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Carlo Mantuano

Carlo has loved music ever since his parents played Was Not Was and Blood, Sweat and Tears albums in the car when he was a toddler. His favorite album when he was five was Steely Dan’s monster album “Aja” and the first album he bought was Kanye West’s “College Dropout.”

Princeton Review Announces Its Annual College Rankings

On Monday, The Princeton Review came out with their annual college rankings. Their rankings, which have come out every year since 1992, list everything from Best Campus Food to Most LGBT Friendly.

The Biggest Party School award this year went to Syracuse, who climbed their way up from the fifth highest ranked party school last year.

Here is a sample of some of the awards and award winners:

• Most Beautiful Campus – Colgate University (NY)
• Best-Run College – Elon University (NC)
• Best College Library – University of Chicago (IL)
• Best Campus Food – Virginia Tech (VA)
• Best College Dorms – Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
• Best Health Services – Pennsylvania State University (PA)
• Happiest Students – Vanderbilt University (TN)
• Most Conservative Students – Texas A&M University (TX)
• Most Liberal Students – Sarah Lawrence College (NY)
• LGBT-Friendly – Stanford University (CA)
• Best Athletic Facilities – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (IL)
• Students Pack the Stadiums – University of Kansas (KS)
• Top Stone-Cold Sober Schools – Brigham Young University (UT)
• Their Students Love These Colleges – Claremont McKenna College (CA)

The list is featured in their book The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition, in which they survey over 130,000 students from around the country to poll their rankings.

Check out the full rankings on their website.

Chance The Rapper Drops New Song in Anticipation of Lollapalooza

90’s kids are going to love this song.

Chicago MC Chance The Rapper is headlining his hometown festival Lollapalooza this coming weekend. For the past couple of weeks on Twitter, Chance has been hinting at the possibility of new music to generate excitement for his performance. His last project, mixtape Acid Rap, was released in spring of 2013 and many fans have been eagerly awaiting new music.

On Wednesday, Chance released the song titled “Wonderful Everyday: Arthur,” which is his interpolation of the theme song to the PBS kids program Arthur. Remember this guy?

He has performed the song live multiple times and this video performance taken at Sasquatch! Music Festival in Washington State went viral about a month ago. The song, which you can listen to here, has a bunch of guest features including Wycleaf Jean and Chicago band the O’Mys.

“Wonderful Everyday: Arthur,” is an airy track with swirling background vocals. There are so many big sounds on this song, from the pounding drums to the popping horns, that the essence of the track might be easily lost. Yet everything comes together lead by Chance’s charismatic and far-from-perfect falsetto.

Soulja Boy Wrote a Wikipedia Entry For Himself When He Was Fifteen

Wikipedia hosts millions of informative articles. Yet, my personal favorite Wikipedia page is the one Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy wrote for himself. Soulja Boy, who made hits like “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” and “Kiss Me Thru the Phone,” wrote his own Wikipedia page himself in 2006 before he was signed. He tells the story of his life and is one of the most hilarious things that is still archived on Wikipedia today.

Keep your eyes peeled for his upcoming mixtape King Soulja 3, but first read the self-composed Wikipedia article from Soulja Boy and let him tell you his life story.

Interview: Wiz Khalifa Talks About His New Album and Wanting to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

Highlights from College News’ exclusive interview with Wiz Khalifa

Pittsburgh born rapper Wiz Khalifa has been in the game for a while. He put out his first mixtape in 2006 and has been consistently releasing projects since. Despite being a huge name in hip-hop, Wiz finds himself at an interesting point in his career and life. His last full project prior to his summer mixtape, 28 Grams, came out at the end of 2012. He also started a family with his wife and model Amber Rose and is figuring out life as a father.

The next couple of months are going to be jammed packed for Wiz. He’s headlining the Under the Influence tour with big names such as Young Jeezy, Sage the Gemini, Ty Dolla $ign and Rich Homie Quan. His album titled Blacc Hollywood comes out on August 19th and he recently recorded the theme song for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Despite his busy schedule, Wiz was able to sit down and discuss these topics as well as his grip on Pittsburgh’s rap scene, his own strain of marijuana and what his mindset is like during this busy time.

