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

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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.

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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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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’?


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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

The Best Advice we are the Worst at Following…


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The best advice we are the worst at following, and why. This doesn’t need a huge preamble…

  • Think before you speak
  • Attachment leads to suffering so do the right thing, and be not attached to the result
  • Do what you love, not what makes you money
  • Forgive but don’t forget-we do either both or neither

Think before you speak: I tend to take it too seriously—to the point that there are sometimes rather long pauses in my speech, which annoys people. People have been hypocritically giving this advice since the inception of speech, maybe even since the dawn of communication (no doubt a derivative of the caveman adage ‘think before you grunt’). As far as advice goes, it holds water, absolutely—words once said cannot be retracted once said and first impressions cannot be rewound, so being choosy with words is paramount, yet we find ourselves vomiting out whatever comes to mind and thinking ourselves clever. Why? Here are my thoughts.

  1. We are so enamored with our own ‘wit’ and have such faith in it to carry us along during a back-and-forth that we mistakenly give it free reign. Those are dangerous grounds, rife with opportunities say something accidently offensive, something we don’t mean, or—at best—appear a little dumb.
  2. It literally burns more calories to spend brain time in your Prefrontal Cortex (the center for higher functioning thought/intention) so it is plausible that we humans—in search of the path of least resistance—allow thought to originate in our Medulla, which governs reflexes and involuntary motor movements. If this is the case, then we must work harder to resist the apathy and begin committing to each and every interaction or we are no better than our animal brains

Forgive but don’t forget: I would argue that we do either both or neither of these, as a rule. There will always be the grudge-holder who won’t let it go, but more common is those of us who intentionally pull the wool over our eyes. In order to forgive it is so much easier to forget as well…to constantly hold on to the kernel of resentment could make the task of forgiving impossible, so people tend to forgive and immediately forget as a way to solidify and justify that forgiveness. I can’t pass judgment on any form of forgiveness but I will caution that forgetting opens us up for repeating mistakes, and no one likes that.

Attachment leads to suffering, do the right thing and be not attached to the result: I believe this is a difficult one for the mentality of our culture, where our pride and honor is weaved intricately into everything we do. The advice is sound, we really should take the better road just because we know it is the right thing and avoid getting hung up on the results but that just isn’t reality. Our culture tends to be found on the side of the argument that believes the things we do are a reflection of our self, which inherently hinders our ability to detach ourselves from attachment, and thus, suffering.

Do what you love, not what makes you money: This one is personal to my heart, a self-convicted practical major and practically boring job, I am such a hypocrite. But because of this it won’t take too much digging to come to the reason why we ignore this pearl: because money makes the world go round. If you like what you do, you will not work a day in your life, but if you make money at what you do you won’t sweat bullets every time rent is due. No brainier. But still, it would be ideal to love what you do.

Holiday Season Traditions


halloweentoholidayI love the holidays, especially this time of year. The weather is cold, you want to stay inside, and eating food with family is always the best solution.

Every Thanksgiving my family and I used to go to Richmond, California to visit our cousins and eat a large dinner. However, now that we are older things changed. No one is ever home because of work, school, or their own lives. Leading to us not seeing each other often.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two holidays my entire family have off. Our new tradition is staying at my mothers house the night before. I buy the pies, my sister buy the turkey, my brothers and mother buy the rest of the food. Thanksgiving morning my mom, grandma and sister get up early in the morning to bake the turkey and start the rest of the food. I wake up and talk to them as they are showing me how to cook. I’d rather not cook for thanksgiving because it is too many expectations to get a specific taste for the food.

Around ten o’clock my brothers wake up, my niece walk in the living room with joy, and we turn on entertainment. I don’t mean one specific thing either. We play music with the television on. Even of we are not paying attention to neither. We get dressed up, go to our cousins house in Richmond to eat their food. It is never enough there. So we hang out with our cousins and go back to my mothers house to eat our dinner. I usually buy about four sweet potato pies, two apple, and and two peach. That usually lasts us for two days if we eat all of the food first. I hide a fifth pie in my closet as a personal because I love pie. The next morning, someone always find my pie and we eat that with left overs. I really love the holidays.

