My Polyvore.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Thoughts on Joey Bada$$' new one

Initially I was going to post a real review of Joey Bada$$' All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ earlier this month on my music blog, but I just never got round to it, and I feel like it's too late to do that. So instead I offer this much less thought out and more personal reflection.

First up, musically it's a solid record. Naturally as an artist he's matured; while his first one was quite hard hitting and abrasive, this one is very subtle and his thoughts have become more refined and pensive, and the production mirrors that too. 

But the content and overall meaning is what I really want to get into. Joey is the same age as me, so we're from the same generation. Now, of course we come from different backgrounds and we're shaped by very different experiences; especially since though I am also a person of colour, I will never face the oppression and prejudice he faced/continues to face as a black man. But one thing we do have common is we're both 22 year olds living in the same world context. And for me this record is symbol of the life of a young person in 2017.

My favourite track and one that I think represents the record as a whole is Babylon. In the song feel like he's saying 'all this injustice is happening around me and I'm so angry and sick of this and though I am privileged and have a power many of my people don't have, I just don't know how to help in  world that's not listening and I just feel like giving up.' Hence the lines from Babylon -

I'm running away/I just can't cope with the pain/You just won't understand

This sentiment is one that speaks to me on so many levels. I feel like because of my age (and my gender) people think that 'you don't know anything about anything, you're too young to understand and offer anything beneficial or worthy'. This kind of stuff really gets me down. My life is about striving for equality for all people and I want give all I can to the cause. But  I feel like what's the point of putting in all this effort to make a change when it's falling on deaf ears. But then I remember I need to keep going. And artists like Joey help with that, because by the end of the record, he's like 'nah, fuck my doubts, I'm going to do this and make a difference'. 

This is why I feel like Joey is the voice of a generation, my generation. And it is why I connect to this record a lot.

Now Kendrick's Damn was also released a few days afterwards and though I think it's a great record (like come on, it's Kendrick, it's gonna be great. Though I don't think it's a good as TPB) but I just don't connect to it in the same way I do with Joey.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Eight out of ten - Seoul trip 2

You know, I thought it was about time I wrote about my second trip to Seoul. Of course, in my usual fashion, this post is a key procrastinating tool. This time for my thesis. Seriously though, I really have no motivation to write my thesis right now. I just want to be doing other things, for example, I'm feeling really motivated to study Korean. I'm even feeling really inspired to write the journalistic story I'm going to write and get published after the thesis is all done and dusted. But then I'm like, no you gotta stop and write your thesis! But I'm like ehhh, and so I waste time on the internet, which is 10 times worse.

In my defense though, I usually have the two month break between semesters, and of course that has not happened. As soon as I got back from Seoul, I hit the ground running. I'm pretty proud that I smashed out 6K words of my thesis in a couple of weeks. It's just so intense.

But hey, let's talk about Seoul. I just had such a great time. It was just the best, and my kind of idea of a good time. Plus the weather was so nice! I've got the worst shoe tan, but at least my arms are basically the same colour as my legs; a world first for me. More importantly though, how did I go on the gig front?? I put in a pretty solid effort I think. Eight out of the 10 nights ain't bad! Even though you can't really call them all gigs because some of them involved clubbing, still.

My friend, who's a music journo among other things, took me to Ultra Festival. Even though he said it was totally "not your style" I ended up seeing some stellar Korean music. I saw this amazing funk disco band Sultan of the Disco. They're completely insane and wear costumes, yet they are completely brilliant music wise. I also saw this indie band, The Koxx and they were sick! I haven't had a good old fashion mosh like that since I was 15! Then I saw one of my favs, Zion T and of course he was amazing. I also saw Knife Party and Axwell & Ingrosso, they were ok, but I'm not an EDM kinda gal.

I also went to Itaewon this time, both during the day and night. Itaewon's club scene is mint of course. I was there three nights in a row. I went to the famed Cakeshop (I saw Jinbo just hanging out and my biggest regret in life is not going up to him, and I also got to see DJ Soulscape DJ which was awesome). I also went to this club where I saw Paloalto DJ and saw G2 and him both hanging about, and of course I didn't go up to them. And I also went club hopping with my friend, because we were low key scoping out his competition haha.

