Team Empire

Remember the music

Remember the music

I have a confession everyone.

I’ve been listening to Fox’s Empire soundtrack pretty much nonstop since the finale. This premier season had me feigning in anticipation for my new favorite song every episode.

However, you can’t talk about Fox’s Empire music without mentioning the drama. This year has been on fire with the TV dramas. Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal and How To Get Away with Murder and now Lee Daniel’s Empire has me glued to the television screen. If you have yet to tune in, no worries I won’t spoil it for you; but they’re definitely worth a watch. Now back to the music.

Rolling Stone recently posted about the Empire finale online. One of the takeaways was “Hakeem is the voice of our generation”. The article goes on to say:

“After reluctantly being groomed for superstardom and used a pawn in the war between Lucious and Jamal, the favored son finally stands up for himself. He is not just the fictional rapper we want, he is the fictional rapper we need. Also, bring back “Drip Drop.” We want more “Drip Drop.” Give us our “Drip Drop”!!!”

First of all I’d like to say I’m not quite sure why Hakeem is ‘the voice of our generation’. For those of you who don’t know, Hakeem is the youngest of the three Lyon sons. Spoiled, girl crazy, and slightly pretentious. Obviously dealing with some mother issues, Hakeem (Yazz) uses his issues and passion to fuel his raps. His break out song was “Drip Drop”.

The beat was crazy, the hook was great, but let’s be honest. “Drip Drop” is no better than the “new hip hop” on the radios. Seriously, the song is about sex, money, and fame. Not to mention the video is full of the common video vixens. So tell me, what is so great about “Drip Drop”?! I like Hakeem as a character, but I can do without his music (even though I did enjoy his “Age Ain’t Nuthin But A Number” performance on the finale). I prefer his brother Jamal.

Jamal Lyon’s music is just what we need in the R&B world. Where are the Music Soulchilds, and Donell Jones of today? This exactly why my iTunes is stuck in 2003. Why do I have to search for underground UK artists just to hear some feel good R&B? Am I over-exaggerating, or do ya’ll feel the struggle too?

Jamal doesn’t let his family issues stand in his way, instead he uses life to flow through him and into his music. The second Lyon brother learns to embrace his sexuality and follow his dreams. As they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Jamal (Jussie Smollett) will have you vibing with songs like “I Wanna Love You”, feeling sexy with “All of the Above”, but he can still get nitty gritty with “Keep Your Money”. Needless to say, it was mostly his songs that I had on repeat.

Whether you’re Team Yazz (Hakeem) or Team Jussie Smollett (Jamal), you got to give props to Timbaland. He made so many hits on this one album. If you ask me, all three versions of “You’re So Beautiful” are bomb. The Empire soundtrack features so many great collaborations. I love how they brought underrated artists like Estelle, and V. Bozeman into the mainstream eye.

For your listening pleasure I linked the Empire videos below. Let me know if “We want more “Drip Drop.” in the article’s words, or if it’s time for the return of R&B. Or, do we love them both? No need to pick a favorite, the whole family is talented!

-Much Love! XO

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*Warning* This will make you a coffee fan

coffee guide

So I was on Pinterest and found some really great guides to understanding coffee. Some people say they don’t like coffee but let’s be honest. Hating coffee is like hating the nail salon, or alcohol. The real issue is you don’t know what to get because you don’t understand what’s on the menu.

For example, I used to hate coffee. Partially because I was scared I would stunt my growth, and partially because the only coffee I tasted was a sip out of my Granddaddy’s cup (he drank his coffee black). One day I decided to try coffee out again so I ordered a  Chai Latte. It was a safe balance between tea and coffee but it was actually delicious. So now I that’s my go to drink! Problem is, I would order it from one coffee shop and it would taste like Heaven then order it from Starbucks and it’s a watered down mess. Welp, thanks to Pinterest, I know exactly how I like my Chai 🙂 Enjoy!

Guides to coffee:
finedininglovers.com

finedininglovers.com

bustle.com

bustle.com

Coffee guide

en.ilovecoffee.jp

Order up! Much Love XO

On to the next level

heart latte

Some love for your recovery

My birthday came and went about a week ago. With the new digits the all too familiar question came falling out of multiple mouths, “Do you feel (insert new age)?” Am I supposed to feel this awe-inspiring enlightenment because of I’m a few hours older? Because I don’t. I’ve honestly felt like I was at a lull in my life. It wasn’t until this past Sunday that I received a message that gave me a new insight on life, in which I am going to share with all of you!

