Monthly Archives: January 2016

Florida State lawsuit reaches $950,000 settlement after Jameis Winston rape accusations

(USA Today)

(USA Today)

Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

On the same day that Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Jameis Winston was named to the 2016 Pro Bowl roster, the 2015 first overall pick’s name appeared in a very serious albeit familiar headline, proving he had not yet escaped the shadows of his past.

On Monday, January 25, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner’s alma mater, Florida State University (FSU), reached a staggering $950,000 settlement with Erica Kinsman, a former student who claimed she was raped by Winston in December 2012.

ESPN reported that Kinsman filed the case in January 2015 against FSU alleging that “Florida State violated federal law when school officials showed a ‘deliberate indifference’ to her allegation.”
Her claims also cited the school fostering a “hostile educational environment” and their refusal to investigate her allegation as Title IX laws dictate.

According to the United States Department of Justice, Title IX is “a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.”
ESPN also reported that Kinsman’s attorney John Clune said his client will receive over $250,000, and that the settlement is “the largest payment ever to a single plaintiff claiming a school’s indifference to a sexual assault allegation.”

The rest is expected to go to her attorneys.

Kinsman, who withdrew from FSU in November 2013 once the case went public, shared her joy and sadness following Monday’s proceedings.

“I will always be disappointed that I had to leave the school I dreamed of attending since I was little,” she said in a statement. “I am happy that FSU has committed to continue making changes in order to ensure a safer environment for all students.”

According to USA Today, FSU did not admit to liability in the case and university president John Thrasher agreed “in order to avoid additional litigation expenses.”

Thrasher released a statement on Monday, expressing his thoughts on the school’s handling of the case, saying, “We have an obligation to our students, their parents and Florida taxpayers to deal with this case, as we do all litigation, in a financially responsible manner.”

“With all the economic demands we face, at some point it doesn’t make sense to continue even though we are convinced we would have prevailed,” he added.

In addition to the significant sum, the school also agreed to publish annual reports on their newly installed sexual assault awareness, prevention and training programs over the next five years.

Monday’s settlement will not prohibit two other pending legal cases attached to Kinsman’s name. In early 2014, she filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that opened an investigation into FSU that is still ongoing.

Kinsman filed a sexual battery lawsuit against Winston in April 2014. Winston counter-sued for defamation and tortuous interference in May of that same year.

Mayanne Downs, one of Winston’s lawyers, issued a statement on Monday, citing her team’s preparedness for the upcoming trial.

“F.S.U.’s choice to settle in no way compromises our commitment to fight for Jameis Winston and to clear the outrageous — and false — allegations against him,” Downs said. “We very much look forward to asking Ms. Kinsman questions while she’s sworn to tell the truth.”

The U.S. District Court trial, which is set to begin in March 2017, only proves that Winston and his supporters’ attempts to silence Kinsman will once again be unsuccessful.

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Michigan gas prices reach a new low

 

(washingtonpost)

(washingtonpost)

Leonard Head | Local & World Editor

Drivers in Michigan were surprised on last week when gas prices did not go up, but rather hit a new low of 47 cents a gallon. Michigan is the first state to sell gasoline for under a $1 in over a decade. Drivers first saw the surprisingly low prices on Sunday, January 17. Industry experts predict that prices at the pump have not bottomed out yet.

Rough driving conditions are not stopping people from filling up their tanks in Houghton Lake, Michigan. The town is experiencing high amounts of snow that makes driving conditions harsh. GasBuddy is reporting several stations in Houghton Lake, Michigan with gas prices under $1.

Prices were first verified by GasBuddy on January 17 and are continuing to update their prices daily. GasBuddy said, “It appears these stations are currently the first stations in the country to see prices under $1 per gallon in years.

As the situation unfolds, it’s possible these stations re-raise prices back over $1/gallon.” Police were called to direct traffic. There was a “gas war” between several gas stations in Houghton Lake.

The cost was the result of a price war between three gas stations in Houghton Lake, petroleum analysts at GasBuddy told ABC News. Gas Buddy also added this was likely the first time gas went under $1 a gallon in the United States in more than a decade.

