Category: Audio + Visual
Conversations on what matters.
Porteñas, a Yerba Mate shop in Brooklyn, has officially opened its doors to the public! This local shop is owned and operated by three Argentinean women. Yerba Mate is a huge part of Uruguayan, Paraguayan, and Argentinean culture.
Pop music is infectious. Don’t get bogged down by anyone who says it’s too generic for their taste. The sounds are constantly evolving, though most pop songs these days still manage to have those catchy choruses you seem to hum at random moments (looking at you, K-Pop!) Right now, I’m enjoying the added twists that European artists are adding to the mainstream. If you’re feeling bored with the American pop scene or just need some fresh sounds to your playlist, here’s five artists from across the pond you absolutely need to know better.
1. Charli XCX
Charli is sort of a big name already – remember that big hit a few years ago with Icona Pop called “I Love It” or her feature on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy?” Or how she recruited pieces of Hollywood’s eye candies for her “Boys” music video last summer? Charli has established herself as a major songwriter and collaborator since her early hazy electropop days, and now she seems to drop the best pop bangers whenever she feels like it. She’s all about starting the party and having a good time.
Check out: Focus, Roll With Me, Femmebot (ft. Dorian Electra and Mykki Blanco)
It’s pronounced exactly how you see it and is a play on his surname, Emenike. Along with his chart-topping duet with Zara Larsson, “Never Forget You,” MNEK has written for some of the most buzzed about names in pop including Dua Lipa, Kylie Minogue and the queen herself, Beyoncé! His debut solo album just dropped full of infectious dancehall R&B that includes his own writing and production credits. Try not to pull a muscle dancing from song after song!
Check out: Colour (ft. Hailee Steinfeld), Tongue, Paradise
3. Christine and the Queens
French performer Héloïse Letissier sings and dances under the name Christine and the Queens. Along with her personal dance crew, you’ll find Letissier grooving to the style of theatrical inspired visuals in their performances. In 2016, she had the biggest selling debut album in the United Kingdom. With her recent release, Chris, she embraces an edgy alter ego under the same name. Her catalog of music holds a range of funky pop songs about gender roles and embracing sexuality.
Check out: Girlfriend (ft. Dâm-Funk), iT, Half Ladies
Scotland-born but Los Angeles-based producer Sophie has crafted experimental pop collaborations with Charli XCX, Vince Staples and Madonna. Her small presence on social media and rare interviews may seem mysterious, but she doesn’t consider herself to be anonymous. In an interview with Teen Vogue, she stated she’s always been honest in the work she puts out. That honesty shone through last October in her video for “It’s Okay To Cry” when for the first time, she performed her own vocals and showed her face on-camera. For many viewers, it also helped us realize Sophie’s identity as a transgender pop star.
Check out: Ponyboy, LEMONADE, VYZEE
If you’re a fan of the hot house-pop and Afrobeats sound today, you’ll love Raye. Atop these sizzling beats lie her air light vocals crooning lyrics that have been described as confident yet vulnerable. Raye’s success has shown through in reaching No. 3 in the U.K. charts last year and features on two Top 20 charting songs in 2016. Plus, she’s collaborated with Charli XCX twice, so that should give you an idea of how fun her music is!
Check out: Decline (ft. Mr. Eazi), Friends, Crew (ft. Kojo Funds and RAY BLK)
This week we’re catching up on everything – all the crazy news that happened over the break, what’s new in our hosts’ lives, and meeting our brand new host, Donya. From Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, to Laila’s exciting announcement, no subject is off limits in this episode.
Alessia Cara – How Far I’ll Go
Beyoncé – I Was Here
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Hip-hop is a movement of resistance, so it’s no surprise that feminism has found its rightful place within the art form. But too often are conversations surrounding hip-hop dominated by men and focused on masculinity. People often hold the perception that hip-hop is inherently misogynistic, but contrary to popular belief, there are women in the game that are shaking up the status quo and embracing the idea that hip-hop is a space for powerful female artists.
The U.N.I.T.Y. Feminist Hip-hop Mix is taking inspiration from the notorious and unapologetic feminist Queen Latifah anthem and is asserting that women are multifaceted and powerful. These tracks are embracing femininity, body positivity, heritage, sexuality and self-love, and are reminding us that women are dynamic in all layers of their identities.
Check out these hip-hop anthems that challenge the idea that hip-hop can’t be inherently feminist and empowering:
1. Brujas || Princess Nokia
‘Bruja’ is Spanish for witch, and Princess Nokia is unapologetically letting you know that she’s proud of her Afro-Latina roots in brujería and the feminine power she derives from it.
2. Werkin’ Girls || Angel Haze
Angel Haze is proud of her work, and this rapid-fire track is a declaration to make sure no one stands in the way of her success. To anyone that’s fighting to do what you love, this song is for you.
3. Lose Control || Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott loves her “cute face, chubby waist,” and she wants the world to know. This song is the ultimate anthem for unabashed body positivity.
4. Shoop || Salt-N-Pepa
This classic Salt-N-Pepa track is the ultimate anthem for positive female sexuality. If you need a reminder that there’s nothing shameful about sexual pleasure, then put this song on blast.
5. Girl Gang || Leikeli47
This track is all about reclaiming “girl power” and is reminding folks that women keep persevering and coming out as champions at the end. Leikeli47 is giving the world a not-so-gentle reminder “that we run the atmosphere.”
6. Doo-Wop (That Thing) || Lauryn Hill
This song is the ultimate reminder that you are valuable, enough, and don’t deserve to be undercut by anyone. Just remember to respect yourself and take nothing less from others. As Lauryn Hill puts it: “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem. Baby girl, respect is just a minimum.”
7. U.N.I.T.Y. || Queen Latifah
This Queen Latifah track is the ultimate feminist hip-hop anthem, notoriously calling out street harassment, domestic violence, and being called a “bitch” or a “ho.” U.N.I.T.Y. is all about empowerment, solidarity and respect, because we know we’re not standing one second for misogyny.
8. Big Bad Mamma || Foxy Brown
This song is all about self-love and being your bad-ass self. Foxy Brown puts it best: “Love yourself, put no one above thee. Cause ain’t nobody gon’ f*** me like me.”
9. Reality Check || Noname
This low-key track from up-and-comer Noname is a reminder that you’re more powerful and grounded than you think you are, so don’t be afraid to seize opportunity.