Tag Archives: music

Today’s Word is… ADELE

[Editor’s Note: THIS IS NOT A REVIEW, I don’t know why people would want a review of an album 24 hours after its release, do you really need someone to tell you that you like it.. Or do you just want some talking points to sound smarter when you discuss it? Pewn Pewn, shots fired. And now for your featured presentation]

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So I listened to Adele’s new album.  I loved it.  Maybe even more than her previous ones.  (Not to say it’s better, 21 musically is absolutely stellar and the more superior album).  25 is a tale of reflection on the one that got away, unrequited love and “this is probably a bad idea but fuck it, I need this” sex…shit, that’s my life.   (I won’t touch A Million Years Ago, because I don’t appreciate Adele strumming my pain with her fingers, singing my life with her words, it was like how I imagine Ronda Rousey felt when she caught that kick to the dome… I knew it was coming but I didn’t know it was coming…damn you!) As I listen, with each track it sets in that maybe I’m actually the on the wrong side of these love songs.  When did I become the bad guy in this movie?  Is this what white people felt when they first heard To Pimp A Butterfly or Black on Both Sides?  It’s like being the person who watches Hannibal and is like, you know he isn’t that bad, technically he is just hunting meat that can talk.  Care and manipulation, killing then eating…isnt that where chicken comes from?  See…. I’m turning heel.  Total, help me sang.

I also listened to Bryson Tiller’s debut album. (Yes I’m using Adele and Bryson Tiller in the same breath, just rock with me for a second) When I was able to move past the fact “Trap Soul” is just an meaty oaker made genre for artists who don’t got enough bars to rap and don’t have the range for traditional R&B and gave the album a fair spin, I liked… the first 6 songs.  I’ll take the mediocre (yes I just used mediocre again in case someone didn’t get the joke and thought I was an imbecile) singing over those tired yell raps.  What I did come away with is… This is what the other side sounds like;   A man who gets jealous when she tries to move on, tries to win back her heart even though he has no intentions on doing something with it.  A man who would take that offer for “one night only” even though he knows damn well she isn’t really bout that life.   A man who doesn’t get his ego stroked by his conquests but rather how sprung he can get her.  Shit… Am I that guy? 

Yes. Of course not.  Depends who you ask.  Look she grown she should know better. God ain’t thru with me yet.  The correct answer is that I was.  Without googling I can say Bryson Tiller has to be under 25, because that’s how an under 25 year old would do things.  (When you get over 30 then you can just say it’s sex addiction,  shoutout Eric Benet.)  I’m closer to Adele’s age than Bryson’s, closer to the antagonist in Adele’s songs than the protagonist in his.  I would’ve said Adele is doing it to herself,  but now I can say… You know what, I get it.  Growth and shit. 

As with most double standards, the same way no one wants to heat white people’s hurt feelings over the #inward, the one on the other end of the love song is the villain.  No matter how good you think you’ve elucidated or how logical your argument… If you’re the one breaking the heart it’s your fault.   I bet  Adele’s ex is somewhere like, yo but SHE ASKED to come over and SHE made the first move….. Been there bruh, been there. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… ARENBEE

I had to Musiq Soulchild it,  it’s been like 3 years why break format?  Anyway,  growing up I was a big R&B fan.  By default really, I had no music of my own so I borrowed my parents cassettes (omg am I old now?) and my sister’s CDs.   (My 7 year old nephew uses  Spotify…. kids these days, okay maybe I am old).   I’m not one of the super nostalgic types, while I can listen to 90s R&B and engage in online debate for  several productive work hours,  I’m also able to listen and enjoy current music.   It seems like ever since Nas declared hip hop dead and proceeded to make a mediocre album to serve as a eulogy,  the line in the sand was drawn and now with social media to echo bitterness no one seems to like…. Anything. Ironically,  as we have more access to music than ever before,  people still live in the past,  listening to 90s R&B and telling kids to get off the lawn. It’s perplexing to pay $10 a month for a streaming service and only listen to music you purchased 20 years ago.   But hey, not my ears.   As someone who chooses to live in the now,  I’ve just come to accept that R&B has been…. sundered.  In every era,  there was one dominant sound whether it was doo wop,  electropop, or new jack swing and slow jams.  This era is a bit more scattered.  For example there’s….

R&Buckfoy- This is probably the one that history will sadly label the era as a whole.   Dudes are too tough to love,  women are just hoes,  bitches and thots anyway.   Popular with the League of Ash-assins and dudes who never got hugs in high school.

Ex: Some dude who isn’t Chris Brown & French Montana -Can’t Trust Thots

PBR&B- or Alternative R&B,  will be the other label that would be used to describe this era of music 20 years from now.  A break from the previous era where the stars were confident heartthrobs, now are much more weird and vulnerable.  

Ex: The Weeknd weeknds Drunk In Love

R&ebriated- Artists these days do love….. Being drunk. A growing trend to sing the praises of alcohol that doesn’t pay you to do so.  *Insert Kermit Meme*

Ex: Elijah Blake x I Just Wanna

R&Biguous- Like in the early 2000s when every pretty brown skinned girl with a 24 inch sew in got a record deal,  these days it’s racially ambiguous girl next door types.   Unfortunately not much different from the Ashantis,  Brooke Valentines, Ameries,  Niveas,  this pretty faces don’t carry much of a tune either

Ex: Jhene Aiko – You Vs Them

Hard&B- A confusing bunch,  they can sing but think singing is soft so they try to over compensate their street cred.  It didn’t feel forced when Nate Dogg did it but then you see like a Chris Brown do it and it’s like,  cmon bruh.