Three gas stations are in a gas war. During the 47 cents madness, there were traffic jams to get to the low priced gasoline. Traffic has become so congested that police were called to direct traffic. Cars waited in traffic for an estimated 40 minutes to take advantage of the low gas prices.

Samantha Smith, a Hampton University sophomore biology major from Houghton Lakes, Michigan was surprised to learn of the low gasoline prices in her hometown. Smith said, “My small hometown has gained national attention for their gas prices. When I talked to my mom earlier, she said that she had filled up the two family cars together for only $20.”

Smith went on to say that she does not think the prices will stay at under a $1 for long.

Stations in the Houghton Lake region have also been engaging in a price war. The phenomenon did not last for long, by Monday the prices were back to normal.

Gas prices have been dropping across the country with a single barrel sold for only $30. The national average price of gasoline has dropped 7.6 cents in the past week to $1.89 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com. That is the lowest price per gallon since March 2009. A month ago the national average was $2 a gallon. That price is down 17 cents from last year’s average price 0f $2.06.

UnSCRIPTED Man of the week: Miles Jenkins

(Courtesy of Miles Jenkins)

(Courtesy of Miles Jenkins)

Malik Jones | Associate Editor

Miles Jenkins, a junior business management major from Baltimore, continues to be a shining example of the ideal Hampton man. Many know Jenkins by his bright smile on campus, but few have had the pleasure of knowing the man behind the smile. His fierce commitment to his family, friends and Hampton community never falters, even in the midst of the many clubs and organizations he is a part of.

Some of these organizations include the Student Recruitment Team, the Freddye T. Davy Honors College and the intramural men’s basketball league.

Jenkins has matured greatly during his tenure at Hampton, going from the shy, reserved guy in the background to an outspoken leader.

He currently serves as the sole Executive Chair of the Freddye T. Davy Honors College, making him responsible for overseeing the other sub-committees within the program, ranging from the Recruitment and Orientation Committee, of which he formerly served as head, to the ‘Word of Honor’ newsletter.

However, while the position is a prestigious one, it is not a walk in the park.

“I’d say the most challenging part is probably finding ways to engage everyone and getting our name out among the student body,” said Jenkins.

Aside from his work on Hampton’s campus, Miles has also taken his talents abroad, joining students across the country in the White House All-Star’s HBCU Initiative. “Dr. Duncan told me I should apply, so I filled out the online application,” Miles revealed, “The interesting part was that it asked me what initiatives I’d like to implement here at Hampton using any White House initiative already in place. I chose the ‘My Brothers Keeper’ initiative that deals with mentorship for African-American males, which I feel is very important, especially in today’s society.”

Miles is in the process of working with White House liaisons to figure out how to make his vision a reality for students here on Hampton’s campus.

Apart from his academic and extracurricular activities, Miles enjoys many other hobbies, including photography, sports, and cooking. He shared one particular tale of his experience competing in Baltimore’s 4th Annual Brothers Who Cook competition with his father back in 2014. “It was so fun because neither of us had ever done something like that before.

We were working really hard the entire day to make my Dad’s famous soup,” he laughed. “I’d tell you what’s in it, but it’s a family secret. But I can say it was a really big hit!”

Though Miles is only a junior at Hampton, he still has a few words of wisdom for students who may be considering Hampton, or those who are here and are not sure how to make the most of their time. “Opportunities are everywhere,” he said.

“Hampton connects us with so many different programs and it can definitely be tough with everything you might have to manage, but if you prioritize, you’ll be fine.”

HU Athletics mourns loss of Coach Steven Lewis

(hamptonpirates.com)

(hamptonpirates.com)

Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

Former Hampton men’s track & field coach Steven Lewis represented a recent portion of the program’s success and, during his time at Hampton, he established a culture of winning, mentorship and studenthood.

On January 23, the legendary coach passed away at the age of 72, leaving behind a legacy that extends across the track & field world.

In an article on the Hampton Pirates’ website, Maurice Pierce, the Director of Track & Field for the university, spoke fondly of the Newport News Track Hall of Fame inductee. “He was a great man who touched a lot of souls,” Pierce said. “I learned a lot from him and he will be truly missed.”

