A Death Race to bump that album

Just a couple of weeks ago, in early March, Juice Wrld released his third studio album, Death Race for Love. Considering the success of his prior two studio albums, Goodbye & Good Riddance and Wrld on Drugs, both released in 2018, it is safe to say this album met the high expectations of Juice’s work.

In my personal opinion, Death Race for Love is superior to Wrld on Drugs, yet equal if not lesser to Goodbye & Good Riddance. Juice Wrld’s newest album outdoes the previous, Wrld on Drugs, simply because of the collaborating artist featured, in my opinion. Juice Wrld and Future are equally talented artists in the industry, I just feel the combination of the two was not the most ideal. The two artists’ styles vary quite noticeably and I do not think it was in Juice’s best interest to collaborate with Future specifically, especially considering his unique approach to rapping and performing in general as well as his relatively recent initiation into fame.

On the other hand I would not explicitly declare Death Race for Love superior than his debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, arguably because it was just that–his premiere studio album. There was a lot of hype around the release of Juice Wrld’s initial album because of preceding singles ‘leaked’. Tracks like “All Girls Are The Same” and “Lucid Dreams” gave fans an exciting taste of what to expect on Juice’s first album, which obviously came to be a great success. Juice Wrld’s fresh introduction into the industry and rap scene overall can also probably contribute to the mass popularity of his eccentric compositions.

Death Race for Love, for the most part, follows in the steps of Juice’s prior two albums in terms of style but slaps a bit differently. Juice Wrld has been able to assess both the success and criticism of his preceding albums to provide his fans with something that is most enjoyable. He still similarly follows his distinctive approach to music with a focus on love and heartache but in a more lively and hype manner. All in all, anyone who enjoys unparalleled music in general should give Juice Wrld’s newest album a listen. The most notorious aspect of Juice’s music is its precedent style of a genre, including rap while also incorporating alternative and pop tendencies. If you don’t have time to give the 22-track album a listen as a whole my top 5 recommendations, and simultaneous favorites, would be:

  1. “Feeling”
  2. “Robbery”
  3. “Hear Me Calling”
  4. “Desire”
  5. “ON GOD” Feat. Young Thug


What’s the tea with 21?

Less than two months after 21 Savage dropped his latest album “I Am > I Was”, which not to mention spent some time on top of the Billboard chart, he was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for nearly two weeks. Now, this is old news, we have all known that 21 was detained and later proven to actually be born outside of the U.S.–the UK as a matter of fact. What we do not know is the latest on 21. Where is he? What legal troubles is he facing? And maybe the most important question: Will he be allowed to remain in the U.S.?

Since 21 Savage was released on $100,000 bond on February 13th his fate within the U.S. has been very questionable. Many fans have wondered whether he will be allowed to stay in America or if he will be deported back to England. Following his release, multiple attorneys on his legal team have also questioned if his detainment was politically motivated. 21 Savage’s newest album touches a lot on inequalities faced within the U.S. and challenges many American policies. Although 21 seems to have strong support, both within the entertainment industry and even Congress, the law still appears to be against him. 21 must now wait for his next hearing which could be anytime between now and next year.

21 has seemingly gone off the map following the only two interviews he’s done upon release which was on February 14th. The New York Times and “Good Morning America” were the last sources to hear from 21. That was the case until today when 21 announced a campaign idea to improve the lives of young people. The project known as 21 Savage Bank Account Campaign has partnered with non-profit organizations to ultimately enhance the financial understanding and education of thousands of kids around the nation. Although 21 may not be in the states legally, I feel it’s safe to say that he has been giving back to society in many positive ways. Aside from his recent jumpstart campaign his music has been inspiring many and revealing issues that affect countless Americans throughout the country.

While 21 Savage’s U.S. stay might be coming to an abrupt end, it might also just as well be extended. As mentioned, the rapper’s future in the States is still highly debatable and there is not enough information at this point to call if he’ll be leaving. Nevertheless, if 21 Savage has no prior criminal history while in the U.S., I see no reason to deport a young man who has worked his way up from the bottom and has used America’s music industry to his advantage for great success.

