By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Sound Bite #1

Brandon Mattesich
Sound Bite logo designed by Brandon Mattesich.

Welcome to Sound Bite, a new column that aims to cover any and all major musical triumphs, tragedies or controversies from the past week. I’ll end every column with a list of personal thoughts and recommendations, but for the most part, my goal is to update you on all major musical news in the most unbiased manner that I can.

Just the other week one of the biggest developments of recent rap history has unfolded with the release of Future and Metro Boomin’s newest album “WE DON’T TRUST YOU” which features the likes of Travis Scott, Playboi Carti and The Weeknd.

The album is facing critical and societal success, with multiple songs such as “Type Shit” and “Cinderella” already having more than thirty-nine million streams on Spotify alone. There is one song on this album however that stands above the rest.

“Like That” has debuted as Metro Boomin’s first-ever number-one hit song and is easily the highlight of the album. Beyond the complex use of samples that makes the beat so unique, there is one other factor that is propelling this song to record-breaking heights. That factor is Kendrick Lamar.

In Kendrick’s controversial feature, he takes shots at not only J. Cole, one of his biggest contemporaries, but Drake as well. Kendrick comes out swinging, attacking Drake’s latest hits, his fame and his latest albums. While this is not the first time Kendrick has made it known he has beef with Drake, it certainly is the most forward example of it.

This song has led to what many fans are calling the latest rap civil war, with Metro Boomin himself stating “Once you pick a side stay there.” Ironically, so far the only response Drake himself has given to the situation is a few cryptic Instagram captions and a small remark at one of his concerts. 

  1. Cole on the other hand recently released a whole album, with the final song entitled “7 Minute Drill.” During which he takes shots back at Kendrick. Fan reactions to J. Cole’s diss have been a bit polarizing within the rap community. While his diss does have a few great bars nestled in it, a vast majority of it is much slower and less aggressive than the Kendrick Lamar feature, which started the whole thing.

It is worth noting that on April 12 Future and Metro Boomin will be releasing an entire second album which many fans are speculating might take even more shots at Drake and J. Cole. Regardless, the seeds of disarray have already been planted and hopefully this is only the beginning of a long-lasting and ever-changing rap feud.

Beyoncé is the other main headline of the past week in the world of music. After having released the song “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” which became an immediate radio hit, she released the album “COWBOY CARTER” which has already smashed the record of most listened to album of 2024 so far.

The album, and somehow this is a hot take, is a country album. It features cameos by Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, who both endorse not only the album but Beyoncé herself as an artist.

It’s a genre-bending album that touches into all sorts of categories and discusses issues around racism and historical bias in the history of country music. It’s no surprise then that the album has been met with quite a bit of pushback from certain communities.

The album itself is a masterclass in not only country but pop as well. It’s a genre-redefining hit that is already seeing success at a global level. The album is not traditional country, but neither is country itself. It’s natural for music to evolve over time, if it had not we would still be hearing the same old racist country tunes they were playing just a few decades ago.

In regard to those who claim that the album is not country, or that Beyoncé has no right making a country album, I would challenge you to think about it like this: historically country music has been rooted in systemic and cultural racism on par with no other genre of music. Only very recently in our history have we been able to move away from that and recognize the issues with past classics.

Gatekeeping a genre of music or diminishing the accomplishments of someone as culturally influential as Beyoncé, just because she released an album in the genre of music which you yourself might have strong opinions about, should not be the go-to response. The music industry is still faced with certain levels of sexism and racism, and for an artist to be brave enough to release music like this is a major accomplishment for not only them but for us as well. We can only benefit from learning about and understanding others’ perspectives, and Beyoncé has given us a powerful way to do so.

So, in a quick summary of this week’s Sound Bite. Listen to “WE DON’T TRUST YOU,” it’s a fantastic album. Experience “COWBOY CARTER,” trust me it’s worth it! And most importantly DM Drake telling him to drop something already!

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