I took out my phone to check the clock at least seven times. I triple-checked my notes and questions and waited patiently in a Music & Arts music store, where I typically work throughout the day. With a yellow Telecaster electric guitar resting on my thigh, I fiddled with some strings while I prepared for the band of the hour. 

At nearly 5 p.m., the three members of the local Atlanta neo-psych-garage rock band Room 213 entered the room. The lead singer and guitarist, Lachlan Tankersly, wore a cozy, black peacoat and leather cowboy boots. 

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When Kendrick Lamar told us, “I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA,” most of us assumed he was talking about Black people having rich African roots.  It served as an anthem for quite some time, and  a part of his Pulitzer Prize winning album - garnering high praise from the masses. 

But what if this was a deeper, double entendre? What if the hidden meaning wasn’t about our culture, but was a more personal connection with him and his family? Could that hook be referring to his relationship with his cousin Baby Keem?  

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Date: Thursday, October 20, 2022

Time: 11:50 p.m. 

We waited patiently in bed beside each other — my fiancée and I. I made sure to check my phone for the time two or three times before the release. As soon as the clock struck 12, we hopped onto Spotify to listen to the new album, only to wait a few moments longer for the artist’s page to load; we were not the only ones waiting. In fact millions of listeners waited patiently by their devices. 

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When you’re born into a system built against you, the likelihood of success diminishes as those in power profit off of the impoverished. On the streets of Atlanta is no place for young men with big dreams, however, that is where most of those born into poverty reside, finding side hustles as a way to provide for themselves and their loved ones.

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Blue beams of light droned over the pitch black stage. Silhouettes assumed their positions on the platform: I could make out a guitar, a rack full of synthesizers and keyboards, and a figure with a microphone in hand. 

I was in the middle of a screaming crowd with a Nikon Coolpix DSLR camera anxiously waiting for the band to show themselves. Lights flashed and there they were–the indie-pop trio from Los Angeles,  MUNA. With not a second delay, they began with their first set. 

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