Nikki Panache introduces Nikkipanache.com and the Female Haberdasher Bow Tie Shop. She defines “panache” and “haberdasher” and why she chose to use those words to define her brands.
Nas’ album Life is Good just dropped last Tuesday, July 17th and let me just start off by stating there is no way in the world I could convey to you how great this album is, you just have to go experience it for yourself. Nas tells of his past and everything he’s experienced to get to where is now, then goes on to explain why Nasir Jones, life is good. The album gives us both songs to reminiscent about the 90s to and to ride out to enjoying life right now despite what we’re going through.
The album begins with Nas revealing a timeline of his struggles on No Introduction and the last verse describes the album the best.
“Reveal my life, you will forgive me
You will love me, hate me, judge me, relate to me
Only a few will, this how it sounds when you too real
They think it’s just music still
Well I am a graphic classic song composer
Music notes on sheets
I wrote this piece to get closure
Some of y’all might know Kelis
This goes to her with love
Also goes to y’all, let’s see
The craziest things already happened to me
So either you’ll be laughing at me or you’re laughing with me…”
Now Nas himself is no stranger to hardships, the difference between this albums and his past ones is the content he finds regardless of the troubles, “I know you think my life is good cause my diamond piece/ But my life been good since I started finding peace” (Loco-Motive). Back When, A Queen’s Story, and You Wouldn’t Understand with songstress Victoria Monet also continue the theme of Nas’ humble beginnings with his ability to paint pictures with his words and references to previous classic bars. The single Nasty is also classic Nas having fun spitting rapid bars educating new fans to the Nas we old heads all know and love.
Daughters has to be one of the most touching constructions to ever hit my ears. “She looked at me like I’m not the cleanest father figure/ But she rocking with it… They say the coolest playas and foulest heart breakers in the world/ God gets us back, he makes us have precious little girls.” He also addresses the incident where his daughter tweeted a box of condoms enhanced by the background vocals from Kaye Fox. Nas’ ability to expose this aspect of his lives solidifies his realness and makes me love him even more.
Accident Murderer featuring Rick Ross reminds you of Nas’ gangsta just in case you started to doubt him. Reach Out with fellow veteran in the game Mary J. Blige and Summer on Smash with Miguel and Swizz Beatz is sure to be heard blasting through speakers on those windows-down-hot-summer-nights with a beat selection only veteran producers like No ID, Swizz Beatz and Justice League could create. His features are a great balance of enhancing the album but giving the right amount of Nas a fan like me needs. Nas’ versatile flow goes easy yet oh so hard when the time calls for it like on the neck breaking The Don co-produced by Heavy D who passed before the completion of the second single off the album; “Heavy D gave this beat to Salaam for me to rap to.”
The soft side of Nas is exposed as he takes you through deep emotions with the smooth, jazz inspired, track Stay and Cherry Wine featuring Amy Winehouse (a nice dedication since Monday was the anniversary of her death), while Bye Baby is my new break-up anthem based on his & Kelis’ separation with a sample from Guy’s Goodbye Love “Wanted you as my shorty since before I saw you screaming/ Hate you so much right now/ Should’ve saw the man in angry black women/ Actions of a demon, I’m leaving.” His rhymes have you looking at his life through his eyes and there is no way you can not feel where he is coming from. The deep thinking and thought provoking Nas will have you listening to songs over and over and realizing different meanings each time. That is what I live for in an album. Thank you to Nas for showing the younger generation of hip-hop fans what the rap game is truly about – living to learn and inspire through music.
I believe that healing is my purpose!
New R&B/Indie artist–Cordula Davis is not to be taken lightly … when it comes to her music, her man, and her life’s purpose. Her passion for life and love pours out in every song, uptempo or not, as she sings to heal others and tell of a love story that once needed healing of its own.
Last Thursday night, I was invited to sit in on a studio session with her. There, Davis recorded a self-written hook for Millennium Love. I was blown away at how powerful her voice sound over the beat. She could have very well sung it a capella and turned this planned duo feature into a solo-performed ballad. When she finished recording her hook, she invited me to her home for closer look on “Cordula Davis.”
