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AJJ announces new album, releases first track

“A poem is a song that no one cares about,” declares AJJ frontman Sean Bonnette boldly on their new single, “A Poem.” The song is part of an announcement that the band’s next studio album, Good Luck Everybody, will be released in January 2020. The opening track is just over a minute long, but it’s just enough to give fans a taste of what direction the LP is heading. The song exemplifies Bonnette’s talent for cleverly absurd lyrics, as he goes on to describe songwriters – such as himself –  as “awful, ugly people” and “self-important assholes” who are hungry for money and attention. These unabashed claims contrast with the mellow acoustic guitar which he sings over during the first verse. The refrain is filled with more energy, as the full band kicks in along with a lively, sardonic chorus.

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James Kratch Joins The WRSU Crew

James Kratch of NJ Advance Media joined The WRSU Crew Monday night to break down the wild turn of events over Thanksgiving week that led to Greg Schiano’s return as Rutgers Football’s Head Coach. Kratch discusses expectations for Rutgers under Greg Schiano, contract details, recruiting plans, and much more!

While you keep chopping, take a listen!

James Kratch of NJ Advance Media

Rutgers classes canceled, offices closed rest of Monday due to snow

Rutgers University has announced it has cancelled all classes and closed all offices on the New Brunswick and Piscataway campuses due to snow and inclement weather. The shutdown began at 3 PM Monday and will end at 5 AM Tuesday.  All classes will resume with first period Tuesday morning.

Essential service employees are to remain at work or report as scheduled unless otherwise directed by a supervisor.  Non-essential employees should not report to work during the closure, until the university re-opens at 5 AM Tuesday.

However, for RBHS-New Brunswick, all clinical operations – including those at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and UBHC/UCHC will remain open.

Stay tuned to WRSU at 88.7 FM and online at wrsu.org for any updates, and you can also find the latest University operating states at www.rutgers.edu.


Eric LeGrand Talks Greg Schiano on The WRSU Crew

Former Rutgers defensive lineman and bELieve icon Eric LeGrand called into The WRSU Crew to voice his frustration about Rutgers University failing to hire Greg Schiano to be its new football coach.

Greg Schiano went 68-67 and took Rutgers to six bowl games (winning five) during his time as head coach between 2001 and 2011. Many Rutgers fans, donors, and former players, as well as high school coaches around the state of New Jersey, were clamoring for Schiano to return as head coach.

Listen to Eric LeGrand, whose bond with Greg Schiano stretches well beyond the football field, give his thoughts on the situation.

Former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand calls into The WRSU Crew!

Hobo Johnson: Live Review

Apologies to Justin Bieber, covers of popular songs, and stories of Frank’s nightmares. That is a perfect way to sum up the Fall of Hobo Johnson Tour that came to Starland Ballroom on November 10th. 

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Amber Run Live at The Foundry

Walking in from the streets of Philadelphia, a haze of red light surrounded me as I walked into The Foundry.  People began filling the venue, buzzing with excitement for the show to come. A bar stood in the center of the venue and lavish couches lined the back filled with people ready for Amber Run to take the stage.  Amber Run is an indie-rock group from Nottingham, England consisting of Joshua Keogh, Tom Sperring, and Henry Wyeth. The venue was surrounded in a haze of red light and the crowd was socializing and laughing with drinks in their hands.  Jordan MacKampa, the opening act, took the stage and captivated the crowd that was settling in with buttery, soulful vocals and catchy guitar playing.

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Jeff Goldblum – “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This” Review

After announcing a new album earlier this year, Jeff Goldblum has finally come out with his second feature length album. Like his debut album The Capitol Studios Sessions, Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra dive headfirst into jazz standards (and even a few pop songs too!) featuring other artists. Although I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This doesn’t break any new ground in any way, the album is a great nostalgia trip to a bygone era. 

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Jesus Walks, But Is Jesus King?

INDIO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 21: Kanye West performs Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella)

At times, following Kanye West feels like following the life of Play-Doh. It can take many shapes, it can make many people endlessly happy, and it can infuriate just as many people. But at the end of the day, Play-Doh never stops being Play-Doh. Kanye West never stops being Kanye West. It is his nature. And faith has always been an instrumental part of Kanye’s nature. Admittedly, the shape of West’s faith has transformed as many times as the man himself, but it has never been as outright or as polarizing as it is today. With the release of West’s latest album, Jesus Is King, many have taken to the musty, dank corners of the internet to cry out that West has, once again, done some crazy shit. That he’s switched up his persona yet again. But that sentiment couldn’t be farther from the truth. In many ways, Jesus is King was an inevitable album. 

Let’s look back, first and foremost, to the track that got Kanye recognized as an MC in the mainstream in the first place, “Jesus Walks”.

The fourth single off of West’s debut album dealt with West’s Christian faith and views in an intelligent and contemplative way. The single looked at how those deemed as sinners by the people still walk with Jesus in many ways. It criticized how the music industry seemed to only promote rap music about drugs, violence and sex, but wouldn’t allow someone to represent their faith. The song was so important to West that he famously produced three music videos to support his full vision of the song. West even plays the song at least once on every tour he headlines. In many ways, West’s arrogance and his faith lead him to call out the executives that censored religion from mainstream hip hop in a way that they couldn’t deny. West was interviewed recently by Big Boy in an exclusive talk upon the release of Jesus Is King. In the interview, West talks about starting from a place where the mainstream denounced him for announcing a gospel album. That the executives wanted to push for a less abrasive album title than, Jesus is King. Many wanted to censor this release and make it less in your face. But West held tight on his belief. He talked to Big Boy about how the hype for the album grew to the point where people on the internet were twiddling their thumbs asking, “When is JIK gonna drop?” I bring this up to note that getting Jesus into the mainstream consciousness has been a constant endeavor for West. The only difference is where Jesus Walks was a single, Jesus is King is a full length album. 

The next biggest mention of Jesus on a Kanye West project came some years later. Much like JIK, it was a full length project referencing the Lord.

