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Hey? If you’re reading this that means you’re taking time out to view my magazine. I run a blog call vonnep.wordpress.com and music is a big part of what I love so sometimes I write thoughts on songs or artists that moves me at the moment. I’m a graphic design major and sometimes the projects I get in school don’t cut it or really deal with the field I want to do. Magazines are one of the things that I love, one day it hit me, why don’t I design a ‘magazine’ so to say with the ‘reviews’ I posted on my blog that way I get to put my design work into play. By no means am I an expert or perfect yet, but this will give me the opportunity to work on my skills and on my writing skills too. Magazines always interested me so I decided not to always wait for an opportunity but instead create the opportunity, so I plan on doing creating more magazines an expanding my content, but I first wanted to start off with something simpler. All of these reviews are dated with the original post date, excuse the writing it’s not the best but my words are from a true place. Enjoy, and it can only get better from here.


Donald, Troy, Childish Gambino? Whatever, either way he does an amazing job at which role he decides to be at the moment. I heard about his music last year in October or November. When I first heard ‘Culdesac’ honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. There were a couple of songs that really stood out to me but other than that there was nothing that special about him to me. But over the past couple of months this dude music has been growing on me heavy. When I downloaded his EP, I was blown away. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s an improvement from Culdesac, he definitely grew and came harder. For the last couple of days that’s all I’ve been listening to. I totally slept on this dude, seriously. I did know he could sing, because I’ve seen a video of him a while back performing ‘Got This Money’ which was incredible. He has great singing voice. But I was skeptical about him rapping. Now that I finally realize that he actually can rap, that’s out the door. He has improved a lot on his new EP. Four out of the six songs I have on rotation daily. With songs like Be Alone and Not Going Back, he does a great job with lyrics and delivery. Though his image is not the normal “rapper” image, being

that he’s an actor, comedian, went to NYU for film writing, and wrote for 30 rock and such, that’s out the norm. I like it though, it doesn’t matter if he’s one of those ‘actors turn rapper’ because he does a great job, and is doing quiet well at it and with his other careers, too. He doesn’t try to define his music or put labels on what he does or who he is, which is another reason I like him. He does what he’s comfortable with, and enjoys it. He may be different than your average rapper but I wouldn’t doubt him. His career in the music industry looks just as promising as his acting/comedian career. There’s no doubt that he’s very talented. Even though most of his songs that cover a specific subject, but covers the common, girls, money, life problems he plays it well to make it his own and expresses in a way which can be distinct from others. I would love to see what he has in store for his next project. I can only hope that it reaches beyond my expectations, and that it’s better than he previous work. With more growth in this, I can see him becoming a major problem.


hey? Man I feel so bad. One album I think I really underestimated is Miguel’s debut album. This is crucial. I really am baffled by why I waited so long to even listen to the album. I didn’t even listen to the whole cd till a year later and I kind of regret that. Of course I heard of his single with J. Cole and really loved it to no return at one point. “vixen” and “quickie” was already two songs I already heard way before he was getting recognition. Way back in maybe 06’ or 07 Miguel had “sure thing” that was out, at this time nobody had heard of him. I remember asking people and Google him and the results came up with a lot of Spanish people and maybe two pictures of him. Now to see him blowing up and have recognition all over the world is a really nice thing. More so for him I guess. But back to the album, It’s 2 years later from it’s release date and I still think this is maybe one of the best “r&b” albums that’s been out in a while. I still feel the same way I felt when I first heard it. It’s very rare to have an album out now that people (or maybe it’s just me) can listen from start to finish. With this album, it’s like everything is perfect, it all flows together and besides the over played “all I want is you” single every single song holds it own and is great. The songs placement fit. But one thing that I don’t want to over look is his talent. His voice is the main reason all these songs are gold. I certainly believe that if it was any other singer that’s out now, they couldn’t pull it off. His style musically fits him perfect. It just works.


Now I’m probably late but I don’t care, I was reading pitchfork’s “why we fight” ( which is a good read) and the writer was talking about Miguel and mentioned his 3 eps ADC vol 1,2,3 and of course I had to download it and see what it was all about. Simply amazing. The whole packaging around it was great. I thoroughly enjoyed all three eps. I feel like the 3 songs on each was a perfect amount. Sometimes people go overboard. And give you too many songs, which turn out to be 3 or 4 good songs and the other 10 ends up being a drag. Giving fans music while waiting for a bigger project is never a bad thing. I’m excited to see what’s his next project are going to be like. And “girl with the tattoo”? Mannnnnn listen…. I feel like he made angels cry while recording that.


