My arrival in COLOMBIA!!! Part 1

So the day of my departure finally arrived and i must say through all the chaos and preparation, it all went quite smoothly!!!

As daunting as long haul flights can be, i was SUPER excited to start my adventures in Colombia with the British Council.

Arrived at Heathrow with plenty of time to spare, check in my case mountain and pay for my extra case.


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Consisted of 2 x 23.3 kg suitcases, hand luggage case and tote style handbag! (Was quite reasonable at $70 for an extra case in comparison to $200 if your case is overweight!!)

After farewell to mama, I went through security and made my way to my gate. As usual, being the magpie that I am, only realized my flight was closing as i’m wandering aimlessly round Boots! MAD DASH to my gate which was miles away I made it to the plane.

After bustling my way through with my insane handbag and rollie-case, mid-way into economy I realized I had ‘Seat Number 7′ and when I looked up at the seat number were in the late 20′s. As I turned around I realized…….

*Drumroll please*

I HAD BEEN UPGRADED TO BUSINESS FIRST!!!! OMG!!!

I scrambled back out of economy like a bat outta hell and settled into my cove ready to lap up the luxuries :D I don’t rightly know how I did it but i’m not going to question fate!

Here are a few sneaky selfies from my flight:

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Me & Teddie chillin

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My courtesy Disaronno & Sprite…… 4th i think that was!!

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LOVELY MEAL!!

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Snoozy Selfie while fully reclined in my cove lounger ❤

Overall it was a very comfy flight with polite service and tasty menu. I thank my lucky stars I can tick ‘FREE FLIGHT UPGRADE’ off my bucket list!!!

THANK YOU UNITED AIRLINES!!!

P.S. Anyone travelling to South America or anywhere in general to be honest, PACK EXTRA CLOTHES IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE. My main suitcases were delayed by 2 days and if i didn’t have my hand luggage on point, I would have been in fiddle to say the least!!!

 

Part two TBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

My arrival in COLOMBIA!!! Part 1 was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la

Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion – Concert review

Snoop-Dogg lion

 

Concert Review

Artist: Snoop Dogg/ Snoop Lion

Date: Thursday 5th June 2014

Location: 02 Academy Brixton

Concert Review

I usually love concerts at Brixton academy because there is a lot of space and an AMAZING decline towards the stage so you can see better the further away you are. This was not the case tonight! Once I was scanned in, I was met by a crowd of people that stretched as far as the eye could see. It was good for the artist of course as he could see the amount of support. Little moi had to retreat to a corner with my notepad and make do with what I could!!

Support Act

I came in during Wretch 32′s set,  wish I could have seen more but from what I could get he is a great UK artist as you can see that he;s truly grateful for the chance he has been given in music. He performed his first UK number ‘Don’t Go’ later recalling that he wrote the hit while living in Tottenham before he was famous and never imagined it would have made it this far. The Grime and UK Rapper raised in East London has worked his was up from underground to the mainstream, holding onto the respect he deserves. He closed his set with ‘Traktor’ in which he featured a Drum and Bass mix for good measure :D

Main Act

Just after 10pm, the DJ started playing songs to get us in the mood for Mr Doggy Dogg himself and the vibe so was nice in there it didn’t take long. Fans young and old, hardcore or newbies spanning across all races in random clouds of ‘wacky baccy,’ it was clear to see Snoop had the love. Greeting with an image representing his new found Rastafarian preference, he tall, lean presence soon graced us to the beat of ‘Here comes the King’ taken from his latest album ‘Reincarnated’. Over the past few years Snoop has got his touch with his spiritual side and found comfort and understand as a Rasta. Documented in a short film by the same name, we see Snoop Lion as he has been renamed, venture deep into the Jamaican hills seeking acceptance into the faith and embracing the culture.

On a whole I was intrigued to see how this new found religious aura would fit with the Gangster we all know and love and to my surprise it works well. Of course I can’t say the depth of the changes but from the outset, he is still true to himself as a musician yet never forgets to spread the knowledge of Rastafari. Even though he has received criticism since becoming a Rastafarian, I’m happy to see Snoop mature as a person and try to promote positivity in such a violent world but it would be sad to see him take advantage due to his inhaling preferences.

Before long we were taken on a musical journey back in time where Snoop made sure we were given all sides of the artist. With tracks like ‘The Next Episode’, ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, ‘P.I.M.P’ , ‘Signs’ and ‘California Girls’ he catered to the mainstream audience and gave the hardcore fans songs like ‘Mary Jane’ , Gin And Juice’ , ’2 Of Amerika’s Most Wanted’, ‘ Who Am I’ and ‘Murder Was the Case’.

