Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I've Been in My Feelings (Music)

Sadly, I've gotten myself mixed up in my feelings... yes, it is true, I too am a human being. I have fallen for someone who I may never be able to be with (It's all quite ironic and glorious... even moreso if you know me and know how horrible I am when it comes to relationships and romance). I sometimes expect things from folks that they will never be able to give me, but thank goodness music has never failed me. I've been switching between a handful of songs in hopes that they will somehow help me get over said person and said feelings. I'm getting there.

*Each song is accompanied by a link so feel free to click away and have yourself a listen (especially if you've never heard the song before).
 I hope you are able to connect with at least one or two :) 


Jessie ReyezFigures  And Shutter Island
Reyez is an up and coming Latina (Colombiana) artist from Toronto. Her Ep is entitled, Kiddo (both songs are on it). She's dope. 













SZALove Galore (Ft. Travis Scott)
If you haven't listened to her EP, Z, you really need to getcho life and click here. The song I'm featuring isn't on there, but you should know her stuff because her music is chill and epic at the same damn time. Okay, cool.









K.Flay: Blood in the Cut  
I gotta thank my wonderful mentor (Rhoda) for this wonderful discovery because she played it this weekend and I fell in love, instantly. I've since listened to a few other songs by K.Flay and she is pretty dope.






  
Kranium: We Can (ft. Tory Lanez) 


Gyptian: Wine Slow 


Halsey: Now or Never 
I really dig this song (gotta stick around to hear the beat drop haha). I haven't listened to her other stuff yet, but I plan to (just to see). Fun fact: she's mixed (her father is black and her mother is white). 








Ariana Grande: One Last Time 
I usually don't rock with her like that, but this song has been helpful.





Labrinth: Jealous
My homie (Diandra) put me on to this song and I must thank her for it because one, he/his voice is fabulous and two, this song is absolutely beautiful.










Julia Michaels: Issues
I love this song and I think she is killn the game. I really dig her live performance of this song (it sounds just like, if not better than, the recording... a lot of popstars don't got that). Not only is she a dope song-writer (shes like 24 and has written pop songs for folks like Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani, and Britney Spears) but she has a pretty cool voice. 




That's all I got for now. 
-xoxo-
Yolanda 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Buried Alive

I keep seeing lonely black birds
Flying through dark skies:

I wonder if they see me
Buried beneath
old memories
grippin my flesh,
hoping for a quick
death.

Ode to the Absence of you and the Presence of Me

The absence of love
is how I came to be
so naturally,
I know not what it means.

I like to taunt
my emotional instability.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer Break Has Begun

Me (this semester) struggling
to finish a paper in time.
Captured by my buddy, Rebekah. 
I submitted my final assignment on Tuesday morning so now I'm free.The semester was extremely stressful, not so much because of my classes, but because I was worried about securing a summer internship and struggling to figure out what I want to do once I graduate.

I have one more semester to complete at Smith College and then I am done. During the semester, I wanted to just spend time sorting out my life, which often looked like me just lying in bed, crying, and panicking about the future, if I'm being honest. I struggled to work on homework assignments because I felt frozen in place half the time. I cried more than I ever have during my time at Smith. I looked and felt like shit and even experienced some rough patches with friends. I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about what was bothering me most--the idea that I could fail, not so much academically, but in life. 

Not many people know this, but once I graduate from Smith, I cannot afford to not know what I plan to do next. The reason being, I have not been supported by either one of my parents in years and even if they wanted to help, they couldn't because they are currently still dealing with their own personal struggles. My grandmother has been generous enough to allow me to crash on her couch since my Junior year of high school. Her place has always been home, but I know that someday I'm going to have to branch out and find a place of my own. My grandmother has been trying to hold up our family for years and I can tell that she's tired. I often worry that no one else in my family notices and if they do, their actions don't show it. My point is, I cannot fail. I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I think it's necessary. 

