Plots

What I Read in January

Does it feel like January lasted forever to anyone else?

Even though I didn’t set a reading goal for 2019 I still wanted to read more and rekindle the part of me that got lost in books when I was younger. I read a good amount of books in January that I wanted to share with you guys!

Perfect is Boring – Tyra Banks & Carolyn London

5/5

If you want to know all the tea on supermodel and business mogul Tyra Banks, then this is the book for you. If you love to hear mother daughter duos give great advice and love on each other, then this is the book for you. I listened to the audio version which I highly recommend because there’s nothing like hearing Tyra Banks’ mom rap in her own voice (yeah she does). This is the perfect mix between self-help and autobiography that gives you a beautiful look at the ins and outs of the model industry, and Tyra’s journey.

Finish – Jon Acuff

5/5

I read Jon Acuff’s Start in 2016 on a road trip to Minnesota and I was hooked. Jon’s writing style is so infectious: he weaves anecdotes in expertly and uses humor like a pro. In Finish he gives advice on how to follow through with goals and creative projects. But he doesn’t give a vague motivational speech, rather, he gives executable action steps, which I love. Since, I listened to this on audio I didn’t quite grasp all the nuggets of gold, so I’m excited to get the physical copy and re-delve into this book.

Solo – Kwame Alexander

3.5/5

As a fan of both Kwame Alexander’s writing and novels in verse, I was excited to give this novel a try. I have mixed feelings about Solo. It’s broken up into different parts and I loved the last part as it was the climax, but reaching the climax was slow and sometimes tedious. Some of the characters were a bit underdeveloped too like Storm the main character (Blade’s) sister. She often showed up in the narrative but I had a hard time grasping her role in the story. But as I said, the ending was truly beautiful and rich with quotes.

Little Green – Chun Yu

4/5

For some reason, I have a bit of an obsession with China’s Cultural Revolution and Mao Zedong. The communist regime of this dictator I find quite intriguing and I love reading about it from a child’s perspective. It has an innocent and romantic quality, but doesn’t shy away from the horrors and atrocities of this time period. The scenic descriptions were gorgeous and immersive. Little details about the outfit she wore to give her revolutionary speech or the revolutionary songs she sang while walking to school with her friends allowed the book to come alive.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What books did you read in January?

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Life · Music

What Went Down April + Mixtape

So I started drafting this post and realized that the normal format I do for monthly wrap-ups just wasn’t cutting it, instead, I decided to just talk about the highlight of April: my college tours trip. And of course my monthly mixtape because April music was lit.

Spontaneous trips are always fun, and this one was no different. We set out before the sun on a Thursday morning and drove the 4 hours to Atlanta from Nashville. First stop was Clark Atlanta University for a tour. The campus is in the heart of ATL which gives it the city feel that I like. While we were there, we had the amazing opportunity to see their art gallery, which was my favorite part.

The fashion students created a look based on certain works of art and accompanying pieces of poetry. It was so beautiful and completely my thing.

 

Next we went to the historical Tuskegee University in Alabama. This is the university Booker T. Washington started after reconstruction. Just being on the campus after reading Booker T. Washington’s autobiography last year was powerful.

Our final stop was Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. Our tour there was so polished and informative, all the students and faculty we met were kind and helpful, that school made an amazing first impression.

Overall, this trip got me even more excited about college because now I can feel it becoming real for me. It was a really fun trip and all of the schools were so worth my visit.

 

Shifting gears because I just really wanted to share my playlist like this was a regular What Went Down post, here are my most loved/played songs of April 2018.

