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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.”

Childish Gambino and Chance the Rapper to Release Collaborative EP

This past weekend, a bunch of bands and artists came together in New York for the music festival Governors Ball. Everybody from Jack White to Andre 3000 were in attendance performing, mingling, and talking to reporters.  

One of the many stories that came out from the weekend is the announcement that Childish Gambino, better known as comedian/actor Donald Glover, and Chicago born Chance the Rapper are teaming up for an EP.

The two have collaborated in the past in “Favorite Song” off Chance’s last release Acid Rap and also on “They Don’t Like Me” on Gambino’s album Royalty. Most recently they both were featured on “The Worst Guys” where we only hear Chance say a couple words on the chorus. At Governors Ball, Chance finally performed his verse that was supposed to be on the song, which led to Gambino hinting at a possible future collaboration.

The next day, Gambino went to twitter to confirm things even further.

“Now that chance finally released his verse on ‘worst guys’, maybe he can hurry up and finish the rest of our EP #hinthint.”

There is not a concrete release date for the EP so we will have to wait and see. Both Chance and Gambino also have their own projects due to come out soon as well.

A Ghanaian Witch Doctor has cursed Cristiano Ronaldo

When Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo missed a friendly last weekend against Greece, nobody thought much of his minor knee and thigh injuries. Nobody besides Ghanaian Witch Doctor Nana Kwaku Bonsam.

Bonsam, whose full name is directly translated as “The Devil of Wednesday,” claims in an interview with a local radio station that he has been working on injuring Ronaldo to keep him out of the World Cup.

“I know what Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury is about, I’m working on him…I am very serious about it. Last week, I went around looking for four dogs and I got them to be used in manufacturing a special spirit called Kahwiri Kapam.”

All of this started four months ago when the groups for this summer’s World Cup were released. Portugal and Ghana were paired in group G, which also includes Germany and the US. Many have labeled that as this year’s “Group of Death.” Portugal poses as a huge threat to stop Ghana from advancing to the next round.

Bonsam predicted that Ronaldo would miss the World Cup and he is not going back on his word.

“I said it four months ago that I will work on Cristiano Ronaldo seriously and rule him out of the World up or at least prevent him from playing against Ghana and the best thing I can do is to keep him out though injury.”

Ghana and Portugal have a match scheduled for June 26th, the final game of the first round for both squads.

5 Albums to Look Forward to in June

-50 Cent, Animal Ambition
Release date: June 3rd

It’s been over five years since we got a full-length release from the G-Unit rapper. 50 has been pretty active promoting this album and he already has dropped ten singles for this eleven-track album. Still, the final cohesive product is worth looking forward to. 50 is also slated to put out another album later this year titled “Street King Immortal.”

-Jack White, Lazaretto
Release date: June 10th

This is White’s second solo album and has hinted that it will be similar to his 2012 release Blunderbuss; a mix of styles and sounds throughout the album. The title track and lead single off the album kicks with a combination of gritty guitar sounds and switching melodies. White also released an instrumental track titled “High Ball Stepper” and the video seems like what it would be to look inside the head of this enigmatic modern rock star.

-Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence
Release date: June 16th

For Del Rey’s third studio album, she worked extensively with Black Keys lead singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach. Auerbach ended up producing the album and in Del Rey’s first single, “West Coast,” it’s easier to hear Auerbach’s influence with the clean-cut guitar and stripped down sound. Look for a different sound, but still the same dark and cinematic themes that Del Rey always evokes in her music.

-Jennifer Lopez, A.K.A.
Release date: June 17th

Expect somewhat of a different sound from Lopez. The ten-track album has tracks produced by electronic artist Diplo and hip-hop producer DJ Mustard. There are also features from hip-hop artists French Montana, T.I., Iggy Azalea, Rick Ross, and Pitbull. Lopez herself has stated that this album might be something different: “It’s gonna be a different sound, I think a lot has happened to me in the past year or two, I’ve changed a little bit, my ideas about love has changed…you grow.”

-Ab-Soul, These Days…
Release date: June 24th

TDE and Black Hippy rapper Ab-Soul is finally slated to release his third studio album. Ab-Soul recently unveiled the artwork for the album, which features Ab-Soul in a crucifixion-like scene, and the first single “Stigmata.” It should be interesting to hear what kind of sound Ab-Soul goes for. His past two albums feature two distinct themes: 2012 Control System plays off his drug and conspiracy riddled thoughts, while his 2012 Longterm Mentality chronicles his life story. Also, expect appearances from his Black Hippy comrades Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock.