I am thankful that at Smith, I have two best friends who I know (without a doubt) love and care about me. I also have professors/advisers who I know would go out of their way to ensure that I succeed despite whatever I may be going through. Not only that, but I have people back home, family and friends, who are constantly in my mind while I struggle through numerous obstacles. The people in my life who genuinely love and care about me, give me the strength to overcome on a daily. 

Good News

NYC summer. Let's get it ;)
  • Towards the end of the semester, not only did I secure a summer internship, but I secured Smith College PRAXIS Funding. I will be interning at Cave Canem ("A home for black poetry") as their Productions & Communications Intern. It is an unpaid internship, but due to the Smith PRAXIS Funding, it'll be as if I am being paid to work. Even if I was unable to secure the funding, I would have still been happy to accept the position because as an Africana Studies and English double major, this is a tremendous opportunity. If you care to learn more about Cave Canem feel free to click here
  • I have decided to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing so once I graduate, that is what I will be heading off to do. I haven't applied or chosen a school yet, but I think it would pretty dope to get into NYU's MFA Program. I spoke to my Smith academic advisors, career advisors, and a number of my Africana Studies advisors about my future plans and this is what feels right. My goal is to take the 2-3 years and work on writing a book that will center around my grandmother's life. Thanks to my special studies professor... I think I might even have a title for it. 
  • This summer, I will be devoting my time and energy into thriving as an intern at Cave Canem, reading, writing, networking, exploring NYC, traveling, and working on this blog. I am very determined. I feel like I need this blog now more than ever because I am not the best when it comes to transitioning so I thinking writing and working on being consistent will be extremely helpful. 

-xoxo 
Yolanda 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Untitled

For Rachel 

Like a stolen stutter on a cold mountains peak,
This is the moment in which to reach for something
Inside the spear of eternity that reeks of
Complications, that whispers in the ear between
Or rather so beneath the road of melody,
That tends to speak to the rage on your exposed seams,
That never allows you to take your mind off of
Death, makes breath feel foreign and strange inside your chest,
But you continue to count and measure the off
Beats because you’re afraid to forget how your heart
Sounds beating against its own internal struggle.
You know your heart by heart, so let it scream your name. 

Rumination

I've contemplated what it might be like
To give up and give in because I’ve been
Shattered bits for a time and two quarters,
All amidst angry ferocious waters.
Somedays I find myself trapped in a cave
That I’ve mistaken for a safe haven.
I’ve never before seen a blue feather
Beam across a night sky nor have I seen
An ole owl sing  and not been mesmerized by
The miss-tree that is infinitely cloaked in its his-tree;
I consistently interrogate my own vigilance.
Every story that I have yet to write
Stems from instances of intersection and digression;
My mind exists somewhere between an ocean and a stream. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Break: Clothing Haul

My friend Lizette and I spent pretty much the entire Spring Break together. We met up in L.A and then drove to Las Vegas with her sister, her sister's boyfriend, and her cousin, in order to celebrate her birthday. We were in Las Vegas for the weekend and then drove back to LA. The next day, we took a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico (her sister, her, and I were the only ones that went on this little day adventure). We spent the rest of the break in L.A and then I flew to N.Y and then headed back to school. A lot of folks have wanted to hear about how each trip went, but also how I was able to afford it all. So I have decided to break it down here on my blog so that folks can get a better look at how I travel and do so affordably.

This blogpost, as you can tell from the title, will basically be a haul of what clothes we purchased for the trip. Being that I do not own much, in terms of summer clothing, Lizette and I went shopping. However, now that I think about it, she didn't really wear much of what she bought while we were on Spring Break, so I think it's safe to say that I benefitted most from the shopping trip (haha).

To start: nothing I purchased was over $10. I only shopped for what I needed and I only really needed a couple of casual dresses. I guess I can be described as being quite frugal; when it comes to shopping, I always try to spend as little as possible. If something is cute but not within my budget, it usually stays on the shelf . From my experience with traveling, the most expensive thing is usually my plane tickets (unless I purchase them way in advance, which is rare).

