MONTERO: OUT NOW!

MONTERO: OUT NOW!

DENIZ AKKAYA

Lil Nas X proves that he is not a one-hit wonder with his unfiltered debut album…

The 22-year-old superstar’s debut album is filled with him grappling his insecurities, impostor syndrome and sexuality.

Lil Nas X celebrated today’s release of the album by posting a video of him giving birth to Montero on Instagram.

When “Old Town Road” took over the world in 2019, no one could have guessed that Nas would make an album that celebrates so many things that have long been taboo. Purchased online for $30 in a studio for $20 an hour and later added to by Billy Ray Cyrus, the song became the longest running #1 single in Billboard Chart Hot 100 history.

Lil Nas X, the artist who uses social media most effectively, built this huge anticipation before the album was dropped by posting humorous posts on TikTok and Instagram along with the hit singles “Montero” and “Industry Baby”. It’s safe to say that the album exceeded all of our high expactations!

Hear the full album below.

2 KINGS ON THE THRONE

2 KINGS ON THE THRONE

ALARA ALPAY

The album, released in August 2011, is a masterpiece created in both artists’ golden era. Today marks the iconic album’s 10th anniversary.

Jay Z and Kanye West; the duo, who once considered each other brothers and shared their success, have grown quite distant over time. Especially after Kanye West started a relationship with Kim Kardashian, the ‘feuds’ and ‘drama’ between the two old pals were not falling off the agenda. But rather than the drama between them, we decry our interest in an album created by the duo that will never be forgotten, no matter what happens between them; Watch the Throne.

The album, released in August 2011, is a masterpiece created in both artists’ golden era. Along with the success and echo of Kanye’s previously released album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and the interest and praise that Jay Z’s Blueprint 3 album received, this album they created certainly emerged as a blend of the two rappers’ inner worlds and creative sides.

Listening to the album, we get a chance to get to know and learn more about the inner worlds of the duo, who were at the peak of their career and living wonderful lives.  Despite having a very difficult youth, Jay Z, who never shared his grief and the weight of what he went through, talked about his depression in the song ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, and his thoughts about being a father; On the other hand, we come across many lyrics about West’s feelings about being identified as a ‘villain’ by the society and his ‘celebrity’ lifestyle in general.  At the same time, most critics associate this album and the lyrics with the social and financial problems experienced by Black Americans, noting that it provides a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a successful rapper.

Consisting of Kanye’s character -usually known for expressing his emotionality and feelings- and Jay’s producing abilities, this album teaches us about the journey they’ve been on through their personal worlds and feelings. In this album; full of dramatic and impressive melodies and rhythms, Jay Z undoubtedly highlights his lyricist personality and genius and prioritizes his differences with West, while Kanye represents the emotional and mentally fired up side of the duo.

But, of course, it’s a little difficult to describe this duo’s artistic talents just by their style on this album. The success these rappers gained even though they have very different characters is probably due to Kanye’s spontaneity and character; pushing Jay Z out of his comfort zone a bit, which is why we often come across the rapper’s lyrics on emotional reflection, and that’s not something we see very often from Jay Z. So when it’s combined with Kanye’s hubris and excitement, that’s when we realize it’s really an unprecedented album.

Although their relationship is not as good as it once was, this album, produced by perhaps the two biggest names of the rap community, continues to delight as a timeless masterpiece, even 10 years later.

WHERE IS DONDA?

WHERE IS DONDA?

DENIZ AKKAYA

We literally got played (again).

In typical Kanye West fashion, the release of his 10th studio album, DONDA has been pushed back. Originally due to arrive on Friday, 23rd July, the album will now arrive on Friday, 6th August.

We all knew this was coming, right? But we all wanted to believe in so bad too. This time, it was almost certain that it was going to happen. I mean how many times we have to go through this with Kanye to learn our lesson?

Now, Justin Laboy has provided an update. In a post shared to social media, the internet personality announces that the rapper’s tenth studio album has been pushed back a couple of weeks, and is set to arrive on August 6. 

Donda song list

As well as the album delay, TMZ reports Kanye is now living in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kanye West debuted the album via an Apple Music livestream from the stadium on Friday. Now, he’s apparently set up a studio and living space in the stadium, where he intends to stay until he’s completed the album. TMZ and Kanye’s collaborator Malik Yousef have confirmed he’s working towards the 6th August release date. Although we would like to remind you that obviously any date should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Kanye has a lengthy history of doing this. That’s no secret.