Carlo Mantuano: I wanted to start off asking you about the Under the Influence Tour and the first show is tonight. How pumped are you?

Wiz Khalifa: I’m really excited, really confident and I can’t wait.

CM: I also wanted to talk to you about Blacc Hollywood, which is coming August 19th. What can we expect from the album?

WK: Expect a really consistent and big project. Instead of being too conceptual or too difficult to understand, it really just captures some great moments for everybody. And it’s gonna be a really big album for me.

CM: You’ve released a lot of singles for the album including “We Dem Boyz,” “Kk,” “You and Your Friends” and “Stayin’ Out All Night.” Are all those gonna be on the album?

WK: Yeah all of that stuff is on the album.

CM: And I recently saw you came out with the track “Shell Shocked,” which is on the soundtrack for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Are you a big fan of the old shows and movies?

WK: Bro…that’s the highlight of my career right there. Anybody who knows me, I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle before I wanted to be a rapper. So yeah, Ninja Turtle first, rap second. So for them to come to me for the theme song, and not only have me, but have my Taylor Gang artists on there and represent the turtles like that, man that is such a huge deal for me and I’m super excited about that.

CM: So you’re saying that if you were hanging out with the Turtles you would smoke them out.

WK: Nah I wouldn’t smoke them out because they’re teenagers.

CM: [Laughs] Good point, so you’d be a positive influence on them then.

WK: Exactly.

CM: Speaking of marijuana, you have a sponsorship on a strain called Khalifa Kush. How did that work?

WK: Well, I know the grower and I had spent some years doing some research just trying to find my favorite weed and just kinda smoke that forever because I’m the type of person that finds one thing and just keeps doing it over and over. So I found the type of weed that I really really love and it was a very rare strain of kush and I was the only one who was into it at the time so the grower just kinda threw me my own plant and branded it as Khalifa Kush. And as weed became more legal, more of a money thing for everybody, for dispensaries and the government and stocks and all that, then it became profitable and legal and in the right way and so I had my own brand of weed for everybody. So that’s where Kk comes from.

CM: Have you been involved in the legalize movement at all?

WK: Yeah for sure. Behind the scenes.

CM: How so?

WK: Just as far as like making it more friendly for people and also consulting. I have business partners who, you know, that’s what they really really do and I kinda just follow suit with them just based off of my celebrity and my knowledge and their knowledge. Just put the two together and we’re just mapping this whole thing out.

CM: On that album you had the Trap Wiz sound with the autotune. You did that stuff on your older mixtapes like Star Power and Flight School. What made you want to bring back that kind of sound?

WK: I was listening to those mixtapes. That’s what made me do it! I was really in a place where I was kinda fed up of trying to formulate stuff so I went back and listened to my old stuff and I got re-inspired just by my thought process and my mind frame back then. That’s where Trap Wiz really came from because I really didn’t give a fuck back then. Being in and from Pittsburgh I was talking about some ratchet-ass, Pittsburgh shit. It was in a way that people didn’t really know, you know what I mean? So when I went back and I listened to it, it was like “Yo I just need to get in touch with that dude, bring him out, and let him rap about now.” And that’s where Trap Wiz came from.

CM: Which projects did you go back to specifically?

WK: It was Prince of the City 2, Grow Season, Star Power and Flight School. But mostly Flight School, Prince of the City 2, and Grow Season.

CM: So, obviously you’re from Pittsburgh. What’s the local rap scene looking like? Who are some people coming out of Pittsburgh that you think could make an impact on the game?

