Music Mondays. Or something like that.

Here’s my little hub on the internet where I share the tracks that have been getting me through the day/week/month(s). As you can already tell, I’ve decided to go for the super catchy and original Music Mondays title. This is my summer edition.

Blonde – Frank Ocean

First of all, if you haven’t yet seen the Nikes music video, you need to create a new tab and watch that now. It’s the only way for you to understand how I’m feeling right now. Frank is such a visionary, watching that video I felt like I was apart of history being made – instant classic. He’s a genius. My favourites from this album? Everything. Honestly, truly. *reads in Joanne The Scammer voice.* But if you’re overwhelmed from this 17 song masterpiece and don’t have the time to listen to it from start to finish, (which btw you should really make some damn time) here are a couple that really stood out for me.

– Nikes
This may be partially because it’s the first song on the album and the fact that the music video just floored me – but Nikes is truly a staple song that immediately gives off the raw and honest vibe that occurs throughout the album. Watch the music video here.

– Solo (Reprise)
Umm hello???? Andre 3000 kills everything he touches (Pink Matter from Channel Orange repeat count on my iTunes is somewhere in the thousands, I say this shamelessly.) His flow on this leaves me speechless.

– White Ferrari
Possibly now, one of my favourites songs of all time. The acoustic touch to this track leaves me mesmorized and crying for no damn reason. Frank’s incredibly open and honest and you can hear it in his voice. Powerful song.

Get Blonde here!!!

P3 – PARTYNEXTDOOR

PND recently released the highly anticipated P3 and to be honest, I’m feeling some ways about it. To keep this light, I had some high expections from Party – especially with PARTYNEXTDOOR and PARTYNEXTDOOR 2 under his belt, there was a lot of hype surrounding this album. I’m still giving it a listen so I can’t share my complete thoughts about it quite yet, but if you haven’t heard it yet, give it a listen here and tell me what you think!!

Coloring Book – Chance the Rapper

If you haven’t heard Chance’s Coloring Book mixtape yet, where have you been??!? Although this came out months ago, it still always finds it’s way back into my playlists. Beautifully produced and not to mention, heavily inspired by Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo. I couldn’t just pick one song from album, so here’s two.

– Summer Friends feat. Jeremih & Francis & The Lights
This track is hypnotic. From Francis & The Lights’ ohhhh’s in the intro, to Jeremih’s vocals dancing off at the end of the song, Summer Friends is my shiiiiiiitt. Chance’s flow on this track is too catchy and effortless.

– Mixtape feat. Young Thug & Lil Yachty
This track BAANGGGSS. Listen to this in the morning when you’re getting ready and I promise you, you’ll be ready for the day. Yachty + Thug + Chance + ????  Shoutout to Chance for orchestrating that collab cause it’s too fire.

 

Faded in the Moment – Domo Genesis feat. Cam O’bi
For those who don’t know, Domo Genesis is an LA rapper signed with Odd Future records. Earlier this year he dropped his debut studio album Genesis and it’s raw. Faded in the Moment brings that 90s rap vibe and I’m all for it.

SremmLife 2 – Rae Sremmurd

As if PND dropping new music wasn’t enough for 08/12 – Rae Sremmurd released SremmLife 2. From start to finish, I was feeling it. I still consider Rae Sremmurd to be incredibly underrated (I mentioned them to my co-worker and his response was “what is that?!), they’re no one hit wonder. A couple listens in; Came A Long Way, Swang, Black Beatle and Real Chill are what’s poppin for me. If you’re in Toronto, they’re coming to the Sound Academy on October 18th, see you there!!!!  Oh, and get it here now!!

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VINTAGE BALLER

In the world of fashion, trends come and go.. then come back again. As of now, I feel like 90’s fashion is making its way back into our closets and perhaps it’s here to stay. Working in retail, I’m seeing a lot of styles being revived; “mom” jeans, mesh dresses, oversized denim, round glasses, etc. 90’s fashion is probably one of my favourite eras in fashion, when all everyone wore were bright colours. To bring it back and have some fun, I took a trip to Value Village to find a very ‘Will’ outfit from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and style that look. Looking back on this style, I really think it was ahead of its time. Maybe that’s just me, but Will Smith in this era is definitely one of my style inspirations.

Here is my modern day version of re-creating Will’s iconic looks.

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WEARING (from top to bottom)
hat – polo ralph lauren
champions shirt – value village
jacket – value village
reebok pants – value village
shoes – nike air max

model: shamar foster
styled & photographed: me

 

HOLOGRAPHIC VISION

One way or another, my style comes full circle to my inner grunge. So when I saw these holographic boyfriend fit jeans, it was truly a perfect match.

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More often than not, when people see a piece like these jeans in stores they don’t even think twice about making that purchase because it seems impractical. For some people, I understand! Working a 9-5 that doesn’t require holographic denim, miiiight be a little impractical.. but if you’re anything like me and have no boundaries when it comes to fashion, having a pair of these can only benefit your closet. It takes your standard jeans and a t-shirt to the next level.

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WEARING
sunglasses – urban outfitters
bardot blouse – topshop
holographic jeans – topshop
black boots – topshop

photographed: shamar foster

Let’s get deep.

