Friday, December 27, 2013

Reinterpreting the Hip Hop Classics | Skyzoo & Fashawn Take On Jay-Z and Nas


Not many hip hop fans will deny that Nas's Illmatic and Jay's Reasonable Doubt are two of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. This makes the task of reappropriating these albums a difficult task. 


But when two of the most promising young hip hop artists (Fashawn & Skyzoo) took on this challenge they did more than just pay homage to the greats, they actually succeeded at bringing two fresh and creative albums to life that are both rooted in their originals yet born anew as two completely different albums. 


What we find even more interesting is the fact that hip hop, now 3-4 generations deep, is now beginning to recreate the classics in the same way that rock, jazz, blues, and country have been doing for years. 

Enjoy!

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Ode to Old School Journalism,
WhatUpWally?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Shameless Guilty Pleasures | Justin Bieber X Chance the Rapper - Confident


Each member of the WUW? crew has his or her own pop music guilty pleasure. John's is Miley, Betty's is Limp Bizkit, Frank's is Diddy, Emily's is Puddle of Mud (which we all make fun of her for), and mine is the Biebs! How can you not like the most swagtastic like white kid since Timberlake? 

Regardless of how much we try to hide these dirty little secrets, sometimes you just have to let it out. So when I heard this track with one of the WUW? team's favorite new rapper out of Chicago - Chance the Rapper - I had to go ahead and reveal my teenage style adoration of the Biebs... just listen to the track and you will get it!

Merry happy holidays!


Friday, December 20, 2013

What if The Weeknd and Phil Collins Made Music Babies? | KES - Audio Justice EP (Album Stream & Download)


We don't know much about this dude but we came across his debut EP @ Okayplayer today. 

KES is able to strangely fuse the 80s synth pop sound with the dark downtempo R&B style of The Weeknd - the kind of music that the guys in American Psycho would dance to at a coked out club and that the fans of classic soul can get down to.

You can hear as much Prince as you can Genesis. Weird, we know, but we love this shit! As a matter of fact we can stop spinning it in the office... we are on 10 consecutive listens.

Stream below and jump on this download link while you still can.

www.kesingtonkross.com
Twitter
Facebook

Celebrating Musical Babies,
WhatUpWally?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Teaching at Texas A&M | Leadership, Learning, and Expecting Great Things from Your Students

Teaching is an interesting profession and teaching at a major university is even more peculiar. I always commend my friends that teach high school and junior high for their dedication to a sometimes thankless profession. They wake up early every day, give relentlessly, grade papers late into the night, and on top of all that, they are active in the life of their school. There is no way I could give what they give and survive. 

The university is a different animal. We are not necessarily responsible for the formation of our students lives. Our students are, in many, ways expected to teach themselves and are responsible for their success or failure. In the social sciences, we as teachers, have a unique opportunity to lead students to a life of deeper reflection and critical thinking. Sociology, specifically. challenges the worldview of students and challenges those structures and beliefs that reside in the realm of common sense. 

However, many college courses have reduced this opportunity to the same regurgitative learning that is expected from standardized testing in high school. Many professors complain that their students are not smart enough, don't try hard enough, can't write, and don't care. This is not true and it is our responsibility to create an environment in which learning is experiential. College students are more than capable and more than willing to push themselves to a deeper and more critical level. But, when college professors do not believe in their students abilities and/or do not push their students to that next level of thinking, they will not experience this transformative type of learning that can change a students perspective. 

This semester I have been teaching Social Global Trends. This 200 level class is occupied by mainly freshman and sophomores from a variety of majors. From preparing the syllabus to delivering the lectures and grading papers, I have been challenged to develop the appropriate balance between challenging my students and lecturing completely over their heads. I debated whether or not to use a stale text book or have my students read the complex theories that address the various dynamics that we face in this era of globalization. I was not sure if they would possess the critical ability to write insightful papers and considered resorting to multiple choice tests. I was nervous about this semester and I think that some things worked very well and other things failed miserably. My students were not engaged in every discussion but when they were the conversations were dynamic. Not every journal lived up to the standard I had set for the class but many exceeded my expectations. 

