Why Are We So Mean To Drummers?


Why are we so mean to drummers?
Feat. A random assortment of hilariously mean jokes about drummers.

Drummers get a bad rap, probably because they are so difficult to understand. I mean, how can you relate to a person who can do more than one thing at a time? You can’t, unless you also have that talent, in which case we are not going to be friends.

What does a drummer use for contraception? His personality!

Wooow. Okay, joking aside, drummers are actually pretty awesome and people should endeavor to appreciate them more. One of the oldest instruments known to man is an ancient drum which used the skin of an alligator as the membrane! Mad props to those who had to first kill a freaking dinosaur to make some sweet beats. Does it then stand to reason that drummers are classically minded people, who are better in touch with our ancestors? Yeah sure that sounds good.

Why does a drummer put drumstick on the dash of their car? So they can park in the handicap spot!

Digressing, so really, why are we so mean to drummers? My theory: If we interpret band members in terms of a cute coming-of-age story rife with social dissonance and high school drama, the lead guitarist is a jock and the drummer wears glasses and is not a well-adjusted human.  The stereotypical depiction of a Jock is a loud lout whom people tend to listen to for no good reason at all, and because of their allegedly small brains they are incapable of understanding the maladjusted supporting character type. Perhaps lead guitarists have given drummers a bad name for all these years because they are incapable of understanding the way a drummer thinks or operates.

Will the musicians please come to the stage? Oh, and the drummer too…

The drummer doesn’t misunderstand his bandmates poor attempts at beat-boxing their ideas, he/she just thinks they are freaking idiots who have no rhythm. Some study put on by some half-baked Harvard intellectual types found that a drummer’s internal clock doesn’t move linearly like a real clock, but in waves. A similar wave is found in brainwaves, sleeping heart rates, and the nerve firings in felines’ ears. So when a drummer slips up, they’re actually just matching the elemental beat of the entire universe. Also, to be fair, guitarist are pretty awesome too, a similar study revealed that a guitarist’s brain power is statistically more intuitive and matches the firing pattern of someone claiming to have psychic abilities.

Now, to fix the issue. What is the best way to go about—not only being nicer to drummers—but fixing the problem at its root? The answer is simple, start spreading some superstitious voodoo nonsense about a dire consequence to the back bone of your mother every time something mean and untrue is said about a drummer? Of course not, don’t be ridiculous…that isn’t the best solution I’ve got at all!

The solution is to be more tolerant and less awful, obviously.

But drummer jokes are fun.

Those may stay.

Just…don’t sound super serious when you say them.

Also consider doing something nice for a drummer afterwards, as a show of solidarity.

Changing your major isn’t SO MAJOR


I’ve changed my major more times than I would like to admit. Jumping from biochemistry to communication studies to political science to finally settling on government-journalism was a headache. My family has a running joke where every time I visit them back in Southern California. They ask me, “So what are you majoring in now?”

But I don’t regret any of it. Sure I spent more than a year taking classes for degrees I wouldn’t end up pursuing, but I don’t consider it to have been a waste of time.

Writing this blog is giving me flashbacks of the biology labs I had to take, dissecting a number of  animals alongside 30 other wide eyed freshmen. I was a vegetarian (and still am) so you could say it was a dark time in my life.

To get back to the point of this blog, it’s not the end of the world to realize you’re in the wrong major. It may feel like you’re world is turning upside down, but the crushing pain will pass. Take it from someone who crumpled into a fetal position in the hallway of the freshmen residence hall, crying on the phone to my best friend back home when I realized my aspirations had changed.

To remind myself why it was ok to change majors and hopefully help others realize it’s ok to dip your toe in the pool of possibility, I’ve formed a list of five reasons to just do it:

1- College isn’t a race to this finish line. The National Student Clearinghouse reported that only about 56% of students will earn a degree within six years. So why is it that people are so adamant about finishing in four?

2- You’re not alone! About 80% of college students in the U.S. change their major at least once, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

3- It’s an expensive piece of paper! Don’t throw money and time into degree you really don’t want. I have a friend who graduated with a history degree and now works as a sous chef. She doesn’t regret studying a subject irrelevant to her career, but if you realize early on in college that you want to change your major— go for it. It’s ok to start over.