Leading me up the stairs and into her home studio, Cordula introduced me to new tracks, invited me to see her recording booth, and played a classical number on the keys for me. But before we get into all that; here’s what she had to say about the music she’s been writing and recording lately.
Nikki: I wanted to talk a little about your hook to Millenium Love. Where did the inspiration from that song come from? You sing it with so much passion and strength. I know it has to come from somewhere …
Cordula: I think that when I sing that song, I was in a mode of ‘what’s the future going to hold’ and trying to move past what’s happened in the past. And that’s the reason I wanted to do music because it allows you to go through emotions and allows for you to heal from those things. I think the place I was coming from, you know, when I wrote the hook for that song was [expressing] a new type of love. Not the type of love … like “yeah that’s my boo … he does things for me.” But something a little bit more mature … a little bit more real … and just a really strong type of love. The idea of Millennium Love is like we’re in the millennium, and we do everything different and better. And that’s the idea behind that: love me like there’s no tomorrow because we don’t know. Times now are … I mean people are dying, and there’s war. There’s people without healthcare, people who are struggling, people who cannot eat, and it’s like why waste time not loving people, hating on people, or being jealous of people, and not giving your relationship your all. Particularly in the African-American community, I think that people undervalue relationships, and I think we look at relationships like a burden. And Millennium Love is about being all-in in, truly loving someone and being loved. And both people have to be all-in and vulnerable to be in love.
Cordula Davis sings the hook to Millennium Love here.
Nikki: Let’s talk about Climaxion. [I love this song!!] When I heard this song, I could just imagine …(Cordula laughs) … what it means to me might be different than what it means to you. Tell me about the writing experience. In what space were you … what were you thinking when you wrote this song?
Cordula: So Climaxion is a very interesting song. My co-writer–Matthew Loverso (@m_loverso) and I wrote this song together. We were basically thinking of writing a song that had to do with a recent experience that I had went through. Ryan and I had been going through pre-marital counseling. During the counseling, we had to fast from each other. It meant no nothing. And basically the song came from the point-of-view of my struggle with abstinence. And it’s about somebody who is far away who you are really thinking about. You are remembering what their cologne smell like and what it feels like to be touched by that person. And the song builds … and as I miss this person, I start to become … ummm … turned on and basically I start to please myself. I don’t believe it’s vulgar, but there’s a lot of emotion in that song. This song was recorded with J Stylz (@j_stylzmusic). And I was going for a really sexy song. Because the songs I’d done before that, my voice was very strong. And I was trying to do something soft. I was thinking Drake, The Weeknd … something people put on when they’re in the mood.
Nikki: So what would a video for Climaxion look like? It can’t be you pleasing yourself.
Cordula: (laughs) … something very simple. Just me sitting and thinking of flashbacks of being with that person. And just going through the feelings as the song builds up. All five senses would be visualized in the song because I write so that people can truly experience what I’m singing about.
Nikki: What other songs are you currently working on?
Cordula: I’m currently working on a cross-over pop song. It has a pop feel. I have five other songs that are done.
Nikki: Can we get the titles on those songs?
Cordula: (giggles a bit) No … not yet. I might let you have one.They’re all club songs, and people are going to rock them out.
Nikki: So the one that you might let me have is titled …?
Cordula: Win or Lose. There are two versions and a possible remix. That’s actually the first song I wrote during the fast. And I had done a lot of praying and a lot of soul-searching and you know basically realized that this is what I’m supposed to be doing … my music. And this song is about giving your all even though you’ve been hurt several times. Just going after love because it’s worth it. Win or Lose.
I was looking for love. And it’s when I stopped that I actually found what I was looking for. And the theme of this project is letting go of negativity and the past and moving forward and being excellent in everything you do … being loving in everything that you do!
Nikki: Besides fasting, what other things do you do to channel your energy that helps you create greatness?
Cordula: I have a lot of things. A lot of times is just spending time by myself, prayer, and meditation. Doing the things that I want to do with positive people around me. That’s my biggest thing. Umm … like I don’t let everybody in this room. This is like a safe haven for me, and I like to keep it positive.
Nikki: Let’s talk about some influences in your life. Mom and Dad. Are there any musicians in your family? Let’s start with your parents.
Cordula: My parents met in the military. My mom played the violin. My dad did a little bit of singing. And I have brothers and sisters, and all of my sisters sing. I never grew up with them; I grew up as an only child. The musical stuff was just passed down to me genetically. Ever since I could remember, I loved music. I would listen to Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Tina Turner. And it just made me feel a certain way. I just remember always singing. I started lessons at the age of 4. And I just knew that I wanted to do Pop, and that I wanted to sing. I wanted to make people’s hair stand up… that’s what I felt when I heard when my artists sing.
And once I was trying to figure out how medicine and being a doctor relates to singing. And my songwriter sent me a message, he was like: “Yo, you were sent here to heal people through music, through medicine, through whatever.” That’s what you were here to do. And that happened through the fast. All of this kind of happened at the same time. That was a huge revelation for me.
Nikki: So you believe that’s your purpose?
Cordula: I do … I do believe that healing is my purpose. And in my bio, I talked about my vision and purpose and how I wanted to use my revenue to create a national healthcare clinic system. I would introduce some natural medicine and other practices that are not readily available to those who cannot afford healthcare. Prevention would be a huge key to this project.
All things considered, we are about to embark on a Cordula Davis era, and you’ve just been hit with an exclusive, her first official interview as an artist to date! I look forward to hearing what else she has in store!
More Music–Adios by Cordula Davis
It’s Saturday night, and I’m at the Tiz of Spade performance. It’s going down at Club Hush of Charlotte. Sing-along fans have been showering the young rapper with rounds of applause. And he and his pseudo-band have been rockin’ the crowd with hi-octane beats and lyrics. With much stage presence, Tiz finds rhythm with his bounce and confidently struts across the stage. I truly enjoyed watching him perform tonight. Nice job! I’ll attend another and look forward to it. Thanks for the invite.
Check him out on Twitter: by clicking here
Charlotte’s own One Way Ticket released a single yesterday titled “Train Coming.”
Sounds like this song is about twisted and misguided women of today and other struggles. The concept “train coming” alerts listeners to beware of the consequences …
I like the lyrics, concept and that reckless album cover. Good music for this Friday. Please help the artist out by taking a vote.
Just tell me if you like it!
For Charlamagne the God to really dig this track as he so tweeted yesterday, I was expecting more from my favorite female rapper–Minaj. Yet the delivery was less than her superbomb usual.
Unlike “Starships,” “Beez in the Trap” is directed for hip hop heads, laced with a nursery rhyme hook that’s simple enough for all the basic folk to get it and rock it … On time!
The first stanza she definitely stands as “The Female Weezy” as she tells that wack chick to “buss it open” or she’ll cut a U-ey (u-turn). Outta control. A bi turn to prove this point, Nicki nails it here.
However, this track lacks smooth transition from line-to-line, metaphors, and a chic’ER hook. Not so much Barbie here. I’d say this is her “Nicki Lewinsky” character she promoted as mixtape, unsigned Nicki.
Though no female rapper can top my Nicki right now, I’m still not giving her a pass for this one. This track lacks lyrical content. And that’s that! Friends are honest with friends.
“A hundred #%*€><^^~ can't tell me nothin.”
And whatever happened to 2 Chainz’ twang accent? There’s a difference in his voice between this track and “Spend It.” You be the judge. Tell me your thoughts.
PS See you at Howl at the Moon, Friday. Party starts at 5.
Do you tend to hear the last song you’ve listened to replay in your head over and over again throughout the day? Like for instance, that last song Power 98 played just before you turned off your car … and during work, at a friend’s, at happy hour, you can just hear these lyrics haunting you … Notably, you can find appropriate placement for these lyrics in any conversation … talk about humor. Just imagine hearing “Girls Like You” replay as your best homeboy complains about his ole’ lady. And he wonders why he never gets to that next step. PAUSE. Anywho, I say all that to share with you famous head replays that get me through difficult conversations, annoying people, and humorous times. Hope you like. Paint your own picture at your discretion.
1. “Birthday Cake” No remix needed. Rihanna chants enough naughty lyrics to help me narrow down why you’re really talking to me right now. PAUSE.
2. “Thinking About You.” Have you heard Willow’s version? Her runs are everything.
3. “Rack City” I blame it on Power 98 because they play it so much. “10, 10, 10, 20s, and a 50s …” Stripper songs are downright distasteful. But this one’s too catchy for my own good. Oh well.
4. “Strip” Another relic of Breezy. This stripper song, on the contraire, is playful on all levels. The video makes all the difference. Ahhh Chris with his blonde hair. Moments of pleasure.
5. “Nobody’s Perfect” J Cole’s “cheese eggs and potatoes” line gets me going. #Fatgirl Vibes. “We rock the boat, Poseidon” <–nice Greek God reference. I likes. Furthermore, this is the new age of conscious rappers where they retain material swag yet spit lyrics that really matter, ones that call your self-governing rules into question. More about that later.
6. "Ambition" by Wale because drive is what some strive for … and what others just have. Love the lyric videos. Now I have no excuse. Wale at the Fillmore in NC this coming week #CIAA.
7. "Take Care" Drake and Rihanna house sampling keeps the party poppin'.
8. "It All Belongs to Me" by Monica and Brandy. If it's Nikkipanache's, it ALL belongs to me.
9. "Over My Dead Body" Drake. You gotta sing out, ring out your disappointments in love. When everything seems to be an illusion, a beautiful lie, and when perfect seems to have a time constraint, Drake comes to save the day. That's why we love 'em.
10. "Think Like a Man" Jennifer Hudson, Rick Ross and Ne-Yo This is so big city like. When I'm missing Jersey, this works. We're-going-through-the-tunnel-tunes. Do you see the bright lights?
Nonetheless, there's much humor and reality in most songs we listen to. Sure they minister to our spirits … realities we live and will continue to live each and every day. Can you think of head replay song or lyric? Share them with me.
Shout out to all those who had to sit through my French Montana rants and lyric singing. Oh, but you love the song now especially since you can watch Yaris Sanchez sport those Tru Religions. Well here it is again. In my opinion, this is the contemporary version of “All About the Benjamins.”
And one more thing, singing* “girls like you remind me that I’m lonely!!” So I hit you with Miguel too. It’s Music Monday, and these are the hits I’m playing on the iPod, singing over and over again.
* From The Yay Area’s On *
*POST & DOWNLOAD NOW*
*For More Information On Da Trendsettaz Contact:*
*Moses Hill *
I ran across this video on Twitter (@BoosieArmy) the other day and haven’t been able to get the song out of my head since! It’s a fan-created video dedicated to Lil Boosie, created by two aspiring rappers from Gainesville, FL.
“I’m not a thug, but you inspire me in many ways…“
This song just goes to show how diverse, talented & loyal Boosie’s fan-base truly is. From what I can gather, both guys are students at the University of Florida and decided to make this song to show their admiration and appreciation for Boosie and the ways in which he has inspired them through his music.
They also have another single called “Get In Line” which can be heard here.
For more info on the duo, check out their Twitter page: @LuwiandRico
Good luck with those finals guys! Keep up the good work!
This song goes out to Torence Hatch..Free Boosie Boo…FREE BOOSIE BOO!
Big K.R.I.T.’s free album Return of 4Eva Drops today! Here’s his latest touching and lyrical single… Enjoy
Undeniably one of the most socially conscious lyricists of our time, Common stopped by the campus of Wake Forest University to share his thoughts on what greatness means to him. Presented by the Office Multicultural Affairs, Common shares tales of his childhood inspirations and the motto that he lives by: “Find your path. Believe in your path. Live you path.”
And I was front (ok, second row) and center to capture it all!
Check him out as he does a quick freestyle of things near and dear to any Demon Deacon’s heart — rolling the Quad after a winning game (yes, with toilet paper…rain, sleet, or snow!), eating in the Pit, the Wake Forest Gospel Choir, the distinguished Dr. Maya Angelou, hometown heroes, Chris Paul and Tim Duncan, and even Winston-Salem’s long-standing affiliation with tobacco products!
*Sorry about the sound guys…accidentally left my camera in Auto mode…it’s the Auto-focus*
G.O.O.D Music indeed!
Here, Common speaks of how he used the tragedy of Emmett Till to tap into his own greatness. Something in my heart tells me that at that very moment, Emmett’s spirit was with us…and he was smiling.
Such a great way to wrap up Black History Month!
Now, go find YOUR greatness!