Donda Album Art

Please don’t let DONDA beat TLOP…

The DONDA livestream unveiled feature artists like JAY-Z, Travis Scott, Pusha T, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, and Pop Smoke. Also JAY-Z’s presence on the album, begs the question of is this the return of the throne? I guess we’ll never know.


GEN Z FAVORITES PT 5: KALI UCHIS

GEN Z FAVORITES PT 5: KALI UCHIS

ALARA ALPAY

The calmness of Kali’s voice and the positive messages she gives now almost play the role of a savior in the semi-dystopic world we live in…

Born in 1994, Karly Marina Loaiza – Kali Uchis – is one of the new obsessions of Gen Z. Kali’s past has nurtured her current success and made her the person she is today. Although it is open to interpretation as problematic and challenging, the environment in which Kali lived and grew up when she was young has made a very positive contribution to her art.

Although Kali was born in Virginia, she was the daughter of a Colombian father and traveled with him a lot, so she lived in both USA and Colombia at certain periods, and was educated in both countries. Thus, she learned and embraced her culture and roots not only by listening and reading, but also during the summer holidays which she spent with her relatives and in a Colombian school.

Naturally, she was able to reflect the effects of growing up in a multi-cultural environment on her latest album ‘Sin Miedo’. According to Kali, when she wanted to release a Spanish album, people she knew in the industry were negative about it and said that Latin American music would not be as successful as the English albums available in the market. Well the jokes on them, because the album including hit songs such as ‘Telepatia’ and ‘Fue Mejor’ achieved an incredible success!

However, Kali’s teenage years were a little challenging before she achieved the success of ‘Sin Miedo’. Her parents kicked her out of the house because she gradually lost interest in lessons, constantly skipped school, and was more interested in music and photography than her courses. Living in her car during this period, Kali made good use of this process and began to express her artistic side by writing songs on her keyboard. Her first mixtape to come out, ‘Drunken Babble’, started to carry young Kali forward.

Apparently, Kali’s talent and unique style was immediately noticed, and in 2014, Snoop Dogg recorded the song ‘On Edge’ with her. She then released the album ‘Por Vida’, which included songs she recorded with such names as Diplo and Tyler the Creator. Not long after that, she appeared in Gorillaz’s fifth studio album! All these collaborations indicate that everyone in the music industry appreciates Kali’s style, respects where she’s coming from, and her talent!

Kali Uchis is an artist who has the ability to mix and combine the genres of music she loves, the emotions that make her feel good, and her past without errors. The dreamlike feelings and melodies she provides in her songs, the calmness of her voice and the positive messages she gives almost plays the role of a savior for Gen Z in the semi-dystopic world we live in right now.

Everything that Kali has been through, being kicked out of the house when she was a teenager, her deep longing and love for Colombia, the way she expresses her private life and past in such a harmonious and peaceful way, means that she is much more mature than she seems and that she learned to cope with her problems and downfalls in life at some point on her own. Kali Uchis thinks that she sets out with love and pure intent, and that this is the best method to succeed.

No matter what you have experienced in your past, it is always possible to create your own world that will make you happy, as long as you pursue your passions and what you love in good faith; just as Kali did!

GEN Z FAVORITES PT. 4: MEGAN THEE STALLION

GEN Z FAVORITES PT. 4: MEGAN THEE STALLION

ALARA ALPAY

Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, born in 1995, is not your ordinary rapper. She is one of the most important female rappers today thanks to the environment she grew up in, mentality and self-confidence she inhabited in her youth, and her contribution to Generation Z is greater than you might think.

Perhaps Megan’s first and greatest inspiration was her mother, who rapped under the name Holly-wood. Instead of dropping Megan off at daycare on her way to the studio, she used to take her to the studio too – naturally Megan got used to this setting she grew up in and started writing lyrics when she was 16. Although her mother cut her way off to the industry because the lyrics she wrote were too sexually explicit, Megan took the first step of her career by uploading freestyle videos online when she turned 18!

After managing to increase her fan base thanks to the TV programs she made appearances in and the freestyle songs she uploaded to the internet, she released her first EP ‘Tina snow ‘ in 2018. Her second mixtape ‘Fever’ was named Album of the Year 2019 by Paper Magazine! However, making bad-ass music is not the only occupation of Megan…

Aside from her music career, which has been on the rise since her first EP, Megan is a college student; just like her music career, education is a must for her. In an interview with Hollywood Life in 2019, she says both of them are her plan A, and if things go well, Megan will officially graduate in the fall semester of 2021!

