HU students participate in alumna’s producer battle

Stephanie Smith | Contributing Writer

Hampton University alumna and founder of I Beat Daily, Raychel J., arranged a producer battle in HU’s student center cyber lounge. The event took place on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. and was ongoing until midnight.

Producers from all around Virginia registered and submitted beats for Raychel’s I Beat Daily event to expose their music and network with other music-enthusiasts, producers, songwriters, judges and more.

Before the producer battle, there was a songwriter showcase in which three HU students were a part of. 4AM Chef Jimmy, Franky Bandz and Zay Blaze all got the opportunity to present their music and allowed the judges to critique their work.

Each judge had credentials: Andrew Hypes, producer for the three-time Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Lecrae; Batman, Def Jam Records Marketing/promotions representative; and HighDefRazjah, who has placements with ASAP Ferg and Rae Sremmurd.

All three judges were straightforward with producers and shared their tips on how important professionalism is to the music industry. “Everyone did their thing tonight, like I haven’t heard anything bad all night,” Andrew Hypes announced.

A total of 20 beat-makers were picked to compete, and some of those chosen were also HU students. The winner, Chesapeake’s Andre Palace, received $300 in cash along with an Atlantic Records A&R meeting, a slot on I Beat Daily’s mixtape and a chance to visit New York during Grammy week in 2018.

All participants are encouraged to compete again. “This is like my 10th or 11th beat battle, and I’ve been making beats for about 12 years now.” Andre Palace said. Palace also plans to participate in the next I Beat Daily battle in Virginia, which will be hosted in the cyber lounge again.

Some HU students who were in attendance of I Beat Daily’s official VA producer battle appreciated Raychel for bringing more excitement to Hampton Roads. “I Beat Daily’s event was fun. I came to show support for my friend, 3rd, competing. I loved how producers and songwriters connected tonight,” said junior Amal Ahmed.

I Beat Daily founder Raychel J. inspires many as her beat competitions began while she was a junior at Hampton University. The Atlanta native has always been passionate about music. “I grew up in the band. I started when I was in sixth grade.” Raychel said. In addition, she played the trumpet and was a part of HU’s Marching Force and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority.

Raychel explained why she started a business revolving around producers: “I believe the producers work harder than the artists because finding those sounds, knowing where to place them and knowing how to manipulate them into something amazing takes a lot.”

Aside from the musicality of her college career, Raychel was an ambitious student who studied business management and marketing. While attending HU, Raychel received a few music label-related internships, including one with Interscope Records.

“I interned for Interscope when I was a junior. One of my big sorors told me they were starting up a college market promotion team and told me to send my resume,” Raychel said.

I Beat Daily was launched to show more appreciation toward music. “The artists, talents and singers are always glorified, but you wouldn’t have a song without the producer,” Raychel said. She also specified what she looks for in beat submissions. “I listen for producers’ sound selection and mixing as well,” she added.

VA’s Official Producer Battle and showcase was celebrated in memory of Interscope field marketing representative Cholo.

“Cholo organized all the meet-and-greets in Virginia with Interscope artists, radio interviews and much more.” Raychel said. Cholo was the reason why Raychel met many big-time artists when they were up and coming, such as Kendrick Lamar.

Although the battles branched in Virginia, Raychel still organizes I Beat Daily battles in North Carolina and Georgia for all local music enthusiasts, artists, songwriters and producers to show out.

Raychel operates all pages and replies to many users, especially those who are producers or aspiring interns. If interested in participating in or attending the next producer battle, you can follow I Beat Daily on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates @ibeatdaily.


Global Awareness Day: Encouragement of study abroad programs

Amber Smith | Staff Writer IMG_6215


Captivating cultures were discussed at Hampton University’s Global Awareness Day. The School of Liberal Arts and Education and the Department of English and Foreign Languages came together to enlighten students about the privileges of studying abroad. Harvey Library Meeting Room was filled with students from all backgrounds and majors to learn more about this process.

“Going to Spain is a wonderful experience. You will be working, experiencing new opportunities and earning money,” said Brenda Marrero.

Study abroad programs are open to students from any major, and fluency in a certain foreign language is not required. The faculty and staff from the study abroad programs and the foreign language department are there to support students who desire to travel abroad.

If students want to study abroad, they are well prepared to make the transition to another country comfortable. The faculty and staff want students to be able to be competitive and have confidence while they are traveling in another country.

“Being aware of other cultures and picking up a second language is very helpful in the professional world,” said junior Olivia Staples.

Global Awareness Day not only encouraged students to expand their learning by studying abroad, but also urged students to get involved by using their skills to give back to the community. One way students can do this is through programs like the Spanish Latino Initiative.

