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So you’ve lost a bet and now have to eat an entire box of Milk-Bones before you graduate. You’re probably feeling a mix of emotions. Friends are concerned, your stomach is feeling a little weird, and now your feverish Googling of “dog treats safe for humans?” has unleashed a rash of Facebook ads imploring you to consider more humane options for your dog than Milk-Bones. Never fear. Take it from someone who’s been there, with the right approach and a positive attitude, this experience can be nothing short of survivable! At just five calories apiece, and fortified with no fewer than 12 vitamins and minerals proven to promote a shiny coat and healthy claws, you might just find it to be a wholesome addition to your diet.
Almost exactly a year ago, Atlanta-based rap trio Migos made waves with “Culture,” a collection of incredibly skillful high-energy trap songs. Naming their album “Culture” was a bold move for the previously low-key group, but the album lived up and propelled them to the forefront of the rap scene. Unfortunately, their much-anticipated return with “Culture 2” lacks the potency of “Culture.” It’s nearly two hours long, and the better tracks are insulated with more forgettable ones, muting their power and smothering the album’s momentum.
Since their near-perfect first album, “Funeral,” in 2004, Arcade Fire has produced consistently excellent music that tackles the existential pain familiar to us all with skill and energy. Their grand statements have commanded the spotlight with an almost unparalleled sincerity and finesse. On their latest album, “Everything Now,” the group’s seemingly inextinguishable creative spark has dimmed. Their anger is hollow and confusing. It’s highly performative, straying from a previously internal and organic feel. Rather than speaking for its audience, it speaks pedantically to it, lecturing instead of championing.
When Joey Bada$$ made his debut with “1999” at just 17 years old, he turned heads with a style distinct from that of his youthful hip hop contemporaries. His ’90s influences were certainly surprising coming from a rapper born midway through the decade. On ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$, Joey Bada$$ appears to be struggling to find his own voice, and his style hasn’t evolved far from the ’90s homage.
Last semester, Jonathan Schipper’s “Cubicle” filled the space of the Rice Gallery with the familiar setting of an office, easy to mistake for a functioning workspace until the viewer more closely inspected the exhibit. The current installation, Sol LeWitt’s “Glossy and Flat Black Squares,” is similarly understated, but in a very different way. This installation was exhibited for the first time in the Rice Gallery in 1997, under the instruction of Sol LeWitt himself, who has since passed away. The artwork is painted directly onto the walls of the exhibit, leaving the space itself entirely open. Five black squares span nearly the entirety of the walls, stretching from floor to ceiling, expanding the sense of space seemingly past the capacity of the room.
A silver lining often repeated in the wake of the presidential election is the potential for great art as a reaction to despair. While there was plenty of grist for artistic righteous anger before, “Run the Jewels 3,” in all of its anti-establishment glory, certainly sets an encouraging precedent. On this album, which may be their best to date, Killer Mike and El-P of the duo Run the Jewels have tapped into the energy of political discontent in a way that is both electrifying and entertaining.
The transition from sheltered university life to the world outside is marked with considerable anxiety, as the first time many will feel that they don’t have a distinct next step, a plan for success. The fear surrounding this is something we at Rice tend to shove aside, but Sarah Welch, a Houston-based graphic novelist, attempts to bring this emotion to the forefront. In “Very Pleasant Transit Center,” the fourth installment of her comic book series “Endless Monsoon,” Welch captures this youthful state of uncertainty.
Five years and two albums have passed since the release of rapper Danny Brown’s breakout mixtape, “XXX.” His new album “Atrocity Exhibition” makes it clear that despite the passage of time and an upsurge in recognition, for Brown, nothing has changed. However, he emphasizes that despite having “lost control,” he doesn’t want our help, only our attention.