That, however, are where the similarities end. “Yeezus” was released in 2013, and saw the musician transition from decrying “Jesus Walks” to “I am a God”. Most people will remember this as Kanye’s most brazen period. Where the monster really broke out of the fantasy. To many people of faith, to consider yourself on par or equal to God or Jesus is considered blasphemous in and of itself, but West did it commercially. He profited from it. I’m not going to go on a deep diatribe comparing base Christian morals against his actions, but suffice to say, it’s not very Christian to call yourself Jesus on the same album you say, “I wanna f*ck you hard on the sink. After that give you something to drink.” And don’t get me wrong, the bars strike a nerve in my inner angsty 16 year old soul. But whether I can say West’s intensions on Yeezus were to serve God or Blaspheme him, is up to the man himself. Undeniably, however, West did reintroduce Jesus and his religion into his work and the mainstream once again.

Jesus is King is a polarizing album. In today’s climate, where commercial representations of religion seem to have little place in the mainstream, there was no way it wouldn’t be polarizing. But despite the nature of the album, it almost seems like an inevitability. Kanye has had Jesus in his contact list for a long time now, and he’s made it known on almost every major album release that “Yeezus is a Christian (huh)” in one way or form. So, while this might not be the Yandhi album we all wanted, it’s the album we ultimately had coming.

Article by Seyi Aladejobi 

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Hobo Johnson interview with WRSU

Grace Dermenjian talked with Hobo Johnson over the phone. They discussed his new album, the Tiny Desk Concert series on NPR, and coffee shop essentials. Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers will be performing at the Starland Ballroom, November 11th, in Sayreville and it is a show you do not want to miss out on.

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Amber Run Interview with WRSU

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WRSU’s Emily Teubner got the chance to sit down with British indie rock band Amber Run before their show in Philadelphia on November 1st. They talk about the creative process behind their newest album, Philophobia, their favorite performances, and they even break into a game of Never Have I Ever and get all philosophical. Give the full interview a listen below and get to know the band!

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“uknowhatimsayin?” Is Danny Brown’s Victory Lap

On the fifth studio album from Detroit rapper Danny Brown, he cements his veteran status as an imaginative hip hop kingpin. His shortest project yet, reaching a concise thirty-three minutes, portrays Brown at his lightest and most lively, a stark contrast from the macabre themes of drug addiction and depression that are sincerely confided on his previous album from 2016, Atrocity Exhibition.

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Lauv – Live In Concert Review

Standing on the floor of Terminal 5 with my neck craned to catch the whole view of the stage, I could feel a palpable energy from the crowd as they buzzed in anticipation.  Images floated across the back screen of the stage, messages like “Text Lauv” for mental health awareness and a chance to participate in a scavenger hunt with the prize being a photo opportunity.  Members of the crowd were taking turns to enter the booths at the front of the entrance. As Lauv later explained in his concert, he had started the “my blue thoughts” initiative in order to connect with his fans on a more personal level.  Fans were encouraged to write up their feelings and send them out to the Lauv stratosphere. Even after the encore wrapped up, there were still fans standing in the booths. Some probably had hopes that their messages would go a long way. One message, written in the booth a long time ago, said, “I met a superhero.  I lost her. I want her back.” That same message is now carried on tour with Lauv in the form of his song, “Superhero”; its lyrics echoing throughout the venue as thousands of fans harmonize alongside one of their own superheroes, Lauv.

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Harry Styles – “Lights Up” Single Review

Harry Styles surprised us all with the release of his new single, “Lights Up,” a first look at the new sound of his unannounced upcoming album. The ex-One Direction member is back and better than ever, stepping out of his two year musical hiatus and stepping into a new era of Harry Styles. Styles has strayed a bit from the soft rock of his first album and seems to be aiming more toward an alternative pop sound. However, the single still seems to channel Styles’ long-time love of 70s music, with a trippy pre-chorus and a whimsical combination of guitar, piano, and synth. According to his Rolling Stone article, Styles recorded his new album by taking psychedelics, laying in the grass, and listening to the Beatles — and this single is definitely a product of that. 

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Rutgers Women’s Soccer Captains Taylor Aylmer and Amanda Visco Join The Crew

The Scarlet Knights women’s soccer team defeated Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday. They will take on the Michigan Wolverines in the semifinals at Yurcak Field on Friday, November 8th at 1:30 PM. You can follow the action on WRSU 88.7-FM & WRSU.org.

Preview the game by listening to captains Taylor Aylmer and Amanda Visco breakdown the season when they joined The WRSU Crew this past Friday!

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Flipturn – In Concert Review

On the 19th of August, the city of Philadelphia was blessed with an amazing performance by Flipturn at Bourbon and Branch. I have gone to many concerts over my years but by far, Flipturn has hit the top of the list. Via a combination of an elegant atmosphere matched with the bewitching voice of Dillion Basse, along with an excellent overall performance by the rest of the band made this concert an unforgettable experience. Each song captivated the audience and everyone was dancing along. 

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Steve Lacy Live at Apollo Theater Review

On October 5th, Steve Lacy performed a sold-out show at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, on the heels of his first LP, “Apollo XXI.”

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Travis Scott – “Highest in the Room” Single Review

Fresh off his extensive tour for his chart-topping album Astroworld, Travis Scott finally releases his highly anticipated new single “Highest in the Room.”  The song gives fans a small taste for what’s potentially in store for the star’s next project but instead of sounding like an expansion of his sound, it sounds like a reboot. Listeners already have an idea of what a Travis Scott song will sound like but “Highest in the Room” sounds like it would fit somewhere in Bird in the Trap Sing McKnight because of its conventional and straightforward style. 

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Tei Shi feat. Blood Orange – “Even If It Hurts (I Just Don’t Mind)” Single Review

Tei Shi returns in full bloom in both style and lushness on her new single, “Even If It Hurts,” featuring Blood Orange. Playing with the dichotomy of pain and comfort in the act of intimacy, she lays out her heart for her partner, accepting the possibility of hurting while in love.  Instrumentally, she builds new, plush environments for this love to grow. Set with groovy serenity, the instrumentals are heavy in keyboards and laced with synth. The duet is soft in nature, as seen in the twinkling bells and the flowing sense of lyricism.

