This is a redirect to my newest article on the protests in San Diego.
To read this article click here.
If you’re unable to follow the link, please go to the Scriberr News website.
This is a redirect to my newest article on the protests in San Diego.
To read this article click here.
If you’re unable to follow the link, please go to the Scriberr News website.
Originally written on May 26 2020 when this was relevant.
American singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey has drawn controversy from a recent Instagram post made late Wednesday night last week where she name drops Top Billboard artists like Doja Cat, Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj.
In said post, she begins with the question, “Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating, etc — can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever I want — without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizng abuse??????”
This is following years of criticism she’s faced over her music’s subject matter. Some fans and critics alike have scrutinized her music for glorifying unhealthy relationships and toxic tendencies. For instance, according to genius, her notorious song “Cola” details her promiscuity rather blatantly but was later heavily probed for its mention and exaggeration of a “Harvey Weinstein” like character.
Regardless, Lana believes that her music has “really paved the way for other women to stop ‘putting on a happy face’ and just be able to say whatever the hell they wanted to in their music.”
Her response ends with her announcing her new projects even though she precedes it by saying that they don’t really have “anything to do about much.”
The response to her post drew a lot of praise and disappointment from onlookers and fans. As with anything on the internet, Lana saw many people criticizing her response. Some took offense to her only naming women of color in her response even going as far as calling Lana Del Rey as “racist” and “entitled.”
The story also began trending on Twitter causing some to begin the #lanadelreyisoverparty.
Of course, all of this attention caused the 34-year-old singer to make an official four-part addendum via her comment section. In her response, she touched at the many accusations people had made toward her: “Bro. This is so sad to make it a WOC (women of color) issue when I’m talking about my favorite singers. I could’ve literally said anyone but I picked my favorite fucking people. And this is the problem with society today, not everything is about whatever you want it to be…I don’t care anymore but don’t ever ever ever ever bro- call me racist because that is bullshit.”
The only official response from any of the artists Lana publicly name-dropped came from Doja Cat who in a now-deleted comment said, “gang sunk that dunker.” The response is rather cryptic but some have said it’s a possible reference to the early wave of fans who came to the defense of these artists without reading or understanding the situation. With that being said, no official explanation has come from Doja Cat herself.
It should be noted that not long after Lana’s original post Doja Cat came under fire herself for visiting online chat rooms full of alleged alt-right members and for an unreleased song titled “Dindu Nuffin.” These allegations originated from a Twitter post who alleged the “Say So” singer was taking part in racist behavior. She has since denied any sort of racist narrative or intent on Instagram Live and said in a recent text post, “That’s not my character, and I’m determined to show that to everybody moving forward.”
If the narrative behind these stories proves anything it’s that many people aren’t ready to have a conversation about topics like this. Despite what the Grammy-nominated singer wanted many official publications have denounced the actions of Lana Del Ray stating her post is simply ploy in order to gain more relevancy. Others have come to her defense and agree with her stance on the unfair criticism she’s received since her official debut album released back in 2012.
Regardless of what others have said, Lana Del Rey has doubled-down on her previous sentiments and shows no intention of going back on her word. How this will affect the release of her forthcoming album and future collaborations however, cannot be said for sure.
So, its been two years I’ve been using this website, and I just have to say wow. To anyone that reads or even gives me a passing glance, thank you.
I started this website with the idea of sharing my opinion and building a portfolio for my future career as a journalist. However, its shaped itself into something so much more meaningful.
This place is like an archive filled to the brim with everything I love. I know I haven’t updated this website much in the past year, but trust be that hasn’t been by choice.
I’m a creative in every sense of the word, so I fill as much time as I can doing something stimulating. Sometimes that doesn’t mean I’m writing here. I’ve also been hard at work writing articles for scriberr. Everything that doesn’t get accepted there goes here. So pretty soon I’m going to be releasing a Lana article they haven’t edited.
I still love talking about music and my love for writing hasn’t dwindled at all.
This summer I’m going to focus my efforts on writing and moving toward my future. I hope to see all of you there.
Thank you and please turn off the bright lights.
