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1) Young Thug, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa & PnB Rock - Gang Up
Commentary: The song has a nice melody and an addicting chorus but might be too much rap for some since there is no singing or electronic drop, just rap.
2) Lil Uzi Vert, Quavo & Travis Scott - Go Off
Commentary: Great Kanye song. Oh wait. It's the guy from Migos again.
3) G-Eazy & Kehlani - Good Life
Commentary: The "theme song" that goes super viral and has a chorus sung by a girl with an electronic beat following it. Just typical of any Fast and Furious movie.
4) PnB Rock, Kodak Black & A Boogie Wit da Hoodie - Horses
Commentary: This song is just like the first one… TOO MUCH RAP. Oh, and I have watched the movie and don't remember hearing this song there.
5) Migos - Seize The Block
Commentary: Hey look, it is actually Migos this time. With another rap song talking about money and girls.
6) YoungBoy Never Broke Again – Murder (feat. 21 Savage) [Remix]
Commentary: I feel like if I was driving a convertible at 200 km/h with my friends, this is the song we would listen to.
7) Bassnectar – Speakerbox (feat. Ohana Bam & Lafa Taylor) [F8 Remix]
Commentary: This is like the stressful crazy part of the "Harlem Shake" song but for 3:08 minutes.
Inspired by the student body’s craze over the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, the Student Scoop team and myself feel bound to publish a response. Whether through your friends, social media like Snapchat advertisements, or Netflix itself, you, PASB student, now understand that the series is about a high schooler, Clay Jensen, who listens to haunting tapes – virtually a voiced suicide letter – from his deceased peer: Hannah Baker. It would be refreshing to see mainstream media address bullying and suicide prevention, had the production not been irresponsible.
Most of us love a good old coming-of-age film or series. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Perks of Being a Wallflower are some of the ones we cherish. On the other hand, there are adolescent narratives that we “hate to love”, such as Mean Girls, because they misconstrue and stereotype the high school experience. One can watch 13 Reasons Why with these same expectations, in addition to lower ones in terms of filmic quality (narrative and cinematographic), and most urgently, as it addresses emotional issues. The series has the potential to harm teenagers as it contradicts World Health Organization recommendations. It was made for those who would not be affected as predicted by the WHO while disregarding the most vulnerable: those who would. Therefore, it is a young adult text that demands critical thinking and serious conversations to promote mental health.
One of the recommendations by the WHO on cultural portrayals of suicide is that they do not romanticize or sensationalize it. The spinal cord of the series is a quasi-necrophilic Clay and a group of students who receive the tapes, assembling exclusively to debate about the character who completes suicide, thus sensationalizing her death in their lives, and creating a thrill for the audience. To make a deceased character (for the audience) or a person (for her counterparts) a circus freak not only dehumanizes her but also minimizes the seriousness in the act. The effects of “desensitiz[ing] the community to [the] gravity [of suicide]” can both lead to a downward spiral, recklessly adopting negative language and thoughts, and underrating the destructive behavior being expressed by others. (Spoiler alert) Hence the predictability in the suicide of another character, Alex, at the end of the season, breaking another WHO rule: “Avoid prominent placement and undue repetition of stories about suicide”, thus stripping the show of its intent to act as a cautionary tale about suicide. Historically, we have already witnessed the negative power of literature, naming the phenomenon Werther Effect.
At the same time that the series transforms Hannah into an attraction, it also attempts to justify her lamentable decision in some ways. Another endorsement by the WHO is that the act of suicide not be presented as a solution. The final scenes of the series portray a failed attempt of Hannah to seek help from her high school counselor, Mr. Porter, and her final choice. Instead of demonstrating that a blurred perspective tainted by depression determines that train of thought, the text presents Hannah’s decision as she walks through the hallway as a rational one. More than justifying, the series creates a scenario in which the intended vengeance by Hannah is successful posthumously, as if suicide had been in fact the solution for the sexual abuses, stalking, and cyber bullying she experienced; whereas suicide is a far more complex phenomenon that does not fit in a simplistic cause-and-effect relationship with social pressures. The series misses one of its many opportunities to project a hotline number, thus not abiding to the recommendation of “provid[ing] information about where to seek help”. That information for Brazilian audiences is at the end of this article.