Five Stages of Recovery

by Bishop TD Jakes We are all recovering from something. Victory is not just an experience, it’s a process.

1. Control

“So many times we fight the symptoms and NOT the real source.” Ladies, it is time for us to grab control of our lives! We all heard anything worth having is worth working fighting for, well that includes our daily issues. By gaining control of our situations we are making room for so much more prosperity.

2. Conquest

Sometimes we feel stuck in a rut and most of those times it just means you are ready for a challenge! You need a CONQUEST. If you want to have life and live more abundantly, step outside of your comfort zone. Not necessarily in your love life (because I got that mixed up myself), but in your interests, goals, and experiences. Get out of your static circle and get into something that stretches you. Getting outside yourself with unselfish acts will bring you the blessings you are missing.

3. Confrontation

You cannot have full recovery if you cannot confront YOURSELF. We have to go back to the source. To not confront things isn’t healthy, it makes the situation worse. Confrontation is not necessarily adversarial. There is strength in a person who can work up the nerves to confront someone without getting angry. Addressing your story is the third step. We tend to remember things to our advantage as if we are the angels, but is it true?

4. Conquering

Conquest without confronting is a false sense of security. Anything you cannot confront you cannot conquer. So in order to conquer your challenge and move into better days, skipping the third step is NOT an option. Once you do confront the issues/road block in your way, move into winning! Conquer your conquest.

5. Championship

A conqueror is known by the fight he fought, but a champion is known as the winner she is. Romans 8:37 says, “We are MORE than conquers”. A champion is someone who is constantly winning. And who doesn’t want to win at life? One you win one thing you will crave that feeling of conquering. For champions, winning is instinct.   Is it time for your next conquest? Or am I alone in needing a new challenge so I can win at life?

Much Love XO

(Full Sermon here)

Coffee Shop Inspiration: Londen & Teil

Londen & Teil

Starbucks in Upper Midtown, NY 

What is your favorite quote and what does it mean to you?

Londen from Chicago, IL (left)

“She clothes herself in strength and integrity and laughs with out fear of fate” – Proverbs 31:25

“It explains me.”

Teil from Maryland (right)

“The word impossible means I’m possible.” – Audrey Hepburn

“There’s a lot of negativity in the world. When people say negative things like ‘it’s impossible for you to do this, you don’t have the courage or wisdom,’ they basically just told me I can do it because I’m possible.”

Much Love XO

No Grammy love here…

Not your average tea

Not your average tea

It would be so easy to sit back, sip tea, and shade the Grammy’s but, who isn’t going to do that over coffee today? Let’s dare to be different guys. Let’s talk about your inner circle.

Friends. How many of us have them? We all know the Whodini song well but the song never mentioned what color those so called friends were. Recently for Black History Month Jimmy Kimmel went to Hollywood Boulevard streets asking “Do you have a black friend?”. The video was definitely entertaining as the crowd tried to guess who had some people of color in their crew. Then the Jimmy flipped the script and asked a black guy if he had a white friend. Well, brotha man Lenwood from Virginia laughed and said, “no”. I didn’t know whether to be upset or not. Is he representing my entire race saying that we don’t kick it with them? Just what we need, somebody assuming we all hate white people again.

Before I could turn a judging eye towards Lenwood I asked myself the same question. And surprisingly I had the same answer. I wanted to say yes so bad but I would be struck with fear if they asked me ‘What was their name?’. I can’t say Susie when I haven’t spoke to her in four years. What happened to all my free-spirited white friends? When did they become only numbers on Facebook with zero phone contact? It’s apart of growing up to go off to college and slowly detach from your middle school and high school friends. Or at least thats what I’m trying to convince myself. I’m sure I would have white friends if I went to a PWI (predominately white institution) but, I go to a HBCU. They are kind of a rare sight.

So ladies, do you have any friends outside your race? Or is your crew looking pretty monochrome?

Enjoy your latte! Much Love XO