4- Internships, internships, internships. Take your time. This falls in line with #1. Along with completing those degree requirements, use the extra semester(s) in college to intern. There are a lot of opportunities for students to intern…mostly because we’re so young, so full of life and so willing to work for free.

5- The things you learn while in one major can be useful in another. When I was a communications major, I took a philosophy class on how to argue effectively. That class became irrelevant when I became a political science major. But now as a journalist, I can easily spot fallacious arguments in articles.

Four majors later and I finally found my purpose. Now what’s yours? If you find yourself questioning your major, don’t be afraid to consider other options. You will never know unless you take a chance.

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH


What does Black History Month mean to a half Mexican half Japanese 24 year old? Well, I will tell you this even if you are not black you should be able to pull some empathy for the journey Black Americans had to endure to be apart of society and be treated “somewhat” equally. I am a huge proprietor for making your own way and taking account for ones actions, but I will not deny the unbalanced scale in America when it comes to race. Just yesterday Black Americans were slaves, and a huge civil war had to happen to abolish it. People ignore how recent that was. And yes I know we must move forward, but in the timeline of the existence of this world the point that represents slavery and the point that represents now is of no space at all. We are living in a pivotal time that is transcending the unity of races in America. Black Americans get it the worst, they came here in chains and were freed only to be set with more unfair obstacles. This is what black history is, it is a story of the fight it took to become liberated and treated fairly. How do you establish a successful community in a country where no one will help you and supremacist will do their best to keep you down? What happen then lingers into today, and those who can’t see the lingering dust of the racist past are not aware or don’t care. Black Americans in my opinion did not get a fair shot and to me are they are the underdogs of this country. Black Americans have moved their way up the ladder and are continuing to reach new heights, the highest power position in America(the President) was a Black man and what a monumental staple for the community that follows. I speak openly, but not aggressively I have a lot of compassion for everyone. The fact is, the first settlers came to America and established themselves early, and during that time Black Americans were their slaves. Ironic that the move to America was to liberate religious freedom and separation from England, but all the while a contradiction was nesting. Liberty and Justice for all was not a true and accurate statement back then and it may not be now. My advice to everyone is to look in the mirror embrace what you see and strive to maintain a positive path. Do not give people a reason to discredit you. Life is as simple as you make it, obtaining a peaceful easy life is attainable if you minimize the possibility of negative occurrences. Life will always seep its way to get you down, but you must take those times as a test. Your positive reaction and overcoming will result in you passing that test. After a while you will realize that the color of your skin does not define the happiness you bestowed for yourself.

Best and Much Love to All,

Michael Nishimura

Losing my mind, and possibly my government…


imagesOne of the things I’ve been comforted by, since Trump’s election, is the amount of political participation. People are protesting, going to town halls, etc. It has made me think that, if we can sustain it, we may have a chance at stopping (at least) the worst of what’s happening in D.C. now. Because it is the only way we have of stopping it. It’s only been a month of Trump’s presidency, and already you can feel the fatigue. We can’t let the fatigue get to us. What is happening is seriously terrifying. It is threatening to slowly erode our democracy. I don’t think that Trump is Hitler, the comparison is insulting. And, I don’t think Trump is the only person threatening our free system in this country. I think there are a lot of congress people that are doing whatever they feel like doing, instead of representing the American people. But, if we can keep up the level of political awareness, and outrage, we can really shake up Congress in 2 years. I’m really hoping that we can vote out enough Republicans in Congress to get a majority. Then, at least, we can make it much more difficult for Trump in the last 2 years of his presidential term. And, even more hopefully, we can then vote Trump out. Amazingly, I feel like members of Congress are actually incentivizing people to vote them out of office. Since Trump has taken office, and done many things that scare people, or anger them, or both; people have begun to engage with their respective member of Congress. They’re going to town hall meetings, calling their representative’s offices, or e-mailing their Congress person. And, incredibly, Congress’ response has been to shove their fingers in their ears and shout “LALALALALALALAAAA, CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!” This makes me rage as much as Trump being president. Congress is supposed to represent the will of the people. They are supposed to be beholden to their constituents. But, now, they are shutting down lines of communication between them and the people they are supposed to be working for. Kellyanne Conway is telling them to ignore their constituents, that the only thing that matters is (what she calls) the “Real Person Impact” (R.P.I). She says that it only matters what “real” people think. Which I find directly insulting, apparently I’m not a real person. But, how does she determine what “real” people think anyway? She’s telling representatives to actively ignore constituents trying to make their voices heard. And, we know the Trump administration denounces polling data. So, how are they getting the information on what “real” people think, anyway? Over the weekend, our representatives went home to their districts. Of the 292 members of Congress, there were only 88 in-person town halls scheduled, and 35 of those were for ONE Congress person. Our members of Congress are instead opting for live-streaming town hall events online, where they can pre-screen any questions they decide to answer. But, that’s not all. Many Representatives are not answering their phones, or e-mails. We have people faxing their representatives, because it’s the only way they can get their voices heard by the people that are supposed to be representing their voices. I hope all these people hold on to their outrage over this, and actually vote these people out in 2 years. Because this is not how democracy is supposed to work.