  • Don’t Leave Me ~BTS
  • Chance of Love ~TVXQ!
  • Thunder ~EXO
  • Blooming Day ~EXO CBX
  • Sweet Dreams ~EXO CBX
  • Polygon Dust ~Porter Robinson
  • Jealousy ~Monsta X
  • Shine ~Pentagon
  • Redbone ~Childish Gambino
  • No Scrubs ~TLC
  • Haru Haru (acoustic version) ~BigBang
  • Tender ~Jones
  • Plz Don’t Be Sad ~Highlight
  • I Got You ~Jaylon Ashaun
  • lovely ~Billy Eilish, Khalid
  • Rewind ~GOT7
  • Us ~GOT7
  • Baby Don’t Like It ~NCT 127
  • 90s Babies ~Victoria Monet
  • Mad Generation ~Victoria Monet
  • Paradise ~GOT7
  • sidetoside ~Chris McClenney
  • The Move ~Reva Devito
  • One ~Samuel
  • After the Storm ~Kali Uchis, Bootsy Collins, Tyler the Creator
  • What You Mean to Me ~Chris McClenney
  • Run ~Chris McClenney
  • Off-Road ~Pentagon
  • Do It For Fun ~Pentagon
  • Fallin ~Monsta X

I hope you enjoyed my different format for this month, and look forward to some epic posts in May!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

Life · Music · Palates · Pleats · Plots

What Went Down March + Mixtape

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Hi! I’m late but I’m here. I can’t believe that we’re now in the second quarter of 2018. Let’s see what happened in March!

Food

 

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We ate at Puckett’s and I had some bomb chicken and waffles. I think that’s the only noteworthy food experience.

 

Fashion

Seoul Fashion Week happened and there’ll be a post about that soon.

 

Books

The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien

Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson

Out of the Silent Planet | C.S. Lewis

Speak was my favorite, I loved the story and the emphasis on art. Out of the Silent Planet is also amazing, it’s a cool sci-fi read.

 

Life

We finished Hwarang!!!! It was amazing: I laughed, cried, and screamed. I’m so sad it’s over but so satisfied.

I had the monumental opportunity to write and direct the Easter play for our church so March was filled with rehearsals.

Hmmm, I think that’s all the noteworthy happenings.

 

Kpop

Whoaaaaa! There were so many spectacular comebacks this month. Monsta X’s Jealousy, NCT 127’s Touch,  and Samuel’s One were so cool. I’m crushed by BigBang’s Flower Road and SHINee’s From Now On. And j-hope’s mixtape saved 2018.

 

March Mixtape

  • La Fete Est Fini | Orelsan
  • Pulling Me Under | Kevin Garrett
  • That’s What Love Can Do | Vivian Green
  • If You Fall | Ray Dalton
  • Walls | Jaylon Ashaun
  • One & Only You | Got7
  • Miss You | EXO-CBX
  • Encore | Cheryl Lynn
  • Best Love | Yuna
  • Warriors | Koryn Hawthorne
  • Africa | Kyle Bielfield
  • Daydream | j-hope
  • Ce qui me plait | Lisandro Cuxi
  • Touch | NCT 127
  • The Night Song | Ravyn Lenae
  • Call Me Baby | Jung Min, Daeho
  • Think Hole | B.A.P
  • Overdose | EXO
  • Lost | BTS
  • Dance With Me (Venus) | VAV
  • Flower Road | BigBang
  • Lovin You Mo | EXO
  • Nous | Lisandro Cuxi
  • A Rose is Still a Rose | Aretha Franklin
  • Pleasure Principal | Janet Jackson
  • Growl | Daeho

 

I know this wrap-up was a bit more abrupt/strangely formatted but it’s a wonder it even got out so I hope you still enjoyed it!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Life · Music · Palates · Pleats · Plots

What Went Down ~February + Monthly Mixtape

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February has come and gone, I’m sad to see it go but sort of relieved because I’m exhausted from blogging everyday. Let’s see what went down in February.

Food

  • We ate a bunch of gluten free pizza
  • Had breakfast at Firstwatch (I had lemon ricotta pancakes and they were the bomb.com)

I think that’s it actually, definitely not as cool as January’s food scene.

 

Fashion

I’m really ashamed to say that although February is fashion month I didn’t really follow any coverage of runway shows.

I know, I know, I plan to catch up in March but I was quite preoccupied this month. Anyway I get emails from Vogue Runway so I did see glimpses of some brands and I’m in love with Fendi so far.

I bought some jeans from Macy’s. This may not seem like wrap-up worthy news but these are definitively the best jeans I’ve ever owned and you’ll probably be seeing them in a million ootds in the future.

 

Books

I completed three books again, not for Brit Lit however (I still haven’t completed Pride & Prejudice or A Passage to India but we’re not gonna talk about it.)