Besides Thanksgiving Christmas is my favorite holiday. My family and I never used to have great Christmas Eve’s or mornings. Yet, as we got older we learned how to value each other and understand one another. After Thanksgiving is over my family and I decorate the Christmas tree with our mom playing holiday music. Every Christmas Eve we go in separate rooms to wrap each others gifts, then I help my sister wrap my niece’s gifts. We all put the presents under the tree once my niece is sleeping and go to sleep ourselves. The next morning my niece wake everyone up and we all gather around the tree. My niece gets her presents first, of course. Then we all open our gifts. It’s usually what each of us need or want. Afterwards, I bake chocolate chip cookies and make a ginger bread house with my brothers. Every year we decorate it differently. We watch our favorite Christmas movies while the food is cooking. They drink egg nog and I drink a little bit. When the food is done we eat dinner together and share our thanks and love to each other for another year.

Kellyanne Conway, the real star of 2016


kellyanne-conwayLet’s stop all the partisan fighting for a moment, and recognize how amazing Kellyanne Conway is. Now, I love politics. I was so excited for the final presidential debate, that it made me feel old and boring. And, I am passionate about who I support and why. But, no matter which party you associate with, or which candidate you like, you have to admit how great the GOP’s presidential nominee’s campaign manager truly is. No matter how bad it has gotten, Kellyanne Conway has maintained her incredible skill as a campaign manager. She maneuvers around reporters’ questions with such ease. She turns just about just about any discussion of her candidate back on the Democrat’s nominee, so fast it’s made my head spin on occasion. No matter how bad things seem to get for her client, Conway is there with a more flattering take on it. I love watching her. There are some conservatives that I can’t watch, and some liberals, but I love watching her on TV. I seek out clips of her on YouTube. She is a strong, smart, and extremely competent woman.

Take this, for instance. When I watched Kellyanne Conway talking about Clinton’s legal settlements, I thought she’d painted herself into a corner. “He settled a sexual harassment case for $850,000 with Paula Jones in 1998 dollars. The last time I didn’t sexually harass someone, I didn’t pay him $850,000,” she said.

Anderson Cooper went after that one right away. “Your candidate has settled numerous lawsuits without admitting any guilt on a whole number of things,” he said. “Are you implying that settling a lawsuit is implying guilt? Because if so, it means your candidate is guilty of an awful of lot of things, no?”

Conway dodged the question. And, Cooper repeated it. And, yes, Conway was briefly flustered. But, she sighed pointedly, and quickly recovered. She was barely thrown off for a second, then rapidly threw out this before quickly moving on, “I’m saying that I believe Paula Jones, is what I’m saying,” That was the closest I’ve ever seen to her being trapped, or thrown off her game. But, she zipped around that pothole, and only spilled a tiny bit of her coffee.

Kellyanne Conway really dedicates herself to her job. Before the final debate, she told reporters that her candidate would absolutely accept the election results. And, after he made it clear (during that debate) that he wouldn’t commit to that, Conway was on top of it, “Everybody, including Al Gore in 2000, waits to see what those election results are,” Conway said. This woman has an answer to everything.

And, it’s not just the press. You can tell that she does her best with her candidate, too. At a rally in Greensboro, N.C., journalist McKay Coppins tweeted “Trump supporter in the back shouting at the candidate, ‘Stay on the issues!’”

Kellyanne Conway responded, tweeting  “That was me! I was there…” Now, that could well have been a joke. But, I think it shows she is trying her best with her client. I always look forward to seeing her on television. She comes across as genuinely passionate about what she’s doing. I can’t speculate on whether this is just a job for her, or if she truly does believe in everything she’s being paid to say. But, there will be people that will link her to him from this point on. And, I don’t know if that’s entirely fair. But, it could leave her with the task of distancing herself from her candidate. I don’t anticipate her having any problems with that, though.

