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Truths & Rights

Protoje had been hinting that new music was coming our way for a while and this week he finally fulfilled his promise. On Tuesday, he tweeted that he would make a link to his new song available on Soundcloud until midnight. Unfortunately, I didn’t see his tweet until the next morning. Mi seh mi did vex! My anger was short-lived though because on Wednesday evening, Diggy went live on Instagram and mi did deh-deh pon mi yiylash. Following the live stream, his new song “Truths & Rights” was made available on Soundcloud. Check it out!

The song was produced by Winta James and is on a riddim that one can’t help but skyank to. At first, it seems simple, but there are so many things happening that each time I listen to it, I hear something new. For example, it wasn’t until my 20th time listening that I noticed a group of people having a discussion in the background of the intro. Mi nuh know a how mi did miss dat! Then there is the trumpet solo at the end that seal di message while adding nice flare to the song. Time and time again Winta manages to find the sweet spot between the riddim and the lyrics as through it all,  he makes it clear that the lyrics are the main focus . Big up yuhself every time Winta!

You remember how every time Katz from Courage the Cowardly Dog appeared in the series, he had his own theme song? Well, every time I see Protoje now, I’m going to hear the “Truths & Rights” dub playing in my head. Why? Because the song embodies the musician’s mission. Protoje has been promoting new and young creatives from photographers, to artists, to musicians , to bloggers for as long as I can remember; this song was just his way of letting his fans know that he didn’t plan on stopping any time soon. He will continue to give a voice to those who have the most to say but are constantly overlooked “until the day that his soul takes flight.” Diggy, we hear you loud and clear!

Yes, we know from long time seh Protoje a big bad awtiste, so right now I want to bring some attention to Mortimer.  I first heard him in “Protection” on Ancient Future where he more than proved his vocal abilities with a chilling chorus. In “Truths & Rights” he sings the chorus and parts of the second verse and every time I listen to it, I find myself looking forward to hearing him.  Unnu hear how di man voice sound sweet? Mortimer’s voice is smooth like honey with an underlying hint of raspiness that gives the song an added edge. I’m looking forward to hearing more solo projects from him. Him get di Lexxi Stamp of Approval, him a guh far! 

Well, that’s all for now friends, but hopefully you won’t have to wait long for the next review. That’s right! Protoje says new music from Lila Ike and Sevana will be coming soon and you can rest assured that as dem drop, mahguh let you know weh mi think.

 

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Royal Flush

Before I posted this poem, I sent it to a few of my friends and they all thought I was throwing shade at someone. I laughed and told them that was not the case. I’m still not sure they believe me. However I now feel compelled to share with you the honest origin of this poem.

I was scrolling through Instagram and found a user by the name of “Let me fix my crown”. I thought it was a brilliant name and as I was walking to class the first few lines of the poem wrote themselves. I took on the persona of an angry woman tired of degrading pick up lines, played with rhymes and had a little too much fun. This is the end result. Enjoy !


 

Excuse me?
Let me fix my crown real quick.
Mr. Suave, Mr. Slick, Mr. Boombastic.
With Jokers in abundance,
you can take your pick.
Go fetch!
Never mind, you can keep that stick.
‘Cause you must be a dog,
or a frog or a hog,
to be talking to me with that dialogue.
Hold on!
What is the matter with you?
Biting off more than you could possibly chew.
Sweetheart, just how old are you?
Because you must be under the age of two.
Before I get too upset
and say something that I’ll regret
I have an important lesson for you
my pet.
I think it’s time you learned
that respect is earned
because you’re playing with fire
and you will get burned!

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Recharge

Hey friends!

Just a reminder that sometimes we need to say “to hell with this to-do-list”. That’s right, I said it! We never put self-careesque activities on our to-do-lists and if you’re anything like me, if it’s not on the list then it’s not getting done. I dare you to go do something fun tonight!

