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Published by B-Side Magazine, 2017-08-30 22:35:42

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bside_final

EDIS-B EHT


Music, of all kinds, has always been an unshakeable force in bringing
people together. In a world that too often feels disorienting — especially
when we realize how independently we embark on each of our journeys
— we look for things that ground us. Often, we fumble, searching for
concrete anchors that bring us back to raw, unfiltered feeling in the
day-to-day of subdued emotion. And, often, we exist quietly, looking for
ways to physically synthesize what weʼre feeling.

In all this uncertainty, Iʼve found that there are few things more exciting
than finding someone who shares the same music as you, or finding a
friend who can open up your eyes — and ears — to a whole new genre of
sound. There are few things that make me as happy as knowing that,
when you listen to something with someone else, youʼre being moved in
the same way by the same thing.

Thatʼs what music does for me. And thatʼs what The B-Side has done too.

As U.C. Berkeleyʼs only online and print music magazine, weʼve created
a small haven of sonic respite in a world that so often feels too large. In
creating this community, we learned how to open our minds to discovery,
trying out artists and sounds we werenʼt sure we would like. In creating
this community, we grew as artists ourselves. We picked up cameras to
shoot our first shows and spoke with musicians we looked up to on the
phone. We pushed what we felt comfortable defining as artistry and
showed the world.

In making this magazine, we learned how to manifest the way music
makes us feel into a real, concrete creation — the second issue of The
B-Side.

As Editor-in-Chief this year, I have never been so proud to see such a
beautiful team grow so much in such a short amount of time. I have no
doubt that The B-Side will go onto create many more beautiful memories
and experiences after I leave. I know that it — like music — will continue
bringing people together. It will remain a brilliantly genuine — and some-
times flawed — synthesis of how we are or are not feeling.

It will be a welcome respite to everyone whoʼs looked for themselves in
quiet.

So, thank you for being a part of The B-Side community. And thank you
for reading.

With love,

Eda
Editor-in-Chief 2016-2017

1


Which Migos are you?
Matt Sater, page 4
Cue the Violins: Trump’s emo boy band to release masochistic debut, SAD!
Natalie Silver, page 5
Live at Fury and Primal Rite
Sam Jameson, page 9
The many forms of Lana Del Rey’s unconditional “Love”
John Lawson, page 11
Overheard at Berkeley: A human playlist
Desiree Diaz, page 14
Songs for literally everything: A playlist
The B-Side staff, page 15
Namaste Shawty on freedom, community, and women empowerment
Vivian Chen, page 17
What Black artistry looks like in 2017
Shelby Mayes, page 23
Greatest Ever? A Drizzy Drake retrospective
Adil Siddiqee, page 25
Unseen moments at SXSW
Ally Mason, page 29
Going to California
Mateo Savala, page 33
Staff list, page 34

2


3


Which of the A quiz designed by MFaartitdhaewRadSwataenr
Migos are you? w/ illustrations by

Whatʼs your

Do you find that Yes preferred
you repeat cookware?2

START yourself often?1 Crockpot Pots and
pans

No

Did your mama tell

Yes Have you had trouble you to sell work?3 What do you
with the law?4 hit it with?4
No Skrr! No

Did you use to Yes The left!

trap by the Never Did you ever have The right!
Subway?2 any old money?2
Are you
No Yes

problematic?

Do your friends No Whatʼs your Good gracious!5
sometimes preferred
Spaceship5 Woo! Woo!
leave you out?5 method of Woo! Woo!2
transport?
All the time
Toyotas3

Youʼre Takeoff! Youʼre Quavo! Youʼre Offset!

Youʼre laid-back, and usually Youʼre smooth, talented, and you You think the only way for
feel more comfortable know how to dress. Friends are something to be done right is
shocked by your ability to know
listening than talking. Youʼre to do it yourself. Youʼre a
all about giving back to your everybody whoʼs anybody, perfectionist, but you
everywhere you go.
family and friends, even sometimes mess up on purpose,
though you canʼt always be just to keep it interesting.
present in person with them.

