Concert preview: Vince Staples at Twilight Concert Series

For pretty much every summer Thursday night since I can remember, the Twilight Concert Series has been taking place in Downtown Salt Lake City. It has become a staple (haha) for music lovers in SLC, especially those who enjoy quality and inexpensive concerts. The summer of 2019 boasts another great lineup full of artists of many genres, creating shows that most music fans will love. 

Historically up to this point, Twilight hasn’t been super full of hip hop artists. Sure there is at least one hip hop-centric show per year if we’re lucky, but there are many fans that have been clamoring for more. Yet again this year there is only one true hip hop show in the lineup, being Long Beach’s own Vince Staples. If you don’t know much about Vince Staples, I’ve got you for everything you need to know before the show on August 8th.


Important info

Before I introduce you to Vince Staples, here is some important information that you should know about the show and Twilight in general. The Twilight Concert Series is being held at the Gallivan Center in Downtown SLC at 239 Main Street. Parking is available in the parking garage below the center and on surrounding streets. Guests are allowed to bring an empty water bottle inside the venue, with other beverages and various food options being sold on site.   

The gates for the show open at 6pm, but the music doesn’t start until 6:30pm. Tickets for the show start at $10 if you buy them online and $15 if you buy them at the venue. There are also VIP tickets available for $50 that come with a closer viewing experience and a 21+ bar. 


Who is Vince Staples anyway?

Truthfully, it is hard to describe Vince Staples as just your everyday run-of-the-mill hip hop artist because he is so much more than that. Since breaking onto the scene in the early 2010s, Staples has turned into a force on the West Coast. He’s released three studio albums and a plethora of mixtapes and EPs thus far in his career. His studio albums, Summertime ‘06, Big Fish Theory, and FM!, have all been met with critical or near-critical acclaim from critics and fans.

While he may not have the chart topping numbers of his rap game peers, Vince Staples always tries to make interesting music with a concept behind it. He is very experimental, gaining notoriety for it back in his days of working with Odd Future. You may have even heard some of his music before but didn’t recognize it because it all sounds so different from each other.  

Being that this concert is a one-off and not part of a larger tour, you can expect Vince to perform music from his entire catalog instead of just his latest album FM!. Some of his most popular and best tracks that you’ll be more than likely to hear include “Blue Suede”, “Norf Norf”, “BagBak”, “Big Fish”, and “Feels Like Summer”

Come say hi to K-UTE!

As with every other Twilight show this summer, K-UTE Radio will be present with our own table! We will be playing tunes before the show and giving out merch, so come through and say what’s up to us. It is sure to be a great night for hip hop fans and music lovers in general! Follow us on Instagram @k_ute_radio for ticket giveaways leading up to the Vince Staples show as well as other Twilight shows. 

K-UTE Radio/University of Utah does not own any images in this piece. 

Opinion: YG is starting to fall off hard

Yeah, you read the title right. And before all of you YG fans get pissed at me and swear to never read my writing again, hear me out. As much as it pains me to say it, YG’s last two albums have not been up to par with what we’ve come to expect from him. He was once a rising young voice with two critically acclaimed and near-classic status albums but has shrunk down to making generic west coast bangers with no substance in less than a year. How did we get to this point?

2009-2016

As most everyone knows, YG broke out with his 2009 single “Toot It and Boot It” and signed with Def Jam Recordings. He released many mixtapes and then finally released his debut album My Krazy Life in early 2014. The album garnered critical acclaim from critics and fans alike for its narrative qualities, catchy lyrics, and tough beats. It is often called a modern west coast classic.

Following the success of My Krazy Life, YG began working on the follow-up album that would eventually be called Still Brazy. In the leadup to this album, he released “Twist My Fingaz”, “FDT”, and “Why You Always Hatin?”, which were all met with praise. Still Brazy was released in June 2016. The album was met with critical acclaim as well, giving YG two very well-received albums in a row. It seemed that he was on top of the world and could only go up from here.

2017-Present

2018 arrived with YG releasing his third studio album Stay Dangerous. The album was met with generally positive reviews from critics, but many fans considered it a drop down in quality from his previous two efforts. Reasons for dislike included meaningless lyrics and songs that didn’t really fill a purpose. 9 months after the release of Stay Dangerous, YG released his latest album 4Real 4Real. The album was supported by the singles “Stop Snitchin” and “Go Loko”.

But how is he falling off?

I honestly can’t believe that the guy who made “Meet The Flockers”, “Sorry Momma”, “Who Shot Me?”, and “FDT” is the same guy who made “Handgun” and “Stop Snitchin”. It’s such a crazy drop off in quality to me.    

If you have yet to listen to My Krazy Life and Still Brazy, please do so ASAP. They are certified classic west coast albums and some of YG’s best work yet. Once you listen to those albums, check out a few tracks from Stay Dangerous and 4Real 4Real. You will see the stark contrast between the first two and two most recent albums in his discography.

My Krazy Life and Still Brazy gave us a version of YG that was on a mission to prove that he belongs. His next two albums give off cocky vibes seem to show that YG thinks that he’s made it and there is nothing left to prove. I’m not even trying to say that Stay Dangerous and 4Real 4Real are super bad albums, because they aren’t. They just made me think that YG has become super lazy with what he deems worthy to put out.