So what have I learned from this semester? 


1. Leadership:
Water Rises to the Level of it's Source


I read this line in a leadership book a few years ago. In any organization and in any leadership position, those whom you lead will not exceed your level of preparation and dedication. For example, if you want your employees to show up 15 minutes before they are scheduled, you should arrive 30-60 minutes before you are scheduled. Likewise, if you are attempting to motivate your employees to dedicate themselves to learning more about your customers, you will only be able to lead them to the extent to which you know your customers. 

How this applies in the classroom:

1.1. Engaged Lecturer = Engaged Student


I operate a discussion based class. Each day, we have a short reading about different dimensions of globalization and we discuss them in class. If this is done well, the classroom become less of a lecture and more of a conversation amongst engaged individuals. When this is done poorly, the classroom is a stale environment of lifeless conversation and boring lectures.

This semester my mind has often been distracted by my studying for my preliminary exams. Thus, those weeks that I put everything into my lectures, the class discussion was amazing (you know - those classes when you feel on top of the world when 50 minutes are up). The students were engaged and I rarely had to resort to my powerpoint slides to make the key points I had prepared. Student's would engage each other and all I was left to do was play the role of referee. 

However, those weeks that I was distracted by the 75 books I am reading for prelims, the classroom was dull and lifeless. The questions I asked to stimulate conversation were confusing and did not lead to the key points of the text. My responses to students statements lead to dead ends and the students did not engage each other in dialogue. In this type of classroom, I have been forced to lecture as students fell asleep, texted under the table, or scribbled on their notebooks. Fail!

1.2. Depth of Lecturer Knowledge = Depth of Student Learning


If we want students to engage in deep reflective reading, discussion, and learning, then we must put in a greater level of reading, discussion, and learning. Again, students are not going to learn more than their professor, in the same way an employee will not develop a deeper dedication to an organization than the employer. Water can only rise to the level of its source. 

This is where studying for prelims has made me more successful this semester. I was lucky to be assigned a course that directly related to my research area. I study democracy, citizenship, political economy, and globalization. From forming the structure of the class to choosing the readings and delivering the material, I have been able to draw upon a rich source of material that provided a deeper analysis of globalization. I used this material to structure the class and, when spending 40 hours a week engrossed in globalization literature, I was able to deliver material to the class that expanded their understanding of globalization and complicated their simple, common sense understanding of globalization. My extensive reading on the subject gave me to tools to answer different questions and allow the class discussion to flow in ways I did not originally intend.

2. Expect Great Things From Your Students:
4 Ingredients to Excellence in Thinking


This is similar to the leadership of water rising to the level of its source. Students, usually, will not perform higher than what you expect and challenge them to do. I think there are 4 key ingredients to elevate the level of your student's thinking - expectations, motivation, empathy, and feedback.

2.1. Expectations


As teachers, everything about our instruction begins with our expectations of our students. This begins with syllabus construction and reading assignments. As I was preparing to teach this class this summer, my first dilemma was whether to use a textbook or to use primary research sources. At first, I planned on using a textbook because my expectation of students in a 200 level course was that they (1) wouldn't read and (2) wouldn't be able to understand the reading. 

Although this is important to consider, what I have found is that even freshman and sophomores are willing and capable of tackling tough readings, discussing them, and critically reflecting on them in their journals. I am pleased with my decision to use a reader and proceed with a discussion based class. Although some readings may have been beyond their existing knowledge base, they tackled the readings and after a class discussion they were ready to move to a deeper level of thinking. 

My second decision hinged on my decision of whether or not to use a textbook or a reader - I had to decide whether or not to have students write a reflective journal every week or write traditional argument papers. Again, I had to decide whether or not the students would be willing and able to complete such a difficult project.

2.2. Motivation - The Reflective Journal


Teaching students to engage their world critically requires the expectation that they can and then motivating them to step outside their worldview and consider the world from other subject positions. This is difficult for all of us to do and takes much practice and introspection. So the second decision - to journal or not to journal - required me to present the journal and the material in a way that motivated them to reflect on their worldview and assess the dynamics of globalization in a new way. 

The reflective journals are a great motivational tool. I first present the journal as a more authentic learning tool. I present the case that college classes should not reinforce the rote learning of high school. That as a teacher, I should not teach in a way that forces them to regurgitate what I want to hear, rather it should allow them to work though the complexities of the world in a way that makes sense to them.  

What I require is two pages a week in which the compare and summarize the reading and then reflect on them. I give them the freedom to discuss what is most immediate to them - what they can understand. Then I ask them to apply it to some part of their experience or worldview (what do they think about the article? Agree or disagree? In what way does it challenge what they have understood?) This is in many ways more difficult than a tradition paper because they must read everything and assess it. Also, their are no absolute guidelines - this is terrifying because we have all grown to learn within strict parameters and instructions. 

The journals are cumulative (I collect them twice a semester) and afford students the liberty to work through their thoughts as each reading influences their understanding of globalization. 

How effective were the journals this semester?

I was pleasantly surprised at the depth and diversity of insights my students expressed this semester. Even when I failed to provide for a good classroom discussion in a week the journal allowed them to flesh out their ideas. It is amazing to read how the student's understanding of the complexity of globalization developed over the semester and the diversity of ways in which students communicated their ideas. 

This is not to say every journal or every part of each journal met my expectations. A few students did not bother to move past their worldview, did not complete readings, and/or did not put much thought into the journal. These students were the exception and my disappointment was greatly overshadowed by the students that took the project seriously and developed a more critical understanding of the world. Which leads to the third and fourth key ingredients - empathy and feedback.

2.3. Empathy


A natural tendency of many of my colleagues is to focus on the overly conservative, fundamental christian, wealthy, and white composition of the students they teach. I find this to be counterproductive. No individual has the power to change the position they were born into - so blaming them for their privilege and sometimes narrow minded and oppressive worldview does not provided fertile ground for developing critical thinking. 

On the other hand, starting from a spot of empathy provides a greater opportunity for instruction. This is crucial to not only grading but also for using the reflective journal as a tool to develop a deeper way of thinking through the nuances of the human experience. 

It is easy to write of a student as narrow minded and disregard their perspective and thoughts. But, through empathy, we first attempt to understand where a student comes from - their experiences, teachings, family, socioeconomic status, religion, travels, etc. This sets us up to understand instead of condemn and thus provides the opportunity to utilize their worldview to open up other perspectives and experiences. Empathetic teaching allows us to no longer see the subject position as an obstacle and then enables us to use their worldview as a teaching tool. 

So, when a student fails to assess a topic critically and has a hard time stepping outside of their subject position we must engage them in dialogue and present feedback. 

2.4. Feedback


Here is where the journal provides an opportunity for the instructor to raise the level of the water's source. Reading these journals is time consuming and intricate. The journal is only an effective teaching tool if the instructor take time and care to understand how the student is working through the material and provide feedback. The journal provides a rare opportunity for the teacher to actually get inside the head of the student and observe how they are processing the information from the class. Thus, regardless of whether or not the student is "getting it", you as the instructor have the ability to ask further questions, present different arguments, recommend further reading, correct mistaken understandings, encourage students when they are on the right track, fill in crucial details that may have been missed, and express your thoughts on their thoughts. 

This is hard work and if the time isn't taken to give feedback then you can't expect students to put in the same effort on the next journal. If they feel like you didn't read carefully, attempt to understand where they were going, or that you simply judged them as ignorant, they will not be willing to put in the same effort to think critically and engage the material in a creative way. The goal of the journal is to provide an opportunity for the student to engage learning in a creative and open way. 

If we want our students to develop critical thinking skills than we have to expect that they are willing an able, motivate them to be great, empathize with their subject position, and then provide instructive feedback. 

Feedback is an opportunity to raise the level of the source thus raising the level that the water can rise to. In fact, without feedback, the whole goal of of developing critical thinking and changing their view of the world from simple to complex is negated. You can't ask a student to read and think critically if you don't engage their writings critically with empathy and high expectations.

3. Flexibility


I know this post is getting long, so if you are still reading I will keep this short. 

