I was fortunate enough to discover AWOLNATION early, and I continued to listen until their first album, Megalithic Symphony, caught the attention of the masses. With this, I abandoned them out of pretentious spite. Years later, I am happy to say that Aaron Bruno and company haven’t lost their ability to create unique, genre-noncomforming music. If AWOLNATION was a lesser band, they may have simply tried to recreate the sound and success of their smash-hit “Sail.” However, Here Come the Runts sees Bruno dramatically shift his instrumentation, following in the footsteps of ’80s-era rockers. This is echoed in the album’s thematic focus — Bruno’s “runts” are the successors to Springsteen’s working-class Americans, those that are pushing on despite the stress and struggle of modern America.
WVBR 93.5 FM Ithaca’s “real rock radio” is out and “Ithaca’s Alternative” is in. This change of genre for the independent, Cornell student-run radio station comes after increasing confusion as to what constitutes “real rock.” In the recent years, the station has failed to focus its efforts on any particular decade or subgenre, leading to a lack of consistency within their sound. With the new alternative format, the station will play songs from the ’90s, classic alternative if you will, to the present. Under the genre of alternative, artists like Nirvana, The Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Cold War Kids and Tame Impala coexist with only one thing to bind them: a willingness to experiment with non-traditional sounds and stage antics. What is most interesting about this is that the station is trying to escape an unfocused format by switching to an incredibly broad format.
There has always been a certain magic to Girlpool. The bond that duo Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker share is unlike any other. Girlpool stands out due to their lack of a drummer: Cleo’s guitar chords and picking fit perfectly with Harmony’s bass — or vice versa when they trade off. Their vocal styles also seem to have been made for each other and are instantly identifiable. Their music was perfect already without a drummer.
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on Sunday evening and opened with an appearance by Kendrick Lamar. His performance consisted of a medley with songs like “DNA.” and “XXX.” from Damn. and “King’s Dead” from the Black Panther soundtrack. To accurately describe his performance in words would ultimately futile — though I will briefly attempt to do it anyway. I encourage you to check it out.
For a generation who practically grew up on the internet, the age-old American adage of “Do It Yourself” has never loomed so tantalizingly close overhead. Want to make a music video for Youtube? Do it yourself. Want to organize a rally on Facebook? Do it yourself.
In January of 2017 Donald Glover, better known as Childish Gambino, gave a shout out to three of music’s hottest on-the-rise M.C.s: Quavo, Offset and Takeoff. Together they formed the group Migos. A few days after Glover’s mention of the trio, Migos dropped the album Culture, which quickly reached critical acclaim. From there, Migos saw a successful summer, playing on a massive tour with Future and making several festival appearances. In the midst of their busy summer, Offset dropped a major bomb: the announcement of Culture II.
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.
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.
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.
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.