When Overdoz released their mixtape “Live For Die For” I only listen through it once, and not even through every song, I don’t think. And like most times with a new artist, I didn’t listen to them again until now. People started talking about their new video for “Pasadena” which was all good things, so when I went to go look at it, I was stoked. There’s been a bit of a dry spell with these hip hop videos, if you want to call it that. Nothing wasn’t as much good or entertaining videos as there use to be. So when I saw this I was happy. Music videos is also something I want to take a part in creating and I love different videos that’s not like every other video with all the cars, women and etc, it gets boring. What happen to videos that you were actually excited to see? Some of the best videos came from Missy Elliott, she had it poppin’ when it came to the visuals, including some other artists too, but it kind of got lost in the last couple of years. But this video is a good look for what some videos should look like, it’s different from what’s being put out from other hip hop artist. And listening to the song again, I actually like it.


Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Children of the night and world’s fair….I started listening after I seen the company fair video and really vibed with it. I love the video and the energy of it. But this queens revisited mixtape is ridiculous. Northernplayastic is my fav joint on there. I don’t know. It’s so chill and poppin at the same time. I had it on repeat for a min. The feature by Gita is on point too. Even though all of them did their thing on each verse, Remy killed it. killed it. dead. so suave. I can’t take it. his smooth delivery and word play is amazing. All the songs offer something different but flow together nicely. They each display their talent well and show what they are capable of. For Lanksy 86 mets was heavy for him. ILYAS, Kids from queens and 4:4THREE were also great stand out tracks for me. And also loved the feature from ½ of the Flatbush zombies, Meechy Darko.Looking forward to future projects along with the whole worlds’ fair.

Thanks to Spotify I learned about this band, I had one of their songs in my playlist and decided to go listen to their album. AWESOME! Well that’s one way to describe it. I always listen to a song, stop, then listen to it again and realize how ill it is. I slept on this band. My favorite song from them right now is ‘ I Would Do Anything You Want’. Check them out.

I went to pitchfork.com yesterday and looked at the best new track list and saw this song. Now, I listened to the ‘Underneath The Pine’ album which was okay, but now as I keep listening to it I find it getting better. But this song RIGHT HERE! This song is so ill to me. I’ve been literally listening to this all day. This man can make some beautiful music. I love this song, the beat, the words, everything.This makes me anxious for the new album he’s about to put out tomorrow. If this is the mark of how the rest of the album will sound then I might have to scrape up some money and buy it. (The College student struggle is real outchea) But Yeah, if you don’t do anything today listen to this song. Mondays can be the worst day of the week, but if you listen to this song that can change in an instant. Well at least your night.


Who is Frank Ocean you ask? That’s the same question I had a couple of weeks (now months since I wrote this a long ass time ago) ago until I went to Madbury Club and saw the review for his new release Nostalgia Ultra. I read about it then went to press the play button for his song “American Wedding” and instantly I was amazed. I haven’t heard nothing like that all year. It was refreshing, it was enjoyable. I must have replayed that song 10+ times by the end of the night. I went to go download his album, and listened through all tracks. I was impressed, especially hearing that he belonged to the group Odd future. Frank Ocean, whose originally from N.O, moved to L.A to pursue his career in music, after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. As much dedication as he has put in to his craft, it certainly has paid off.

Even though he’s not in a specific genre, his music is appealing to all. In just a matter of a couple of weeks, everybody is now aware of him. They should be, his music gives hope, and is incredible. He is extremely different then most of the new people, hell, even older artist. With a unique way of approaching his music, it really works for him. The lyrics and samples that he used are pleasant and suiting. He’s even a songwriter. He has written songs for a number of people. A picture of him and Beyonce is circulating around the Internet and I’m excited to see what the outcome of this. This man has grasp my musical heart and left me in awe. Hopefully his project to come just exceeds my expectations even more each time. I would love to see him get the recognition he deserves. UPDATE: Three months later: it’s been almost three

months ago since I wrote my thoughts on Frank ocean, due to my laziness, and being slow as hell I never posted this up yet so I’m the doing a check up to tell if I still feel the same way about him as three months ago, or do I still agree with what I said about his album. And when I think about it, I do! Actually I think it’s even better than when I first heard it. Some songs I didn’t really pay attention to is some of my favorites right now. I can still go back and listen to it and feel the same way I did when I first did. Especially American Wedding, that will forever be my favorite song on there. The lyrics on there are moving and pure.


