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September 29, 2010

Press Play...No One Man Should Have All This...Music.

Guys and Dolls:

Elena is back with a slew of new music to quinch the thirst of your eardrums.  Download, press play, listen, and relate.

Peace. Love. Music.



1.) "Just The Way You Are (Remix)" - Bruno Mars feat. Lupe Fiasco

I loved the first version of this song (as did thousands of others) but, Lupe definitely provides a dope spin to this mainstream pop hit. His presence could be felt a bit more, aside from the few bars he's given but, other than that, this remix is superb.

2.) "Lonely (Remix)" - Brisco feat. Rick Ross

The hook on this track is what, initially, got me hooked. Ricky Rozay’s verse is too smooth, and that low-key vibe is perfect for all you mellow souls looking to cop a glass of wine and chillax on the patio.  Perfect tune.

3.) "Forever" - The Floacist (Natalie Stewart of Floetry) feat. Musiq Soulchild

This track is so sexy, to me. I love Floetry, so it’s no surprise that I dig Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart as independent artists, as well. Beautiful music and the addition of Musiq seals the deal.  If you love neo-soul, make this a permanent piece in your playlist.

4.) "Freaky Dance" - Trey Songz feat. T.I. and Swizz Beats

Surprisingly absent from Trey’s newly released Passion, Pain & Pleasure album (cop it, if you haven’t), this record is a definite club banger. It’s got a slightly predictable Swizzy beat, but T.I. brings that fire that’ll have you groovin’, nonetheless. One word: Dope!

4.) "Don’t Wanna Be In Love"  - Ne-Yo

The Gentleman’s pen game is on POINT.  Lyrics are superb however, it will be nice to see if he can produce something completely unpredicatable.  However, Ne-Yo's talent is no surprise. Download and check it out for yourself.

5.) "Lord, Lord, Lord" - Kanye West feat. Mos Def, Swizz Beats, Raekwon and Charlie Wilson

Powerhouse much? Mr. West goes IN on this one. After being slightly upstaged by featured artists on recent records, it’s nice to see him take the spotlight back.  The addition of Charlie Wilson only adds an old soul feel to an already classic joint. Get ‘em Ye!

6.) "Still A Girl" – Keri Hilson

A track from her upcoming release, there is only one word to describe this tune: Relatable. The lyrics tell a familiar story, and the beat is undeniably catchy. I’d say Ms. Keri Baby has a definite radio hit on her hands.

7.) "She’s Single" – Raheem DeVaughn

Raheem certainly creates a whole new mood with his soulful, sensual take on Weezy’s track, “Single”.  Not too sure about the flow on this one but, its a nice reverse on a popular hit. I like it, but i’ll let you be the judge.

8.) "Our Generation (J. Period Remix)" – John Legend feat. The Roots, Pete Rock & CL Smooth

John Legend never fails to deliver.  He and The Roots are collaborating on some GREAT feel good music. His words are magnetic, and his message is powerful. This is an amazing record.

9.) "Spot Right There" – New Boyz feat. Teairra Mari

I didn't know about this one when I first heard it. However, I say give this one a chance. It’ll grow on you. Promise. ;)

10.) "Bad Don’t Seem So Wrong" – Trae feat. Lupe Fiasco

Lupe is back putting in work.  The chorus isn’t the best, but these lyrics via the verse's are indisputably bomb. I’ve been waiting for a Trae/Lupe collabo, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint.

In Case You Haven’t Heard:

"G.O.O.D Friday" - Kanye West feat. Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean and Charlie Wilson

"Give A Little More" - Maroon 5

"Memories" - Cali Swag District feat. David Guetta

Happy downloading!


Visit Elena on Twitter @ElenaMarieP

September 28, 2010

Strictly Truth...Talent: Just Throw It In The Bag?

Chan.Lo. Note:  As a die-hard, in the paint, music fan I must say I've been slightly disappointed with my mainstream favorites lately.  Playing a CD from start to finish is like my therapy.  It rejuvenates me and helps me to put many of my own issues into perspective.  I haven't been able to do much of that in quite some time.  Drake, Trey Songz, Chrisette Michele have been artists that I've listened to for years.  Before the hype, before the mega tours, I was bumpin Drake and Trey when Myspace was my only venue to hear their newest music. 

