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Watch the Yard launches YARDCON

Ayanna Maxwell | Editor In Chief Watch the Yard on April 19 launched its first YARDCON, a digital conference for black students who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Watch the Yard, known as the most prominent platform for black…


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  • Too many romantic movies and not enough real-life romance
    Jamaija Rhoades | Staff Writer Photo Credit: Unsplash User Frank McKenna As a hopeless romantic, I can easily admit that watching romance films and allowing myself to become encapsulated in love stories has heavily influenced my expectations and perceptions about falling in love.  I…
  • Gayle King should not be your focus
    Ryland Staples | Staff Writer Photo Credit: Christopher Smith | Associated Press Gayle King on Feb. 6 interviewed former WNBA star Lisa Leslie about the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter and friends a few…
  • Beyoncé and Jay-Z can’t win
    Lindsay Keener | Staff Writer With more than 65,000 seats in the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and thousands of standing football fans, it’s hard to believe that anyone would spot the two seats that are filled. That is, of course, unless they’re…

Lifestyle

  • Watch the Yard launches YARDCON
    Ayanna Maxwell | Editor In Chief Watch the Yard on April 19 launched its first YARDCON, a digital conference for black students who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Watch the Yard, known as the most prominent platform for black college students, fraternities…
  • Coronavirus: What you must know
    Kailah Lee | Staff Writer Photo Credit: Unsplash User  Kelly Sikkema Many have heard about the Coronavirus (CoV), a recent epidemic. What makes it even scarier is that there are hourly updates on how much the disease is affecting hundreds upon thousands of people…
  • The importance of establishing a daily skin care routine
    Brandi Howliet | Staff Writer Photo Credit: Unsplash User Toa Heftiba The proper skin care routine is hard to figure out but necessary. The skin on our bodies is the largest organ, so taking care of it is very important. It helps prevent infection…

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  • Jermaine Marrow becomes HU’s all-time leading scorer
    Nazim Trammell-Wells | Staff Writer Photo Credit: Unsplash User Stephen Baker Jermaine Marrow made history last week by becoming Hampton University’s all-time leading scorer in men’s basketball. In doing so, he passed former NBA Star Rick Mahorn.  “It was a goal I had in…
  • Another XFL, 19 years later
    Justin Whitner | Staff Writer When the XFL began its first go-around in 2001, it was a professional American football lea gue that wanted to pounce on the idea that football season could still stay relevant after the completion of the NFL and…
  • NBA trade deadline recap
    Justin Norris | Staff Writer Although no stars were moved during the NBA’s trade deadline, plenty of teams made moves they think will upgrade their roster. Some teams, such as the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers, made moves that…

Childish Gambino releases fourth studio album: 3.15.20

Barry Jones | Staff Writer

Flicr User Dan Garcia

Photo Credit: Flickr User Dan Garcia

Coming off (arguably) his biggest year in 2018, Gambino has finally returned to deliver his fourth studio album, 3.15.20. Named after the date it was released, the Atlanta musician took the internet by storm by randomly releasing the project via a website titled “Donaldgloverpresents.com.” The album was playing continuously on this website from March 15 to March 16 and was removed suddenly with no warning.

Six days later, the album hit all digital streaming platforms – still with minimal promotion – and came to a surprise to most. If you’re wondering what to expect from this album, the rollout says a lot about Gambino’s intentions. The surprise drop seems to be intentional as it defies all traditional release tactics coming off a No. 1 single as Gambino did in 2018 with “This is America.”

If you’re familiar with Gambino, this is not surprising. Through his music and creative expression, he refuses time and time again to be defined by industry standards and norms. As for timing, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Everyone across the country is stuck in the house looking for anything new to engage in when it comes to content.

“Marketing wise, this is a great time to drop music,” Hampton University junior Sevaughn Coates said.

3.15.20 is an incredible culmination of electronic sounds, vulnerable emotions unorthodox sequencing tactics and hip-hop/house influences. Gambino has never been one to shy away from putting his influences on the front street. With samples from Zhane, Andre 3000 and Kanye West, the influences of this album from a content perspective are quite obvious. However, the instrumentation in which a lot of these samples are embedded in makes for a quite interesting journey.

