If you’re working on MLK Day, cheer up! There’s a new Kanye track to make everything better

Last week I wrote about Kanye West’s incredible single “Real Friends” and Erykah Badu’s badass remix of the track. Like all Kanye fans, I was disappointed when Friday Jan. 15 came and went without a new drop — but thankfully Yeezy hasn’t forgotten us, he was just a little delayed in granting our wish.

This morning Kanye uploaded the full version of “No More Parties in L.A.” featuring Kendrick Lamar, produced by Madlib. This marks the first time Kanye and Kendrick have ever appeared on a track together and it doesn’t disappoint.

Kendrick may have garnered all the critical acclaim in 2015 for his flawless album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” but on “No More Parties in L.A.” Kanye proves he can easily keep up with the best rapper in the game.

Kanye’s new album “Swish” drops Feb. 11.

What’s better than new Kanye? Nothing. But this Erykah Badu remix comes damn close

Though plenty of people might disagree with me, I believe Kanye Wast is the greatest artist putting out new music today. From ambitious projects like “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” to turn-up anthems like “All Day” and sweet ballads like “FourFiveSeconds,” he’s proved himself to be as fearless as he is talented — completely ignoring the boundaries of familiarity. Nothing he does is redundant and it’s certainly never boring. He may be a complete ego-maniac, but he’s earned those bragging rights.

So when Yeezy put out a new track last Friday, his fan base (myself included) went completely batty. “Real Friends & No More Parties in LA” is stunning. It’s actually two songs in one; the former features Ty Dolla $ign, the latter features Kendrick Lamar. I heard the first leak and just left the song playing on repeat, too afraid to refresh the page for fear it would be taken down (which it was). Thankfully the forces of the internet are very powerful when it comes to disseminating a Kanye leak, and the song kept popping up somewhere new every time it was taken down. Eventually Ye put it up himself on Soundcloud and everybody breathed a collective sigh of relief and satisfaction.

Now that we’ve all had time to listen to the original roughly 1,000 times, it’s of course natural for remixes to start pouring in. But only one of those remixes is worthy of attention because it comes from the one and only Erykah Badu. This morning she released “Trill Friends” on her official Soundcloud page, an intriguing rework of Kanye’s latest effort.

It pales in comparison to the original, but it IS Erykah Badu, so I’m gonna go ahead and posit that this is the best remix we’re gonna get.

On the bright side, Kanye’s new album “Swish” is set for release Feb. 11. Bless up.

Missy Elliott’s Jack U Remix is the Only New Song You Need to Hear This Week

 

Songs evoke so much more than just a melody when you hear them. They trigger memories, bring back former loves, and even encompass entire time periods in your life. Perhaps that’s why most people in my age demographic completely lost their minds when they heard that unforgettable opening to Missy Elliott’s hit track “Work It” drop during Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show performance.

When I hear Missy, I remember my middle school days in Miami. I remember hearing that infamous beat from “Work It” blasting from phones in the hallway as preteen students walked from class to class, a pop in their step because you couldn’t hear it without wanting to twerk (and yes, Miami was already twerking in 2002). I remember hearing it at every party where I was still too awkward and shy around boys to actually dance with any of them, but had the best time dancing with my gal pals. Cooties, amiright?

Those are the memories and feelings that all came rushing back in the split second moment I realized Missy Elliott was about to become the Super Bowl MVP. I couldn’t be happier that her tunes have been experiencing an awesome resurgence since her halftime appearance. I hadn’t listened to her music in fuh-eva myself and I’ve been jamming to them for the past few weeks.

And so, to say the least, I was ECSTATIC when I trolled Soundcloud and realized that Missy’s back! Well, sort of. Not with original music, but with a dope remix of Jack U & Kiesza’s “Take U There.” It’s got the Missy flavor we all know and love on a very different kind of track for her.

Twerk. Twerk. Twerk.

 

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol. 7

With a little less than a week before I dive back into the 9-to-5 grind, I’m doing my best to soak up these last moments of work-free relaxation. Most of my friends went back to work yesterday after much-needed holiday trips — and the general consensus is that going back to work has been brutal. If you’re also feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of actually being productive post-holiday food coma and Netflix binges, this playlist should help perk your mood right up!

I’m off to enjoy 85 degree weather while I still can. Then it’s back to DC’s frigid temps on Thursday!

Your New Year’s Eve 2014 Playlists, Courtesy of Leather & Bourbon

As my mom putters around the house, enthusiastically planning every detail of tonight’s festivities, I’ve been thinking about all the effort that goes into planning a great party. Table decor, floral arrangements, food, champagne, champagne, champagne — there’s a lot to think about if you want to throw a memorable New Year’s Eve bash. But no matter how much effort goes into party planning, it’s a universal fact that a party will tank if the music isn’t on point.

It doesn’t matter if weeks went into the menu and Veuve Clicquot flows like a river, in the end it’s all about the tunes.

It took me a while to sort through all of the tracks I loved this year. Sometimes it takes revisiting your entire SoundCloud history to realize just how much amazing music was released over the past 12 months. The Spotify playlist is a mix of hip-hop, dance, pop, and house; The SoundCloud compilation is remix heavy, with an emphasis on genre-fusing songs as well as big anthem tracks that filled festival stages all summer long.