The Oscar for Best Picture Goes to…


indexThe Oscar’s have nominated the movie Hidden Figures for Best Picture this year and a lot of people are ecstatic. The 2017 Annual Academy Awards will hit our televisions on February 26th at 5:30pm in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre. Hidden Figures is based on a true story that reveals the history behind America’s first successful entry into outer space and shows how three African American women were erased from our textbooks. The film is monumental and inspirational due to its thought provoking story and an extraordinary cast who will awaken your deepest emotions.

Tahari P. Henson plays Katherine Johnson, a mathematical genius who developed the calculations to launch NASA in space, Octavia Spencer plays Dorothy Vaughn the “human” computer” of NASA, and finally singer and now renowned actress Janelle Monáe who became the first African American aerospace engineer after challenging the courts for her entry into a segregated school for training.

The film was set in the 1960s in a racially divided environment filled with tension and hostility. Ironically 57 years later when the film released, it seems America is still in a similar scenario. Antagonistic power dynamics showed the racist attitudes of this time; the hilarious and talented Jim Parsons stepped outside of his realm to play the rigid character of Paul Stafford, one of NASA’s engineers who had racial bias and a grudge against Katherine Johnson for having extraordinary mathematical talents. The gifted Henson will bring tears to your eyes as she struggles daily to use the restroom because the “colored” bathroom was placed several blocks away. The actor’s performances will have you speechless and sobbing into your popcorn.

Although there is no debate on the film’s deservingness for its nomination, there is some friendly competition among the other nominees for Best Picture that include “Fences,” “Lions,” and “Moonlight,” all of which are phenomenal films.

Director Theodore Melfi and producer Pharrell Williams also deserve some praise for helping retell such an incredible story that brings people together, but also for its huge success. Hidden Figures brought in more than $200 million domestically, more than tripling the cost of its production. The movie received an overall rating of A+ and has remained relevant in daily conversation.

Due to the current state of American society and politics, this film reminds us how far we have come in achieving equality. With the power of love, gratitude, and acceptance, we can transcend the impossible to create a world filled with peace, love, and understanding.

Valentine’s Day Plans


imagesValentine’s Day is one of those days that people either look forward to or not. Depending on if you have a date or not is what will get you in a good mood. I personally never have a Valentine or try to have a Valentine that day. Its not because I’m a grouch towards the lovey dovey thing. I usually look at others and laugh at how silly they could get about the person they love by doing romantic things. Also, how sad and lonely people are because they don’t have a relationship, or are too afraid to ask their crush to be their Valentine. So what am I looking forward to on Valentine’s Day? Being my own date and treating myself to anything I want to do. Taking myself out to eat or calling some of my single friends to have a single night out is usually a good choice. It’s too much to make plans and believe they are gonna go as planned. It’s best to wake up and see what you prefer to do that day. If you all have someone special in your life go ahead and share the love. If you have a crush go ahead and ask them to be your Valentine. If you have plans enjoy them. If you don’t have plans treat yourself or ask some friends to celebrate with you. It’s a day to share love to others and yourself. It shouldn’t be a day full of expectations but surprises. For all of you who have class on Tuesday it’s okay. I am kind of upset because it’s on a Tuesday and not on the weekend for everyone to enjoy their entire day.

If you all are curious about how Valentine’s Day came about I think it would be a great idea to look up the story. It’s a beautiful story about a man falling in love with a woman. The way they met was interesting and the way it ended makes a lot of sense of the day celebrated. After learning about the story I have a better understanding about Valentine’s Day. It helped me realize that Valentine’s Day isn’t about dates or presents. It’s about sharing love to others and yourself. So to the readers, go out and share your love others or even yourself. I hope everyone enjoy their Valentine’s Day. Hopefully there is enough information provided here for someone to get an idea of something to do for that day. Enjoy yourselves and share your love. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

 

 

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Angela Davis: Revolutionary


indexBlack history month is a beautiful time dedicated to celebrating the triumphs, struggles, and successes of our African American ancestors who paved the way for a world we can all live amongst each other and celebrate diversity and equality through compassion. Mainstream activists who deservingly receive much appreciation include Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and the “controversial” Malcolm X. However, there is one extraordinary individual who also shook up America and changed history for us all.
Angela Davis, born in Birmingham AL on January 26th, 1944 is one of the greatest minds of the Civil Rights movement who often gets left out of the conversation during Black History Month. Angela Davis became involved in politics and activism at an early age when she attended Parker High school. In her junior year of high school, she was accepted into the Friends Service Committee, which helped move African American Children into integrated schools in the North.

 

However, Ms. Davis did not stop there! She was awarded a scholarship to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and continued her work with politics and activism. After finding her place in college, she became a student of a well respected philosopher named Herbert Marcuse, who gave her inspiration for achieving her dreams and career. In a 2007 interview, Davis stated:

 

“Herbert Marcuse taught me that it was possible to be an academic, an activist, a scholar, and a revolutionary.”

 

Davis lived up to those words through her involvement in the civil rights movement and the various books she has published. Not to mention being successfully released from jail in 1972 when she was charged with kidnapping and murder, but was found not guilty while simultaneously being the reason behind over 200 protests calling for her release. Angela’s struggle for equal rights makes her a controversial figure.

 

Angela Davis’s trial in 1972 and her involvement with the Black Panther’s Party brings along some debate about whether she is an appropriate civil rights activist to mention when discussing African American leaders. However, Ms. Davis still continues excellent work with politics, activism, and academics through her literature and involvement. Some of her most popular books include Women, Race, and Class, Women, Culture, and Politics, and Are Prisons Obsolete?

Many of Angela’s scholarly journals and articles can be found in the CSU library, which are great sources for research.

 

Davis is still heavily involved with politics and has recently appeared in a new Documentary called “13th“ where she provides her intellect and knowledge about the prison system in American society.

 

Many of the legendary civil rights activists are no longer with us, such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. It is both a gift and an honor to still have such an iconic figure with us still today. Black History Month celebrates the lives, the stories, and the experiences of African American people and dives into the creation of Black culture.

 

This blog is dedicated to the life of Angela Davis and her continuous work for women, people of color, and social justice.

 

Top 10 Hip Hop Albums of 2016


2016…what a year for music, what a year for Hip Hop. Last year writing this blog, I had trouble finiding 10 albums that I really enjoyed. This year I found myself having trouble narrowing it down to just 13 albums (13 albums because they are three ties). If you are a Hip Hop junkie like myself, you were smiling from ear to ear with your headphones in most of the year. This year brought listeners so much variety in Hip Hop. We saw veteran artists eveolve and change up their styles to create music we have never previously heard from them. We saw up and coming artists drop albums that put them on the industry’s map. We saw music touch on the social issues, feministic views and even the presidential election. From Kendrick Lamar to YG to Mac Miller to Isaiah Rashard and more, here are my rankings for the 10 best hip hop albums of 2016, and some honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the list.

Honorable Mentions:

 

“Awaken, My Love!” by Childish Gambino

Image result for awaken my love childish gambino In a year that seemed like everyone was trying a new style, Gambino continued the trend and brought a Disco type style to his latest album. It’s worth checking out.

