MUSICAL PEAK

i’d argue that a lot of things in this world are best in their rawest form; their most true — music being one of those things.

On Friday, 7th October, 2016, Black America Again, and HERE — studio albums by Common and Alicia Keys respectively — were released. Two great bodies of work from artists well into their music careers (with Common being just reasonably a few years ahead of Alicia). Last night and this evening, i put myself to listen to each of them, and weirdly, almost feel this strange honor to have done so.

alicia-keys-here

The reason i felt inclined to write today, was because of — or should i say ‘subconsciously’ linked to — Usher’s eighth studio album Hard II Love (which i was disappointed with, and more openly voiced my opinion, here on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2g0csjV). In contrast to that, i felt that what Alicia and Common brought to the table, was them. [By that] meaning; themselves (of course, obviously); their true artistic selves, and while inspired — it wasn’t so obvious and plain to see. The reason i say so, is because, i do somewhat believe that it was albums delivered by artists like Solange (A Seat at the Table), and Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp a Butterfly) — though considerably younger than the two main subjects of here — that set new standards for elders, who, like i say, are fairly well into their careers now. Despite Alicia (who, might i say, sounds beautifully NY, how she gets on this album) and Lonnie being known to consistently give us great music each time around (and if not, then good at least), it’s nothing new to know that there are plenty of recording artists making music to sound like the times — whatever’s popping right now — hence why i’m happy and me being proud of two of my favourites of all-time. Who knows — had nothing but trash excuses for music been released in 2016, would two remarkable LPs from two veterans have come of this age? Hmmm… — one can only wonder, right? Perhaps they weren’t so inspired to make and release top-tier music. Perhaps they were already in these creative zones of theirs and had the juices flowing.

But anyway, without further ado — and to avoid dragging on (even though that sounds silly to me right now, since i’ve dragged on enough already) — rather than make this like an essay (which, now that i think of it, is actually a type of writing i’ve grown bored of — and again, even though i stated i’m pretty bored of them, this will probably still find a way through me to sound like one… hypocrite; i know), i thought it would be much lighter (HOW?!) to instead just let go of some of what was running through my head, both as i listened to Common’s [new] album, and watched the short film that he dropped alongside it. So — not to in any way disregard what incredible music Alicia Keys put out, but — here are my POINTS:

Me personally, i think that Common is the original Kendrick Lamar, just without the rough edges — a poetic MC; an extremely Afrocentric, woke individual, proud to be where he’s from, who knows the ghetto, and, [being] unafraid to, with confidence, can comfortably and unapologetically speak on issues going on, both within it and outside of it… but also provide suggestive solutions, and always a positive light to the negatives.

Black America Again being a more accessible version of — and easier-on-the-ears-and-to-consume/dissect listen than — Like Water For Chocolate, but just as clearly focused on the message as [he] was in the tail-mentioned (Oxford, you better quote me on this one — i coined it, motherfuckers, a’ight?).

Is Common the blackest light-skin of all-time before Jesse Williams? (this one was just for my own humoring — purely).

COMMON Black America Again with BJ The Chicago Kid (Live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)

i’m super glad that Common switched up “Black America Again” for the short film, showing and bringing variation to a song; stripping it down to the raw and exposing a different side to it. Just when i thought for a second, ‘Aaah — why wasn’t this version on the album?’ i snapped out and realized: it’s art — and fortunately, Common knew how to do it in just the right way.

The only thing that i’d change about this album, would be the placement of “Black America Again.” The climax of that song is so strong, i’m surprised Common didn’t put it at the end of the album. i mean, “Letter To The Free (featuring Bilal)” was super… but the the title track trumps — it be trumping.

Watching the Black America Again short film triggered me to come up with the word ‘glorientacious’ also.

COMMON Black America Again (short film)

Kareem Riggins did his thiing on the production (along with Robert Glasper) for this project. For Robert, i certainly get why artists such as Erykah have worked with him; and why others are also keen to. And Bilal — well, between being heavily featured on Common’s eleventh solo effort (four tracks in total) and two tracks on [Kendrick Lamar’s] To Pimp a Butterfly, he sure is showing how brilliant he is, to be the go-to — and with a shared chemistry as great as his & Common’s, it’s no wonder they’ve been linking up for over 15 years now.

One of my favourite things about 2016, is the accidental-yet-non-surprising connection between many albums that have spawned from what’s been vividly going on in America over the past three years. For e.g. you could take — as much as they’re the obvious and more favorable choices — A Seat at the Table and Black America Again, put them into a playlist back to back, or Black Messiah and To Pimp a Butterfly, and they’d make the perfect musical companions to each other.