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Flipturn Interview with WRSU

On October 18, Grace Dermenjian talked to the rising band, Flipturn, about Chicago, how they got into music, and thrifting before their show in Philadelphia that night. With their newest song Eleanor and new music on the way, Flipturn is flipping the indie genre with new sounds and fresh ideas. Click to listen to the whole interview. 

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Metronomy Interview with WRSU

Assistant Music Director Jon Bent had the chance to talk to Metronomy’s lead writer and producer, Joseph Mount. They talked about growing up in the English countryside, the mental effects of touring and how he tackles his creative process. Metronomy is on their European tour, but will be back in North America in February. Click the play button to hear the whole interview!

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Tyler the Creator Concert Coverage

Igor wigs, security carrying passed out fans, and stargazing is the only way a Tyler, the Creator concert should be started. The night began with icons in the making like Goldlink and, the one and only, Jaden Smith. September 25th at Philadelphia’s The Mann Center will forever be a night to remember for those who attended. Tyler’s projected visuals and pyrotechnic explosions (the fire shooting out of the stage floor, yeah, those) definitely left the city on fire that night.

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Brittany Howard’s Autobiographical Masterpiece

September 20th, as Summer came to an end, rock-based, neo-soul group Alabama Shakes’ lead singer and songwriter, Brittany Howard, released her solo debut with a brilliant LP, Jaime—bringing us that cool, Autumn breeze. Encompassing the audacity of Curtis Mayfield, the humor of P-Funk, and experimental production techniques reminiscent of post-rock, the most powerful element of Howard’s revealing work become her lyrics. With a voice that can be loud but comforting, or soft while intense, her self-reflective messages ranging from sexual awakenings to acceptance are indisputable.

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Lolo Zouaï Interview with WRSU

French-Algerian/soon to be Pop-R&B Icon Lolo Zouaï sat down with WRSU Music Director Bennett Rosner this Friday to talk about her artistic process, plans for future touring, and all kinds of slang. Check out their full conversation below!

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Vulfpeck – Live Performance Review

Funk lovers came together last weekend to join Vulfpeck for a sold out performance at Madison Square Garden, and the band did not disappoint. 

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The Faim Live at The Voltage Lounge Review

The Voltage Lounge is known around the Philadelphia music scene for hosting wild shows within a rather small venue, and with the block long line forming by the door I knew that tonight’s show was going to live up to expectations.

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“Jesus is King: A Kanye West Experience”

Kanye West’s highly-anticipated ninth studio album, “Jesus is King” drew hundreds to, what is sure to be a one-of-a-kind listening experience for the ages. Following his Sunday Service at the Greater Allen Cathedral in Queens, New York, West invited fans to a free, final listening of his Jesus is King: Kanye West Experience mini-tour at the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights, New York City. Over the past week, West and his Sunday Service Choir have made tour stops in Detroit and Chicago. The listening experience started promptly at 8:30 PM before fans fully-entered the theatre. West previewed beats before starting the show that could be heard from outside the theatre and immediately animated the fans lined-up outside, eager to get inside. The venue was very high-class and upscale; and at the very beginning, the ambiance was very fancy. Over 3,000 fans shuffled into the floor seats and balcony and secured everyone’s phones for the event. 

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Men I Trust – “Oncle Jazz” Review

The dream pop trio, Men I Trust, just released their newest album this past month: Oncle Jazz. At twenty-four tracks, Oncle Jazz is a behemoth of a record, however, many of the songs will prove familiar to listeners, as much of the record is comprised of singles previously released over the years. As a band that isn’t signed to any label and produces and releases on their own accord, Men I Trust’s slow-burning rise to mainstream indie pop might be a surprise to those unfamiliar with them. The four year gap between albums (besides single releases) makes Oncle Jazz an insanely exciting release.

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Slayyyter Slays on Her Debut Mixtape “Slayyyter”

The self-titled debut mixtape by 23-year-old Slayyyter has finally arrived wrapped up in a hot pink, bedazzled bow. The self-proclaimed “e-girl,” gained traction on her six released singles thanks to her tens of thousands of Twitter followers. She received the ultimate seal of approval from pop-futurist Charli XCX, by appearing on her “THE MOTHERF***ING FUTURE” Spotify playlist in 2018. The songs featured, “BFF” and “Ghosttt,” boosted her musical following even more.

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JPEGMAFIA’s “All My Heroes Are Cornballs” is a Collage of Audial Brilliance

Baltimore-based rapper and producer JPEGMAFIA stitches together sonic vignettes on his new album All My Heroes Are Cornballs. On his third studio release, Peggy’s songs completely wash over the listener. From the start, All My Heroes Are Cornballs provides both thunderously raw and delicately smooth ideas that seamlessly juxtapose in a paradoxically complementary way. 

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Earthgang’s “Mirrorland” Review

Atlanta has become a hot spot for innovative up-and-coming rappers over the past few years. From Playboi Carti and 21 Savage to Young Thug and Future, the city has delivered some of the most original and creative rap projects of the 2010s. Dreamville Records’ Earthgang are no exception.

On their major-label debut Mirrorland, Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot want to show everyone their side of their hometown. They take listeners through their streets, riding around with the top down, trying to avoid getting into trouble while finding their place in the world. Most importantly, they present themselves as a confident, fun new voice that is a blast to hear.

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“Crew Cuts” 10/8/2019

Miss yesterday’s edition of The WRSU Crew? Get caught up with “Crew Cuts”, and be sure to tune into The WRSU Crew, Mondays through Thursdays, 6-8pm and Fridays, 4-6pm!


The Faim Interview with WRSU

WRSU’s Noah Edwards spoke with vocalist Josh Raven and drummer Linden Marissen of the up and coming alternative pop band The Faim. The three talked about the future of their genre and of their band as a whole. Check out the full interview below!

