SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK

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SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK

Songs You Need to Hear This Week

 

No genre, no rules. Songs we love that we think you will too. 

 

“See You Again” / Tyler, The Creator: After a long hiatus from making music, Tyler, The Creator has blessed us with an incredibly crafted album, Flower Boy. See You Again blends soft synths and smooth strings to create a lifted mood, perfect for your ears. 

 

“Fuck That Check Up” (ft. Lil Uzi Vert) / Meek Mill: Wins & Losses, Meek Mill’s latest album release, is certainly filled with highs & lows. One of those high points is “Fuck That Check Up”, featuring Lil Uzi Vert. Meek rings, “Back in this b*tch and we litty again”, while Uzi spits an aggressive verse about life on top. 

 

“Lust for Life” (ft. The Weeknd) / Lana Del Rey:  In what may be Lana Del Rey’s best album since Born to Die, Lust for Life encapsulates a wide variety of different sounds and attitudes. The album-titled slow jam highlights the enchanting aura of Lana Del Rey, and the vocal perfectionism of The Weeknd.

“Less Than” / Nine Inch Nails: In anticipation of a headlining spot at New York's Panorama Music Festival, Nine Inch Nails is back with their first music since 2014. This postmodern alternative track is dark and cold, aligning perfectly with the groups catalog. 

 

“No Friends” (ft. ILoveMakonnen) / Chase Atlantic: Australian Chase Atlantic has been bringing us an eclectic mix of great music over the past few months in what has been a staggered three-part album release. The final track on Part Three, “No Friends” is a trap inspired banger that features a surpassingly tasteful verse from urban artist ILoveMakonnen. The bitter and bold chorus rings, “I ain’t got no friends, f-ck a guest list.”

“Wild Thoughts” / DJ Khaled (Medasin Remix): After a string of self released singles and a handful of remixes, Medasin has made a name for himself as one of the most unique electronic artists on the come-up. Remixes for JAHKOY, Martin Garrix, and Portugal. The Man have all blown up to be successful releases for the young producer. Medasin put together a weird but diabolically groovy beat to back vocals by Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. 

 

“Overgrown” / Oh Wonder: Finally, the long awaited Ultralife album by Rock the Dome supporting act Oh Wonder is out! Following the release of several singles such as Heavy and Ultralife, the album features a beautiful blend of its’ two members. Overgrown is a slower, softer song with an acoustic sound complemented by subtle electronic elements. 

 

“Momentum” / Don Diablo: The dance-music legend is back, with a single release “Momentum” that is sure to make you shuffle. With a new sound that fits perfectly into the dance mold that he created for himself, “Momentum” is sure to be played at every dance music festival on the circuit this Summer.  

 

“Sanity” / IshDARR: One of the most slept on artists of 2016, Milwaukee urban contemporary artist IshDARR brings together attitudes and sounds from different genres better than many artists do today. “Sanity” is a chill track that highlights IshDARR’s love and need for music.

 

Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/user/uuinsider/playlist/2pUWQ5hjtGlT7YT9DJlpsm 

 

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Songs You Need to Hear This Week

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Songs You Need to Hear This Week

No genre, no rules. Songs we love that we think you will too. 

 

“Talk is Overrated” (ft. Blackbear) / Jeremy Zucker: Over the past two years, NJ artist Jeremy Zucker has been making a name for himself with his unique blend of pop, indie, and R&B. “Talk is Overrated,” featuring Blackbear is a strong statement to Jeremy’s style, lyrically and sonically. The recent Republic Records signee has big things ahead- check out his music now. 

All I Can Think About Is You” / Coldplay: The first song on Coldplay’s new EP Kaleidoscope, “All I Can Think About is You” is a dramatic love ballad, that begins sweet and soft, yet finishes with orchestral percussion and strings. A crossroads between Radiohead and early 2000’s Coldplay, this song sets the tone for the rest of the brief EP. 

“Perfect Timing (Intro)” / NAV x Metro Boomin: How long have we been waiting for this NAV x Metro Boomin collaboration?? Finally, the two have decided to give some music to their fans. “Perfect Timing (Intro)” is one of two songs released off of their upcoming project, Perfect Timing. The song features NAV’s simple, repetitive style over a clean and light beat produced by the Atlanta producer. 

“helpline” (ft. Tom Tripp) / Mura Masa: Hot off Mura Masa’s debut album, “helpine” is a retro-groovy tune that channels influence from several places. The young producer enlists the help of Tom Tripp to create an uptempo summer catch. 

"A Lie" (ft. The Weeknd) / French Montana: New York native French Montana just put out his sophomore album, Jungle Music. Though it's long (19 songs) and can get repetitive, there are certainly some songs to add to your music. "A Lie" is a smooth collaboration with XO figurehead The Weeknd. 

“Naughty Ride” / WizKid x Major Lazer: With the help of producer trio Major Lazer, WizKid has brought us a treat with “Naughty Ride.” The playful dance hall beat is classic WizKid. 

“No Ice” / Cousin Stizz: Cousin Stizz has been making a name for himself in hip-hop, as a talented MC and, to some, as the voice of Boston. “No Ice” is a standout single on his new album One Night Only. The catchy hook will have you reciting, “Hennessy straight no Gretzky / Hoping these lame won't catch me / Riding through the wave no jet-ski.”

“South of the River” / Tom Misch: The UK producer/singer/songwriter has made a name for himself in the streaming world, with his signature soft, elegant style. The congruency in his vocals and production are eminent in his most recent release, “South of the River.”

 

“XO Tour Llif3” / Brasstracks: “XO Tour Llif3,” a dark, anthemic track by Lil Uzi Vert, has been one of the biggest songs in the country for months. Young producer duo Brasstracks, the masterminds behind the 2016 hit ‘No Problem,’ have created their rendition of Uzi’s track, featuring their signature melodic horns and huge percussion. The instrumental-only is a very refreshing take on what is already a classic.

Listen Here:

https://open.spotify.com/user/uuinsider/playlist/2ZByTeAm7z0FbL69du1k5s

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Converse, "Stranger Things," Emma Stone, and more: This Week in Pop Culture

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Converse, "Stranger Things," Emma Stone, and more: This Week in Pop Culture

Tyler, The Creator x Converse

Earlier this week, Converse released a video announcing a collaboration with Tyler, The Creator for a new sneaker. In the video directed by Tyler’s “alter-ego,” Wolf Haley, Tyler is questioned about his relations with Converse just before him and a group go on to destroy numerous pairs of One Star’s. Though Tyler previously had been associated with Vans, he revealed why he left Vans for Converse in a recent interview with Dazed: “Imagine being in a fucking cocoon… Vans just wouldn’t let me grow. It was a ceiling and I was like, ‘Fuck this.’ Converse is allowing me to bloom, no pun intended, and it’s great.” The first sneaker that’s part of Tyler x Converse collection is a blue suede One Star, with Tyler’s Scum Fuck Flower Boy cover art on the insole. The sneaker was released online on Thursday, July 13th, at 10AM, but sold out very quickly. Tyler even tweeted, “them converse gon in 90 seconds ;cool ;get em dirty dont keep em in a box as a novelty flower boy july 21st.” Converse’s video announcing their collaboration with Tyler, as well as the blue suede One Star’s can be seen below.

