Tuesday, 13 January 2015

This Is New Africa: Fuse ODG unveils mission to change the world's perception of his motherland through music

He burst onto the scene back in 2013 with the infectious song Atenna which helped launch afrobeats in the UK chart. But keen to prove he wasn't a one hit wonder, Fuse ODG unleashed the monster of a track Azonto which went onto to become a massive dance craze. 

Now with the release of his debut album, TINA, the 26-year-old rapper is hoping his music will change the world's perception of Africa. Speaking to Empty Ice Cream Tub about the release, which is an acronym for This Is New Africa, Fuse revealed that the journey to the creating the LP was a life changing experience.

Letter To TINA

The MOBO Award winner said of his choice to become an afrobeats artist: 'It was a conscious decision to reconnect with my African roots and African music so I could bring it to people outside of Africa in an authentic way.

'I took that decision in 2011 when I went to Ghana and I was learning about the culture again and learning about the music.'

Continuing he added: 'But I realised that it actually became bigger than what I was going to do when I started to share my story of Africa as it started to inspire other people and that's actually how TINA came to me.

'I realised that there has to be something that encapsulates what Africa is now and not the old Africa that they keep showing, and that is how This Is New Africa came fruition.'

Born in London but raised in Ghana, Fuse ODG, real name Nana Richard Abiona, came to capital at the age of 11 to begin his secondary education an experience which he admits was difficult and scarred his perception of his African heritage. However it was an eye-opening trip back to his motherland three years ago which set his music career in motion and his need to showcase his view of the continent.


Alongside the likes of D'Banj, Wizkid, Ice Prince, Sarkodie, P Squared and Davido, to name a few, Abiona has played a crucial role in helping afrobeats into the mainstream. Explaining how it feels to be a part of the movement which is changing the clubbing scene, the rapper asserted: 'Right now being African is so cool and it's because all these platforms are playing our music.

'Trust me when I was growing up if afrobeats was as big as it is now my school life would have been so much easier. Growing up in the UK would have been so much easier, I would have felt more proud to be African.'

He added: 'When I go to clubs and I hear African music being played like as part of the main playlist to me it just means that we're moving forward as a continent, we're moving forward as Africans and it's not just the negative impression that they used to have, we've given them other stuff to talk about.'

With four top ten singles under his belt, Fuse's debut body of work TINA was released to rave reviews and features collaborations with Wyclef Jean, Sean Paul, Angel, Krept & Konan and G FrSH. Describing the LP in his own words, the Antenna hitmaker said the album is made up of 'feel good songs' embedded with messages. 

Fuse added: 'It's an album that showcases my experiences of Africa just packaged in a form of music.'

Come Closer

Monday, 5 January 2015

Three Things Beyoncé Taught Us In 2014

Following the spontaneous release of her fifth solo album in 2013, Beyoncé Knowles was destined to have an epic 2014. No doubt her most explosive year yet, EmptyIceCreamTub looks back at what Queen Bey has taught us over the last 12 months...

1. How To Throw A Party
Ringing in the new year with an uber stylish bang, the Carter-Knowles clan threw a New Years Eve party to shut down all others. Hiring the Versace mansion, the dance floor at the soirée was filled with some of the world’s hottest supermodels, musicians and fashion designers. Beyoncé and husband Jay Z then made a sleek exit from their bash on a scooter where they headed to P Diddy’s extravaganza.

2. Composure
In May sensational footage surfaced which saw Solange Knowles launch a vicious attack on her brother-in-law Jay Z as they departed a Met Gala afterparty via a lift. Standing in the middle of the fight, the 33-year-old kept her cool and did nothing as her younger sister turned violent. Upholding her royal standards, Queen Bey merely pulled her dress aside while her bouncer played the role of Olivia Pope. Months after the ordeal Beyoncé addressed the fight in the remix of her single Flawless, where she asserted: ‘Of course sometimes s**t go down, when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator!’

3. Dancing In A T-shirt & Knickers Is Cool
Rounding up the year on a high, Beyoncé proved she wasn’t done yet with the release of 7/11, which made dancing in knickers and oversized jumpers and T-shirts officially cool. Not only that but the visuals also taught us that hotels make for great music videos and we never ever have to worry about tidying our rooms again but most importantly to never drop that alcohol!

*Bonus* Fringes Don't Always Work
Even as the Queen the crown may sometimes slip and one may fall short of perfection. This was certainly the case in October when Beyoncé touched down in London for Frieze Week. Accompanied by hubby Jay Z and their daughter Blu Ivy, there was a collective sigh from hairstylists throughout the globe as the Flawless singer showed off her new barnet. A couple inches too short and in serious need of John Frieda's Frizz Control, Beyoncé's bangs sent the Twittersphere into frenzy as fans and critics alike tried to get their heads around the short fringe. But regaining control it didn't take long for Beyoncé to realise her hair no-no and she quickly returned to her sleek long locks.

Monday, 29 December 2014

30 Seconds In The Mind Of...

Lord HBK

Hailing from the east side of that city known as London, this rare breed of talent describes himself as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious alongside being inquisitive, giving and hard-headed. Having emerged on the scene earlier this year with his debut single, No Rules, not a lot is known about this young rapper, so I'm here to change all that. 

Presenting the one and only mind of Lord HBK... 

What couldn't you live without? 
I couldn't live without my Mac; laptop that is. I do everything on it from music to watching films, writing, reading, educating myself and so on. It died on me once and I was lost.

What would you say is your worst habit?
Hmmm... I don't have one! (Laughs) Probably that, the fact that I don't think I have a worst habit says it all.

What do you find really annoying in other people?
I can't stand unoriginality.  It's annoying putting so much work into something and then it gets stolen or critiqued by people who are lazy.

What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure (laughs) I have quite a few. But for now I'd say Beyonce. She's sick! But I can't see her live alone because (pauses) you know.

What would be your dream job?
My dream job other than music would be being Ari Gold.

ONE thing that no-one knows about you...
I like to go out and eat at nice restaurants alone.

Lord HBK's favourites

Stole by Kelly Rowland



You can follow Lord HBK on TWITTER or check out his INSTAGRAM page

Also check out his latest music video #CoralPearl below

Monday, 15 December 2014

Talking For Talking Sake

As the phrase goes 'If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' but then where's the fun in that?

Like alot of you, I just wasted 12 minutes of my life watching Beyonce's short film and honestly I don't get why she keeps doing this.

If you're going to make a short film/documentary then please make it worthwhile and let the viewers leave with feeling they learnt something new.

I am, although I don't like to admit it, a big Beyoncé fan but I for one am so tired of her vanity projects, like we know you're beautiful, especially when shot in greyscale, we know you have found a new level of happiness and confidence and yes we are happy for you but would you for once just actually be real.

I almost feel embarrassed for her as she's trying so hard to build a whole new "more intimate" connection with her fans but it's coming across very scripted and way too thought out.

Obviously she can't be a Rihanna or Kim Kardashian, who tweet and Instagram every moment of their lives, but at least if you wanna give us a bit of the personal do it in an authentic way and she can start by actually uploading snaps taken on her iPhone instead of those images from her crystal clear Canon - you ain't fooling nobody!

I feel for Beyoncé as she's that MJ level of celebrity where anything extra beside the music that ends up in the public domain is very calculated and we're now in a generation of spontaneity which is something she clearly hasn't quite grasped the concept of.

Like she's said time and time again she's a perfectionist meaning she has no business teasing us by jumping on IG and Twitter as it's not something she knows how to work well.

Also it's a thing where if she's not gonna let us all the way in then please don't open the front door, heck don't even peep through the curtain and tease us.

I know I'm going on a bit here but it's so frustrating that she keeps alluding to things but then only touches on the surface which now has me thinking she's lying about something because she goes on about all the things she has been through but gives no specifics.

Additionally I was not here for Beyoncé: The Feminist, who then went ahead and called her tour Mrs Carter *sips tea* and I'm definitely not here for Beyoncé: The Humanist - stop trying to sound all conscious and act like you're truly affected by issues, like just sing and use sex appeal to make money.

All in all Beyoncé needs to stop talking and sharing her thoughts and feelings if she isn't game for saying something I actually want to hear, and just to be clear the elevator incident between Solange and Jay Z should be top of the list on her talking points next time she wants to bring out something that isn't a music video!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Fresh From The Editing Suite...

 PBGR - Mind Ur Step

So PBGR are a duo from east London I have been rocking with for quite some time now for the simple fact that their music bangs!

On Friday evening they dropped the latest visual off their debut album, The Black Market, which if you haven't heard yet you should definitely go and check out it.

Their new video is for the song called Mind Ur Step, which is a collaboration with Mo The Artist, now to be honest it's not one of my favourite tracks but I think, as with many songs I tend not to initially gravitate towards, the video has ignited a new found love for the song.

Execution is the key word for this post as it's an area where PBGR and their camp excel, the quality of this video, which was put together by New Arts, is actually crazy and although it's not a long clip it's definitely packs punch.

The storyline is clear and straight to the point with no confusion and the performance shots are effortlessly sleek which compliments the overall look of their new project.
But never ones to keep their following in the dark for too long, the boys also put out a new track named Humble Pie just hours after releasing the Mind Ur Step video to once again show and prove that they're more than capable of stepping up to the plate.

Take a listen and let me know your thoughts...
Again, The Black Market is available now on Soundcloud and my favourite track from the LP is SMW, which features the very talented Miss Miraa May, who also dropped a track on Friday evening called Voicemail - check it out below and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Too Late To Apologise?

So as we all know on Sunday Chris Brown headed over to Instagram and aired out his ex-bae Karrueche Tran's dirty laundry for the world to see. 

With the help of a dissertation of a caption Brown informed fans, haters and everybody in between about their former bedroom antics and Miss Tran's jetsetting lifestyle *raises tea cup and takes a sip*

Realising his wrongdoing it didn't take long for the Loyal *takes another sip* singer to delete the post which he then followed with several irrelevant uploads, and clearly after a talk with his "advisors", who are yet to inform Chris that he is too much of a loose cannon to be on social media, he posted the following...

Now I don't for one moment doubt, similar to the post where he put her on blast, that Chris' apology is heartfelt however the damage has been done and it's definitely too late for apologises. I for one hoped the public naming and shaming would continue and as I noted in my previous post I was hoping that both Drake and Rihanna would pour some more fuel on the fire.

But seeing as that is seeming less likely to happen what I will say is that the following points I agree with Chris about regarding his apology are 1. Yes he is dumb and 2. He is way too emotional but at 25 he is old enough to know better especially given he faced a lot worse in his last serious relationship *puts the kettle on*


To be honest once upon a week ago I felt bad for Karrueche but she has allowed herself to be publicly shamed way too many times for any sympathy to be issued.I'm not going to go into too much detail but my biggest problem with Miss Tran is the fact she let people think she was the side chick when in fact she was the main chick while her man went galavanting with his ex-girlfriend which is something I'm still trying to get my head around.Anyway here's what she had to say on Twitter about the current situation with her IG account...

All in all there just really isn't enough tea in the world for any situation that involves Chris Brown because he doesn't understand the art of keeping it cute!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

It just Got Very REAL!

Right so I have not blogged in ages and over the last few weeks I have been considering relaunching this blog and thanks to my fellow Team Taurus mate Chris Brown I'm back!

Now less than 12hrs ago I was telling my colleagues that there needs to be an emergency meeting to get Mr Brown removed from the Taurus gang as he was giving us a bad name, however following his recent Twitter and Instagram posts I'm reconsidering that notion.

Please pay close attention to the following three exhibits...

...And just in case you was not sure who he was referring to because a lot of you don't like to keep up...

Well I have to be up for church in like 4hrs and I need some time to let this well and truly marinate but what I need to happen by the time I wake up can be one or all of the following options:
A. Karrueche needs to respond
B. Drake needs to explain why he is the biggest sideman of the decade
C. Rihanna should just say something because it'd be rude not to
D. Chris Brown should reveal some more about their relationship 

As we all know there are several sides to a story (and even more when Drake is involved - it's not everyday sometimes find your own girl) and before Chris went IN, Miss Tran had a few words of her own which of course I have kindly listed below...

ps. Please excuse any typos I just had to say something, lol!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

2012 So Far...

Whitney Houston
The music world stood still again last Saturday when it was announced that Whitney Houston had passed away. The I Will Always Love You singer was found submerged in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel by a member of her entourage and pronounced dead on the scene, she was only 48-years-old.

Whitney leaves behind her 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina and a stack of hits for us music lovers who will be mourning the loss of a music great. With her death comes much negativity regarding the role a painful drug addiction had to play in her life, and until we know for certain the cause of her untimely death let's remember Ms. Houston for the music she blessed us with - R.I.P. Whitney Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012).

Whitney Houston - It's Not Right But It's Okay


Blue Ivy Carter
At just over one month old Blue Ivy Carter has to be the world's most famous baby, kicking her rival Harper Seven to the curb the princess of music icons Beyonce and Jay Z has arrived.

First time parents welcomed their bundle into the world on January 7th but kept the world on our toes as we waited for a glimpse of the heir to throne, but then on February 10th the power couple released five very intimate snaps of their pride and joy.

Opting out of the traditional million dollar magazine spread they posted the pictures of their daughter on Tumblr site dedicated to her - helloblueivycarter.tumblr.com


Just as she finally got rid of that horrid red thing and went to seek refuge with a brown weave, Rihanna has let me down again by deciding to get involved in a blonde mess...

Which just reminds me of...

Wait! Do you see it now...


Not a massive Madonna fan myself but I did really enjoy watching this performance, although as she's 53-years-old I don't appreciate seeing so much of her skin.

Other than the fact she lip synced during the entire performance I do feel she gave it her all, I thoroughly enjoyed the way the tracks were mixed during the 13 minute show and the fact she brought my home boys LMFAO on stage to party rock with her put a massive smile on my face *shuffles*

For the halftime spectacular she also "sang" her new single 'Give Me All Your Luvin'' alongside Nicki Minaj & M.I.A. which overall was pretty awful, nothing can save that song but M.I.A. managed to amped up the lacklustre performance by flipping the bird to millions of viewers - good times.

Finally Madonna wrapped up the showing with Ceelo Green who in my opinion saved the entire thing because his vocals on 'Like A Prayer' were so on point.

Nicki Minaj - Stupid Hoe

It's official Nicki Minaj has lost the plot! However you have to admire the hype she continues to generate as she managed to make history on Vevo with her latest video which gained over 4.8 million viewers in 24 hours but all I have to say on this is ... NEXT!!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Something I Think You Should Hear...

*** UPDATED ***
J. Cole - Cole World: The Sideline Story
Cole World: The Sideline Story is finally here and as a J. Cole fan I'm very proud. He's definitely held it up for us fans of The Come Up, The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights (and more recently Any Given Sunday).

So of course because I pre-ordered his album my copy came through the door on Saturday, but I held off on the album review because I didn't want to prematurely judge his debut record based off of what I already adore about Cole's talent. 

This album is perhaps the best example of the type of masterpiece that can only be put together with pure control over your project, unlike (and yes I'm going to say it) the efforts of Wiz Khalifa & Nicki Minaj, who had the mixtapes to stand up on but failed to deliver the album music lovers and not lovers of the hype were expecting.

Cole Talks About The Sideline Story

The Sideline Story has a nice hip hop/soul sound to it, with the right balance of mellow, mid-tempo and club bangers which all stand up lyrically, within this album there is also a certain level of consciousness that Cole makes coherent throughout each track.

The album begins with a much needed introduction which leads nicely into the first song, 'Dollar and a Dream III' which basically sums up how J. Cole perceives his musical struggle up until this point. Then there are tracks such as 'Mr. Nice Watch' and 'Can't Enough' which most would say isn't typical Cole as they definitely get you moving but they stay true to form as they are packed with witty punchlines. The album also consists of tracks like 'Lost Ones', 'Never Told' and 'Nobody's Perfect' which explore topics rooted within the motions we go through when in love or faced with hardship.

J. Cole - Daddy's Little Girl

The elements that stood out massively with this album is Cole's attention detail; I'm such a big music lover and I truly believe you can hear how much time and effort an artist has put into a song to make it the best it can be.With tracks like 'In The Morning' and 'Lights Please' which are now Cole classics he took the time to rework them by adding and removing parts of the instrumental to make them exciting to old listeners.

As my favourite track from the album doesn't have a video yet but it's about to surface as Cole and Missy have started putting visuals to the track, I've put up the visual for my second - actually third favourite track from the album.

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Let me know what you think of Cole World: The Sideline Story

Monday, 5 December 2011

As you may have noticed I haven't blogged in ages, which is very, very bad!

I will return to my blogging mission in a few weeks, I've got so much to say and I wish you could see how much work I have saved to draft which I haven't posted.

Over the Christmas period I shall be blogging as much as I once was, and letting you all know what I've been up to; until then Keep Calm and Merry On x