1) “Versace” 2) “Bad and Boujee” 3) “T-Shirt” 4) ”Fight Night” 5) “Slide” 4


5


6


7


8


9


10


The Many Forms of Lana Del Rey’s

Unconditional “Love”

By John Lawson
Design by Camilia Kacimi

11


One month after Lana Del Rey released But there is a sense of intimacy in
“Love” off her upcoming album Lust For “Love” that isnʼt quite as drug-induced,
Life, she performed the single for the or macabre as her anthems on Born to
first time at 2017ʼs SXSW music festival Die (remember that tatted-up hottie that
in Austin, Texas. Her set featured none groped at her neck and dragged her
of the cringe-worthy falsettos and vocal underwater in the music video for “Blue
tics that marred her notorious SNL Jeans”?). If Born to Die was told behind
debut in January of 2012. Wearing a the heart-shaped sunglasses of the
draping white dress with her hair down, young, rich, and beautiful, “Love” is
she seemed at home and even-keeled, told from the perspective of someone
performing her new song along with who has already been around the
iconic titles like “Ride” (Born to Die, block. Though jaded by the limelight of
2012). The departure from the grandios- fame, Lana addresses the youth in
ity of her early appearances was “Love” with a tender feeling of hope:
welcomed; it seemed that, for once, “Look at you kids, you know youʼre the
both critics and the audience (begging coolest / The world is yours and you
to no avail for an encore) received the canʼt refuse it.”
Queen of Perpetual Pout without snarl.
“Love” signals yet another aesthetic
At first listen, the slow-burning “Love” transformation for Lana Del Rey, a
seems another echo of the idealized glimpse at the popstar without as much
Hollywood Americana that propelled contrived glitter and glam. In the music
Lana Del Rey to superstardom in her video directed by Rich Lee, Lanaʼs
major-label debut, Born to Die. Her signature Botox lips donʼt look as
breathy voice radiates over a twanging swollen as they used to. Her designer
bass and atmospheric synths, touching one-piece and Jackie Kennedy updo
on favorite talking points like old vinyls has been traded for a loose sundress
and melancholic loneliness crooning, and daisies in her hair. No longer the
“Look at you kids with your vintage lonely hot mess of upper-echelon Holly-
music.” The filter and grain of the music wood, she has transitioned into a
video recalls her early fit-for-Tumblr celestial goddess of youth — specifically
productions, complete with the beautiful that of her young fans — overlooking
white hipsters and cameos of Venice their triumphs and failures affectionate-
Beach. ly with a maternal tug.

12


“Seen so much, you could get the blues, but / “Thatʼs why this is the perfect first single, because
That donʼt mean that you should abuse it,” she this one is for you and I luv you,” Lana Del Rey
sings, issuing depression or a subtle caution wrote to fans in a sugarcoated Instagram
against prescription drug abuse. caption.

Itʼs no accident that the music video for “Love” is As the final verse switches to the first-person
situated in the flower-child era of the American (“Doesnʼt matter if Iʼm not enough / For the
1960ʼs. The hippy utopia of “Love” is another future and the things to come”) we see a glimpse
fetishized version of Lanaʼs “America,” but itʼs of something virtually absent in the rest of her
less corny than the Don-Draper-era derivatives work. For someone who has defined their entire
present in most of her oeuvre, usually consisting career on depression and self-loathing, this is the
of sloppy references to JFK, Great Gatsby, and closest Lana Del Rey has come to seeming com-
the Beats. “Love” is less paranoid, strained, and fortable alone. While it might be another ode to
jealous — the object of desire isnʼt for a one-night her fans, “Love” is also the first real love song
stand, a pimped-out mansion, or even her she has ever addressed to herself.
one-true love.

13


14


HOW DO YOU FEEL

By Jordan Aronson and George Green

Design by Jackie Nam

OPTIMISTIC

i want to stay grounded i want to celebrate

“T-Shirt Weather in the Manor” by Kano ”Hit the Road Jack” by Throttle
”Ginger” by Marek Hemmann ”Fester Skank” by Lethal Bizzle
“Here I Am” by The Juan Maclean ”HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar
“Sex Drugs and on the Dole” by The Manor ”Traum” by Cro
”Making Breakfast” by Twin Peaks ”T-Shirt” by Migos
”Spread Love” by Mick Jenkins ”Inspector Norse” by Todd Terje
”All I Need” by Noname feat. Xavier Omar ”Devolva” by Sango
”Watch Me Dance” by Tom Misch ”YOUʼRE THE ONE” by KAYTRANADA, Syd

WHAT’S THIS FOR?