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“Crew Cuts” 10/7/2019

Best from Monday’s edition of The WRSU Crew, with Jake Ostrove, Troy DeSavino, and Brant Wolff.

Get caught up on what you missed today on The WRSU Crew! Be sure to tune in Mondays – Thursdays, 6-8pm and Fridays, 4-6pm.

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“Holy Terrain” – FKA Twigs feat. Future Review

FKA Twigs, preceding her upcoming album MAGDALENE, gave the music industry a peek of the production with her moody single “holy terrain.”  She returns to the molasses tone of her music, building simultaneously intimate and vast landscapes with her voice and production.  In theme with the biblical figure of her new album’s namesake, the vulnerability of her lyrics contrast with the rigid structuring of the song’s instrumental track.  The hip-hop backings of the song create a strong foundation from which Twigs and Future lyrically call for vulnerability and change in a loveless land.  

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Zac Brown Band’s “The Owl” Throws in the Country Towel

Two Fridays ago, the Zac Brown Band released their sixth studio album, The Owl, acquiring almost as many producers as it does tracks. In an age where casual listeners will often answer the question of what kind of music they listen to with, “I don’t know, just not Country,” well, this album may serve them right. But is it really Country? 

The band took on a pretty drastic musical transition, almost ‘Taylor Swift-style,’ with their conforming to the idioms of Pop. While they still remained somewhat true to their country roots, Zac Brown Band incorporated some noticeably cliche, formulaic infusions of pop production into their new LP, officially making their stand into the nauseating ‘subgenre’ that is “Electro-Country.” The Owl makes Garth Brooks look like Johnny Cash, and now, Country’s more dead than that “man in Reno.”

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Mike Teel Talks Rutgers Football with “The Crew”

Rutgers’ all-time passing leader, Mike Teel, joined Jake Ostrove and Justin Sontupe of “The WRSU Crew” Friday afternoon. Teel and the guys talked interim coach Nunzio Campanile, the rise of Rutgers football under Greg Schiano, Teel’s time “on the Banks,” the 2006 Louisville game (and game week!), and the Scarlet Knights’ coaching search.

Former Rutgers QB Mike Teel talks Rutgers Football with “The Crew”

Trash Island by Bladee, Ecco2k, Thaiboy Digital REVIEW

Two years after the release of their first collaborative, self titled album DG, the swedish rap collective Drain Gang is back with Trash Island.  The swedish rap group consisting of Bladee, Thaiboy Digital and Ecco2k, has had quite the past year. Bladee, the self proclaimed “Drain Gang CEO,” is coming off the release of his most popular mixtape yet, Icedancer. While Bladee is not a new name in hip hop, he is very much up and coming. Bladee has received criticism from music reviewers for being another Yung Lean clone, who is one of Bladee’s frequent collaborators and friends. After the success of his mixtapes Red Light and Icedancer, Bladee has in many ways made a name for himself while creating a cult following like few other artists of his popularity. Bladee has been teasing Trash Island for a long time, releasing a couple successful singles over the past year with seemingly no real purpose, such as “Trash Star,” “Apple,” and recently “Vanilla Sky” which is why the surprise release and the fact that the album was collaborative shocked his fanbase. It wasn’t clear what Trash Island was, whether it was a solo album, or even a clothing line, Bladee is very unpredictable. Another reason fans found themselves shocked was the near release of the highly anticipated of Thaiboy Digital’s Legendary Member, a solo project the group has been teasing for two years, being released on September 23rd. 

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Live Review of Daniel Caesar at the Fillmore

At the Fillmore, located in the energetic Fishtown district on the edge of North Philly, Daniel Caesar performed to a sold-out crowd this past Saturday. Caesar showcased his newest album for his headlining tour: Case Study 01. Released in June, the tracks off this album became powerful anthems for the summer months. The line of ten people that I arrived to at 4 in the afternoon had grown to a line of 2,500 before doors opened at 7 PM, and I began to realize the  sheer amount of individuals who are moved by Caesar’s music. My 3 hours of waiting in line on an unusually humid September day was less than ideal, but the payout was incredible.

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Charli XCX – Charli Album Review

In the five years that have passed since her last studio album Sucker, Charli XCX has been hard at work releasing an EP, two mixtapes, and appearing as a featured artist on multiple singles. Her long awaited third LP Charli contains 15 tracks of her usual brand of avant-garde electropop.

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The Self Proclaimed African Giant Returns

“They call me Burna Boy and these are The Outsiders.” 

Burna Boy performed to a rowdy crowd on Friday the thirteenth. After a circus of opening acts ranging from DJs to dance teams to knock-off versions of Cardi B, Burna Boy finally came to the stage. He skillfully merged each song into the next, not taking a break until after an hour to preach to his audience.

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YBN Cordae The Lost Boy Album Review

YBN Cordae’s The Lost Boy is my favorite hip-hop album of 2019. Every aspect of the music came together perfectly. The beats are engaging, Cordae’s energy is high, his flow is sharp, and best of all, his lyricism is on point. When Cordae raps, there’s never a dull moment. He is either giving you a passionate, fast-paced combination of bars, or he is calmly reflecting on his past struggles and journey throughout life. Either way, I enjoy the relatable and well-constructed verses. Every song is a well-illustrated description of the topic at hand, reminding me of a painting at an art museum. As a whole, the project is a consistently satisfying listen from start to finish.

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Brockhampton Returns to Form on “Ginger”

2018 was a rollercoaster of a year for Brockhampton. Riding the success of their popular self-produced Saturation trilogy, the group decided to sign to RCA Records. In June 2018, they decided to fire staple member Ameer Vann after sexual assault allegations surfaced, and their announced projects Puppy and Team Effort were scrapped. Throughout the summer of 2018, the collective released a string of standalone singles and eventually recorded their fourth studio album Iridescence in ten days at Abbey Road Studios in London, which was released in the following September. After Iridescence, the hip-hop collective went on tour, and the group’s long string of releases was over.