Megan is truly an admirable woman because while she was swamped with coursework, she released one of the most viral songs of the last two years, Savage! Like many of the artists we covered in our previous posts, the heyday of Megan’s career came when her songs, such as Savage and Captain Hook, went viral on TikTok. Countless dance challenges, followed by the release of a remixed version of Savage with Beyonce; it took Megan to an immense position among Generation Z, such as Lil Nas and Doja Cat.

One of the things that gives Megan the most strength is her sexually explicit lyrics that her mother was uncomfortable with and did not support. Megan finds these oppositions absurd, asking ‘Why I can’t rap about my body and my urges?’ Her goal is to motivate both herself and the girls who listen to her and not to be ashamed of their bodies, but rather proud. ‘WAP’, her hit song with Cardi B, is a great example of this, and we think this song has already taken its place among the iconic songs.

Male rappers have been writing lyrics that highlight their sexuality and sexual experiences as they please for decades. When 2 Live Crew released songs like ‘Me So Horny’ in the early ’90s, they were officially greeted like heroes and received a lot of support within the rap community. Although we do not deny that this is a positive step for the liberation of music, the negative reaction against Megan due to her ‘dirty’ lyrics in 2021 shows that more steps need to be taken regarding freedom of expression in the music industry.

Generation Z wants to live in a culture where sexuality is no longer a taboo, where everyone can express themselves freely, thanks to the artists who reflect how they feel. Megan’s technical talent and self-confidence in this matter, perhaps, will make her one of the most loved and respected rappers of the 21st century!

GEN Z FAVORITES PT. 3: PRINCESS NOKIA

GEN Z FAVORITES PT. 3: PRINCESS NOKIA

ALARA ALPAY

The rap community, which has been dominated by men since its existence, has been undergoing major change over the past few years with the rise and success of female rappers like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B and Meghan thee Stallion, and there is someone to lead that change in the next few years: Princess Nokia.

Destiny Frasqueri aka Princess Nokia, who lost her mother to AIDS very at a very young age, had a difficult childhood as you can imagine. After that, she stayed with a foster family for a while, but ran away from home when she was 13 because she was abused by her foster mother and that’s when she started to write lyrics and began working on her music.

Although living with a foster family is a challenging thing for a child, she adopted the musical taste of the people she met during this challenging period and the nanny at home. All of these experinces led her music and style being so diverse. Despite the fact that the culture she was born and raised in was heavily involved in hip-hop, she also adopted music genres such as heavy metal and rock. She even states from time to time in her interviews that she grew up listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers and that rock music is as much a part of her life as rap and hip-hop. Due to growing up in a radical and liberal environment, she became a part of the underground culture of New York and started to express her own diversity in this environment. Let’s also point out that as an afro-Native and Puerto Rican woman, the most important thing for Destiny is to always be able to represent her culture and be respected.

Her concerts are where Destiny can take control as a black queer individual. She frequently mentions that she cannot tolerate men occupying concert venues, just like everywhere else in the world. Having female fans at the front row at her concerts empowers everyone cumulatively; fans who adore Princess Nokia have fun, dance, and sing along right in front of her, while Nokia is reinvigorating her art with a feminist energy, powered by thousands of female fans. They empower each other just like sisters do!

The importance of Princess Nokia for Gen Z is simple: She has inspired dozens of young people who have been suppressed and oppressed for years, who could not make their own voice heard, and could not express themselves in the patriarchal system because they were different and queer. Destiny Frasqueri is an artist that the 21st century desperately needs, both for the lyrics she writes and the powerful atmosphere she creates for diverse and oppressed communities like people of color and queer community so that they can have fun and express themselves at the concerts.

The patriarchal system’s time is up, now it’s time for strong independent ownership for women!

GEN Z FAVORITES PT. 2: LIL NAS X!

GEN Z FAVORITES PT. 2: LIL NAS X!

ALARA ALPAY

Lil Nas X, one of the favorites of Gen Z, is someone who draws his strength from the internet and interacting with his fans, just like Doja Cat!

Lil Nas X driver license

Montero Hill aka Lil Nas X’s challenging journey starting from Atlanta, Georgia to where he is today, the online presence he kept during these years and the likability of his songs are the main reasons why he has become one of Gen Z favorites.