Ex: Pictures say a thousand words

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You're singing a duet with Aaliyah fam

Slur&B- It’s not really singing you’re just kinda dragging your voice over music that sounds like a water level in Super Mario Bros.  This Drake’s fault.

Ex: Post Malone – White Iverson

White&B- aka Blue Eyed Soul or as I like to call #SneakyAthletic R&B,  is some of your typical R&B except because it’s a white man singing it, it’s much more popular.   It’s why Tank got lawn furniture in his living room and Sam Smith has Grammys in his. No shade tho,  it’s probably my favorite playlist on Spotify

Ex JMSN- Street Sweeper

R&Barz- Only way to describe whatever it is when people are basically singing rap lyrics over club beats

Ex Trap Queen… I refuse to make a link for it cuz I’m so tired of that damn song

R&90s- For those who can’t get with the new new, plenty of their favorite artists are still kicking…..except they’re still doing the same thing they were doing 20 years ago. 

Ex: Toni Braxton & Babyface – Roller Coaster

Then of course,  there’s Neo Soul,  but they saw the storm cloud and hopped on their lifeboat a decade ago.   They long gave up chasing hits and selling their souls to sell records (sideeyes Usher),  they have their fan bases and will shut down a House of Blues in a second.

So what happened to the R&B we knew and loved?   It still exists but to my point about neo soul it’s much more of a niche genre.  Art reflects the times,  and really,  people just find love boring.   Sure, a good breakup song will get some spins but a song like All of Me is a rare exception (because people love they ass some Chrissy). Also, society as a whole has become increasingly narcissistic, songs are no longer about being vulnerable and wooing a woman,  it’s more I know you want me so just pull em to the side.   Then of course,  there’s just a lack of appreciation for greatness…..but that’s another post entirely. Maybe.  If I get around to it.  I’m busy.

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Today’s Word is… TURMOIL

[EDITORS NOTE: 200 posts! I feel like this should be a happier post (like my 100th post wasnt on rape culture, a two parter at that) anyway, this was gonna be a twitter rant but as you can see that would’ve been a whole lotta tweets…so yeah…]

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*Opens Pandora*

Two of my bishes in the club….and I know they know about each other.

*skips track*

We’d be in the same room
We don’t ever say shit
Let’s keep it between me and you
And we cool (Cause they don’t know)

*skips track*

These heauxs ain’t loyal

R&B station I was listening to, or so I thought.  I always had somewhat of an old soul, when I came to music I listened to what people in the house did.  My mother was about her oldies, my eldest sister was about her R&B groups.  It’s a far cry from what R&B is considered now, dudes are too tough (August Alsina and the 10 lightskinned tatted ninjas who all sound alike) , too glow stick music-y (Usher, Ne-Yo) too high (The Weeknd).  Some songs are admittedly catchy but when did slow jams die out, when did it become unpopular to express love.  I miss wingman music, dudes singing what I wanted to say for me.  Enter the Dru has about 8 tracks that resonate with me to this day, I don’t care about artist X’s side chick. Its all about hindsight, Drake made a career singrapping about how he wasn’t shit; he’s not going to do better yet but still, its unfortunate.  Cry for him, Argentina.  Anyway,  it’s a reflection on the market, love and passion ain’t hot in these streets.  Love is boring.

And it should be.  

There’s this illusion that love is about overcoming adversity, competing with these other heauxs, break up to make up, who’s gonna text first, was that tweet about me? Nah.  If drama is fueling your relationship it’s going to end….badly…very badly.  Then again, sometimes you’re just so nice and drama free you find yourself getting dissed for a hoodrat or buckfoy because while they blowing up their phone with nonsense and all you did was say you hoped they had a good day.  It’s sad but true, I’ve stopped pleasant conversations with nice women because this other one pissed me off.  One time I wanted to clear the air with someone, got ignored, one subtweet later she had unlimited time and 75 WPM typing speed.  You can make her smile, but he made her cry herself to sleep, so that holds more weight. Nice is boring, sweet is boring, we crave drama and it’s pretty sad.  It’s why a Cosby show wouldn’t work in 2014, women resonate more with a Being Mary Jane than a Claire Huxtable.  Men resonate more with a dude from from Black Ink Crew than a Cory Matthews. 

Wait how did I get on this soapbox? Lemme step down.

Anyway, it’s a brave new world.  I think that’s just become my explanation for a lot of things.  I think disrespect has just become way too acceptable in mainstream society.  Men are way too comfortable disrespecting women,  ones they “love” or otherwise and women have adapted to just withstand it. To bring it full circle, its about overcoming adversity;

“he cheated on you? Don’t let that heaux tear away your family…..ENDURE.” 

“She cussed you out after you did something wrong? “Man, fuh that bih that thot ain’t sh t”

The new normal.  Or something.

-Stan-

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