Calvin Harris killed it with Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

Okay… let me first start out by saying wow!!! Funk Wav should be declared the album of the summer. In fact, right here, right now I am declaring this album the album for summer 2017.

Featuring not just some of the best artists in the music industry, but many funky beats, and catchy(but not too repetitive) lyrics, Funk Wav encompasses everything you need in summer anthems. Whether you are hosting a party, laying out by the pool, or jamming to music on a road trip, this album fits all your needs.

Calvin Harris released Slide, featuring Frank Ocean and Migos, to give us a sneak peak into the album, and I don’t know about you, but there for awhile I listened to this song at least once a day. To be fair, I am going to like anything Frank Ocean does because come on, it’s Frank Ocean. However, Calvin’s production was impeccable. If you haven’t already, check out this video he tweeted that shows a behind the scenes of how he produced Slide.

If you watched the video, you have had a glimpse into only a small portion of the production that goes into each of Calvin Harris’ songs, and if that does not make you appreciate his music then maybe this blog will help.

First of all, let’s just discuss all of the artists he has featured in this album. The majority of the artists fall into the rap/rnb genre to make up an altogether funky electronic album that reminds me of Snoop Dogg’s album Doggystyle, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, and a lot of Pharrell Williams’ productions. He used a masterful balance of artists and sounds to create a album that is appealing to many music tastes.

Cash Out, featuring ScHoolboy Q, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and D.R.A.M., and Feels, featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Seun are the two party bops. ScHoolboys adds an edgy vibe with his raps, then PARTYNEXTDOOR comes in with the soulful hook, and the song wraps up with D.R.A.M. Feels is definitely a personal favorite because 1)Pharrell’s vocals 2)although I am not particularly a fan of Katy Perry, she adds an interesting (weeknd-sounding) hook 3)Big Seun wraps up the song with an easy going nice to listen to rap.

Heatstroke, featuring Young Thug, Pharrell Williams, and Ariana Grande, and Rollin, featuring Khalid and Future, have a more soulful blues vibe to them. Pharrell adds the bluesy sweet vocals, Ariana with a pure soulful hook, and Young Thug ties it together with an upbeat rap. In the same way, Khalid brings the soul and Future adds a smooth rap to create a slow jam.

Prayers Up, featuring Travis Scott and A-Track, and Holidays, featuring Snoop Dogg, John Legend, and Takeoff, have a chill rap sound to them. It is easy to say that because Travis, Snoop Dogg, Takeoff, and DJ A-Track dominate the songs with easy going verses. John Legend offers a smooth break from the rap in Holidays to remind you of the funk.

Skrt On Me features Nicki Minaj, and it mainly just reminds me of Drake’s One Dance. Nicki’s voice can sometime annoy me, but in this song she sings most of her rap until the end, so it keeps the vibe of the album along with a catchy hook and fast beat.

The last two songs, Faking It featuring Kehlani and Lil Yatchy and Hard To Love featuring Jessie Reyez, are the pop rnb songs of the album. These are your slow love bops. Kehlani and Jessie provide the “sexy” vocals and Lil Yatchy keeps the song a fun party song in Faking It.

Overall, Calvin Harris embraced the unique sounds and talents of each artist to make up a broad range of sounds and styles all tied together by his creative, funky beats. Calvin also made this album to be appealing to a wide audience, young and old, as well as versatile in that it can be played at any party, on any road trip, at any hangout, and that is why this is the album of summer 2017.

If you have not heard this album, go give it a listen!! But to wrap this up, I am going to share with y’all a playlist I made that is inspired by this album called a funky kind of funk.

Comment what you like/dislike about this album, and let me know what you think about the playlist!

 

 

 

 

A Book That Will Change Your Life

Now, I have to say, this title may be a little exaggerated. However, I can assure you that the book I am referring to will change your perception on your life and on your daily decisions.

What book am I referring to…? The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley.

One of my goals for this year (2017) was to read more. By read more, I mean actually start and finish more than just one book a year. And of course when you are writing goals, you are supposed to be specific, so I said I wanted to read a total of five books. The books I chose were a balance between enjoyable novels and thought provoking “self-help” books.

I was not sure what “self-help” books I wanted to read. (To be honest I cannot stand most self-help books because they are either extremely repetitive or basic common sense). So I decided to ask my dad, who reads a new book almost ever week, for some suggestions. When he pulled The Principle of the Path from his book shelf, he immediately said, “This one, you need to read this, in fact, hurry up and read it so I can read it again.”

Since he was super insistent on me reading this book, I thought, why not? Well I am sure glad I did. Andy Stanley did an amazing job with taking a simple concept, making decisions, and digging deep to shed clarity as why our daily decisions are so important.

The Principle of the Path is all about our attention, decisions, and destinations. It is all about how our decisions choose the paths we take and ultimately the destinations we end up at. Sometimes are decisions are clear and easy and other times our decisions can be muddied by our emotions. If we understand that every decision we make is a step in a certain direction, and we learn to trust God to make our paths clear, it is possible to end up at the destinations we desire.

This book has completely changed my perception on life. There are so many little decisions that I make almost everyday that I used to think of as nothing. Now I look at these moments as big steps in a direction towards or maybe even away from what I want. For instance, I want to be fit and slim. I want to work out and eat right, but every time I decide to sleep in or buy Oreos from the grocery store, I am taking steps in the wrong direction. These little decisions may seem small and insignificant, but in the end, if I want to be fit, I have to make the right decisions that will lead me to that destination.

This is just one of many examples that this principle applies to. Andy gives multiple examples from his own life, lives of those around him, and the bible. It was nice to read a book that was so relatable. I have been able to see this principle play throughout my life and how it played out in my past decisions, so now I look at all my daily decisions in a different light.

