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SWAN | ResKp and Universal Hip-Hop

In its initial conception, the music of hip-hop was not intended to drive any encompassing social message or lyrical commentary. Of course, as a diasporic musical form, it is inherently political, but in 1970 not many individuals were rapping in the modern sense of that word, let alone dropping verses that deal with police brutality or socioeconomic marginalization. The “invention” of hip-hop is not unlike the trope of accidental ingenuity that we love to attribute to the creation of all our most beloved things, like Edison and the lightbulb, or Wozniak and the Apple computer. The tinkering in this case took place not in a Palo Alto garage, but in the recreational room of a high-rise apartment building in the South Bronx, just off the Expressway. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHL6iKpZ8hc

A young Jamaican-American DJ, with knowledge of the dance hall culture of the country from which he migrated, made the simple discovery that there are some songs, and more pertinently, certain instrumental breaks of some songs, to which people enjoy dancing the most.

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The Florida Project: Welcome to Moonee’s Magic Kingdom

The world was a much simpler place when we were six. Our imaginations ran free. Six-year-olds can find beauty and excitement anywhere, and make any setting their personal playground. It is fun to be reminded how happy the littlest things could make us when we were younger. The Florida Project gives us that opportunity by welcoming us to Moonee’s world.

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Multitudes of Identities in Multitudes of Stories: Emotional Empathy in Five-Carat Soul

In James McBride’s latest short story collection Five-Carat Soul, McBride tackles an era of history dominated by contentious social and racial dynamics through the a lens that humanizes the oppressed. Through each story, McBride reveals social truths about groups ranging from PhD students at Columbia University to war veterans to lower class African Americans in the wake of desegregation. Each story takes the reader through emotional, often heart-breaking encounters that demonstrate different pains of the human condition: love, trauma, injustice and acceptance, among others. Through his clear but poignant prose, McBride emulates the sort of rational and telling voices of historic authors whose literature exposed cultural norms, even if such norms were unflattering. His prose is didactic guised as charming, thus going beyond simply conveying the multiple personalities and experiences, but more broadly conveying an era of post-traumatic stress, whether it be racial, economic, political, or a hybrid of the three.

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Test Spin | Col3trane — Tsarina

Cole Basta, known as Col3trane is a London native already starting to make a name for himself in the English hip hop scene at age 18. He released his first single “New Chain” on May 19 of this year. The vibe of this song set the stage for his entire debut album. It is slower than most rap songs we hear in the states, and has more of an R&B vibe to it. The beats, while very rhythmic, are relaxed and subtle, leaving room for his lyrics to come through.

The cast of Hamlet Wakes Up Late rehearses at the Schwartz Center before opening night.

Hamlet Wakes Up Late, Now at Schwartz

You’re probably used to seeing Shakespeare plays with a twist: whether that means adapted into a musical, parodied upon or set in a different era or political context. In fact, these days it might actually be harder to encounter a Shakespeare play done in the strictly “classic” manner than one that takes on some sort of revisionist elements. But you probably haven’t seen an adaptation as bold as Hamlet Wakes Up Late. Written by renowned Syrian poet and playwright Mamduh Adwan, translated by Prof. Margaret Litvin, Arabic and comparative literature, Boston University, and directed by Prof. Rebekah Maggor, performing and media arts, Hamlet Wakes Up Late is a Syrian political satire set which had its English-language premiere at the Schwartz this weekend. Inspired by The Bard’s iconic tragedy, the play unfolds under a drastically different and intriguing premise: one in which Prince Hamlet is an narcissistic alcoholic, so absorbed in his own world that he remains unaware of the truth behind his father’s death and oblivious to the people’s suffering under his uncle’s dictatorship until it is too late.

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Seeing the World From Ground Level: A Conversation With No-Comply

The summer of their junior year of high school, David Cabuenas ’19 and his friend Matt Valdez established the band No-Comply in their hometown Queens. The band represented a crossover of interests in fashion, music and art. Once at Cornell, the band grew to include Charles Chatman ’19 and has evolved significantly. Looking back on those years, Cabuenas sees them as “an incubation period.”

In conversation with David Cabuenas, I learned more about the No-Comply’s overall vision and how the sound has grown since coming to Ithaca. Cabuenas stated: “I learned a lot here in Ithaca, in terms of expanding my taste palate and taking what I learned in the music scene and the community here.

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Girlpool at The Haunt

If there is one word that is overused when describing concert experiences, it’s “magical.” Experiences and emotions are subjective, yet everyone seems to come back to that word. I agree that there is a certain atmosphere to be found at concerts that can’t be found anywhere else, but I believe that the affects found in a Girlpool concert are in a category of their own. Girlpool’s music takes emotions that are difficult to describe and puts them in an accurate, concise form of music that makes one think, “Wow. Why couldn’t I think of that when it’s so straightforward?” Taking those sentiments to a small venue like The Haunt makes the experience personal by forcing one to address neglected, bottled up feelings, creating a truly magical experience. Girlpool opened their show with “123,” the first track off their newest album Powerplant.

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Two Takes on Thor: Ragnarok

Just What the Doctor Ordered
Nick Smith, Sun Staff Writer
I’ve diagnosed myself with the flu. I don’t have a cough or a runny nose but I did skip class yesterday morning and I’m pretty sure that means I’m deathly ill. In my defense, I did have a fever and I’m ready to forward my doctor’s note from Gannett (I’m not calling it Cornell Health) to any unconvinced readers (Mom). Similarly, Thor, at least in terms of solo movies, isn’t doing great. Though the character has faired well in various other Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances, Thor (2011) was alright by virtue of the character’s novelty and Thor: The Dark World (2013) felt like a clunker.

Cornell Cinema has in the past year attracted more than 18,000 attendees, 10,000 of whom were undergraduates, at 300 different film screenings and other events and seen an increase in attendance.

Guest Room | Defending Our Cinema

A few semesters ago, when I was a more active staff writer in this section, I reviewed the 1971 film Walkabout before it screened at the Cornell Cinema. When the opportunity arose to review one of the greatest Australian films ever made, I obviously seized it without hesitation, thankful there exists an institution right here at Cornell that is devoted to showcasing profound examples of world cinema, like Ran and Koyaanisqatsi, alongside more contemporary works like Moonlight and Baby Driver. I didn’t expect much to come of that review — after all, who actually reads this section, if not this paper, right? — but at the bottom of the online article, I found a comment by an alumnus named David Moriah ’72, whose response is tangible evidence of the enduring relevance of institutions like the Cornell Cinema. It has been nearly half a century since David graduated, yet he has “returned to [Walkabout] several times over the years and continue[s] to drink in the deep well of its wisdom and beauty.”

Recently, we were all rudely awakened to discover the Cornell Cinema has been threatened by not just a reduction to existing funding, but a complete withdrawal of financial support.

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TEST SPIN — Without Warning: Offset x 21 Savage x Metro Boomin

Over the recent years, Atlanta has become a cultural hearth for hip hop. The movement really began in the mid 90’s with the rise of Outkast, whose smooth rhythms and melodic hooks captured the attention of the masses and put Atlanta on the map. From this point on, there was no stopping the area from booming into what is, in my opinion, music’s most exciting city. https://open.spotify.com/album/0MV1yCXcNNQBfwApqAVkH0

From the late 2000’s to present day, a new genre of hip hop has emerged from the underground of Atlanta to grow into a world phenomenon, trap. Some of the world’s biggest artists (Gucci Mane, Future, Migos, 21 Savage, Travis Scott and many others) fall into this genre.