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arts and entertainment

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By Alec Matuszak
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Two album releases by the same artist one week after another? Seems unlikely, right? Not so for rapper Future (born Nayvadius Wilburn). The 33 year-old Atlanta native released his self titled album “Future” digitally on Apple Music and other music platforms on Feb 17, 2017 and followed up with another full-length album titled “HNDRXX” just a week later. While the self-titled project featured more of the same from the trap-style rapper, “HNDRXX” strays a bit off the beat and path and is more R&B influenced than his last project (with some help of auto-tune and pitch correction, of course).

Cover of Future’s Newest Album.
Cover of Future’s Newest Album.

Future is known for his long stretches of consistent releases. He released three mixtapes (unofficial free albums) in 2015 and an album in 2016 with rap superstar Drake. After a lengthy tour with the Canadian rapper that spanned almost the entire United States, Future went back to work in the studio in preparation for another tour. In the music industry some may say “you’re only as good as your last hit record”. Luckily for Future, he has enough hit records to keep the royalty checks coming in for quite some time. With this type of work ethic, one begins to understand why Future (or “Super” as he sometimes calls himself) prefers to rap about the bundles of cash that he blows away on a seemingly everyday basis.

Aside from the typical subjects of drug use and a hardcore street upbringing, Future gives fans a sense of his vulnerable side on this album, speaking about his past relationship with R&B singer Ciara, and their child. The rapper’s cadence and flow on this album is something rap fans will appreciate. A lot of times with       hip-hop, what you say isn’t as important as how you say it. Of course, lyrics are a part of any great song, but the delivery Future brings on this album is a mix of aggressive and heartfelt. Even on the songs with a more melancholy feel, Future still manages to make it fun and braggadocios. “Gucci on sight / Rollie on ice,” Future raps, referencing his expensive designer handbag and his flashy Rolex watch.

The overall production and instrumentation on this album is something to highlight. Gone are the usual producer tags that come in right before the beat drops. Unless one looks at the credits, there are no audible production tags to be heard on this album. This gives the album a more clean, polished feel. Just because the producer’s names aren’t embedded in the songs doesn’t mean they don’t shine themselves. The beats are as polished and spacious as I’ve ever heard on a Future project, and that’s saying something when considering the talent that he has at his disposal. The instrumentals have a more experimental and dark feel to them, but differentiate themselves from what many rap fans are used to hearing from Atlanta at the moment.

Senior broadcasting major Drew Abrahams is a Future fan. “The fact that the guy released two albums in [two] weeks is unheard of,” he said. “On [this album] he is trying to show that he can go double platinum with no features,” he said. “I think he will”. “He showed how much he can do with his voice,” Abrahams said. “All he has to do is grunt, and it’s music,” he said.

 

 

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By Kristina Huderski
Features Editor

The 59th annual Grammy Awards took place on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles, CA. Millions of viewers across America tuned in, including many students. Some students liked the Grammys while others thought the show could have been much better. Whether it was Adele winning Album of the Year or Katy Perry’s “controversial” performance, students across campus had something to say.

Photo Courtesy of Nick Tangorra
Photo Courtesy of Nick Tangorra

Adele opened the Grammy Awards with her popular song, “Hello.” Later in the show, she paid tribute to George Michael, who died on Dec. 25, 2016, by singing his song, “Fastlove.” She asked to restart the performance after a rocky start. “Only Adele would be allowed to restart her performance,” Irene Spanos, a senior childhood education major, said. “It made her look real and showed that everyone makes mistakes. I give her a lot of credit.”

Adele won five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year. During her acceptance speech, Adele said that Beyonce should have won the award for her album, “Lemonade.” “I was so mad that Adele did that,” Kaitlin Veygel, a senior broadcasting major, said. “I feel like she took the spotlight away from herself. Beyonce did have a good album, but Adele worked really hard and definitely deserved it.”

Beyonce also performed at the Grammy’s, after announcing to the world [the week before] that she was expecting twins. Her performance referenced the Hindu goddess, Kali; African American water goddess, Mami Wata; and Roman goddess, Venus. Some students did not appreciate the performance. “I think Beyonce’s performance was overrated and that she’s a hypocrite,” Taylor Brodsky, a freshman, said. “She is very talented, but I think she makes her performances too political.” She later won two awards and gave a powerful speech about the need for positivity in the African American community.

Katy Perry performed her new song, “Chain to the Rhythm,” while wearing an armband that read “Persist.” Many believe her performance was political because of the armband and the words, “WE THE PEOPLE” from the Constitution, on the screen behind her. “I love Katy Perry, but was very disappointed that she had to make her performance political,” Spanos said. “I feel that some things need to be left alone and an award show should be one of those things.”

Lady Gaga proved that she is proud of her body, showing up to the Grammy’s in a braless outfit after receiving hate during her Super Bowl performance because her body type did not fit her outfit choice. Gaga performed with Metallica singing, “Moth Into Flame.” Vegel said, “I am obsessed with Lady Gaga. Her performance with Metallica proves that she can sing any style music and kill it.”

Tributes were paid to The Bee Gees and Prince. Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Little Big Town, and Andra Day sang “Stayin’ Alive,” “Tragedy,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” and “Night Fever” to honor The Bee Gees. Bruno Mars paid tribute to Prince, who died April 21, 2016, and sang “Let’s Go Crazy. The Time also paid tribute to Prince, singing “Jungle Love” and “The Bird,” two songs co-written by Prince. Many students, including Nick Tangorra, a sophomore public relations major, enjoyed these performances. “Out of all of the performances, the tributes to Prince and The Bee Gees really stood out to me. The stars that honored them on stage did an incredible job,” Tangorra said.