The Spanish Latino Initiative was created in 2015 and is designed to serve the community with professional development, education and training. Latino youth are less likely to be enrolled in school, and this program aims to help improve that by aiding with English courses.

“There is nothing better than being able to say [that] I, as a student, helped another student,” said Victoria Cartagena, HU Hispanic and Latino Initiative participant.

While traveling to another country may seem frightening or uncomfortable for some, the study abroad programs ensure that students will be safe and secure in their designated countries.

Students who travel abroad will have the opportunity to make long-lasting relationships, network, learn and gain real-world experience beyond the classroom. The connections and memories made abroad will stay with students forever.

Hampton University moving to the Big South Conference

Justin Whitner | Staff Writer


Courtesy of the HU Office of University Relations

After more than two decades in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Hampton University will make the switch to the Big South Conference.

Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle Kallander and Hampton University Athletic Director Eugene Marshall made the announcement Nov. 16 in the Student Center Theater.

Kallander said that the vote to put Hampton Football in the Big South was a “unanimous decision.” The Big South sponsors 16 of the 17 sports in which Hampton University participates. This means that all sports — excluding the lacrosse team, which is independent — will make the change to the Big South. Hampton has been in the MEAC since 1995.

Marshall said there is the possibility that the Pirates won’t begin to play football in the Big South until the 2019 season. This means rivalries against schools such as Howard University and Norfolk State would continue for the next season, as well as games against other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Many questions have arisen since the announcement. What will happen for the seasons beginning in 2019? Will Hampton football play strictly HBCUs in nonconference games?

Playing in a bigger conference will give Hampton athletics a chance to not just prove themselves, but also the athletic worth of all HBCUs.

According to ESPN’s The Undefeated, Hampton is the second HBCU at the Division I level not competing in a historically black league, the other one being Tennessee State.

“Our goal at Hampton is to be the best mid-sized university in the country, and I think that the Big South helps us to obtain that,” Marshall said.

Hampton alum Lysander Bracey thinks the decision to go from MEAC to the Big South will be a great move.

“We’re on a bigger stage now, and the competition gets better as well,” Bracey said. “I’m excited for the upcoming years in the Big South.”

The change to the Big South will likely mean a change in attendance. Will more or less Hampton students attend athletic events to cheer on the Pirates? This positive or negative change can only be determined with time.

Get to your goals: Tips to help you achieve success

Raven Reaves-Jackson | Contributing Writer


Courtesy of Raven Reaves-Jackson

The New Year is approaching, and that calls for New Year’s resolutions. But why wait till Jan. 1, when you can set your own goals now? It’s easy to get distracted or discouraged along the way, but these guidelines should make the process a bit easier.

1.    Only set goals that will motivate you to be better.

When setting goals, it is important that you only set goals that will motivate you. Set goals that are important to you, and once they are achieved, you will feel like a better and new person.

Setting goals that have little significance in your life decreases your chances of following through. Always make sure whatever goal you choose is motivating and always know your “why.”

2.    Remember to set 

relevant goals. 

The goals you set should be relevant and measurable to your life now. They do not just have to be long-term. It’s equally important that your goals relate to your daily life, work and family.

Keeping your goals relevant to those three main things not only keeps you focused, but helps you strive even more.

3.    Make a serious plan and stick to it.

Everyone knows that you can’t have a plan without an idea. So when you get your idea, make a plan. Making a plan guides you to the finish line. Some people become so occupied with the outcome of their goal, that they forget the steps they must take to achieve it. Without planning, your goal crumbles. After you set your goal and plan it out, remember to stick it out.

Remember that all things take time, and good things do not come easy. Whenever you start to give up, try to remember the reason you set that goal in the first place.

With these three simple steps, you can achieve any goal you set.

Has the bar been set too high for college football coaches?

William Ricks | Contributing Writer

Being a head coach for any sport is a tough job, especially in college football. Many coaches are learning that this season, as a number of them are being fired from their college football teams.

A lot of them have led their teams to above-average records and have brought success to their program, but are still being let go.

Now, people have begun asking this question: Has the bar been set too high for college coaches?

Coaches have been fired throughout the season, with most of the firings coming in the recent weeks. Some of these names are big ones, including Texas A&M firing Kevin Sumlin, UCLA letting go of Jim Mora, Arizona State sending Todd Graham home and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen resigning to go to Florida.

As of Nov. 28, a total of 14 college football coaches had either resigned, been fired or mutually parted ways with their team. Out of the 14, seven had a record of .500 or better during their tenure.