 

 

 

Kairi Chanel by Dave East

Image result for kairi chanel dave east

Dave East really burst onto the underground scene this year. Coming out of Harlem, East has an east coast style similar to A$AP Rocky and Jim Jones but with his own twist. Keep an eye out for his name to blow up in the up and coming years.

 

 

 

Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown

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Danny Brown is sort of an acquired taste. It’s like a hybrid of trap music and early old school hip hop. I enjoyed the album nonetheless. Check out the song “Really Doe” that features Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, & Earl Sweatshirt.

 

 

 

Prima Donna by Vince Staples

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Vince Staples followed last year’s freshmen album with an EP this summer. I liked a handful of songs including “Smile” and “Loco” just to name a few. Solid project.

 

 

 

 

The Letter O by Dame D.O.L.L.A.

Image result for dame dolla the letter o

Dame D.O.L.L.A., also known as Damian Lillard when he is working his other job, dropped an album this October before the NBA season began. For a professional athlete, it’s a good first album. Looks like Lillard is a man of many talents.

 

 

 

Cozy Tapes, Vol 1: Friends by A$AP Mob

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A solid album that features all the members of the A$AP Mob. A$AP Yams, who passed away during the creation of the album, was the one who had the idea for the album. There’s a couple songs on the album that really slap, so be sure to turn the bass down so you don’t blow out your stock speakers.

 

 

 

1992 by The Game

Image result for 1992 the gameThe Game has been a busy man dropping 4 projects and a documentary on A&E in the past year. The Game samples plenty of old school rap beats while telling his life story during the year 1992, hence the title.

 

 

 

 

Now onto the Albums that made the cut…

10. Life of Pablo by Kanye West

Image result for the life of pabloKanye West dropped one of the bigger albums of the beginning of the year on Valentine’s Day in February. For me, I will always be a bigger fan of early Kanye albums such as College Dropout and Late Registration but I was pretty pleased with this album. I liked it a lot better than his previous album, Yeezus. Kanye had plenty of great features on the album as well such as Chicago native Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Frank Ocean and more. The ‘Pablo’ Kanye is referring to in his album’s title is a combination of Pablo Picasso and Pablo Escobar, a mix of artistic masterpiece and the movement of product (his album) Kanye says. Recommended Tracks: “Real Friends”, “Famous”, “No More Parties in LA”, and “Ultralight Beam.”

9. Untitled Unmastered by Kendrick Lamar/ Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight by Travis Scott

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Our first tie. It was hard to choose between the two but I wanted both of these on the final list. Kendrick Lamar surprised fans by dropping Untitled Unmastered roughly a year after the release of To Pimp a Butterfly. Just like TPAB, Kendrick continues his jazzy, funk influenced hip hop style as he stated most of the songs on this album were unfinished demos that did not make the cut for TPAB. Recommended Tracks: “Untitled 08”, “Untitled 03”, and “Untitled 06.” I have never been a huge fan of Travis Scott and his previous projects but his most recent album changed my opinon on him. I could not even finish listening to his previous album, Rodeo, all the way through. But Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight was a really good album. This album was on constant repeat in my headphones during the month of September. Travis had a lot of good features on the album too like Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, The Weekend, Kid Cudi and more. I highly recommend you take a listen. Recommended Tracks: “goosebumps”, “wonderful”, “sweet sweet”, and “through the late night.”

8. Thirst 48, Pt. II by Boogie/ The Divine Feminine by Mac Miller

Image result for thirst 48 pt 2Image result for the divine feminine mac miller                                      Another tie as you must tell by now im not the most decisive blogger. But if you have not heard of Boogie yet, your are missing out. Another Compton rapper, whose young and has the potential to blow up in his own way, similar to YG, The Game, Problem and others from the city. In his mixtape, Boogie touches on plenty of current social issues that are prevelant in conversations around the country today. Keep an eye out for the up an coming rapper to blow up in the next couple of years. Recommended Tracks: “N**a Needs”, “Won’t be the Same”, “Two Days”, and “Slide on U.” Just like Travis Scott, I have never been the biggest fan of Mac Miller and his previous albums, but Mac incorporated a whole new style with this album. Slow jazzy beats with a gospel-rap type style similar to Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book but with more romantic lyrics, hence the title. I have to give credit to KSSU for bringing this album to me as I was the DJ at the station in charge of writing a review for the album. I probably would not have thought to listen to this album on my own because of my previous disinterest with Mac Miller’s earlier music. Good production, clever style, and strong features such as Kendrick Lamar, Arianna Grande , Anderson Paak and CeeLo Green. Definitely an album worth buying. Recommended Tracks: “God is Fair, Sexy Nasty”, “My Favorite Part”, “Dang” and “Stay.”

