Princess Nokia: Metallic Butterfly

This is your brain wave reaching the fifth dimension 
This is the metamorphosis of the twenty-second century 
Transmitting a higher frequency for the world to thrive on 
Welcome to Metallic Butterfly, where you are now free 
On this planet, you are now released of all plague, hate, and disease 
You are now one with yourself and the master creator 
It is time that you utilize your greatest potential before it is taken from you forever 

-Dimensia 

@princessnokia

@princessnokia

It’s interesting that this is Princess Nokia’s first album from 2014. It's so present and relatable even today in 2019. It just shows how talented she’s always been. Metallic Butterfly is a collection of the fifth dimension. It's full of diverse sounds and techniques. One track can sound like a dreamy futuristic dream and another will bring you back to her ancestors, reminding you of where her power comes from. Not to mention the tracks that remind you she has bars and is from the Bronx, so she’s not afraid to but you in your place, which Princess Nokia is known for. 

Seraphims: this dreamy dance instrumental circles around you. “I am woman, I don’t break. I bend.”  

Young Girls: Listening to this track especially with all the fuckery of R. Kelly and the lack of protection of our young girls of colour. The message here is loud and clear. “Young girls, they need their own respect.” With the sounds of Native singing in the background, it reminds you how sacred our young girls are.  

Bikini Weather/ Corazon en Afrika:  I love the energy to this song. I also love the fact that she has an Afro Latinx/ Caribbean vibe on this album in general because motherfuckers be acting like they forgot we exist. (Yes, we are here!) 

It's amazing to see Princess Nokia evolve throughout her musical career and for it to come full circle with the re-release of Metallic Butterfly.  Every album is like a different side of Princess Nokia, she writes and sings what she feels, what's important for women/femme/poc queer folks and I’m extremely down for it all.  

Ivy Sole: Overgrown

“A sower went out to sow his seed

And as he sowed, some fell in the path and was trampled on

And the birds of the air ate it up

Some fell on the rock and as it grew up it withered for lack of moisture

Some fell among thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it

Some fell into good soil and when it grew it produced a hundredfold

Find where you can bloom, baby”

-          Ivy’s Mother// Parables


Taylor McLendon or Ivy Sole recently dropped her debut album, Overgrown.  Ivy Sole was raised in Charlotte N.C. but now resides as a twenty-five-year-old Philly rapper. Overgrown is an album full of inspiration, forgiveness of oneself, forgiveness of all the bad that’s ever happen to you and raw accountability.  Ivy’s sound is very distinctive.  Her voice is bold and her songs are like open mic poetry slams.  Her overall sound reminds of artist like Rapsody, Tiffany Gouche and Noname. Artist that don’t apologize for being themselves, and are extremely talented and touch basis on being a Black Women in today’s music industry and scene.  

 

Some of my favorite tracks of the album include:

 

Rollercoaster

A lighthearted song that speaks on the ups and downs of love and how it can be hard to navigate if it’s right for you or just a waste of time. Ivy’s voice is smooth on track, giving more alternative 90s R&B vibes.

 

Backwoods ft. Anyee Wright

The instrumentals in this track goes a litter harder, and Ivy Sole’s sound has more grit to it, showing how universal her sound can be. “My homeys say I made it so I second guess depression/ Cuz I left my city childless/ how I left my city breathless/See Junie had a baby, and/Brandon caught a body/Ivy talking college with a dooby riding shotty/My youngins barely graduate but study Smith and Wesson/And I’m blessed to never have to learn that lesson” Ivy touches on making it out, attending college and making changes for her and her family.

 

Achilles

Ivy Sole speaks on her skepticism on institutionalized religion, how with the dark events that happen in life have made that even harder too. How when you don’t heal, things can spiral even more, and sometimes the people in your life are only there for certain moments in life to help you heal, to help you learn. “And every person represents your next potential blow/So I/couldn’t let him touch me, couldn’t let her close/Couldn’t say I love you when they needed it most/I’m sorry for the lessons I learned at your expense/And I know it hurts that you can’t see my growth in present tense”

 

Overgrown

The beats on this track especially caught my attention. Ivy’s voice is smooth and just sounds fresh as fuck, and as a 90’s baby this song is relatable.. I definitely, chuckled at the “Taking chances on my limewire/Gave my laptop rabies/What a time to be alive” line, because that shit was no joke.  The vibes on this song is super chill, her flow is fun and fits perfectly with the theme of the album.

You can find her album, Overgrown on all mainstream music platforms.

Can I keep you?

Call me by my name and nothing else.

caress my skin as we lay next to each other.

can you hear my heart skip beats?

how i try to control my breathing around you?

I think to myself, "can this be true"

"is this real"

When i wake up tomorrow

will you still be by my side?

if i asked if i could keep you

would you run away?

they usually run

when they get to know me

i think i get it from my

momma

 

 

Swim

Be gentle with yourself

bask into the night

without shame

embrace all your insecurities

swim in it

feel it all around

fuck anyone that tries to down play 

you

bask into the night

smoke that blunt

listen to those sad 

songs

paint those paintings

no one 

sees

just

don't

give

up.

 

AfroPunk Atlanta 2017

 

So, I just got back from Atlanta, Georgia. It was actually super fucking tight and the people were so nice. You know, that southern hospitality. I even think I was in a culture shock, it was a lot more diverse than I expected. A lot of interracial couples and it made my heart so happy. When I brought this up to a friend, she wasn't surprised and said that's because were not use to seeing that because were from Minneapolis. I laughed. It's so true. Minneapolis loves to pretend.

