This will be my first musical type post. I need a distraction from fashion… and so does my bank account!
For the past 3 months I have been religiously listening to mainly 3 artists; Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Childish Gambino.
The world of R&B has had quite a tough time over the past few years. I’ll be the first to admit I had gone off it slightly. The new stuff just sounded too smooth to the point of almost slimy. Then Frank Ocean walked/crooned into my life . He’s taken the genre back to it’s (mostly) auto-tune free best with Nostalgia Ultra. Beats make you “aaahhhh” (not in a weird way, mind!) and lyrics make you smile. You can totally buy “Songs for Women” because after the first listen I was pretty much in love with him. He also uses a few samples, my favourite being the use of The Eagle’s “Hotel California” in “American Wedding”. If you’re a fan of R&B, you need this. If you’re not, try it. It’s FREE!!
In addition to Nostalgia Ultra, you can also download the HUGE 64 track folder of Lonny Breaux ( a previous alias).
And we go from crooning to downright chilling self-pity. Enter The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye). His first mixtape House of Balloons absolutely blew my mind. A light-hearted listen this isn’t. It’s actually quite troubling in parts, but that’s why I love it.
Those who listen to R&B will know that the odd bit of debauched behaviour is expected. But The Weeknd takes it to the line and over the edge. Drug use (XO, being his two favourite drugs; Extacy and Oxycodine), violence, creepy come-on’s (“Trust me girl, you wanna be high for this”). Add to all of this his amazing and often haunting falsetto, beats and atmospheric accompaniments that make you’re head feel as if you’ve had the best and worst night of your life and you’ll have your new addiction. Trust me
The second mixtape in the trilogy; Thursday, takes the psychedelia, misogyny and self-destruction up a notch. Though generally not considered better that HOB, Thursday will suck you in with every track. Its something of an epic tragedy. You want to slap him and tell him to snap out of it…but then that wouldn’t sound nearly as good, would it?
Again (joy of joys) both of these albums are available online here free of charge. I’m practically chewing my arm off waiting for the next installment, Echoes of Silence.
Aaaaand finally, we come to Childish Gambino (name was chosen from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator) aka Donald Glover. He’s an actor, writer and comedian who I’m quite taken with.
Now it’s widely known that his debut commercial release wasn’t looked upon kindly by the majority of critics (and here’s where the not judging bit comes in) but I love him.
I can identify with some of what he says about not really fitting in where he grew up as a kid. I get how annoying/offensive being told “you don’t act/talk black enough” is. He’s a bit geeky and awkward (which I love). He’s also grown up to be quite a cheeky thing too!
Camp, the name of the recently released album has been on repeat for the past couple weeks. My picks are Heartbeat, Sunrise and the last couple minutes of That Power made me melt.
Of all his tracks though, I adore Freaks and Geeks