GOING OUT STAYING IN

bar crawl house party

“Dance Wiv Me” by Dizzee Rascal “Bagbak“ by Vince Staples
“I Bet That You Look Good “Come Alive“ by Chromeo
“Come Down“ by Anderson .Paak
on the Dancefloor“ by Arctic Monkeys “REDMERCEDES“ by Amine
“Take Me Out“ by Franz Ferdinand
“All Night (feat. Knox Fortune)“ by Chance The Rapper one man dance party

clubbing “Cutting Shapes“ by Don Diablo
“September“ by Earth, Wind, and Fire
“You Want Me“ by Tom Zanetti “Get Stupid“ by Aston Merrygold
“Egyptian Lover Latmun Remix“ by The Golden Boy “Some“ by Steve Lacy
“Function“ by Justin Martin & Ardalan
“Man at Parade“ by Frits Wentink

15


ABOUT THE FUTURE?

PESSIMISTIC

i want to be uplifted i want to wallow

“Everybodyʼs Happy Nowadays” by The Buzzcocks “I Canʼt Go To Sleep” by Wu-Tang Clan

“Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J “Is This What You Wanted” by Leonard Cohen

“Do Me a Favour” by Arctic Monkeys “Day of the Lords” by Joy Division

“If Youʼre Crying” by IAN SWEET “Nude” by Radiohead

“Needle and a Knife” by Tennis “You Should Be Hated Here” by Carissaʼs Wierd

“Norgaard” by The Vaccines “Cranes in the Sky” by Solange

“Beautiful Escape” by Tom Misch ”I Wanna Be Adored” by The Stone Roses

“One Day Wankelmut Remix” by Asaf Avidan “Call Across Rooms” by Grouper

WHAT’S THIS FOR?

I WANT TO BE ALONE I WANT TO BE W/OTHERS

i just want to be angry i want to cheer up

“Next Hype - Vocal” by Tempa T “Ringo” by Joris Voorn
“Control” by Chase and Status “Letʼs Push Things Forward” by The Streets
“All I Need” by Radiohead “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen
“You Will Never Be One Of Us” by Nails “Waves” by Electric Guest

i just want to cry i want to be held

“I Know Itʼs Over” by The Smiths “All My Tears” by Ane Brun
“Into My Arms” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds “Soco Amaretto Lime” by Brand New
“Japanese Denim” by Daniel Caesar “Stonemilker” by Bjork
“Jesus Christ” by Brand New “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean

16


17


NoNo

Namasté Shawty

Oakland-based DJ Namaste Shawty By Vivian Chen
— known more familiarly as Nono — Photos by Fiona Duerr
wastes no time in making her pres- Styled by Camilia Kacimi
ence known when she walks into a
room. Her wardrobe reflects the positivity through movement, making
eccentricity of her mixes — take, for a point to avoid playing anything
instance, her lightning-bolt-embla- that might achieve the opposite of
zoned, red leather jacket or her that — a substantial feat in a world
fur-covered lilac handbag — which of misogynistic hip-hop and rap in a
contain anything from hip-hop to punk male-dominated industry.
to clean, dance-y house.
In her interview with The B-Side,
But no matter the genre, what Nono Nono offered words on her inspira-
aims to bring through her music is tions, how she expresses, and the
importance of building a community
through empowerment — and
through music, of course.