Produced by Ludwig Garranson & DJ Dahi, the two producers who contributed heavily to Gambino’s most recent album, Awaken, My Love!, 3.15.20 is composed of sounds representing a wide range of musical eras. This is not new to Gambino. His previous album had a more consistent theme that paid tribute to the funk world’s biggest influences, such as Parliament-Funkadelic and The Ohio Players.

This album’s influences are not as consistent. The intro track “0.00is comprised of a montage of electronic sounds, incredibly reminiscent of the ’80s sounds of Enola Gay. This record blends perfectly into “Algorhythm,” which takes a similar electronic take to the 1993 hit record “Hey Mr. DJ” by Zhane.

The electronic undertones of the LP come to its pinnacle at the third record, Time, which ironically includes very few electronic musical elements that were displayed in the two tracks prior. Instead, Gambino relies on his use of the voice-box to carry his vocals through. This record serves as the metaphorical rising action of the album. The hybridization of all the musical elements: the strong string section, a choir, electronically altered vocals and even a strong piano performance on the final chorus all come together to create a perfect bridge into the album’s high point: “12.38”

On the standout record “12.38,” Gambino flips the infamous hook of Andre 3000’s Vibrate to construct probably the most sonically pleasing record on the entire album. Aside from his great vocal performance and boppy production, 21 Savage graces this record with some much-needed insurgent energy. None of the features are listed on the tracklisting, so 21 Savage’s appearance came as a surprise during the first listen as the boppy instrumental definitely does not scream “21 Savage.” However, his presence highlights his versatility and range.

On “19.10” and “24.19,” Gambino gets incredibly deep content-wise. Gambino utilized “12.38” as the precursor into his inner thoughts. Making reference to the renowned scholar, theorist, and feminist Bell Hooks, most famous for studies of Love. Both on “19.10” and “24.19,” Gambino dives head first into addressing his quarrels with love. On “19.10,” Gambino proclaims, “To be beautiful is to be hunted,” and on “24.19,” Gambino makes use of Andre 3000’s chorus on Prototype to speak to the emotional fervor that he has for his love interest.

The rest of the album has its fair share of lows and highs. While things get a bit dicey on the production side of things on “32.22” with some obvious Yeezus inspired basslines and synth riffs; “42.26,” otherwise known as “Feels Like Summer,” serves as a bit of a saving grace before the project’s finale.

3.15.20 is unorthodox in every way. From the way it was released to the plain white cover, ominous track titles, uniform yet questionable sequencing and unusually long records, this album is definitely one that stands on its own. The sonic and physical inconsistencies point to some intention on behalf of Gambino as this may be one of his final projects. Gambino doesn’t seem to be concerned with sales, promotion or anything of the sort. Coming off of such big commercial success with his previous album and his single “This is America,” Gambino completely veers off the path he was on and delivers a project that seems to be honest and representative of where he is creatively and emotionally.

Coming to a Shameless end

Naomi Ludlow | Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Showtime “Anytime” App

The Gallaghers have returned to the screen with even more shenanigans.

From Frank’s (William H. Macy) numerous scams to Fiona’s (Emmy Rossum) matriarchal nature, nothing has changed from the South Side’s craziest family. Shameless season 9 has just ended, and a lot of things unfolded within the past few weeks. This TV family never fails to bring to life the struggles of the lower class, no matter how funny it may seem.

This season, we see the Gallaghers have a new household leader, Debbie (Emma Kenney), as Fiona decided to move out of the house last season. The audience has seen Debbie mature over the years as her family’s needs have rushed her development. This season, her nurturing spirit and get-it-done attitude have kept the family afloat. She is hit with a new responsibility that she handles with ease just like her sister Fiona.

Fiona, on the other hand, has spiraled out of control facing new challenges she wasn’t expecting. Her character has to figure out how to get back on her feet. She falls into the Gallagher family cycle of alcoholism. Her journey throughout the season, like the others, depicts how she perseveres through hardships that life throws at her and her ultimate dilemma of putting herself or her family first.

