Vine, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more. Social networks have introduced us to some hilarious people and they have made a lot of people household names. We laugh at the things they post, but have you checked out how multi-talented some of these viral stars are? Here are 5 viral stars that make pretty good music.
- Tokyo Vanity
“That’s my best friend! Go best friend! You betta!”
The first time that I've heard Izzy Faye's music was at the African World Festival here in Detroit, in August. And when I tell you, this man has a shit ton of energy that quite naturally, drove me to his soundcloud.
At that point, he has a few singles out along with some features so I did some digging. Ever since then, I made my way to his release party for his debut album The Ugly Truth. I couldn't help but enjoy myself, not only because of the music but because of how interactive the experience was. Considering his youth and where music is now he's taking a different route by giving us a glimpse through the eyes of a young growing man who's riddled with trying to figure out this life shit. The album starts off with him reflecting on his ways before diving into a world of drugs, women, the hustle and hopes of pushing his music career to where it should be. A narrative that we've all heard before just not as straightforward, witty and comical.
The Ugly Truth features some of the best in the city as far as production and collabs but that's not the sole reason why he deserves some spins. Check out Izzy's album below!
Nina Simone was an artist many still imitate, recreate, and are influenced by. Her unique voice, bold personality, and how she used her music for protest have made her an icon to the world. Her dark skin and features were often seen as ugly at the time and most black performers did not look like her in the early 60s. Simone was a pioneer who was never afraid to speak up and speak out. She continues to influence culture today, and these five songs are just an example of how the life and works of Nina Simone are.
5.) Strange Fruit
You may have recognized this song sampled in Kanye West’s “Blood On The Leaves”. This song was pinnacle during the Civil Rights Movement because it directly spoke about lynching blacks and how it plagued the country.
4.) I Put A Spell On You
Almost everyone had heard this song whether it’s been in a Halloween commercial or in the party scene in Hocus Pocus.This song is one of Simone’s most popular and put a spell on the world to become a fan of her music.
3.) Marry Me
Love songs were some of the most important types of music in the 60s and 70s and Simone made them with her own spin. Bellowing about how she will love and cater to the man who will marry her this song has been played at weddings for decades.
2.) Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
An honest song that every person can relate to about how our intentions don’t necessarily match our words and actions. A fear many have is the reputation they leave here on earth when they are long gone. Simone’s vulnerability in this song makes it haunting and transparent.
My personal favorite, this song is about the racially divided and impoverished city. A tale about the city from Nina’s perspective she artistically describes how the relations in America have worn on the spirit of black people.
So let's get into some new music from one of our faves of AOmarkerlove, rap phenom, Nolan the Ninja. #YEN, his second full-length album from indie record label, Left of Center, is no doubt some of his best work in his career. Though he's been rocking the mic a few years his career is only beginning. Over time, I feel as though he perfected his style of rapping and paired it with his love for early underground hip-hop, thus #YEN was born. There's a few factors that stood out to me that mirrors albums that I've cared enough to miss such as comical skits, an actual story-line and a solid balance of content.
Nolan shares his current realizations about his city, future, and peers along with a few heavy hitters from home like Royce da 5’9, Jaye Prime, Ashley Rose and A-minus. With sounds from the Ninja himself, Black Milk, Ashton Woods and more.
(May I add that I’m extremely excited to know that Chicago’s Add-2 is also featured on this album along with other out-of-town-ers)
To celebrate the release of #YEN Nolan performed a few of his favorites at Detroit's Distillery in Eastern Market and then again that weekend in NY! The bar even created a customized drink menu with yummy alcoholic beverages named after items in Nolan's career that holds a bit significance. For example, I had something called the Pearimita that was reminiscent of Paramita Sounds, a record store here in the city that host many events like the popular and monthly Beat Profile that I see Nolan at almost religiously.