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Test Spin: CupcakKe — Ephorize

Ephorize, CupcakKe’s newest album, does not deliver a message or follow a theme based on the tracklist alone. It requires listening, but does not make a chore out of it, as the album is filled with fun and clever bars. CupcakKe, a female rapper from Chicago, has been in the spotlight since her 2016 mixtape, Cum Cake. After that, her 2017 album, Queen Elizabitch kept her momentum with its consistency and uniqueness. CupcakKe is nothing like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj or any other highly popular female rappers.

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Humility, Loyalty, Business and Music — A Conversation with Zaytoven

For any fan of hip-hop, Zaytoven’s name carries a sense of royalty and divinity. However, even if you are unfamiliar with the name, you have almost certainly heard one his tracks; in 2013 Migos released the Zaytoven-produced “Versace” which would soon after became a global sensation following Drake’s contributions to the song. In addition to this mega-hit, Zaytoven has been responsible for countless other bangers including “Big on Big” by Migos. Zaytoven’s beats all have a trademark sound. The tracks begin with his signature calling card “Zaytoven” said in a baby-like, helium infused voice.

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Cornell’s Newest Trappers: Maré and J Hall

I sat down in Temple of Zeus not knowing what to expect. Who were these two artists whose trap singles “Glue” and “WOA” have received over 46,000 and 19,000 plays respectively? How did two Cornell students decide to break out of the preppy, Ivy League mold and make, not just rap, but trap music? Go to any frat basement on a Saturday night and you’ll be sure to hear the pounding sounds of Migos, Future or Cardi B, the most prominent trap artists of our generation. Perhaps Cornell is about to become home to the next big trappers of the 2010s.

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The Real Slim Shady: Black Rights Activist?

 

It has been 4 long years since The Marshall Mathers LP 2 dropped. Slim Shady fans across the world have tolerated the intermittent release of side projects like “Guts Over Fear” and short features like that on Big Sean’s “No Favors,” with the expectation that Eminem is cooking up a hot pot of scrambled syllables, another hit album. Now, with the upcoming release of 2000s best-selling artist’s newest album, Revival, we are beginning to see a new side of Eminem. It all started on October 19th, 2016. Eminem released an unexpected tongue-twisting track: “Campaign Speech.” In the track, he delivers an 8 minute, a cappella, rhyming rant.

From left to right: Kitty's Miami Garden Club, Kendrick Lamar's DAMN., Tyler, The Creator's Flower Boy.

The Sun’s Top 15 Albums of 2017

Damn. — Kendrick Lamar

On his fourth studio album, Kendrick Lamar brings us back to the golden age of hip-hop with smooth flows and incredible musicianship. Over the course of fifty-five minutes, Lamar explores his struggles with sin and society and his place in a nation that often seems to be against him. Damn. dazzles and will soon prove to be a generation defining masterpiece.

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GUEST ROOM | Linaje Originarios: Indigenous Hip-Hop and Cultural Promotion in Colombia

In the wake of the recent war between the FARC, the military and para-military forces, the current administration is attempting to distance Colombia from its recent war-torn history. At the same time, narratives of indigenous culture are perpetuated by the continuation of resguardos, Colombian indigenous reservations, while the myriad changes in governing systems create a narrative of evolving political systems. As a result, indigenous people and their cultural traditions are characterized as “past” or “dead.” Moreover, through the divorce from the recent war with the FARC — a group which has its roots in the same regions where many of the indigenous resguardos are located — the administration frames indigenous culture as part of the violent past, while simultaneously engaging indigenous people in a system which is systemically oppressive to indigenous ontology. The hip-hop duo Linaje Originarios is creating a space for productive political inclusion and cultural promotion that resists hegemony through their online hip-hop music videos in and about their native Emberá. The two cousins Dario and Brayan Tascón, who form Linaje Originarios, come from a resguardo called Valparaíso in the western mountain ranges of Colombia, where they spend most of the year working in the fields. When they are not working, the pair spends their time writing and performing their music on the streets of their resguardo or in the city of Medellín.

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The Sun’s Top 10 Songs of 2017

1) Bodak Yellow – Cardi B

Perhaps the most pervasive and noticeable facet of this song is the unapologetic delivery of Cardi B’s lyrics. The percussive nature of her articulation almost renders the background beat subservient to her artistic command. Supporting the lyrics is the repetition of a haunting melody which produces a sense of tension that despite being peripheral, is undeniably entrancing. Mesmerizing and captivating, Bodak Yellow is a beautifully hypnotic work. By Varun Biddanda

2) “Passionfruit” — Drake

“Passionfruit” is possibly the most confusing track on More Life.

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Spinning Singles: “Walk on Water” by Eminem

Eminem is a walking contradiction, at once meticulous and utterly messy, both in character and in lyric. His politics are complicated, his rhymes often puzzling. The illustrious Marshall Mathers has without a doubt left behind a prickly portfolio that ranges from aggravating dark male anger to poppy bops to at times mind-bending twists of verse. He is, by most measures, one of the greatest and most problematic hip-hop artists of his era. Eminem has since more or less fallen out of the zeitgeist, nowadays reserved for workout playlists and the occasional surprise appearance on shuffle.

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Test Spin: Paranoid Void — Literary Math

When I first listened to all-female Japanese trio Paranoid Void, I learned of the existence of math rock. At first, it did not sound fun, as anything having to do with math is just not fun to me. Math rock, though, is a genre holding some similarities to post-rock that utilizes unconventional time signatures, rhythms and dissonance. Paranoid Void, composed of members Meguri, Yu-Ki and Mipow, is unlike most music I have listened to, and it became evident that the trio put endless effort into their first full-length album, Literary Math. On Paranoid Void’s website, the band describes Literary Math as a “three-dimensional composition of the sound and words that the female sensibility unique to women creates.” Additionally, on the album’s release date, the band published a blog entry explaining what they wanted the album to convey.

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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.