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The first-time feeling compares to no other. It is handled with care. Though it shows in just about every small detail around you, I find myself lost at the vibration hovering, cutting corners and seeping between Grant Park.
There are multiple stories running through one body, quickly responding to all feelings of anger, paranoia and vulnerability. Cardi B does not merely chase a quick appraisal with Invasion of Privacy, but rather reminds us that proving the doubt of success is hardest when in the spotlight.
Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?! by Milo
The relief comes early in the morning. After the smoke has settled and both sides have risen their flags. At such high stakes, meticulously finding the power and firearm to fight the war with transparent support becomes increasingly difficult. The offbeat sound explodes early. With an unwavering leverage on death, we carry this history like garments. At times, we wear water like it cannot drown us: wading in this water, cutting loose the familiar ties to trauma. At what point do we reclaim back our bodies before it feels criminal?
Sometimes it can feel like a storm, gripping something between the stars and sky. In this place, we get lost like Monday morning doubts, shape shift again and never really lose sight of where we see this going. For Jaden Smith, SYRE moves like motion never known, settling between himself and comfort — the same soul-seeking freedom that leaves and changes the tendencies of trust. In his first full-length album, Smith relieves breath by breath the quick and inconsistent potential of love, the persistence of hope and the blinding colors of being alive, claiming his skin and the weapons that expose us like skeletons.
For the moment, we see some connection between the beat and body. How easily it becomes repetitive to know where music will transition for quick appraisal. In small fragments, the influence of culture lies somewhere between knowing and claiming everything taken. For years, the rotation doesn’t fall far from expectation, but instead separates hip-hop and rap music and its quick assimilation into white mainstream media. I see this in the audience. A 7,000-person crowd eagerly awaits one of the most prominent media figures in music today. American record producer and record label executive DJ Khaled plays centerstage at the Kohl Center.
Trap music begins between zones and moves cross-country. After releasing two solo projects earlier this year, Future and Young Thug finally comes together on one project like a team line-up and brings the music industry back down south. SUPER SLIMEY debuted this past weekend from Atlanta rappers Future and Young Thug. Survival-like adaptation takes us between Codeine syrup, Percocet conversation and weekly exchange. The newly-released mixtape captures Atlanta’s continued legacy and the trivial parts that create the greatest resilience from the studio to the streets. Often overlooked, a quickly-paced mixtape runs from beginning to end on two separate missions, maintaining momentum like pythons and attacking multiple times.
I was 17 years old and had just discovered the worlds around me. At the time, my grandmother’s home felt a little uneven; it was El Salvador, after all. Before the sun rose and reminded its people why the bonds—the blood boiling ones—are never bulletproof. It was around this time I began to read John Vietnam’s “One Life: One Love,” and wrestled with the idea of knowing that the greater wisdom of any decision can feel undeniably close. It was the only book I was interested in pursuing while 300 miles into the silent Salvadoran mountains.
You can call love a kind of weather, taking and giving new seasons like a lifecycle with repetition. It becomes increasingly fluid, so we forget that the better halves of ourselves have always belonged to someone else—maybe at the wrong moment, if we aren’t still waiting for it to come. In Daniel Caesar’s full-length album debut, Freudian, loose footing becomes stable. A journey between drowning in someone else’s waves and the impending touch to need them like oxygen sets Caesar’s 10 track LP above water, with height and some confirmed luck that treading lightly is no way to love.
I found First Wave long before I saw my senior graduation. Halfway across the country, there was a piece of the world that seemed almost fitting. A program that extends far beyond its years, First Wave and the Office of Multicultural Arts continue the fight for diversity. Constructed on three pillars of arts, activism and academics, First Wave strives to be impactful both on the stage and in the classroom.
Atlanta, Ga. is a musical mecca. There is something about the way we find the extended idea of culture in every corner of the southern Bible Belt. A melting pot at the mouth, the Black Hollywood comes alive in more ways than one.
The summer is a good time to remind ourselves how easily we can fall in love. It is a simple time to find happiness in the outrageous. It can often times mean leaving someone or bringing someone new along for the four-month rollercoaster. For Calvin Harris, “Heatstroke” aligns the feelings we can’t say when the words don’t always come together. A triumphant team that fuses electronic funk on pop radio repeat, Young Thug, Pharrell Williams and Ariana Grande take us on a transparent journey through the late summer nights.
You could argue that a Gemini has multiple personalities all in one hour. It makes for an exciting conversation on the brink of anticipation. Compton rapper, Kendrick Lamar, proves this as evident in “The Heart Part 4,” his latest single release since his untitled unmastered LP last March. Lamar reflects on his time away from the industry, the fulfillment that rappers have on the charts instead of in the studio and the brief meditation that his music will speak for itself.
There is something about sexuality that will never stop talking. It carries itself on the streets of Amsterdam or in the crude parts of Berlin. Sexuality is a two-sided mirror in rotation. It fits in some spaces better than others. It shifts with the seasons and pulls back like a rubber band. It cuts much sharper than a knife and, for artists like Frank Ocean, “I got two versions” is only a surface tattoo for his music.
Within two weeks of his self-titled fifth studio album, FUTURE, the Atlanta rapper returns with HNDRXX, his sixth studio album with a lot of emotions to spill. To release two full-length albums merely weeks apart gives us a spilt metaphor of trap and R&B and the separation between the mind and body. Future becomes brutally honest throughout the codeine and confessions of the women, drugs, money and success. FUTURE gives us some highlight hits like “Rent Money,” “Draco,” “Mask Off,” “High Demand” and “Feds Did a Sweep,” but fails to live up to the hype.
If you told me a week ago I’d be seeing Waka Flocka in Florence I probably wouldn’t have believed you, but crazier things have happened. Either way, a piece of home across the world brought me that much closer to happiness within myself.
Migos break the system and give us CULTURE with no apology. In a record-label dictated industry and a politically shattering country, Migos’ trio of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff are just warming up. Migos live like mainstream millennials, but haven’t fallen under the pressure of the Hollywood industry. A Gwinnett County formed trio, Migos make me much more grateful and proud to know I went to high school a 15-minute drive from them.
His debut in 2011 delivered pop reflection on ourselves and the sensibility of meaningful music. Childish Gambino returns with funk and pushes the hip-hop limits. Screenwriter of the popular show “Atlanta,” Donald Glover proves himself to be an ever-evolving writer through his third album, “Awaken, My Love!”.
Freedom finds its way into 2016 through music, when the effort of our political campaigns won’t do. Four years since her Girl On Fire release, Alicia Keys returns with a vengeance on HERE, an appraisal of love, the truth of depression and the beauty of blackness. A reflective Keys is featured on the album cover with an untamed afro and bare face. She is a more aware and calm Alicia Keys, an honest one.
Solange reminds me to find glory in myself. She reminds me to continue being present in spaces where my body, as a person of color, is not welcomed.