The men of the Gallagher family are all coming into themselves and are facing the truths in their lives head on. Phillip “Lip” (Jeremy Allen White) is realizing that family means everything to him and sobriety is the biggest part of seeing clarity in your life. Ian (Cameron Monaghan) has accepted the faults leading a LGBTQ+ movement but understands that gay rights are just as important as any other rights. Carl (Ethan Kutkosky) is reaching for a future in the military recognizes the obstacles that are along the way. Liam, the youngest Gallagher, grows into himself seeking more knowledge about the culture of a black man in America.

The producers of Shameless attacked numerous social issues head on in a way that not only brings awareness to the situation, but has you laughing as well. Familiar topics such as immigration, white privilege and unfair treatment of the lower class was displayed for the audience to relate to and comprehend the seriousness or lack of seriousness of these issues. Shameless producers show that Americans tend to not care about the issues of the lower class because it doesn’t directly affect them.

As the characters continue to struggle with the hardships of life, the audience barely sees the little gleam of light that might come out of the situation. Specifically, as Fiona spirals, the audience questions her ability to get back on her feet. Toward the end of the season, she gets it together and things get better from there.

The unexpected happens and the Gallagher family may be moving up in the near future. As things are looking up, Fiona is thinking about moving on.

Getting out of the South Side of Chicago is an easy task for her to complete, but she reconsiders leaving behind her family that she raised. A heartfelt moment with her father captures the impression that Fiona has on her family.

As Gallagher is moving on, so what does this mean for the series? Shameless will be back for season 10, which will make it Showtime’s longest-running series. Expect to see what new life challenges will hit the Gallagher family.

Living your life like it’s golden

Mia Concepcion | Staff Writer

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Flickr User Seaternity

Let’s be ready to live. Our lives truly begin when we quit surrendering ourselves to fear. When we decide that we will no longer make room for its controlling presence to dictate our next move. Fear’s only intention is to torment and steal our peace. The moment we think we’re safe from fear’s divisive plans, it makes an unexpected appearance. Instead of confronting it, we run from it. The question that must now be asked is, what are we running from? What is it that we are so afraid of facing alone? Is it the truth?

The truth is that sometimes fear isn’t so bad. Fear can show us who we really are and what we really want, but are too petrified to acknowledge or have, according to a TED talk titled “Life Beyond Fear” given by Karina Hollekim.

What can be the most terrifying thing is living our truth because of what it might do to others and how it might affect those we love.

Stepping into your truth ultimately reveals two things: people who tolerate your truth, and people who accept and support it, as pointed out by Hollekim. Those who support the truth you live also support your freedom as an individual. You have every right to make decisions and act on feelings that reinforce self-love, even if it means losing friends in the process.

In fact, here’s another idea to mull over: Our fears may disclose how much we are afraid of loving ourselves in the way we wish. We have dreams to chase and decisions to make that sometimes come with a cost, according to Hollekim. That cost is support from our friends—guaranteed support. However, at the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you and be your own biggest supporter. The naysayers will always be there, but strength and certainty in what you are doing are necessary to overcome what they say.

Stop becoming a target for fear. Stop being so afraid to live a liberated life. Chase after your dreams instead of being chased by your fears. You will never get your “happily ever after” if you continue to compromise your truth for the sake of those around you. Real friends won’t force you to compromise who you are for their wellbeing. Their best interests will always be what is most beneficial for you.

Therefore, learn to love yourself enough to live your truth and indulge in a village who is willing to protect you, support you and love you the way you love yourself, while living this truth. Where there is love, there is no torment and there is no fear.

Faux fashion: Some fake it, but you don’t need to take it

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

fakefashion

Flickr User Nrrwvision

Fashion Week has finally made its way back around, giving society the keys to be fashionably fit.

Many designers are showcasing their collections in hopes of impressing the ones watching. Along with these original designs are the ones duplicating it.

