SoundCloud’s New Documentary Series

With all the drama still surrounding SoundCloud, the music streaming platform reported their plans for a mini-documentary series this past Monday. SoundCloud—which released the first six “episodes” yesterday—claims that the documentaries will “[journey] across six global cities in six months to explore communities of emerging scenes that are embracing the service [SoundCloud] to connect, collaborate and create a new musical landscape.” The first episode, titled “Degenerate Generation,” takes a look at Los Angeles’s underground rap scene, as well as up-and-coming artists Lil Tracy, Fat Nick, and Pouya. From the studio, to performing at shows, to just eating wings, the documentary follows the three rappers around for 48 hours to see what a typical day is like. Regardless of their different creative styles, all three rappers claimed that they don’t know where they would be without SoundCloud. At one point, Pouya states that the platform provided them with both an “underground family,” and an “outlet” to show people their music. Other cities included in the mini-series are London, Rio, Berlin, Toronto, and New York. The SoundCloud Next Wave trailer and first episode can be viewed below.

“Mad Men”: 10 Years

It has been said that “Mad Men” was the last great drama of television’s so-called “Golden Age”—a period of incredibly brilliant television that changed the way people thought about TV. That being said, ten years after its premiere, “Mad Men” still remains relevant. Though the show emphasizes the advertising industry in the ‘60s, other influences make it more interesting. These factors include life in New York City during this time, huge differences in gender roles, the fashion scene in the 1960s, and the vivid recall of several historically accurate events. Another reason why “Mad Men” is considered to be so groundbreaking is that, while other television shows reused and reworked the same story-lines, “Mad Men” created a narrative of its own; Variety calls its subgenre an “aesthetic procedural.” Regardless of whether or not your major is advertising, “Mad Men” is an incredible, binge-worthy series that’s available on Netflix now.

Kendrick’s Gift

On the Dallas stop of his DAMN. Tour, Kendrick Lamar surprised one of his biggest fans with a life-altering gift—a modified vehicle. Jennifer Phillips, a quadriplegic woman who suffered a spinal cord injury that left her in a wheelchair, has attended more than eight Kendrick concerts, and has gone on to pursue a college degree after her injury. However, Phillips has said only one thing was truly holding her back—her van. Back in 2016, Phillips created a GoFundMe page so she could raise money and purchase a modified van which, in turn, would help make traveling easier. Thanks to Kendrick and TDE, Phillips will have no problem driving any more with her new modified van. Along with the van, Kendrick gave Phillips an autographed jacket with a note reading: “Thank you for always supporting me. Your a inspiration for me. You are strong and positive. Your kind and beautiful. For all the years of inspiring me, the least I can do is make sure your comfortable driving the city. A gift from me to you. Your always appreciated! — K. Lamar.” Phillips later expressed her gratitude on Instagram: “. . . I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all and always will. Thank God for you Kendrick and I will continue to pray for you. And like I said, next time I'm driving myself to your show lol. Thanks to the whole team!”

O.J. Simpson Granted Parole

On Thursday, a Nevada parole board gathered at Lovelock Correctional Center to decide the fate of O.J. Simpson, and four out of the seven parole board members decided to grant the 70-year-old parole—exactly what was needed for his early release. After Simpson was convicted of armed robbery, assault, and kidnapping in 2007, the football superstar served only nine years of his 33-year sentence. At the hearing on Thursday, Simpson claimed, “If I would have made a better judgment back then, none of this would have happened. And I take full responsibility.” Also at the hearing, a victim of the 2007 robbery came forward and testified on behalf of O.J. Simpson, saying he “made a mistake” and that it is “time to give him a second chance.” Though most of us were too young to remember Simpson’s murder trial in the ‘90s, most people remember where they were when the “not guilty” verdict was delivered. To get a sense of what the time was like for our country, you can watch the award-winning series, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, on Netflix. Watch the the video of Simpson being granted parole below.

by Sabrina Ghantous