Images via Converse

Images via Converse


Emma Stone Speaks Up

As the challenge of equal pay consistently surrounds Hollywood, Emma Stone has recently opened up about her salaries, as well as the salaries of her male co-stars. Stone recently revealed that some of her male co-stars have previously taken salary cuts in order for her to receive equal pay. In a recent interview with Out Magazine, Stone states, “In my career so far, I’ve needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them. And that’s something they do for me because they feel it’s what’s right and fair.” She then goes on to consider the future of pay equality, “. . . our getting equal pay is going to require people to selflessly say, ‘That’s what’s fair.'” Rather than criticizing the film industry and Hollywood, Stone considers the greatest influencer to achieve pay equality as men. According to Stone, if male co-stars who have higher salaries take a pay-cut to match their female counterparts, then the female stars’ salary is likely to be increased in the future. Although Emma Stone has recently been confronting the issue, she is not the first to speak up against the increasingly unfair pay gaps, as other female stars such as Natalie Portman and Jennifer Lawrence have confronted the issue in the past.


Emmy Nominations Released

On Sunday, September 17th, the 69th annual Emmy Awards are set to take place, and this Thursday, the full list of nominations was released. Earning the most nominations was NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and HBO’s “Westworld,” tied at 22 nominations each. HBO’s freshman series has been renewed for a second season, while “SNL” enjoyed its most-watched season in 23 years—Variety claims this is due to the Trump Administration and the recent election. Not far behind the two leaders is Netflix’s freshman series “Stranger Things,” at 19 nominations, while Netflix’s other hit series “The Crown” received a total of 13 nominations. Also at 13 nominations was Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” marking a huge step for the streaming service that hasn’t previously been on the awards scene. Although categories such as best drama have all new series nominated, the only newcomer to the best comedy category was FX’s “Atlanta,” created by and starring Donald Glover. The 69th Emmy Awards will be hosted by CBS’ Stephen Colbert and will air live on CBS at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. The full list of nominations can be seen via the Variety link below.

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/2017-emmy-nominees-list-nominations-1202494465/


Season 2: “Stranger Things”

Just before the nominations for this years Emmy Awards were released, Netflix announced the return date of their hugely successful hit, Stranger Things. The “sleeper hit” series, which received 19 total Emmy nominations, follows the residents of a small town as they discover and face mysterious forces in the area. Although Netflix ran a trailer during the 2017 Super Bowl pinning the Stranger Things second season release date as Halloween, they confirmed on Tuesday that the nine-episode season will return on October 27th. With the news of the earlier return date, Netflix released a poster image of the four kids—central from season one—staring up at the sky which appears to contain some sort of monster. The official description for season two reads, “It’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.” The trailer and poster for Stranger Things’ second season can be seen below.


The SoundCloud Scene

Last week, we discussed SoundCloud’s efforts to reduce costs, including their laying-off of 173 employees—over 40 percent of their staff—as well as the closure of two major international offices. A statement released later on from Alex Ljung explained the major cost-cutting, “by reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future.” However, recent developments may have revealed that Ljung’s statement was merely a hopeful mask covering chaos. At an all-hands employee meeting, co-founders Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss delivered some upsetting news. According to TechCrunch, and sources they have within SoundCloud, Ljung and Wahlforss revealed in the meeting that the cost-cutting only allows for the company to last until Q4, which begins in about 80 days. When confronted with the leaked news, SoundCloud PR officials reported that they are fully funded into Q4 and are looking for potential investors. Separate from efforts to stay afloat, employees have told TechCrunch that the morale within the Berlin-based company is lower than ever, “It’s pretty shitty. Pretty somber. I know people who didn’t get the axe are actually quitting. The people saved from this are jumping ship.” Whether SoundCloud is acquired by another company or supported by independent investors, it’s clear what users and artists want: someone to save the platform of garage recordings and bedroom remixes. More recently, after word spread questioning SoundCloud’s future, Chance The Rapper tweeted claiming he was, “working on the SoundCloud thing.” On Thursday, the Chicago rapper said that he had a “very fruitful call” with co-founder Alex Ljung, and that the Berlin-based streaming platform is “here to stay.”

by Sabrina Ghantous

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Songs You Need to Hear This Week

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Songs You Need to Hear This Week

No genre, no rules. Songs we love that we think you will too. 

 

“Nuggets” / Mura Masa ft. Bonzai: Following releases with A$AP Rocky and Desiigner, Mura Masa is back again with another groovy hit. Bonzai floats atop a caribbean influenced beat, telling us over and over again “I got, I got nuggets.” Not sure what she means, but I guess we agree. 

“Thug Life” / 21 Savage: Issa Album brings a melodic and vibrant sound that is quite foreign to the old 21 Savage- however, we can’t complain. “Thug Life” is a catchy, slow tune you need to bump. 

 

“Labyrinth” / Toro y Moi: Toro y Moi is exceptionally good at creating minimalist music that fills up space. Labyrinth is a bouncy track off the recently release Boo Boo, a song that can complement any mood.

 

“Love is Only a Feeling” / Joey Bada$$: Following an extremely successful release in ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$, Joey Bada$$ brings a smooth, melodic feel in his most recent track. The low-fi sample rings “Love is only a feeling,” as the New York rapper talks of and easygoing way of love.

 

“Lambo” / Cousin Stizz: Boston based rapper Cousin Stizz is back with a heater. “Lambo” and Stizz’s last track “Headlock,” which featured Offset, have been his most recent work since the 2016 project Monda

“Did You See” - French Montana (remix): French Montana has been on a roll as of late, and this J HUS remix is nothing different. This collab brings about a PARTYNEXTDOOR / dancehall sound that is sure to make you move. 

 

“Backboard” - Meek Mill ft. Young Thug: “Backboard” is a standout track on Meek Mill’s most recent package release, MEEKEND MU$IC. We get a taste of the old, incomprehensible Young Thug, contrary to a good portion of his latest album. 

 

“Lit” / Steve Aoki ft. Yellow Claw, Gucci Mane, & T-Pain: So T-Pain, Gucci Mane, Steve Aoki, and Yellow Claw walk into a studio together…we’re not sure where this collab came from, but the four veterans made a certified banger. T-Payne kills the hook, which leads to a drop that is clearly influenced by Yellow Claw’s background in dubstep. 

