SOALMusic: R.W.M. (Rich Without Money)

9:25 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

Shalom people! First of all, I would like to welcome myself back to the scene. Like I mentioned early last week, the technological means that prohibited me from updating have been solved! More details later, but for now onto other things that I promised. The surprise that I have, clearly stated by the title, is a mixtape review from two artists I am quite familiar with: LJ Da Artist (Alijah Thomas) and Seaux Chill (Nabil Ince), Columbia based. For LJ this is his second release, following up on his debut mix tape "Sincerely, Yours" and as far as I've been informed, this is officially Seaux Chill's first authentic body of work.

As you guise are well aware, I am a music enthusiast above all enthusiasts so I'm quite critical about anything that I listen to. I'm not easy to please people! Haha, oh shit let's just get to it.

R.ich W.ithout M.oney

When asked to describe the tape LJ said, "The mixtape was inspired by the quote 'Some people are so poor, all they have is money.' Rich Without Money was a project designed to show the importance of other things and having fun, while being true to oneself." He then goes on to say, "We recorded it in 4 days. A lot of my lyrics I didn't write down cause I wanted it to feel natural; created the feelings and emotions in the "studio." I didn't try to outshine or prove myself to anyone. I just wanted to show what happens when two artists put together a project. I wanted to push Nabil so his REAL lyricism and quality as an artist would come out and help him his expand his artistry."

Based on lyricism, coherency, musical creativity, and just overall flavor, I would give the tape a: C+, which seems fitting due to the time constraints as well

From the intro, one would have thought you were listening to a Joey baddie tape. You get a summery jam type of feel that makes you want to lazy around in the heat, possibly dance a little in the mirror. Next comes Can I Live, a song that has me in love with the beat. You get the imagery of a graveyard or somewhere drowned in secrecy alike. The shoutouts got very redundant but that was easy to overlook thanks to the lyrics. The next track is special for the name; however can be easily overlooked because of the lyricism further in the track. The Masters has some Joey-type delivery from LJ along with some amusing quips. Drown is ethereal with relatable, down to earth lyrics. Two Points, my favorite track by far, is quite amazing. In fact it almost doesn't feel like it belongs with the rest of the tape. From the modern-day relation, basketball metaphor, and the beautiful sample, it stands out in one of the best ways possible.

Jump Shot was the first real upbeat-type of song on the tape with more basketball references. Bantu Roots has a special place in my heart cause of the Selena Gomez beat, plus I believe in the message, even though the sincerity was brushed off in the start. The interlude was straight lyricism, which I am always a fan of. Nobody can say they didn't hear Bada$$'s lyrics while LJ went off the dome though, haha. I enjoyed the realness of Mr. Nobody and how it prepped for The Real Me Part II, where Seaux Chill clearly killed it and the Bulletproof sample was icing. I get how Got Me On Some Drake Stuff was supposed to be heartfelt, but personally I didn't feel moved; however, that could very well just be me. Plus that auto-tune, I'm assuming was supposed to mock Drake, heheho, needed to really go. RWM was lyrical without trying too hard at first, always a plus, with an interlude to kill, then the latter sounded lazy and boastful in an unimpressive way. Everything was a very brave track to make simply for the reason that many people no longer "have a religion" so it could have a very negative feedback if people choose to listen to that track at all. I wouldn't have had the typical vocals that were used in that "angelic" type of way and would have had raw lyrics with great delivery for the point to get across more effectively. You've been this way's first portion has an amazing chorus that vibes and just flows. It second half is my favorite part of the song because I love hearing the beats, the accompaniment, the sample, the violins, everything and that is what happened, it striped back.

Overall, it was a nice piece. Up until the fifth track it seemed as though the tape was one song, which isn't a great thing. There weren't many highs and lows, which every compilation should most definitely have and in my opinion, a couple of tracks could've been let go in order for the tape to be lighter. I feel like there was almost too much editing, y'know when it gets to the point where you're adding unnecessary sounds, like the constant "ah!"s, and echoing and repeating things that would have a greater effect left alone. The biggest thing I felt this tape was missing was the feeling when you listen to a song that you've gotta rewind it, even if you're already halfway through, in order to catch that one line, or you're already at the end and you just must simply listen again. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful tape with immaculate production and dope lyrics. I love the real-world-problems integration and the humble qualities in many of the songs. With this being the beginning of both careers, there is certainly always room for improvement.

Upon reflection, Seaux Chill says his top influences include Swoope and Kanye West. "Alijah came up to me and asked do you wanna make an album together, I was like sure."

My favorite tracks: Intro, Two Points, The Real Me Part II, and You've Been This Way
My least favorite tracks: Gabby Douglas, Drown, and Got Me On Some Drake Stuff

Hope y'all enjoyed this shift in gears!

xxoo missusmonroe


Styled By Micah

10:58 PM Anonymous 0 Comments



Women's Crush....Monday?

3:04 PM Anonymous 0 Comments

Usually this is reserved for Wednesdays but I could not resist. I first saw Tika Sumpter on the blogs who admired her fashion sense. However, it is not to be mistaken. Sumpter is a force to be reckoned with.
An American actress, singer, and model known for her roles as Layla Williamson on One Life to Live, and recurring roles as Raina Thorpe on Gossip Girl. She had small beginnings in New York, all the way to the big screen. She stars in OWN'S The Haves and the Have Nots. Her acting is great but her personality and style with grace is what draws me in.

Do you guys recognize this girl? if so what do you think about her fashion sense? I personally love it.

Je vous embrasse,


In the meantime

2:06 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

Hey guise, I know it's been a while, much longer than anticipated. Surprisingly it's not even because I've been overwhelmingly busy but rather because of fatigue and lack of desired technology, haha. Alas, that should be changing very, very soon! I would satisfy y'all with some pictures but seriously, giving you guys iPod quality is just so disrespectful, lol. So here's a little something I've been compiling and absolutely adoring. Oh and another thing! I have a huge goodie for y'all next week Thursday. It's going to be a first for SOAL but most likely not the last. I'm pretty excited for you guys to enjoy some concrete and local art.

xxoo missusmonroe 

Kiara Kabukuru & Samantha Gradoville in Club Tropicana photographed by Lacey for Muse Magazine

John Legend photographed by An Le for Scene Magazine Summer 2013. Styled by Kemal Harrison

Naya Rivera Stakes Is High

Maria Borges photographed by Thomas Whiteside for Dujour Magazine’s Summer 2013 Issue

[all images from tumblr]


Dynamic Africa

10:15 PM Anonymous 0 Comments

Model of South Sudanese origin Nykhor photographed by Kasia Bielska for an editorial titledNykhor in Bloom printed in the #7 June 2013 issue of The Lab Magazine, via dynamic africa

love this collection. Also love the looks of the sudanese model. I love when an African model is used in magazines, as that becomes a rarity over time.

je vous embrasse,


OOTD / Collegiate life

11:18 PM Anonymous 0 Comments

Hello SOAL followers,
Hope you are all doing well. I'm currently on campus taking some classes.
It doesn't feel much different. I have been able to integrate pretty nicely. Everything has really just been crazy. Trying to keep up with this crazy schedule and coursework.


Shirt: Ebay $8
Shorts: (such a steal) $11 Ebay Seller
Shoes: $6 Thrift Store
Necklace: $3 Ebay

As you can tell by the list, I have an extensive membership plan with eBay. It is easy to be on a budget and look stylish, followers!

je vous embrasse,