In the middle of the semester I could tell that the reading I had selected had become redundant. Even I was getting bored! I decided to substitute the scheduled readings for three reading on war and the post 9/11 world. These three weeks led to the most lively debates journal entries (about torture, drones, citizenship, democracy, public policy, and many other topics). I couldn't imagine this semester without those three weeks and I think these readings and discussions had a profound impact on the way my students understand globalization and way. 

Further, after returning to the scheduled reading for a week, I came across a speech by President Obama that addressed almost everything we had discussed throughout the semester. This seem to tie the whole semester together and provided a great teaching tool about how to use the readings to critically dissect what we read and watch in the media and presidential rhetoric.

This willingness to be flexible with the reading schedule changed the whole nature of the course. 

Conclusion


This has by far been the most challenging course I have taught. I have learned a lot about myself and what works and doesn't work in the classroom. Every course is composed of a different composition of student, so of course, my suggestions won't work for every class. 

What is most important is our disposition towards our students. Our preparation, knowledge, and dedication set the level of the source in which the water (our students) can rise to. Our expectations set the standard for how we will motivate our students and to what level they may rise. Our empathetic disposition enables us to provide critical feedback that rejects judgement and mindless regurgitation. 

We as social scientists have a responsibility to translate the academic language into a language discernible to the public. We have a unique opportunity to provide experiential learning that relies not on bland facts and theories but transforms the way people experience the world. 

These are just few suggestions and I hope they contribute to our ability to produce better students and better citizens.

Blogging about teaching in an era of globalization,
WhatUpWally?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Music for Mandela | Reflections on Mourning, Equality, and the Prospect of a Better World | Jasiri X - Mandella (Listen to What the Drums Say)


We don't have a whole lot to say that hasn't already been said about, possibly, the most important political figure of our times. The spirit of peace, love, courage, faith, and hope, that Nelson Mandela leaves behind as we mourn his passing, should gives us all a reason to pause and reflect on the possibilities of a world that seeks equality, justice, peace, and love. Freedom, a word that is all too often relegated to a position within the market economy, has become almost empty when we think about our nation's diposition towards the poor, immigrants, minorities, and other people continually disenfranchised by the empty political rhetoric of freedom to operate as economic man. 

We are not economic units. We are fully feeling, believing, hoping, loving, hurting, struggling, communal people, whom long for a better world for ourselves, our children, and those around us that we love dearly. What we are missing, in our world that theorizes us as autonomous units of production and material satisfaction, is the love of those who are not close to us, who we do not identify with, who we don't understand. 

Much of the mourning about Mandela's passing and the celebration of his life is negated globally and in the United States by the disdain shown towards the poor, the unrecognized structure of racial oppression, and the ignorance of economic oppression perpetuated by the United States and the wealthy western world. 

We can not celebrate Mandela's life if we chose to be ignorant of growing inequality world wide, the continuation of racism in the United States, disgust toward providing health care and resources to the nation's and the world's most needy. 

We can not mourn the passing of one of the greatest voice of freedom while supporting endless wars of aggression, justifying torture, facelessly bombing innocent civilians, hatred of Islam, and economic injustice. 

It feels good to say that we love a man that stood for love, freedom, and equality, but this expression is empty as long as we as Americans continue to prosper off the back of dispossessed populations and people. As long as diamond engagement rings are more important that African peace and prosperity, we can not claim to hold the words and actions of Nelson Mandela sacred. As long as we continue to militarily, politically, and economically exploit and destroy the Arab world, we are not worthy to celebrate the life of a man that risked his life so that the world would recognize injustice.



We leave you with a hip hop memorial for Mandela by one of the most important, yet unheard, voices in hip hop and music. Jasiri X continues to supply politically powerful hip hop music. Check out the new single by X and make sure to listen to the powerful words.

Verse 1:
Would you go to prison to gain freedom, or get nailed to a cross to change heathens? Heal the world of this pain you're recievin?Spend a lifetime locked in chains to redeem them? When the children are starvin, would you risk it all to till the garden?

When you're enemies are stealin and robbin, will you build a brotherhood, are you willin to arm them? 

What if justice was illegal, and equality was evil? Poverty would see through the rulin body deceitful.

