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: DíSA – “Sculpture” EP

Even though Copenhagen-based pop artist DíSA released her debut EP, Sculpture, in March, I only began listening to it a couple of days ago. I am captivated by her commanding presence over the atmospheric, easy-listening electronic beats (produced by Anders Bach); her ethereal, sometimes haunting, vocals; and the lyrics, because the songs are either a familiar thought/feeling that I have had, or they’re really easy to sit back and take in…much like a roller coaster ride, with its ups and downs. This 5-track EP has a mixture of high and low feelings, and it’s an enjoyable, enchanting listen.

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.

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.

J.Lately – “Make. Believe.” album

J.Lately (@justlately) dropped his highly anticipated album, titled Make. Believe., on May 13th. There are 12 songs in total, with production credits to Jansport J, Azure, Ben Rosen, The Blacksmiths, Arze Kareem, and Matcy P. Features come from Grynch, Rayana Jay, TiRon, Clyde Shankle, Dayvid Michael, and Vell Taylor. With all the build-up, in the form of singles, music videos, and a mini video series, it was clear that this album was going to hold so much weight in personal stories and uplifting messages. To give you an idea of the content here, let me talk about a few tracks.