Top 5 Modern Military Dress Uniforms

Most modern militaries have a type of formal uniform known as a Dress Uniform. The following are my 5 favorite military dress uniforms around the world.

5. French Republic Guard Regiment Officer


The Republican Guard is deep-rooted within French culture. They are the French counterparts of the Queen’s Guard. Their missions include guarding important public buildings in France such as the Elysee Palace (the residence of the French Republic) and providing security services to important individuals.


4. US Marines Service Dress Blues


The USMC Service Dress Blues are very iconic. This uniform, both enlisted and officer versions, have been around since the inception of the United States Marine Corps. The style hasn’t changed much at all and it is one of the sharpest uniforms in the US Military.


3. No.10 Temperate Mess Dress

Downton Abbey. Series Two.

This dinner dress uniform of the British Army oozes with class and grandeur. The jacket is unique and it embodies an old-world elegance unseen in almost every modern military uniform. (Yes, this is from Downton Abbey)


2. Podhale Rifles Dress Uniform


This full gala dress-suit of this Polish Mountain Infantry unit is incredible. For me, any uniform with a cape is a win.


1.  US Navy Dress White Chokers


Being a sailor, I could not give the top spot to any other uniform other than the Dress White Choker. This uniform has class, prestige, and command. It’s nautical history goes way back, and it is a beautiful uniform that is simple, but stunning.


– Matt Cuartero

Top 5 places to nap at UIC’s East Campus


Some people see a couch, I see a mid-day respite. (which is the same thing)


Everyone has a busy schedule. It seems like there’s not enough time in the day to get all of your classes, studying, workouts, work shifts, extracurriculars, and social life commitments done in 24 hours. Usually a single day involves some sleep, right? Sometimes you just need to crash wherever and whenever possible. Here’s my top 5 places to nap at UIC’s East Campus. (You should feel lucky that I’m sharing this information with you)



1. Newman Center

The Newman Center is the youth Catholic center on campus. It hosts mass every day. Catholic or not, the Newman Center is open for use for everyone. It has a multitude of couches and seats that are pretty empty the majority of the day. Being a church, it will most likely be quiet, so your naps will be uninterrupted.

Continue reading “Top 5 places to nap at UIC’s East Campus”

The Daily Blend’s September Top Ten 2018

sept blog pic

Hi friends! I’m alive! That is, I’ve come back from the worst city in Illinois and am currently in the best city in Illinois. It has been a very long summer, and I have oodles of new music for y’all. I wish I could say that this blog is solely based off of my music choices in September, but unfortunately, I’m not that creative and a good portion of this music is stuff I enjoyed over the summer as well. Also, a bunch of new albums just came out as this blog is being published, so while you all read this post, I’ll be listening to new albums to rave or rant about in about a month. 🙂

Continue reading “The Daily Blend’s September Top Ten 2018”

Why Riot Fest Is Still Chicago’s Best Music Festival


It was touch and go there for a while, but Riot Fest did return this year, and it was another great one.

The daily schedules were not announced until about a week before the fest was to start due to a number of factors, including Blink 182’s late cancellation.

About a year ago, I posted here that Riot Fest is Chicago’s best music festival, and it remains so. 

My reasons for asserting that is basically the music is just better. Riot Fest highlights actual musicians playing and singing music that they have written, unlike some of the other fests in town.

This year was no different, with great sets from Elvis Costello, Blondie, and Johnny Marr, and a bucket list appearance (at least for me) by Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis, still tickling the ivories with the best of them.

The location at Douglas Park is a perfect setting. Plus, Riot Fest is a bargain.  You could buy a three-day ticket this year for less than $100. I am already looking forward to next year.

Artist On the Rise: Carlie Hanson

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 2.48.26 PM
photo taken by myself

This past weekend I had the honor of seeing up-and-coming pop star, Carlie Hanson, perform live at Chop Shop.

Hanson definitely won over some new fans Friday night in Chicago, myself included, with her energized performance and clean vocals.

Currently opening for Jeremy Zucker on her first tour, the Wisconsin native has come a long way from working at a McDonalds drive thru.

The 18-year-old played a 30 minute set including her hit singles, Only One, and, Us, — and even gave us a glimpse at new music.