In the day Itaewon cool and really nice to walk around, too, but at night I definitely prefer Hongdae, it's a little more laid back. I also just don't like a lot of foreign guys that hang out in Itaewon, most of them are just douche bags. Also since I stay near Hongdae, I may be a little biased because it's a pain to get home (and actually costs money) haha.

Of course, I hung out in Hongdae, I went back to my fav club, The Henz Club. I went there on my first night to see Miso's DJ set and she killllled it!! I stayed for the rest of her squad, Club Eskimo and it was the best. I was worried about going alone clubbing for the first time, but I had nothing to worry about. I just got turnt on my lonesome and it was great! Out of all the clubs I went to, I 300% recommend Henz, they just play really top notch music.

Also Dean showed up and he walked past me twice, once actually brushing past me. Like damn, the first time I'm in Seoul, I see him in concert and we share a moment i.e. we had eye contact, then this! So next time I'm in Seoul, we're gonna be married haha.

Anyway, I ended up staying till about 1:30pm, which I think is a pretty good effort considering I had been traveling for 30 hours previously. AND as I was leaving in ran into Nochang, which was funny because they had played a Beenzino song he produced, that night. And then I told my friend the next day, and he told me a funny.. let's just say altercation, they had together.

I also went to this club called Cocoon in Hongdae. I had heard of it and since it's not really my type, I wasn't even thinking of going there. But, Sean L, one of the rappers I interviewed is actually the MC and kindly invited me along, so I was like what the heck. Overall, I did have a pretty good night. The music was mediocre, but still dancable, (though the did play like three K hip hop songs and I did drop it like it was fiery hot), but damn, it was so god damn loud. My ears were ringing for two days after, I'm not even joking. Legit, I have no idea how the staff have any hearing left. So while I did have a fun time and ended up staying out till 3am on a Tuesday (pretty solid effort for a gal just sipping on water) 3/10 would not recommend.

Yeah, so for the interviews, I was right in just letting things go with the flow; things fell into place. I was worried initially that I wouldn't get any at all, but before I knew it, I had them both organised within a few minutes (Emma, you are truly an angel and I can't thank you enough). The rappers were just genuinely sweet guys, who just truly love hip hop. And from the interviews I got what I needed for my thesis. I just actually have to some how find a way to organise all the information I have into something even slightly coherent.

Oh and in other news, I'm presenting my thesis at a legit conference (like with legit academics who have been doing this for so many years) at my uni of all places. Of course it's an amazing opportunity, and it's going to be cool to actually talk to people about all my hard work, but damn, I'm going to be shitting myself on the day. Like for realz, I don't know how I'm going to go. 

Oh, oh, oh and I'm going to see THE SONICS in September. I can't even believe it. I honestly thought I would've had to made a time machine to see them, but nope! It's gonna be insane!

And now I leave you with a song from C.Cle who I also interviewed, and who just dropped his new EP.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


A photo I took on my day off to visit Namsan Tower
I thought that I better get around to writing, even just a quick post, about my trip to Seoul. Especially considering the other day I picked up my flights for my second trip to Seoul. Yep that's right, I'm going back. Ok, so I just looked back at my previous posts and I don't think I actually mentioned it. Oh well now you know. I went to Seoul in March to do some research for my thesis on Korean hip hop.

I fell so hard for that place. Seriously, within a few hours I knew I wanted to live there. I am 100% not exaggerating. I met up for my first interview after being in the country for like three hours and just walking around made me love it. Hongdae is the place to be. I was right in thinking it's a cross between Melbourne and Hong Kong. I think I would fit in well because it reminds me just enough of home with an Asian twist.

What I loved most were the people. Korean people, and even foreigners that have lived there for a while are just so lovely and that was just from every day experience. And in terms of people that I actually hung out with... I met some of the most amazing people and had some of the best conversations of my life. And it was so great to be surrounded by people who love music as much as I do. Yeah, that was one of my other favourite things. It's the kind of environment that I want to be surrounded by.

I also I really learnt a lot about myself on this trip, but I think the most important is that this music journalism thing is what I want to do, and I really think Seoul is where I want it happen.

I had such an interesting experience too because I was doing things I normally do like going to gigs, doing interviews, shopping, catching public transport and hanging out with homies. So I didn't feel like I was in another country at all.

