Rosemary’s Reviews | Free Spirit by Khalid

By: Rosemary Idisi 

American singer and songwriter Khalid dropped his second studio album Free Spirit (2019) last week on April 5th. The singer teased this album in various posts on social media for months before its release and fans praised the highly anticipated release. 

Free Spirit has seventeen tracks on it, including the singles from Khalid’s 2018 EP Suncity “Better” and “Saturday Nights.” The album’s lead single “Talk” was released in early February.  

 “Talk” was made in collaboration with electronic production duo- Disclosure and gives off major R&B dance vibes. This single is about a relationship moving too fast and the need to talk about it.  

 Another single from the album, “My Bad’ was released in early March and reached the Hot 100 charts, becoming the artist’s twentieth song to make the chart. “My Bad” is contextually similar to “Talk.” The song deals with problems with communication between Khalid and whoever his lover is. This track was called an “apology track” because Khalid is basically saying sorry for not replying to a text, which as we know, drives women crazy.  

 The track “Self’ was released later in March as another single for the album. This song focuses on Khalid addressing his anxiety and self-reflecting, which we get from the lyrics, “-I don’t need another hand, I need a couple suggestions. Always had a little trouble with self-reflections.” The rhythm of this song is so mellow, almost hypnotic, and the beat just adds to the vibe of the entire album. 

 The last single that was released for the album is titled “Don’t Pretend” featuring Safe. The single dropped just two days before the album was released. In this song, Khalid’s voice is so soothing and melodious with the guitar in the background. 

 Khalid has quite the ear for melodies and beats and he mixed them together with beautiful lyrics to make this album. If you’re looking for something to listen to while on a road trip, laying on the beach, or to just vibe to, Free Spirit is the album for you.  

 Not only did Khalid drop this amazing album, he accompanied it with a short film that was released in theaters worldwide for one night only. This gave fans a chance to hear the entire album while watching a short film titled “Free Spirit” created by the singer. In the film, Khalid used the music to tell the stories of what it was like growing up. What other artist has ever done this?  

 Khalid is such a creative artist and his work and ideas are very unique. He is real, you can hear it in every song on this album. Khalid will be going on a world tour which will take him to major venues across the United States and Canada starting June 20th 

Rosemary’s Reviews: Nipsey Hussle

By: Rosemary Idisi

Nipsey Hussle, Grammy nominated rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles, California, was shot and killed on Sunday March 31st. The world lost a brilliant artist, philanthropist, activist, entrepreneur, and family man. 

 The last album Hussle produced was titled Victory Lap and was released in February of 2018. This album was his first full-length album and major commercial release after dropping several his entire career. 

 When Victory Lap first debuted, it reached number four on the Billboard 200 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.  

 Prior to Nipsey’s death, Hussle had almost two million streams on iTunes and just one day after his death, Victory Lap became number one on iTunes and had 57 million music streams. The day he died, Nielsen Music told The Associated Press that 2,000 copies of his albums were purchased that day, followed by 9,000 copies the next day, 4,000 copies the day after that, and sales keep increasing.  

 Nipsey’s album Victory Lap has sixteen tracks on it and pays tribute to the rappers’ hard work and achievements. It also looks ahead to the future and all he has yet to build and those he can still inspire. 

 This album featured many guest artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Puff Daddy, YG, Buddy, CeeLo Green, and more. This is more than the typical album would have but all these collaborations added depth to the songs and painted a lot of pictures with the different voices. 

 Nipsey’s first song on the album is the title track, “Victory Lap” and it opened with the lyrics, “-I’m prolific, so gifted, I’m the type that’s gon’ go get it, no kidding.” This was a very bold opening, but this was a bold man. From the second he opened his mouth in this first song to the last verse in the last song, you could hear the passion and determination in his voice. 

 Another track on the album titled “Dedication” featured rapper Kendrick Lamar and the perfect song for you to listen to if you’re hungry for success. If the lyrics, “-dedication, hard work plus patience, the sum of all my sacrifice, I’m done waitin-’” doesn’t motivate you I’m not sure what does.  

The track “Millions While You Young” featuring The Dream was definitely a change of pace from the other tracks on this album. The other songs were very energetic while this one was a refreshingly slower pace. In this song, it’s like Nipsey is giving advice to listeners, giving them the ropes of becoming a success story. 