WK: My homie KH. He’s from around our way. He’s really tight. He’s doing videos, got a whole crew and nice sound going. My man Drama. He’s from the Hill [a collection of neighborhoods in downtown Pittsburgh] and he’s really tight. The Come Up, they were super tight. There’s a lot of people doing things in Pittsburgh individually, like making videos and coming up with different sounds and it’s hard to say who’s gonna be next. Oh, Boaz of course. That’s my man. It’s hard to say who’s next because I feel like everybody has so much potential. Oh Hardo, almost forgot about Hardo. He just came home from jail. Everybody has got their own sound and their own individual thing they can do for the game and I think that it’s up to the individuals to make the right decisions because Pittsburgh is such a weird place where people can get caught up in the city and you don’t make it to your full potential other places. You know like fully functioned and see how people love you in other places. That’s the main thing that I’d like to stress and you know get across to Pittsburgh artists. Get to popular places other than Pittsburgh.

CM: How many people have you worked with out there?

WK: I work with everybody out there. Pretty much everybody there is unless they’re super young. But even the young cats, I go to the studio and work with them. You know, just to keep the energy there. I work with everybody.

CM: Along the same lines, what are your plans for the Taylor Gang label and brand?

WK: Yeah the label and the brand is really strong. It’s like I was telling you, we’re just building everything so it’s not just relied on music. We have Taylor Gang films, we’re starting a skate team, we’re submitting art and stuff like that. Just in a way where people will look at us as game definers. We define what goes on in the culture instead of being game changers. If you look at Under the Influence music tour, Kendrick was on the first one and then he went on to do what he does. Ty Dolla $ign was on the second one and now he’s writing for fucking Kanye and Rihanna and shit like that, which he should anyway, but at the end of the day we have a thing for seeing artists and getting them to their full potential based off our methods and our machine. So we’re gonna start using that way more to our advantage in the open so people will see it and recognize it.

CM: We have to wrap it up, but I definitely wanted to ask you about family life. How’s it going?

WK: Family life is amazing. My boy is getting big. My wife is always there for me holding it down so it’s cool. This is like the busiest time of my life and it’s difficult but I know when I look back on it, I’m gonna be happy that this is how it is. You know it’s cool too that my son is at that age where he’s developing. I can facetime him and he’s saying daddy and stuff like that, but he’s not too emotional or too sad when I leave. You know, he cries like as soon as I leave out the door and stuff like that. When he gets older and older he’ll be able to travel with me and we’ll be able to do a lot of it together. So I’m knocking it all out now.

For the full interview check back for the full 4th quarter print edition in November!

Fight Club 2 Set For Spring 2015 Release

Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk announced on Tuesday that he will be releasing a ten-part comic book sequel to his tremendously popular novel in April of 2015.

Palahniuk’s novel, which was adapted by David Fincher and starred Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, garnered great success and fans looked immediately for a sequel. In a recent article with USA Today, Palahniuk talked about the pressure of making a sequel.

“I messed up and said I was doing the sequel in front of 1,500 geeks with telephones,” Palahniuk says. “Suddenly, there was this big scramble to honor my word.”

The new comic book series will feature the same famed characters, but will have an interesting twist: it will take place before and after the time the original story took place.

Palahniuk also revealed a surprisingly personal detail about his relationship with the original Fight Club and how he feels now.

“[Fight Club was] such a tirade against fathers — everything I had thought my father had not done combined with everything my peers were griping about their fathers,” says Palahniuk. “Now to find myself at the age that my father was when I was trashing him made me want to revisit it from the father’s perspective and see if things were any better and why it repeats like that.”

Check out the whole interview with Palahniuk here and look for the sequel coming next spring.

7 Websites That Will Make Your Life Easier

There’s a lot of distracting things on the Internet. However, there is also a wealth of knowledge and resources that are just waiting to be exploited. It can be hard to sort out the useful stuff from the not useful stuff, so we did it for you! Here are seven websites that will drastically improve your life: 

www.eatthismuch.com

Cooking can sometimes seem like tedious and seriously time consuming activity. Eatthismuch serves to simplify meal planning based on the number of meals and calories you would like to eat in a day. They provide tasty and relatively easy recipes to reach your goal. The site also caters to various diets such as vegan, paleo, Atkins and more.

