Listen to BJ The Chicago Kid’s Tribute to the Anniversary of Usher’s ‘Confessions’

Just about anyone that knows me is aware of the fact that I am quite possibly the biggest Usher fan known to man and that ‘Confessions’ is one of my favorite albums of ALL-TIME. I mean, if there is ANY album I could play from beginning to end, no fast-forwarding, skipping, NOTHING, it is that album. I know it like the back of my hand, ad-libs and all.

While I admit that I feel as if certain CLASSIC songs should just be left alone, I can honestly say that while scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed I became ecstatic when I saw Okay Player’s post about BJ The Chicago Kid’s tribute to the 13th anniversary of the album (March 23, 2004). I’ve been a BJ fan almost as long as I’ve been a Kendrick Lamar fan (being that Dot’s music is what put me onto BJ’s music), so I just knew that I would not be let down. Boy, was I correct!

While the “Simple Things” and “Can U Handle It/Superstar” mashup are absolutely amazing covers, the “Confessions Pt. 1/Nice & Slow” mashup has just given me so much life already. It’s so beautiful, I could cry. I’ve seriously listened to it almost 50 times now. It’s just way too good. He definitely did it justice and it made me love him even more as an artist.

Take a listen below.

#WhereTheyAtWednesdays: Cherish

There are very few girl groups that I can say I wish were still releasing music.

Cherish is definitely one of them.

While they first saw a bit of success with the release of their debut album, The Moment, back in 2003, it wasn’t until 2006 when they released their single “Do It To It,” which features Sean Paul (of The YoungBloodZ), that I was introduced to their music. I remember one of my big sisters buying their sophomore album, Unappreciated, for my little sister and looking at her like, “Now, you KNOW I listen to Cherish way more than she does.” Ha. I personally feel like this album is quite slept on and that people mainly only recognize it for its singles, but pretty much the whole album itself is solid. To this day, I still play it regularly with my favorite tracks being:

“That Boi”

“Chevy”

“Moment in Time”

“Oooh”

“Whenever”

“Stop Callin’ Me”

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.

 

 

 

2 Years of Luke Tailor’s ‘TextBook Money’

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So, this past Saturday night I bought my old domain name back (my old .COM) and figured why not start blogging again? I’m not sure if I still want to blog solely about music or if I want to use this blog to just post random writings of mine. For now, though, I just wanted to acknowledge the two-year anniversary of TextBook Money, one of my favorite debut mixtapes from Sacramento hip-hop/spoken word artist Luke Tailor.

I swear, it feels like just yesterday I was standing at the front of the stage at Young Roddy‘s Red Eye show at Sol Collective when he took to the stage and instantly made me a fan. Out of all of the openers that performed that night, he was the only one whose performance stood out to me, the only opener whose name I remembered once the night was over.

Man, I was so intrigued by what I had heard that I found him on Twitter and Facebook the very next day and hit him up expressing how DOPE I thought he was. I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that we resided in the very same county and I had never heard any of his work until that night.

Everyone that knows me is very well aware of just how picky I am when it comes to music; so, it was rare for me to head home from a show having officially declared myself a fan of someone new. In fact, ever since being introduced to his music three years ago, there’s sadly only been ONE artist (in Sacramento) that has made me a fan on the spot like he did. That’s another story for another day, though.

Anyway, I told myself three years ago that I would go above and beyond to spread the word about his art and that is still my mission. I’m a fan of many artists, but only once in a blue moon do you come across an artist whose music sincerely touches you just simply based off of the passion they exude.

I can tell when an artist makes music just because it’s something they find themselves to be good at and they can bring in a little extra stream of income from it and I can tell when an artist creates because it’s all they know how to do, because it’s the only way they know how to survive, because it’s their identity and their catharsis, because they couldn’t see life without it and because it’s as natural to them as breathing. He is the epitome of an artist who creates for every single one of those reasons.

It ain’t the same; you can tell when they not rapping from they heart… – Luke Tailor, Villains

TextBook Money tells the story of struggles that many college students can relate to. Not even just hardships that come along with being a college student, though. Hardships that naturally come along with being an adult, period. Real life issues that some people are too afraid to speak out about and even just barely scratch the surface on. Either you’ve gone through it or are GOING through it. Whatever the case may be, TextBook Money is worth the listen and deserves to be heard.

