T-Ran x Outside The Box: Still Dreaming (Mixtape)


I usually test out my new music while I’m working out in the gym since it always the most downtime for me and my thought process seems to work the most. T-Ran released his latest project Outside The Box: Still Dreaming this past weekend and I could tell that determination, thought, and true emotion went into this project. For those of you who aren’t familiar with T-Ran as an artist he is an Oakland Bred rapper currently residing in Washington, D.C. where he is actively pursuing his career in music. He has recently opened for Big Sean at the New Parish in Oakland and set a high standard for upcoming artists that followed him. I have also had a chance to interview him in a previous post that you can check out here.  His drive and determination is what makes him stand out as an artist and I have become an instant fan upon meeting him.

I love how Outside The Box: Still Dreaming tells real-life stories, it’s like I’m taking a trip through his thoughts. “Heart & Soul”, “Ohh Baby” and “I Need You” seems to appeal to his female audience but it picks back up with his dreams and aspirations as an artist with “Still Dreaming” and “By Any Means”.

T-Ran describes his inspiration behind this mixtape in his own words as, “chasing my dreams really asking myself is it worth it…meaning music. I was in a place of feeling like I was doing this all in vain because of how much I was puting in and not feeling like I was getting through. I was feeling like I was fighting a battle that was set up for me to lose.  I’ve been rapping since I was 7, and as I continued to get better I was just feeling like I could lose my dream at anytime. But through it all I know that music is the only thing I could see me doing and thats where the “Still Dreaming” aspect came from. From me loving hip hop so much I could never give up on dream no matter what.”

So there you have it, regardless of your own circumstances we all have a dream and T-Ran truly shares his dream through this project. Take a listen.

Download Outside The Box: Still Dreaming here

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SIJI x Ijo (Video)

Check out this visual interpretation sent from Lagos, Nigeria where artists Siji collaborated with Alix Alveratze to produce their classic single “Ijo”.  I get flustered with a lot of music submissions but I love this vibe and the dancing of this video so I decided to share it with you guys.  What do you guys think?

SIJI – ‘Ijo'(Official Video) from SIJI on Vimeo.

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Jill Scott x Shame ft. Eve (Video)

She’s BACCCCCCCK!!!! Jill Scott released her music video for her new single (like last week), “Shame,” and the coolest part about it was the location.  She decided to film at the Cecil B Moore Recreational Center in northern Philadelphia where she grew up.  She has donated money to the center and so I see this as a community tribute to her stomping grounds.  “Shame is on her upcoming album “The Light of the Sun” which is set to be released June 28th 2011. What ya’ll think?

The Beauty Within by Dead Prez

I’m really starting to appreciate artists and their efforts to uplifting natural beauty. It’s not about hate or discrimination so when I see Dead Prez devoting a song on the essence of natural beauty it really shines a positive light. They released it around Mother’s Day last year but it can never get out when you are celebrating Mama Earth. (Earth Day, Mother’s Day, catch my drift?) The main stream media doesn’t always portray the “natural woman” in a positive aspect so it’s only right that I give spotlight to those that do. “The Beauty Within” is taken from the mixtape with DJ Drama “Revolutionary But Gangsta Grillz”. Artists Stic Man and M-1 or RBG explain the essence of naturaly beauty over B.O.B’s “Nothing on You” beat. What do you guys think?

Dead Prez “The Beauty Within” from kinetikcinematix on Vimeo.

Erykah Badu’s Set at Coachella 2011

Check out Erykah Badu’s set at Coachella this past weekend (Saturday) where she performed a very long set (45 mins) entertaining the crowd with her creativity as usual while giving them quite a bit of her discography. She did my favorite of hers, can you guess which one? Enjoy!

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Solange, Cassie, and Selita Ebanks New Ambassadors for Carol’s Daughter Multiracial Campaign

Solange, Cassie, and Selita Ebanks are the new Faces of the Carol’s Daughter Multiracial Campaign.  By soliciting “Beauty is Diversity” these ladies are on the newest cover of WWD Style Magazine representing the three nationalities that make up the recent demographic shift reported by the U.S. Census.  According to Lisa Price, founder of this line, she wanted her spokesman to represent the multiracial diversity that makes up the country today.  I think it’s dope that Carol’s Daughter is not limiting her products to one ethnicity, but instead providing skin and hair products for mutli-ethnic women.  Just a side note, Solange has really revamped her image and I am really enjoying her new representation.  Her confidence is at an all time high, must have something to do with being the new spokeswoman. Way to go!

Afro Chick’s Pick: Hair Milk & Earrings

I wanted to show you guys my funky look from this past weekend.  It was inspired by Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk and Deana’s Earrings and Things .  I am always look for earrings to add to my creative collection and I came across her line randomly. They are handmade crochet yarn earrings and she makes them in all colors of the rainbow. Since red is a popular color to my wardrobe you know I had to cop these.

My Hair?  I have been trying to craft the ultimate fro for quite some times so I tend to try new products and spend hours on youtube teaching myself ways to care for my natural hair.  I am no expert, but when people ask me how do I get it this way, I do not hold back on advice.  I used Carol’s Daughter Curl Definer with Murray’s loc gel to do a two strand twist. (disclaimer: I am not TOO fond of Carol’s Daughter Products!!!)  I kept the twist in for three days, due to my strenuous work out schedule but when I took them out for the weekend I like the results but it’s not ALL THAT.   However, my hair was soft and didn’t feel too cakey or dry at all.  Here are more pictures.  Do share your feedback =)

Easter Dean x Take You To Rio

Check out the latest track from Easter Dean, “Take You To Rio”, which is on the soundtrack for the animated film Rio starring Jamie Foxx as one of the characters.  I think this song is tropical and care-free so it was only right to bring it to your ears on a Tuesday.  Not to mention, I’m going to go see Rio when it comes out cause I LOVE animated films with black actors.  Enjoy!

Lo Down Loretta Brown x The DJ Set

Lo Down Loretta Brown also known as Erykah Badu will have a DJ set April 20th at Ruby Skye in SF.  All you die hard fans might want to claim your spot now because she will be taking us all on this funkiest hip hop roller coaster any DJ will take you on.  Check out this video below and Get Your Tickets Here.  I will definitely be in the house. Will you?

LO DOWN LORETTA BROWN from Creative Control on Vimeo.