Most unswervingly, the show infringes the guideline to “avoid explicit description of the [place and] method used in a completed or attempted suicide” especially in the graphic and final episode. The executive producer of the show, Brian Yorkey, unbelievably argues that “[the creators] did want it to be painful to watch because [they] wanted to be very clear that there is nothing in any way worthwhile about suicide”. Moreover, the format of the show as a whole contradicts the warning that “suicide notes should not be published”. The tapes and other forms of suicide letters are one-sided rationales of ones who passed away. The unguided consumption of these texts has the potential to affect especially ones who are struggling.
If you watched the series and appreciate the diversity in characters’ and actors’ sexualities and ethnicities, and grasped as its message that we must care for one another more, excellent. 13 Reasons Why is a cautionary tale about bullying, not suicide. In the final episode, Clay’s asks a proven emotionally unbalanced character, Skye, how she is; a positive example for viewers. Nevertheless, overall, the show’s creators were ill-considered because an alternative response can be fatal, as proven by the disconnection between the series and the WHO’s guidelines. It is, in fact, alarming that a far-reaching series can only positively impact a fraction of its teenage target audience. The Netflix show resorts to presenting a binge-watching thriller that spoils the opportunity to address the dangerous issue maturely, while as other texts have proven that one can entertain young adults while still wisely encouraging hope. What we need are more characters who would hug Hannah and Alex and say: “Life is tough, and so are you”.
For more about suicide prevention and 13 Reasons Why read:
Remember that PASB counselors are available for any concerns, including if you have one about a friend. It is important that you talk to an adult. They are committed to being trustworthy and caring as sources for help. If you need to talk with someone outside of school you can call 141, in Brazil, or access: http://www.cvv.org.br/
Image credits: Amazon
The story of the movie follows that of the animated film. Belle, a headstrong and intelligent girl played by Emma Watson, has moved with her father from Paris to a small village. There, Gaston, a handsome yet ultimately stupid man, tries to court Belle for her beauty, though she constantly rebuffs him. Soon after the beginning of the movie, Belle’s father goes to a market, far out of town. When he returns, he becomes lost after a wolf attack, and ultimately winds up at a dark and strange castle. Eventually, he is locked away by a terrible monster. Soon after, Belle goes to find her father. Once she finds him in the dungeon, the monster, known as the Beast who was transformed by a enchantress into a monster long ago, tells her that she can either take her father’s place or leave forever. Of course, she takes her father’s place, and ultimately ends up having a romantic relationship with the Beast and eventually breaks the spell on him.
The movie definitely has its positives. One of the best things that the director of the movie decided to do was adding more of a backstory to both Belle and the Beast. The movie dives a little bit into how Belle’s mother died, adding depth to the character of Belle and adding meaning to the dead mother cliche. Furthermore, the Beast’s mother also died when he was child, leaving him with an abusive father. This helps us understand more why the Beast is the way he is. Furthermore, the creators of the film also decided to add a more malevolent element to the character of Gaston which was a far better fit for a live-action film, rather than the more childlike character in the cartoon. Finally, the visuals of the movie were absolutely stunning, especially in the song “Be Our Guest,” with plates, knives, forks, saucers, and napkins flying through the air in order to create a dazzling background behind the Candlestick as he sings.
However, there were quite of few downsides to the movie. To be frank, Emma Watson really can’t sing, so her voice was constantly being autotuned. Furthermore, I found a lot of the acting to be disappointing. Emma Watson’s acting was lacking in general, with it at times seeming to be fake and disingenuous. Furthermore, I felt that even actors such as Ewan McGregor and Ian Mckellen also disappointed in their performances. Another potential problem in the film is its possible portrayal of Stockholm syndrome (though Watson denied it), where a person ends up empathizing with their captors. After all, why doesn’t Belle run away after the Beast is injured? She clearly could have escaped, but she doesn’t, which could be a negative message that is being sent to girls and young women around the world.
