Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Lil Tecca goes from Diss tracks to a career

Roberto Escamilla, Dan Flavin & Nate Donohoe
Music Corner

16-year-old rapper, Lil Tecca, marks his Billboard chart debut on the Emerging Artists list after breakout single “Ran$om” gains 8.1 million streams in its first week.
 Born Tyler Sharpe, Lil Tecca hails from Queens along with other star-studded rappers such as Nas, 50 Cent, and Nicki Minaj. He started his rap career when he and his friend decided they would diss each other through songs. Little did he know it would be the start of a career that would take off not much longer after that.
 Lil Tecca’s first upload to SoundCloud as of now is titled “No More” with 480,000 plays; however, he’s stated it’s not his first published song since he deleted a lot of songs off his page. Despite just recently garnering attention, Tecca’s lowest performing song on SoundCloud is still over 475,000 plays.
  He uses other social media platforms to draw in crowds as well. He is often seen using Triller among the more widely known apps like Instagram and Twitter, sometimes previewing unreleased music. His rise to fame skyrocketed through a Lyrical Lemonade music video posted to YouTube.
 With a promising career ahead of him, Lil Tecca hopes to ride his current wave of fame to complete stardom in the near future.

Peele gives alternative view of ‘Us’

Sarah Harrison
Staff Writer

Us is a 2019 movie written and directed by Jordan Peele who is also famously known for his 2017 hit Get Out. The movie Us is about a family of four, Adelaide, and Gabe Wilson and their children, Zora, and Jason Wilson, who are confronted by their evil doppelgangers.
    Adelaide is played by the phenomenal Lupita Nyong’o who is widely known for her performance in Black Panther earlier last year. Gabe is played by Winston Duke who is also starring in the newly released Avengers Endgame.
    The doppelgangers who are called the “tethered,” have a mission to take over their lives, and get their time on what they call “the other side.” The family embarks on a kill or be killed mission, as they do their best to escape their tethered beings.
    As they do their best to escape them, they are faced with many challenges, including encountering other tethereds. The movie concludes with what in my opinion was one of the biggest plot twists I’ve ever seen, but I won’t spoil the ending for you. If I had to give Us a rating out of 10 stars, it would definitely be 11.

“The Society” Netflix Review

Marina Skuban & Amy Tao
Staff Writers

The Society is a new Netflix original series that came out on May 10 of this year. It is a sci-fi/mystery thriller that captivates audiences within the first 10 minutes. The show begins with around 200 high schoolers leaving on a school camping trip, only to return to find that none of their families are there. Everyone has vanished. As they begin to discover more and more, they realize that they aren’t really home and they have no way of communicating with the outside world and no way of leaving.
    The Society is a complex show filled with mystery and unexpected plot twists. It has a very large and diverse cast with well developed characters. The show also talks about issues like teen pregnancy, domestic abuse, drug use, and depression. The cast is also very diverse with many people of color and people with disabilities. The characters in the show have to make some tough decisions, but they try to do better than their parents and those before them in their old home. This show also has a lot to say about how power can be abused and the struggles of making tough decisions for the greater good.
    We rate The Society 10-out-of-10. We highly recommend this show to any teenager who likes intense mysteries. However, if you are uncomfortable with violence, this show may not be for you. It is an emotional show with some mature content. Overall, Netflix did a great job with including important messages and representation in a thrilling and exciting new show. Happy bingeing!

IGOR lives up to Flower Boy’s promise

Dan Flavin Nate Donohoe Roberto Escamilla
Music Corner

Tyler the Creator’s had a lot to live up to after his Grammy Nominated album “Flower Boy,” and he definitely delivered with his most recent project “IGOR.”
    Tyler the Creator might have made the biggest turnaround, in terms of style, of any rapper ever. His music started out rough. He would rap on basic beats and say crazy stuff for attention. His childish music has totally changed into a production heavy well thought out project. He has improved all across the board in writing, production, meaning, features, and flow.
    The album starts off with a track highlighted by a distorted 808 bass and a unique sounding feature from rapper Lil Uzi Vert. The intro immediately lets the listener know, “IGOR” is not a usual rap album.
    Some top tier tracks from the album are “EARFQUAKE,” “I THINK,” “WHAT’S GOOD,” and “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE.” The second track “EARFQUAKE” is amazing and will probably be the most popular song on the album. Its numbers will not only rise because of the quality of the track, but it also features rapper Playboi Carti and jazz singer Charlie Wilson. The bouncy piano layered with the heavy bass and Wilson’s high pitched vocals give the song a happy summertime feel. The thing that will drive the track away from listeners is the rough production and vocals. Tyler has reached a point in his production that he is so talented he is purposely making it sound off. The vocals are a little bit off tune and the drums are a little bit off time, but Tyler does this artistically to give the song a relatable sound.
    Another great song was “I THINK.” The track is great from start to finish. The marching drum pattern and the vocal sample blend beautifully with Tyler’s smooth flow and raspy voice. The track's chorus features vocals from female singer Solange and background from Tyler. The song’s break is a symphony of Tyler's production as the drums keep marching, a piano riff enters the mix, and so do some cutting horns. The track then fades out with the following chorus, Tyler’s production has reached a new level with “IGOR” and he proved it with the track “I THINK.”
    A very different track from the album is the ninth track, “WHAT’S GOOD.” The track’s first half is heavily distorted in all aspects. The melody, bass, drums, and vocals. Tyler has a dark choppy flow that rides the instrumental very well. The track switches the mood of the album from deep sadness to anger. The track is crucial for the theme of the album, extending Tyler’s heartbreak to the point of anger at the other person.
    Later in the album, Tyler accepts his heartbreak and decides he no longer cares. With the track “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE.” With a simple drum pattern and a quiet simple flow. The track then picks up with a quick vocal sample and drop. The track is the overrun with a distorted guitar and vocals that feel like they are floating. The track is a perfect realization for Tyler to realize he can do it himself and does not need the other person.
    The album as a whole has very little flaws. If the listener followed Tyler’s instructions and came into the album with no expectations the album was great. The flows people see are because they expected Tyler to rap often and not let the production shine as much as it did. The project felt like Tyler has completed a long journey as a rapper and producer. He started out rough. People could tell he was special, but he didn’t do much with his music. The past two albums have shown how much he has grown. He is the a polished rapper, producer, and songwriter, whose talent is at a sky high level.
     “IGOR” was a great album that showed off all of his positives and only his smallest negatives. For example some of the tracks felt lackluster and like they needed another element, but other than that the project was incredible. For all the positives and lack of bad track, we rate “IGOR” a 9/10.

