Nostalgia, Ultra – Frank Ocean (EP Review)

‘Nostalgia Ultra’ makes me  find it perfectly appropriate to tag Frank Ocean as among the emerging champions of contemporary R&B and funk. This is his debut compilation/mixtape released in February 2011. Out of 10, I give it a whopping 8.8 just because I only wished some of the songs had a rap or two.

Nostalgia brings the inherent oomph & soul back into the new R&B arena. Frank croons using his sweet vocals about the entire life of relationships to social issues and even about spirituality. He evokes deep sad emotions, anger, all this not stopping him from showing us his raunchy side. I absolutely love Ocean’s poetic ballads. It’s just inimitable and really deep. 14 tracks, only 9 actual tracks.

2. Strawberry Swing 3.55

Quite a kick-ass start into the album. I love this one,it’s beautiful.He kills his rendition of the Coldplay’s song too hard, I could hardly remember that they ever did that song. Nothing like good music re-done well.

3. Novacane 5.03

Quite upbeat! Novacane is a strong pain-killer. Love the song title, the beats and the storyline. He met a porn star (who had a dream of becoming a dentist) It was the perfect though accidental rendezvous. They share a smoke, she tells him to shut up & not let the high go to waste. He can’t feel shit but the good feeling of loving while numb …  Kanye West would love this song. Here is the un-censored vid 

  also check this cover with a rap, I LOVE IT —–(Rap Novacane Cover)

4. We all try 2.52

The first Ocean song I heard , fell in love with its spiritual borders. He sings about his belief in men despite the fact that they are wicked. He believes the body is a temple and a woman has the right to choose but he begs her not to abort. He doesn’t believe that the American flag is planted on the moon. Doesn’t that make you think of the first 16 minutes of Transformers 3?  All the same, very cool short song.

6. Songs for women 4.13

Quite upbeat! Love this song very muchos. He sings about his lifelong quest of finding out why he started to sing. He admits that he has sung to get at women. One day his girl forgot about him & started blasting “Drake & Trey” songs in her car [Clever line] Now he no longer sings for women because she broke his heart. Rather weird that he would mention Trey & Drake in the song because it sounds like either of them if not Kid Cudi would effortlessly rock this jam. Good stuff.

10. Swim good 4.17

I love this one so much. Hear it and check The Video now! Found several versions of it’s covers on YouTube but I really loved this acoustic one, check it out

11. Dust 2.31

This is the mother of quiet musings. “Who is that talking in my library?”, he asks.  He won’t put them out because what would his place of writing books be without the muse? He wishes he could erase some of the pages he wrote but he keeps writing, loving and living as when the ink dries and the pages turn to dust so will we. He couldn’t ask her to stop laughing in his library because it would be nothing special without her smile. When he fell in love with this girl, she left everything for him and in turn set his books in flames. He quit writing but kept living and loving. After all, when the ink dries and the pages turn into dust, so will we…. TOO.  DAMN. DEEP.

12.American wedding is a beautiful masterpiece. Check out Yasmin’s cover 

14. Nature feels 3.14– modern day -baby making-Jodeci- Silk-Colour Me Bad- song. This one is for nothing but sex.

BONUS:  Frank recently came out via a statement in his blog stating that his first love was a man and that that among other people and things in life in deed inspired songs his written for two albums. His debut album Orange Channel will be out in the course of the year. Power to you Ocean, just don’t actually drive into one 🙂

He doesn’t speak but seeks…

Fine ass babe. That doesn’t have to be you just as long as you will last past the haze. You will need to find him and set his heart ablaze because he believes that you will bind him in your goodness. You will be his queen and in return he will be your highness despite your shyness. Like a movie scene, he will be your director. If you are a budding actress, he will be flooding you with scripts, even letters. If you can encrypt his information then it will be the formation of your love’s foundation. Like a nation blessed with richness will be your relationship, full of enrichment & endearment.

The perfect woman. That doesn’t have to be you. Don’t pretend to be the best cook, just intend to be his best hookup to a good meal. Don’t bend your beliefs because of him, he is looking for an honest woman, one who heals after a wound. If you are in earnest, he will love you through and through. If you are true to him, he will turn your blue into sunny days. Give him his due and he will turn your lime into honey. You will find that being behind him will be better than any amount of money. You will search far and wide but no one will drive you as wild like him, make you unwind easy like he does.

