By Olivia Shur, Staff Writer
When thinking of artists that pour their heart into their music, Britney Spears is usually not at the top of the list. However, with the release of her newest album, “Britney Jean,” that is soon to change.
Regardless of her rocky roller-coaster ride through the past 14 years, Spears has never failed to release catchy, bass-pumping, roll-all-the-windows-down pop bangers. However, that’s all they really were: formulaic pop songs sure to rake in the millions. Add some controversial music videos with intense dance numbers and lavish sets, and the sell is guaranteed.
“Britney Jean,” however, reveals a more emotional, personal side of Spears that listeners haven’t really heard before.
For the first time, Spears co-wrote every single track on the album, as opposed to 2011’s “Femme Fatale” in which she contributed to a whopping total of zero tracks.
Spears’ newfound voice is evident in songs like the ballad, “Perfume,” in which Spears sings of still longing for a lover that is now in-love with someone else. Spears adds bitterness to the song, making it more personal but still with her trademark sassiness.
Spears also shows some sisterly love on the track, “Chillin’ With You,” in which she collaborated for the first time with her younger sister, Jamie Lynn.
Other collaborations on the album include “It Should Be Easy,” with pop guru will.i.am. The song itself has more of a dance vibe than classic pop, while the song’s lyrics are simple and sweet, and not as vulgar as some of Spears’ lyrics usually are.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is “Tik Tik Boom” featuring rapper T.I. The song, with a slow back-beat and blatantly sexual lyrics, will have listeners turning it down whenever their parents are slightly in earshot.
The fierceness that is expected out of a pop queen like Spears is also evident in the album’s smash hit, “Work B**ch.” The song is an ode to Spears’ long journey as a pop sensation.
If fans are disappointed with the lack of lavish sets and dance-heavy videos, then no fear. With sharks, hot cars and tributes to many of Spears’ former dance numbers, the video for “Work B**ch” makes up for it.
For Spears’ first time co-writing each and every track, the album isn’t necessarily bad. While it’s lovely to get a glimpse into Spears’ personal thoughts and feelings, the songs do fall a bit flat. One possibility is Spears simply does not have the vocal strength that rival pop-stars, like Beyonce and Christina Aguilera, possess; both of whom have the ability to bring audiences to tears with their ballads. Both have also released songs that are more stripped-down, like Aguilera’s classic tear-jerker “Hurt” and Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy.”
Though Spears’ vocal abilities have a reputation for being everywhere to barely acceptable, no one truly knows if the superstar has the ability to hit the notes – and this album could’ve been Spears’ opportunity to do so.
Watch Britney Spears’ “Work B**ch” below:
By Katie Bernatchez, Staff Writer
Holocaust movies are often shown as heartbreaking stories of oppressed Jews versus ruthless Nazis. These may be the polarized extremes of World War II, but German families, neither fighting the war nor suffering in camps, lived in constant fear, poverty and eventually, a deadly war zone.
“The Book Thief,” directed by Brian Percival, is about a pre-teen girl who avoids Nazi culture, finds her voice and faces the harshest reality of life: death itself. It’s the classic coming-of-age tale in the cruelest of circumstances.
Sophie Nélisse stars as Liesel, a 12-year-old put into foster care when her mother is punished for being a communist. She is welcomed into the modest home of Hans and Rosa Hubermann, played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. Although initially bullied for her illiteracy, reading and writing eventually shape the events of Liesel’s childhood, which occurs in a time of book burning and censorship in Nazi Germany.
The talented cast, music by John Williams and an authentic backdrop bring the story of Markus Zusak’s novel to life. Nélisse gives an impressively mature performance, but Watson and Rush are the true standouts, able to evoke complexity in characters that could easily become caricatures. Nico Liersch embodies childhood naivety in the role of Rudy, Liesel’s best friend, and Ben Schnetzer is captivating in his unfortunately few moments as Max, a Jewish refugee living with the Hubermanns.
The most powerful scenes occur when this Nazi-defying family comes face to face with their society’s expectations. The effects of Nazi brainwashing are felt when Liesel and Rudy must watch books burn and sing the national anthem, and these effects grow stronger as full-scale war draws nearer.