 

“Fake Denim” / Quinn XCII: The always-vibey Quinn XCII is back with a catchy Summer jam in “Fake Denim.” Quinn takes his classic light hearted approach to describe the ‘gold digger’ that dates Quinn for his fame rather than his fortune. The LA based artist exclaims, “No trust fund here / million plays no millionaire / But when you’re drunk and in despair, I’m the one to take out the venom.”

 

Listen here: 

https://open.spotify.com/user/uuinsider/playlist/6tergb4ci0pTAmqyn2Ytz3 

 

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“ELEMENT,” Dacre Montgomery, SoundCloud, and more: This Week in Pop Culture

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“ELEMENT,” Dacre Montgomery, SoundCloud, and more: This Week in Pop Culture

Kendrick’s Visuals: “ELEMENT”

On June 27th, Kendrick Lamar released yet another music video from his album, DAMN. While simultaneously portraying themes of poverty and violence, the video for “ELEMENT” humanizes each scene in a non-exploitative way. In other words, the video portrays scenes of violence as the inevitable, disadvantageous, and inescapable events they are. With over eight million views in less than 48 hours, the visual serves as a “photo-essay,” which references the work of Gordon Parks—a photojournalist, photographer, musician, and director that devoted his life to supporting the civil rights movement. In this, the majority of the imagery within Kendrick’s video is almost identical to photographs taken by Parks. Shortly after the DAMN. visual was released, the Gordon Parks Foundation responded, saying they were “pleased to see Kendrick Lamar recognize Gordon Parks’ important photography while working at life magazine and honoring his legacy.” See Kendrick’s video, as well as some of the frame-by-frame similarities to Gordon Parks’ photographs, below.


Stars Depart Hawaii Five-0

Hawaii Five-0 stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park—also known as their characters Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua—have left the CBS program and will not return for the upcoming eighth season of the series. Prior to their departure, both Kim and Park had been pushing for pay equality with their white co-stars Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin. Variety reports that Park and Kim “were unable to reach satisfactory deals” with CBS studios. Not only do Caan and O’Loughlin make 10-15% more in salary, but they also have back-end deals with CBS that issue them percentage points based on grosses for each episode of the show. CBS released the following statement regarding the stars’ departure: “We are so appreciative of Daniel and Grace’s enormous talents, professional excellence and the aloha spirit they brought to each and every one of our 168 episodes. They’ve helped us build an exciting new Hawaii Five-0, and we wish them all the best and much success in their next chapters. Mahalo and a hui hou…” Though this specific dispute surrounds CBS Television Studios, it is part of a bigger conflict surrounding all of Hollywood today: pay gaps. Email leaks released by Wikileaks revealed huge pay gaps between men and women, and last year, Variety’s salary report disclosed large pay gaps between white and minority entertainers.


SoundCloud Cuts Costs

On Thursday, SoundCloud announced that the company would be laying off 173 of their 420 employees—slightly more than 40% of its staff. On top of laying off staff, the Berlin-based music-streaming platform announced that it would be closing two of their four offices: London and San Francisco. SoundCloud offices in Berlin and New York will stay open. Shortly after the cost cuts, co-founder Alex Ljun released a statement explaining the company’s reasoning, “...we need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success. And in order to do this, it requires cost cutting… By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future.” About a year ago, Spotify was reportedly attempting to purchase the Berlin-based company, and, this past week, the New York Post indicated that Apple, Google, and Deezer—a France-based streaming service—are all looking into buying SoundCloud. Ljun ended his statement on Thursday stating, “I look forward to sharing more about our future plans in the weeks and months ahead.”


Dacre Montgomery: Stranger Things

According to i-D, 22-year-old Dacre Montgomery is “Netflix’s next big thing.” The young Australian actor is the star of the second season of one of Netflix’s most successful shows—Stranger Things. Like most people, Montgomery binge-watched the first season of Stranger Things last year and was immediately engulfed in the series. When directors Matt and Ross Duffer advertised a new role in the series, Montgomery jumped at the opportunity, and after a skype call with the directors, Montgomery was instantly given the part. In an interview with i-D, Montgomery explained his process: “When the audition came up, I was like 'holy shit' because I was such a fan of the show… But I didn't have any work out, so I couldn't show them anything. I knew I had to blow them away so I ended up making a short film. There was no script so I had to improvise, I even made title credits and put music under it." While the filming of the second season is still under way, Montgomery says he is confident and claims that it all “feels right.” Montgomery’s character, Billy, is based off the idea of creating a human monster that is scarier than the fictitious creature from Stranger Things’ first season.


Uber’s First Ride in Syracuse

In case you haven’t already heard, Uber and Lyft have officially arrived in Syracuse, NY. After both Uber and Lyft were legalized in the New York state budget in April, the apps officially launched in Upstate New York on June 29th. Only six minutes after its launch, Uber received its first ride-request in Syracuse, and, according to the company, the passenger took the Uber from their home to the Blarney Stone—a bar in Tipp Hill. Though syracuse.com states that “the purpose of the trip [was] not released,” it seems only fitting that Uber’s first ride in Syracuse was a one-mile trip to a bar.

by Sabrina Ghantous

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Tyler, The Creator, Serena Williams, "Baby Driver," and more: This Week in Pop Culture

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Tyler, The Creator, Serena Williams, "Baby Driver," and more: This Week in Pop Culture

Louis Vuitton x Supreme Pop-Up

You might remember images of red cross-body bags on Louis Vuitton’s runway from Paris Men’s Fashion Week in January. This marked the beginning of the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme. However, in May, the two luxury brands hit a big roadblock while trying to launch their collaboration—Manhattan’s Community Board denied their request for a pop-up shop on Bond Street in New York City. After Bond Street residents and businesses expressed their concern at a public hearing, the Community Board of 32 members said that Supreme didn’t offer an appropriate management plan for the two-day event. Despite their troubles, the location and date of the world’s first Louis Vuitton x Supreme pop-up shop was released this past Wednesday. Opening tomorrow at 10AM, the pop-up store will be located at 95 Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. The store will remain open until July 13th. According to local sources, there have been people lined up outside the location since the location was revealed on Wednesday.