The way how George Clinton & The Parliament Funkadelic and A Tribe Called Quest were probably grooving to TPAB, to me, is likely of the same-natured likeness of gratitude that Marvin Gaye and Gil-Scott Heron would show towards Common’s collection of songs, here in 2016.

Again, it’s no real news that Malibu by Anderson .Paak, has been my favourite album of 2016, as well as the album i regard best this year. But while it’s only been one single listen to Black America Again so far — Common may just have dethroned .Paak, and snatched the A.O.T.Y. title from him. Really, i just hope and pray that Common’s latest album doesn’t become my new and all-time favourite Common album, taking over Be; also meaning that it would become my favourite album, not only in hip-hop, but of all-time altogether, which a huge deal, with the latter being in cemented, firm position for a good three years now.

Without nitpicking, i’d say there’s no way that anybody can tell me the album is not a 9/10 at least. And if Common wanted to, he could really ended on this note, yo.

If John Legend’s new album Darkness and Light is of the stell’ that Alicia (not to cause confusion and have you drifting off into thinking i’ve turned this whole portion of the text into being about her(e) album) and Common gave us, then the fourth quarter of this year has truly come full-circle. First Alicia and Common, then John? *Ron Simmons ‘DAMN!’*.

Oh yeah, and: if Common could grow hair — i have no doubt in my mind that he’d have locs… freeform locs.

It’s easy for me, i suppose, to say, since i’m not a U.S. citizen, living in America — but don’t feel so sad about Trump, folk(s). It’s not the end of the world until it is. You’re still going to wake up. Just change the way how you look at the world. Doing so might not change the world or fix/solve everything, no. However… you might as well make the most of the badness with some goodness, right?

Sincerely,

LSNCLR

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~ FreedOfDaConcern ~

This one might be the most amazing speech I ever heard. And that painting is just incredible; making me want to create something great… and then again… then again… and again.

“… it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go of how it might come to pass.”

Thank you for the suggess, Abi, you Absolute boss~ess!

And also, just a general thank you to all people helping me through my weeks; giving me a chance to release whatever it is I need to, in order for me to let my ship sail rather than sink. Everything always comes back into sync for Sinc, somehow. Thank you, Universe; God, doe allowing that.

Too much ah kill you

Short recordings are becoming easier for me to do, apparently (so my life tells… no tales).

This one just came from me being taught by nature, that you just can’t allow things to overpower you – because it’s easy for a mind with no discipline to be penetrated or tempted with/by poison. You really have gotta recognise what something is when it comes to you.

Huge salute & ups to James, by the way. We had a conversation last November when we saw each other for the first time since, like, 2013, by chance when passing on the street. Following up to that, we did have a dialogue that was recorded in December… but somehow, that got lost on my phone and I’m still pissed about it – hoping it’s just a glitch or some sh[**]. The reason why I give James credit is for sharing the idiom “create more, consume less” (something like that). So, among posting this, it only felt right to give a quick call, as I felt that it played a part in me later expanding on the topic of in>and<output, somewhat.

Thank you to any listeners. I really can’t value your time enough, as I know of this A.D.D. time we’re stuck in right now. Easy to lose interest. So I salute those of you every time.

KRYSTLE ON THE ARTWORK. I love you, sis.

Matter.

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A Different World’ and ‘Friday Night Lights‘… what else? No social media, because I put a ban on that utter shit and said so. New approaches have been looming and waiting for me to say, “Let’s go,” so now, here me & my new approaches stand, as I’ve decided to make a conscious choice to remove myself from all that is toxic regardless; and do this at an as-much-as-I-can rate, with no apologies or explanations to go with such.

Due to my inactivity on the fuckery that is Facebook; Instagram; Twitter, you can possibly expect me to flood my page here with whatever sincere thoughts I feel like sharing; ones that I feel are to aid the receiver who needs to receive the message at X: the present point in their life. I got tired of feeling like I have to post when I don’t. Anything that would only be selfish to keep to myself when it’s now evident in my life that I have a calling to spread words that are slowly [going] to make a difference in others’ lives, one by one.

Keeping within that note before I flip the page, though, I’m ’bout to sound like one of them bloggers who does a ton of lists, I wanna note some positive things I’ve done so far this year before getting into the body of this whole entry:

– Got back to manual writing by hand after getting a new notebook (which is also my first Moleskine), and I’ve never felt this better about writing.

– Started writing down something positive I did on a sticky note after every day (or write from memory if I forget to do this, or simply just cba).

– Taught my 2-year-old niece how to say some words, since she can speak clearer now, the funny bugger.