The final scenes, however, feel rushed and choppy with a strange narration by Death personified. As with the story’s theme itself, words, rather than events or scenery, are the most moving. “I want to grow up before I die” is one especially heartbreaking line from Rudy.
Thankfully, it’s not a two-hour long sob-fest. Rudy’s romantic pursuit of Liesel and the Hubermann husband and wife banter provide genuine laughs.
Tackling events the size and importance of the Holocaust is no easy task, but “The Book Thief” is successful, portraying the impact of the war on both large and small scales. The expectations of Nazi culture are pervasive, and when they invade the lives of the characters we care about, the film becomes a moving experience.
The filmmakers also made editing choices in adapting the original novel, which may upset fans of the book, but the film itself feels complete. Including every minor detail would detract from the hope, despair, love and friendship at the heart of the story.
“The Book Thief” is a fresh perspective on the event that has compelled and horrified us for decades. The film is suitable for viewers as young as the main characters with a PG-13 rating but ultimately “The Book Thief” balances the heaviness of the era with the lightness of adolescence.
By Andy Powers, Staff Writer
If Paul Walker, star of the action-packed “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, had arrived on the scene a few decades ago, his death might have even been considered cool. It seems like the James Dean estate milked out all the cool there is to be had in a high-speed death.
“The Fast and the Furious” movies are a celebration of what some consider “cool.” The franchise never concerned itself with pedestrian issues like plot or character development. Instead the movies let us escape to a world of beautiful people doing beautiful things with beautiful cars and sweet, sweet nitrous oxide. “The Fast and the Furious” movies were one of the last bastions of unadulterated fun on film.
Paul Walker’s character was so damn cool that you couldn’t help but rev your engine as you left the theater parking lot. Nothing made you feel more connected to humanity than seeing another idiot doing the same in his Camry two spaces over. If that isn’t a legitimate role of cinema, then what is wrong with our culture?
James Dean may have his poster in half the dorm rooms across the country, but no one has the patience to actually make it through “Rebel Without a Cause.”
Even after doing the same thing for 10 years, Paul Walker brought in nearly $800 million last spring with “Fast & Furious 6.” Who is the real movie star? If there’s any justice in the world, the release of “Fast & Furious 7″ this summer will prove that we still have room for cool.
By Hannah Landers, Staff Writer
Burglary, arson and murder are all considered to be pretty terrible crimes, but one look at any number of ranting articles on the web could have one believing that there is no atrocity more heinous than that of the “selfie.” Yet they’re out there, and multiplying by the second.
Though the term itself has become a recent phenomenon, selfies have long been a staple of social media.
Come with me now to a simpler time, when Myspace reigned supreme in the kingdom of the internet. Ah, yes, I can see it now: the profile layout that you carefully selected after hours of scouring the web, that Dashboard Confessional song with just the right amount of angst for profile’s music player and, most importantly, your profile picture.
You spent time on that photo, if not in staging it then in scrupulously selecting it from all those photos you took at your cousin’s wedding where your hair looked, like, so good. Myspace gave us the selfie, and we all embraced that sweet little nugget of vanity in our arms like it had come from the holy womb of Kate Middleton herself.
In fact, if we really want to “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” this into the depths of history, any artist who has ever produced a self-portrait has engaged in the not-so-sacred practice of selfie-dom. Yes, these portraits vary in their realism (I’m looking at you, Van Gogh!) and require a certain level of artistry, but doesn’t every great selfie? Today, the tricks-of-the-trade are a soft-focus filter and a steady hand.
And really, vanity is the social media endgame no matter what you’re posting. Sure, your Instagram might not be flooded with photos of your face, but it’s still a collection of the things that you see, the things that you experience. No matter what you’re posting about on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram, it all comes down to the bare-bones fact that you’re commanding followers and strangers all across this great internet nation of ours to care about you.
Therefore, there’s nothing really so egregiously arrogant about wanting to share your cheesin’ mug with the rest of the world. Selfies should be something to praise, not to condemn. You’re looking and feeling good, and you should be encouraged to share that positivity with the rest of the world. Selfie on, Garth!
By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Staff Writer
The North End: a tiny slice of Europe just a T ride away. You know it’s there, but the appeal of delivery and the unwillingness you have to get out of bed keep you from actually spending the $2 to visit Boston’s Little Italy.
