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Los Angeles Lakers win NBA championship

CAMERON CROCHERON- STAFF WRITER LeBron James led the Lakers with game-highs in points and assists en route to his fourth career Finals MVP Award while finishing with his 11th career triple-double in the Finals, the most in NBA history. Anthony Davis had a double-double,…


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Opinion

  • The president isn’t a role model
    RYLAND STAPLES- STAFF WRITER With the election just weeks away, the United States is preparing for one of the most pivotal moments in recent history. With the way President Donald Trump has handled relationships with other countries, systemic racism in the United States,…
  • Why you need to set boundaries
    KAILAH LEE- STAFF WRITER Ever wonder why every relation- ship you had has just gone south? Or that it has violated the dream that you had for it? Well, this time, maybe it is on you. You see, many people make the mistake of lowering…
  • Is Daniel Cameron a sellout?
    MILES RICHARDSON- STAFF WRITER Tamika Mallory spoke at a press conference in order to address Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who recently announced his decision to charge only one officer involved in the Breonna Taylor case. During the conference, Mallory had this to say:…

Lifestyle

  • TELFAR’S rise to prominence
    MIA CONCEPCION – STAFF WRITER Living in a time of crisis and social isolation has paved the way for a resurgence of creativity and innovation amongst Black businesses. More Black entrepreneurs are pushing their products and gaining support for them. This type of success within…
  • Vitamin D: The essential vitamin
    TIGIST ASHAKA- STAFF WRITER Vitamin D this, and vitamin D that. Because early research has linked vitamin D deficiency with the probability of more severe COVID-19 symptoms, vitamin D seems to be all the news talks about. Unfortunately, the National Institutes of Health concludes…
  • Crocs: The transition from past to present
    SHIRMARIE STARKS STAFF WRITER What is your go-to shoe for comfortability? Nike slides? Converse? Those fluffy Ugg slippers? Socks and Birkenstocks? Or do you own a pair of Crocs? Crocs, Inc. is seen as the go-to brand to find comfy shoes, but the company’s journey to…

Arts and Entertainment

  • Creative block: The impact COVID-19 has on artists
    NYLE PAUL- STAFF WRITER As coronavirus cases increase nationwide, more and more artists find themselves having to forcefully adjust to the restricting nature of the virus. The financial, mental and physical restrictions that the virus imposes result in the risk of art equipment becoming harder to access…
  • TikTok: A game changer for social media influencers
    JAMEL ROGERS- STAFF WRITER TikTok is the new wave for future generations. The app helps publicize lots of media influencers, especially those specializing in comedy, singing and dancing. According to a YouTube podcast titled 1422, a teen nicknamed Swag-BoyQ is a dancer and entertainer on…
  • Bryson Tiller drops new album: Anniversary
    ANYAE JOHNS- STAFF WRITER For years, fans of Bryson Tiller were concerned if the Kentucky artist could revive his career and be the musician they first fell in love with. Three years since the R&B artist released his second album True to Self, his…

Sports

  • Los Angeles Lakers win NBA championship
    CAMERON CROCHERON- STAFF WRITER LeBron James led the Lakers with game-highs in points and assists en route to his fourth career Finals MVP Award while finishing with his 11th career triple-double in the Finals, the most in NBA history. Anthony Davis had a double-double, totaling 19 points…
  • The 2020 NFL Season Protests and Fight for Change
     Aliyu Saadu- Staff Writer National Football League (NFL) players have been protesting during the National Anthem since the beginning of the 2020-21 season to use their platform to fight for equality in the U.S. “We’re going to stand behind our players, we respect…
  • The NBA Bubble Success
    Colangelo Parker- Staff Writer The 2020 NBA postseason is in its final chapter with the beginning of the NBA Finals series between the L.A. Lakers and Miami Heat on September 29 in the Orlando bubble. It has been nearly four months since NBA…

Harris and Pence face off in only vice presidential debate of election season

WILLIAM PAUL ELLIS – STAFF WRITER

Morry Gash | Associated Press

Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic candidate for vice president, met in Salt Lake City, Utah Oct. 7 to debate topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to racial injustice.

The 90-minute debate was mod- erated by USA Today journalist Susan Page and was the second of three debates scheduled before the Nov. 3 election.

The debate was notably less com- bative than the previous debate with President Donald Trump and Former Vice President and the Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden, but the debate still featured moments of contention between Harris and Pence.

