The Star Potential of Starboy (?)
Album Reviews
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The Star Potential of Starboy (?)

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Yesterday, The Weeknd released his highly anticipated album, Starboy. It is presently sitting at #1 in 80 countries. I have listened to the album cover-to-cover, and all I could think to myself was, “Where is the angst?” I only really saw a trace of this in the song “Party Monster.” I can’t deny that it is well-produced and that his vocal ability is admirable, but it is undoubtedly an album that is meant to appeal to the masses. The biggest problem for me as a long-time listener, I personally feel left behind. Before you think I’m just going to bash The Weeknd as an artist, I encourage you to keep reading.

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Why do I feel left behind? 

It is inevitable that people grow and change, but this change is a hard pill to swallow. The Weeknd made dark, seemingly drug-induced tracks that dealt heavily with young love, growing up, and teen angst. Sure, this is a sign that he is growing up, but even his last album The Beauty Behind the Madness still possesses some of those sentiments while possessing the ability to penetrate the mainstream music market. I have no issue with Abel’s mainstream success, but I do have an issue with what seems to be a lack of care to carry his Day 1 fans forward with him. The compilation album of all of his mixtape, titled Trilogy, really takes you on a journey into his mind. It features a plethora of slow, reflective tracks, detailing experiences with different people and different places. The realities of drug use and love are things that people of our generation can certainly relate to on some level. Even if you have just been asked to partake in drug use and you said no, this is still an album that you can relate to.

The albums Kiss Land and King of the Fall fell a bit under the radar, but they did well in a live setting. I had the pleasure of attending the King of the Fall tour in September 2014, which also Jhene Aiko and scHoolboy Q. It was especially a treat because The Weeknd performed everything noteworthy from the very beginning, and Oxymoron by scHoolboy Q was one of the hypest Hip-Hop albums that was out at the time. In listening to Starboy, I wonder how it will it will translate in a tour setting, when it is already so easy listening to begin with.

Overall though, I am very happy about the amount of worldwide success and recognition that The Weeknd has. It is an incredible achievement for him, and for Canada as a whole.

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Kanye West: The Saint Pablo Tour
Concert Reviews
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Kanye West: The Saint Pablo Tour

If I had to describe the Saint Pablo Tour in a phrase, it would be “delightfully minimalist.” For anyone that knows anything about Kanye West, you might find it strange that I am describing the show as minimalist, but Kanye used two things, and used them well. He had no opening act, and nothing but a floating rectangle for a stage. He had a light strip that spanned the length of the floor, and planned its light very well. It provided visual intrigue through angles, and set the tone or provided ambience; whatever West wanted at that time. It didn’t matter where you were, you got a taste of Kanye. By not having a set main stage, he was able to truly lead the crowd, and provide some level of intimacy for all.

Anytime I see GA for the Air Canada Centre, I cringe. Sure, you’re on the floor, but you still have a seat to “sit” in. My boyfriend and I went to the ACC for Day 2 of Drake‘s Seventh Annual OVO Fest / Summer Sixteen Tour on August 1st of this year. We were not on the floor, but not a single person in that venue spent any time in their seats as soon as “Summer Sixteen” was cued. However, for the Saint Pablo Tour, there was not one chair on the floor, and Kanye spent the duration of the show floating over the crowd. We were very close to the floor, and it was mesmerizing to watch people follow the platform that Kanye stood on, while partying underneath it and around it.

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For me, seeing Kanye West in concert is something that I have wanted to do since the release of his first single “Through the Wire” in 2004. Sure, I was only ten years old but even then, the music and creative genius of Kanye West was something that resonated with me, especially as a young musician myself. I saw the track as a message to creative minds to keep creating and keep pushing themselves, no matter what sort of boundaries are presented.

Kanye didn’t take the stage until 9:37 p.m. Before that, we waited in line for probably the most original concert merch I have seen to date, let alone had the privilege of purchasing. Normally when you buy a concert tour tee, it has all of the dates and location listed on the back of it. These t-shirts are exclusive because they say the date of the specific show that you attended on the back. If that isn’t a tangible memory, I don’t know what is.

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I know it sounds cliched, but this show was life-changing. It was incredible to watch one individual perform with such passion, vision, and precision. He opened with “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” and included the original gospel song that was sampled for that, making it the most epic concert opening I have ever experienced. West flowed right into “Pt.2”, then right into “Famous.” After all was said and done, all he had to say was, “That was just the intro. Welcome to the Saint Pablo Tour.” He took no breaks aside from letting the audience enjoying a lighting transition show, and performed at least one track from nearly every album. We got features, including his verses from “Pop Style” with Drake and “tHat Part” with scHoolboy Q. Every second was an intimate experience of epic proportions. Paradoxical? Enigmatic? Original? All of the above.

