Anybody wandering the halls of Rockville’s Whooton High School on a Monday night may hear the iconic theme song from Super Smash Bros. Melee echoing from the school’s music room, but the young men and women inside the room are not playing the beloved video game; they are using everything from cellos to trombones to recreate its music with a full orchestra.
The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra is a group of more than fifty musicians and passionate video game players from around the D.C. area.
“We are the first community level group of musicians [in the D.C. region] to draw a repertoire exclusively from the realm of video game soundtracks,” said trumpet player Robert Garner.
Jennifer Lopez hosted Sunday’s 43rd annual American Music Awards and the result was a balanced mix of both today’s most popular music and this year’s most soul-pressing matter. Here is what you missed:
Although Adele’s return to music is dominating the charts after her three-year hiatus, some are now drawing comparisons between the celebrated singer-songwriter’s new song “Hello” and 1980’s rock musician Tom Waits’s “Martha.”
Waits’s record from 1973 contain dissimilar chords and style, but lyrically, “Martha” and “Hello” seem to share the same subject matter.
While Adele writes, “Hello, it’s me, I was wondering/ If after all these years you’d like to meet to go over everything/ They say that time’s supposed to heal, yeah/ But I ain’t done much healing,” 42 years ago Waits also wrote about reaching out to an ex-lover over the phone.
“Hello, hello there, is this Martha? This is old Tom Frost/And I am calling long distance, don’t worry ’bout the cost.’/Cause it’s been forty years or more, now Martha please recall/ Meet me out for coffee, where we’ll talk about it all,” he sang.
New York City’s Pro Era, led by front man Joey Bada$$, has directed their recent spotlight to the release of Kirk Knight’s debut project Late Knight Special.
Kirk Knight, has been one of the group’s main producers throughout their development and has stood out among the various group members as a talented emcee, breaking the hip-hop stereotype that producers can’t rap.
I have been following multiple members off the Pro Era roster through their social media accounts, with a focus on their Instagram accounts and I have noticed a recurring trend within their postings. Whenever one of the members is working on their latest project, all of the members take to their social media and promote their peers’ material, such was the case during Kirk Knight’s process of working on his debut album. For a genre of music such as hip-hop, where competition is fierce and proving yourself through your craft is essential, these young emcees have harvested a strong sense of comradery, which is a wonderful thing to see in a genre of music with a history of harsh critiques and violent competition.
R&B singer and TV personality Tamar Braxton is renowned for her always hilarious meme-worthy one-liners and facial expressions. But after releasing her fourth studio album Calling All Lovers October 2, the songstress expresses a more profound side of herself with a 16-track CD shouting with passion and vocal strength.
In a heartfelt salute to Braxton’s past relationships, the Grammy-nominated musician said the album was inspired by boyfriends she dated before she met record-producer and husband Vincent Herbert.
Warning: Do NOT listen to this album in public. It will give you ALL the feels.
This one is simple. Anyone ever scorned by a beyond trifling beau can relate to this album. Have you ever known a guy who just stopped calling one day and left you feeling embarrassingly insecure? Yup, this is for you. Have you ever unnecessarily put someone on a pedestal, intensely swearing your loyalty to them forever? Hop on board. Have you ever vowed to yourself never to let a dude even look your direction ever again because you know your presence is a reward in itself and he was undeserving. Welcome, welcome.
Sunday night, when most people were getting ready to take on Monday morning, and students are doing last minute assignments due by midnight; two of the hottest hip hop artists broke the internet. Social media world received word that the mixtape everyone anticipated would drop on iTunes at 8pm. Drake and Future collaborated on What a Time to Be Alive, which was recorded in an Atlanta studio, produced by the great Metro Boomin.
After Dirty Sprite 2, the music world hailed it as the “post-breakup” fire expected from Future. His split with the singer, Ciara, did wonders for his music career, as the success from his album ushered him back into the limelight. Meanwhile, Meek Mill did something similar to Drake’s career. While most of his diehard fans may argue Drake didn’t need the extra boost to begin with, his beef with the Philly rapper had the music world buzzing. His diss tracks “Charged Up” and “Back to Back” had everyone choosing him in the “Meek or Drake” battle. Both Drake and Future’s recent success created an instant hype about this project.
Fans expected it to be the mixtape of the year. Their styles are completely different, so why the hype about the collab? We almost got a sneak peek at what WATTBA would be like in the single “Where Ya At” on DS2. The track is undeniably hot and has listeners knowing the lines verbatim.
So here’s the big question. Did the ‘tape live up to the hype?
It has been a long road for Malcolm McCormick, better known as Mac Miller. He shed his coveted independent status by signing a massive deal with Warner Brothers last fall, a move that caught most by surprise. He is no longer the wide-eyed child from his early mixtapes, rapping about the youthful freedoms of smoking and skipping class. He is no longer the apathetic, self-loathing, drug-fueled shell of himself we have seen on his most recent projects. He comes to us on his newest album GO:OD AM with razor-sharp focus and clarity, a head space that fans have not seen in him yet. Following over a yearlong silence, which is comparable to a decade in the short attention span of the digital age, he gives us a beautifully crafted and carefully planned update on his whereabouts.
It does not take long for him to tell us what he’s been up to. In his lullaby-like introduction “Doors,” he explains to fans
“[I] didn’t mean to cause you pain, I just needed to escape.”
It’s a simple explanation to a complex search for happiness, which he assures fans he has discovered. He raps, “They’re saying that I’m sober, I’m just in a better place,” using the album’s songs to take listeners on his journey through the process of finding clarity. Continue reading GO:OD AM: Mac Miller’s Moment of Clarity→
They say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but let’s be real: it’s Autumn. Not just because of football or bold lip colors, but also because Cookie and the gang are back to fight once again over that multi-million dollar empire.
Yes, FOX’s Empire is that loud uncle at the barbeque who likes to make everyone uncomfortable by drinking way too many Heineken beers, while forcing them to engage in weirdo 90s dance moves such as “the bump.” Cringe-worthy, but extremely fulfilling nonetheless. So to celebrate its second season premiere September 23rd, a recap of all the melodramatic moments that pretty much killed us dead last season is in session. Continue reading Empire Season 1’s Moments To Remember→
Apple’s new foray into music alongside artists such as Drake has been making headlines (pun intended) for months but it all became official today at Apple’s annual developer conference in California.
A new streaming service, a 24/7 global radio station, a social media network tailored for music artists and Siri integration were all key elements of the big announcement. The service, which will give users access to over 30 million songs, is expected to cost $9.99 with a family plan of up to 6 people costing $14.99 but when it launches on June 30th, a three month free trial will be provided.
Aubrey Graham, otherwise known as Drake, is expected to be heavily involved in this project in multiple ways. While his role is not exactly clear yet, it is expected that the artist will release his next album via Apple Connect, a social media network where artists can interact with fans while providing a behind the scenes look into their artistry. VentureBeat is also reporting that Graham will be a guest DJ on Apple’s new radio service together with Pharrell, Q-Tip, will.i.am and Dr. Dre. Continue reading Apple Teams Up With Drake to Enter Streaming Music Business→
Salisbury University hosted it’s annual Gullfest concert on Sunday, featuring headliners Jessie J., MKTO and Mac Miller.
Kicking off the concert was pop-musical duo MKTO, the artists featured vocals from Tony Oller and rapping from Malcolm Kelly. They sang a variety of songs from their debut album such as their major hits “Classic” and “American Dream,” they also sang new songs from their upcoming album.
“I really enjoyed listening to MKTO,” said junior, Brittany Daniels, “I didn’t really know too much of their music before the concert, but now I want to go download their entire album.”