Students discuss recent events in music

A combination of events in the music industry leave much to be analyzed


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Kanye “Ye” West’s Twitter antics have attracted widespread attention.

Adam Coil and Brody Leo

A lot has happened this week in the music world, so we thought it might be a good idea to take a pause and reflect on everything that transpired. 

Kanye’s social media presence 


Kanye West’s long period of social media silence after his failed presidential campaign showed that there truly was something missing from my life. I turned on Instagram post notifications for West, at most, exciting an occasional Sunday Service or a cryptic album promotion. Now, I get more notifications from Kanye’s Instagram than anyone else, though that might just be a testament to how dry my phone is. 

Regardless of this fact, any new post from West never fails to liven up my day. Whether he’s posting a poorly cropped picture of Pete Davidson (a.k.a “Skete”), putting a teenager’s hate comment on blast or talking about “God’s plan” to reunite him with Kim Kardashian, there is something new to enjoy every day. In all seriousness, though, I hope he does figure out his breakup with Kardashian. Right now, this feels like the world’s largest divorce, and all of us are just the kids stuck in the middle trying to figure it all out. 


While I understand that West’s social media antics can be amusing, the situation of Kanye is, at best, a matter of ignorance and, at worst, a deliberate abuse of power. West is easily one of the most influential artists of this generation — with a ginormous following — which means that it is his responsibility to evaluate the repercussions of his actions. Of course, spontaneity is something that has helped to propel West’s career, but now he needs to realize just how bad this could get. 

Like Kardashian said in a text that West later reposted (and then deleted) to his Instagram, someone could get seriously hurt from all of this. The situation feels somewhat reminiscent of the January 6th capitol insurrection — larger-than-life figures weaponizing their base to attack an entity they feel has wronged them. As someone who has been something of a pioneer in the discourse surrounding mental health, it feels exceptionally irresponsible for West to act this way. The message he’s sending to his impressionable base is that being belligerent and erratic is okay so long as you use your mental health struggles as an excuse. Or so long as you’re famous. 

Black Country, New Road’s sophomore LP 


There is a lot to love about Black Country, New Road’s recent album, “Ants From Up There”. As someone who wasn’t really into their debut LP, “For the first time”, I must admit that I was initially apathetic to this release until the consistent praise from various influencers in the music community pushed me to listen closer and reevaluate. Something that has really grown on me after a third and fourth listen is how much Isaac Wood brings to the project with his vocals. His voice is dynamic, poignant and easy to empathize with — you can especially feel the strain of his voice in the chorus of “Chaos Space Marine”, when he sings, “So I’m leaving this body / And I’m never coming home again, yeah.” Black Country, New Road’s lyrical talent is on full display on tracks such as “Basketball Shoes” and “Concorde”, where the sporadic, passionate verses remind me of Will Toledo and Alex G. “Ants From Up There” is perplexing and impressive because it allows itself to be loose and upbeat while simultaneously capturing the anxiety and despair of failing relationships and the instability of becoming an adult. 


Adam will eat up anything that has a high score from Anthony Fantano, so I was a little more skeptical here. I did give it a fair listen, though, and I completely understand the hype. Black Country, New Road has an amazing ability to borrow effective elements of mainstream alternative rock while also offering a fair deal of unique experimentation. The group’s melodies are catchy and colorful but far from shallow. Beneath each infectious dominant chord progression, there are intricate sublayers of acoustic strings, horns and percussion. Because of this, it’s both an enjoyable first listen and a project to which you just want to keep coming back. 

Super Bowl halftime show 


A stage shared by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick freaking Lamar?! Seriously, for someone who grew up on those artists, there was nothing more for which I could ask. First of all, I absolutely loved the setlist — seamlessly mixed by Dre — which jumped from East Coast to West Coast, old school to new school. 

Of course, I’m disappointed that Lamar didn’t get more airtime and that he didn’t finish his performance by announcing a new album — there is no one more starved for new Lamar than me. But honestly, after this long without seeing Lamar, I can’t be too upset. I loved that he started his performance off with the “m.A.A.d. city” intro, and the impressive camera work on “Alright” made the performance look more like a music video than a halftime show. 

I really was hoping that West would come out of the stands and deliver some sort of 2009 VMAs type stunt, but alas. 


I have two questions: what was Eminem doing there? That was a mood killer to be honest. Aso, why didn’t Anderson .Paak get in on the action? I will admit he did look pretty cool on the drums, though.