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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."

Don’t Let Your Diet Eat Your Wallet

There are times when being a college student can lead to some unhealthy eating habits. Most of the time it’s easier, and may seem cheaper, to grab some late night pizza or live off ramen for weeks at a time. However, there are easy ways to maintain a healthy diet while still sticking to a budget.

            Tip #1: Think Ahead and Shop Smart.

            Sometimes it seems like after grocery shopping there’s still nothing to eat in the house. One way to avoid that is to plan out meals in advance. Find good quality recipes and set out a week of meals, planning for breakfast, lunch, and dinner also allowing for snacks. Feel free to tinker with this routine as different things work for different people. As for getting things from the grocery store, there are a lot of ingredients that are not super expensive and can be used for multiple meals. Eggs, dried beans, and rice all are reasonably priced and can be stretched out for many meals. All of them require a little work to prepare, but it is well worth learning because of their versatility. Chicken and ground turkey are cheap sources of proteins that do not run up a budget and can be used in many recipes. Also, try to buy fresh fruits and vegetables if possible. Frozen alternatives are sometimes more economical, but the flavor and freshness cannot be matched.


            Tip #2: Cook for More than Today

            Cooking is a lot of work. Not to mention all the dirty dishes to do afterwards. One way to combat this is to cook enough to have substantial leftovers in the refrigerator and freezer. Whether it’s making “freezer burritos” or making dumplings, the trick is to having meals ready on hand that are easy to heat up. We could also apply this tactic to prepping and cooking individual ingredients to have them on hand and ready to throw in a recipe. For example, cooking a batch of chicken and leaving it in the refrigerator until it’s needed to make chicken fried rice. Little things like this often make a big difference.

            Tip #3: You Don’t Have to Do It Alone!

            A lot of this may seem overwhelming, but there are a ton of resources out there that are tremendously helpful. Leanne Brown, graduate of NYU, created a free PDF called “Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day” that is filled with great recipes and advice. This can be found at her website www.leannebrown.com. Another great resource is a page on Reddit that is dedicated to this very topic of eating cheap and healthy. Users post there with recipes they have had success with and it is also a helpful forum for questions and concerns. This can be found at http://www.reddit.com/r/EatCheapAndHealthy. There are also a million of blogs out there where people are sharing recipes and advice. One of the better ones is Boston Chef Melody Polakow’s blog where she features everything from Ramen recipes, hummus recipes, and even how to make homemade coconut milk. Her blog can be found at melodypolakow.wordpress.com.

            Remember also that it is ok to splurge once and while! There is nothing like having a great meal at a nice restaurant or just getting pizza with friends. Keep a solid foundation, but don’t be afraid to deviate every once and a while.     

You Can Legally Download Free Music and eBooks on a Website Called NoiseTrade

Let’s face it; nobody pays for music on the Internet anymore. Through illegal downloading, artists releasing their music for free and websites like spotify, the wealth of free music online is at an all time high.

NoiseTrade.com is one of those websites but includes a selection more built through independent artists. Many independent artists have put their music on NoiseTrade to spread the word about their band or an upcoming show.

Bands like fun. and The Lumineers have provided extra content, b-sides and songs that did not make their albums, with the website that is not available anywhere else.

NoiseTrade works with independent artists to provide unique content and events, such as tickets to free shows and tour samplers.

The site also goes beyond music. One artist, Josh Garrels, released his entire discography on the site and raised over 71,000 dollars for a humanitarian cause in the Congo.

Along with music, NoiseTrade does the same with eBooks and connecting authors and readers.

All that being said, NoiseTrade is one hundred percent free. They take donations of course, but are not going to burden you constant charges.

NoiseTrade is a great way to discover some new things to listen to and read.

Video Surfaces of 17 Year Old Kendrick Lamar in a Rap Battle

K-dot has bars

At one point or another, almost every notable rapper has tested their skills in a rap battle. Whether it is the iconic image of Eminem in his movie 8 Mile or a young Kanye West spitting some verses at a local record store. The most recent rapper to have a video released is Compton born Kendrick Lamar.

A video was uploaded to WorldStarHipHop.com, which featured the young rapper showing incredible lyricism and battling an unnamed competitor.

It is interesting to see footage surfacing from Lamar’s early days as a rapper when he was still known by his MC name K-dot. It seems there is a common misconception around hip hop that the days of freestyling and battle rap is on the decline. However, every rapper passionate enough about their craft comes through the tradition of battle rapping, whether it is confrontational or merely competitive.

