Looking For New Music?

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in the midst of procrastinating to study for finals, i put some playlists together on spotify.

i highkey have a bomb taste in music, so if you’re looking for something new, or something to fit a certain mood, check these playlists out:

(i PROMISE these are good)

1.)

for nights out with the girls / pregaming / promiscuous and saucy moods

2.)

f*ck boy rap, but like, good f*ck boy rap

Continue reading “Looking For New Music?”

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A laundry list of what to do during your winter break

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(Above: not shredding the gnar.)

 

So, the 2017 fall semester is coming to an end. Many of us call Chicago home, while a good group of UIC students think that they are from Chicago but are really from the suburbs (such as myself).

After spending about four months at UIC, it is definitely nice to take a break and come home for the holidays to spend time with family and friends. Winter break officially begins on December 16th, 2017 and ends on January 16th, 2018. You might have some apprehension regarding not knowing what to do during break.

As do I.

Because humans really like to read lists, I have compiled a few things that will hold you over until the spring semester.

1. Get a job, you lazy bum. I recommend the seasonal positions for Mobile Sales Consultants at Best Buy, Cart Attendants at Target, or even working for the Pavilion at UIC. Maybe even sign up to be a lifeguard at your local outdoor waterpark.

2. Go snowboarding and SHRED THE GNAR!!!

Continue reading “A laundry list of what to do during your winter break”

Prepare Thineself, Mortal, For It Is Star Wars Season

 

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Rey’s light saber is super big now Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Call me a plebeian. Call me a shameless consumer. Call me just another small cog in the corporate machine. I’ll take all of it, really. I don’t care. What am I referring to? The only thing worth referring too of course; this year’s new addition to the Star Wars film catalog, The Last Jedi.  

I don’t hide my shamelessness. When Disney announced a few years back that it would be releasing Star Wars films until the end of time itself, I was as happy as Luke Sky-walker during that one scene in Empire Strikes Back where he unknowingly makes out with his sister.

While some had concerns that Disney, the franchise’s new owner, would strip the property of all of its cool stuff and replace it with musical numbers and cars voiced by Owen Wilson, I had faith that the extra galactic spider people that secretly ran the company would handle this most sacred of franchises with the care and finesse of a sloth climbing down from a tree.  

And for the most part, they really have. The company’s first two entries; The Force Awakens, and Rogue One, were both for the most part both very well made and well received films, and judging by the trailers, it looks like The Last Jedi is going to maintain that same level of quality.

Continue reading “Prepare Thineself, Mortal, For It Is Star Wars Season”

Fact Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Part Two

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Mistakes can and do happen, in all fields and by all people. As you may have read in the previous “Fact Check Yourself,” many times these mistakes can be made due to pure miscommunication. Occasionally, this does happen, and while it could be something that’s easily correctable, it could also potentially change the public’s viewpoint in a possibly disastrous way. This counts for both stories and current events, and guests who appear on programs.

Take, for instance, the appearance of Guy Goma on BBC News.

Goma was at the BBC for a job interview in their IT department, but due to a mix-up in a waiting room, a producer who was tasked with finding a “Guy Kewney” who was scheduled to appear for a live interview accidentally found Guy Goma instead, and the rest is history.

But what happens when guests who are scheduled to appear aren’t who they even claimed to be to station staff?

Continue reading “Fact Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Part Two”

Sea Stories V – High School Sweethearts and Best Friends

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I made it to my bed (or rack, as it was now called) the night of the Moment of Truth. My division was sleep-deprived for 49 long hours. I’m pretty sure I saw the utensils at the galley swing-dancing in front of me; that’s how tired and cracked I was. In the 49 hours I had been at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command, my division got off those coach buses in the middle of the night, we spent hours getting our gear issued, getting our hair buzzed off, and going through hours of paperwork. On top of that, we ate 5 times at the galley, we spent time cleaning the head, (bathroom) we spent time stenciling our gear, and we received initial medical checkups. It was due time for sleep. The recruit division commanders were giving us 8 full hours of sleep, and our new temporary home was at the USS Red Rover. (It’s not actually a ship. It’s just a building named after one). Lying face up in my rack, I thought about my last day, right before the Navy.

 

I wanted to cry for her to see, but I didn’t as well. It was strange.

 

It was only that evening we were watching Silver Linings Playbook. We cuddled and hugged each other until it was time to leave. We didn’t watch Ant Man with her parents that night, either.