Happy quarantine season everyone. I’m currently writing from my soft bed, listening to tunes I’ve already heard thousands of times over. So I figured now is the right time to find something new. Around this time last year, I gave everyone three tips on how to find new music in the flooded market we call the industry. Now here I am again, a year later, back for another installment of this possibly-annual series. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Features are the backbone of many albums, more specifically Hip-Hop and Pop records, the two most popular genres out there right now. So many artists spend thousands of dollars every year to get one person on their record and typically it’s for good reason. Whether it’s a contractual agreement or something is organically grown, in most cases, features on records can make a track, that much better. This is why if you end up liking the feature you should try getting into that artist too, provided you haven’t already of course.
In my own experience, this is how I got into artists like Don Toliver and Dababy, the ladder of which has been so prolific on features its starting to become a joke in the Hip-Hop industry. However, both artists have a pretty decent selection of solo works under their belt. I know for a fact I wouldn’t have tried to get into their music if I hadn’t heard them on someone else’s track. Sometimes it’s scary to jump into someone new blindly, so think of features like a test to see if you enjoy the way a particular artist sounds.
Be honest with yourself. Have you looked past the top ten spots of the Billboard Hot 100? Well if you haven’t, I highly recommend it. I can almost guarantee that you haven’t listened to every song or artist on the entire list. Charts like these help gain insight into what many people are listening to and if so many others enjoy these artists, there’s a decent chance you might too.
But you don’t have to just look at what’s charting overall. There are thousands of charts available for every nation and genre available. The amount of music trending and being shared is at an all-time high, which rankings constantly shifting and trends consistently evolving over time.
It’s perfect for trying to get into a new genre as well. I know personally I was lacking a lot of music in the country genre, but thanks to Billboards lists I was able to find a few artists I really enjoyed.
This is a technique I recently started employing and it has worked wonders for me. All across the vast scope of the internet are heaps of individuals dedicated to something. Whether it is music, movies or games. Any form of media likely has someone working tirelessly to promote the experiences of its creates.
What I recommend is seeking those people out. On Twitter, on Instagram, or even on a blog like this one. I follow a variety of pages online that give out music recs every day and I always take the time to get through them. Some of my favorite albums have come from recommendations from these pages and I couldn’t be happier.
While it’s true the times are bleak, it’s always a good idea to sit back and smell the roses. Appreciate the finer things in life as they say. However, I know the same as anyone its hard to find them sometimes. Whatever medium you’re interested in go out and seek more of it. Step out of your comfort zone. Learn something new about yourself.
Stay safe and stay home.
(Authors Note: My company never posted this article I did back when it was relevant so I am archiving it here.)
A recent experiment conducted by digital agency, space150, was able to recreate the lyrical content and production style of Houston rapper Travis Scott using artificial intelligence with eerie accuracy, according to Adweek.
Ned Lambert, executive creative director at space150 explained to Adweek how the project began, “We were sort of fascinated with like, ‘What if we tried to make a song—like an actual good song—by using AI and basically creative directing AI?’” What emerged from this simple idea was “Jack Park Canny Dope Man” a single which comes very close to recreating Travis Scott’s sonic and lyrical sensibilities.
It was written by an A.I. which was fed Travis Scott lyrics for several weeks before it began spitting its own rhymes in a similar style to that of Scotts. The melodies and percussion were created using additional neural network programs similar to those that analyzed his lyrics.
However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t come with a few kinks. Lampert told Adweek, “The bot kept talking about food.” A characteristic that is still somewhat apparent in the final version of the single.
Be that as it may, the vast majority of lyrics from the aptly titled TravisBott are pretty nonsensical, to begin with. As annotated by Genius, the A.I. wrote lyrics such as, “I was the bitch on the plane (Straight up)” and, “I don’t really wanna fuck your party food” and finally “I can’t eat all on this money now.”
The voice rapping the absurd lyrics in the official single was not A.I. generated however it was actually provided by fellow Texan rapper So-So Topic. According to the rappers Twitter, he said, “…lil clarification: an AI bot “listened” to 60 Travis Scott songs, then reproduced a 10,000 line song in his style that was then narrowed down to a 5-min cut of illegible lyrics. I got to observe and it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever been a part of. I’m rapping the lyrics.”
