Entries Tagged as 'Music'

Enslaved by Hip-Hop: A Rant

10.24.2016

By Jaden Nussbaum

 

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Retrieved from: diymag.com/2016/01/23/kanye-west-drake-collab-in-the-studio-larry-graham

In case you haven’t heard by now, Kanye West disclosed some inside details regarding his current schemes and come ups in an interview with Vogue magazine back in early September. You can Keep Up With Kanye and read the entire article here, even though I can save you some time and tell you the one truly important piece of information bestowed upon us by our beloved Yeezy: a Kanye/Drake collaboration is in the works. This is not a drill; not enough people are talking about this.

We aren’t talking about some B-list collab. This is Drake, Drizzy, 6 God, AUBREY GRAHAM combined with Yeezus himself. What we did to deserve these blessings is beyond what my lowly feeble brain can understand, but I’ll accept them with no dissent.

The thought of this album really, for some reason, excites the hell out of me. The two most (opinion warning) culturally impactful hip hop artists of the decade are grinding away to grace our humble, undeserving souls with an album that will change the face of America.

Okay, it’s probably not that serious – but it is a really big deal. I know I’m not alone in saying this and I really feel like an entire generation is hinging on the release of this album. We’re hungry. The anticipation makes us all tense; can you feel it? You didn’t know it was there until I pointed it out, but you feel it. We’re all the same.

My point: modern hip-hop has taken the genre and transformed it into a social and cultural empire. Meaning we are putty in their hands. We live our lives in accordance to them, oftentimes unconsciously. These impacts may be positive or negative, but even the fact that they exist confirms the pop rapper’s reign.

Think about it. Rap and hip-hop artists were once treated like thugs and degenerates. They are now treated like royalty – and they didn’t get that treatment on accident. Some of the industry’s biggest stars made some moves, did some low-key “gangsta shit”, and purposely propelled the hip-hop namesake into relevance that can almost be equated to mass worship.

So whether you’re bouncing between music streaming services in an effort to culture yourself with the newest album or mixtape, buying merchandise, or even checking a Kardashian snap story, you are contributing to the ascension to godhood experienced by these artists and their associates.

When did this happen? When did I start separating contrasting portions of my life by album releases? Does anybody remember the exact moment we all fell under the complete control of a handful of pop-rappers? They have us hooked; why else would we obsess over their families, significant others, and personal lives?

I used to always feel indifferent about rappers and the music they produced. Some of it was good, but most of it was repetitive and cliché. None of it gave me that euphoric tingle I sought and expected out of the music I listened to.

While I’ve always been a fan of Drake, I had never considered myself a true hip-hop enthusiast. My taste in music has always aligned with songs and artists that have a ritualistic effect on culture, AKA I’m a basic b!tch. I listen to what is popular. So, as a self-described basic, I can tell you society was totally and completely devoured by the world of hip-hop the day Kanye West released The Life of Pablo.

Hip-hop has always been huge, don’t get me wrong but something changed in the air that day. TLOP struck a chord with the world. It did this by being different, by feeding our collective a need to feel chic, manic, and a little spiritual. Rap and hip-hop are restricted to themes of parties and drugs no longer, and making hip-hop music that can get you in your feels has ceased to be a Drake-specific anomaly. Sorry, Drizzy.

Funky beats and ethereal choruses are cool now, and this trend has no end in sight. Chance the Rapper took advantage of our newfound curated taste for a more spiritual rap experience and slapped us in the face with Coloring Book. Along with that, Drake kept us dancing with Views. Will we ever get a break?

We are now cogs in a machine. Are you okay with it? I think I am. As long as these artists continue shelling out content that makes me want to chug a pot of coffee and get my life together: I’m obsessed. I am the property of the rap industry, and I know you feel the same. Let’s stomp on our dignities, cast away our doubts, and together we will blindly allow hip-hop to drag us into the future.

Event Radar: First Fridays in Kansas City

10.07.2016

By Maria Rodriguez

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Do you enjoy art, fashion and music? Well, look no further than Kansas City. First Fridays are full of pop culture and entertainment. And now, thanks to the University of Kansas, students are able to attend this amazing monthly event without wasting any gas money. Every First Friday (weather permitting), a bus takes students from Lawrence to Downtown KCMO.

I was able to attend for the first time ever, and it was by far one of the best events I have been to. From food trucks to art galleries, the night was full of picture opportunities.

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For the 21 and over crowd, I highly recommend Up-Down bar. If you are into photography, I also recommend checking out the vintage shops on the West Bottoms.

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Listen Up!

