The purpose of my monthly playlists are to keep track of what I’ve been listening to during that month, expand my taste and knowledge in music and hopefully expose people to music that they haven’t heard yet. So the playlists are twofold: to help me keep track…
March and April is a great time to be a student at Indiana University. Winter is finally over, Spring Break is going on and, most importantly, there is the Little 500 bike race. It’s a special time of the year, so I needed a playlist to reflect these two months. There’s some feel good vibes with songs like Fool for You by Big Z and Jackson Breit (Track 1), Jusfayu by brotherKAMAU (Track 6) and Friday Nights by Viceroy (T.17). I love music that makes you think, so I included some reflective songs like Chum by Earl Sweatshirt (T.14) and Aquemini by Outkast (T.11). Of course, there also has to be a few songs that can just be blasted, so make sure to bump G W M by Towkio and Vic Mensa (T.18), We Got It by Lil Yachty and Rich the Kid (T.8) and Motley Crue (Whiiite Remix) by THEY (T.9). One of my favorites from this playlist is Man Dont Care by JME. The UK grime scene is blowing up right now, and JME and his brother, Skepta, are leading the charge. It’s difficult to define grime because it’s a hybridization of many different kinds of music and is still one of the newer styles to emerge. Despite its niche subgenre feel and containment to the UK, grime still has a wide appeal for people who like hip hop, punk or electronic music. Many UK music fans are convinced that grime will be the next British Invasion to international music charts and that siblings, Skepta and JME, are going to be the ones to do it. Another really interesting artist from this playlist is Lil Yachty, who’s a pretty weird and eccentric guy. A lot of his music is pretty painful to listen to, and he’s extremely easy to hate. He sometimes seems like a gimmick, with his high pitched off-key singing, red braided hair, and his cult-like following by hypebeasts all over the world. But I also really like and respect his aesthetic and do enjoy a lot of his music. Although he is most famous for his songs 1Night and Minnesota, a few of his other songs that I love to bump are Water on My Face, Bitter Sweet, Truck Loads, and my personal favorite, SAATS. His nasally voice and “bubblegum trap” beats definitely aren’t for everyone, but if you enjoy art, especially multi-channel and discursive projects, you might be able to appreciate his artistry. It’s a lot easier to enjoy him when you view him as a modern multichannel artist, , instead of just novelty rapper. Before the Internet, artists like Yachty, along with hip hop oddballs like Lil Uzi Vert, Father, Yung Lean, Ugly God and Playboi Carti would never have been able to experience the level of success they are seeing today. But thanks to the viral nature of the Internet, artists are able to crossover between online content and live performances and create works of art that resonate.
- Fool for You – Big Z feat. Jackson Breit
- Good Will Stunting – D-WHY
- Multi-love – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
- beamerboy – LIL PEEP
- ridin round – kali uchis feat. Torey Lanez
- Jusfayu – brotherKAMAU feat. No Wyld
- Need U (100%) (Jauz X Marshmello Remix) – Duke Dumont
- We Got It – Lil Yachty x Rich the Kid
- Motley Crue (Whiiite Remix) – THEY.
- Round 2 – Royal feat. Deskto
- Aquemini – Outkast
- 04 Dec. 4th, Oh What A Night – Jay-Z vs. Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
- All Good – Nebu Kiniza
- Chum – Earl Sweatshirt
- Man Dont Care – JME
- Toxic – Childish Gambino feat. Danny Brown
- Friday Nights – Viceroy & French Horn Rebellion
- G W M – Towkio feat. Vic Mensa
- Yacht Music – Jerz feat. OG Maco
Here is what I have been listening to this February:
- All (Kastle Remix) – Miguel
- Bud Light – William Bolton
- You and I – Nate Good
- Kneedeep (Bobby Brush Remix) – Zac Brown Band feat. Jimmy Buffet
- Reflections (Evan Gartner Remix) – Misterwives
- Wobbin – Packy
- Heatwave – Chiddy Bang feat. Mac Miller
- Scrooge McDuck – Shwayze
- Anotha One – SAM F X DJ Khaled
- Cheap Sunglasses – RAC
- Out Of This Ili (A$AP Rocky X Troyboi) – AVSTIN JAMES
Summer has always been full of great memories for me. Whether it was a day on Lake Monroe or time spent grilling out with family, many of my best childhood memories took place during the summer. Although now my summers are packed with classes, internships, and side projects, that carefree summer mindset always manages to creep up on me some time in late May.
