Tag Archives: Orion

The Book Of Boba Fett Review

By: Orion

The Book of Boba Fett released its season finale on February 9th on Disney+, with 7 episodes to boast, each of which run from about 50 to 60 minutes. The series serves as a sequel/spinoff of The Mandalorian and by extension the Return of The Jedi with many of the pivotal cast members from the Mandalorian returning to reprise their roles. ​​Temuera Morrison returns as the titular character, Ming-Na Wen and Pedro Pascal also return respectively as Fennec Shand and Din Djarin. Others who reprise their roles are Timothy Olyphant (Cobb Vanth), Emily Swallow (The Armorer), Rosario Dawson (Ahsoka Tano), Corey Burton as the voice of Cad Bane (portrayed physically by Dorian Kingi), and most notably Mark Hamill voicing Luke Skywalker (Graham Hamilton as the onset performer).

The story begins right after the ending of the second season of The Mandalorian with Boba Fett becoming the new Daimyo of Tatooine after taking it from Bib Fortuna who succeeded Jabba the Hutt after his death. Flashbacks also occur early within the first half of the season, they tell of Boba’s escape from the sarlacc pit, his travels and tragedies of traveling with Tusken Raiders, even some scenes of his boyhood in Kamino.

The Tuskens capturing him and making him one of their own after he earns their respect has had a profound impact on his outlook on life, it explains his transition from ruthless bounty hunter to a more diplomatic anti-hero. He has trouble earning the respect and tribute of the local crime bosses and citizens of Mos Espa without outright using an iron fist like his predecessors. He instead uses more favors and his reputation along with job offers to those in need and alliance compromises to gain what he wants. In a departure from his original characterization, Boba is much more forgiving than his comic/movie past self which works towards his benefit as his forgiveness gains him many allies against the criminal Pike Syndicate.

The Pikes are the main antagonists of the show and are the reason why Boba didn’t stay with Tuskens as they were killed by the Pikes without his knowledge (ironically when he was going to town to strike a deal with them on behalf of the Tuskens). Distraught and saddened, Boba sets out to find his armor that he lost and his old ship from Bib with the help of a now partially cyberized Fennec Shand who he saved to enlist her help. He then takes his revenge on a speed biker gang he thought responsible and goes off with Fennec to the events of the Mandalorian to find his armor. Boba has to deal with a wookie bounty hunter sent by Jabba’s twin cousins and unemployed bandit cyborg youths, all of which he recruits as his employees as a way to reconcile their differences and keep as allies.

Meanwhile, the story checks on Din Djarin, his travels as a bounty hunter without Grogu, his defending of the title of holding the darksaber from other mandalorians, and his rejection from his mandalorian tribe by revealing his face to someone else willingly. After getting a new ship Din and promising to help Fennec, Din travels to visit Grogu training with Luke Skywalker on a forest planet. He wants to give him a beskar chain mail gift in person and he meets Ahsoka Tano and R2-D2 who promise to give it to Grogu, of which Luke does and offers Grogu a choice to be a jedi or be with Din again.

Boba has to strike a truce of neutrality with the lower criminal lords and Mos Espa mayor to not join the Pikes in their slave spice trade, and has Din to embark on the help of Cobb Vanth and his people of Freetown. The Pikes in turn bomb a local Mos Espa club called the Sancturay and hire Cad Bane to kill Cobb in hopes it would scare his people into not joining Boba and letting the spice trade run through. Boba (who at this point is very much opposed to the spice trade) is learned of the truth by Cad Bane that the Pikes are the ones who killed his Tusken tribe; to add insult to injury, the local crime lords have revolted against Boba in favor of the Pikes. The people of Freetown and Grogu (who chose to be with Din) with the help of R2, have come in Boba’s time of need to help him and his allies defeat the Pikes/Cad Bane and their coalition. Boba confronts and kills Cad Bane, effectively killing the last part of past bounty hunter life and has Fennec assassinate the rest of the local crime/Pike leaders who are hiding on Mos Eisley. The story wraps up with Boba and his allies earning the respect of Mos Espa, and Din leaving with Grogu.     Overall the show had high viewership but mixed reviews from both critics and audiences alike with the show having some highs and lows, particularly with the character departure of Boba from his more established characterization.

Top 10 Love Songs of All Time

(In no particular order and entirely my opinion; subject to change)

By Orion

“Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet Underground

A very beautiful acoustic song about Lou Reed’s former lover, who despite her marriage they still both have feelings for each other but cannot express them openly.

“Hey Mama” by Ye

“Hey Mama” is much more of a familiar love ballad that Ye dedicated to his now late mother Donda West, who constantly supported him throughout his career until her death and raised him as a single mother.

“Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin

Aretha’s vocals here are, as always, beautiful but somehow even more operatic; and the universal lyrics are about breaking down defensive boundaries within a relationship to get closer to each other.

“I Will” by Mitski

“I Will” represents the more simple everyday domestic pleasures of being with your lover, along with staying devoted even through tough times.

“Me and Your Mama” by Childish Gambino

The psychedelic soulful rock here is something truly special, and Gambino’s screamed vocals at his utter devotion to his woman only serve to amplify the song as a whole.

“Ivy” by Frank Ocean

“Ivy,” in my opinion, is Frank’s best song — an amazing somber guitar riff combined with Frank’s perfect vocals with a higher pitch in some parts, that talks about young love and maturing up to having that love be broken apart but with the feelings still remaining.

“Love” by Kid Cudi

“Love” is one of those songs for continuing on. Even if you struggle with finding love, you will still find it and  never give up your pursuit, as everyone gets lonely. The lyrics, combined with the uplifting guitar and almost lullaby-ish intro, serve to make for some of Cudi’s best work.

“Nothing Even Matters” by Lauryn Hill, feat. D’Angelo

Lauryn Hill delivers a beautiful, soulful vocalization on the uniqueness of love over anything else. D’Angelo’s verses only serve to amplify the idea of love over material possessions and that they essentially need nothing more than love.

“Apocalypse” by Cigarettes After Sex

“Apocalypse” contains the themes about past relationships and their effect on current ones, with Greg Gonzalzes’ dreamy vocals and soundscapes urging his lover to continue on with him even if it ends the same as the past.

“Soreha Tadano Kibunsa” (English Translation: “It’s Just A Feeling”) by Fishmans

This soft, psychedelic J-rock ballad is purely soothing to the ears with the very mature theme of loving and listening to your partner even when they’re not at their best being surrounded by sadness and both physically and mentally exhausted.

Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Savala-Lee

By: Orion

Mrs. Savala-Lee has been selected as teacher of the year, and I had the pleasure of sitting down with her to make conversation and discuss some questions I had for her.

How long have you been teaching at Glenn and in general?

“I started teaching in Norwalk-La Mirada in 1987 at Edmondson, I taught third grade for three years, then fifth grade for two years. And when Waite opened up as a middle school, I taught Eighth grade for three years. And in 1997, I came to Glenn to do a program called Puente, it was to help students get into college, it was like AVID but a little different ya know. So, I’ve been here since ‘97.”

Did you plan on becoming an English teacher or a teacher at all?

“No. I didn’t plan that, my major was liberal studies and while I was in liberal studies classes, I heard other people talk about what they were gonna do, and they talked about being a historian, a librarian, a lawyer, or a teacher. And none of those sounded good to me except a teacher, and I went and got a teacher’s aide job and I liked being in the classroom. And I got a substitute teaching job, and that’s when I realized that this is what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna be a teacher.”

What did you originally want to do?

“I think I just wanted to be a wife and a mom, an educated wife/mom, maybe go to a community college, take some art classes, ceramic, and just have a good/proper family. (Jokingly) And in the end I have no children, things don’t turn out the way you plan, ok.”

What are your alumni?

“Cal State Fullerton and Cyprus College”

Retirement plans/parties? 

“Throw parties, yes, I’ll have several. Small groups ya know I’ll have a special one with my teacher friends, one with my family, just friends from the past that don’t fit either group, but ya know I’m close to them. So ya I will celebrate. But as far as I’m going to tour the world or bucket list, I don’t have any, I am very content with staying at home, taking care of the house, making it pretty aesthetically beautiful.

I have my two dogs Violet and Olive (pictured, left), I wanna take care of them. I still have my mom, I can drive her to Mervyn’s/Kohls if she can’t, but yeah if someone invited me to Italy I would go. I like being athletic, workout, running, whatever comes my way I’ll make use of it or not.”

Hobbies? Goals?

“I wanna play the guitar, I bought one eight years ago when my husband passed away because I didn’t know what to do that summer. I thought I’d learn how to play but instead it’s been a piece of art hanging on my wall, no not here, at my house, and I look at it, I have music, it sometimes I pluck on it to have fun, I wanna do gardening in my yard, running, working, might even learn to bake some bread.”

How was online teaching for you? Would you do it again?

“I would only do it again if I had to, it was … terrible, I never knew if my students were with me, I couldn’t really see my students doing the work and I like to be watching them. I couldn’t do my spelling tests and that’s a big deal to me that kids know how to spell. I couldn’t teach cursive and that’s important to me that students know how to handwrite, I couldn’t be how I really wanted to be as a teacher, and I don’t think students really gained much from it and that bothers me too. So only if I have too.”

Are you hopeful for the future?

“For my own life I am very healthy and feel really good on how I lived my life up to this point, that I feel going into retirement, I still feel very young, even though my age says I’m old. But I think that’s what I’d recommend to everybody to take care of their health while they’re young and that way when the time comes you can be free from work and you’ll be able to enjoy whatever lifestyle you want. But as far as education goes, I don’t wanna say this to sound terrible, but it’s not what it used to be. I would love to see be 1987 again, I’m not crazy about the laptops and computers and all that, I think they’re good for one reason and they’re entertaining and fun, but in another way it’s made kids antisocial and too dependent on immediacy, I mean I dunno, I’m old fashioned.”

What do you think of all the dad joke posters around the school, do you know who does them?

“I love them, I think they’re great, I like clean humor, I think it’s more creative than dirty humor, and no I don’t know.”

Music Review: The Weeknd | Dawn FM

By: Orion

Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd’s newest and fifth studio LP Dawn FM was released on January 7, 2022. The album was hyped for with the release of a single in “Take My Breath” alongside a music video in early August of last year, along with teases on social media and another single collaboration with Swedish House Mafia (a producer on the album as well) on their track “Moth To A Flame” on October 22. The producers include familiar names such as Calvin Harris, Max Martin, Brian Kennedy, DaHeala, Abel himself, and even Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys among others, most of whom have worked with Abel before. Dawn FM takes the ‘80s new wave, synth-pop/dance-pop that was used extensively on his last more dreamy LP After Hours (2020) and that he had also dabbled with before on projects like his 3rd studio LP Starboy (2016) and ups it to eleven on this album. The album contains features from Tyler, the Creator, Lil Wayne, and a narration from Jim Carrey.

The eponymous “Dawn FM” title track sets up the listener with the feeling as if they are listening to more of a radio station (i.e. FM), that plays into more self-aware existential themes as if Abel himself knows that he’s being listened to but goes along with the ride anyway. 1980’s style synths are used heavily throughout the album and the title track is no different, but has a more spacey soulful feel, with Jim Carrey narrating at the end. “Gasoline” has Abel picking up where he left off in After Hours, indulging in his usual hedonism in face of sorrow to die but being saved from OD-ing himself completely by a woman. The high synth chords begin again before switching to a more minimal dance beat with Abel’s vocals switching from artificially deep to high to back his more confirmed R&B voice.

In “How Do I Make You Love Me,” Abel is seeking the love of this woman to become his lover, something that he admits is more out of the ordinary due to him normally being able to pick up most women very easily compared to her. The song’s composition has a more of a post-disco undertone combined with a more new-waveish dance-pop overtone that connects to the next song. The lead single, “Take My Breath” has Abel giving to his more hedonistic tendencies with the woman fulfillingly both of their erotic fanasties (in the music video she quite literally takes his breath away). The composition here has more of a psychedelic mix of new wave and dark wave, with some more overt disco and synth-pop. “Sacrifice” has Abel doubling down on his old ways with regret that he is neglecting his woman in the process but does not want to be held down. It has a more of a standard heavy dark synth-pop with a bit of a funkish undertone.

“A Tale By Quincy” has Quincy Jones delivering a spoken word track about his past with an institutionalized mother at an early age and wicked stepmother afterwards which he admits led to a subconscious fear of being too close to a woman (he had been married and divorced three times and has several children with five different women). The track itself has a more soft rock/adult contemporary jazzish tune. “Out of Time” tells of a relationship with a woman and how his neglect did eventually lead them to break apart when she finally left him for a different man; and now Abel wants her back in case the other man messes up, but he knows he’s too late. The track takes a city pop sample from Tomoko Aran and Tetsurō Oda’s Midnight Pretender’s, giving it it’s more city pop/R&B feel with another cameo from Jim Carrey who seems to be playing the disc jockey in this “radio” with talking about the listener being almost reborn by music itself.

“Here We Go… Again” takes more R&B vocalizations from Abel about his time with the woman before and how she ended up with someone lesser than him despite searching for someone better than Abel. The lyrics are more of falling back in love with a new woman, and him being dreamily head over heels in love with this woman. Tyler the Creator features on the track with him asking the person he loves to sign a prenup (just in case the relationship doesn’t work out) and that no one, not the government nor some outside religion can define what love is to them. The track’s music takes a more smooth soulful R&B approach combined with some synthy yacht rock. “Best Friends” has Abel turning a toxic relationship into a friend with benefits one instead but still feeling conflicted as he still loves this woman but doesn’t want to break her heart by getting into a relationship. The track has more of a minimal darkish new wave mixed with a trap beat and ending with an ominous repeating phrase like a broken record on a radio. “Is There Someone Else?” has Abel ironically questioning his lover’s loyalty as he tries to make himself a better partner for his woman and admits he is not really in any position to question her, but is still curious if the other man knows. This track has lighter synths that compliment the high pitched vocals of the song. Musically the track connects to “Starry Eyes” but with more of an urban/futuristic orchestral synths that are almost choir-like in some parts. The lyrics themselves have Abel wanting to comfort a broken and shattered woman who simply wants to push away all of those who get close, even through violent means of which Abel is willing to let happen to him.

“Every Angel Is Terrifying” is a more avant-garde spoken word track where Abel speaks about his existentialist fears on how if he cried out who would hear him? Even if the angels did hear him, he would be overwhelmed and terrified at his fate, and perhaps rightfully so as biblically accurate angels are radically different from what normally pops in our heads, and perhaps that’s what Abel thinks his afterlife may be. Speaking of afterlife, the next spoken word verses are of a radio/tv commercial of some sorts that markets the afterlife like a product and almost like a cheap recreational drug. The music switches between heavy futuristic synths at the beginning to more soulful chords when Abel talks about the angels, and then finally switches to a more commercialized synthpop tune to complement the commercial.

“Don’t Break My Heart” has Abel recovering from a break up and trying again to fall in love with hopes for a newer more devoted relationship with this mesmerizing woman but is afraid of what might happen to him if his heart is broken this one last time. The composition of this track takes more upon post-disco/dance-pop and minimal house music especially during the chorus. “I Heard You’re Married Girl” features Lil Wayne and Abel vocalizing about finding their lovers are actually married women with both artists giving ultimatums to them to either choose their husbands or them as they don’t want to be involved with married women. A more conventional synth-pop is used throughout the track with some occasional funkish undertones.

“Less Than Zero” is one of the highlights of the album, with Abel still having romantic feelings for a lover that he emotionally hid from and according to him, she thinks negatively about him but he can’t repress the feelings he still has for her and wants to rekindle a fire with her. The track’s composition is that of beautiful orchestral and upbeat synthwave mixed with a guitar to give it a more electro-pop rock feel that goes along perfectly with Abel’s more echoed vocals during the chorus, and the guitar becomes more evident near the end with Abel’s almost spoken word vocals. The final track “Phantom Regret” by Jim still has the tried and true minimal synths with Abel having echoed vocals over Jim’s monologue but ends peacefully with sounds of wildlife and nature. “Phantom Regret” by Jim has our narrator Jim Carrey giving a final poem to the listener on reflection about the journey they took to get to where they are now: what grudges did they have? Who did they hurt? Who or what did they remember? Jim reminds the listener of their regret and that despite all their pain, heaven, whatever it is to them, will still be there once they learn to let go of their regret and find inner peace within themselves. Furthermore, heaven isn’t always light or dark, heaven is what you make it to be.Dawn FM’s concept is a little hard to grasp with its more existential, self-reflecting themes than before mixed with a variety of ‘80’s electronic upbeat dance genres from disco to city pop that contrast with the more introspective and even romantic lyrics. It’s a very mature album for Abel as he clashes between staying the hedonistic self of his youth to the more older worn out Abel (as signified by the album cover) who simply wants peace and a stable relationship. Overall, the album has something for everyone with an overall consistent quality in songs and some incredible artistic highs.

Blue Banisters by Lana Del Rey: Music Review

By Orion

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

(7.5 stars out of 10)

Lana Del Rey returns with a second album this year, Blue Banisters and her eighth studio album overall in her discography. She had earlier released Chemtrails Over The Country Club in March, and had almost immediately announced another album to be released that same year in a different title of Rock Candy Sweet. After four single releases in “Text Book,” “Wildflower Wildfire,” “Blue Banisters,” and “Arcadia,” and multiple snippets on her now deleted instagram, Blue Banisters was released on October 22, 2021. Lana enlisted the help of seasoned producers such as Mike Dean and Rick Nowels and musicians such as the folk band Kassidy and Miles Kane on production with some even contributing vocals.

“Text Book” opens with Lana’s signature vocals singing about a lover and how their relationship reminds her of tumultuous relationship with her mother and father, and how her father often didn’t intervene when her mother lashed out, in the midst of the social backdrop of 2020. On the title track “Blue Banisters,” Lana vocalizes over a more piano based composition about a former lover in Oklahoma and how most men are intimidated by her high honors. She finds comfort from her pain in the midwest Americana and her friends but is still vulnerable.

In “Arcadia,” she compares herself to the state of California in both its virtues and faults where she uses Arcadia as an escape from her native East Coast in a more soulful tune. “The Trio” interlude has a sample from Italian composer Ennio Morricone being used with an out of place trap beat on the album, a notable instrumental interlude outlier from the more piano and guitar/drum based tunes of other songs. “Black Bathing Suit” has slight reverbed and almost cracking vocals near the end as she tells about her public perception both physically and socially, and how it doesn’t faze her (she even makes money off it), while asking her lover if he can handle all that and her maternal problems.

“If You Lie Down Next to Me” has Lana continuing a relationship with an untrustworthy lover which she knows is a liar but knows he is not over her despite his attempts. The track is notable for having a more horn-based instrumental outro reminiscent of 1920s jazz. “Beautiful” has Lana dealing with her depression in acceptance of her sadness rather than a look for a silver lining with wondrous light piano chords throughout. “Violets for Roses” has Lana finding happiness with the exit of a long, toxic relationship and the recovery of the world overall from the pandemic.

“Dealer” takes a much more soft rock turn as Lana literally screams to get out of a one-sided relationship on the metaphor as her lover and her drug dealer. It contains beautiful backing vocals and sometimes lead vocals from former Rascals frontman and solo artist Miles Kane.

“Thunder” has Lana vocalize over a soulful, bittersweet-like sound compared to the more somber songs; the lyrics are just as somber as Lana speaks of a facade of a happy relationship compared to the actual more lifeless and alcoholic abusive one.

“Wildflower Wildfire” has Lana sing about her past struggles and hospitalizations with alcohol abuse and her mother’s abuse, and with wishing to live free from all of that. “Nectar of the Gods” takes a more melancholic-folkish turn on Lana’s experiences with heroin and how it made her become more erratic and lost than before she took it. “Living Legend” has Lana serenade her early mentor Jane Powers in a song she wrote in 2013 with a powerful instrumental near the seemingly imitating Lana’s voice in a more ethereal like form. In returning to the more piano chords in “Cherry Blossom,” Lana sings about her future child and giving her the idealistic childhood that her mother never gave her, with hints at the child’s possible name. “Sweet Carolina” ends the album beautifully with a lullaby-like song dedicated to her sister Chuck who had recently given birth to a child this year.

Blue Banisters as a whole does contain some repetitive themes in some songs and at least one musically out of place song in “Trio.” However, it is perhaps one of her most introspective albums to date and the themes that are shown are extremely personal looks at Lana’s mental state in her relationships, her outlook on the world and her perception, and her hopes and fears for the future. Overall it is one of Lana’s most emotionally resonant albums in her discography and is one of her most unique and beautiful albums to date.

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.