It is also interesting to see a young Lamar resemble the “character” or younger self that his last studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city is based around: a young kid from Compton who gets caught up in the trouble of the community around him, but has a way out through rapping.

One of the more memorable lines from the video is when Lamar says, “I’m so ahead of my time, I got niggas 5 years from now pressin’ rewind.”

Little did he know how right that statement would become.

Artist Profile: Run the Jewels

Back in 2012, Atlatna born rapper Killer Mike and Brooklyn born producer El-P worked together on Killer Mike’s album R.A.P. Music. The two artists were responsible for almost all twelve tracks on that album and was their first collaborative project. The response to the album was of critical acclaim and the two decided to join together to make the rap group Run the Jewels.

The combo of Killer Mike and El-P is something that would seem polarizing but blends together perfectly. Killer Mike brings the grit as a seasoned vet from the dirty south and El-P provides the heavy bass and hard-hitting production inspired by old school New York City boom bap and Brooklyn rap. Their different styles work excellently together as do their personalities; both have been behind the scene figures in hip-hop for a long time.

Killer Mike, real name Michael Render, grew up in Atlanta. He broke into the scene by meeting Big Boi from Outkast and appearing on their album Stankonia in 2000. Besides being a renowned and lyrically talented rapper, Render is a politically outspoken figure in his community. His track “Reagan” on R.A.P. Music is a whole song talking about his opposition to Ronald Reagan’s politics and his fundamental disagreement on the war on drugs. Render was also recently on CNN talking about what is going on in Ferguson.

As for the second half of Run The Jewels, El-P, real name Jamie Meline, grew up in Brooklyn and is the son of Jazz pianist Harry Keyes. He has worked with a large group of rappers including Murs, Del tha Funkee Homosapien and many others. Besides being an extremely talented producer, El-P also raps. Him and Killer Mike essentially split verses on all Run the Jewels songs.

The first Run the Jewels album was self entitled and was a free release in 2013. The album is a collection of ten hard-hitting tracks that have guest appearances by Big Boi and Prince Paul.

Their second installment of Run the Jewels is set for an October 28th release. Their first single off their album is entitled “Blockbuster Night Part 1” and was released on their Soundcloud. The album will still be a free download like their first release, but will also be available for purchase in Vinyl, CD, Itunes and Amazon.    

Keep an eye on Run the Jewels as they get ready to release their sophomore album and provide listeners with, as Killer Mike puts it, “opposite of the sucker shit they play on T.V.”

Gucci Mane Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

Radric Davis, or the rapper known as Gucci Mane, was sentenced on Wednesday to three years and three months in federal prison. Davis pleaded guilty in May to a federal firearms charge.

Davis will also face travel restrictions once released from prison and has to pay a fine of five thousand dollars.

The Atlanta rapper is notorious for his numerous run-ins with the law: he has been arrested for everything to possession of marijuana to aggravated assault.

On this particular occasion, Davis was found in possession of two loaded guns as a felon. The three years was an agreed plea bargain as Davis was facing up to twenty years in prison with those charges.

The judge in charge of the case, U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones, said he was familiar with Davis’ music and cautioned the rapper to not waste his musical talent.

“You’re still a young man, and you can still do a lot if you follow and abide by the law,” Jones said.

Davis’ lawyer Drew Findling outlined his client’s mindset going forward.

“He understands he has some work ahead of him, and his goal is to bring a resolution to this case through this sentence and to get back to something that is very important to him and his fans and that is to perform,” Findling said.

The New J Cole Song “Be Free” is a Tribute to Michael Brown and Others

In this raw and emotional new track, rapper J. Cole sings about the violence against young African American boys. Particularly, a case where an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri named Michael Brown was shot and killed despite being unarmed.

Cole released a statement about the song saying that, “I’m tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don’t give a fuck if it’s by police or peers. This shit is not normal.”

The song also samples the news report about the Michael Brown shooting where one of Brown’s friends is talking about the situation and how it escalated to Brown being shot and killed.

Cole also talked about the desensitization of the killing of African American men in his statement.

“There was a time in my life when I gave a fuck,” Cole said in his statement. “Every chance I got I was screaming about it. I was younger. It’s so easy to try to save the world when you’re in college. You got nothing but time and no responsibility. But soon life hits you. No more dorms, no more meal plan, no more refund check. Nigga need a job. Nigga got rent. Got car note. Cable bill. Girlfriend moves in and becomes wife. Baby on the way. Career advances. Instagram is poppin. Lebron leaves Miami. LIFE HITS. We become distracted. We become numb. I became numb. But not anymore. That coulda been me, easily. It could have been my best friend…. I made a song. This is how we feel.”