You should check out some of her TV appearances online. For me, Kellyanne Conway is a joy to watch. I admire her so much. If her client loses, I hope she doesn’t go away. I want to see her more often. And, if I ever ran for office, she’s exactly who I’d want fighting for me.

 

 

Like what you’re reading? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat laugh my way through our political system, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 6-7pm on KSSU.COM

Corporation USA


NEWS FLASH (SCARY ANIMATED GRAPHIC): The country is not a business. Not only is the USA a country, but it is a special country. And, I mean that. We are special.

 

The basic idea of running the USA like a business, actually violates the entire spirit of the constitution. The same constitution, by the way, that local politicians claim to be fighting for while firing guns at print-outs of bills that they hate. I wish that were a joke, no wait… not sure that I do.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIJORBRpOPM

 

That’s right, we’re going to cut the bloat out of the government and tighten it’s belt. Except, when most companies “cut the bloat,” that’s code for firing many people. And, “tightening their belt” doesn’t result in a wealth for the entire corporation. It results in the highest paid positions, getting even higher.

 

Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine a Bernie Sanders utopia. We won’t speculate on the success or failure of these policies, fight the urge. But, pay is up at every job level, every company position. And yet, even here, a corporation is still a corporation. It still has people that have radically different income levels, and radically different amounts of power over others. Even with regulations, as long as they are followed, the head of a company can do more to people than a president ever could. As for instance, freedom of speech. A company can fire you for saying something they don’t like. We can’t jail people for that, though. We are also not supposed to have inherited power in politics. What are sons, grandsons, and so on of the people that invented the famous flaming doo-hickey (from the makers of the finest flaming doo-hickeys, in the world), but financial dynasties? Financial royalty? That’s what they are, and it is against this county’s core values.

 

But, that’s in the most liberal of circumstances. We know that in reality, in our country, that too many corporations are exploitative. There are many whose lowest level of full-time employees, still need government assistance to survive. Too many middle class Americans that need 2 jobs to make it.

 

A country, OUR country, is not supposed to be set up this way. Any government is a way for people to come together, and decide how to divide resources among everyone in a fair (or not so fair) way. But, our country specifically was so afraid of tyrannical rule that we have checks and balances at every level. The president is not like a president of a company. The board of a company is not like congress. And, the rest of the American people are not their cashiers. We do not have to stay out of a bar, no matter what. We can express ourselves with tattoos, without being forced to hide them, because the taxpayer’s don’t like it. And, you can’t give an individual’s citizenship over to an individual of another nation.

 

No one should want our politicians to treat human beings like corners they can cut, especially to the extent that corporations do. Don’t spit on the founders’ ideals, while invoking their name. It is insulting to them, and to us. When politicians talk about “running the country like a business,” they should be eliminated from their run for office on just this point alone.

SlenderMan Attacks Luke’s Diner: POINTS!!!


lukeFall TV has started. As someone who watches WAY too much TV, I’m very excited. Here are some of the ones I’m awaiting.

 

American Horror Story has started. I haven’t liked the first two episodes, the faux reality show “My Roanoke Nightmare” isn’t a favorite of mine. But, I haven’t had the chance to watch the third episode yet. And, the good thing about an anthology series is that it could be completely different next season. And, a new show has decided to use the same format. Not just another anthology series, but another horror anthology series. But, this show takes all of its themes from CreepyPasta. Yes, the CreepyPasta of suicidemouse.avi and Slenderman. This show, that I’m very excited for, is called “Channel Zero,” and the first season is called “Candle Cove.” Candle Cove is supposed to be an old, probably disturbing, children’s show that very few people remember. And, it was supposedly associated with disappearances in the 80’s.

 

Scream Queens is back. The first episode was too much exposition for my taste, but their humor still doesn’t disappoint.

