Eric B. & Rakim: Their Technique & Legacy

If you compare Rakim’s way of rapping to those of other classic 80s rappers, then there is an obvious difference. He was not shouting his words with high energy, but was more relaxed and rapped slower than his peers while using internal rhymes. Not to mention with help from the amazing DJ Eric. B, the duo were one of the first to sample “soul” music in their recordings and took the art of live turntable mixing to another level. Before Eric B. & Rakim, there were not alot of rappers who created complex internal rhymes. He ignored bar lines, and had a jazz -like tone to his lyrical style. Flash forward to the present, and Eric B. & Rakim’s innovative technique can still be heard in today’s rap music. Their permanent mark on music started with the Paid In Full album in 1987 with legendary songs like “Eric B Is President”, “I Ain’t No Joke”, and the “Paid In Full” single. Considered one of the greatest albums of all times by many music analysts, Paid in Full, is an example of a blueprint for a new style of rapping that was not prevalent before. The duo has influenced many other legendary artists such as Nas, Wu Tang Clan, and Jay-Z. In today’s era, they are probably your favorite rapper’s rapper…timeless artists that will always have new fans/listeners in every generation as well.

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Amazing Astronomy: New Image Maps 1.2 Million Galaxies (out of Billions)

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Daniel Eisenstein/SDSS-III

Scientists have been trying to understand the expansion of the universe, and here is a recent photo of 1.2 million galaxies in only a quarter of the known universe. The map was created by BOSS ( Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey) scientists.  How interesting that this 3D map only shows millions of the galaxies that is 650 cubic billion light years….it is estimated that there are at least one hundred billion galaxies in the universe. Of course, beings on other planets and in different galaxies may not look like how we portray them in Sci-fi movies, but how can we deny that there is probably (9 times out of 10) life in other parts of our Universe? Our Milky Way galaxy is just one of billions of galaxies that contain planets. So, it is very intriguing to just ponder on what creations and existing life forms reside in other parts of the Universe. Astronomy is so interesting and worth learning about. This map is truly amazing….it’s not a cluster of stars we’re looking at…but galaxies. Wow.

Hyperrealism Art: Some of my Favorites

Hyperrealism artwork, which is an advancement of Photorealism, often creates an illusion that resembles reality in such a detailed way. Some subject matter of hyperrealist style artwork includes social, political, and cultural themes. Hyperrealism started as a independent art movement in the U.S and Europe in the early 70s, and some of the amazing artists of this particular style includes Duane Hanson, Ron Mueck, Peter Anton, Denis Peterson, and Paul Cadden. I love Hyperrealism artwork, and here are some interesting and intriguing examples of just how brilliant Hyper-Realistic creations can be.

Duane Hanson

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Denis Peterson

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Paul Cadden

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Peter Anton

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Ron Mueck

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More Than Protesting: Strategic Action, Effective Change

Protests are not always effective when it comes to progression/change. So, what is? To help gradually decrease police brutality, there needs to be reconstruction , change & progress  on the federal, state, and local levels of government. The reason why unfit and bad cops keep getting away with these crimes is because they are protected by policies that are flawed. We cannot keep simply protesting, being out raged on social media, and accepting that this is just how it is. Effective change means not just discussion and protest signs, but it also means strategically planning & taking action. So, let’s contemplate a few effective actions we can do that will help implement change.

1. Educating ourselves on the policies/laws already enacted and policy solutions that needs to be enforced, then demanding action from policy officials at all levels of government. Don’t complain, but then refuse to actually be a part of change. Don’t shoot down my suggestions, then refuse to try or give better solutions.

2. It’s okay to be angry, but create positive change from that anger. Saying “fuck the police” and then ranting on social media is not going to solve anything.

3. I encourage all to learn more at joincampaignzero.org, which goes into detail more specifically on the  problems, solutions, and actions we can take to implement effective change.

All in all, if we live in a place where issues like police brutality and basic human rights violations plague the land, then we all should help implement change and discuss/take actions concerning effective solutions…. Especially for those of us who complain and are angry.