To All The Boys I Loved At North Coast

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We’re a good two weeks removed from North Coast Music Festival, summer’s proverbial “last stand”. I had the pleasure of going this year all weekend. The weather might have not been great, but the acts were. Sadly the festival line-up was a tad male heavy, not a lot of love to the female acts. But if you’re boy crazy then the performers, mixed with the sweltering heat, makes for a great time. An endless supply of free drinks in the VIP section also helped matters.

I went into North Coast with no agenda or real expectations. I wanted to hear some artists I was unfamiliar with. As well as see Miguel, Friday’s headliner, and Mura Masa, who would be playing on Sunday. Things did not go as smoothly as I hoped. The festival was evacuated early on Friday before Miguel even went on stage and similarly on Saturday before DJ Snake’s headlining set. But I was still going to make the most out the weekend!

But what ended up happening was me falling for and crushing hard on most of the acts I saw. So in the same vein as Lara Jean Covey from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before I have decided to write a blog post for these intense crushes.  Continue reading “To All The Boys I Loved At North Coast”

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The Release of Bloom and How Troye Sivan Impacted My Youth

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With heart filled synths and a story of newly found confidence and love, Troye Sivan breaks his way into the world of mainstream pop with his sophomore album, Bloom.  

The lustfully melodic album — which was heavily influenced by his boyfriend — is an ethereally storybook that feels so personal to Sivan, while also feeling relatable to his fans.

The ten track album brings much needed queer representation into the music scene with hits such as “Seventeen,” which tells his story about a relationship with an older man, and the album titled track, “Bloom,” which is literally about gay sex.

Continue reading “The Release of Bloom and How Troye Sivan Impacted My Youth”

Are You Ready For Summer’s Last Stand?

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Photo courtesy of Marque Magazine

North Coast Music Festival is the unofficial farewell party to summer and welcome into fall and the new semester. The festival is the perfect blend of rising artists and established artists performing for a post-Lollapalooza crowd over three days.

NCMF returns for its ninth year. Taking place in Union Park from August 31st to September 2nd, and the 2018 lineup is stacked and the headliners are going to cap off their respective days with a bang.

Continue reading “Are You Ready For Summer’s Last Stand?”

Sneaking Brockhampton Into Jaden Smith’s Show And Drinking $50 Water

 

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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”

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.

Continue reading “Battle of the Bands 2018”

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.

Continue reading “Event Review: GAS at the Art Institute”

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

Continue reading “In Defense Of Pop Music — Pop Music Isn’t Boring, You Are”

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.

Continue reading “There Is Good Hip-Hop Out There”

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.

Continue reading “Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment To Produce ‘Black Panther: The Album’”

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.