#MusicReview: What kind of ‘Views’ does Drake offer us?

I’m sure you clicked this but were a bit confused seeing as Drake’s album Views came out on April 29, 2016. You probably wonder what rock I’ve been under that I just now am sharing my review of this album.

Truth is, being that Drake just released Scorpion it was time to share my views on Views.

 

Views is the fourth studio album by Canadian rapper Drake. It was released on April 29, 2016,by Cash Money Records, Republic Records and Young Money Entertainment. Recording sessions took place from 2015 to 2016, with both Drake and his longtime collaborator and record producer 40 serving as the record’s executive producers. 40 also primarily handled the production on the album alongside each of these several other record producers such as Nineteen85, Maneesh Bidaye, Kanye West, and Jordan Ullman, among others. The album contains the elements of genres such as R&B, dancehall, hip hop and pop, among others.

The album was supported by five singles: “Hotline Bling”, “One Dance”, “Pop Style”,”Controlla”, and “Too Good”. Views was met with lukewarm reviews from critics, many of whom found it to be an overlong retread of Drake’s previous work. Despite this, it spent 13 non-consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard 200. Views became the first album to accumulate one-billion streams on Apple Music.The album was certified quadruple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Views was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 59th Grammy Awards. As of April 2018, Views sold 1.73 million copies and a total of 5.41 million album-equivalent units in the United States.

      Notable tracks

“Feel No Ways”:  Drake talks about a girl who no longer lives with his ambitious, career-driven lifestyle. She’s “gassed up,” tarnishing Drake’s name, even though their relationship was doomed to fail. Together they were unproductive, and often sleeping in and smoking weed. As he tries to move on and focus on himself, she continues to try and manipulate him when he returns to Toronto. This makes him feel guilty and sad.

“Hype”: Drake uses a similar flow and subject matter to previous songs “Summer Sixteen” and “Back to Back.” Drizzy takes aim at the likes of Meek Mill while comparing himself to Michael Jackson,bragging about dancing with Rihanna, and claiming Views is already a classic. Ironic, considering he’s supposedly “doning the hype.”

“One Dance”:  an R&B song with dancehall and Afrobeats inflections, featuring a slowed down sample of the vocals and chord stabs from a 2008 UK Funky house anthem, Kyla’s “Do You Mind,”produced by Crazy Cousinz. This is also this reviewer’s favorite off this album.

“Grammys”: looks into Drake and Future’s music careers. While Drake’s won one Grammy for Take Care and has been nominated several times, Future has yet to win a Grammy, despite mainstream and critical success.

Drake switches flows multiple times throughout his verse, making reference to Jay Z and Canadian rapper Top5. Future, on the other hand, blasts the Grammys and takes a subtle dig at rapper Desiigner, whose hit song “Panda” has been labeled as a Future rip-off.

“Pop Style”:  a Jamaican term meaning “ballin’” or “showing off.” The term was famously used on Althea and Donna’s “Uptown Top Ranking”, a Reggae one hit wonder which reached number 1 on the UK charts in 1978.

The new verse takes aim at Drake’s critics. He fires subliminals at Meek Mill and Mo-G while continuing to include braggadocious lyrics about his OVO crew.

“Too Good”: is about a couple who go out of their way to treat each other well, while they feel like their love is taken for granted.

Carrying the same Caribbean and dancehall beat as that of “Work,” their most recent duet prior to this song, and “One Dance,” this is the fourth collaboration between Rihanna and Drake (after “What’s My Name?” and “Take Care”). All four songs focus on relationships.

Rihanna and Drake used to be in a relationship—while their recent return collaborations have started rumors that they’re together, Rihanna clarified that she’s still single and their reunion is only professional.

Drake’s third verse interpolates Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan’s “Love Yuh Bad”—and the track includes a direct sample of Popcaan’s verse on the outro.

“Hotline Bling”: “Hotline Bling” is most likely about Drake’s old flame from Toronto, Nebby. She’s had an on and off relationship with the 6 God a few times, and her Instagram account is a constant reminder that she’s never home – always traveling to exotic places, and out wearing almost nothing. Based on the lyrics, it’s as if Drake wrote this song while scrolling through her Instagram page.

Overall, Views is a dancehall Carribean musical compilation of relationship drama and being taken for granted.

See why I prefered Scorpion better

#SmartCookiePR: What are the duties of a publicist?

When I graduated college, I knew without a doubt I wanted to be a publicist.

Not for all the perks but because I wanted to use marketing in a fun way.

As someone who made a career since her teens as a fangirl, I have a gift for encouraging others and highlighting the good that others say and do.

Some within the writing and music community, especially indie artists, are unfamiliar with the term “publicist.”

publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a company, a brand, or public figure or for a work such as a book, film or album. Publicists are public relations specialists who have the role to maintain and represent the images of individuals, rather than representing an entire corporation or business.

Publicists are also hired by public figures who want to maintain or protect their image.

Publicists brand their clients by getting magazine, TV, newspaper, and website coverage. Most top-level publicists work in private practice, handling multiple clients.

