Generally, pop music takes great care of language. Although lately there some artists and composers have taken many freedoms, because the truth, should not be so important if the things that are said are congruent with what is meant and already. But the industry keeps certain standards since it wants to reach a wider audience and thus increase its sales. Therefore, the curses are a little more on the side of the music of bad boys: rock, punk, rap, and hip-hop among others. Somehow, these rougher styles are aimed at audiences who already know what they are going to hear, while pop is always related to younger people and perhaps very guarded by their parents, so an error in what it is said, is made or shown, can be decisive with the future of the artist or the sales of the song – That's why Lauv's song caught my attention: “f*ck, I'm lonely (with Anne-Marie)”, which with a lot of naturalness and good rhythm, includes the most Satanized 'F' word in the English-speaking world. I don't know why it's something so serious; however, I lived the experience in a job (where English was spoken) in which the simple fact that they heard you say that word was a reason to be fired without the right to defend the point. Either way. I do not know if this is the case everywhere where English is spoken, but the truth is that in Mexico and perhaps throughout the Spanish-speaking world, things are a bit more relaxed with the use of language, which for me is a relief since sometimes I am very foul-mouthed – Anyway, for me, it is quite an enigma what will happen with the song of Lauv and Anne-Marie. The parents of the younger fans of these singers are probably not very happy and as is common around music, there is always a scandal where there isn't. Freedom of expression is a right and the meaning (strong or light) of the words that come from people's mouths, is given by those who hear it. It is the recipients who give it weight or naturally take the words of those who pronounce them – For now, let's watch for reactions to a song that is very good and harmless to me even though I include the ‘F’ word in the main chorus. Or it will be that they simply publish a version with the famous ‘beep’ and fix the matter, which would be pathetic.
“Since Take Care, I’ve been caretakin’.” – Drake “Redemption”Drake, similar to the likes of JAY-Z, Lil Wayne and Method Man, in regard to the consecutive quality of his albums, reeks with legendary status. His climb to fame, although over a decade in the making, began with one of his first and most notable releases Take Care. Everyone has a favorite Drake album and mine happens to be Take Care. Drizzy creates music in a generation that has a short attention span yet he can curate an album with over 15 records on it and everyone listens from beginning to end. Most musicians produce some of their best music during the infancy of their careers and although Drake has only improved overtime, there's something so classic and raw about this album. I enjoy listening to artists that were born to create music. There's nothing forced about Drake's delivery - ever. It's his effortless approach to music that gifts his records stuck-on-repeat trends. Take Care boasts with 19 records amid features from Lil Wayne, Andre 3000, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar to name a few. Each feature on this album comes from an artist that's already a legend or a legend in the making. Think about it, artists like The Weeknd, Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar truly began to flourish after this album's release. Now let's be clear, I'm not saying this album kicked off any of the aforementioned artists careers, but I will say that it was a healthy boost. Furthermore, each of the featured artists on this album were noteworthy additives not mere meaningless, poppycock verses or pitchy hooks. Drake's genius was apparent from the beginning and his relentlessness and slightly petty antics over the years have shaped him into the mogul and character we know him as today. From Degrassi to the Grammy’s, he’s a true chameleon in the best way. In my opinion Drake created a new genre of music.
