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Monday, March 21, 2011

An Uglycleanbroke Review of "Lasers."



First, I'd like to give a shout out to Target and Best Buy for not even bothering to have the Lasers album in stock. As a matter of fact, when I approached a sales associate at Best Buy and asked if they had it anywhere, he gave me a "look" as if I was annoying the fuck out of him, and simply said, "NO." I didn't get a "We don't have it in stock, but would you like to order a copy?" Nothing. Therefore, I took my money elsewhere and bought the album from Amazon. So yeah. Fuck Target AND Best Buy.

Moving on. I've had Lasers on repeat for the past few days so I could give an honest and fair opinion of each track. I know everyone interprets music different ways, so if mine seems "off," it's only because I may have interpreted it differently than another listener.

1. Letting Go (featuring Sarah Green): The opening track on Lasers takes me back to the overall tone of Lupe's The Cool album. He raps about the battle between his old and new self. Judging by the fact that it took forever for his record label to release Lasers, I'm sure this track was Lupe's way of venting about the frustrations that came along with it. I can definitely relate to this song, and it's one of my favorites so far. The words "Things are getting out of control...feels like I'm running out of soul" sum up how I feel about life sometimes. I have always enjoyed Sarah Green's voice on other tracks with Lupe, so I'm glad to hear her being featured again.

2. Words I Never Said (featuring Skylar Grey): Another one of my favorites. I love the beat, and Lupe raps about issues including the war, foreclosure, and the media's tendency to report more on celebrities than pressing matters that actually affect society. I didn't realize Skylar Grey is the same person who sang the hook on Dr. Dre's "I Need A Doctor" but I am feeling her singing style, and it fits on this track nicely.

3. Till I Get There: It's a simple song, it gives me some "Kick, Push" vibes. I don't love it, but I may have to give it a few more listens.

4. I Don't Wanna Care Right Now (featuring MDMA): Eh, not really feeling this one. The beat is decent, but I could have gone my whole life without the overly-autotuned chorus. I guess this is Lupe's way of trying to have a more upbeat, club-friendly track but.......no.

5. Out Of My Head (featuring Trey Songz): I had my reservations when I saw Trey Songz' name listed as one of the featured artists on Lasers, and for good reason. I enjoy a lot of Trey Songz' music, but I realize that most of it is oversexed bullshit. And that's okay, because sometimes you need some oversexed bullshit in your life. With that being said, I had the feeling that Trey's bullshit vibes would influence this track. And I was right. Lupe said he wanted to make a song "for the ladies," but I struggled not to skip this song when giving the whole album a listen, simply because it is just that bad.

6. The Show Goes On: Another inspirational track from Lupe, mostly targeted towards kids "in the ghetto," to keep their heads up in spite of the less-than-ideal conditions of their surroundings. Maybe I can't relate to this song too much because I didn't grow up in the ghetto, so it's just okay to me.

7. Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) (featuring MDMA): More autotune. Lupe's bars are pretty haunting on this track. In the second verse he reveals detailed thoughts of committing suicide, which I could also relate to, having had some down moments in my life as well. The lyrics are deep, but the autotune throws me off. I don't know who this MDMA guy is (or guys?), but I wish he wasn't featured on this album so much.

8. Coming Up (featuring MDMA): Sigh. You probably already know what I have to say about this one. Enough. Of. The. Fucking. AUTOTUNE. This seems like an album filler to me, so I don't have much to say about it.

9. State Run Radio (featuring Matt Mahafey): This track features Lupe's thoughts about the media's monopoly on what songs get airplay on the radio. He echoes thoughts I've had myself on the repetitive, unimaginative playlists that local radio stations shove down our throats every day. The hook is catchy; at this point I'm relieved that MDMA is not being featured yet again.

10. Break The Chain (featuring Eric Turner and Sway): Another track that will take a few more listens before I "get" it. That's all I've got for this one.

11. All Black Everything: I got a flash back to the old Lupe on this track. This is a "concept" song reminiscent of "The Die" from The Cool and "He Say She Say" from Food & Liquor, and I love it. Lupe reflects on how the world would have turned out if it was "all black." It's another song with deep lyrics, but the beat still makes you want to ride around and vibe to it. This is another of my favorites.

12. Never Forget You (featuring John Legend): Ummm.....I must be a cold bitch because I am not feeling this track either, and I'm sure this is meant to be another "uplifting" song. I've never really cared much for John Legend, so his hook annoyed me a little, and I haven't yet paid a lot of attention to Lupe's lyrics either. I suppose they needed something mellow to end the album with, but I could have done without this one too.