The North End is actually a college student’s best friend. With delicious food at this price, you’ll never order Domino’s again. Or maybe you will but either way here’s our quick-and-dirty guide to eating cheap in the North End:
GET A LOAF OF BREAD: Bricco’s Panetteria
Hidden in an alleyway off Hanover Street, Bricco’s bakery serves up the best baguette in the North End. Crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside, still-warm-and-toasty bread is yours for under three dollars, and you know it’s fresh — you can see that heavenly ciabatta coming out of those fire-burning ovens as you order.
DRINK SOME COFFEE: Caffe Dello Sport
Caffe Dello Sport is one of the secret gems of the North End, with straight-from-scratch cocoa you can see those beautiful servers shave straight into your mocha. Make sure to visit Caffe Dello Sport on a game day (Italia, obviously) — the place is crawling with locals and it’s quite the scene. Grab a latte or a drink and enjoy that classic Italian American Ambiance.
EAT A CANNOLI (and not the one you think): Maria’s Pastry
Everyone’s heard of Mike’s Pastry. The line stretches around the corner, and the cannolis are good – but not worth an hour out of your day. Modern, down the street, now boasts a line that rivals Mike’s as the official Mike’s replacement. Maria’s, which rests on the edge of the North End, makes a chocolate-dipped cannoli that might beat Mike’s without the wait. And come December, don’t forget to pick up a homemade Panettone, an Italian Christmas tradition.
TREAT YO’SELF (and don’t break the bank): Giacomo’s Ristorante
Giacomo’s almost always has a line, but if you suck it up and eat like a grandma (as in, at 4 p.m.), you can get into Giacomo’s with little-to-no wait time, and trust me: it’s worth it. At $16 a plate, you get more than enough of the most refined, silky, homemade lobster raviolis in a garlic cream sauce I dream about at night. Not to mention, all bottles of wine are $18 — and you can take those suckers home with you after the meal.
By Ross Hsu, Staff Writer
The style that made Mathangi “M.I.A.” Arulpragasam famous is all but decimated on her new release: “Matangi.”
Her songs used to be direct and simple, not on a stylistic level, but emotionally. The songs were easy to engage and enjoy, requiring little to no deciphering or decoding. But “Matangi” is not for dancing. It’s for thinking.
While it is doubtful that Arulpragasam constructed “Matangi” to be a parody of other artists, it’s much more enjoyable to listen to the LP with such an assumption in mind. The downfall of this theory, and the ultimate triumph of the album, is that M.I.A.’s parodies are so intelligent and self-aware that they end up surpassing whatever they’re making fun of.
“Bring The Noize” and “Exodus” have already been addressed, but then there’s “Lights,” which takes cues from Ellie Goulding in its intro and outro; “Only 1 U” takes Nicki Minaj’s obnoxious and banal hooks and turns them into a delightfully catchy Sri-Lankan send-up that probably won’t ever be surpassed by the self-proclaimed “female Weezy.” “Come Walk With Me” spends its calmer Western sections blowing raspberries at late 2000s power-pop ballads.
Of the other tracks are only poking fun, then “Y.A.L.A.” is a direct claymore to the heart of Drake’s burgeoning YOLO empire—Matangi’s lyrics are at their apex when Maya bites: “YOLO? I don’t even know anymore, what that even mean though / If you only live once why we keep doing the same shit / Back home where I come from we keep being born again and again and again.”
Most rewarding is when M.I.A. caricatures herself with “Bad Girls,” taking listeners’ conceptions of the style that dominates Arular and Kala and forces them to mature about 10 years — and yes, it manages to be better than what it’s making fun of.
Matangi isn’t necessarily a great M.I.A. album, depending on what you expect from her. What it is, however, is an excellent up yours to contemporary music, directed straight at the highest charting of the lowest brows. Think of it as M.I.A. Plays the (S)Hits: Trying To Be Better Than Everyone Else And Actually Succeeding.
By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Staff Writer
The muggles of the world are having a mild aneurism over the new discovery of Butterbeer Frappuccinos and Steamers at Starbucks, but the secret gem of the holiday season are the warmer alternative: Butterbeer Lattes.
Butterbeer, in the Harry Potter books, is a foamy, warm beverage that tastes “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.” Until now, Butterbeer was only sold in the wizarding village of Hogsmeade (don’t you dare tell me it’s fictional), but now you can have every Potterhead’s favorite drink in the form of a Frappuccino or latte.
As a self-proclaimed Potterhead who may or may not have made a Hogwarts dream journal at age 10, I felt obligated to adapt the various recipes for Butterbeer-themed drinks into the perfect concoctions for the holiday season.
Although Butterbeer was consumed cold in Harry Potter when served in bottles, I think that Butterbeer lattes are optimal for the cold weather. However, for those who are interested in something chilly, here is my adapted recipe for a Butterbeer Frappuccino:
BUTTERBEER FRAPPUCCINO (Grande):
- Crème Frappuccino Base
- 3 pumps of caramel syrup
- 4 pumps of toffee nut syrup
- 1 pump of cinnamon dulce syrup
- Whipped cream
So, how does this equal Butterbeer? Easy: caramel is made by heating sugar until it breaks down, and then adding heavy cream. Toffee, on the other hand, adds butter. The alleged “butterscotch” flavor of Butterbeer would require the combination of caramel and butter. The cinnamon-dulce syrup cuts the sweetness of the cream and adds a little bit of magic to the mix.
This adaptation varies from the main recipe circulating online, mainly because they suggest three pumps of each flavor and none of the cinnamon dulce syrup. Having evenly distributed syrups results in a muddled, sweet cream Frappuccino. Plus, the toffee should be more prominent than the caramel: the process of making butterscotch is closer to that of toffee than caramel, mainly because butterscotch requires butter (duh).
But in the freezing cold winter winds of Hogsmeade (or Boston, I guess…), a young wizard like yourself needs something warm and tasty to drink. With finals coming up, you can’t afford to take a trip to Starbucks without pounding down some caffeine. This adapted Butterbeer latte recipe will re-energize you for another round of studying. Who doesn’t need a little magic to get through midterms?
BUTTERBEER LATTE (Tall):
- 3 pumps of caramel syrup
- 2 pumps of toffee nut syrup
- 1 pump of cinnamon dulce syrup
- Whipped cream
Again, the main recipes recommend equal distributions of syrup, but for an enchanted latte like this one, you need to go full engorgio on the caramel and chill out on the cinnamon dulce. Because the espresso already cuts the sweetness of the toffee nut and the caramel, the cinnamon dulce should be less prominent than the other syrups. Also, the caramel syrup should be more prominent in the latte, because the chocolatey quality of the coffee mimics the flavor the toffee nut when combined with the caramel.
Overall, there should be less syrup in the latte than the Frappuccino, because the chilly shake has a higher water content with the addition of ice.
Make sure to accio some Butterbeer as soon as you can — you can only knock back this Hogsmeade classic while the toffee nut flavor is in season.
By Andy Powers, Staff Writer
Despite their new electro-pop trappings, Fitz and the Tantrums is still running on soul power. The band began firmly in retro-soul territory with 2010’s “Pickin’ Up the Pieces”, but with their sophomore release, “More than Just a Dream,” Fitz and company ditched the horns for synths.
Their new, modern sound brought in success with a mainstream audience and assuaged Fitz’s fear of being typecast as just another retro outfit, however the band also lost some of its distinctive flavor. Both sounds were on full display at the House of Blues on Monday night.
The band is certainly up to the challenge of either style and swapped between their new and old stuff with ease. Whether they were blowing out the speakers with their 2013 pop attack or laying down old school soul on James King’s sax, the band was at the top of their craft.
Any attempt to decide which sound is better would be like comparing apples to oranges; however, the lack of middle ground means that the band loses half the audience at the beginning of each song. Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs, the lead vocalists, managed to bridge this gap by dressing their new songs with gospel-like introductions, and the old songs got a slick layer of polish to bring them into the new decade.
But these temporary fixes do not make for a cohesive image, and the band threatens to continually buck its audience with each new album.
Fans were probably better served by the Tantrums’ tour mates, Capital Cities. Capital Cities also manages to avoid being pigeon-holed as just another retro group, despite a clear disco influence. This band simultaneously makes use of hip hop beats, funky samples, and a trumpet so syrupy it could give Mrs. Butterworth a run for her money, and the result is familiar and cutting edge all at once.