With their latest commercial releases (Trey Songz - Passion, Pain & Pleasure, Drake - Thank Me Later and Chrisette Michele - Epiphany) I've noticed a certain je ne sais quoi missing from the final product.  To only have three or four favorite songs out of a compilation of twelve to fourteen is problematic for fans of the music.  Forget everything else.  If you are a true fan of the talent, 4/12 is a losing season no matter how you call it.  Did I still buy the records? Yes. Do I still listen? Yes.  I'm a fan of music so, please keep in mind that I'm not blaming them.  I'm simply alarmed at a deeper correlation - all of these artists have one key thing in common: They became alternate personalities, brands, marketing tools and commodities.  It must be hard to grow musically and personally when you have people constantly telling you who you must be in order to cash your next check. 

Mixtape Monday actually began due to my frustration with the lack of hunger in mainstream music and ironically, in comparison with current releases, my favorite artists are nowhere near the glory the work on their underground (often, FREE) mixtapes produced.

This all led me to ask the following question:

Has mainstream music become so diluted with chart topping singles and the latest marketing campaigns that the talent has become disposable? 

Our resident truth guru, Kenny, addresses this very topic on the flip side. 

Peace. Love. Truth.



Do marketability and true talent go hand-in-hand? To some, it seems as if it is impossible for both to function in harmony, meaning that individuals in the music industry with true talent are relegated to the background, while ones who may lack in that department get the glory, notoriety, and accolades, since they are able to be packaged in a way that is favorable to the ever-changing consumer of music. It’s something that, when looked at from a particular perspective, is quite interesting. Currently, I’m reading Eric Clapton’s autobiography, and in his early 20’s, he had a keen insight on how he wanted to present his music. He always wanted to remain true to the art of the blues, jazz, and how it should be played, and even if it came at the expense of his ability to be marketed to a larger audience of people, he did not care. Sure, there were times where he did compromise for the sake of others around him, but it was important for his talent and passion to take precedence over everything else.

Some people, including myself, like to lament on how the artists who want to do it an authentic way are held back, because they aren’t marketed well, but the truth of the matter is every generation of music, any fan who has had an interest in music, can make the same claim about their time as well. The key is finding a way for the two to function in harmony, keep the authenticity of their product intact, as well as finding a way to be marketed effectively, and remain true to who they are. In a recent interview with The Smoking Section, J. Cole spoke about how he feels free and just raps about what he knows, because he is literally being himself in his music. There has to be a sense of satisfaction in knowing an artist can do their thing, be appreciated, and be the person they are, as opposed to searching for an identity that can be so far removed from their true being, that it is almost impossible to let your guard down at anytime.

In any person’s pursuit for happiness, they will (hopefully) decide what they will do, what they are willing to compromise on, and what they absolutely will not do. There should be a sense of knowing “hey, I’m good at this-that,” and their work will speak for them. In terms of music, there are enough fans that are appreciative of authenticity, and if an artist makes it a point to let their true talent shine through, the people will latch on and ride with them through the good and the bad, thus showing their marketability. It’s a gift that plenty of people have, but one that not enough are willing to do what it takes to achieve it and sustain.

Be Easy,
K. Masenda
Follow Kenny on Twitter @soulonice6

September 27, 2010

Mixtape Monday...The Eyes Reveal - Spotlight: Dallas, TX.

Chan.Lo. Note: None of the experiences I've had in the Lone Star State have led me to a more eclectic form of expression than with all the new music (and artists) coming out of Dallas, Texas.  The national perception is that joints coming out of this part of the country are strictly limited to candy paint infused party music or chopped and screwed tracks with bass that blows out even the sturdiest of sound systems.  However, I've noticed a very prevalent underground music community that engages in art that in unrestricted, undefined, and under appreciated.  I've decided to utilize Mixtape Monday for the next few weeks to spotlight a few of Dallas's local artists who are not only embracing the differences in their sound but, attempting to break away from unwarranted stereotypes.  Have your headphones handy.