An angel. That doesn’t have to be you. He is looking for a beautiful spirit. A bountiful harvest that will leave him feeling like he had the merit. He loves a little nasty once in a while, not forgetting a constant classy will be a worthwhile prerequisite. Be his exquisite rock and he will render you constant visits on a roll. Splash him insistently with your spleandour, he will stash your fears and in remainder be your serenader. He will love you so readily and tender, in return serve him steadily no matter the day of the calendar.

Gabrielle Union. That doesn’t have to be you just as long as you are real. Like holy communion he needs to partake you for a reason. No matter the season, he will have a meaning for your presence. He is looking for a woman who isn’t wooed by presents but one who is intelligent and sensible. You must be able to care for him, prepare his meals, dare to question his deeds, satisfy his needs, gratify his actions, quantify his reactions, qualify to do all his transactions, sanction his doubts. When he is in trouble, your smile will bring him above the rubble. You are right, you can both handle each other well. As for now however, he seeks for you …


She doesn’t speak but seeks …

Tall, dark & handsome, that doesn’t have to be you, just as long as you are some man. She has no clue where you are but if you are that dude, then your super glue will find her, stick to her even click with her where necessary. She doesn’t want to be an adversary but a companion to you. Like a camera she wants to pan you through, if you are keen near her, she will keep you cool, when you endear to have her, she will serve you good, when you endeavour to hug her she will savour even the hood in you.

The perfect man, that doesn’t have to be you. Don’t buy her a dozen roses, only one will be enough. Don’t tell her about your tonnes of choices, only yes will be enough. In turn she will treat you like a King or better yet Prince “Akeem.” She will make you laugh at the silliest of jokes, she will take you through the deepest of hopes, trick you with that hoax but at the end of the day, she will be the reason why you wanna get ahead. No matter the season, she will put a crown on your head and be the reason why you butter your bread.

The brave man, that doesn’t have to be you. She is also as scared, all you need to do is spare her your fears. Hold her hands till late at night, fold your arms around her when she cries, notice her effort when she tries, promise her only if you will comply, listen to her even when she is high, reply to her texts even when the time is nigh. Make sure you pass her test, show her that you are that guy, make slow love to her, take her to her favourite shows, let her flavor it by rewarding you however she pleases. Kiss her, miss her, if she is hoarding anything she will stop holding & eventually open up to you.

Mr. Know It All. That doesn’t have to be you. She will teach you how to love, in return reach and meet her half way through. She wants a man who is true to himself, a man who is selfless, she hunts for a man who respects God. In retrospect, a man who seeks truce after a fight, a man who doesn’t use his might but his wit. Know your music & she will blow your mind by fusing her muse with it. When she gains or is in pain she will write you poems, you are right she is unique. You are right, it might be the case that you both make a classic antique, that is yet to be. Better yet, she seeks for you …


Jevanjee Boy …

I have heard many “normal” people talk ill of Jevanjee gardens. Strategically located in the middle of Nairobi’s robust central business district, it must have been placed there to provide the much-needed hideout for relaxation amidst the stress levels razing around the city life. One day while eavesdropping, i got to know that a  lot of town dwellers call it a dangerous zone, a dungeon where thugs and rapists hide. I don’t hide here, I reside here. This is my home, I guess it automatically makes me queer that I find solace here.

I am not a thug nor a rapist but I steal occasionally. In the hard knock street life you got nothing apart from your reflex action. You have to take that which doesn’t belong to you to survive through the man eat man circle of life. Just like a tale of the hustle, stealing is accompanied with a great deal of risk. Only last week Omosh succumbed to the brutal horror of mob justice. He was caught pick pocketing from a beldam’s handbag on Biashara street. For close to thirty minutes, normal transactions at the rather assiduous trade area came to a standstill as the angry mob pounced on him with big boulders from the nearby construction site. The fat women who sell juicy fruit salads for the construction workers were on the same camp with the Muslim women who peddle “mabuyu” near the mosque. In a bid to waver the crowd’s intent the females had all their arms high up in the air while crying out loud, “Woiiiii asamehewe!” Their pleas fell on deaf ears as the angry gathering yelled and kicked Omosh as if he had stolen from every one of them. Only the police would have saved his life, that’s if they had come to the scene and scared off the wanainchi by shooting bullets into the clear skies. This is the kind of metropolis where the echoing sound of gun shots usually disperses a crowd faster than any word of mouth. The police were however very late, they always are! When they got to the smoky vicinity, all that was left was the ashes of what used to be Omosh. The masses had taken the matter into their own hands. They hurriedly took an old tyre from the Indian vehicle spare parts shop and put it around Omosh’ body. They set him ablaze.