What’s your point?

It was so cool to me listening to My Krazy Life for the first time and feeling like I was actually in the hood with YG doing the things that he did. I also loved the politically-charged nature of Still Brazy and the amount of passion that he put into that album. The problem now is that YG seems to think that he can just pump out album after album until he gets bored and decides to retire. He doesn’t seem to understand that most fans would rather wait a couple years between releases if it means something truly special is on the way.

Honestly, I can proudly say that I own both My Krazy Life and Still Brazy in physical format as well as some of his merchandise from a show I went to in the past. But I sincerely think that YG needs to reevaluate where he wants to head in the future and what kind of legacy he wants to leave behind, because his latest music isn’t doing it for me and a lot of other fans.  

K-UTE Radio/University of Utah does not own any of the images in this piece.

“CrasH Talk” review: ScHoolboy Q hits listeners with interesting new album

The day is finally here. We’ve been blessed with a new ScHoolboy Q project for the first time in almost three years. I couldn’t be more excited to dive into this album as Q has been able to maintain a spot in my personal top 10 hip hop artist list since he first dropped Oxymoron in 2014. 2016’s Blank Face LP may be a tough project to follow up, but myself and many others believe that ScHoolboy Q can without a doubt do it.    

If you are wondering why it took so long for CrasH Talk to come out, there are a variety of reasons that may have contributed to the long time period between releases. As I wrote in my ScHoolboy Q album wishlist piece, label politics and personal issues may have had an influence on this project’s release date. Regardless, this project has been quite hyped up by the hip hop community and we’re all ready to hear it.

Let’s jump right into CrasH Talk and see what Q has for us in 2019.

First impressions

  • The Good: During my listen to this album, it is quite different than any other ScHoolboy Q project. It has a mix of different styles during different parts of the album and it is pretty interesting. We’ll see how it ends up sitting with me during additional listens.  
  • The Bad: The only negative I see on the project is that some of the songs feel a bit generic and uninspired. For example: the ones that sound exactly like they are reaching for radio play (“CHopstix and “Lies” specifically). If you listen to Q for party bangers, these tracks right here are great for that. They aren’t terrible songs but they do bring the overall quality of the project down a bit in my opinion.   

Lyrics/Flow

  • The Good: A staple of most of Q’s past music was his amazing and unique storytelling ability. Luckily we see a decent amount of deep and conceptual songs on this project. These tracks really shine and show his value in the hip hop community. His flow is impeccable on most of the tracks and we even hear a few new flows here and there.  
  • The Bad: As I mentioned before, a few tracks are quite generic and have the same old subject matter as a lot of the popular rap songs out right now. The flows are good on these songs but the actual lyrics don’t stand out from other songs out there right now. I respect that Q went with a bit of a different direction but I’d much rather hear more personal tracks from him in the future again.  
  • Score: 7.7/10

Beats

  • The Good: The best thing about this project is that we see ScHoolboy Q stick to the kinds of beats that he is good over while also trying out some new styles. While we didn’t get to hear him over soulful beats like I wrote in my album wishlist piece, I can still say that the beats are very good on this album and they met my expectations.
  • The Bad: Man, I really don’t understand why every rapper (even the non-trap artists) feels the need to make trap bangers on their album. If they have a great niche sound that works for them and makes them sound great, maybe they should stick with that the majority of the time. Q used a few too many trap beats on this album for my taste and I think it makes the quality suffer a bit.  
  • Score: 7/10

Replayability

  • The Good: Another great thing that I’ve found about this new album is that it is quite a pleasant and fairly short listen. It clocks in at 39 minutes over a perfect number of 14 tracks. I like that it was kept more concise instead of including bonus tracks that ruin the pacing.  
  • The Bad: To be honest, if you aren’t a fan of ScHoolboy Q making trap bangers you might not like this album or want to listen to it more than once. I understand that label pressure may have pushed Q to include these types of songs on the project, so I can’t fault him too much for it. I still enjoy the project but I understand that others may not in the end.  
  • Score: 7.4/10

Standouts

Final thoughts

It is absolutely crazy that we had to wait almost three years for this album to come out. It feels like just yesterday that Blank Face LP came out. A lot has changed in Q’s life and we can see that reflected in his music.

I’m not disappointed with this album. In fact, I actually quite enjoyed it. It is by no means perfect and it has a few tracks that I feel didn’t really need to be included, but mostly it is really good. Q tried something new in terms of what beats he rapped over and the artists that he enlisted for features. He says that he is happy with this album and that this is a new phase in his career and I must say that I am too. It is always good to see an artist step out of their comfort zone while also continuing to do what they are good at.

Honestly, I would consider this project a bit of a regression from the near-masterpiece that was Blank Face LP but it was pretty good nonetheless. If you like Q you should mostly like this album and if you’re just getting into him I’d suggest you check out Oxymoron and Blank Face LP before this project. Overall, I think that this album is solid and is one of the best of this slow 2019 thus far. It won’t blow your socks off, but if you like ScHoolboy Q you should like this project and I would recommend checking it out.  

Final Score: 7.4/10

K-UTE Radio/University of Utah does not own any images in this piece.