Also I feel like people didn't treat me as a tourist, which is 100% what I wanted. I don't know if it was the vibe I gave off, the clothes, my ability to scrape by with the language or having a bit of an understanding of  Korean customs. Most likely a mixture of all those elements. #assimilationcomplete

Though I must say, and I talked about it in my diary (yeah I'm kinda betraying you and going old fashioned with a physical diary) but I'm not 100% sure if it was the experience that made me happy, and it just happened to be in Seoul, or it was Seoul itself. It's probably a bit of both to be honest.

I'm not going to mention much about my hip hop observations because I want to keep it for my article that I'm writing along side my article. So stay tuned for that bad boy to hear about that.
But I will mention that Hongdae is lit, I saw Simon D out while seeing Illa J, went to the Illionaire concert in which Zino looked at me and I got to sing "fuck these broke ass motherfuckers, peace out" at the top of my lungs with 4K other people and one of Korea's top hip hop music critics called me a real Korean hip hop fan.

But yeah, I loved it so much that I'm going back for 10 days this time. This time though it's more of a holiday. It's basically a completely selfish trip to make me happy. And you know what, I think I deserve it. I don't really do that many big things for myself, so I was just like fuck it, I'm going.  Also it's going to be the only real break I get till the 21st of October which is when I submit my thesis. So I probably really need it too.

What will I do there? Well I plan on doing what I do best (and love most) which is go to gigs, and I'm really gonna try a go to a different one every night. I don't know how I'm going to go, and how much it'll cost, but I'm just going to wing it. Winging it and going with the flow was the key to success for my last trip, so I'm going to try and do the same this time round. It's also going to be summer so I am so going to be in my element. I'm already getting excited just imagining the sun blazing down on me. It's going to be great.

Alright, I better get back to studying now; I've got a conference tomorrow where I'm presenting my essay on Kendrick Lamar and the messages in hip hop. I'm actually quite excited because it's something that I genuinely enjoy talking about.

Catch ya.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Take the fruit

I just finished watching Mark Ronson’s TED talk about sampling. It’s one that I wanted to watch for such a long time, but had never gotten around to doing so, but finally it has been done.

Lately, as in the past two days, I’ve been listening to hip hop real hard core. And no, it’s not Korean. Yeah you read that right.

I though that I should educate myself a bit more in the original genre considering I got into honours for next year and am going to write my thesis on Korean hip hop and how it’s reported in the US (I’ll talk more about it in another post). So that was the initial reasoning for this and I’m loving it.

As I’ve said, I’ve only really gotten into hip hop this year with Korean hip hop. And in the past, it was not as if I hated it, it was just that I never really seeked it out like I did with post-punk, for example.

So I feel like people could be like, ‘who is this bitch, thinking she knows all about hip hop and shit now’ considering I’ve just gotten into it recently and I’m going to head off a write a thesis about it.

Firstly I think the whole point of doing research is looking into something you don’t know about because what’s the point. Secondly, after watching that TED talk and a bunch of videos of People Under The Stairs talking about music, I really got to thinking about it, and it’s just a natural progression for me, particularly since I’d been listening to a lot of jazz prior. I’m surprised it’s come so late to be honest.

For such a long time, honestly as long as I can remember, I’ve always really loved when classical and traditional instruments were used in modern music. A string or brass section always makes songs better! And I think that when this fusion initially seems abstract and opposing, actually makes the songs so much better when they come together to form a true piece of art.

Take Patrick Wolf’s record Wind in the Wires (or even his music in general honestly). This is one of my favourite records ever and it’s a true testament to his categorisation as folktronica. By folk I don’t mean Mumford and Sons banjo strumming, I mean Gaelic, cloak wearing, moor rambling soundtrack probably created using a super rare renaissance instrument (yep he’s one of those weirdo’s that can play every instrument in existence). Then imagine, accompanying that is the loop of a fuzzy electric drum beat and with his haunting poetry on top. Ah jeez, just listen.

And even if you look at my favourite bollywood songs, they have one layer of the song that is a really classic Indian sound with a pipe or violin section and then the rest of the song is made with more modern instruments. Oh but there are always killer dhol beats! Check it.

Ok, so going back to hip hop it’s completely built on this idea of taking from the past and putting a new spin on it, pun not intended. Then I don’t think it’s hard to guess that I have an inclination towards jazzy hip hip. I really love songs that you can chill out to. So far I’m really into Hieroglyphics, A Tribe Called Quest, Deltron 3030 and Madvillan, with the list surely to grow and grow. But People Under the Stairs are hands down my favs; not only is their music slick, but they also have sincerity in that they write about both sides of life, as opposed to just writing about getting money and bitches. True poets.

