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Koffee on the Grind

Hey friends!

So I have a confession to make. A couple weeks back I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a video by Koffe. I think I was busy at the time so I shared it in hopes of returning to it later and giving it my full, undivided attention. Well… I never got back to it.

Fortunately, my friends know I like being kept informed on all the great things happening on the music scene, so when the name Koffee came up in one of our conversations, I remembered the video and checked her out instantly! Now it’s your turn.

She’s great right? Here’s the kicker, she’s only 17! You know what I was doing at 17? Nothing incredible that’s for sure. Koffee, on the other hand, has an edge-snatching-motivational-as-hell-play-it-on-repeat song, a music video and is poised for greatness.

Tink a dat alone mek ‘ar bad? Check out her instagram page @originalkoffee, scroll through until you find her first time in the studio and you’ll find all the proof you need to see that this is just the beginning. Bwai Koffee, mi jus wah shake yuh han‘ mek likkl a di talent rub off pon mi!

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Homesick

Friends, a piece a homesickness lick mi ussi but give thanks, I only have 5 weeks left before I touch down in my favourite place in the world. Naturally, I turned to music to assuage my yearning for home. Pree dis!

This song came out back in August, right in time for the Emancipendence holiday and showcases everything I love about Jamaica. I checked in with the producer and artistes responsible for this gem; the remedy to my homesickness. They each had something different to say about the song and this just goes to show there are many levels involved in making a cohesive body of work.

Wavy Jones originally created the beat and had intended to upload the track without vocals. Lucky for us, the music gods spoke to him and he decided instead to use the upbeat and happy track to highlight the greatness of Jamaica. He reached out the Blvk Hero, Jeeby Lyricist,  and Kione Zaire and the four met up for a writing session.

Blvk H3ro wanted to convey the harsh reality of Jamaica. He acknowledges that Jamaica is a beautiful country with great potential. For H3ro, even though we are a nation rolling in high debt, “we’ve got a good thing!” (Lexxi note: we’ve got a good thing if only our leaders would realise the gold they have in their hands!!!)

Jeeby starts most of the lines in his verse with “I am” which makes it clear that for him, the beaches, the flora and fauna, the talented people, the music, the culture, the black, gold and green embody what it means to be Jamaican. His verse screams: “Jamaica, wi likkle but wi tallawah!”

Kione tried to capture the feeling he gets from the thought of growing up and being alive in the Caribbean. (Lexxi note: It’s an experience that is like no other and it shows in the way we walk, the way we talk, and the way we dance. There’s just something about living in the blessed indies!)

A few weeks after their writing session, they made their way to the studio and “Blessed Indies” was born. Fun fact:”100lb” was also recorded on that day… so technically, they’re musical fraternal twins!!! I love this song but I wish it were a little longer. For me, I think it ends a bit abruptly but you know what they say: “Always leave them wanting more.”

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Lessons from Mommy

Where all my Nintendo 64 users at? You’re in the middle of an amazing race in Mario Kart and the game freezes, what do you do? That’s right! Take out the cartridge, hit it a couple of times, blow it, put it back in, restart and: “Welcome to Mario Kart!” Well, after two intense weeks of studying for midterms I was a suck-out bag juice and I needed someone to hit restart. That someone was my mommy!

Mommy and I  spent time playing phone-tag this weekend but when we finally connected, we were on the phone for two hours talking about everything and nothing at the same time. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time and that was exactly what I needed. She finally signed up for the floral arrangement course she’d been thinking about since I left for college four years ago. I told her I was proud of her for trying something new and joked that she learned it from me. That’s when it dawned on me that I had actually gotten it from her.

My mom grew up in a poor family and even though she wanted to be adventurous she simply could not afford it. She promised herself that her children would have the life she wanted growing up and she saw that through. I had my first dance class when I was four and I always had some sort of non-academic program every year since I was 6. These included cooking classes, art classes, foreign language classes and my personal favourite, music classes at Edna Manley College. I even went to cricket camp where I realised I was not made for sports.

