The opening guitar chords and lyrics of “Wonderwall” are instantly recognizable and immediately reflect the music scene of the 90s But what isn’t evident from just hearing the song is the varied and trying history behind the band and one of its members. Liam Gallagher, head singer of the band Oasis and later Beady Eye, may have provided the vocals for the quintessential 90s Britrock song, but he has also to create fodder for the band’s downfall and his trying relationship with his brother and former bandmate, Noel Gallagher.

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If your dreams encountered zithers, glockenspiels, and synthesizers, it would sound something like Freelance Whales. The members of Freelance Whales use many different kinds of instruments in their music. Uncommon instruments like the glockenspiel and the zither make their way into the band’s songs. This is something that challenges, but also excites the musicians.

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The 2020 Grammy Awards were full of big names in the “Best New Artist” category, such as Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, but a surprise stuck out among the rest: a band called Black Pumas. They’ve performed on late-night shows, reached over 50 million views for the live session of their song “Color,” and they have gained nearly 300,000 followers on Spotify; but most people still haven’t heard of them. They didn’t grow through social media or viral dances. They have received acclaim and success because of their innate talent for lyricism and the unparalleled sound that Black Pumas’ two members bring to the table.

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Wordplay, storytelling, and melody are only a fraction of what Inglewood native Daniel Anthony Farris encompasses in his music. Better known as “D Smoke,” crowned champion of the 2019 Netflix hip-hop competition series Rhythm + Flow, it should be no shock that he has been nominated for two Grammy awards since the release of his EP “Inglewood High” and second studio album “Black Habits.” 

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November 15, 2020 was a day that hip-hop fans collectively held their breath. 

Baton Rouge rapper Lil Boosie was shot in the leg upon leaving a funeral in Dallas, paying his respects to slain rapper Mo3. The concern for Boosie was more life-threatening and potentially life-altering than in Benny’s case. As Boosie has publicly battled diabetes for quite some time. A few hours away in Houston, Benny The Butcher, 35, was also shot in an attempted robbery. Both incidents had fans concerned, but for different reasons. The concern for Benny wasn’t just about him, but more about rap culture as a whole, and how we’ve become so prone to losing young black men that have yet to reach their potential far too soon. Thankfully, both Boosie and Benny’s injuries were not life-threatening or life-altering, although Benny will be in a wheelchair temporarily. Both are expected to make a full recovery. 

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