Soundcloud: The End of an Era

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Soundcloud used to be a place where independent music creators could harmlessly share their music without any financial gain.  But now, it is in favor of boosting revenue and helping those with record labels.

With its new agreements with Warner and zefr, Soundcloud is basically trying to push the independent artists out.

Soundcloud has had an agreement with Warner for a while and the whole objective with Warner was to gain revenue for Soundcloud and protect Warner’s artists on Soundcloud.

In order to do that, they called in zefr to totally eradicate the independents from Soundcloud by removing anything with even a little bit of copyright infringement.

This means no sampling or remixes from songs releasing on any major record labels by independents.

Not to mention warner could not reimburse their one year contract Soundcloud and leave it with nothing but the independents who decided to stay, possibly even begging for them back.

I, for one, would be happy and excited to move my music elsewhere.  The layout of SoundCloud sucks anyway regardless of what’s going on with these deals.

We all just have to move somewhere else.

The question is where we are going.

Kendrick Lamar: The M.A.A.D. City’s good Kid

This article is a meditation on the artist known as Kendrick Lamar.

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, formally known as Kendrick Lamar, is a West Coast rapper that lived his earlier years in Compton. He gained national attention once he called out every living rapper on the West Coast and claimed to be the king of New York with his verse on Big Sean’s “Control.” Ever since, Lamar has only exhibited growth. Kendrick has never hesitated to challenge and call out practices and habits that seem to collapse on themselves. He pours out the bitter reality of self-medication through alcohol in his track “Swimming Pools” off of “good kid M.A.A.D. City” saying, “All I have in life is my new appetite for failure/And I got Hunger Pains that Grow Insane/Tell me Do That Sound Familiar?/If it do then you’re like me, making excuses that your relief/Is in the bottom of a bottle and the greenest indo leaf.”
Lamar also released “i” late 2014, a track dedicated to self-love and embracing one’s self regardless of flaw. However, knowing Kendrick’s background makes the single even more powerful.

King Kendrick

King Kendrick

He battled depression for years haunted by the scars left behind from his life in Compton, including the murder of his best friend’s younger brother, for which Lamar continues to feel responsible.
“To Pimp A Butterfly,” Kendrick’s latest studio album that had a surprise release, illuminates his poetic prowess. He almost abandons the mold that has attached itself to modern hip-hop.

Finna stay killing

Finna stay killing

With almost no other features, Kendrick focuses on his personal storytelling and craft. The album also pushes the limits of the rap genre, as production flirts with funk, jazz, and smooth melodies. Lamar has a tendency to stand out, as no topic that crosses his mind is filtered from his music. As he has in earlier albums, he continues to express his frustration with religion in tracks like, “How Much A Dollar Cost”, as well as the pain he carries on his shoulders, feeling like a failure, and the self-hatred he has wrestled within a tracks like, “u.” “U” stands in stark contrast to “i” as Kendrick breaks down every single barrier and spits so raw you need to stop whatever you’re doing and take a deep breath whenever it starts playing.
The whole concept of the album is highlighting how society tends to only love the individual for the talent within. The caterpillar is forgotten and hated, but the potential that is the butterfly is apparently the only aspect of a person that is worth loving. However, Kendrick, marred by the streets has decided to pimp the butterfly to fit what he wants, hence “To Pimp a Butterfly.” The whole message is an allegory telling the story of what Lamar feels plagues individuals from the ghetto: only loved for the talent they have the potential to harness, the ugliness they come out of is often ignored.
Lamar has made it known that he embodies a certain bitterness that Compton instilled within him. In Compton, the survival rate is extremely low, with a high school graduation rate of 57% along with a 14 out of 100 on the crime safety index. And if the hood doesn’t kill the individual physically, you can trust that the streets have already killed them on the inside spiritually.
Kendrick Lamar has evolved since his emergence, breaking down barriers with every new track. He refuses to be held back by any filter or stereotype. When one listens to any other hip-hop artist, the mind is limited to the same repetitive ideas that are just expressed in different ways. However, Kendrick will have you studying history, opening the dictionary, and leave you speechless from the hard-hitting messages he drives through your head with his lyrical hammer..

Warping the Day Away

Since 1994, there has been a rock festival founded by Kevin Lyman called Warped Tour. It’s a big festival that goes international. Since this tour is during the summer, this event has always been set outside except on rare occasion where they have problems with where the venue is supposed to be held. Everyone who goes to these festivals always end up having fun due to the great music and bands, and all the mini-games everyone is allowed to play and the contests you can try out for. You don’t even have to like a band to have fun, just run into a crowd and join mosh pits or the walls of deaths and have a good time, but try not to get stomped on if you fall.

Many different artists had the chance to perform at this festival, such as Katy Perry since she was considered “punk”. Also the Black Eyed Peas got the chance to perform at Warped Tour; they were the first group of performers not categorized as “punk”, which was a little strange because all the bands were classified as punk. Most of the bands that play at this tour are mostly punk, rock, metal, screamo, and sometimes even techno.

