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Features


How Taylor Swift takes Sad Girl Autumn to another level with ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’

When Taylor Swift’s Red first came out over nine years ago, I vividly remember going to the mall, walking into Justice, and seeing stacks and stacks of the CDs next to the sparkly camisoles; meanwhile, “I Knew You Were Trouble” was playing over the store speakers. Now I am 20, and in my anticipation of the rerelease of Red, I felt the exact same butterflies in my stomach as my 11-year-old self did that day inside Justice. 



10 Underrated Christmas Songs

What is Christmastime without music? Holiday music allows families and friends a chance to relax and enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year.” Below I have compiled a list of 10 underrated Christmas songs, both original and covered, that may exceed your expectations just in time for the holidays. If you are looking for the Queen of Christmas herself, Mrs. Mariah Carey, you will not find her on this list. Instead, I have opted to share the spotlight with tunes that have missed their kiss under the mistletoe. 


Why ‘Normal People’ is the Love Story of our Generation

The plot includes a few popular tropes common in young adult romances: clandestine relationships, different backgrounds, second chance romance, etc. These tropes often manage to diminish the importance and validity of relationships that end up shaping how we interact with love in our adult lives. Normal People manages to evade the shallowness of these stereotypes, instead finding depth in an uncommonly truthful perspective on young love and life. 


Artist of the Month: Silk Sonic

 The 1970s are back, decked out in large Bourbon-colored sunglasses, revere collars, Embassy cigarettes, and crushed velvet suits. I absolutely love it! In a world where rap has become the number one musical export, many are left asking where’s the “real R&B” music in 2021? Where did music with instruments, captivating vocal performances and heart-wrenching climaxes go? Contrary to popular belief it never left. The existence of Childish Gambino, The Internet, Janelle Monae, H.E.R., Kali Uchis, and Miguel are a testament to the modern R&B scene. In March 2021 there was a fortuitous attempt to make R&B mainstream again, thus giving birth to November’s Artist of the Month: Silk Sonic.  


How Prod. JRB found his way to BobbyBoy Records

Joseph Robert Bellah—Prod. JRB—answers the Zoom call with a beaming smile spread across his face and a friendly attitude. He's repping his new-found home, BobbyBoy Records, with him wearing their dad hat. On Nov. 3, I got the opportunity to interview the up-and-coming producer. We discussed the 14-year-old’s journey throughout the music industry, how he began producing, how he got signed to BobbyBoy Records, his debut beat tape—Legacy—and much more. 



History Of: River Phoenix

  The "It boy" of the 90s was a Hollywood bombshell with an upturned button nose, long blond bowl cut, and sparkling blue eyes. His name was River Phoenix. This teen heartthrob was known for his down-to-earth personality paired with a striking appearance. The late actor achieved many accomplishments during his lifetime. He was awarded the 1992 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for his performance in My Own Private Idaho. Phoenix was unlike any actor Hollywood had ever seen. His scattered press interviews allow Generation Z an introduction to his precocious, often unique approach to an emotional acting style.


History of: Celebrating Death in Different Cultures

The past few days held some of the most popular celebrations of death. Oct. 31 was Halloween and Nov. 1 and 2, El Día de los Muertos. We wanted to dive deeper into how people celebrate death among different cultures and religions. To start, we’ve compiled interviews and information to further observe three different cultural celebrations around their deceased. 



Ball state junior, Elysa Goldberg, takes a photo of Ball State junior Emma Lang in the “cellfie” room at SelfieWRLD Schaumburg, 10/02/21.  Photo by Savannah Jordan

But first, let me take a selfie at SelfieWRLD Schaumburg

The moment I knew there was a museum dedicated to taking selfies with friends, I wanted to get a group of my own friends together and go to SelfieWRLD Schaumburg and make a day of it. Although I didn’t expect to make a trip to Chicago and back in a day, it was worth every twist in the plan—which included forgetting about the time change and spontaneously stopping at “The Bean” in Millenium Park. 


Artist of the month: Queen Bee

Queen Bee, also known as Ziyoou-vachi, utilizes bright colors, creative themes and costumes, octave changes, and diverse discography completely enraptured me. After first hearing some of their music, I decided to research more into who exactly this group is.


How would your favorite horror villains fare in a faceoff?

Who would beat who in a fight? Now you have the chance to help decide who would win in a fight in the metaphorical boxing ring of horror villians. This is a breakdown of all the statistics for the featured villians. Your votes directly relate to who moves on in the bracket.



‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ isn't the origin of strong Asian protagonists

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was not predicted to be a box office hit in the wake of movies releasing simultaneously in theatres and onto streaming services. Furthermore, it features a lesser-known Marvel protagonist that had a lot of people doubting the movie’s potential. Despite this speculation, Shang-Chi was a smash hit. While this is incredibly encouraging given the film has a strong Asian protagonist and supporting cast, I can’t help but be a little irked by people acting as though this is a first for Asian representation in the form of a strong protagonist. Just because Liu as Shang-Chi is the first time you have noticed a strong Asian protagonist, it does not mean they haven’t been present in the film industry. 


‘Donda’ vs. ‘Certified Lover Boy’

Donda and Certified Lover Boy amassed a great deal of attention when they dropped—for these are two of the most prominent artists of our generation. Both albums came out within four days of each other, with Kanye West releasing Donda first. West and Drake have famously been in a feud for years, so it’s only fair to ask the question: Which album is better?


Image from Ones to Watch

Artist of the Month: Alvaro Soler

It is National Hispanic Heritage Month and that means that the Spanish music on my playlists will be played nonstop to celebrate. The artist on the top of my playlists is Alvaro Soler.