When asked if she would take a COVID-19 vaccine, Harris took the opportunity to highlight the division in public opinion between National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Dis- eases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Trump.

“If Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it. Absolutely,” Harris said. “But if Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it.”

Pence responded by reassuring the audience that the Trump administration was effectively handling the response to the pandemic, and then he scolded Harris for her statement.

“The fact that you continue to un- dermine public confidence in a vaccine, if a vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconsciona- ble,” Pence said. “Senator, I just ask you, stop playing politics with people’s lives.”

The debate also discussed the current nomination of Judge Amy Coney-Barrett to the Supreme Court. Controversy has arisen from Trump’s nomination of Coney-Barrett due to the proximity of the election.

When asked by Pence if Biden would pack the court if nominated, Harris responded by reiterating that the nomination should be left to the President-Elect during an election year, drawing on precedent that dates back to the Lincoln presidency.

“Joe and I are very clear: The American people are voting right now. And it should be their decision about who will serve on [the court],” she said.

Harris went on to criticize Trump for the lack of racial diversity among his nominations for federal judges. More than 85% of federal judges nom- inated during the Trump presidency are white, according to the Pew Research Center.

As the election nears, many voters are closely watching the series of de- bates in support of their chosen candi- date, or to make an informed decision.

Trevor Hutson, a senior at Hampton University, believes that the Vice Presidential debate provided essential information for prospective voters.

“The Vice President is a very important position,” Hutson said. “So, I think understanding their positions on policies and other plans is crucial for voters.”

The second presidential debate was scheduled for Oct. 15, but on Oct. 8, President Trump refused to participate in the debate that would be held virtually after Trump’s diagnosis with COVID-19.

The final presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.

R.E.A.L Royalty: The newly crowned Mr. Pirate and Miss Hampton University

NICOLE PECHACEK- STAFF WRITER

Photo courtesy of HU Student Activities

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic canceling many large events at Hampton, the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program and Student Activities were able to host both the Miss Hampton University and Mr. Pirate pageants virtually. Instead of Ogden Hall’s stage, Hampton students gathered online to cheer on the pageant contestants, who competed from their homes around the country.

Inspired by Beyonce’s recent film, the “Black is King” 19th annual Mr. Pirate pageant streamed Sept. 27 on YouTube between contestants Jordan Thomas Ray and Elias James Fambro. After various segments, Ray was announced the 19th Mr. Pirate by five guest judges at the end of the video stream. Despite the lack of spotlights and cheers from students, Jordan said that he still felt the energy when he found out he was the winner of this year’s pageant.

“I worked extremely hard for this,” Ray said. “When I won, I just jumped up in excitement because it was a lifetime goal that was achieved.”

Jordan Ray, a senior liberal studies major with an emphasis in community reform, had been dreaming of winning Mr. Pirate since his first year. His Project Royalty Platform is still planned to start this year as a virtual way for students to connect and network as well as tutor to help empower black youth.

“My plans are to create a connection board with all the students through Zoom calls around two to three times a month,” Ray said. “That’s what I’m going to use to connect us, and I plan to encourage people to step out into the community and be a part of different things. I’m going to create a committee for all Hampton students as a part of a community outreach program where we’re going to go out and empower our youth by tutoring them online.”

Later on that weekend, the “Black is Queen” 63rd annual Miss Hampton University Pageant had eight contestants aiming for the crown, but Christian Peterson was the one to win it all. Peterson, a senior business management major, learned to love pageantry from her sister and was inspired to compete for herself.

“My sister is one of my biggest influences as far as pageantry goes,” Peterson said. “She’s always been very involved in pageants and dancing. A lot of people have this misconception that pageants are kind of superficial, but once you get into them, you realize that a lot of those women that compete in pageants are very educated. They’re really about what they stand for as far as their platforms go and they’re really committed to it.”

Peterson’s platform, Raising Excellence in African American Leaders, also known as R.E.A.L, is a mission to enhance leadership in college and the workforce in the Black community. She has started implementing her program in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, despite the pandemic’s hindrances.

“I began the R.E.A.L program at my high school, and I started talking to my old guidance counselor and people at home about it,” Peterson said. “I began with schools, churches and even small community events. I realized I could reach a wider group of people, so I began thinking of what kind of events I could do, not only for people who are coming into college but also college-aged people who are about to start going into the real world. I began thinking, OK, we can do different types of series where we highlight careers, so not only is this showing the career but it’s also showing kids out of high school you can be a young African American and still be successful in the world.”