It was only that afternoon we were sitting on the balcony of her house, reading some book about palm reading. I didn’t agree with her choices of what I was in a hand. It was only that morning we went out for breakfast, and we had one of our last meals together. At least the last one I spent taking her out. We switched cars to her driving after breakfast. I felt pretty happy in her arms.

“I love you.” She said back to me, parking the car in my driveway. “I shouldn’t say that, but I don’t know any other love like you. I wish we had more time, too.”

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Meditations: Vice Principals And A Tiny Problem With HBO

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Vice Principals can be viewed in its entirety through HBO. Photo courtesy of HBO.com

Like it or not, you can’t deny that HBO is currently the top dog in the world of premium cable these days. By giving us too many beloved shows to count, as well as the ability to watch White House Down while hungover at 2pm on a Sunday, the channel has earned the love and respect of essentially everyone on the planet who isn’t that one friend of yours who only has Cinemax.

Between Westworld, Veep, The Sopranos and of course the blood and sex soaked juggernaut Game of Thrones, the Network is one of the few that can actually accurately say that it has something for everyone.  In fact, I would say the only thing really wrong with HBO right now is that it has too much good stuff.

What do I mean by that? Well, do you fellas remember the show Vinyl (2015) at all? Neither does anybody else. Set in the 70s, the show focused on a chain smoking record label executive as he hangs out with a guy pretending to be Bod Diddley for an hour. It wasn’t half bad, and with Scorsese at the helm, it could have been something really special. It was quickly overshadowed however by shows that were frankly just a lot better than itself, and after a ho-hum first season, the show basically disappeared off of the map.

Continue reading “Meditations: Vice Principals And A Tiny Problem With HBO”

5 Artists That Owned the F*ck Out of 2017

2017 has been an incredible year for fashion, music, and art. Since the marvelous year of music and culture is coming to an end, I decided to make a short list of some artists that seriously kicked ass in the music scene this year.

Note: 2/5 on this list are groups with MULTIPLE artists in them. Since they’re groups, they count as one for this list. 🙂

  1. Gucci Mane- Gucci Mane was released from jail last September, and by the grace of God this man has been going absolutely IN on the music scene. He’s been so productive from dropping more than 3 albums starting with “Everybody Looking” when he got out of prison, to being featured on some of the hottest songs of 2017 such as “Slippery” by Migos and the “Crew” remix by GoldLink. Not only has Gucci been dropping fire albums and hit after hit but he’s been maintaining a positive, fresh image and everybody seems to love it! Gucci also got married to Keyshia Ka’Oir this year. Big congrats to them, but can we talk about that wedding? The all white theme? The 75 THOUSAND DOLLAR cake? ICONIC.                               giphy

This is Gucci’s world, we’re just living in it.

4. Lil Uzi Vert- Not trying to include any bias into this blog post (actually yes I am it’s my blog with my own opinion) but Lil Uzi Vert is f*cking popping. I first became a fan of Lil Uzi Vert when I heard some of his music on soundcloud and once I heard Luv Is Rage I was like “yup, I f*ck with him”. But let’s talk about his role in 2017. Not only has Uzi been featured on several top charting songs in 2017, but his own song XO Tour Life has a video directed by Off-White designer Virgil Abloh with a current whopping 122 MILLION views. Uzi has gained so much popularity throughout 2017 for his “rockstar” rapper aesthetic and I think it’s so dope. It’s 2017, Hip Hop is obviously changing by the minute and the fact that Lil Uzi Vert is gaining the interest of millions of people by having his own unique style in the rap scene is what shows that he’s owned this year. How can you dislike Uzi and his notorious shoulder roll? He def wasn’t left off Bad and Boujee.                                giphy1     

3.  A$AP Mob- A$AP Mob is for the culture. Not only is A$AP Mob a very well known rap group that’s been around for a couple years now, but they are style and fashion icons. The Mob’s very own A$AP Ant launched a Skate Label named Marino Infantry and snapped on it nevertheless. A$AP Ant also just dropped several hoodies that you can find at http://store.marinoinfantry.com . Along with Marino Infantry, A$AP Twelvyy dropped his LYBB collection as well (you already know I had to cop). Even A$AP Nast went ahead and collabed with Converse and dropped two gorgeous pairs of shoes. The whole Mob also just did a campaign for Calvin Klein! It’s been a very busy year for them. Though the whole Mob is talented through and through themselves, as one group together they are unstoppable. They dropped Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 this year with features from artists such as Gucci Mane, Chief Keef, and Lil Yachty. The Mob also has just wrapped up their Too Cozy Tour, which I attended btw and it was f*cking INSANE (the story is for another blog post another time). What I really like about A$AP Mob is the wild energy and love for the youth they project. 2017 was a great year for them.