18


Whatʼs the inspiration behind your mixes? Do you think being a female DJ carves a
narrative in an untraditional space?
Dancing is one of the main things. My goal
is always to inspire people to move. Yeah, definitely. I feel like there are a lot
more women artists in general, just coming
What do you want to express through your up in the DJ scene. More women see other
music? women DJing and feel inspired to do it. I
think even being called a “female DJ” can
For me, itʼs about expressing freedom and be a little bit of a thing for a lot of women.
feeling liberated. When Iʼm DJing, I kind of Itʼs like, why canʼt we just be DJs?
go into another world where nothing really The whole thing is, “oh, female DJ,” which
matters. Itʼs all about having fun and is like, we canʼt compete with the guys? We
expressing joy through movement and have to have our own category or what?
dance and music. I feel liberated because Just being considered a “female DJ” or
Iʼm orchestrating a whole party. “female anything” really is limiting in this
For that hour, I feel free, I feel heard, and I patriarchal society.
feel seen. As a Woman of Color, itʼs often
that we donʼt get seen or heard. When I What first inspired you to start mixing?
play music, I get to experience that through
performance art…and fashion too. I like to I was inspired by the scene. I never really
dress up when I perform. When I perform, I said, “Iʼm gonna be a DJ.” It was kind of
kinda go a little extra, you know? like, I listen to a lot of music. People say I
have a good ear, so I was able to DJ house
Going off of that, what was the hardest part parties. Just for fun, not seriously at all. And
about making your way through a people were like, “Yo, youʼre actually
male-dominated industry? really good, you should start DJing,” and I
was like alright, Iʼm down. Iʼll start DJing. I
I havenʼt really experienced any real started doing little bars and friendsʼ parties
battles yet. I feel like, dealing with bigger and now, tonight, Iʼm DJing at F8 which is a
cities, like L.A. or New York, it is more of a pretty poppinʼ club in San Francisco.
fight sometimes. In the Bay, itʼs not like that.
At least in Oakland. San Francisco can be a
little bit challenging, but Oakland — Iʼm
from here. I have a pretty strong communi-
ty. Iʼve actually gotten a lot of support from
friends who DJ and promote, who are
males, so I feel really blessed about that.

19


In an article with SFMOMAʼs Open Space, Brujas.” We want peopleto ask us super
you talked a bit about your spiritual journey personal questions that we can answer
in connection with your radio show. Do you anonymously. Thatʼs almost my favorite
mind telling me more about Las Brujas part.
Radio and its mission? And I play music. Not a lot, but I try to
choose music that is women-produced or
I wanted to talk about what I was experi- with vocals by women, or anything thatʼs
encing in a way that wasnʼt super personal, about something empowering and beautiful.
but relatable. Mostly, Las Brujas focuses on I never play mainstream music or anything
conversation around femininity and what thatʼs degrading towards women. Iʼll play
that looks like. Itʼs me, my friend Queens anything from hip-hop to punk music, just
D.Light from House of Malico, and another whatever I feel like.
friend called Imani.
We basically just have a conversation about Is there anything you really want to talk
trauma, abuse, addiction — anything that about or something you want people to
weʼve experienced, that weʼre trying to or know?
have overcome. Keeping it very WOC-ori-
ented, trying to spread news thatʼs empow- I just — I donʼt know if itʼs corny or some
ering for our community versus all the
negative shit the media is always trying to shit... 20
show us. We try to get community involve-
ment too in a segment called “Ask Las


Go for it.

Sometimes, I really feel like this
spirit is running this show for me,
the way that my DJing career has
unfolded. Itʼs happened in a very
synchronized way while I know a
lot of people struggle. And I
wonder if itʼs because Iʼm just
doing this for fun. When youʼre
doing things for fun, youʼre not
really thinking about the money
or the fame. Youʼre literally just
doing that shit for fun.
You know, you read books and
shit where itʼs like, “Do what you
love” and that shitʼll pop off, and
thatʼs kind of whatʼs going on
with me. I mean, I love it. I love
fucking DJing. I can be heartbro-
ken, but as soon as I get on the
decks, Iʼm in another world. I go
into another realm and itʼs almost
healing, to be able to do that and
not give a fuck. I really donʼt give
a fuck about anything.

21


@berkeleybside

22


BLACK ARTISTRY
By Shelby Mayes
Design by Jackie Nam

“C.S.N.E,” a song can also somewhat
by 22-year-old ironically be linked
Mylo Mu, opens with to his connection to
kaleidoscopic images mainstream figures in
and a shirt that Black art and culture.
reads Free Tupac. Names like Jean Michel
Heavy bass quickly Basquiat, Madlib, John
accompanies the Coltrane, and Pharrell
rapper, the visuals oscillat- Williams were just a few of
ing between psychedelic Mylo’s many sources of
designs, sporadic Angela inspiration. For him, Black
Davis audio clips seem- artistry “is sort of like a
ing to date back from 1972, ‘cultural DNA.’ They’re my
and the back of Mylo’s ancestors even if I’m not
baby pink shirt. Then, thirty connected by blood. I feel
seconds in, Mylo smiles like Basquiat, I feel like
shyly at the camera before Tupac,” he expressed firmly.
rapping, “walk outside, and I
don’t know what the fuck this shit In regards to negative stereo-
is.” types and the impact they have
standing his own Blackness. on Black art and its respective
The shot cuts to a close-up, filling the His use of experimental, ambient, and communities, he expressed that
frame is filled by his face and a wide, sometimes funky, instrumentals layered “it all comes back to the Black
confident smile. This is what Black under his deep rap vocals — a style body. And how America under-
artistry looks like in 2017. evidenced by his most recent EP, Free stands the values of them.” The