CREDIT: Louis Vuitton

CREDIT: Louis Vuitton


Review: Baby Driver

Earning a current 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, the Edgar Wright film “Baby Driver” has been described as a compelling, rowdy film featuring a young getaway driver named Baby—played by Ansel Elgort—that works for a kingpin known as Doc (Kevin Spacey). In the film, music plays an integral role in portraying the character and personality of Baby. Suffering from tinnitus from an incident when he was a child, Baby uses music in attempt to ignore the constant ringing in his ears. With his headphones constantly in, he uses a range of iPods depending on his current mood. Not only does the music serve to down Baby’s tinnitus, but also it provides him with the inspiration and motivation he needs to serve as Doc’s getaway driver. As the movie progresses, we see Baby start to fall for a waitress at the diner that his now deceased mother used to work at. The action-meets-romance film also stars Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Eiza Gonzalez. Watch the movie trailer below.


Tyler, the Creator’s Countdown

Earlier this year, fans were discouraged after Tyler, the Creator denied a rumored new album. Tyler’s last album, Cherry Bomb, was released in 2015 with an Illegal Civilization documentary following shortly after. More recently, approximately one week ago, the designer and artist tweeted a picture of a bee with a speech bubble above it reading “7 days boy!”, leaving fans curious and on-edge. Exactly seven days later, Viceland released a trailer for Tyler’s new show—Nuts + Bolts. The show is described by Tyler as “a show describing how everything I that think is awesome, is made.” With the new series airing on August 3rd, some of the things featured will be go-karts, donuts, time travel, and mustard. Although the Nuts + Bolts trailer was released on the day Tyler had been counting down to, it wasn’t the cause for his countdown. Six hours after the Nuts + Bolts trailer was released, Tyler released his first new music since Cherry Bomb: “Who Dat Boy,” featuring A$AP Rocky, and “911/Mr.Lonely,” featuring Frank Ocean. The new track called “Who Dat Boy” was released with a visually-led, self-directed video that can be somewhat disturbing at times. Watch the wild video below.


Serena Williams

On Tuesday, the subject and cover of the most recent issue of Vanity Fair was revealed—Serena Williams and her pregnancy. Williams announced her pregnancy in April and, according to Vanity Fair, knew of her pregnancy just prior to the Australian Open. (Williams still competed in and won the elite event). When Vanity Fair unveiled the cover on Tuesday, Williams tweeted asking her followers a question, “what do you guys think, boy or girl? I’m waiting to find out but would love to hear your thoughts.” The 23 grand-slam title athlete will be having the baby with her fiance, Alexis Ohanian. Though Serena is disappointed she cannot compete in Wimbledon this year, she told Vanity Fair that she couldn’t be happier with her pregnancy and soon-to-come baby. See the Vanity Fair cover below.

by Sabrina Ghantous

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Jay-Z, Louis Vuitton, “Wonder Woman,” and more: This Week in Pop Culture

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Jay-Z, Louis Vuitton, “Wonder Woman,” and more: This Week in Pop Culture

“All Eyez on Me”

Though Tupac’s biographical film brought a good amount of revenue to box offices across the country, “All Eyez on Me” was heavily criticized by the mainstream media for a number of historical flaws included in the film. Along with more obvious inaccuracies—such as the use of an iPhone 7 in a time where the technology did not yet exist—Tupac’s close friend who was portrayed in the film, Jada Pinkett Smith, spoke out on Twitter pointing out more inaccuracies. In a series of tweets, Smith claimed, “Pac never read me that poem. I didn't know that poem existed until it was printed in his book,” “Pac never said goodbye to me before leaving for LA. He had to leave abruptly and it wasn't to pursue his career,” and, lastly, “The reimagining of my relationship to Pac has been deeply hurtful." While the known friend of Tupac was deeply disturbed by the film and its faults, 50 Cent criticised the overall quality of the film, calling it “trash” and a “Lifetime TV movie.” Despite the faulty inaccuracies, other sources claim that there is something interesting to take away from the film—the environment that Tupac Shakur lived in: a space that craved pride, control, and power. Overall, the film is described as messy and inaccurate, yet captivating. See Smith's series of tweets below.


Jay-Z, TIDAL, 4:44

Since last week’s pop culture review, new developments have surfaced regarding TIDAL’s partnership with Sprint and their joint efforts in advertising “4:44.” Initially, the 4:44 campaign, featuring billboards across NYC and a movie-like trailer, strongly alluded to a film featuring Mahershala Ali, Danny Glover, and Lupia Nyong’o. However, on Monday, Jay-Z announced his new upcoming album will be released on June 30th: 4:44. According to a statement from TIDAL, Jay-Z’s new album will be available solely to Sprint and TIDAL customers. As of now, the connection between the movie trailer and Jay-Z’s album remains unclear. While most people anxiously await the release of the new album, some have began to question the exclusivity of the release and the potential decline of TIDAL. As Jay-Z holds a significant share of TIDAL, it is evident that he is supporting his streaming service by releasing his album exclusively on the music platform. Additionally, according to TIDAL’s last figures in March 2016, the streaming service was reported to have only three million subscribers while competition such as Spotify has over 50 million paying subscribers. These two insights have led followers to wonder if Jay-Z’s exclusive release is an attempt to save his own streaming service from failure.


O.J. Simpson

With the hype surrounding the release and acclaim of The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story in 2016, O.J. Simpson’s name and story became a topic of conversation once again. Back in 2007, O.J. Simpson—the murder suspect and football superstar—was found guilty on 12 accounts, including assault, kidnapping, and armed robbery. At the time, Simpson was prepared to spend his life in prison; however, on Tuesday, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners confirmed that the rumored parole hearing for O.J. Simpson will be taking place on July 20th. According to a source from the Los Angeles Times, Simpson has been consistently showing good behavior in prison, which subsequently helps his case for parole. Many people believe that Simpson’s chances of being released from prison are very high, but ultimately the decision is up to the parole board. If four out of seven members on the parole board vote for his release, Simpson can be released from prison as early as October. The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is a 10-episode series that received 22 Emmy nominations in the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards; the show also won a Golden Globe for Best Television Film in 2016. The praised series is available to watch now on Netflix.


Louis Vuitton & Drake

On Thursday, June 22nd, Louis Vuitton’s Spring-Summer 2018 collection hit the runway during Paris Fashion week, and a new song “Signs” from Drake came with it. Though most of the focus has been on Drake’s new song, Kim Jones—Louis Vuitton’s artistic director—stated that the song was inspired by the Spring-Summer collection. Jones posted on instagram the day before with the caption reading, “We are very proud to announce that Drake @champagnepapi will be premiering a brand new song inspired by our #louisvuitton #pfwSS18 collection.” In his new song, Drake uses similar influences to project a mellow, melodic, and rhythmic vibe which in many ways reflects Louis Vuitton’s 2018 collection. Along with Drake’s new song, the fashion show’s entire soundtrack was composed of all new music from OVO. You can watch the runway video below, with Drake’s new song commencing at 5:54.