Liz and I ended up going to the Holyoke Mall; we woke up extra early on what I believe was a Saturday morning because she had work later that afternoon.

We went into stores such as: Forever21, H&M, JCPenny, and Guess, but ended up buying the majority of what we purchased from the Burlington Coat Factory (hence why everything I purchased was $10 or less). Don't sleep on Burlington, y'all.



First dress I purchased: $8.99- BCF
Liz: $8.99 from the BCF
We did a mini haul on SnapChat
(hence the photo captions).
Btw, if you don't already,
you should follow me on the Snap


BCF: $10

Babydoll Dress: BCF for $7.99
I ended up selling this dress because I didn't
really like it, but I got it for $10 at the BCF
Same dress Liz was wearing in her
look #3
I was tired of taking photos
so I just started acting silly (haha)



We purchased the same dress: BCF $10
I'm wearing it above (look #3)

Liz purchased this from a random store at the mall
I believe it was $19.99

After selling the dress I didn't quite like,
I ended up purchasing this dress
from a girl on my campus who was selling it for $10

                                                                           Bonus Buys:
While in L.A, I needed a pair of cute sandals.
I found these when Liz and I went to a swap meet.
Got em for only $5
I also purchased a bathing suit top from JCPenny with a gift card that I'd had for like 5 years. The top was like 24 bucks, but honestly, I just wanted to finally get rid of the card. I received the gift card in my senior prom gift bag from high school, so yeah, mad long ago. So as it turns out, I actually did purchase something that was over ten bucks, but I would consider this to be more of a gift. 

If you have questions about anything spoken about here, in part one, please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, stay tuned because there is more to come. There is a lot to cover so please bare with me.
-xoxo 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I Got Me Some Wigs

I am officially the owner of two synthetic wigs, y'all!!
How it happened: One day, I was chillin in my friend Diandra's room and we just started messing around with her wigs. I tried a couple on and there was one that I knew I had to have. It was a kinky haired wig that looked really natural.
Since I have locs and I'm not one to do much with my hair, mostly because I'm not skilled in that area and I'm too lazy to take the time to learn, wigs just seem like a cool alternative. Not to mention, I'd been missing my loose natural hair so discovering this wig came at a perfect time.
Pic that I took when I tried on my friend Diandra's wig (AKA: When I fell in love). 
My friend Diandra combed her wig out when she got it so the texture of the hair, in the picture above, is different from the one I received in the mail. I wasn't surprised because she let me know and showed me pictures before I ordered it. 

Pic of me with the wig (straight out the package)
When I first put it on, I was shocked by how full it was. Though I was excited and loved it, I should warn, that is does shed quite a bit. Also, like natural kinky (4c hair specifically) it tangles quite a bit so if you are not a fan of tangles, you might have to put in some work. However, I don't mind the tangles and the shedding all that much. Lastly, the cap is pretty roomy. My locs are not super thick but I do still have to usually plait them and then put on my wig cap before putting on the wig. It is adjustable so no worries there. Overall, I've been loving it. 

                                                             
Style #1
Style #2


Link to where you can find it is here.

I paid around $24 for the one I have and I got it in the color 1B. However, it looks like it has gone up a buck or two on Amazon, but in my opinion, that's still a steal. Also, if you have Amazon Prime, you don't have to worry about paying extra for shipping! So go on and cop you this here wig, child.  
Bonus Pic
Now the second wig is one that I purchased right before spring break. I didn't really end up wearing it because I was feeling the first wig way too much. The second one is a straight wig, which is probably why I wasn't feeling it as much. However, the texture is very much like that of 4c relaxed hair. It does tangle a bit, but that is an aspect that I like so I don't really mind it. The only thing that I dislike about the wig is that the lacefront is hard to work with. As a result, I had to often wear a headband because otherwise the lace would flip under and show all my business (haha). 
It also sheds quite a bit and I don't really like the way it's parted. I simply deal with the shedding by not manipulating the hair too much and, as it relates to the part, I kind of just create my own part by flipping the hair here and there until I feel that it looks and feels right.