 

 

& That’s A Rap!
The RapUp/The RapUp
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& That’s A Rap!

Wuddduupp friends?! Done exams? Us neither. We know that you’re excited for zammers to end and summer to commence but before your break out the camo shorts, hold up a sec. This week marked the last show of the 2013-2014 school year. I know yall are just as sad as we are BUT fear not because yours truly will be giving yall that good good all summer long. The day and time is to be announced but just know it’s gunna poppin’.

Since Kamo and I are the most generous of DJs, we decided to see what yall were saying about this year. Sure, Kamo and I could make a list on the hottest of these past 8 months but it wouldn’t for the people. Word to FUBU. So we decided to make a little survey so that you guys could tell us what you thought was hot or not. We compiled 9 categories with 5 nominees each. You guys logged onto SurveyMonkey and voted away. Last night we released the results but in case (for some strange reason) you missed it, here are the winners:

Best Rapper of the School Year: Drake

Best Collaboration of the School Year: Sanctified – Rick Ross, Kanye West & Big Sean

Rookie of the School Year: Chance The Rapper

Best Club Banger of the School Year: My N***a – YG & Rich Homie Quan

Most Missed of the School Year: Kendrick Lamar

Best Mixtape of the School Year: Blue Chips 2 – Action Bronson

Best Album of the School Year: Nothing Was The Same – Drake

Song of the School Year: Man of the Year – ScHoolboy Q

Annnnnd there you have it; a snapshot of this school year. From September to April, hip-hop was at its finest, and we couldn’t have been more excited to spin all we could. Now for the shoutouts…

We wanna give a MASSIVE thankyou to everyone who tuned in and enjoyed our show week in and week out. We also wanna thank everyone at RadioLaurier for allowing us to put on for the culture. & last but certainly not least, thankyou to hip-hop. Cheesy, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace, Love & May 7th (wait on it)

Yawk! Yawk! Yawk!
Shows/The RapUp
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Yawk! Yawk! Yawk!

Wuddduppp yall?! Hope your reading was spent doing, well, readings. But since it probably wasn’t I’m sure you could a use a little re-up on everything happening in hip-hop. I mean, what better way to start the final stretch of this school year than a little rhyming, right? Or nah?

This week, we got a new project from TDE gangster, ScHoolboy Q. He officially dropped his debut LP on a major label. (’bout time). The album is called Oxymoron and is fiiiiire. Simply put. It features Kendrick, 2 Chainz, Raekwon, Tyler The Creator, Kurupt and the list goes on and on. It does a wicked awesome job of bringing back that real “gangsta” rap because lord knows hip-hop is too nice these days. Our rating? 8/10. Check out some dope tracks off the album here, here and here. Yawk!

In other news, Young Thug got arrested, Rick Ross’ album leaked, Slim Thug got his own holiday and Kid Cudi hasn’t got any better.

GLAYSH’S GUILTY PLEASURE this week was a classic. If you know me at all, I’m taking, like, at ALL, then you would know that I’ve got a massive soft spot for YMCMB. A few weeks ago, Young Money president, Lil Wayne announced that we would be getting another YM compilation album. Their second single is quite guilty. It’s called Senile and features Tyga, Nicki Minaj and Weezy F himself. Waring: this track may make you become ig’nant and turn up-ishhh. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwHXFptX0rU

REAL OR RATCHET was mostly all ratchet. yall know who Lil B is, right? He’s this questionable emcee that has crowned himself as the “based god”. Anyways, he is quite the character and isn’t afraid to show it on Twitter. Sooo, this week, we grabbed some tweets in which he gives people advice and then deemed them either real or ratchet. Should you take his advice? Probably not. Check out our favorite below.

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For the second half of the show, we had the big homie Rufus come thru and bless us with some new tunes off his album entitled Growing Pains. The album is incredibly smooth and features some of your favorite KW artists. Yall can get the project of iTunes and in your local CD stores real soon. For now, check out his music right here and make sure to follow him on Twitter @rufusmusic

Well, that’s it from us this week. Maybe sure to check us out next week AND mark March 19th off on your calendars. Why? WE’VE GOT THE SECOND ANNUAL HIP-HOP HANGOUT. Trust us, this one is gunna be craaaazy.

HHH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace, Love & Pharrell’s New Favorite Hat