“American You” by Yelawolf

My boyfriend makes fun of my choices in hip-hop because I often refuse to listen to anything in the genre unless it’s Eminem or they’re from the Bay Area. Eminem because he always strikes a chord with me, I can understand it when he raps fast, and he’s wonderful. And The Bay Area because that’s where I grew up, where I first started exploring music, and hip-hop from the Bay always seemed to be honest, genuine, and hard-hitting.

Obviously there are exception – I will get on the dance floor if it’s Ying-Yang Twins or Lil Jon. But the stuff I always come back to is Bay Area hip-hop. This includes but isn’t limited to E-40, Yelawolf, Tupac, and more. I only recently started listening to Yelawolf and his latest single “American You” is FANTASTIC. There’s definitely a lot of swearing but it’s got a beat that makes you want to bob your head, sing along, and you realize that there are a lot of hard working Americans out there that often feel like they’re forggen in today’s society thru no fault of their own.

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Plus, the music video isn’t something to miss. I love watching the faces of so many different people with their own troubles, stories, and successes. It’s a fantastic way to see the fabric of this country and how we shouldn’t ever judge a person by how they look or present themselves. This song reminds us all that we’re all struggling in some way. That one person’s story may be different than another but we all still fail, flail around, and try to find the way we should be living that makes sense. that if somebody doesn’t take the time to understand your story, then leave them at the curb.

This song will be on repeat for a while, that’s for sure. Check out the video here! Plus, Travis Barker from Blink-182 plays the drums in the video and I’m obsessed. Carry on.

Favourite Lyric: You make somethin’ out of nothin’, you make money for a livin’/
Pushin’ buttons, stickin’ digits, flippin’ burgers in the kitchen/
With the vision, you’ve been dreamin’, you’ve been savin’/

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The Girls by Emma Cline

I first heard about this book on The Every Girl, I believe, and right then I knew I needed to buy it and read it. It’s based on the Charles Manson family/cult back in the late 60’s as well as the power of female friendship. And just how alluring the dark side can be, without cookies even.

It’s a dark book but it’s riveting. It follows the protagonist along her journey from being a good girl in the Bay Area to being tempted by another way of life for the sake of having girlfriends. We’ve all been there, I’m sure, where we would give almost anything to be part of that cool group of girls we see in the park. Whose lives just seem effortlessly awesome and this book plays fantastically on that feeling.

Though never mentioning Charles Manson by name, it’s quite evident it’s based on his group of hippies that form a commune based on love and affection that knows no bounds, until  you’re on the wrong side.

It’s an interesting take on what it means to so desperately want to be part of something bigger than yourself and the means to which some will go just to hold onto that affection they hadn’t found elsewhere before.

Don’t read this book at night, though. There are some parts that are incredibly dark but it may also be unavoidable as you wont want to put it down any time soon.

Favourite Quote: We all just want to be seen.

4.5/5

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

So there are two coffee chains that I love and frequent when I can. One is coffee bean & tea leaf when I’m in LA and the other is Peets Coffee & Tea when I’m in the bay. Both represent my homes in California and I finally found what seems to be the only Peets Coffee in Dallas. It’s in a Sheraton hotel lobby and I was hoping to do some work there but of course, it mostly caters to the hotel guests and patrons so A. there’s not much room and B. I doubt there was Wi-Fi specific to the coffee shop. But still, I am seriously a happy camper.

For those who haven’t been to a Peet’s before, the founder was actually partners with the guy who founded Starbucks but they split ways due to….let’s say….ideological differences of what a coffee shop should be. So Peet’s isn’t as frequently found as a Starbucks but each location seems to be as much of independence as a chain can be. And their coffee is fantastic. PLUS THEY HAVE MIGHTY LEAF TEA.  And we all know how I feel about some Mighty Leaf. Plus, the original Peet’s location is off the beaten path in Berkeley and is charming as can be.

I actually found this location by accident. I was looking for a different shop nearby but saw a lady carrying a fresh Peet’s cup so naturally, I had to google it on my phone and find it immediately. Naturally, I was only a block away from the Peets so I parked in the sketchy parking lot attached to the Sheraton and the rest is history.

5/5