With a career spanning back to the 1990′s Snoop Dogg is a veteran in the entire HipHop world. Born Calvin Broadus Jnr, he has a love for American Football (he also coaches Little League teams now) but as many others growing up in Long Beach at that time, the call of the streets was louder. After brushes with the law in his teens years, Snoop and his close friends formed the group ’213′ and began to make history. Other 213 members were his cousin the late Nate Dogg and rapper Warren G.

Affliations with the Crips gang and close ties with rappers such as Dr Dre and the Late Tupac Shakur, Snoop kept his love for music out there, connecting with the reality of street life as well as his love for women and marijuana. The past 20 years have seen Mr Doggy Dogg go from strength to strength with numerous collaborations yet still trying to battle through encounters with the law. Snoop was famously banned from entering the UK following an incident at Heathrow Airport from 2006 until 2010. Matters were resolved and in 2011 Snoop Dogg played a concert in celebration at Brixton Academy (WHICH I WAS AT!!)

Fast forward to tonight, the concert was full of positive energy and good vibes as we began to see the ‘reincarnation’ of Snoop Dogg as he progressed into Snoop Lion. He closed the show with his happy go lucky anthem ‘Young, Wild and Free’ before reminding us ‘to smoke weed’, as you do!!( Each to their own!)

It will not be a quick change as he has 20 years of archives to bring with him. The man we saw tonight, with his neat dreads and smooth dance moves, whether you refer to him as the Dog or the Lion, Snoop is still the man!!!

I would be shocked if you didn’t know at least 1 of these songs but here is your homework!

Enjoy xoxo

Wretch 32 feat Josh Kumra – Don’t Go

Snoop Dogg – Who Am I (What’s My Name)

Snoop Dogg feat Pharrell – Drop It Like It’s Hot

Dr Dre feat Snoop Dogg, Nat Dogg and others – The Next Episode

Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa feat Bruno Mars – Young, Wild and Free

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion – Concert review was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la

Skepta feat the ‘Boy Better Know’ Collective – Concert Review

DISCLAIMER: The headline act of this event was originally supposed to be rapper Cam’ron however due to unforeseen circumstances he cancelled right before his set was due to begin. Luckily I managed to get there early enough to see Skepta perform so I will be doing a short review on his performance. I am not connected in any way to the events surrounding Cam’ron nor the comments circulating social media.

 

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Concert Review

Artist: Skepta feat Boy Better Know Collective

Date: Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Location: The Forum, Kentish Town

Concert Review

The Forum is one of my favourite venues as they have utilised the space and allowed me to have a perfect spot where i can watch the show comfortably without being squished! (Shout out to my Scottish V.I.P company for chilling with moi!, Lovely to meet you both!)

DJ Manny Norte was the DJ in charge of keeping the vibe going and man did he do a good job. I loved the way he mixed it up between UK and US music. A home-grown audience loved the authentic mix we were raised with!

At around 9pm we were pleasantly taken into the world of UK grime in the name of Skepta and as my vision cleared I saw he was accompanied by his crew ‘Boy Better Know’. The crowd gave him a great welcome considering the atmosphere and before long, Skepta reminded us why he is a legend in the UK grime scene.

Born Joesph Adenuga, Skepta started on the underground garage scene early after finding his love for music and performing. From 2006, Skepta has grown from strength to strength, taking the UK music scene higher and higher, keeping the ‘Boy Better Know’ artist collective close by his side. Not limited to UK grime, he has also ventures into UK hip-hop and displays cultural influences from his Nigerian background.

Hits such as ‘ Doin It Again’ and ‘Icey’ amongst other classics kept everyone bubbling hard and we even had a surprise performance from Meridian Dan who did his current smasher ‘German Whip’ complete with JME and Big H dropping their verses live.

As he was only scheduled as a support act, Skepta was pushed into a timeslot and couldn’t maximise the time but managed to pull off an amazing snippet of his talents. I’m not as into UK music as I should be however this set showed me that the UK has a lot to offer and reminded me of the start of UK grime.

Skepta ended the slot with his latest banger ‘That’s Not Me’ feat his brother, co-founder of ‘Boy Better Know’ rapper JME

To conclude, the quality of this performance could have been it’s own show and a lot of people respect Skepta for his performance tonight. He kept his act true to himself, bringing the majority of his collective on stage with him to experience it with him. Whatever happened tonight it would not have been fair to music if I had dismissed such a great UK artist.

