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Renaissance by Beyoncè (2022)
Nadia Hargett | Staff Writer
In the summer of 2022, the larger-than-life iconic performer, Beyoncé, released her latest album “Renaissance.” It made waves throughout the music industry. The Critically acclaimed project carries an unapologetically Black and queer narrative that truly solidified Beyoncé’s status in the music world as a legend. The project was dedicated to her ‘uncle’ Johnny, her gay cousin who helped raise her until he passed away due to HIV complications, who exposed her to the music and culture that inspired “Renaissance.” It’s a clear celebration of post 1970s Black music, with samples from iconic songs such as the Studio 64 classic “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer, the 2014 bounce song “Explode” by Big Freedia, Robin S.’s “Show Me Love” and others. Renaissance is a rhapsodic blend of dance-pop, house, disco, bounce, R&B and a world of other genres. With star-studded features including Tems, Grace Jones, Beam and Kendrick Lamar, the album was destined to be a certified hit. Its numerous accolades being evidence of that. Listening to this album, no matter what time of the year, will make you feel like you’re basking in the warm summer sun. So sit back and tune into the “Renaissance” experience as the iconic mother of the House of Renaissance, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, teleports you to a reality where all you wanna do is dance!
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Rap Sh!t (2022)
Alianna Kendall-Brooks | Staff Writer
“Rap Sh!t” is a comedy series that also reflects the real-life drama of trying to make it in the music industry. Created by Issa Rae, the show embodies the familiar warmness of Insecure, but in a completely different plot. The series starts off when Mia finds herself in need of a babysitter and she reaches out to her old high school friend Shawna. Both frustrated about their careers and love lives, the two reunite for a night of fun and record a video of them freestyling that goes viral overnight. Mia and Shawna seize the opportunity and begin a journey towards starting a duo rap career in Miami. Throughout the show, the two begin to bump heads with each other because Shawna wants to be a conscious rapper and avoid objectification, while Mia is much more free-spirited and willing to embody the City Girls lifestyle. Both on a journey of self discovery, Mia and Shawna have to learn how to compromise and support each other for the sake of their careers. The first season, released in July of 2022, is available on HBO Max. The second season is currently airing with a new episode being released every week. In the second season, Shawna and Mia are taking their music nationwide and going on tour. While exciting, there will be more drama than ever as the two try to reach a new level of success.
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Purple Naked Ladies by The Internet (2011)
“Purple Naked Ladies” is the debut album by The Internet, the infamous contemporary R&B group devised as an extension from “Odd Future Wolf Gang, Kill Them All” formed by DJ Syd Tha Kid and Matt Martians. “Purple Naked Ladies” embodies the voice of The Internet, mixing electronic and disco-influenced production with silky smooth, rhythmic, neo-soul vocals. The album includes hard-hitting features, like Mike G and Coco O. Throughout every track, you can hear the potential and passion of The Internet, making the success of their later projects more than believable. The opening track, “Violet Nude Woman” braced listeners for the unique sounds the rest of the project has to offer. “Ode To A Dream,” featuring Kilo Kish and Coco O., is an upbeat track about seeing a love interest in your dreams and finding comfort in their fictional presence. “Love Song – 1” is The Internet’s unique take on a ballad, with Syd demonstrating her gentle, sentimental vocalities in this message to a lost lover who grew to not like her. “Lincoln” featuring Mike G is an arrogant track featuring production by Left Eye, Syd and Matt Martians. “Visions,” featuring Coco O. talks about using substance abuse to block out certain memories but quickly realizing that making new ones is now hard, mistaking these experiences with mere visions. Notable tracks like these and others throughout “Purple Naked Ladies” encompass the essence of The Internet, a group filled with innovative, brilliant and passionate minds that bring something exciting to such an unexceptional industry.
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This is Us (2016)
Shaere Delgiudice | Staff Writer
“This Is Us” is a story that is ultimately reflective of life itself. Beginning with soon-to-be parents of triplets, Jack and Rebecca Pearson, and branching out with a twist from there, this poignant and impactful series shows how different people’s stories can intertwine in ways we sometimes never see. It shows the complex nature of every type of relationship, whether it be between parents and children, romantic partners, siblings or friends. “This Is Us” portrays many of the struggles we all may experience in life, such as anxiety, grief, feeling lost or behind and more. It weaves a beautiful multi-generational story of different timelines with many major and minor characters, who all come together to make a show that feels real at its heart. Throughout the series, you’ll feel connected to and invested in the stories of these characters who feel more human than most we’ve seen on TV. People from all walks of life can see themselves in the narratives and characters in the show. As you get further into this emotional whirlwind of a series you might, as many viewers did, find yourself reaching frequently for the tissue box. It’ll likely be a quick watch as you try to figure out how various characters, timelines and elements all end up tying together. Prepare to have a new favorite heartfelt drama once you start this critically acclaimed NBC show.