Inside Jevanjee is my favourite bench that I like to sit on. It’s my definition of magic because at night it transforms into a bed, my bed. I have spent a lot of sleepless nights on this surface, a problem most probably caused by its shape and make. I am too tall for its length and it’s too cold for my health, these damn scrap metals! Sometimes, the nightmares of the pot-bellied Italian man chasing me from the back of his pizzeria leave me tossing and turning. One of the best nights I have spent on this bench was when I once cuddled up with Shiko till the break of dawn. I could hardly let go to the warmth her feminine bosom provided to my chest. She was one of us, she still is even though she left. She was beautiful, I think I had feelings for her. I also think that I am a shy boy.

I have however never hesitated to grab half-eaten food from motorists with their car windows open in slow traffic, I have never felt guilty of wearing a foreign jacket. People always come to the park and forget their paraphernalia, we normally inherit them in a heartbeat. Around this location, my bravery is way above average. I am surprised that I never had the balls to tell Shiko that I loved her. I was also afraid to tell her because I had nothing to offer. Love is no spoken language in these dark and cruel alleys. In a real world, men who love women have gifts and trips to offer them if not fancy dates, things that I only dream of. Sometimes when i miss Shiko so much, I start to have illusions of her. I must have been the one person who cared most for her, after all she had no real home or family. She was one day found dead on Waiyaki way. Raped and killed.

It had been a long day, It was going to be yet another lonely night without Omosh. I was sad but perturbed much that the stars were brighter than usual, as if the universe was trying to light me up. I wished I had told Omosh that morning before his unprecedented departure that he was the only brother I had, the only friend I had left. I wish he knew that if I was given another chance to be with him, I would let him cover himself with the tattered piece of cloth we had both salvaged at the Ngara  dump site. Not a fortnight went by without us fighting over its fair share; for it’s the closest we had ever been to a blanket. I am somehow glad that every morning after our disputes, we always woke up to a new beginning, after all who needs a cloak during the day? To make hay, it’s the clock that matters. I shed a tear right after I said an invocation for Omosh.

The prayer made me think of Pastor Kamau. He comes to the gardens every morning from eleven to four o’clock. Adorning his expensive suits and cheap perfumes, I care less about his image or prayers, for all I know he always interrupts my version of  death to the world. My sweet sleep is always cut short by the clergyman’s blaring sound system and the out of key choir of at least five people always dressed in bright purple or blinding fuchsia. Some days he leaves as late as nightfall thanks to two different but very possible scenarios; when the garden is packed by passersby wanting to give their lives to the Lord, especially over the weekends or when kids visiting the city on educational school trips are incidentally stranded in the garden while waiting on their school bus to come pick them. Just like the rest of his church brethren, he pisses me off! It’s been close to five years since I forcefully started hearing his word, as he likes to term it. My life is still as pathetic. The word could not save my friends, Shiko and Omosh. Only the good Samaritans give me food if I am lucky, the word has never fed me, I wonder if it will save me when my time comes. Pastor also likes to be called “Mchungaji”. I find that rather bizarre because it’s a nickname. I hate them almost as much as when people call me a “chokora”. I have a name and that’s not it …

To be continued …

The Painter ..

I am in love with a painter, we met at an art exhibition. A week later he took me to an expedition into his studio. Not literally but he stood by my side. Besides everything, he understood the language of my heart …

I am in love with a painter, he writes not letters. He engraves in wood, even though he is hood, he lights me up. Some people call him crude but even when he is rude, I know who he is, selfless.  They say that he is not enough for me, but they don’t know that less is more …

I am in love with a painter, he is a master of the canvas. More so, He is well versed when it comes to my desires. He inspires me to play with colours, not oil based but of the shades of life. I used to hide but now am out feeling like a priceless piece of art …