That’s all for now folks! I’m gonna go read a book *squeals with glee*

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Mr. Edward Christopher Sheeran Pt. 2

Remember when I said part 2 was coming soon… I guess I lied but it’s finally here! It would seem I was waiting for a sign and while I was walking along minding my own business, di sign gimme a rahtid lick. When I caught my breath, di sign drop kick mi!

First I got this notification on Twitter:

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Although it’s not really him, friends, mi hawt cudn’ tek it! Then today as I was walking to class, I walked by a very good looking red-headed fellow and I knew today was the day I’d write Pt. 2


I wouldn’t say I’m overly superstitious but sometimes you come across just the sign you’d been looking for and you can’t do anything but jump at it. Well, the week before my birthday my classmate mentioned how Ed Sheeran was coming to Charlotte in two weeks and James Blunt, whom she fancies, would be his opening act. She was upset she couldn’t buy the tickets yet because her daughter might have a football(soccer) game that same day. Without skipping I beat, I told her to buy me a ticket when she bought hers. This opportunity was not to be missed.

Just like that, I was going to see Ed! It didn’t feel real. It still doesn’t feel real.

On September 3, my classmate, her two daughters and myself drove for two hours blasting Ed Sheeran and James Blunt tunes from Greensboro to the Spectrum Center. Once there I joined the lengthy souvenir line. Of course I had to get a shirt… and an armband.

I missed half of Jame’s Blunt’s set, but of what I caught he’s gotten himself another fan. Check this song out.

Once James Blunt left the stage there was an everlasting break to take his band of the stage and replace them with… A LOOP PEDAL! *squeals!*

Yuh eva smile suh haad yuh lip split? A me dat. I had watched this chubby red-head perform my favorite songs on my computer screen so many times and now here he was in front of me in person. I can’t find the words to describe how magical the moment was.

Pree dis! After his first song, Ed had a heart to heart with us. He told us how he’s been to concerts before where he felt like he had to hold back because he didn’t want anyone to judge him. Then he told us to look at the person beside us and said we’d never see them again so we were to sing as loudly and as off-key as we wanted to because we paid to have a good time.

I didn’t need to be told twice! Mi seh, mi gwaan bad ussi. I swear it’s like he knew I was in there. During his performance of “Don’t” he teased a sample of “New Man”, one of my favourite songs from Divide (because Ed speaks in patois <3).  A little later in the set he says

“I’m going to play what I think is one of the best love songs I’ve ever written. I don’t normally play this one but it’s Labor Day tomorrow so why not.”

Then he started playing “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here”, my absolute favourite song on the album. Did I cry? I can neither confirm nor deny.

He played songs from all of his albums but the highlight of my night had to have been hearing him say “They say I’m up and coming like I’m fxxking in an elevator” live. Monumental! Stupendous! Amazing! Teddilicious! Sheerantastic!

Alright, I’m done fangirling. The whole show was phenomenal, but I don’t think I’ve met my Ed Sheeran quota. I need to see him live a few more times. I really can’t believe this happened. To this day, I occasionally stumble upon a video or recording from the concert and my heart skips several beats. I was there. I saw him. I must see him again.

(Fun-Fact, YouTube’s autoplay just started playing Ed Sheeran’s “Tenerife Sea”, weh mi tell yuh bout sign?)

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Jamaicans Know How fi Live

I guess I’m feeling a bit homesick today, so I’ve been daydreaming about the wonderful summer vacation I had. Can’t wait til I’m back home!


This summer, my mom, my dad, a couple of good friends and I loaded into the car and set off on a journey across Jamaica. Our destination was Boardwalk Village for the tday.tmrw concert featuring Protoje, Sevana and Runkus. We left home at noon, and arrived in Ocho Rios at about 2. We splashed around for a bit at Dunn’s River, did touristy things, had lunch and then we embarked on the second leg of our trip. Next stop, Negril! *cue music*

Yo, Negril far enuh! We were in the car for 3 hours straight and it did feel like wi neva wudda reach. We made it to the concert just in time to see the first act, Runkus, take the stage and it was a fantastic show but that’s not really what this post is about. The day after the concert, we become full-fledged grung tourists. I had only been to Negril once when I was 5 and after the long ass car ride, I don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon so I had to make the most of it.

