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Iman Europe x Contraband – Hello, Mellow EP

Posted on July 19, 2014

I get a late pass on this one, because clearly my mind has been preoccupied by other things in my life as I gear up for the big 2-5 tomorrow. As SZA’s earlier mixtapes, See.SZA.Run S have proved, it’s that trap music wrapped in a soulful vibe can flourish in ways that people may not have anticipated before, and that is the attitude that Iman brings to the table on her collaborative EP with producer Contraband. Her voice carries over the aggressive beats so harmoniously and effortlessly that demands the repeat button to be set and kept for time to come and go. I’ve featured her work on the blog beforehand, so it just makes sense to throw this project on here with no problems. Indulge in some soulfully quality music today. It’s summer, tis the season for the flourish. Enjoy (and purchase on iTunes

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Araabmuzik – For Professional Use Only 2

Posted on July 19, 2014

I know that the knock on Araabmuzik is that a lot of his beats sound drastically similar. To that I say, so do 9th Wonder’s, and he’s done pretty well – argument void. Through listening to his beats and also watching his insane videos that have literally given me inspiration to be a great editor (true story), the MPC king is back with another album of a mix of EDM, trap, and grungy hip hop beats that will definitely leave you screw faced early and often through the album. It’s lengthy, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Happy listening folks, enjoy.

Nick Hakim – Where Will We Go (Part 1)

Posted on July 15, 2014

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Ask and you shall receive. I say that because if you missed my On The Lookout piece of Nick Hakim, I went on to say that: he’s great, love his work, need music. And so out of the sheer essence of exploring on Soundcloud, it turns out that he released an EP on July 14th, which is also available for purchase on iTunes. Along with Cold Pour Another, there’s an additional new song to go along with the smooth instrumentals that are also on it. Nick has stated that he’s written a lot, so hopefully more songs will start to flood this year, as the people have been starved for the soul music (or maybe it’s just me, but whatever). Check it out, and definitely enjoy (and buy on iTunes)

 

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – The STiXXclusive Review

Posted on July 12, 2014

In my best Don LaFontaine voice

 

In a world where every other movie of recent is based on a novel or is a sequel to a sequel to a sequel; in 2014 there have been lackluster Blockbuster, but this summer, one will change the course of direction for time to come – this is the Dawn of the Apes.

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Rest In Peace to that man, his presence has been missed for quite some time, but to add on to my point during that impersonation, there haven’t been a lot of great movies to come out this summer so far. X-Men: Days of Future Past and maybe Spiderman 2 (my thoughts on it have swayed back and forth since viewing) have been the highlights, but since then there hasn’t been much, and don’t tell me I missed ‘Trash4mers’ because that was a whole leap of horse manure, and I’m not apologizing for that. You’ve made me upset, Mr. Bay. But that’s not the purpose of this review to bash another movie; it’s to give a great one its praise.

 

I grew up watching the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes, and I wasn’t that much of a nerd to go back in time and watch the real original, so I was definitely down for the prequels. Rise of the Apes (just to keep it short) was done really well in terms of capturing the essence of Caesar as a youngster and seeing him go through the development of becoming the leader of the clan as his sole purpose was to just live in peace with his own kind. Towards the end of that movie, we were teased that a virus was going to be spread because of an outbreak (if you haven’t watched Rise of Apes, just don’t read this), which gave way for a reasoning of a sequel, which was not a bad idea at the time, and when the trailer came out for the sequel of the prequel, there was only one resounding word that came to mind amongst the masses – Yes!

 

Dawn of Apes picks up about a decade after the virus outbreak as we see the growth of the Apes in their colony and how the leadership of Caesar has truly manifested. From the young rebel to the older and wiser leader, you definitely see a sense of growth with Caesar as you see him as the grown ape (I almost typed out ‘man’) that introduces his wife (do chimps call them ‘wives’?) and children – but as usual, there are humans who survived and since they’re living in the city on limited power, something has to give. You also see the struggle for power within the Ape clan and just how much their ‘condition’ enables them to adapt like humans – which is not necessarily a great thing.

 

P.S – Andy Serkis is  the real MVP

 

There’s too much in this movie that I would feel like it would be spoiling because there’s a clear message of how civilization has been since the discovery of the Americas; finding new land, wiping out the indigenous people, etc. This movie was really well done in connecting the previous movie and this one, as well as keeping to the concept of how the original Apes movies came to be, and if the third movie (let’s be real, there might as well be one) is in fact a reprisal of the 2001 movie, then it will definitely (hopefully) go down as one of the best trilogies to grace the silver screens to follow the Dark Knight series. All that being said, I recommend everyone watch this movie (you think?) because you will enjoy it. This is my opinion, this is my review, but for now

 

That’s My Word & It STiXX

Love Life Like Literature – Vent LXIV

Posted on July 9, 2014

I recently finished reading a book entitled The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. and although the characters in the book were Jewish, were involved in journalism and other prestigious job titles, and living in a newly gentrified Brooklyn, NY; the story of the topsy-turvy love battles that Nathaniel had to deal with (involving 4 women) was at times interesting, annoying, but definitely there were parts that were relatable. And then when you look at your own love life, like I often did with mine while reading, and it reflected the book as such in terms of interest and annoyance. It’s a never-ending journey when it comes to that dreaded L word because there’s a definition the length of a King James Version of the Bible on just what that particular word means, and just who we are as people to really understand it. As many books you can read, or as much as you want to study, no one really and truly understands just how it works, but I look at it like reading a book.