I love having music that reflects certain stages of my life, so I wanted to put together a soundtrack that could represent Summer 2016. The goal of this playlist was to create something versatile that anyone could vibe to, regardless of where you are and what you are doing for the summer. This is the most extensive playlist I have ever created, with over 200 songs that extend across all genres of music. Each song has been selected because it is somehow a representation of the summer. The idea behind the playlist is that diversity makes life more interesting and enjoyable. (Feel free to explore the social commentary behind this idea, or just enjoy the music if you prefer.)
I could have filled the playlist exclusively with tropical house remixes, and even though that still would have made a great summer playlist, it would have been too one-dimensional. I wanted to put something together that could be enjoyed by a diverse group of people who cover a broad spectrum related to their taste in music. My apologies that not all of the songs are kid-friendly.
A few of my favorite songs from the playlist:
- Feel Good Summer Anthems: Swimsuits by The Cool Kids, Exotic by ymtk, Bud Light by William Bolton
- Old-school Jams: Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison, No Woman No Cry Remix by Tupac and Bob Marley, Me, Myself, & I by De La Sol, Guns Are Drawn by The Roots
- Tropical Remixes: This Is How We Do It (Viceroy “Jet Life” Remix) by Montell Jordan, Knee Deep (Bobby Brush Remix) by Zac Brown Band feat. Jimmy Buffett
- 90’s Alternative: The Joker by The Steve Miller Band, Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest
- Bangers: Out Of This Ili (A$AP Rocky X Troyboi) by AVSTIN JAMES, Low It Down by Lil Haiti, Wicked by Future, CHIMES RMX ft Pusha T by Hudson Mohawke
- Chillers: Floats My Boat by Aer, Follow Me by Uncle Kracker, Too Much Time Together by San Cisco, Step Right Up by Radical Something, Something About a Boat by Jimmy Buffet
I was supposed to leave for my flight to Cozumel on December 30, but after going through security and making it to my gate with plenty of time to spare, I somehow managed to fall asleep at my gate and missed boarding. Two hours later, I woke up to find myself completely alone at the gate and my flight long gone. I was disappointed that no one woke me up for boarding, but I quickly realized that I had no one to blame but myself. Instead of counting the day as a complete loss, I was able to spend it with friends in Indianapolis and caught an 8 am flight the next morning.
I have made about 8 trips to Mexico in my life; however, this was my first time leaving the mainland and visiting the island of Cozumel. Although a lot of cruise ships stop at the island and it is a hotspot for tourists, there are still a lot of authentic cultural experiences that can be found on the island.
With a population of about 100,000, Cozumel is definitely not a small town, and most of the island still remains undeveloped. These untouched areas are some of the most beautiful and are home to an abundance of wildlife, greenery, and picturesque beaches. As soon as I landed and stepped out of the airport, I was immediately hit with the heat, which was nice because I had spent the last few days freezing in Chicago, but also quickly noticed the vibrancy of the island. It was not only filled with trees and plants, but amazing streetart and friendly people as well. I have a slight bias for visiting Spanish speaking countries, and being able to speak Spanish for the whole week definitely enriched the experience.
Shortly after arriving in Cozumel, my friend Isaac and I decided to go fly his drone in the park. Immediately after taking off, the drone was caught in a gust of wind and was thrown directly into the ocean. We both imagined that it would be impossible to ever recover the drone, but decided to head for the beach anyway. When we reached the water, a man approached us from what appeared to be an abandoned resort. He gestured to ocean and indicated that our drone had indeed landed somewhere in the ocean. He threw us a pair of snorkeling goggles and jumped in with his own pair of goggles as well. Within five minutes, he miraculously returned with the drone that had been somewhere on the bottom of the ocean. After giving us the drone, he invited us to come into his home. He, along with 4-7 other individuals (depending on the day), had converted an abandoned resort into their own home. All of the walls throughout the entire building were covered in murals and graffiti, and one of the guys living there took credit for all of the artwork. He also showed us how he hung shopping carts from the ceiling to make swings, which, regardless of if they met common safety protocol, were a lot of fun. The bottom floor of the building, where the guys would hang out during the day, was completely open and just feet away from the ocean. It was a spectacular view and was located in one of the nicest parts of town. I found it infinitely interesting that this expensive property, which had one of the most beautiful oceanic views I have ever seen and at one time was home to the now relocated Dolphin Resort, was now inhabited for free by a group of individuals that decided to start living there. The tourists that walked by the front of the building every day on their way to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville or one of the hundreds of souvenir shops had no idea what was happening inside of this building. The residents of the building enjoyed having guests and opened up to us by sharing incredible stories about Aztec culture and legends, what it was like living in the building, and even their fight against crack addiction. Through their struggle, along with their triumphs, we were presented with an astonishingly beautiful juxtaposition of what it meant to call Cozumel home.