When the righteous need you, would you fight for your people for the slight of the feeble? 

Through the eye of the needle, was the image of a man. He reached from the clouds, he was givin me his hands. Said he was still alive, but I didn't understand. When you die for your nation then your livin in the land.


Chorus:
When I looked over the horizon, I saw Mandela in a sun that was risin.
He said listen to what the drums say, we are all gonna be free one day.
When I looked over the horizon, I saw Mandela with wings he was flyin.
He said listen to what the drums say, we are all gonna be free one day.

Download here:


Verse 2:
Patience is necessary for greatness. The question is how strong your faith is. Will it matter how long the wait is, if sacred is what source of your strength is? 

The definition of will power, cause real power don't have to steal power. Behind bars can you still build power? And will you stay pure when you finally feel power? 

Mandela, 27 years in hell's cellar, but you can't gel the lyric, you cant kill the spirit. When the children hear it their hearts rise, this is bigger than apartheid, it's our lives. 

It only takes one match to start fires, to light up the dark skies, the flames keep burnin even after the spark dies. Tell me what impact will your life have, when your lasts nights pass will your light last? 

Chorus
When I looked over the horizon, I saw Mandela in a sun that was risin. 
He said listen to what the drums say, we are all gonna be free one day.
When I looked over the horizon, I saw Mandela with wings he was flyin.
He said listen to what the drums say, we are all gonna be free one day.

If this song is not one of the greatest works of poetry, we don't know what is. Let's take time to reflect!

Blogging for freedom,
WhatUpWally?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Orleans Horns & Hip Hop | The Soul Rebels - Power = Power Mixtape (Free Download)


We always love a good instrumental reinterpretation of hip hop music but The Soul Rebels take it to another level with their Power = Power Mixtape. The Soul Rebels take their New Orleans jazz and big band sound and recreate some hip hop classics in a new and invigorating way. 

Stream below and then follow the download link to cop the whole album.



Spotted @ Okayplayer

The Soul Bloggers,
WhatUpWally?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Download Now | Mac Miller - Delusional Thomas (Free Download)


Most of us around the WUW? office agree that Mac Miller is generally overrated. However, Mac takes his game to a new level with his alter ego project, Delusional Thomas. Complete with dark beats and lyrics and a pitched up voice, Miller takes a page out of Madlib's book of tricks. Though Delusional Thomas is no Quasimoto, he may be a doper MC than the real Mac Miller.


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Pitched Up and Beat Down,
WhatUpWally?

Chicago Hip Hop | Add-2 & Khrysis - Between Heaven and Hell Mixtape


Not sure how we missed this November release by one of the WUW? crew's favorite windy city MC's. So we fired our Chicago intern and happily bring to you the new mixtape from Add-2 and the North Carolina producer Khrysis. 

As always, Add-2 hits you with conscious rhyme schemes for social justice and head nodding.


"They closed 52 schools down for real, fuck college start savin for bail" - The Death of Chicago



Blog-2,
WhatUpWally?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cincinnati Hip Hop | CJ the Cynic & Kyle David - The FieldWork (Album Stream)


Here is the newest release from Cincinnati MC/ Producer CJ the Cynic. Stream below and if you like what you hear head on over to iTunes to cop the album.

Cincinnati Blogging,
WhatUpWally?

Dallas Hip Hop | A.Dd+ - DiveHiFlyLo: Every Man is King (Free Album Download)


Texas hip hop has come along way since the national disaster of Paul Wall, Mike Jones, and Chamillionaire (we would be lying if we said we didn't still love all three) and Dallas is at the center of this trend in hip hop innovation. 

A.Dd+ is arguably the best of the Texas best's but this is not meant to undermine the talent of the Sore Losers and Dustin Cavazos. It is more a statement of how high the creative bar is in Dallas hip hop. 

Stream the album below and then head over to Soundcloud for the free download



WriteHiBlogLo,
WhatUpWally?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Great Books From Graduate School Vol. 4 | Thinking Globally About the Future of Democratic Citizenship

Lately, at the WUW? office, the crew has been discussing a how globalization affects and will affect our understanding of democracy and citizenship. I have been preparing for my preliminary exams so not sure if this is a voluntary or coerced conversation. Nonetheless, our debates have been intriguing. In the process we have been reading a number of different books attempting to understand how American society and the world is being reshaped.

