Femcon Album Review – K.Flay’s West Ghost

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I have been following K.Flay for almost a year now, ever since I mysteriously stumbled across her Eyes Shut EP on youtube. Then I fell into the rabbit hole that is the internet and emerged with a new crush.

So K.Flay is a rapper and alumni of Stanford University with a double major in psychology and sociology, and pretty much an all-around badass. She is smart and hilarious, originally taking up rapping to challenge the saturated market of lame mysoginistic rap we are drowning in. She is very clever and witty, especially in her book reports that she publishes on her youtube channel.

West Ghost

Tracklist:
01 – Don’t Wait Up
02 – Fleas Navidad
03 – Fvcking Crazy (ft. Eligh & Grieves)
04 – Another Round
05 – The Cops
06 – West Ghost (ft. Allen Stone)
07 – No
08 – You Say
09 – Appetite For Consumption

westghostHer latest mixtape West Ghost is available for download (for freeeeee) from her website, and I strongly encourage checking it out!

On the disc K.Flay addresses a variety of topics from drinking to sex addiction, to the culture of consumption we are emerged in. The content is really rounded out and diverse! There are some relationship tracks as well as K.Flay’s specialty, which (I would say) are raps addressing mental illness, depression, and insecurity.

I always find her writing very raw and insightful. It does have a lot of drug, alcohol and suicide references so I would only recommend the tape for mature audiences.

I also really appreciate the diverse moods on the tapes, from up beat tracks like Fvcking Crazy and West Ghost to more soulful emotional tracks like The Cops, this disc really has a  song for every mood. I find this keeps me from zoning out when listening, I’m continuously and actively engaging with the music, replaying and paying attention to lyrics and the beat.

OH THE BEATS. K.Flay does all her own production and is a bit of a mix genius. She works mostly with electronic beats, creating some really neat effects, that really keep you tapping along.

From a feminist perspective, K.Flay challenges traditional gender roles and norms in most of her visuals and music. For instance the video for  The Cops is this jarring and unexpected twist on K.Flay enacting traditional gender roles.

Also many of her lyrics criticize the male dominated rap culture she deals with on a daily basis, this is the opening verse from Fleas Navidad:

I’m not underdressed, you’re overdressed
Spend my days with chauvinists
In studios, conference rooms think they’re smooth, but no finesse
My mom dealing with Oakland stress
The world like cold as shit
Missed the boat on the perks I’m supposed to get
Mai tais on a white beach, coconuts bitch

So yeah. I really like K.Flay and I recommend the West Ghost mixtape. Try listening to it in the gym, or on your power-walk to work or school!

Femcon Album Review – Kilo Kish’s K+

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Kilo Kish  is an “American vocalist,song writer, visual artist, painter, fashion/textile designer, and model/actress. She is part of experimental collective, KoolKatsKlub, together with Producer/Rapper Mels McCloud and Rapper/Engineer Smash Simmons. Kish currently resides in Brooklyn.”

She is a regluar renaissance woman and her latest album K+ is not just a dream, trance, rap album with melo vocals and heavy bass but an entire multimedia art project. You can here her explain the project in her own words here.

As well I want to note how awesome this lady is after examining her web-blog, where she writes about delightfully nerdy things like the new Xbox One, and Game of Thrones.

K+

01 Intro
02 Goldmine feat. Jesse Boykins III prod. by Star Slinger
03 Ghost feat. Childish Gambino prod. by Matt Martians, SBTRKT
04 Trappin feat. Vince Staples prod. by Earl Sweatshirt
05 IOU prod. by Matt Martians
06 Turquouise feat. Jesse Boykins III, prod. by PROF CALC
07 Scones feat. Childish Gambino prod. by Childish Gambino
08 Love2K feat. A$AP Ferg, Smash Simmons, prod. by Very Rare
09 Better feat. Andrea Balency produced by Patrick Paige of The Internet
10 Creepwave feat. Flatbush Zombies, prod. by Cronos

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Listening to this album I was blown away by the originality. First of all the entire work is available for download for free from her site kilokish.com. Or you can listen to the full album via youtube.

The vocal flow and beats are very unique. Kish has a soothing tone of voice that really challenges the aggressive rapper motif. However, she does have a lot of collaboration on the album that allows the listener to hear the contrast on the disc and if you prefer the aggressive sound, there are tracks for you!

Her lyrics are also deep and intricate. There is a lot of tracks specifically about relationships, my favoriate being Goldmine, but I think I would prefer diversity in the subject matter, as a lot of the tracks come off quite monogamous/heteronormative. Here’s one of my favorite feminist lines from the track Turqoise.

And still, we’re casualties
Of summer nights with intuitions
I talk to Cash and tell her all my hopes and wishes
She says I need a man with morals and ambition
Still shudder at that idea of that old tradition
Like that, ‘cept for the fact that I get super bored
Fast, won’t you come back
Take your sweater up and drop it to the ground
You know I love the sound
Won’t you tell me to my face?
Champagne glass shattering
Emotions in this space

The production on the mixtape is amazing, unquestionably. And I admire the overall concept that she was striving for by documenting the entire creative process, the conversations at the beginnings and endings of the tracks really add to the dreamy atmosphere. This ablum is perfect to listen to when you are just chilling on the pub-trans.

I interpret her as having a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing what she releases next!

❤ Sarah

Feminist News Round Up! Malala, Somali Women, Sextortion, Residential Schools

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Hey all! There is a lot of feminist news today so I thought I would post it!!

From Aptn.ca

APTN National News
As Charlene Bearhead sheds light on one of Canada’s darkest moments students of all ages look on.

They hang on her every word.

They hear about the atrocities of the Indian Residential School system as part of a large group of non-Aboriginal student’s participating in “Project of Heart” at the University of Alberta this week.

This comes almost two decades removed from the closure of the last residential school in Canada.

APTN National News reporter Keith Laboucan has the story.

Here’s the link to the video: Getting to the Heart of Residential Schools

 

‘Sextortion’ – He guys it is wrong to sexual extort women over the internet. This is wrong and can get you up to 105 years in prison. Don’t do it.

A man who is said to have blackmailed more than 350 women after convincing them to strip off in front of their webcams has been arrested in the US.

Prosecutors said Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, had hacked into hundreds of Facebook, Skype and email accounts to obtain naked or semi-naked pictures.

It is alleged he threatened to post the nude images of victims publicly unless they removed their clothing on camera.

If convicted, he could receive a maximum jail sentence of 105 years.

 

Our favorite 15 year old, Malala Yousafzai is still recovering from having a bullet removed from her spine.

 

This is an awesome story about Somali women returning to the country to rebuild.

Safia Yassin Farah is 34 and her desk is that of a high-flying executive anywhere in the world, except that the view from her office is of high walls, wire and armed guards.

She left the US to take up a post working with young people in Mogadishu, helping them obtain an education and skills.

“I’m here to stay. I’ve quit my job,” Ms Farah says, sounding thrilled and scared at the same time.

“I grew up in the US and got my degree at the University of New Hampshire. I had a job, a house, I had everything.”

She says she was motivated to return after hearing about the plight of Somali children caught up in violence, including being recruited by the al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabab, which has lost control of Mogadishu and other towns to Amisom and government forces but still controls many rural areas of southern and central Somalia.

 

Bitch Media has a great article about the uproar cause from a political profile that calls out sexism.

News Links and Events Feb 1st!

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Tonight – Stories We Don’t Tell: Personal Experiences of Gender Based Oppression

Go to this tonight!!

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you can find some press on it here.

From the facebook page:

**TRIGGER WARNING** the contents of this theatre piece discusses lived experiences of violence and contains content that may be triggering to individuals in the audience.

We all live with a residual narrative of thoughts and experiences of violence towards our bodies, towards our gender- from the miniscule events that make up our everyday reality to the seismic ones that shift our world leaving nothing the same. Stories We Don’t Tell is about real experiences. It explores how gender impacts lives. It sheds light on those marginalized by gender and examines effects of socially accepted and normalized oppression, locally and globally. We resist our many layers of oppression by merely surviving, by being present and by telling our stories in the hopes that we are not alone.

the event is free to attend. In the interest of accessibility, childcare is available for this event. Please email volunteer@apirg.org by Jan 23 if you require childcare or have any other accessibility concerns (transport, ASL interpretation, etc)

 

Today is National Hijab Day! What can you do in your community to support tolerance?

From the BBC 

Originated by New York woman Nazma Khan, the movement has been organised almost solely over social networking sites. It has attracted interest from Muslims and non-Muslims in more than 50 countries across the world.

For many people, the hijab is a symbol of oppression and divisiveness. It’s a visible target that often bears the brunt of a larger debate about Islam in the West.

World Hijab Day is designed to counteract these controversies. It encourages non-Muslim women (or even Muslim women who do not ordinarily wear one) to don the hijab and experience what it’s like to do so, as part of a bid to foster better understanding.

 

This is a great article on rabble.ca about what C-45 will actually do to Canada and why it is sooo important to support Idle No More and take a stand against the omnibus bill.

First, the changes sharply narrow the scope of democracy in Indigenous communities by removing a broad-based collective power and replacing it with the kind of majority rules mentality that can, for example, see a prime minister elected to a majority government with only 39 per cent of a popular vote in an election in which only slightly more than half of all “qualified” Canadians voted, as happened in the federal election of 2011. In fact, only 5 million out of Canada’s population of 33 million elected the Harper government. Such a decision-making system allows small groups in society to grasp power and wield it as if they have carte blanche — the Conservatives’ recent omnibus bills, of which Bill C-45 is but one, are an example of this in action.

Second, Bill C-45 was simply imposed without any consultation with Indigenous peoples themselves; it was a unilateral political change to treaty rights that violates previous contracts, and as such is simply unacceptable and, it could be argued, illegitimate. Nevertheless, Flanagan justifies the lack of meaningful discussion and dialogue with Indigenous peoples: “Consultation has become a shibboleth of our time. It is, indeed, an essential part of democracy, but it can also become a constraint on freedom.” Translation: if we ask the people what they want they might disagree with our plans for capitalist expansion and then we won’t be free to do whatever we want. This is not real democracy in action.

Third, Bill C-45 will, more correctly, increase the “freedom” of those pursing capitalist accumulation by removing democratic checks and balances in Indigenous decision-making. There can be no doubt that “freedom” has become the go-to watchword for today’s capitalist class and those who work on its behalf.

In essence, Bill C-45 will make it easier for particular groups in Indigenous communities, with corporate support of course, to push through controversial development plans that will, undoubtedly, benefit community members unequally. Thus, the consequences of Bill C-45 might be understood as yet another form of what geographer David Harvey has called “accumulation by dispossession,” that is the privatization of public lands or resources designated for common use to be used, instead, to generate profit for a small minority.

 

The Romanian Campaign “Why don’t you come over?” solicits their women as objects to be viewed in order to attract immigrants and tourists. Not cool, a little weird and creepy. You can read more about the whole campaign here.

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