In conclusion, while I felt there were well-developed characters and stunning visuals, the movie also suffered from poor acting and singing. Thus, I feel that it deserves a 3.5 stars out of 5.
Photo Credit: Disney
The first six minutes of La La Land were breathtaking: intricate dance, impressive shots, compelling characters, and rich cinematography. Certainly Broadway worthy. Then, in a blink of an eye, Mia's friends are gone, her boyfriend soon follows, Sebastian's sister disappears, and a zombie apocalypse is unleashed. The latter may not be true, but the sudden decrease in characters is certainly startling. Additionally, along with the secondary characters, Chazelle also took away the songs. Out of about seven songs, not including musical themes, two are in the first six minutes; then the film goes from a sung-through show to a mixture of a concern musical, like Hedwig, and a plain, regular movie. According to Damien Chazelle, the idea of the movie is to juxtapose the macrocosm of Los Angeles, showcasing the struggles of various aspiring performers, with the microcosm of two struggling artists, Mia and Sebastian, causing a drastic change. However, this may not have been the best directorial vision.
Although interesting, the contrast between Musical Theatre industry professionals with the below average skills of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone caused for some disappointment. Take the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers waltz scene from “Swing Time”, which served as inspiration for director Damien Chazelle, intricate steps were routine for this iconic duo; meanwhile, according to La La Land choreographer, Mandy Moore, the planetarium waltz took nearly 50 takes, much more than the intricate Another Day of Sun. The movie only goes downhill from there, reaching its lowest point in the final scene, with the unrealistic success, to say the least, of the lead characters.
Were there more compelling leads, this movie might have been more artistically successful. Much like Whiplash, also by Damien Chazelle, the secondary characters are underdeveloped and nearly nonexistent. This then poses to question whether lacking secondary characters is a conscious decision or simply a consequence of a lack of skill. Were there powerful leads, the movie could have gone on its positive trajectory and Chazelle’s vision accomplished. In reality, however, Mia’s character sags, and, when Sebastian’s career launches, the exponential development we had with her stagnates. Granted, she is supposed to represent a type of person, more so than an individual, and, granted, Sebastian needed his character development, but did the audience really learn much from the flash forward sequences or did they just lose the little empathy they had gained for the male protagonist? Chazelle could have used Sebastian’s band friends for some development, or his MIA sisters, or maintained Mia’s friends to discuss her struggles, but his rejections of his secondary characters took a toll.
However, I will say that La La Land is entertaining, and isn’t that the point of musicals? Grease featured cringe-worthy singing, legends like Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood were dubbed in their most memorable performances, and La La Land, as an original piece, is a breath of fresh air among the stagnant musical film scene, so it seems unreasonable that a movie with decent, partially live singing is being deemed weak just because the first two numbers are “too great”. My father has seen La La Land about 5 times, and, although he is not a measure of a general trend, this is a man who never sees movies five times: there is some appeal to audiences whether we like it or not. Additionally, after several movies together, Emma Stones and Ryan Gosling's chemistry is undeniably captivating, and the inspiration obtained by Jacques Demy helped a memorable, even if flawed, film. One must also recognize that what seemed stagnant to some was perceived a breathtakingly beautiful to others. With that, I ‘d like to pose the question: Do you think La La Land deserved the Oscar?
Song: "Galway Girl"
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran's new album Divide has brought joy to this world and already made 2017 better than last year. "Galway girl", one of the new tracks from the album released on March 2nd, currently has over 32 million streams on Spotify and 10 million views on Youtube. The song is about Ed's supposed night with an irish girl from Galway, which is described as the dream date. The beat of the song is very fast, the fastest song on the album actually, and also the one which has gained more fame from the new songs that were released with the rest of the album. Numerous rumors are going around that it is going to be Ed's new single, so let's just hope it is true so there can be a music video illustrating the story told in the song. This is my favorite song from the album and it's cool rhythm, catchy chorus and interesting lyrics are the characteristics that make “Galway Girl” such a great song.