Lampert explained to Adweek the company had chosen Travis Scott because, “he is just such a unique artist and he has a unique sound and everything sort of has an aesthetic to it, both audibly and visually.” Perhaps some of that initial wonder has withered since the creation of this single but one thing is clear to Lampert, “the tech is not ready to handle a creative project on its own without some heavy human supervision.”
Regardless of its shortcomings “Jack Park Canny Dope Man” is a technical marvel and opens a new world of possibilities waiting to be explored.
The single is available on most streaming platforms and an official music video featuring a glitchy deepfake version of Travis Scott is accessible on space150’s official Vimeo.
“Run” is the newest single from 88rising poster boy, Joji. It released following a ten day-period of teasers from the enigmatic singer/songwriter. Last Thursday morning a music video for the single was also released featuring a muted blue color palette and visuals seemingly taken from Joji’s previous music videos.
The single, on paper, seems like it’s standard fare for Joji. Its lyrical content is very similar to that of his debut record BALLADS1. It’s tinged with the same melancholic tone and delivery however, its production is far more nuanced.
Its initial guitar riff interpolates elements from a Metallica song called “Nothing Else Matters” off of their fifth studio album commonly referred to as their “Black Album”. What is most interesting about this choice is its possible implication. The Black Album was one of Metallica’s most controversial as it signaled a shift in genre for the band. Many purists weren’t receptive to the change, however, critics lauded it as their best work.
It would seem Joji is going through a similar change in style. Over time Joji has moved on from his early lo-fi hip-hop influence and bloomed into more of an alternative pop artist. Some fans have expressed their distaste for the sudden shift in tone and often make fun of his dramatic transformation from his Filthy Frank persona into the singer he is today.
“Run” is all of those feelings incarnated into a single track. It expertly blends rock and pop elements and has the Osaka-born crooners best vocal performance since “Slow Dancing in the Dark.”
Whatever this single means for Joji, one thing is very clear; it’s just the beginning.
Jeffery Epstein was an American financier with ties to President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton as well as a plethora of other powerful individuals. He is also a known and convicted sex offender. On Aug. 10th Epstein, while awaiting his trial for sex trafficking charges in a Manhattan jail, was found dead.
This was not his first brush with crime however, back in 2007 Epstein was indicted and later convicted of sexual assault of a minor as well as solicitation of a prostitute. However, unlike most other sex offenders in the state of Florida, where he lived at the time, Epstein was given special privileges. Instead of prison, Epstein was admitted to a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade. If that didn’t make matters worse he rarely ever spent time in a cell and was actually allowed to work at his West Palm Beach office twelve hours a day.
By the end of it, Epstein only had to serve 13 months of an 18-month sentence before being let go on house arrest, thanks to a plea deal set by our ex-secretary of labor Alexander Acosta. Acosta claimed he had no clue of the liberal treatment Epstein was provided but records show that all federal prosecutes that were under his authority were very aware of the circumstances and demands.
What followed immediately after were a large slough of sexual assault charges levied at Epstein from his alleged previous victims. Eventually, he was arrested once again on sex trafficking charges and promptly held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. While under investigation a considerable amount of damaging evidence of sex trafficking. He was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. He was also denied bail by US District Judge Richard M. Berman who posited that Epstein posed a serious danger to new victims due to his “uncontrollable” sexual fixation on young girls. He also feared Epstein was a serious flight risk and might use it to flee prosecution.
Of course, Epstein never actually had the chance to be prosecuted, because he died in his cell at the New York Metropolitan Correctional Center. It was alleged he had killed himself using nothing but a jail bedsheet. He was supposed to be checked up on regularly due to a previous attempt he made on his own life, however, the guards who were in charge had fallen asleep while making their rounds.
Jeffery Epstein will never face the trial.
