Tag Archives: life

Lessons Learned Through R&B Lyrics

By Rio Jackson

As the American artist SZA once said, “God bless these 20 somethings – good luck on them 20 somethings.” Your twenty’s can be an interesting ride. High school is over and you’re journeying into adulthood. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, adulthood is defined as maturity and “being fully developed”. In other words, you’re a grown-up now and should have this thing called life figured out. But we all know, life is not simple, and our goals do not always go according to plan. With finals here and everyone starting to feel exhausted from studying, I hope I can provide some wisdom to get you through this period. I personally love music, so, I am going to provide a few life tips hidden in the music genres known as R&B and Hip-Hop.

1.Count On Your Friends

“I’ll be there for you
When you’re going through
Times that you may think that you need a friend
You can count on me
Call me when you need”

-Song: Best Friend – Brandy

Life comes with a lot of hiccups and unexpected turns. Friends and supportive colleagues make life challenges a lot less painful. Empathetic friends remind you that the bad times are not permanent. Feeling isolated? Dreading graduating? Undecided about talking to your family? Having work related issues? Identify a friend. You do not need many friends, one good friend will make a difference in your experience in college, and adulthood. Quality friendships are vital in your twenty-somethings. Friends reduce your stress and friends give you a sense of belonging.

  1. Identify Your Problems

“I tried to drink it away
I tried to put one in the air
I tried to dance it away
I tried to change it with my hair
I ran my credit card bill up
Thought a new dress would make it better
I tried to work it away
But that just made me even sadder”

-Song: Cranes In The Sky – Solange

Solange ,who is now a 31 year old Grammy recipient, explained the origin of her “Cranes In The Sky” track in an interview with her sister, Beyonce.  She said that he wrote it in her 20’s when she had self-doubt. This notorious track was able to “put into perspective all of those ugly things” we experience in our twenty-somethings. Like Solange, it is important to identify your pain in order to find inner peace.

You can read more about her interview here: http://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/solange/#page2

  1. It’s Time To Let It Go…

“Just let go
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow
Everything’s gonna work out right, you know
Just let go, let it flow, let it flow, let it flow
Just let it go, baby”

-Song: Let It Flow – Toni Braxton

Toni’s voice is soothing and calming and in “Let It Go,” her lyrics speak to letting go of a relationship. However, this song can be relatable to numerous areas in our life outside of relationships. When “things” fail, which sometimes in life they do, let it flow… I’m not saying let it entirely go, but don’t let it weigh you down. When you’re feeling anxious and sad – remember to self care. Keep pushing and move forward! You have your thirties and a long life to look forward to.

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Milk and Honey — The City Remedy

By Dimitris Tzoytzoyrakos

In the past several years, nothing has made as much of an impact onto the poetry world as Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey. Having sold over one million copies, her collection of poems is actively being discussed, quoted, and plastered all over social media.

I will preface what I am about to say by stating that my opinion is entirely subjective, as it is with all art.

I believe the extreme popularity of Milk and Honey, while partly due to its feminist subject matter, owes much more of its success to its simplistic, minimalist, and easily-accessible form of craftsmanship.

It is never a good idea to say that art should ever be anything. However, one of the great beauties of poetry is its enigmatic or multi-layered nature of words. Unlike music, painting, or film, poetry is the art of words and strictly words. This limitation grants a heavy burden on the poet, as the words that they choose to construct their work could inhabit a territory of many possible meanings, bringing the poem to a certain degree of subjectivity to the reader. This gives the reader a new responsibility: to interpret the poem.

Interpretation is the root of discussion, argument, and understanding in art. It is what brings readers together to expand each other’s field of perspective and build upon their methods of reaching it.

Rupi Kaur’s language in Milk and Honey (for almost its entirety) does not attempt to suggest multiple meanings or take on an interpretive nature. Rather, her poems and their subject matter are very direct and on-the-nose, leaving the message of her poems out in the open for all to see and to collectively understand.

This of course could be a deliberate choice on her end, but it is easy to see how this style of writing limits the discussions to be had on her poetry, as far as their meaning is concerned.

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Ball If Life

By Anna Ngo

5 seconds left. The crowd was silent. 4 seconds…Sweat trickled down my face. 3 seconds…I weaved through my opponents. 2 seconds…I tossed the ball in the air. 1 second…The ball bounced around the rim. EERRP! The buzzer went off, and the crowd went wild as I made the winning shot. “Anna! Anna!” My name echoed throughout the stadium as the audience and my teammates chanted it repeatedly.

Those are the moments I live for. Basketball has been a huge part of my life, and it all started when I was five years old. My mom had dragged me to this Tracy McGrady Basketball Camp at a nearby church. At that time, I had no interest in basketball, let alone know what it was.

I vividly recall my very first steps into the gym. The stench odor of sweat wrinkled my nose as the shrill whistles drummed in my ear. Pounding fast, my heart beat to the dribble of the basketball. I stood there motionless as a sea of eyes glared at me. I felt their critical stares penetrate my skin. I was mentally and physically unprepared for this, so I sat down on the bleachers and refused to participate. However, my mom desperately wanted me to try it out, so I made a deal with her. If I participated in the camp, she had to take me to Build-A-Bear. It was the hottest commodity at that time, and all my schoolmates had a bear from there. (Don’t forget, I was five years old at that time.)

With each day, I started to develop a liking for basketball and that liking turned into a passion. One thing led to another. After the basketball camp, I joined the YMCA basketball league in elementary school. As I got into middle school, I played for the school’s team as I led it to the zone championship. I also played for my high school team, going from the freshman team to varsity. On top of that, I played for the Athletic Amateur Union (AAU) during the summer during the offseason. Thus, I had played basketball for 18 years straight up until I got into college.  Thinking I’d need time to try other things, I took a break from basketball during my freshman year, but I soon realized that this was a mistake. I missed being on the court. Therefore, I tried out for the USC Women’s Club Basketball Team and made it in, thus reuniting with the sport that became more than just a passion, but a life lesson.

I can honestly say that the deal I made with my mom was the best thing in my life because not only did I get my Build-a-Bear, I also got a life-long experience that has helped shape me into the person I am today. It has taught me the value of teamwork, communication, commitment, and hard work. I guess you can say, “Ball if Life.”

Anna Ngo is a rising junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering (Petroleum). She is from Houston, Texas but is loving the Los Angeles atmosphere. She has been dancing and playing basketball since she was five years old. However, she loves all sports and enjoys cooking and exploring. The one thing she loves the most is engaging herself in new cultures and experiencing new things.