habitrpg.com

Habitrpg is something really interesting. It basically turns your life into a game with instant rewards and unlockable features. The game is all about implementing positive habits into your life, which result to more progress for your character. The game also holds you responsible and accountable by penalizing you for slipping up. Continue with your bad habits too much and your character’s health will start to dwindle.  

www.khanacademy.org

Khanacademy is a great website to learn subjects in math, science, economics, test prep and more. It has all different grade levels and is even accessible to teachers and parents. The website is also completely free and a non-for profit. The site tracks your progress in different subjects and rewards you with badges and instant statistics so it’s easier to know how you are doing. 

stilltasty.com

Another resource for dealing with food. Stilltasty is a place where you can see how long your food lasts and what’s the best way to store it. They also provide information on how to extend various food’s shelf life and other discussions on related topics. 

www.retailmenot.com

Stuff is expensive. Thankfully sites like these exist so that people can take advantage of coupons or find out deals and sales at different stores. They have both online and in store coupons. 

sleepyti.me

A good sleep schedule is essential. This site will calculate what time you should go to bed depending on what time you have to wake up.

www.boxoh.com/

A simple website where you can track your USPS, UPS, FedEx, or DHL/Airborne packages. Why use this site and not the official website of your mail provider? Boxoh only requires the tracking number. Their motto, “Package Tracking Simplified.”

Hopefully, these websites can make your life a little easier!

Janelle Monae, Aloe Blacc, Gary Clark Jr and The Wailers Rock the Taste of Chicago

At the beginning of July every summer, Grant Park hosts crowds of people and cuisine for the beloved event The Taste of Chicago. Besides having over thirty different food stalls, The Taste of Chicago, or the Taste as many simply refer to it as, also has live music. This year, The Taste came with an extraordinary lineup particularly scoring headlining spots for Janelle Monae and Aloe Blacc.

The Taste uses the Petrillo Music Shell on the north side of Grant Park, which is also a vital stage for Lollapalooza, Chicago’s huge three-day music festival in August. The audience is kept to a limited amount of rows and chairs for paying customers, while having free space in Butler Park right behind. The lineup had two or three bands performing each day. Janelle Monae and Gary Clark Jr. were lined up together while The Wailers opened for Aloe Blacc on the closing day.   

Before Gary Clark Jr. came out to start things off, The Taste began with the national anthem. A little girl about age ten came out and gave a rousing rendition, and while I was confused by this procedure, the girl had pipes.

Then out came Gary Clark Jr. and his band. He stuck to a pretty classical blues approach with a backup guitarist, drummer, bassist and himself as lead guitar and lead singer. Right off the bat, they came out with a hard, slow blues jam that was reminiscent of more relaxed Stevie Ray Vaughan.

He played a lot of different styles of blues songs. He worked his way around the classic twelve bar form, turnarounds and all, while showing he knew what to do with a slide. Everybody, the band and the crowd, all seemed to revolve around his energy. At one point, the whole first row was nodding their heads in rhythm while a little kid jumped around with no worries.

Gary Clark Jr. also showed his vocal range on a couple songs hitting high notes and singing in a perfect pitch falsetto that made the crowd melt. At this moment, I spotted Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s Mayor, walking around and shaking hands. Who knew he was a blues fan?

After the band closed out their set with a ruckus jam, the mood was finally set for Janelle Monae.

Quickly becoming one of modern R&B’s biggest stars, Monae is known for her live shows and energy that she brings every night. I first saw her back in 2010 when she was on tour with Of Montreal and could not wait to see how she had progressed as a performer.

What followed completely exceeded my high expectations. Her live performance and her music have always had theatrical elements. This proved to be true on this occasion as well. To start the show, her version of a hype man came out in a white suit and greeted the audience.

“I wish I had the time to get to know each and every one of you individually, but unfortunately we don’t have that much time. So instead, I want everybody to shout out your name on the count of three.”

The whole crowd followed orders.

The show was incredible in every aspect. The chemistry of the band could not be clearer and the way Monae engaged the crowd was virtuosic. She put herself one hundred percent into the live performance playing her character of android lover, but at times also delving into her personal life.

