Most Underrated Albums of 2017

It is the end of 2017 and thank God. With all the craziness of this year, it was great to find solace in my favorite thing, music. Despite a troubling climate around the world, we at least had some great music to at least provide some sort of distraction. And while we listened to popular albums like Kendrick and Jay Z, some albums didn’t get the limelight they deserved. Below are my favorite underrated albums of 2017.

Kehlani-SweetSexySavage

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This album is basically my best friend in music form. It understand me, it sympathizes with me, it listens to me, doesn’t think I’m crazy. SSS is about the journey of a woman being comfortable with herself and balancing love and independence. It is about leaving the shell of pain that you have been used to and being comfortable with loving yourself. Its also just a really fun album and empathizes every adjective it is named after.

Favorite song: “Personal”

Smino-blkswn

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I first discovered Smino last year at a Redbull SoundSelect concert and become obsessed. I fell in love with the with the mix of rap, funk and gospel and it felt like each week since it came out in March I’ve discovered a new aspect of the album of the like. It just such a textured album that doesn’t fall sort on lyrics or productions. This album also motivated me to see Smino live three times this year, and with the live instruments and his voice, I would pay good money to see him numerous more times. I’m excited for what’s to come next.

Favorite song: “Wild Irish Roses”

They: Nü Religion: Hyena

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I feel like me liking They. shows that you should actually read those press releases that people in the industry are hounded with because sometimes it is actually really good stuff. I got a press release with They.’s music back in 2016 and I only gave it a chance because I heard the name before since They. had opened for Bryson Tiller earlier that year. I feel in love with the song “Deep End.” Fast forward to 2017 and once their debut album came out I was a huge They. Stan, getting super early to their concert to be in the front row and singing along to every song. What’s great about this duo is that they don’t make any shortcuts in their lyrics or productions, and knowing that the end product is fully created by the group is amazing.

Favorite song: “Deep End”

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Surprises and Snubs From the 2018 Grammy Nominations

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The nominees for the 2018 Grammys were nominated, and I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse group of nominees.  At the same time, some work that I thought should have been nominated weren’t. Check out the biggest surprises and snubs of the 2018 Grammy nominees.

Surprise: Jay-Z Nominations in The Big 4

The Big 4 refers to the categories that reach all genres, include Record, Song and Album of The Year and Best New Artist. Of course, Jay could not be nominated for Best New Artist, but 4:44 is nominated for Album of The Year, “4:44” is nominated for Song of The Year, and “The Story of O.J.” is nominated for Record of The Year. While I wasn’t surprised that Jay was nominated in rap categories, and it wasn’t totally unexpected that he was nominated as Album of The Year, the Song and Record of The Year nomination threw me off. Usually these categories don’t have a lot of rap songs, but also, the fact that he was nominated for two different songs is pretty amazing. Usually, the song for the same artist overlaps in the two categories (example this year being “Despacito”). Very exciting that his most confessional and personal work in years was recognized in this matter.

Surprise: 6lack’s Nominations:

6lack is nominated this year in the Best Urban Contemporary Album for Free 6lack and for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “PRBLMS.” No offense at all to 6lack, but he is a highly acclaimed artist that just isn’t Grammy bait. While he doesn’t consider himself to be rapper, that fact that the Grammys also acknowledged this and nominated his album for Urban Contemporary Album instead of a rap album is a major step forward. Last year, Drake was upset for winning Best Rap Song for “Hotline Bling” which isn’t a rap song. These nominations show that the Grammys might be understanding the nuances of urban music and listening to less mainstream artists.

Surprise: Lorde’s Nomination For Album of The Year

It’s not surprising that Lorde is nominated for a Grammy, but its surprising that she is nominated for Album of The Year but no other award.  All other nominees in this category are nominated for something else, so its a bit confusing to celebrate an entire body of work in the highest category but no songs specifically.

Snub: Kehlani not being nominated for SweetSexySavage

I’m biased since this is probably my favorite album of the year, but I thought she would get a nomination for Urban Contemporary Album, especially since her mixtape was nominated two years ago.

