I interview different people about different songs from one broadway play every other month. I break down the meanings behind different songs so that people who have never heard it can have a better understanding of the musical.
by Leo Sipowicz
Wu-Tang Clan, the legendary New York based golden-era rap outfit, is the greatest rap group to exist up to this point in hip hop history. The group consists of 11 of the most influential members of hip hop (RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa). Wu-Tang has put out 7 Studio albums in the past 25 years, and have sold over 40 million records, and have gone Platinum on 3 of them.
Incredible rap groups have come before Wu-Tang like NWA, Run D.M.C, and OutKast. These are all incredible groups and deserve immense respect from any Hip Hop fan but none of them can touch the influence and success of Wu-Tang.
Wu-Tang Clan's success is due to each of the members individual contributions. In 1992, Wu-Tang Clan dropped their debut album “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” it became an instant success and went Platinum. Instead of following it up with another album like most groups would do, they took a break so that each member of the Wu-Tang had a chance to work on his solo career, an unprecedented idea at the time. Raekwon dropped “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...” Ol’ Dirty Bastard dropped “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version” and GZA released my favorite Wu-Tang album(Not officially a Wu-Tang album but it features every member of the group) ever, “Liquid Swords”. Raekwon and Ol’ Dirty Bastard both went Gold and GZA went Platinum, two years later, the group returned with their second studio album “Wu-Tang Forever” and it went four-time Platinum. This shows both how dominant Wu-Tang was in the music industry in the 1990s and the immense amount of talent of each of the members. Wu-Tang’s first two albums completely changed the rap the game forever and their success is unmatched even by later releases from the Wu.
Wu-Tang over the years has put out some of the realist songs about life in the some of the poorer neighborhoods, of New York. In songs like “impossible” on the album “Wu-Tang Forever”, Ghostface Killah delivers heartbreaking lyrics about holding his friend Jamie dying in the street in a melodic clunky Wu-Tang flow this verse seeps with emotion and is a perfect embodiment of hip hop in the 90s. After this verse, Raekwon talks about murder rates in America and the corrupt police tying the song together to make one of the most beautiful and heart wrenching songs by Wu-Tang Clan.
Wu-Tang deserve 100% of the successes they have received over the years and new groups like Pro Era, A$AP mob, or the now broken up Odd Future don't have a chance to catch up. The amount of ground that Wu-Tang broke in any genre is unprecedented and unrivaled. Any rap crew that wants to have a chance at taking Wu-Tang’s throne has to completely change the Hip Hop scene and culture just like Wu-Tang did in 1992 with the release of “Enter the Wu-Tang.” But for now, Wu-Tang Clan is untouchable.
It all starts with a thought. One single thought. And before you can stop the tide, five million thoughts. There is not a moment in between. There is not a second where you can stop and ask yourself whether or not you want to continue on with this thinking thing. There's not even a consciousness that has any sort of opinion on thoughts and their valubility. We just think. And as a people, we essentially believe that there is no way of escaping it. No way of escaping the ongoing thoughts that cloud our brain and take over our lives. Day after day, night after night. The thoughts don’t even begin to dwindle. They drown us. The stress and the anxiety, the excitement and the passion, the ‘What shall I do next?’ and “How can I better my life so I have less stress and more enjoyment?” The constant desire to experience less suffering and more pleasure, whether that be intellectual pleasure, physical pleasure or emotional pleasure. We all want to be happy and get the most out of this thing called life as possible. People do whatever they can to achieve the ideal life, and most of us are stuck in the illusion that we are actually achieving it, or close to it. At least, that’s what people think. But in this world full of craziness, we haven't even taken one minute to stop and look around, take a breath and slow down a little bit.
Once in awhile you hear about those people. The ones who devote their life to meditation, or choose not to get a job, have kids, get married, or live any sort of normal lifestyle, and instead go off into the wild to “find themselves.” We associate those people with the ones who can “slow down.” But us fast-paced people, the ones that want to go to college and be successful, continue on with the family legacy or be people who our children can call admirable, we don’t slow down. There’s no time. This is because we have been raised to think that the faster you are the better a person you are. The more you can get done, the more you’ll achieve, and the happier you’ll be in the long run... But what is the long run? Is there a certain moment in your life where you wake up and say “I've got here! Finally! I’ve reached the good part.” Perhaps. But as far as I’m aware, that doesn’t happen, at least not to most people.