The Eyes Reveal - IC3

IC3 (EyeSee3) is a Billboard Award winning Artist/Songwriter who just happens to be a staple in the Dallas music scene.  His original vocals (Imagine 'The Dream' if he could actually rap) and the content he produces set his work apart from the party music free-flowing on radio.  Music with a message is the prevalent theme in his latest mixtape, Revelations.  Tying musical mediocrity to biblical end times, IC3 utilizes his voice to challenge others to stop "living to end" and prepare for "judgement day."  Though some of the tracks seem to become slightly repetitive, the message is clear and positive.  Check the list of Business Worthy tracks.  With twenty-two songs to choose from, you won't be disappointed.

Business Worthy

#2: "Revelations" - Don't be confused by the gamer-esqe beat.  Listen to the lyrics and you'll hear  the confessions of a studio junkie.  Check IC3's singing skills on the hook. 

#3: "Lookin Ass" - This joint grows on you.  The chorus is simple.  You'll find the real meat in verses one and two.

#6: "I'm Dying" - The theme of this particular mixtape can all be tied to this particular piece.  Please take note of the lyrics.  It applies to us all.  Check the first verse below:
"...what I portray to them/I'm disobeying Him/Oooh she bad/I need it in my life/What MJ?/I need to think twice/I'm living my life like I have no jury/But, I want all of the jewelry in the world/...We get as far as we want by who we know/...I wonder if we get as far the day that we die."

#13: "Limelight" - If your a person who listens more for beats than for content, check out this joint.  The beat is sick.  Sounds like it would've fit right into Kanye West's classic College Dropout LP.

#19: "The Future" - Spitting truth in this song. Simple beat combines with strings and guitar riffs.  IC3 dominates this particular track with metaphors and examples of life's struggles.  Quote worthy music right here.

Honorable Mentions

#4: "4Eva"

#7: "Dreamgirl"

#7 & 12: "Get Right (Freestyle)" & "Hip Hop (Freestyle)" - Anyone who knows me knows I have every respect for MC's who can flow off the top of the dome.  It's a talent that is rarely recognized as a rarity.  The 1st freestyle isn't the greatest I've heard but, its nice.  Check out #12 for more meat.  Take a listen.

#20: "Choices"

To listen to tracks and download Revelations, click HERE

Visit http://www.eyesee3.com/ for more information and additional songs and make sure you follow on Twitter @ic3

In addition, make sure you click the link to check out IC3's music video for "Losing My Mind".

Peace. Love. Music.



September 24, 2010

Fresh Friday ... Fall Into Fresh

For Him: SUPRAman Sneak Tip 

I've been a Supra fan since I slipped my tootsies into my first pair of Skytop's.  Luckily, the shoe maker is still serving out dope footwear for the Fall.  I've profiled two looks, one, that will be a staple color (burgandy/maroon red) this Fall and another that is definitely a first I've seen in a sneaker.  Check it out. Ladies, cop something for your Man.  His feet will thank you. :)

The Thunder Hightop - Supra
Retail - $68.00

I'd love to see these paired with a nice light jacket and or men's cardigan combo.  The red wine color is perfect for fall and will definitely highlight an otherwise dreary ensemble. 

To purchase head to Karmaloop.com and make sure to sign up for their email list! Tons of great deals/coupons await!

Out just last week, Supra released the Cuttler which is available in Cabernet Patent, Grey Waxed Fleece, Black/Grey Fullgrain/Suede and Navy Seersucker.  I've yet to see kicks made out of FLEECE so, I figured I'd give you all a look. 

The fleece definitely look different but, they also have the ability to go with anything.  Pair with a crisp pair of dark jeans and a hoody or a white v-neck and your favorite dark sweatpant.  My guess is you'll want to try these on at a retail location before you buy.

Visit www.suprafootwear.com to check out more and find a store near you.

For Her: I See You Lookin'...Wit Cha Lookin' Self.

I was surfing for a pair of dope glasses because, truth be told, wearing regular shades in a dark place is not the greatest thing for a clumsy person to attempt.  I stumbled upon Shades By Jamie Dionne (and found out she's a Soror - Trunks up!) and I'll be purchasing my first pair soon.  The intricate detail and choice between tint and non-tint, helps to make this the ultimate accessory for those looking to stand out and set standards.  Pricing ranges from $30.00 - $60.00 USD so, if your on a budget this is a good bet.

