With winter right at our door step & the end of the year fast approaching I thought I would post some of my favorite music, movies & tv shows of 2015 & some of my favorite winter/holiday things.
So to start off music. Now 2015 has been a great year for music. A lot of new music has come out from all genera’s and its been amazing. Here are a few of my favorite albums & songs.
The Internet-Ego Death: experimental neo-soul & jazz outfit The Internet put out their third studio album this June and it rocked. With little to no good straight up R&B out there today this album brings it with songs like Girl, Special Affair and Gabby ft. Janelle Monai will give you some those good feels. Check this album and their last two for some feel good vibes. Favorite Songs: Girl, Special Affair, Gabby, Partners in Crime Part Three, Penthouse Cloud, Go With It
Snoop Dogg-BUSH: defiantly not my favorite Snoop album but it’s got some good songs for summer, hang with the family or whatever just some feel good songs. Being it was produced by Pharrell means that it’s got that good sound that makes you just want to dance and get down. Favorite songs: California Roll, This City, Awake
Twenty One Pilots-Blurryface: one of my favorite bands relisted their third album Blurryface and it’s amazing. Still that good mix of rock, hip-hop, piano, and electronic mixed with a little reggae in for good measure. TOP is life and Tyler and Josh do their thing on this album and I love it. Favorite Songs: Stressed Out, Tear in My Heart, HeavyDirtySoul, Ride, Lane Boy, Not Today, Hometown, Message Man, We Don’t Believe What’s On TV, Polarize, Doubt
ARDIPITHECUS by Willow Smith: I pretty much love everything Willow has been doing lately with her brand of music and what she talks about. Indigos Unite! She has been putting out a lot of music on soundcloud and Spotify and its so cool. Then last Friday she put out a surprise album called ARDIPITHECUS which is named after the first human. This album gives you all the feels you normally get from Willow’s moody introspective music. Its so good. Check it out. *She also put out a song earlier in the year called FQ-C #7. This video she is wearing face paint and talking about jumping in rivers and climbing trees and she is just a beautiful representation of the newer generation and young black girls in today’s time. Check out the song and video and go check out her other songs too on Sound Cloud. Fav Songs: Wait a Minute!, Star, UR Town, Marceline PT. 2, RANDOMSONG, IDK, Not So Different, FQ—C #8, Cycles, dRuGz, Natives of the Windy Forest
Earth Guardians Self-titled Album: The Earth Guardians are an international group started by a 15 year old youth and his little brother doing healing earth justice. They also do a lot of hip-hop together and just put out a self-titled album where they are rapping about being indigenous, about being the change and figuring out who you are. Great album for the young activist out there making a difference.
Incubus-Trust Fall Side A: I like a few songs off this EP and for Incubus since they have always changed up their musical style it is different but in a good way. I would say if you have been missing some Incubus music lately I’d check it out and it’s got some cute songs to listen to. Favorite Songs: Absolution Calling, Trust Fall
Jamie XX: This is not the XX but it’s not bad for what it is. It’s got some good songs and for someone out of the XX I gave it a listen and I will say if his music came on during a party or something that would be cool but it’s not the XX. Check him out anyway and see for yourself. *After going back and listening to this album throughout the year it has grown on me a lot and has some dope production value with some cameos from some XX members. He also has a song with Young Thug (and yes I know) but it more of a turn up track you can play at a party called I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)*
Florence + the Machine-HBHBHB: I love F+M and I have been waiting for them to release a new album since Centuries in 2012. Now I haven’t finished listening to the whole album yet but from what I heard of it I am pleased as always. F+M always make me happy since they first came out. Florence Welsh’s voice is just haunting and she is just a powerhouse in her own right. Favorite Tracks So Far: What Kind of Man, HBHBHB, St. Jude, Queen of Peace, Long & Lost, Third Eye, Various Storms & Saints
Skrillex & Diplo- Jack U: I like Skrillex and Diplo thanks to some of my homies on my teams in AmeriCorps. I will say that Skrillex at least has gone downhill a little as he doesn’t make as dark or crazy music and has turned a little more pop edm but it’s cool. Diplo has always been a little more pop edm and produced for some other artist. Anyway this album is an ok album pretty pop edm with lots of features like Justin Bieber, Aluna George, and Kiesza among others.