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Lana Del Rey – “Norman F***ing Rockwell!” Album Review

Lana Del Rey has always been an intriguing figure in the pop scene. At a time when most pop stars looked ahead into the future, Lana was looking back into the past. Her old-timey, cinematic “gangster girl” aesthetic was something fresh and her work showed an exceptional amount of promise. 

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Tool – Fear Inoculum Album Review

The wait is finally over. After thirteen years, legendary prog-alt-metal band Tool has finally released their fifth album Fear Inoculum, and, let me tell you, it’s good to hear them with all new material. As their longest album yet (namely the digital version, which will be the one being reviewed for today), Tool still tries to push the boundaries with most of the songs lasting over ten minutes thus allowing the band to showcase their new, mature sound. Maturity, however, comes at a cost, and Tool gives listeners a fulfilling record, albeit one that may be too polished.

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‘I’m Okay, Life Goes On, I Don’t Mind’ Song Review

Kelso is the solo project of Camp Cope’s bassist Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich. Her dream-pop sound is different from what fans have previously known her for in Camp Cope. Instead of indie rock, she is filling listeners with dreamscapes of Sydney, her youthful voice, and a calming backdrop of drums and guitar. Her new single “It’s Okay, Life Goes On, I Don’t Mind” sets the scene for her upcoming EP Always a Godmother, Never a God which is out October fourth with Poison City Records. 

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Jay Som’s “Anak Ko” – Album Review

Returning from her 2017 album, Everybody Works, Jay Som expresses the familiar feeling of returning home from afar in her release of Anak Ko.  The new album’s namesake translates to “my child” in Tagalog, an endearing term used between Filipino loved ones.  This translation transcends into the musical and lyrical composition of this album with themes of calming–almost nourishing–vocals and instrumentation.  The album itself is a family of intimacies, exploring a sense of return and change of self after a long journey.

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ORDER IN DECLINE: FOUR SONGS IN TEN TRACKS

Order in Decline is not so much an album as a statement. The 10-song, 36-minute album released this past July makes no attempt to hide the subject of its angry, driven songs behind deep metaphors and clever wordplay. Instead, Sum 41 are about as on-the-nose as one can get; the sixth track on the album is named “45 (Matter of Time).” In divisive, hyper-polarized and politically tumultuous times, angry bands will make angry music about why they’re angry. Just look at Green Day’s American Idiot, U2’s War, and the existence of the Dead Kennedys as a whole. Order in Decline marks another entry in this subset of raging, politically-fuelled albums. What it doesn’t do, however, is stand out.

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Broken Social Scene Interview with WRSU

Assistant Music Director Danielle Ciampaglia had the chance to chat with Brendan Canning, one of the founding members and guitarist of Broken Social Scene. They talked about how the music industry has changed in the last twenty years, if it’s possible to be too honest in songwriting, and who the lineup would be on a Broken Social Scene festival. Check out the full interview below!

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The Marías Interview with WRSU

WRSU Assistant Music Director Danielle Ciampaglia had a chance to chat with the dreamy, L.A. based band The Marías before their Philly show in July. They got to talking about tour bus life, branding versus identity, and dream set designs. To hear the full interview, click below! To see concert photos, scroll all the way down.

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R.LUM.R Interview with WRSU

WRSU Hip Hop Director Seyi Aladejobi had the opportunity to interview RnB artist and virtuoso guitar player, Reggie William’s aka R.Lum.R. at Island Records in New York City. The two discussed William’s life from his upbringing in Florida, through his tumultuous time in school, up to the present and beyond. Along the way, they may or may not go into tangents about the Music Theory, the importance of teachers in society, and much, much more. 

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Duckwrth Interview with WRSU

WRSU Hip-Hop Director Seyi Aladejobi talked with rising star Duckwrth last week. Check out the full interview below!

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CHON Interview with WRSU

WRSU’s Bennett Rosner had the opportunity to chat with Mario Camarena from famed California math rock outfit CHON before their show at Irving Plaza. The two discussed the group’s new self-titled album, Smash Brothers, and Kenny G. Check out the full interview below!

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Parcels Interview with WRSU

WRSU’s Danielle Ciampaglia chatted with Patrick Hetherington of Parcels this past Thursday. The two discussed Govball 2019, creative inspirations, breaking the mold of modern pop music. Check it out below!

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WRSU News honored at Garden State Journalists’ Association Dinner

WRSU News was honored at last night’s Garden State Journalists’ Association dinner, after taking home two awards from the organization.

Outgoing News Director Jayne Chacko, reporter Stephen Nelson, and incoming News Director Joey Bloch pose with their awards from the Garden State Journalists’ Association at the organization’s annual dinner on Wednesday, May 24, 2019.

In the Radio-Spot News category, third place went to Caleb Kubereit for his coverage this past fall of a protest on the steps of Brower Commons against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Caleb also was nominated for an Intercollegiate Broadcasting System award for the same coverage. Listen to that story below:

In the Radio-Talk Show category, Joey Bloch took third place for the October 14 edition of “Knightbeat,” a one-on-one interview with New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill, as he sought (and later won) an 8th term leading the Hub City. Joey also previously was nominated by IBS for best campus news for one of his newscasts last fall. Hear the “Knightbeat” episode below:


Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” Music Video/Song Review

It’s 2008. You seek refuge in your room plastered with J-14 posters of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens. The largest one is of Demi Lovato with the Jonas Brothers; you’ve been obsessed since the first Camp Rock movie just came out.

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Little Simz Shines on “Grey Area”

“I said it with my chest and I don’t care who I offend,” Little Simz raps on “Offence,” the opening track off of her new album Grey Area, which was released on March 1.

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Dance Gavin Dance Live at Franklin Music Hall Review

The newly created Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia hosted Post-hardcore linchpin Dance Gavin Dance to a sold out crowd on April 13th, 2019. Formerly known as Electric Factory, the venue was used in its past incarnation as host to the filming of live DVDs for bands Lamb of God, Yellowcard, and Underoath.

