neva
5. detoxic x jayme shayne
In 2018, my love life was in shambles and I don’t know how I would’ve got through it without this album. For about two weeks straight in June, I literally played this album as I cried outside my office before going into work. Yea, it's *that* kind of album. This album had it all from radio bangers to melodic ballads. This album was raw, unfiltered, and soulful.
Sidenote: Twitter is the source of a lot of new music/ artists I find [Shoutout to @Jo_GotGame because he’s the reason why I know who Jayme Shayne is].
“N*ggas gon be n*ggas, and these boys they gon be boys, but these men they gon protect you”
This whole album, top to bottom, has been the therapy that I didn’t know that I needed. This album holds a special place in my heart because I was going through that stage in my womanhood when I came across it and music [and dance] has always been my coping mechanism.
Top 3: Ready, Michelle, Cuddy (Honorary Mention: Fool For Love)
Karma 2 x Dave East
Top 3: Levelin’ Up, Russia, Cut Em Off
Invasion of Privacy x Cardi B
Top 3: Get Up 10, Best Life, She Bad
Everything Is Love x The Carters
Top 3: Boss, Nice, Friends
Eazy Call x Eric Bellinger
Top 3: Main Thang, Ain’t Ya Ex, Role Play
Fully Loaded x Shy Glizzy
Top 3: 30s 50s 100s, Where We Come From, I Need Mo
listen to my favorites on tidal & apple music below.