By Andrew Lambert

“Runaway” – Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

Now when I say “Runaway”, I do not mean the song, which is what some consider to be Kanye’s Stairway. I am referring to the 34:32 full length film he put together for the 2010 album as a whole. If you have a half hour or so to spare, I highly suggest watching the film. Personally, it is my favorite piece of film in the music industry. Kanye’s storytelling, riveting imagery, creation of a fictional goddess, and the stunning visuals throughout the film make this an absolute masterpiece.

“Free the Robots” – Capital STEEZ – Amerikkkan Korruption (2012)

First things first, may STEEZ rest in peace! The lyrical genius that STEEZ was pioneered Pro Era into what it is today, and helped raise our very own Joey Bada$$. Joey fans know what STEEZ meant to Joey, but very few actually listen to his music. Not only is “Free the Robots” one of the most lyrically and politically electric songs out there, the music video is just as genius. STEEZ pushes boundaries with his multitude of visuals and his unbelievable instrumental. I suggest taking the time to dedicate a few minutes to the legend himself, Capital STEEZ.

“Chasing Faith/ Rain Dance/Allusions” – The Underachievers – Evermore: The Art of Duality (2015)

The Underachievers are one of the most unique rap duos in the game right now, and although they haven’t obtained commercial success yet, they are well on their way. They take the term “art” to a whole different level on every track, and “Allusion” is no exception. They take three of their best songs from their 2015 project and make almost a movie out of it. Inspired by 1998 film starring Johnny Depp, “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas”, the rap duo’s trippy visuals make for a wild ride.

“Senorita” – Vince Staples – Summertime ‘06 (2015)

Vince Staples has been applauded on many occasions with his music videos. His black and white effect seems to be a theme throughout most of his videos, which many believe is an illustration of how color shouldn’t matter in society. Of his many unique videos, “Senorita” is a striking one, progressively sending a multitude of subliminal messages throughout the video. The ending will leave chills down your spine, just a warning.

“Money Man / Put That On My Set” – A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1: Friends (2016)

The Mob has made a name for themselves with crazy music videos, with “Yamborghini High” being the most popular one with it’s colorful and innovative effects. A$AP Rocky in particular has dabbled in film, so his acting skills were right up to par with the professionals in his short film that he made with the rest of the Mob. Only about 12 minutes, it tells a mini story that takes place in London, dealing with drugs. Like Vince Staples, Rocky uses black and white filters over the shots, with color sneaking in here and there. Although this film is entertaining and accompanies the music very well, it is also a very honest depiction of what drugs can do to a community as well as the modern grip that substances have over our cities.

“Hive” – Earl Sweatshirt ft. Vince Staples – Doris (2015)

Earl’s dirty style and lazy flow are a staple in today’s rap game. His unique style of sampling that he uses when he produces under the pseudonym “randomblackdude”, has become almost addicting. Of the many songs he has with Vince, “Hive” is by far the biggest. Stepping away from his usual wild visuals, such as “Off Top”, the music video is dark, just as it should be. It depicts Earl in a dark, dirty living room in a hoodie with a group of people dressed in that same skater bum look, but with demon masks on and odd costumes. The video features a number of subtle effects, such as the wallpaper slowly moving behind Earl, and almost gets under your skin, but is an impressive and honest visual for a brutally honest song.

“L$D” – A$AP Rocky – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. (2015)

Rocky’s beautiful ballad dedicated to the psychedelic drug is barely even a rap song, but nonetheless he keeps it gangster somehow so beautifully. The video is exactly what you’d expect it to be; trippy as all hell. In my opinion, it is the most accurate depiction of what it is like to be on the drug out of any music video I have seen. Allow yourself to get lost in the stunning visuals in A$AP Rocky’s music video, and if you like that, check out “Jukebox Joints”!

“Fight the Feeling” – Mac Miller ft. Kendrick Lamar Macadelic (2012)

When Macadelic first dropped, Mac fan’s were not pleased, for they were used to the fun teenage Mac. As time has gone by, however, fans have come to appreciate the more real Mac Miller, his true feelings, and have recognized Macadelic as a masterpiece. While not an official video, the “Onwards” cartoon by James Jarvis with Nike has been associated with the song. THe film was originally silent, but someone dubbed the song over it, and that is what most people think of. The video is a cartoon, but the animations are executed extremely well, using outlandish landscapes for the character, as well as a subtle, yet magical moment when Mac Miller hands the microphone off to Kendrick, but I’ll let you guys experience that for yourselves.