Continue reading “Artist On the Rise: Carlie Hanson”

Sea Story 7


Italian protesters outside the Naval Base Sigonella gate. Aerial view broadcasted on the guard tower’s TV.

Every year for the reserves, naval personnel has to go on what is known as an AT, or annual training. These trips can last for as little as two weeks to almost a full year. Either way, it’s good work and it keeps service members updated on their roles in the military.

I’m part of a reserve unit known as Naval Support Activity Naples, Detachment 106 Chicago. As an Information Systems Technician, my main role over at NSA Naples is to manage network systems and to operate general computer equipment wherever necessary. NSA Naples is not based in Florida, but it is based in Naples, Italy. If you can guess, every year I get to go to Italy to perform my AT. The work is a lot of fun and I get a lot of leave time to explore the city and Italy as a whole. More on that later. This last summer was my first year at Naples, so it was a unique experience to say the least.

The first day I arrived there, I reported to N6, also known as Information Systems. The shop was 100% government contractors, and all of them were pretty damn chill. The work was cake as well; I would go and DRMO equipment (basically take them apart and recycle them) and log them in a excel spreadsheet. It’s a bit below my ability level, but I’m not complaining. I’m getting paid for this.

A few days go by of doing that, and we are notified that in a few weeks, the base will be inspected by other government agencies to look for network vulnerabilities. In preparation for this inspection, the government contractors and I would do an in-house inspection to make sure that we don’t fail the big inspection. Did I mention that we’re doing an inspection?

Continue reading “Sea Story 7”

PopTara’s Artist To Know: Allie X


Hey sisters,

I’ve recently pushed myself out of the comfort of hiding behind a blog and onto the air! Live! Every Wednesday I’ll be hosting my own music show, PopTara from 8:30pm-10:30pm.

I’ll be playing new pop tracks and showcasing underrated pop talent. PopTara was born to say, “hey world, pop music is good, and we all know it.”

Half way through my show I’ll be serving tea on the Tea Time with Tara segment about a pop artist who I think is super sick and everyone else should as well.

I’ll still be blogging every Thursday, so for those of you who weirdly like to read, don’t worry, I’ll still be here in written form.  : – )

Last week was my first show! It was a fun experience and I want to thank everyone who was listening along, I appreciate you sisters. < 3

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 5.55.42 PM

The Tea Time with Tara artist from last week’s show was miss Allie X. Allie X is a dark electro pop artist who could also pass as the gothic version of Ellie Goulding. She was recently featured on the Netflix original, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, soundtrack, with numbers such as Kid Wonder and Sunflower. The Canadian singer / songwriter has written for other artists such as Troye Sivan and Lea Michele. Allie X currently has two full length albums out, and has a third being released in October titled, Super Sunset. Her sound is often airy yet edgy and knows how to put on  highly unique performances. Be sure to check her out!

Continue reading “PopTara’s Artist To Know: Allie X”

Want to Join the Space Force? Read the Manual: Starship Troopers


Last time I tried using a balloon for a parachute, I faceplanted off my roof.


Just last August, President Trump announced that the US Government will develop a United States Space Force by 2020. Some of of the main missions include maritime security among the US forces and our allies, and to protect potential future ventures for commercial business in space. Some people think that the proposition is ridiculous (I am in agreement; the necessity of a space force is not prevalent enough to create another branch of the military) while others fully support Trump’s decision to develop such a force.

I think that humanity has always looked to the stars for answers, but in 1959, Science Fiction writer Robert Heinlein wrote Starship Troopers, a penultimate novel about the life of a young Army recruit who earns his way through the ranks and becomes a commissioned officer. The recruit’s name is Juan Rico, and joins an elite fighting division called the Mobile Infantry; power-armor donning space soldiers, if you will. The backdrop of the story is set in the near future, where interstellar travel is made possible by FTL, (Faster Than Light) known as Cherenkov Drive. The Terrans are at war with multiple alien factions, and Rico finds himself in the midst of what they call the “Bug War”.

Continue reading “Want to Join the Space Force? Read the Manual: Starship Troopers”