Snub: DJ Khaled ft Rhianna and Bryson Tiller’s “Wild Thoughts” not nominated 

This was a pretty huge song from a big album so I’m pretty thrown off that it was not at least nominated for Best R&B Performance.

Snub: Calvin Harris not nominated for Funk Wav Theory Vol. 1 or “Slide”

I thought Funk Wav Theory Vol.1 was Calvin Harris’ best album to date with a lot of hit singles, so I’m surprised it wasn’t nominated in the Dance/Electronic category. Also I thought “Slide” would be nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Which Grammy nominations surprised you this year? Who do you think was snubbed?

Chance The Rapper Adds Holiday Colorways to the “3” Hat Collection

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Chance The Rapper is ready for the holiday season with the new colorways for his signature 3 hat, including a silver 3 on red and green hats, red hat with green 3 and green hat with red 3. Definitely a stylish alternative to a Santa or elf hat for the holiday season and I feel like you could pull off the silver 3 version any time of the year. You can get these hats and the other colorways available, here for $45.

 

Ed Sheeran Talks About Girlfriend Cherry Seaborn on Taylor Swift’s End Game

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Ed Sheeran verse on his song with Taylor Swift is about his own “end game,” his girlfriend of two years Cherry Seaborn. Check out the telling lyrics below.

Now well, when I was young, we connected
When we were little bit older, both sprung

Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn first met when they were 11 back in Ireland, but she moved to North Carolina to attend Duke University. They reconnected through a mutual friend who was working on his tour.

After the storm, something was born on the 4th of July

Ed Sheeran has mentioned that Taylor Swift’s 2015 4th of July party is their anniversary.

After professing his undying love on the track, I wonder if a marriage proposal is next.

All of Chance The Rapper’s Sketches and Performances on Saturday Night Live So Far

Chance The Rapper hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time this Saturday, but this was not his first go around on the show by any means. He has performed on the show three times, twice as a musical guest and once as a surprise appearance for “Ultralight Beam” for when Kanye West was a musical guest. He has also appeared in two skits before being an official host.

Let’s look back at Chance on SNL so far. I’m sure he will be back for me.

First Appearance-musical guest-December 2015
Sunday Candy

Chance The Rapper – Sunday Candy SNL from ScousaJ on Vimeo.

Somewhere In Paradise

Chance The Rapper – Somewhere in Paradise (SNL 2015) from Arnold White on Vimeo.

Second Appearance-musical guest-February 2016

Ultralight Beam

Jingle Barack

Chance was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for his contribution on this song.

Silent Night

What happens when a community puts on a holiday play.

Same Drugs

Finish Line

Fourth Appearance, First Time Hosting-November 2017

Chance-giving Monologue

In his opening monologue, Chance writes a song about Thanksgiving to get that Mariah Carey holiday money

Sports Announcer

Chance plays a basketball commentator that has to cover a hockey game.

Rap History

This skit takes on the argument about current rap artists not knowing their history.

Come Back, Barack

Chance makes an old school R&B asking Barack to come back. Throwback elemenets included large suits, singing in the rain and a bedroom set.

Porn Pizza Delivery

What happens when someone does not understand they are part of a porn.

Wayne Thanksgiving

Batman’s excessive “justice” is talked about during a Bruce Wayne food drive.

Family Feud: Harvey Family Thanksgiving

Paternity controversy when Steve Harvey’s family visits Family Feud.

Career Day:

Two kids gas their parents up on Career Day. Oh, P.S., Chance is shirtless.

Do you think Chance will be nominated for any Emmys for this appearance on SNL?

Taylor Swift Reveals the Process Behind making “Call It What You Want”

Taylor’s AT&T channel has been releasing behind the scenes videos of the making of the album “reputation” with its series “Making of A Song.” Most of the videos have been posted on Taylor’s YouTube channel so far, except “Call It What You Want.” However, a helpful YouTube user has uploaded the video above.

This is one of my favorite songs off the album, so it was cool to see the process. Also, Taylor basically confirms that that necklace she’s been wearing frequently in the initial of her lover. You can find the necklace here.