One thing that has opened my eyes through reading this book was, if God has amazing plans for my life, and he knows the right paths to take and decisions to make, why would I not drop everything and follow him? I mean think about it, why would I not desire the unconditional love and abundant wisdom that God is offering me? Why would I pass up the opportunity to lead the life God has planned?

Obviously all of this is a lot easier said than done, but the hopeful thing is that we do not have to have our lives figured out. We do not have to be afraid of the unknown future because 1) we can predict our futures based on the decisions we have been making and 2) we have a God that we can depend on to lead us in the right direction if we would just lean on him.

This kinda seems like me just ranting, but in all honestly it is hard for me to put into words the effect this book has had on me. Especially in a season of my life where everything I am doing now dramatically effects my future, understanding this principle has given me some clarity on what to prioritize, the right decisions to make, and the destinations I want to end up at.

Anyways, I really encourage you to check out the book, and you never know, it really could change your life!

One Of My Summer Playlists

So first of all I feel as though I need to explain the title of this blog just a little. I say “One of,” because let’s be honest, I make playlists ALL the time. To me, there is no ‘one’ summer playlist or party playlist, there are thousands of playlists for every season of life, sad, mad, in love, indifferent, chill, tired, the list goes on and on.

This playlist I am going to share in particular, is one I have been meaning to make for awhile. I say that because recently (and by recently I mean the last couple of months) I have been obsessed with a lot of RnB and kind of jazzy alternative music. For example, Steve Lacy, Rex Orange County, Cosmo Pyke, Mike Edge, then for the more RnB Noname, Ravyn Lenae, GoldLink, Kali Uchis, SZA and Thundercat. So basically, I have listened to the same songs, and genre for awhile, and I miss my other music.

This playlist features raw beats, meaningful lyrics, a soulful kind of rap (my favorite kind). I’m talking Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, the Roots, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Domo Genesis, Anderson .Paak and a few others. These artists are some of my favorite, and I think they are definitely some of the best in the music industry. I also included a couple of new songs and new artists that I am really into right now.

So here is the list of all the songs on the playlist I so cleverly titled, “Cool” 

  1. Gold – Gold – BROCKHAMPTON
  2. Doves In the Wind (ft. Kendrick Lamar) – Ctrl – SZA
  3. Dynamite! – Things Fall Apart – The Roots
  4. The World Is Yours – Illmatic XX – Nas
  5. Canal St. (ft. Bones) – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. – A$AP Rocky
  6. Doo Wop (That Thing) – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill
  7. IFHY (ft. Pharrell) – Wolf – Tyler, the Creator
  8. Lather – Body Wash – Mndsgn
  9. California Love – All Eyez On Me – 2Pac
  10. Chum – Doris – Earl Sweatshirt
  11. YAH. – DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
  12. Slow Jamz – The College Dropout – Kanye West, Twista & Jamie Foxx
  13. Get Bigger / Do U Luv – Yes Lawd! – NxWorries
  14. SMUCKERS (ft. Lil Wayne and Kanye West) – Cherry Bomb – Tyler, the Creator
  15. I get Around – Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. – 2Pac
  16. It Was a Good Day – The Predator – Ice Cube
  17. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) – Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life – Jay Z
  18. ELEMENT. – DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
  19. Still D.R.E. (ft. Snoop Dogg) – 2001 – Dr. Dre
  20. Poetic Justice (ft. Drake) – good kid, m.A.A.d city – Kendrick Lamar
  21. Gin and Juice (ft. Dat N***a Da) – Doggystyle – Snoop Dogg
  22. Dapper (ft. Anderson .Paak) – Genesis – Domo Genesis
  23. Scared Money – Yes Lawd! – NxWorries
  24. Fire Fly – Camp – Childish Gambino
  25. Everybody Loves the Sunshine – Everybody Loves the Sunshine – Roy Ayers Ubiquity

Anyways, if you like any of these songs, or are a fan of Hip Hop/RnB, or you just want some good music to hangout and listen to, then check out this playlist!!

My first semester in Austin

For starters, I am from a fairly small, desertlike, and very boring town, and for the last 4 maybe 5 years I have been waiting for the day that I could finally escape. My escape was college, specifically the University of Texas because 1) it’s the best school in Texas and 2) it is “conveniently” placed in Austin.

I have visited Austin many times, and each visit I fell more and more in love with it. Upon each visit, I had a glimpse into the life of an Austinite. Since I live here now, all I want is to live like an Austinite lives. I do not want my life at UT to blind me from the amazing city I now live in.

I have now been in Austin for about 5 months, and I can confidently say that I have taken advantage of a lot of what Austin has to offer. So here is a list of some “Austiny” things I have done since I have I been here…

  1. DJ Z-Trip Show on 6th with our newly pierced noses img_0379
  2. Ramen Tatsu-Ya (btw DELICIOUS!!) ps. We have been to a ton of other places but too many to put in this blogimg_0336
  3. Zilker dates

 

4. Kanye West Concert

5. ACL Weekend 2 ft. Kendrick Lamar

6. Cool wall art appreciation ft. graffiti park

7. of course… THRIFTING ft. the amazing Blue Velvet Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

8. and last but not least, UT Football game

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There are other things I have done such as, eaten brunch (lots of brunch), watched a Hip-Hop freestyle battle, hiked Green-belt and relaxed in the creek, many art shows, weekly visit to Epoch coffee, shopped at Whole Foods (love that place), and overall roamed the city and admired its beauty.

Austin has so much to offer, and to me, it takes stepping out of your comfort zone, living freely, taking risks, adventuring, and immersing yourself into the community to truly take advantage of all the city has to offer.