2015 Grammy Awards – Who Should Win?

grammys-624-1368462679

With the Grammy’s less than two weeks away, there is lots of speculation surrounded who will win. I’m here to tell you who (in my humble opinion) should be taking home those golden statues on February 8th.

Record of the Year

Nominees: Fancy (Iggy Azalea feat. Charlie XCX), Chandelier (Sia), Stay With Me (Sam Smith), Shake It Off (Taylor Swift), All About that Bass (Meghan Trainor)

My Pick: Chandelier

In terms of overall song quality, Chandelier is the song that encompasses the best lyrics, music, and overall performance by Sia. It also seems like Sia is a bit overdue for some recognition – she’s been making music (really really good music) longer than any of the other nominees in the category, especially considering 3 out of the 5 nominees are newcomers. Overall, Chandelier takes the cake for me.

Album of the Year

Nominees: Morning Phase (Beck), Beyoncé (Beyoncé), X (Ed Sheeran), In the Lonely Hour (Sam Smith), Girl (Pharrell Williams)

My Pick: Beyoncé

With it’s incredibly successful surprise release, Beyoncé’s self-titled was undoubtedly one of (if not the most) buzzed about albums of the year. Not to mention Beyoncé managed to do what few artists do anymore – focus on creating songs that work together as a cohesive album, not just a few hit singles. If this is the direction music is headed, I’m all for it.

[Read more...]

Rapchat: Now YOU Can Join the Underground Rap Scene

Here at WRVU, we’re all about the underground music scene, whether we’re introducing you to fresh new songs or interviewing artists who may not even be college graduates yet (in fact, my show is entirely the latter). Recently, though, I discovered an app that is destined turn the entire Vanderbilt campus into amateur rappers. It’s called Rapchat, and it’s the long-awaited messiah of the Vanderbilt rap scene.

Drake consults with his ego before sending a diss Rapchat to Kendrick Lamar, Diddy, and Big Sean.
Drake consults with his ego before sending a diss Rapchat to Kendrick Lamar, Diddy, and Big Sean.

The app is simple and very easy to use. All you have to do is pick one of the pre-packaged beats (there are a few dozen from which to choose), hold the phone to your ear, press record, and spit some dope lines into the mic. Then you send your killer freestyle to your friends, who are connected to you via Facebook. The beats are actually not a total joke–it seems the developers crowdsourced them from Soundcloud beatmakers, and indeed you can check out the Soundcloud page of each of the beats’ creators. It’s a brilliant symbiotic relationship that provides Rapchat with its production and the beatmakers with an audience for their material.

Deep down inside, everyone wants to be a rapper, and I’m no exception. I started from the bottom of Rapchat over winter break and the rhymes have been flowing ever since. I make them everywhere; honestly, it’s hardly more obnoxious to rap into your phone than it is to take a shameless Snapchat in public, and will become less so as Rapchat inevitably takes over, following in the mythical footsteps of Yik Yak, Tinder, and Instagram. Of course, however, the most creative juices come out in the bathroom, where Rapchat becomes Crapchat.

Much of my fraternity now uses the app, and I’m proud to say that our brotherhood has never been tighter. The ability to instantly compose a diss track and send it to the entire chapter means that no one can really rise above the rest. We will come up as a crew or not at all, and if anyone breaks the code, they will certainly be cut down to size by some of our more caustic tongues: C-Flow, Blumin’ Onion, etc. Today you might not know these names, but tomorrow they will be the next A$AP collective, busting out thirty second nuggets of lyrical gold and shooting up the universal musical consciousness of the country.

The future of the Vanderbilt music scene--and college rap game everywhere.
The future of the Vanderbilt music scene–and college rap game everywhere.

The real beauty of Rapchat, though, is that none of your rapt listeners can tell if you’ve freestyled your lines or if they were meticulously prepared. I find that leaving this particular mystery unsolved builds up my intimidating aura more effectively; it leaves my audience with the force of my words ringing in their ears, bouncing around their brains, bamboozled by my dope rhymes with no choice but to assume that I invented them on the spot. Of course, I am sure to maintain a healthy distance between myself and any haters for the time being; I don’t yet feel as though I could take down Supa Hot Fire in verbal combat, and he is naturally the standard to which any good rapper must hold him or herself.

Anyways, the moral of the story is that I’ve been fighting to expand the Vanderbilt music scene since the fall of 2012, and now the tool by which this will happen finally exists. I want everyone reading this to download Rapchat and tell their friends to do the same. With any luck, Vanderbilt will soon be not only the happiest campus in the country, but also the dopest.

Billie Joe Armstrong is a Mom in a Crop Top

The other day I was scrolling through the Internet and I passed an advertisement asking me to watch a new Smashing Pumpkins music video. For a solid two minutes, I stared at Billy Corgan’s round, bald head wondering when the Smashing Pumpkins would finally call it quits. Looking at the 90s band in 2015– middle-aged men in raggedy t-shirts and jeans with patches– I felt uncomfortable.

 corgan

[Read more...]

Run The Jewels 2 Wins the Album of the Year Contest

aoty

The results are in! Run the Jewels – Run The Jewels 2 has bested FKA Twigs – LP1 by a slim margin of 3 votes.

Arguably the second most popular album during nominations (Mac Demarco - Salad Days being the first), Run the Jewels 2 claims its spot as the top dog of WRVU this year.  This is hardly surprising, given Run the Jewels’ sold-out concert at Exit/In earlier this semester and the sheer hype the album generated upon release.

Run The Jewels 2 Album Cover
Run The Jewels 2 wins 20-17

Killer Mike and El-P have outdone their previous self-titled success with a sequel that hits harder, shouts louder, and tackles tougher issues in its rapid-fire verses.  Whether it’s the club-ready bangers like “Oh My Darling, Don’t Cry”, the more solemn and serious tracks like “Crown”, or the silly tracks littered with El-P’s jokes and sci-fi references like “Lie, Cheat, Steal”, there is something on here to scratch every hip hop itch.  Check out my full review published around its release.

Thank you to everyone who voted in the contest!  You all made this tournament possible.

El-P and Killer Mike
El-P and Killer Mike

aoty

Elite 8

The Sweet 16 round of the Album of the Year tournament has come to a close.  The round featured some very close finishes, with two matchups determined in tiebreakers. Click the box to find out what remains.

Click to see bracket!
Click to see bracket!

The remaining eight albums can be called elite, but they’re by no means champions. For that, they need to win three more times. Let’s take a look at this round’s matchups.

Mac Demarco - Salad Days and Beck - Morning Phase face off for a spot in the Final Four.  Salad Days’ popularity in the nominations indicate it as this matchup’s favorite, but don’t count out the Grammy-nominated Morning Phase.

Swans - To Be Kind and its small, loyal following look to derail R&B star FKA Twigs’ LP1.

Run the Jewels - Run The Jewels 2 looked strong in the first two rounds of voting. We’ll see if it can maintain its momentum against Aphex Twin – Syro.

St. Vincent – s/t takes on Flying Lotus - You’re Dead! in what may be a close matchup with no clear favorite.

But you already know who you’re voting for, don’t you? Go on, then.

VOTE HERE

Read on for a recap of round one.

[Read more...]

http://wrvu.org/tourney-8/