Pvris-White House: So I just got into them when I was watching the APMAs and the live feed was messing up so they showed us a video from them. I really was digging them because their cool mix of alternative rock and electronic music. They have a few songs that I’m digging and will defiantly check out more of their music. Favorite songs: My House, Holy
Miguel-Wildheart: I love Miguel and his sound which is very eclectic but not always down for his over sexual lyrics. This album is really great and I think Miguel has come a long way since the beginnings. It’s a great blend of R&B, rock and a little hip-hop sprinkled in for good measure. Miguel had put out some tracks last winter with a few songs from the album which made me fall in love with those songs. Anyway check out the album it’s pretty good and has got your R&B fix. Favorite Songs: Coffee, Simple Things, Hollywood Dreams
Joey Bada$$-B4. DA. $$: This one is more of a new comer and has only been making music since 2012 Joey Bada$$. Joey is a member of the collective Pro Era and just put out his debut album B4.DA.$$ earlier this year which is great takes you back to the old skool sounds of the ’90s. He has been known to be influenced by the ’90s sound and delivers. At only 21 years old he really is somebody to watch and this album is a much needed change of pace in hip hop in 2015. Favorite Songs: Save the Children, Belly of the Beast, On & On, Escape 120, Black Beetle, O.C.B, Curry Chicken, Teach Me, Paper Trail$ Very much a must listen great job Joey! *Joey also did a track with Statik Selektah called Alone and its dope. Basically Joey brings his classic style to the track while Statik’s production is on point.*
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp A Butterfly: Ok so by now everyone knowns about this album and like Kendrick or not it has done a ton for the culture and the community. From making Alright as the anthem for Black Lives Matter, to Message Man with that Tupac interview at the end to just the way he mixes lyrical content to dope beats with a mix of jazz & soul. A great album all over. Fav Songs: If these Walls could Talk, Alright, King Kunta, live version of i, Message Man *Kendrick also put out a song I like with the producer Flying Lotus called Never Catch Me which I a more jazzy track with Kendrick rhyming.*
Raury- All We Need: Another Indigo Kid from ATL. With Raury’s mix of folk and hophop he is bringing a unique sound to the game. He brings social commentary about the world and the next generation to his lyrics. With an EP Indigo Child that came out a few years ago, he is differently a cool new voice in hiphop. Fav songs off All We Need: Devil’s Whisper, Revolution, Peace Prevail, Forbidden Knowledge Fav songs off Indigo Child: God’s Whisper, Friends
Alabama Shakes-Sound & Color: Love Alabama Shakes! Brittney’s voice is amazing and she really shows it on their 2015 album Sound & Color with tracks like Don’t Wanna Fight, Sound & Color, and Over My Head. Definitely a must listen. Check it out.
Fall Out Boy- American Beauty/American Psycho: This album is from one of my favorite bands of all time Fall Out Boy. Coming on the heals of their 2013 Save Rock & Roll come back they released their sixth album American Beauty/American Psycho. This album is very Fall Out Boy with a very poppie vibe to it. They put out music for the Disney/Marval cartoon movie Big Hero 6 and this album was done in three weeks. It’s a great album and I just don’t want them to ever go away again. Favorite Songs: Irresistible, The Kids Aren’t Alright, Uma Thurman, American Beauty/American Psycho, Centuries, Novocane, 4th of July Thanks for another bomb album FOB! *FOB have also done a few remixes this summer when they were on their Boyz of Zummer tour like the Uma Thurman remix Wiz Khalifa did and the remix they did for his song Stayin Out All Night which Patrick’s vocals shine on this track. They also did another Disney song from the Jungle Book I Wan’na Be Like You which is a fun funky track that FOB just bring their signature sound to as well.*
Shut Up & Dance by Walk the Moon: I have been a fan of these guys since 2012 when they first came out with Anna Sun and that album and I love this song. It reminds me a little of the ‘80s which is new trend in music now and the music video reminds me of that movie Scott Pilgrim. I like Walk the Moons blend of pop, indie and dance music it’s a cool twist. Check it out.
Lean On by Major Lazer ft. MO & DJ Snake: I love this song! I first heard it on tv and was instantly hooked on it. It’s got a very catchy beat and hook which has gotten stuck in my head like crazy. It’s a pop dance song that can be herd anywhere and everywhere and it’s just a great song all around.
Classic Man by Jidadia: this song bangs love the beat. An artist under my favorite girl Janelle Monai’s new Wonderland label Jidadia brings it. He basically talks about what and how to be a classic man with a tad bit of social commentary to go along with it. The video is fun like all of Janelle’s videos with tons of dancing and good times. It’s a cool little song and video go check it out.