Lonza Hardy, who served as Director of Athletics at Hampton when Lewis was hired, also stated her thoughts on Lewis’ status in the sport.

“When Coach Lewis’ name was brought up while we were in search of a new men’s track & field coach, it quickly became apparent what a legend he was in the sport,” she said.  “We were happy to recruit him, and even happier when he decided to accept the Hampton job.”

When he began his tenure prior to the 2008-09 campaign, he brought dozens of accolades and 40-plus years of of experience to the department. Lewis led 13 individual MEAC champions and 63 student-athletes who earned All-MEAC honors.

One of Lewis’ star pupils was 2012 Hampton graduate Reggie Dixon. He was 3-time All-American while at Hampton and went onto compete at the 2013 USA Indoor Track & Field Championship. Dixon placed second in the event and ran a 6.54, which stood as the fourth fastest time ran in the United States and eighth in the world at that time.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Lewis graduated from Virginia State College, now known as Norfolk State University, in 1964 with a B.S. in physical education.

Shortly after graduation, Lewis coached track, basketball, football and baseball at two Virginia high schools, Thomas Hunter and Mathews County, for a few years.

In 1970, he entered Menchville High School in Newport News, Virginia. and reinvigorated over the course of 11 years, coaching 34 All-Americans and winning 12 indoor and outdoor state championships.

In 1982, he moved to Pittsburgh and took over as head coach for both the men’s and women’s track teams at the University of Pittsburgh. For 20 years, Lewis guided 40 men and 95 women to Big East individual championship wins and coached 11 individual NCAA champions and 67 All-American runners.

From 2002-2005, Lewis served as an assistant coach with the women’s team at Eastern Michigan. While there, he coached four All-Americans, one NCAA regional champion, and helped Eastern Michigan place 16th in the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

He then spent three seasons at MEAC rival Delaware State before coming to Hampton.
“Coach Lewis was one of the top coaches at the high school level, as well as collegiate level, that I looked up to and wanted to be like,” Pierce said. “He was a legend in track & field, especially in the Tidewater area.”

Coach Steven Lewis was an impactful man that made his presence known wherever he went, a fact that Hardy made clear in her comments.

“He was a great coach and an even better person, and his loss is tremendous, not just for the student-athletes he coached, but for the world of track & field as a whole,” Hardy shared.

Toni Braxton’s Lifetime biopic breaks hearts

(Variety)

(Variety)

Aaron Worley | Arts & Entertainment Editor

When the words “Lifetime biopic” are put together and released to the general public, the reaction is commonly lukewarm. Several biopics of celebrities have felt like trial and error runs, often being wished to disappear faster than when they were first announced. Honorable mentions for these duds include, “Liz and Dick” on Elizabeth Taylor played by “height-of-her-career” Lindsay Lohan and most strikingly, “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B” as a poorly exemplified portrayal of the singer.

Now, we are introduced to Lex Scott-Davis, who plays the role of Toni Braxton in “Toni Braxton: Break My Heart”. While this biopic covers any relevant or misconstrued information about Braxton and her career, the sequence of events feels a bit formulaic. Nevertheless, it serves as a gateway to an introspective and fascinating look within Braxton’s mind, and how she responded to significant events at the start and height of her music career.

We are immediately faced with a degree of foreshadowing as the biopic begins; a tragedy occurs to Braxton and the events in the story all lead up in a sort of typical flashback direction. Although the story fulfills the satisfaction of any viewer wanting to just see how profound and delicate Braxton’s personal problems were, one cannot help but think that it could have been told in a way that offered a glimpse outside of the not-so-tried-and-true Lifetime comfort zone.

Once the plot thickens however, and the bare layer of subtleness is peeled off, the message of staying true to oneself becomes obvious, and is emphasized onward.

“We’re selling pain here” one of Babyface’s assistants played by Gavin Houston reveals, as a standout line from the movie, playing off the duplicity that makes the music industry seem as malevolent as one could imagine. There is nothing but truth here, and this marks a shift in how an artist’s views are separated from the networks that portray them in elaborate fashions.