  • A Girl Named Mister ~Nikki Grimes
  • Calling My Name ~Liara Tamani
  • The Skin I’m In ~Sharon G. Flake

A Girl Named Mister was my favorite, although all of them were amazing and you can click the links to see the posts I did about each one.

 

 

Life

The Olympics happened in PyeonChang South Korea. I will say the highlights for me were CL and EXO performing at the Closing Ceremony. But in terms of events I loved Short Track and couples skating.

Seeing EXO perform was truly amazing. I mean the Growl remix was off the chain! I even liked their rendition of Power this time even though I lowkey can’t stand that song. Their outfits, their dancing, their singing all was on point. I did really miss Yixing though, I hope Idol Producer is going well for him!

We watched The Jacksons: An American Dream which is a docu-drama miniseries about Michael Jackson and the Jacksons early life and career. It was really good and Angela Bassett slayed as always.

We also watched two French films this month Les Chorsites and Kirikou et la Sorciere. Both were spectacular but I especially loved Les Chorsites, I’d definitely recommend it to anyone (it has English subtitles if you can’t understand French).

My sister and I also started watching the Kdrama Hwarang. We started it because Taehyung from BTS and Minho from SHINee were in it and because my little sister is learning Korean. But we soon got hooked on the story. We’re only on episode 4 but I can’t wait to get farther into it.

I also colored my hair for the first time ever this month. I went from my natural dark brown color to a deep violet. It’s not actually that noticeable: more like a slight blue-black but I like how it gave my hair more sheen. Anyway I’ll probably do it again later this year.

I also got new glasses! You may see them, you may not: I like to be mysterious…

Ok and now for the most exciting thing that happened this month Black Panther!!! I saw it with my mom, dad, and little sister on opening Friday and it was hands-down the best Marvel movie ever. I can’t wait to see it again this Saturday. Also, I’ll be doing a blog post about it pretty soon so look forward to that!

 

Kpop

Seventeen released their Thanks MV and Performance Video

I love the calming vibes of this song so much! Also S. Coups and Woozi slayed vocals. And please tell me how Minghao looks cool with a mullet?

NCT-U came back with Boss and released a dance practice for it

Not gonna lie I was literally screaming watching this video. It’s spectacular and I may or may not have made my sister watch it 5 times with me when it first came out. Every single member was bias wrecking me at every possible second: the choreo was bomb, the outfits were amazing, and the rap and vocal performances were life. I think there’s always at least one video where you’re rewarded for stanning your bias and this video was that one for me. I mean Taeyong really showed out. Also the new members Jungwoo and Lucas are so amazing, I especially love Lucas’ rap in this song and I look forward to seeing more from them!

NCT-U (Taeyong & Ten) released Baby Don’t Stop

Not to be confused with EXO’s Baby Don’t Cry or NCT 127’s Baby Don’t Like It. Anyway seeing Ten again was amazing and he and Taeyong make a lit duo. I love the dance in this, Taeyong singing is life, and him rapping in Spanish is pretty cool. I don’t love the song so I don’t think I’m gonna download it but the video is nice and the song is super catchy.

Monsta X released a Tropical Night self cam video

MX are kings of self cam and this one did not disappoint. My highlights were Kihyun cleaning the studio while dancing, all the Showhyuk moments, and Changkyun with the Supreme money gun. They’re dorks and I love them.

SF9 released Mamma Mia

Ok… this was not my favorite video. They were doing the most the entire video but it was kinda cute kinda funny I guess. I did really like Taeyang’s dance part, his dance is the reason he’s my bias.

Got7 released a special video One and Only You feat. Hyolyn

I’m already in love with this song and I need a full length version. The video is fun and Yugyeom’s singing part is the best ever.

 

February Mixtape

I listened to a lot of music this month and a lot of great songs came out this month.

