Palates

Lincoln Square Pancake House // Indy

Recently, I took a vacation with my family to Chicago. It was amazing to be back. Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit because the art and food scenes are spectacular. But don’t think that there aren’t amazing food destinations along the way.

In Indianapolis we found a glorious place to stop for breakfast: Lincoln Square Pancake House. When I tell you that this place has the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever tasted in my entire life, I’m not kidding. The outside edges are slightly crispy and the middle melts away to bliss. They’re buttery but not drenched, they’re golden, they’re soft, in short, they’re heaven.

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Along with the heavenly pancakes, I ordered the German skillet: smoked sausage, farm-fresh scrambled eggs served on potato pancakes with cheddar cheese & homemade sausage gravy. It was delicious. I consider myself pretty picky about gravy, I love it if it’s done right, but if not…I don’t play that. This gravy was bomb. Everything in the dish was seasoned well, but even with the gravy nothing was too salty.

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Not only was the food a win, but our server went above and beyond. She asked us how our food was and listened to our suggestions and took them to the kitchen. She was so attentive and even made some small talk with us. All in all it was a great experience I would recommend you stop by!

Stay fly,

Akilah

 

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Life

Currently: Love Yourself: Answer & Rose Gold Converse

Heyyyyyy,

I’m sorry that I’ve been gone for a while. I have a few dope posts in the works so stay tuned for those. In the meantime…here’s what I’m currently doing:

Watching: The K-drama Miss Hammurabi. It’s probably my favorite drama so far (I don’t know though Andante and Hwarang were great too…) But anyway, we’re on episode 13 of 16 and it’s the perfect mix of emotion, humor, and politics. I’m super fascinated by the look at Korean society and their justice system.

Listening: To Mahalia’s I Wish I Missed My Ex and Years & Years’ Don’t Panic. They’re amazing songs you should listen too!

Reading: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which they think I’ve stolen from the library because I’ve had it for so long…

Wearing: My new rose gold Converse

Looking Forward: To my new phone coming tomorrow!

Excited: For BTS’ Love Yourself: Answer (yep, I pre-ordered it!) Let me know in the comments what songs you predict will be on the album.

Stay fly,

Akilah

Music

Favorite Albums of 2018 (So Far)

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In which I fulfill my dream of being a music writer, and share my favorite albums of 2018’s first half in no particular order…

Positive

Artist: Pentagon

Genres: Kpop; Khip-hop

Release Date: April 2

Favorite Tracks: Do it for Fun; Shine; Off-Road

In the past, I’ve never been able to fall in love with Pentagon’s B-side tracks, and thus the rest of their albums. Although their title tracks always stand out I’ve been underwhelmed by the rest of the songs. Positive changed that. Each and every song on this album is magical, from the infectious and high-energy Shine, to the gritty hip-hop line’s Do it for Fun, to the acoustic choir infused Let’s Do it Together and every track in between. It’s an all around good-feeling album that explores a plethora of different sounds.

The Kids Are Alright

Artist: Chloe X Halle

Genres: R&B; Indie

Release Date: March 23

Favorite Tracks: Happy Without Me; Baby on a Plane; Fake

I’ve been a fan of this sister duo since they were doing covers on YouTube. Now that they’ve released an EP, mixtape, and now full-length studio album under Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, I can say I’m still a fan. We are graced with Chloe’s melodiously deep alto and Halle’s piercingly bright soprano that compliment each other so well. The Kids Are Alright is an album that’s decidedly Generation Z. Rather than fitting into the mold of traditional R&B, it dips into Indie, Hip-Hop, and even Rock at some points. Lyrically, Chloe x Halle exemplify our upcoming generation with lyrics that moan about a broken society but ultimately believe that “there are still cool people in the world”.

 

Blooming Days

Artist: EXO-CBX

Genres: Kpop; Kr&b

Release Date: April 10

Favorite Tracks: Sweet Dreams; Thursday; Blooming Day

Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin have been a dynamic trio since the beginning of EXO’s first sub-unit. Blooming Days, however, really drives home just how much musical chemistry they have. The album’s days-of-the-week concept is fresh without feeling contrived and the decidedly R&B direction feels just right for this sub-unit. There are slow melancholy tracks like Monday, sweet laid back tracks like Playdate, and of course those classic EXO flirty numbers like Blooming Day and Vroom Vroom. Each member gets to shine in his own unique way and we get a front-row seat to see who EXO-CBX truly is.

