Sunday, July 31, 2011

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 9

Love this artist. He makes great music that I love to dance to. We really didn't want to go home at the end of our Spanish trip so on that note I'll end my holiday soundtrack with this song.

I give you, Jason Derulo - Don't Wanna Go Home, enjoy!

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 8

Another song I loved this month.

I give you, The Wanted - Glad You Came, enjoy!

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 7

Another tune that's great to dance to.

I give you, Pitbull - Give Me Everything ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer , enjoy!

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 6

This was a lot of fun to dance to in the Spanish bars and clubs. Brings back great memories of dancing with my girls and trying to stop the Spanish perverts hitting on us!

I give you, Usher - DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love ft. Pitbull, enjoy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 5

I love this lady, and I love this song.

I give you, Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory, enjoy!

I really love a cover of this song as well which I've also posted here.

I also give you, Alyssa Bernal - The Edge Of Glory, enjoy!

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 4

Wherever in the world you are, you've got to enjoy music from this lady, especially when she's empowering women!

I give you, Beyonce - Run The World (Girls), enjoy!

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 3

This was my pre-holiday anthem, so when it came on in a Spanish club, I went mental for it.

I give you, Nicki Minaj - Super Bass, enjoy!

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 2

This is a song that we had a debate over followed by many laughs.. followed by numerous occasions of awful singing up and down Spanish roads and in the clubs.

I give you, Snoop Dogg - Sweat (Remix) ft. David Guetta, enjoy!

Soundtrack To My Month Of July - Track 1

I mentioned going on holiday in one of my earlier posts so the July soundtracks are all going to be holiday tunes that I listened to in Spain.

I'm kicking things off with this song because one of my girlie mates kept singing it and getting it in all of our heads - yet the only words we know are in the title!

I give you, Kanye West - All Of The Lights ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi, enjoy!

Breaking Down The Nnamdi Sweepstakes

Nnamdi Asomougha, [former] CB for the Oakland Raiders and widely regarded as the best in the league, is the premier Free Agent this offseason. Early on, the 49ers and Texans were in the hunt, but the Texans suddenly signed CB Joseph (formerly of the Bengals), likely taking themselves out of the hunt for Nnamdi. SF has started suggesting they're out of the race.

To me, it sounds like the price for Nnamdi is raising, even though reports said he was willing to take a paycut to sign with a contender. Well, the Jets had something on the table for him the entire time, and Nnamdi didn't take the deal(s), so if his price is still rising, is he still willing to take a cut for a contender? Who else is in the hunt?

Reports flew today that the Cowboys were seeking Nnamdi. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (twin brother of Rex) was a coach in Oakland with Nnamdi, so there's familiarity. The problem, however, is that the Cowboys are in cap-trouble, and couldn't afford to pay Nnamdi what he wants and still fix all their other problems... especially when people feel Romo is in a must-win-now situation. I don't foresee Asomougha going to the Cowboys.

So who is left? Clearly someone we haven't talked about yet. I'm honestly surprised we haven't heard talk of New Orleans, who have had DB injury problems in recent years and could use someone across from SB hero Tracy Porter. I'm sure he'll go somewhere not yet mentioned... but that's if he doesn't make the move I expect him to make.

Nnamdi wants to win, that's why he's out searching... but the Raiders last year turned it around and got real close. Nnamdi has stayed put before when he had an opportunity to leave, and while he's testing his market, I think he's still leaning back towards home. The Raiders need him, and with him, they can continue on this path of improvement. Al can throw him whatever he wants... I wouldn't be surprised to see the deal get done.


And I've been going berserk over on Twitter (@Sean_Bishop) with news from this hectic free-agency period.

The Redskins have made news with a vast number of WR's (which ExtremeSkins fans took idiotically) and have focused on the D-Line and brought in a couple Ravens with starting experience and potential.

IMO, Free Agency should be a 4-day fiasco from now-on, because this is the most exciting it has ever been.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Orange Rockcorps

This was my third year doing it. I’ve blogged about the program in the past as well as the project I did last year with my fellow university friends.