We spend our whole lives doing painful things with the impression that one day it will all pay off. It’s what we do in the morning, when we first wake up and our mind starts going, spinning off into a thousand different directions. It is the decision, usually unconscious but ultimately controllable, which we make to follow our thoughts. One after another we follow what we believe to be the road which will lead to great achievements. If you begin to think about it, it sounds quite funny. We base everything we do off of our thoughts, which actually have no physical proof of existing, and are nothing but neurological signals in our brain. Not only that, but we believe just about every thought that pops into our head, such as ‘The sky is beautiful today.’ If you ponder this idea, you can see that you thinking the sky is beautiful is a judgement that you came up with in your own head, and instead of just appreciating the sky, you are now formulating a concept about the sky.
We do this all day, everyday. We build concepts around everything we experience, and in the process find that we are creating our own little made-up world. We criticise things, put things into good and bad categories, and make judgments about people that we believe to be correct, like “The way John cooks pasta is wrong.”
When we make these judgments, we are only making our life more painful. We are constantly setting ourselves up for disappointment, creating false expectations for the world, and then suffering from the consequences of reality.
All it takes is some slowing down, to realize life isn’t as stressful as we make it out to be, and that if we do slow down, we have a higher chance of experiencing reality in a more grounded way. For instance, when you make yourself a cup of tea, you can either quickly throw away the tea bag and rush to your desk to start working, sit down and have to take a whole 3 minutes to analyze why you are even at the desk and what you need to get done, or you can slow down a bit. Instead, take a minute to think about whether the tea bag goes in the compost or trash, whether you can take off the paper part and put it into the recycling. At this point, you are already much more deliberate with your actions. You are staying aware of what is taking place in the current moment and attending to exactly what you are doing appropriately. Now it's been about 2 or 3 minutes. You go to sit down at your desk and you find that what needs to be done is already there and ready for you. You have just spent the last 3 minutes doing work efficiently and now you can continue on with that work.
With patience and awareness often comes relaxation, and as far as I am aware, some relaxation would do us all some good.
by Lola Hemmat
★★★★★ Rated: R
Genre: Action, Thriller, Mystery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
I know some people can be a sucker for the original film, but I for one, was very impressed by this year's new and compelling sci-fi fantasy.
The new and improved “Blade Runner” movie shows a new story, about Officer K, a new and improved replicant working for the LAPD, who has the job of a blade runner, “retiring” the unsafe replicants of the past. In this post apocalyptic world, the replicants are treated like trash, as if they are just parasites, like they are slaves slaves. Officer K is a good “person”, he never has stepped out of line and is good at his job, but after a chain of events, K grows more of a conscience after being assigned a new task, and tries to figure out the disappearance of Rick Deckard.
If you ask someone who has seen the film, what are your favorite three things that you recall, they will almost always say, the visual effects, the sound, and the acting. Thirty-five years ago there wasn’t many options for what they could do visually, the movie still came out great but now it’s 2017 and there is so much more movie makers can do. Every single time something with special effects came on the screen, I was amazed, no raunchy “Twilight” moments in this movie. The score for the movie enhances the overall greatness of the movie by ten fold. It changes with every scene making everything more dramatic, so by the time you are done with the movie you are looking up on the iTunes Store if you can buy it. And the acting, it’s like the casting agent for “Blade Runner 2049” hit the jackpot of great actors. Just a few of the people who are starring movie, are Ryan Gosling, Ana De Armas, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, and coming back to help unravel the mystery is Harrison Ford.
I would and will watch this movie again, and I recommend you do to. “Blade Runner” was a great film that will be remembered, and I believe that “Blade Runner 2049” adds a fantastic and updated way of looking at the franchise, while staying true to the tone of the original. Without a doubt, the amazing acting, stellar visuals and engaging plot all produce five out of the five stars I am able to give.
Remember: If you are under seventeen you must watch this film with an adult, or an adult's permission, because it is rated R.
by Liran Dor
Rated PG-13, recommended age 12+.
The show is about the adventures a group of friends (hence the name F.R.I.E.N.D.S.) and all their misfortunes and fortunes that bring them closer together. The story is about how Joey, Chandler, Ross, Monica, Rachel and Phoebe grow to love each other whilst experiencing terrible or wonderful moments together. Each character has a different characteristic that makes them unique for example; Chandler is funny, Joey is clueless and Monica always feels the need to be in control of situations. This is one of the many things that makes this show worth watching, all of the character are so different and put together are very funny. One of my favorite scenes or “inside jokes” is how the line “we were on a break!” is said so many times. I believe this show is helpful to the younger population who are still grasping the ideas of love, responsibilities and just how to “survive” the world in general. While the show teaches you these lessons, it also contains much wanted comedy, so much that will make you burst out laughing at times. I would strongly recommend it as a family show because it is so long and is age appropriate!