“Birds in the Trap” – Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016)

Travis Scott has proven he has a bunch of wild visuals and trippy scenes up his sleeve, but the short film he created for his stellar album is a different view of Travis’ artistic abilities. The film opens up with Travis arguing with his girl, riding through Houston, and going through a typical day in H-Town. I won’t go into too much detail on the twist in the film, but it involved, life, death, and Travis’ Number One album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. Go and experience tha chaos that is Travis Scott and watch his 14 minute film.

 

Honorable Mentions

“Mirror” – Samiyam – Animals Have Feelings (2016)

“Sensual Seduction” – Snoop Dogg – Ego Trippin’ (2008)

Mamacita” – Travis Scott – Days Before Rodeo (2014)

“Diamonds From Sierra Leone” – Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)

“The Story of O.J.” – JAY Z – 4:44 (2017)

“Alright” – Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (2015)

“Wide Angle” – Felly Wild Strawberries (2017)

“Something Foreign” – SiR ft. ScHoolboy Q – November (2018)

“Who Dat Boy” – Tyler, the Creator ft. A$AP Rocky – Flower Boy (2017)

“Goosebumps” – Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016)

Playlist By: Lauren Walker

Past meets present with this collection of songs. The music on the playlist ranges from Cool and the Gang and The Bee Gees to individual musical masterminds such as Kanye West and Frank Ocean. The entire playlist carries a certain je ne sais quoi that skillfully intertwines different sounds and makes a for 9 hours and 50 minutes of bold and beautiful sounds. The favorites of the group? Biking by Frank Ocean and Waves by Kanye ft. Chris Brown. Enjoy!

R&B Bangs

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 5.16.35 PM

 

By: Justin Noah

Music is a magical escape.  Music is the GPS for your mind and soul and it will take you to places you’ve never been.  It helps me get away from whatever stress I currently want to flush out of my head.  If you’ve ever felt like this and need a playlist to clear your head and spark good vibes, I have the playlist for you!

Lucid Break will make you clear your mind and only think about the present.  You won’t think about the four exams next week when you hear the beautifully crisp voice of Chelsea Cutler on tracks like “The Shine” and “Your Shirt”.  You will get lost in the moment with the calming beats by ayokay and complementary soft vocals of Quinn XCII on “Kings of Summer”.  Finish off your Lucid Break with the chilling saxophone and beat combination present in “Jubel” by Klingande.

 

By Andrew Lambert

Music is a form of expression, and has inevitably transformed into a platform for many artists to send a message or vent to listeners. Although dark emotion and raw emotion are present at the core of my work, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I love “feel good music.” Below are some songs that take you to a happy place, and are fueled with positive energy.

“Jessica” – The Allman Brothers Band – Brothers and Sisters (1973)

Soul. That is the only word to describe not only this song, but the Allman Brothers. The boys from Georgia who lived together on a ranch lived, and some died, by the idea of positivity. “Jessica” provides a joyful clean guitar solo from the legendary Dickey Betts, followed by an upbeat piano number. The song does nothing but put good vibes in your head, and is so instrumentally good, most listeners don’t even realize there aren’t any lyrics until their second or third time listening. The Allman Brothers didn’t even need words to paint a beautiful picture.

“1979” – Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

It’s no secret that the 90’s gave us some of the most influential artists of all time, and the Smashing Pumpkins are no exception. Directly in the limelight of the grunge scene, the group released arguably their biggest hit, which oddly wasn’t grunge at all. Fusing the 90’s rock style with a steady groove and pop/electronic percussion. The song is a free spirited poem about reminiscing on better times. “We don’t even care!”

“Let It Happen” – Tame Impala – Currents (2015)

Tame Impala blessed the world with “Currents” back in 2015 and this song is the opener to an incredible album. Allow yourself to get lost in the upbeat rhythm and sensational synths and instrumentalism that Tame Impala delivers on this track. It is the perfect song for letting go, relaxing, and getting lost in a positive state, as well as a perfect introduction for a legendary piece of work.

“SUMMER” – BROCKHAMPTON – Saturation II (2017)

BROCKHAMPTON stormed into the mainstream hip hop scene in 2017 with their “Saturation” trilogy. They have a plethora of songs constantly streamed on young people’s phones everywhere, but “SUMMER” lies in their lesser known songs category. As the title states, it’s a sensual jam about summer loving. The slow moving song is accompanied by smooth vocals that end in a euphoric guitar solo. Listening to this song will remind you of that special someone.