I leave you with my current jam and the expectation that I may complete that k-hip hop post soon. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

I decided to write a quick blog before I start editing the drafts of my assignments because I'm just feeling really happy at the moment. This is something which I attribute to the weather. I sat outside in the sun listening to Foals new record (what a ripper, let me tell you) and colouring in one of those de-stress books. I'm so glad that it's social acceptable to use colouring books. I got a Japan one and a Paris one, and there's so many more I want, but I dream of getting a William Morris one (I just goggled it and this exists!!).

I'm pretty happy with my Korean progression considering that since I started going to uni I haven't started level two of TTMIK (an amazing and free resource -minus the textbooks- for learning Korean, 10/10 would recommend), so I've just been revising and trying to increase my vocab. I'm mainly happy with my progress because I can now read and understand Hangul, which I'm really proud of.  The problem is 95% of the time I have no idea what it means.

Actually learning Korean has inspired me to revise my Italian. Last week I actually wrote a couple of diary entries in my diary that I've had for five years! It was interesting looking back and the entries and seeing how my handwriting had changed. There was even a diary entry of my first day of work, which made me very nostalgic.

Now that I think of it, I've been very nostalgic this past week, today in particular. I read a letter that I got from my brothers grade three teacher who I've been writing to for 10 years, and we both can't believe that it's been 10 years since we've met. It's so weird to think back to that time because even though I'm 20 now, I still feel like the same person I did when I was 10. I think back to my thoughts about something back then, and still feel the same way today.  For example, I remember going to my cousins wedding when I was 9 and being worried about looking fat, which is something I do every day now, but when I really think about it, it's something that I've constantly done throughout my life (not to mention that it's crazy that I was concerned about that sort of stuff at that age. Thanks society).

But at the same time, I'm looking to the future and I think for the first time in my life I feel confident in what my future holds after uni and I'm really excited. I've decided that I will vlog about my life and stuff and more importantly do gig and album reviews. Don't worry I'll still keep blogging on this ol' blog here, because who knows, people actually might start reading it.

I promise too once I get some time, I will write that Korean underground post, but let me tell you, it will be quite a task because literally every day I'm discovering new artists. It'll be a labour of love though because I just love sharing music with other people.

Oh I got Big Bang tickets and I just know how good a night it's going to be, especially since I'm making a costume (T.O.P's blue suit from the Doom Dada film clip). And I'm going to make sure that T.O.P sees it and I get on the Big Bang tour report video.

I leave you with this dope track released just two day that features a heap of cameos of some great rappers to give you a taste of what's to come.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Seeing BTS

About this time last night I was on the train home from the city. What was I doing in the city last night you may ask? Seeing my boys BTS that’s what was up!

They totally exceeded my all expectations. I was expecting them to be amazing, but not this amazing!! Taking as a journalist and music fan they were truly spectacular; they were so polished, effortless and completely owned the stage. They’re all so talented and this is what they were born to do. They’re not just some boy band that will be over in a few years; they’re going the whole way. (Maybe I should do a proper review on my music blog? I’ll keep you posted).

Ok, back to fan girl mode. The setlist was seriously awesome. Of course some of my favs didn’t make the cut, but it was ok because even the songs I didn’t really like were done so well. And you can tell when someone is good live when after seeing a song that you previously didn’t like, live, and loving it afterwards. Of which this song is a prime example. (Tbh I don’t really know why I didn’t like it that much because I feel like it’s a classic me song, but anyway… also as I was listening to it then it just started raining!)

My highlight was when they played Cypher pt.3 and I absolutely lost my shit. As mentioned in my ‘K life’ post it’s my all time fav BTS song and the rap line absolutely slayed. Like ugh it was just the best. Anyone reading this from the gig who was behind a girl with long hair in row C I sincerely apologise for dancing erratically and looking like I was possessed by the devil, but that’s just the way I am. #babyiwasbornthisway

They even played Hip Hop Lover which I wasn’t sure if they’d play it but they did (I even tweeted them to play it and Cypher pt.3) and it was sick.  Another moment that sticks out in my mind was the transition from Cypher pt.2 into War of Hormone, it was on point. I just love when shit like that happens (think Bombay Bicycle Club and The Giantess/Emergency Contraception Blues, I actually tweeted them to play this and they did!)