Peterson was officially crowned the 63rd Miss Hampton University during Hampton’s Coronation ceremony Oct. 7. During this event, Peterson gave a speech where she thanked President Dr. William R. Harvey, and the first lady, Norma B. Harvey, as well as SLP and many others for allowing her to become their new Miss Hampton University.

In addition to showcasing these sacred traditions of crowning both
Mr. Pirate and Miss Hampton, these pageants show how large-scale campus events can still be done virtually and safely. Hopefully, many other campus celebrations use these events as an example to still be able to enjoy the things HU holds dear.

The president isn’t a role model

RYLAND STAPLES- STAFF WRITER

Alyssa Pointer Associated Press

With the election just weeks away, the United States is preparing for one of the most pivotal moments in recent history. With the way President Donald Trump has handled relationships with other countries, systemic racism in the United States, his villainization of Mexican immigrants and his response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, people have been very thorough in calling for eligible voters to go and exercise their rights.

Even since Trump won the presidency in 2016, there has been consis- tent rhetoric on social media from users saying that they want four more years of the previous president, Barack Obama. Scroll Twitter long enough and you’ll see posts like, “ I want Obama back,” or people in President Obama’s mentions begging him to make a come- back of some sort.

In all honesty, President Obama didn’t really help push the country forward like most people think.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand President Obama getting elected was a momentous occasion that should and will be celebrated throughout history. But I feel like people try to overlook or sweep under the rug the bad things that President Obama did while he was in office. Two things that I want to focus on are the amount of deportations that took place under the Obama administration, as well as the drone strike campaign in the Middle East.

I understand that people really don’t associate large scale deportation when it comes to President Obama’s administration, but he certainly did his fair share while he was in office.

According to The Washington Post, “Though President Trump has made cracking down on immigration a centerpiece of his first term, his administration lags far behind President Barack Obama’s pace of deportations. Obama — who immigrant advocates at one point called the ‘deporter in chief’ — removed 409,849 people in 2012 alone. Trump, who has vowed to deport ‘millions’ of immigrants, has yet to surpass 260,000 deportations in a single year. And while Obama deported 1.18 million people during his first three years in office, Trump has deported fewer than 800,000.”

When people try to claim that Americans were better off under Obama’s administration, I always think about all of those people who were deported. Do you think they share your opinion? You also have to think about the innocent people who died during that drone strike campaign that President Obama spearheaded during his time in office. He mainly used drone strikes to target people suspected of terrorism in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries.

According to The New York Times, “…the Obama administration revealed its estimate of the number of civilians killed since 2009 in coun- terterrorism airstrikes outside of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. In a three-page report that offered little insight into the government’s secret drone campaign, officials said they had concluded that between 64 and 116 civilians died in 473 strikes.”

It’s important for United States citizens to realize that just because presidents are elected to office doesn’t mean they should be looked up to as role models. President Trump isn’t a role model in any kind of way. So why should someone who has deported more people than President Trump be looked at positively in the public eye? I feel like there are better people out there to look up to who have actually done more positive things for the community than President Obama.

Los Angeles Lakers win NBA championship

CAMERON CROCHERON- STAFF WRITER

Associated Press Mark J. Terrill

LeBron James led the Lakers with game-highs in points and assists en route to his fourth career Finals MVP Award while finishing with his 11th career triple-double in the Finals, the most in NBA history. Anthony Davis had a double-double, totaling 19 points and 15 rebounds as he made his defensive presence known once again by holding Jimmy Butler to only 12 points.

“We just want our respect, Rob [Pelinka] wants his respect, Coach [Frank] Vogel wants his respect, our organization wants their respect, Laker nation wants their respect and I want my damn respect, too,” James told tele- vision reporters during the NBA Finals trophy ceremony.

Capping off the longest season in NBA history, the Lakers have now tied the Boston Celtics for the most championships as a franchise in league history.

“For me to be part of such a historical franchise, it’s an unbelievable feeling not only for myself but for my teammates, for the organization, for the coaches, for the trainers, everybody that’s here,” James told TV reporters.

The Miami Heat exceeded many people’s expectations, walking into the playoffs as the 5th seed in the East and having had 60-to-1 preseason odds to win the NBA Finals, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“So what that nobody picked you to be here, that’s OK, I’m sure pretty sure nobody’s picking us to win either,” Butler said in a news conference. “We embrace that.”