This is a summary of what is currently accepted as the true story of what happened to Epstein. However, the details are shaky at best and come from a smorgasbord of sources all of which with varying levels of reputability. Of course, with there being conflicting accounts and misinformation rampant, the case of Epstein is a very difficult one. Among its many instances of foul play its given ways to one of the 2019’s hottest conspiracies. The question of whether Epstein did or did not kill himself is a point of contention for many. It’s implications even more so.
So let’s talk about conspiracy theories. Head on over to Merriam Webster and they will tell you a conspiracy theory is “a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.” This is the official definition we will be running with for the duration of this article.
The possibility of foul play or a “secret plot” surrounding the events of Epstein’s death arose not long after he was pronounced dead. The Post unveiled a story on Aug. 11 focusing on a former NYC jail inmate. In said story, the inmate said there was “no way” Epstein was able to kill himself while incarcerated. At the same time, another article this time on CNN reported that Epstein’s death would be looked into, as per the request of Attorney General William Barr.
This is essentially what lit the fuse on the whole debacle. Afterward, several new discoveries were made that all had to do with Epstein’s supposed suicide. Medical examiners found evidence that many believed to be more consistent with strangulation rather than hanging. Regardless, medical examiners in New York City officially ruled his death as a suicide on Aug. 16. However, this answer is not sufficient for many and a private investigation is still ongoing.
So whats this investigation trying to prove? We are aware that they believe Epstein didn’t kill himself but what does that really mean? It would seem everyone has their own take on the matter. What makes this case so compelling is the number of connections Epstein made during his trudge through life. What business does a convicted sex trafficker have with President Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew?
The short answer is, we will never know, but many have used this information to support their own unfounded conclusions. Some think he was killed to be silenced, others think he was forced to kill himself and so on and so forth. The running theory or joke, depending on who you are, is that Epstein didn’t kill himself.
So let’s analyze a few pieces of “damning” evidence people have used to “prove” Epstein didn’t kill himself.
For one, the official autopsy of Epstein reported a break in the hyoid bone. A U shaped bone positioned between the skull and postcranial skeleton. Some have used this to say that there is evidence of strangulation. However, CNN makes it clear that the bone can be broken in either case, whether it’s homicidal strangulation or suicide. The fact that it is more often broken in a homicide is neither here nor there, it’s a small detail irrelevant to the manner of death.
Many often cite the lack of camera footage as proof for there being foul play regarding the death of Epstein. Reuters actually reported two cameras positioned outside Epstiens cell mysteriously malfunctioned. However, tampering is actually a common occurrence in prisons and jails among inmates aside from this one instance. Videosurveillance.com makes this very clear: “There exists a risk that inmates will attempt to tamper with a facility’s security equipment. While many prisons use tamper-resistant cameras to cope with this problem, there’s always a possibility that a camera will be damaged and lose its signal.”
Again there are pages of possible malfunctions and issues revolving around tampering listed in official documents about security cameras released by correctional facilities. Obviously, it’s a big enough issue in prisons and not uncommon for a camera to malfunction randomly due to tampering or some other form of manipulation whether Epstein was there or not.
Finally, let’s go over the most interesting piece of evidence: the security guards. Two security guards were meant to check up one Epstein every thirty minutes due to previous behaviors. However, both accidentally fell asleep while doing their rounds. During this time is when Epstein killed himself.
To debunk this allow me to take you back to seventh-grade science class. The scientific method is an empirical method of study meant to test a hypothesis. A hypothesis is based on observable phenomena and can be proven or disproven using rigorous testing. On the flip side, we have conspiracy theories that begin with a conclusion and scramble for any information to prove their idea, substantial or not. This is also a demonstration of a common cognitive bias found in people.
The confirmation bias states that people tend to listen more often to information that confirms the beliefs they already have. Through this bias, people tend to favor information that confirms their previously held beliefs. If you keep telling yourself Epstein didn’t kill himself, of course, you’re going to find information that “proves” he didn’t. This manner of thinking throws the scientific method completely out the window. Beginning with your conclusion may net you lots of evidence but you have no idea how to differentiate between that and conjecture.
I didn’t have to explain why those pieces of evidence were wrong because the whole thing was wrong from the beginning. To agree with this conspiracy, you would also have to agree with a plethora of other instances inconsistent with reality. I could have released this article back when this topic was still relevant because I purposely wanted to wait for the trend to die down. Now that it’s no longer funny to say “Epstein didn’t kill himself” I think we can all focus on the raw facts here.
So there you have it. While Epstein may be dead, the case has not been allowed to rest. With several of his alleged victims filing lawsuits toward his estate, it would seem old habits die hard.
I’ve kept this quiet for some time now, but now I think its time I talk about something new in my life. I was recently accepted to work at an amazing start-up company based in California. The Company is called Scriberr.
Scriberr is a news media site focused on delivering free speech media that represents all views accurately even if it disagrees with them. The people here have been especially kind to my writing process and schedule so from now on I am going to be writing for them.
What does this mean for this website? Well sadly my work on here is going to be slowed, yet again. However, that doesn’t mean I’m through with this place. There are ideas I have for articles that may work here but won’t work on Scriberr. That is essentially what this website is going to be used for from now on.
Things like my lists, music opinions and personal stories about artists will likely be kept here as well as a few Op-eds.
I’d like to thank all of you for sticking with me and supporting my thoughts and opinions. This website has served its purpose for now but I am happy to keep it going as its own little publication.
As an incentive, there is a brand new article up featuring an interview with an artist I’ve been a fan of for some time now! Go check it out on Scriberr.
I listened to a lot of music this year. Over 2500 hours to be precise. In case you’re wondering that’s over 150,000 minutes of music in just one year. That’s not bragging, by the way, I just wanted to really sell the fact that I listened to a lot of music this year.
Anywho, because of this, I’m not doing a top ten this year. No, I am doing a top 50 instead! Keep in mind these are only the albums I found worth talking about. I listened to way more than just this, but these were the best that came out this year. In my opinion, of course. The descriptions will begin as vague and short but as the list narrows trust me they get a lot more long-winded.
Now, with no honorable mentions needed, let’s get into the list.
Bumpy at times but incredibly bold for Abstract to be so vulnerable.
Hobo Johnson repackages the sound he’s worked to pioneer and it sounds pretty good.
Chaotic, high-octane, and every other adjective that can possibly mean neurotic.
A little forgettable but nothing short of unique.
Surf Curse has progressively gotten more introspective and this record really shows that.
A fun tape further exacerbating the chaotic Cactus Jack persona.
Strangely genius, taking every pop convention, turning it on its head and then smashing it with a hammer.
Unsympathetic and a little too obsessed with itself to be considered greater. No matter what it’s still a fine record and deserves a close inspection.
An absolutly beautiful record with lush production and vocals. Can never go wrong with Palace.
This has David Lynch in it. Need I say more? Flying Lotus is a genius producer.
An incredibly blunt message about the use of guns in America disguised as a commercial rap album.
This record which consists of only piano music and no vocals said more than most other records did this year.
BROCKHAMPTON finally came out with a good record after the failure of iridescence. Thanks guys!
This album is deceivingly great. I’m so sorry. Just go listen do it.
Flume proves once again he’s one of the most creative producers living.
A flight through the creative mind of Berhana. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and I applaud that.
Amazingly strong debut record. I cannot wait for what’s next. YBN Cordae is the lyrical rap revivalist we needed.
ZUU felt like an album of strange b-sides and it was still amazing. Denzel Curry never ceases to impress.
Some of the strongest vocal performances came from Lizzo this year. While I do find this record a little preachy at times I think it fits well.
Ari Lennox blends a delicate story of womanhood with her smooth vocals and charismatic instrumentals. Easily one of the smoothest records of 2019.
Earthgang is one of the best Hip-Hop duos in the industry right now. The record never loses its charm and sticks to what the gang knows best.
Tyler’s newest effort didn’t resonate with me as much as it did with the masses but I still think its a very well made record with some standout tracks to boot.
Skip the 40-minute podcast at the end and you’ve got the quintessential rap record.
One of the best showcases of personal growth ever put to music. Incredibly mature (except when it’s not).