Song: "That's What Like"
Artist: Bruno Mars
After the huge success "24k Magic" has had, Bruno's new album has a new single and things are looking great for "That's What I Like". The song has over 100 million streams on Spotify and received 50 million views on Youtube in one week after its release. The beat is very optimistic, and the lyrics are funny, making anyone who listens to it want to dance. Caring an upbeat vibe, the song brings happiness to its listeners, which is one of the reasons I have been listening to it so much lately, anytime I feel overwhelmed and stressed, I put this song on and life seems to get simpler. This song received 5 stars because every aspect of it is amazing and super catchy.
Song: "Chained To The Rhythm"
Artist: Katy Perry
After 2 years of waiting, Katy Perry has finally released a new single. Named "Chained To The Rhythm" the song provides a rather political message through its lyrics, criticizing the alienation of society nowadays.. In a recent interview, Perry explained that she was hoping to use her music to wake people up from the "bubble" they are living in, and she called this style of music "purposeful pop". The song begins with "Are we crazy? Living our lives through a lens, Trapped in our white-picket fence", condemning the people's constant focus on their gadgets and social medias instead of real world issues.s it gets to the chorus, it sings "So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble, So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, the trouble", which is already pretty self-explanatory. I rated the song 3 stars because although I believe it conveys an important message, I would like to see the old Katy back.
Throughout my life I thought this century’s music lacked creativity, repeating the same generic chord progressions through its music. However, I realize now that we have humanity to thank for the music we have today.
Learning to perform music is a great feat to undertake, taking just as much mental maturity as physical control. Johann Sebastian Bach, for example, not only became an excellent performer, but became one of the most influential composers in music history.
One might simply leave it at that. Bach was a genius and musicality flowed through him; thus, we stand grateful at the receiving end of his musical fruits. Yes, I believe Johann was a genius; I believe he used his resources and followed patterns; but I believe math, specifically patterns and repetition, influenced Bach’s creativity whether he consciously knew it or not.
For years scientists have looked into the human brain, discovering all sorts of unexplainable information. One phenomenon that remains constant within our otherwise unique brains is its engagement with repetitive behavior. For example, when we engage in conversation, take ibuprofen, or eat food, our brains seek out patterns and stick to the worn pathways. They rarely break from the created cycle. Breaking away from these cycles can be hard. Pulling away from ibuprofen after a headache is difficult. Trying new food can feel like a chore. And after years of responding to the question, “What’s up?” it’s almost impossible to say anything other than “Nothin’ much.”
As a result of our repetitive brains, we like repetitive music. In 2011, Scott Rickard who earned his PhD in Computational Mathematics at Princeton University, sought to create the “world’s ugliest music.” In short, he decided that the piece had to be pattern free, a task which is harder than it may seem. For example, a piano which contains 88 keys may only play 88 notes while each note must be held out at differing durations. Pattern free does not mean random. A lot of planning is required in order to create a pattern free song, whereas a random song requires little effort to compose. The result is quite unpleasant and differs greatly from the generic chord progressions found on Spotify’s Top 50 Songs playlist. Listeners might have the misconception that modern popular artists lack talent due to their monotonous songs. This, however, couldn't be further from the truth.
The use of patterns is nothing new in the music world. Classical music from the 1700’s was filled with patterns and repetitive melodies. In fact, some composers believed deviating from the accepted chord progressions at the time was offensive. Yet, even a non-traditionalist such as Johann Sebastian Bach had his own formulae he liked to follow. As a child, I frequently listened to Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, a set of music comprised of preludes and fugues. While preludes serve as pleasant introductory, my mind gravitated toward Bach’s fugues. Much like society’s tendency to popularize repetitive music, my brain had hooked itself to the repetitive nature of Bach’s fugues.
Popular genre changes time to time, but one thing always remains constant; patterns. Whether it’s Bach, Gershwin, Hans Zimmer, or even Coldplay all songs have repetition. The next time one criticizes an artist's generic music, it would be wise to remind them of music’s extensive partnership with repetition.
