The Basement

The Basement

The Basement is a show centered around discussion and good music in partnership with the Association of Black Students -­‐ a service in the Diversity & Equity office, we are the voice of the students. It is centered around community engagement. We gather Sunday nights from 8pm-10pm to discuss social,cultural, economical and political issues that relate to the Laurier student body. We discuss issues of the past, present and future while still remaining relevant and entertaining. Complimented by popular music such as hip-hop, R&B, trap, afrobeats, dancehall, reggae, soca– we keep listeners informed with current issues on air and through our blogs. The Basement crew brings diverse perspectives as well as is always open to new ideas, and new ways of thinking. We bring culture to your Sunday nights! Another great component is the fact that we have the ability to connect with our listeners through various means. Follow us on Twitter: @theBasementWLU

The Basement: Jan 22nd Recap – Topics, Playlist

Brothers, Tay Bennett (left) and Chance the Rapper (right)

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The Basement: Jan 22nd Recap – Topics, Playlist

Brothers, Tay Bennett (left) and Chance the Rapper (right)

TOPICS

On this week’s show, we started off our discussion segment exploring the women’s march in the USA and various forms of protests against Donald Trump officially starting his presidency term. In addition to the march, celebrities like Jaden Smith and Shia Labeouf employed creativity in their protests, kicking off a four year long anti-Trump live stream. These situations and the like brought us to discuss whether it was time for the world to accept Trump as president, or whether people should continuously protest and voice their discontent with America’s choice of leadership. We also discussed singer, Chrisette Michelle most notably known for her contribution to Drake’s hit, Pound Cake, and the backlashed she faced for singing at Trump’s inauguration. It brought about the discussion of selling out and ultimately we sought to determine if her performance at his inauguration was equal to her supporting Trump and what he stands for, or if her performance was merely her taking advantage of an opportunity presented to her.

We also talked about a study done last year to determine the effectiveness of male birth control. Injections were given to men containing a combination of synthetic testosterone and estrogen (progestin) to replicate the effects of birth control that millions of women currently take (read the full article on CNN here). While the injection were effective in their purpose, the study was terminated early because of unforeseen negative side effects. This led to a conversation about the onus of pregnancy in couples, the right to choose whether or not to be on birth control and the various methods of pseudo birth control methods that many young people rely on, such as the withdrawal method.

During our pop culture segment, we discussed the progression of the hiphop/rap community in regards to accepting openly gay or bisexual artists. Rapper Tay Bennett (Chance the Rapper’s little brother) and ILOVEMAKONNEN, both recently revealed their sexualities as bisexual and gay (respectively) to the world with seemingly little backlash. While on the surface it appears as if the urban music community and the populous in general have grown to be more accepting of different sexualities, there is still much ignorance and room for growth. After ILOVEMAKONNEN came out, many people reacted with a lack of surprise and had long been speculating his homosexuality due to his various pursuits into the world of fashion and his overall demeanour. We discussed how the assumption of one’s sexuality based on stereotypical understandings of masculinity and femininity should be avoided, whether accurate or inaccurate.

For the people/opinion segment, we explored the idea of open relationships. Often times, people enter open relationships without realizing what they’re getting themselves into which leads to messy and complicated situations with plenty of room for those involved to get hurt. We all agreed that in theory an open relationship may sound ideal for young people who still have much to figure out in life, but in execution it never translates smoothly. What’s most important is that people keep open lines of communication and express themselves honestly to ensure both parties are aware of each other’s expectations and act accordingly.

