2020 has been an eventful year, to say the least (March deserves a chapter all to itself in future history books), filled with protests, a polarizing presidential election, and a…
(Written by Corey McCloud and Linzy Scott)
Nobody will ever imitate Kanye West. Not even Kanye himself. With the release of his most recent effort, Life of Pablo, the eclectic rapper-producer megastar proved once again that he isn’t afraid to change his style and push rap forward with every release. So against the cries of his fans demanding old Kanye, against people saying he was getting too artsy, or too egoistic with Yeezus, and against everybody who thought he might actually be losing his mind, Kanye dropped the a-bomb with Pablo. The album’s sonic range alone is impressive and the first six tracks are among the best stretches of tracks in hip-hop history. I hate to sound like a fanboy, but at this point we are 2 weeks removed from the release of the album. It’s been a week and a half since I first bit the bullet and got a Tidal trial account to try it out, and yet I somehow find myself going back to this album multiple times a day.
We live in a world where Riff Raff can make this claim. Does it matter whether he follows through on his Panther Album Series? I personally would download any Riff Raff album or mixtape immediately post-drop, regardless of panther-color and regardless of when it happens. This is what truly matters in hip-hop nowadays: Internet buzz.
The farther you are from past events, the more they blend together. Time periods – years, decades, centuries – make for easy, automatic categorization of those events. “Take on Me”, “Just Like Heaven”, and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” are distinctively “eighties” music in the public consciousness; today anything that sounds like synth-pop, from 1989 to “Seasons (Waiting On You)”, is an ‘80s throwback. Decades are efficient, well-defined genre descriptors, to the point where decades like the ’80s and ’90s feel so musically distinct that phrases like “1985-1994 in music” sound meaningless to someone who wasn’t around back then.
The Coachella lineup gave us a taste of festival season. For Vandy students, a quality Rites lineup with heavy-hitting headliners kept the hype train rolling. And last night’s Bonnaroo lineup announcement after a mid-February day that felt like mid-spring has me feeling like festivals should be starting tomorrow. Bonnaroo, a four-day music festival that is among the nation’s best, is only a one hour drive from Vandy’s campus in Manchester, TN. It is a must-go for anyone staying in the Nashville metro, and really the greater southeast United States, in the summertime (and a must-go for anyone with the necessary funds to travel from further away). True to its reputation, this year’s lineup didn’t disappoint, although it does come with one head-scratching omission.