Chester, Pennsylvania is a small city, with a population of a little over 30,000 people. It has a pretty rich history of basketball, starting with hall of fame University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach, Bo Ryan. Several current and former NBA players also call the location home, including Jameer Nelson, Tyreke Evans, and Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat to name a few. There’s also been some dope hip-hop contributors who hail from the area, like Roc Nation’s Jahlil Beats and one of Big Sean’s favorite keyboardist/producer, Amaire Johnson.

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“Argent Energy” is the title of one of the tracks of id Software’s 2016 video game “Doom.” The name references the plot of the game, where the antagonists open the gates of Hell in hopes of harnessing its energy to solve a crisis on Earth. The result, as one might expect, is an outbreak of demons intent on causing chaos and violence. The energy of Hell had been released, but in a way far too powerful to control. The soundtrack for “Doom” is widely celebrated as perfectly encapsulating this feeling, exactly as its composer Mick Gordon had intended.

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“Everything I was is now haunting / My soul is desperately wanting / Clean my feet and breathe / on me, honey / Where are you?”

-Abi Ocia

These lines from the first verse of Abi Ocia’s “Where Are You?” perfectly capture the tone of her music: ethereal, soulful, and introspective. Ocia is an up and coming alternative R&B singer from West London. She made waves in 2016 with her single “Running,” produced by British producer Draper.

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Spirituality, sexuality and Americana don’t usually go hand in hand. The terms can at first seem contradictory, but American musician Sufjan Stevens combines them as his influences, along with folk and indie rock, to create a wholly unique sound that not even he can replicate from album to album. The Musician is perhaps best known for his soundtrack for the 2017 film, “Call Me By Your Name,” where his song “Mystery of Love” was later performed at the Oscars, but Stevens has been around for decades, making critically acclaimed music that speaks on deeply personal topics, despite Stevens being a private person outside of his music. As Stevens stated in a 2015 interview with the London-based magazine Uncut, “You have to cast out your demons and rebel against your traditions, but you always have to crawl back to the motherland.” Stevens’ music pushes and pulls from his surroundings, but he is always tied to his own histories and traditions. 

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