Black musicians deserve proper recognition at the Grammys

Over the past 60 years, the Grammys have only awarded 10 Black musicians with the coveted Album of the Year trophy. Many Black artists have taken note of this fact and decided not to attend the ceremony this year. The 61st Annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday night, and noticeably missing from the star-studded list of performances were nominees Drake, Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar. Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich told the New York Times he offered all three men performance spots but he was turned down by each. “The fact of the matter is,” Ehrlich told the Times, “When they don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad.” The Grammys have famously snubbed many Black musicians for some of their most critically acclaimed work in recent years, instead, opting to give them their wins in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category. Beyoncé and Frank Ocean both won in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category but were shut out of any Album of the Year wins for “Channel Orange,” “Lemonade” or Beyoncé’s self-titled album. I’d argue that all three of those

By | 2019-02-11T10:34:55-07:00 Feb 10, 2019 | 6:16 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Columns, Showcase, Today|Tags: , , , , , , , |

‘Fortnite’ is taking the world by storm

Imagine a dystopian world where 100 people are fighting to survive. Using anything they find from weapons to resources, they ward off other survivors and avoid an impending storm of death. Now, picture the same world but with the participants jumping out of a flying bus, using gliders to land and pickaxes of various sizes and designs to obtain resources to build forts to help them survive. Welcome to the world of “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” a free-to-play free-for-all style game developed by Epic Games, released in September 2017. Though an explosion in popularity and hype has helped Fornite ascend to the top of gaming lists everywhere, I believe that the hype won’t last for a couple reasons. First, the popularity it currently has is unsustainable, likely leading to an implosion. When the calendar hit 2018, Fortnite’s popularity skyrocketed. It started when NBA players played it on off-days or in their hotel rooms, before or after games. With players posting how well they did (or didn’t do) on social media, it was only a matter of time before more celebrities hopped on the bus. The game received a massive boost when rappers Drake and Travis Scott and football player Juju Smith-Schuster

“Culture II:” A hit or a miss?

It’s clear that rap group Migos wanted its new album “Culture II” to hit fans hard and make a lasting impact on the rap game, as it features some of the biggest names in music. Top artists such as Drake, Cardi B, Travis Scott, and 21 Savage are just a few to grace the EP’s tracks. But the trio didn’t bet everything on the impressive lineup; the album boasts 24 full songs that appeal to a multitude of listeners. By featuring numerous artists and touching on specific cultural sounds, it’s safe to say Migos likely widened the group’s demographic of listeners with this one. But is “Culture II” worth the $11.99 on iTunes? And do any of the songs have the capability of surpassing the success of its 2017 hit “Bad and Boujee?” If you know anything about Migos, you know that it has a distinct sound. The group popularized what is formally known as a triplet rhythm. Theory music teacher Brandy Kraemer describes the rhythm as “a group of three notes played inside another note-length.” This is the method that Migos religiously utilizes within its flows, including those in the new album. The rhythm ends up sounding choppier than

By | 2018-01-31T22:31:49-07:00 Jan 31, 2018 | 10:31 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Music, Reviews, Today|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Overdosed on competence

Drake kept true to his word after all; things have officially “popped.” “We already got spring 2015 poppin’,” he raps in the single “0 to 100 / The Catch Up” from his fourth studio album. “Majid Jordan droppin’, OB droppin’, not to mention me droppin’.” It was only a matter of time for Drake to release something more than a B-side tease between albums after keeping relatively quiet in 2014 Drake’s fourth part-album, part-mixtape “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” released Friday to iTunes. With no prior singles or announcement, he has employed the same “surprise release” marketing strategy popularized by Beyoncé. Even though there’s no proof that “Reading” is exactly the drop he mentioned in July, the 17-track project certainly shows the sights and sounds of his hometown Toronto, which Drake has dubbed “the 6.” Drake’s signature sound of syncopated beats, muffled drums and brooding keyboards are more minimalist than ever, crafted by “old Drake” and OVO in-house producers Boi-1da and Noah “40” Shebib. In addition to the new beats, Drake’s cinematic atmospheres merged onto camera via his short film “Jungle,” a surreal, introspective journey posted to the blog of October’s Very Own, Drake’s record label, a day prior

By | 2015-02-18T14:09:31-07:00 Feb 17, 2015 | 8:12 am|Categories: Arts & Life|Tags: , , |