Capital Cities’ sounds like it’s accomplishing what Fitz and the Tantrums are failing at. They have managed to keep retro fresh without losing any of their uniqueness in the process. But Capital Cities are missing the one skill that Fitz and the Tantrums have mastered.
Fitz and the Tantrums have an uncanny ability to make the audience feel as if it were part of the show. The way that Scaggs calls on the audience for “soul power” or the long winded monologues Fitzpatrick unleashes before diving into a song, make it feel as if the band is performing with the crowd, not for it.
The band might cull its audience with each new album, but that only adds to the sense of exclusivity. As long as Fitz and the Tantrums can pull the soul out of whatever genre they find themselves in, they can depend on the crowd for fuel.
By Olivia Shur, Staff Writer
Looking for a less traditional haunted house? Check out the Haunted Ship at the USS Salem. You’ll walk through a variety of eerie rooms, like a creepy kitchen and a child’s room filled with dolls. You’ll also learn about the ghosts that are believed to actually haunt the USS Salem – and will most likely see a few of them, as well.
2. Ghost Tours in Salem
Take this award-winning ghost tour in the historical site of the Witch Cities. The tour guides are trained paranormal investigators and are experts on all the legends and stories that originated in Salem. If you’re into ghost stories and learning about the Salem witches, this tour is definitely for you. Get your tickets here:
3. See the new version of “Carrie”
If you’re a fan of the original version, be sure to see the remake starring up-and-coming teen star Chloe Grace Moretz as the lead. It’s the same classic story, with pig’s blood and telekinesis, but set in modern day.
4. Buy Candy. Lots of It
Let’s face it – your days of throwing on some kitten ears and thrusting a giant pillow case in your neighbor’s face are over. On the bright side, though, the stress of frantically searching for the house that’s giving away those giant Hershey bars and Reeses pumpkins is no longer an issue. Head on down to your local drugstore, and stock up on all your favorite goodies. Get your floor in on it, and on Halloween, you can still have that experience of trading your giant Butterfinger bar for two bags of peanut M&M’s.
5. Have a Scary Movie Marathon
Include all the classic thrillers, ghost stories, and slasher movies you can think of. Make it a floor event, and watch it in the common room. Some suggestions: “Paranormal Activity”, “Friday the 13th”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “Poltergeist”, “The Ring”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Shining”, “Psycho” and, of course, “Halloween.”
6. Watch “Hocus Pocus” (and “Halloween Town” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”…)
Scary movies not for you? Tune into ABC Family every night up until midnight on Halloween to catch all of your family friendly, feel-good Halloween tales. It’ll get you in the Halloween spirit – without scaring your pants off. One that they unfortunately don’t show that’s a must watch? It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
7. Make Some Halloween Treats
Besides the usual Apple Cider and Pumpkin Pies, get creative with some fun Halloween recipes. A good place to look is Pinterest, which has an entire category just for Halloween treats you can make at home. Personal favorite: Marshmallow Frankenstein Cupcakes.
8. Go on a Hayride
If you’re looking to get out of the city for a day, this is for you. Venture a little ways out to Boston Hill Farm, located in North Andover. It’s about 30 minutes away on the T, and extra 10 minutes on the bus. They not only have hayrides, but have pumpkin patches, apple picking and even a petting zoo. They also have a bakery, where they make a variety of freshly baked pies, muffins and other tasty goodies.
9. Watch This Clip of Ellen DeGeneres Scaring People
If you hate being scared, this in an alternative option: watching other people getting scared. Watch the hilarity unfold as Ellen sends her executive producer and writer into “The Walking Dead” maze at Universal Studios.
10. Decorate Your Dorm
It may be a small space, but that’s no excuse to leave your dorm Halloween-less! Party City has an abundance of cheap decorations that will fit in your dorm, like cute streamers and stickers for your windows and door. Grab a few small pumpkins and place them around your room; or, get a jack-o-lantern and place it on your windowsill.
11. Carve a Pumpkin…or Ten
If you choose to get those pumpkins for your dorm, get together with your floor mates and have a pumpkin carving session. If you’re stuck on coming up with ideas for carving (or don’t know how to carve a pumpkin in the first place), Google “pumpkin carvings” for some inspiration. If a lot of people carve pumpkins, place them in the common room to get more of your less-enthusiastic floor mates in the Halloween spirit. Bonus points if you name each of them.