DaBaby finally makes his Interscope Records debut. His top-charting album Baby on Baby solidifies his mark in the music industry. Unlike the thousands of fans who’ve known the name for quite some time, he’s a new voice to my ears, one I had chosen to lollygag about. My brother raved about the North Carolina native MC and insisted on my listening to his latest body of work. I brushed it off but one day while I was scrolling through Tidal, the Baby On Baby project popped up on my list of ‘Suggested New Albums.’ I was at the gym and I figured, “Why not take a listen,” and I freaking loved it. He truly has a sound all his own. It’s infused with hip-hop and trap but there’s something about his flow that’s undeniably unique. This generation tends to replicate sounds amid simultaneously trying to call it a sound they “created.” However, DaBaby truly does have his own sound. I listened to every song on this album because I fell in love with his energy from the opening hype anthem “Taking It Out” to bouncy closing acts like “Walker Texas Ranger.” He has a crazy flow and a high level of marketability that’s catapulted him to international acclaim – The album opens with his hit single “Suge” that’s amassed millions of streams and over 80 million views on YouTube. There’s something about that record, that’s just absolutely infectious. He found the pocket of the production and flowed over it perfectly thus giving this track stuck-on-repeat tendencies. The record listens and views like a Suge Knight parody riddled with truths about the slave-like nature of the music industry. “Suge” also boasts with his witty, playful and charismatic personality. DaBaby raps, “The first n** play, I'ma body a n** (Ha) I just checked my balance / I'll probably pull up to your hood and come buy me a n**** (No cap)”
Nicki Minaj’s Pink Print proved to be one truly stellar album, from the awards to the number of albums sold – she shifted the industry on its axis. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with 244,000 album units sold in its first week, of which 198,000 were pure sales. More than just a female rapper, she’s a trendsetter and record breaker. In 2018, Onika became the first female rapper ever to sell at least five million copies of each of her albums, which includes Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up and of course, The Pink Print. The Pink Print solidified Nicki as an artist not just a rapper. She even created a mini-film to accompany the album – that’s epic. She’s an undeniable MC, no doubt, and this album boasted with hits like “The Crying Game,” featuring Jessie Ware, “Only” featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown and “Feeling Myself” featuring the one and only Beyoncé. When an artist organically creates music, tells their narrative and incubates in their creative process, the music hearkens as such. Nicki, at the time of this album’s release in 2014, hit what I’ve deemed as the “Drake” faze of her career. The “Drake” faze is that untouchable moment in your music career where everything you touch literally turns to gold, hence the fact that we know that every song Drake features on turns into a top charting record – you get the point. Everyone knew her name and everyone adored her music but she didn’t have any real competition. Remy Ma was still incarcerated, Lil Kim wasn’t releasing music, Trina took a break etc. thus she was really only competing with herself. Her only task at hand was to out-do her previous works which she did with the Pink Print, however, if we roll into present day, four years later, she releases the Queen album. Queen laced in 19 tracks amid features from Lil Wayne, The Weeknd and Foxy Brown, to name a few is a valiant effort but falls shy of my expectations. Overall, sonically speaking it is a solid body of work but not an impressive one in my opinion. Rappers lose that “It” factor when they start “trying” to be rappers. The grit she possessed in The Pink Print with records like “Four Door Aventador” where she raps, “I'm in the V like a widow's peak / It's just me and my Rolls Royce pillow seats / Why they staring at me? I brung MacLaren with me /Yo, matter of fact, I think I'ma bring Donna Karan with me.” She loves a good name-drop. Her wordplay gets even crazier as she goes on to rap, “And you my son, I don't know, it's just the parent in me / I am the best, I am the queen, it's so apparent it me.” Her witty pen game thus transcended her into the revered artist she is today but her gifted bars set an expectation that we expected her to fulfill.
Avril Lavigne music has been the soundtrack for part of my life, since her debut album. From the time I was a 12-year-old "Sk8er Boy" who just wanted to revolt against the system, whose life was "Complicated" for a young man. Who was trying to find himself in the world, thinking to himself, where do I belong? Dedicating the song "I'm with you" to himself. Her music resonated all the way to her sophomore album when life seemed to be as dark as her album. When my sister handed me a note stating, "I want to kill myself." The lyrics of "No Body Home," hit home. It was the only song that could make me associate to what she was feeling. I always say, where words falter, music vocalises. When she sang: “She wants to go home, but nobody's home. That's where she lies. Broken inside with no place to go. No place to go to dry her eyes! Broken inside! Her feelings she hides, her dreams she can't find. She's losing her mind, she's falling behind she can't find her place, she's losing her faith, she’s falling from grace, she's all over the place, yeah." – Avril. The lyrics will forever be hunting, and it made me realise that suicide is no fool and must be taking earnestly. My skin still crawls, and I want to jump out of my skin every single time I listen to this song. Still makes me shake, and it scares me to death to even think how much pain one must be in. The feeling of despair in Avril voice would match the despair I was feeling. Wondering what I could do to make this situation better. Still, the song gives you a bit of hope. Being both angelic and cryptic, it's like a California sunset joining the blue ocean waves in the middle of an Eclipse. Drawing in on sorrows in a dark place but trying to find peace. A beautiful song but yet emotional and frightening all at the same time.