music, opinion

Anybody else watch the first season of Sisterhood of Hip Hop? Initially, I didn’t think I was going to like the show as much as I actually did. One of the featured artists from the show, Bia [@pericoprincess], dropped #CHOLASEASON. With solid production and a catchy flow, Bia def shows promise for female rap artists. Plus, Skateboard P x her mentor, Fam Lay are blessing tracks once again. Looove. Listen here!


[DIY] Party Life

fashion, fun, music

Who decided that adult parties can’t be just as thoughtful, creative and entertaining as kid’s parties? Most of us have either attended or had our share of themed kid’s celebrations, with plates and napkins emblazoned with popular cartoon characters or a cake shaped like your favorite sports equipment. A little thought and creativity can go a long way. The fun doesn’t have to stop earlier in life! Plan an adult themed party like this one for instance…

Jay-Z Themed Celebration


Use your favorite artist’s album covers or themes to invite your guests. One of my favorite Jay albums is The Blueprint. What better way to inform your guests about your celebration than to create a special “blueprint” detailing all the who, what, where, when and why. You can also print actual outlines in blue on tracing paper to layer inside your paper contents.



[“My favorite hue is Jay-Z Blue.”] Did you know Jay really has his own color? Have your guests join you in their favorite touches of blue in honor of your Mr. Carter themed celebration. Though I love Jay, blue S. Dot’s need not apply!

[Decor]Vibrant Gold and Rich Blues!

Create tablescapes using shades that will complement your guests’ touches of blue. Name each of your tables after a favorite song from any album. Some of my faves include “Reasonable Doubt,” “Politics As Usual,” “Allure,” “Sunshine,” and “Forever Young.” Don’t forget to include menu cards detailing some of the creative food and drink choices available.

[Food and Drinks]

Ty Ty Mai Tai

Say what up to Ty Ty…Still sippin’ Mai Tais. You don’t need a best friend named Ty Ty to enjoy Mai Tais with your guest. Pay homage to a lifelong friend with a signature drink, the “Ty Ty Mai Tai.”

Sweet drinks not your thing? Other acceptable options from Mr. Carter himself, “That D’usse is the ish if I do say so myself”…. “Gold bottles of the Ace of Spades“…. and if you really want to throw it back, “Armadale poppin now, only bring a jigga more”

Banana Pudding Cups
Uncle Bobby's Banana Pudding // I don't know who "Uncle Bobby" is, but he makes a mean pudding, apparently.
….Plus she fed me…banana puddin’ was in the hood then. Spark up some Shawn Carter nostalgia for your guests by including this classic dessert in a miniature serving size. Bonus points for which guest can rap the verses to Momma Loves Me and eat the banana pudding at the same time.

Queen Bey Cake Pops

Bee cake balls. Bzzzzz...

Watch out for the BeyHive. What’s a Jay function without his leading lady? Give your guests some of Jay’s honey by featuring a “Bey” Cake Pop option.

Empire State Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza Cupcakes - great for a quick lunch or dinner! Also makes great football food! #tailgating

A bite from the Big Apple. Although, NY pizza is usually foldable and comes in a large slice, these bite sized pizza cupcakes will have your guests with an “Empire State of Mind.”


I think this goes without saying but, MAKE A PLAYLIST! The best part of this party will be the tracks you self select for your guests to enjoy. Create a special playlist using a site like spotify and send it to all of your guests as a thank you for a memorable night. Also feel free to give out special gifts like copies of “Carlito’s Way, “Streets is Watching,” or “Reasonable Doubt” for the best touch of blue ensemble and the guest who could finish the most Jay lyrics. If you really want to impress, deliver a Cohiba to a few privileged guests.

Lastly, invite me and have fun! Remember, “When you’re blue, you got nothin’ to do…head into the party life.”

Listen to This [Round Midnight]

kulture, music, opinion

FullSizeRenderThis isn’t like Jill Scott. This isn’t like Chrisette Michelle. This isn’t like Lauryn Hill. This is the one and only Davonne D’Neil.

Though all of the aforementioned artists each made her claim in the music world with amazing vocals and musical compositions, Davonne D’Neil’s recent release of “Round Midnight” is also refreshing sound oozing with femininity, nostalgic R&B samples, and lyrics that might have you reading through old text messages from you know who.

The album from the D[M]V artist, which boasts 17 tracks, is easy to relate to and perfectly describes familiar scenarios perfectly, like catching someone’s eye in On The Low, sharing a dance with your favorite person in All Night Long [which also features a live instrumentation go-go inspired beat], or reflecting on lost love in my personal fave, Charlie.

The album has plenty of features as well. Davonne shows her vocal creativity alongside other artists in several songs including, Coffeehouse Conversation, You’re Like, Wine Side and Hey Baby.

I can say much more about Round Midnight but I definitely invite you to enjoy this refresher for yourself. The production, lyrics and vocal abilities of Davonne make it easy to listen to this album over and over again.