 The track titled “Hussle & Motivate” on the album samples Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life” and talks about the bigger picture behind his hustling. Nipsey made so many declarations in each song on this album and he said things that other rappers probably want to say but are too afraid to because of backlash. That’s one thing about this rapper, he didn’t care about the backlash.  

 If Nipsey Hussle had something to say, he said it and if there is something he wanted to do, he did it. A lot of what he did was good and very beneficial to the community, which is why after his death it was announced that his contributions to South Los Angeles will be entered into the Congressional Record to be a part of U.S. history forever.  

Some may listen to the songs on this album and not find any meaning behind the lyrics but bob their heads and enjoy the tune. Nipsey knew exactly the people he was speaking to and the people he was being a voice for, and the most important thing is that they understand.  

 

 

 

 

Rosemary’s Reviews | While We Wait by Kehlani

By Rosemary Idisi

Earlier this year, Kehlani dropped her third album While We Wait (2019). This album reached #9 on the Billboard’s 200 chart when it opened and became Kehlani’s second album to be among the top 10 on the chart.  

While We Wait has a track list of nine songs and features guest artists like 6lack, Ty Dolla Sign, Musiq Soulchild, and Dom Kennedy. If you like the sound of 90s R&B, pop, or rap, this is the perfect album for you because this album contains all three of those genres.    

This album really manifests the kind of artist Kehlani is which is a down-to earth contemporary R&B artist. The songs are mellow, raw and refreshing.  

 The opening song for the album is called “Footsteps”, which begins with the sound of rushing water. Any album that begins this way is either going to be a banger or leave you crying at the end. This song starts with the lyrics, “-and when I walked away, I left footprints in the mud so you could follow.” Need a new break-up anthem? This might be it. 

There are so many songs on this album that are relatable. Do you have an ex that won’t mind their business? The song Nunya needs to be added to your playlist. Going through a moody break-up? The banger “Nights Like This” is the perfect song to drive around at night listening to (but don’t drive to your ex’s house). 

 On the song “RPG”, Kehlani and guest artist, 6lack, take on the roles of lovers. This song opens with the lyrics, “-you told me I’m beautiful ’cause I told you, you don’t tell me enough, and make the singer appear insecure and in desperate need of reassurance from her partner. The rhythm to this song is so tuneful its almost hypnotic.  

 The most relatable song of the album for many would definitely be “Morning Glory.” In this hit, Kehlani sings about men needing to be prepared to see their women stripped bare before bedtime if he plans on seeing her looking brand new in the morning. The lyrics, “-if you don’t want me at my goodnight then you can’t have me at my morning glory,” are truly iconic.    

 The song “Too Deep” is fun to listen to, but a bit repetitive. If you feel like things are going too far or getting too complicated with someone, then this song is pretty relatable. Plus, there was a reference to Candy Crush in the song which is… cool. 

 While We Wait is Kehlani telling stories of experiences through love, life, and just being a woman in general. This is the perfect album to validate your feelings and reassure you that you’re not the only one whose been through it in a relationship or possibly wanted to leave your past behind. This is definitely the album for you if you like mellow vibey music that you could possibly relate to.    

WGMU APPLICATIONS FOR EXEC STAFF 2019-2020

 

WGMU Radio’s Executive Staff positions are going live on March 27th, 2019 at 12pm (noon) via Handshake! If you’ve been a current DJ and would like to get more involved in the behind the scenes operations of running the station – please apply! The priority deadline for consideration is April 10th, 2019 at 12pm (noon), but applications will be accepted until all positions are fIlled.

If you have questions, email wgmu@gmu.edu or come in to the Office of Student Media, located in the bottom level of the Hub.

LINKS FOR THE APPLICATIONS:

Lead Supervisor

Program Director

Marketing Director

Music Director

Production Director

Audio Engineering Director

 

Rosemary’s Reviews | Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande

By: Rosemary Idisi 

Earlier this year, Ariana Grande dropped her highly anticipated fifth album ‘Thank U, Next’ (2019). This album was created in the midst of the popstar’s highly publicized personal affairs.

For months, Grande was in the spotlight following the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the split from her fiancé Pete Davidson. People could not wait to hear the outpour of her emotions on this album.