PLAYLIST
The Weeknd – Party Monster
Khalid – Location
Nao – So Good ft. Ak Paul
Skepta – Shutdown
ASAP Mob – Yamborghini High
Frank Ocean – You are Love

If you’re a fan of our discussions on music and pop culture, make sure to tune into the RapUp Monday’s from 8 – 10PM

The Basement: Jan 15th – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artist

Cruel Winter

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The Basement: Jan 15th – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artist

Kanye West – Cruel Winter, to be released Feb 2017

TOPICS

On this week’s show, we started off by discussing the recent kidnapping of an unnamed special needs male by 4 black aggressors in Chicago. In addition to torturing the victim, they forced him to say, “f*** Trump” and “f*** white people”. All of the suspects have been arrested and charged with “charged with aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery and a hate crime”, according to an article on The Sun detailing the incident. We explored how this incident only served to heighten the already tense relations between black and white people. On the popular image sharing site Imgur, a user posted a picture of the article, claiming that the story was barely covered in the news, despite the story being covered by a multitude of national media outlets. The comments on the photo only served to illustrate the heightened tensions between races. Many people both in the comments of the post and in general, saw this incident as an opportunity to target and vilify the Black Lives Matter movement and denounce the validity of white privilege. What we felt people were failing to recognize is that that the actions of radicals within a racial group, like the KKK or ISIS, do not represent the entire populous. We also briefly touched on the recent incident in Texas in which a teenager, Zachary Kabir Anam, shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police vehicle. Talking about this story led to the discussion of the valid of media’s reporting and sensationalism as well as resorting to violence as a means of protest when it appears that peaceful discourse is ineffective.

During our pop culture segment, we discussed the upcoming albums in 2017 we were excited to hear. Some of these albums include Process by UK soul-crooner, Sampha, Cruel Winter by Kanye West and AABA by Joey Badass. We also talked about Drake’s rumoured upcoming project, More Life and his status as a legend. There’s no question Drake has time and time again proven both his proficiency at penning relatable lines and his delivering catchy, infectious bars and melodies, but we felt that he would benefit from taking a break from the music scene. This would give his fans a chance to miss him and additionally, let the members of his record label OVO shine and be able to escape from under his shadow.

For the people/opinion segment, we discussed New Years’ resolutions and whether or not they are truly effective in people wanting to make a change in their lives. In addition, we talked about the right and wrong way to approach someone when interested, the right situations to do so and how to overcome apprehension to make that first attempt at contact.

PLAYLIST
Travis Scott – Biebs In The Trap Ft. Nav
Isaiah Rashad – What’s Wrong Ft. Kendrick Lamar & Zacari
Vince Staples – Señorita
H.E.R. – Focus
J.Cole – She’s Mine
Savannah Dumetz – Naked

FEATURED ARTIST
This week’s featured artist is Toronto based crooner Rimy Low Key, who blends soul and 80s synth pop to create his own R&B style entitled “Psychedelic Soul”. According to Rimy himself, “I started taking music seriously after I lost my house in a fire and needed to get back everything I lost and more”. His song, Hesitate, tells the story of a hazy, substance-fueled late night rendezvouz devoid of the pleasantries and blasé, illustrated by lines like, “Oh I came for the games for the fun/ I ain’t trying to fall in love” and “cup inside of cup when I found you/are you down for round two?”. Hesitate channels Rimy’s overall inspiration for making music as he channels his frustrations and vents on experiences he’s had with love and relationships. Once the archetypal ‘nice guy’, Rimy soon found that it led to fruitless endeavours in a society of youth where people often fail to reveal honest intentions and play frivolous games. As such, these experiences led him to distance his emotions from intimacy, no longer seeking love, which are all themes reflected in the song Hesitate. The song was produced and mixed by Versedl, a Toronto based producer in collaboration with Akeel Henry, a producer who has previously interned for Noah “40” Shebib and produced for Roy Woods, Jeremiah, KidInk & 11:11 to name a few. Th dark and heavy, brooding instrumental serves as the perfect canvas for Rimy’s soaring vocals to paint a vivid picture of one night of passion, lust and sinful satisfactions.