One story she shared was the inspiration behind her song “Victory” which is off her latest album Electric Lady. She told the crowd how she wrote the song for the working class and the people who were living check to check. Her personal story made the high notes and chorus line of “Just to be victorious/you must find glory in the little things” resonate throughout the crowd on a deeper level.

She closed the show out with “Come Alive (War Of The Roses)” from her first full-length studio album The ArchAndroid. At the end of the song, she ran through the crowd holding a baby, jumped on her hypeman’s back and rode off into the sunset.

Actually it was just back on stage.

Those two performances capped off an amazing first day at The Taste.

Three days later, I returned to see The Wailers and Aloe Blacc. The Wailers opened things up playing a medley of Reggae classics that even my seven-year-old cousins can sing by heart including “Buffalo Soldier,” “Could You Be Loved,” “Jamming” and “No Woman, No Cry.” It was easy to tell that they had their act down to a science.

Not long after The Wailers ended their set, Aloe Blacc’s started. He was performing with his back up band The Grand Scheme and they came out first to start the show. The Grand Scheme got off to a hot start with an opening jam. Not long after, Aloe Blacc came out and joined them. He was looking fly, dressed in a dark blazer with sunglasses and brown hat.

His set was very personal as he talked a lot about his life story. This was a homecoming of sorts for him as his first internship was in Chicago. He worked for that same company until he got laid off and started taking music, which was just a hobby to him before that, very seriously.

“I just got laid off,” Blacc said recalling the moment, “but was promoted to CEO of my life.”

His narrative ran throughout his set in which he performed his first hit, “I Need A Dollar”  and finally getting to his bigger and more recent hits “Wake Me Up” and “The Man.” The legendary hip-hop producer Dr. Dre inspired “The Man,” after telling Blacc he liked his style and wanted him to go for it.

Blacc and his band, which consisted of a full horn section, drums, guitar, bass and keyboard were really cooking the whole show. At different times, Blacc would announce that he was just going to dance while he let the band play. After playing his big hits, he came out for an encore and did slowed down covers of Billie Jean and California Dreaming to ride out the end of his set. 

All of the acts that performed at The Taste this year really delivered and brought something special to a festival that is mostly known for its food. This year I think it’s safe to say the jams were the tastiest thing at The Taste.

Weird Al Yankovic Coming Out With 8 Music Videos in 8 Days Starting Today

As the modern day parody master, Weird Al has been kind of quiet. However, he is making a huge return as he plans to release eight music videos over the next eight days. This is in promotion for his new album Mandatory Fun, which comes out tomorrow, June 15th. The album features parodies of Iggy Azalea’s hit “Fancy,” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Pharrell’s “Happy,” which is the first video released in his series of videos.

All videos can be seen on Weird Al’s website www.weirdal.com

Why LeBron James’ Return to Cleveland is About More Than Basketball

For the past couple of weeks, the NBA has been amuck with rumors of where LeBron James is going to play next year. Fresh off a finals loss, his team, the Miami Heat, was faced with criticism. The San Antonio Spurs trounced the two time defending champion Heat and did it with a medley of role players and team basketball. After that finals series, many were wondering if it takes more than just teaming up with superstars to win a championship.

In the aftermath of the finals, LeBron and the other members of the Miami “Big Three,” Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, were faced with hard decisions. All of them were due big contracts, but had no room to sign other contributing role players. All three of them opted out of their contracts to try and reconstruct their deals. This is where things get interesting.

Reports and “insiders” on twitter began speculating if LeBron might be considering a move back to Cleveland. It instantly became a sexy story for sports reporters. Throughout this whole process, LeBron himself had kept absolutely quiet; not denying rumors but not confirming them either.

Coming into this week, many of the sports insiders and reporters on twitter were coming out with information on when, where and how we might hear about LeBron’s decision. One after another, reports came in and even though there was a plethora of information about supposed meetings and negotiations, it became clear that nobody knew anything.