Overall, the album was decent. I know a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it, on Lupe's part as well as his fans. However, the random club tracks and features of the current "hot" artists turned me off a bit. The main reason I've always loved Lupe's style is because he was below the radar, and therefore didn't seem to be too affected by mainstream influences. Lasers seems to be the album meant to please the masses, with a few vintage Lupe tracks thrown in for long-time fans. I'll always support Lupe and I know he has to do what he has to do to stay afloat in the industry, but in my opinion, I would still vibe out to The Cool over Lasers any day.

Uglycleanbroke Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★★

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why?




I've stared at this photo much longer than I probably should have, and I still can't think of ONE good reason why Jesus would allow this to happen. Not one.

Red Bottoms.



This post probably should have gone on my fashion blog. I try to keep it professional over there, but this is my uncensored opinion on a fashion related topic, so here it goes.

Recently, video model Dollicia Bryan did an interview where she threw shade at fellow video model Rosa Acosta, regarding comments Rosa made last year about choosing to feed her family and pay for education, rather than spending crazy amounts of cash on Christian Louboutins, better known as "red bottoms."

If you don't feel like watching the video, I don't blame you, because Dollicia was saying a bunch of nothing. I mean, she "speaks well," but her opinion was a bit incoherent and overall silly. Basically she was mad because Rosa made those comments, then turned around and rocked a pair of Louboutins in a couple photos she posted on Twitter. Dollicia made it clear that she spends her OWN money to buy red bottoms and she doesn't really respect another girl who can only get the shoes as a gift or hand-me-down.

Girl.

Stop.

I'll start off by saying this: anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE me some expensive shit. I knew all the top fashion designers before I even knew my multiplication tables. My mom has no idea where I got my expensive taste from, because she could care less about name-brand clothes. Before brokeass-ness came into my life, it didn't bother me at all to spend $300+ on a handbag. I still like designer clothes, and when I have the means to buy a pair of Louboutins, I'm sure I will. Some call it materialistic, but I disagree. There are people out in the world who spend thousands of dollars "collecting" vintage cars. That's how I am with shoes and bags. I could give a damn if anyone knows how much money I spent on a purse, but I just feel better knowing I have it in my possession.

I can appreciate a pair of Louboutins, or Jimmy Choos, or Gucci heels, or whatever. At the same time, I'll snatch up a pair of Jessica Simpson or Bakers heels in a heartbeat. For Dollicia to act like owning Louboutins is the final destination in life, was a little absurd to me. On top of that, who the hell does she think she is that she can call out all the girls who don't wear expensive shoes to events, or who don't purchase those shoes on their own? If you've "arrived" at some holy fashion peak, why do you care about what shoes someone else can or cannot afford?

I think there is a difference between having an appreciation for the "finer things," and being a label whore. Dollicia is clearly the latter. To sit and make a damn near 7-minute video about "red bottoms" makes that painfully obvious. Once red bottoms are no longer in style, she's going to be the same dumb bitch with thousands of dollars worth of shoes wasting away in her closet, while she makes another long ass video, telling everyone they ain't shit if they don't own a plethora of "yellow bottoms," or whatever shoes the fashion industry tells her are "in" at the moment.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tired.

I'm too frustrated to write a lot. I'm just exhausted. I took a week off from work, did absolutely NOTHING, and I'm still tired.

I spent about $300 to get my car fixed and now it won't start at all. I want to sue the auto shop that "fixed" it....or get a refund or something. But lawsuits/complaints take time and energy that I don't have. Now I have to go through the same bullshit that I was trying NOT to go through by paying to get my car fixed. Do I shell out even more money to get a rental? Beg one of my family members for a ride? FUCK! I'm tired of doing this shit.

I put in my two weeks notice at work, but I feel like just quitting now...especially since getting to work is going to be such a hassle again. But of course I need money to pay my bills. I find it amusing that with all the instability and change that comes in life, the only thing that's consistent is the monthly bill for insurance, credit cards, etc.

Tears are falling on the keyboard as I type. Maybe the shitty situations that come up wouldn't be so hard to deal with if I had someone to talk to. I know some people would advise me to talk to God but I don't really like to; He never talks back. There's more I could say, but I can't right now. I'm too blinded by hurt and anger to go on.