The Pusha-Drake Beef And WHY It Was Needed

The Pusha-Drake Beef And WHY It Was Needed

Rap always needs a good feud, and here we are with a great feud.
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Rap is a genre known for its conflicts over the years; the infamous Biggie and 2pac rivalry, Ja Rule and 50, the great Nas/Jay-Z feud, etc. Rap is known for the animosity that can exist, but rap has been starved of a true conflict for a while. Yes, Drake went after Meek Mill for a tweet, and some rappers have proceeded to feud with old enemies in the past, but those dissipated quickly or ended with one song. Even the Drake/Meek Mill feud started over Meek tweeting something that turned out to be true. Now? We have a legitimate rap feud that we have not seen in a long time; Pusha-T and Drake.

For those who do not know, these two rappers began to feud following the release of Pusha's album "Daytona," which contained the track Infrared. The track went after Drake (and others), so Drake dropped two songs; Duppy and I'm Upset. While one was good, the other was... meh. Drake attacked Pusha's music, alleged drug dealing, and name-dropped his fiancée. Then? Pusha responded with "The Life of Adidon," where Pusha made MANY claims regarding Drake being in absentia, going after one of his producers, etc. It is what rap needed.

The genre NEEDED beef of this magnitude. Rap was built on the backs of rappers that were intrepid and bold, not afraid to take on anyone they see as competition or disrespecting their name. This was seen with Nas and Jay-Z, Biggie and Pac, and can definitely be seen now in just how upfront Pusha is about the animosity. There were no limits for either song. Despite being petty at times, fans love a feud; it gives them a chance to represent their favorite artist, which has boosted album sales in the past.

Furthermore, this gives us some insight into how artists may view one another; Drake, for example, also took shots at Kanye in his song, stating that he essentially helped ghostwrite some songs and that he was stunned that he had to do anything of that level to assist Kanye. Pusha CLEARLY does not respect Drake. They provide us with insight into rapper emotions and thoughts. Plus, some quick freestyle disses are always fun, especially ones where both parties appear to be so angry and hostile to one another.

Another thing; this is pop rap's undisputed king. And he got attacked mercilessly twice. He went after his attitude, his production team, his ghostwriters, his father... He even has cover art of Drake posing as the Sambo caricature, which apparently is real (!!!). Proper context or not, all of this will combine to sting Drake HARD. Social media loves stuff like this because it can be easily disseminated. None of it looks good.

At the end of the day, rap beef is fun. Social media has made it more fun, since this information can be disseminated rather rapidly. This is the perfect feud; a guy at the peak of his fame versus a guy who, while being talented, has never gotten as much love. A guy with the lyrical ability and audacity to go after one of pop's heavy hitters. Watch this space, since this might just evolve into a war.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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Janet Still Deserves Better

15 years after one of the most controversial moments in television history, we need to apologize to Janet Jackson.

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Every February, America sits down to watch the biggest pro-football game of the year. The Super Bowl is a part of our culture. It's in our blood. We throw parties for all our friends and family. We make plates and plates of food like, for example, buffalo chicken dip. I'll eat that dip until I can't eat anymore. Some of us watch it for the game depending on who is playing. The rest of us watch it for the star-studded and high-price commercials. Some do watch for the 20 to 30-minute halftime show that have featured some of the biggest musicians of our time.

Fifteen years ago, singers Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake along with rappers P. Diddy, Nelly, and Kid Rock performed at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, Texas. The entertainers performed some of their greatest hits at the time like "All for You", "Hot in Herre", "Mo Money Mo Problems" and more. Towards the end of the performance, Jackson and Timberlake were performing Timberlake's 2003 hit "Rock Your Body". As soon as Timberlake sang the final line "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song", he pulled off a part of Jackson's costume which ultimately exposed her right breast on live TV in front of millions of people for only a few seconds. However, those few seconds caused a lot of controversy.

After the performance, which was dubbed Nipplegate, Jackson received a lot of backlash and hate for absolutely no reason. For the next couple of years following the performance, her singles and music videos were blacklisted from radio stations and television. Her next three albums were significantly affected because critics were only talking about the performance and not how good the albums were. Even though Timberlake was essentially the person who caused the whole Nipplegate situation, his career wasn't affected at all. His songs weren't blacklisted from radio, his music videos weren't blacklisted from television, his albums were still successful after the performance, and he was even invited back to headline the halftime show at Super Bowl LII last year.

This whole event is a prime example on double standards which sadly still exist in our society. Jackson is an iconic performer from an even more iconic family who was one of the biggest stars throughout the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. In my opinion, I don't think her career hasn't fully recovered since. Timberlake was just starting out in his solo career after leaving his successful boy-band *NSYNC when the whole scandal broke out and afterwards he got more successful. I do understand that this was over fifteen years ago and we have come a long way since 2004 but the problem of double standards is still very prominent in our society in every career field. Why can't we get to place where all genders are equal? Why can't everyone be put on the same pedestal when it comes to situations like this one? The NFL and the American people still need to apologize to Janet Jackson for essentially putting her successful multi-decade career at a standstill. She deserves better.

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