 

Oh, Walking Dead, always near to my heart. I’m starting to see a pattern, and suddenly I realize why my own art is so weird. I was not happy with last season’s cliffhanger. Because, it was bungled. I don’t have a problem with cliffhangers, they can be amazing devices. But, the entire last season was building to a death. But, with a whole season of everyone anticipating that, they didn’t show who it was that died. Look, a good cliffhanger comes out of NOWHERE!!! It smacks us in the face, then disappears, leaving us dying to know more until next season. Now, I more dreading this season than I am excited for it. If they were to show who died, and had a cliffhanger that worked like it was supposed to, I would’ve had the summer to be sad and wonder where the cliffhanger will end up. But, now I’m just full of dread more than anything, because I don’t know who I’m saying goodbye to. I’m kidding, I totally know. They aren’t that unpredictable. But let’s take, for instance, the show Lucifer. I’m so happy that’s back. That is a show that knows how to do a cliffhanger. And, it took a question and a 1-word answer to deliver that smack in the face.

 

I am starting to like Fear the Walking dead more, as it grows into its own. I, no joke, only began watching it so that I could get more Talking Dead. That’s still about 75% of the reason I watch it. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I have an odd fascination with Chris Hardwick. And, to a lesser extent, I’m fascinated by the whole after-show talk show genre. It’s one of the things I’ve thought about spending my inevitable future wealth on, making Chris Hardwick watch everything I’m watching and give me analysis on it. So, as soon as I’m rich, you’re getting a call Chris!

 

Getting away from the horror genre, I’m so looking forward to Once Upon a Time. Because, I fiercely love Regina. And, the more story she gets, the happier I am.

 

You’d think, knowing my dominant taste pretty well by now, that this next one wouldn’t be my absolute favorite show. But, nothing has taken a hold of my soul like this gem. The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life. This is one of the few shows I actually watched when they all first aired. To give you an idea, I’m so obsessed with this show that I’m still angry I didn’t get to go to the wedding of Luke and Lorelai. So, if there’s not a wedding in the new version, I will never stop fuming. I know that sounds bad. But, I could go on and on about how one of media’s functions is companionship. But, that’s another blog post. But, really, for 7 years you let your audience get to know these people so much, and DON’T invite us to the wedding?! Rude. Maybe Emily, your own character, can teach you something about proper etiquette? Hmm?

 

 

 

Like what you read? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat rant and rave about politics, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 6-7pm on KSSU.COM

Let’s Review Pomades Vol.1, Review 1: Lockhart’s Goon Grease


pomade-pomadeLockhart’s Goon Grease is a heavy hold pomade created by Steve and Nichole Lockhart, owner and operators of Lockhart’s Authentic Grooming Company in Michigan. Goon Grease applies like a light hold, but keeps your hair up and shining all day according to the Lockhart’s website. Made for “The scary fellas that come from the other side of the tracks,” The Lockharts suggest that Goon Grease is perfect for slick backs, pompadours, and everything in between.

hr_465-166-00_lockharts-goon-grease-hair-pomadeTHE TIN

Lockhart’s Goon Grease comes in a nice and sturdy 4oz tin can. The tin comes in a variety of designs including the original, which just says “Lockhart’s Goon Grease” on the top of the tin (The one featured in this review), the special edition, which features the Goon Grease mascot, and the recent “Goon For President” tin, a presidential campaign button appearance guaranteeing you that Goon Grease is a “REAL” pomade that you can trust.

THE PRODUCT

The original Goon Grease comes in a teal color with either two scents: a cucumber citrus blend (Featured in this review) or a cinnamon sandalwood blend. The cucumber citrus blend is uniquely aromatic, but not too overpowering. It is an oil-based pomade made of petrolatum, microcrystalline wax, beeswax, avocado oil, lanolin, and parfum for the scent.

APPLICATION

Surprisingly, the product was easy to apply for a heavy hold pomade. Though the top layer of the pomade is pretty hard, a few seconds under the hot air of a blow dryer should make the top layer easier to scoop. Just a knuckle’s worth of Goon Grease did the trick for my hair, but you may need more or less depending on what you are trying to achieve with your hair. The break down of the pomade took about fifteen seconds. Like the Lockharts stated on their website, Goon Grease does not apply like your average heavy hold pomade. There was not much hair tugging or struggle to run a comb through the hair like the past experiences of dealing with heavier pomades, but a more simple process.

