17 Best Albums of 2017

It’s been a few weeks since I last uploaded a blog post but I’m back now. It’s unlikely that I’ll be posting every week as thinking of new blog post ideas is proving difficult and my free time is slowly decreasing; as A levels and athletics begin take over in the new year.

But anyways, I thought I’d end this year with a post listing what I consider to be the best albums that have been released this year. Seventeen of them to be precise. These are based on artistic content and not popularity. So, if you’re a pop music fan then this probably isn’t a good read for you. I listen to A LOT of albums. I add them to my library weekly when they release on a Friday but these are the ones that stood out for me. I consider some of these albums to be literal masterpieces. I hope that I persuade some of you to listen to a few of them at some point if you haven’t done so already. For reference, I find the majority of my music on Tidal.

Let’s do this in chronological order as listing them from best to is proving too challenging for my indecisive self.

IMG-36081. Kehlani – SweetSexySavage

This album is self explanatory in the sense that there are elements of sweet, sexy and savage throughout. Kehlani entered 2017 with a bang with this debut album and she has demonstrated how hard work really does pay off. The vocal arrangements and production are astonishing. She really put her foot down to claim being the new R&B princess.

2. Sampha – Process

Process is another debut album that I would recommend. I often listen to it when revising as it is somewhat relaxing.

IMG-36113. Stormzy – Gang Sings & Prayers

I first listened to Stormzy’s album with a closed minded perception of him. I now realise that it was a result of the media’s representation of him being unintelligent and unable to make ‘real’ music. However, ‘Gang Sign’s & Prayers’ is artistically exciting and is cohesively satisfying. Stormzy has had a big impact on British music and grime in particular with this album and I am somewhat proud of him for it. I would definitely recommend for people to and give the album a listen.

4. Khalid – American Teen

Despite how commercialised Khalid has become over this year, I have to admit that his album is generally an enjoyable listen. I like how carefree and youthful it is.

Here’s where it starts to get really good…

IMG-36135. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

DAMN, Kendrick really made a genius album this year. The cohesive elements of the album is magical and he continues to  deliver hard bars that are often underappreciated. I feel as though Kendrick Lamar has truly created one of the most clever albums after announcing that it was actually meant to be listened to backwards due to the narrative. I would be very happy to see him take many Grammy awards for it in February next year.

IMG-36146. SZA – Ctrl

Now, Ctrl is one of THE best albums of 2017 and best debut albums that I have ever listened to. I wrote a whole blog post on it here if you would like a more in depth analysis. SZA is what the R&B scene has been missing for years.

IMG-36157. Lorde – Melodrama

I have gone on about this album so much this year, labelling it as the ‘Best Album of 2017’, a ‘masterpiece’ that has a powerful narrative of a breakup and heartache. Of course, I wrote a whole separate blog post on this album which you can find here. I just love the honesty, narrative and brilliance of this album. After being nominated at the Grammy’s for ‘Album of the Year’, I would be so happy for Lorde to take the award home with her.

8. Jay-Z – 4:44

The legend himself, Jay-Z dropped ‘4:44’, exclusively for Tidal customers and the honesty, empowerment and buzz that it gives off is astonishing. I was shocked but pleased with him after revealing untold truths about his infidelity. The mature approach to subject matters of a black empowerment and equality concerning race and sexuality only made me praise him more despite his life mistakes. I wrote more about this album and the messages behind it here.

amine-good-for-you9. Aminé – Good For You

I have a growing love for Aminé, every time I listen to ‘Good For You’. The causal and cheeky feel that he gives off in his debut album can only lift your mood. Its pretty ‘litty’ in my opinion. I wrote more about ‘Good For You’ earlier this year in a blog post here.

10. Daniel Caesar – Freudian

This is probably the most fresh feeling albums of 2017. The cohesive album ‘Freudian’ is a personal favourite in terms of listening satisfaction. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Frank Ocean or Solange Knowles. I am definitely excited to see him and his music career flourish in the future.

IMG-375111. BROCKHAMPTON – SATURATION II

This album had me SOOK on so many levels. The irregular ‘boy-band’, BROCKHAMPTON produce some of the best rap bars that I have personally listened to in terms of originality. I don’t even know how to explain the production and sounds on this album. Just go and listen to it for yourselves, PLEASE. They released three albums this year, part 1, 2 and 3 of the SATURATION trilogy. Part 3 was only released last week! It’s crazy. They will forever leave me mind-blown.

12. Sabrina Claudio – About Time

I would say that ‘About Time’ is another refreshing album that is somewhat relaxing. I look forward to hearing more music from Sabrina in the future.

13. Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me

I don’t tend to listen to the big ‘pop’ albums, but after watching Demi Lovato’s Youtube documentary, I felt like I had to go on to listen to her album. The documentary was rather deep at times. For the album itself, it’s pretty good if i’m honest. I was surprised with how strong her voice really is.