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Shakespeare is the father of when it comes to the early introduction to romance and love in literature. He was a game changer before games were invented to be changed. He’s the reason why people are so deeply into the affection of loving and to be loved, and I can go on and on and on, but what exactly is the true purpose? In Love Affairs, for one, it’s a very intelligent book, and I’m not the smartest person in the world, and there were definitely words in there that I would never in my time of day use in a regular conversation between my mischpoke (Yiddish for Family or close friends). The constant conversations between what men want and what women want while going through the relationship is basically what the book surrounds and how they affect people personally. You’ve seen a movie with the same guideline before, so it’s nothing new, but it was an interesting read to some degree.

 

Kanye West once said on Hey Mama: “can’t you see, you’re like a book of poetry” in comparison to the love of his mother (may she rest in peace). When you’re reading any novel (not a magazine) of any length, they make you: laugh, cry, angry, and sometimes you get about 50-100 pages in the book and you lose all hope. Novels are like being in a relationship because you go with them everywhere, you’re locked into this combined energy of information, you clutch it to your side, you toss it around in a bag, and often times you’re spending quiet alone time with it or listening to music – some of them even speak to you, so there are many options. Many people go through books in hours, some in weeks, others in months. A lot of people go through relationships in weeks, and often years. After said book is read, you move on to another, but the old one either gets revisited for sentimental reasons or given away for someone else to cherish. Now…novels are inanimate objects. People aren’t, but a lot of people are treated or treat others as if they’re inanimate objects.

 

What a good relationship is comprised of are the many things that make up a good book, and through such commitment comes entertainment, a sense of togetherness, but like all things – they come to an end. I’d have to look at my love life and they’d be a set of short stories that would be put into a compilation novel that you’d be able to skim through. Not everyone’s going to have something with great longevity like War & Peace, and not everyone’s going to have a flaming spark like The DaVinci Code or whatever else Dan Brown writes. Everyone has their own story, their own read on things and the pace that they enjoy. So damn it, enjoy your metaphorical written tales of adventure that you call love.

 

But if you don’t enjoy books…pick your own metaphor – it’s practically the same thing no matter the object…Adios

 

That’s My Word & It STiXX

Mellowhype – I Need Some Answers

Posted on July 6, 2014

It’s been a minute since Numbers, and Hodgy’s Untitled 2 was satisfactory at best, but when MellowHigh dropped, that was something of promise as Odd Future has had a relatively quiet 2014 (granted, Tyler & Earl dropped albums & Domo a mixtape in 2013). As we wait for Frank Ocean drop new music (no idea when that will happen), Mellowhype is back again with a new album. I heard a couple of songs prior to the album, but I was satisfied to hear the combination of Left Brain’s production and Hodgy’s flow to come together that’s an extension of where they left off from MellowHighNowadays was the initial song I heard, but that’s only just one track that was surrounded by a bunch of dope ones although it’s only 11 tracks deep. Check it out (Download here) and enjoy it.

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On The Lookout – Nick Hakim

Posted on July 5, 2014

It’s funny how life works out. Today I went on a mini-rant about there not being enough quality R&B artists, or even singers in general, out there to really provide the soul that I’ve come to appreciate growing up. I mean I know there’s a difference between R&B and Soul, but that shouldn’t take away the fact that there aren’t a lot of quality singers that are out there making great music to listen to all the time. There aren’t a lot of singers that I listen to on a regular basis that can have that nostalgic feeling of just listening to feel good music or simply good music no matter what the subject content is. It’s a shame that good quality can’t make its way to the mainstream where it’s dearly needed, but if there’s no demand then why bother with the supply, right? Tragic times. However, with that being said, there are people who come across my radar (or are directed to me by other people) and they’re worth listening to. Gary Clark Jr, Allen Stone, and BJ The Chicago Kid were probably the last male singers that I had high regards for that weren’t already on the scene, because they embody soul into their music and not (what I call) ‘Ratchet & Bellowing’ music.

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My friend Jen (at the time I’m currently writing this, she’s at a Maxwell concert) sent me a text about the opener and his name is Nick Hakim; told me to look him up – I did.  The first song I came across was a live version of his song Cold. YoursTruly is a really dope company or organization (or a collective – I don’t know what they do), that I’ve been following for a while and they just discover some dope ass talent (follow their Soundcloud immediately), and wouldn’t you know, they were the ones who put the video together.

If you think the in-studio version of this song is something, the CDQ is pretty damn good itself. I’ve had it on repeat for most of the time I’ve been writing this. The simplicity of an acoustic guitar and a smooth voice may not be a lot to many people, but there’s not a lot more that you need, although the rhythm and vibe of the song is dope, albeit the subject is on the sad side.

The only other song that’s on his Soundcloud page is Pour Another, and I’m a big fan of this song because it’s like something out of a page of Miguel’s catalogue, but it’s just nothing but smooth vibes that have left me zoned out – it’s hypnotic to say the least, but given the content of the song, I assume that was the whole point of the song. How it’s all layered in with the effects and vocals, it’s a good time.

I don’t know what’s to make of his career if he’s going to be putting out an album or something, but I hope so, given the strength of 2 songs and over 100K plays for both songs. It also says something when you’re on tour with freakin’ Maxwell of all people. Only time will tell how it all plays out; for the current time being, take a listen and definitely enjoy.

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