“Changed” – Rich Homie Quan – Rich As In Spirit (2018)

Rich Homie Quan is often shadowed by the various other monstrous stars in the Atlanta rap scene, but he is here to stay. His slick deliverance and smooth, yet raspy, voice accompanies a unique selection of trap beats. On this track, Quan illustrates the life he is currently living, flexing his financial and commercial success, as well as implementing the fact that he hasn’t changed and he is the same down to earth guy. Overall, it has a smooth and sunny vibe, and motivates listeners to be successful!

“Just Like Heaven” – The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)

The Cure was an interesting group. They came around in the late 1980’s and were pioneers in the gothic scene. Despite their dark appearance, the majority of their songs were bright and simplistic. Using simple, clean, spacey, yet effective guitar melodies and a bright keyboard synth, they were able to compose smash hits like “Friday I’m in Love”. Two years before that song was released, however, they released their 1987 album with “Just Like Heaven”. Lyrically, it tells us about how a man feels about his significant other, evidently comparing her to heaven. Let this poppy jam brighten your day.

“Time To Pretend” – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (2007)

MGMT’s sarcastic anthem may not have been intended to be such an enormous hit, but nonetheless it was, and over a decade later, it is still the anthem for many of us. Allow the unique style of rock and EDM fusion to allow you to transition into anything in the world you’d like to run to, or be a muse to escape the reality of life.

“Senior Skip Day” – Mac Miller – K.I.D.S. (2010)

How can I write about positive music and not mention the king of good vibes… old school Mac Miller! Anybody who listened to rap music in 2010 was more than aware of “K.I.D.S.”. Mac’s young and free lyrics about hanging out, smoking weed, and enjoying life. The entire mixtape from the mad mouthed rapper is one fluent good vibe, but this track in particular’s entire mission is to illustrate a young Mac Miller skipping school and having his own personal Ferris Bueller experience. Remember kids, enjoy the best things in your life, ‘cause you won’t ever get to live ‘em twice.

“Horchata (Waves)” – Felly – This Shit Comes in Waves (2015)

Felly has carved out a unique niche for himself in the rap game, and although he is still on the come-up, he has one of the most devoted fan bases out there. His signature beachy vibe and use of reggae samples make for peaceful jams. His debut studio album “Wild Strawberries” is one big positive vibe, and I very easily could have chose one of those songs, but I thought I’d shed light on some of Felly’s lesser known work throwing it back to his 2015 track “Horchata”. The spanish-esque vibe with the use of horns and the sample of the tide rolling in are mesmerizing, and make for a beautiful, LA inspired, jam.

“Sunday Morning” – Maroon 5 – Songs About Jane (2002)

I think it goes without saying that Maroon 5’s sound has drastically changed over the years, but some fans still remember their first album and it’s raw sound. “Sunday Morning” is the perfect song for, well, a sunday morning. It’s “all you need” if you catch my drift. The groove and chemistry with the band and the young, yet still amazing, voice of Adam Levine makes for undeniably my personal favorite song by the group. Written in C Major, which is a key known for the versatility in artists’ ability to write, they execute the idea of loving life. Writers can make the C Major key sound either evil and haunted, or sunny and peaceful, and Maroon 5’s hit lies on the happy side of that spectrum.

“Dat Ass” – Earl Sweatshirt – Kitchen Cutlery (2008)

Before Earl Sweatshirt became recognized for his abstract and dark production methods and his boundary pushing lyricism, the rapper was just a young kid rapping around the suburbs of California. When he dropped his “Kitchen Cutlery” mixtape in 2008, he was only 15 years old. “Dat Ass” is a up-tempo song with a juvenile sampling with a young Earl smoothly rapping a verse about frolicking around causing a ruckus.

“Island in the Sun” – Weezer – The Green Album (2001)

Weezer has been around for a very long time with a diverse array of moods, but sticking true to their simple yet creative chord progressions. This track’s vibe is exactly what the title states, an island in the sun. The group takes listeners away with their fun song about being with that special someone in paradise.

Here is the full playlist below!

Twelve Songs To Brighten Your Mood

(photo by Justin Noah) 

What’s up Shore Life, I’m Nick Roy.

Two first names I know.

I wanted to write this little intro blog for my acceptance to Shore Life. I go to school and play football for Tufts University up in Boston. Music is one of the more important things in my life as I am surrounded by it all time whether it be in the locker room, the weight room, or in my earphones while I’m studying. I made this playlist for y’all because music can become a sanctuary. Listening to music in the car or with earphones is a totally different experience compared to deafening silence as many of you could attest to. I spend countless hours driving to school or to friends and when I throw on some good music I feel at peace. So, welcome to my blog, and feel free to always shoot me new music or whatever. Shout to Tre for helping me put many of my thoughts into words. More to come.

Here is the music that puts me in my own sanctuary, my dojo, of sorts.