We wanted to offer y'all a few books that are helpful in working through these issues. Before we can start to theorize the effects of globalization on democratic citizenship, we must first develop a deeper understanding of what democracy is. In many ways the word democracy is an empty signifier - meaning has come to mean anything a speaker or writer wants it to mean, thus it has no meaning.

Philosophers and social theorists have developed a diverse array of definitions of democracy as far back as Aristotle, but few individuals understand the ways in which these definitions intersect and diverge in a multiplicity of ways. 

I posit that, the western conception of democracy can be better understood by defining it in five diverging and intersecting ways: a set of theoretical ideals; a historical transition; an institutional structure and method of governing; a relationship between rulers and the ruled; and a rhetorical tool to legitimate political and economic policy. Approaching democracy from these five perspectives may help to disentangle a term that sits on western consciousness as a natural phenomenon.

I would like to define Democracy as a historically specific, theoretical attempt to conceive of a societal structure, based on the will of an autonomous, rational, self-interest seeking individual, whom being considered equal with others within a well defined territory, gives legitimacy and authority to a political structure in which state-sovereignty is based on the sovereign will of the aggregate of those territorially bound individuals.

Thus, to understand what democracy means in contemporary society, we must understand the historical development of liberal political theory. Here are three books to help you out with that:

1. Pierre Manent - An Intellectual History of Liberalism

2. Michael Howard - War and the Liberal Conscience

 3. Ian Shapiro - The State of Democratic Theory

Ok, after we come to a historical understanding of liberal democratic theory, we need to start thinking about globalization and how it interacts with democratic institutions. Democratic theory, developed alongside the development of the modern nation-state, and democratic citizenship is theorized within the well defined boundaries of the nation-state which gives the government of the nation-state sovereignty over it's territory and its citizens. Max Weber explained that what made government within the modern nation-state unique was that it monopolized the means of violence or coercion. Thus, the nation-state is crucial to how we think about what citizenship is, how citizens and the state interact, and how the rights of citizens are theorized. 

The major debate about globalization and democracy, is whether or not globalization undermines the authority (monopoly of the means of coercion) of the nation-state.

Here are a three books to help understand globalization and the nation-state:

1. Jurgen Habermas - The Postnational Constellation

 Michael Mann - The Sources of Social Power, Vol. 4: Globalizations, 1945-2011

Saskia Sassen - Losing Control: Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization

Finally, if it is true that globalization does undermine the sovereignty of the nation-state and thus democratic citizenship, then it is necessary to think about what citizenship and citizen rights. Is it possible for the globalization to develop is a more democratic way? If so, how should we think about citizenship rights in a globalized context? Many authors have started to suggests that we should start thinking in terms of human rights instead of citizenship rights bound to the nation-state. 

Here are three books to help you think about citizenship and human rights:

1. Mary Ann Glendon - Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse

2. Bryan S. Turner - Vulnerability and Human Rights

3. Lynn Hunt - Inventing Human Rights: A History

Thesis


Here is where I am at with the debate about globalization and the nation-state and democracy... or think of this as a working hypothesis... or as first draft of the introduction to the essay I am working on:

Contemporary democratic theorists are concerned about the danger globalization poses to the sovereignty of the nation-state and thus the ability of democracy and democratic citizenship to survive the current development of globalization. 

I contend that the question of whether or not globalization threatens the nation-state, democracy, and democratic citizenship misses a more fundamental question about democratic theory – is democracy laden with assumptions that produce globalization and thus the demise of democracy. From this perspective, I argue that the assumptions which constitute the foundation of democratic theory are fallacious leading to the conclusion that democracy never was and still isn’t a possible reality. Further, recognition of the fallacy of democracy should lead theorists away from questions of globalization and democracy and into the development of more plausible theories that reflect the irrational and diverse human experience.