Throughout the playoffs, the Heat put on a show, defeating two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in five games and Jayson Tatum and the Celtics in six games. Yet, going into the Finals, many people didn’t even give the Heat a chance against the Lakers based on their lack of experience and the team’s build.

“To upset the Lakers, I give them a 0 percent chance, it’s not happening,” NBA champion Kendrick Perkins said on ESPN’s “First Take.” “The depth of Miami’s bigs is not enough to overpower the Lakers.”

The Heat managed to steal two games in the series as both stemmed from outstanding performances by Butler, but injuries proved to play a major role in the series. Ultimately, two of the Heat’s best players went down early in the series, resulting in a 2-0 series deficit to start the series. Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic got injured in Game 1, as both missed substantial parts of the series with Bam out for Games 2 and 3 and Dragic missing Games 2 through 5. Adebayo dealt with multiple upper-body injuries to his shoulder and neck while Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia. Even through the injuries, the Heat managed to put up a good fight against the talent- ed Lakers through the series.

“The Heat performed as well as they could despite all the injuries, you could tell Bam and Goran weren’t 100 percent but still fought hard to play,” Heat fan Kory Russell-Brown said. Kobe Bryant was a name that remained on the minds of the Lakers organization as they celebrated their 17th NBA title. Through the night, fans took to the streets outside of Staples Center in Los Angeles and began chanting the late, great Bryant’s name.

“Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do was do it for him, and we didn’t let him down,” Davis told reporters after the game. “I know he’s looking down on us, proud of us.”

A different world: Hampton’s adaptation to online learning

NOA CADET- STAFF WRITER

With midterm exams fully out of the way, we are rapidly approaching the final stretch of this crazy semester. 2020 has been full of new experiences for everyone and due to the threat of COVID-19, our lives as students have been altered dramatically with our shift from the in-person college experience to virtual platforms. However, Hampton University has made an ongoing effort to mimic the on-campus experience by taking several steps to ensure that Hampton students are still being supplied with the same quality of resources and support that we would get while at our Home by the Sea.

Under the watchful eye of the Student Support Services, Hampton has updated several resource platforms to assist students in being able to seize an opportunity as it comes. For academic assistance, Hampton has gone completely digital, allowing students to register for tutoring online through huachievement.org. On this website, students can register for tutoring help through an online application, in which they can scroll through a list of available tutors, complete with biographies depicting majors, academic accomplishments, available times, and the classes for which the tutors are suitable. This site allows for students in need of assistance to select the best tutors suited for their specific needs, separated by class. In addition to free online tutoring, the website offers faculty-published workshop guides designed to aid student readers. The selections available range from tips and guides to successfully complete the semester, to drafting resumes and cover letters, all meant to offer as much of a guiding hand as possible to the student body during this unprecedented time.

While extremely beneficial, free tutoring and short “how-to” guides aren’t the extent of Hampton’s mission to keep student life from being altered too drastically. With campus closed off to students, and activities such as in-person career fairs and company interest meetings postponed indefinitely, the prospect of securing internships, or even being aware of who is hiring, can seem daunting. To maintain a connection to students, Hampton University’s Career Center has resorted to email as the primary method of ensuring any internship opportunity that they become aware of is passed along to the rest of the Hampton student body. Representing a variety of companies, the Career Center ensures that their emails touch upon a wide array of majors, from theater to the sciences.

“It’s definitely benefited me in many ways,” said HU student Gabriel Lewis, a graduating senior and business management major from Mansfield, Texas. “In fact, for my senior year during this virtual fall semester, I am doing an internship with Mercy Corps, an internship non-profit, as a business development intern. This is all due to a blast from the HU Career Center letting me know they have an opportunity available to Hampton students.”

By redoubling efforts to make as much available to students as possible, Hampton University has made its best effort to recreate the campus experience to foster an environment of academic and professional excellence. Despite this effort, however, the transition to virtual learning has proven to be a tough roadblock to transcend. In a brief conversation, Daelin Brown, a third- year journalism major and writing tutor from Pennsylvania, shared her concerns regarding the effectiveness of online tutoring in comparison to in-person classes.

“I think with virtual tutoring, the sessions take much longer because trying to explain things through a screen is not easy,” said Brown. “Making comments on Google Docs is a nice element. However, so much more explaining comes with not being able to see the student and the document at the same time.”