 

Lost & Found

Artist: Jorja Smith

Genres: R&B; Soul

Release Date: June 8

Favorite Tracks: Teenage Fantasy; Blue Lights; Don’t Watch Me Cry

When I first heard Jorja Smith’s voice I was instantly hooked on her deep soulful tone. Her music reminded me of Adele’s: longing, mournful, and tinged with heartbreak. But it was charged with wokeness and social commentary. Lost & Found continues in that vein. But not only do we hear her beautiful tones we hear expert lyricism especially in her Lifeboats Freestyle. Each track is unique in it’s lyrics and music but they paint a cohesive picture because of the longing that is evident in each. Longing for lost love, satisfying truth, and a just world.

 

Love Yourself Tear

Artist: BTS

Genres: Kpop; Kr&b; Khip-hop

Release Date: May 18

Favorite Tracks: The Truth Untold; Paradise; Anpanman

In this 3rd studio album from BTS we get the best elements of the first two: that hip-hop aggression of Dark & Wild, and that introspective longing of Wings. This album shows the growth of BTS while still staying within that beautiful “Bangtan style”. This is exemplified subtly in how Suga whispers his name before his verses, how the intro track is completely in Korean, and how we have past and current songs connected like Attack on Bangtan and Anpanman. Although this release isn’t a concept album, it still stays committed to it’s theme of exploring the dark side of love. Thus, the album is decidedly darker in tone than Love Yourself: Her, with more of an R&B leaning. It explores Latin pop sounds in Airplane pt. 2, a tasteful use of autotune in Outro: Tear, and bumping electronic beats in Paradise. Tear also provides a space for every single member to shine, I definitely hear the vocalists’ growth in conveying emotion, and the rappers’ growth in embracing and honing their distinct style. Lyrically, BTS uses inspiration from folklore, fairytales, and personal experiences to craft a world in which we can loose ourselves.

 

Check out the playlist here:

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

 

Music · Plots

Author’s Notes & Aux Cords: Animal Farm

So, I’m back with another Author’s Notes & Aux Cords because they’re just so much fun to write! If you missed my first one check it out here. And, you know the drill: beware of spoilers!

Today’s book is Animal Farm by George Orwell, hands-down my favorite required reading for my British Literature course of sophomore year. It’s a satirical novel, telling the story of a farm run by an oppressive farmer. The animals decide to take control of their situation and overthrow Mr. Jones, the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, assume authoritative roles and chaos ensues. This story tells the underlying story of a totalitarian government and a revolution. But it tells those truths using a classic animal story reminiscent of Charlotte’s Web or something similar. The narrative of Animal Farm tells transcends to any time period and any governmental system. It’s a quick read that’s sure to change your life. So, let’s look at the playlist!

Freedom | Lecrae ft. N’Dambi

“I’ma go pursue my happiness, they told me it was free
But I’m still payin’ for it, I’m indebted to this thing”

The animals on Manor Farm are fed up with life under Mr. Jones, so they stage a rebellion and take over the farm. After grasping their freedom, they believe happiness will follow. However, years later, they’re still oppressed and working harder than ever under the rule of Napoleon the pig.

Wake Me Up | B.A.P

“자각해 타락해버린 진실
분열된 주체 속의 껍질”

“Be aware of the corrupt truth
And the outer layer of the broken subjects”

Napoleon lives off of broken subjects and corrupt truth. The animals aren’t aware of his lies and they’re vulnerable. They’ve been hurt for so long that they want answers, and Napoleon comes along at the right time and in the right way, providing empty solutions

Alexander Hamilton | Hamilton: An American Musical

“Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came”

Because many of the farm animals can’t read, the pigs can keep changing the commandments of animalism to uphold their motives. In addition, the animals neglect to pass down their history to their offspring. Eventually, there are young animals that don’t remember life under Mr. Jones or the rebellion. Some of the animals’ grief and oppression could be solved if they knew their history and knew how to read.