James’s Holzhauer’s Jeopardy streak falls just shy of a record

Olivia Harrison
Staff Writer

For more than a month, “Jeopardy” contestant James Holzhauer had become unstoppable. Holzhauer, a professional sports better from Las Vegas set records for the most money earned each episode. Eleven times during his winning streak, he went a whole game without buzzing incorrectly. In fact, Holzhauer had reached a celebrity-esque status. In Clark County NJ, the county made up a pretend holiday, Holzhauer day honoring the champion. The ratings for jeopardy also rose by 27% and was awesome for the show and its producers. ,  However, some fans were wondering if he would pass the 2004 Jeoprady champion Ken Jennings $2.52 million mark and 74-day winning streak. Sadly, Holzhauer did not get a chance to break Ken Jennings record.  In the pre-recorded episode that aired yesterday, James’ championship came to an end in his 33rd game. He was $58,484 shy of Jenning’s mark. Yesterday, $22,002 was the amount of money that separated him from the new jeopardy champion Emma Boetccher. Nobody had expected someone other than James to win and even host of jeopardy, Alex Trebak was stunned.
     One key to Emma’s success was that she attained both daily doubles in the show’s second round. Her winning the double jeopardy’s deprived Holzhauer the chance to bet large amounts of money against his contestants, a strategy used in his previous games. In an email interview Holzhauer wrote: “By the time final jeopardy rolled around I knew my goose was cooked if Emma answered correctly. It’s a little like needing a team to miss a last second field goal. Nothing you can really do but watch. I made peace with my fate before the clue for Final was even revealed.”  Holzhauer’s reign was indeed a good one but in the end even Holzhauer himself said, “Nobody likes to lose. But I’m very proud of how I did, and I really exceeded my own expectations for the show. So I don’t feel bad about it.”
     Update: Emma Boetccher, a 27-year-old librarian from PA is no longer the reigning champion. She won $97,002 on her three-day run on the show.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Dying to Live Review

Dan Flavin, Roberto Escamilla, and Nate Donohoe
Music Critics

Florida rapper, Kodak Black, released his first project since his most recent jail sentence on Dec. 14, 2018 and it was one of his best yet.

  Kodak has had a history of legal issues, his most recent being a one-year sentence in 2018. He got out in seven months. After the jail time, he was determined to get to work and stop making the same mistakes he had in the past. He put all his time into his music and reportedly turned down six figure deals for live performances. His hard work definitely paid off with his most recent project “Dying to Live.”
  The album is riddled with great instrumentals and an improved flow. Kodak always seems to find the right flow for the beat. Songs like “Transgression” and “From the Cradle” were great. They had good flows and improved lyrics telling of how he prevailed through his struggles. Not only were Kodak’s solo songs good, but his features were great as well. Juice WRLD was featured on the song “MoshPit” and he had one of his best features of all time. He shows off his great flow and melodies, as usual, while Kodak delivers a good chorus and solid verse. Another great feature was on ZEZE with Offset and Travis Scott. The track had a great instrumental with steel drums and a vocal sample while Travis Scott had a nice chorus and Offset rapped a great verse with his classic triplet flow and witty lyrics.
  The negatives from this album come with Kodak’s repetitiveness. Throughout the album he uses the same flow. He also doesn’t rap about much, he only really talks about how he was poor as a child and has gotten really rich.
  Overall, Kodak’s most recent project “Dying to Live” is a pretty good album. Improved flow, lyrics, and instrumentals from his past work. However, due to the similarity of tracks on the album, we will rate it a 7/10.

New Artist Spotlight focuses on DC the Don

Dan Flavin, Nate Donohoe, and Roberto Escamilla
Music Critics

DC the Don, a lesser known rapper from Milwaukee, is an up and coming artist after releasing a sleuth of singles and projects that vary from hard hitting 808 bangers like “Meet Whitney!” to light singing tracks like “Motion.”
 After the release of his most recent album, “DC Dahmer,” the 19-year-old rapper has started to make a name for himself in the rap community. He has been pulling an average of around 300,000 streams on his SoundCloud since his first track was posted in 2017.
  His unique ability to change styles from song to song is starting to set him apart from the rest of the “SoundCloud rappers”. He can sing and come up with detailed flows like the ones seen on “Motion” and “Aug. 3rd Freestyle”. These tracks show not only his singing and light rapping skills, but also show that he can put meaning into his songs. Contrast these tracks with ones like “Meet Whitney!” and “Milwaukee.” These tracks are hard hitting songs with powerful 808’s and simple lines that are good for live performances and parties.
  DC the Don has more in store for listeners. He has been frequently teasing snippets of songs and hinting towards an upcoming mixtape. DC’s unique skill set and creative styles make him a real prospect in the rap game and someone to look out for in coming years.