​​Offset's "FATHER OF 4" Review

​​Offset's "FATHER OF 4" Review

Hitting the highlights on hip-hops first great album of 2019.

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For the past few months, each member of the popular hip-hop group Migos has dropped solo projects for the world to listen and (mostly) enjoy. Quavo released "Quavo Huncho" in October and Takeoff followed with "The Last Rocket" in November. That left the "dark Migo", Offset, to release the final of the solo albums from the group. After months of speculation and wait, Offset finally dropped the project "FATHER OF 4", receiving critical acclaim, and continuing his and the group's ceiling breaking stardom.

Originally to be named "Set Gala", Offset planned on dropping the album in December on his birthday, but certain events that happened in his life, mostly the public cheating scandal and breakup with rap superstar Cardi B, delayed the album's release. Two months later, he released the long-awaited project, filling it with songs about his four kids, his relationship with Cardi, and his rise to fame. The album consists of 16 songs and is produced solely by Southside and Metro Boomin, two of the great producers in the rap game. There are so many songs to choose from for a review article, but here are the four songs that define the album.

The album begins with the project title, Father of 4, a song written solely for his kids. He raps about being locked up when his first kid was born, being only 17 years old, and being completely broke when he was released from prison. He name drops all of his kids, which is significant due to the fact that only one of his kids gets the media attention, his daughter Kulture who he had with Cardi B. It wasn't known by many fans that Offset had more kids than just Kulture, so it's great that he mentions them all and the struggles he went through as a father before becoming rich and famous. He clearly is trying to become a better father and it begins with him apologizing to his kids for not being around much during their early years. Great intro that doubles as a beautifully produced song, one that fans can enjoy on their speakers and headphones, even though it wasn't meant for the fans.

Many of the other songs on the album are consistent with the picture that has been painted of Offset, his love for money, women, and the luxuries of life. This is personified on Made Men, the 5th track on the album. Even before the beat drops in the song, he has already mentioned "gettin real paper" and buying new expensive cars (a McLaren to be exact). This continues throughout the song where he is clearly showing how he spends his money and showing the fans exactly how he feels about himself and his rap game, mentioning that everything he touches turns #1 on the charts. He also raps about his family, saying that he takes care of his mom, who raised him alone, and how he and his father don't speak. While not a noticeable line at first, this is important because Offset clearly doesn't have a great relationship with his father, making him strive to become better than him. It's a fun song but definitely has its purpose in sticking to the theme of the album.

Now comes the song that will define Offset for years to come, North Star. The 7th track on the album changes the direction of how Offset can rap, showing a softer side to the darkness. He pulls Ceelo Green as a feature, showing the superstar can provide all-star features on his projects. This comes as little surprise due to the superstardom level the Migos are on but still shows Offset can provide this on HIS projects. The production on this album is bar-none, one of the best any member of Migos has rapped to. Metro Boomin, presumably, slows it down on this track, providing the fans a chance to hear Offset get soft with his music. Here, he raps about his desire to be the leader of this new generation of rappers and achieving personal greatness, which he also says he accomplished so much already. Green provides the interpretation of this song and gives us the line of the song, "I gotta burn bright to be the North Star in the dark night sky," reviewing exactly what Offset mentions, wanting to be the light for this generation. Best song on the album, and again, one that will be at the top of Offset's discography when his career is all set and done.

One of the interesting things that was expected of Offset from this album was him addressing his relationship with Cardi B. The two are clearly back together after weeks of speculation, and the timing was great to address exactly his thoughts on Kulture's mother. That finally came during the 9th track, Don't Lose Me. Offset begins this song not rapping, just talking with little music in the background. He apologizes for breaking her heart, breaking God's promise, and trying to be a better person, clearly addressing his feelings towards his cheating scandal from last year. This was the best way Offset could approach this topic, by just speaking candidly on his thoughts instead of rapping, showing the softer side once more from the Migo member and a more humanistic approach rather than him believing he is above the heartbreak that he endured during the breakup. The rest of the song consists of a fantastic beat, which includes crickets in the background, which sound fantastic (only Metro can make this sound good). He starts to rap about having demons that led him to cheat but also mentions that Cardi B is the only women for him and he didn't realize it before. He talks about doing anything for her and shows the world his true feelings towards his baby mama. He drops a fantastic line that is a homage to arguably the best Migo song in their discography, "Bad and Boujee", where he says that he loves that Cardi is "ratchet, not boujee." A great response to something that has been in the media for a while, and clearly a reason for the delay in the album release.

2019 is going to be filled with some great rap albums. The rap game is at an all-time level with the amount of talent and songs being produced. Offset just proved he belongs in the upper echelon of this group as a solo artist, and maybe just cemented his status as the best Migo. His lyrical genius is clear throughout this album, but it's the way he switches up from his usual antics and provides context to his past and present life that truly makes him and this album great. Time will tell if he can withstand a full year of albums to grant him a Grammy nomination for Best Album or even win the award itself, but through two months of the year, "FATHER OF 4" has won the award with flying colors.

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9 Pieces Of Advice For Anyone Who's Thinking Of Taking A Gap Year

I did a gap year this past year, and learned some important things along the way.

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If you're not feeling ready for college, it's OK — I wasn't either. Sometimes going straight from high school to college is stressful, and you want a break. A lot of people wonder about the benefits from a gap year or what you can do for a whole year. I am currently wrapping up my gap year, and here is what I learned that others considering it might want to be aware of before deciding.