Every stop we made reminded me; Jamaicans know how fi live! We are a resilient people and that is what this post is about.

7 Mile Beach, Negril

First up was the craft vendor on the 7 mile Beach. So we were walking along minding our business when this man walks up to my father and says: “Long time mi nuh see yuh!” Mind you they had never met before so technically he was right. The man then guides us to a shady spot and starts promoting his friendship bracelets.

Friends, I kid you not, two seconds into our conversation I looked down on my wrist and one of his bracelets was on me. When I looked back up he was asking me for money. I forgot the word no existed. I paid the man his money and four months later, as I sit here typing, I still don’t know how the bracelet ended up on my wrist. But eh, artisans haffi mek a money too and dis man, did know how fi live.

Middle Quarters, St. Elizabeth

Now you can’t pass through St.Bess without stopping at Middle Quarters for peppa shrimp. Our car pulled up on the roadside and they were off! There was a mad dash to the car and hands holding bags of shrimp poked into our window.

Da one ya fi ‘undred 

Then our minds had to work overtime to connect that voice to one of the ten hands in front of us. Oh the chaos! I LOVE IT! So then we tried to support everyone but there was only so much cash. We had to tell someone no 😦

Yuh really nah buy from me? An’ a me run di hardes’? Mi all nearly jap

We’ll carry more money next time, but I’m not worried because the vendors at Middle Quarters all know how fi live. I mean seriously, dem run afta speedin’ cyar like dem tink dem a iron man.

Melrose Hill, Manchester

Somewhere between St. Bess and Manchester a hell rain did buss. Mi seh ,wi drop inna one pothole crater that was masked by the rainwater and di drop did sound expensive. Brejin, mi neva know pothole cudda mek suh. But I digress.

Because it was raining so heavily, we thought our stop at Melrose Hill would have been much more tame than our Middle Quarters stop.

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People ran out balancing bwail cawn, roast cawn, roast yam, saltfish , juice and dem umbrella! The vendors at Melrose hill know that come rain or shine money haffi mek! Dem know how fi live!

Times are hard but day in day out my people are doing what they have to to keep food on the table. So if you’re a DJ, musician, artisan, vendor, lawyer, doctor, student, electrician, whatever it is, keep putting in the hard work! Why? Because, Jamaicans know how fi live.

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Mr. Edward Christopher Sheeran Pt. 1

Friends, tonight when the sun sets I want you to go outside and find the beautiful moon in the night sky. If you look just above the moon, you will see a star shining brightly. That star, will be the brightest star you see tonight and may even be the brightest star you will see in your lifetime. That star… is me. Mi seh mi ova di moon!

In 2012 while my dad was scrolling through the channels one day, he paused at some award show. I watched as this red headed kid walked on stage with a guitar. He was simply dressed in a green t-shirt and jeans. He looked shy and awkward and I was intrigued. My dad promptly changed the channel. I yelled and he quickly switched back. I had no clue who the kid was but as he sang I knew I had to learn more about him.

And out of all these things I’ve done, I’ll love you better now

I memorised that one line of the song and as soon as he walked off the stage, I googled the lyrics and found out his name was Ed Sheeran. I played “Legohouse” for hours on repeat, but I eventually ventured off to songs like “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”, “Drunk” and “Kiss Me”. I dived deeper and deeper into his music and then the music gods granted me Ed’s full + Deluxe album on youtube. That night, I fell asleep halfway through the album and got the best sleep I’ve ever gotten in my entire life.

I have never been able to fall asleep while listening to music and somehow this Ed Sheeran kid had managed to knock me out. Don’t get me wrong, the album was not boring, it was the opposite. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. He was a musical genius. His songs were beautifully written, his voice was soothing and the instrumentals were dynamic and complemented the meanings and emotions behind each song perfectly. Let’s not forget his accent! Oh Lawd that accent!