– Got back to watching FNL and finally got onto A Different World (as the opening line of this makes obvious). Big up Netflix.

Started reading ‘The Master Key System’ (Charles Haanel). Thank you Abi!!!! This will go nicely with but most importantly add to my previous knowledge on ‘The Law of Attraction.’

– Bought an Aloe Vera Plant! Named it ‘Blythe Powers’ and she the shit right now I’ve also just gotten into a general habit of buying what I need and cutting down on what I want – YOU DON’T DESERVE IT YET, LEWIS. Spending practices going too well.

– Sorry last statement, I finally got Donell Jones’ Where I Wanna Be’ and also acquired ‘Mama’s Gun’ by Erykah Badu.

*Anyways… I get going now*

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THE EYE OPENING

[It was only] a month into 2016, and I had not what I’d say was a shift in mentality; but certainly a defined outlook on life – [which was] one that took me time to reach on 100% due to so much uncertainty that I now know is firm. I’m talking about ‘what really matters,’ that’s at least what I wish to do; to deliver, and most importantly just to live. I always knew it before, but I had to come to final terms and set-in-stone-like conclusion that a lot of things really don’t matter.

Though I fear being “stuck in the mud,” I’ve been stuck in this one all-black outfit at home in the PM for the past two days, hair still growing out, Netflix marathons… I can see and now feel my content with being in my comfort. I’m positive now that going out is not for me, I swear (and you can take that as I’m sure or just the reason why I’m feeling good).

But ALAS below lies the catalyst for this rare blog entry.

You see, there was this one thing in particular that had slightly troubled ‘n’ worried me — nothing new — has been my mind’s endless conversations with itself about “success.”

On my 21st birthday (Thur 10th Dec 2016), I launched #CHANGEOFCONDITIONS, a campaign that was officially started via my website, SYNCLRITY.COM (also revealed to the world that same day). This campaign (as well as the brand alone) in my mind is and was always something I’ve prayed will keep running as long as it can; and that it can pass the course; thus eventually standing the rest of time rather than just reaching the finishing line. Issue was that, despite feeling a success and high buzz from off of the campaign’s birth… I had a bigger challenge for conquest on my plate once I launched it. I knew I still had work to do… I knew in advance what I was getting myself into – and it didn’t take a slap in the face for me to tell that the pursuit was never over to begin with. Own willingly taking on such a courageous, broad and — what to this day seems a — relentless-like task with what’s going on in, PLUS all that I plan to tackle, I quickly saw a reminder that ‘this thing is going to demand my LIFE – period; and the closer Iook in on and at, I see that’s there’s no other way around it if I’m brutally honest – if there is one, it’d only lead me back to facing the facts standing before me. You can’t use shortcuts and excuses with some things – the campaign is definitely one of them.

For something to live long or to run for a long time, the engine must either pack or generate a vast amount of energy to keep it going – else the engine ultimately packs in and stops at some point. Last month, what presented itself to me was a new attitude, since I know that I should’ve left majority of the pessimist inside me in 2015 (where I thought I had done if truth be told). And what am I going to do to get what I’m after? Well, something can’t materialise without the material itself being there. The focus for me now is the material; art first. And whoever gravitates towards – great. Whoever doesn’t – that’s cool since its probably not meant for them at that moment in time, no.

But,

I see it all now

How you can can you be mad that something isn’t setting off for you? The only valid cry to me is A) if you’re working – but even so, what does the world owe you? B) maybe sometimes it’s not your time just yet. Long as you’re alive, life isn’t running from you – “the journey” is not to be taken for granted, though.

What is online success going to do for me? What does it matter that I know who I’ve touched. When one like myself loses focus and has to recuperate, it takes evaluation and plan of further wiser actions in order to bounce back – doing it effectively. Why I say and will probably reinstate this notion is down to me noticing that: yes, I could do this and still do that – with that set in mind though, how am I focusing on what’s key and important? Like, for real – why long for what you don’t need at a moment in time? Nature more than anything else is teaching me that there’s no right or wrong ways about things when your life should go how it needs to if you follow your path; learn from mistakes; make careful decisions but without holding [yourself] back from a greater future ahead.

One life contains so many dynamics that apply to and jigsaw themselves within your time on earth (whether it be love, struggle, emotion, career, or in my extensive and most-recent past case: battling with the “success” idiom; where I’ve learned you must continue to go on by all means and really y[l]earn to trust in your own universe)…

… as time proceeds to give you what you need, you can’t allow your idea and fantasy of what you don’t have just let you control you enough to feed you lust for greed (hopefully somebody gets that, lmao).

