My Top 5 songs of from the past week (and a half)

Back with my top five songs from the past week and a half, I hope you’ve enjoyed and or listened to the songs I’ve mentioned previously or else I’m writing in vain.

Frank Ocean
You Are Luhh

Frank’s return is almost overdue. A few weeks back Frank Ocean made a huge impression over social media to some of his fans that have been waiting for new music. Frank dropped his version of the Isley Brothers ‘At Your Best (You Are Love)’. Whilst the song itself isn’t new, it became more popular to a generation that fell in love with Aaliyah’s version in the 90’s. On what would’ve been Aaliyah’s 36th Birthday, Frank dropped this little gem and I have been playing this for all its worth since the day it came out. Stripping the song down to the bare minimal, just him and a piano, Frank applies his falsetto to the almost faint piano keys that are few and far between. The song of love, compassion and uncertainty brings a sense of vulnerability for whoever may be singing. In this instance, Frank portrays himself differently to the cool kid he usually makes himself out to be. Leaving some Aaliyah fans upset, I think this is a good cover.

Frank Ocean
Pilot Jones
channel ORANGE

With Frank resurfacing, and dropping his ‘At Your Best’ cover I can’t help but listen to old stuff as compensation, while we sit and wait for a new album. Pilot Jones featured on Frank Ocean’s number one debut album, and was an instant favourite for me, and again has been receiving so many plays this week. Over a very heavy bass, this might make it the most softly sung banger ever! With no real chorus, Frank starts with a conversation like monologue expressing his feelings for this person he is singing about, until reverb and heavy finger clicks jumps in takes the song to another level. Frank as always layers his falsetto, with spoken ad-libs and effects that makes these three minutes worth every second.

Jhene Aiko
Sail Out

Her album may have debuted in September but Jhene is still steadily putting out singles and videos. Although this album has lost momentum, from time to time I find myself listening to it. Releasing the accompanying video, ‘Wading’ has propelled into my most played recently, easily been in my top three in the past few days. Taking a line from Tupac’s ‘Picture Me Rollin’ song, Jhene starts with that exact line. She keeps it so chilled and laid back that the dreamy production immediately draws you in. The song itself plays on the word ‘wading’. The literal is that she is going through something that impedes her normal speed, which I interpret to be love and emotions. As she wades through, she is also waiting for her love, which sounds just like ‘wading’. In the end she loses out on her love, because he doesn’t notice her, although she knows this, she continues to wait in hope he will realize he is missing out. Confusing I know, but just listen to it.

Jazmine Sullivan
Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)
Reality Show

Jazmine is back with her long awaited album. With an angry debut ‘Fearless’, to the throwback sounds of her sophomore ‘Luv Back’ she has solidified her place as a great singer-songwriter. Reality show is just as good, and standout song for me has to be Masterpiece (Mona Lisa). First premiered at her London show back in March of 2014, as a slow near-enough acapella, I had been waiting to hear this again. The album itself is very up-tempo and to no surprise the song is not the stripped version I had been waiting for, but may be even better. Masterpiece is a song about self-love and being happy with who you are, and accepting your flaws. The message overall is that there is no universal definition or representation of perfection, but instead everyone is perfection within their own right.

Lil Wayne
Sorry 4 the Wait 2

Despite the on-going problems over at Cash Money, Lil Wayne dropped his mixtape as compensation for his album delay. There is no denying Lil Wayne has delivered some of the best verses once upon a time, and was easily mentioned as one of the bets rappers in the game, but oh how things and times change. As anticipated as his albums and mixtapes may be; Lil Wayne has fallen all the way off, I don’t think he could ever return to the old Wayne. Although I haven’t listened to the mixtape in full just as yet, I randomly chose a song titled ‘HollyWeezy’ to listen to. The standout track explains he will never be “Hollywood” because he is too “hood” to be accepted, which is ironic because Weezy is a Hollwood favourite. Growing up in Hollygrove, Louisana the lifestyle lived, that made him who he is, is nothing like Hollywood. Wayne raps over a trap beat that’s enough to get me turnt up.

That’s it from me, this week but stay tuned.

-Stephen Paul


@HouseofBlackUK: Looking for Black/Asian actresses (playing age twenties) for a potential role in a short 10 minute play I'm directi…