In college football, winning at least six games makes a team eligible for a bowl game, and many of these coaches have brought many bowl victories to their schools.

Even though they are bringing back bowl trophies and getting national recognition, they are still being let go, simply because the athletic directors set the bar so high for their programs.

Lots of athletic directors see the amount of success that Alabama’s Nick Saban, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney have with their programs. The three coaches have a combined total of 400-plus wins, 28 bowl wins and nine national championships while coaching at their schools. When athletic directors see this amount of success, they want their programs to achieve the same level.

These prosperous programs have set the standard for other schools, and anything less than that is a failure in the eyes of the fans, boosters and athletic directors.

In this day in sports, coaches are constantly on the hot seat, no matter how long they’ve been with their program. The shelf life of the head coaching job has diminished because the demand for success is so high. With fans and booster clubs having so much impact on their coach’s future, if they are not satisfied with the team’s success, they will push for them to be removed.

Many football programs want immediate success, but fail to realize that building a championship program takes time.

If athletic directors make the head coaching job a revolving door for their schools, will they ever be able to achieve the success of schools like Ohio State, Clemson or Alabama?

It is hard for coaches to turn around a program with the athletic directors, boosters and fans wanting immediate results. Making a championship team in only one season almost never happens. It takes time to build a winning culture. Maybe the new culture of instant success isn’t fair to the coaches who take on these new programs.

The bar is set very high in college football, as it is one of the most popular college sports in America. So, should college football programs re-evaluate how they measure success? Is it fair for university officials to have expectations to be the next Alabama immediately after hiring a coach?

College football is a win-now league, and many universities are adopting this new culture.

SLP connects with the community

Nylah Powell | Staff Writer


Mr. and Mrs. Keys with their children at the community dinner. | Courtesy of Nylah Powell

On Nov. 17, the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program hosted a community Thanksgiving dinner for families in the Hampton area.

They called local churches, shelters, and social services to reach out and see who they could get involved. Members met each family upon entrance and served the families a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Ham, turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, greens and corn bread were some of the dishes served.

SLP started hosting this community dinner a few years ago when one of the co-facilitators, Andrew Williams, came up with the idea.

According to Student Activities director Anzell Harrell, “He started this because he had a big heart. He felt that it was good for Hampton’s SLP to give back to the community and to help other people who are less fortunate.”

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and give thanks for the things we have in the world. Not everyone is as fortunate to have what others do.

At Hampton, these things do not go unnoticed. For this reason, SLP continues to give back to the community.

Senior political science major Whitley Pannell said, “It’s a very rewarding experience to see the smiles on everybody’s faces and to see everyone having a good time.”

There were about five members in the program when it first started, and now it’s growing. Many of the preparations have stayed the same throughout the years and are executed smoothly. However, event coordinators plan to make the project even greater in the future.

“We’re looking to do something a little different with it next year, and that’s maybe carrying it to a shelter where people are a little more comfortable in their element,” said Harrell. “We’re just going to throw some ideas at the students so they can figure out how they would like to do it and how they would like to be a part of it.”

Many of the families attending came from Sixth Mount Zion Baptist church.

“Deacon Colton Ashby was contacted and he told the church about the event,” said member Terry Keys.

Hampton has collaborated with Sixth Mount Zion on many occasion, for many different purposes. One way in which HU helps out the church is Wednesday night tutoring with the children, but it doesn’t stop there.

Pannell reflected, “Quite frankly, it’s nothing to take a little bit of time out of your day to do something … to help somebody else and put a smile on someone’s face.”

While there were some familiar faces at this year’s community dinner, there were new faces as well. “This was our first time at this dinner. The food was awesome! I didn’t know we could bring more people, and I would have brought more with me,” Sixth Mount Zion member Michelle Herman said.

The ultimate goal is to let those who are less fortunate know that they are not alone and get more community members involved over time. SLP plans to spread the word and continue the growth of this program.

Honors College students help local middle schoolers prepare for the PSAT

Leenika Belfield-Martin | Lifestyle Editor


Courtesy of Adrianna Senn Yeun

The Freddye T. Davy Honors College’s service learning class hosted a PSAT workshop for Hampton middle schoolers Nov. 18.  The theme of the workshop was “Work hard, Play Hard,” as the students worked hard at the workshop then played hard at the HU vs. HU game.

Planning for the workshop began in early November. The students collaborated with middle schoolers from two nonprofit organizations called Diamonds and Pearls and Boyz II Men to help them plan the event.

This community service project was part of the UNV 200 service learning class. This class, taught by professor Candacé Jackson, emphasizes the importance of community service. It is a required course for honors college students.

