Not Another Summer Reading List [2019]

Summers here and the time is right for dancing in the street…with a book of some kind. Like a kid in a candy store, I got excited looking at new releases for this summer and the upcoming fall. My email has been one ongoing notification signal after another with: good reads reviews, e books, local library updates, audio book subscriptions etc. Needless to say I’m drowning in more literature than I can keep up with…and I couldn’t be happier! Allow me to share what I’m reading currently and I hope you will do the same.

“Buck: A Memoir” by MK Asante

Asante was actually a professor at Morgan State University when I was studying some years ago. I never got to take any of his classes, but we spoke a few times. I was told that his lectures were all the rave due to his love of the Hip Hop culture and views on the world as we connect to it. “Buck” is his autobiography, growing up the mean streets of Philadelphia and overcoming adversity to become a filmmaker, writer, emcee, and professor to name a few. I JUST snagged this hard copy and will dive in head first soon.

“Brief Answers to the Big Questions” by Stephen Hawking

I just finished this read a few days ago and got damnit am I thankful for the mind of Mr. Hawking. I know nothing of cosmology, but this book gives us the short answer to the timeless questions that are unanswered today…according to Hawking of course. Do aliens exist? Should the human race try and relocate to another planet? Is God real? I absolutely LIVE for the existential moments in literature that feed my inner question mark. You are not alone science nerds. Come one, come all. You have friends here. Rest in Peace, Mr. Hawking.

“I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi

What is a summer reading list without a self help book? I think I’m half way through this, but there are some REALLY good tips for the financially challenged here. If we are ever going to get ahead, we have to stop running from our finances, crack a book, and take a hard look at our retirement options before it’s too late. Sethi offers readers the play by play on choosing banks, investment options, and automation to make money work for you. This book is a quick read, I recommend it to anyone.

“Music Theory: From Absolute Beginner to Expert” by Nicolas Carter

I play entirely too many fucking instruments to know nothing about theory. I guess it’s time to crack a book on it, eh? I have this in audio book form and it’s only bout 2 hours long. I’m hoping to get some insight.

Well, that’s my list of current reads for now. I’m hoping to add some fiction to the list soon. What books have your hands occupied this Summer? Follow me on Twitter @Dropajewel and let me know your thoughts. #doitnow

Gimme The Dirt: Why The World Needs More Rock Biopics

Last night I had the opportunity to watch The Dirt, a Netflix biopic on the infamous 80s rock band Motley Crue. The book turned movie gave us a glimpse into the craziness of the bands plight to fame, struggle with drugs, and victory over an industry that is known to make or break people. I’m familiar with bassist Nikki Sixx as I follow him on most social media, various podcast, and glanced at Heroin Diaries. This film allowed me a peek into the lives of the Tommy, Vince and Mick to get some of the scoop. Anyone who loves the cru should visit Netflix to check it out and share their thoughts…and read the book.

the-dirtPersonally, I’m in love with music biopics; the world needs more of them! I think they feed the celebrity worship that this generation fiends for. I think they take us back to when we bought that first album or that first concert ticket and the nostalgia surfaces. I think they serve as inspiration to watch humble beginnings and stadium fantasy endings. I think they tie up lose ends for those who were forced to deal with their favorite band breaking up, or the death of a member. In my lifetime, I’ve seen a bunch of  loosely done biography music movies and it introduced me to older artist. Anybody remember JLo in Selena? Who could forget Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in Whats Love Got To Do With It? What about Jersey Boys or RayBohemian Rhapsody was a blockbuster and it brought together a shit ton of generations touched by Queen’s music.  I see no down sides when it comes to these types of films as long as they do it while folks are alive to give their input (if they can).


Hoping for a Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Green Day doc soon! What are your thoughts? Hit me @dropajewel on twitter. #Doitnow

[Video] Childish Gambino- This Is America

New visuals from Donald Glover. I like to over analyze music videos and concepts, so I had many ideas when watching this. Gambino is known for pushing the envelope musically, so it’s no surprise that he needed to get this message across. Let me know your thoughts via twitter @Dropajewel and enjoy.

[New Music] Skillz – Murda Gram (Uncle Murda Diss)” on YouTube

Well damn. Apparently Uncle Murda did his own version of the year end wrap up, something that Skillz has been doing successfully for years. Inevitably, this didn’t go over well. Peep the diss via the YouTube link below. Let me know your thoughts via twitter @Dropajewel. #doitnow

Gematria and The Super Bowl Predictions

If you’ve gone down the rabbit hole a time or two, you’ve seen some of the super bowl predictions since the NFL’s pre-season. Up until recently, I’ve kept my proverbial ear to the streets and have  made small fortune on predicting games just by following the gematria. Most of the sites I pay attention to were predicting the Colts/Giants/Vikings, but the powers that be had other plans. In any event, draw your own conclusions by looking at Zach Hubbard’s numbers. Let me know your thoughts via twitter @Dropajewel

Be sure to check out the Free To Find Truth youtube channel and support.