Although the trip was filled with countless deep, thoughtful, and sometimes intense moments, we also had a lot of fun. One of our best decisions during the trip was to rent scooters, even though I did crash mine at a gas station. I was amazed that we were able to rent scooters for 24 hours for only $20, and even more amazed that I was able to reach 100 km (just over 60 mph). Not only were they extremely fun to drive, but they gave us access to parts of the island that would be impossible to reach by foot. In addition to this, I enjoyed the discotecas, snorkeling, delicious authentic cuisine, some of the best dive spots in the world, and even being featured in a clown show one night in one of the parks.
I look forward to returning to Cozumel, and would definitely recommend it as a travel destination. If you have the opportunity to travel, regardless of where you go, I encourage you to not only visit and enjoy the tourist attractions of the area, but also to visit spots off the beaten path and to try to connect with the people who call the area home. My most memorable experiences have never been the sites I have seen, but the people I have had the opportunity to meet.
Here is what I have been listening to this December:
I have been working to expand the breadth of my musical exposure, so I wanted to include a lot of variety with my December playlist. While I included many of the songs simply for their auditory elements, I decided to include a few songs because of the message that the artist is sharing. A few songs that are extremely important and that should be listened to for their lyrics are Mathematics by Mos Def, Solitude (with Hollow Pigeons) by Emay, and I Took a Pill in Ibiza by Mike Posner. I would even recommend pulling up lyrics for these songs, or at least for Mathematics. What I love about Mathematics is that even though the song has a simple beat and the iconic smooth delivery that can be expected from Mos Def, he does a lot more than make a song that simply sounds good. He dives into important social issues such as education reform, racial inequality, violence, and much more, all while keeping a consistent theme of “mathematics” throughout the entire song. While rapping about all of the different issues, he ties everything together by including actual statistics in the song. I also wanted to include a few up and coming artists, so I included songs by Shamir, San Cisco, and Derek Pope. Shamir is interesting not only as a musician, but as a person as well. Shamir grew up in the suburbs of Las Vegas, was exposed to music at a very early age, and does not identify as a male or female. Shamir’s songs are extremely catchy and the interestingness of the artist makes the music that much more intriguing. I am also a huge fan of the Australian band San Cisco. They are what you might expect from an Aussie indie pop band and their songs are ridiculously catchy. Their song, Fred Astaire is one of my all-time favorite songs. I have also been really impressed by Derek Pope. He has been rapping for the past 10 years and his song Raincoats was the first time that he has explored singing on a track, and it really works for him. Another artist who has continued to redefine the music industry is Lil Dicky. He is extremely witty and absolutely hilarious, but he is too talented to be considered a “novelty act.” What started as a side project for him while working as a young professional in Corporate America quickly caught fire. “$ave Dat Money” is pure genius and goes against almost every message spread through modern commercial hip hop. He points out the fiscal irresponsibility taught by many members in the hip hop community and throughout the song shares the many different ways that he saves money. The music video is brilliant as well and was shot on a $0 production budget. After going door to door, he found individuals who allowed him to borrow their yachts, mansions, and clubs for free and then used the footage for his music video.
The track list for this month’s playlist is below.
- ymtk – Exotic ft. Buddy
- San Cisco – Too Much Time Together
- Skizzy Mars – Colours
- Shamir – I Know It’s a Good Thing
- Young Tapz – Killa
- Vanic X Tove Styrke – Borderline
- Step Rockets – Kisser (Rii Remix)
- Derek Pope – Raincoats
- Lil Dicky – $ave Dat Money (feat. Fetty Wop and Rich Homie Quan)
- Mike Posner – I Took a Pill in Ibiza (SeeB Remix)
- Mos Def – Mathematics
- Tate Kobang – Bank Rolls (Remix)
- Bryce Vine – Sour Patch Kids
- ILOVEMAKONNEN – Trust Me Danny
- Emay – Solitude (with Hollow Pigeons)
Although I would have loved to spend Thanksgiving with my family, I instead found myself enjoying a Thanksgiving feast of roasted guinea pig with friends in Peru. There was no specific reason for choosing Peru for this trip. I wanted to go somewhere interesting for Thanksgiving Break and found a great deal on a flight to Peru, so we decided to book the trip. The moment that I landed in Lima, I knew that I had made a great decision and instantly fell in love with Peru. From the extreme friendliness I received, to the intricate architecture and scenic views seen everywhere, to the ridiculously good food; I was sold immediately. Although a lot of the great memories from this trip never made it onto film, this video does a good job showing what our week in Peru consisted of. I can confidently say that this trip was life changing, and I’ll be sharing some of these incredible stories in the near future.