Before I go, just two lessons from nature that I was fortunate to have by embracing the moments and accepting what my world was handing to me; what I felt like I was being told.

1. ‘There’s more to losing than failure.’

A loss has a clear lesson in it. Maybe you need to lose, because, out there right now is somebody who needs a win. I went to the pool/snooker hall twice in January with my Dad and brothers. I kept getting my ass kicked for some reason, but it wasn’t often by a long shot. The second time we visited, I got pissed at the fact I just kept losing (though I won once or twice). I shortly realized that maybe there’s more to life than this constant losing… and also, am I really losing? I have a life of blessings that I fail to acknowledge sometimes I must admit; so do I deserve them? Maybe I deserve to lose things, just like that pen I bought and lost the same day *cries, because it glided so blissfully across the paper.* You can’t pit yourself concentration on loss and see it all as you’re a failure in life.

2. ‘Don’t let shit eat you, and don’t allow yourself to be shit on.’

This analogy made my brother buss up in laughter and he loved it. I go no limits on this creativity cap of mine… Brain just shoot right through and off to my parallel universe of cognitive. But yeah… Through your living, there’s going to be consumption of things you’d like to eat as well as things you wouldn’t imagine eating. Shit needs to be let go of. Clear your system out.

Because, we consume so much and don’t realize what we’re taking in, but it affects you later on in that downtime you have, or catches you when you think life is all “bed of roses.” If you’re not aware of what’s happening, the influence is powerful enough to find a way to your subconscious. That’s my “theory” for the day. I’m no Einstein –  I’m LSNCLR, and this is just reality, lol. Doesn’t mean you gotta stay ignorant when you’ve a choice to make that’s going to change your life; each step. With each step of the way, my brother/sister. Paint your own.

A lot of things that you THINK matter don’t. Things actually aren’t so bad after all, you know. How’s about that coming from me aka the biggest of worriers, eh?

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Anyways yo, it’s not the first time I’m behind, but it feel like it is with music. It’s my own fault though – I’ve been stupidly caught up in what I’ve enjoyed for months instead of hearing other shit; and it’s a cycle that needs BREAKING fast… Get me some muesli or suttum to sort out my brain operation, it’s still all matted like my mane (whaddup Karen). I’ve been meaning to get back to hearing new music – better yet, back into the habit of doing so… why not end this with some new business. I was on a Tinashe wave for all of yesterday (every now and again, I love to just put her on shuffle). Fortunately for me on the same day, I got blessed with a new Tinashe cover story, photoshoot, AND a song, leading up to her forthcoming and sophomore LP, JOYRIDE.

Other than THIS track I’m about to introduce you to from Tinashe herself… All I’m saying is Pac ain’t back because his legacy never left, but we got another one though: Anderson .Paak (and anybody ignoring his existence after his stellar efforts performances on both Compton, and The Documentary 2.5 alone last year + the co-signs… You’re fooling yourself). His new shit, and second album release, Malibu (PLEASE listen to “The Season | Carry Me”), along with NxWorries (EP with Knxwledge) are some serious, smoothly put together pieces of music for anybody to play. Fuck your genre preference in this case – I’m telling you. Rarely have I seen an artist come into this with their shit so musically together. Anderson has got his flow, delivery, lyrics, melody and sound pocketed. The man himself said he pays attention to detail; and in his songs that audibly shows.

For now,

NEW MUSIC FROM TINASHE
(pleaaaase drop JOYRIDE already).

Thank you for reading, as always.

~ LSNCLR

NOTHING FOR YOU

Very [select] few people truly care nothing for you until you get to a position, whether that position be fame; wealth; death, etc.

One who is one [with self], is usually a stubborn wall who refuses to adjust. Typically, nature is going to be nature… regardless. Nature is the wall that nurture struggles to knock down. If you can open their mind, then you’re doing exceptional stuff. It’s like teaching [out of your reach] the unteachable to the unreachable.

Life is going to be life, and being bitter when it didn’t go your way is no means necessary. Negative energy is all waste. Don’t be pissed forever. People who have no time for you share commonality with grudges you hold against them: they do nothing for you.  ‘Let go’ and ‘move on’ for your own sake, don’t feel forsaken – just forgive.

  LSNCLR

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BLAKE | VANESSA

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It’s just nice seeing two kids together playing, getting along – let alone them be related.

Family is something important; keeps me grounded. Reminds me what’s really worth investing your time in – the people that you share a mutual love with. Life is about and revolved around a whole heap of things, a lot in which can take over you, have you caught up. I’ve often lost touch, but when I’m around what’s REALLY prime and right to be around – I’m good.

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