I got this wig off of Amazon as well (link here). I purchased it for $29.99 in the color 1B, but, like the first wig, it seems to have gone up by a few bucks. This is kind of random, but I sometimes wish that I had gotten this wig in a fun color because it is straight and I have to wear it with a headband anyways, so my edges/the color of my hair doesn't even show. Regardless, it's a pretty decent wig.  


Wig #2

Bonus pic of me and my friend Diandra foolin around with her wigs.<3 b="" nbsp="">
Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Also, if you have further question, feel free to ask away. 

-xoxo

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Danny Severance Out Here Gettin It

I met Danny Severance in Brooklyn, NY at an open mic at the Street Poet's Den. I was a freshman in college and was just getting into the NYC poetry scene. I'd been invited to the event by this really awesomely sweet and smiley guy named Kevin who worked security at an Urban Outfitters near West 4th in the village.
The Street Poets Den seemed to be a place where folks were unafraid to express their love and respect for the arts and it had an interesting air of community. Danny was one of the house musicians alongside members of what seemed to be his band. I was automatically impressed by his stage presence and by how free he seemed to be; he sang, he danced, he belted, and he played the shit out of his violin. His voice and stage presence stuck with me. When Danny sings, he exhibits a kind of fearlessness; he is comfortable with vulnerability in a way that gives him room to expand outward and touch his audience.
I am now a senior in college and I have continued to keep up with  Danny's progression as an artist.
While I was on spring break, he dropped a track on soundcloud called "Time to Go." The track was created in collaboration with producer Charlie Scovill. It is one of many tracks that they have been working on, meaning there will be more to come.

The track is extremely melodic, almost meditative and Danny's voice flows extremely well with the instrumental. It is almost as if he is floating above a calm stream of water. There are no drastic changes in pitch or tone, which makes the song easy to simply vibe to.
Though the track is smooth and Danny's vocals calm and calculated, there does indeed seem to be a battle going on underneath the surface, which I found present in the lyrics.
With all the political madness currently taking place within the U.S and all over the world, it's hard not to want to checkout sometimes. I am not at all saying that this is what the song is suggesting, but there definitely seems to be some negotiating taking place between being aware of the world around you and being in tune with your own being and where you fit in in regards to all of the madness.
In other words, the song seems to give one a chance to reflect on current events and question what it means to be present.

You can find Danny Severance on:
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud

If you happen to check out the song, please let me know what you think. I'm sure Danny would appreciate it as well.

xoxo

Friday, February 10, 2017

Artist I've Been Diggin: Khalid

The first song that I listened to by Khalid was "Location" because two of my friends were conversing about it. I have to admit, I didn't really like the song when I first heard it, but it eventually grew on me. After listening to "Location" I listened to "Shot Down" and I was automatically sold. "Shot Down" begins with a chant like harmony that comes back later on in the song and it seems to allow Khalid's voice to transcend to a completely different level of awesomeness; his voice is both harsh and smooth on the track and he flows on the beat quite well.

I would probably describe Khalid's sound as being similar to that of Sampha and ODIE, although Khalid probably falls somewhere in between the two. Nonetheless, their styles, though similar, are also distinctively different.

Most of the songs I've heard by Khalid have been about love and heartbreak, which can get cliche pretty quickly, but it seems to work for him. I also noticed that his voice has a sort of sluggish quality to it, which is something that you can either rock with or turn away from; I rock with it. I find his voice and his music to be quite soothing and in fact, for the past week or so, I've been listening to it while doing homework and other little tasks such as replying to emails.

If you happen to check his stuff out, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

--XOXO--

Other songs that I would recommend:
"Saved"
"Coaster"
"Reasons"
"Let's Go"

If you care to know a little bit more about Khalid: FADER did a cool little documentary about him which you can find here.