Listen below.

Event: Bas Live at The Boardwalk June 18

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Dreamville hip-hop signee Bas will be touching down in Sacramento to perform at The Boardwalk for his Too High to Riot tour, in support of his album of the same name. Accompanying him will be his labelmate, CozzEarthgang, The Hics and Ron Gilmore.

In addition to the artists listed above, Sacramento emcee and spoken word artist, Luke Tailor, will also be among those opening. If you have yet to familiarize yourself with his music, you can do so here and here.

If you reside in Sacramento, or near the area, and would like to purchase a ticket from him, please be sure to contact him via Twitter or Instagram: @LukeTailor.

Music: JustKristofer – “One Day”

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It has been over a year since I last published a post on this blog, but after a long time of contemplating whether or not I would make my return to the music blogosphere, Antionette Latrese is BACK. For now…

Anyway, I figured that since this is my first post in forever, why not feature one of my favorite artists out of Sacramento? JustKristofer.

If you’ve ever heard any of his music before, then I don’t really have to say anything. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to hear any of his music, then …. I’m still not gonna say anything. I’d much rather let the music do the talking.

I will, however, fill you in on his newest track “One Day.” As someone who’s been going through a LOT of bs these past couple of months, I would describe this as a feel-good track. It’s one of those songs that, when I’m having a bad day, I instantly throw on repeat to make whatever it is I’m stressing about seem not so terrible anymore.

Take last week, for instance. My car’s alternator began to go out while I was driving and luckily, the car had enough power for me to pull into a parking lot and out of the street away from other drivers. After talking to my dad and a friend and explaining what had happened, I felt better, but not enough to keep me from crying. I mean, it was dark out and although my cousin was in the car with me, I was annoyed because I had already used my last AAA service call (or, so I thought), I wasn’t all that familiar with the area we were in and I had somewhere very important to be that night.

While waiting for a ride, I turned this song on, closed my eyes and cried a little. This song has a soothing meditative vibe to it and being able to shed tears to it made me feel a bit refreshed. I’d recommend it to anyone in need of a quick pick-me-up.

Event: Ciara Live at the Regency Ballroom May 31

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It has been six years since Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Ciara has last gone on tour, but with the upcoming release of her sixth studio album, Jackie, the new mommy is ready to hit the road again. The 18-date tour kicks off in Chicago at the House of Blues on May 3 and will end on May 31 at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco.

Tickets are currently on sale and range from $29.50-$32.00 (door price).

Purchase your ticket(s) to the all ages event here.

Event: Curren$y Live at Harlow’s April 26

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If there’s any artist that truly has love for Sacramento and the Bay Area, it is indeed the Hot Spitta himself. He has shows in both Sac and the Bay more than any artist I know and because of it, he is very well respected. In fact, the very first show I attended after I had been living in Sac for a couple of months was Spitta’s “Fresh Heir” show. It was organized by Reina and Kayla of Royaltee Radio and it took place at what was then the ‘Red Lion.’ Sidenote: I can’t believe I was only 18 at the time of that show! Man, how time flies!

Anywho, Spitta last visited Sac in September when ENT Legends brought him out to Assembly. Unfortunately, I had to miss that show because of work. This time around, he will be live at Harlow’s on Sunday, April 26 and I will not be missing this show. You’re not gonna want to either, because he always puts on a great show! Tickets are $22; click here to purchase yours before they sell out!

Watch AdéNichol’s Video for “Recollection”

Inspired by their new-found love and past heartbreaks the two have endured, R&B/hip-hop duo AdéNichol have given us the official video for their first single, “Recollection.”

Consisting of the Bay Area’s very own Jasmine Nichol and Philly hip-hop producer, Adé Cruse, the two met during a studio session Cruse just so happened to be controlling for a mutual friend of theirs. Upon arriving to the session and laying down some vocals, the two quickly began to fall in love.

Be on the look out for their debut EP, Sunflower, and purchase their single on iTunes here.

Watch ETagg’s New Video for “MaryJane”

It’s been a little over a month since ETagg released his Beauty and the Beast-themed EP Kill the Beast. Today, the Sacramentan Jack-of-all-trades is back with the official visual for “MaryJane,” a track that happens to be a favorite of not only mine, but a lot of his fans as well. The visual was shot by his fellow Sacramento artist, Natho.

Download Kill the Beast here.