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

 

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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,ย  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

Best of 2017

2017 was an amazing year for me. I discovered a lot of new things and pursued my favorite things even further. Today I’m doing a “best of 2017” so you can see a taste of my favorite events of the year.

Best Red Carpet Moment

Taraji P. Henson at SAG 2017

P. Diddy at Met Gala 2017

Rihanna at Met Gala 2017

Janelle Monae at Oscars 2017

Winner: Rihanna ~Met Gala

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RiRi did not come to play in 2017, she really dominated. Her Met Gala look truly embodied Rei Kawakubo and Commes des Garcons which was 2017’s theme. It was elegant, artsy, and avant garde. If you want to see more of my thoughts on this Met 2017 look and others check out this post and this post.

 

Best Fashion Collaboration

Louis Vuitton X Supreme

Nike X Off-White

Balmain X L’Oreal

Winner: Louis Vuitton X Supreme

For LV, this was a perfect marketing move. Partnering with Supreme revitalized the established fashion house and kicked it’s streetwear game up a notch. Supreme benefitted from this too because Louis’ loyal following became obsessed with their aesthetic. The pieces themselves were a perfect hypebeast meets luxury look and the collab transcended borders. We saw everyone from rich kids in the Hamptons to Kpop idols rocking these clothes and accessories.

 

Best Collection

Balmain Resort 2018

Off-White Menswear 2018

Elie Saab Resort 2018

Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2018

Winner: Balmain Resort 2018

The fringe, dark eye makeup, intricate patterns: I’m totally here for all of it. It’s vintage Parisian meets clubwear and it works. This collection was cohesive, creative, and utterly Balmain.

 

Best Book

Walk Two Moons ~Sharon Creech

The Boy in the Black Suit ~Jason Reynolds

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass ~Frederick Douglass

Winner: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Sometimes, a book can influence your life so much that its hard to remember how you thought before reading it. Narrative of the Life was like that for me. Frederick Douglass’ account of the horrors of his slavery and escape truly resonated with me and it was very timely coming from the 2016 election and current events concerning police brutality and race relations. His fearless honesty, poignant language, and revolutionary ideas make this book something I’d recommend everyone read.

 

Best Author

Jason Reynolds

Renee Watson

Winner: Jason Reynolds

Representation is one the most important things in life and especially literature. Jason Reynolds is one of those authors who truly seeks to include the stories of all kinds of individuals from all kinds of backgrounds. His writing hits hard, is witty, and lingers with you. I was obsessed with reading him this year and I look forward to reading more of his works in the future.

 

Best Album

The Code ~Monsta X

The War ~EXO

Wings ~BTS

Winner: Wings

This album actually came out in 2016 but I didn’t know much about Kpop in 2016 and I hadn’t discovered the beauty that is BTS or this album. Wings is a concept album inspired by the book Demian by Herman Hesse, although I’ve never read the book, the symbolism laced throughout the tracklist is evident. I love how each member gets an individual song (many of which they wrote themselves) this allows the listener a personal look at each member’s thoughts and feelings and a showcase of their singing/rapping ability. This is the album that brought us Blood Sweat and Tears, Cypher Part 4 (my favorite cypher I think), and 21 Century Girl, each of these songs are poetic with well written and meaningful lyrics about sacrificial love, self-confidence, and empowerment. Wings is BTS at it’s finest.

 

Best Song

Mic Drop ~BTS

Blessings (Reprise) ~Chance the Rapper

Angel of Mine ~Monica

Electric Lady ~Janelle Monae ft. Solange

Winner: Electric Lady

This song is…well…electric. The lyrics are witty and well written, the bass and electric guitar are lit, and Janelle’s rap in this gives me life (I know every word of it). Also, the music video is gold so you should check that out. Although it didn’t come out this year it has been one of my favorite songs all 2017.

 

Best Artist

BTS

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There are no other nominees for this category because BTS takes this. I mean, did you see their bags? They’re full of trophies in 2017. They released tons of great music, dominated charts in South Korea and around the world, won numerous awards, and launched their philanthropic campaign. It was the year of Bangtan!

Best Restaurant

Biscuit Love

Uncle Julio’s

Waffle Works

Winner: Uncle Julio’s

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This was tough! I loved all of these restaurants but Uncle Julio’s just really stuck with me. It’s authentic Mexican food fresh and delicious. We went here twice in 2017 and both times we had amazing food.

