Photo Courtesy of CoolBeanz
“I was born just days after the summer solstice so I always felt like the summer belonged to me. The time just feels like no restrictions or rules — it just feels like freedom. Summer leaving feels like losing a piece of my freedom … ’til next year.” ~Ideeyah-Bling UniverCity alumni
An end of summer soundtrack is a must-have for the last few backyard barbecues. Presented by the Detroit-based multimedia company BlingUniverCity, Summer Bling is an eclectic compilation featuring some of Detroit’s best underground artists. Produced primarily by “Dean” CoolBeanz, and executive produced by the featured artists, this album is for the grown and sexy who need to get their minds right. Whether you dig rock, R&B, hip-hop or jazz, Summer Bling can get the party lit and accompany the afterglow.
Breaking up the fantasy of the good life, “Life’s A Beach” is what happens when vacations end and real life begins. Female rapper Delaurian is flustered as the soothing sounds of the seaside are overpowered by the trill of her alarm clock. Those of us with 9-to-5s feel rock maven, Steffanie Christi’an as she summons strength to get through the workweek, anxiously awaiting “Satuhday.” Her velvety vocals speak to employees who yearn to break free as she repeats the bridge, “Satuhday should so be tomorrow/Everyday should be like a Satuhday.”
Pulsating drums and wiry synths surrounded by echoing vocals emit a cosmic vibe as singer-songwriter Ideeyah hips us to why “Famous Ppl Get High.” Her sultry vocals crush fabricated personas. It’s a testament to how the pressure to put up a front and impress others drives people to do strange things for fame. Delivering clever rhymes and mellifluous vocals are Pierre Anthony’s forte. On the mellow head-nodder, “My Influence,” he mesmerizes with a deft display of rapping and singing as he leads up to the hook: “See music got this power over me/That’s why I’m consistent … She’s everything I want and what I need/ She’s my therapy/She’s my influence.”
The sedate “So Famous This Summer” is a dope instrumental that’s perfect for relaxing and networking with cocktails. While “Tell Me” is reminiscent of De La Soul, as Grown Man (CoolBeanz and Diff Jones) keeps it real about getting to know a new bae. Their honesty will gain the respect of mature women while stirring curiosity.
Channeling The Foreign Exchange, Collective Peace contributes the album’s second instrumental, “Jummer Sam.” LaDarrel “SaxAppeal” Johnson‘s saxophone commands the lead on this transcendent masterpiece. Just like those warm summer nights that we don’t want to end, Zania Alaké expresses desire for an everlasting love on the ballroom ballad, “Summer Nights.” Alaké embodies soulful jazz with ease — working her Black girl magic.
“New” Detroit presents many opportunities, but some of them can be perceived as a gift and a curse. CoolBeanz and Delaurian remind us to stay conscious to gentrification in “City Folk.” Renovation and rebuilding often spark revolution, which is a sobering reality illustrated on this conscious track.
Impassioned sentiments and socially conscious themes coupled with a cohesive soundscape, make “Summer Bling” an essential addition to playlists. “Summer Bling” is available now on all streaming services. Visit www.blingunivercity.com to download the deluxe version.
Photos courtesy of CoolBeanz