9.22.2016

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Photo by Maggie Russell

Considering the current weather, it’s a little difficult to believe that the Autumnal equinox is already upon us. Let’s welcome the new season with open arms! Here are some tunes to help you shed your summer skin:

 

Finally, More Frank Ocean in Our Lives

9.21.2016

By Elias Medici

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The purgatory impatience finally ends for Frank Ocean to release new music. On August 20th, 2016, his next project Blond was available for the world to drool over after four years of being silent. His last album, Channel Orange, brought worldwide attention to the young artist, perhaps contributing to his hibernation from the music industry. But the wait is over, and Blond blesses our ears with a re-defined sound and an inspiring story so well crafted by the mastermind himself, Mr. Ocean.

Four years is a long time. The struggle of waiting can be explained by a leap year baby trying to celebrate their birthday and turn one year older. His distinct style favored by the masses can be enjoyed throughout the album and provides a depth into his personal life. In the first song, “Nikes,” it takes around three whole minutes to finally hear his voice. He as well incorporates a tribute to Pimp-C, A$AP Yams and Trayvon Martin, who all in-explicitly died at different times. He as well mentions a tribute to Hurricane Katrina in “White Ferrari,” which connects the death tributes to a common theme of never forgetting personal devastation suffered in the past.

As seen in the album cover, there is no immediate signal of anything “blond” especially since he has Chia-pet green hair and is hiding his face. However, Spotify and Apple Music have displayed the album as Blonde, which the public determined as misspelling all over social media. In the English dictionary, the term “blond” is defined as a “fair-haired male” and “blonde” is “a fair-haired female.” In 2012, Frank posted on Twitter an open letter about his true self and the answers he is seeking for in the matter of love. He explains about his relationship with a man. He stated that four years ago he “met somebody, I was 19 years old. He was too.” He then goes on saying, “by the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love.” This may be a contributor to collaborate with the streaming services to define his sexuality in the ways he feels. He as well encourages listeners to do the same and be open about it with tracks such as “Be Yourself,” “Good Guy,” and “Facebook Story” which provide a calm, holy-like instrumental, with a speech as lyrics from different sources. They all support staying true to oneself and not letting any influence change real identities.

Ocean’s album involves an array of writers including Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, and even The Beatles. The song “White Ferrari” includes lyrics provided by Paul McCartney and John Lennon in their song “Here, There, and Everywhere.” He as well incorporates Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend for lyrics on the second track “Ivy.” The strong support of writers provides a sensible tone to enjoy throughout the album and a new choice of words not present in previous works by Ocean.

The wait is well worth it. All expression of a struggling person in society is found throughout the album and triggers an enormous emotional response listening to its entirety. The public has yet to acquire the knowledge for the reasoning behind the release delay, but it’s here to enjoy. Blond can hopefully be recognized as a generational masterpiece and reach historical significance. Effective music embodies a personal narrative with political ideals and consistency to present a message, which this album successfully does. Take 40 minutes uninterrupted out of the day to listen carefully and learn something from the album.

Tailgating 101: Five things every newcomer should know about game day in LFK

9.10.2016

By Ellie Milton

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Photo by Georgia Hickam

Ask anyone on campus: the KU football team hasn’t had the best of luck in the recent years. Yet, that definitely doesn’t mean that Jayhawks don’t know how to throw a tailgate! Whether you’re from Kansas or you’re here from out of state, there are a few things you should know about game day here at the University of Kansas.

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Photo by Georgia Hickam

  • Even though we aren’t the number one team in the Big 12, fans still go crazy for KU football. I come from a state where college football is a huge deal. Knowing KU’s recent records, I was not expecting much from the first game’s festivities. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much KU football spirit the people of Lawrence have. I saw kids wearing little Jayhawk costumes, food tables looking more like something out of a Hogwarts banquet than a college tailgate, and most of all, everyone was wearing crimson and blue.
  • Dressing up for game day is a big thing. A quick tip when picking out an outfit for game day: if you’re comfortable, you’re probably underdressed. Girls in heels and dresses, guys in dress polos and button downs, and everything in between.
  • The RCJH chant will absolutely give you chills every time you hear it. I’ve been to Jayhawk football games before and I grew up a fan of KU, so the “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” chant is nothing new for me. Even though I’ve heard it a hundred times before, the second the entire stadium starts chanting, I truly felt like a KU student for the first time.

 

  • There are TONS of options for tailgating. Whether it’s greek tailgates, family tailgates, club tailgates, or just house-party type tailgates, you’ll find a place to get hyped for the game. The best spots? The neighborhoods and parking lots by the stadiums are some of the hot spots, as well as a few of the Greek fraternity houses.
  • Finally, if you think LFK goes hard for football games, just wait until basketball season. Allen Fieldhouse, we’re coming for ya!
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Photo by Georgia Hickam

 

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