Braxton said herself that she wanted to oversee the production of the biopic at a level closer than most artists, and the ghostly separation from how the industry is often glamorously represented makes the viewing experience emotionally consoling.

At an even deeper issue, probably one Braxton has tried to come to terms with, the debt she is faced with paints a touching, yet stirring catalyst for understanding her pain and sorrow. She is given several warnings to cut back on spending, and the costs of her lavish lifestyle embody a heavy burden, on top of other hindering events such as her pregnancy and family turmoil.

Often, these events and their counterparts feel casually passed on. They are obviously rushed because of the time constraints competing with the sheer volume of events that needed to be portrayed, but in reality, the story moves along at a rate faster than some people can comprehend.

One scene shows Braxton’s deliberation with a health specialist who suggests her child is developmentally challenged, but the conflict quickly shifts to her personal health setbacks and their slow degradation of her public performances. Simply stated, it is a little hard to follow sometimes.

From a story that very much urges the viewer to connect with the events that are displayed, the characters, besides Scott-Davis, are not allowed as deep of a connection as one would hope. For instance, the younger child Diezel has little screen time, apart from when the viewer is supposed to assume that he is “different” from the other children his age. Sure, the story is focused on Braxton, but would including the process of

Diezel’s advancement past his disorder take away that much from Braxton’s story? At times, it can be wondered: Was this event shown for empathy, or to just let people know that it happened?

As a project for hopeful compassion and understanding, “Break My Heart” succeeds. As a biopic, though, the staleness of its formula may seem too ordinary. Maybe though, in some way, shape or form, that’s alright.

Trap music is becoming a lifestyle

(billboard)

(billboard)

Dazha Austin | Staff Writer

From Holland hall parties to Hampton Harbors apartment “kickbacks” the lyrics of Future can be heard blasting with students rapping along. Trap music has taken the music industry by storm, but the lyrics have a deeper meaning to them that the youth should not be exposed to. Even though it is fun to listen to, people neglect to pay attention to what they are actually hearing and where it comes from.

Due to the nature of the lyrics, many believe it to have a negative influence on younger generations, as these rappers and celebrities become their role models. Daisha Noland-Wheeler, a freshman psychology major from Baltimore, explains that she has seen first-hand the influence the music can have on the younger generation. “While many people say they just listen to it for the beat and that they are not really listening to the lyrics, little do they know that those words are secretly infiltrating their brains and then they want to start being like these artist,” said Noland- Wheeler.

Originating in the early 1990’s, trap music is a genre spurring from the southern states. Coming from Atlanta, the term “trap” refers to the place where drug deals are made and the lifestyle it brings, which many rappers say they have experienced first hand. Typically accompanied by aggressive lyrical content, the music is filled with hard bass lines, up-tempo and catchy but minimal lyrics. Rappers like Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane and Rick Ross, have experienced success because they albums and mixtapes have constantly been about life in “the trap”, drug dealing and the struggle for wealth.

Many of these trap artists rap about their “rags to riches” stories. Most of them became millionaires without a college degree, which causes millennials to think that college is a waste of time, money and effort.

It seems as if anyone and anything can be played on the radio, as long as it has a cool beat, and catchy lyrics. “It provides a simple taste of music, the beats are nice,” stated Shanice Wormley, a junior flight education major from Washington D.C.. “People who aren’t musically inclined won’t sit down and understand Beethoven’s Symphony 3 but will understand “goes down in the DM’s” because it’s relatable. Jimmy Choo by Fetty Wap became popular from a Vine.”

Trap music, or gangster rap is a genre of music that is heavily emerging and becoming more mainstream than before. In addition, with all the technology and resources readily available to access music it is hard to censor or regulate what the youth generation listens too.