As usual, it’s note taking time peeps

xoxo

Duppy (Doin It Again) – Skepta feat B.B.K and Others

That’s Not Me – Skepta ft JME

German Whip – Meridian Dan ft Big H and JME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skepta feat the ‘Boy Better Know’ Collective – Concert Review was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la

Ricky Rozay – Concert Review #2

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Concert Review

Artist: Ricky Rozay (Rick Ross)

Date: Sunday 18th May 2014

Location: The Roundhouse, Camden

Concert Review

This is my 3rd time seeing Ricky Rozay in total and I actually feel like its my first time every time! (clean minds folks!) I was a bit taken aback by the venue choice as The Roundhouse generally holds very mainstream events so it goes to show how much ROZAY has grown as an artist to sell out this venue. I got my tickets early as I knew this one off European show would sell out fast.

At around 9pm the queue was still windin around the venue as security ID scanned and let people inside. I was very impressed with the uptake of this policy as some venues are very minimal on security policies. I loved the mix of urban music fans all coming together for this show. You had you stereotypical groups of young men ready to grunt all over the place then a random group of refined ladies come to enjoy the vibe.

DJ Tim Westwood drew his support set to a close at around 10ish and the crowd went into a frenzy as a hype came onto introduce the man himself. To show love to his fellow MMG (Maybach Music Group) artist Meek Mill they played Meek’s new single ‘Off The Corner’ to start off the show.

Before I knew it the infamous ‘I’m a boss’ intro came in and we were offffffffffff!

Just a quick recap of the man himself taken from my previous review to refresh your memories:

Born William Leonard Roberts II, He came onto the rap scene with a new swag of creating a new collective called MMG, which includes the talented Philly rapper ‘Meek Mill’ and bringing an new image to HipHop. Many dislike his upfront, crime gloifying approach to the world however as many fans will know he has an essence of inspiration about him that makes you want to get up and do something with your life. (hopefully good obviously!!). In his words ‘ BE A BAWSE (BOSS)’. From his mainstream hit ‘Hustlin’ early in his career to the more recent material, he has spread his talent across 6 solo albums, 3 group albums and numerous collaborations giving him worldwide success.

In support of his latest release ‘Mastermind’, Mr Rozay gave us some new hits including ‘Devil is a lie’ and took it to the choir with ‘Sanctified’ while keeping it real with classics like ‘U know i got it’, ‘Can’t Hold Me Back’, ‘Diced Pineapples’ dedicated to the laydeez, ‘Stay Scheamin’ and ‘Bag of Money.’ Part way through the show he also addressed a certain london promoter that has been accusing MMG (Rozay’s label) of not paying him for a cancelled show, Rozay strongly denies any wrongdoings and was supported by a communal up middle finger salute from the fans.

You can’t deny the man’s ability to bring the house down in an out of control way. At times you actually find yourself zoning into a place where bass rules the world and all you can do is rock in obedience (well, that and the brandies I had!!) Health problems over recent years have been a problem in relation to Rozay’s lifestyle choices however I’m happy to say that even though he’s still a chunky mofo, he looks a lot healthier and has slimmed down a bit. He ended the show with a rendition of his new dance called ‘ 100 mill’ which consists of boppin around in a circle with your fists up, rockin from side to side. Do it….. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!!! I’m already a profesh at it!! 😀

Overall the concert was a huge success and whether you are a repeat attender like myself ❤ or it was you first Ricky Rozay Experience, I'm sure you will know the answer to this question……

CAN I GET A ROZAAAAAY????? ROOOZZZZZAAAAYYYYY!!!

As usual my peeps, tiz homework time!!!

Enjoy xoxo

P.S. If you want to read my blog of Rick Ross's London Show last October… Click Here

Nelly – Concert Review

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Concert Review

Artist: Nelly

Date: Thursday 8th May 2014

Location: The Forum, Kentish Town

Concert Review

Has been a while since i been to The Forum and in true THROWBACK THURSDAY style i went to see an artist who i have been wanting to see live for around 10 years!! The ‘Hot in Here’ man himself Nelly performed a one-off show and yes i was in there losing my voice with everyone else.

We had to wait a while for Nelly to come on but we were well entertained with DJ Swerve keeping the groove in the house. The venue was full by showtime came around and as the location boasts, the crowd was full of an eclectic mix of people.