  • One of the publicist’s main functions is to generate press coverage on behalf of their clients and serve as the bridge between clients, their public and media outlets. A publicist manages campaigns and performs other public relations functions. It usually takes many years to develop the media contacts, experience and relationships necessary to be an effective publicist.
  • The main role of publicists is to get good press coverage for their clients. One way that publicists can do this is by sending press releases to journalists. A press release is written like a news story; including a headline, and attention grabbing quotes. However, because of the high traffic of e-mails, today, many press releases sent by publicists are lost within the other e-mails that journalists receive. 
  • Publicists tend to have good working relationships with journalists, TV news producers, and producers. In order to have these relationships, publicists usually network with these media professionals.
  • To protect a client’s image, publicists will often ask journalists what questions will be asked during interviews to prevent any surprises and discussion of any unwanted topics.Publicists determine how to manage a person’s or brand’s image by what is being said about them in the media. This pertains to websites and social media. More recently, publicists have the need to network with bloggers and scope out their websites to make sure the content on their client is appropriate.

    A typical day for a publicist consists of being on the phone, networking through e-mails, and can make themselves available at all times of the day for when conflict arises.

  •  Out of the office, publicists go to gatherings to network with media professionals.

The #1 I became a publicist is because I wanted to use my gift for writing from a marketing standpoint. And as someone who published novels before without an ally, I wanted to be that specifically for authors and musicians.

Publicists always do the work with the best interests of the client being served, and most of the times, it is a very thankless job.

Librarian signing her memoirs with stamp.

If you’ve stumbled upon this post, and you believe you need a publicist with a heart for writers and artists who the world has tried to silence, let me be your voice. Let me help you shine.

Smart Cookie PR

Send Me a Message

Some people hire a publicist but realize they just want book launch publicity and that’s it.

If you have a book or album about to come out, please check out the other service packages I have available.

 

#NationalPoetryMonth .@LangLeav ‘s #loveandmisadventure is a siren song for love lost and the hope of a future love that lasts

When I was a junior in college, I finally had my own room for the first time in my life.

Naturally, I was excited for how I would decorate my sacred dwelling since the choice was solely mine.

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I decided I wanted to have a poetry wall in one corner of my room and who’s poetry was showcased along the long wall near my door but the Tumblr poet, Lang Leav. Soon after this, I found out she was publishing her first poetry book and I was totally stoked for her as I had followed her literary career from the ground up.

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Boasting hand-drawn artwork and poetry from the author, Love & Misadventure is a book anyone who is hopeful for love despite all their misadventures and mistakes in love should own, and wants to reminisce every emotion that entails.

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#NationalPoetryMonth: La La Love by Katie Lewington Book Review

Subjectivity is poetry’s secret talent. Whether or not you find the words on the paper poetry, if a poet labels it poetry, no one can argue that it isn’t because poetry unlike fiction is more for the free-spirited and those who are exploring it’s free range in the field of writing.

For example, my favorite poet is Lang Leav and my sisters are die-hard Rupi Kaur fans.

Poetry has to use the right combination of imagery and emotion, and has to make me feel like I read something that was between the lines on the page. Few people can achieve the knock me off my feet feeling with their poetry but for me, Lang Leav comes pretty darn close.

With La La Love, Katie Lewington is in a league all her own. All poems within the chapbook showcase the different levels of vulnerability love unravels in us as we experience it within a relationship or develop the feelings.

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Picture this was one of my favorites because it reads like a spoken word poem. It has rhythm, cadence, and an overall musicality that could be performed. This also further proved that Lewington’s talent for poetry was multi-faceted, and although her book was themed with love poems, she could have you in a crowded pub or restaurant aware of every sound or gesture made by the people that were inhabiting the space between the walls.

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Katie Lewington was recently featured in a poetry anthology called

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It is a book of mental health themed poetry with proceeds that are going toward the mental health charity out of the UK, Mind. Click the image above in order to purchase the anthology.

 

#NationalPoetryMonth Book Review: Love In Between by Mercy Jane Ballesteros

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Written in vignette-style sections and sonnet-like eloquence, “Love In Between” showcases strong writing from a young author who also makes a statement about young love being very real, and practically unavoidable.

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With themes of young love, unrequited love, and torturous heartbreak, even loving someone who pines for someone else, Mercy’s poetry gives me still the same “you aren’t alone,” calm sensation that I have while reading the work of International best-sellers like Lang Leav.

Mercy’s poetry overall will leave you falling in love with the writer behind the few but powerful words.

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CALLING ALL POETS and MICROPOETS! April is National Poetry Month and as always, I celebrate all month long by showcasing a new poem every day on my social media pages and by reviewing primarily poetry books all month long. So if you are a poet who knows it, and you have a book already out or about to come out, please email me by March 26, 2018 to be featured for the month of April. And yes, you get to skip the wait list line for free due to the high demand!