7. Bobby Tarantino by Logic

Image result for bobby tarantino album cover After dropping The Incredible True Story last fall, Logic dropped a mixtape during the summer of 2016, a surprise meant for his true fans he said on social media. With his freshmen and sophmore albums, Logic has climbed up the ranks as one of the best lyricists in the hip hop industry. Logic has announced he is already working on his next album and this mixtape was just a “filler” for his fans to pass the time while the wait. Despite this being only a mixtape, it was still one of the better projects of 2016. I enjoyed the “A Word from our Sponsor” skit, a continuation of the ongoing skits with Marty Randolph. This mixtape was a solid listen for Logic fans like myself as we await Logic’s junior album. Recommended Tracks: “Deeper Than Money”, “Super Mario World”, and “Flexicution.”

6. Still Brazy by YG

Image result for still brazyThe third Compton rapper to make this year’s list is YG with his album Still Brazy. This was one of the bigger albums of the year as far as the media coverage it got in part to the subject of YG’s songs on the album and the relevance it had in society, the presidential election and more. “FDT”, a song bashing candidate Donald Trump, seemed to be the anthem of the summer for most Hip Hop fans. The rest of YG’s album is beautifully constructed with a combination of beats that range from  modern to old school gangsta rap. For an artist who is typically considered underground and does not receive much radio play, this album was a breakthrough for YG to the mainstream airwaves. If you are fan of gangsta rap, I highly recommend this album. Recommended Tracks: “FDT”, “She Wish She Was”, “Don’t Come to LA”, and “Still Brazy.”

5. The Sun’s Tirade by Isaiah Rashad

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As I mentioned earlier in the blog, there was a couple artists this year that really burst on to the scene. Isaiah Rashad was one of them. As a member of TDE, Isaiah sort of gets overshadowed by the other artists who are signed the the label. But with this album, Isaiah makes a strong case that his name belongs amongst the other TDE heavyweights. Coming from Tennessee, Isaiah Rashad bring his own southern, jazzy rap style in this album. He has a few members of TDE featured on the album such as SZA, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and non TDE artists like SiR and Zacari. A strong freshmen album by Isaiah and I expect nothing less from him in the upcoming future. I luckliy have the chance to see him perform live when he comes to Sacramento on his tour in March, so I will be counting down the days to that. Recommended Track: “T**y and Dolla”, “Wat’s Wrong”, “Free Lunch”, and “Stuck in the Mud.”

4. 4 Your Eyez Only by J Cole

Image result for 4 your eyez only album coverVery late into the year, J Cole decides to bless us with another album, the first since 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Cole was clever too and dropped it on the same date, December 9th, as the day he dropped 2014 FHD. This album and another actually delayed my process in finishing this blog as I had to listen to this a couple times through before I could properly critique it. A lot of fans on social media are quick to say they did not like the album and some even go as far to say that they hated it. I completely disagree. Sure, it might not be as strong of an album as 2014 FHD, but this is still a top 5 album of the year nonetheless. The storytelling J Cole displays in this album is truly amazing. Listen to the lyrics, especially the final track on the song “4 Your Eyez Only” and you will be blown away. I’m a little dissapointed that his single “False Prophets” did not make the final tracklist but it still is a great album that did not quite crack the top 3 on my list. Recommended Tracks: “4 Your Eyez Only”, “Deja Vu”, “Ville Mentality”,  and “Neighbors.”