Jackson is a 2006 graduate of Hampton University and began teaching this course two years ago.  She said the importance of the UNV 200 class is to teach college students their important role in the community.

“We are here to serve, and community service is an opportunity to do that.” Jackson said.

Amanda Jones, a second-year, five-year MBA major from Portsmouth, said that the most challenging part about hosting the event was the organization. “There were a few minor hiccups at the beginning, but all in all, it was informative and engaging session with the students,” she said.

The class persevered through technical difficulties during the process of organizing the event. “No matter what, this event was going to happen,” Jackson said. “Students were determined to help, and they filled gaps when necessary.”

The principal of C. Alton Lindsay Middle School, Cheverse Thomas, was gracious that the Honors students held the event for her middle schoolers. She said that this was the first time a college reached out to her school.

“Exposure is everything for these children. Some of them aren’t close with any college students or college graduates.” Thomas said.

The workshop began at 9:30 a.m. with an ice breaker for the middle schoolers.  Afterward, the children were given a light breakfast and split up into two groups. One group began with the PSAT section while the other group created vision boards.

Topics that the students learned during their PSAT session were common PSAT vocabulary words, test-taking strategies and resources that the middle schoolers can use to help them study for the PSAT. The college students also gave them advice about applying to colleges.

The middle schoolers got creatively ambitious and created vision boards. Some of the students dreamt of becoming professional athletes, cruise directors and the second African-American president. The honors college students and the middle schoolers had intense conversations about sports, school and music.

“What surprised me most about [the middle schoolers] was how informed they were about current events, and how they were able to thoroughly express their concerns and opinions about school and society,” said Jones.

After the event, the middle schoolers were able to watch the Hampton Pirates defeat the Howard Bison in the Battle of the Real HU.

Alexis Dillingham, who is a sixth-grader at Dozier Middle School, said that even though she isn’t sure what she wants to be when she grows up, the event got her pumped up for college.

“I really liked the icebreaker, and it was fun to meet other middle schoolers,” Dillingham said.

Both Jackson and Thomas would like the partnership between the college students and the middle schoolers to continue. One event that Jackson would like the future UNV 200 class to host is a day where they get people from the community to come to Hampton’s campus and learn the history about the university.

Best beauty collaborations with women of color

Brandi Hutchinson | Contributing Writer


Courtesy of Leenika Belfield-Martin

Shopping for makeup can one be of the most challenging experiences for women of color. For a while, shopping for makeup was a huge disappointment. Women of color often left the stores empty-handed, as it was such a struggle to find a store with the right shade. This is all simply due to the lack of a variety of shades for all skin tones.

Many of the top drugstore brands have begun providing a wider range of products, including shades to complement darker skin tones. On top of that, some of the most prominent women of color in pop culture are beginning to collaborate with brands in the beauty industry.

It is often said that any celebrity who loves makeup wants to be affiliated with the MAC makeup brand. MAC is the world’s leading professional makeup authority because of its expertise experience in artistry, individuality, community, trendsetting and social responsibility.

The company is also known for its outrageous collaborations with celebrities. Rihanna was the only celebrity to release three back-to-back seasonal collections: Summer, Fall and Holiday. Her famous shade “RiRi Woo” sold out within three hours of the first launch.

To help celebrate the release of her album, Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj personally designed a limited-edition lipstick and named it directly after her album. Empire’s “Cookie,” Taraji P. Henson, collaborated with MAC for her Viva Glam line of nude lip colors.

Makeup lovers and Aaliyah fans alike should be on the lookout for MAC’s next move. The beauty brand recently announced the summer 2018 release of the Aaliyah collection.

CoverGirl is an American brand founded in Baltimore. Originally, the company only started out with two products: foundation and press powder. They advertised their makeup by allowing “cover girls” to sell their products.

In 2006, Queen Latifah joined the CoverGirl team and ultimately made a huge impact in the black community. Her hands-on collaboration was inspired by the fact that she wanted to create a collection specifically for women of color.

Shortly after she became a brand ambassador, she realized the company had a lot of makeup formulas in stores that didn’t flatter brown skin. Lasting for over a decade, Queen Latifah managed to create a line called the Queen Collection, containing 12 different shades. To this day, the collection remains one of the most popular lines of makeup for women of color.

Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (LVMH) is a luxury goods company. Its business activities are divided into five business groups: Wines and Spirits, Fashion and Leather Goods, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Watches and Jewelry and Selective Retailing. It was listed as No. 75 on Forbes’ list of Innovative Companies.

Recently, Rihanna landed a deal to create her makeup brand, Fenty Beauty. She released her beauty line on Sept. 8. Rihanna created her own makeup range for all shades of skin. Fenty Beauty includes 91 different products and is sold at 1,600 stores in 17 countries.