Send me your poetry graphics, Instagram poet recommendations, and poetry book review requests to wittywriterpoet26@gmail.com

So much love,

The Smart Cookie

 

 

#BookReview: After The Storm by Ava St. Pierre @wisebeautyqueen

Mental Illness carries much of a stigma even though it is 2018. Finally, people are deciding to be open about it whether they themselves struggle with it or someone they know and love.

I believe it should be openly discussed so that those who struggle with it can get the help and healing they deserve.

And so began the reason I couldn’t say no to reading Ava St. Pierre’s memoir.

She’s this prestigious beauty queen who was a pretty big deal in Texas as well as the ability to dapple in the VIP lifestyle because of her Mrs. Texas America title.

Yet, her story is definitely one for the books which is why I was glad her daughter Sheree sent it to me.

Growing up in a family of seven children, they lived a cool, calm, and collected existence. That was until the storm hit.

By storm, I am referring to her mother’s fits of rage that caused a severe accident with one of Ava’s younger brothers. These fits of rage were eventually diagnosed as amnesia, paranoia, and schizophrenia, and her father decided to raise the children as a single parent which left Ava’s birth mother to remain homeless for most of her life.

One thing I loved about the memoir is how easy it was to read despite the heaviness in topic and themes, and how Ava remained positive and used her story to showcase that no matter what anyone goes through in life, they can either sit and feel sorry for themselves or they can share their story to encourage others.

And Ava succeeds at the latter, and her story will provide hope that life gets better no matter the severity of the storm and the after effects that remain.

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#BookReview By The Book will make your heart swell with Bookish love

I only read the first three chapters of By The Book by Julia Sonneborn and I was hooked.

I entered a giveaway for the book but knew in my heart that nothing would keep me from being swept up into Anne Corey’s world of literature and those that love it.

I read the majority of this book in the time span of twelve hours because the plot was both seamless and still surprising.

It contained my favorite type of love story but in an entirely new way: a love triangle where two men of different character fall in love with the same girl and makes hints about their true intentions in order to gain her affections in return.

 

 

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It is the perfect read for anyone who considers themselves a bibliophile and already has blueprinted their dream library.

To get the chance to read excerpts of upcoming books and have the chance at winning a paperback copy, join Bookish First.

 

https://thisiswriting.com/the-ultimate-list-of-fiction-books-you-should-read-at-least-once-in-your-life/

She Lays Down by Stylistic Moods is a great read @inkitt #bookreview

To read this book in it’s entirety, you can visit here.

Inkitt is a brand new platform in book publishing. It offers writers a chance at publication if your finished novel reaches an increasingly popular amount of reads, using analytics that show how interested readers were while reading it.

It’s like Wattpad but better because you could see your book in print, and Inkitt is entirely generous to it’s authors because they know how hard it is to write a book as well as how hard it is to find the right publishing house for it.

With that said, I was asked to read this book because I am a member of Inkitt’s book club. Yet, this book actually kept my interest far more than two books that were on my queue, and I chose to finish and review it over those other books.

Some days even found me reading large sections of the book because I had to know what was going to happen next. I very much am obsessed with books like that.

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#NationalPoetryMonth: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Poetry is like reading one of those little notes you used to pass around in middle school. So short and sweet but if you found one laying on the ground or accidentally got passed one, it was like you got to be part of the secret, and you instantly felt like you weren’t alone in your feelings.

Milk and Honey is like that. It’s short, sweet, and oh so vital for today’s society. It says so much without saying it that by the end of the book, you feel as though you want to hug Rupi Kaur for all she writes about but also feel that if she hugged you back, it would be because you experienced similar situations which is why her words jumped off the page and danced before you a private ballet.

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The second read through of Milk and Honey showed the heartaches I was most familiar with and how Kaur’s words healed them.

When my sisters both read her book, I actually rolled my eyes because why would they fall head over heals for a book unless it was popular. Then, I retracted that eye roll when (plus I realized my sisters don’t read that much) I started reading it and Kaur’s words grabbed me by the shirt collar like a thug on the street looking to rob me but then mistakenly realized I was a long lost cousin and smoothed down my shirt and said, Coffee?

So we sat down metaphorically and sipped coffee and discussed the four different heartaches we’ve known:

  1.  The Hurting 
  2. The Loving
  3. The Breaking
  4. The Healing

As you can see from my notes, the poems in the Breaking and Healing sections spoke the most to my wallflower heart. Without further ado, here is some of my favorite poems shared with public permission from Rupi Kaur’s Facebook page:

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I want to marry this poem and divorce it all in the same moment.

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#BookReview: Anonymous Letter from a Stranger saved my life; Love Junkies by Christy Johnson

Dang. This book was sent to me by a friend who knows the author, and I cannot thank her enough for sending this to me. It read like a letter from an anonymous friend who had compassionate concern for me as a woman and wanted to offer biblical advice on how to be better in the area of love, and how a woman’s love life trickles into all other areas of her life.

Plus, I found a whole list of books I want to read that this book recommended. And that’s a win-win in the life of a Smart Cookie and Bibliophile.

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