Image Credit: www.emilymarvosh.com
Despite our indulgence in repetitive music, one might be curious as to what a world without repetitive music might sound like (aka: the ugliest music). Check out the link below and discover how much better off we are with our generic chord progressions.
Dear Scoop Readers,
For this music updates edition I have decided to change the purpose of the article. Instead of evaluating new songs, I will be listing my favorite music from my own personal summer playlist, which you can find on spotify with this link:
Luca's Summer Playlist
Song: "Another Day in Paradise"
Artist: Quinn XCII
This song by the not widely known band Quinn XCII is the perfect summer hit. With a smooth harmony and neither slow nor fast beat, the song provides the best of rap music as it has cheerful verses and an addicting chorus. Its lyrics also bring that "summer vibe", with references to going to the beach "The waves crash down and we feel them" and to parties in the warm weather "75 degrees and a dope sound, all you need to live fine to live fine". It sure has become my jam during this season!
Song: "Come First"
Artist: Terror Jr
"Come First" is the most successful hit of the american band Terror Jr, who has recently gained fame through one of social media's most influential woman, Kylie Jenner, who promoted one of their songs in her commercial. This led fans to create conspiracy theories that she was actually the lead singer of the band, since the members of Terror Jr have not revealed their true identity. The song is also very summer-like, it starts with some bird sounds on the background which adds a more nature-like vibe to it. The beat is clearly heard throughout the song, with a constant drum percussion, thus it serves as a great song for one to dance to it.
Artist: The Chainsmokers
After the overwhelming success of the song "Closer" featuring Halsey, The Chainsmokers are back releasing one more hit. "Paris", likewise most of The Chainsmokers' songs, is an electronic/dance pop song, great for parties and dancing, but it does not contain the cheerful lyrics and "happy" harmony that "Closer" does. While the catchphrase of "Closer" is "We ain't ever getting older", which connects to that teenage mentality of being immortal, the catchphrase of "Paris" is "If we go down then we go down together", thus the song has more of a "lost" and deep vibe. Different from most electronic songs, the lyrics of "Paris" are meaningful and the artist makes sure of demonstrating that "Paris" means “a sentimental yearning for a reality that isn’t genuine” and “an irrevocable condition for fantasy that evokes nostalgia or daydreams.” for it is the sentence that appears in the beginning of their lyric video.
Song: "Overwhelming "
Artist: Jon Bellion
"Overwhelming" is one of the songs from Jon Bellion's first album "The Human Condition". As a new artist, he does not have a solid fanbase, so his album is not yet well known. His most famous track is "All Time Low", also from this album, which has around 60 million views on spotify, while "Overwhelming" only has 10 million. The song is very lighthearted, the first and second verse consist of raping, and the chorus is clearly the strongest section of the song, the singer sings/shouts the word "overwhelming" in a very harmonic way, which definitely sticks to our heads. Since it is a happy song it's also great for summer time!
Song: "Aloha "
If I had to pick my go-to song for this summer, it would be "Aloha". This song has a really relaxing beat, and it would always calm me down. Its genre is trance/electronic and although it has a drop, it is very smooth and not stressing at all, the harmony stays the same. The artist who made the song is Møme, a french dj who is considerably famous in france and has now gained fame all over the globe, and the voice behind the lyrics of "Aloha" is singer Merryn Jeann. The song has over 80 million streams on spotify and the music video on youtube has just passed 20 million views. I highly recommend this song for IB students who are often stressed and need some time to relax, they will definitely "calm down" when listening to "Aloha".
India Jamison (Scoopinho)
What would you do if you were the only one who woke up 90 years early on a spaceship traveling to a distant planet?
Directed by: Morten Tyldum
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence & Chris Pratt
The movie Passengers, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, is a sci-fi romance film set on Avalon, a Homestead company starship journeying to another habitable planet, Homestead II. Jim Preston, a mechanic looking for a fresh start, spent all his savings joining the Avalon, but due to a malfunction in his hibernation pod, his life was changed forever. Aurora Lane, journalist and aspiring writer, was the second passenger to wake up on the ship. As the two of them begin to fall in love, a dark secret looms in Jim’s past that could threaten their future.