Check out the spread below and visit the creator on Twitter @JamieDionne

The Black Lace Shades - $50.00 

The Disco Ball Shades - $30.00

The Chain Shades - $50.00

To purchase your eyewear, click the link: Shades By Jamie Dionne

Happy Shopping!

Peace. Love. Fresh.



September 17, 2010

Fresh Friday...Shoe Time.

For Her - Its All About The Boots

Admit Boot - Carlos by Carlos Santana (Black and Brown)
On SALE - $118.95

As fall approaches, I've kept my eye out for interesting finds in the shoe department.  Ok, I ALWAYS keep my eyes open in the shoe department regardless of season, however, I've noticed a return to buckles and boots.  I'm definitely into the ankle boot craze (recently bought a pair with a bow. Don't judge me.), and I wanted to share the pair above with the ladies who have a passion for fashion but, not a penchent for paying one months rent.  I found these Carlos by Carlos Santana booties on www.Zappos.com and I fell in shoe love.  The edgy buckle and crosshatch detail make these an easy way to spice up a simple outfit.  Pairing these boots with ripped skinnies, a tank and a scarf (and maybe a little red lip for extra oomph) would make for a quick, budget-friendly look.

For Him - Wood Shock

How much wood could a Wood-Shock chuck if a Wood-Shock could chuck wood? Ok. Sorry. :) I saw this watch and thought it couldn't actually be made out of wood...a G-Shock? I was wrong.  The W-Shock features hand-and laser-crafted wooden bodies with original straps and dials from the Casio G-Shock.  Even though it's a bit spendy (the pictured watches will run you between $250 and $285 US) it's definitely a fresh take on a classic.  If you are watch fien, this is a piece worth copping.  Check the images below for more views and visit www.w-shock.com to purchase.

Happy Shopping!

Peace. Love. Fresh.



September 15, 2010

Strictly Truth ... Oh You Fancy Huh? Pt. II.

*Chan.Lo. Note: 'Oh You Fancy Huh?' created such an interesting discussion that I thought it best to ask our own Kenny Masenda to give a male POV on the topic. Be enlightened.
P.S. If you've yet to read Elena P.'s original article, click HERE
Peace. Love. Truth.
Recently, I read Elena’s piece “Oh, You Fancy, Huh?” and was given the task of coming up with a response to her words. Honestly, I’ve read her post countless times, all with the intention of coming up with the most carefully-crafted response to her question that was initially posed to the masses, which was:

So, why is it that these powerful men still settle for the video vixens, strippers and DE-pendant women in their industry and throughout? What makes our ambition any less desirable in real life, as opposed to when it is embedded in the hook of a chart-topping single?

At one time, in times when I honestly thought I knew more than what I actually did, a response could have been crafted that could spark a firestorm, an uprising, or anything else that would have constituted excitement, enthusiasm, or maybe even just messy. These days, life has slowed things down for me, and with that, when I read this question, the same answer came back to me over and over again: these “powerful” men in question are more than willing to look for convenience rather than the women they praise in song and verse. Allow me to elaborate.

While I do this, keep in mind this is merely my opinion, and one that certainly will not resonate within all men, or even a majority of men. These “powerful” men realize what it takes to have a woman who they hold in high esteem, and while I don’t question the sincerity in their words, it does serve as a head-scratcher when certain women see these same men with women who are the opposite of what they sing, rap, and harmonize about. At the same time, this is something that any independent woman, in my opinion, really shouldn’t worry about too much. Your ambition is just as desirable in real life as in song, and, if anything, “powerful” men know they can’t just walk up on you, flash some money, their car, or any other tangible object, and expect you to bite.

They know in order to get you, they have to come with their A-game. They have to be attentive, show interest, be creative, be consistent, and work. When you see a “powerful” man out and about with a woman who is the opposite, it’s usually at some social event (awards shows, sports events, etc), and they would rather be seen with a female they don’t have to work hard to get, but looks the part, as opposed to the female they have to work their butt off for, but STILL looks the part. It’s not a knock on independent women at all, and, if anything, it saves you plenty of heartache, headache, angry Facebook messages, scorned tweets, rants, and anything else that’s counter-productive to your well-being.

