Sneaking Brockhampton Into Jaden Smith’s Show And Drinking $50 Water — Not Clickbait

 

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photos taken by myself

Third eye: Opened. Chakras: Aligned. Just: Water. After waiting for this day to happen since Never Say Never, I finally got to see Jaden Smith perform live.

I took a lyft to Lincoln Hall around 11 a.m. , made small talk with the driver:

Who are you seeing tonight?”

“Jaden Smith.”

“The karate kid??”

“….Yeah…”

“Strange…”

“…Yeah.”

“So .. uhhh what are you going to watch him do exactly????”

“… um .. perform his music, he raps…lol.”

“The karate kid raps??….I don’t like it.”

Continue reading “Sneaking Brockhampton Into Jaden Smith’s Show And Drinking $50 Water — Not Clickbait”

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Battle of the Bands 2018

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On March 16, UIC Radio held the Battle of the Bands, which is a competition against local bands for a spot to play in next year’s Spark in the Park. The event was held in the East Terrace from 6 p.m. -9 p.m.

Man. Spark In The Park has had some fire lineups in years previous. We had Nick Jonas and DRAM this year. 2015 had Twenty One Pilots, 2014 had J Cole, and 2013 had both Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper. These are just a few of the notorious artists and bands that have performed here in UIC’s backyard.

Imagine opening for one of these artists as a performer or band in your own right. Sounds amazing, right? Well, local band New House was the winner for this year’s Battle of the Bands.

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Event Review: GAS at the Art Institute

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Live ambient music has a tendency to come off as underwhelming. I’ve always found watching a producer manipulate tracks on their laptop insufficient to warrant the title of “live” performance. However, every once in a blue moon I’ll see an ambient performance that proves all of my assumptions wrong. Last week’s performance by producer Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS alias was one of them.

I’d like to make note of the way his performance highlighted the importance of setting when viewing live electronic music. GAS’s music at home is primarily a headphone listen, where you are completely sucked in to the music’s world. In order to replicate this feeling live, it needed to be experienced in “wide-screen” so to speak, and this is exactly we got. The months leading up to the show, I worried we would be stuck seeing GAS perform on a make-shift sound system, forced to stand for 90 minutes in a tiny room shoulder to shoulder with fellow techno nerds. Luckily we got the opposite, as the Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute proved to be the ideal venue for Voigt’s soundscapes. The audience was able to sit down while taking in both a massive video projection and immaculate sound thanks to the theater’s excellent PA and acoustics.

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In Defense Of Pop Music — Pop Music Isn’t Boring, You Are

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You can learn a lot about a person from their favorite music. For example, if you look through my March ‘18 Spotify playlist, you can learn that I’ve been repressing my latest existential crisis with excessive partying. Shuffling through Marina and the Diamonds, Are You Satisfied? to Tyler, The Creators, I Ain’t Got Time! to Lorde’s, Liability, and back around to Charli XCX’s I Got It, clearly I’ve been on a rollercoaster of highs and lows this month.

A lot of that stems back to being in a creative rut. The hard part about being a visionary with absolutely no talent is feeling the need to create and put out into the universe, but not feeling confident enough to actually put out the work. It’s a cycle of feeling frustrated that I’m not expressing my creative needs, creating something to express it, hating it, throwing it out, and then going back to phase one of frustration. And instead of sitting myself down and forcing myself out of this rut, I’ve just been becoming bff’s with four lokos.

luv feeling like im 16 again < 3

But my current love-hate relationship with creating music isn’t the point of this post. Going back to my first statement, you can learn a lot about a person from their favorite music.

Over the past weekend I hung out with a new group of people, just to find out that they all completely despise any form of pop music. Including Lorde and Charli XCX. tragic.

I love pop music. Pop girls especially. A pop girl could breathe and I’d be like ‘okay, wig

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There Is Good Hip-Hop Out There

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As of recent, I have been seeing many individuals complain about Hip-Hop and how it is in a very bad state currently. As the genre continues to get bigger, of course there will a lack of diversity in most popular songs and can be easily shown by just looking at the Billboard Hot 100.

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Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment To Produce ‘Black Panther: The Album’

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2017 was easily a successful year for Top Dawg Entertainment.

With SZA’s rise to stardom with her debut album “CTRL” that as an album, showcased a woman’s growth throughout to becoming an individual that is more independent and requiring less validation from others. Many of the songs did very well on the charts and SZA is now on the forefront for the label with great potential to be a great artist. Also with legendary artist: Kendrick Lamar dropping his 4th LP: “DAMN.” that solidified the artist’s ability to delivery from all forefronts of Hip-Hop. “DAMN.” was easily his most successful album in terms of sales to date with many tracks such as DNA, LOVE, and HUMBLE charting very high on the Billboard Hot 100. The way Kendrick was able to appeal to a more mainstream audience without sacrificing his quality of music was incredible.

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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.

Review: The Surround Me Tour

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Sweden has produced an abundance of talented individuals ranging from Tove Lo to Lykke Li to Avicii, and so on.

Considering my family originates from Sweden, I always take great pride in artists who share the same origins. The sense of connectedness makes me root for them that much more.

On October 21, I had the pleasure to see the indie-pop artist from Sweden, Léon, perform live at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall.

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Support Your Female Artists

We all should know by now that award shows are absolute garbage. Something that should be held to recognize achievements and events within the music industry as a whole, ends up only going to the top precenters and completely disregards underground and/or independent artists. And not to mention, a large amount of the people behind the scenes of these shows are either racist or sexist. Or both.  

