J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only Tour
Concert Reviews
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J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only Tour

 

It’s been about a week and a half since the J.Cole hit up Toronto for the 4 Your Eyez Only Tour. I’ve been listening to Cole for a quite awhile, but never got around to catching him live. The last time he was in Toronto was for Drake’s 6ixth Annual OVO Festbut I wasn’t able to score tickets.

Before J.Cole hit the stage, Anderson .Paak hit the stage with his band. He has such smooth vocals both when recorded and in person, and he is killer on the drums. He stood at centre stage initially, but then he made his way over to the drum kit and stayed there for the rest of his set. He performed “Suede”, which is one of my favourites. I especially have a soft spot for him because he has a song titled “Khadijah.”

Then, the opening notes of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” off of 4 Your Eyez Only were heard. Cole came out wearing an orange prison jumpsuit with the words “Property of ________” on the back, reminding us that it is not his story, but rather an Everyman tale of sorts. In between well-timed videos and personal anecdotes, J. Cole performed every single song off the album. Yes, you read that right. He also performed classics from earlier days, including “Power Trip,” “No Role Modelz,” “Wet Dreamz,” “A Tale of 2 Citiez,” and “Lights Please.”

The room was filled with such crazy energy, and you could tell that everyone felt uplifted. Although I had seen Kendrick Lamar just a few days before, for the second time, I felt that J. Cole put so much more effort and passion into articulating himself to his fans, and performing every song from the bottom of his heart. I felt like that was the case when I saw Kendrick back in 2015, but I felt that it was more of a gimmick this time around, and almost rushed.

If you didn’t get a chance to catch it the first time on HBO, there is also a short film that accompanies J.Cole’s album. It is such a real and powerful story, one that has stuck with me. Click here to watch it in full.

The DAMN. Tour
Concert Reviews
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The DAMN. Tour

The DAMN. Tour has been described by critics as a “centre-stage ass kicking” by critics. The acclaimed album DAMN. by Compton-born rapper Kendrick Lamar, has gone double platinum since it’s Good Friday release.

In terms of the album, I would describe it as a very complete piece. His alter-ego “Kung Fu Kenny” comes through a lot of the tracks and carries right over into the show.

Before Lamar hit the stage, Big Baby D.R.A.M. and Travi$ Scott came to the stage. Dram, famous for the catchy hit “Broccoli,” serenaded the crowd in the opening minutes and closed with the track. About 10 minutes passed before Scott was on the stage. He went all the way to his tapes and brought it forward to Birds in the Trap Sing McKnightHe also performed his latest single, “Butterfly Effect.”

Travis couldn’t be kept on the ground. He mounted a large bird (which was fitting) and hovered over the audience while he performed some of his greatest hits, like “Antidote” and “Goosebumps.” He was enjoying himself so much, he performed “Goosebumps” four times.

AIN’T NOBODY PRAYING FOR ME. 

This is the phrase that rang out over and over. It was found on the screens, in the air, and on the majority of the concert merch. Kendrick spliced in videos of him fighting with martial arts, where he was known as the Black Turtle. He called out a fan that challenged him saying that Toronto wouldn’t remember, and then used it as a segue into tracks from his debut album, Good Kid M.A.A.D. CityThe 2012 release is what really put Lamar on the rap scene as a force to be reckoned. It made his flow, interludes, and content famous.

    

 

 

Album Review: Flower Boy
Album Reviews
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Album Review: Flower Boy

Officially known as Scum F**k Flower Boy (hereafter SFFB), the latest album by Tyler, the Creator is making waves on charts everywhere. It was named “Best New Music” hours after its release on July 21, and the single “Who Dat Boy” ft. A$AP Rocky was the #1 streamed song on Spotify that day, as well.

I have to admit that after Tyler’s last album, Cherry Bomb, I had very low expectations for SFFB. Now don’t get me wrong… I didn’t hate Cherry Bomb. I really loved a few of the songs, such as the jazzy “FIND YOUR WINGS.” However, given how I normally respond to Tyler’s work, I was incredibly underwhelmed.

With every listen of SFFB, I like the album more. Some of my favourite tracks include:

  1. “Who Dat Boy”
  2. “Boredom”
  3. “I Ain’t Got Time”
  4. “See You Again”

There’s been talk about the lyrics of tracks like “Garden Shed” being an admission of Tyler’s homosexuality. If that’s the case, more power to him; love is love. Although as a long time listener, I get the feeling that the lyrics could literally just be in place to spark interest and conversation. In “I Ain’t Got Time,” he says that he’s “…been kissing white boys since 2004.” Who really knows besides Tyler?

If you haven’t already, Tyler fan or not, give this album a go. If you like mellower rap, this is the direction to go in. There are quite a few soft vocals and piano samples sprinkled throughout, which definitely adds to my list of reasons why I enjoy it so much.

Watch the video for “Who Dat Boy” here:

Good Kid Good Friday: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
Album Reviews
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Good Kid Good Friday: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar

Technically, my time with Radio Laurier is over… but I couldn’t resist jumping at the opportunity to review DAMN. by the one and only Kendrick LamarAfter the release of his acclaimed concept album To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015 and accompanying piece Untitled Unmastered in 2016, I was convinced that Kendrick would be on a break.

Then, it happened. Out of nowhere, he dropped a track called, The Heart Part 4,” which indicated that a new album was coming. It cited April 7, but I had to patiently wait until Good Friday, April 14. It really was a good Friday. Little did I know that DAMN. would become my favourite of Kendrick’s albums to date.