If you’re looking for a revolutionary kind of break up/self-love anthem, the album’s lead single and title track ‘Thank U, Next’ is the song for you and it proves to be the song for many as it was a massive hit. The single broke records and peaked at number one of the charts in numerous countries.

‘Thank U, Next’ was released shortly after Grande broke up with Pete Davidson and includes the lyrics, “-even almost got married, and for Pete I’m so thankful.” It also recognized a few of Grande’s exes whose names she included in the song; even her deceased ex-boyfriend Mac Miller with the lyrics, “-wish I could say thank you to Malcolm, cause he was an angel.”

The music video for this song was released shortly after the initial release of the track and referenced early 2000s rom-coms Mean Girls, Bring It On, 13 Going on 30 and Legally Blonde. This music video broke records on YouTube for being the most watched music video within 24 hours and the fastest video on Vevo to reach 100 million views.

Another smashing song on the album was Grande’s hit single ‘7 Rings’. This track peaked on the top of charts in 15 countries and broke the record on Spotify for being the most played song in 24 hours.

The third single released on the album was ‘Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored’ and it debuted at the top of charts as well. This single made history for Grande as it made her the first female artist to replace herself at number one on the charts and also made her the first artist to dominate the top three spots on the chart since The Beatles in 1964.

The first song on the album, titled ‘Imagine’ was the promotional single for the album and many fans believe the track was inspired by Mac Miller who had an ‘Imagine’ tattoo and the lyrics seem to speak about Grande pretending past relationships didn’t end.

Another song on the album called ‘Ghostin’ was a reference to both Pete Davidson and Mac Miller, because Grande sings about what it was like dealing with the death of Miller while being with Pete. On the track ‘Fake Smile’, Grande sings about the dark side she faces being a superstar.

A huge part of the album ‘Thank U, Next’ is Ariana Grande pouring her heart out in song. This album was like a lyrical diary from her and it was beautifully done. From throwing shade at her exes to singing about being needy, Ariana gave fans everything with this album.

‘Thank U, Next’ has the perfect combination of songs to listen to when you’re feeling good or when you’re sulking in bed. This album is up and down, it’s real and refreshing… and it’s one that I highly recommend listening to!

Vince Staples @ 9:30 Club

By Jonathan Ibarra

On February 22nd and 23rd, 2019 the Long Beach, California rapper Vince Staples took the stage at the 9:30 Club on his “Smile, You’re On Camera” tour. Having originally scheduled only one night in DC, Staples had to add a second show after the first night sold out in a matter of days. The first opener, Armani White, took the stage at 6:15 pm, a mere 15 minutes after the doors opened. Even with the small crowd, White came to impress. His rhythmic tracks got the crowd warmed up for Buddy, Staples second opener. Buddy spat his raps out fast and loud, calling for a mosh pit during the last song of his set that sent the crowd into a frenzy.  

The crowd was buzzing with energy by the time Staples took the stage. Opening his set with “Feels Like Summer” off his most recent album FM! (2018), Vince went on to have a good mix of songs off each of his releases.  

Living up to the title of the tour, there were cameramen placed in different locations around the stage to get shots of either Staples or the crowd. Those shots were projected onto the backdrop, which was set up to look like a big set of security monitors. The effect was an interactive experience that drew the crowd into Staples performance by allowing audience members to see themselves in the gritty visuals. 

The long beach rapper exuded liveliness and childlike fun. Even when he would take breaks to interact with the crowd, the rapper would never let the energy of the set die down. He would be seen making faces at security when they would try to grab crowd surfers, as well as clowning audience members who would shout praise during lulls.  

Staples ended his set with “Yeah Right” off his album Big Fish Theory (2017). In place of Kendrick Lamar’s verse, he thanked DC for coming out and voiced his message of love, spreading positivity. The rapper thanked Mac Miller and gave a genuine tribute to a talent lost too soon. 

The audience began to file out when suddenly the stage lit up again – this time with the late rapper’s smile. Mac Miller’s NPR Tiny Desk set was played in its entirety – all 17 minutes of it. As tears rolled down some audience members’ faces, it was hard not to think about the impact Miller left on the music industry, including Staples’ more emotional tracks. The set concluded and people stuck around, not wanting the show to be over. It was the perfect conclusion to the first night of Staples’ sold out DC shows.  