The movie’s premise is intriguing. As the story progresses, the plot thickens and becomes more mysterious. The first half of the movie is great. It has the feeling of a 90s romcom in space, and that is the best part of the movie. It does, however, lose that feeling as the story unfolds. It becomes much more Star Wars-y than romance, with intense action sequences and amazing special effects. The ending could go in so many different directions, which made it so captivating. Although it had the potential to be perfect, the movie lost its way and tried to do too many different things at the same time. Passengers was a thrilling ride that kept us on the edge of our seats, literally (India almost fell off).
Photo Credit: IMDb
Lucca Aguiar (Scoopinho)
Have you just finished watching ''Stranger Things'' and you now think that no show will ever be as good, like, ever? Well, worry no more, here are some of the best shows on Netflix that you probably haven't watched yet.
Still pining over her high school ex-boyfriend, New-Yorker Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) moves to his hometown, West Covina, California in pursuit of a new beginning. This musical comedy is hilarious and cleverly written, not to mention addicting. I expect you'll be binge-watching the first season.
''The Fosters'' follows teenager Callie Jacob (Maia Mitchell), who gets sent to a foster home after spending some time in juvie. She must learn to deal with this new family and school. This dramatic show is great for so many reasons: this show excels in acting, scriptwriting, and making a tear or two fall every once in awhile.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:
This hilarious Netflix original follows Kimmy Schmidt in her new life in New York City. Kimmy is rescued after spending fifteen years underground in a doomsday cult. Now, she must start her life over again in the Big Apple. ''Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'' is a hilarious and heart-warming show that will always brighten your day with its witty humor.
A Series of Unfortunate Events:
Based off of the bestselling book series by Lemony Snicket, ''A Series of Unfortunate Events'' follows the misadventures of siblings Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny (Presley Smith), who are placed in the care of the evil Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) after their parents perish in a fire. This show is especially great if you've grown up reading the books like I did. However, there is something for everyone to enjoy while watching. The standouts here are the script and the talent of all of the adults in the series, especially Neil Patrick Harris and Patrick Warburton.
Image Credit: Culturess, Christian Post, Vai Garota, and Dafont
In a post-apocalyptic scenario, firefighters in the United States no longer put out fires; they start them. In this future American society, books are strictly forbidden, and firemen are called upon to burn down entire houses where books have been found. Firemen take great pride in keeping civilization safe from the questions that books ignite, until, one day, Guy Montag, a reputable firefighter, begins to reflect his role in the annihilation of literature. His quest to discover the truth about literary works leads him into a deadly path to escape the state’s most powerful weapon: the mechanical hound.
The narrative is extremely enticing and captivates the reader on every page. Guy Montag’s journey and his reckless actions makes the reader sympathize with his attempts to better his society. The technology and the lifestyle in this futuristic dystopian novel further surprise readers. Guy’s wife is obsessed by screens with her “fake family” TV shows and the mechanical hound is programmed to hunt a specific individual. War is raging in the background. The book is short, and the story is filled with fast paced action. Overall, the story is engaging and will appeal to all readers. Fahrenheit 451 is a major page-turner.
On the other hand, some aspects of the plot seem pointless. Characters appear and vanish without wholly contributing to the narrative, and their stories are never fully explained. Clarisse, the most unique character in the novel, dies without ever making a significant impact to the development of the plot. Captain Beatty’s, the chief fireman, personality is never entirely explained either, although there are some attempts to uncover his motives for cruelty.
Overall, the story resonates positive lessons about the relation of books and authors. Books are the identity of a society, thus, burning books is the same as killing a person. Taking into consideration the narrative’s message but also its weaknesses in character development, it is a novel that will captivate readers while frustrating them at some points. Regardless of novel’s flaws, if you enjoy the dystopian genre, Fahrenheit 451 should definitely make your reading list!
Image credits: Amazon Images