“Counterfeit fashion” includes items that pose to be something that they are not, such as the bags some people sell out of their cars. An item trademarked to represent the company it is imitating has subtle differences that aren’t caught by the normal consumer.

For example, someone may be selling a purse that has the same design as a Louis Vuitton purse that is on the market. The seller is saying that it is authentic, but it is not.

Counterfeit fashion is made to deceive the buyer, and according to The Fashion Law, it is becoming a trillion-dollar industry. Counterfeit fashion is an issue because it involves taking money away from designers. Those who buy into counterfeits allow someone to take credit that they don’t deserve. Counterfeit fashion usually targets big brands, but it is important to recognize no matter the size and the money a company is making, posing as something you’re not isn’t a good look.

Many designers are trying to play the game of the fakes and get back what is theirs. In an article written by The Fashion Law, it mentions brands such as Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana and Off-White designing what people might think is fake and selling it in districts where counterfeits are popular. Once people realize the items are real, they resell them for a higher price.

Some HU students feel the pressure from social media to keep up with trends but think it shouldn’t break them financially to do so.

“You can still be fashionable on a budget,” Hampton University student Brea Burnett said. “You don’t have to wear designer to [rock] a fit.”

Fashion is supposed to be about being creative. It is supposed to allow one’s mind to go outside the norms. Trends only last so long, so why buy into it if you can’t afford it?

Counterfeit fashion seems like the easy way to be a part of trends and to show the world that you have something.

In the end, designers lose out.

“I would rather stick to having those authentic pieces than investing in a fake that is essentially stolen,” HU freshman Amira Jones said.

Fashion Week is the time to get inspiration from designers and experience their visions come to life. Society shouldn’t allow those to take from these brands. In order to stop counterfeit fashion, consumers need to call it out and stop purchasing fake items.

Gucci criticized for sweater’s resemblance to blackface

Amber Smith | Staff Writer

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Flickr User Heidi Uusitorppa

The popular fashion brand Gucci infuriated many customers with its release of a black sweater which resembles blackface.

The black wool balaclava sweater – appearing similar to blackface, the practice of non-black performers wearing black makeup on their face in order to make a mockery of the behaviors and features of black people – arrived as an unappreciated, unpleasant surprise during Black History Month.

While some people say this was merely a lapse in judgment from the brand, others think this is an outward act of racism and have decided to boycott Gucci altogether.

“Mistakes like these are unacceptable in 2019,” Hampton University student Jada George said. “Although this shows that Gucci needs to employ more people of color so designs like these won’t happen, anyone with a basic-level education should have taken one look at this sweater and said ‘no,’ but the fact that it reached the approval to make it into stores shows that we have a bigger issue going on in our country.”

Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci, told NBC News the company is committed to facing what happened as a crucial learning moment and that the design causes him grief. Apparently, the sweater was intended to be a tribute to Leigh Bowery, an Australian performance artist, club promoter and fashion designer known for his flamboyant makeup and costumes.

The controversial sweater, priced at $890, has since been removed from stores and online after being widely criticized.

“I feel like it was a lack of knowledge more so than them trying to be outright racist,” HU student Taylor Dotson said. “The fact that Gucci was able to release this shows that there are not enough black people on their team and the white people who are have a lack of knowledge.”

Since the design’s release, Gucci has come under great scrutiny and criticism from celebrities and fashion enthusiasts on social media.

Rapper T.I., a customer who spends tens of thousands of dollars a year on Gucci, took to Instagram to explain how he does not accept the apology from the luxury brand and called for a boycott of the brand until it learns how to respect its black customers. He even encouraged his followers to instead support black-owned fashion brands such as ServedFresh and Amir James.

“I feel like once this blows over, black people will be wearing Gucci again,” HU student Destiny McFadden said. “I don’t want to support Gucci, but at the same time, I’ve spent my money on it, so I wouldn’t just burn it. But I’m definitely going to support other brands instead.”

Reacting to rejection

Mia Concepcion | Staff Writer

The word “no” is commonly feared and disliked. Rejection often evokes feelings of inadequacy. Discouragement begins to linger, competence is questioned, and uncertainty arises upon hearing this unsettling word.