The day you attend usually lasts the whole day almost, so if you wake early at 6AM just because you don’t want to be in the back of the line, you would wait approximately 2-3 hours until it starts and finishes around 5-7pm, so yay. Warped has even been nice enough to make a “cut-the-line-line” where you have a smaller line to get in first if you donate 10 cans of food that are in turn given to the poor. Besides that, even though most people have fun, there are still those people in the world who know how to be annoying, by running through the crowd and shoving everyone out of their way, but these people are usually the cocky big dudes. Usually if someone is their size, they would probably get into a fight, or start a mosh, which is fun! In my opinion, I think one of the best things you can do there is crowd surfing from the back which is when you go on top of the crowd and pretty much surf them, so you are getting tossed to the front to see your favorite band. I wouldn’t know what would be better than that, and if you are really lucky you might even get a handshake or something from the singer! If you go, you should usually go with a decent size group of friends or you would just be lonely. However, it’s almost guaranteed that you will always see some of the weirdest things out there.

WHO IS THE BASED GOD?

First off, I would just like to say Thank You, Based God. What? You don’t know who Lil Boss, the Based God is? Well, then I’m sorry to be the one to inform you that you haven’t lived yet. Based God, better known as Lil B has been an active part of the rap community since 2010. Although his more popular releases are mostly from 2012, Lil Boss is still as relevant as ever.

Good Morning Based God

Good Morning Based God

Many call him out, saying he’s wack, has absolutely no flow, and is probably one of the stupidest people alive. But, at the same time, Yung Based has one of the most dedicated and loyal fan bases existing.

Born Brandon McCartney, he refers to himself as “Based”, saying that he means to convey a message of positivity and tolerance. McCartney states that during his upbringing, “based” was a negative term and he would constantly be crushed by the negativity surrounding him, as many people would call him such. However, he turned that negativity into a positive message that he now relays to thousands. Although his music isn’t the most inspirational, what he is trying to communicate goes much deeper than the lyrics.

Too fly

Many do not take his content seriously, which has resulted in Lil B beefing with multiple other artists through platforms like Twitter. He had a brief argument with The Game, who called him the “wackest rapper out.” However, after a couple of diss tracks and Twitter beef, they eventually resolved their conflict, and McCartney helped promote The Game’s THE R.E.D. ALBUM. A similar argument took place with artist Joey Bada$$, which was ultimately put to rest. Lil B will continue to work in his own absurd corner of hip-hop, with his insanely strong fanbase. Though none may take him seriously, Boss will forever be living legend. Thank you, Based God.

B4.DA.$$ Review

By Ben Varughese

Joey Bad's Latest Project

Joey Bad’s Latest Project

The Badmon himself has managed to further the Pro Era vibe he has worked so hard to build up with the drop of his album B4.DA.$$. Dropped January 20th, he manages to combine his thoughts and his story with a good number of hard-hitting tracks. Some argue that Joey gets repetitive, saying his style never changes. But personally I believe his consistency is what makes his game so solid. Tracks like Belly of the Beast (feat. Chronixx) go into depth about life in Brooklyn, and just his point of view in general, as exemplified in Hazeus View. He also upholds the 95 till Infinity hustle in tracks like Big Dusty and Christ Conscious, stating he won’t stop spitting hot until he reaches Christ Conscious. He also

Big Poppa Swank Been At It

Big Poppa Swank Been At It

outlines some of his more personal aches and pains in tracks like O.C.B., where he expresses the loneliness of being an only child, hence Only Child Blues. Arguments have been made that the Beast Coast rapper’s most recent project fails to reach the same heights as his former mixtapes. I will not lie, tracks like #LongLiveSteelo off of Summer Knights will always make me feel a type of way. However, I personally believe that Joey Bada$$ continues to make solid growth, and being only 20 years old, not even in his prime, he is no doubt destined to continue to be successful and identify with Classic hard-hitting vibe New York rap has always personified.

Drum Sets in General

By Peter Leonardo

Joey Jordison of "Slipknot"

Joey Jordison, former drummer for Slipknot

So, what is with drummers having so many toms, cymbals and bass drums if they rarely use all of them? I want to talk about Joey Jordison the former drummer for Slipknot, a heavy metal band. Why does he use so many toms and cymbals- he never uses any of them! All he uses is his 2 bass drums, his hi hats, snare and a couple of toms! Sometimes, I believe he doesn’t even touch some of his drums.

Honestly, I think it’s just for show for some drummers, but Neil Peart, drummer for the rock band Rush, knows what he’s doing.  As said on Peart’s Wikipedia article, he “has received numerous awards for his musical performances, and is known for his technical proficiency and stamina”.

Musician Neil Peart of the band Rush

Musician Neil Peart of the band Rush

I like Neil Peart more than Joey Jordison, because when he plays beats, he stays in the pocket.  That means he plays the drum beat precisely and when he does his fills, he doesn’t  use a double foot pedal for every single fill. On the other hand, Joey Jordison uses uses it constantly and that’s just unprofessional.

Quest Love of ,"The Roots"

Quest Love of The Roots

One of the drummers that I look up to is Quest Love from, The Roots.  He currently plays with The Roots on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon . The band is great and fits perfectly with the show. One of the reasons I look up to Quest Love is because he plays so flawlessly.  It’s like he’s  floating on a cloud when he plays and fills go perfectly every time.  And, Quest Love only uses a 4 piece Ludwig set and he uses Ziljian cymbals.

These days, I feel like drummers should not always assume that if a drummer has millions of toms and cymbals that they are then amazing drummers.  They have to listen to what and how the drummer plays and listen to the drummer closely to see if he’s doing the same or unnecessary fills. In my opinion, a good drummer is somebody that keeps the beat in the pocket, plays at a necessary volume, does not do too many fills, or unnecessary  fills. For example, if he’s playing jazz, don’t burst out playing a metal fill!  That’s just unprofessional and disrespectful to the audience.