{New EP} AJ Suede & Blizzedout- Def Row

It’s always a good day when I come across new music from the homie AJ Suede. This time Suede teams up with Blizzedout after vibing in the heat of the mean Brooklyn streets. This joint definitely has some funk and good rhymes to vibe to. Check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts via twitter @Dropajewel #DoItNow




{New Visuals} Esperanza Spalding-One

Yessss! Esperanza is back in full effect, giving us life, color, and all that jazz with her new video One. I’m usually late on staying up with the best in new music…except for today. Check it out and let me know your thoughts via twitter @DropaJewel. Of course follow her twitter @EspeSpalding and pre-Order Emily’s D+Evolution now via:  #Go

My Top 10 Albums of 2015

Oooh the end of 2015 is upon us, Hallelujah. I can admit that it was a rough year for many. Terrorism was alive and well…Racism was upon us in the truest form. Through it all, God reigns and music was plentiful!! I’ve seen a lot of list of the ‘Top Albums of 2015’ list, and I’m not surprised. There were certain albums that were undeniably relevant…Others that were not so awesome. I can not give you a top albums list without saying that these are my favorite albums of 2015. My rating system is really simple…How much did I listen to the album? How did it make me feel? Did it inspire me? Check out my list and let me know some of your favorites via twitter @DropaJewel

10. Tame Impala- Currents


Yup! Of course I was bumping this one. I’d been waiting for this album faithfully as they were dropping track after track. I was not disappointed!

9. Grimes-Art Angels

art angels300

I’m not even sure how I caught wind of Art Angels…it must have been my endless blog browsing. Nevertheless, I was impressed with Grimes. You really can’t categorize this type of music. Most of the album had an electronic pop-ish feel and my eardrums were grateful. If you haven’t listened to it yet, check it out and expand your mind.

8. Fabolous-Summertime Shootout


Fab surprised me with his latest project. It was filled with a few artist collabs including Nicki Minaj and Trey Songs, but was a hip hop heads wet dream. I’ve had it in rotation since its release and I know it’ll sound damn good in the speakers next summer.

7. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly


And now let us take a moment for the elephant in the room. This album was at the top of everybody’s list this year. I thought it was a really good effort on Kendrick’s part: the black power theme, the west coast love, the cohesiveness of the project and the ability to relate to our day to day lives. The issue I had with TPAB was not the actual project; it was the small minded individuals who forgot that hip hop has no one particular sound. All of the kudos I saw on social media and hip hop sites reminded me that SOME PEOPLE don’t listen to anything but mainstream radio. They lack the ability to be independent thinkers and enjoy what they were not PROGRAMMED to listen to. Kendrick can rhyme, and TPAB was a damn good project; however, he is not the second coming of Christ. I think he’ll collect quite a few grammys this go round. Hip hop has always been a fusion of other genres and inspirations…I challenge all artists to explore that ideology as they create their art. It makes for an authentic project. Keep up the good work, Kendrick.

6. Add 2- Prey For The Poor


This may be the most slept on album of the year. The beats were pure dopeness; shouts out to 9th Wonder as usual. Add-2 didn’t get nearly enough airplay as he should have. I think Prey for The Poor was suitable for old and new school listeners and was nice fresh breath of air from the fuckery in the hip hop industry today. I’m looking forward to hearing more from him in the future. Kudos.

5. Skyzoo- Music for My Friends


Yessuh! Music for my Friends is one of those projects that somebody puts you onto at the last second. I have a homeboy who ALWAYS gives me the heads up on great hip hop projects and this happens to be one of them. Skyzoo did his thing as so many of the tracks embody a humility not often seen in mainstream hip hop. Most of the songs had great break beats and dope hooks. I felt like this was some shit I would listen to riding along the streets of the Bronx as a kid in the summer. I felt like Skyzoo knew his audience BUT just wanted to make some feel good music for real people…including himself.

4. Game- The Documentary 2


Game came through with a game changer (pun intended) with The Documentary 2. I miss the day of raw hip hop and this gave me my fix. I think it’s rare for a hip hop artist to do a part 2 to their introductory album and still make it a worth while listen. Clearly, Game had a vision and inspiration from other west coast artist celebrated this year (NWA, Kendrick Lamar). Whatever the cause, I’m still very much thankful.

3. Foo Fighters- St. Cecilia and Songs From The Laundry Room


Boom! Foo Fighters have given me life all year long. They dropped St. Cecilia as a free download for their fans a few months ago. How noble in our time of turmoil?! They also dropped Songs from the Laundry Room for record store day and both EPs are in my heavy rotation playlist. All I ask for is good music that invokes good vibrations and positive energy. I love a good guitar riff any day of the week and this gave me just the soundtrack for closing out the year. #Respect

2. Lianne La Havas- Blood


My Lordy. I fell in love with this young lady in 2015. I’m not sure if it was my mood, but I have been playing this album out since its release this summer. Blood was my first real introduction to Ms. La Havas and I was grateful. The album has a mellow, jazzy, soulful feel to it…authentic and genuine. I’ve heard mixed reviews from other music sources, saying that it didn’t have her personal spin on it but I beg to differ. It’s important for artist’s sound to evolve and for them to work with different producers to create new sounds. Blood is nominated for a grammy award and I’m eager see if her hard work will be rewarded. Very dope project from Ms. La Havas.