There may be a fear from women who “have their own” being the same ones “who sleep alone,” but they are also the same ones who are held, at least in my eyes and others who feel similar, as the epitome of a woman, a queen, and someone who is more than ideal for a man to settle down with, once a man decides to settle down for good. That’s why as long as a woman continues to handle her business, she shouldn’t be concerned about what any man has to say about her, or when “powerful” men are choosing M&Ms over an Everlasting Gobstopper. When you see these cats out on the red carpet with a female who chose a different grind to the top, smile at them, and continue to do you, and realize that your path is a path that’s unique, and void of any man’s assistance except God’s.

-K. Masenda

Follow Kenny on Twitter @SoulOnIce6

September 8, 2010

Press Play ... Let It Ride.

Ms. E. is back with more dope for your ears. A great friend of mine is helping me bring the music to you in a better way, Chan-Lo.com will be packed full of goodies. However, for now peep the playlist, download the tracks, and transport to a happy place.

Keep Groovin'.
Peace. Love. Music.
1) "The Trip" and "The Extra Trip" - Wale
For an artist of his caliber, Wale is incredibly underrated. Both songs (which come on the hinge of his latest mixtape, More About Nothing) are so lyrically intrinsic that I had to listen close just to understand. Wonderful music.
2) "Devil In A New Dress" - Kanye West
Kanye crazy beat. Check. Yeezy spittin fire. Check. Dope is what they call this. Peep game.
3) "The Usual" - Trey Songz feat. Drake
The terrible twosome is back at it again on this, yet another leak, from Songz's upcoming album due to be released September 14th. The duo combine for a playful piece in which Songz addresses the public opinion regarding his sexually provocative lyrics. His reponse is laced with classic Trey-isms. As far as I'm concerned, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
4) "Villematic" - J. Cole
I introduced Mr. Cole previously and my opinion has yet to waiver. This track is on heavy rotation and his words commandeer the beat. Very hard to accomplish. Done well by this young man.
5) "Only Girl (In the World)" - Rihanna
The first single off of RiRi's upcoming followup to Rated R, entitled Lost. This track is reminiscent of her previous hit, "Please Don't Stop The Music", in the fact that it exudes more of a techno/Euro dance vibe. Get your glow sticks ready. Aside from the track itself, Rihanna seems to be broadening her vocal range with this release. Certainly a different sound. Check it out.
6) "All I Want Is You (Remix)" - Miguel feat. Rick Ross and J. Cole
This record happens to be one of my favorites at the moment. Ricky Rozay give the track a bit more edge yet, the overall value remains the same. Check out both the original as well as the revamped remix and choose your favorite.
7) "Hard Times" - John Legend feat. The Roots
John Legend is back with the feel good music we are used to hearing from him. The combo with the legendary Roots gives this track a message for the masses. Be encouraged.
8) "I Think It's Over" and "Amazing You" - Ne-Yo
The King of the Pen is back with two tracks that convey polar opposite messages. The contrast was quite refreshing however, Ne-Yo has done it before. Would love to see something a bit more off the mark from him. Nonetheless, songs are good, classic Ne-Yo.
9) "Everyday Struggle" - Faith Evans feat. Raekwon
Music with a message is making a comeback and this is no different. Faith Evans lends her super star voice to this inspirational track. It's definietly a make you think piece.
10) "Check It Out" - Will. I. Am. feat. Nicki Minaj
Want to hear Nicki steal the show on someone else's record...again? Download the latest from the B.E.P. front man and see him slightly upstaged...In a good way.
11) "Take Me Away" - Jermaine Dupri feat. Johnta Austin
Great twist on the 80's track "Sailing" which has also been remade by the likes of N'SYNC and Avant. Wonderful cover.
12) "Follow Me (Like Twitter)" - Kevin McCall feat. Chris Brown
As first featured on Breezy's mixtape, In My Zone, this song seems to be resurfacing as a Kevin McCall joint. Has been one of my favorites so, I opted to put it on the list for your listening pleasure. Peep Chris's entire mixtape while you're at it.
Worth A Listen:
"Black and Yellow" - Wiz Khalifa
"Keep It 100" - Tank
"Pledge Allegiance to the Swag" - T.I. feat. Rick Ross
"Scratchy" - Trey Songz feat. Swizz Beatz
"Do You Get It?" - Kid Cudi
"Fireworks" - R. Kelly
Happy Downloading!
-Elena P. @elenamariep

September 7, 2010

COMING SOON - www.Chan-Lo.com

AYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Ladies and Gentlemen, the splash page is officially up for Chan-Lo.com and I am beyond ecstatic. It's taken quite some time but, it looks like things are moving forward rather quickly. Much love to Ashley Nguyen for the work she is putting in.