Rahm Emanuel Proposes Stricter Gun Laws in Chicago

Mayor of Chicago wants every gun purchase to be videotaped

On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented a new proposal that makes Chicago’s gun laws some of the strictest in the country.

The City of Chicago has been trying to address and solve the long-standing issues of violence within the city. Emanuel and his administration proposed an outright ban on gun shops in Chicago in January, which was ruled unconstitutional under the Second Amendment by a federal judge.

The new proposal aims to tighten gun restrictions for retailers and purchasers. With the new proposal, all gun sales would be videotaped, purchasers could only make one purchase a month, and gun shops could not be located within five hundred feet of schools or parks. There also would be a mandated seventy-two hour waiting period for consumers buying handguns and a twenty-four hour waiting period for shotguns.

The New York Times quoted Emanuel talking about the issue.

“The city of Chicago does not have a problem of too few guns,” Mr. Emanuel said. “There are way too many guns from shops in Cook County and from neighboring states that come into the city of Chicago. On any given weekend, our police officers take more guns off the streets than either New York or L.A.”

Emanuel and his proposal seem to suggest that other states are to blame for illegal guns showing up in Chicago. Nevertheless, this proposal still serves to stir up controversy among gun-rights activists, but also citizens who are worried about the surveillance aspect of this proposal.

If the proposal were enacted, gun shops would be prohibited in 99.5% of the city of Chicago.

Wiz Khalifa Takes on a New Persona in Mixtape 28 Grams

Wiz Khalifa gets arrested, takes selfie in jail, is released, and drops mixtape all within about 24 hours.

Rapper Wiz Khalifa loves marijuana. He talks about it in almost all his songs, in which he brags about his quality of product, and gives his albums names like Kush and Orange Juice and Rolling Papers. Khalifa loves it so much that he tried carrying 28 grams of it boarding a flight in El Paso. Hence the name of his new mixtape.

Khalifa was arrested the day before 28 Grams was set to drop. Many feared that his arrest would delay the mixtape’s release (rightly so considering the fact that possession of 28 grams of marijuana in Texas can lead to 180 days of jail time). However, Khalifa vowed that he would drop the mixtape once he was released from jail. Through a massive viral campaign of #FreeTrapWiz, Khalifa was astonishingly released from jail in less than a day. Khalifa also managed to somehow post a selfie from jail, which has lead to many crowning him the “King of Selfies.”  

Once out of jail, Khalifa released 28 Grams. The mixtape cleverly has twenty-eight tracks, many of them featuring his new persona of Trap Wiz. Khalifa, being the lead member of his Pittsburgh crew Taylor Gang, features a lot of his Taylor Gang colleagues, such as Chevy Woods and Ty$. There are also features of major rap artists such as Juicy J, Pimp C, and even Curren$y.

The majority of the tracks on this mixtape feature heavy trap production and beats from songs that already exist, like Schoolboy Q’s “Man of the Year” reimagined on the track “Maan,” and T-Pain’s “Up Down” on the same titled track. There are also a handful of songs where Khalifa does not use his trap persona and rhymes over sample-heavy beats like on “Samo” and “Comb Over.”

The best moments in this mixtape are when Khalifa abandons his Trap Wiz persona and rides out on the smoother and wavier beats. The contrasts between these two different types of tracks on the mixtape are very noticeable. The first ten or so songs feature Trap Wiz sifting through the same weed metaphors and talking about his tendency to “hit it and quit it” with women he meets at the club. His method of communicating this to the listener is not the recognizable Khalifa flow and voice, but rather abrasive autotune yelling that is trying to mimic autotune aficionado Future.

On the smoother and Trap Wiz-absent tracks, listeners can sit back, roll a fat one, and listen to the floating harp melodies like on “Samo” or vibe with the incredibly funky bassline on “The Rain.” Khalifa’s lyrics are not deep or profound by any means, but he has carved himself out a nice niche in today’s rap scene. He’s the guy who always talks about weed and has those boisterous laughs in what seem to be every song. His cannabis metaphors are recycled and fall flat sometimes, but it’s fine because his production always seems to match his persona as the goofy-stoner rapper.

Things get a lot more serious when Trap Wiz comes out and spits over the dark and lurching trap beats that flood 28 Grams. His flaws as a lyricist become more apparent than ever and listeners might find themselves craving for the old Khalifa.