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Andrew Bird’s “My Finest Work Yet” Album Review

Andrew Bird’s latest album My Finest Work Yet is a strong statement about today’s world. His twelfth solo album after 2017’s Echolocations: River, his latest album steers towards political and social issues such as war and environmental degradation. Bird dives right into his perspective through his lyricism and arrangements, and he rewards his listeners with a subtle and intellectual record.

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Ghost of Paul Revere Interview with WRSU

Zach Bordelon had the pleasure of talking to Max Davis from The Ghost of Paul Revere this past week. Check out his interview below!

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Geno Five Interview with WRSU

Joshua Valdez caught up with Geno Five after his performance at WRSU’s “The Underground Hip-Hop Saga.” Check out the interview below!

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Superorganism Interview with WRSU

Assistant Music Director Blake Lew-Merwin chatted with Tucan from Superorganism this past Thursday. The two talked about Gorillaz comparisons, the New Zealand music scene, and sampling. Check out the interview below!

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Beach Fossils Interview with WRSU

WRSU’s Nolen Riedel caught up with Beach Fossils before their show at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City. Check it out below!

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The Greeting Committee Interview with WRSU

Assistant Music Directors Blake and Bennett sat down with The Greeting Committee before their performance at Corefest 2019. The band talked about the message of their new music video, their upcoming tour with Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and what items they bring on the road.

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Jukebox the Ghost Interview with WRSU

DJ Bennett Rosner had the pleasure of talking to Ben Thornewill of Jukebox the Ghost this past Sunday. The two discussed musical composition, life on the road, and the deluxe edition of the band’s latest record, “Off to the Races.” Check it out below!

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Kevin Parker’s Psychedelic Outfit Tame Impala Releases Comeback Single “Patience” (Track Review)

Tame Impala at Malkin Bowl | Creative Commons

Tame Impala have a penchant for creating complicated pop songs that create a genre in itself. In their first single since their critically acclaimed 2015 album Currents, “Patience” finds the band honing their craft in accentuating every detail and beat to form a melody like no other.

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There’s a Stupid Amount of Shows Coming Up in the NYC/NJ Area: And You Should See Them All

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A Terrible Beauty is Born: The Irish Revolution in Music

Dublin Natives “Villagers” (Pictured Above)

The ground is covered in white, but the rapidly approaching holiday seems to be universally known as a time for green. Whether you’re Irish-Catholic or not, chances are that you’re probably familiar with or have celebrated the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, Patrick, on March 17th. This is, of course, Saint Patrick’s Day, or more colloquially referred to as “St. Paddy’s” in the United States.

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WRSU Sports wins Best Football Play by Play award at IBS 2019

The WRSU Sports staff took home the trophy for Best Football Play-by-Play at the 2019 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s annual international conference in New York City on March 2nd.

Members of the WRSU Sports team at IBS 2019: From l. to r., Sports Director Justin Sontupe, Matt Howe, Jake Ostrove, Stephen Nelson and Sam Marsdale.

The winning submission included snippets of three different game broadcasts featuring Matt Howe, Sam Marsdale, and Sports Director Justin Sontupe on play-by-play, while Stephen Nelson contributed color commentary.

Hear their excellent coverage here:


Homeshake “Helium” Review

At this point, Peter Sagar is no stranger to the game. For years, he was the backing lead-guitarist in Mac DeMarco’s touring band. During this period, he recorded a few tapes under the name Homeshake, gaining Sagar a fair amount of individual attention. In 2014, he parted ways with DeMarco in order to focus more on Homeshake as a full-time project. Since then he has released three full length albums under the moniker, which have become cult classics amongst his considerable number of loyal fans.

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Soundcloud Becomes a Distribution Platform: How Emerging Artists can now Upload Content to Spotify and Apple Music

WRSU Spotify and Apple Music
Chance the Rapper | Creative Commons

Soundcloud has upgraded its distribution feature to “seamlessly” allow users to release content to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

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Talk Talk Frontman and Post-Rock Innovator Mark Hollis Dead at 64

Mark Hollis, co-founder and mastermind behind the British band Talk Talk, passed away on February 24, at the age of 64. In a BBC interview, former Talk Talk band manager Keith Aspen stated that Hollis “died after a short illness from which he never recovered.”

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Tipling Rock Interview with WRSU

DJ Connor Boxczyk interviewed the band Tipling Rock after their show on February 23, 2019 at the Mercury Lounge. Check it out!

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Why People Hate Country

Chris Stapleton, Billboard’s Top Country Singer of 2018 (Pictured Above)

At some point in life, you might have heard somebody say, “Yeah, I like all types of music EXCEPT for country.” Now that statement is a little hypocritical, since they do not actually like all categories of music. So, why exclude country?

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Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show Leaves Much to Be Desired

On Jan. 13, 2019, the NFL announced that Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi would perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. I was excited, but not because of Maroon 5. Rather, I was looking forward to seeing Travis Scott, one of my favorite artists.

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Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” Album Review

Ariana has hit us with another surprise with the release of her most recent album Thank U, Next on February 8, 2019. She stayed true to her word that it would not be long before another new album surfaced.

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Bryce Vine Live at Gramercy Theater Show Review

I was disappointed to find the circular-red couch beneath Gramercy Theater missing on the night of February 5th, 2019.  It was the first show I had been to at Gramercy without its presence. If the way I’d sit between sets was about to change, I thought, so was the way I would watch the show that night.

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Can’t Hear You, I Have Air Pods In

Walk into a hipster coffee shop and hearing the scratching sound of the needle as it first begins to play a record you are transported to an era of the past. At that moment you watch people around you pop in tiny white plugs, drowning out the sounds around them by blasting music in their ears.

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My Exodus from Pandora to Spotify

I remember vividly when I was introduced to Pandora. My 12th grade physics teacher would use it whenever we would have lab, in order to make the extra hour of heating up metal and watching it expand more bearable.  

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James Blake “Assume Form” Album Review

When I first saw the track list for Assume Form, my eyes lit up. I immediately noticed the song “Mile High” featuring Travis Scott and Metro Boomin. Back in August, Travis had James feature on “Stop Trying To Be God,” one of my favorite songs and music videos of 2018. Naturally, I was excited about their follow-up collaboration.