Bursting onto the scene in 2000, Texas born, Missouri raised Nelly put his hometown of St Louis on the rap – map which had been dominated by the West, East and South coasts. With his unique rhyming slang, vocabulary and his boys firmly at his side, Cornell Hayes Jnr (aka Nelly) was ready to take on the world. After forming a HipHop ‘St Lunatics’ crew in high school, Nelly had a taster of the rapper lifestyle and after a slight setback (no record deal) he decided to go solo.

Over the past decade Nelly has gone from strength to strength, had an on/off relationship with R&B Ashanti, started a clothing line and starred in various advertising campaigns. He also set up an organisation to educate society about bore marrow diseases and the lack of donors, inspired by his sister’s plight with leukaemia, sadly she passed away in 2005. Not letting anything take away from his dream, he made sure that he gives back to the community in more ways than one.

The infamous plaster, Nelly wore on his cheek in the early part of his career was an ode to his younger brother and fellow St Lunatics Member ‘City Spud’ who was serving a lengthy jail sentence at the time.

In true Nelly style, he compacted years of material into an amazing set that definitely made up for his absence on our shores. Kicking things off with ‘Party People’, we were taken into a hype as he ran through hits such as ‘E.I’, ‘Country Grammar’, ‘Shake Ya Tailfeather’. I had an amazing sing along with some people I met to ‘Hey Porscha’, didn’t realise I was still so hardcore!! (doing my 15yr old self proud!) He included some other material which included ‘I’m so Faded’ and ‘Move that Body’ which kept the crowd in the zone with a fresh vibe.

As the show went on Nelly thanked us for sticking by him all this time and that we should to continue to support new music and gave advice to new artists to keep trying to reach their dreams. A highlight of the show was the crowd integration, Nelly pulled 3 ladies onto the stage and after various conversations, proceeded to serenade each one to his classics ‘Body On Me’, All In My Head’ and ‘Dilemma’. The looks on their faces were priceless as Nelly twirled and grinded with them….. (not jealous at all!!) Either way he was a good artist for doing that, some artists just expect you dance for/on them but he actually took the time out to do something different and unique.

The closing hits were somewhat sentimental as he wanted to show his gratitude as well as get the party started. The infamous ‘Hot in Here’ tore the house down and as Nelly took off his top SADLY many others felt the need to follow suit. I’m all for liberation but please, keep it civilised!! That song had us all jumping and singing along like it came out yesterday, timeless!!! On a more sombre note he spoke about his fight to get where he is now and closed the show with ‘Just A Dream’.

I know I’m biased as I am already a fan but this was an excellent show of MidWest’s finest, he made sure he came in top form to deliver the goods and as the saying goes: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!!!! ❤

HOMEWORK TIIIIMMMEEEEE!!!

XOXO

Musicalize presents August Alsina and Ryan Leslie plus Angel – Concert Review

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Concert Review

Artist: Musicalize presents August Alsina and Ryan Leslie plus Angel and support

Date: Sunday 9th March 2014

Location: Indig02

Concert Review

Due to transport delays I arrived at the venue late and luckily managed to catch the main UK support act Angel halfway through his set. I saw the singer songwriter a few years ago and it was nice to see him develop into such a good artist. He had the stage presence and the talent to sustain a very mixed crowd and deliver a great performance.
Be sure to check out his upcoming EP ‘Possession with intent’ out later this year and I’ll include a link to one of his biggest hits below.

Main Acts

After the cancellation of a scheduled Hip Hop show I was pleasantly surprised to see Musicalize jump straight back into the light with a whole other show lined up. One veteran in the R&B game and a newcomer to the mainstream who is causing palpitations all over the globe!

Without further ado, after DJ EverOfficial got us warmed up, a hooded figure appeared from backstage and with the shrill of high pitched screams I knew it was the man they call August Alsina. Dressed in a big parka jacket and shades the singer/rapper came on stage and knew what he had to do. 21 year old August burst onto the scene in 2011 after various tragedies in his personal life including exposure to addiction and violence led him to take refuge in music and make a better life for himself. He began his career in a very modern way, uploading a video to YouTube which started ripples in the music industry. Starting through mixtapes and collaborations, August got his big break with a duet featuring US rapper Trinidad James called ‘I Luv This Shit’ and he’s gone from strength to strength ever since.

