An Ode to The Foreign Exchange

If you’ve spent any amount of time with me within the last calendar year, you would know how much of a Foreign Exchange fan that I am. And I don’t mean a “oh yeah, their new CD comes out tomorrow, lemme go cop it” type of a fan. I’m the “let me pre order the CD, order the CDs I don’t have, and put everybody and their momma onto these things” type of fan. I mean, in the words of my good friend Cheekie, I STAN for these two. Let me give you a bit of a history on how I became such a Foreign Exchange fan…

Thanks to Twitter, I had started “meeting” people that I had never met before in real life. One of these people was an MC from my alma mater, DK aka Wayne Watts. He and I built up a rapport based on music, and when he released his “24” mixtape for his 24th birthday, there was one song in particular, titled “Birthday Party Guestlist (R.S.V.P.)” that caught me as soon as the beat dropped. Since he took the liberty of shouting me out at the end of the mixtape (that still touches my spirit btw), I decided to ask him where in the world he got the instrumental from for that song. He excitedly replied that it was from this group called The Foreign Exchange and the name of the song was Take Off The Blues. Ya’ll know I went to YouTube IMMEDIATELY and found the video for it. When I tell you my jaw hit the ground as I listened to the song…

That wasn’t the first time I had been introduced to FE. I remember a few years ago, hearing some tracks off of Connected, but I never thought to ask who the group was, or where I could find the music…but when I was re-introduced to them through DK, I. FELL. IN. LOVE. Never in my life had I experienced such a strong connection to music before…as someone who defines every event in her life through a soundtrack, it literally felt as if I had just discovered the soundtrack to my life. I can literally piece together songs off of all three albums to create my own personal soundtrack. From the chill flow of “Come Around” on Connected, to the introspective flow of “Daykeeper” on Leave It All Behind to the smooth groove of “Don’t Wait” on Authenticity, I have been able to musically describe my life and my thought processes for the last year thanks totally to The Foreign Exchange.

If for some unknown reason, you have NOT been blessed by the sheer talent of this amazing duo, please do yourself a favor and go download their catalog. You can get it in the iTunes store, or go to their website to getchu a piece of glory. From Nicolay’s amazing beats (like seriously, I have a heightened level of respect for anyone that can come up with music off the top of their head, but where does he GET the inspiration for this stuff? Listening to his instrumentals is like listening to magic be made, for real.) to Phonte’s verses so eloquently laid over top of said beats (and once again, this dude is the truth. He spits some real words about life and everything that comes with it in every single song on every one of their albums; I promise you, if you listen hard enough, you’ll be thinking about a lot by the time the album ends…), you can’t be disappointed in this group. You just can’t.

And let us not forget Darien Brockington, Zo!, and Yahzarah, all members of the Foreign Exchange family. Talk about people that can sing and compose music like none other…all of their features on FE albums, coupled with their own solo efforts…high quality music. I’ve put numerous people on to the entire FE family, and I literally get excited at the mere mention of new music from anyone in the group.

Everytime I listen to a Foreign Exchange piece, no matter what mood I’m in, a little piece of my soul smiles. From the bottom of my heart, to both Nicolay and Phonte, I thank you for making the music you make. You have no idea the positive impact that each of your CDs has had on my life. You literally speak to my soul and have helped me get through and process through many situations over the last 12 months. I’m SO looking forward to the next time you come to DC, because I will DEFINITELY be front and center!

Til next time, folks…

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  1. Yeah I agree, you’re a stan lol.

    FE is great. I can’t remember how I got introduced to them, but I remember listening to Connected and really digging their sound. I didn’t become a really big fan of theirs till Leave It All Behind came out.

    I always think about how FE came to be and how truly random it was. Nicolay and Phonte meeting on the Okayplayer forum. Nicolay sending Phonte beats over iChat from halfway around the world. Neither of them ever having met each other until Connected was finished. Craziness.

    Make sure to let me know the next time they’re in DC! I need to be there too!

  2. I am proud of my stan-ness, thank you very much lol. Yeah, I agree the story of how they met was crazy…just goes to show, good music can’t be stopped! 🙂

    And oh most definitely, I will let you know…

    • Cheekie
    • November 22nd, 2010

    Wait…are you a stan or somethin’?

    Forreal, doe, I loved this write-up. And yes, their music can always put you in that mood. And Berook is right (for once) about their meetup story being so fascinating.

    • Stan? Hmm, idk you tell me…lol…and yeah I write to their music, do homework to their music, clean up to their music…all around just great stuff 🙂

    • keisha brown
    • November 22nd, 2010

    honestly..until i became a blog follower (vsb in particular), i had never heard of them. (i know, i know..).
    that being said..
    THIS is the kind of music i want to run out and BUY.
    thank you!!

    • MsEsquire77
    • November 24th, 2010

    I may be the big sister but you put me on to FE and I’ll forever be grateful! Thanks again for the CDs 🙂

  1. June 10th, 2011

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