STYLING

Using a fine-toothed comb, styling with Goon Grease was moderately simple. Though the short hairs on the sides were resistant at first, I managed to get them down as well as creating an executive contour-like look with a clean part on the right side under ten minutes. In other experiences with heavier products, it has taken as long as twenty minutes to style my hair, but in this case, I got the style I wanted in half the time.

ENDURANCE

Heavy holds have the reputation to keep your hair up all day even through the roughest of working and extracurricular conditions. Goon Grease has a strong endurance. After an afternoon work shift exposed to the California heat, Goon Grease kept my hair looking good throughout my shift. The cucumber citrus scent became subtle as time passed by, but still stood out as an evening breeze passed by. Goon Grease’s shine is great for a heavy, but the shine will dip down as time goes by, but that’s normal

 

 

WASHING IT OUT

Compared to heavy hold oil-based pomades, Goon Grease can take a couple of washes to completely remove from your hair, which may be a good thing or bad thing depending on your preferences. To get Goon Grease out of my hair, I used a little dab of Brylcreem to reduce the build up in my hair and proceeded to shower. Most of the product washed out thanks to the Brycreem and thoroughly shampooing my hair.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Goon Grease has a big following in the pomade community, praised by reviewers for its easy application and its impressive hold. Though I’d recommend Goon Grease for styles such as vintage pompadours and slickbacks, Goon Grease can be a reliable product to use for many styles from the quiff, executive contour, and everything in between. With a variety of good scents, easy application, and low styling difficulty, Lockhart’s Goon Grease is a must try for all of you who prefer heavy hold oil based pomades and for those of you who think you are one of “The scary fellas that come from the other side of the tracks.”

Binge watching TV Shows


TVThe last TV show I binge watched was Charmed. It’s an old show but my roommate and I watched it during the last month of summer. It’s a show about three sisters in San Francisco who find out they are powerful witches. They try to live normal lives but realize they have to save the world from demons who are trying to take over the world. Eventually, they have children and their lives get more challenging because the demons are trying to take control of their children. It’s pretty much a show about good versus evil. This show opened my eyes to many relationship problems and how the world can be with negative people. I just enjoy watching shows that combines fiction with real life situations. If you have not watched Charmed I suggest you watch it. I would advise you to watch the first few episodes to understand the background of the show, then skip to the end of season 3. There is more drama when season 4 begins through the last episode of the show. I know it sounds strange to recommend skipping almost three seasons, but the show is better that way. If you have watched the show, then you know what I am referring to. If not, you will find out the show is better when season 4 begins.

The next show I am looking forward to binge watching is Grey’s Anatomy. I began watching it towards the end of Spring semester. And watched at least four seasons before July. It still premiers on cable and has over ten seasons. I am trying to catch up with the episodes on cable, so I can watch the new season that’s already premiering. The show is about doctors who work in Seattle, WA. Everyone knows that doctors have a busy work schedule. So, it focuses on what doctor’s deal with inside and outside of work. Most of the characters are dating, competing, dealing with health issues, getting hurt, whatever you think of is in this show. Grey’s anatomy is not only a medical show, it addresses life situations. On top of that the show is hilarious. There are random moments where you have to think about what just happened and laugh. So far I really enjoy the show. I am excited to catch up with the new season. I am guilty of watching some of the episodes of season 9 on cable. I have never seen a show to last for more than at least eight seasons. And this show has over ten. I enjoy the mystery of what is going to happen next in this show. Many people are aware of this show, but I really think this a show to recommend to everyone. There is never a dull moment. You will learn to love all of the cast over the season’s. Although some of them may annoy you at times. There are different things that each character deal with that draws you to them even more. So if you all are looking for a show, check out Grey’s Anatomy.