Born in a small city outside Atlanta, Montero’s life started on a rough patch because of his mother and father’s divorce when he was very young. Although he went to college after graduating from high school, he soon dropped out because he wanted to develop his music career, and during this period he worked at places like Six Flags and Taco Bell and stayed with his sister. Being the child of a divorced parents, moving all the time, working in temporary jobs, not having a stable home and facing financial difficulties was not the ideal environment for him, but Montero has obviously gained motivation and self-confidence thanks to his online presence and his loyal followers.

His social media presence undoubtedly helped popularize his debut single ‘Old Town Road’, the song he recorded over a beat he bought online for $30, and even though it was initially confusing and ‘irrelevant’ for some people, it brought Lil Nas where he wanted to get to in 2019. The single even won an award in the country genre at the Billboard Music Awards, but the award was later canceled due to the song ‘not including all the elements of country genre’! Even so, it gained incredible popularity with the discovery and involvement of Billy Ray Cyrus. In addition, dance challenges on TikTok, hilarious ‘memes’ mostly shared by Lil Nas, and thousands of posts and stories on social media have made ‘Old Town Road’ the longest-standing leader of the Billboard Top 100 Chart!

Even though he was thought to be a ‘one-hit-wonder’ at the time and was claimed to be exaggerated by the influence of the internet, things have been getting better for Lil Nas X since 2018. He managed to open himself up to the world with the support he gained, and after he came out as gay in 2019, he also stated that he was excited and happy to be able to fully express himself without fear; and his latest single ‘Call Me By Your Name (Montero)’, released in the past months, is a solid proof of this.

As everyone who’ve seen the music video of the song knows, Lil Nas received a lot of homophobic comments and insults because of this video. Although it seems that what he feared had happened to him for a moment, it was his attitude towards these criticisms that held Lil Nas and his followers together, made him more admired and loved day by day. Lil Nas has shown that he is stronger and more confident than ever through his attitude and humor, and does not hesitate to respond to these comments on Twitter.

Long story short, Lil Nas X, just like Doja Cat, draws his strength from the internet and interacting with his fans, and Gen Z knows exactly how important that is!

GEN Z FAVORITES PT 1: DOJA CAT!

GEN Z FAVORITES: DOJA CAT!

ALARA ALPAY

Following the release of her sophomore record Hot Pink, Doja Cat has finally achieved her long-overdue acclaim and popularity. This was due to one of the songs on the album, Say So, going viral on TikTok.

Born in 1995 in LA Doja Cat, Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamin to be accurate yes, we are shook as well – is one of the most interesting and well-known names of our day, especially among gen Z. But what is all the hype really about? What made her so famous among the younger generation?

First of all, let’s look into her background, Doja Cat grew up with dance and music and when the teenage years began, she started to get closer and closer with her artistic side. Doja, who started her career by sharing her home-recorded songs on Soundcloud, released her first album called “Purrr!” when she was only 17! Although this mini album released in 2014 did not quite meet the expectations of fame, she then started to advance rapidly in her music career after the release of her second album ‘Amala’ in 2018.

Probably, the most important track of “Amala” that introduced Doja Cat to fame is “Mooo!” In other words, contrary to what most people think, she started to become popular before the ‘Hot Pink’ album, which is now one of the hottest albums right now. Doja gained incredible momentum on the internet thanks to both Mooo’s (as befits the name) lyrics talking about being a literal cow and her homemade music video. Both the song and the music video were highly acclaimed by names such as Chris Brown and Katy Perry for having a sense of humor and style that has never been seen in any artist before. Saying that her music style was shaped with inspiration from artists such as Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Black Eyed Peas, what made Doja different was precisely the sense of humor in “Mooo!”.

After her 2019 album ‘Hot Pink’ was released, Doja has become one of the most well-known rap / hip-hop artists today, primarily thanks to TikTok and the internet. Her songs ‘Say So’ and ‘Streets’ are literally still a sensation on the internet. She continues to grow her already wide fan base thanks to her collaborations with names like City Girls, SZA, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande.

It’s not just the songs and viral TikTok dances that made Doja get the reputation she has today, but the sense of humor she has which she can reflect very well. As we can tell from songs like “Mooo!”, she is not an artist who takes herself very seriously and this is exactly why she is relatable to Gen Z. Even those who do not like her music understand how sincere and candid Doja really is while watching her live videos and Twitch streams, laughing at her jokes and enjoying her humor, and that is why we can’t stop ourselves from loving her. After all, she is an artist who dominates the internet for young people who were born into the internet, and we’re in love with her!

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