Album Release: Ariana Grande – A Not So ‘Dangerous Woman’

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The R&B/Pop songstress, Ariana Grande, is back again with a new album release that comes with a bite, and possibly a bit of a gnaw, Dangerous Woman. Here is a full track-by-track review of it!

From all of the hype that was given to the promotion and fabrication of this piece, I could only imagine that Grande would not let this album be a failure. Though true that there are an incredible amount of songs on this album that are unique and are sonically and vocally innovative, I felt that it did not compare to her previous album My Everything, that I thought really had some dynamic tracks to it and displayed her music individually. Nonetheless, Dangerous Woman flows and follows a consistent clichéd theme of being the seductive, innocent girl expressing herself a little more than her parents would approve.

So, that should make it a dangerously steamy album, and yet something about the slightly more feminine Donnie Darko still is missing something in her music or maybe it’s that it’s too much of the same card being played, thus making it a blandly erotic album  to the already disillusioned listeners.

Here is the 15-track list review:

Track 1: “Moonlight”

She starts off her highly anticipated album with a sweet, almost 50’s-esque tune that reminds me of a summer melody from Grease but with a more 21-st century pop sound. It’s soothing and fits her voice decently, but seems to not fit the exact portrayal of the album she rendered before-hand.

Track 2: “Dangerous Woman”

Now comes the track that everyone has heard and expected of the seductress herself. Honestly, this would be one of the better songs on her album. With a clear beat and an alluring melody, it keeps you head-nodding to its rhythm. It has an eccentric and strangely satisfying mixture of rock, pop, R&B, and electronic sounds to its structure, which is what I think makes it such a strong piece. It’s dark without being too cynical, and sexy with a pinch of sultry joy thrown into the cocktail that could make any girl feel like a “Dangerous Woman.” It is also the name of the entire record and was also the first song on the track to be revealed along with a music video.

Watch the Music Video for “Dangerous Woman” Now!

Track 3: “Be Alright”

Another catchy tune of hers, “Be Alright,” fit more of her more usual sounds of layered vocals on top of warped baby/alien sounding voices. It even had xylophones creating the backdrop noise, which was an intriguing twist, but also very much fitting for her paradoxical goal to sound like a mature and sensual version of bubble-gum pop.

Track 4: “Into You”

This was another favorite of mine. She uses her strong voice proudly in this piece with a very contagious and passionate dance sound that gets you entranced to jam out and move no matter what you do. Trust me, do not resist the urge to move to this song.  Very into this.

Track 5: “Side to Side ft. Nicki Minaj”

This was a cool track because it had a bit of that modern take on the Caribbean beat that it seems all artists are giving a try these days (e.g. Drake, Rihanna, and Meaghan Trainor), not to mention it incorporates a collab with the rapper beast herself, Nicki Minaj. Those two always seem to work well together when it comes to combining their musical stylings because of their assertive vocal positions.

Track 6: “Let Me Love You ft. Lil Wayne”

Of course, this song was another hit on her set-list. It was the second track she released from the previews of the album she displayed. The excitement came from the fact that she collaborated with Lil Wayne for this song, as well. Weeeeezy. I agree, the song is very catchy, very chill, and very refreshing in a sense. It doesn’t need much to make it a worthy song to kick back to, and Lil Wayne just intensifies that laid-back vibe. It has those provocatively robotic and other-worldly incantations that The Weeknd tries to do in a way.

Track 7: “Greedy”

Ok, I can admit I get pretty greedy listening to this song. It’s got a bold, 80’s vibe that I just really find fun to listen to. It has a little girl-power to it too, with emphatic percussion lining the perimeter for the entirety of the song as she pops, jumps, swings, and riffs away.

Track 8: “Leave Me Lonely”

This track had so much potential, but not for this album. This was a piece that could have been executed better if it was more integrative with her voice and, perhaps, more layered. Knowing that Macy Gray is one of her musical inspirations, it was nice to see her incorporate a sample of a famous song of hers, yet it was just so out of place from the rest of the record.

It’s got a moody aspect going for it though, and it absolutely gives that true jazzy/soul perspective to her sound. On the other hand, it seems too try-hard to be artsy utilizing vintage components to elevate her music. The transitioning between each artist was not well-constrcuted. This is when I slowly started to notice that the songs began to not sound different from each other. Where’s the lustful temptress I felt from “Dangerous Woman?” Now, it just sounds like the girl next door. No differentiation in pitch, in tone, in charisma, in anything… Just plain ol’ Grande… getting to be more petite.