Check out the song on Soundcloud below:

Follow Rimy on Social Media
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rimylowkey/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rimylowkey
Website: http://rimylowkey.com

Featured Channel: The Journey
This week we also had the pleasure of talking about Garrick’s recently launched YouTube channel, The Journey, which is a lifestyle themed vlog series featuring a range of content from fitness vlogs to comedy skits and so on. Garrick has been a long time member of The Basement and all of us are extremely proud of the content he’s currently creating via his YouTube channel. Show him some love and check out his latest video below:
https://youtu.be/pRMqtrH4DoI

The Basement: Dec 4th Recap – Topics, Playlist
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The Basement: Dec 4th Recap – Topics, Playlist

4-your-eyez-only-2016
TOPICS

On this week’s show, we started off show by talking about a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York called ICHIRAN. The ramen-restaurant is gaining popularity because of the unique service it offers, described in detail this article on Grubstreet.com. The restaurant is designed in such a way that the patrons don’t have to have any significant form of social interactions. They sit in private booths, write down their orders on paper, and get served through small windows in their booths. We explored the anti-social implications of a restaurant that essentially eliminates any need for interactions with other humans. This conversation also lead to a discussion tipping and the service industry as a whole. In the restaurant industry, servers are traditionally paid less than minimum wage, and tipping is often expected (but not mandatory) and is usually determined by the quality of service provided by the server.

During our pop culture segment, we discussed J. Cole’s upcoming album entitled, “4 Your Eyez Only”, after releasing a documentary via TIDAL featuring two new songs. On one of the new track releases, “False Prophets”, he levies subtle criticisms towards the current state of rap, commenting on the behaviour of other artists like Kanye West and Lil’ Yachty. We also talked about the constant comparisons of current artists to past legends. For example, The Weeknd is often regarded as the modern Michael Jackson, but the issue that arises seems to be that it does an injustice to both artists. While it may be fair to say that there are notable similarities between the two artists, they both have individual characteristics and careers that shouldn’t be lumped together. Calling The Weeknd the new Michael Jackson puts The Weeknd in a position to fill larger than life shoes, and also in a sense, takes away from the legacy left behind by the late Michael Jackson (rest in peace).

For the people/opinion segment, we explored people’s personal preferences in relation to physical attributes when dating. Sometimes, people have specific physical attributes that are mandatory for them to feel attracted to someone else. We talked about whether or not it’s shallow to have these preferences, what some of these preferences are, and when these preferences go too far.

PLAYLIST
Popcaan – Ova Dweet
Gallant – Open Up
Chance the Rapper – Summer Friends
Daniel Caesar – Get You Ft. Kali Uchis
Noname – Freedom Interlude

The Basement: Nov 27th Recap – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artists

Rest in peace to 15-year old James Means

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The Basement: Nov 27th Recap – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artists

Rest in peace to 15-year old James Means

Rest in peace to 15-year old James Means

TOPICS
This show’s discussion segment started of on a sensitive and emotional note as we talked about the recent murder of 15 year old James Means in Charleston, West Virginia. James Means was a young black male killed at the hands of 62 year old William Pulliam, a bigot with a penchant for violence. WCHS News reports that Pulliam was illegally carrying the firearm he used to murder Means, due to a previous conviction related to domestic battery charges (full article here from WCHS). According to NBC News, the confrontation occurred when Means and Pulliam bumped into each other outside a Dollar General store which was the incident that ignited this tragedy. While the police still speculate on whether or not the crime was hate related, various sources have cited Pulliam as saying, “the way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street”.
In addition to discussing the death of James Means, we also explored a recent air raid on a children’s hospital in Aleppo, Syria. A video on Al Jazeera shows a young boy breathing into a mask, gasping for oxygen due to toxic materials that were released into the air by the barrel bombs dropped on the city. Generally speaking, in times of armed conflict, the lives of women and children are considered ‘off-limits’, but considering this is far from the first attack targeting children in Aleppo, it demonstrates just how terrible the conflict in Syria has become.
Both of these conversations led us to explore the perceived value of a life, whether that of a black life threatened by hatred in the States or a child’s life under siege in Syria. We also discussed how these unjust deaths incite feelings of anger which leads to the desire for revenge as well as the difference between justice and vengeance/the danger of succumbing to vengeful desires.