Brown is most certainly not alone in her concerns. The struggle to achieve the same kind of efficiency and thoroughness through an online interface is felt by all. While Hampton University has done plenty to lessen the burden of trying to make up for the consequences that come with maintaining a safe environment in regards to COVID-19, there is undoubtedly longing for the day in which we return to campus. However, until that day comes, use the resources available and try to finish this school year out strong.

Creative block: The impact COVID-19 has on artists

NYLE PAUL- STAFF WRITER

As coronavirus cases increase nationwide, more and more artists find themselves having to forcefully adjust to the restricting nature of the virus. The financial, mental and physical restrictions that the virus imposes result in the risk of art equipment becoming harder to access and artists having little to no motivation to continue their craft.

At Hampton University, there are many artists who specialize in different styles of art. With the coronavirus running rampant throughout the nation, here is a glimpse at how one artist is maneuvering through this “new normal.”

Gabrielle Tazewell is a senior journalism major and a liberal arts minor. She is a blogger and specializes in creative writing.

As the pandemic continues to worsen, the financial burden gets heavier as it is drawn out. Since physically going out in public spaces exacerbates the risk of catching the coronavirus, the artistic capabilities of many artists are challenged. With money being tight and accessibility of equipment being restricted due to store closures, it has been a hassle for artists to continue their work. In an interview with Hampton Script photojournalist Isaiah Taylor, Gabrielle shared her experience with the difficulties she ran into and how they have affected her craft.

“This pandemic is taking a lot of opportunities, career wise, from me within the whole freelance blogger industry,” Tazewell said.

“But I think within my own platform, for this year, I was actually planning on going on my own, taking my own pictures and actually collaborating with more people in person. But because of the pandemic, I’m unable to really do that. I am still able to collaborate with other people, which is cool virtually. But otherwise, I have been really affected by this in terms of my own platform and progressing my career in general.”

The ongoing limitations that the pandemic has brought upon has either encouraged people to become more disciplined in their craft or left them lacking motivation to continue their craft. To help maintain her motivation, Tazewell touched on a few things she has implemented into her routine.

“Creating a consistent routine is the biggest thing,” she said. “Prior to the pandemic, when I was blogging, I kind of had a set schedule after classes. I was already doing work, so afterwards, I jumped into the blog.

“But in terms of motivation, it’s really been a struggle to just get up and stay consistent with it. Something that has helped me is finding other bloggers and aspiring writers who are motivated and want the best for themselves. I’ve just been trying to surround myself with more of those people so I can stay motivated and on top of my stuff.”

If there’s one thing that all artists can relate to, it is their collective dislike for the dreadful creative block. Referencing her familiarity with creative block and the strain it can put on one’s creative process, Tazewell discussed how dealing with creative block in the pandemic has personally affected her writing.

“With the motivational standpoint that I was talking about previously, everything we do now is digital,” she said. “So, usually I would get my content on Instagram or I would just find an influencer or a blogger similar to me and just write about them, so I wouldn’t say it’s really affected that aspect.”

“In terms of creative block/writers block, it is a really big issue when you’re going off of your own perceptions within writing, especially now. All in all, I would say that it would really affect the way that I perceive the content and how I spin it to become my own thing.”

With the mental, financial and physical challenges that the pandemic has brought along, it brings about the question of how some artists have been able to keep focused on their art during this difficult time. Tazewell shared how she has been able to remain focused on her craft and encouraged creatives to practice discipline, especially in a time like this.

“Surrounding myself with fellow creatives and connecting with a lot of people on Instagram has helped me a lot with breaking out of creative block,” she said. “It also helps me to be more consistent because I’m seeing the way that they’re working and I’m seeing the progress they’re making, so that inspires me.”

“In terms of advice that I would give to other writers or creatives, I’d advise to set a consistent routine for yourself. This time, especially for creatives, is really about discipline. Whether you’re setting alarms or setting deadlines, really do that for yourself because when you get into the actual workplace, you’re going to have to meet deadlines. So, setting alarms and maintaining a consistent schedule would be like a head start almost. There’s really nothing more that you could really lose in this time then we’ve already lost, so just do it.”

Courtesy of Isaiah Taylor
Gabrielle Tazewell and her blog can be found on Instagram
@gabrielletheblogger, where some of her work is featured. Her website is http://www.gabrielletazewell.com.

TikTok: A game changer for social media influencers

JAMEL ROGERS- STAFF WRITER

TikTok is the new wave for future generations. The app helps publicize lots of media influencers, especially those specializing in comedy, singing and dancing.

According to a YouTube podcast titled 1422, a teen nicknamed Swag-BoyQ is a dancer and entertainer on the app. Claiming that TikTok has opened a lot of doors for him, he noted that he used to tease TikTok users on the app until his friend encouraged him to try it out.

The role of corporations in this outcome is to sell more of their products to new faces. Over the past few years, TikTok has gained more than 50 million users and played an integral role in creating large platforms for a lot of users such as SwagBoyQ.

TikTok has a vast amount of challenges, songs, dances and even original work put into each user’s timeline. The great thing about this app is that it’s free, and being an influencer on the platform leads to a lot of great exposure. Any influencer on the app can withstand a lot of marketing advertisement in their 60-second-or-longer video. The app is particularly popular with young users, but people of all ages can share their creativity with the world.

According to a CH Tech article, TikTok profits in the months of May,
June and July totaled up to $102.5 million. Considering this amount of revenue, TikTok affords all users the possibility of one day becoming influencers to reap immense social and economic benefits.

Jayla Daniels, senior psychology major from Houston, Texas, has a deep appreciation for TikTok.

“TikTok is a unique platform,” Daniels said. “I think the reason TikTok is so popular is because of the algorithm. Millions of people can see the same thing at the same time. The algorithm allows others to connect and exchange ideas faster than any other social media platform.

“I love the app, and I’m learning more about the world’s current events through a first-person perspective when people post. It’s like the news except that I can ask questions in the comment section, and I’ll receive a direct response.”

With the rise of new users, TikTok generated $88.1 million in August. The app has contributed tremendously to artists in genres like gospel, R&B, hip- hop and more. Famous YouTubers also utilize TikTok to expand their streams of income.

Users encourage anyone to try out the app to see new trending music and advertisements. There is also a live feature on the app where celebrities can connect with their fans anytime they want. In the coming years, you can expect to see even more revenue generated from TikTok as the app becomes increasingly popular.

Bryson Tiller drops new album: Anniversary

ANYAE JOHNS- STAFF WRITER

For years, fans of Bryson Tiller were concerned if the Kentucky artist could revive his career and be the musician they first fell in love with. Three years since the R&B artist released his second album True to Self, his new album Anniversary is finally out.

The new project dropped on the fifth anniversary of his debut album, TrapsoulAnniversary contains 10 songs and a feature with Drake on the “Outta Time” track.

The album received a lot of mixed reviews from fans and critics. Listeners are still stuck on his debut album, and it’s up to Tiller to get them hooked on something else.

“Old Bryson Tiller is still better than new Bryson; it just doesn’t give me the same feelings as the Trapsoul album did,” said Tayliour Martin, a senior journalism major. “I personally liked ‘Always Forever’ and ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing.’”

If you’re expecting Bryson to be in his Trapsoul bag, you may be disappointed. He’s matured and is bringing new vibes.

If you’re familiar with Bryson Tiller’s work, you’ll be able to see his growth as an artist in this album.

“I feel like this album was really overdue. I personally expected more from him, but I still loved it,” said Aniyah Oberlton, a Hampton University strategic communication major.

Anniversary is a mood from the lyrics to the album cover. The cover
is an eccentric blue with him looking to his left. It is similar to the Trapsoul cover, which is in red and he is looking to the right.

The album starts with the track “Years Go By.” Another man is talking to Bryson, saying, “With what the young generation’s doing and I’m like, yo, man, you really just got to do this, worrying about or trying to figure out what they need to think or like it or not. Aw, man, you going to have about five years go by…next thing you know, you ain’t going to want to do this no more.”

The lead single, “Always Forever,” sets the mood for the album. The beat is hard, and the lyrics are relatable. Ready for You and Things Change paint pictures of relationships that many listeners may have been in before. The lyrics speak to real-life situations in today’s social climate.

The track “Timeless Interlude” slows the mood down. It speaks on growing and becoming wiser. It also speaks on how life is flashing by and reminds listeners to be mindful of that.

The chorus of “Inhale” contains a sample of SWV’s “All Night Long.” The sample, in conjunction with the reverb vocals and spacy drums, creates a sound incredibly reminiscent of the late ’90s R&B sound that still asserts its influence today.