The Hip-Hop duo return after a long hiatus to drop a record that reminds everyone of Hip-Hop’s more chill side. Some of the interludes are a bit heavy-handed but it’s a fine record.
Exceptionally raw and unrelenting in its message. This record truly surprised me with how far it really went to make its point.
Rico Nasty likes to scream. Screaming is coincidentally one the things she does best! Without a doubt one of the best female rappers in the game right now.
This record is experimental, hard-hitting, and absolutely chaotic. It’s an indescribable ride of guitar hits and percussion slaps all couped into one cohesive collection of songs that all bleed into each other.
Lysistrata brings out the best from the early 2000’s punk rock that saturated the music market at the time. It’s an absolute delight to hear it perfected down to what feels like science to them.
From beyond prison bars, 03 Greedo released a mixtape inspired by films he watched while dealing drugs. I think Kenny’s production is what sold this record for me. Some of the more concise work between two collaborators this year.
To be honest, this was Slipknot but tamer. However, that’s not a bad thing. I think WAYNK has a lot going for it and I’d be heart-pressed not to put it here. Corey Taylor as always steals the show with his colorful vocals.
Everything Duster releases puts me to sleep, but like, in a good way. Their self-titled record can move from soundscape to soundscape with ease. If this wasn’t going to be on my list their compilation album would have.
It’s genuinely difficult to describe the appeal of Danny Brown without using words that all mean crazy. His new record is polarizing and honestly kind of beautiful. As per most Danny Brown projects, it’s not for the faint of heart.
For some time Daniel Caesar was an artist who only impressed me on singles. However, his surprise album made me think differently. CASE STUDY 01 is a deep look into his own character and brings new meaning to introspection.
Harry Styles reminds me on this record of why I fell in love with his first studio release. The former One Direction frontman is one part heartthrob and all parts talented. Boys, don’t let toxic masculinity keep you from listening to this one. Okay?
AMHAC is JPEGMafia stepping way out of his comfort zone. Whereas Veteran was his breakout hit, his newest effort is a victory lap taking the scenic route. It’s more innovative and character-driven. No holds barred.
Madlib collaborates with another rapper and makes a groundbreaking album again! Freddie Gibbs is one of the most talented rappers in the game right now and this album is indisputable proof of that. It’s focused but free-form. Unique but homely.
Scott James quietly released one of the most beautiful records of 2019 this year. The record feels like a brief walk through an empty meadow of flowers. It can be a little harsh at times but the whole experience is pretty.
Chris Potter is a master of Jazz. Everything on this record feels so deliberate and alive. Circuits feel so technical and rhythmic its the epitome of a modern-day jazz record. A must listen for anyone looking to get into jazz.
“Wow” was the first word I uttered when listening to Chon’s self-titled effort. I don’t understand how humans were able to play like this. It’s genuinely beyond me. 1000 percent effort was exerted onto this record and the music speaks for itself. Math Rock will never die so long as Chon continues to play.
Wallows are what every indie band should try to sound like. They have a sound that is simultaneously the true essence of the indie rock genre itself and yet wholly original. Do not even think about sleeping on this record. Something definitely happens here.
Coldplay has been in the business for some time now with a plethora of hits under their star-studded belt. Yet with every record, they only seem to push the envelope further. They’re relevant, topical and somehow capture the quintessence of pop itself.
I don’t know how Bon Iver makes music often time’s it feels like they were just handed the perfect blend of experimental art-pop and like everything else. This record is impossibly made. It’s not only a record but a marvel of sound itself. By all accounts, we shouldn’t have been able to make this, and yet they found a way.
The follow-up to her previous record Crybaby could not have been more well crafted. It’s the perfect continuation while remaining its own record. There are a lot of fun moments on this album that makes the listener go through a wave of different emotions. Another great pop record to add to the hefty list.
Thom Yorke has rarely disappointed me. It seems like every piece of work he’s done for a film is bound to be blessed by God himself. It’s in the same style of something from a Radiohead record but with Yorke’s very personal touch and sensibilities. Experiencing the record is like watching a film in itself.