IMG-375214. Kelela – Take Me Apart

‘Take Me Apart’ is an album that I would say it up there with ‘Melodrama’ and ‘DAMN.’ in terms of its artistic ability. The album is cohesive and is a personal favourite of mine. Kelela created what I would call a masterpiece here. With it’s ‘breakup’ theme, Kelela goes in hard on this LP.

15. Willow – The 1st

This album is just adorable. Willow never fails to produce good music. Despite it being a short album, I was truly satisfied with the music that was produced.

Don’t judge me but…

IMG-375316. Taylor Swift – reputation

I don’t like Taylor Swift personally but I decided to listen to ‘reputation’ due to it being one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. I was definitely surprised. I have to admit that this is a really good pop album with some great pop anthems throughout.

…And finally…

17. Chance The Rapper & Jeremih – Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama Re-Wrapped

Released literally LAST NIGHT, Chance and Jeremih dropped a surprise Christmas album and it’s amazing. Whenever they collaborate together, they make wonders happen. The R&B sounds that they’ve been able to incorporate into this album are so inventive. Plus, they even got Noname to feature on it.

…And that is my list completed.

It’s interesting that around half of what I would call the ‘Best Albums of 2017’ are actually debut albums. Hopefully this means that the artists are only going to produce even better albums later down the line in their careers. It’s strange that the albums that stood out for me the most this year had themes of love and heartbreak. It must mean that I’m a sucker the emotional stuff. Lol. Anyway, I’m excited for what music 2018 has in the bag for us. See you all in next year 🙂

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A Short Summary of the Colorism in the Media

I always feel that people will be reading my posts which are similar to this and be thinking, “Wow, he’s brave for speaking about this topic” or something along those lines. And when you think about it, it’s kind of true. But, i’m not writing about nonsense. What I’m writing about, isn’t just me waffling on about rubbish. Let’s be open minded.

Colorism sounds like a silly little thing. Unfortunately not. It’s a big problem in society that most are blind to. Colorism has certainly effected me in my short lifetime so far. I was unaware of it too. Problems like this tend to effect people without them even noticing it.

So, what  is colorism? Colorism is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on skin tone or shade. Racism is a different mater so let’s not get the two confused. It’s definitely not about disliking black people. A lot of it is actually about black people discriminating against other black people.

I think that today in 2017, colorism is demonstrated the most in the media so that’s what I’m going to talk about. The media influences the ways that we think about each other. Whether that be about race, gender or religion.

In the matter of colorism, I think that it’s fair to say that people of colour are increasingly being represented more in the media which is great. However, the majority of coloured people being used in advertisement are light skinned. They might be black, but they’re of a lighter shade compared to the average black person. It happens a lot in modelling for be clothes or makeup.

The message that the media sends to us is that, us dark skinned kids aren’t pretty enough to be the face of a clothing line or makeup brand. The light skinned kids are the pretty ones.

Representation of darker skinned black women is getting better with examples of Beyoncé’s Ivy Park collection and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty release. Both include models from all shades and colours from white to black, Asian to European and so on. But let’s not be dependant on black businesswomen to include a fair representation of coloured people in advertisement. Especially those who’s profession is to actually sing. We need representation to happen across the board

As a summary, colorism basically makes dark skinned people feel alienated and not worthy and the media fuels this ideology massively.

Instagram: what’s behind the smile?

We’re bombarded with images of happiness on social media. But what’s behind the smile?

These days, everyone has an Instagram profile. A place for you to share images and videos with your friends, family and other followers. We all see those Instagram models with 100k+ followers. Their lives look great right? Well, probably not as great as you might think. An Instagram profile is almost like the media industry as a whole. The media (or person in this situation) will only show you what they want you to see. We’re all guilty for it. Just think about your Instagram feed. You’re only showing your followers elements of your life that you want them to see, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s not a bad thing.

However, we have to admit that our Instagram accounts aren’t a ‘fair’ representation of ourselves. Unfortunately that has caused 12 year old’s following these so called ‘Instagram models’ that they look up to. It leads them to staring to compare themselves to them which isn’t great for the good old ‘mental health’. It makes you feel unsuited to the rest, almost not good enough. When you’re young and naive, you have a much more of a narrow minded outlook on the world and this is why it happens.

People will always aspire to be like others without taking into consideration that things are never perfect for anybody. So, the next time you compare yourself to that Instagram model, top athlete or musician, just remember that it wasn’t too simple for Oprah to become a billionaire.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram here and criticise me for my bad representation on Instagram.

(This one was just a short one. Nothing too deep, just a few thoughts that I thought would be good to write about.)