“Wonder Woman”

Directed by Patty Jenkins, “Wonder Woman” hit the movie theaters as the first female-led superhero film since “Catwoman” was released in 2004. Unlike most blockbuster movies, “Wonder Woman” conveys a compelling story that isn’t extremely predictable. The New York Times highlights its unique, fresh nature in their review of the movie, “Its earnest insouciance recalls the ‘Superman’ movies of the ’70s and ’80s more than the mock-Wagnerian spectacles of our own day, and like those predigital Man of Steel adventures, it gestures knowingly but reverently back to the jaunty, truth-and-justice spirit of an even older Hollywood tradition.” Another factor that set the newly released film apart is the emphasis and praise of the superhero’s feminine characteristics. Her greatest trait isn’t her armour, fighting skills, or superpowers, but her ability to feel for others. In this, her overarching goal isn’t to solve some internal conflict of her own, but instead to have the freedom to help others and be respected for it. Overall, the feature film generated a number of positive responses from consumers, describing the movie as “fun” and “a gloriously badass breath of fresh air.”

By Sabrina Ghantous

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Songs You Need to Hear This Week

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Songs You Need to Hear This Week

No genre, no rules. Songs we love that we think you will too.

“Cool” / Zach Villere: If you haven’t heard of Zach Villere just yet, keep an eye on him. The 21-year old L.A. native is making a name for himself with his abstract, quirky yet contagious aesthetic and sound. “Cool” is a lonely, friendly song, as Zach shamelessly explains to listeners, “I just want to be cool.”

 

“You Said” / Young Thug: Of course, we need to throw a Thugger track on this list. His recently released project Beautiful Thugger Girls is nearly as exciting and diverse as Thug himself. On “You Said,” Thug channels his classic Atlanta flow over a guitar-infused, slower trap beat.

 

“That Far” / 6LACK: Fresh off tour with The Weeknd and Nav, 6LACK shows that he’s taking no breaks, and playing no games with his new song “That Far.” The Atlanta native doesn’t hold back on the first record since his 2016 debut, FREE 6LACK. Ready to come for the top, he sings “Cause I’m too busy focused on my own sh*t, // I’m on that ‘Who the f*ck came for the throne’ sh*t.”

 

“Wild Thoughts” / DJ Khaled (feat. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller): Khaled is back at it again, with another summer jam in “Wild Thoughts.” Featured artists Rihanna and Tiller can both do no wrong, as they lead the song with infectious melodies over a Latin influenced guitar hook.

 

“Love N Hennessy” / A.CHAL: Up and coming urban artist A.CHAL has been making a lot of noise in the hip-hop community with the release of his second album, ON GAZ. “Love N Hennessy” serves as A.CHAL’s way of showing his versatility as an artist, bringing down the tempo and providing listeners with a great track for a night ride.


“GOLD” / BROCKHAMPTON: A lead single off their new album Saturation, “GOLD” serves as the collectives’ hottest track to date. The infectious hook led by Kevin Abstract rings, “Keep a gold chain ‘round my neck, fly as a jet // Boy, better treat me with respect.” This tune is a weekend necessity.

 

“BabyWipe” / Ski Mask the Slump God: With a personality as big as his tracks, Ski Mask the Slump God hits listeners with a new Summer banger in “BabyWipe.” The heavy 808’s and classic Southeast triplet flow are sure signs of a track to turn up to. Shouting out Post Malone and exclaiming how ‘fantastic’ he feels, the Slump God will definitely be playing on repeat this Summer.

 

“Blue Cheese” / 2 Chainz (feat. Migos): “Blue Cheese” serves as an undeniable jam, coming off of 2 Chainz recent album Pretty Girls Like Trap Music. Is there anything better than the veteran 16-spitter bringing along Quavo for the hook and partnering up with the rest of Migos to provide us with yet another Summer hit?

 

“Feels” / Calvin Harris (feat. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, & Big Sean): Calvin Harris’s upcoming project Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 might just be the summer album to end all summer albums. Following up hit singles “Slide,” “Rollin,” and “Heat Stroke,” “Feels” embodies a familiar summer vibe layered over a catchy, Caribbean-influenced guitar.

 

“Supercut” / Lorde: “Supercut” stands alongside “Green Light” and a handful of other tracks that fuel Lorde’s crossover to pop radio. With the release of her album Melodrama, Lorde’s transition seems like it will mirror that of close-friend’s Taylor Swift’s journey from country to pop. Lower the windows and blast this 80’s influenced jam on every highway cruise this summer.

 

“13” / Lany: A trio from Los Angeles, Lany has been releasing music since 2015. Following a string of thoughtful singles, “13” is a mournful yet catchy song about losing love. If you’re having tough time in your relationship, this just might be the track for you.

 

“Strange Things” / B. Lewis: “Strange Things” takes the most anthemic slow jam on this list. After hearing the first few seconds and chord hits, it’s hard not to be sucked in for the entire track.

 

“Doves in the Wind” / SZA: SZA’s recent debut album Ctrl has been making waves among the music community since its release just over a week ago. Among the standout songs is the perfectly melo “Doves in the Wind,” featuring a verse by Kendrick Lamar. The two blend perfectly on top of a slow, chill instrumental.

 

“Fool’s Errand” / Fleet Foxes: Veteran Americana band Fleet Foxes has made a return with their long awaited album Crack-Up. Standout song “Fool’s Errand” acts as a soft, lonely jam, as expected from the Seattle crooners.

View the playlist here:

https://open.spotify.com/user/uuinsider/playlist/4reI2b8LNpheYyex3PCNil

By PJ Walshe

 

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4:44, Tupac, Game of Thrones, and more: This Week in Pop Culture

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4:44, Tupac, Game of Thrones, and more: This Week in Pop Culture

TIDAL’s 4:44 Ads

First thought to be signaling a new album from Jay Z, TIDAL’s inexplicable 4:44 advertisements have been causing a stir in several major cities and the mainstream media. TIDAL—Jay Z’s multifaceted streaming service—planted advertisements both online and throughout New York City, as well as securing a spot during the NBA finals for a television ad. The TV spot appears to be promoting a new boxing movie, featuring Mahershala Ali, Danny Glover, and Lupia Nyong’o. The final frame of the one-minute clip discloses a partnership between TIDAL and Sprint. Days later, Sprint’s CEO released news that Sprint customers can receive a free 6-month trial of TIDAL’s streaming services with appropriate registration. Below is Sprint’s new 30-second advertisement, featuring Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia.”


