Rent-Free in my Mind

I miss you every day
Just wanna be there by your side
Don't wanna f--- with no one else
I'd rather run away and hide
I've cried so many tears
And I know you've done the same, too
Because it's been a sh-tty year
And I know that it has changed you
Who can blame you
When you've lost so much more than others
Your brother
Your father
And more recently, your mother
I know you probably feel alone
But you should know
That's not the case
'Cause you live rent-free in my mind
With every salty tear I taste

‘Damned’

This here is another poem that I wrote. It’s not recent, but it’s also not super old. It was written nearly three years ago. Read it and weep.

I know that if I dwell
It'll only make me feel worse
Not a soul on Earth can tell
How just being myself feels cursed
Damned if I don't
Damned if I do
Nothing can prove
That I am good enough for you
So, back into this shell I'll go
Never again do I wanna let my guard down
Never envisioned myself the jaded type
But I can sense my heart becoming hard now
Still, I know I have so much love to give
It'd be stingy for me not to
But truthfully
I don't wanna give it to a man that's not you
Maybe that makes me stupid
Maybe I'll never learn
That even if I don't want to
Sometimes I gotta let it burn


			

‘Ghosted’

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on my blog and lately I’ve been trying to get back into my writing. I was reading some of my old poems and posts and I even shared some with others and I realize that I really need to put my writing out there more and stop being so afraid. One of the main reasons I don’t post my writing more is because it’s usually personal and I always worry about people having questions for me after they read my writing and I don’t like to be that open with just anyone. However, I’m gonna put forth the effort to share my writing here on this blog.. whether I share it to my socials, that is still up in the air.

I wrote this poem a couple of months ago. I never titled it; I literally just picked a name for it as I began typing this blog post. I shall call it ‘Ghosted.’ Enjoy.

You walked out of my life

Just as randomly as you walked into it

Wish I could say I was surprised

But unfortunately, I’ve already been through it

I’ve been ghosted before

Ghosted by those that swore

Up and down

That they were never leaving

Promises they broke

Prior to breaking my heart

Led to this continuous bleeding

That it now feels

Now I’m once again grieving

The loss of something

That could’ve been so real

Although it was short-lived

Being in your presence was fun

I showed a side of me to you

That I don’t show to everyone

Vulnerable and free

My inhibitions didn’t exist

Now all I’m left with are memories

To remember the way

You’d grab onto my hips

As we locked lips upon lips

15 Years of ‘Confessions’

If I could turn back the hands of time and go back 15 years just to relive the excitement surrounding the release of what has undoubtedly gone on to be Usher‘s most timeless album, Confessions, I would do so in a heartbeat.

I was a 12-year-old seventh grader attending Park Middle School when Usher dropped this banger on us and I can recall life being so much more simpler back then. Everyone was elated the day this album dropped; you’d think it was a holiday or something. Shoot, as someone who was already a big Usher fan, in my eyes, it WAS a holiday.

I was enrolled in Mr. Main’s computer class back in the 7th grade and I remember whenever I had finished all of my work, I would browse the web and print out lyrics to some of my favorite songs. So, when Confessions dropped, you can bet I went to WORK with that printer. Heck, I even had my siblings and cousins coming to me to ask to either print out or write the lyrics out by hand for themselves. I was a shy kid and although I hated for people to catch me singing/rapping along to songs, I still took pride in memorizing the lyrics to my favorite songs.

When I say that I learned that album like the back of my hand, I’m not even lying. I had the tracklist burned into my mind. A song could be playing and I could tell you exactly which song was going to come on next. It was that real.

With all of the controversy surrounding Usher and Chilli’s highly-publicized breakup, “Burn” was the song that seemed to receive the most spins. You couldn’t walk outside without seeing a car driving past with “Burn” blaring out of their sound system. I repeatedly played it, too, as if my young 12-year-old heart had ever even experienced any heartbreak. Still, the song resonated with me and it still does today at 27 years old.

I know I haven’t consistently blogged in a hot minute, but I HAD to pay HOMAGE to this MASTERPIECE of an album! ❤

 

For the Love of Music ❤

music

Music. Music. Music.

Music is the one constant in my life; it is the one true thing that continuously brightens up my life and keeps me sane.

For as long as I can remember, music has always been my everything and it has always gotten me through the worst of times, more so lately than any other period of my 25-year-old life.

Over the course of the past three and a half months, my strength has been tried and tested like never before and it’s really mainly because of music that I have not had a breakdown.

Everything from falling out with family members to my car’s engine blowing out, resulting in me having to take Ubers and Lyfts to and from work every single day for two months to financial woes to whatever, I’ve gone through since mid-July.

With all of the negative energy I had polluting my life, I kind of lost my motivation to do anything. For three months, all I did was keep myself busy with work. I took on as many hours as I possibly could, (and with my job being as understaffed as it is and me being a supervisor who’s on-call 24/7, that wasn’t a problem). While I was working all of these hours to put up money for a new car, I was also doing it so that I could keep my mind off of everything that made me feel down.

In addition to working crazy, long hours, another way I tried to keep my mind off of things was by eating. Eating was really all I ever thought about. Although I would bring lunch to work, the thought that always consumed my mind was, “Man, I can’t wait to go home and eat.” I ate at times when I seriously wasn’t even hungry; I just wanted to eat as much as I could. I remember making a big pot of broccoli Alfredo one day and eating all of it by myself.

Whenever I wasn’t working or stuffing my face, I slept. Don’t have to deal with any bs while you’re sleeping, right? Well, when you literally have dreams about situations you’re trying to escape while awake, sleeping isn’t so fun.

With this depressive-like behavior that had kicked in, music helped me keep my head above water, even when I wanted to throw in the towel. And I did throw in the towel a few times, too. Not in a sense of giving up, but in a sense of telling myself that it was okay for me to not be strong sometimes, it was okay for me to allow myself to have moments of weakness just as long as I didn’t allow those moments to keep me down.

I’m so grateful for music that it makes me cry sometimes. I can recall driving home from work one Wednesday night in July; I had worked a double-shift and I was just so emotionally exhausted and I felt the tears threatening to escape. Blinking them back, I turned my music up even louder than it already was, sang/rapped along and began laughing out of nowhere, telling myself, “Man, I don’t know what I would do without music.” Surprisingly, I don’t even remember what song had been playing, but boy did it have me feeling better by the time I finally made it home.

I will forever express my gratitude for music because it’s the one thing I have when no one else is there. It makes me happier when I’m happy, happy when I’m sad, it makes me laugh, it makes me cry.

Music is my teacher. It helps me grow, it helps me see things for what they are and for what they are not. When no one else can understand where I’m coming from and/or doesn’t even care to try to, I have a song for any and every single mood to lift me up when I need it.

I cannot imagine how I would even attempt to gravitate my way through life without music and I wouldn’t want to either. Music is what the majority of people I know identify me with. My love for music will always be a very crucial part of my existence and there would just be no me without it.

So, I say thank you.

 

 

 

Leaked Albums: To Listen or Not to Listen?

In a world where the internet has become the number one go-to source for all things pertaining to music and entertainment, it has become fairly easy for individuals to obtain access to exclusive content and material. Amongst that material lies albums from your favorite music artists, just waiting to be presented to the world, thus making it more common for them to eventually be leaked.Although pretty much everything is digital these days and a vast majority of listeners are pro leaked albums, you still have a massive amount of listeners who stand firmly against this particular method of illegally releasing music. Many feel that it shows a lack of support and additionally is a slap in the face to artists who consistently put out free music year-round for our listening pleasure.

Not only do dedicated fans have qualms about leaked material, but some artists themselves frown upon it and have spoken out about it as well. Last year, Hip-Hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar took to his Twitter to make clear his annoyance the day that his good kid, m.A.A.d. city album cover leaked.

When u leak my album cover, Know that its not a price tag. Its my LIFE. & there’s a lot of serious ppl that care about lil Kendrick’s life,” he tweeted.

A little over a month later, he once again turned to Twitter to release a statement when his now almost-platinum album was leaked just a few days before the official release date, “My real fans know the deal #GKMC Oct 22nd. (!!!)

With the leak of J. Cole’s Born Sinner and Kanye West’s Yeezus, many music aficionados have taken part in downloading and listening to the albums in their entirety and also offering their unsought after opinions, while others have protested against supporting either of the leaks.

The question that has always piqued my interest is what factors play into people’s reasoning to either support or not support leaks. Most people support leaks simply because they would like to find out if what they will possibly be spending their money on is going to even be worth it.

Expressing his opinion on the matter, Thabo Nyoni said, “At the end of the day, I don’t see what’s so wrong with getting accustomed to the product before knowing what to expect.”

Agreeing with the aforesaid, Christen Nance went into further detail as to why he feels the need to listen to an album once leaked rather than waiting until the release date, “I feel like, if I buy an album without listening to it first and I end up not liking it, I feel [as if] I force my mind into liking it and making myself think it’s better than what it really is… Should we spend money on an artist album just because they made good music in the past or they are your favorite artist? Isn’t that telling the artist that his bullsh*t album is actually good if you are supporting the profit of that album?

While others may be able to agree with that particular statement in full, I can’t say that I myself agree with the first half, due to the fact that in the past I have purchased albums that did not leave me as pleased as I thought they would have, after multiple listens. Upon coming to the conclusion that I WASN’T as pleased with said album, it proceeded to collect dust at the top of my closet and that was just the end of that. I wouldn’t continuously listen to an album that I have already made my mind up about not being pleased with, just to try to force myself into liking it, regardless of if the artist is one of my favorites or not.

If I don’t like it, I don’t like it. Period.

As far as other reasons I think people have for why they partake in supporting leaks, it’s really all a matter of their excitement.

In a way, it’s almost like how a child feels the night before Christmas. You find yourself so excited that it’s nearly impossible to just give in and go to sleep because you’re so eager to finally be able to hear the album. Sure you’ve heard the official singles that were released by the artists themselves and are now receiving radio play and are floating all over the internet. But… that’s not enough, you still want to hear the actual ALBUM. So, of course when a leak DOES eventually surface on the net, you’re enthralled! You can’t help BUT to give in to temptation and download the album – oh, but not before sharing it with others because you’re just as excited for them to hear it as well.

On the other hand, aside from leaks taking away from sales, excitement is also a factor that plays into why some opt NOT to support leaks. Specifically, maintaining that excitement. Although giving in and downloading an album before its official release date can either intensify or diminish your excitement, NOT giving in will keep that excitement at a heightened level.

I just think it [listening to leaked albums] makes buying the album pointless and brings your excitement level down to nothing,” said Jalen Woods. “If you’re constantly playing music for a week, then you go buy it, you have nothing to look forward to. You know exactly what you’re getting,” he added.

Fellow J. Cole fan Ifeanyi Onwumah too agreed with the loss of excitement that comes with supporting leaks, “I don’t want to lose the excitement… There’s this feeling I got when I went to the store and bought the Sideline Story CD, popped in for the first time and heard all the songs fresh that I don’t wanna lose with Born Sinner. Hearing all the songs just kills all the excitement and anticipation. My point is, I’m not holding off because if I listen I won’t buy it, but because I don’t wanna kill the buzz for myself.”

Could she have stated it any better? That’s exactly how I feel whenever an artist I like is gearing up to release a new project. I never listen to leaks. For what? I’ve waited x amount of time, what’s a few more days? Yeah, I am impatient and I understand that every artist’s album leaks but that doesn’t mean I have to listen to it. So, when it comes to finally being able to hear an album in its entirety, then why not wait?

With all of that being said, I will be waiting until tomorrow to hear both Born Sinner AND Yeezus.

How do YOU feel about leaked albums?

5 R&B STARLETS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2012

  • Though these following female artists fall under the same genre, their distinctive sounds are what separate them from each other. Their lyric content may be similar, seeing as how a lot of them happen to sing about the ups and downs about love (but what r&b artist doesn’t?) – however, they all possess their own, unique style.




    Jhené Aiko
    “Who is Jhené Aiko?” you ask? “Ohhhh, the chick who was featured in B2K CDs, right?” So, nowww you remember her? Well, Jhené has been making quite a name for herself, BY herself lately. Born into a family of music, 23 year old Jhené Aiko has been involved with music since she was a toddler. Now that she’s all grown up, Jhené has managed to snag the hearts of many as she continues to impress music lovers worldwide with her angelic voice. Her mixtape, (s)ailing (s)ouls effortlessly expanded her fanbase with ballads like, “My Mine” and uptempo joints such as “Mr. Popular”. Outside of those tracks, my personal favorite would have to be “Stranger”. As of December 16, Jhené inked a deal with Artium Recordings [NO I.D.’s label via Def Jam]. For updates on new music, check out JheneAiko.com.







    Rochelle Jordan
    Hailing out of Toronto, you have the sultry songtress Rochelle Jordan. Unless you have been living under a rock, then chances are you’ve most likely heard the name. I came across Rochelle Jordan a couple of months ago when she, along with everyone and their mama dropped a remix to Drake’s smash hit, “Marvin’s Room”. Out of all of the female responses to “Marvin’s Room,” I would have to say that hers is definitely my favorite. Her free project, “R O J O,” released August of last year has received many praises from the blogosphere. With influences like Aaliyah, Kelis and Amerie, Rochelle Jordan was definitely not skeptical about channeling their sound into her music while still making it her own. For updates on new music from Rochelle Jordan, check out rojoproto.bandcamp.com.







    Jade Alston
    Former video jockey and hype girl, Jade Alston has been in the music industry for quite some time now. Formerly known as Jasmine Jai, the 24 year old Philly native has opened up for artists such as Amerie, Trina, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes – just to name a few. Aside from that, she has also performed live on 106th and Park. After having been touring for so long, Alston decided that she would embark on a new journey and perfect her songwriting skills. Her mixtape, “Single On A Saturday Night” goes into detail about the life of a single woman on a Saturday night. Her sound is that of a modern day Toni Braxton, imo. “Single On A Saturday Night” also features remixes – no, excuse me – “SHEMIXXES” of J. Cole’s “In The Morning” and Lil Wayne’s “Bill Gates”. To download her FREE mixtape, hit upJadeAlston.com!







    Elle Varner
    22 year old Elle Varner burst onto the scene unexpectedly and got the attention of many with her funky single “Only Wanna Give It To You”. Like Aiko, Varner was pretty much born into music as well with songwriters as parents. When she was only six years old, Varner learned to play the flute, piano and the guitar. I guess it’s safe to say that she knew she was destined for a musical career. Shortly after graduating from the Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music at New York University, Varner inked a deal with MBK Entertainment and RCA Records. Her debut album, “Perfectly Imperfect” is set for a release later this year, but for now you can “like” Elle Varner Music for updates on new music!









    Shei Atkins
    Though Houston native Shei Atkins has previously released three independent albums, I would still consider her a newbie in the game. After all, if I didn’t know who she was until recently, then I’m pretty sure that YOU didn’t either. When I first listened to her song “Another Me,” I IMMEDIATELY thought that she sounded almost exactly like Fantasia. Now, I’m not saying that she’s a better vocalist than Fantasia – but hey, that’s who she sounds like. However, even with that being said – she still manages to incorporate a little bit of her own style into her music. Shei Atkins has toured alongside her fellow Houston native, Kelly Rowland and she has even worked in the studio with Beyoncé. With the buzz about Atkins spreading worldwide, it has allowed her fanbase to expand and she has been featured in VIBE Magazine. I’m interested in seeing how far this chick goes. Be on the look out for her EP “Emotional,” which drops in March. Head on over to SheiAtkins to check out more of her music to hold you over!