In 2014, Ed released Deluxe album and I decided to buy both it and the + Deluxe album. I played them on repeat and compared them to see how much he had grown as a musician. I knew it was time to see him perform live, so I bumped him up to #1 on my bucket list. Unfortunately, he’d only tour near Rochester whenever I was in Jamaica. I had to settle with watching his concerts on YouTube but I wanted more!

My heart all but broke at the end of 2015 when he tweeted he’d be going on hiatus for a year. I played his albums on repeat and each time a new song became my favourite. A year without Ed flew by quickly and in January 2017 when he tweeted he was back and an album was on the way, I lost it. Fun fact, Divide Deluxe album was the first album I pre-ordered, the love is real.

Each album was better than the last. This summer, I introduced my mom to her future son-in-law and she approved. I told her one day I’d see him live and she told me to start saving. Little did I know, I’d be seeing him one month later and that my friends is why I’m over the moon.

To be continued.


Side note: I didn’t plan for this to be a two part story but then I decided to give the history of my love for Ed and well, now here we are! Not to worry, part two will be here sooooon!

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Self-Doubt is a Heck of a thing

Last week I found out that my Speech-Language Pathology Master’s program is ranked 30th in the US. My first thought was, how the hell did I get in? It was then that I realised that self-doubt is a heck of a thing. What I should have asked was: Why wouldn’t I get in? I had good grades, a solid resume, an interesting story and I worked my butt off!

Why was I so quick to discredit my accomplishments? I blame the world we live in. We are incredibly competitive and are constantly being told we’re not good enough. If we hear it often enough we start to believe it and in comes self doubt.

Why are we so quick to discredit our accomplishments? There has to be something each of us is absolutely fantastic at, no matter how trivial or useless we think it seems. Whenever we doubt ourselves, we must think about that thing, remind ourselves that we’re God’s greatest gift to man, den wheel an’ come again! Hell, even if we feel like God’s okay gift to man, we’ll just pretend we’re the greatest and strive for our goals.

Just remember, perfection is unattainable, mistakes are inevitable, and neither should sway us on our journey to success.

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Yum Yum Best Ice Cream & Hot Dogs

I left class in a daze as I followed the sweet smell of sauted onions to a simple brick building with white roof. I looked up and saw a sign that read: YUM YUM.  I stepped inside and took in the small building. On my left were families chatting happily between bites of specialty hot dogs and ice cream. On my right was a counter with staff members buzzing about taking orders and handing over brown paper bags with food. There were signs all over that said Cash Only.

I gazed at the menu and the only thing on it I recognized was the word hot dog. It was my turn to cash and I panicked.

“I’ll have one hot dog, All the Way.” I said confidently.

“One more All The Way!”  The cashier yelled back to the other workers.

I had no clue what an All the Way consisted of, but in case you haven’t noticed I have a tendency of jumping in with both feet.

While I waited for the mystery hot dog, I struck up conversation with the gentleman beside me. He bought a drink called “Cheerwine” which I had never encountered in my 22 years. Apparently the drink is native to North Carolina. I asked him what it tasted like and he looked at me like I had just insulted his mother. He handed me his unopened bottle and told me it was mine now.  Mi tell him ‘undred tanks!

I took a sip and it was magical. “It tastes like Dr. Pepper, without the doctor!” The small crowd that had gathered to witness the loss of my Cheerwine virginity chuckled.

Shortly thereafter, I was handed my hot dog so I parted ways with my new friends. When I got back to my room, I greedily ate my All the Way which was a hot dog covered in on mustard, chilli, onions, and slaw. It wasn’t the best hot dog ever, but I’m biased by Jamaica’s Bad Dawg hot dogs. There was something about the combination of the toppings though that made me want to go back for more. Maybe next time, I’ll actually try their ice cream too haha!

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