UPDATE: Free Weezy Album Review

UPDATE: Free Weezy Album Review

Has Weezy Finally Come Back to Life?
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This past Fourth of July, Lil Wayne unleashed his long-awaited ‘Free Weezy Album’ to his fans. Many dismissed the album before it even dropped. As mentioned in a recent article on Lil Wayne’s downfall (read article here), his career has been in a downward spiral ever since going to jail in 2010.

The recent courtroom battle with former mentor Birdman over the never-released Carter V has not helped either, although it has shined some light on why he’s had such trouble making release dates on time. Since Wayne has parted ways with Cash Money Records, he knew that a comeback album was still in order. If it wasn’t going to be Tha Carter V, then he must move forward with another release: The Free Weezy Album (FWA).

The album starts off with the lead single, ‘Glory,’ which is a classic combination of Lil Wayne’s silliness and crafty lyricism. We’re then brought into ‘He’s Dead,’ a track that includes the line: “Rest in peace to the Cash Money Weezy, gone but not forgotten.” He is showing a level of seriousness here we haven’t seen in quite a while. He then lightens the mood with ‘I Feel Good,’ sampling the James Brown classic of the same title; a track that bumps and really gets the album going.

Throughout the rest of the album, we have a mixed track list of songs that are rather hit or miss. The fortunate thing is that each track is at least listenable, which hasn’t been said about a Lil Wayne release in quite a while. Even 2011’s Tha Carter IV had some tracks worth deleting (need we be reminded of ‘How To Love’). We have standout tracks like ‘Pick Up Your Heart,’ ‘Pull Up,’ and ‘Without You.’ Meanwhile, there are mediocre duds like ‘Psycho’ and the Wiz Khalifa-featured ‘Living Right.’

So where does this album stand when we discuss Lil Wayne’s career? Well, it by no means has the staying power of a classic like Tha Carter III. However, with that said, it has the potential to surpass albums like Tha Carter IV. It is not close to a perfect hip hop album, but then again, Lil Wayne has become an acquired taste. He is no longer the standard for rapping like he once was back in 2008. However, Wayne’s rep in the rap game was practically gone (outside of signature features) before this release. Now, it’s safe to say Lil Wayne is BACK.

If Lil Wayne has finally made another successful album, this brings another question: What prevented him from creating such a decent release all these years? His record label was surely a big issue, not to mention constant substance abuse issues. The biggest reason is a much simpler one: He tried for the first time in years! This release shows that Wayne still has the skills that made him the rap legend he’s considered to be. His continuing divorce with Cash Money Records has put a stop to the laziness we’ve seen from him in the past, and now he is hungrier than recent years. While the passion has returned, it’s still clear that he is in the twilight of his career.

Is The ‘Free Weezy Album’ worth adding to your summer soundtrack? That all depends on how big of a fan of Lil Wayne you are. There are many people who didn’t even care for him back when he was in his prime. If you fall into that category, skip this like you would any other Lil Wayne release. However, if you’re a discouraged Wayne fan who has nearly given up on the former Young Money leader, then it might be time to give him a final chance!

GRADE: B-

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Remember To Be Kind To Theme Park Cast Members This Holiday Season

They make the magic for you.
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For those of you who have traveled to a theme park during the holidays, you know what you are in for.

The weeks right before and after Christmas are some of the busiest times of the year to visit, making the parks extremely crowded and wait times higher than usual. Yet, this time is so popular since it is fun to experience the magic of the season with your family during the special Christmastime celebrations at the parks that bring something extra to your holidays.

One of the most important things to remember during this time of year is to be nice to the cast members!

Families that come to the parks during this time have so much to remember and so much to do; unfortunately, something that is often forgotten during a vacation is to be thankful for those who have to work during this time of year.

The cast members and team members who work during the holidays are doing so at the expense of spending time with their own families. They are sacrificing their Christmas celebrations at home to be at work making your vacation magical.