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  1. Cardi B- SAID LIL B*TCH U CAN’T F*CK WITH ME IF U WANTED TO- ahem. Excuse me, I still don’t know how to act when I hear Bodak Yellow. Is there more I really need to say? Cardi B damn near made the most iconic song of 2017, IDGAF who you are but are you even human if you hear Bodak Yellow and don’t get in your zone? Bodak Yellow became number 1 on the Billboard 100 chart in September and stayed there for THREE weeks straight. Cardi is the first female to have a rap song reach number 1 on the Billboard 100 since 1998. THAT MAKES ME SO F*CKING HAPPY. Besides Bodak Yellow, Cardi B has other hot ass songs such as  “Lick” ft. Offset and “MotorSport”. Not only is she killing the mainly male-dominated rap game, but she has been featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and has been headlining shows all year. Cardi B has even been nominated for multiple awards, INCLUDING two Grammy’s for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Annnnddddd, SHE’S ENGAGED TO OFFSET! My girl is really set.giphy3

1. Migos- MIGOS! Did ya’ll read that in their adlib voice? Cause that’s the voice I typed it in. Where do I start with Migos? The fact that Culture is an album filled with all hits? The fact that Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff have all been doing hot ass features all year? The fact that the Migos are a couple of the most iced out rappers in the game? They really just too raw for no f*cking reason. Like I’m mad at how smooth they are with it. They dropped a couple hits around the past couple of years like “Handsome and Wealthy” and “Fight Night”, and thought “Damn, mfs still sleeping on us, we waking everybody up in 2017”. They really have me shook because I haven’t heard a Migos song I don’t like yet and I’m not mad at it. They really made 2017 their b*tch. They topped the charts with Bad and Boujee and T-Shirt, earlier in the year and now with MotorSport and their featured song with Gucci Mane, “I Get the Bag”. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2018. giphy4

Whether you like these artists or not, you can’t deny the moves they made this year. 2017 has been all for the culture and I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Sea Stories IV – Quitting Already?

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(This is the first grilling you’ll receive; on top of the weight of your disappointed parents, you have been sleep deprived for the past 36 hours.)

Getting denied head privileges by the Filipino Chief was my first taste of what was to come in the next few months. I was expecting some Full Metal Jacket type things, and I was getting a similar result.

The next couple of hours involved the new recruits going through gear issue. Everything that every recruit brings is put in a 1×2 box: this includes your phone, your wallet, any civilian clothes, and just anything that a recruit brings. Everything that made you who you are, as an individual, is taken and shipped back home. After exchanging personal items, I went with the rest of the recruits to get issued our basic uniforms and toiletry items.

There are 3 times in boot camp where you are issued gear. The first one includes very basic things:

x2 set of PT gear (work out clothes)

x7 white socks

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Nail Clippers

Sneakers (nicknamed “go fasters”)

Gillette Fusion Proglide 5

(Some other sh*t, there’s a lot of stuff)

We get gear issued to us, and while we wait for the rest of the recruits, we pack boxes full of the gear that was just issued to us to prep for the recruits behind us. We do this for almost an hour.

After that, we move to the barber, where we get our hair removed. Completely gone. To be honest, it was quite nice. As much as I love having a flow, having my head free of hair was quite liberating, to be honest. I did enjoy having my head look like a cue ball.

After all of this, we get brought into this big room where these Chiefs, Petty Officers, and Officers are waiting for all the recruits to show up. There’s about 150 recruits in this room by the time everyone arrives from gear issue. This event is known as the moment of truth.

The moment of truth weeds out any recruits who joined under false conditions; this could include lying about medical issues, conflicts with the law, or just lying about prior history in general. This setup gets intense. The moment of truth is meant to scare the living sh*t out of everyone. It definitely scared me.

“Who here is a scumbag?” The Chief at the front of the room said. “Who here is trying to join the US Navy as a criminal? We can look up any part of your medical record with the push of a button, and see your lies right away. Who here is a lying bastard that thinks they can enter this oath of service?”

The moment of truth. The staff will not stop interrogating the 150 recruits until a certain amount of people drop out. They will question everyone, and with the sleep deprivation in full effect, some of these guys already wanted out.

-Matt Cuartero