I already got emotional about New Year’s Eve in my last post, so I will leave this as is. I hope you enjoy these playlists as much as I do!

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL xx

 

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol. 4

Having made my way through five seasons of The Good Wife over the course of the past two weeks, it’s completely acceptable to judge me for the way I’ve been spending my free time. Luckily, that has not hindered my determination to seek out the week’s best tunes, and my-oh-my this week was glorious! I’ve been a huge fan of Fehrplay for a while (shout out to Ty Francis for that!) and his remix of Royksopp’s “Sordid Affair” is a glorious tech-house track perfectly encompassing his unique style.

As is always the case, Kaytranada brings his production flavor to  T.I & Young Thug’s “About Da $” and takes it to new levels of dope. This isn’t my favorite Kaytra remix, but he’s so good at what he does that it’s still leagues ahead of most stuff out there.

There’s plenty more great tunage from this week: Madeon, George Maple, Jean Deaux, Rae Sremmurd, and Tyga. So plug in!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Right Quick: The new Tyga video boasts a cheetah on a private plane surrounded by piles of cash and Goyard trunks. How could I not include this? “What the work like?” … if you’re Tyga, it’s pretty damn great.

Fashion Friday: The First Date (You too, Dudes!) & Weekend Mini Mix

A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriends and I were talking about the simultaneous excitement and anxiety that accompanies the anticipation of a first date. Staring into her closet, Nicole contemplated outfit options as I sat on her bed eating pita chips supporting or vetoing the items. We couldn’t stop cracking each other up as we revisited tales of dating trial and tribulation, which got progressively more comical as the wine bottle diminished. She was hitting the town to meet up with a cutie and, as always, the question of “what do I wear?” was of utmost importance.

It was at this moment that I confessed the very point of this post to Nicole: I’ve worn the same outfit, with minor tweaks based on seasonality, on almost every single date I’ve had the honor or horror to attend. “You only need one!” I insisted, “It’s not like future suitors will be alerted.” She laughed at my explanation, but I stand by my philosophy! Either you’ll go out with someone again and change it up, or you’ll never hear from him/her again and the next guy/girl will have absolutely no way of knowing you’re in a first date uniform. Fact. So why drive yourself crazy planning or buying something new? Tried and true is always best.

There are many reasons I stand by this way of thinking. Primarily that it eliminates the stress associated with the question “what should I wear?” because you’ll know exactly what you’re going to sport and that you look amazing in it. But also because it eliminates the potential for Doing the Most. It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard thrown around a lot, but in this context it’s of extreme importance. Why? Because trying too hard (i.e. Doing the Most) is frowned upon on a first date. And if you don’t frown upon it, you may want to reconsider your point of view. Ideally, you want to convey a sense of  great personal style without the perception that it’s extensively crafted. Doing the Most propels an image of insecurity and overcompensation. Neither of which is attractive to a relative stranger. Refined simplicity will help you proudly present yourself to someone for the first time.

Whether you’re meeting the girl you met at your favorite bar last weekend or the guy who prompted you to “swipe right” and won you over with a clever pun, you want your clothes to convey who you are without becoming the focal point of your personality, because that’s what the art of conversation is for. Striking that balance can feel challenging, which is why I’m sharing my date uniform template as a great starting point for putting yours together.

Date Night: Women

                         
The beauty of this outfit is in its simplicity. From coffee dates to drinks to dinner, this ensemble is perfect for most first date occasions. You can’t go wrong with a sexy flowing blouse over a pair of jeans that fit just right. Give yourself a little height with a pair of booties, but try to stay away from an extreme stiletto heel unless you’re going somewhere upscale. Incorporate a statement piece like your favorite necklace, big earrings, or a fab scarf to inject your personal style into the look.  It’s effortlessly cool without sacrificing a fierce sense of style. Don’t forget to throw your favorite essentials into your bag — signature scent and lip color, mandatory!
Date Night: Gents
     
Men, there is no excuse for laziness! Especially since it’s so easy for you to look put together. Impress your date with a pair of perfectly-cut jeans like these from Rag & Bone. Don’t be afraid of a straight leg silhouette, they flatter your legs (and butt!) more than boot cut and look more dapper. There’s nothing more important than fit, so go the extra mile to find pants that are actually the correct size! Ditch sneakers or boat shoes for a pair of leather desert boots. Keep it simple up top with a button-down/sweater combo — but add some visual interest with a pattern, a plain sweater is a little too boring. Fun socks are always a plus in my book, so don’t be shy about adding a pop of color to the ensemble.

Got an exciting date planned for this weekend? Here’s a mini mix to rock out to:

Turn Up Tuesdays

IMG_2549Tuesdays are a drag, especially when your phone tells you that it “feels like” 17 degrees outside. To counter the feelings associated with this meh day, I’ll be dedicating Tuesdays to music that will have you bouncing in your chair and feeling good vibes all day. This week I’ve included Cash Cash, Autograf, and Twice as Nice remixes, a two-hour Gorgon City radio show, and some A$AP Ferg. Get at it: