Monday, December 13, 2010

Pretty Girl Movement


So why is it that claiming your pretty (even if someone's boyfriend doesn't think so) is liking asking people to HATE on you. Is is peoples insecurities, or a trend to keep women down...




you can press play and have this song as the soundtrack to my post
I love that she paid homage to some pretty girls through out time.
The T-Boz one was my favorite!




A few weeks ago i had dinner with a family friend and her sweet mom who was visiting from the east coast. Both are beautiful women with short hair, always stylish and fashionable. At one point we were all in awe of the gorgouseness of the wisest woman at the table (she's in her 80's) because she was glowing. Her response was quick and it seemed that she took the complement and quickly denied it saying that she couldn't believe it. This started a conversation about how women since day one are taught to not hold their head high or they will be hated on. I remember when i got caught blowing kisses at myself in the mirror when i was about three and was immediately talked about for having a "big head." I learned to not show my ecstatic confidence in public for fear of persecution from my peers mostly women. I have a distict memory of over hearing someone telling a family member that i was "cute but you shouldn't tell her or she'll think she's all that." Now Im not saying girls need to grow up thinking a red carpet is necessary for her highness, but whats wrong with a girl embracing her physical beauty.

Apart of me feels its a society marketing conspiracy : if we make women feel they are not then we can make them buy hella products because they will believe they need them to be beautiful. We will make them feel they need to get there "nails did, hair did, everything did," to replace that emptiness by feeling fancy.The other side to this is when you add race into to it. Although over time its gotten better with more women of all races to show that beauty comes in all color, it still encourages a "white washed version." I feel lucky to have been raised in the bay where there's a lil bubble where its a plus to have a lil more junk in the trunk, and looking unique is complemented, but theres still issues in what women are raised on regardless of what community, or the medias influence.

Sometimes it seems like just by being a woman when you walk in the room, is a invitation for everyone to comment on the physical. That's why all though it may be corny im feeling Keri Hilson's song "pretty girl rock." I wanted to also share a few photographs of my friends who are fresh inside and out.

Adia lives in the bay and has done photo shoots in Portland, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles to book her email afimara@gmail.com. She's one of the nicest people i know and definitely one of the prettiest.






Next up: Siaira Shawn is a multi faceted, talented individual, promoter of unique looks, stylish, what more can i say...photos are by pretty girl Adenike (more shots can be viewed at AdenikeShotMe )






And last but not least i've been spending every free moment making art (hella) inspired from the art show I went to Friday you can check the pictures here and I wanted to share some paintings that I think work a illustrators for the pretty girl movement cause there of women and there GORGOUS. check em and check the art of Joshua Mays at soldren.com





I think there's nothing wrong with encouraging confidence and embracing of ones beauty.
With that said someone who looks nice get real ugly in my eyes when they aren't to pretty on the inside and act in ways not desired. Nothing wrong with loving the way you look ladies... Pretty Girl Movement!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Video: KA'RA KERSEY - FUCHSIA GLAZE

The singer song writer and all around fly girl has recently returned to Oakland to make more
music in the homeland. I look forward to see what is to come for this young star, who has already commanded stages and collaberated in cities across the us: Chicago, and Atlanta. This video and song captures the feeling a lot of us young twenty something folk who ventured away from the bay to study feel, we love the bay, we kinda wanna go, but we hella wanna stay.



Portrait of Janelle Monae


Portrait of Janelle Monae , originally uploaded by wrenrobb.

unlike the last portrait i did of this talented woman, this is rough. My goal here was to focus on the feeling and powerful energy of a performance.
Watercolor
by
Wren

musica through your headphones


musica through your headphones , originally uploaded by wrenrobb.

water color on marker
by Wren

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Music: Love Pain & Music

Let me start by saying I'm not a pop fan at all, but I make an exception for folks like Netta Brielle because its HipPop at its best. The whole mixtape is dope...please check the whole thing out if you haven't already Here
The flow and collaboration of the production makes for a really good listening experience. She starts off by getting you to nod ya head and turn it up with Screamin.' She keep showing her love for 80's with Electric Love which is silly and fun all around good jam.I love the All i want is you cover (that i just posted). I always like when people do phone calls on a mixtape cause it just works, and its especially dope when it leads to a banging beat with Breathe. "Pushing Away" just might be my favorite and i can picture a video of it on trl and 106&park in other words it needs to hit some charts up. I'm glad she brought back"Tonight." She hits us with the Pain part of the tape with "Deceitful Love" the lyrics paint the struggle of knowing it ain't right to be with someone but feeling like you can't walk away, trying to muster up that strength to leave. Only right to be followed up with the hook "Try to let it go" (cause it ain't good for me) and then straight into "Deuces" she sounds good next to Chris Brown. Maybe this good be a foreshadowing of a music collaboration in this singers future. "Dance with You" and "Strobe Light" should be on every party mix from here on out. "Takeover" took me a second to get pulled into this one but once i did i Love it, and I think its Netta at her best and true to herself, with an Aaliyah vibe. "Im in Love with the DJ" is fresh (so dj's betta play that shit). I think she most definitely did "Glamourous Life" justice and its dope to have multiple bay artists do a song like that. I'm glad "Girlfriend #2" was covered cause now theres a female perspective, but i think the original version is WACK.



What do you think of "Inseparable"? I think it shows her vocal range and is a nice change of pace. "The One" is solid as well" and I love that she thanks everyone on the "Outro" and ends it with the message to hold onto your dreams and believe.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the bay has artists like no other

Artists here are like no other: beautiful collaborations, we have unique original style oozing out us, we start movements and say slang that the world copies, and we are slept on. But instead of blaming the industry I challenge the artist to push themselves to get the exposure they want.

I was talking with Niema (
twentysometing renaissance) the other day about that tired expression (that I've been guilty of saying too) where artists (especially rappers but artists of all forms) say: "The Bay don't support us" really? cause I see websites like 38thnotes dedicated to supporting artists, and hella people like myself that will by a box of cd's and sell it to where ever they happen to be cause they want to spread the message and see their talented Bay Artist get up. Sure we have haters and people not so willing to support others, but that's everywhere.

(thinking solutionary how can artists remain to pay homage to their homeland and not limit themselves to an underground world with less exposure)

With that off my chest we do have some hella hella hella talented artists that need to be shining cause they are stars. I am working on a mixtape with the homie Jean Marie (really beginning stages but soon ill have something for you) so I am especially loving this collaborative cover of All I want is You: (originally by Miguel) by Rafael Casal and Netta Brielle
with no further a do:


fresh right?

Shout out to local bay area artists
(just cause i haven't given you a dose of my love to promote the dope artist in a minute)
38thnotes team
true supporters of all good things Bay Area


Dom Jones: poet arts supporter, singer, song writer and much more

Netta Brielle and Kev Choice
both can Rap and Sing and stay making/releasing music everyday


Bay Area based singer songwriter Siaira Shawn

Get Back Crew: talented Poets / Music makes Rafael Casal, Chinaka Hodge, Daveed Diggs


Dear Bay Artist,
your fresh! but don't limit yourself,
eat the world and stay hungry.
If you know this then go head and keep
making good art that represents US
Much Love,
Wren
xoxo






Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Janelle Monae


Free print for anyone that can guess the actual size of this piece

(except for Neem's Miss Niema Jordan over at Twenty Something Renaissance cause she's only person that has seen it in real life)

Los Rakas!

Video:Shot By Amanda Lopez & shot and edited by Trevor Traynor
Song: "Soy Raka" Produced by Iamani

LOS RAKAS SmokeOut Festival 10/10 from Trevor Traynor on Vimeo.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Album Review Nicki Minaj

(originally posted on tumblr with a repost of Rocky RIvera's review)

I have a love and hate relationship with this girls music. I have been listening to her since Coco Peila played me her music introducing her as “my wifey rite here”. I love her song autobiography, and I listen to her songs and let them get stuck in my head but I'm not sure if I'd say I'm a fan. It hurt my soul a lil but when the middle school girls in my music workshop new more of her lyrics then a Lauryn Hill song, but also made sense and made me feel old. So the ALBUM: Despite the title on the first track “I am the best” it’s not the I eat mc’s for breakfast cocky Minaj, (well a little bit but also some vulnerability). “I remember when i couldn’t by my mother a couch…now i bought my mother a house you could never understand why i grind like i do…cuz even when my daddy was on crack i was crack now the whole album crack you ain’t gotta skip a track.” I has the characterish feeling some love and others love to hate that makes her voice sound slightly like a chip munk on her raps, as well as a I am who i am vibe and describing the feeling of viewing from the top and reminiscing when you didn’t have like that. My favorite line of the song “I’m fighting for the girls that never thought they could win cause before they could begin you told em it was the end.” This make me think she going to continue to evolve as an artist and that she has already seen how her lyrics are impacting middle school aged girl, and therefore throw in some uplifting lyrics here and there.

You guessed it ‘Romans revenge’ ain’t my favorite at all (how’d you know?). For one I don’t like the Eminem that talks about beating his girl calling her a slut and lighting her on fire, but that’s what they asked for. But besides the lyrical ludeness some of the punch lines sound like a lazy word game “cunt I’ll kick that hoe, punt, force trauma, blunt” So I wouldn’t bump it but i get it, its a crazy collaboration and it get’s your attention, (but in my opinion) it ain’t quality Hip Hop.

“Did it on em” i like the beat. I can’t help but think of Lil Kim with the line “if I had a dick I would pull it out and piss on em” (((member Just Like me “if i had a penis I’d be heartless foreal tho n***a’s start shit i’d just flash out my dildo.” The only reason i bring that up is because I usually think when people compare it’s to start beef or its just lazy. But maybe both MC’s just happen to be obsessed with pink and different color hair, playing barbie, and they have penis envy. ha! or not…”Right Thru Me” You already know. It’s catchy (too catchy?) it adds to her multi talented repertoire. And again it shows her vulnerability with paired with being a fierce emcee “who eat bitches so why even try” seems to be key. I like that Rihanna and Nikki Minaj collaborated on ‘Fly.’ “i am not a girl that could ever be defined, i am not fly, i am levitation, i represent an entire generation, i hear the criticism loud and clear, that is how is i know the time is near” She came to win on this.”Save me” has been my favorite since it leaked on Youtube. And I agree and its dope that the girl given the crown for best female emcee can make an all r&b song this good.”Moment for Life” is Fresh! Makes me wanna put it on a mix with all the music my friends make about appreciating the Here and Now, each and every moment..Drake brought it too.”Check it Out” featuring Will I.AM: Catchy as two hip hop artists that also get labeled pop would be. “Blazin” loving the spit’n “had the power to be the best be in the league yeah never to bleed but could it be lil me you was heckling me now whispering not it need now irregularly.” Kanye’s verse on there is cool too..’Here I am’ first thought is i love the beat and (paired with her vocals) it sounds like something hella familiar (ill think of it later). But solid record. Before I heard the song i like the concept of “dear old Nikki” and i thought it might disappoint, but i like the first verse, after that it a lil fillerish. “Your Love” has been out for so long and a lil played out but fits in just fine on the album. “Last Chance” is that classic girls just wanna have fun vibe, and kinda classic Nikki that even people that hate on her can’t help but shake their head to and laugh at the punch lines. So it’s only right to follow it with “Super Bass” which has that same vibe and make me want to bump it in my ride immediately. I like the beat but “Blow ya mind” doesn’t blow my mind. ”Muny” is the hip hop i gets money type record that allows her to get compared to any other emcee (despite people think lady spitters aren’t on the same level) And she’s said from the beginning she’s bout the dollar bills so its only right. “Girls fall like Dominoes” punch lines and plays with words and claims she’ll steal Drake n Lil Wayne’s girls. I might wish that Melina Jones, Jean Grae, Rocky Rivera, and hella other emcees that are women are getting as much shine as her, because of the substance in there lyrics. But I like Nikki Minaj’s ability to be completely free with her rimes, the i don’t care what the fuck im talking bout mentality it rimes and i wanna say it works for Lil Wayne and it works for her with random shit like “she might be filipino sipping palegrino.”

Left me wanting more but its might just be cuz i didn't love the last track. This album has me thinking what's next for her, which is a good thing. Regardless if i would love more substance in Hip Hop she's gonna make records and get plays, so I think my part is to organize whats in my control. I know some talented Lady Spittas and I plan to promote them to the fullest. If your a fresh lady spitta and I don't know you holler at a wrenagade...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Art of Dreaming

after a great sho on saturday i been bumping Sandmans first solo album the ART OF DREAMING I had a minute of free time the other day n got to sketch'n in my sketchbook and drew this...



Here's video captured by the wonderful Mzima...such a beautiful night!





yes amani i AM MANY did have a peacock feather in his hair
xoxo
-W

Monday, November 15, 2010

Goapele taken the stage with Drake

I have been a huge fan of Goapele since forever. Very proud that she comes from Oakland, fellow OYC-er and just awed by her beautiful voice and always wanting to see her make moves and get her just due. So I am smiling that she's performing with artists like Drake because it means more exposure for this east Oaklander.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flowers for the Dead

haven't been posting anything on this site for a while but I couldn't resist sharing this...TheMeMusic project presents this beautiful song with iamani and big dan. It captures that universal thirst for the world healing seeing weeping laughing them. Honored to have a couple of my old paintings scattered through the slide show (note to self get organized with illustrations and create more for theme music)

For all those that have lost someone, at times lost themselves, for believers, for celebrators of dia de los muertos, for the ancestors wishlist, listen to this:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mic G


Stays making some solid music, I am whole heartedly in support of the coming project Ghetto (w)renaissance. I'm liking the rawness of this video, shout to Aebldee in the video, Check it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Artistas to Check!

A sweet lady by the name of Aarika Martin gave me props on repping for all the Lady Artists, it warmed my heart and inspired me...I love giving props to artists (especially Ladies). The sister company to Oaktown Wrenaissance ---> Tres Mercedes is the genius behind the collaborative show I did in June that was an all female art show, with performances, art, and even a lovely lady painting custom designs on your nails and a clothing swap. I love seeing ladies Take Over in this way (and that was only the beginning). So this is my shout to all Lady Artists (in all forms of the arts) doing their thang. These artists inspire me and i think as soon as im done posting this I will go hard in the paint...big shout to all those that create art from the Heart

Heres some fresh art made by talented ladies to check:



Ashley K Arnold




Alfie (Ebojo) Numeric




Mercedes Martin




I've had the privedledge of getting to watch Mercedes evolve as an earring maker and even gotten to collaberate with here and get these fly customized WRENAGADE earrings (picture below). She uses local art found on flyers and such as well as things like bottle caps to make some amazingly fresh wearable art...continue to check her out as she evolves as an artist.









Friday, August 13, 2010

ST coming with the organic flow


ST an artist to keep ya lifted...



ST SPITTIN "I GOT THIS" from B. Younger on Vimeo.

Im in the studio with ST right now, witnessing the world play n flow. Hella organic just how the photo shoot went, but a lil feeling into in a way you can't help to feel. ST and his homies knock it out quit. With the "I got this" mentality. With a chuckle in the flows to keep you nodding with a smile. Feel good music that also represents the lifting energy that Oaklanders have to sustain. Look out for the projects coming out from the homie...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

verses just bursted out

record another record wish my hands were microphones so i could record this song of life (LOVE) i wish my heart beat came with a studio to capture this, after this splurge of creativity i wanna be free but calculate a meticulous way to be ever continuing this process ever so seamlessly

Hit Hit Hitting the studio and actually have something that i am PROUD to share (and sharing) is very necessary for me in this moment.

Thank you to all the folks that make FRESH SHIT cause whether i would call you up and kick it with you or we kinda went are separate ways your presence in my life at one point of another has led me to want to ever improve, evolve and CREATE

RIP Guru


I just did a photo shoot with the homie S T
we knocked out hella locations and chopped it up about Hip Hop
the Town, how we both came to call ourselves Emcees
people that have passed away, and what inspires us.
This was a shot that from the shoot that captures some of that
we (myself and ST along with a lot of young bay area artists)
are hungry to make songs, and hop on stages,
at the same time honoring those who have influenced us
and paved the way by contributing to Hip Hop.

While we were driving to one of the locations
He revealed that his mother was in a gospel choir and influenced
him in a big way surrounding him with a plethora of musica,
along with folks like Do Dat, and the homies of the League510

I look forward to working with ST and seeing him rise.
-Wren

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bambu "Old Man Raps" Music Video

heres some behind the scenes of the video with interviews from Bam himeself.
I've been a fam of Bam, through out all his music, and its a honor to call him a homie.
Bam stays making raps for the kids, with all his music, this is scene the album titled
"I scream Bars for the children" and tracks directed towards his son.
On this song he captures the struggle that most reformed parents have when they see there
children taking a risky path that they once fell into themselves.
Check It:

Monday, July 26, 2010

A story of an Emcee on the Rise named ST (Spittin)

In case you have thought that anything on this here blog has not been filtered to the fullest this is a notice: I stepped up my bar game and finally decided to claim Emcee title too...so with that I only will post the like of the finest emcees, who i respect for a plethora of reasons. This artist has talent, crazy word play, and a quality i can't really define almost a bounce in vocals as he flows that goes hella well with the beat.

The video speaks on his history in other areas of Hip Hop (dancing) and this is an inspiration for all my fellow multi-taskers of the arts. ST is a visual lyrical and all around artist and this is testimony for all talented artist keep, keep honoring your gifts and your light will shine (even when it seems to take hella hella time) I had the realization that I can use the fact that I am in a lil bit of every art to my advantage. Don't let your mind tell you your any less than amazing, and keep speaking on it, like the Homie St!

Check his video which highlights some of his lyrics, and his background on how he became to be the Emcee he is today:

Friday, July 23, 2010

I heart the Bay



Recently I have been practicing the idea that I can play tourist in my own city (not by spending money on crap thats not worth it) but by appreciating where you live with brand new eyes like you've never seen it before. And the second part of this (kind of like this ideas reflection of itself) is to find home where you go when traveling.

Right there might just be the key to Happiness, or at least a great way to pursue it...
Here a few flicks i took from a day spent biking all over the bay including over the Golden Gate bridge:




after being uprooted from my homeland of Oakland while being in college in the LBC since 18 I've been in the Bay (living) for about a year and i have started to grow some roots. I'm moving towards creating my perfect home here, still not a place where i feel like creating at my full potential, so i got some work to do, but slowly but surely getting there...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

reflections::: opening up my sketchbook


Art is Music: Music is Art





Above is from a series of different Perspectives:
A reflection capturing a few moments from all angles



Mirror Image: Reflected





two expressions feelings and moments
Reflected into one picture

These images are all toned down with the sepia mac book camera...as to shock you when you see the finished pieces and remind you these are just sketches. Some of the images from this series I have started painting - I have some writing to go along with the sketches and eventually I will have a whole package of all types of art created under the title :::REFLECTIONS::: I am in a reflective space right now, building myself up for a transition into a new phase of my life. The inspiration for these pieces is you, life, struggle, my reflection when i look in the mirror, the beautiful, the ugly, love, music...




Tuesday, July 13, 2010

38thnotes Presents : the Bay Abridged

(special shout to 38notes founder CoolHandLuke for choosing me to create some visuals for this project)

via 38thnotes:
DOWLOAD 'THE BAY ABRIDGED'
TRACKLISTING:Track Listing
1. "Foxy Girls"-Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs Ft. Chinaka Hodge
2. "Slick Talk"- ST Spitta & GQ
3. "Sweet Shop"- Miss Haze, Denise Wallace, & DJ Shred One
4. "Oakland Clap"- The Swapmeet Ensemble Ft. Mr. Town & I.V.A.N.
5. "Who You Shootin At"- BRWN BFLO Ft. Rebel Diaz & JR Minister of Information
6. "Streets is Hot"- Clif Soulo
7. "Tu Gial Esta Ready"- Los Rakas Ft. Chapp
8. "Night Life"- League 510 Ft. J-Billion & 1-O.A.K.
9. "Dreamin California"- The Freshman
10. "Abrazame (UpRoot Andy Mix"- Los Rakas
11. "Glamorous Life R&Bmix"- Netta Brielle
12. "Classy"- Jay Ant
13. "Here and Now"- Sandman
14. "Right Now"- Do D.A.T.
15. "Regular Shit- Vell4Short Ft. Moe Green
16. "Cashin In"- Nio Tha Gift
17. "Can't Stop Now"- Erk Tha Jerk Ft. P-Child
18. "Spend the Night"- E-40 Ft. Laroo, The DB'Z, Droop-E, & B-Slimm
19. "Rider"- Samm Ft. Erk Tha Jerk
20. "DoYouDoNotSee?"- iLL-Literacy
21. "I Got Soul, I'm So Wasted"- Wallpaper
22. "Vibrator"- Gucci Mane Ft. The Cataracs
23. "I'm On"- League 510
24. "It's A Shame"- Raphael Saadiq
25. "Legs"- Darondo
26. "Lovin What I Got"- 1st Place & DJ Mike Czech
27. "Summer Time"- League 510 Ft. Way-D
28. "I'm Gone"- Nio Tha Gift

Take a listen to the dope and diverse offerings we produce monthly. There are a couple cuts on this June edition that came out last month, but by and large, this is what June in the Bay sounded like in our neck of the woods. To those of you unfamiliar with our steez, check us out with an open mind. Love it or leave it, you will have to respect it. In a region known for our unique everything and independent core, we continue to do us, so perhaps it's time you tuned in and took another listen.

They really went in on putting together a mix that I can play on repeat. They got intrigued with the first track: Foxy girl, where Oakland's own Chinaka Hodge spits it for the Town, with Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs giving props to the bay areas plethora of wonderful women. Fast forward to Clif Soulo with Streets is hot and I really can't stop, ever track makes for a great mix, all together doing what I believe 38notes does best, showing the talent and diversity that Oakland and the Bay Area as a whole has naturally.