Biscuits by Kacey Musgraves: I love Kacey Musgraves she is really making me like country music more and more. I liked her Follow Your Arrow song from her last album which this song is very similar so I like it a lot. Check it out it’s about doing your own thing and not worrying about what other people think and also for other people to mind your own business and do you.
A Dream of You & Me & Seasons (Waiting On You) by Future Islands: I kind of randomly came across this track on an internet radio and had herd that they are a cool group to check out. I like this group they remind me of Fleet Fox a little and is very indie. Check out this track and this group their cool.
Coffee & Whiskey by Goatsnake: I saw a review of this band on YouTube and went to check them out. Their sound reminds me of early Grunge music from the late ‘80s like early Soundgarden or Mother Love Bone (RIP Andy). I defiantly like their sound and will check out the rest of their album and songs.
Long Way Down by Robert DeLong: I heard this song on the radio when I was in the car with my family. I liked the melody and chorus of the song and it sounds like alternative pop electronic. It’s a cool track and I plan to check out more of his music.
Escape Route by Paramore: I have loved Paramore since freshmen year of high school ever since I saw CrushCrushCrush the video on tv. Hailey Williams & Taylor York are everything and the self-titled album has been everything for me. The way she takes you on a journey of a 23 year old women growing up and making decisions in her life which is something I can completely relate to. One of the bonus tracks on the album is a song called Escape Route which is like my new mantra. It’s a song about starting over and moving away and starting a new life as the person you want to be not what others say you should be. I can totally relate to this song as it basically is how I feel every day. Check it out it’s a great song.
Death of a Bachelor Singles- Hallelujah, Death of a Bachler, Emperies’ New Clothes, Victorious & LA Deevote by Panic! At the Disco: So I have always liked Panic but never been like a diehard of the band. I do like Brandon Urie and his singing plus I like their last album (and have pretty much liked a song or two on each album they have put out) and the features he has been on lately. So, Panic put out a few new songs in between their album called Death of Bachelor and I really like them. The videos are a little random and because most of Panic has basically left the band Brandon is the only original member left so he is mostly featured in the videos by himself. Plus these songs are different than some of their other stuff but they’re a band that changes its style of music like every album so it’s not that different. Over all though the songs are pretty catchy and if you’re into their music they’re a good listen.
J Cole & Kendrick Colab: on Black Friday we got a great treat from Kendrick & J-Cole as they gave us some new bars using each other’s instrumentals. They were amazing and great treat for the fans who have been waiting for a Kendrick & Cole colab for a while. I will say Kendrick’s was a little better but Cole’s was on point too. Fav line comes from Kendrick’s bars: “Nothing more influential then rap music I merge jazz fusion with the trap music I mix black soul with some rock and roll”
WTF (Where They From) by Missy Elliot: She is Back! A couple weeks ago Missy Elliot came back with a killer song produced and ft Pharrell Williams called WTF (Where They From) which is amazing in typical Missy fashion. Even the video is dope you need to check it out if you haven’t.
Love Me by The 1975: This song is kind of a different vibe for the band a little more poppy then their previous album but still very them. Its weird it unique fun and up beat even the music video is a bunch of pink and colors and makeup its so fun. I think this song has to do with the celebrate world and how crazy it can be. Check it out.
Borders by M.I.A.: This songs comes after her 2013 Matangi album and brings back the social commentary in her music. There is a great song by M.I.A the Indian rapper who just dropped this gem last week called Boarders. The whole song she goes on about all these things like boarders, the poor, war and more saying “what’s up with that” while in the video a bunch of refuges are walking, climbing fences and boarding boats getting out of their country to freedom.
Purpose Singles- Sorry, What Do You Mean?, Where Are U Now by Justin Bieber: Justin put out a new album in 2015 and a lot of his behavior and music in the last few years has been garbage but his new album which I have not listen to fully has had some good singles. Where Are U Now off the Jack U album was the first single and I thought it was a pretty dope song with Skrillex and Diplo’s production behind it. Then he came out with What Do You Mean his second single which I didn’t like as much but it grew on me a little but is still not my favorite. The last single he has put out is Sorry. This song rocks and is probably my favorite song he has put out so far this year. It’s just a really well put together pop record. Check them out.
Take Your Time by Sam Hunt: The new hot country artist Sam Hunt’s song Take Your Time is a good country song with a pop-hip hop feel to it at times. It’s very hip hop in his melodic flow and is more on the pop side of country. It’s about a guy who wants to be with a girl but not go too fast and make her commit to anything. It’s a great song if you’re not quite there with country yet but wanna give it a try. Check it out.
