All Posts By Zoe Bearam

10 Songs to Add to Your Gym Playlist ASAP

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The weather is getting warmer and the pressure is on to tighten up for beach season. Now, I am a firm believer in every body being a bikini body, but plenty of us still want to get into tip-top shape for just ourselves. That being said, it isn’t always easy. From your gym buddy cancelling to simply being weak to the call of the latest binge-worthy Netflix series, working out can be a huge challenge. That’s where the music comes in. Having the right music to exercise to can make you forget your legs are screaming on the stair climber because you’ll be too busy jamming out. I chose these beats for you to do just that: zone out and get sweating!

 

Some old, some new, all gym-approved. Here are my top ten picks for your gym playlist. I’ve carefully curated a mix of upbeat hip-hop, grime, Afro-beats, & dancehall for maximum muscle gains. This is a playlist to keep you going even when your abs want to quit. Zone out for that half hour daily workout with these tunes!

 

  1. 7/11 -Beyonce 
  2. Real Bad Gal – Vybz Kartel
  3. Nice for What – Drake 
  4. Rambo Kanambo – Vybz Kartel 
  5. Shake Body – Skales  
  6. Thiago Silva – Dave, AJ Tracey
  7. Breeze – Aidonia, Govana 
  8. Split in De Middle – Freezy 
  9. Powerglide (Feat. Juicy J) – Rae Sremmurd
  10. Iskaba – Wande Coal, DT Tunez

 

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10 Songs to Add to Your Gym Playlist ASAP: Featured image credit: Young Money/Cash Money Records

Chun-Li and Barbie Tingz: The Old Nicki Minaj Never Left (and This is How We Feel About That)

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With “Chun-Liand “Barbie Tingz dropping after Nicki Minaj’s 4-month social media hiatus, rap’s reigning queen wants you to know that she never really left.

Do you remember discovering Nicki Minaj in 2007? If you do then you likely know that, while Nicki’s most recent album, The Pinkprint, was solid and wildly successful, it was a far cry from her debut mixtape Playtime is Over.

Rewind to my Freshman year of high school: the raw, hardcore, and sometimes downright nasty bars on Playtime is Over made waves. Girls sporting thick Nicki-inspired bangs and pink streaks in their hair could recite that mixtape front to back for you if you’d let them. Being from Queens myself, I remember the impact that Nicki Minaj made seemingly overnight. Her debut mixtape (and those that followed) hit with a huge bang. We were obsessed and excited for the rise of this obvious star.

 

 Image Credit:  Dirty Money Records

 

Fast forward to 2014: That rise came and never stopped. The Pinkprint is out and the Nicki we know now is a force in the mainstream. She is, perhaps inarguably, the most important female rapper of the decade. Her influence reaches beyond music to television, beauty, and fashion. However “mixtape Nicki” seemingly took some time off while Nicki Minaj became a household name. Rather than an album bursting at the seams with gritty bars, we got that same authentic talent but this time flanked with pop music, more colorful beats, and even some full singing tracks (“Grand Piano” is a banger, do not get me wrong). We were in full support because it was good, but we were also missing that Beam Me Up Scotty sound.

Bring it in to April 12, 2017: “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz” have dropped and people are shook; there’s a think piece for every line of each song. When the beat dropped on “Barbie Tingz,” I screamed; I was not ready. I’d like to believe that OG Nicki Minaj fans (like myself) know that when we heard the bar “I went and copped the chopsticks, put it in my bun just to pop sh*t” we were instantly reminded of “Sticks in my Bun” (on Playtime is Over). Check the Chun-Li video out here. This is real rap. It’s aggressive, it’s braggadocious, it’s everything we’ve been waiting for. The old Nicki Minaj is not only still present but also still in her prime. If these two tracks are any indication of the steam she has behind her, she’s not slowing down any time soon and it’s extremely exciting news.

 

Image credit: Young Money/Cash Money Records

 

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Chun-Li and Barbie Tingz: The Old Nicki Minaj Never Left (and This is How We Feel About That). Featured image credit: Young Money/Cash Money Records

Coachella 2018: Women To Watch

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In the wake of Beyoncé’s absolutely epic, news-making Coachella performance, now is as good a time as any to uncover some more life-giving female talent to add to your playlists. Here are some women to watch, picked fresh from the Coachella 2018 lineup.

 

  1. Peggy Gou

Berlin-based South Korean DJ Peggy Gou is absolutely masterful when it comes to giving us chill tunes to vibe out to. The sounds are colorful, fun, and get those endorphins flowing. This is feel-good music in its purest form—which makes Peggy Gou’s light, refreshing house music the perfect compliment to your spring and summer playlists. No matter what time of year, though, you’ll find yourself transported to that perfect Saturday in June. Think: good drinks, great company, and too-good-to-be-true beach-day weather. Everybody’s talking about her breakout hit It Makes You Forget (Itgehane) and, while I could loop it for hours, my personal fave is definitely Han Jan.

 

 Image Credit:  XL recordings

  1. Ibeyi

Speaking of Beyoncé, you might’ve seen this duo across visuals from her Lemonade album. Ibeyi is made up of twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz. The French-Cuban sisters are heavily influenced by their Afro-Cuban roots and African ancestry. They mix in some Yoruba on many of their songs (my favorite, River, among those) and Ibeyi actually means twins in the language. Their self-titled album dropped back in 2015 and their sophomore album Ash dropped in 2017. So, if you’re just now catching on, you’ve already got a healthy supply of Ibeyi waiting to satisfy your ear. This wasn’t their first Coachella performance, either; they made an appearance in 2016 as well. Their soulful, spiritual sound is thoughtful and tells stories of womanhood, family, and love.

 

  1. Noname

I was first introduced to the rapper who goes by Noname on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap mixtape. Since then, her album Telefone  has found a special place in my heart. Right along with her set on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert last year. She showcased herself herself as super-talented, super-intelligent, and super-humble. Her fresh lyricism takes on serious subject matter while staying creative and engaging. She pauses to talk to the crowd to break down her song choices and why she performed them the way she did; genuine in her desire to be understood and gauge the effectiveness of her delivery. If you haven’t already, I recommend heading over to YouTube and checking out that particular performance before diving into Telefone. After you’ve done that, Noname is sure to make it into your top ten.

 

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Featured image credit: Ninja Tune