Get It Together | India Arie

“Dark future ahead of me
That’s what they said
I’d be starving if I ate all the lies they fed”

Believing Squealer, the animals consume the propaganda that tells them they’re better off than before. When in reality they’re starving while the pigs are getting fat, filling them with fear of the future.

No More Dream | BTS

“But 사실은 I dun have any big dreams
하하 난 참 편하게 살어
꿈 따위 안 꿔도 아무도 뭐라 안 하잖어
전부 다다다 똑가같이
나처럼 생각하고 있어”

“But actually, I don’t have any big dreams
Haha, I live quite comfortably
Even if I don’t dream, no one says anything
Everyone is thinking
the same way as me”

Gone are the days when the animals had ambitions for a better life. Now, the citizens of Animal Farm have lost their dreams and are eating the mass of lies that the pigs feed them. None of them question, none of them dare to think differently, none of them refuse the lies, they all think the same thoughts.

Clarity | Andy Mineo

“All I, all I want is clarity, clarity
‘Cause all of my heroes are frauds just like me, just like me
So let every man be a liar, let only God be truth
And all of your heroes are frauds just like you”

At the end of the narrative, the animals witness the pigs, who spoke ill of humans, the pigs, who promised a better life, the pigs, who led them to their future, turn into men right before their eyes. Sadly, the animals’ heroes become frauds in front of them.

This book is amazing and I could fangirl about it all day so leave something in the comments if you’re a fan of Animal Farm.

Here’s the playlist, I’d encourage you to take a listen even if you don’t like Animal Farm because these are good quality bops.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Music · Pleats

Shopping Kpop Idol Closets

I know that almost every post has been kpop and fashion related lately but, I’m just in a mood right now so I hope you like it!

So, contrary to the title I actually didn’t get to shop in an idol’s closet but if you’re an idol reading this hit me up. Instead, this is a wishlist of things that I would steal if I happened to be best friends with some of the biggest names in Kpop right now. Also, all of these are from boy groups because, as you know if you’ve been following me for a while, I only stan boy groups. Plus, I just like that aesthetic a little more. So, here are the items I would cop:

Minghao’s “Something & Associate” hoodie

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To be honest I’d take every hoodie in the kpop industry but I especially like this one because it’s just fun. Also, the classic black and white is perfect.

 

Taehyung’s orange belt

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This belt would add spice to so many different outfits, I especially envision it with a white button down, white jeans, and white sneakers and this belt for a pop of color.

 

Shownu’s “Art is Fraudulent” t-shirt

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The message on this shirt reminds me of how people will try to control messages by censoring art because it’s dangerous. Art is fraudulent/deceptive sometimes in it’s beauty and it’s importance because it’s world-changing. I tried not to start preaching about art. Anyway, I love this shirt, send it to me please.

 

Who knows, maybe my next post won’t be Kpop or fashion related?

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

 

Pleats

BTS Fake Love Fashion

The kings are backkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!

So, I woke up at 3:30 to see the MV drop and Fake Love was worth it! Also, I’ve listened to Love Yourself: Tear twice and it’s amazing.

Once my album gets here I’ll probably do an unboxing and album review because it’s just that good. But today I’ll be focusing on the symbolic fashion in Fake Love and how it connects to BTS’ other videos fashion-wise.

The first outfit we see in the video is V’s harness look. I’m a huge fan of corsets, belts, harnesses, chokers etc, etc, etc so I’m in love with this look. Beyond the aesthetics of it however, this look really fits the message of Fake Love.

“If it was for you
I could pretend that I was happy even if I was sad
If it was for you
I could pretend that I was strong even if I was hurt”

This is a translation of the part Tae sings in this outfit. He’s pretending that he’s ok for love and basically enslaving and confining his true self: hence the harness.

On the left we have JK’s look from Fake Love and on the right V’s look from Blood Sweat & Tears. Out of all the aesthetics in BTS’ MVs I think Fake Love mirrors BS&T the most which makes sense because the songs are similar in their painful desperation.