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Chase Atlantic EP “Don’t Try This” Review

This past summer, I interviewed Chase Atlantic for WRSU. When I asked the Australian trio, Clinton Cave, Mitchel Cave, and Christian Anthony what their new music would sound like, they ironically replied, “It’s very Chase Atlantic.” They couldn’t have said it better.

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Flycatcher Interview with WRSU

On January 27, 2019, the alternative rock band, Flycatcher, from New Brunswick, NJ, joined WRSU for an interview. The band had just finished playing a basement show with 81 Rich and Lolo Shang. During the interview, we discussed the band’s origins, musical inspirations, and plans for 2019. You can check it out below:

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John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants Interview with WRSU

WRSU’s Bennett Rosner had the pleasure of having an extended conversation with John F. (AKA the John with Glasses) of They Might Be Giants fame on Monday, January 7th. The two discussed norm core, music videos, communism, Xavier Renegade Angel, and everything in between. Listen to their full interview below!

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WRSU is nominated for four national IBS awards

WRSU’s coverage of this Brett Kavanaugh protest at Brower Commons in October earned it one of three IBS nominations.  Winners will be announced on March 12th at the annual IBS gathering in NYC.

WRSU’s national reputation for outstanding college radio programming has been recognized once again, as the station’s News and Sports departments have picked up four nominations for the 2019 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards.  Winners will be announced on Saturday, March 2nd at the 79th annual IBS Convention in New York City.

Assistant News Director Joey Bloch was nominated for Best Newscast for his noon news on October 12th, which featured an in-depth report by Jacob Turchi on a recent immigration panel at Rutgers.

WRSU also picked up a nomination for Best Campus News for Caleb Kubereit’s coverage of an October 5th protest against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, edited for air by News Director Jayne Chacko.

The third nomination came in the Best Football Play-by-Play category, a montage of Sports Director Justin Sontupe’s call of the Rutgers-Illinois game on October 6th, Matt Howe’s play-by-play against Buffalo on September 22nd, and Sam Marsdale’s call of the Scarlet Knights’ Homecoming game against Northwestern on October 20th.

The fourth and final nomination was announced a few days later, where WRSU garnered a nod for Best Music Blog. Check out some samples here.

Hear all of WRSU’s award nominations below!

WRSU’s Best Newscast Nomination – Joey Bloch with report by Jacob Turchi – Oct. 19, 2018
WRSU’s Best Campus News Nomination – Brett Kavanaugh Protest at Brower – Oct. 5, 2018
WRSU’s Best Football Play-by-Play Nomination
Rutgers vs. Illinois, Justin Sontupe – Oct. 6, 2018
Rutgers vs. Buffalo, Matt Howe – Sept. 22, 2018
Rutgers vs. Northwestern, Sam Marsdale – Oct. 20, 2018

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Anderson .Paak’s “Oxnard” is a Boisterous Success

#.Paak4Shaft

You really shouldn’t categorize Anderson .Paak (don’t forget that dot brotha, you paid for it) because his new album, Oxnard, shows how versatile the singer-rapper-crooner-swooner-songwriter can be. Is that title too long? I’m not sure how else to describe the dynamic vocal styles of .Paak on Oxnard. 

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CupcaKke is Incredible and Here’s Why

Chicago born rapper CupcakKe has a work ethic we barely see in the music industry anymore. At just 21, she has released six full length albums in the last two years alone and has had 32 features in the same time frame. Compared to other artists in her genre who typically have a new album or EP every year or so, CupcakKe’s grind is surely admirable.

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Jaden Smith’s “The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story” Mixtape Review

Jaden Smith Jason Levin Review Image

Following his 2017 debut album, SYRE, and its synth-filled electric counterpart, SYRE: The Electric Album, released this past summer, the inexplicably-cool 20-year old Jaden Smith delivers another wonderful album marked by profound lyricism over heavy synths and basslines. Continue reading »

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Badflower in NYC-11.29-Review & Recap

The California band left it all on stage…

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The Beatles: The Rare and the Remixed   

Beatles White Album WRSU Review Image

On November 22, 1968 the Beatles released their ninth studio album, and despite the fact that it’s self-titled, it’s often referred to as “the White Album.” This double album manages to fool you with the simplicity of the cover: white and blank, only embossed with the band’s name, off-centered. Nonetheless, the music within speaks louder than any picture could describe. 

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Matt Farley (Motern Media) Interview with WRSU

Matt Farley Bennett Rosner Interview Image

WRSU’s Bennett Rosner chatted it up with Matt Farley of Motern Media on December 2nd, 2018. On Spotify, Matt is known by over 70 different aliases and has released over 20,000 songs as of this year. How does Matt do it? Find out by listening to the full interview below!

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Earl Sweatshirt – “Nowhere2go” Track Review

 

The first track from Earl Sweatshirt in three years paints a new, ever changing picture of the poetic Odd Future alum.

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“Shadows on the Sun” Retrospective Review

Brother Ali Image WRSU

Brother Ali is an American rapper based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota and has been active since 1998.  Signed to the indie label Rhymesayers Entertainment, Ali has published six albums in his time and is currently on tour for the fifteenth anniversary of one of his first albums Shadows on the Sun. With the anniversary of this album and coincidentally, the first full work I ever listened to by Ali, the logical thing to do would be to write  a full scale, in depth review of the album.

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Mick Jenkins’ “Pieces of a Man” Album Review

Mick Jenkins WRSU Image

The Chicago based rapper, Mick Jenkins, came out with a new album that’ll give any listener peace of mind.  The album titled “Pieces of a Man” mixes raw spoken word poetry with strong, flowing, jazz production from KAYTRANADA and BADBADNOTGOOD, a new school jazz band who adds a modern, dark twist on the classic genre. For me, this album was a glass of fresh water in a sea of salty, cookie cutter rap.

