Its July and half the year is already gone! 2018 has already proven to be a tremendous year for music and for this #CultureSunday, I want to highlight my six favorite albums at this half-year mark.

 

  • Sir - November
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SiR's November album was such an instant hit for me that I reviewed it on Twitter. November gets 5 out of 5 90s-R&B bodyrolls as a tie for my number one spot:

My favorite song from the project is War (because I'm a sappy romantic at heart) and the singer weaves such a love bound commitment to fighting for the love of his life:

I’m ready to fall for ya
I’ve been waiting too long
If I gotta fight for us
Then I know I’m right where I needed to be all along
But until I have your love
There’s no surrender, no retreat
I’m never giving up until I sweep you off your feet
I need your love, I need your love...
— War, November

 

The only song that I could do without on the debut November album is I Know. it doesn’t seem to flow as seamlessly in the album and the other tracks, although it offers a fun sense of comic relief with a high dose of reality.

  • Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap
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Nipsey's highly anticipated project proved to be worth the wait in his debut studio album Victory Lap. I loved this album for so many reasons aside from its popularity and debuting at number 4 on the Billboard 200. Nipsey's raspy and recognizable voice laced the expertly mastered tracks from top to bottom, exemplifying that you can stay true to your roots, boss up and go legit, and still make music for the people to be proud of. Personally, I like to skip to Status Symbol 3 when I'd riding by myself and feeling braggadocios. Nipsey champions his grind from the gutter and making it the legit way and remaining true to who he is, which empowers me in only a way that hip-hop can: I can feel good about doing what's right and taking time out for self-reflection during our growth seasons, all while forever staying ready to throw down in case anything pops off. As a woman listener and fan, i do want to point out the danceability of the album, which i didn't expect. Keyz 2 the City 2 blasts from my stock Nissan speakers and my body is instantly drawn in sync.  Victory Lap gets 5 out of 5 90s-R&B body rolls as the tie for my number one favorite album for the first half of 2018. 

I ain’t tryna preach, I ain’t tryna lecture
When you make your first mil in cash
You gone feel the pressure
Just wanna feel the thrust, wanna feel the texture
Wanna feel the drop top breeze, wanna feel successful
Wanna change the game, never chase a message
Never stop grindin, cherish no possessions
We aint get accepted, we just reinvested
Things that I expected cuz we ain’t even set trip
60th to Megan, Choppas for protection
FBI invests us, but they can’t arrest us.
— Status Symbol 3, Victory Lap
 "Don't know a n*gga like myself/I say self-made meaning I designed myself."

"Don't know a n*gga like myself/I say self-made meaning I designed myself."

  • Jayla Darden - Ideas Vol. 1
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At only 20 years old, Jayla Darden is making a name for herself with her debut album Ideas,  Vol. 1. She traverses the fantastic highs and incredible lows throughout the love experience in each track. We're given a peek inside Darden's audio diary as she takes us through a thoughtful stream of consciousness, song by song. Her voice betrays her actual age, the sultry and calculated octaves weaving vibes in and out of our ears and speakers for just under 3 minutes a pop. Her tactful and succinct approach to each track leave you with a lasting memory of something so familiar as love and relationships.  I can't wait to see what she and her experiences have for the musical landscape in the future. 4.5 90s-R&B body rolls. 

Can’t get by
Only build it up just to break it down
I just wanna do right by you
And everything you do ain’t a problem
I still find a way
To make you wrong babe
Find a way
Know I’m wrong babe.
— Idea 532, Ideas, Vol. 1
  "But I'm putting in work babe I am babe Wish you never felt it in the first place Imma treat you just like how you worth babe Imma treat you just how you worth..."

"But I'm putting in work babe
I am babe
Wish you never felt it in the first place
Imma treat you just like how you worth babe
Imma treat you just how you worth..."

  • Alex Isley - The Beauty of Everything
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I discovered this artist on the Sleeper Segment of The Joe Budden Podcast, and I have been entranced with Alex’s sweet, comforting voice. The 31-year-old New Jersey native got her musical talents honest, as the daughter of Ernie Isley of Isley Brothers fame. When it Rains quickly became my anti-anxiety anthem and the entire project is soothing, relatable, and a fresh addition to the R&B landscape. Isley’s optimism and love for love is apparent, and her airy yet soulful cadence is welcoming and enchanting. Her musical persona is what I would envision as what femininity would be personified. The strength of her music lies in her softness. This lady crooner will surely be an artist to look for in R&B. Check out The Beauty in Everything now! she gets 4.5 90s-R&B body rolls for this awesome album.

Skies will change
The sun remains
Still I’ll be grateful, thankful
When it rains, worries wash away
Blue where there was grey
It’s really okay when it rains.
— When it Rains, The Beauty in Everything
  "Tell me you're not like the others You are not the same And I already believe you Everything you claim Look me in my eyes    Tell me Make another dream to sell me Tell me and I'll let go of them All of them You're different, or... Are you smoke and mirrors?"

"Tell me you're not like the others
You are not the same
And I already believe you
Everything you claim
Look me in my eyes

Tell me
Make another dream to sell me
Tell me and I'll let go of them
All of them
You're different, or...
Are you smoke and mirrors?"

 

  • Sango - In the Comfort Of...
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I was first introduced to Sango’s work on Selection Radio, hosted by Joe Kay. His signature sample flips and infusion of Brazilian drums and rhythms will always make Sango a standout artist. This album features several staple artists well known in beats culture, such as Smino, JMSN, and Xavier Omar. Only 26 years old with a solid fanbase, Sango's mark on chillhop will continue to make waves in the industry. 

 (Translated from Portuguese) Live the present, live the moment, live the here and now that's all that matters Only thing you have is the present, the past has already been, the future will come no one else knows how it will come So do your part .. change can happen and it's up to you .. God bless!

(Translated from Portuguese) Live the present, live the moment, live the here and now that's all that matters Only thing you have is the present, the past has already been, the future will come no one else knows how it will come So do your part .. change can happen and it's up to you .. God bless!

 

  • Alina Baraz - The Color of You
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Alina’s work with The Galimatias first put her talents on my musical radar. The songstress creates beautiful and entrancing melodies that color the mood with vibes of love and seduction. What a beautiful pairing of vocal talent with Khalid’s maturing baritone in Floating. and sampling the best band of all time (Mint Condition, fight me) and actually making it a good song that you can dance to is an achievement and Alina has my support. There was a bit of repetition in the chorus, more than my liking, but that fact doesn't take away from the amazingly arranged solo project by Alina. 

If you want my love
I could blow your mind
Make you cry
Make you pray for it
Baby, I’m the one
If you want my love
Everybody’s here but its you that I came for.
— The One, The Color of You
 "I let my worries go soon as you come through the door Thinking 'bout what it'd be like to be yours..."

"I let my worries go soon as you come through the door
Thinking 'bout what it'd be like to be yours..."

Alright! I've let you know my top 6 picks for the first half of the year, so please share yours with me everywhere @jazzmynblu

 

 

On Your Six: First Half in Music 2018 is an original post and appeared first on BYNKradio.com by Jazzmyn Blu.

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