12. Go to a Haunted House
A classic Halloween festivity – if you’re into the actual scariness of Halloween. A list of popular haunted houses in the Boston area is available here:
13. Find a Costume – An original one
Ah, the joys of costume shopping. So many choices: do you want to go for the funny costume, (for instance, a giant taco), a cute, flirty look (flapper girl, Disney princess), or, if you’re not into the costume thing, the t-shirt that says, “This is My Costume.” Costumes are the best part of Halloween. It’s the one night out of the entire year where you can literally be anything you want to be.
By Alex Siber, Staff Writer
Can you recall a time when the forerunners of hip-hop’s elite pantheon largely represented the generalizations and pigeonholed stereotypes that the mainstream populace held — perhaps rightfully?
Even as rap’s prominence continues to spread across varying subcultures and demographics (the white rapper is as common as ever, as is rapping in general for that matter — an endless stream of YouTube artists fostered by the Internet Age all lust for fame and recognition), this imagery holds fast within our minds.
In 2013, many aspects of this typecast are far less prominent, and the new school leaders and old guards of the genre stray from the norms of prior decades.
Living legend Kanye West might just be the most publicized artist regardless of genre (often for reasons unrelated to his music), and the only stylistic similarity he bears to the outdated rapper image are his elongated, meme-ified leather skirts that he dons from time to time.
Meanwhile, Jay-Z is still conducting “performance art” in private museum rooms or wearing tuxes with Mr. Timberlake.
While the widespread generalization of the rappers’ image is in desperate need of an upgrade, the growing trend of hip-hop artists issuing apologies for lyrics is a growing trend with potentially unfortunate repercussions. In the past year, several major cases have surpassed the thresholds of the genre and entered the mainstream spotlight.
The ever-successful Rick Ross made headlines earlier this year thanks to a particular line of his in a remix to the popular song, “U.O.E.N.O.” [produced by Childish Major], in which his lyrics insinuate sexual assault: “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it.”
With coverage ranging from MTV News to CNN, Ross’s rhymes set fire to the media landscape. Previously endorsed by shoe company Reebok, the aggressive pressure group UltraViolet stated that this commercial pairing meant that the apparel corporation condoned rape.
In response, Ross apologized publicly to Billboard Magazine, saying that his decision to include the aforementioned lines did not accurately reflect his “true heart” and was sorely regretted. This scenario raises key questions regarding the current state of rap as a microcosm for the rest of society, as well as the legitimacy of Reebok’s course of action. What can an artist from a generally controversial genre say, and at what point is a line trespassed, thus resulting in consequence?
From a broad scope, political correctness pervades the modern culture. While this is not always a bad thing (the gradual elimination of words such as “faggot” or “retard” from casual vocabulary, for example), a classic consequence is the gentrification of culture. Rap is no different, and apologies for lines such as Ross’s were no commonality earlier in the history of hip-hop music. Looking specifically at Reebok’s decision, one likely feels unsurprised by the resolve.
More specifically, it begs us to ask what lyrics are considered suitable, or acceptable (and therefore expected) for a rapper to implement into his or her work. Ross is no saint, and countless usages of certain words or violent phrases arguably warrant a similar reaction, even if such a response occupies a level of lessened severity.
Artists J. Cole and Drake underwent a similar critical experience thanks to a certain line in the remix “Jodeci’s Back,” a collaborative remix between the two: “I’m artistic, you n***as is autistic, retarded.” The sentence prompted the Anti-Bullying Alliance to offer a petition for the removal of the lyrics, which registered more than 2,500 signatures. Cole tweeted an apology before extending his expression of regret further through an online letter, and Drake, who felt guilty by association, also provided a public apology.
Personally, I do not defend these lines. Nor do I defend their implications. I possess no secret hopes of slurs such as “faggot” or depictions of rape becoming a phenomena that sweeps the world of hip-hop, a world once defined by its grittiness and raw mentality.
What I do believe, though, is that the political correctness gradually growing in rap can have culturally disastrous side effects. In the past, comparable lyrics made for nation-sweeping entertainment.
Simply put, if you don’t enjoy what you’re hearing, you need not listen. The price to pay is a slippery slope, challenging the spirit and heterogeneous character of a powerful style of music, and lifestyle for millions.