In an attempt to make the case that democracy is not threatened by globalization rather democracy is threatened by its own fallacious assumptions, I first, define democracy as set of theoretical ideals, a historical transition, an institutional structure and method of governing, a set of relationships, and a rhetorical tool to justify political and economic policy. 

Second, I explore the arguments concerning whether or not globalization undermines the sovereignty of the nation-state. 

Next, I ask the question, if globalization does indeed undermine the sovereignty of the nation-state, can citizenship survive the loss of the nation-states democratic institutions. Fourth, I explore various proposed solutions the democratic deficiencies. Finally, I develop the argument that the decline of the nation-state, democracy, and democratic citizenship are not consequences of globalization, rather the decline of democracy stems from its own internal inconsistencies and fallacies. 

To conclude this essay, I will offer possibilities for a new structure of governing and citizenship based on the absence of a universal human nature, a plurality of truths instead of one absolute truth, man as an irrationality actor instead of a rational actor, communal interests instead of self interest, science as a language and way of knowing among many other ways of knowing, and diversity of human experiences.

Blogging as a citizen of the globe,
WhatUpWally?


Monday, November 4, 2013

Download Now | Blitz the Ambassador - Internationally Known (The Elementz Remix)


In case you slept on Ghana's hottest MC - Blitz the Ambassador and his most recent album The Warm Up EP, he has released a remix of the dopest track on the album.

Stream and download the remix below and then make sure you check out the album by clicking here.


Internationally Blogged,
WhatUpWally?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Eminem: Just a Rap God or The GOAT?


The catalogue of hits, the number of records sold, the sold out shows, the longevity in the game.... as Jay said - "numbers don't lie, check the scoreboard." It looks like Eminem is ready to eat up some or all of these little rappers in the game with their claims of being the next next next version of Big or Pac. When the best rapper of the year is actually a singer and the second best rapper gained legitimacy by diving into pools of well vodka and released the weakest diss track (i mean verse) in rap history, the environment is ripe for Em to come back with a 6 minute song solely designed to remind the world that his bars actually do go for days.

There aren't many hip hop fans that will deny that Em is actually a rap god, but the question is, is he THE rap god? Are you willing to place him above Nas, Biggie, Pac on your GOAT list? 



The Greatest Blogger of All Time,
WhatUpWally?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mayer Hawthorne x Lorde - Royals Cover (Video and Free Download)


This Mayer Hawthorne cover of Lorde's "Royals" is incredibly dope. Yes, it is kind of lame to love this song, but we are not afraid to be lame from time to time. Regardless, even if you are annoyed with the everywhereness of Royals, you will still enjoy the Hawthorne's reworking.

Watch the video and click the soundcloud link below for the download.





Bonus: Royals (The Weeknd Remix)


You can call us queen blog,
WhatUpWally?

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Last American Gangster Rapper | The Game - OKE Mixtape

Progressive Throwback Hip Hop from Detroit | Danny Brown - Old


For those of you who applaud progression but long for the golden days of hip hop, Danny Brown is for you. Moving beyond the stale attempts to reproduce the 90s sound and way beyond the programmatic sounds of what you hear on the radio, Danny Brown succeeds at making your head bob in nostalgia and forces today's MCs to step up their game.



Progressively Retro,
WhatUpWally?

Listen Now | The Kickdrums - Thinking Out Loud

Here is the latest release from WhatUpWally? favorite, and Ohio indie pop rockrocker slash multi-genre producer, Alex Fitts aka The Kickdrums. Continuing to perfect their uniques style of pop lyrics, indie sensibilities, danceable rhythms, and electronic incorporation, The Kickdrums leave you in a state of auditory bliss and energetic movement.

Stream below and then head over to iTunes to cop the album.



The KickBlog,
WhatUpWally?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicago Hip Hop | Vic Mensa (of Kids These Days) - INNANETAPE Mixtape


We've been waiting on this mixtape since the sad day we learned of the break up of Kids These Days. Of course, Vic dropped this tape a few days after we released the WUW? top ten mixtapes of 2013 but you can bet this will make the end of the year list! Alongside, Nico Segal's Donnie Trumpet EP, Mensa's solo material helps fill the innovative vacuum left by the dissipation of KTD.