Xscape’s interview on Watch What Happens Live Is The Most Awkward Thing I’ve Ever Seen And I Love It

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Recently united girl group Xscape came on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live after the second episode of their four part docuseries on the network, and it was so cringeworthy. While Watch What Happens is usually a very light late night show gossiping about Housewives, Andy stepped on some land mines and tender spots while asking questions with the group. Some highlights include:

Kandi calling out Tiny about her and Tip being together

The facial expressions! The lies! Kandi smelled the b.s. and called out it immediately. I’m happy they are back together though, they have a beautiful family and seem to love each other.
Xscape existing without Kandi
When Andy asked if they were making new music together, everyone except Kandi said they were. When Andy followed up with if they are performing that’s when things got even more awkward.  They might need to make a quick legal decision about the name rights.
Kandi and Jermaine Dupri
So Kandi admits that she slept with Jermaine Durpi, but not his dad.

Tamika talks about being pressured to get an abortion

This is more so sad than awkward. At least they were honest about the past.
And here is the after show with more shade

Overall, I just hope that the tour goes smoothly and that Tiny and Kandi, who have remained good friends over the years, stay that way.

Taylor Swift Announces Tour Dates for ‘reputation’ North American tour

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On the heels of the Friday release of her latest album, ‘reputation,’ Taylor Swift has announced the dates for the tour to support the album. A stadium tour, Taylor will be playing sport arenas around the country.  This explains why we don’t see a date for a major city like, New York City, because NYC does not have a stadium within the city.

Tickets go on sale December 13, Taylor’s birthday. However, the deadline to join the Taylor Swift Tix program, the way to get in line for tickets, is November 28. Join the program here and see the dates below.

International tour dates, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand will be announced at a later date.

May 8 – Glendale, AZ @ University of Phoenix Stadium
May 12 – Santa Clara, CA @ Levi’s Stadium
May 19 – Pasadena, CA @ Rose Bowl
May 22 – Seattle, WA @ CenturyLink Field
May 25 – Denver, CO @ Sports Authority Field At Mile High
June 2 – Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field
June 30 – Louisville, KY @ Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
July 7 – Columbus, OH @ Ohio Stadium
July 10 – Washington, DC @ FedEx Field
July 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lincoln Financial Field
July 17 – Cleveland, OH @ First Energy Stadium
July 21 – East Rutherford, NJ @ MetLife Stadium
July 28 – Foxborough, MA @ Gillette Stadium
August 4 – Toronto, ON @ Rogers Centre
August 7 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field
August 11 – Atlanta, GA @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
August 14 – Tampa, FL @ Raymond James Stadium
August 18 – Miami, FL @ Hard Rock Stadium
August 25 – Nashville, TN @ Nissan Stadium
August 28 – Detroit, MI @ Ford Field
September 01 – Minneapolis, MN @ U.S. Bank Stadium
September 08 – Kansas City, MO @ Arrowhead Stadium
September 15 – Indianapolis, IN @ Lucas Oil Stadium
September 18 – St. Louis, MO @ The Dome at America’s Center
September 22 – New Orleans, LA @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome
September 29 – Houston, TX @ NRG Stadium
October 6 – Arlington, TX @ AT&T Stadium

WGCI Announces Big Jam 2017 Line up

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WGCI announced its line up for its annual concert, The Big Jam. Returning to headline again is Chris Brown, who headlined last year. With a new album out with 45 songs and his already extensive catalog, he has a lot of songs to choose from. Other artists on the line up include Rick Ross, Yo Gotti, Playboi Carti, Jacquees and G Herbo.

I’ve seen Yo Gotti live a few times, ad he definitely has club hits that are fun to experience live.  While this line up is good so far, I’m curious about who else will be announced.

You can purchase tickets for the show here.

Where To Listen to Taylor Swift’s “reputation” for free online

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While its a fact that Taylor Swift’s newest album “reputation” will be released tomorrow, there has been no official word if the album will be available on streaming services, and for how long it will be off streaming services if they do decide to first only do a physical release.

However, what we know for sure is that it will be available on the iHeartRadio app for free tomorrow.  They made this announcement on social media, making it the first known place where you can stream “reputation” tomorrow.

Will you be buying “reputation” tomorrow or just waiting for it to stream?

UPDATE:

You can listen to “reputation” radio here.