I’m really proud of the Armies (BTS fanbase) and proud to be part of such a cool fanbase. Honestly I was worried because from watching videos of just pop concerts in general (particularly where hot boys are involved) and the screaming. Now when I say screaming, I mean constant screaming, like throughout the whole concert even when the artist is speaking or they’re singing and emotional song or whatever. And I can’t stand when people do this, it just drives me insane; there’s a time a place for it. But last night was great!
The whole atmosphere of the concert of was one of the best I have experienced. Actually the atmosphere is exact reason why going to concerts is my favourite thing in the whole entire world.To be in a space where you’re with a huge group of people that love an artist as much as you do, where there is this collective adoration of this artist and everyone sings and dances along, it’s just the greatest feeling. I live for this.  And it’s sad that some people don’t see the worth in seeing artists live.

There were so many great moments, but I felt like it happened so fast and I couldn’t dream of remembering them all. But in closing I just want to say seeing BTS was the second best gig I’ve been to ever, second only to The Horrors of course. Actually, in all honesty if the Horrors weren’t my favourite band and weren’t a band where their music is meant to be experienced live, BTS would have been number one.

Oh yeah and Jimin and I totally made eye contact. And I maintain that my boi Suga looked at me at least once. Oh yeah, I was actually really happy with the seats (though my friend and I stood up the whole time) I ended up getting because they were basically at eye level and I could see them perfectly and it was just good.

P.S they are all 300% more good looking in real life.
P.P.S my friend and I may or may not be twitter famous because we are in a photo of one of SBS pop asia's host's photos from the night (my friend especially hahah) 
P.P.S Big Bang are now coming to Melbourne and even though it’s in the last week of uni, I’m going!!
P.P.P.S I’m learning Korean and have decided that I’m going to Korea to teach English for a year. Meaning I’ll be able to go to the hip hop clubs in Hongdae all day everyday.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Songs written by other people

I was actually thinking about this in the middle of my 'K music' post and I thought it would be something worthwhile to pursue properly. Notice here how much more eloquently I'm writing in comparison to my usual trash, so you know I'm down to argue some real shit right here.

You may or may not know, but I'm pretty critical of pop music, and up until the past couple years I was so against all pop music.

I remember reading an article a number of years ago about a lady who wrote songs hit songs for pop artists and some music producers. And this lady talked about how she wanted to get into the industry but no one would sign her so she was just sticking to writing songs. It just made me so angry that this lady could write these amazing songs and someone else would completely take the credit for it.

I also had this misconception that all pop was manufactured shit, but I just got over that and realised that it was just another genre of music. Since then I've sort of embraced it and if I like a pop song, I like it, simple as that.

But there's basically one other underlying factor, apart from the music obviously, that I think affects my music taste and that's artist input.

For me when I find out that a musician has some input into the music they're representing, it's a huge tick in my book and automatically results in respect for that artist regardless whether or not I like their music or not. So of course I'm drawn to musicians who are super talented.

As I was writing the 'K music' post I was thinking maybe the reason why I seem to have this inclining towards 'self-written' music is the music is more real. Real is probably not the best word to use, so maybe genuine. Genuine because the music in response to someone's experiences and emotions.

When someone sits down and writes a song it's a totally organic process where someone is expressing themselves and their experiences through music and lyrics. While not always the case, there are a heap of songs that are inspired by the things the writers have gone through and so the songs are deeply personal.

This is a really important part because for me music isn't just something to just have on in the background. It sounds pretty silly, but it's part of the way I react and make sense of things and so songs that affect me emotionally I'm deeply connected to.

So when you listen to these songs you can just hear the pain or happiness in the music and it's so much easier for the audience to connect emotionally with the music because the audience can link the music to their own experiences and emotions.

For me there is a point of difference between your average manufactured love song and a love song written by a singer-songwriter. I'm not saying that the writers of these songs aren't writing from their personal experience but it's their job to write hits and I think that there is a certain formula to the process.  But there is an individuality of the song since no one can go through the exact experiences of the songs writer.

So when someone shares their experiences through music I think it's a privilege and I will end by saying thanks to the wonderful musicians in this world for so openly sharing their lives with us all.