In my household, getting good grades was very important but my mom taught me there was more to this world than work. She planted in me a desire to try new things and watered it every opportunity she got. Now, I fertilise the product of her hard work frequently by seeking out opportunities for adventures. I’ve taken up ceramics, latin dancing, and drumming, and each activity came with a new set of challenges that made the hard work I put in totally worth it. I have an evergrowing bucket list of things I will try eventually and I promise to take you all on the journey with me.

I would like to challenge you all to try something that scares you. Promise me you will stick to it even if you think you are terrible at it. You will grow, you will improve and your confidence will increase. We all need to find that one thing we absolutely love that can let the light in our darkest days. Wi cya jus a gwan an a guh suh. There’s more to life than the 9-5.

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Oye Deh Sah!

Hey friends!

It’s been a while, I know and boy do I have a story for you!!!

You’re going to have to wait a little longer though because I’m swimming in a sea of assignments and I’m barely managing to keep my head above water. Barely managing is better than not managing at all though, so I’ll take that and run with it.

Consider this an “Adventures of a Jamaican Girl in North Carolina Telling You What You Needed to Hear on Thursday but I’ve Been Busy So You’re Hearing It On Tuesday” post. That title kind of reminds me of a Panic! At the Disco song.

I was scrolling through Twitter and stumbled upon the quote below and I knew I had to share it. Suh mi drop mi homework an’ fly pon RerdPress come mek di post  (I really only opened a new tab).

Trying times are not the times to stop trying

Well folks, that’s all for now. Mi gawn back guh try some more.

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Witch Bus

My game plan was to take the bus from my apartment to the metaphysical store Terra Blue, and back. This was meant to be the perfect cultural experience. I would get to explore a bit of Greensboro, I would be able to figure out the bus system- a skill that would come in handy for off-campus clinical placements- and I would be exposed to a new culture.

I had everything planned and on Saturday, a little after noon, I made my way to the bus stop. I proudly boarded the bus after waiting ten minutes and watched the street signs attentively so I wouldn’t miss my stop. I came off the bus at my stop, and walked the remainder of the way to Terra Blue.

After getting lost only once, I confidently stepped into the store, where I was greeted by three cats and Sarah, the store’s effervescent owner.  I asked if she practiced Wicca and she told me she was actually a Witch. She explained that Witches practice magick by using spellwork and energies to change themselves or the world while Wicca was a religion. I asked her to recommend an item from her store for me to take with me as a souvenir and she advised that I walk around and whatever caught my eye was probably what I needed. Her rationale was, our souls know what they want but our minds get in the way.

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This sign was all over the store.

I followed her advice and explored her store. I passed daggers, pendants, pendulums, charms, herbs, incense, semi-precious stones, crystals, candles, quills, parchment and potions. I couldn’t help but be amazed that her store had much of the Witch paraphernalia I always saw on tv. I left her store with an amethyst stone for peace, an apetite stone for creativity, an opalite stone for smooth transitions and a selenite desert rose stone for strengthened mental abilities. I can’t wait to see if my soul really knew best.

I left Terra Blue and made my way to the bus stop. I spotted a man in the distance engaged in an animated conversation with either himself or a tree. Mi neva plan fi stop an ask him. I concluded that if I walked confidently and avoided eye contact then he would not see me. It did not work.

“Hello! I’m talking to you!” he yelled. Yes Jah-Jah, a suh it aguh end yah now! My heart kicked into high gear and I glanced around for the nearest escape route. He asked me for money but I told him I didn’t have any cash on me and continued walking. I survived!

When I got to the bus stop, I looked around, realized I was the only person on the street and decided to find another bus stop in a more populated area. I walked the long way around because if I ran into Mr. Tree-man I may not have been so lucky the second time ’round. I eventually found one, checked my bus tracker app and saw that the bus wouldn’t arrive for another hour.

I waited patiently in the sun and one hour and eight minutes later, I watched as my bus drove right by me. I was at the wrong bus stop. I tried to google a number for a cab and my highspeed data conveniently ran out. I was flustered. I walked to the nearest store, asked the clerk for the number of a cab company. My cab arrived in five minutes, I was home in two minutes and I went straight to bed. I was not made for this much drama in one day.

This was my most stressful adventure to date. Mastering the bus system would make me more independent as I would be able to navigate the Greensboro area more freely, but I need time to recover.