Game of Thrones, The Coming Seasons

As the HBO show Game of Thrones returns to television on July 16th for its seventh season, conversation has started regarding the eighth and final season. With the shorter, six-episode seventh season, fans wondered how many episodes the final season would contain, as well as when the eighth and final season would be released. It appears as though we now have answers to these pending questions. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have long stated that the final season would only consist of six episodes, confirmed by Entertainment Weekly. The supposed reason for a shorter season is HBO’s ability to increase the budget and quality on each individual episode. In regards to the release date of the eighth season, HBO’s programming president, Casey Bloys, confirmed in an interview that the final season wouldn’t air until late 2018 or early 2019. This places a full year between the seventh and eighth season, leaving fans with time to deliberate the upcoming seventh season.


Biggie & Tupac Documentaries To Come

A&E is giving the fans of original hip-hop a gift in late June: documentaries of the Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur. The Notorious B.I.G. documentary, titled Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G., will launch in two parts on June 28th-29th and will highlight interviews from the rapper’s mother and widow. Audio recordings and footage from film archives will be included as well. Along with Biggie’s biography, A&E will be launching a six-part series—also on June 29th—on the life and death of Tupac Shakur, titled Who Killed Tupac?. While the Biggie documentary will focus on the life of the Notorious B.I.G., the Tupac Shakur documentary will focus more heavily on the investigation behind Tupac’s murder in 1996. A&E plans to tell more biographical stories on rappers in a series-like format. Pitchfork, The Fader, and Rolling Stone note that future shows include biographies on Kanye West and Chance the Rapper.


Rihanna & Education Advocacy

After being named Humanitarian of the Year in February by Harvard University, Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty has been continuing her education advocacy efforts with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Following her founding of the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, Rihanna and the organization partnered with the international group Global Citizen and GPE to push for a quality education in even the world’s poorest countries. As the Global Ambassador for GPE, Rihanna strives to encourage leaders and lawmakers to increase their support for global education. More recently, Global Citizen has released a 10-minute documentary titled Inside Rihanna’s Trip to Malawi for Education. The film itself touches on the struggles that local students, activists, and politicians encounter including poverty, hunger, women’s rights, lack of resources—and many more. As the film progresses, it becomes evident as to why Rihanna continues to adamantly push for educational resources in impoverished countries, specifically Malawi. Watch the short documentary below.


Frank Ocean Takes the Stage

After cancelling festival performances at Primavera, Sasquatch, and Hangout due to “production delays beyond his control,” fans began to wonder if Frank Ocean would—again—retreat from the mainstream. Relieving the panic of his fans, Frank Ocean returned to the stage at NorthSide Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, and again—days later—at Parklife Festival in Manchester, England after three quiet years. Along with the return of the man himself, new ‘Blonded’ merchandise came overseas with Ocean. Later in the summer, Ocean still has planned appearances at FYF Fest in Los Angeles and NYC’s Panorama Music Festival. Whether Ocean will cancel these performances is a mystery. Regardless, fans remain pleased with his most recent performances in Denmark and England. Consequently, these recent events leave us with one question: Is Frank Ocean here to stay?

CREDIT: Visionhaus/Getty Images

CREDIT: Visionhaus/Getty Images

by Sabrina Ghantous

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3 Unforgettable Performances from Governors Ball 2017

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3 Unforgettable Performances from Governors Ball 2017

This past weekend marked the seventh annual Governors Ball at Randall’s Island Park. Known as New York City’s home festival before Panorama and Meadows came to town, Gov Ball is made up of great music, New York culture, and maybe too many amped up high schoolers. Here are the three performers that stole the show.  

 

Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino never ceases to amaze- and his performance on Saturday was no exception. The multi-genre, multi-platinum artist took the stage wearing all white, backed by an electric band and vocal group. Just a few minutes in, he confirmed two things: yes, this was his only show of 2017; and yes, he insisted that it be in New York City. Performing the best of “Awaken! My Love” and classic hits such as “Sober” and “3005”, Gambino exuded both the intensity of a ‘70’s rockstar and the soul of a preacher. The performance exhibited sounds and aesthetics that spanned several styles of music and performance, and acted as a statement of Afrofuturism. Closing with an eccentric version of crowd favorite “Redbone,” Glover left us with a final cliffhanger: “I’ll see you for the last Gambino album.”  

 

Skepta

Perhaps the most energized crowd on Day 3 of Governor’s Ball was found moshing to U.K. grime rapper Skepta mid-day at the smallest stage in the festival. While the genre has not fully made its way across the pond just yet, performances by the grime gatekeeper and past collaborator Stormzy proved to solidify its’ presence in the United States. Taking the stage in all black, Skepta lit up the audience by opening with the title track of his most recent album, Konnichiwa. Fans packed the Bacardi tent, rapping along to the most prominent tracks of Skepta’s catalog. Fellow grime artist Shorty joined Skepta on stage, and acted both as a hype man and supporting rapper for several songs in the latter half of the performance. Approaching the end of his time on stage with “Man” and “Shutdown,” Skepta finished his set by  playing Playboi Carti’s hit “Magnolia,” as a sign of respect to the New York City crowd.

 

 Cage the Elephant

An intense performance by Nashville natives Cage the Elephant left viewers with one question: was that Matt Shultz or Mick Jagger? Taking the Governors Ball main stage in front of thousands of fans, the lead singer told the crowd, “Let’s throw a party”... and that they did. Cage brought a veteran level of showmanship that was fueled by a young fire and intensity, with ripping guitar solos and charismatic movement on stage. Crowd favorites like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “Shake Me Down” had fans shamelessly singing along, while the quintet seemed to enjoy every minute they played. At the end of their performance, frontman Matt Shultz paid respects to recent events in Manchester and London, offering the simple bid to fans: “Let’s celebrate love.” After finishing their set with “Teeth,” Shultz jumped into the audience and somehow managed to crowd surf hundreds of feet, over the entire crowd all the way to the back of the audience. It was incredible.

 

By Pj Walshe

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An Exclusive Interview with Cheat Codes

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An Exclusive Interview with Cheat Codes

This past weekend at the annual Mayfest celebration, I sat down with rising DJ trio Cheat Codes. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Cheat Codes has been surely making power moves in the music industry from collaborations with Miguel and David Guetta to a nationwide upcoming tour. Last Friday we got a full taste of what these west coast natives were really about. Check out the exclusive interview below:

What about playing a show on a college campus is so appealing?

College kids go hard. We just love to play shows where the crowd goes the hardest, and we find that colleges are that place. Also we didn’t go to college so by playing at them it gives us that college experience we never really had.

How did you guys break into the music scene?

We just spent every day making music to be honest. We just thought this is what we want to do and we all had the same mindset to go after it and not waste time. We kept releasing music consistently and eventually we had a song called “Sex” that just really took off. Since then it kind of had a snowball effect and we just kept working at it.

Who are some of your biggest influences in music?

Growing up it was a lot of Beatles and Bob Dylan but as we got a little older it was more Blink 182 and pop punk music. But honestly, there is influence for a little bit of everything; Drake, Jay Z, Metallica and Sugar Ray.

