Ode to London

Poems

When he told her he was coming to the city but not to see her, she was angry

Not because she’d miss the way he would have smiled when he spotted her from a mile away

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It’s a London Thing

Thinkpieces

shoreditch

I wrote something recently about the London Bridge terror attacks for MuslimGirl.com, which you can read now.

I won’t expand on it here, but please do have a read and let me know your thoughts on it. And in light of it, I’d like to share some of my favourite quotes on my hometown – and in my opinion, the greatest city on earth. Go ahead, @ me bruh.

The Bird IS The Word

Food

Peter BIRD

As much as we love a good burger, how many more new adaptations can we endure? The honest burger, the dirty burger, the Mexican burger, the Tinseltown yaas-there’s-a-halal-option burger… frankly I’m done with £9 burgers for a while and thankfully my spirit food, chicken, is becoming available in the form of speciality dishes we hadn’t got to experience in this country very often pre-Nandos popularity, where it all boomed for us.

Enter BIRD Restaurant. I’d heard about it via friends and some celebrity faces on Twitter and after a peek at the menu, I made my way there sharpish.

I Found Love In Boom Burger

Food

photo (3)

Well, here’s another food rant. I’ve spoken about food here twice before, with no rave reviews as yet. But third time’s a charm, and yesterday I indulged in some amazing Jamaican-style food on Portobello Road, London.

‘A Little Taste Of Jamaica, That’s Making The Heart Of London Go Boom!’

I Went To See Kevin Hart & Friends, And…

News, Work

KH

On October 12 I ventured down to the SEE Arena in Wembley – it was the first time I had been to the Wembley Arena, and I understood why on my journey – it’s MILES AWAY from where I live, near Croydon. But I thought Kevin Hart‘s HartBeat Weekend was worth trekking down to Wembley for – on a Sunday, in the rain…

rain

The Time I Met Lauryn Hill

Interviews, Music

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I went to the Brooklyn Bowl at the O2 in London on Sunday (September 28) to see the one and only Lauryn Hill perform – obviously, I had heard people moaning about how it was sub par – the sound wasn’t right, she performed her songs in a weird manner – i.e not the way we hear it on the album – which made them unrecognizable… she was also late. However, I walked into the venue with none of that in mind – can I also just say that the venue is pretty awesome; I will definitely be getting my wave on and bowling there in the near future (picture me rollin’). 

Review – Watch The Throne (London)

Music, Work

This weekend, the UK finally got to witness the most highly anticipated tour of the year – ‘Watch The Throne’. The concepts for the show were clear; minimalism, sharp visuals and pure quality were key on what Jay-Z called this “glorious occasion.” Kicking off their minimalistic approach, the show did not feature any supporting acts. We saw the pair grace the stage clad in “all black everything” at 8.30pm, starting off with ‘H.A.M’.

The rappers started off standing on two different platforms a fair distance opposite each other, which then elevated them above the audience. They went on to perform ‘Who Gon’ Stop Me’ and ‘Otis’ together on the main stage, which displayed a huge American flag.

Visuals throughout the show absolutely reeked of Kanye. As the friends performed ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, we saw wild animals attacking their prey on the big screen, an obvious reference to the one thing that was made clear at this occasion – they are the Kings of the rap jungle.

The show was primarily a showcase of the ‘Watch The Throne’ LP, however it could have also been classed as a Greatest Hits tour, as the Jay-Z and Kanye both performed their own sets.

Rap peers should bring pen and paper when viewing the show as many of them could learn something from the Roc Nation businessmen; the rappers both managed to project their characters and charisma to the audience in an overwhelming manner.

Jigga kicked the solo sessions off with ‘Where I’m From’ and ‘Jigga What, Jigga Who’. A professional performer, the 42-year-old put on a polished, controlled performance, with his reserved energy giving him the superiority of a big brother to ‘Ye.

On the other hand, Kanye was snarling, screeching and rapping on his knees at points of the show, giving us a raw performance that you could feel across the dome. Although they both had a strong solo playlist, Kanye prevailed in his showcase of his contribution to pop culture as he performed tracks such as ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’, ‘Flashing Lights’ and ‘All Falls Down’.

The Chi-town rapper also revealed his inner-diva during his performance, cutting a track off and reloading it as he wasn’t happy with the camera man’s angles, correcting him before telling him “I know what I’m doing. Sorry London, I want you to have the best show.”

Catering across the board, Jay-Z made the rap fiends happy as he performed hip-hop classics such as ‘I Just Wanna Love You’ ‘Big Pimpin’’ ’99 Problems’ ‘On To The Next One’ and more. Kanye made the ladies smile with a quick set from his ‘808’s and Heartbreak’ album, which saw him perform ‘Heartless’ and ‘Runaway’. It ended with the 34-year-old looking pretty emotional as he sang “If I told you I don’t like the way your hair looks tonight, don’t listen to me baby, cause I’m an asshole…”

A powerful moment came when Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ blared through the speakers as images of riots, the KKK and general destruction were displayed. The rappers kept their backs to us, watching the images themselves and letting us soak up the unspoken statement on the irony of America’s patriotism as ‘No Church In The Wild’ began.

