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MUSIC

Filtering by Category: R&B

Toast To Our Differences - First Listen Album Review

Kiara Ramirez

Rudimental - Toast To Our Differences cover art

Rudimental - Toast To Our Differences cover art

The first time I heard Rudimental in 2014, I was so blown away I immediately bought their digital album while still in the arena parking lot. I was lucky enough to see them as the opening band for Ed Sheeran which led to a memorable impression. Rudimental has a unique sound and while seeing them perform live, their talent truly shines through.

“Toast To Our Differences” is a 16-track album with a runtime of an hour. Their desire to collaborate with other musicians means that every track has a featured artist. Listening to the album all at once reminded me of being home alone with loud music playing. It has it's own aura which can only be understood by listening to “Toast To Our Differences.”

The track “Let Me Live” gave me major beach vibes. I can imagine having this song on a road trip playlist, letting it guide me wherever I may go.

“Last Time” encourages everyone to “forget it all tonight and lay our differences down”.

“No Pain” by Rudimental ft. Maverick Sabre, Kojey Radical and Kabaka Pyramid

”No Pain” is the track that grabbed my attention the most. “Everybody choosin' desires over beauty. Evil is blooming and money's where it's rooted” really struck me as an honest observation.

“Toast To Our Differences” is not Rudimental's best album in my opinion, but it is definitely worth listening to as it is different from their previous albums. I recommend hearing with headphones because they really do have subtle nuances in their tracks that make all the difference for the musically inclined.

You're a Man Now, Boy - First Listen Album Review

Kassandra Ramirez

By Kiara Ramirez

“I'm not growing up, I'm aging. My mind's incarcerated. And though this body's taller, sometimes I feel smaller.” “You're A Man Now, Boy” is the name of Raleigh Ritchie's debut album released in February of 2016.

Raleigh Richie - “You’re a Man Now, Boy” - Album Cover Art

Raleigh Richie - “You’re a Man Now, Boy” - Album Cover Art

“Raleigh Ritchie,” formerly known as Jacob Anderson, can be recognized as Grey Worm, the beloved character from Game of Thrones. However, many do not know of his talent for creating eclectic music. With a total play time of 72 minutes and 18 tracks, “You’re a Man Now, Boy” embodies what it feels like to transition from child to adult in a bumpin' medley of electronica, hip-hop, and R&B. Many of these tracks feel confessional, rolled up in cathartic honesty.

Raleigh Ritchie - Keep it Simple (Official Audio)

The track, “Keep It Simple,” tackles the issue of overthinking new situations, daydreaming about the possibilities, then applying old habits leading to influence in the present moment. “Stronger Than Ever” deals with imposter syndrome and how it can seep into all levels of the human psyche, affecting more than one aspect of your life.

Raleigh Ritchie - Stronger Than Ever (Official Music Video)

Everyone should give a listen to this album as it confronts feelings everyone has had at one point or another in their lives. This was a great album to listen to as it had a message, as well as musical individuality. With no release date yet, the next album by Raleigh Ritchie should definitely be on everyone's radar.



J. Cole's K.O.D. - First Listen Album Review

Kassandra Ramirez


By Kiara Ramirez

“This album is in no way intended to glorify addiction.” Beneath this text is a sobering image: teens consuming various drugs ignorant to what it may possibly lead to. While most popular music will only portray the carefree, fun side to drug use, J.Cole's “K.O.D.” forces you to see how this mentality has damaged many aspects of today's society. While drug use itself is one issue, this problem seeps into other areas of society as well. Many subjects are discussed throughout the album including social media, taxes, guns, education, and the state of democracy.

K.O.D. By J. Cole - Cover Art Design By  Sixmau

K.O.D. By J. Cole - Cover Art Design By Sixmau


My most recommended song on the album would have to be “Brackets.” This song creates a vivid picture both with it's title and the vast amount of imagery presented within this lyrical poem. The track, “Brackets,” discusses the power our government system holds when collecting and distributing the country's tax money. Often times, people of color pay into the system but fail to see the equal benefits provided to White America and the upper class. The story told within is one that deeply resonated with me.


With 12 solid tracks and a total playtime of 43 minutes, K.O.D. should definitely be listened to. At the end of listening, it felt somehow therapeutic that someone was able to tackle many tough subjects honestly. A recurring phrase that appears throughout the album is one that can be adopted for everyday life. That phrase is: Choose wisely.

Speak into the Mic: Tullis

Kassandra Ramirez

With today’s media being oversaturated with mediocre and unthoughtful content, it is always refreshing to discover a rising artist with the determination to create something with purpose. After our EIC, Jacob Blieu, introduced me to Tullis’ work, I was quickly convinced that he’s a vivid example of a passionate artist.

Starting his musical journey at the young age of thirteen, later experimenting in his band, “Bears and Airplanes”, and then continuing his career as a solo artist, it is safe to say that Tullis (who goes by his last name) will be an Arizona artist to remember. By…

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