Know-It-All Singles- Here, Four Pink Walls, Wild Things by Alessia Cara: This is a new up and coming singer from Canada who has made a splash on the music scene. She is one of those kids who is making big change with her music. From her single Here where she talks about a party she was at that she was not feeling to Four Pink Walls where she talks about her dreams and how she can’t see them coming true past her room and Wild Things which is basically about the new generation of kids coming up. She is a great singer, her songs are super relatable and she is just fun young girl. Check it out.
Angles (ft. Saba) by Chance the Rapper: This young rapper from the south side of Chicago is a dope lyrics and brings the flows and fun while reaping his city. In his latest song he is talking about the different Angles in his city. It’s a very inspirational song and quite catchy it have you humming along the whole song. Check it out.
Coronus, the Terminator by Flying Lotus: This producer is dope. He has been making it big in these streets for a while and I think he is really talented. Mixing jazzy beats with electro vibes to make amazing tracks. Reminds me a little of some trip-hop but in a different way. This track Coronus the Terminator is really good. Check it out.
The Message by Kamasi Washington: He is a dope new jazz artist. Highly recommended if your into straight jazz he is a beautiful artist and a great gem.
Alive by Sia: Another classic Sia song.
Your Love by Mick Jenkins: Off of Mick Jenkins 2015 album (which I still need to check out) one of the singles Your Love is great hip hop gem. This is like a super unique track with a groovin beat and hook. It will have you jamming all day long. Check it out.
Losers by the Weeknd: A very unique and different song on Beauty Behind the Madness kind of indie/R&B track with producer Labrinth who brings out the track. Its my favorite off the album check it out.
You & Your Friends (ft. Snoop Dogg and Ty Dolla Sign) by Wiz Khalifa: Its Wiz Khalifa so is basically a turn up song although I do like Wiz’s music but not all of it.
The Healing by Gary Clark Jr.: “This music is my healing” Gary Clack Jr. is the bluesy rocker that gives you BB King mixed with Jimi Hendrix with a modern twist. This track sounds like its very southern rock and the lyrics just mean everything to me as music really is my healing. Whenever I feel down I can put on music and just feel so much better. A great track all around check it out.
The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala: I had herd great things about Tame Impala in the past and I had herd their song Elephant but didn’t really know who they are until I heard this track. Tame Impala are an amazing group and from what I have herd of them I am excited to hear more from them. Check out this toe tapping track from their 2015 album Currents.
It Should Have Been Us by Tori Kelly: Love it she got vocals and she is classy. Singer/song writer R&B vibes I love her. Oh and she slayed it at the VMAs this year so much class.
If We Dance by All Cows Eat Grass: This song & video is amazing. Black excellence at its best. Its a song about the joys of being young. The whole video is black 20 somethings hanging out having a great time. Check it out.
No Sleep ft. J-Cole by Janet Jackson: I have loved Janet Jackson since I was a kid and I mean she is a Jackson so. She came back strong this year with her new album where she has amazing tracks with J-Cole & Missy Elliot. Check out this track where she throws it back to the ’90s smooth R&B. Beautiful as always I love it.
Happy Song by Bring Me the Horizon: First song I ever herd from them and I like it. Apparently they were a more skremo band before and I guess they wanted to calm it down a little for this album That’s The Spirit. If you like pop-punk then this song might be cool for you.
Songs I heard on Beats 1 (Ebro, Pete Wentz, Jaden Smith, and Pharrell): So this year I have been listening to the Beats 1 on Apple Music and have discovered a boat load of new music that is just amazing. I defiantly recommend listening to Beats 1 for great music and interviews from new artist. Here is some music I have found from Beats 1: Lonely by ZZ Ward, Gold by Kiiara, Jitter by Grace Mitchell- Some Dope Turn up Tunes; Never Get Enough by Lianne La Havas: A great song reminds me of some Janelle Monai.; Fluffy by Wolf Alice a pop-rock song with a unique singer.; Archie, Marry Me by Alvvays a cute indie record. Flamezesz by Wavves a pop-punk song kind of like Weezer. Ya Neck by Lauriana Mae a very unique song I would check out this singer’s pretty cool (shout out to Wu-Tang for the title). Veins by HUNTR sounds kind of like an old school Asian inspired instrumental with a unique singer and dope beat.