Stay Tuned!



A very enthusiastic, Chan.Lo.

September 3, 2010

Fresh Friday ... Laid Up.

For You All - LAYOP Clothing Company

In 2000, two Michigan natives started Simple & Plain Clothing with the hopes of combining fresh urban gear with custom retro sneakers. In 2006, the gentlemen responsible launched Layop (Live A Your Own Pace) Clothing. I was introduced to LAYOP by a friend of mine and I must say, I'm definitely intrigued by the t-shirt game these fellas posess. I'll be copping my Billboard tee ASAP. Take a look at the merchandise and head over to http://www.layop.com/ to support the positivity.

P.S. An interesting note: the turtle logo "symbolizes courage in the face of adversity and endurance to withstand all obsticles while being mindful of its ultimate goal." How is that for a mission statement?

Check out a few of the pieces that caught my eye. Follow the fellas on Twitter @Layop
Men's Flash Hoodie - Coming Fall 2010

Women's Slow N' Steady Tee - $26.00

Men's Real Compton City "G" Tee - $25.00

Women's Billboard Tee - $25.00

Men's Paint Ball Tee - $30.00

Happy Shopping!
Peace. Love. Fresh.

September 2, 2010

Press Play - Artists You Know. Music You Don't.

Hello, again, my fellow music lovers! Check out my second playlist installment, full of the latest and greatest from today’s hottest artists. Enjoy! J

1) “Monster” Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj & Rick Ross

Dope. The beat is a Yeezy best. Intricate. New. Uncharted. Love it. However, I hate to say it, but Kanye was upstaged on his own record. Ms. Minaj does the damn thing! Take a listen.

2) “Wake Up Everybody” - John Legend feat. The Roots and Melanie Fiona

I love this, because the lyrical message conveyed through this record is so much more inspiring then any beat could ever be. Listen close. Be the change.

3) “You Just Need Me” - Trey Songz

Trey demonstrates versatility with this track, which is yet another leak off his forthcoming Passion, Pain, & Pleasure album (9/14/10). He incorporates some Euro energy into this record, but still keeps his traditional style throughout. If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of Mr. Songz, check out “Doorbell” and “Alone”, as well.

4) “Love ‘Em All” - Usher

Every record on Usher’s newly released Versus album is bomb, but this is one that gets my highest recommendation. Do yourself a favor and peep the whole disc.

5) “You Be Killin’ Em” - Fabolous

Fabo did his thaaanggg! Rhymes are there. Beat is there. Two thumbs up.

7) “Bottomz Up (Remix)” - Trey Songz feat. Gucci Mane & Wiz Khalifa

Different beat from it’s original, but I like the feel of this record. Gucci and Wiz give it a little extra twist of testosterone.

8) “Loving You No More” - Dirty Money feat. Drake

Drizzy’s verse goes extra hard, but the whole track is good look for Diddy and his Dirty Money crew. Dawn really shines with her vocals. Check it out.

*Chan.Lo. Note: Seems like Diddy is getting more play on the record however, the chorus and his verses are incredibly catchy. This may be another breakthrough single for the DM peeps.

9) “Make a Movie” - Twista feat. Chris Brown

They don’t call him “Mista Tongue Twista” for nothing. The man delivers on this record, in a big way. I am a fan of the Breezy collabo, as well. I feel a new record coming on…

10) “I’m Ready for You” - Drake

This track is just a demo. Beat is dope, though. Whoever picks it up will have a hit on their hands. Certainly worth the early listen.

11) “Movie Night” - Jesse Idol

Jesse is an up-and-coming artist, but this track is too smooth not to mention. Be on the look out for this young man. Bright future ahead!

Worth The Mention:

"Mama" - Lyfe Jennings feat. Anthony Hamilton

"What Up" - Pimp C feat. Drake and Bun B

Happy downloading!!

Until next time,