Wow. Sometimes twitter and tumblr can be a beautiful thing. Today October 18, 2011 (yes, I had to put the full date, cause it’s that serious) I heard about Allen Stone and was completely blown away. No gimmicks involved, no flamboyant image, not trying to be how everybody else is but just pure talent. It’s not often, in my eyes, that we get artist like this, usually. We just get the same ol’, especially in Hip-Hop. I feel that he will have a very big future if he continues, and how the Internet works these days I’m surprise more people haven’t heard about him. In due time, I guess. His soulful voice, lovely long blond curls and big frame glasses, are what stands out the most to me. Not to judge a book by it’s cover, but you just wouldn’t expect that voice to come out of his mouth, but it’s probably one of the most beautiful sounds I’ve heard in a while. I just think that being in an age where we have new artist emerging everyday that they don’t really stand out from everybody else, boring or that talented, it gets tiring. So when I heard about Allen by Modi(DCtoBC) tweeting an interview of him I read, not knowing who he is, but a very catchy picture of him on the top page. Not knowing what he sung, I went on YouTube, searched his name and clicked on ‘Unaware’ completely not knowing what I was about listen to; when he started the first verse I was blown away by him. here are becoming very very less autheR&BSoul singers so it’s always a surprise to hear an

authentic R&B/Soul singers so it’s always a surprise to hear an artist stay true to the genre instead of being too ‘pop’, too sexual or commercialized. Allen stands out not because of any outrageous outfits or whatever but just on pure talent and being comfortable with himself, being more in tune with his music than just performing it but just really feeling what he’s singing. I always love when a person can sing from their heart, and actually make sense and bring their lyrics out with emotion instead of just being out there singing. That’s why Amy Winehouse was so incredible to me because she felt what she was singing on stage ALL THE TIME it just wasn’t another event or performance to her it was an opportunity to pour her heart out on stage through her songs and lyrics and that’s how I feel with Allen Stone. No matter where he’s performing, in his mom’s living room, for example, he’s giving his all and his soul in his performance. And I think he cares more about people actually connecting to him because they feel him and sincerely loves and understands his music than anything else. I feel like he’s simply just doing it for the Love of music. Not saying that everybody is excessive with no reasons or too gimmicky and doesn’t really love music, it’s just sometimes you get tired of it and just want to hear someone sing or perform for just the pure love of the art form with their mic and guitar. On stage it’s just him and his music, nothing extra

just his band and I bet his shows are really ill, and I’ll probably be quick to go see him play live than 80% of these other artist today. Cause when it all comes down, true talent

trumps all. I really wish him all the succes in the world, and hopes he continues to do what he loves.


No secret that madbury music will introduce you to some wonderful music, but before that, when Phil was only managing award tour ,which I read faithfully, he posted about his friend Erick, a rapper, which he claimed was very good, and that he wasn’t only saying that because he was his friend, but that indeed had talent. So when I downloaded “Noir” I wasn’t sure what was going to come through my speakers, but I was hoping it was something great. In all honestly from the first track to the end, it was. For an upcoming artist, who, honestly just did it for the love of music. It was refreshing and exciting. His rhymes were great, you can tell he had really put his heart in this project, you can tell he had talent. Fast forward till now, a year in a making, Erick released Almost Remembered, which in my opinion is one of the top 3 albums that came out so far this year. This tape is solid from beginning to end. You can see the growth in his music, you can see the passion for music, he’s better than half, fuck it, most

of these new rappers out here, shit, and old. Almost remembered, was made in a year, Erick carefully constructed this album in every way possible, and you can see that in the results. And woo* the artwork for this project is bananas, forreal. It’s one of the best covers I seen in a while, made by Jean Claude. If you never heard of Erick, I’m telling you know to do your self a favor and download this, and his previous mixtape. You won’t regret it. You’ll actually be thanking me, so you’re welcome in advance. My favorite tracks on this are “Keeps U (I Like)” and “Sleep” featuring the Flatbush Zombies, who in my opinion are really good too. This was a solid album, and all the hard work paid off, you can tell. Erick is one of my favorites, hopefully he comes to D.C sometime soon, would love to see him perform.


Photo Credit:Google, thanks to whoever shot it I would put your name down if knew it. Words: Vonne via www.vonnep.wordpress.com

four.music  

collection of music reviews from my blog curated into a magazine

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