I Have Died to Become Alive Again

Toxicity of the black ashes,
from the remains of the wretched bones,
it only knew how to engulf itself in darkness
and repel the light that it never once got to touch.

Flooded in euphoria,
it’s refreshing to know
I have died
to become alive again.

Ay Em claims his wave will make you "Seasick"

After recently featuring on Dappy's new single "Oh My", the rising UK underground artist collaborates with M Huncho to bring the waves with his brand new track "Seasick". 

Ay Em jumps on a head bopping trap beat produced by 2FVDED & Jay Weathers, he makes it clear "[he's] never falling in love that shit had [him] in pieces", forgetting about love he now only focuses on the money and his grind in music. Ay Em's melodic rap is impressive and assertive, he discusses how women want to jump on his wave that will "leave you all seasick", he then sings about life in the trap house where he "had a dream/woke up to a theme" reliving what he imagined. M Huncho, another UK emerging artist, starts his verse with his signature melodic rap. He threatens to not make him "lose it on sight" and speaks about how girls fall in love with the way he gets his money.

Sneakbo calls for "Mercy" in his new single

South London born and raised, MC Sneakbo, delivers a brand new single "Mercy" since releasing his manor dedicated debut album, Brixton back in March.

The rapper switches up his usual style of UK Rap in different parts of the track, utilising his skill of versatility as an artist.  Flown out overseas, the vibrant visuals accompanies the nylon stringed guitar with blends of tropic vibes. Sneakbo looks back on the memory of a "French spice" he had "hella love for" but broke his trust. The artist discusses his disappointment for the woman who appeared to be different from the others he met on tour and remembers, "hoes aren't loyal".

Denzel Curry gets dark in "CLOUT COBAIN"

Following his last album Imperial that dropped back in 2016, Denzel Curry is returning with his forthcoming album TA13OO. The new track "CLOUT COBAIN | CLOUT CO13A1N" is a feature on the album and it brings a dark underlying message to the surface: the frightening mental challenges artists have to face with fame and success. A deep sense of creativity in the black and white video works perfectly with the lyricism, we first see Denzel Curry with his face painted as joker. He starts singing "I just wanna feel myself/you want me to kill myself" demonstrating his hardships in dealing with the fame and the attention. Curry stands in the middle of a disturbing circus fermented by drugs as he raps over a heavy bass and eerie piano chord. The cynicism is heightened. Curry's lyrics does not suggest hope, he raps: "so paranoid, I don't know who be plotting on me" and how his friends could be waiting to turn against him, isolating himself into a box where he can only depend on himself.

The chorus leads with "suicidal doors, call it Kurt Cobain" linking to the title "Clout Cobain", a lot of rappers/artists in the industry appear to be suffering mentally - simply because they push themselves to maintain an image and clout, even if it does mean self-destructing. The late Kurt Cobain from iconic band Nirvana committed suicide back in 1994 and there are many artists who speak about suicide in their songs showing clear indications of unhealthy pressures of the industry. It may even make us question, why are they not getting the help they need?

Roy Woods switches it up on "Russian Cream" and "Snow White"

OVO singer Roy Woods dropped two new tracks "Russian Cream" and "Snow Write" since his last debut album Say Less dropped last year.
In "Russian Cream" Woods switches up the mood, unlike his usual atmospheric and sullen sound, the singer flexes on a trap beat with heavy kicks. He takes a shot at people who copy his own sauce, something that isn't a one off as he claims it happens "all the time". Not to forget to mention how Woods doesn't put "a thought into a thot, that's a waste of time" and the result of the money making lifestyle lives.

"Snow White" is a sexy laidback R&B track, Woods croons over a smooth beat about an attractive women who wears his clothes and fulfils his sexual desires. Woods sings delicately but this contrasts with the sharp and grave statements he makes about rolling with "niggas that gon shoot" when they need to.

070 Shake thrives with her recent release

There's something about 070 Shake that indicates clearly why Kanye West was fascinated by her. The compelling voice that stood out on "Ghost Town" from Kanye West's album Ye, 070 Shake had her breakout moment as a feature. Her verse towards the end created a huge spotlight as she sang about being a child again and being free from inflicted pain.

070 Shake's new track "I Laugh When I'm With Friends, But Sad When I'm Alone" an honest and gripping song where Shake discloses the affects of judgements on her mental health, drug usage and the struggle to "solve these problems" the rapper has to face.

With a deep-toned gripping voice, when Shake starts rapping we instantly hook ourselves into the monologue type scene as a story unravels, when she starts singing about having to "shoot up to my brain to become the person that I wanna be" her voice transitions into a more mellow sound.

It's not all gloom and dark because towards the end of the track it takes a more optimistic and positive turn, she sends a message giving hope to the youth that "the future's bright... we got us, we are the light/ we are the world, we are love" and also appears to be reassuring herself about the unidentifiable stronger inner self: "the strong you is inside, but you just haven't met her".

Shake reminds us that life is tough but no matter what is thrown our way "only we control our storm because we are the weather" and the strength to overcome trials and tribulations is within ourselves.