MASON ALERT | BE PREPARED

WGMU strongly encourages our Patriots to sign up for Mason Alerts. Here’s more information about the system provided by David Farris, PhD, the Executive Director of Safety & Emergency Management:

Dear Patriots,

Safety is a top priority at George Mason University. The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) and the Department of Police and Public Safety encourage you to become familiar with the university’s recommended procedures on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies that may occur on campus.

Mason Alert: All students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to register one or more cell phone numbers with Mason Alert, the university’s emergency notification system. Mason Alert text messages provide timely notification of events affecting your safety. You can also elect to receive tornado and severe weather alerts for one or more counties in which Mason has a campus, site or center. 

Be Prepared: Information on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies that might occur on campus is available at ready.gmu.edu. This site also has resources to help faculty and staff prepare for emergencies that interrupt classes or impact research activities.

Active Threat Prevention and Response: Please take 15 minutes to review the university’s Active Threats Awareness and Prevention Video designed to help you identify and report concerning behaviors. This video also reviews actions that should be taken if a person with a weapon is reported on campus.

Rave Guardian Public Safety App: Mason offers a free public safety app to all students, faculty and staff. Rave Guardian is integrated with Mason Alert and offers a number of important features, including a virtual safety escort function, the ability to submit tips anonymously to University Police, and a panic call button that relays your location to University Police.  The Rave Guardian app is free through the iTunes store and the Google Play store

If you have any questions or concerns about Mason’s readiness for potential emergencies on campus, please contact EHS at safety@gmu.edu or 703-993-8448.

 

 

As a Mason student, it’s imperative to be informed, especially about school closures and emergency preparation events. Click on the links above to sign up for the mentioned platforms.

Clubhouse Fest @ Laurel Park

By: Rosemary Idisi

On October 20th at Laurel Park Racetrack, a number of artists performed at the 2018 Clubhouse Festival. The lineup included Grammy-nominated rapper Tyga, Platinum-selling artists Rich The Kid, Sam Feldt, Lost Kings, and Bonnie x Clyde. The headliner was Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki.

The tailgate began at 12 noon with the first performance by Deerock. Following was Salamander, who played hot remixes and tunes. Bonnie X Clyde were up next, and they gave the crowd major electronic dance vibes with their tracks. Everyone was buzzing when Rich The Kid came on stage and performed hits “Plug Walk” and “New Freezer.” Tyga followed, having entire crowd bobbing their heads with his signatures “Molly”, “Taste”,  “SWISH”,  “Ayo” and many more. These performances were amazing; there was not a soul in the crowd not jamming out to the music.

After Tyga finished lighting up the stage, ten minutes went by, and Lost Kings came to perform. The crowd literally went wild when they played “When We Were Young”,  “Phone Down”, and “First Love”.  After Lost Kings stole a piece of my heart, Sam Feldt came out and swept me off my feet. He killed it on stage and the entire crowd was dancing and singing along when he played his better known singles “Know You Better”, “Show Me Love”,  and “No Lie.”

There was an intermission and most of the crowd went to watch the Maryland Million horse race. At the horse race, the DJ duo Lost Kings were walking around taking pictures with fans.  After the race, it was time to go back to the mainstage to enjoy the night’s headliner: Steve Aoki.

The crowd grew three times larger than it was all day when it was time for Steve Aoki to perform. The beginning interlude started to play, and the masses had their phones out recording. The bass was pounding, the red lights were beaming, and Steve Aoki popped out on stage. The crowd was thrilled! Steve Aoki’s entire performance was riveting. He had the entire crowd jumping around and then toward the end, his hit “Cake Face” came on and he started throwing cakes into the crowd. Steve Aoki gave the show of a lifetime and he shut the festival down. Clubhouse Festival was one for the books.

Kero Kero Bonito at MilkBoy ArtHouse

By: Shiraz Baig

“Don’t die for me, live for me!” shouted Sarah Midori Perry, the lead singer and aesthetic force behind the electro noise-pop trio Kero Kero Bonito. Kicking off the release of their sophomore studio album, the London-based trio-gone-rock band just touched the nation’s capital at the MilkBoy Arthouse in College Park, MD. Luckily, WGMU was able to catch a glimpse of the live performance the indie pop-rock outfit offered on stage and in person.