This year I managed to persuade four of my university friends to do the volunteering side, two of which had never done Rockcorps before – the other two did it with me last year. The reasons why more of them didn’t join in was because they were busy either on the day we decided to do the project or the day of the gig, or because the line-up didn’t interest them for the gig. Last year I managed to persuade more of them to do it because the line-up hadn’t been announced yet for the London gig! This year they merged both the Manchester and London gigs, which are normally two months apart. They also moved the London venue from Earls Court to Wembley Arena as it holds a greater capacity, which was rather amusing as the tube from Wembley Park closes at 00:30 and the gig overran by an hour, so 11,000 people running to the station making sure they wouldn't get left behind is kind of hilarious - looking back on it of course, at the time it was shear panic!

The project, which was in Finsbury park, was fun. Unfortunately it was raining on the day so we couldn’t do painting as planned but we managed to do lots of weeding instead. It was nice to see the before and after shots. They gave us lunch as well – the standard sandwich, crisps & drink - which is always nice after hard work!

For the gig itself, two of my friends couldn’t attend so two of my other friends were able to go. The line-up for the gig was originally Eliza Doolitttle, Jessie J and Primal Scream when we signed up. Unfortunately Jessie J was advised to pull out by her doctors due to her leg injury, much to my disappointment as I was really looking forward to seeing her but Kelis and Diddy Dirty Money were announced which softened the blow! A special surprise guest which Diddy brought on was Chipmunk which I thoroughly enjoyed. A “to be confirmed” guest was also on the bill which turned out to be Wretch 32 – which most of the crowd seemed to enjoy.

It was such an amazing gig! There’s something so nice about knowing that everyone around you earned their ticket and didn’t buy it - such a great atmosphere! It’s been four days and my voice is still sore from all the screaming!

For those of you who have heard about Rockcorps and been tempted – once again I’d say go for it! If you’re not able to wait a year then look into the Collective – if you enjoy volunteering or volunteer regularly then seriously, it’s worth it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Race For Life

On the 26th of June I did a 5km Race For Life run/walk, which is a women only race, to raise money for Cancer Research. I did the run with 2 of my girl friends and we raised over £450 for the cause. It's a cause we all believe in strongly, not just as scientists but as friends and family of those who have suffered from a number of different cancers. It was a really emotional but fun day which was really well organised. The signs people were wearing were really sweet and made me tear up. It was inspiring to be around so many strong women including those that were racing for themselves as well as others. My family came to support us and they enjoyed it too. We even got free Yakult! And the goodie bag at the end of the race was brilliant too.

Race For Life do many different races, for different charities, which men can partake in too so I'd highly recommend doing something like this if you want to raise money for any charity as the atmosphere is amazing.

I'd also like to thank my sponsors again, as without their help I wouldn't have been able to make the slight difference I did.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: D-Risha – Big Trouble in Houston Texas

1. Introduction:
- The introduction sets a nice little feel… a good opening, and it jumps into a good anecdote to open into the first track.

2. Smoke in the City (So Cold):
- Risha opens the album up with a couple nice punchlines as an attention grabber. The beat is nice, especially with the bass turned up. The hook is catchy too, so you can ride with it. But deeper in the lyrical content on this track, Risha makes it known what he’s rapping for… himself, his people, his city… but he’s “So Cold” he’s not attached to shit enough to let it be his downfall.
Track Rating: ****1/2

3. Set Me Free:
- Risha opens this track with an, as he says himself, illy flow. It’s really one of the cleanest flows you’re going to hear. If the first track was the attention grabber… unsheathing his sword… this track is Risha drawing the line in the sand, challenging the world to doubt his talents. Excellent use of multis in this track as well… very good rhyme scheme.
Track Rating: *****

4. Night Ryder (feat. George Young):
- I had the privilege to listen to this track a while ago… Risha gave us this track on WECU Radio and EVERYONE took to it. He and George dropped some amazing content on this track. Great flow, excellent lyrics, the beat is insane… the hook? Everyone will chant “Cuz I’m a Night Ryder” after they listen to this song. Still cool after this month+ of listening to this track.
Track Rating: *****

5. The Essence:
- This track takes on… the essence… a little more old-school feel on the bass and drums… but the style is definitely Houston influenced. I think I’ma stop commenting on Risha’s flow in this review for each track… because it really doesn’t need to be said. The hook is nice too. Loved the way he compared tryna teach these kids 90’s rap to tryna explain color to a blind man.
Track Rating: ****