1.The Internet- Ego Death

Ego Death 300

It is my understanding that Ego Death is nominated for a grammy. Well it’s about damn time! There really isn’t much to say about this album. It pretty much speaks for itself. Again, I felt all good vibe in listening and an interesting fusion of sounds. Ego Death reminds me of how good R&B used to feel, though I can’t rightfully place it in any specific category. The hip hop elements shine through a neo soul bed of casual feel good musicianship. Well done, great execution. Praise God.

Check out my homeboy Vegas’ blog for his top Hip Hop Albums of the year.


{October Edition}The Drop


Praise de Lawd and pass the headphones! Every month or so, I try to keep viewers in my earbuds with what I’ve been listening to. I pride myself on being a music junkie, and diving into some of the best of each genre…but my mood plays a big part. Check out the list and share your thoughts:

The Game- The Documentary 2 & The Documentary 2.5


I’ve seen about 50 versions of this album artwork by now, but these albums are solid. If you are a hip hop head, you may have been a fan of Game’s music but this is some of his better work. The Documentary 2/2.5 features a good variety of acts such as Lil Wayne,, Jay Rock, Nas, Schoolboy Q, Dej Loaf, Ty Dolla $ign, Skrillex, Snoop, Drake etc etc etc. Go get you some rap and enjoy.

Big Grams- Big Grams

Big Grams

Ohhhhhh so rapper Big Boi from Outkast linked up with New York alternative rock-ish duo Phantogram to give us Big Grams! The project is short and sweet but gives you allllll dope beats over dope rhymes. It’s definitely more than a one time listen.

Janet Jackson- Unbreakable

Janet Unbreakable

I got all good vibes from Janet with this project. Of course Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are producing on here along with Missy Elliott and J Cole. I think since Janet’s marriage, she didn’t want to get too sexy on this one and I can understand. Owwww! It’s always great to hear new music from Ms. Jackson as I respect her artistry and salute her as a pop icon. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Lana Del Rey- Honeymoon


Let me just keep it 100% real with you guys and say that I’m still up in the air about this album. I feel like it was over and under rated at the same damn time. Lana Del Rey does not make music for everybody. You have to be a very specific demographic to enjoy this. I will say that there are really high points in the music that make me feel a little low. Honeymoon is melodic and haunting. I’m just going to keep playing it until I can come to a sane conclusion. The fact that it makes me work so hard is possibly a good sign that it could overall be a timeless album. I have no idea.

Let me know what you are listening to right now! Check me out Friday nights at midnight on Strictly Hip Hop, WEAA 88.9fm  #DropaJewel4mayor


The Drop: 5 Albums In My Rotation {Wednesday Edition}

Happy Hump Day!

We at try to drop gems and information, but we drop new music too! I always try to stay on top of new artist and good music, so sometimes I’d like to share my taste. This week I’ve been shuffling between genres (as usual) and landed on a few really dope projects, some of which are still growing on me. Check em out.

Ellis- Ocean Grown

Ocean Grown

Ocean Grown JUST DROPPED MONDAY! So far, this is a really dope album from the Baltimore emcee. For people who claim to be fans of ‘real hip hop’, this is your go to. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Follow his twitter @Ellis_410 and cop Ocean Grown on google play, itunes, etc. #DoItNow

Lianne La Havas- Blood


I just got hip to Ms. La Havas, but her music is unlike anything out right now. I think this project is authentic…nothing forced, all from the heart. The writing is stellar and the music captivating. Do yourself a favor and just let this one bump from start to finish.

Dr. Dre- Compton (Soundtrack)


I’m in between a rock and a hard place with Dre on this one. Of course he has a rack of emcees featured on here, but I’m not in love with it yet. I’ve seen all good reviews so far, but I’m listening to give a fair assessment before my final verdict. Check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts.

Wondaland- The Eephus


I waited MONTHS for this album. I am a Wondaland stan to the core, but this one so far is just ‘alright’ for me. I appreciate the fact that Ms. Monae’s sound is ever evolving…I just wish there were more tracks.

Tame Impala- Currents


This was another album I waited for like a puppy waiting to go outside. I give this one two thumbs up!!! Currents can’t really be classified as a specific genre…just good azz music. It does have an oldies melodic feel to it though. Enjoy.

So what are you listening to currently? Hit me on twitter @DropaJewel and catch my segment The Drop on WEAA 88.9fm every Friday night at midnight. #DropaJewel4Mayor