Her line offers diversity in lightweight products for all skin types and tones. There are 40 foundation shades and 30 Match Sticks that allow consumers to contour, conceal and create shimmer. All Fenty Beauty products are exclusively sold at Sephora.

She’s Gotta Have It generates success with viewers

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer


Courtesy of Ayanna Maxwell

Netflix has does it again.

The streaming service has released several shows that are centered around an African-American cast, including Dear White People, Chewing Gum and now She’s Gotta Have It.

She’s Gotta Have It is a reboot of Spike Lee’s 1986 film.

Spike Lee is responsible for several hit films, including Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, Crooklyn and School Daze.

The new show has already generated some controversy, but it has also attracted new fans.

Although the show is based on the movie, the new series provides a refreshing look at how females define themselves in relationships in 2017.

The show is set in New York and centers on an artist named Nola Darling.

Nola is an independent spirit who does not let anyone put a label on her when it comes to her sexuality or her relationships.

The audience can see the firsthand experiences of her struggles in dealing with her identity as an African-American woman.

Throughout the series, Nola struggles with choosing what type of person she wants to be with, so she ultimately dates more than one man.

She has three love interests throughout the 10 episodes, and they all have completely different personalities: the goofy yet lovable Mars Blackmon, the well-established investor yet still married Jamie Overstreet and the handsome yet self-absorbed model Greer Childs.

At some point in time, each man wants to establish an official relationship with Nola.

However, Nola will not allow anything to further develop in her love life unless it is on her terms.

In one episode, Nola says, “If they want to deal with me, it has to be on my terms, or it ain’t gonna happen.”

Although some critics have stated that Nola’s character is promiscuous and immature, she is anything but that.

She is firm in her beliefs and will not let any man change her values. Everyone is different, so she does not represent every female, but she does provide a different take on the dating experience for women that viewers do not usually see.

Besides the intriguing storyline and over-the-top characters, the show deals with real-life issues that women and men both deal with.

Some of the storylines focus on topics like harassment, gentrification and sexism.

Nicole Peterson, a freshman biology major, said, “The show provides a different look for how women handle themselves in relationships. I like the material and hope it has another season.”

She’s Gotta Have It stands out from the rest because it provides something that many other shows do not.

It portrays a woman of color who is finding herself through trials and tribulations, all while knowing her worth.

DeWanda Wise, who plays Darling, said, “There was so much in Nola that I saw in my friends, in myself, in where I was in my early 20s. There was just such a rich and vast life there.”

After a four-game skid, are the Chiefs in trouble?

Harrington Gardiner | Contributing Writer

KC Chiefs 4.jpg

Early in the season, the Kansas City Chiefs were considered by many to be a potential Super Bowl favorite and a threat to the always dominant New England Patriots in the AFC.

The superior play of Alex Smith at quarterback as well as the emergence of rookie running back Kareem Hunt caused many to believe that this team has what it takes to be a Super Bowl contender.

Lately, though, they’ve been inconsistent and have taken losses in their past games.

In the first five weeks, they looked to be the NFL’s hottest team, but now they are 6-6 and in a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders atop the AFC West.

What happened with the Chiefs, and can they rebound to save their season?

With the talent on their roster, it’s definitely possible.

Kansas City started off with a 5-0 record and was the last remaining undefeated team in the league. Early in the season, the Chiefs suffered a huge loss, losing pro bowl safety Eric Berry to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Even with this loss, other Pro Bowl-caliber players on the roster have made an impact, including tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Tyreek Hill.

The two men have been making plays all year.

However, the struggles for this team are a serious concern, especially since the Chiefs are competing for a playoff spot.

The inconsistencies on offense have resulted in failure to put enough points on the board. This has led them to question of whether or not Alex Smith should be benched for rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

While it’s unlikely that Smith will be benched this late in the season, it’s important for the Chiefs to figure out the solutions to their problems.

Otherwise, things could get even uglier in the final weeks of the season.

Kansas City’s offense this season has been dangerous at times. Unfortunately for them, their issues lie on the opposite side of the ball.

The defense, which looked legit the first few games of the season, currently sits in the bottom half of the league.

Having a subpar defense this late in the season heading toward postseason play is a huge red flag.

The Chiefs may no longer be a Super Bowl contending team, but it’s not too late for them to save their season.

They can still rebound from their inconsistencies with the remaining games that they have on their schedule.

Andy Reid and his coaching staff will be put to the test late in the season. It’s time to see if this Kansas City team is the real deal or just all hype.

The Chiefs must remember this: It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.