Despite the political bleakness that Radical (2016) — also makes perfect liberation of Black Americans is
has so far accompanied this year, sense alongside his edgy and raw weaved into Mylo’s work
Black art and culture have always photography series, “Nood Book.” because he feels it should be
found ways to creatively reflect the His intentionally imperfect photogra- addressed by all Black artistic
adversities of the time while highlight- phy compliments his hard-hitting bars visionaries.
ing the beauty that exists within the and abstract, atmospheric beats to
struggle. And Mylo, a Cal alumnus convey his intentions of “healing and All too often people are quick to
and rapper now based in the East celebrating identities commonly associate rap and hip-hop with
Bay, is a perfect example of that, silenced.” descriptives like “hood” or
with his artistic vision that brings “ghetto” without realizing the
together hip-hop, jazz, and afro-psy- “A lot of my work is visually based,” divide it creates between Black
chedelic elements in both his sound Mylo explained. “Photography and art and Black humanity. The
and his visuals. visuals is another space where I can stigma associated with rap
explicate my image.” culture can be discouraging to
The intersection of these elements,
Mylo shared in an interview with The And the image Mylo communicates young artists who simply wish to
B-Side, ultimately helps him in under- through his art is indeed radical — but express themselves creatively
through rhythm and poetry.
23


Mylo’s vision attempts to go against these stereotypes, falsely accused by an officer,” Elujay recounted,
as the artist expressed that “foundationally, it’s all explaining his process in writing the song. “The police
about inferiority. And that’s what we’re combatting.” ended up tackling me to the ground, putting me in
“We know what’s going on,” Mylo said. “As Black handcuffs, and calling me a n*gger.”
artists, we see what’s happening, so I feel that if you These instances of police brutality in America are more
don’t call that out and speak about it you’re part of the than just news stories you hear every so often —
problem.” rather, it’s a reality for most Black people in America
today. Elujay’s ability to take a traumatizing experi-
“photgraphy and visuals ence and transform it into a beautifully vivid — even
is another space joyful — song is what makes him an embodiment of
Black artistry in 2017. For Elujay, Black artists are
where I can explicate responsible for shaping the outlook of their communi-
my image” ty, the rapper expressing that many are “misled by the
system, the environment, and the individuals they
And while the problem and process of Black liberation surround themselves with. That’s why it’s important for
Mylo discusses will not be easily solved, his insistence Black artists to have an influence on the youth.”
on freedom and clarity in all forms of artistic expres- “We have a responsibility to our community,” he
sion puts us one SoundCloud link closer to the solu- concluded passionately.
tion. Elujay’s insistence upon creating a positive image for
20-year-old Elujay is another Oakland rapper who’s Black youth, his music’s unabashed joy, and Jentrify’s
working to create honest, soulful music that reflects the overwhelming success — evidenced by his recent
vibrant personality of the Bay. Elujay has been in an appearances in platforms like Noisey and MTV —
on-and-off relationship with music and music produc- show exactly what the Black artist narrative looks like
tion for six years now. He grew up around music and in the Bay. And it’s a perfect rendition of the socially
had always expressed an interest in poetry, so conscious, thoughtful rendition of what Black artistry
rapping seemed like the next natural step. Although looks like in 2017.
currently living in L.A., he spent the majority of his
youth in Oakland — and many of his powerful lyrics “we have a
are based on his own experiences as a young Black responsibility to
man on the East Bay. our community”
“The most important thing people should know about
me is that I want to be a good example for young Self-expression through hip-hop is — and has always
musicians coming out of Oakland,” Elujay remarked in been — a reflection of the times, whether it be Elujay’s
an interview with The B-Side. “I want to give back vibrant, optimistic songs or Mylo’s experimental and
more than I’ve taken.” individualistic work. Elujay and Mylo are both
With a truthful and heartwarming track like “Soul one-of-a-kind artistic visionaries contributing to Black
Food” on his debut release Jentrify late last year, it’s art and its perception in surrounding communities.
clear that Elujay is delivering on his promise of giving This is what Black artistry looks like in 2017. Isn’t it
back to the Oakland community. The song addresses stunning?
the social issues of the current generation head on
without any sugar coating. 24
“‘Soul Food’ was actually written around the time I got


GREATEST EVER?

A Drizzy Drake Retrospective

By Adil Siddiqee
Illustration by John Lawson

Graphics by Jackie Nam

25


In the music video for energize the countryʼs approach in lieu of a

“Forever,” released in middle school dances. high-profile, heavily Thereʼs a weird spot in

2009, a 22-year-old produced record. hip-hopʼs history that

Aubrey Drake Graham Writing him off as takes place somewhere
towers over the camera COMEBACKanother urban-lite
against a massive back- between 2009 and
crooner lost in the wave 2011. Itʼs a time where

drop of pyrotechnics and of the late ʻ00s mess of SEASON Iʼm able to recall more
atrocities than classics,
flashing lights. An air ringtone rap should 2007 when jerk rap was in its

horn blares overhead, have been easy. But

and Drake sings the while the likes of Sean death throes, and Lil

songʼs hook as it moves to Kingston and Hurricane Stars with widespread Wayne released his

the instrumental, his gaze Chris all drowned in their appeal like Lil Wayne, worst albums, ever.

cast downward. The indistinct impermanence, Bun B, Kanye West and

young newcomerʼs face Drake refused to do the Just Blaze legitimized the It was also when Young

dissolves thrice, briefly, to same. Instead, he fronted mixtape as a project. Money signed Drake.

introduce his guests: “Forever” — one of the Beatmakers from Diplo to

Kanye West, silhouetted most stacked posse cuts of DJ Screw drew curiosity THANK
alongside pillars of fire, all time — making it clear from fans outside of
sparks raining from the that he was to be taken traditional hip-hop. The ME LATER
2010
ceiling; Lil Wayne, seriously. And what better EP reissue was the last

surrounded by women, way to establish yourself time a Drake album

diamonds lining his teeth; than have the three gods would fail to peak at #1

Eminem, flanked by his of modern rap music hand on Billboard 200.

crew, eyes merciless and the torch over to you Drake must have known

cold. themselves? At 12 years old, I had how Thank Me Later

nothing but disdain for (2010) would turn out,

As the chorus ROOM FOR So Far Gone. I seethed because no one would
fades out, Drake
at the fact that this have thanked him right

glances downward *Canadian* had there and then. Of all
ripped off 808ʼs and the things that made So
IMPROVEMENTat the three Far Gone decent, Drake
2009
biggest rappers of Heartbreaks and that

his generation, the undis- every girl on Myspace decided that stuffing it

puted kings of the last “Forever” and “Best I had “Best I Ever Had” on with big names was the

decade, and scowls. Ever Had” drew interna- autoplay. In retrospect, move to make on his

tional attention to the itʼs a good debut mixtape debut album.

“Last name Ever, first mixtape Drake released — some call it one of the

name Greatest.” in February of 2009: the best. Drake, the newest It didnʼt work.

career-launching So Far kid on the block, already

“Forever” followed that Gone. Although the sounded like a veteran. Iʼm not sure what

summerʼs “Best I Ever project was his third, Juggling confidence and Birdman whispered in

Had,” which introduced following mixtapes Room vulnerability, his persona Drakeʼs ear at the

the Canadian artist to the for Improvement (2006) was atypical, and one of YMCMB headquarters,

public as suburbiaʼs latest and Comeback Season the first to embrace but it must have really

contemporary R&B icon: (2007), it was the first to emotionally-charged screwed the guy up. For

a new one-hit wonder to abandon an independent hip-hop. whatever reason, 2010

26


Drake decided to rap opus — the frustrated, ten thousand of the Was The Same. His

through his nose instead self-aware “Marvinʼs writers who worked on sound had been

of his mouth. His voice is Room,” which, for many, this record, this Drake is shed of any defining
is still Drakeʼs best work, by far the least personal, qualities; his bold,
so ridiculously nasally
as well as the first to least relatable variant of dynamic persona
throughout the entirety of became rigid and
the album that itʼs more receive widespread the artist heʼs shown yet. uninteresting. Naturally,
thought-provoking than I was ready to dismiss If
the actual content of his critical acclaim. For a In an interview with MTV Youʼre Reading This Itʼs
lyrics - ghostwritten or Too Late (2015) as soon
otherwise. self-proclaimed rapper to earlier that year, Drake as it dropped.