In our pop culture segment, we started by discussing the various ways people choose to acquire music, whether purchasing legally, choosing to stream through one of the many services available or downloading off the internet. The majority of artists lose a large portion of their revenue from album sales to labels, management, promoters etc. We talked about whether or not buying music is truly the best way to support your favourite artists, considering artists are now claiming they make the majority of their money off touring and merchandise.
In the same lane of music as a topic, we also debated what constitutes “real hip hop”. With the advent and success of ‘new age’ rappers such as Lil’ Yachty, Young Thug, Desiigner and so on, we felt in necessary to examine the dynamic and ever-changing scene of contemporary urban music, which ended up expanding past the scope of hip hop/rap to R&B. The main two positions were as such
Stance A: real hip hop requires lyricism and content with substance which new age hip hop fails to provide
Stance B: the current hip hop scene differs in the delivery and content of lyrics, but if it still maintains its connection to youth culture, provides a voice for that generation and serves some sort of function, it can be classified as hip hop.
During our people/relationship segment talked about what to do when dating someone that your family/friends dislike or do not get along with.

PLAYLIST
The Weeknd – Die For You
Nebu Kiniza – Gassed Up
Childish Gambino – Redbone
Jai Paul – Jasmine
Denzel Curry – UTL
PARTYNEXTDOOR- Thirsty

FEATURED ARTIST
TOBi – Deeper (prod. by Nate Smith)
TOBi – Understand You Ft. K Forest (prod. by dF)

To describe TOBi as simply another Toronto rapper would fail to do justice to his music. A combination of witty bars, smooth vocals and refreshing and unique production (courtesy of producers Nate Smith and df) all contribute to TOBi’s dynamic sound. In addition, one of his greatest assets may be his choice of content, as he explores themes of lust and love from new perspectives on his songs, “Deeper” and “Understand You”. A Laurier alumni & former member of ABS Laurier, TOBi has been making significant moves in his career, especially after dropping his 7-track EP FYi earlier this year. He’s also recently dropped a video to accompany “Deeper”. The colourful yet subdued use of lighting in the video parallel his smooth vocals on the song as he sings, “she always wanna hear me go deeper”. True to the song’s catchy melodies and up tempo beat, TOBi displays some of his dance moves in the video, and after hearing the song and watching the video, you’ll want to do the same.

Check out the video for “Deeper premiered on Noisey here, or on his official YouTube page.

You can hear both Deeper, Understand You and the full FYi EP on his Soundcloud page

https://soundcloud.com/tobiaji/06-understand-you-ft-k-forest

The Basement: Nov 20th Recap – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artists
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The Basement: Nov 20th Recap – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artists

TOPICS 

To start off the show, the team tackled the major issue of the impending take over of President elect Donald Trump. Since his victory over Clinton, extremist supporters of Trump have felt vindicated by the success of their ‘champion’. As a result, the racist, homophobes and bigots that support Trump have been acting out against people of colour, alternative sexualities, different religions etc. with a reduced fear of repercussion. The crew also aimed to discuss how Trump’s victory would trickle over and affect Canadians.
The second topic of the discussion segment was the idea of black people supporting (or failing to support) black businesses. This conversation was sparked by personal experiences of people on the team with some of the black owned businesses in the local k/W region. The goal of the conversation was to explore if the black people have some form of obligation to shop at black owned businesses and what to do when those businesses don’t necessarily have service up to par with what people are accustomed to.
For pop culture and entertainment, we discussed Kanye West recent concert where after performing 3 songs, he ranted and walked off stage. During his rant he talked about a multitude of personal issues from friction with Jay Z / Beyoncé to weighing on the presidential election. Regardless of personal opinion on Kanye West, it’s clear right now he may be suffering through some mental health difficulties which needs to be taken into consideration and approached with understanding.
To wrap up the show with out people/relationships segment, we talk about whether or not it’s appropriate to give your significant other access to your phone and general privacy boundaries within relationships. Trust is necessary for any healthy relationship to flourish and function well. The idea of giving someone else access to your phone brings up many questions in relation to trust which we explored in this segment.