6. Save The Day:
- Yet another sick beat that captures you immediately. Risha tells a story about how he got interested in Hip Hop… a monster… yet a hero... Batman hears you, Risha. Some awesome references to comics as well. The hook? Same as the others. Catchy, solid… “I’m next to Rule like Irv Gotti”… Risha’s surgical placement of his punchlines really needs to be noted though. He uses them effectively to keep your attention. The guy knows how to form his verses.
Track Rating: ****1/2

7. Shake The Heavens (feat. HashBrown and Bishop Black):
- Risha drops this shit with more insane multis… the rhyme scheme is crazy… and nevermind what I said earlier, his flow is insane… so the way he rides the beat really enhances the rhymes. The hook is nice, yet again. HashBrown carried his verse with a smooth flow, relaxed but assertive. Bishop Black has a nice old-school flow, a lot of energy. This is my kinda verse. Another solid track all the way through.
Track Rating: ***

8. Ebonics (H-Town):
- Risha lets you in on what Houston slang is all about… Another sick beat… and yet another insane flow to ride this beat. Not much more needs to be said other than that Risha exhibits a leadership in every technical aspect on this track, much like the first 6 tracks on the album.
Track Rating: ***1/2

9. We Holding (feat. Herney the Great):
- This beat is smooth, absorbs your attention and draws you in. Then Risha jumps on the track and locks you in on the lyrical content. The hook is… again… catchy. Herney is another artist I’m familiar with from WECU with a nice flow and presence. Great combination… nice track.
Track Rating: ***

10. Pick Up Kids:
- Risha starts this track off talking about where he came from with rap, advancing his story and his journey with us. There’s an assertiveness on this track… Risha is proud of every step of the way… it shows…
Track Rating: ***1/2

11. On A Rampage:
- A callout… this beat is violent as Hell too… not much a “hook” but the chant is cool… the way the beat picks up… crazy! Shit makes you wanna go on a Rampage. The energy picks up more in the final verse.
Track Rating: ***1/2

12. In The Music:
- Yet another tough beat, not quite extreme on the switchup from Rampage, but the transfer is light, bringing you down like those shakes when the adrenaline fades… but the energy is there in Risha, talking about music like you talk about your life… with a passion. You can hear the hunger and desire to make it happen in his voice. He’s banked his life on music… the 9-5’s ain’t shit with what he wants. When the beat is on, all he cares about is displaying his dominance.
Track Rating: ****

13. Redemption:
- Hearing the bass kicking at the beginning gets you pumped up, and there’s a snare similar to a drumline… no Nick Cannon. Once again professing his love for music. There’s a couple personal lines that stick out on this track… but the focus on music overshadows those lines… so you can see his focus and escape has always been writing verses, much the same as those who turn to prayer to escape their pains… Risha’s music is his religion.
Track Rating: ****

14. Choices:
- This is the beat I wanted on this album… of course Risha’s going to put it on the album… he knows how to put one together based on everything he gave us so far. Very personal track, the hook isn’t catchier than it has to be… it’s touching. There’s a sting of bitterness… but Risha isn’t allergic to the venom. Powerful track.
Track Rating: ****1/2

15. Fast Forward:
- A subtly tough beat… a bit relaxed… but that toughness is there. Same as Risha’s flow. Good way to change over from Choices. Can’t focus too much on the past and what’s now out of control… fast forward a bit and focus on what’s ahead… as he said, “eyes on the prize”. The hook… yet again catchy.
Track Rating: ****1/2

Thoughts: Risha took a great assortment of beats, an insane flow, great lyrical content, catchy hooks, a couple features, and dropped undoubtedly one of the most solid albums I’ve heard in a while, especially not from a mainstream artist. I respect the energy and passion he puts into each track… individually, he’s got a lot of gems on this one, but the way this album was put together, the way each track transferred to the next/from the last… the album is a gem. Definite replay value, on each track if I’m honest. This is my third listen to the album so far in a week since I’ve had it, and it’s every bit as enjoyable this time as it was the first two. You appreciate the work he put in on it a little better after listening a few times because you understand where he was going a little more on the earlier tracks. Nothing on this album slacked.

Album Rating: ****1/2

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