“Outta Time,” featuring Drake, drives the album home. Hearing Drake and Bryson Tiller on a track is something soothing and something our generation needed. Their voices together blend well and make the song dynamic.

“Keep doing what you’re doing” opens with a voicemail from Tiller’s grandmother, who passed away early in 2020. Dedicating the song to her, the sentimental aspects of this record become apparent. This track really inspires the listeners to believe in your- self and to keep going no matter what.

Anniversary concludes with Next to You, which includes a sample from the Flight Facilities’ “Heart Attack” record on the chorus. Bryson really showcases his vibrato and style throughout the song.

The album will put you in your feelings and is perfect to listen to on a late-night drive. This album was personal and spoke to the highs and lows of relationships. Tiller did what needed to be done for R&B.

In a recent interview with Genius, Bryson Tiller confirmed that he has another album coming out called Serenity, a three-part series. Volume 1 will consist of R&B, Volume 2 will consist of hip-hop, and Volume 3 will consist of pop.

Fans are hoping that Serenity is just the project they need to restore their initial feelings of Bryson as an artist.

SAVAGE X FENTY: A star studded socially distant event

NOAH HOGAN- STAFF WRITER

Dennis Leupold | Associated Press

Robyn Rihanna Fenty opened the second volume of her Savage X Fenty special with a beautiful quote:

“Storytelling is the last part of any journey. There’s experience and there’s that emotion that’s connected to the experience. Whether it’s a scent, whether it’s the sound, that emotional connection to that particular moment is the thing that makes it worthy of telling in a story.”

Rihanna did just that with her follow-up on the Amazon Prime streaming service.

Packed with celebrity appearances, distinct set designs and stellar choreography, Volume. 2 was more than a worthy successor to the first show at New York Fashion Week.

What is most intriguing is that Rihanna and her team understand the need to create a story of Savage X Fenty without forcing the need to focus on the actual garments. Instead, she uses different mediums such as music and choreography to set a mood using the clothes to be nothing more than what they are, clothes.

From the very beginning, we are introduced to some of Fenty’s creativity in the most obvious role that most associate her with, her music. More specifically, her music taste.

She uses songs from artists that her base can easily identify like Kendrick Lamar and Roddy Rich. However as a woman of Caribbean descent,

Rihanna takes the opportunity to make her audience aware of artists in the Latin and Caribbean markets with performers like Rosalína and Bad Bunny. Although Riri does not stick to the conventional rap or pop genre, she finds a way to weave in elements of R&B and house music to give each scene its own identity.

“The scenes were perfect for the clothing pieces that she showed and the music made it better. I liked the dances in Volume 2 more than the first,” said Monique Smith, a Hampton University biochemistry pre-dental major, leadership studies minor from Atlanta, Georgia.

The Savage X Fenty show allowed Rihanna to take on other personas and blend them to create the best version of herself.

We see her wear many hats such as the creative, the businesswoman and the leader.

If you listen to the way she describes in great detail something so trivial like fabrics, you would think she was a graduate of a fashion design school. Savage X Fenty is proof that Rihanna has taken the time to be fully invested in her craft.

Design Director Emily Whitehead describes Rihanna as having the eye
to figure out not just what pieces are going to work best but how to best utilize them. “That kind of steers us and makes it better but also makes it hers,” Whitehead said.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not just Rihanna’s brand name recognition that made the show feel special. She allowed for others to shine and show case their talents on a major scale, not taking into account celebrity status or prominence.

Rihanna and company did a great job incorporating models and dancers of all shapes, sizes and walks of life.

From a multitude of frames, there were many different women and men who were able to express themselves through fashion. Citing that inclusivity is something that is “second nature” and that “there is no need to think about it.”

“I love that she’s doing that,” Smith said. “It made me want to buy and support her even more. Many people are insecure about their body, and lingerie is supposed to be ‘sexy.’ So Rihanna’s show highlighted a diverse group of models and told people that all body types are sexy and be confident and love yourself.”

Overall, Rihanna chose to tackle themes of sexuality, inclusivity, mood and inspiration within a 56-minute time frame.

Opting for the lingerie garments to serve as background images to compliment the bigger themes at play, she also completed a goal of creating something that surpasses the boundaries of fashion and enters the space of great art.

The only question left unanswered now is, if Rihanna is so invested physically and emotionally to her clothing line, will she have the necessary time or energy to uphold the other big obligation in her life, music?