Today’s trap artist includes Young Thug, Chief Keef, Future, and Shy Glizzy. Future’s single, “Turn On The Lights”, was certified gold and entered at #50 on the “Billboard” Hot 100 while Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like” and “Love Sosa” garnered over 30 million views on YouTube, also creating a new subgenre within trap called drill. Music critics called drill production style the “sonic cousin to skittish footwork, southern-fried hip-hop and the 808 trigger-finger of trap.” This genre has had an influence on not just the youth but also mainstream music such as Beyoncé’s songs “Drunk in Love”, “Flawless”, and “7/11” and Lady Gaga’s song “Jewels ‘n Drugs” which have trap influences. “It gets people hype,” says Noland-Wheeler. In 2014, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J, who is a trap rapper himself was another success of mixing pop and trap music reaching Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

5 ways to make skin glow in the winter

31 Jul 2013 --- Black woman wiping face with cotton pad --- Image by © JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

31 Jul 2013 — Black woman wiping face with cotton pad — Image by © JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

Maya Wilson | Contributing Writer

When the winter months come around, skin care is essential.  Our skin often times becomes flaky, causing it to require some extra attention.  Here are some products that will help promote healthy skin, especially in the winter months:

1. Aloe Vera Leaf

Aloe Vera is one of nature’s key healers. This succulent plant heals pain, detoxifies the body, promotes hair growth, and even helps cure acne. It is best that you purchase the actual plant, and not the bottled product.  When using the leaf, you can cut it open and extract the gel with your fingers. Creative ways to use the Aloe Vera gel includes applying it as a facemask, a hair mask, and even an edge control.

2. Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil is not only an edible oil, but it does wonders for the skin.  This anti-aging oil contains vitamin E and will keep your skin radiant and moisturized at all times. It can also be used as a lotion, a shaving cream, and can even be applied to your scalp, eyebrows, and eye lashes to promote hair growth.  Try using virgin coconut oil everyday, and watch your skin transform into soft radiance instantly.

3. Exfoliating Sponge

Exfoliation is crucial, and should be done at least four times a week, especially during the winter months.  Simply take your own face wash, apply it to the sponge, rinse your face with warm water, and scrub your face in gentle, circular motions. Exfoliation rids the skin of ashy flakes and buildup from breakouts. Be careful not to exfoliate too much – it can lower your skin’s protective barrier against bacteria and infections. Exfoliating sponges can be purchased from the drug store for less than $5.

4. Face Mask

Applying a facemask is one of the easiest ways to repair your skin instantly. Whether you are trying to get your skin right for that Valentine’s date, or just want your skin its best on a normal occasion, using a facemask will benefit anyone. The key to being saved by a facemask, is buying the correct mask for your skin type. One of the best places to get one is from Lush Cosmetics. At Lush, they will ask you what your skin type is and test their various, all-natural masks on your skin. You will leave Lush satisfied, wanting to come back for more. The best part about the Lush mask experience is that if you bring back five empty mask containers, you will receive a sixth mask for free.

5. African Black Soap 

African Black Soap promotes nourishment with every application. This carefully crafted soap is known to improve skin tones, fade discolorations, reduce inflammation, and rid razor bumps. The best way to use the African Black Soap is in the shower, on the body and face. It has deep cleansing actions, which can cleanse your pores and completely remove makeup. You can purchase Shea Moisture Black Soap from Target. If you want natural, handcrafted black soap, you can purchase it online, at the health food store or at a local flea market.

The great Oscars ‘race’

(abc)

(abc)

Jordan Parker | Staff Writer

#OscarsSoWhite is forcing the renowned Academy to take a look into the prejudice mirror.  The award show nominees and winners are decided by a panel of film professionals, formally known as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Each year, with consideration of all cinema released within the year, the Academy nominates actors, directors, and various others to be considered in receiving an Oscar; an achievement chased by many.

Interestingly enough, there have only been a total of 44 nominations for African Americans in Oscar categories. This can only be compared to the strikingly low number of wins, 14.

Even further broken down, the wins span across only four categories: Best Supporting Actress/Actor, and Best Actor/Actress. Denzel Washington is the only actor from this distinction to have received an Oscar twice; he won Best Actor for “Training Day” and Best Supporting Actor for “Glory”.

These roles are often universally lauded, though it seems the problem that faces most critics when regarding the supposed lack of diversity is that many African American roles are not deserving of Oscar nominations. Sydney Gillian, a fifth-year biology major from Raleigh, North Carolina pointed out that, on the other hand, “It doesn’t feel like a black and white thing. There’s just not…diversity amongst the nominations of films, because there’s no diversity in the group of people that choose them. Nominations, especially with women, are only given when they play a specific role, with one of ‘power’ being rarely given out.”

It seems there is internal conflict from both sides of the issue, and their claims can be justified with the lack of nominations for both African Americans and whites.

Numbers of people have stormed the web with the hashtag, “Oscars So White,” with the purpose of attacking the Academy Awards for its lack of diversity. Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith also took to the airwaves in expressing her views on the issue.

Pinkett-Smith asked viewers to hold themselves responsible in making sure blacks only participate in programs that honor our influence in society.

Her video ultimately proposed a boycott of the Oscars, further suggesting that Black programs are just as notable as the mainstream events that hold so much value in media.

Pinkett Smith believes this will ensure the black culture receives the credit deserved.  Notable African American film director, Spike Lee, accompanied her proposal with his support.

These remarks were followed by backlash. Former cast member of the television series “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” Janet Hubert, popularly known as “Aunt Viv”, responded to Jada Pinkett-Smith’s video with a follow up video. Hubert claims, “People are dying, our boys are being shot left and right, people are hungry, people are trying to pay bills, and you’re talking about some…actors and Oscars. It just ain’t that deep.”

Conclusively, Hubert accused Smith of begging for recognition for personal reasons, rather than racial discrepancies.

Hubert’s response seems to be an attempt to take the attention from the celebrities and continue to focus on racial issues impacting the majority, which are working class individuals. She suggests that the African American race is facing issues much deeper than an award show.

The cast of the actual production is extremely misleading considering the nomination line-up. The television special features a range of non-white presenters and hosts.

The fluke is an issue of misrepresentation rather than a lack of it. Using these professionals only for their viewer attraction, rather than recognizing their art leaves the minority actors up short and alone in the dark.

‘Purple Reign’ or a light drizzle?

(mass appeal)

(mass appeal)

Zari Watts | Staff Writer

It is midnight on January 17 and Future fans are beside themselves. Despite the technical difficulties, Snapchat was pouring down Purple Reign snaps first thing in the morning.

With millions of downloads and only three letters away from the creative staple of Prince’s empire, Future blessed his fans. It is only fair to assess this mixtape in terms of Future’s realm of content and sound.

He has an established style that has absolutely worked in his favor, so it would be foolish to stray too far.

Unfortunately, he is overdue for getting outside the box, or at least making it a little bigger. Purple Reign, on a Future scale, earned a 6.

Following the much loved “WATTBA” and as a preview to the upcoming mixtape “Ape Sh*t” with Mike WiLL Made It, Purple Reign successfully serves its purpose as an interim project. While much of the tape was well done, the project feels a bit like a rushed effort to put out new material as a placeholder.

This sentiment was reflected in Future’s tweet two days after the release saying, “Ain done yet [purple rain emoji] pre warm up…get ready.” The key detail from this eight word tweet being the “pre” in front of warm up which relieves him from any accountability for lack of effort.

With a bit more deliberation, it could have been released as a significantly stronger ten-track mixtape.

“Wicked,” “Bye Bye” and “Run Up” are all complete wastes of time that offer neither novel subject matter nor musical value. “Wicked,” is unintelligible and borderline intolerable.

It is an impeccable embodiment of Hopsin’s surprisingly impressive spoof song “No Words” that disses rappers for piggybacking on good production to earn the favor of their easily-impressed, musically uneducated fans.

I am sure everyone remembers the YouTube sensation “Supa Hot Fire.” He would spit empty, inartistic lines with unfaltering confidence and his squad would hype him up as if he just freestyled game-changing lyrics. I would be doing every one of Future’s fans a disservice if I did not draw this parallel.

“Bye Bye” was not only a dumping ground for all the recycled lines of trap songs past, but also a broken record. “Run Up” had the potential to augment the variety of beats on the mixtape, but even though it was a change of pace, the result was too basic to count as having a positive impact.

“No Charge” came close to being the fourth waste of time as 90 percent of the track failed to add any new subject matter. The lines, “I look inside your eyes, I see the same things I’m going through/ Tryna take your heart away, you gotta be bulletproof” save the lyrics from being complete trash.

However, his delivery was flawlessly cognizant of the beat and furthermore, reflective of it. He also did not rely on auto-tune to carry his vocals. Therefore, much to the pleasure of fans out there, “No Charge” gets a thumbs up.

To be fair, the rest of the songs on the mixtape either played an essential role, earned major musicality points, or contained lyrics riddled with raw honesty, guilt and reflection.

An unforgivably hypocritical exception to these categories is “Salute,” a track full to the brim with pointless lyrics and mediocre delivery, saved exclusively by a crazy hard beat.

“Inside the Mattress” scored musicality points with the silky, soulful guitar riffs careening throughout. “Perkys Callin” and “Purple Reign” get their points from Future’s measured use of auto-tune to create wavering vocals alongside the slower tempos, muted bass, and simple yet prominent melodies.

It is just a shame that he saved the latter two tracks for the end of the mixtape, especially since these are the sounds that will expand Future’s realm.

It goes without saying that “Never Forget,” “Perkys Callin” and “Purple Reign” fall into the category of Future’s open introspection. A few songs of this nature are absolutely necessary to counterpoint the tracks bursting at the seams with bland negativity and irreverence.

Overall, this mixtape was overhyped, overrated, and will definitely be overplayed.  Notwithstanding, I would be lying if I did not admit that the majority of the content was well done and worth it.

It’s bigger than the ‘Battle of the Bay’

(norfolk state university)

(norfolk state university)

Jelani Scott | Sports Editor

Whether it is on a field, court or diamond, “Battle of the Bay” is one of the most anticipated dates on the calendar for all Hamptonians and Norfolk State students.

On January 30, the women’s and men’s basketball teams will take the floor against Norfolk State at 4 and 6 p.m., respectively, inside the Convocation Center with what is projected to be one of the biggest crowds of the season. Typically, the agenda for every “Battle of the Bay” has one standout objective: securing bragging rights.

But, when the four teams do battle Saturday night, the list will expand to include fellowship, giving back and networking.

For the first time ever, the Battle of the Bay basketball rivalry will be the backdrop to the second annual Hampton University Athletics Reunion Weekend, scheduled to take place January 29-30.  Some of the highlights of the weekend will be a meet-and-greet on Friday at Bar Louie at the Peninsula Town Centre from 7-9 p.m., a halftime ceremony honoring the alumni athletes and an after-party following the celebration at Bar Louie.

When asked about why this weekend was chosen to have the event, Assistant Athletic Director for Development Donovan Rose said, “Norfolk State is always a rivalry game and we just thought that would be the biggest draw to have our former athletes come back because I know, since back then, they still don’t like those Spartans.”

Rose, who is in third year in the position, is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and a 1979 graduate of Hampton University who has been involved with the Athletic Program for over 25 years.

“It’s a pride thing. We want to get all of those former athletes to, first of all, stay in touch with them and let them know what we’re doing with Hampton Nation,” said Rose in regards to what the purpose of the event is. “And then we want to just recognize them for the works they’re doing.”

The inaugural reunion event took place on October 17-18, 2014 and culminated in a Saturday afternoon football game against NSU. Rose and Director of Marketing and Promotions Dana Hubbard were instrumental in putting both events together.

The Lady Pirates (8-12, 6-1 in MEAC) are carrying the momentum of a four-game win streak against a Lady Spartans team that is still looking for their first win.

The Pirates (11-8, 7-1 in MEAC) suffered their first conference loss of the season against South Carolina State on Monday. They are hoping to rebound against their nemesis who have won 10 of their 22 games and are also on a four-game winning streak.

Last season, the Pirates only won in three games against the Spartans came in the MEAC Tournament where they went on to win the championship.

The Lady Pirates went 1-1 against their nemesis, with the loss coming in a nail-biter in overtime in Norfolk.

This weekend is shaping up to be yet another memorable chapter of the school’s storied athletic past, only this time the reasons will go beyond just the action on the hardwood.