3. Blank Face LP by ScHoolboy Q/ We Got it from here…Thank You for your Service by A Tribe Called Quest

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Image result for we got it from here thank you for your service album cover

 

Another tie but its the last one I promise. Lets first start with ScHoolboy’s album, Blank Face LP. Want to know what its like growing up in South Central LA 21st century? Look no further than this album. His first studio album since Oxymoron, which dropped in the spring of 2014, ScHoolboy had fans waiting a long time for this one. Q wanted to show he’s capable of doing it on his own amongst the TDE heavyweights and did so successfully as he did not have a single Black Hippy member featured on the album. He still had a handful of big features including E-40, Vince Staples, Kanye West, Tha Dogg Pound, and Jadakiss to name a few. ScHoolboy Q also had a three part short film he released weeks before his album that were beautifully produced and acted as teasers to some of his album’s songs. Overall, one of my favorite albums of all time. Recommended Tracks: “Dope Dealer”, “Big Body”, “By Any Means”, and “John Muir.” Next album, I have to start off by saying RIP Phife Dawg who passed away earlier this year in March during the production of ATCQ’s album. You can’t find a better farewell album this year, and arguably one of the best of all time from a music group. Listening to this album will take you back to the 90’s and to one of the prime eras for Hip Hop music. They even had features like Busta Rhymes, Andre 3000, and Talib Kweli, guys who started their careers during that era. But they also included young rappers of the new school era with guys like Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Anderson Paak to give the album a solid mix of both. The albm was too good to not put in my top 3, thus the explanation for the tie. Recommended Tracks: “Conrad Tokyo”, “The Space Program”, “The Donald”, and “Black Spasmodic.”

2. Do What Thou Wilt by Ab-Soul

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In my opinion and the opinion’s of a couple others in my circle of friends, Ab-Soul won December 9th over J Cole. Still have not heard word if Ab-Soul released his album on the same day to make a statement, but in the heavyweight battle Soul being the underdog, I have to give Soul the belt. Ab-Soul is one of the most clever when it comes to play on words in his rhymes but this album took a little different twist that Ab-Soul’s past albums. Feminism was the main topic of a lot of his songs, which isn’t necesarily the case when it comes to the current Hip Hop industry. Ab-Soul said in an interview the weekend after his album dropped that “we have to respect the ladies more” which is something I can definitely stand behind. Dark but enlightening, is the best way to describe Soul’s style and he continues that with this album. Recommended Tracks: “Threatening Nature, “Beat the Case”, “The Law”, & “Huey Knew THEN”.

1. Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper

Image result for coloring book chance the rapperDrum roll please….and the best Hip Hop album of 2016 goes to Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper. I could go on and on about how great this album was but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. As I mentioned earlier, in  year where artists came with different styles, no style changed up more than Chance the Rapper’s. Chance has grown and evolved into one of the top tier rappers in the industry and this album solidified his spot even higher on the list. The album can be similar to gospel rap as Chance talks about how he found god in his life and evolved as a person from it. Listen to Acid Rap, one of his early mixtapes, and then listen to this album. You will be surprised to know that is the same Chance the Rapper on both albums. The proudction, that artwork, the lyrics, the meanings of his song, everything about this album was great. I was fortunate enough to see Chance in concert on his tour this fall when he performed at UC Davis. My favorite album of the year and will be one of my favorite of all time. Recommended Tracks: “No Problem”, “Angels”, “All We Got” and “Smoke Break.”

What’s the fuss with ‘Gilmore Girls’?


gilmore

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I see post after post of “Gilmore Girls” related articles:

“For All The Girls Who Thought Of Themselves As Honorary Gilmores”

“Rory from ‘Gilmore Girls’ Is Actually the Worst”

And my favorite, “Rory Gilmore was a Sham”

Enough.

I’m not going to tell you to not watch the show, nor am I going to tell you how amazing it is.

Frankly, I’m a bit annoyed about the amount of attention this show is getting. And that’s coming from a longtime “Gilmore Girls” fan.

Why do people care so much?

I grew up with the show. My oldest sister, Sofia, started watching it when it first aired back in 2000. (That was almost 17 years ago, say what?) I had no choice but to watch it with my sister, seeing as she would sit on me if I attempted to fight her for the tv remote. As time wore on my complaints lessened and I grew to like it alot.

I couldn’t tell you what I expected from the shows revival. Did I want Rory to find true love? Did I want her to be a successful journalist? Well, I wanted the latter.