Cole’s lyrics and seldom-used singing voice on this track really hit home. He repeats “All we wanna do is break the chains off/ All we wanna do is be free” over a soft piano loop that reveals and shares the emotion and pain Cole and many more are feeling.

Listen to the track on Cole’s SoundCloud.

Michael Cera Put Out an Album

In surprising but somewhat understandable news, actor Michael Cera released an album. Cera’s name is not that unfamiliar with indie and folk music. In a handful of his films, particularly Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Juno, Cera’s character plays some kind of musical instrument.

What is surprising is the lack of publicity or promotion that Cera gave this project. There was virtually no hint that he would release it at all.

However, the album, which is titled True That, is out on his bandcamp page and feedback has been generally positive in the eight or so hours since the word got out. The album is an eighteen-track album that features a lot of piano and minimal guitar hooks. We also get to hear Cera’s voice, which fits perfect over some of the more melancholy tracks like “Ruth.”

The album comes without any pretentious nature of Cera’s fame or acting career. Moreover, True That sounds like one day Cera just said, “Screw it! Let’s record some music.” And by those standards, the album is not too bad!

Just today, the album is generating a lot of buzz. Actor and Cera’s friend, Jonah Hill went to twitter to endorse True That. Hill tweeted, “My great friend Michael Cera not only is a brilliant actor, he also makes great music. Check it out: http://www.michaelceramusic.bandcamp.com/a>.”

Lil Wayne and Drake Collaborate on New Single “Grindin”

The two leading faces of the Young Money dynasty have been hard at work. The latest product is the single “Grindin,” which is going to be featured on his upcoming album Tha Carter V.

The album has been repeatedly pushed back and there is no solid release date at the moment. However, with “Grindin” and other lead single and huge radio hit “Believe Me,” the album has substantial hype toward what many think will be a fall release.

Lil Wayne announced that this will be his last studio album for a while before focusing on other interests and raising his kids. Since 2011 he has been planning on retiring at age 35. He is currently 31.

As for Drake, his last full-length album Nothing Was The Same is almost a year old. He recently released the titled of his next album, which is going to be called Views from the 6. Besides that he has been featured on a number of tracks and has managed to stay relevant with guest appearances and other endeavors including hosting the ESPYS and managing his own label OVO Sound.

Listen to the track here.

Basketball Player Metta World Peace To Change Name To “The Pandas Friend”

The basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest, who changed his name to Metta World Peace in 2011, will now be changing his name to “The Pandas Friend.” The name change is prompted by World Peace’s move to the Chinese Basketball Association where he will be playing with the Sichuan Blue Whales.

World Peace first announced the name change when he tweeted about it a week ago: “I’m changing my name for the China this season !!!! You guys will love it”

Everybody began speculating about the name when World Peace tweeted about going to visit pandas with his daughter: “First thing I am doing when I get to china will be visiting Pandas with my daughter @BabyGirl_Sade”

Then Chinadaily.com reported that World Peace would be officially changing his name to “Panda Friend.” After multiple news sites reported the name change, World Peace himself chimed in on twitter to confirm his actual name change.

“Guys my chinese name is not ‘Panda Friend’ , its ‘The Pandas Friend’.”

World Peace, or now “The Pandas Friend,” is another big name from the NBA to go and play in China. Stephon Marbury and Tracy McGrady also took their careers to China. We will see if a year in China and a new name will revitalize World Peace’s career or if this just confirms him as the crazy guy who is always changing his name.

Trying to Eat Healthy and Cheap? Check Out this Free Online Cookbook with Recipes Under $4 A Day

Maintaining a healthy, inexpensive and tasty diet in college is almost somewhat of an oxymoron. Yet, eating balanced meals is a necessity to getting good grades and being a productive student. It can also be hard to find resources that are actually helpful.

Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 is a free downloadable PDF cookbook that does exactly what its title promises. It also gives tips on how to shop effectively, make the most out of your ingredients and provide helpful cooking techniques. Recipes range from simple breakfast items such as tomato scrambled eggs to explaining how to make easy pizza dough.

The project originally began as Leanne Brown’s senior thesis at New York University to target families and individuals on food stamps, but quickly the project took off. Brown has raised almost $145,000 to put her cookbook into print and distribute it to organizations who support low-income families and people who do not have internet access.

While initially intended for people relying on food stamps, this is a great resource for anybody who is trying to make the most out of their budget.

Visit the Kickstarter page to learn more.