Tag Archives: Brandon Nunez

Brandon Orion Nunez

Brandon Orion Nunez is a high school senior in John Glenn High School. He partakes in enjoying variety of music, movies/tv, food, games, and reading/writing stories. His top 5 favorite artists/bands currently are Kid Cudi, The Doors, Nick Rattigan, Kendrick Lamar, and Beach House. Orion has a lovable dog and an eccentric cat. The news sites he are the most are the LA Times, Vice News, and TLDR News.

Music Review: DONDA by Kanye

By Orion

Kanye’s 10th studio album, Donda, dedicated to his mother, Donda West, has had one of the most anticipated and controversial lead-ups to any of his albums. With multiple delays from its original release date until it finally dropped August 29th, 2021, Donda had three listening parties to help promote the album.

The album cover was changed three times (in the order below) with Louise Bourgeois’ Les têtes bleues et les femmes rouges being the inspiration for the middle cover. The final cover  used for the album debut is purely black, possibly inspired by one of the producers Gesaffelstein’s similarly black album Hyperion (2018).

Kanye West's DONDA album may drop this week - The West News TeamKanyeDaily on Twitter: "ALBUM COVER Kanye West - Donda (Artwork by  Louise Bourgeois)… " Kanye West "Donda" Album Review - NMSU Round Up

At each party, a new or altered feature came in an album chock full of features. Most controversially, the third listening party featured the presence of both Da Baby (who made troubling homophobic comments) and Marilyn Manson (who is fresh off recent sexual assault allegations). A renewed beef with Drake also helped with the album’s hype.

The album features some familiar producers that West has collabed with before, such as Mike Dean, Gesaffelstein, Boi-1da, Ronny J, DJ Khalil, Warryn Campbell, and Swizz Beats, among many others.

Donda has produced some new ground for Kanye, while also using some old concepts from his past musical endeavors. The avant-garde-esqe opening track of “Donda Chant” has his late mother performed entirely by soul singer Syleena Johnson, with only the word “Donda” being spoken at different intervals. It stands as a questionable but understandable opener.

The next two tracks in “Jail” and “God Breathed” take more minimalist influences that were used extensively on his 6th studio album Yeezus (2013) with a welcome return of longtime collaborator Jay-Z on “Jail.” The song “Off the Grid” has more of a modern drill beat with first time features from Playboi Carti and Fivio Foreign on a West album, with West delivering some of his most charming lyrics. As with many of the songs on Donda, the lyrics in “Off the Grid” deal with rising social and economic inequality, as well as trying to keep God in mind and the strains of mental health. “Hurricane” was originally meant to be on one of West’s many scrapped albums, Yandhi, with all of the original features being replaced by The Weeknd’s angelic vocals and Lil Baby’s phenomenal flow.

Some of the lyrics on Donda can come off as preachy with the major emphasis on God, but the corniest lyrics are often few and far between. Religion is often used in West’s music as an emotional bridge between his anxieties and inner thoughts, most prominently on his 7th and 8th studio albums The Life of Pablo (2016), and ye (2018), and to a lesser extent on his 9th studio album Jesus is King (2019). And Donda is no exception with multiple song titles throughout the album having biblical titles, as shown on the next track with “Praise God.”

The more maximalist autotune track features one of his many musical protégés Travis Scott and relative newcomer Baby Keem, with a spoken word excerpt intro from Donda West’s speech in October of 2007 less than a month before she died. “Jonah” is one of the more personal tracks with West’s rapping about his work ethic playing over an almost ambient pop beat; it features Vory and Lil Durk who rap about their internal struggles and seemingly survivor’s guilt over their harsh upbringings. “Ok Ok” has Foreign returning with West, Lil Yachty, and Rooga to express their dismay with fake/backstabbing friends and how they often wish on your downfall, and only showing up when it benefits them. West’s tribute to the enigmatic Japanese fashion designer Junya Watanabe on his eponymous track (simplified as “Junya”) as West and Carti celebrate their wealth over a trap-inspired beat, a fun song even if lacking emotional weight comparatively.

His next track pays homage to rap legend Ms. Lauryn Hill with a sample from her song “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and with him rapping how he doesn’t let the media bring him down (which always tended to portray him in a negative light since his early career). The feature here has famous Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton talking about a complicated relationship, which may be an allegory to West’s relationship with the media as portrayed in the song. “24” has West collaborating with Sunday Service Choir as he did almost exclusively on Jesus is King, as such it is probably one of/if not the most spiritually driven songs in West’s discography with him reaffirming his faith and emotionally putting his entire self in God’s hands. It is followed by one of West’s most preachy faith based songs on the album, “Remote Control,” with God literally in Remote Control as West states. Young Thug’s feature was a highlight in an overall mediocre song.

Long time protégé and collaborator Kid Cudi features on the fittingly titled “Moon” (due to Cudi’s long association with the moon in his music) as well as beautiful vocals by Don Toliver, with the song being primarily performed by Cudi on his internal struggles and his content with moving on. “Heaven and Hell” and “Donda” have fairly similar thematic themes about God with “Heaven and Hell” being more preachy and “Donda” having another speech excerpt from West’s mother, although it is much more prominent this time and more gospel-focused musically than the sample heavy beat on “Heaven and Hell.”

