Blackbear's "Cybersex" Album Review

Blackbear's "Cybersex" Album Review

Fourteen songs for your enjoyment brought to you by blackbear.

I have been a big blackbear fan since I stumbled upon his music this past summer after discovering mansionz (which is blackbear and Mike Posner). I am a big fan of his mix of vocals and rapping, it is definitely my favorite type of music. He has a great mix of deep songs and hype songs, with some real real lyrics. I didn’t approve of his stint with Bella Thorne, but hey, we all make mistakes.

Blackbear has slowly been releasing bits and pieces of his newest album, “cybersex." Some people had accused him of wanting to make more money off individual singles, rather than bundling into an album, but on Twitter he cleared the air, and I respect that. It is nice to be able to hear some new songs from an album, especially more than one. Listening to the same song over and over kills the mood and gets old.

Overall, I am a big fan of this album. I was really shocked by some of the first songs on the album due to them not being in typical blackbear style. Songs like “gucci linen” and “bright pink tims” had a more trap vibe. The change-up was nice and very well done.

Eleven out of fourteen songs have a feature artist, and some big names are featured on this album. From Machine Gun Kelly to T-Pain (the songbird of our generation as my roommate likes to say) to RiffRaff and Ne-Yo, the list has amazing features who help enhance the album and make every song feel a little different while blackbear kept the whole album cohesive.

Some of my favorite songs from the album are “santa monica & la brea,” “playboy shit” ft. lil aaron, “up in this” with Tinashe, and “thursday/froze over - ‘interlude.’”

"santa monica & la brea"

This song is one of the slower songs on the album, which I always have a soft spot. It has a really strong message with lyrics like, “what if we never said ‘Hello’ and “What’s your name,’” which really spoke to me. The vibe is very chill with good pacing. A very good feels song.

"i hope your whole life sux"

This song is what everyone is feeling after being dumped, or trying to get over that toxic person you let go. Inside you are telling yourself how the other person is taking such a big loss. Around the 1:50 mark blackbear spreads some wisdom he received which I think everyone should follow, “Get a job, have a backup 'plan a' 'b' and a 'c', and have fun in moderation, work harder, ain’t shit for free”. It’s a real message and I love it; makes this song even better.

"up in this"

I had never heard of Tinashe till she was coming to University of Minnesota for homecoming, which I then fell in love with her after seeing her live. So, I was very happy to see this collab. One of the few songs released before the album, so I have had time to be obsessed with this song, and I still am. I feel like this is just a banger for ladies night, so ladies, dance it out. Plus, this features two beautiful voices!

thursday/froze over “interlude”

I am and always have been a big fan of interludes. It is just sort of a comical song about girls who chase rappers/musicians to start off. I am usually not a fan of two songs in one, but I kind of like the way it is so sudden. I take froze over as the interlude part of the song due to its calming and repetitive nature. But, overall well done.

I really like this album a lot, and think that blackbear did a good job of reaching outside his typical box and incorporating a wide variety of artists in his songs, which will help his music reach a wide variety of audiences. Overall, great album with lots of quality work.

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The Key To Ending Your First Draft Blues

Or at least getting through the next chapter with your hair intact

Ah, the first draft. We’ve all been there as writers. The day we decide to turn a blank word document into a 70,000 word (or more) masterpiece. Or, at least, that’s always the aim. Often as first-time writers, we go into the experience blind, learning as we go, and never really knowing whether what we’re doing is right or wrong.

It can be frustrating at times, as most first drafts are a test of sanity. As somebody who had written ten first draft books (nearing eleven) in six years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to first drafts.

My first book ever took me four years just to write it, I started at the age of sixteen and finished by the time I was twenty. A year later I had written another. I then wrote one in thirty days, and nowadays I write about three to four books a year.

My point is, there is no science to writing. It is all about learning how to do it, and finding the methods that suit you best. I just wish I could have had someone to tell me all of that when I started.

With that in mind, here are my five pieces of advice on how to write your first draft:

#5 Embrace the Terribleness

The first draft is always the worst version of any story. The sooner you accept it, the easier it is to move forward with your work. So you misspell a few words so bad that even Word can't help you. That shouldn't stop you from going with the flow. Your dialogue will feel hammier than a "Star Wars" film, but you'll clean it up the second time around. You're not expected to create a masterpiece on the first go, so just enjoy the ride.

#4 Suffer for your Art

Writing can be hard. I've said it enough times already, but it's true. You have to be prepared to suffer for it. The reason my first book took four years to write was because I didn't commit to it. The reason I wrote 80,000 words in thirty days was because I committed myself to write at least 1,000 words a day. Now I average 3,000 daily. Is it painful to force 3,000 words to the page every day? Yes, but that's what you have to do to get the draft finished.

#3 Take your Time

Now I know this goes against what I just said, but it's important that you go at the pace you want to. I was happier writing 1,000 words a day, but I was eighteen then. At twenty-three, I'll never get everything done going at 1,000 words a day. Commit yourself to writing every day, even if its only 200 words. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. You'll get to the finishing line quicker if you jog a steady pace rather than adopting a sprint and rest mentality.

#2 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Yes, it's important to remember what colour your character's hair is, which one is taller, and what weapon they are carrying. Although with that said, it is important to keep going forward. In my editing, I go over everything with a fine comb, often with a character profile at my side. Don't get bogged down giving every little detail the first time around, you'll have time for that later. The hardest thing is getting it down the first time.

#1 Keep the Story Going at All Costs

This kind of goes without saying, but it is by far the most important step for me. You have to keep moving forward. It doesn't matter if you have to use the biggest Deus ex machina to get your plot going again, you can always edit it away in the re-draft. I use a technique called automatic writing, which means that I don't plan every detail of a chapter. I simply write it as I go. This allows me to give my characters natural reactions as events often come as a surprise to me too.

Obviously it is good to have a rough idea of what is meant to happen, but as long as you can get your characters from A to B, then you are half way there. The other half will be polishing it to the point you can see your reflection.

Good luck, and happy writing.

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4 Steps To Writing a Haiku

It's Fun I Promise

You've probably had to write a haiku for English sometime in your school career. You most likely found it boring, or difficult, or just plain stupid. I am going to try and show you a more fun way to write a haiku.

1. The Basics: What You Should Know

In case you don't know, a haiku is a Japanese poem that is only three lines long. It is usually taught that the syllables in each line should go 5-7-5. But really, as long as there are 17 syllables or less in the three lines, it's a haiku.

2. Write to Get a Reaction

When you write a haiku, you are aiming to get one of three reactions: Aaaahhh, aha!, or ha ha! For example...

Aaahhh: Laying in bed/dog next to me under blanket/my furry heater

Aha!: Life is too short to love people/who do not deserve/your whole heart

Ha ha!: I'm on the toilet/and my stomach drops/the roll is empty

3. Create an Image

In your writing, you want to create a new image in your readers mind with each line. Take my first haiku for example. I first talk about laying in bed. Then, I say there is a dog next to me under the blanket, so you picture a lump under the covers. In my last line, I call him a furry heater so you imagine a heater covered in fur. The image you create is more important than the syllables.

4. Performing

Lastly, you need to think about performing your haiku. As always, when you're speaking in front of a room of people, you need to project so the whole room can hear you and you need to make eye contact. Another thing to remember is the tone of your voice while you are saying your poem. Dramatic pauses can keep people on the edge of their seat, waiting for what you're going to say next. You also have to remember to be confident! And if you're not confident, fake it till you make it!

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