Kelsey Lu innovates the pop genre at large by infusing so many different ideas and motifs into her debut record. We had a lot of good pop albums released this year and this one is no exception. It’s everything you want and much much more. This record is absolutely worth your time. I am very excited to hear what the cellist has next up her sleeve.
Is He Real? is another album that grapples with the existence of God and the banality of the human experience. However this time it’s set to some of the most hard-hitting beats I’ve heard this year and narrated by IDK. It is blunt, introspective, and most of all original. There are some hot takes and truly deep moments on the record. It doesn’t always take one side over the other but it also isn’t necessarily neutral either. It’s complicated much like the concept of God itself. Fitting, to say the least.
I’ve always wondered what an album of only bangers would sound like. Many others have tried and failed to accomplish that difficult task. However, this year my wish was granted. Somehow J. Cole was able to grant over 50 artists with a grammy nomination this year thanks to the release of this monster of a record. Every song feels like an explosion in your face, even the slow ones! I genuinely don’t understand how this record was made in only ten days. It is truly a modern-day miracle and a bonafide work of art.
Kyle Dion’s debut record blew me away this year with its soulful melodies and retro-inspired sonic elements. Listening to it for the first time felt a lot like when I listened to Prince for the first time as a young boy. It takes you back to a simpler time where music was much simpler. Suga is Kyle Dion’s alter ego of sorts and takes the helm of the record. Much like the final album on the list, the production of the record is complimented well by the lush vocals from the crooner. There isn’t much else to say. I love this record and you should definitely give it a listen.
I feel like I wrote a pretty comprehensive thesis on this record back in February but for the sake of this list, I am going to reiterate. Nothing this year has blown me away quite as much as this masterpiece. Even the interludes on this record are interesting and worth listening to. You know interludes? Those things where their only purpose is to break up the album and make the tracklist seem more deliberate? Everything about this record screams Houston. I’ve already written an article about this record way back in February but it seems like with every listen I just find something new. Solange without a doubt has one of the most unique and inspired musical styles of our generation. When I Get Home is a true testament to that fact and an album I believe everyone deserves to hear. If not for the wonderful performance by Knowles herself or the incredible production hear it because it’s a piece of history that is likely to never be forgotten.
Thank you all for following me through another year of this website. See you all in the next decade!
This article is going to a tad personal so please bear with me.
When I was in Highschool taking my useless AP Government class one of our projects required getting involved in politics itself. Our class had a lot of leeway on what we could do and one of the more easy options was emailing a letter to your congressman.
I live in California and our U.S. Representative for the 50th congressional district is none other than Duncan Hunter. I probably don’t have to do much to explain why that name should send a cold chill down your spine but in case, here’s a little refresher.
Last year Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted on twelve criminal charges including wire fraud and campaign finance crimes. The prosecutors allege that they used over 250,000 dollars to fund their family activities like personal trips to Italy, buying school lunches and, my personal favorite, fly a relative’s pet rabbit to Washington.
So I sent an email to Duncan Hunter and absolutely tore him to pieces. I don’t have the original letter anymore and neglected to make a copy, so sadly I can’t show you everything I said. However, I vividly remember the main idea of it. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the letter.
I sent the letter back in December 2018 and just last week I finally got my response from good old Duncan Hunter. I was surprised, to say the least.
Thanks for contacting me regarding your views. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.
Like many in California’s 50th District, I believe it is crucial to maintain a strong military, rebuild America’s manufacturing base and create economic opportunity for all Americans. It is important to remember the original intent of our founders to build a nation of liberty, common defense, and domestic tranquility. In order to maintain that vision, we need to adhere to principles that do not trample on the rights of states and, most importantly, the rights of individuals.
Please be assured that I will continue to fight for these principles with your specific thoughts firmly in mind. In the meantime, if I can be of any future assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Part of me wished for a more unprofessional response from Hunter but I was well aware that it was unlikely. To be honest, I didn’t even expect a response at all. I’m just glad he had to sift through my inflammatory message. If there’s anything I can take away from this, I’m glad no matter how small my voice is, I can still be heard.
Guess I can scratch this one off the bucket list.