Of course, the encore couldn’t have been anything else but ‘N****s In Paris’.  The pair reloaded the track 5 times, although the audience probably would have been happy to hear it 10 times.

The pair graced the stage for over two hours and I was pleased to see that they seemed to have put their blood, sweat and tears into it; there was a preconception that because of how high-profile they are, this might not be the case.

Overall, Jay and ‘Ye gave us a phenomenal exhibition showing us why they have dominated the music scene over the past 10 years, performing more hits than I can name. They successfully gave us a clear insight into their world, letting us feel their potent power and their strong connection to not only each other, but their audience.

As the concert ended, Yeezy said “If this was your first concert, it is all downhill from here.” For once I would have to agree that this isn’t his ego talking, it’s the truth.

Top 10 Coolest Destinations in the World

Work


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote this for NXG Magazine last year and I wanted to share it again. I love travelling and I these amazing locations inspire me to achieve more in life – so I can gather the money to actually go to all of these destinations. Enjoy and do comment if I missed any worthy gems out.

1. Northern Lights – Norway: Norway is simply assumed by some as just cold, dark and dreary. On the contrary, this European wonder is one of few hosts of the aurora borealis, more commonly known as the northern lights. In winter months, expect a display of green, pink and blue lights shimmering through the sky. Accompany that with the stunning mountains and rivers and the verdict? Beyond breath taking.

2. Grand Canyon – Arizona, US: This location is an obvious one, which definitely lives up to its reputation. This 277 mile long, mile deep canyon carved by the Colorado River provides truly spectacular scenery. Tours are best to be taken in the summer so you can enjoy getting a tan whilst walking through one of the official natural wonders of the world. And before you think about it, do not be put off by 127 hours. If you get too scared, you’re just 5 hours away from Las Vegas. Result.

3. Harajuku – Japan: A fashion capital of the world, Harajuku has introduced a whole new dimension of fashion. Every Sunday, witness what I could call a fashion parade in the town’s mall, where casual dress is typically: dead brides, real life Hello Kitty’s, Avatar characters and even real life Barbie’s. Yes, that is where Nicki Minaj got it from… and Gwen Stefani. Amongst that experience an extraordinary whole new culture, with amazing food. Awesome.

4. Niagara Falls – Canada/US: When you’re feeling a little stressed, (let’s face it, who doesn’t sometimes?) who would not want to see an endless view of luxurious waterfalls, reflected upon a blue sky, which borders Canada and the state of New York. Winter provides an even cooler view, when the falls freeze on the outside, resembling the ice age. And when it gets too cold, you’re only a few hours away from shopping heaven. Bliss.

5. The Great Wall of China – Errm… China: This wall, actually built up of several walls, has been built throughout history, dating as far back as 500 BC. The huge piece of history travels on for 3,700 miles and is almost nine metres tall at times. The colossal landmark is so prominent that it has been said that the wall can even be seen from the moon. Surrounded by beautiful greenery and architecture, it makes a beautiful tour, especially when you stop by Beijing for a tour of the town.

6. Pyramids of Giza – Egypt: Another official wonder of the world, this is the oldest standing wonder and the only one that is still mostly intact. The Egyptians technique of the construction of the pyramid is still quite a confusing ideology for archaeologist’s to comprehend, even today. Originally 480.6 foot tall, it held the record for the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Impressive. Magical, puzzling and enchanting, this is a surreal, must see experience.

7. Antartica – aka The South Pole: Okay, so we simpletons may not be able to travel there, but it does not stop it from being freakin’ amazing. The sun shines in the land of penguins and all things magical 12 hours a day, yet it leaves the snow undeterred, causing much confusion to scientists. The fifth largest continent, Antartica holds no permanent residents. This is no surprise, considering the country is 98% ice which averages at a mile deep. It is also the coldest place on earth, with lows of -89 °c. Ouch.

8. Great Barrier Reef – Australia: The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system in the world, and looks like a dream, with over 2,900 reefs in total. It is so significant, even more so than the Great Wall of China, that it can be seen from outer space. This beauty also holds the record for the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. The natural wonder has also gained the title as an officialWorld Heritage Site.

9. Eiffel Tower – France: To me, Paris is vaguely reminiscent of London in terms of culture; the capital is brimming with many small treasures which ultimately make it so spectacular. Built in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is definitely France’s main landmark, after being recorded as the most visited attraction in the world. The Louvre museum in Paris is the most visited art museum in the world, holding pieces of history such as The Mona Lisa. The icing on the cake? Paris is THE official city of romance. Awww.

10. The London Eye – England: I had to include London in all these wonders because, well, I am biased. Seriously, in truth, London has so many architectural monuments; our capital is bursting with wonders. What better way to see it all by taking a long ride in a scary looking mini capsule? Since it overlooks the River Thames, don’t forget to take that boat cruise afterwards. Also a walk by Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, Westminster Cathedral… I could go on. Like Lily Allen said: “why oh why would you wanna be anywhere else?”