To the delight of his female fans and cringing dismay of their parents amongst other supporters August gave us a good performance introducing us to his music. I feel that he wanted to take a different approach to his career and instead of focusing on the US market only, with the help of social media he was able to create a global fan base and luckily managed to do an international tour before his 1st album has been released. Many top selling artists are yet the cross the Atlantic….
Although he had just left Amsterdam from a show and was suffering with fatigue and exhaustion, August still managed to vocally lift us and show what he can do. Some of the highlights were his crowd interactions, causing literal landslides as he moved across the stage and his performance of ‘I Luv This Shit’ which gave him the freedom to seduce us musically while showing us his ‘lovemaking moves’ (I can still hear the screams ringing in my head!!) Other stand out songs were ‘Ghetto’, ‘Numb’ and his lead single ‘Make It Home’ which are part of his musically biography album ‘Testimony’ due out April 2014.
Overall I think it was a good set that ticked all the boxes of a tour for a new artists, of course his good looks helped fill the arena but as seen tonight he is more than just a pretty face.

Onto the final main act.

Firstly I will say that I am not a huge follower of R&B music therefore the part of the review will only be based on what I saw tonight. Dubbed the ‘Black Mozart’ and supported by a live band complete with a keyboard for him Ryan Leslie graced the stage with immense energy and passion. By this time a lot of the younger listeners had began making their way home as they did not find a connection to Ryan Leslie, which is fair enough as they saw who they came to see.

From the get go I could tell this set was going to be very different to that of August Alsina and it was a nice way to end the night. Singer, Songwriter and Producer Ryan Leslie proved his talents tonight by bring a very acoustic sound to his music. I definitely felt like I was watching a live show and the band supported him flawlessly. I know Ryan Leslie through collaborations he has done so was nice to hear what he has been doing over the past few years.
From an early age, his love for music and playing instruments paved the way for Ryan Leslie, earning him scholarships and accessed to some of the top schools and universities in the U.S. Once perfecting his niche and working with other artists, Ryan Leslie burst onto the scene after collaborating with R&B singer Cassie on the track ‘Me and You.’ From the he gained the exposure needed to go into his own and build his own career. 3 studios albums later and one on the way we were given a musical history lesson in the life of Ryan Leslie. Songs such as ‘Addiction’ and ‘Diamond Girl’ definitely got the crowd going and wanting more. His next album titled ‘Black Mozart’ is due to be released by summer 2014.

Tonight was a civil mixture of urban music ranging from home-grown talent, new singers and r&b veterans. It was nice to see such a line up live as I doubt a mix of supporters would have ever come together if it wasn’t for the music.

HOMEWORK TIME!!! xoxo

We HAVE to take care of our ‘Vintage’ generation…

This post comes close to my heart so please do excuse a bit of rambling…

My grandparents are the structure of my life. The perfect combination of their love created the enigma that entertains you now. Over the past few years, during the care of my late Grandfather who passed in 2008 from Prostate Cancer to the present care of my Nana who has reduced mobility, i could not be more grateful for the outside support provided to them in their time of need.

In a society where the Elderly are often viewed as a burden i am finding it hard to stomach the horror stories and lack of government and public support towards them. This post was inspired by an article posted on the my local council Website, detailing briefly the plight of 2 elderly men having to face care cuts and how they feel about the way they are being treated.

I will post a link to the article but i can imagine everyone in the world has a connection to these kinds of stories, if not directly affected.

Especially as a young woman, it is very easy to think my generation will never get old and that we will never need anyone to look after us. I feel society is making the generation gap even bigger by scaring old and young people further away from each other.

Of course, the are scum of the earth who will prey on the elderly to commit crimes but for the rest of the population it is hard to understand how Vintage people cope with everyday life especially when they are not supported.

Many cultures around the world live in the same house as their elders or nearby so they are integrated into the family however for various reasons, this is not the case for everyone.

Many elderly people are moved into care homes or simply abandoned by their families due to the amount of care they need. It is inevitable that the time and financial cost will rise as we age however this is no reason for the treatment they receive today.

Many are sent bills and letters yet they have limited sight, some are veterans of past wars and want to feel independent yet the do not have access to the outside world. Some crave interaction and recognition yet health reasons have caused them to retreat into themselves.

Brought to light most recently is an incessant need to hold onto old memories which create dangerous living conditions also known as Hoarding.

and unfortunately they are only found once it’s too late, showing they lack of regard for their lives.

Not every vintage person is the same but i think we as a society need to respect them and at least let them know somebody is watching out for their well-being.

Our failing economy will never be adequate for the ever growing population so we need to start relying on each other instead of waiting for ‘things to get better’.

Apologies if this is not what you expected as a blog post but….. on the other hand i really don’t.

If we are lucky enough to get old, it will make sense one day……

 

 

We HAVE to take care of our ‘Vintage’ generation… was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la