Track 9: “Everyday ft. Future”

Now, I was very excited for the collaboration with Future, since he seemed to be on fire these days with his recent album release and other collaborationbut was very disappointed by the result. I did not find the song flattering to her usual falsettos, and Future had a very minimal part to the song... “everyday, everyday, everyday…” Of course, he had his rap monologue, and it was great, as usual, but I am still not pleased by her collab with him.

Track 10: “Sometimes”

From this point on, the songs began to feel less and less experiential as her first few tracks and they seem to become less significant. The rest of the songs were more like the fluffy, extra, and unnecessary tracks just to hear more of her voice and seem impressive that she spent so much time on 15 tracks. But Ari, sometimes less is more.

Don’t get me wrong though– the others are definitely catchy and something I could listen to in the background while I was working.

This particular track, I did like for its more lax atmosphere. Something I could listen to if I was laying back in a field of grass or in a hammock staring at the sky or walking on the beach. It even has some great lyrics that give you the feels:

"I ain't even think of leaving sometimes/ I ain't even think of letting go / I ain't ever thought of going nowhere / I don't even see it down the road / Cause we're collectin' moments / Tattoos on my mind"

Track 11: “I Don’t Care”

But here we go again…

Track 12: “Bad Decisions”

And again…

Track 13: “Touch It”

And… again… (2 more to go)

Track 14: “Knew Better / Forever Boy”

Should I really keep going?…

Track 15: “Thinking About You”

Yes, I think I have made a distinct point. As many literature professors would say to the conclusion of a paper, “so what?

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Sure, her recent performance on SNL proved that she could rock a man’s suit while singing, and her performance earlier today on Good Morning America definitely raised the excitement of the soundtrack’s release, but overall, this album was much more of the twenty-year old facing the struggles of the teenage-to-adulthood transition– perplexing and mystifying. Where did the flame go? Where did the “dangerous” in the “woman” disappear to? The rest of the songs are just… well… cute?

All in all, it is all left to personal, subjective interpretation, and so you should most definitely give it a listen on your own. The link is below! Has Ariana been over-estimating her supposed “sex-appeal” and popularity as the queen of hypocritical pureness versus promiscuity? Or do you think she has stepped out of her box and given her music a new sonic edge? Let us know!

Note: Music video to “Let Me Love You ft. Lil Wayne” to be dropped soon!

Listen to the entire album here!

 

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Kehlani Delivers a Powerful Speech to Fans

“YOU ARE PERFECT AND YOU NEED TO BE HERE EVERY SINGLE DAY”

~Kehlani

This is what R&B songstress and suicide-survivor, Kehlani, announces positively to the crowd as she delivers a motivational speech to her fans about the reality and severity of mental illnesses today.

 

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Instagram: @kehlani

 

You’ve lost all hope and you feel like there is nothing else for you to do, nothing else you can do– these are the feelings that artist, Kehlani, has felt before and has escaped successfully. She recently performed her first show back since her incident in her hometown of Oakland, California. During the show, she paused her performance to convey a powerful speech about suicide prevention. She reveals information about her own suicide attempt last March and how it was not the first time she attempted to take her own life. If you can recall, the petite beauty had ended up in the hospital, Instramming a photo of her injected arm. She also had posted a ‘Thank You’ photo to her ex, PARTYNEXTDOOR, for “saving her life.”

In this same segment of her performance, Kehlani discourages her fans of doing and thinking the same demeaning acts and thoughts as she had done and to instead focus on the importance of living here and now– to push the negativity out and embrace the enchantment surrounding.

 

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Instagram: @kehlani

 

With her sweet voice, she tells her screaming, adoring fans “please tell somebody. And please, don’t TRY it, don’t DO it.” She goes on to express the immensity of depression today and how it is something “so many young people are dealing with and so many young people just slip under the rug to things like depression, severe anxiety, and many disorders that people know nothing about.”

With emphasis, Kehlani says “so, if you have a friend and they’re scaring you a little, just love them, ok? Hug them and love them up and tell them that it’s good, ok?”

She professes her intense love for everyone there, with the most genuine and hopeful smile painting her face. She is planning on working closely with the National Suicide Hotline to help people in mental health crises. She wants it to be available and accessible to anyone and everyone.

Here’s a clip from Kehlani’s performance where she speaks up for and speaks out to her fans.

 

What’s up now?