succeed on a R&B track stated that he wanted “to

like “Marvinʼs Room” was sing the world's triumphs

more or less unheard of in and problems on one

But if Thank Me Later 2011. Drakeʼs artistic record.” Yet, listening to

reinvention from one this IF YOUʼRE READING
succeeded in one aspect, album to another empha- album,
it was catapulting Drake sized his newfound status one

THIS YOUʼRE TOO LATEto the highest rung of the as a hip-hop juggernaut, would
2015
pop-rap ladder. The view all while showcasing suppose

must have be great from improvements in his the warped, solipsistic

there, because Drake overall sound. world Drake lives in But I couldnʼt. Drake

probably saw the albumʼs doesnʼt share the triumphs may have ripped

colossal banalities and Take Care sounds like a and problems of our own. Migosʼ flow, he may
deeply private retrospec- have hopped on the
dropped them entirely. tive, but succeeds The myriad ostensible trap train for profit, but

TAKE CARE in encapsulating issues on this album are I listened to the mixtape
the 21st century privileged and mundane; for weeks. Although his
Western tempera- Drake simply cannot find braggadocio remains

2011 ment through an a woman to love/- standard fare, it fit here

abundance of accessible fuck/trust, all while being in ways that didnʼt on

Take Care (2011) was a themes: heartbreak, cursed with millions of prior releases. And

hard departure from the selfishness, loneliness. dollars. Have a problem Drake may have the

electronically driven, with it? Kill yourself, bro — least struggle creden-

commercial pop style It became a millennial Drake “Started From The tials out of any rapper,

heard in previous albums. doctrine. Bottom” to get here. “The but he sells it here with

The production Bottom” being a teenage a conviction unlike ever

remained extensive sitcom star, I guess. I before.
recall when I first
NOTHING WASand expensive, but
40 and his collabo- listened to Nothing Aside from delivering
rators swapped the THE SAME Was The Same, quality music, If Youʼre

high-energy sound 2013 unnerved by how Reading This Itʼs Too
for a darker, low tempo artificial this Drake Late accomplished

atmosphere. Thereʼs more sounded compared to the another purpose: it

R&B than pop, and the 2013ʼs Nothing Was The barefaced Take Care recalled the idea that

rap is delivered through Same Drake, however, Drake. The thought Drake was a capable,

the mouth rather than the wouldʼve drowned in a entered my head that he varied artist. The transi-
bathtub, because his was never the best actor. tion from Thank Me
nasal cavity.
supposedly deep content Later to Take Care was

The tracks are better and in the album is so, so I stopped taking Drake crucial evidence of his
ability to expand
include Drakeʼs magnum shallow. Disregarding all seriously after Nothing

27


beyond a previous VIEWS MORE because people will still
albumʼs buy it. None of More
Life exudes greatness,
sound. So, after Nothing 2016 and is far and away
Was The Same presented

a puffed-chest, lazier from what the greatest

rendition of Take Care, And then Views (2016) LIFE he proclaimed himself
Drake adapted. Reminis- came out. as in 2009 should

cent of the ambitious, yet 2017 sound like.
candid young man from If the previous albumʼs

2009, this albumʼs Drake energy were to be When I listen to More

is a formidable, snarling, weighed against that of The title is apt; More Life Life, I think back to

at times wounded rendi- lackluster Views, it would is filled with more life — Drake in the “Forever”

tion of the artist. be crushed under the producers, writers, music video. A rookie,

weight of its monotony. features — than any standing amidst

If only heʼd kept it up. Keeping his R&B elements former Drake project. Lost legends, with a hunger

and trading hip-hop for in a sea of randomly and staunch determina-

I mean, for a while, he dancehall, Drake assorted atmospheres and tion to rise above them.

did. Feuding with rapper released his most bland instrumentals, the other He wasnʼt the greatest

Meek Mill (known better and uninspired work to elements of Drakeʼs music rapper, he wasnʼt the

as Nicki Minajʼs ex-boy- date. faltered. The attempts to greatest singer, but he

friend), Drake dropped resuscitate his trap sound sounded convincing —

diss track “Back to Back.” On Views, Drake took were lazy, and what as if it were only a

And, in a time where rap what made him unique, appeared to be his efforts matter of time before he

beef is about as legit as driven, and visionary — at standard hip-hop were became either.