Fun ~Coldplay ft. Tove Lo

She’s Mine ~VAV

Same Drugs ~Chance the Rapper

U + Me (Love Lesson) ~Mary J. Blige

On the Loose ~Niall Horan

Black Gold ~Esperanza Spalding

Miss You Much ~Janet Jackson

Unravel Me ~Sabrina Claudio

Grenade ~Bruno Mars

Black Panther ~Kendrick Lamar

So Sick ~Ne-Yo

Electric Kiss ~EXO

Tomorrow ~BTS

Boss ~NCT-U

Beautiful ~iKON

Love Story ~Suran ft. Crush

Someone Who Can ~Yuna

Too Much Sauce ~Chloe x Halle

Pay My Rent ~DNCE

Blessings (reprise) ~Chance the Rapper

La Modelo ~Ozuna ft. Cardi B.

Hymn for the Weekend ~Coldplay

Thanks ~Seventeen

My Flower ~JBJ

 

That was a long post for February to be the shortest month but I hope you enjoyed seeing my highlights.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What were your February highlights?

 

 

Life · Music · Palates · Pleats · Plots

What Went Down ~January + Monthly Mixtape

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What’s good guys?

I’m bringing back my monthly wrap ups that I left behind somewhere in 2017. It was a conscious decision to stop them but now it’s time for them to come back. So, here’s what went down in January.

Food

  • We ate at Uncle Julio’s and it’s still amazing
  • We had Pizza Perfect pizza
  • We ate wings at Gordon’s (those were bomb and I’ll be doing a post on them soon.)
  • We cooked a lot of Thai, Korean, and Chinese foods (what else is new?)
  • I baked sugar cookies and brownies

 

Fashion

My Kpop merch came in!!! I bought an EXO sweatshirt and a BTS t-shirt, I also bought my sister a Monsta X sweatshirt for her late Christmas gift. I’ll be doing a lookbook in the future so look for that sometime.

January was a huge month for shows: I especially loved Menswear ’18 this season specifically Etro, Undercover, and Joseph.

 

Books

I completed three books this month for my British literature course

  • A Tale of Two Cities ~Charles Dickens
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ~Lewis Carroll
  • Favorite Father Brown Stories ~G.K Chesterton

I absolutely loved A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens’ writing style is eloquent with hints of dry humor, which I adore. The French revolution is the perfect backdrop of this narrative and it’s amazing to see the philosophy behind this tumultuous time in history.

 

Life

I turned 16 this month!!! I had a great beginning to my celebrations: dinner with family then friends over on Friday night. It’s not over yet though, look forward to something special birthday related coming soon.

Also, I bought my first ever Kpop albums this month, I feel like the obsession is solidified now. I bought BTS’ Wings, EXO’s The War, and Monsta X’s The Code.

I binge watched Project Runway on Hulu this month. I didn’t realize how much I missed Tim Gunn, the heightened melodrama, and that infamous runway.

And as I’m writing this on the final day of January, I’m sick. It kind of sucks because my sister was sick earlier this month and I managed to not catch it. But my body has finally succumbed.

 

Kpop

I’m adding this section because I think I need to chat about Kpop every month, send help, I can’t stop.

SM Entertainment posthumously released Jonghyun’s album Poet | Artist

This album is gold, truly poetry and art. All the tracks are spectacular, I’m partial to Only One You Need and Sightseeing. Jonghyun you did so, so well.

Monsta X released their Japanese MV Spotlight

It’s lit, you need it in your life, also Jooheon is totally bias wrecking me.

JBJ released the My Flower MV

I love this song and the choreography so much. Also Hyunbin’s rap is spectacular, if you want to know why he’s my bias this will tell you why.

iKON returned with Return (I’m amazing) and the MV Love Scenario

This choreography is amazing, but does it bother anyone else the way he pronounces “scenario”?

iKON also released the Beautiful dance practice

I love this song and Junhoe’s voice is gorgeous here. Also, the dance is lit

VAV released Spotlight

I actually started stanning them right before this comeback and finished memorized the members two days before. The aesthetics of this video are on point! All the lighting, colors, and dance scenes are magical. They’re underrated for no reason so show them some love.

Sunmi released Heroine

Oh my gosh this video is amazing! First of all her outfits are gorgeous, second the song is life, and third the dance is spectacular. I love the charisma she has in this song, Gashina was amazing but I think I like this even better.