Well, with a new hair-do (shorter and blonder) and a stronger mind, this star is now all smiles, shining brightly and making moves:

  • She is touring again, and gracing her fellow followers with her stunning vocals, recapturing the essence of her music and love for the art.
  • She has released a new single “24/7” earlier this month, and it is killer! The song addresses the complexities of life and its ups and downs. She sings in the introduction:

It’s ok to not be ok / To dive in your pain / And it’s alright to not be alright / To search for your light

Listen to it now!

  • And… She has reportedly gone vegetarian for the past three months, and is hoping to eventually make the shift to veganism.

Unknown.jpegPeace and love! 🙂

 

This New Playlist ‘Like Controlla’

So you’ve just been chilling around, hoping for some new music to get you jamming, right?

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Well, look no further because Verge Campus BU has got a new playlist for you and it’s going to get you singing, dancing, and feeling all the feels “Like Controlla.” 😉

This playlist is filled with some of the newest songs out now from some of your favorite artists and from all kinds of genres. It’s eclectic enough to adapt to any style you’re in the mood to vibe to. The list includes OneRepublic (tbt?), Drake (but of course), Kygo (summmmmeeerrr), French Montana & NAS, MØ, Colony House, Elijah Blake, Jon Bellion, Kehlani, Mike Posner, Zara Larsson, Calvin Harris and many more!

Also, another artist in the playlist that needed to be represented has an album that is still slightly under the radar, yet is shocking people and getting a lot of listens! KAYTRANADA’s newest release 99.9%, which consists of collaborations with a lot of dynamic individuals. Some of those artist includes features with AlunaGeorge, Anderson .Paak, River Tiber, Craig David, and BadBadNotGood (just to name a few).  This is album is certainly going to be making waves as more and more people give it a listen and find out more about it. It can be best described as the strangest mélange of jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and some pop-electronic sounds.

All in all, we hope this playlist is a cool new addition to your music library and a good start for you to not only hear other sounds that you’ve already heard before, but to also see how some of the artists you used to listen to have evolved over time. Listen to this playlist and then go back to some of the artists in the playlists old work and see what is different about them now– I’m sure you’ll be in for a surprise.

Playlist: Like Controlla

Listen, follow, and share here!

 

Enjoy, and be sure to share this playlist with your friends and follow our Spotify account to get weekly playlists that satisfy your music hunger.

 

 

The Grammys Consider Petition to Award Free Music

The highest honor in music might be adding a new harmony to their melody. The Grammys may be adding a new category to their awarding process.

 

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The Fuse.

“Ridiculously talented artists who are releasing free mixtapes and projects are not getting the recognition they truly deserve”, says the author of the petition, Max Krasowitz.

Krasowitz speaks on behalf of the listeners who do not discriminate the art from the artist. These people demand that The Grammys include an additional category in their agenda of award recognition, a Free Music award. He goes on to say that the Recording Academy has basically been punishing artists for “making their music available to everyone, rich or poor.” Essentially, they have been making these particular artists feel left out of the process and unheard.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is now finally taking into account the interests of the fans. It has clearly shown by the  25,000 signatures already signed on the petition that this topic has struck a chord in many. It just goes to show how much of an influence our generation has on larger institutions and how, thanks to the push of the digital world and media, we are able to receive a response within minutes and make change.

A spokesperson for the International Business Times said that:

The Grammy Awards process is fluid and, like music, continues to evolve. As a peer-voted award, the awards process is also peer-determined. Each spring, music creators in the community work with Academy staff to prepare and submit proposals, which are then reviewed by the Board and announced shortly thereafter.

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Change.org

Chance The Rapper, who recently dropped his ‘Chance 3 album,’ also known as, Coloring Book, signed the document stating that “everyone deserves a chance.” He has been known to be extremely generous when it comes to releasing music that does not cost even a cent. In a past interview with Rolling Stone, he explained that “the whole point of Acid Rap was just to ask people a question: does the music business side of this dictate what type of project this is? If it’s all original music and it’s got this much emotion around it and it connects this way with this many people, is it a mixtape? What’s an album these days, anyways? Cause I didn’t sell it, does that mean it’s not an official release? So I might not ever drop a for-sale project. Maybe I’ll just make my money touring.”

As of late, any music nominated must be “commercially released” to even be acknowledged in the ceremony.

The rising concern with this acceptance of free music is whether the these songs will be of musical quality or of simple bedroom & closet recordings. Nonetheless, arguments have been made that “nowadays some of the most talented musicians were and are still exactly that: bedroom producers successfully self-releasing and finding legions of fans.”