Click here for the download.



Blogs Up Hoes Down,
WhatUpWally?

Friday, September 27, 2013

The WhatUpWally? Top 10 Mixtapes of 2013 (So Far)

1. The Black Opera - 80z Babiez to the 2Gz


2. Gilbere Forte - Pray

 

  3. EL-P & Killer Mike - Run the Jewels

4. World's Fair - Bastards of the Party

 

5. J-Cole - Truly Yours 2

 6. DJ Nappy Needles - A Tribe Called Kast (A Tribe Called Quest x Outkast 

 

7. Chance the Rapper - Acid Rap

 

8. Pete Rock & Camp Lo - 80 Blocks from Tiffany's Pt. 2



9. Nino Augustine - From the Bottom of My Soul


10. Torae - Admission of Guilt


Honorable Mentions:

Dustin Cavazos - Until the Summer Ends



Emilio Rojas - No Shame... No Regrets



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Rapsody - She Got Game



Mac Miller - Delusional Thomas


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KES - Audio Justice
Stream below and jump on this download link while you still can.
Skyzoo & Antman Wonder - An Ode to Reasonable Doubt


 ADD-2 & Khrysis - Between Heaven and Hell Mixtape





A.Dd+ - DiveHiFlyLo: Every Man is King



MELO-X - GOD: Pièce de Résistance (Full Album Stream)



Leon the Professional - (B)east Reborn

Danny Brown - Old (Album Stream)

For those of you who applaud progression but long for the golden days of hip hop, Danny Brown is for you. Moving beyond the stale attempts to reproduce the 90s sound and way beyond the programmatic sounds of what you hear on the radio, Danny Brown succeeds at making your head bob in nostalgia and forces today's MCs to step up their game.



Vic Mensa - INNANETAPE


We've been waiting on this mixtape since the sad day we learned of the break up of Kids These Days. Of course, Vic dropped this tape a few days after we released the WUW? top ten mixtapes of 2013 but you can bet this will make the end of the year list! Alongside, Nico Segal's Donnie Trumpet EP, Mensa's solo material helps fill the innovative vacuum left by the dissipation of KTD.

Click here for the download.



The Procussions - The Procussions EP


The Chicago hip hop lineage is as strong as any other city. Following the the progression from Common, No I.D., Kanye, Lupe Fiasco, Consequence, GLC, and Rhymefest to The Cool Kids and Kidz in The Hall - this emerging group of MC's, producers, and musicians inherits the banner of "leaders of the new school." 

Jessica, the WUW? Chicago correspondent, has turned us onto three newcomers who, along with Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa and Nico Segal (of Kids These Days), continue to carry the torch of Chicago Independent Hip Hop.





We are a little behind but WUW?'s Chicago correspondent, Brit Brit Brittany, introduced the office to Nico Segal's (the trumpet player of now disbanded Chicago Hip Hop Band Kids These Days) first sole release - Donnie Trumpet EP. 

Continuing where Kids These Days left off, most readers of WUW? will appreciate Segal's placing the trumpet at the center of this hip hop concept. The EP features KTD's frontman Vic Mensa so it feels like a natural extension of the original band but Segal gets the opportunity to show his skills behind the boards, making beats, rapping, as well as on the golden horn.


Wonder Brown - J.A.W.S. (Just Another Wonderful Struggle)

Carefully crafting lyrics originating from biography and struggle, Wonder Brown (a published poet) represents the antithesis to corporately crafted hooks and dance moves. His music has meaning and if willing, the listener is invited to join the journey of life. As a member of the underground collective, Scribbling Idiots, Wonder Brown has labored hard to perfect his song writing, production, and stage performance. The 10+ years of grinding pay off on Wonder Brown's latest solo project - J.A.W.S. Opting for live instrumental production instead of stale computer programming, Wonder Brown's folk lyrics come to life as he narrates tales from the light and dark side. J.A.W.S., like most superior folk art, requires multiple listening sessions before you are fully able to comprehend what WB is up to on this record. But, once you grow to appreciate Wonder Brown's labor of creativity, this album will continually reveal its multidimensionality.

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