AfroPunk Atlanta was such a different experience. The whole trip, I was trying to compare it to AfroPunk Brooklyn. I learned fast, that you can't do it. It was too much of it's own thing. What I love about the Atlanta one, was they held a discussion, talking about the woman's march and the displacement of Black Women.  Talks of having choices, and that those choices are going to be different for each woman. It was amazing to see  what felt like an ocean of Black Goddess, bringing their ideas and thoughts together. The speakers were Michaela Angela Davis and Yvonne Orji.

The music was incredible of course, and I had the pleasure of seeing ZuluZuluu, a local hip-hop/soul funk band from Minneapolis. So it was beautiful witnessing them being apart of AfroPunk. It was also a blessing to see Moses Sumney, his vocals were empowering. Txlips Band, an all Black female rock band that always goes so hard. Their drummer actually got stitches before performing and still rocked it.  Sam Dew, someone I wasn't familiar with, got my attention. He was raw and powerful. His presence was very profound.  Willow Smith was amazing. She honestly, was just so cute and innocent in a way. She was so humble and just having a good time. We were even blessed with a surprise pop up from Jada Pinkett Smith. They sang a really cute song together that could easily be put into a Disney movie or Pixar Film. I'm still convinced that it was a promotion song, because it sounded like a new Black Animation film we didn't even know we needed.  And of course Solange ended the show on the last day and Miguel ended the show on Saturday. I would say personally the performance Solange did in Brooklyn reminisced a little more to me. But I say this because by the time she performed my feet were killing me and all I wanted to do was lay down!

Overall I was left feeling another sense of connection and fullness. I'm currently going through the process of letting go of toxic people and unhealthy patterns within my self. And AfroPunk gave me another reason to be happy. To be in the present moment, to look at all the blackness surrounding me and to know that I will be okay. We will be okay.  I went with a dear friend, who's well known in Minneapolis. She had some friends coming as well, to show love and respect to ZuluZuluu and of course to enjoy AfroPunk. So it was an amazing to share this experience with Women from Minneapolis, who were like minded, and changing the game in their own way back home. I was telling a friend of mine, I got to hang out with the cool kids. 

I'm glad that places like these are happening. It's been a rough few months, and this was definitely a self care moment for me. 

shit, maybe South Africa will be next on the list. 

Check out Images, to see some highlights of the trip!

 

An Obsessive Enthusiast

Your a long distant friend that shows up unannounced.

with no sense of boundaries you suffocate me.

You tell me all the things I don't want to hear.

You try to show me things, I know aren't there.

Your shadow haunts me.

And the dark terrifies me.

You second guess all my thoughts

double check, triple check, worry worry worry

You come and go as you please.

Leaving me unsure of the world

But most importantly

Leaving me unsure of myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normal Girl

My favorite movies include but not limited to, The Labyrinth, Howard the Duck, Crooklyn and The Goonies.  My first album was No Doubt's Return to Saturn, following Kittie's Oracle.  Growing up, I wore arm warmers, I didn't know how to do my hair and I developed pretty early. I've been described as Emo, Trying to be white, and a little Mexican boy. ( 9th grade was rough y'all.)  

 I've been thinking about my growth and what being a 'normal girl' really meant to me. Growing up in a mostly white school, I had crushes on all these white boys that wouldn't even look at me. Fuck it, lets be real, NO boys were looking at me. So right then and there, I got a sense that I wasn't "ideal."  This pattern continued throughout high school, and early adult years. I kept trying to tame myself, I wanted to be like Plain Jane so badly. 

I've dated mostly white men all my life *insert, sense of shame and feeling like I need to explain myself* and throughout all those relationships, I found myself trying to change for each of them. I found myself, trying yet again to not be too eccentric, too outspoken, too full of life. But why? Weren't these the same characteristics that they were attracted to in the first place? When I got comfortable with them, did I get too real? I guess it was the idea of me that they fell for first, but then they realize that dating a Black woman is going to be real work. Work that most aren't willing to do. 

I've been sitting here, listening to Sza's Normal Girl on repeat. 

Her words, speaking my life.

*It's about to get a little DARK*

But.

Both my parents passed, so when she say's " a girl, my daddy could be proud of."

That shit hits home.

But today.

Today I can say, fuck the normal girl.

I don't want to be her anymore.

In truth, I will never be the normal girl, and you can't make me.

Moral of this rant?

Black girls, you are enough. Embrace your own uniqueness.  When they tell you, your too weird, too wild, too loud, too you.

Smile, because you, in that moment are doing it right.

And that scares them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Situationship

 

Did you notice how well I'm doing, not catching feelings? 

How every time you leave, I bite my tongue. 

I hold in those three little words. 

I

Love

You

But, we're just keeping it casual.  

So I don't text you. 

I

Wait. 

Afraid of being "one of those females" 

Like, what the fuck does that even mean? 

But. 

I. 

Wait. 

For? 

Nothing

You must have just forgotten. 

You cum inside me. 

But, we're just keeping it cool. 

You play with my hair. 

Notice, I don't let no one in my hair. 

But. 

You're. 

Different. 

Right? 

Somehow throughout all this casualness

Babe slips out. 

Now, I'm doing too much. 

Taking things too fast. 

Whoa, girl. 

Slow down. 

I thought you knew what this was. 

I just need time to find me. 

He says. 

All the while, I'm losing myself.