Some of these workers are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their families and may not have seen them for weeks or even months. Yet, they are here in Orlando working in a job that they are passionate about because they love making happiness for their guests

Making magic and spreading happiness is something that is important to us and why we love what we do. However, it is still really hard to be away from our families at Christmas.

Think it is hard to be a guest when the parks are crowded?

It's even more difficult for the cast members who are working as hard as they can, for 8-15 hour shifts, when things happen that are out of our control. We too dislike long waits, telling your child that he is too short to ride or the fact that a ride is temporarily closed. These things make our jobs difficult too, just as they may be a huge setback in your vacation plans.

So focus on the positive things and appreciate the time you can spend with your families and friends rather than dwelling on the things that may be small setbacks during an overall wonderful holiday vacation. Please be patient this holiday season. Give the cast members a smile and a pleasant "thank you" or "Merry Christmas". We are here for you and we want you to have a wonderful vacation, but it still makes an incredible difference to know that our work is appreciated.

At this time of year, it is important to spread Christmas cheer and we are excited to celebrate with you and your families!

Cover Image Credit: Park Troopers

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7 Reasons 'Starset' Deserves To Get Big

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do.

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Starset consists of four members, Dustin Bates, Ron DeChant, Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert. The band was formed in Columbus, Ohio in 2013. Their music has influenced my and several others lives.

Here are a few reasons why they deserve to go down as one of the biggest bands in history.


1. They're the most original band I've heard in awhile.

Starset's content is unlike any other band I've heard or seen before. They classify themselves as "space rock", creating a type of music that many have never heard of before. They use your regular guitar, bass, and drums, but they also incorporate the use of violins, cellos, and synthesizers to create the unique, one of a kind sound. The lead singer, Dustin Bates, even created his own microphone that distorts his voice to use in live shows, so that you feel as though he's speaking to you through a radio in a space station.

2. They're all a bunch of nerds/dorks.

Starset is the kind of band that you'd love to be friends with. Not only are they wicked smart, they also have an amazing sense of humor. They incorporate their knowledge into the songs that they write, leaving you wanting to learn more about what it is they write in their songs.

3. Their songs are lyrically and melodically beautiful.

Ricochet is one of their most impactful and meaningful songs. When you first listen to it you can hear the emotion in Dustin's voice, but as you take a minute to listen to the lyrics, you realize it has so much more meaning than what you assumed. It represents the struggle of a relationship gone sour, the internal struggles within yourself, and the effect it has on both people in the relationship. It's a song that a lot of people can relate to, and I find that amazing.

4. They interact with and care about their fans.

Nyah Kite

Before their shows, they do eat and greets where they hang out with their fans, eat pizza, perform some acoustic songs, and take pictures with them. They have genuine conversations with them, asking us our names, what we like to do, and just keep up small talk. My brother, pictured here, had a conversation with Ron, the bassist, before the show started and they got along phenomenally. I don't know many bands who take that much time to get to know their fans and they even interact with them on Twitter.

5. Have comics with Marvel.

The Prox Transmissions - Marvel Comics

comicstore.marvel.com

Not only does Starset create music, they also have their own comics with Marvel. The comics are based on an alternate world they created through their music. Each album has a story, but now it's come to life through their comic, The Pros Transmissions. How dope is that?

6. Created their own society to inform the world of various things.

The Starset Society is a mission, created by Starset, to inform others of the up-coming technological advances happening in the world today. The main goal of this society is to make sure we're well aware of the things happening in the world, and it's not just aimed for the fans of Starset. It's influenced by the idea of Thomas Jefferson that says the first step toward a guided future is an informed public.

7. They love what they do.

Nyah Kite

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do. They put so much work into making their shows interactive and enjoyable, and they spend years working on albums so that they and their fans are pleased with the final product. Knowing that they put so much passion and effort into their work makes it obvious that they deserve to be one of the biggest bands in history.

After learning more about this amazing, influential band, aren't you intrigued to hear more of their music? To learn more about their society and their comics? They're great people with a great purpose driving them to continue creating some of the most unique, epic rock sounds in history. Check out Starset. You won't regret it.


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