Taco Bell, the track was a and cast it to the wind. He pointless. His singer-song

sensation, even making loaded up on Jamaican writer tracks are where he When I listen to old

Drake look threatening writers and producers, sounds most at home, but Drake — Drake on Take

for the first time. It sound- adopted an accent he they were frequently only Care, or on So Far

ed like a reawakening — didnʼt grow up with, and mediocre — nothing less, Gone — I wonder if that

as if the self-proclaimed released twenty of essen- nothing more. Drake is still somewhere

greatest was finally tially the same song. He in the back of this

winding up to entrench sounds foreign, and not A playlist meant to encap- Drakeʼs head, if he

himself in history. just in the accent, but in sulate a career should remembers the selfish

every aspect of the music. sound fluid and consistent brilliance of “Marvinʼs

But the universe had a despite crossing a range Room” — if he still

different plan, and Drake The growth through his of styles. Instead, More remembers his mastery

released “Hotline Bling.” discography — the devel- Life is a disoriented over both rap music and

In essence, he returned to opment of his character — collection of songs that R&B.

the late-night bitterness of was gone, vaguely suggests Drake

“Marvinʼs Room,” but replaced by a hollow, without ever sounding When I listen to Drake

opted to sing it over the careless imitation of what distinct. It sounds like a now, I wonder if he still

Wii Shop menu screenʼs he once defined himself Drake who, after achiev- has any desire to be the

soundtrack. The ball had as. ing a spot at the top, lost greatest ever — because

been dropped, deflated, the drive to impress and he couldʼve been.

and cast aside. Of course, it couldnʼt get stand out. It sounds like a

worse than Views. But the Drake content with releas- I wonder if he still can.

next year brought More ing a middling array of

Life (2017). whatever he wants,

28


SXSW

Photos by Ally Mason

an inside look at SXSW:
a collection of derps

SSXXSSWW

29


30


31


32


By Mateo Savala

California Lil B Electric Relaxation A Tribe Called Quest

Super Hyphy Keak Da Sneak California Nights Best coast

California Blink 192 101 Albert Hammond Jr.

Eraser No Age California Delta Spirit

Los Angeles X L.A. Elliot Smith

California Love 2Pac ft Dr. Dre Telegraph Ave Gambino

Hotel California The Eagles

Going to CaliforniaCalifornia Joni Mitchell
Champagne Coast Blood Orange

33


Editorial Marketing the b-side

Eda Yu Myra Farooqi Design
Editor-in-chief Marketing Lead
Farida Radwan
Meaghan Allen Debbie Zheng Design Lead
Managing Editor Social Media Lead Camilia Kacimi
Jackie Nam
Emilie Dylewski Mariah Ao Divya Saraf
Copy Editor Elsie Fisher
Jessica Haro Web
Editors Conner Tapley
Vivian Chen Arthur Issagholian Kurush Dubash
Jacob Elsanadi Kenny Zhang Web Lead
Leka Gopal Gaby Fooks Jackie Nam
Logan Hansen
Matthew Sater Photo 34

Writers Fiona Duerr
Jordan Aronson Photography Lead
Yaseen El Azzouni
Abby Blaine Noah Bogner
Delaney Gomen Michelle Cho
George Green Desiree Diaz
Brian Grossman Kavitha George
Edrees Fazel Rebekah Gonzalez
Veronica Irwin Sam Jameson
John Lawson Ally Mason
Shelby Mayes Jessica Morgan
Dylan Medlock Annie Nguyen
Brendan Redmond Mateo Savala
Adil Siddiqee
Natalie Silver

Communications

Arnav Chaturvedi
Director of Communications

Sofia Duarte
Director of Communications

Rosie Davidowitz
Gaby Fooks
Annique Mitchell


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