Mixtape.
Two Tiffanys celebrating what they love by giving it a stage and using their voices to spread the word.

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Album Review: MOMENT- “MOMENTS”

For the past few months, I’ve been basically fangirling over music from MOMENT (@MOMENT_SWAG_CAT), in particular his 2-part mixtape Season of Letters/Season of Bullet. I’ve blogged about him in the past, sure, but recently he’s really been one of my Most Played artists. When presented with the opportunity to review his new album, MOMENTS, I knew that I would be in for a good listen. Now being that I already had his mixtape in heavy rotation, I wanted to listen to the album without bias as much as possible. I listened with as much objectivity as I could because I didn’t want to mislead you guys and because I wanted the review to be as honest as possible. I’ve already mentioned many-a-time though that I was enjoying it as a whole, but here’s a breakdown of the album track by track and my thoughts.

Album Review: Brzowski & DJ Halo – “Wichitah”

To coincide with Brzowski and DJ Halo‘s “Boltcutters to Infinity European” tour, they put together a tour-only CD, called Wichitah. It was a 6-track EP, that featured one new song (“Bottom Falls Out”), an old song (“Harbinger”), those two instrumentals, and two DJ Halo remixes of Vinyl Cape songs (“Notes From Baudelaire” and “Famine First“). However, on my birthday (March 10th), they stripped the instrumentals (leaving those on the physical tour CD) and released the now 4-track EP for everyone else to hear via Bandcamp. I mean, it wasn’t put out for my birthday, but I can pretend and think it was a gift bestowed upon me, right? Nah? Okay.

Album Review: Tiffany Wong – “Twenty Four” EP

I stumbled across Tiffany Wong, when I was doing a Bandcamp search for women named “Tiffany” (there’s going to be another GNT compilation!). After pressing play on the first song of her Twenty Four EP, released in October, 2014, I had to hear more. I listened to all 5 tracks, contacted her immediately, and had to share this EP with you all here!

Currently based in Chicago, Illinois, by way of the Bay Area, Tiffany Wong is an acoustic-folk singer/songwriter, and she also makes art. Predominantly driven by an acoustic guitar (with additional banjo playing by Brett Ratliff), the music on Twenty Four is heartfelt and emotional, with subject matter revolving around love and sadness.

Album Review: The Audible Doctor – “Can’t Keep The People Waiting” EP

A little late to the party with posting this one, but New York-native producer/emcee The Audible Doctor dropped an EP in November, called Can’t Keep The People Waiting. There are 8-tracks in total, and they were all produced by Audible Doctor himself. Guest features come from Astro, Hassaan Mackey, Consequence, Bumpy Knuckles, Guilty Simpson, John Robinson, and Davenport Grimes. I was initially going to briefly talk about a track or two, but then it turned into something of an album review (I didn’t speak on every track, just a few of my favorites). So, check it out.

Album Review: Has-Lo & Castle – “Live Like You’re Dead”

Last year, almost 6 full months ago, Has-Lo and Castle dropped a full-length album, called Live Like You’re Dead. I know I’m late on covering it, but I always think that time doesn’t matter when it comes to sharing good music, or movies, or whatever–what matters is that someone is still feeling it x-amount of days/months/years later, and felt the need to write about it/share it with others. It’s all love.

The Philadelphia and North Carolina emcees/producers let go of a fear, and laugh in the face of death in 14 songs. This is a nice shift for Has-Lo, whom I spoke with in 2013 (see our first magazine issue) about his In Case I Don’t Make It album, regarding the dark, inner struggles he faced and is still battling. And, Castle–whom I first heard in the See Here’s The Thing project, released last year (which seems to have disappeared)–this is right up his alley. Together, we find the two talking shit and having fun, while also being introspective and serious when they need to be. What’s not to enjoy? Count me in.

Album Review: Jean Grae – “#5” EP

Back in November, Jean Grae dropped a 5-track EP, called 5. A bit different from the hip hop queen you expect, Jean explores her R&B side and, boy, does she deliver! Her songwriting takes you through different avenues of love, from falling in love to climbing out of the hole of a broken relationship. Despite the lows that she sings about, though, this is the kind of R&B music that can be the soundtrack to lights-down-low baby-making, put you in the sensual/sexual mood, and/or have your mind racing on this emotional journey that she takes you through. It’s just good music all around.

[Album Review] GigiO- The Bohemian Behemoth

GigiO’s latest album The Bohemian Behemoth was 5 plus years in the making and on this “musical autobiography” the producer, rapper and visual artist ponders the existential meaning of life –his life — over a bevy of eclectic beats, wondering if the true purpose of life is to become a monster for the greater good of society. The album takes you on through several emotions, situations and scenarios while GigiO’s consistent charismatic style keeps you entertained and engaged. I’ve spent the day listening to the album and I’m eager to get my thoughts out for you guys, so press play, and let’s get on with the review!  Don’t forget to let me know your opinion in the comments!

Movie Review: Beyond The Lights

So I finally got around to seeing Beyond The Lights, one my most anticipated movie-trips this year. My hopes were soaring after the initial announcement of Gina Prince-Bythewood’s return to writing and directing after Secret Life of Bees and of course, Love & Basketball. Having been a huge fan of Love & Basketball, it seemed like everyone was along with me eagerly anticipating GPB’s return to the romantic genre, and people were all over twitter and tumblr, gassing it up. The official trailers were no different–framing the film as a an amazing love story. Starring such incredible talent as Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover and Nate Parker, this film should have been an urban love-story masterpiece for the new generation. I say should have been because, in my opinion, the film fell just short of actually being something that moved me–rather than being just something good enough to pass the time.

Album Review: House Of Whales – “House Of Whales”

House of Whales, previously called Treehouse, is a 3-piece band from Chicago that blends punk and hip hop stylings. This trio is emcee Rico Sisney, bassist Mike Ruby, and drummer Aunnoy Badruzzaman. On August 25th, 2014, House of Whales released their self-titled debut album. The 10-track album has live instrumentation that’s driven by grungy, growling strings, hard-hitting, boom bap drums, and energetic, spoken word lyricism. Bouncing between various emotions, their music often contains political and social commentary, thought-provoking subject matter, and reflective songwriting, which makes for good variety, and easy to listen to/digest. While this isn’t a full, track-by-track review, I’m going to touch base on some of my favorite songs below. Afterwards stream and purchase the album, if you dig it.