Here are the five main reasons why I love it so much:

  1.  It isn’t just a rap album. Each track offers something in terms of genre.
  2.  Family matters come to the surface, which is reminiscent of 2012’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City.
  3.  The collaborations with Rihanna and U2 are somewhat unexpected, yet incredible.
  4.  Kenny is fearless in his critiques on the government and the media, especially Fox News.
  5. Two words: production value.

He is the greatest rapper alive (sorry… still stuck on “The Heart Part 4”).

Kendrick has been acclaimed for his music videos, especially those coupled with tracks from To Pimp a Butterfly. I lost my mind when the video for “HUMBLE.” dropped, which is where the image at the very top of this post is from. If you haven’t seen it yet, click below.

Just when I thought that my 2017 was made, the DAMN. tour was announced. Cornrow Kenny will be going on tour with Travis Scott and Big Baby D.R.A.M. Of course, my boyfriend and I got pre-sale tickets for his show in Toronto on July 25. I’m definitely going to be writing a concert review, so stay tuned for that.

My favourite tracks off of DAMN. are as follows:

  1. DNA.
  2. FEAR.
  3. HUMBLE.
  4. ELEMENT.
  5. YAH.

…but I love the whole thing.

Week 12.2 – A Farewell – April 3, 2017
Shows/After Class
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Week 12.2 – A Farewell – April 3, 2017

For the very last time, DJs Deej, Nix, and Winks were in the studio. First and foremost, we would like to thank all of the supporters of the show who have tuned in on Monday nights, our management team, Radio Laurier, and Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications. Each piece is truly appreciated.

ICYMI, here is our year in summary:

This year brought about a lot of growth for the “After Class” brand on social media. Just last year, DJ Deej launched the @RLAfterCLass Facebook page. During this school year, the page crossed the 100 like threshold. Twitter under the same handle as Facebook was present, but DJ Winks brought the feed back to life with the “Track of the Day” feature, and well-timed updates and playlists. Through DJ Nix, we made our way onto Instagram under the handle @afterclazz. Although we are not going to be on the air anymore, we still intend to keep these social media channels going to put our successors in an excellent position for next year.

We went through our highlights of each month. They included DJ Nix joining the team in September; getting creative with homemade Halloween costumes in October; The Weeknd releasing Starboy in November; Childish Gambino releasing Awaken, My Love! in December; celebrating DJ Nix’s birthday in January; travelling to New York (Nix) and getting wisdom teeth out (Deej) in February; the Ripley’s Aquarium (Winks) and Drake’s More Life in March; and DJ Deej’s birthday and the upcoming WLUSP Volunteer Appreciation awards for April.

We were fortunate to be able to attend a few concerts during the school year and write several reviews on both those and albums that we loved. Click the links below to read:

Concerts: Kanye WestChance the RapperMatthew Good

Albums: StarboyAwaken, My Love!Culture

Our last track list is as follows:

  1. “Redbone” – Childish Gambino
  2. “Fade Away” – Logic
  3. “M.A.A.D. City” – Kendrick Lamar
  4. “Rockabye Baby” – Joey Bada$$ & Future
  5. “HUMBLE.” – Kendrick Lamar
  6. “Trophies” – Drake
  7. “Poetic Justice” – Kendrick Lamar ft. Drake
  8. “Down For Me” – G-Eazy & Carnage
  9. “Chillin” – Wale ft. Lady GaGa
  10. “The Good-bye Song” – Out of the Box

Friendships were created and strengthened, music and issues in the media were debated, and nothing but good times were had. After a collective five years with Radio Laurier, we can honestly say that we are proud of what we have accomplished. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity, and look forward to watching the station continue to grow.

Good-bye, for now, until we meet again. 

Much love,

Deej, Nix, and Winks

Radio Laurier’s After Class 2016-2017

Week 11.2 – March 27, 2017
Shows/After Class
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Week 11.2 – March 27, 2017

 

The trio made it an all-request Monday for their second last show. From Drake to Aaron Carter, they were able to cover a lot of bases. Since DJ Nix was absent for #MoreLifeMonday, we asked her for her review. She really loves the playlist, and seems to get something new out of every listen. She also has a strange appreciation for the way Giggs says “dirty dirty” in “KMT.”

After being in University for five years, the DJs thought it was appropriate to share their exam survival skills. They are:

1. Eat balanced meals. 

You have no lecture, so plan and execute healthy, balanced meals. One carb, one fruit or vegetable, and one protein per plate. Your body will convert this into energy you can use to fuel your studies.

2. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. 

This goes without saying. Resist the temptation to stay up all night and study. Plan your time, because it will catch up with you and affect your performance on the test.

3. Hydrate. 

Although coffee is a typical go-to while studying, drink lots of water. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces per day. It’s good for your skin and overall health, and even helps improve your concentration.

4. Take proper breaks. 

Whether it’s taking an hour to grab a bite with a friend, reading for fun, or going to the gym, make sure to take breaks from studying. Cramming will only get you so far, and really, not far at all.

This week’s track list is as follows:

  1. Tunnel Vision – Kodak Black
  2. Hate It Or Love It – 50 Cent
  3. Rolex – Ayo & Teo
  4. Poker Face – Lady GaGa
  5. KMT – Drake ft. Giggs
  6. Off the Ground – Anderson .Peak
  7. Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) – Aaron Carter
  8. Mask Off – Future
  9. The Heart Part 4 – Kendrick Lamar

Mondays from 10-11 p.m. Tune in, and turn up.