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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 14, 2024

Paul Osmond


Paul Osmond is a fourth-year combined-degree student studying English. Paul can be reached at paul.osmond@tufts.edu.

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For the Culture: In defense of J. Cole

Last week, following the chaos generated from Kendrick Lamar’s diss on “Like That,” J. Cole unexpectedly released a new mixtape, titled “Might Delete Later.” Although the body of the mixtape initially received some positive reviews, many listeners reacted negatively to the concluding track, “7 Minute Drill,” wherein Cole pointedly disses his contemporary: “I came up in the ‘Ville, so I’m good when it’s tension/ He still doin’ shows, but fell off like the Simpsons/ Your first s--- was classic, your last s--- was tragic/ Your second s--- put n----- to sleep, but they gassed it.”

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For the Culture: Does hip-hop have an industry plant problem?

So far, I have not dedicated an entire article to one artist. However, I believe that the truthfully meteoric rise of Dallas-based singer and songwriter4batz warrants some consideration in the conversation of industry plants. Despite having just released his first song, “act i: stickerz “99”,” in June 2023, and so far, only five songs total, 4batz somehow currently maintains 17 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Moreover, 4batz received the ever-coveted “Drake Stimulus Package”— essentially, the phenomenon of when Drake remixes the song of an up-and-coming artist, which massively boosts their streams, clout and revenue. 

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For the Culture: The ‘Big 3’ battle for the crown of hip-hop

After 10 years of silence, Kendrick Lamar has finally dissed Drake and J. Cole. Following the release of his verse on “Control” (2013) by Big Sean, wherein Lamar threatened several major hip-hop artists of the time, both Drake and Cole have released subliminal and conspicuous disses directed towards the rapper.

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For the Culture: ​​Hip-hop has no more superstars

So, maybe hip-hop is dying? Currently, out of the four major streaming platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube Music, Apple Music is the only platform with hip-hop/rap as the top genre. On the remaining three platforms, coinciding with the leading global music genres, pop music is the No. 1 genre. 

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For the Culture: Hip-hop evolves through experimentation

Hip-hop is dying. Well, ‘traditional’ or ‘real’ hip-hop — at least, to many hip-hop critics, media outlets and fans — is dying. Yet, Killer Mike won the 2024 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song over artists like Travis Scott and Metro Boomin, pioneers of melodic, modern trap rap.

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For the Culture: Why do some rappers promote violence?

As Tufts’ artist-in-residence, professor of the practice and activist Dee-1 has poignantly noted, the promotion of violence in hip-hop is overwhelmingly common. According to Billboard, at the end of 2023, at least four of the five top rap artists incorporated violent lyrics in their discography. Recently ...

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For the Culture: Women in hip-hop breaking barriers

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill and Lil’ Kim deconstructed barriers that negated the artistic expression of female rappers in mainstream hip-hop music. In their records, the trifecta explicitly and implicitly subverted patriarchal binaries. Fundamentally, these rappers envisioned liberation through the expression of female sexuality, romance and emotions.

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For The Culture: Don’t bite the bait!

Hip-hop has a problem: unoriginality. Espoused by “oldheads” and hip-hop traditionalists for years, criticism of unoriginality in hip-hop is now an established sentiment within the community. Although some hip-hop artists and groups like JPEGMAFIA, Smino, EARTHGANG and Griselda maintain the experimental and innovative spirit of the genre, mainstream hip-hop is overwhelmed with strikingly stale records.

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For the culture: Why do artists adopt alter egos?

I just read an article in GQ in which Lil Uzi Vert talked about his newest alter ego, “AstroCat.” I know Uzi has adopted several egos in the past, and I thought it would be interesting to do a quick enumeration of some of my favorite celebrity alternate personalities.

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