Blackish: A TV show for the modern black. The ones who live in the nice suburban town in their mostly white community where they are cool because they’re black but their not black enough for their parents. They have multicultural friends and say dude and bro a lot. They have to get their parents out of living in the past and the parents have to deal with living in this 21st century world raising kids. It comes on ABC and is pretty relatable for kids like me and my siblings who grew up in a similar way. It’s also pretty funny show. Check it out.
Fresh of the Boat: Kind of like Blackish but for Asians specifically Chinese. It’s set in the ‘90s with a family who movies from DC to Orlando, FL to start a life. It’s hilarious the mom is so real and its got her son Eddie who is all about hiphop and its just so funny. A good quality of the show is also that they have to deal with becoming too American and forgetting their culture which is something the mom deals with a lot. Great show check it out on ABC.
Scream Queens: This show when I first watched it I though was so stupid. But once I realized that was the point it became kind of funny. It stars Emma Roberts, Lia Michele, Keke Palmer, and Nick Jonas among other people. It’s about a serial killer killing people at the sorority and basically the whole time you are trying to figure out who the killer is. It’s a fun little show if you’re into that kind of stuff.
How To Get Away with Murder: Amazing! I first go into it before the season 2 premiere by binging it on Netflix. Viola Davis is the boss in this show and deserved that award. This show has you hooked from the first min and it just keeps you on edge to see what will happen next. I highly recommend this show to anyone that likes a modern take on murder mysteries.
Young & Hungry: This show comes on ABC Family and is kind of like Baby Daddy in a way. Its about a girl named Gabby played by Emily Osment who becomes the chef for the computer wiz Josh. Basically Gabby and Josh fall in love then out of love then all these things happen. It also features Kym Whitley who is super funny and it’s a cute little show.
The Wiz Live!: The incredible stage show and 1970s movie came to a new generation with the one-take live play version of The Wiz on NBC. It was incredible every actor and actress was on point and for a one-take they were amazing. From new comer Shanice Williams as Dorothy to David Alan Grier as the Couragedly Lion, Ne-O as the Tin Man, and Elijah Kelly as the Scarecrow taking Michael Jackson’s spot in the iconic role they couldn’t have cast a better team. Of course you also have Miss Queen Latifah as the Wiz, Common as her door man, and Mary J Blige as the Wicked Witch of the West, Amber Riley and Uzo Aduba as the good witches. Their costumes where on point and they can sing! A+++
Avengers- Age of Ultron: Amazing! I loved this movie was better than the first one. The jokes where funner, the action was amazing and the storyline was great. Can’t wait to see Civil War when it comes out next year.
There where a lot of movies I wanted to see this year but movies are expensive so yea
In Reembrace in 2015:
If you were a Stone Temple Pilot fan like me then you were saddened to hear of the death of lead singer Scott Weiland at 48. Others who have died in 2015 where BB King the King of Blues, Ben E. King, Wes Craven the king of horror films, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Leonard Nimoy the original Spock who will always “Live Long & Prosper” and Stuart Scott of ESPN among others.
Ok on to the Winter/Holiday Hits:
Run-DMC-Christmas in Hollis
Morning Yearning- Ben Harper
Sweater Weather- The Neighborhood
Santa Claus is Coming to Town- Jackson 5
All the Charlie Brown Christmas Songs
Snow (Hey Oh)- Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Seasons Upon Us- DropKick Murphy
Chanukah Song- Adam Sandler
Eid Song- Sami Yusuf
The Cold Swedish Winter-Jens Lekman
Merry Christmas Baby- Beach Boys
Jingle Bell Rock
Winter Solstice- Sufjan Steven
Mumford & Sons
White Winter Hymnal- Fleet Foxes
Motown Christmas Album
James Vincent McMorrow
Christmas Song- Nate King Cole
All I Want for Christmas is You- Mariah Carey
Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas)- Pearl Jam
Fade Into You-Mazzy Star
Kwanzaa Time-Ella Jekins
There is probably more I can’t think of right now (note most of my songs are Christmas related & I don’t celebrate it I celebrate the Solstice & just the holiday season I just happen to like these songs) but there you go a look into what I am kick it to right now & some classic winter/holiday songs that make me want to get cozy with a cup of coco and snuggle. ☕️
Till next time stay warm! ⛄️❄️⛄️❄️
PS here are some of my favorite winter things:
sweaters, hot coco, holiday/winter movies (Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, Charlie Brown Christmas, Snow Day), family time, stylish boots, cute tights/leggings, the solstice celebration, warm soup/stew, peppermint bark ☕️👪👢❄️🍜🍫