Chicago Rappers Of The New Age That Deserve More Appreciation

As times have changed and the genre of Hip-hop that continue to evolve, Chicago holds home to a variety of creatives that are very talented to each in their own right. With rappers like Chance The Rapper representing the city in such a great way, there are also many other artists making really great music right now that deserve more light.  Continue reading “Chicago Rappers Of The New Age That Deserve More Appreciation”


Observations From a Morning Commute


©8/12, Federico Fellini.

There are three things every American wants: a larger pay, fewer hours, and a shorter commute.

When we’re little, we think we can grow up and become anything we want to be. But, each year as we grow older, we hear another door closing and another opportunity slipping away.

Instead of growing up and fulfilling our dreams, we grow up to become office workers, retail clerks, and busboys.

Work hard and you’ll get the house, the car, and the cat. But where’s my American Dream?

The truth is, money and opportunity are incestuous. The world is run by insurance companies and military contractors. This is a country for and by the rich.

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A Millionaire On Campus

Today there was a millionaire on UIC’s campus. Now if you try to think of who it might be, you would probably think of someone who made their money academically. Someone like a big scientist, inventor, computer innovator, business man, etc., but that isn’t the case.

Today on campus was the Chicago rapper known as Saba. If you don’t know who Saba is, I’ll educate you. Saba, like I said before, is a Chicago Rapper. He is a part of Pivot Gang along with rappers Mfn Melo, Joseph Chilliams, and the late John Walt. He has collabed with other artists which include Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, Taylor Bennett, and Chance the Rapper. Earlier this year he dropped his debut album Bucket List Project and has grown in fame because of it. So with all these accolades, why would he come to UIC??

On November 25th there is a concert called John Walt Day. It is a concert featuring all the members of Pivot Gang + special guests–Chance is a possibility according to Saba–in memory of John Walt. Walt was one of the founders of Pivot Gang but was stabbed to death last year, sadly. In his memory the John Walt Foundation was started to help the youth of today. All of the proceeds of John Walt Day are going to the foundation.

In these weeks leading up to John Walt Day, Saba and Mfn Melo have been going around Chicago hand delivering tickets to fans wherever the fans are. There were about 20 people who wanted tickets or just wanted to meet Saba; I was one of those 20 people of course. I had to miss part of my anatomy lab but it was worth it to meet Saba, get my hat signed–Mamby on the Beach is where I first saw Saba in concert–and get my hand delivered ticket. Oh and I got a retweet from Saba and there’s a video of him signing my hat on his Instagram story.

If you’re jealous of me getting to meet Saba then you can be mad, be more active on Twitter so you can know about these things orrrr just check out my pictures of today.


Sea Stories III: Angry Filipinos


(By the way, I’m going to begin to use stock photos from now on. What, you think you can take photos in basic training? By the way, these girls look about excited as I was. Even I’m impressed with their enthusiasm.)

The Petty Officer rounds us up, not unlike cattle. Wide-eyed, matching the looks of the individuals around me, we all sternly follow this strangely dressed man down by the departure gates of O’Hare airport. I almost forgot my bag in the USO office; it’s a bit redundant to say, but that would have sucked big time.

It was strange. O’Hare was an airport that I was so comfortable with. From the departure gates, I could see all of the terminals and check-in booths and rent-a-car stations that I remembered from when I was younger and I would be going on family vacations to wherever around the country or world. I felt pretty old now, and I just turned 18.

We were instructed to sit down on the floor of the terminal and to “shut the f*ck up”. I say that in quotes as I do not use sentence enhancers lightly. The guys in charge of us really did have mouths like sailors, and that scared a few of us. I thought it was hilarious.

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Stop Glorifying Drugs – Addiction Is Not A Joke


Last night around midnight I was listening to, “The Brightside,” by Lil Peep when I came across a tweet that read, “RIP lil peep.” My initial thought was that Lil Peep had done something problematic and they were ironically saying, “RIP Lil Peep” as in, RIP his reputation. But then I refreshed my timeline and my feed was flooded with the news that Lil Peep had actually died.

It didn’t feel real to me. I was literally listening to his voice through my headphones when I found out that he had just lost his life.

For those who don’t know, Lil Peep (Gustav Åhr) was a SoundCloud rapper on the rise. He found a way to create an unique sound within his music by blending emo and hip-hop. Lil Peep had been recording in his bedroom from the skid row of Los Angeles –  making something out of nothing – Lil Peep was one of the most promising and influential artists emerging from SoundCloud. In addition to rap, Lil Peep was also a fashion icon who had just begun making runway appearances. He was only 21. Only 21 years old and lost his life due to an overdose.

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Meditations: Wiseau vs Welles

kane-borgesCitizen Kane chronicles a man’s quest to show everybody a large picture of himself.  Photo courtesy of

The other day I got curious and asked Google what the greatest film of all time was. The search engine responded by vomiting up a bunch of top ten lists from various sites with official sounding names. After looking at well over three of them, I concluded that the title belonged to the 1941 Orson Welles classic, Citizen Kane.

The film appeared in top or very high spots in all of the lists I looked at, but the real teller is the fact that a shot from a film is the featured image on the Wikipedia article called “List of Films Considered the Best”.

While my confidence in these lists isn’t very high due to a worrying lack of Owen Wilson-led romantic comedies in their top spots, for the purposes of this article I will disregard this troubling detail.

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The Dr. Paula Show 11/14, 11am: Dr. Ana Ricardo

This Tuesday, November 14th, at 11:00am, The Dr.Paula Show will be re-airing our interview with Dr. Ana C. Ricardo, MD, MPH, MS.

Dr. Ricardo will be speaking about healthy lifestyle and health outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease, and the prevalence of chronic kidney disease among Hispanics/Latinos living in the U.S.

Ana Ricardo

Dr. Ricardo’s research interest is focused on health-related disparities in chronic kidney disease (CKD) outcomes, and on the evaluation of lifestyle factors including smoking, physical activity, diet and body mass index, as predictors of survival in individuals with CKD. Dr. Ricardo received her Medical Degree from the Pontificia Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia, and completed Internal Medicine Residency at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, IL. She received a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology degree from the UIC School of Public Health in 2007, and subsequently completed a Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science Program at the UIC School of Public Health to further develop her clinical research skills. Dr. Ricardo joined the UIC Section of Nephrology as a clinical fellow in 2009. During her second year of fellowship she was awarded a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research to validate the Beck Depression Inventory in Hispanics with CKD. Since 2012 Dr. Ricardo is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the tenure track at the UIC Department of Medicine. In 2013, Dr. Ricardo was awarded a K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Career Development Award to examine gender-related disparities and vascular function in renal and cardiovascular outcomes in individuals with CKD

If you have any suggestions for topics or interviews you would like to hear on the Dr. Paula Show, let us know! Contact Brienne Lowry at

Getting Over Writer’s Block Via Dinosaurs In The Hood

Any artist of any medium has experienced some form of lame “block”, whether it be writer’s block, painter’s block, choreographer’s block, etc., everybody has experienced a really. annoying. block.

For me, writing this blog post came with some excruciating writer’s block. I had never written a blog post before in my life, so naturally, I had absolutely no idea what to write about.

But through a conversation via Snapchat, my cute friend Elijah suggested the following: “Read ‘Dinosaurs In The Hood.’

With a title like that, my mind immediately imagined some weird fan fiction cross over between Jurassic Park and Boyz N The Hood. Thankfully, it wasn’t that.

Instead it was a much cooler, deeper, engaging poem by Danez Smith about an idea for a movie; a Black hood fighting off dinosaurs.

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