EXO released their Japanese album Countdown

I’ve listened through the album once and it’s pretty good, Electric Kiss is so amazing and I’ve been addicted to the dance practice. Of the other tracks however, Into My World is my favorite.

Finally, what I think is most exciting: BTS is supposed to release an album sometime in early 2018!!! I still haven’t recovered from Love Yourself: Her, the AMAs, Mic Drop Remix, The Wings Final, or their Vogue video. Now, I have to save some money for this upcoming album.

I think that’s it, there was a lot so hopefully I didn’t forget anything.

 

January Mixtape

In my journal, I’ve started keeping track of what songs I’m obsessed with in each month so here’s January:

Lady Luck ~EXO

Heroine ~Sunmi

Lullabies ~Yuna

Fantasy ~JBJ

Rhythm Ta ~iKON

Only One You Need ~Jonghyun

Come and Get Me ~Lecrae

Rewind ~Zhoumi

 

Stay fly,

Akilah

 

 

 

Life · Music

May Playlist

Since May has almost come to a close I decided if would be fun to do a look at what I listened to throughout the month of May. This is by no means a complete list because I listen to a lot of music, but these are songs that have been constantly on repeat. Check out my May Music playlist on Spotify to give these songs a listen.

A Song Called He Reigns -Geofferey Golden

This isn’t a new song but I’ve been listening to it a lot more lately. The background singers harmonize so well and I love Geofferey’s voice. Also the lyrics are so hopeful and filled with truth, “He reigns, though many don’t belive. He reigns, every nation soon will see. Even though it hurts within, we know in the end we win…”

All of Me -John Legend

I have no idea why I suddenly started listening to this song again but it’s such a sweet love song. And obviously John Legend has an amazing voice, I also love Chloe and Halle’s cover version on Youtube.

You’re Welcome -Jordan Fisher/Lin Manuel Miranda

Jordan Fisher and Lin Manuel Miranda are epic, so even though I haven’t seen Moana yet I instantly fell in love with this song. It’s so infectious, and can we take a moment to appreciate the mega high note Jordan hits… I meaannn!

May I Have This Dance -Francis and the Lights feat. Chance the Rapper.

I’ve been listening to this song everyday for weeks now and I can’t get enough of it! I originally listened to be because Chance is in it and I heard he danced in the video, and can I say this is my current fave music video. Honestly, you must watch it! The dancing is impeccable and the beat of the song is perfect.

When River’s Cry -Somi feat. Common

The orchestral melody and serene feel of this song bring you in, Somi’s voice makes you stay, and the lyrics keep the song with you. This song is contemplative and nostalgic about days gone by and is a little bit sad. Also Common’s in it, I love Common, and his verse is epic.

Empire State of Mind Part II Broken Down -Alicia Keys

I don’t like Jay Z’s part in Empire State of Mind all that much but I love Alicia’s part so this is perfect. It makes me want to go to NY so bad! Also note the bass line and how there’s a crescendo after the vamp…golden!

Cold War -Janelle Monae

The whole Arch Android album is lit and creative, she essentially created a whole new world represented in this record. The music in the track is so complex and intriguing and the lyrics really made me think about what I’m fighting for…deep stuff.

Blessings (Part II) -Chance the Rapper

I originally thought this was a reprise of the earlier Blessings, and while it has similar elements it’s a whole different song. I like it a million times better than the first Blessings (which is a good song) because the verse is so creative. He uses great wordplay (like cold and Cole as in Nat King Cole), movie references (Mufasa from The Lion King), and really quotable lyrics (“The people’s champ must be everything the people can’t be…”). I love this song to the moon!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What have you been listening to lately? Do you like/know any of my songs? What recommendations do you have for me?

Life

So Long ’16

Hello beautiful people,

We’ve come to the end of 2016. It’s been a whirlwind of a year, for me personally it was bittersweet. I had a lot of great experiences, and I traveled to some epic places, but I also felt a lot of pain.

At some points I lost hope, especially in people, but what I’ve come to realize during this year is that my hope shouldn’t be in people anyway. God and only God deserves my hope. So I’m giving my 2017 to God, and resting my hope in him.

In the coming days I’ll have a true recap of 2016, but for now…

Stay fly

2017’s gonna be lit!

~Akilah