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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There is a very subtle but important distinction between sound and noise. In many situations, the two words are identical. When it comes to music, however, the connotation associated with noise is far more negative. Even the dictionary definition of noise is “a sound that lacks agreeable musical quality, or is noticeably unpleasant." Why is it, then, that there are entire music genres dedicated to noise? Harsh noise, noise pop, and noise rock might all sound unappealing or even ironic, but the truth is that there are few genres that can match their intensity and innovation. Innovation is key here, and it’s why noise rockers HEALTH have remained a powerhouse for 15 years.

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England has been under the leadership of Queen Elizabeth II for nearly 70 years. The Queen is widely renowned for being the longest-reigning monarch in the world, having taken the throne in 1952 at 26-years-old. She inherited the seat after the passing of her father, leaving the title of king of England vacant. While the royal family is due to have a king in place after Elizabeth II, there are three lads in London who are staking claim to the king in their own right. And they dare you to dispute it with their name and approach. 

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Ask anybody how they listen to music, and the majority of their answers will probably be Spotify, Apple Music, or some other online streaming service. Thirty years ago, if you wanted to listen to a specific song on demand, you would have to go to a record store and buy a copy of the album or wait for it to be played on the radio. Since then, the way we consume music has constantly evolved. In the early 2000s, digital music downloads were invented, and streaming services like YouTube, Pandora, and Soundcloud followed soon after. Some record stores survived, as a lot of people still wanted to buy physical copies of albums. Mixtapes, however, found themselves in a perilous situation. They didn’t find their home online immediately like mainstream album releases did, but the advent of streaming services meant that many did not want to buy mixtapes from the corner, or wait for them in the mail. Mixtapes eventually found their home on digital platforms, but for a while, their future was unclear. DJs who made a living making and selling these tapes had to find a way to adapt, or risk being lost to obscurity.

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