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Brockhampton Shines at Terminal 5

WRSU Brockhampton Concert Live

The self proclaimed “boyband” hip-hop collective Brockhampton performed their third night at Terminal 5 on Wednesday, October 24. The crowd was filled with devoted fans of all ages. The anticipation for the group to perform was obvious; fans around me were expressing how eager they were to finally see them live and about their performance on The Tonight Show the night before.

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Bryce Vine Interview with WRSU

WRSU sat down with the genre-bending Bryce Vine to chat about his upcoming album, influences, and traveling. You can check out the interview and more on Bryce below.
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Phony Ppl’s “Mozaik” Album Review

WRSU Phony Ppl Album Image

Phony Ppl is a Brooklyn-based musical group comprised of Elbee Thrie (vocals), Elijah Rawk (lead guitar), Matt “Maffyuu” Byas (drums), Aja Grant (Keyboard), and Bari Bass (bass guitar).  Their music is stylistically funky with heavy basslines and Dilla-like boom-bap snares and kicks overlayed by a unique mix of singing and rapping. Their closest comparison is probably The Internet, a Grammy-nominated soulful-funk band from southern California.  I first heard of Phony Ppl through their 2015 track, “Why iii Love the Moon”, a little love ballad off their album Yesterday’s Tomorrow.  With that song in mind, I had high expectations for mō’zā-ik, their most recent album released on September 28th, 2018.

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Kali Uchis Live at Terminal 5 Review

WRSU Kali Uchis Concert Review

On October 13, I got the opportunity to see Kali Uchis perform at Terminal 5 in NYC for her In Your Dreams Tour, amongst midterm season and despite my sinus infection. Tragic I know, but definitely worth it.

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Greta Van Fleet’s “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” Reuses Led Zeppelin’s Sound without the Rawness

WRSU Greta Van Fleet Album Review

The long awaited full-length debut album by Greta Van Fleet has finally arrived. Released on October 19th, 2018, Anthem of the Peaceful Army received negative reviews from rock critics. As a fan of their second EP From the Fires, I tried to ignore the noise, and I tried to listen to the album with open ears. Unfortunately, with a heavy heart, I want to say that all of the reviews are correct: Anthem of the Peaceful Army is a lackluster, overproduced 70’s throwback that lacks grit and creativity.

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Just Keep Swimming: A Review of Mac Miller’s Final Album

WRSU Mac Miller Swimming Review

I was watching a live-stream of the Mac Miller Celebration of Life concert being thrown by his closest friends in the industry, and I found myself disconnected. I can safely say it wasn’t the performances. From Travis Scott to Earl Sweatshirt to Schoolboy Q, the billing was a hip-hop heads wet-dream, and you can get a sense of the scale at which the music industry is mourning. Some will look to this concert for closure. A final farewell to a music juggernaut. But there was something about seeing Mac Miller’s face blown up on a screen as his lyrics rang back, referencing how he was “trying not to join the 27 club” from someone mixing his drugs with “the bullshit”.

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Quavos’ Debut Album “Quavo Huncho” is a Test of Wills to Endure

WRSU Quavo Huncho Review Image

I’m going to be blunt with this album. Listening to “QUAVO HUNCHO” is a form of sonic and cognitive self-harm.  In fact, listening to the album should be listed as “cruel and unusual” punishment and used to torture prisoners held on treason charges.  

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The “Proper Dose” of The Story So Far

WRSU The Proper Dose Image

One of the most loved bands in the pop-punk music scene and the ultimate “sad boy” group has finally made their much-anticipated return with their new album Proper Dose. In the three years since the band released their self-titled album The Story So Far, the pop-punk music scene has been patiently waiting for their next project, since its announcement in April of 2017.

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Twenty One Pilots’ “Trench” Stays True to their Brand

21 Pilots Image

Through cryptic messages and obscure letters, Twenty One Pilots have finally released their highly anticipated fifth studio album Trench. The Ohio duo consisting of singer-songwriter Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun (with the help of Mutemath’s Paul Meany), introduce a new dystopian world that revisits dark themes found in their previous works.

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Matangi/Maya/MIA Film Review

MIA Film review image

Matangi/Maya/MIA doesn’t follow the typical music documentary formula, but Maya Arulpragasam (MIA) is not your typical popstar. The daughter of a Tamil rebel leader in the Sri Lankan Civil War, Maya moved to England when she was nine years old as a refugee. Growing up in the UK, she struggled balancing her identities as a Sri Lankan and as a British citizen.

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Logic’s “YSIV” Mixtape Review

YSIV Album Image WRSU

Logic’s fourth and final Young Sinatra mixtape is a 75-minute exploration into the mind of Sir Robert Bryson Hall. It delves into topics such as his absent crack-addicted father, the legacy he wants to leave behind and the cash he has made from rapping (a whopping $30 million!).  This tape follows Logic’s incredibly successful 2017 album Everybody which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and the 2018 mixtape Bobby Tarantino II.

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Weezer LIVE at PNC Center

Green Day is slowly fading into obscurity, Oasis suffered an explosive breakup, and Nirvana was pre-maturely disbanded in tragedy. Of all the 90’s alternative innovators, only one remains. Ironically, it’s the same band that was considered critically “dead on arrival” by the 21st century and commercially unviable by 2008. Weezer.

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“Weird Al” Concert Review

If someone in 1988 had been asked the question “which of the following things would be thriving in the year 2018: newspapers, the recording industry, the Soviet Union—or “Weird Al” Yankovic”, which seems the least likely?

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Bobby Deren Talks Greg Schiano on The WRSU Crew

Rutgers beat writer Bobby Deren of ScarletNation.com joined The WRSU Crew to talk Rutgers’ failure to hire Greg Schiano.

Greg Schiano went 68-67 and took Rutgers to six bowl games (with five wins) during his time as head coach. Several prominent donors, former players, and Rutgers fans were clamoring for Greg Schiano to be named head coach again.

Why did negotiations fall through between Greg Schiano and Rutgers, when things appeared to be narrowing a positive conclusion? Bobby Deren has the answers. Take a listen!