Starting the show, the crowd heard “Outside”, the intro song to their latest album, Time ‘n’ Place (2018). This gritty rock pop tune would serve as a sonic theme throughout the show with its distorted guitar and heavy bass spilling into their next two most famous songs, “Lipslap” and “Flamingo”. These two bubblegum pop singles from the earlier, punchy years of KKB were given a rock twist that converted simple head bopping ballads to headbangers with the addition of a bass, guitar, drum set, and tenacious vocals. Frankly, had anyone else but Gus and Jamie tried to do this, it wouldn’t have worked, but the off and on-stage chemistry of the group was so prevalent and passionate that the new interpretations were something the crowd loved and have heard before but now wearing a fun, hardcore mask. The catchy melodies of old were just as catchy that night, but instead of just singing along, everyone joined in and moshed the night away!

Throughout the evening, there was a pattern in the songs – one song was from the new album, then two or three songs from past albums, but with the new rock twist. From their first studio album, Bonito Generation (2016), singles like “Fish Bowl” and “Picture This” were played live and remastered with hard rock guitar and bass solos, causing incredible mosh-pit action amongst the crowd. This was a refreshing rendition that gave the audience a creative new interpretation to fond over. It was not just the group regurgitating what the audience probably listened to non-stop and on repeat the previous days and weeks – it was a whole new Kero Kero experience that many would likely pay to see again.

The band, specifically the guitarist, would hold his guitar out to the crowd for them to strum and play wildly after songs like “Only Acting”, which ends in an experimental noise: car crash. This gives each and every venue its own unique little experience where one feels connected to the act rather than just seeing the artists pick up instruments, play music, and leave. Throughout the show, the entire act was smiling, enjoying themselves, having snacks and just being musicians that love doing what they do – performing music!

At the end of the show came the most hardcore event of the night! After a chant for an encore ended, the band re-emerged from backstage to come up and perform “Trampoline” from Bonito Generation, but with growls and yelling. Man, oh man. The crowd went absolutely wild, and even the opening act came out and started moshing along. Another pleasant surprise!

This entire show felt like it was an ode to the fans. The latest album dredged through some deep, dark topics, lyrically and sonically, which were tough for the band, but they came on stage, giving the fans a big hug for getting them a new record deal, a new North American tour, and a warm reception to their new musical direction.

The show was an experience uncaptured by their previous albums. If you are into noise pop and alternative rock, this show would be great for you! You won’t ever see anime cosplayers and shoegazers moshing like that.

CLUBHOUSE Fest | Ticket Giveaway

Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki and Rich the Kid – OH MY! You read the flyer right and the line up is as good as you think it is. On Saturday, October 20th at Laurel Park Racetrack, some of the biggest EDM and Hip-Hop artists will come together for Clubhouse Festival. This lineup is presented by Club Glow, a division of Echostage, so no wonder why it is so incredible.

Here are some FAQs that might answer your burning questions:

What is Clubhouse Fest?

One-day festival, tailgate and horserace! Music, food, horse wagering and fun are all waiting for you.

When and where – I’ve gotta go!

Saturday, Oct. 20th at 198 Laurel Race Track Road, Laurel, MD 20725. Doors open at 12pm and the event ends at 10pm. 

Will the event happen rain or shine?

Absolutely!

You can find more information about the event here!

*UPDATE – Deadmau5 will not be performing at the event. Visit the link above to read more about the changes!

 

Now here’s the real reason why you’re here…

WGMU Radio is giving away 5 pairs of tickets to Clubhouse Fest! On October 15th and 16th, we’ll be giving away two pairs of tickets on each day. On October 17th, we’ll be giving away a final pair of tickets. All you have to do is know the CODEWORD OF THE DAY and get randomly selected to win on our Twitter or Instagram. You’ll have to give the CODEWORD to our social media when prompted – make sure you check back here everyday to get the new CODEWORD.

CODEWORD FOR GIVEAWAY:

Monday, October 15: MickeyMau5

Tuesday, October 16: GLOW

Wednesday, October 17: Finishline

*stay tuned tomorrow by 10:30am for the next CODEWORD*

 

 

 

You must be a George Mason University student to be eligible to win.