Now can I get a Charlliiiiiiieeeeee….?

Buy Round Midnight here

Follow IG @davonnedneil


One Liner god [OVO]

kulture, music, opinion

I’m a fan of Drake. Ever since I listened to him say “Shake up the world that is what I’m bout to do…” and sample Goapele’s “Closer” on Comeback Season, I’ve been addicted to his lyrics and ability to harmonize and rap on the same track all while being transparent about his personal life and experiences.

The self-proclaimed, October’s Very Own [OVO], recently dropped 3 new tracks proving his ownership of the title OVO. Here are some of my favorite one-liners from the tracks below.

Heat of the Moment

“They don’t read anymore…They don’t even read anymore”

This line is funny to me! As a teacher, I always talk about how my students now and in the past, don’t f’n read! It sucks! Drake too sounds concerned about the future generations and their lack of literary interest. This track describes how the rapper and younger generations are primarily interested in the now, living in the heat of the moment, rather than their impact on the future. Oh, and it also features a really funny phone call clip from Drake’s dad.

How About Now

“Remember when you had to take the bar exam, I drove in the snow for you”

“I bought your dad a bunch of sh*t for Christmas he aint even say thank you.”

I feel like a lot of guys who felt unappreciated in a relationship are going to make this song their anthem. Drake compares his extraordinary efforts in a failed relationship with the girl’s lack of effort, then basically throws it all back in her face over a Jodeci sample. If I was this girl, I would definitely feel some type of way! And whoever’s dad that is who didn’t say thank you for the Christmas gift… What a shame *French Montana voice*

6 God

“Sold a couple bentleeeeys last week, they want my old toys”

“You was poppin’ back when usher wore a U-chain”

“Nobody really likes us, except for us”

Perfect song for doing your cardio routine or sh*t talking, or both. Drake extends the ending of some words at the end of a bar and creates a really infectious flow. This song will definitely get lots of plays in clubs.

What new release from Drake is your favorite?

“Do Art!”- Visual Artist K.O. Gray

kulture, opinion


The Arts [visual, musical, performance] is the pulse of our society. We are affected at every waking minute of our lives by the creativity, dedication and motivation of others. The perfect song on the album that described your first breakup, the larger than life mural that peers into your eyes every day on the way to work, or a viral video of the latest flash mob that captures your attention, The Arts helps us to express ourselves in ways that may seem unimaginable.


K.O.’s son works on a creation in the home studio

K.O. Gray is a talented visual artist colorfully brushing his way into being mentioned among the conversation of artistic greats. Neon graffiti of words and inspirational symbols, homemade paint palettes splattered with acrylic colors and floating images of Benjamin Franklin and Bishop from the influential movie, Juice, all share space in his home studio.

Screenshot via K.O. Gray’s Personal Site

Canvases of musicians like Yasiin Bey, Marvin Gaye, Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown and Jill Scott display how Gray combines musical influences with his creative talents. Not only does this visual artist create masterpieces for walls, but also for your feet with custom painted Timberland boots and Converse classic Chuck Taylor’s.


October 20, 2014, at Penn Social in Washington, DC, Gray will be a featured visual artist at AXIS presented by A ticket guarantees your mind to be visually stimulated by one of the DMV region’s artistic greats. Contact K.O. Gray Visual Stimulator \\ @grayart814 via IG \\  x kennie

“what the kids gone listen to?”- ye


[new music] i’m just going to put this out there, but i’m a huge music fan! especially rap and hip hop. my allegiance has forever been to shawn c. carter. with that being said, i feel like i have pretty high standard when it comes to the composition of a song. i hold the lyric bar pretty high and love a complex use of metaphors and double entendres, lets not mention my love for sensory imagery. im “collegey” idc [english major probs].

a topic of conversation this weekend was about the new singles in rotation on tv and radio and debating on whether or not we really knew the words to the songs that everybody is “turning up” to. this debate has even gathered some following on social media, people make hilarious memes or videos attempting to catch a few words in a track. my curiosity led me to looking up [the lyrics to the ever so popular richgang’s “lifestyle”] why in the f**K did i do that?

all im going to comment on is in one part of the song they discuss a feminine hygiene product… like really?! is this what it’s coming to? don’t get me wrong, i laugh and i’ll do a lil “shmoney” dance two step, and attempt to sing along too, but then i always feel a cloud of guilt like, wait, what the hell did they just say? then a temporary moment of freak out usually ending with “what the kids gone listen to?” (ye voice) no, really what are they going to listen to?

so what’s a problem without a solution? the reality is people, like what they like, it’s that simple. but with the heavy influence that the music industry has on so many, old and especially young, i think balance is key. i try not to limit myself to only one or two genres of music because lyrics are pretty universal. with that being said, i fully encourage the turn up from time to time but don’t limit yourself to one type of music. it’s intended to reach the masses so explore! x kennie