It sounds stupid but I saw a lot of myself in Rory. I’m an aspiring journalist hoping to someday work for NPR. I make pro/con lists when I have big decisions to make. Heck, the biggest box I had when I moved to Sacramento was filled with books. And don’t get me started on coffee. Just read my previous blog for more details on that topic.

I suspect that I’m not the only one who identified with Rory. That’s where I think most of the reactions (well, upset reactions) stem from.

To see Rory crash and burn in her journalism career just killed this fantasy I had of how similar we both were. I mean, what the heck? At the end of season seven she was going off to be a part of Obama’s campaign!

I always thought Rory and I would both be met with like challenges and successes. But the reality of it is, not everything turns out how you think it will. And that’s a truth I didn’t want to accept even in tv shows. In a career field like journalism, it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll graduate from college and slide right into a cozy office at the New Yorker headquarters.

Do you know how many times I’ve heard the phrase “journalism is a dying career”? Alot. I guess I just expected someone like Rory Gilmore, who always has a plan, to be successful. I just wanted a glimmer of hope.

A part of me feels ridiculous for dedicating a whole blog submission to this one fictional character. But when this show gets so much hoopla that The Washington Post and Vice are writing about it, I feel the need to jump on the bandwagon.

Rory grew up and became someone I don’t identify with anymore. The girl who was once my idol is now just a cautionary tale.

Art Round-up


Palette.

Often, I’m out looking at local art in Sacramento, for inspiration. And, often, I find art pieces that I really want to share with people. Here are a couple of exhibitions I found interesting.

Fine Art to Enhance Your Life & Surroundings by Steve Memering

The Smith Gallery, 1020 11th St #100, Sacramento, CA 95814

The exhibition represents painting. The theme of the works was nature and city-scapes. The imagery was figurative. It was easy to tell that the city-scapes were mostly of the Sacramento or Bay area. The nature paintings were of trees, fish, etc.

Some of the architecture was pretty. It had bright colors, and I recognized some of the buildings and places that were depicted.

But, my favorite was (what appeared to be) an old map-like collage of Sacramento. There were renderings of old Sacramento architecture surrounding a relief map of how Sacramento used to look. It was done in a burnt sienna-type coloring to look old. It seemed really fun. I liked the color. I liked that the buildings on the map looked like they might in real life, stood up.

I liked the subjects the artist chose. I didn’t like the final product of most of his paintings. The color, line, and style felt so familiar that it made me skim over most without really looking at it. They seemed like paintings that had been done a million times before. But, the one that caught my eye had one color. It had different things in it to look at. This taught me that the color palette and style you choose can really impact the interest a piece gets. And, how powerful juxtaposing things can really be.

Wings and Things: Michele Fisher and Vicki Sarantopulos

Art House: 1021 R St at 10th, Sacramento, California 95811

The exhibition was ceramics/mixed media. The pieces had elements of collage and assemblage. The theme of the works was psychology and nature. The works endeavored to explore the narratives of universal human struggles, metaphor, symbolism, and archetypes. The artists are also psychotherapists. So, they explored their experience dealing with human mind and emotions in their work.

The imagery was abstract. The works had a lot of mixing/melding of human and nature, nature and architecture, human and architecture, and so on. Different things were used, such as cloth, paper, and feathers. These items either covered or fit inside of the ceramic elements of the pieces.

I like the use of the other items. The cloth, for example, cut across where a face was fused with wings and a castle. This face had wings attached to the sides of it, and a castle attached to it’s forehead. But, we never see were these things are fused. The cloth looks like a wrap around the head, but doubles to hide the location of the juxtapositions. I think this separation eases the transition from each element, making it more pleasing for the viewer. The same is true of other elements in other pieces. They both smooth out the piece, and move your eyes along.

I really loved these pieces. These pieces all looked like they could have come from one artist. I learned that juxtaposing things can be too powerful, and that there are things that you can do to tone down the transition while keeping the effect.

If you are an artist at Sac State, and would like some of your art reviewed, contact me: DJTraySquat on facebook. And, listen to Poli-Psycho on KSSU.com every Wednesday at 6-7pm