1. Have a job

Chances are, most of your friends will be in school or not around, so getting a job will help fill up your time, as well as save money if you plan on going to college. I worked in the food industry as a waitress and in retail as a sales associate and found that both are good for making money if you have enough hours.

2. Make a plan

Have a schedule in place for what you want to do for the year — whether that be travel, work, hang out with friends, or study for school, make sure you have it planned. The more unorganized you are, there's a better chance that it will be harder to have fun.

3. Travel

Not everyone has the money to do this, but I highly suggest either going to a state you've never been to before or overseas to somewhere like France or Spain. If you speak a foreign language this gap year is a really good time to perfect it and become fluent, so traveling for a month or more is a great idea. There are lots of great programs that only do month-long language intensives, semester-long, or year-long depending on your budget.

4. Keep your studies up

Not going to school for a whole year sounds great right? Well, don't forget if you're attending college in the fall, that that requires even more study and focus than high school. Make sure to do math problems for ten minutes a day to keep your skills intact. Reading books is a great way to maintain your English reading and writing abilities.

5. Exercise regularly

With lots of free time suddenly on your hands, it's easy to let go of your body and do whatever you want. It's almost like the rumored freshman 15, except for a gap year. I've found that just trying to maintain a steady and balanced diet and going on 2-3 walks a day, as well as some cardio, is a great way to keep your body in shape for school.

6. Focus on new hobbies

Finding new things to do is a great way to make new friends as well. Just by going to the library, town pool, or pursuing a sport you never did in high school can help fill up your time. Maybe starting to learn tennis, or going to the weekly yoga class will become your new thing. I found that going to the classes for teens at the YMCA or your town gym is a great way to meet people your age.

7. Be open minded

This is perhaps one of the hardest things that anyone has to do in their life, but the more people you meet, whether it's through work, town concerts, or yoga classes will often want to do something with you. Being more open-minded and trying new things is a must for taking a gap year because so many opportunities will present themselves just by saying yes to a cup of coffee or a weekend bowling competition.

8. Spend more time with family

If you're taking your gap year at home and can't afford to travel, try to spend more time with your family since you'll be gone the whole upcoming year. Having a game night or starting a new show (I highly suggest "Stranger Things") is a great way to spend time with them, especially after a long day of work.

9. Self care

Leave some time to go get your nails done, or go have a cup of coffee, or do face masks. Having time to relax is really important and during school, there wasn't a whole lot of time to do it. Now is the time to try to take care of your skin and body better.

Taking a gap year is something I would suggest if you don't feel ready for college yet. It helped give me the time I needed to save money for school and get organized. Even though school is not a must during this year, being on your own and having so much free time is a lot of work. The list above are all things I wish I would've thought more about or done during my gap year because having so much free time wasn't always easy for me. If you're someone thinking of doing a gap year, I hope that this list not only got you excited but gave you some good advice that you can use towards your year. Good luck!

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To The One That Got Away

I had a lifetime of memories with you.

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We knew this day would come. From the moment we started this song and dance we knew a day would come where we could say "goodbye" instead of "see you later". We knew. We knew exactly when that day would be. We prepared ourselves as much as we could; I prepared myself as much as I could. But it didn't soften the hurt at all.

In the early days of this semester, we hit it off. It was an instant connection. The more we talked, the more it just made sense between you and me. However, we knew that this absolutely could not work out long term, for several reasons, so "just friends" is what we went with. We were fooling ourselves from the very beginning. But that was fine. Being just friends who told each other every little thing was enough, until one day it just wasn't.

One day we went out on our first "official" date. And it was magical. It was perfect. It was a cute little dinner place with string lights and a vintage vibe. We drove around for hours afterward, talking about any and everything. Holding hands and laughing. Enjoying each other's presence. We went back to your house and watched a movie. You asked to kiss me, but I knew that this just wasn't the time for that, and you understood. You just pulled me closer, and I've never felt more at home.

Then there was a second date. And then a third. But before there could be more, time ran out and the day we had stored in the back of our heads finally came. We'd been doing this whole dance for months, but the time we were actually together wanes in comparison. Long distance just didn't make sense. We both agreed. So we made the most of our last night together.

We talked. We sat on your bed with movie after movie playing in the background, and we stayed up talking. We talked about our hopes and dreams. For ourselves. For each other. We talked about our fears and insecurities. We talked about embarrassing childhood moments and our proudest accomplishments. We laid it all out that night. We spent the entire night reliving our lives, and I couldn't imagine anything else. We woke up the next morning; my head was on your chest and your hands around my waist. You held me, and I held you. Neither of us wanted to let go of what we had.

The time came for me to go back home, away from you. I didn't want to go. You didn't want me to leave. You followed me out to my car, and just as I thought that was going to be it, you pulled me in so close, so tight. You told me that the next time I pursued a relationship it had to be with a good person. It had to be someone who treated me well and respected everything about me. I didn't think you knew how much I wanted that person to be you, but the next second you told me you wanted the same thing. Then I got in my car, you shut my door, and you watched me drive away. I watched you get smaller and smaller in my rearview mirror. And I hurt.

You know, you checked all my boxes. You were (you are) so kind. So caring. So respectful. Our values match, and we complement each other perfectly. You called me weird and crazy 24/7, but you also called me beautiful when I was in sweatpants with no makeup on. Everything was perfect. The situation just wasn't going to work out long distance. But that's okay. I'll be okay. You gave me a lifetime of memories in such a short period of time.

We both saw this day coming. It doesn't make it hurt any less. You are the best person I've ever met in my life. I'm certain I'll look for a little bit of you in everyone else I ever meet. I'm certain you're the one that got away.

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