Now, moving on from ‘best of’ picks, here are a few statistics from my year:

Books read: 31

Songs downloaded: 200

Blog posts published: 44

Local restaurants tried: 6

Outfits worn: 365+

And drumroll please for my most liked blog post of 2017:

I’m glad y’all liked this post so much. I was able to combine two of my favorite things: BTS and fashion and use something that inspired me immensely to create an outfit I loved.
That’s all for my 2017 wrap up, be on the look out for my 2018 goals coming soon.
Stay fly,
~Akilah

 

Life

What Went Down ~September

I know this is extremely late but there’s been a lot on my plate lately. Now I finally can wrap up September:

Food:

We went to Chattanooga and I posted about what we ate here.

We had stuffed crust pizza from Papa Murphy’s, and Greek food from Greek Cafe Grill.

Fashion:

I got a couple hand-me-downs from my mom which I will be doing a haul on soon.

Music:

For piano I continued to practice Hello, Inversions and the Cycle of Fifths.

I listened to a lot of old school music: Stephanie Mills, Deneice Williams, Diana Ross (throwback is life)

Reading:

I didn’t read the amount of books I wanted to this month and am kind of freaking out because there’s only three months left in the year to reach my goal of 100 books in 2016.

Pariah -Aimee Meester

Red Badge of Courage -Stephen Crane

The Scarlet Letter -Nathaniel Hawthorne

Open Mic -Mitali Perkins (reviewed here)

Favorite: The Scarlet Letter this book’s symbolism and theme really moved me. It’s an amazing classic.

Least Favorite: Red Badge of Courage a school read that I didn’t enjoy too much. 

Life:

  • We painted my sister’s and my bedroom a pretty mint green color.
  • We finished all The Hunger Games movies.
  • I started volunteering backstage with a local production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
  • We went to Chattanooga for a day trip.
  • My sister started her soccer season.
  • Our church had our 9th annual Girls’ Retreat

Happy October fly friends!

Stay fly

~Akilah

Life

What Went Down ~August

Here I am on the third day of September finally wrapping up August (I really am trying to get my life together guys).

Food:

We ate a slew of epic meals in Minneapolis that you can check out starting here.

I also made blueberry muffins, but I used a new recipe and it sucked. I’ll be going back to my standby from Brown Eyed Baker from now on.

Fashion:

I jumped on the choker bandwagon after being obsessed for months, and bought a gold one and a silver one from Forever 21. They are amazing.

I mastered the half-tuck with my J Crew white button down, paired with high waisted black pencil skirt.

I tied a button down (flannel) around my waist too many times this month. It instantly adds dimension to an outfit.

And I discovered one of my new favorite podcasts Fashion Friends.

Books:

I finished 6 books, not too shabby considering I started full fledged school in August.

Mockingjay ~Suzanne Collins

Unsigned Hype ~Booker T. Mattson

The Sign of the Beaver ~Elizabeth George Speare

The Call of the Wild ~Jack London

Johnny Tremain ~Esther Forbes

Start ~Jon Acuff

Favorite: Unsigned Hype it was extremely funny, and I will post a review in the upcoming weeks.

Least favorite: The Call of the Wild it didn’t really wow me, I had to read it for school though.

Music:

I listened to I’ll Make a Man Out of You from Mulan on repeat, that song is life. I listened to a lot of Alicia Keys: No One, Superwoman, New Day, Girl on Fire, her voice always gives me chills.

I discovered a newer song that I really love: Crush by Yuna featuring Usher. I saw the music video on TV and instantly loved Yuna’s voice and clothing style.

And on our roadtrip we listened to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, cause it ain’t a trip without MJ and Stevie.

I learned Hello by Adele on the piano this month and have been practicing often.

Life:

We went to Minneapolis

I started high school (wha?)

We watched Gifted Hands (Ben Carson movie)

I attended a study skills intensive

I saw a To Kill a Mockingbird play with one of my best friends

I started looking for scholarships

I’m ecstatic about the posts I have lined up for you all, stay tuned for some epic fashion inspired by songs, book reviews and trend discussions!

Stay fly

~Akilah