PLAYLIST

Rae Sremmurd – Black Beatles

6lack – Prblms

Shy Girls – Only A Man

Pharell – Frontin’

A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation

Isaiah Rashad – Dressed Like Rappers

FEATURED ARTIST

Soundman – Man Down

Soundman is rapper hailing from the Mississauga / Toronto area boasting a varying list of influences from Drake to Kendrick Lamar. His song ‘Man Down’ is a a gritty dark song touching on the archetypal “Toronto shooter”. The song is produced by Topszns own Cameron Pasquale and currently sits at 17.4k plays on soundcloud thanks to a cosign from Toronto singer Jahkoy as well as attention from various blogs. His next move is to have is music featured on OVO radio and complete his upcoming EP, World Sounds.
Check it out below:

The Basement: Oct 30th Recap – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artists
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The Basement: Oct 30th Recap – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artists

TOPICS 

This week’s show was pretty significant in terms of the topics we aimed to discuss on the show. During our team planning, the topic of the abortion protests happening around Waterloo ignited heated discussions among the team as soon as it was mentioned. The debate between pro-choice and pro-life stances has always been volatile. In the end everyone agreed regardless of one’s stance, people’s individual decisions need to be respected.

In addition, we discussed the relevance of cultural appropriation due to the Halloween celebrations. Every year there are some costumes that toe of the line of what is appropriate and what is disrespectful. Very quickly, the conversation went beyond the scope of Halloween as we explored what cultural appropriation really entails and why it’s something to be wary of.

During the show we also discussed the recent conflict between artists Kid Cudi and Drake. Before admitting himself into rehab and announcing his battle with mental health issues, Kid Cudi had sent out tweets targeting Drake as well as Kanye West. In response, Drake released the song “Two Birds, One Stone” in which he had a few lines that people interpreted as a diss towards Kid Cudi. In these lines, he touched on Kid Cudi’s battle with abuse of prescription medication. Some of the members on the team felt as if this was fair – Kid Cudi started the conflict and Drake was merely defending himself. In essence, embodying the phrase, “all is fair in love and war”. Other members on the team thought Drake went too far and his lines within the song trivialized Kid Cudi’s struggle and made light of a very serious situation.

To end off the show, we discussed the significance in age gaps in relationship inspired by Khloe Kardashian, age 32, dating Tristan Thompson, a 25 year old basket ball player from Brampton. In addition, we also discussed long distance relationships and whether or not they are realistic.

PLAYLIST

Young Ma – Ooouuu

Travis Scot, Young Thug – Pick Up The Phone ft. Quavo

Chance the Rapper – Cocoa Butter Kisses

Daniel Caeser – Get you ft. Kali Uchis

Drake – Too Good ft. Rihanna

Kid Cudi – Frequency

FEATURED ARTISTS

Shabazz – Club Medellin ft. K Forest (prod. by dF)

Shabazz – Bandido (prod. by df)

Shabazz is an upcoming rapper from the Mississauga/Toronto area. Recently, he released his project, “Alma Sola”, which in English translates to ‘single soul’/’lonely soul’. His music manages to stand out amongst the masses of Toronto artists due to its latin-infused instrumentals, his unique delivery and witty lyricism. His 8 track debut EP features production by producer dF and features from Brampton/Toronto singer, K. Forest. Together, dF and K. Forest’s song Guidance was featured on Travis Scott’s recent album, Birds In The Trap Sing Mcknight. They bring their talents to Shabazz’s project and together all 3 have crafted an EP truly worth listening to. You can check out the project and their other music in the links below:

Shabazz
https://soundcloud.com/smsvs/sets/alma-sola
dF

K. Forest