Most Influential Lessons since January 2018

I'm taking part in Ayana The Oracle's #JulyGratitudeChallenge. For day 9 of the challenge, the task was to reflect on a lesson that has been most influential in your life since January 2018. Although 2018 is not over yet there are plenty of things I have still learnt, it's continuing to have a lasting impact on the person I want to become and in my life.

Some of the most influential lessons I've received since January 2018 has been:

1. The power of living in the now

A few days ago I finished a book called "The Power of Now", a book that guides you into spiritual development. It stresses the significance in how living in the present will free you from chains of suffering and pain. Ask yourself, how often does my mind wander to the past and present? How often do I pay attention to my surroundings? How often do I enjoy the peace and silence of nothing? How often do I live in the now? If I concentrate on this very moment, my problems do not exist.

Only when I allow the 'now' to fully correspond with my body and allow the feeling of being present to penetrate is when I can achieve inner peace. When I stop focusing on issues of the past and the anxious thought of the obscure future, I am free from unneccessary mental strain. I can retain consciousness and calmness.

2) Approaching situations with a positive attitude

Being positive all the time is pretty impossible. Life comes at you fast, things are thrown your way, even when you don't deserve them. However, sometimes certain situations would be much easier to handle if you approached it with a different attitude.

A few days ago I managed to spill tea on my MacBook (only God knows how).. I cried, oh boy I cried. I was angry, I was continuously insulting myself and getting worked up for being so stupid and clumsy. This did not change the fact that my MacBook was broken. Of course I am allowed to be angry and upset but what is the use when it doesn't reverse time. I ended up having a shitty day ahead of me because of my attitude.

When you change your attitude towards inconvenience and things that do not go your way you are allowing yourself to accept what is. If you get stressed over the littlest things or worked up and frustrated for no valid reason, think about what you are doing to your mind and body. Not only are you creating a negative energy field but you are not allowing inner peace to enter. Take a breath, relax and BELIEVE it WILL work out with a POSITIVE attitude. Remember, you attract what you are.

3) Greater practice of self-discipline will make you stronger

For some who hates wasting time, I waste a hell of a lot of it. Why? Lack of self discipline. I don't discipline myself enough to do what I should be doing. This means I put off tasks I should be doing today, this results in a greater workload for tomorrow. In a motivational video I watched last week, a speaker said "There is always someone willing to do the things you are not willing to do today". When I heard this it really struck me that if I want to be more, I need to more and of course, this requires self-discipline.

The most beautiful thing about being human is that our mental growth doesn't have to be limited or contained. We don't have to be the same person we were yesterday and we don't have to be the same person today. 2018 is not over and there is still a lot more room for self growth, to become a better version of who you are. If we remain open to the lessons the universe wants us to learn, the influence will be greater than you think.

What are your most influential lessons since January 2018?

Tuesdays with Morrie | BOOK REVIEW

I am a huge fan of self-help literature and there are many books I cannot wait to get my hands on. One of them was Tuesdays with Morrie, an insightful and heart warming book where an ex student, Mitch Albom rediscovers his old professor Morrie Schwartz. Mitch found his professor in the last few months of his life as he suffered from an untreatable disease called ALS, during that time they shared one final class where Morrie teached 'life's greatest lessons'.

There are many enlightening parts in the book; one aspect I was drawn to was Morrie's account of death. The professor places emphasis on how different we would live if we knew today would be the day we died: "Everyone's going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did we would do things differently", Schwartz suggests our fear of death reduces our acknowledgement of it. A lot of us view death as a frightening thing despite how natural it is. We only really start to think about how limited our time is when death gets close to us. For instance, when someone we know or love dies or the constant death we hear about in the news.

We must learn how to die in order to learn to live. We must learn to be at peace with dying, to be at peace with living. By being prepared for death at any time you have a completely different perspective in life. Morrie advises us to get into "the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, is this all I want? Is something missing?" and whether we are being who want to be. Living with this clarity and acceptance we can then begin to live with urgency and purposefulness by understanding that our last breath could be taken at any moment.

I admired Morrie's explanation on how he dealt with the feeling of grief and self pity. Some mornings he would mourn for himself and cry yet he would leave it in that very moment - he refused to carry the pain of sorrow and helplessness throughout the day. Instead, he would step away from it and just live - enjoy life for what it is; a point I think we could all take note of. Many of us need to allow ourselves to feel the way we do, accept the feeling but also learn to step away from it and carry on living.. It links to Buddhists concept of detachment. We need to allow emotions to fully penetrate you, feel them and detach yourself from it and then "concentrate on all the good things in life" because they do not last forever.

Morrie Schwartz believes "the most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and let it come in", in terms of finding a meaningful life according to the professor we must: "Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." Although Morrie Schwartz died on 4 November 1995, his teachings still exist today- as quoted by the professor himself, even when you die "you still live on - in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here", it's fair to say he definitely touched mine and every other reader who has ever picked up the book.