In these looks we have the same formula: patterned button down shirt with sequined jacket (bomber or blazer) and black pants.

Jungkook says “Wishing all my weakness is hidden” in this part of Fake Love. The wild pattern of the shirt seems to suggest an inner turmoil that’s covered by the sparkly jacket which represents happiness/fun.

When J-Hope’s part came in I was immediately reminded of his Fire ensemble. Both looks share a “carefree/vaction” vibe that upon first glance seems out-of-place in a track like Fake Love. But the fact that he’s wearing these bright vacation clothes further drives home the point that he’s lying to himself and covering up the inside to the point where he, ” became to not know who I even was”

Another similarity I noticed in J-Hope’s looks were the leather pants from Not Today. In Not Today the leather seems to represent strength and edge but in Fake Love leather seems to show confinement and restriction. Especially since the color palette is a lot more muted. Speaking of muted palettes…

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Here we have a group shot from Fake Love and one from DNA. I was struck by how similar the two looks are. We have elements of denim, rainbow, and color however in DNA all of the colors are bright and crisp while in Fake Love they’re toned down and thinned out. As I thought about this further I realized that this continuation of fashion suggests a continuation of storyline between the two songs. DNA is about lovers who’re sure of their happiness and relationship:

“Probably in our past life and in our next lives
We’ll be together forever, DNA

Because all of this is not coincidence
Because we’ve found our destiny
DNA”

But Fake Love is when one starts to question the sincerity of the other and themselves, when destiny doesn’t seem so sure any longer. So, it’s the same story and same color palette but now it’s sadder, more muted. Also in Fake Love it says

“Love you so mad, Love you so mad
I erase myself”

And in the clothes it’s as if the colors were erased. They’re a shadow of what they used to be.

***

All in all Fake Love was beautiful, a masterpiece of our generation. When the citizens of 3025 want to know what the best thing of the 21st century was, show them Fake Love… ok lemme stop.

Anyway, I hope you liked this post, I do have a couple more screenshots of outfits similar to Fake Love from other BTS MVs, so be sure to like, comment, and follow for a possible part 2.

Go stream Fake Love and watch BTS on the BBMAs!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

Plots

This or That {Book Edition}

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Hello guys! I was checking my email when I saw this post by Paper Fury and since hers was so good, I decided to jump in. So, here are my picks for these Bookish This or That Tag questions.

1. SERIES OR STANDALONE

Standalone. When I was younger I used to be obsessed with series, but now ya girl has too many things to do to finish a series. Exhibit A: I’ve only read the first Harry Potter book.

2. MAGIC EARNED OR MAGIC BORN

I think I prefer magic born because they have to live with it and figure it out, which causes some interesting plot situations.

3. ENEMIES-TO-LOVERS OR FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS

I actually like somewhere in-between but I guess I’ll choose friends-to-lovers.

4. HILARIOUS BANTER OR EMOTIONAL RUIN

Emotional ruin because I like to die when I read books…

5. LOVE TRIANGLE OR INSTA LOVE

Love triangle! Insta love is irritating to me but I love a good love triangle to divide the fandom.

6. KEYBOARD-SMASH FANTASY NAMES OR ALL NAMES START WITH SAME LETTER

Fantasy names, it makes the book more interesting and more memorable.

7. MEAN PARENTS OR DEAD PARENTS

Dead parents because pain again and also mean parents are usually written in an unrealistically annoying way to me.

8. SUPERMODEL LOOKS OR CONSTANTLY SAYS HOW “PLAIN” THEY ARE

Neither. But since I must choose…supermodel looks because the “plain jane” trope is overused.

9. FACE ON COVER VS TYPOGRAPHY ON COVER

TYPOGRAPHY!!! I absolutely cannot stand a model’s face on the cover of a book aghhhh!

10. VILLAIN TURNING A LITTLE GOOD OR HERO TURNING A LITTLE BAD

Hero turning a little bad. I like blurred lines and it’s interesting when you have to ask whether your heroes are actually “good” anyway.

I hope you enjoyed this random little tag, feel free to tell me some of your picks in the comments.

Stay fly,

~Akilah