Frank Ocean showed his disapproval of award shows when he chose to abstain from the 2017 Grammy Award Show. Ocean said, “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated. I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”

And I completely agree with his statement and the action he chose to make.

But even though I already know that award shows are a joke, I still couldn’t help but to be irked when the American Music Awards revealed their nominations today and presented a disappointing amount of female nominees.

Not a single female artist was nominated for the following categories:

  • Artist of the Year
  • Collab of the Year
  • Best Duo / Group
  • Best Pop Album
  • Tour of the Year
  • Video of the Year

There are so many incredible female artists, in the mainstream and underground music scene, who have been delivering an abundance of talent this year, but are going unrecognized. The lack of appreciation for these ladies in the simplest term is: frustrating.

Confident women expressing themselves is empowering and is something we need to pay more attention to.

With that being said, here are some female musicians I think everyone should check and support, because they truly deserve it:  

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Green Day: Wrigley Field

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Once upon a time, around 2009, in a place not so far called the United Center I attended my first concert. I was familiar with the band, but still had a lot to learn and many songs to hear in their 14 album discography.

Where better to fall in love than at a concert? Not with any one person specifically, but with the music, the experience, the energy of not only the performers but the crowd, my fellow music lovers. I was 11 years old when I first saw Green Day. Although the seats my brother and I were in were the farthest section from the stage, the smell of weed hovered, the phone camera quality sucked in 2009, and the noise of Billie Joe Armstrong singing into the mic overwhelmed me, this first concert laid the foundation for my love of concerts.

At that age I knew, just like I know now at 20, concerts were where I’d always feel most at home, no matter how small or big an arena was, if it was outside in wet grass, mud, or inside with seats and AC. Whether this feeling has to do with the artist performing or actual environment at a concert, I’m not sure.

Fast forward 9 years later: Wrigley Field, my third Green Day concert, and I’m still overwhelmed by the connections, love, and rage. Although it has been 8 years since that first concert, I can always expect a couple of things: a great experience with the crowd, drunk bunny opening the show and Green Day playing something for every fan.

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The setlist changes a bit over the years, accommodating their newest released songs and jamming in classics from their most popular albums. Green Day’s setlist was filled with songs ranging from their second album, Kerplunk (1991) to their latest, Revolution Radio (2016). As a hardcore Green Day fan the almost 3 hour show wasn’t enough, songs I loved like Amy from their 2012 album, Dos! still would never make it onto the setlist. However, for their longtime fans they played songs like 2,000 light years away from their second album, Kerplunk. And of course the classics for every Green Day fan: She, Welcome to Paradise, When I come around and Basketcase from Dookie (1994); American Idiot, St. Jimmy, Jesus of Suburbia, Holiday, and Boulevard of Broken Dreams from American Idiot (2004). Some other songs touched on in the 2 and a half hour set were: Hitchin A Ride and King For A Day from Nimrod (1997); Minority from Warning (2000); Mass Hysteria, East Jesus Nowhere and 21 Guns from 21st Century Breakdown (2009). They also played songs from their newest album Revolution Radio (2016): Still Breathing and Forever Now were some of my favorites. Everyone in the stadium held up their phone flashlights as songs like 21 guns played, the sight was enough for even the security crews to stop, stare and smile.

In Green Day’s four part documentary, Green Day: The Early Years (2017), “The separation between audience and the band, we weren’t used to that in our scene” Drummer Tre Cool says in response to how it felt playing Woodstock and Lollapalooza in 1994. “They were so far away, I felt like we weren’t connecting in some way,” Billie Joe adds. 23 years later, these same guys that were nervous playing a festival, are now playing stadiums as if it were a small club.

Green Day has been playing stadiums since the American Idiot era, but never Wrigley Field. This also wasn’t their first time playing a sports field, at the beginning of August they played the Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics.

“I never wanted to turn my back on the intimacy that you get from a crowd, I love playing arenas and I love playing stadiums, that shit is amazing but to this day we will always play venues where we can get as close as we can to the audience.” – Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day: The Early Years (2017).

Even when playing a stadium like Wrigley Field, Green Day managed to interact with the audience every chance they got: bringing someone on stage to stage dive, handing the mic to someone in the crowd to sing, having EVERYONE sing along to “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, and “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.

They also kept up with their little tradition of having one lucky fan play the guitar onstage. During the cover of “Knowledge” originally by Operation Ivy, Green Day pulls one lucky audience member on stage, “who knows how to play 3 chords?” Billie Joe asks, the lucky fan then plays the three chorded song on a guitar handed to them, at the end of the song Billie Joe points and says, “you get to keep that guitar.” The first time Green Day ever brought someone on stage to play with them was during the Insomniac Tour (4th album, 1995).

In Green Day Wrigley Field Press Conference In The Sound Lounge when asked if they ever thought they’d be playing Wrigley Field, Billie Joe joked he thought it’d be more likely to be playing shortstop than performing. The band also reminisced about how many cities they had to play in Illinois before being able to play Chicago, “because we had to play so many other cities before playing Chicago, it’s very near and dear to our hearts,” says Billie Joe.

After about 2 and 1/2 hours of an amazing Green Day show, it ended even better than it started, the beginning middle and end was nothing short of amazing. Ending with a small firework show that had everyone in Wrigley Field in awe, the red and white Confetti stamped with “Green Day” soon followed.

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