One clear example of this was when a report came out saying that Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was on his way to Miami. The report came from an insider on twitter who had supposedly tracked the plane’s flight log. Gilbert immediately shot the report down saying he was in his backyard, “enjoying the Cleveland weather.”

The last four days have been pandemonium in terms of speculative journalism. Sports insiders on twitter were releasing the same bits of information that basically came down to “We don’t have any new information right now, but keep hitting refresh on our twitter page and maybe you’ll know soon.”

Finally today was the day that the world learned of LeBron’s decision. Almost exactly four years ago, LeBron went on national television, ran an hour special on ESPN infamously titled “The Decision” and announced he was going to Miami.

This year was different.

He broke the story through Sports Illustrated and wrote a heartfelt article explaining why he wanted to come back to Cleveland. Through all of the tireless reporting that ESPN insiders and reporters on twitter were doing, LeBron went with one of the most trusted names in the sports journalism world to break his story.

Insiders on twitter were trying to give us the play by play of what was happening with LeBron’s decision, but the fans always wanted more. Many were wondering if this NBA free agency period was glimpse into what the future of news is going to be like. Yet, in the end, LeBron’s article with SI showed that reliable journalism still trumps the lightening fast reporting on twitter and social media.

Besides the outlet LeBron chose to announce his decision, the reason for it is almost as significant. In the article, he talks about how Cleveland has always been his home and that the community and area of Northeast Ohio is important to him. He goes on to say how he wants to be a part of bringing success back to a community that only knows a lot of hardship.

For his second decision, LeBron chose reasons that transcended basketball and the politics of the NBA. Everybody was waiting to see where he was going to end up and wanted to know why he made that decision. LeBron gave us what we wanted and more than that, he did it the right way this time.

Robin Thicke had a Miserable Week: And It’s Getting Worse

If you think you’re having a bad week, just remind yourself of the week Robin Thicke just had. The “Blurred Lines” singer recently released his album Paula, which was named after his ex wife who recently filed for legal separation due to rumors of infidelity on Thicke’s part. In its opening week the album proceeded to sell 24,000 copies in the US, 530 copies in the UK and a gut wrenching 54 copies in Australia.  

This is a far fall considering that his hit “Blurred Lines” hit number one on the Australian charts only a year ago. “Blurred Lines” also sold 117,000 copies its first week in the US, numbers that his current album could not even come close to replicating.

On top of all of this, last week Thicke ran a promotion for his new album by having a Q&A over twitter with the hashtag of #AskThicke. What followed was an absolute tirade on Thicke from users who centered their questions around Thicke’s misogynistic music video and lyrical content from “Blurred Lines.”

Here are some of the tweets:

Is your next ‘hit’ just a lyric sheet, with a Rohypnol Sellotaped to it? #AskThicke
— TittyBiscuits. (@dawneywawney) July 1, 2014

#AskThicke Did you really write a rape anthem as a love song for your wife and are you still wondering why she left you?
— Maria (@MariaJPrice) July 1, 2014

#AskThicke Once you’ve cracked ‘hug me’, any thoughts on what rhymes with ‘misogynistic douchebag’?
-— James Martin (@Pundamentalism) July 1, 2014

You get the idea. Where does Thicke go from here? Besides immediately firing his PR and marketing team, what else can Thicke do to change the extremely negative image that “Blurred Lines” erected for him? It seems like not so long ago that Thicke was at the peak of his career. He had a number one hit single, and while everybody was not totally on board with the song’s content, he cracked the pop charts and had mainstream success. Now he faces the #AskThicke nightmare, below mediocre sales for his album, a divorce from his longtime high school sweetheart wife (Thicke and his wife Paula Patton started dating when they were sixteen) and one of the worst images in the pop music realm.

It’s unclear what Thicke’s next move should be. The thing that scored him the most success is also what is fueling his downfall. All of that aside, if we know anything about the pop music charts and audience, it’s that nothing really matters as long as you make a song that has a catchy beat and features Pharrell.