In life, not every request or desire will be answered with a yes. Sometimes, the words “no” and “maybe” are more appropriate for a situation. When events do not play out as hoped, the plan toward achieving a goal must be adjusted. Both the route to goals and goals themselves ought to be flexible—therefore it is important to learn how to healthily and appropriately respond to rejection without distorting oneself.

When faced with rejection, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, never use this failure as a measure of self-worth. Just because some things are not executed as imagined, potential and talent still remain. In fact, this potential still has the ability to improve. Do not be overcome with defeat by a single incident. Rejection can be a driving source of motivation for progress in life. Use this simple “no” to energize your desire to claim what is yours. You are more than capable of realizing your dreams.

There is no single way to be successful, as seen by individuals who have attained their own personal goals.

“I just have to take a step back and assess the situation,” said Amirah Manes, a junior biology pre-med major from Suffolk. “I like to see what I could have done better to avoid making the same mistake the next time around.”

You can compensate for rejection by contemplating the various ways in which a goal can still be achieved. There is no single way to be successful, as seen by individuals who have attained their own personal goals.

Unlearn rigid thinking and be flexible in how you attempt to fulfill your aspirations. If the first plan failed, then it is time to either reroute your direction or alter the goal. Stop trying to mimic what everyone else is doing because they seem to be doing well. Follow your own route toward the objective, and remember to offer help to those who need it along the way.

“My reaction towards rejection depends on who it is coming from,” said Clarence Stevens, a fourth-year psychology major from New Jersey. “If it stems from a close friend, then I’ll try to avoid blaming myself for what happened. If [the rejection comes] from an internship, then I assume that it wasn’t meant to be and continue applying for others.”

Finally, do not be afraid of rejection. No one will ever do everything perfectly the first time, because perfection is impossible. Give yourself room for error and expect the occasional rejection. Be open to making mistakes and learning from them.

Davion, a second-year psychology major from Newark, New Jersey, said, “Rejection has taught me to attempt all things even if the answer is no. I sometimes expect it to, just because I know that is how life works.”

Cardi B has golden touch with Invasion of Privacy

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer

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Selena Roberts

The hip hop industry, up until now, has been dominated by men. With the rise of Cardi B, it might not stay that way for long.

 

Invasion of Privacy, her awaited debut studio album, was released April 6, and it already has gone gold. This accomplishment is mostly due to the success of her hit record “Bodak Yellow,” which debuted last summer.

 

According to The New York Times, the Invasion of Privacy album is reminiscent of the 1990s and the 2000s, when New York rap was beginning to test its pop edges.

 

The album features other artists such as 21 Savage, Migos, Chance the Rapper, SZA and Kehlani. There are 13 songs, each with unique sounds.

 

Invasion of Privacy starts off with “Get Up 10” and ends with “I Do,” featuring SZA.  Each song covers a different a topic, from the pressures of fame to relationship issues.

 

“I’ve always been a fan of Cardi B,” Hampton University freshman psychology major Tanaya Jones said. “She’s always worked hard for what she wants. Invasion of Privacy is just another indicator of how talented she is. She keeps on changing the game through her own unique way.”

 

On Saturday Night Live, Cardi confirmed that recent pregnancy rumors were true by debuting her baby bump to the world during her performance. After the reveal, Cardi stated backstage that she was “finally free.”

 

Next, fans can catch Cardi on Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour in the upcoming months. She also has a deal in the works to partner with the fashion brand Fashion Nova to create her own clothing line.

Amateur not so amateur

Ryland Staples | Staff Writer

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Screenshot from Netflix taken by Ryland Staples

Amateur, a new Netflix original film, takes a look at the lives of extraordinary high school basketball talents in the United States. It explores and explains how everything isn’t always what it seems when it comes to the talent pool of prospects.

 

The main character of the movie is Terron Forte (played by Michael Rainey Jr.), an eighth-grader who started in the public school system but already plays for the local high school team. Forte is a star there. He makes everything look easy against opponents. His encounters with opponents include fancy dribble combinations, flashy passes and amazing shooting. Forte is the unopposed star. However, his home life isn’t the best.