Not included in the video: our winning night at the casino, my painful attempt at surfing, the vibrant nightlife, the dozens of unforgettable conversations with extraordinary individuals we met along the way.
I’m excited to share my playlist for the month of November. A lot of these songs are really special to me, including The Waitress Song by Seth Sentry and La Mar by The Beautiful Girls, two of my all-time favorite songs. I started the playlist…
I am definitely not a chef (unless you count pizza rolls and mac and cheese), but I do enjoy eating good food and have an appreciation for the culinary arts. I was excited when my friend, Phil Kovalev, told me about a pop-up dinner series that he would be hosting. Phil, a sophomore at Indiana University, is studying informatics but also has a passion for cooking. Following a growing trend in the gastronomical world, Phil decided that a great way to share his passion would be through a pop-up dinner series. He offered 10 tickets to the event, which was hosted at his house, and chose to call the series The Stubborn Little Wolf, a nickname given to him by his mother based on a children’s book of the same name. When reading the book to Phil as a kid, his mother noticed that he had a lot in common with the wolf in the story, and so the nickname stuck. I had high hopes for the meal, but Phil some how managed to exceed all of my expectations. The dinner was divided into 3 different parts, Provisions, Feather+Beaks, and Sugar+Spice. The Provisions included fresh baguette with homemade pear and cranberry jam. The main course, the Feather+Beaks, combined Pekin duck breast with stuffing and sage. For dessert, the Sugar+Spice portion, we were served poached Fuji apple, salted caramel sorbet, and farina cake. In addition, he created a great atmosphere by hanging lights throughout the dining room and classin’ it up with soft instrumental music.
The food was delicious, the other guests were friendly, and the event was an unattested success. I’m looking forward to see what he cooks up next.
This weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in Start Up Weekend in Bloomington. I was planning on visiting some friends in Los Angeles, and later planned on hiking at Red River Gorge in Kentucky, but ultimately ended up stuck in Bloomington, which turned out to be a great decision. Start Up Weekend is a global program sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs that gives individuals the opportunity to create a start-up in 54 hours. Participants are connected with designers, developers, legal experts, and mentors and spend the weekend working to create a minimum viable product to present at the end of the 54 hours. The weekend-long event began on Friday evening, and I really wasn’t planning on coming back on Saturday or Sunday, but was lucky enough to get connected with a great team (Pictured in the above gallery), so I decided to stay. Our project, adapted from a school project from 5 of my team members, focused on the idea of simplifying the process for receiving tax deductions for food donations by creating a platform that would aggregate this information and generate a report that could easily be passed along to an accountant or filed with the IRS. In essence, $1 trillion worth of food goes to waste each year, while at the same time, millions of individuals go hungry, which sucks. Our goal was to create a platform to incentivize more businesses/individuals to donate left over food by making it much easier to file the donation as charitable giving and by connecting them with charities to collect the food. We would then take a percentage of the newly created tax deductions. After a long 54 hours, all of the teams were given 5 minutes to present their project and an additional 5 minutes for questions from the panel of judges. We were content simply with the final product that we created, but were ecstatic when the judges awarded us first place. My educational and entrepreneurial journey has been filled with a lot of highs and lows, but it always feels great to have a respected and accomplished group of individuals acknowledge your hard work. Along with receiving a first place trophy, which was printed on a 3D printer during the weekend, we were also awarded with a spot in the B-Start Pre-Accelerator Program, a 3 month free partial membership to Cowork Btown, a free consulting session with the IU Intellectual Property Clinic, a free pack of Uel Zing Coffee, and consultation time with The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and the south central Small Business Development Center.
Overall, it was an incredible weekend where I learned a lot of new information and was connected with some really great people. It’s hard to tell if anything will end up coming out of the project that began this weekend…