Ok…I’m supposed to be finishing up my New York post but dis Janelle mutha-mutha Monáe has me in low key shock! It’s been like 5 years since her acclaimed last album The Electric Lady, she’s had a ton of success in cinema, and never ceases to amaze the fashion world with her lux partnerships but today decided she wanted to take us to another level.
Prince-inspired, colorful, sensual and highly SHEXY – Janelle Monáe came to disrupt the game with Make Me Feel.
Now look, I don’t care that she took her lil clothes off and is bustin’ out as a proud member of the Rainbow Coalition. She looks amazing, has always been fit and has always had her sexuality questioned throughout her career. As a fan, what I care about is chick being true to herself and baby she’s doing just that! She has her lil rumored bae all in the video and is YOLOing all over the place. I definitely clenched my pearls a couple of times but I’m pretty sure I saw this whole situation coming, I mean I am a fan after all.
Y’all know she has never really been the overtly sexual so it’s pretty interesting to see her explore this part of herself. And I mean there were some slightly awkward moments in there but hey, Janelle and her see-through pants decided to shoot her shot. I know it’s going to be some HIGHLY upset mothers out there because Dirty Jane obviously gives no effs and is making it all the way known. Check it out below.
And because one video clearly wasn’t enough to snatch wigs…chick came out with TWO! I mean seriously, this is probably my favorite side so far. Give me Django Jane any day of the week and I will live my rapper fantasies out through her.
I feel like this was also a long time coming, especially after that epicness she dropped in Q.U.E.E.N. and that whole introduction to the video about legendary rebels. Come on, we saw this coming too. I also feel like her artist/labelmate Jidenna definitely had some influence on this woke-Jane we have here. It’s such a culturally rich visual with beautiful colors and strong punchlines declaring her femininity and power. We definitely need more of this strength from our fave artists.
And y’all! She was even cussing in these songs and I’m just sitting like OhMahGah!!! She’s doing all the things! Take a listen if you don’t believe me.
Read more about Ms. Monáe’s liberation HERE. Believe me, it’s dope and I’m too excited about Dirty Computer dropping in April. <3
I love Haim. Why do I love them? They’re a quirky, rhythmic, poppy yet soulful rock band – that’s why. The Haim sisters are winning fans over left and right, so I naturally have to introduce you to them.
One of my best friends put me on to their music some summers ago and I never let up. I’ve gone years playing their first album, Days Are Gone just up until last week and that’s only because their new LP (Something to Tell You) was released. It’s fun, you have to check it out.
These girls are genuine and have a sweet natural chemistry. I guess they should since they’re sisters and all. Danielle, Este and Alana are your quintessential girls-next-door who are super goofy and cute in this perfect mix of anti-hipster meets rock goddess. The stories they tell are relatable and there’s something groovy about their music. Yes, groovy. I just feel like I want to dance when I listen to them and I seriously mean it. You can’t help it! I literally cook in the kitchen and dance to their albums with no tragic grease fires or missing limbs to report. You might not be so lucky but try a good Haim inspired kitchen jam session at least once.
Last thought, I appreciate how their interesting blend of influences organically resonate through their sound. They’re the perfect recipe of your favorite meal and worth at least one good listen. The jury is still out on my favorite song but just know, I’ll be keeping this little musical jewel on repeat. <3
So I’ll start with, I’m super grateful my little sister Deangela thought her big sis was cool enough to roll out with her to Houston’s very own summer par-tay, Free Press Summer Fest last weekend. It was set for June 3rd-4th from 11am until around midnight-ish each night at Eleanor Tinsley Park but as you might have read, while following my tweets, Mother Nature had other plans. It sucks because the line up was pretty cool too. It consisted of local acts like DJ Fredster and Khruangbin to nationally recognized artists like Solange Knowles, Charlie XCX and G-Eazy.
As soon as we stepped out of our Lyft, we felt rain. I immediately grabbed for my poncho, and yes… it was only sprinkling. I didn’t care. While walking up to the entrance, we annoyingly sang a couple rounds of the most appropriate song for the weather… “Bad and Boujee”, affectionally known to me as “Rain drop, drop top.” And so it begun…
In predictable festival fashion, everyone had their own version of the uniform. There was body glitter, shirtless bros, tanks, net stockings, Jurassic Park hats, backpacks, several variations of Jaden Smith, Yonce’ body suits with an extra side of cellulite on the side, and all the jiggly bits from up-top to down-below ready to be tanned and admired by college kids aka toddlers (ok they were like 18 but whatever). Let’s just say it was interesting and I felt like a dinosaur. We opted for the “happy to be here folks, this is how we normally dress” option. It didn’t go viral or anything but hey, nothing fell out (if you get my drift).
So after actually entering the gates of the festival, we saw a Taco Bell truck and a village or Port-O-Potties we swore to never step foot in. As we walked, we eyed a variety of trendy food trucks and bars lined up to perfection. They definitely wanted to make sure you were full in more ways the one. I never got to actually hit the merch area but it was there, tucked away between the food. The park was beautiful and hot. It literally felt like being in a greenhouse with the sun set right over you in every direction you might try to escape. After baking for a few minutes, we walked underneath a canopy of trees and heard DJ Fredster who was definitely killing it. His energy and music was that of something you’d hear spin in Vegas. The crowd was a little bit more grown up and super chill so naturally I asked for wine… and I found it. They had $9 baby cups of Chardonnay ready, along with a few other well drinks and cocktails for their grown and sexy bunch. Walking back, a kid (literally like 15 or 16) asked me to buy him a beer. I looked at him, took my sips and we went off in search of my buddies Khruangbin who were about to start their set.
I was so proud to see Mark and DJ. Their performance was full of funk, soul, and experimental sound. It was inviting and felt familiar. The crowd ignored the broiling sun and danced all over the lawn of the Saturn stage. It was just downright fun and a solid impression for folks like my little sister who were experiencing them for the first time. I’d definitely recommend you taking a listen if you’re into old school vibey instrumentation.
It was after Khruangbin’s set when I saw a huge rush of people headed to the Neptune stage. I’m a bit of a wanderer so I yelled for my sister to follow the crowd. Best decision ever. We heard the drop for DJ Mr. Rogers of 93.7 The Beat and knew it was about to get crazy. The crowd jumped and dived all over each other. I eventually found a small field with flowers and trees (ok… yes shade, there was shade) and went for it. You would have to, it was hot!
They rapped every single lyric he played and then the main dude, Trill Sammy, came out with his entourage shooting huge water guns for the hyped and thirsting crowd. They. Went. Crazy. I mean like Kanye West just declared his run for presidency on MTV again, crazy. Mind you, we (my sister and I) don’t know this guy at all, but instinctively knew we were supposed to be partying like we were at a frat house before the cops came. Speaking of cops, they were there saving folks left and right. For future notice kids…don’t do drugs, drink, and jump around on each other in sweltering 90 degree weather. You will fall out and possibly get arrested for possession. That’s a thing.
Anywho… the afternoon went on and we were getting hungry so we stopped by the main stage to check out another act, Jon Bellion. He has quite a few radio hits under his belt and was definitely fun to watch. The set had good energy and a massive crowd so it was definitely cool. I will probably check out more of his music this week. He wasn’t too bad at all and had some really catchy tunes with nice tracks backing him. Towards the end of his performance, we went ahead and called a Lyft. Dee snapped this shot on our way out…
We had perfect timing because this is when the sky decided to unfold and shut down the festival for a few hours. But guess who was inside, eating nachos/tamales, and drinking margaritas in the nice air-conditioned restaurant? Deangela and me, that’s who! Clearly we’re the kind of girls to go glamping. Don’t ask us to stay outside for extended periods of time. And my logic was, if we were going to suffer in Houston’s humidity, we might as well be happy about it. Back on track here, El Tiempo did not disappoint. We ate, talked and waited for them to open the fest back up to catch G-Eazy. It was night and crazy humid/muddy, so no pics of that. Sorry. But you can check out my delicious plate!
So fast forward to day 2. We were SO excited because this is when all of the more popular pop acts were going to perform. But guess what… some kind of monsoon happened in the late afternoon and shut down the remainder of the festival. There were barely any updates so we remained hopeful for a few hours until we got the notice that they would be “cancelling the rest of the performances due to the inclement weather.” Sigh… So this was our day two… Two sisters, pitifully siting at home, on the couch waiting to hear the news that the shows we dressed to attend weren’t happening.
Overall we had a good time and enjoyed each other’s company. We had fun at the performances we were able to catch and were happy we got to slow down and catch up on each other’s lives. So there it is… my first time at Free Press Summer Fest. <3
Reading time: 5 min
I’m a Houston Texan living in Silicon Valley as content creator and URM advocate in tech. I have a passion for creating and writing music and am a food lover to the max! Welcome to my space where I get candid about life and share my opinions on EVERYTHING.
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