Let’s face it. I haven’t been this confident and comfortable in my own skin since, well, ever. That’s not something I’m ashamed to say. I’m proud of my journey to womanhood, so why not share it on the internet?

Remember ‘The Suite Life’s’ London Tipton? She was so relatable.

Growing up I questioned why I look the way I looked, all the time. It didn’t help my idols at the time were all white women and my adolescent room was flooding with J-14 magazine, with headlines reading “Top 5 Things Zac Efron Looks For In A Girl.” Ultimate page turner. But I shouldn’t say all my idols at the time were white women, remember ‘The Suit Life’s’ London Tipton? She was so relatable. Solely based on the fact that she was the only Asian actress on the Family Channel at that time and let’s be real, that’s all I ever watched. I can relate to her, you know. Coming from a small town, population approximately 25,000 – most times, I felt alienated. Being one of the very few people of colour in both grade school and high school can make any kid growing up, feel like there’s something wrong with them. However, I did have obnoxiously vibrant red/pink hair in 10th grade, so standing out in a bad way was kind of my forte.

It was hard. Not once do I ever remember myself saying the words I’m beautiful. My pre-teen years were a constant battle of comparing myself to completely unrelatable celebrities and my peers around me.

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Birkenstocks? Duh.

High school was tragic. *reads in Kim K voice.* To be fair, high school was incredibly enjoyable, at the time. I was surrounded by great people – most of us drifted away, but I’m grateful to have had them in my life. Yet, reflecting on those years is tough. I tried incredibly hard to be like every other girl. American Eagle denim? Check. Brown belt? Yes. Some sort of shirt that will be considered cool tucked in? Of Course. Birkenstocks? Duh. Reminiscing on what I thought was ‘fashion’ makes me cringe. I was so busy trying to be this image I thought was cool, that I became blindsided on becoming my own individual. One day, I even tried to force myself to listen and enjoy country music because that’s what everyone else listened to in my small town. It wasn’t until I moved to Toronto for my last year of high school, where I began to feel at home and at peace with myself.

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The media sucks. They can convince anyone, that something is wrong with them – and why they need to fix it.

Fast forward to now, going on two years after high school. There’s no doubt that I’m still learning and still growing, but I’ve never felt for me than ever. My past self would conjure up some outfit ideas the night before, just to give myself time to think if the outfit was cool enough to wear to school the next day. I’d even take a picture of it and send it to my friends and ask for their approval. Things are different now. I’ve grown to know what I like and what I want, and if no one else really fucks with that – it’s okay. I take a certain pride in dressing and looking different from others these days. A feature that sets me aside from others that I used to hate myself for, is my beauty marked face. This was the one thing I always questioned about myself. “Why are these on my face?” “Why can’t I cover them?” “Why me?” Tough questions for a young girl to ask herself. Special thanks to the media, for telling me that perfectly symmetrical faces are more attractive to men than not. Also, thanks for making it seem like what men find more attractive in women is actually significant and important. (Do you smell my sarcasm?) Eventually, I learned on my own that I am good enough. And that I didn’t need anyone’s opinion for it to be validated.

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Tatted. Pierced. And still wearing Birkenstocks because, comfort!!

There’s a story I thought I’d never share. Not so much of a story as a halfass autobiography. Although, I know I wasn’t the only one struggling with self-esteem, so it seemed important to share. Every now and then, we all have our bad days. My bad days used to be bad weeks and sometimes even months. My advice to anyone who struggles with self-confidence is that, if you’re looking for satisfaction and happiness from others, you will never find it. Happiness comes from within – from loving yourself. Anytime you look in the mirror, find one thing you like about yourself that day and say it to out loud. Whether it’s the way you look in that shirt, or you’re feeling your hair that day – say “damn, I’m really wearing this shirt.” Or maybe not exactly like that, but you see where I’m going. Everyday, find one thing – there’s nothing wrong with loving yourself! As the days go by, you’ll learn to appreciate your body. When I mentioned not to look for satisfaction and happiness from others, that doesn’t mean isolate yourself from friends. Be surrounded by people who make you feel good about yourself and who love and support you.

If you’re reading this, (it’s too late) (just kidding) just know that, you are good enough. You are your own unique, beautiful self, and no one else can be like you.

photographer: shamar foster

STREET SHOOTIN’

It’s getting to that awkward stage in the weather where it’s too cold to just where a shirt, but too hot to wear a jacket. Stay comfortable with layers, a graphic hoodie, and a beanie to finish off this urban, street style outfit!

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As a lover of unisex fashion (this Tupac hoodie is actually mine!!), this can definitely be worn in a feminine style. Skip the long line shirt, and pair the oversized hoodie with slim/skinny denim and your favourite ankle booties. If you’re like me, I choose comfort over anything so if heels aren’t your forte, go for sneakers as I would with my Vans! Finish the look with a ball cap or beanie, and your go-to accessories.

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WEARING
black beanie – thrifted
long line shirt – topman
tupac hoodie – urban outfitters
pants – publish x urban outfitters
shoes – adidas turbular

model: shamar foster
styled & photographed: me