What made you want to sign with 300 Entertainment?

The fact that we were the first pop EDM artists to sign with them let us know we were going to be a priority. When we went into the meeting to talk to them we automatically knew they had the same thoughts and visions as us. They understood how important certain aspects of our career was, in addition to streaming; they understood the importance of that. We were super clear on what we wanted and they understood that and believed in us.

What’s your advice for aspiring artists?

Just make music everyday honestly. If your creating every day you are going to make something unique and personal to you and people will latch onto that. Don’t try to be like someone else, create a brand, be unique. Know what you want and go for it. Don’t give in.

What was it like collaborating with Demi Lovato on your newest single “No Promises”?

It was awesome. We performed with her a couple months ago at our biggest performance in Brazil and afterwards her fans kept tweeting us that we needed to collab. Later when we had “No Promises” we just thought, “Man, Demi would be perfect on this”. We sent the song over to her team and we were happy that they loved it. We went down to the studio with her and banged out the vocals; she absolutely killed it. She’s super professional and cool so she really nailed it.

What can we expect from you guys in the following months of 2017?

It’s going to be a big year for sure. The song with Demi was the first step to our new chapter musically. So we are going to be releasing a bunch of stuff. We will be doing an EP this year and a few other singles coming out really soon, alongside the “No Promises” tour and festivals. There’s a lot of stuff that we are looking forward to sharing.

 

By Gabrielle LaMarco

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Mayfest 2017: If You Don't Know, Now You Know

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Mayfest 2017: If You Don't Know, Now You Know

An introduction to Mayfest's artists:

Vic Mensa

Victor Kwesi Mensah, better known by his stage name Vic Mensa, is a Grammy-nominated American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. He is currently signed to Roc Nation and was a member of the rock/rap group Kids These Days, which broke up in May 2013. Vicis also founder of the inpenetrable Chicago hip-hop collective SAVEMONEY which includes frequent collaborator and friend, Chance the Rapper. His debut single "Down on My Luck" was released in June 2014 and he’s been taking off since. On February 12, 2016, Kanye West debuted a track, titled "Wolves" from his upcoming album, The Life of Pablo. The song featured Vic, along with other well-known artist Sia. Most recently on June 3, 2016, Vic released a 7-track EP entitled There's A Lot Going On. This EP serves as a prelude to his debut album. Vic is most known to craft well-rounded stage shows, tackling issues of racism, inequality, violence, and mental health with deliberate care and artistry. Vic Mensa will definitely leave a large impression on Mayfest this year. We’ve been waiting on this one.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/vicsavemoney

 

 

Cheatcodes

Cheat Codes is an American electronic music DJ trio consisting of original members Trevor Dahl, Kevin Ford, and Matthew Russell, out of Los Angeles, California. Their name was inspired by Ford's brother who told him that he had found the "cheat code" to getting anything he wanted in life and that they embody the idea that anything is possible. The group is notable for their 2016 single "Sex", which samples the chorus from "Let's Talk About Sex" by Salt-N-Pepa. As well as "Let Me Hold You (Turn Me On)" with Dante Klein, which samples Kevin Lyttle's song "Turn Me On.” However, most recently after being signed to 300 Entertainment, the trio collaborated with pop superstar Demi Lovato on their newest single titled “No Promises.”

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/cheatcodesmusic

 

Between Vic and the Cheatcodes, and even a very special guest, Mayfest 2017 is sure to an amazing time!

 

By Gabrielle LaMarco

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Having A Seat With Michael Uslan

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Having A Seat With Michael Uslan

This Friday, I got the opportunity to sit down with Michael Uslan, producer, writer, and professor. Uslan has produced every Batman film since Tim Burton’s 1989 film, and has produced a number of other projects as well. Uslan’s passion for his profession is electrifying- and it spread through the room as he took the time to speak and have a Q& A with SU Students after the screening of the new Lego Batman movie. Uslan taught the first world credited comic book course based on folklore at Indiana University and teaches two other courses on the business of film production. It was a pleasure to sit down with him, as we discussed his impressive career, Batman’s impact around the world, and any advice he has for future students going into the film industry.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I think it’s really amazing that you followed your dreams and passion into your professional career. What advice do you have for the people who want to turn their passion into their job?

It’s one of the most important things in life. Once you get beyond family, you really need to try and explore what your passion is. I work typically, 15-16 hours a day. My Saturday’s and Sunday’s are not different than my Tuesday’s and Wednesdays. I’m on planes an ridiculous amount of time and sometimes I think, if I didn’t love what I do…you’d find me in a stray jacket in a dark corner in the room somewhere. So I think it’s very essential if you’re lucky enough and if you make that one of your goals in life to pursue, it’s just the greatest thing.

What has been your favorite part about producing the Batman films? What is most rewarding to you at the end of the day?

That’s an interesting question that nobody has ever asked me before, ever. I think it starts with when you have a vision for something, and you envision something grand and long-term and then you are… I can’t say the word luck because I don’t believe in luck. Luck occurs when you knock on every door you can, and when it slams in your face you knock again, and again. And at some point, your timing will work out, and that really is luck. It’s the idea of having a creative vision or something and then being able to beginning to ensemble the pieces that can execute that vision and ultimately watch it to get fruition. And it’s funny, a lot of people ask me well you never envisioned that Batman would be this big…but I did. I absolutely did. For 10 years I was the only one who did. So I’ve always believed in this vision, where it hits me the most is moments in time when I realize that this is not about success at a box office. This is about something that has had a cultural impact worldwide. It transcends not only borders, but cultures. The summer our first batman opened when the Berlin wall was coming down. I was watching CNN, and I see this ten year old coming through the wall wearing a bat man hat. When you see things like that, it is so gratifying to know that you’ve had an impact. 

As a producer, what is the importance of a great script versus star power?

There are ten critically important things to make a successful movie. Number one is story, number 2 is story, number 3 is story, and number 4, 5, and 6 are story. Number 7, 8, and 9 are character…and number 10 is story. The biggest failing of movies today, and I’m catching a wide net here. When younger film makers come aboard with a fascination with the latest special effects, like showing off the new toy…and in a lot of movies like that, lots of stuff gets blown up…but so do the stories. The stories dissolve, either they’re not there or they are so convoluted. It impacts character development, and it is too great a sacrifice too long to endure. Everything is about the story, and if you’re working in China, or South Korea, or in Europe or Australia, it keeps coming down to the same thing; it all comes down to the story.

I love to hear that, that’s very important to me when I go see a film. Each Batman film I saw, stayed true to the story line which I think is amazing.

The greatest example of that is the genius Christopher Nolan and his Dark Night Trilogy. And the Dark Night Trilogy which I do not break into three movies, i one movie told in three acts. It was real, Bruce Wayne was real, Gotham City was real, the technology was real, and for god’s sake the Joker felt real. That was an amazing accomplishment. Chris was not going for tons of CGI, if the truck was going to flip in Chicago, that truck really flipped… it wasn’t computerized. When batman is standing on top of a spire overlooking a city, there is a guy in a suit up there. It’s not CGI. It really worked, it made it feel real and that was truly amazing.

I see that you were the first professor to teach the first worlds credited comic book class at Indiana University. You also teach two courses at Indiana about the Business of Production Motion Pictures and Live from LA: Pros Make Movies…. are there any skills from teaching that have helped you in other areas of your career?

It works both ways. A lot of what I do as a producer and a writer, I bring to the classroom. When you are teaching students whether it’s 100 students, or 10 students…they will sniff out BS in two seconds. You’ve got to be honest, you’ve got to be passionate about what you’re doing and communicate that passion because that’s the only way you can impact people and try to inspire them. I’ve had incidents where I went in to pitch a TV show.. and the lady asked me if I would mind if the interns could be in the room when you come into pitch. When I went in the next day there were 10 interns in the room. I tried to be passionate and communicate my enthusiasm to them, because it’s like a virus; it spreads.  I’ve got to be a great story teller in order to sell a movie. I apply that to the seminars that I teach. I used to be a consulter at a day camp and had very young boys from ages 4-5. After lunch I had to keep them seated and behaved.  I started to tell Batman stories. I learned the difference between telling a story, and making an interactive story. If I saw a child drafting away, I would bring them back by engaging them in the story. And that’s what I do when I go into pitch.

I’m so excited to see the new Lego Batman film tonight. What thoughts do you have on the global impact of the Lego franchise?

The Lego franchise is amazing. When you see little kids working with it, and hopefully parents and grandparents and working with their little kids to help them create by using their imagination is a great process. So, the field of animation continues to evolve. You go from 2d animation, and then you got 3d animation, and then 3d Imax animation, and now Lego animation. New techniques and new technologies impact animation. The key is to have the most brilliant writers who can be inspired by this new animation, and not use it to sell products, but use it to tell an effective story. If you can do that- you can achieve great success. The whole concept of Lego is terrific. One of the keys is to make it equally or if not more so enjoyable for adults. Of course x number of years from now the next animation will come along – and we will continue to play in this giant sandbox. 

What is the most pivotal moment of your career?

Interesting choice of words… pivotal. The most pivotal moment occurred in 1989 when Tim Burton had completed the first Batman movie. My partner, Ben Melner, and I were about to go into this theater. It was about be shown to us and executives for the first time. To give you some perspective, Ben is my dad’s age. He’s always been like a second father to me. He put together movies like Ben Hur, 2001 Space Odessey and many others- legend in the film industry. Just as we were about to go into the movie, and to get into the theater and I remember there were these very heavy black curtains to go throug. Ben said, “Michael, you are going to walk through these curtains, and two hours from now you’re going to walk out through these curtains, and your life is going to change”. He was right, everything changed. That was the moment. There are many other important moments like when they hired Jack Nicolson to play the Joker. One day after the movie opened, my wife and I  were on this Alaskan cruise to get away from it all. And on this cruise, I had an epiphany, I thought, it’s not about being on the top of the mountain, it’s about the climb. It’s all about the journey, because once you’re at the peak; that elation & nirvana lasts two weeks-three weeks, so it’s all about the journey.

What advice do you have for young students who want to be in the film industry?

Run. Flee. Don’t do it for god’s sake, don’t do it. I told both of my kids this, and they are both in Hollywood working. Here’s the deal; this is sexy and alluring, and people have stars in their eyes. In fact, it is one of the most competitive areas of work you can be in. One of the things that unnerve me is that back in the 80s and 90s, people would say I want to be an actor. In the last ten years, I hear I want to be a star. Big difference. You have the best singers and dancers from every high school and college from around the world that go to Hollywood or New York. So you’re entering the most competitive pool. It is not quick, a lot of young people want it quickly these days. It is never going to happen if they stick by their unwarranted sense of entitlement that the world owes them something. It’s the 10% who get up off the couch and make it happen. Those are the ones who will have the best success. That is an important part of the whole industry. If you’re not passionate about it, if your heart and soul are not in it, if it doesn’t course through the blood in your veins, you’re going to have a hard time. Trying to make a successful career in this is not like a war where you fight a big battle and that’s it. It’s a siege and a lot of people don’t understand that.

 

By Josie Strick

 

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Top 5, Top 5, Top 5

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Top 5, Top 5, Top 5

 

 

As the highly-anticipated Block Party Line up was announced, it only makes sense to familiarize yourself with all the TOP notch talent rolling through Cuselandia. Travis Scott, Zhu, and AlunaGeorge are the powerhouse artists who will soon grace us with their presence. GUYS, it all makes sense because of Zhu and AlunaGeorge’s history of collaborations. If they don’t play “Automatic”, I’m sure my 2-hour pre-preprepartion to snag floor tickets will be in vain; just kidding, Travis Scott could carry this concert on one half of a tattooed shoulder. No shade.

 

But why don’t we get to know the artists on an individual basis. Here is a list of the Ear Essentials for each artist with SoundCloud/YouTube links attached.

 If you already know these ‘cause Travis Scott is your baby daddy, or think of a better more all-encompassing list for AlunaGeorge…hit me up or let me know!

 

 

Travis Scott

1.       The Hooch

a.        https://soundcloud.com/opeunes/travis-scott-the-hooch

 

2.       Goosebumps ft. Kendrick Lamar

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TaJXPHHKt4

 

3.       3500 ft. Future & 2 Chainz

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVxMmMuTk60

 

4.       Sweet Sweet

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii4URyxUOuo

 

5.       Oh my dis side

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZALrZUSshA

 

 

Zhu

1.       Automatic

a.        https://soundcloud.com/mindofageniusrecords/zhu-alunageorge-automatic-bbc-radio-1-premiere

 

2.       Faded-Odesza Remix

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgO9yYlS9QY

 

3.       Working For It-Bonus Track

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsWxAw_PTxo

 

4.       Generationwhy

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFCX8gsF018

 

5.       Hold Up, Wait a Minute

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGvKemhTFXo

 

 

 

AlunaGeorge

1.       You Know You Like It

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIuJVYNvC-s

 

2.       Mean What I Mean

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbtEy1Wdqj0

 

3.       Not About Love

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuiIZzdG7EI

 

4.       Supernatural

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wecvxQElEU0

 

5.       Mediator

a.        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wsPpBprasI

 

 

By Georgie Olmeda

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