 

His mother is a night school teacher, and his father falls in and out of employment. His father deals with constant headaches and chronic pain all over his body due to his past career as an NFL player. His dad is an integral part of his life. He is his self-proclaimed manager, meaning that he records Terron’s highlights and uploads them to the internet.

 

When Terron gets home and does his math homework, he struggles with it on a daily basis. He suffers from a rare form of dyslexia that makes it almost impossible for him to be able to read numbers. Later in the movie, it even affects him on the court. Forte isn’t able to read the scoreboard/shot clock.

 

Terron Forte is offered a full-ride scholarship to play on one of the top high school teams in the country. His mother is concerned that he’s still in eighth grade and will be attending high school, so he ends up commuting to a nearby middle school. At this point in the movie, he’s ready to play and be taken seriously as a national prospect. When he arrives, he moves in with the team.

 

As expected, he isn’t treated with the utmost respect. He has to deal with the common jeers of “You don’t belong here” and “Who let the middle schooler on the team?” He has to carry the older players’ bags, and he doesn’t get the opportunity to play as much as he did while he was in the public school system. School isn’t the same either; he rarely goes to any of his classes.

 

This mirrors what’s happening in today’s amateur basketball landscape. There is an increasing number of players who feel there’s no point in pursuing an education, and many college players decide to only play for a year and go to the NBA. With this in mind, they only attend class for the first semester so they’re able to stay eligible to play in the second semester.

 

Amateur is a movie to which many student-athletes can relate. Check it out on Netflix to see how Forte’s future plays out.

Growing criticism on mainstream rap music

Jaelan Leonard | Contributing Writer

Hip-hop/rap music is a global phenomenon that permeates every facet of our society.

Hip-hop doesn’t just influence the mainstream, it is the mainstream. However, its recent decline in sales and growth in criticism have said otherwise.

In a span of more than 40 years, rap music has evolved to fit the cultural aspects of the changing society.

Many individuals use rap music as a form of expression to explain ongoing problems that they are facing.

The internet has changed the music industry to allow for creative musical expression.

It is also a great tool that allows independent musicians to find a global audience without having to have major labels back them up.

According to RecordingConnection.com, the internet has made music more accessible to the public and has also made it difficult for artists to make money in the process.

Hip-hop began in the 1970s and originated in New York City. Back then, hip-hop gave the black and Latino youth an outlet to express themselves.

The development created a movement that influenced how people dress, speak and socialize with peers. “Gangster rap” quickly followed suit and spread like wildfire in the 1980s.

It was marked as the beginning of a “rough era.”

Kayla Key, a senior from Pittsburgh, said, “In my opinion, I feel like I’ve heard a lot of the same kind of beats, and I feel like there’s not a lot of originality.”

In a poll of African-Americans by The Associated Press and AOL-Black Voices last year, 50 percent of respondents said hip-hop was a negative force in American society.
Despite this poll, many young Americans still idolize these upcoming rappers.

Hip-hop/rap music has been blamed for a variety of social injustices.

Studies have shown that there is an attempted link from rap music to teen drug use and increased sexual activity.

Many people believe that the sole purpose of today’s rap music is to make profit, and that the era of lyricism and storytelling is ending.

Also, there’s a criminal aspect that has been related to rap music.

In the ’70s, groups may have rapped about drug-dealing and street violence, but rap stars weren’t the embodiment of criminals themselves.

In today’s era, the most popular and successful rappers boast about murders, dealing drugs and sexualizing women.

“It all depends on the artists that you listen to,” Gabrielle Snipes, a Hampton alumna, said.

“On the trap side, you are definitely going to get rappers who talk about drugs, living in the trap, etc. Other artists discuss awareness on certain [topics] like mental illness.”

Criticism of hip-hop/rap music is nothing new; it has become a part of the culture.

The question is, will society fuel the progression of horrible music or uplift the ones who are trying to make a breakthrough by returning hip-hop to originality?