“Keep My Spirit Alive” seemingly combines and makes a balance of the past two tracks with gospelish vocals from KayCyy and more social commentary-oriented rapping from West, Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, and Royce da 5’9.” The next song, “Jesus Lord,” has West emotionally tell us about his drug addictions that he used to cope with his mother’s death and his mental health, he also gives us some verses on how people’s poor upbringings often make them question their faith in God. Jay Electronica also features with similar themes in his verses, with the main theme being to keep faith in the face of societal issues, something further emphasized on the ending monologue delivered by Larry Hoover Jr. on having his father being freed from his unjust imprisonment.

“New Again” has one of the more synth-pop beats reminiscent of his 3rd and 4th studio album, Graduation (2007) and 808s & Heartbreak (2008), with the lyrics less strong and being more preachy, with West and Chris Brown rapping about evangelicalism. “Tell The Vision” is by far one of the low points in the album, with it being entirely rapped by the late Pop Smoke about “making it,” which seems disingenuous due to Smoke’s death last year.

“Lord I Need You” entails the recent divorce between Kanye and ex-wife Kim Kardasian as he comes to seemingly good terms on their relationship while also thanking her for all the wonderful things she’s brought him, such as their children. Roddy Rich and West put aside their minor beef to collaborate on a gospel organ-inspired beat about coming up from the bottom and staying true to themselves and not selling out to the fortune of fame, with an inspiring outro by Shenseea. “Come to Life” details more on West’s rocky relationship with Kardasian over wonderful synth-ish instrumentals, with the known braggadocio West even wishing for a different life but still having God help him become content with the one he has now.

“No Child Left Behind” (in reference to George W. Bush’s education act of the same name) has divine organ chords being played over West’s concern over his children’s future with a feature from Vory on his reliance on God over others. The next three part 2s for Jail, Ok Ok, and Jesus Lord are essentially the same musically with some feature changes and edits, most controversially on Jail pt. 2 with Da Baby and Marilyn Manson. Manson provides background vocals and Da Baby addresses his “cancellation” by the industry, making the appeal that he too came from nothing the same as any other rapper, with him noticeably not addressing why he cancelled in the first place. “Ok Ok pt. 2” has a shortened verse of Lil Yachty while adding an entirely new verse by Shenseea and “Jesus Lord pt.2” having additional verses from the LOX crew of rappers.

Overall the album can be considered bloated with some filler as well as some low points especially near the end with the pt. 2s, but overall the album as a whole is consistently great in lyrical quality, production, and thematic connections with God that do not come off as overbearing or overly preachy. West uses God more effectively as a bridge between himself and the listener to tell them of his internal and external struggles with himself and the unjust society in mind with the importance of keeping God in mind.

Eagle Staff Spotlight: Mr. Derrick Wroten

By Orion

Meet the Bugle Staff Spotlight member of the month, Mr. Derrick Wroten. Mr. Wroten is a long time Social Studies and Child Development/ACE Academy teacher in room 707.

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: This would be my 18th year.

Q: Did you always plan on teaching?

A: I have known since high school that I wanted to work with high school students, but originally I wanted to be counselor. I eventually became a teacher instead.

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: I went to Riverside Community College then transferred to Cal State Long Beach

Q: Are you planning on involving yourself in clubs?

A: I was planning on doing a DJ Club but only two people showed up, one of which thought it was the Gamers Club, which is now run by Mr. C.

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Q: What do you do in your free time? Hobbies?

A: I DJ for backyard stuff, birthday parties, quinces, park gatherings, etc.

Q: How long have you been a DJ?

A: About 8 years now, all the stuff is on the computer.

Q: Any favorite sports you are into? What are your favorite teams?

A: Football it’s the Steelers; soccer is the U.S., more international stuff; basketball it’s the Lakers; baseball is the Dodgers, obviously, and I like boxing.

Q: How long do you plan on teaching?

A: Probably for the next ten years or so.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier summary

By Brandon Nunez

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has just finished wrapping up its first season and its last using the moniker Falcon, with it being changed to Captain America by the season’s end. It has the two main deuteragonists to Captain America in Falcon/Sam Wilson and the Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes. Their roles are reprised by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. Other past MCU characters have reprised their roles such as Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, and Florence Kasumba as Ayo.

The plot centers around Sam and Bucky’s recovery and rocky relationship post-Endgame and on dealing with Sam giving up the mantle of Captain America given to him by Steve. John Walker (Wyatt Russell) is soon issued the mantle as Captain America by the U.S. Government, and the story also follows his descent from Captain America to a possible antagonist stripped of his title. As John is slowly becoming less and less like Captain America throughout the show, Sam becomes more accustomed to taking over the role and does so by the end of the season.

Sam also begins to find out the dark truth of the U.S. super soldier serum and shield post-WWII and the people of color affected by it. Bucky begins to figure out a way to make amends for his crimes as the Winter Soldier in a self-respectful and honest way, that isn’t just avenging. All the while he is trying to stop Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and her group called the Flag Smashers, who wish for a world without borders through means of super soldier violence as it was a post-Thanos snap.

However, Karli also deals with the aftermath of her killings as well as those affected by the actions of the governments trying to stop her and wonders if the cycle of violence is all her doing and is it worth continuing for a post-Endgame world. The show contains themes of self-worth and loathing, American identity, identity in general, ideological differences in worldview benefits, cycles of violence, and racism.

Cobra Kai Season 3 Review

By Brandon Nunez

The third season of Cobra Kai has officially wrapped up with 10 new episodes. It has the return of most of the ensemble cast reprising their roles, including but not limited to Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz, Martin Kove as John Kreese, and Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, among many others.

Season 3 takes place directly after the events of the school karate fight and John Kreese’s takeover of Cobra Kai in season two’s ending. The story also has Miguel in a coma and paraplegic from his injuries that he sustained from Robby, who is now on the run.

The story then continues with multiple different storylines such as Miguel learning to walk again, the negative reception of karate by the Valley after the school fight and its effects on the cast, and on the relationships that become repaired and broken from the aftermath of the school fight. It all culminates in a fight at a Christmas party between the students of Kreese’s Cobra Kai and a coalition of Johnny and Daniel’s students, and another fight immediately after–at first between Johnny and Kreese, then Kreese and Daniel.

The season also gives some much needed backstory on John Kreese’s youth and his time in Vietnam to show why he became the ruthless villain that he was in the movies and is in the show. It also has returning characters from the first and second Karate Kid movies such as Daniel’s former love interest Kumiko (reprised by Tamlyn Tomita), his old rival Chozen Toguchi (reprised by Yuji Okumoto), and Daniel and Johnny’s old high school girlfriend Ali Mills (reprised by Elisabeth Shue). All three of which help at least one of our protagonists for the better and even manage to (perhaps indirectly) bring the two together in the final episode.

The show has gotten flack for not including a major Asian character in the show (with the exception of Kumiko and Chozen who only appeared in some episodes of this season) as a show based on Asian martial arts should have at least one main Asian character. This criticism is fairly justified as many of the minority characters are often relegated as side characters with the notable exception of Miguel, and to some extent his mother Carmen (reprised by Vanessa Rubio).

Despite this, the show shines in almost every other aspect from a cohesive plot and likable characters to dialogue and action, which can become corny in some aspects but never enough to be overwhelming and never for very long.

Season Two of “The Mandalorian” Review

By Brandon Nunez

The second season of The Mandalorian is underway and only two episodes away from its season finale. It stars Pedro Pascal as “Mando,” Gina Carano as “Cara Dune,” Carl Weathers as “Greef Karga,” Giancarlo Esposito as “Moff Gideon,” and Rosario Dawson as “Ahsoka Tano,” with Temuera Morrison taking the role of “Boba Fett” (after playing his father, Jango Fett) and Grogu (baby Yoda) who is voiced by David Acord.

The story currently follows on Mando’s quest to find his and Grogu’s kind to raise him and help him control his powers. In the meantime, he is helping people to honor his code and gain information; all while being pursued by the remnants of the Empire.

The show takes its time to establish the people and communities that Mando meets and his effects on them. It also gives us insight on the different Mandalorian cultures across the galaxy and how Mando’s culture has a problem with taking off helmets while most other Mandalorians don’t. In season two, the show focuses more on Mando’s relationship with Grogu as a fusion between a funny/straight man and a father/son act. 

The Empire seems to want to use Grogu as a means to clone something ominous under the jurisdiction of seemingly Grand Admiral Thrawn from Rebels. In the latest episode, Grogu is captured by the Empire and Mando seeks the help from Boba and a returning Fennec Shand (played by Ming-Na Wen). We have yet to see what pans out from this in the next couple of episodes. 

Something to look forward to is the many characters from past Star Wars media coming back, such as Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan (played by Katee Sackhoff) from the Clone Wars/Rebels TV series, and the legendary Boba Fett from the movies.

Mental Health Awareness

By Brandon Nunez

Mental health is an issue that has a profound effect on teens and young adults long before the days of quarantine and the events of 2020. And this year has only served to amplify any issues students have with their mental health. 

One of the most frequently called up reasons for students deteriorating mental health was the copious amounts of homework they have been given over a short period of time. Of course, one way many students have gotten around this is by making a schedule that can help manage a student’s time and prevent overworking on late nights. Sometimes students become lonely being stuck in the house all day and a way to get around is to talk to friends or someone they trust over the internet through any medium preferred, rather it be a text or a discord call.

If you have a pet, such as a dog or even a fish, they can be a great way to help vent out your frustrations as they will always listen to you. The John Glenn High School website also has a student mental help calendar that has many suggestions to help relieve any stress such as watching a funny movie or exercising.

If all else fails and you need to talk to someone right away, it’s okay to reach out to any of these hotlines if you or anyone else needs help for their mental state. Suicide Prevention Hotline is the most reliable way to get fast mental help: (800) 273-8255