With this petition in place, it will take Hip-hop on a new path and force the notorious music awarding organization to make some serious considerations. If you’re all about the creativity of mixtapes receiving a shot at the Grammy awards, then sign the petition here!

Kanye West Isn’t Finished: More Music on NAS film

I’ma let you finish, but first let me tell y’all…Kanye West isn’t finished here.

No, the American Hip-hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, *breath,* is not stopping to take a break after the release of his latest project, The Life of Pablo. Instead, Kanye West has bigger plans. He mentioned to press that he is constructing new music and compositions that should be out in just a matter of months!

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Nas (left), Kanye West (center), Pusha T (right)

How will the artist be delivering this shiny new sound to you? West will be creating music to serve as parts of the soundtrack to the skateboarding drama film The Land, executively produced by Nas and written/directed by Stephen Cape Jr. The film will include such familiar, star-studded faces as Erykah Badu and Machine Gun Kelly!

Yeezy won’t be the only one submitting new music for the big silver screen though. James Dinh of iHeartRadio discovered that, Pusha T, Jeremiah, and French Montana will also be producing music to add to the soundtrack, which is to drop on July 29th via Mass Appeal.

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Scene from film ‘The Land.’

The Land is a depiction of a young skateboarder’s life in the hood of Cleveland, Ohio, and how he aspires to escape and reach his fullest potential and higher status in the activity of the sport.

Watch the trailer below:

 

According to NME.com 38 years old artist has been named as Webby Artist Of The Year for reaching “incredible digital heights” with his internet presence. The artist has hit record rankings with his music and continues to develop his sound as he experiments, produces, and interacts more with his fans “directly” through the virtual assistance of social media. He has made himself a brand that stands in the forefront of people’s minds and tunes that echoes in people’s ears. Loud and obnoxious, yet powerful and contagious, West will continue to capture the listener’s interest with his constant and consistent production. Now the only question is, will he be able to produce sounds of quality in such a short period of time? You guys will be the judge of that!

Follow the film’s twitter updates here to find out more on the film’s soundtrack releases and cinematic production.

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@Thefader reports on artists to be on soundtrack of ‘The Land.’
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@kanyewest announces newest song release with collaborations from French Montana and Nas.

 

Welcome To My House Summer 2016 Playlist

The school year has finally ended and you are finally free! So, in order to celebrate the end of the semester, here is a summer 2016 playlist to jam to!

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What is that? Finals are over? Your school year has officially ended?! That is right collegiate friends, congratulations on possibly surviving another year of college! In order to celebrate your freedom, here is a playlist filled with some of the newest hits worth getting up an partying to, that you love, but also some of the sickest tunes to vibe and grind to– Oh yes, here is a summer 2016 playlist!

Time to breathe and think about the good days to come. Whether you’re working the new internship you landed, or you’re planning a summer bucket list to explore cities and new places with friends, or you’re traveling to new places, or you’re a graduating senior preparing yourself to take on the real world, we all need music to bring our spirits up!

With that in mind and my eclectic taste in music, I have concocted a summer vibes cocktail that will certainly have you jamming out in almost every genre form there is! What better way to dance with joy, cynically kissing all of those textbooks and late nights and energy drinks and stress, goodbye, than to jam out to some of your favorite tunes?! This playlist is sure to get you in the right state of mind to stop all of the Work, Work, Work, Work, Work… Some artists included are: Kanye, LÉON, Tove Lo, Parade of Lights, Two Door Cinema Club, AlunaGeorge, Calvin Harris, Big Sean, Jhené Aiko, Kevin Garrett, ZAYN, Meghan Trainor, and Drake! What are you waiting for?! Let summer commence and check this playlist out now!

Track-list Title: Welcome to My House: Summer 2016 Playlist

by VergeCampusBU

 

You can also access this playlist in the “Playlists” page on my site!

ListenEnjoyJam, and Share this playlist, and have a fantastic summer break y’all! Also, be sure to let us know in the comments what you want to hear in future playlists to come!

Be sure to follow our own Spotify account to stay in the loop with our latest weekly playlist updates made just for you! 😉

https://open.spotify.com/user/vergecampusbu

 

SonReal Releases Music Video and Announces Contest!

Bold, charismatic, impactful, and climbing his way to the top, SonReal has become one of Hip-hop’s biggest phenomenons this year! This five-time nominated artist for the JUNO awards, two of which were at the 2016 JUNO’S for “Rap Recording of the Year” and “Video of the Year” for his EP, For The Town, has made quite the impression on his fans, media, and artists.

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This individual has a brand, has identified it, and has known how to present it!

MTV had actually gone so far as to call him:

Drake’s Biggest Competition at the JUNO Awards.

 

His music can be described as unique, dynamic, and forceful— he experiments with the various sub-genres of the Hip-hop world, thus bringing a fresh new edge to the field. His music is as multi-dimensional and alien-esque as that of Tyler the Creator’s and Kid Cudi’s, but as strong and powerful as Eminem’s and Kanye’s. This artist knows how to actually create and recreate with the bit and pieces of beats and rhythms that he collects.
Huffington Post wrote, “SonReal has his own flow, his own style, his own message. And he’s pretty damn good at it.” And it shows in the millions of Spotify streams and YouTube views he has gained from his infectious and attention-grabbing projects such as Good News (2012), The Closers (2013), One Long Day (2014), and lastly his EP For The Town.
He has recently, with much pride, released his music video for his track and “Can I Get A Witness,” which you can watch here now!

 

 

To hear more from him, here is his Spotify:

 

In addition to and in celebration of the track’s launch, SonReal has announced the commencement of his “The World’s Worst Contest,” a contest he has put in place for any lucky winner and a friend to win a chance to venture on a once-in-a-lifetime 20+ hour roundtrip bus ride to enjoy a weekend in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, home of the notorious Netflix series “Making A Murder.” SonReal has described it as a chance to get a “scenic tour of the town on a Segway, dinner for 2 at Taco Bell and a great night’s sleep at the prestigious Lakeview Motel.” If won, but the prize trip is not wanted, than an alternative prize of $700 USD can be asked for in lieu of the “experience.”
How to enter? Fans may enter by following SonReal on Spotify, saving “Can I Get A Witness” to their libraries, sharing it across social media with #CanIGetAWitness, and filling out the short entry form! Don’t miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime, and a great story to tell!

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Also, check out SonReal on tour with Travis Mills:

April 27 The Foundry                                      Philadelphia, PA

April 28 SOB’s                                                    New York City, NY

May 4    The Chapel                                         San Francisco, CA

May 12 The Roxy                                             Los Angeles, CA

May 19 The Crescent Ballroom              Phoenix, AZ

 

Follow this Hip-hop influencer on his social channels:

Official Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

[Exclusive] Interview with Motown Records Artist Malachiae Warren

At just 20 years old, this Motown Recording artist is doing it all! Meet Malachiae Warren, who started out as a Youtube-comedic sensation, then transformed into an actor, a director, an artist and a producer– what more can he do?! ([Exclusive] interview recording below!)\

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I had the pleasure of speaking with the Atlanta-born musician to discuss some of his musical beginnings, his experiences in the industry, the music itself, and some fun facts. Though young, do not mistaken it for naiveté. Warren answered this call with extreme enthusiasm and zest to express himself to his fans and myself. He knows what he is doing, where he is going, and where he wants to be, something very rare in the indecisive nature of the people in our generation today.

I dreamed so hard that I didn’t really think about failure. Of course I had doubts, but the main goal was just to be something, like whether it was music, acting anything, I knew something was gonna take off. I never really think too much of the downfalls.

-Malachiae Warren.
This R&B musician’s work can be described as smooth, seductive, flowing, and impactful. Some could compare his musical stylings to that similar to the sounds of Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Mack Wilds. He recently had released his EP, Heard U Was In My City, on March 25th, 2016. This compilation consists of 6 well constructed and strung together tracks!

Click on the image below to go to his Spotify album link!

 

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Spotify Link

Here is the music video to one his tracks off his album, “Minute Made”:

 

Warren and I had a wonderful conversation and he had a lot to offer with his answers throughout the interview, but a few concepts that stood out about this individual were the facts that he had a drive and that drive was driven by his passion, his assertiveness, and his fans. He is extremely grateful for the friends and family who have supported him all this way into his artistic and creative career, and he is so in love with all of his fans who dedicate their ears to listening to his music. He exclaims, “absolutely! We wouldn’t be here without the fans!” He said with confidence and assurance that this is where he wanted to be and since he got the chance, he  has jumped in without hesitation, making sure to produce and offer the most that he can and immersing himself in various mediums of art forms: from comedy, to music, to film.

Here is a snippet of our interview!

 

Keep a look out for the this artist who will be rising the charts and will be not only capturing your musical interest, but will also be arresting your cinematic eye as well!

How to keep up with him?! Follow him on his social channels:

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook