Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

“Isii Nafta”: A Recent Diaspora Anthem

Mekdes Shiferaw

A&E Editor

 

In this day and age, we turn to TikTok for many reasons. Do you want to check on a friend without having to send the “how are you doing?” text? Send TikToks—they would appreciate your care, I’m sure. Do you want to laugh at the absurdity of economics? Are you a new plant parent that would like advice on your growing collection? TikTok has got you covered. It is the people’s university (next to libraries, of course). If you are on TikTok, or live in the diaspora on Twitter like I do, chances are you have come across the incredibly catchy tune, “Isii Nafta,” in the past few weeks. According to her newly created Spotify Artist page, Nimco Happy—full name Nimco Elmi Ali—was raised in Kenya by Kenyan and Somali parents. Nimco has been making music for the better half of the decade. In fact, “Isii Nafta,” commonly known for its English lyrics, “I love you more than my life,” was first released in 2017 and has become an anthem at Somali weddings.

So when the 20-second performance footage of “Isii Nafta” went viral on TikTok, users including Cardi B, Drake, the British actress and rapper Stefflon Don, Trevor Noah and more joined the ever-growing club of fans. Yes, it’s been living in our minds rent free and with grace, too. And as much as we are grateful for TikTok for being the platform that has allowed this to reach into corners of the diaspora, it is not uncommon for creators to be robbed of the glories that come with going viral. Obviously, as a result of this traction, the demand for a clip longer than 20 seconds grew. Both Spotify and YouTube had unauthorised versions of the song on their platforms that were attracting loads of traffic. This past week, Nimco was signed by Polydor Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. She now has an official artist page on many major streaming platforms, so we can keep jamming to the song through those pages and auntie can collect her coins.

Nimco grew up listening to Somali artists and she picked up a guitar and started performing at a young age. In “Isii Nafta,” Nimco—a multilingual icon—sings, “I love you” in Arabic, English, Kiswahili and Somali—it is East Africa wrapped in a song. With the record deal, we can’t wait to hear more of her work and for the world to experience what she has to offer.

QR code: https://nimcohappy.lnk.to/IsiiNafta

West Coast Revival: A Review of “Big Subwoofer” and Mount Westmore, by Snoop Dogg, E-40, Ice Cube, and Too $hort

Brimmer Morrison

Contributing Writer

 

Lately, the old heads of the West Coast have been fairly quiet. A whole bunch are making ads, producing their own wine and getting money. Shared on SnoopDogg TV on Oct. 20, the official music video for the song “Big Subwoofer” was a possible new beginning musically for the group of rappers who are all West Coast veterans in the industry. All of them have been around and popular since the mid 1980s, but they are much older now and their music has faded since their prime. A few songs here and there have slapped pretty hard, but in much of their new music, the sound of the West Coast during the 1990s and the 2000s has faded and aged, making all of these artists’ recent music sound like they are trying to act like the young thugs they used to be back in the day. With the formation of Mount Westmore, a hip hop supergroup composed of Snoop Dogg, E-40, Too $hort and Ice Cube, a new bond has formed between these four that might lead to the longevity of the West Coast sound as well as their own careers. So, not only is it revolutionary in the rap industry to have vetted artists come together later in their careers for a sustained amount of time, but the song and video they made bumps.

The music video for “Big Subwoofer” displays West Coast specific afro-futurism with all the rappers in what I want to call a “Space Donk.” Look up what a Donk is on your own time. They are all traveling to “Planet Snoopiter” where all the alien women on the planet are dressed and painted as characters from the movie “Avatar” and twerking. Right when they pull off, they deploy massive subwoofers from the side of their ship and the beat drops. The rappers themselves were dressed in Star Wars outfits: Snoop Dogg in pimped out Stormtrooper armor, Too $hort in a rougher Han Solo outfit, E-40 looks like Lando Calrissian if he owned a strip club and Ice Cube is in an all black pilot’s outfit with fingerless gloves. All of their guns were also phasers and lasers, not actual guns. The well-made music video gets at the goofy but legendary sounds and ideologies of California hip hop. Although Snoop Dog had a short verse, all the rappers showed out with their unique flares, each hitting the track with mature bars about taxes, multitasking, partying safely, feeding friends and family and of course massive bass that shakes people’s bodies and every window in the nearest vicinity.

A Reflection on Halloween’s Covers

Colin Schrein

Contributing Writer

 

This past Saturday night, Oct. 30, packed into the beloved Underground (UG) were sweaty, costume-clad students all joining together for this month’s Covers show. Covers is a monthly event organized by the Goliard Literary Magazine where students can sign up to play songs centered around the monthly theme. This month was October, meaning there could only be one theme: Halloween. For this month’s show students pulled out some deep cuts to fit the spooky theme. Songs ranging from classic tunes like the “Ghostbusters” theme song to drony Pink Floyd soundscapes and the ever-classic “Scooby-Doo” theme could be heard throughout the night. Groups also utilized a wide range of instruments, even incorporating violin and various saxophones into their pieces, making for a sonically unique lineup.

Covers is often a great experience for Wooster students, both for performers and audience members. Live music is a perfect way to release stress and enjoy the company of friends, and this month’s show was no exception. Participation was much improved from the last show, with almost 20 songs performed in comparison to last month’s 11. I loved seeing more people get up on stage and give it their all, regardless of their musical experience or prowess. Covers is an event about having fun and watching bands perform, so it was great to see some new faces up on stage (although with heavy makeup and costumes it could be hard to know who was actually playing).

Wooster’s costume game was on point on Saturday night, adding to the spooky nature of the show. Among student favorites were the Bishop, Lightning McQueen and various iterations of Machine Gun Kelly. Dressed for the occasion, students came with high spirits, a thirst for beer and infectious energy which ramped up the crowd and performers alike.

I would like to thank all of those who attended the show and performed, as well as the Underground employees who kept us hydrated while we danced away in the crowded basement. I would also like to extend a thanks to those who provided equipment for general use at the show. Not everyone is fortunate enough to own their own amplifiers or instruments so it was wonderful to see the generosity of our Wooster musicians in providing equipment for each other to use.

Saturday’s Halloween Covers show was a huge success and showed the effects that live music can have on people. Whether you came for the social interaction or the music itself, I hope that everyone was able to enjoy the show as much as I did up on stage. Stay tuned for next month’s theme, as it will be announced in the coming weeks. I hope to see lots of groups performing again next month. Keep playing and remember to come early!

“Dune” is an Experience Created for Theaters

Colin Tobin

Chief Copy Editor

 

“Dune” was directed by Denis Villeneuve and is based on the first half of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel. It stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa and Zendaya, as well as many others. Set in the year 10191, the story follows Paul Atreides, the son of a powerful Duke whose family is ordered to take up residence on the planet Arrakis to oversee the harvest of “spice,” the most powerful and expensive commodity in the universe. Paul is placed in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between houses and must learn to conquer his fears. It’s hard to simplify the plot of this movie, but the best way I can describe it is the setting of “Star Wars” with the aesthetic of “Blade Runner” and the political conflicts of “Game of Thrones”.

Denis Villeneuve has been my favorite working director since I saw “Blade Runner 2049” in 2017. There’s just something about his grand visual style and meticulous, slow-burn storytelling in movies like “Prisoners” and “Arrival” that consistently draws me in. When this movie was announced, my excitement pushed me to read a book for fun, which I don’t think I’ve done since high school. Sitting down in the theater after almost two years of pandemic related delays felt surreal, and it was well worth the wait.

On a visual level, this movie is absolutely incredible. The spectacle that the production design and visual effects create is unbelievably immersive. There’s never really a clear line drawn between CGI and what was built as a set. The insane amount of detail in every prop and costume shows the dedication that this crew had to making something special.

The major action sequence in the middle of the film is beautifully captured by Greg Frasier’s cinematography. Huge fires and shadows are incorporated into the lighting of these scenes which lets the unique fighting techniques described in the book play out in a series of shots that are impossible to look away from. Every casting choice was a perfect match for Herbert’s novel, with Chalamet, Ferguson and Momoa being the highlights, and for the number of big-name actors present, no one’s time on screen is wasted. All of this is tied together by a sweeping, abstract score by Hans Zimmer, which oddly mixes in some bagpipes and somehow, it works.

One of my only real problems with the film was its pacing in the second half. With so much material to cover, the movie didn’t seem to know when it wanted to end. A number of times, I was sure the credits were about to roll but it just kept going. Additionally, the same criticisms that the book has been given over the years can be said for the movie as well. The narrative is formed around the old “white savior” trope. The circumstances of Paul’s arrival match with a local superstition that describes him as a messiah figure while his father hopes to “make peace” with the indigenous people of Arrakis, despite profiting off of and encroaching upon their land.

Villeneuve’s vision of “Dune” is everything I wanted it to be, plus a little more. I don’t think this movie will be for everybody but if you have any interest at all, I urge you to see it in a theater. Not only do you get to see a visual masterpiece on the big screen, but you would also be supporting a creative team who is making something virtually unlike any other big budget movies today.

Anime Recommendations: A Place to Start

Pookar Chand

Contributing Writer

 

Anime is something most people have heard about but don’t know much about. In a quick and dirty summation, anime is just animation from Japan. Although there are increasing amounts of anime being produced outside of Japan, that is a topic for another time.

For most, anime is thought of as a genre, but it is actually more akin to a medium. This means that getting into anime can be a difficult and confusing process. This is why I am here! I’m going to help you dip a toe into this vast and very opaque expanse. I cannot stress this enough, this list is subjective. That being said, this list is the definitive way to get into anime, unless, of course, you disagree.

I’ll tackle action, romance, and comedy as they are probably the easiest entry into anime and I have a six-hundred-word limit. Don’t worry, there will be alternatives to each recommendation.

Action: “One Punch Man”

“One Punch Man” is thirteen episodes of superhero satire and action in each episode. But what makes it the easiest to recommend for the action genre is how amazingly the show is animated. Most action anime have moments where the quality of animation drops to save time or money, but not “One Punch Man” 

Alternative: “Demon Slayer” (Kimetsu no Yaiba)

“Demon Slayer” is as amazingly animated as “One Punch Man”, for the most part, and is probably an easier entrance into anime as it has a simpler premise and does more work to hook you into its narrative and characters. Also, the movie “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” cannot be skipped as it is objectively incredible, which is why it was the highest grossing movie of 2020.

Comedy: “Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!” (Konosuba for short)

“Konosuba” is about a group of selfish idiots with no luck. The comedy is heightened by the absurdness of having the series take place in a fantasy world with some inspiration taken from D&D. The anime is basically “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” set in a D&D-like world, and that gets at least a chuckle out of me.

Alternative: “The Devil is a Part Timer” (Hataraku Maou-sama!)

The comedy comes from the fact that a demon lord from another world is stuck in modern day Japan, trying to make a living working at a fast food restaurant. Not having money is just part of the comedy in the series as the demon lord plans to claw his way up the corporate ladder.

Romance: “Kaguya-sama: Love is War” (Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen)

Don’t be intimidated by the long name. This show is as much rom as it is com, and it does both spectacularly well. The romance always seems to advance the comedy and vice versa. It helps that the two main characters are also characterized well enough to carry the premise, romance and jokes.

Alternative: “The President is a Maid” (Kaichou wa Maid-sama!)

Don’t worry, it’s nothing political. The strict student council president is working part time in a maid café and the most popular boy at her school finds out. I know that it sounds like a comedic premise, and there is a fair bit of comedy in the anime, but the romance is played pretty straight. At least that’s what I remember. You know what, go and watch this then report back.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”: A Cultural Icon

Haley Huett

A&E Entertainment

 

If you’re cool and regularly attend Wooster Activities Crew (WAC) events, then you probably saw “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” this past Saturday, Oct. 23.

If you didn’t, there might be something wrong with you. 

In the spirit of Halloween, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a movie you should add to your list, if you haven’t already. A cult classic from the 1970s, the movie is a cultural powerhouse. 

The appeal of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is that it is intentionally bad. A parody of the science fiction and the low-budget, commercial horror movies of the early twentieth century, the movie pokes fun at all the traditional tropes of the time through song, dance, and low-quality hijinks.

Despite the intentional low-quality, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” remains a popular cult classic. The story, following a young and newly-engaged couple, Brad and Janet, who are stranded at a strange castle, is entirely absurd, but that adds to its charm. A movie-musical, the songs are raunchy, fun, ridiculous and upbeat as they tell the story of Brad and Janet’s corruption at the hands of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played by Tim Curry. 

The film is beloved by many. If you missed the WAC event, you likely missed all the associated fun. In-person screenings typically feature costumes, heckling and props, as viewers interact with the events on-screen. Following a callback and prompt script, movie-goers across the country interact with “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” in similar ways, acting out the same script and showing the same enthusiasm for the midnight movie. The movie is important to many members of the LGBT community as well. Androgynous, queer, and sexually liberated, the film represents many diverse identities. 

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a unique piece of storytelling and that lends to its popularity. Everyone should see it once. An homage to the science fiction and horror films that shaped early pop culture, the film is nostalgic, captivating, and fun. 

Even if you have seen it before, you should make time to rewatch “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” There’s a reason so many people flock to movie theaters across the country to watch the movie over and over again. One view and you are hooked!

You can stream “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Hulu and Amazon Prime. Just make sure you watch the original. God forbid you find yourself in front of Victoria Justice’s remake. 

Watch “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for some good (un)clean fun this Halloween season!