Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm


Mac Miller: Gone Too Soon

Mac MillerThe rap world lost another star on Friday, Sept. 7.

26 year-old Mac Miller passed away from an apparent overdose, as reported by TMZ.

The Pittsburgh native rapper struggled with addiction over the past five years, but unfortunately lost the battle.

Miller made great achievements in a career that lasted a little over a decade.

The artist released mixtapes with a rap group, The Ill Spoken in 2007, but pursued his solo career with tapes of his own.

His debut studio album in 2011, Blue Slide Park, reached number one on the Billboard chart in the United States and earned Miller a certified gold record.

Miller’s subsequent studio albums dominated the charts over the next seven years, as all four landed within the top five of the Billboard charts.

The rapper earned gold on singles “Knock Knock,” “Party on Fifth Ave.,” “Loud,” and “Dang!”

Also, Miller reached platinum status on singles, “Weekend” and “Donald Trump.”

Miller’s sudden loss comes at a time where things started to look up for the rapper.

The artist just released his fifth studio album Swimming last month and was about to embark on a tour across the country starting on Oct. 27 in San Francisco and ending in Vancouver on Dec. 10.

Many artists paid homage to Miller through social media.

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Cinema’s Sizzling Summer

Cinema Sizzling Summer 1Ah, the summer: a season where the sun always shines, the heat rises, people crowd the beach, and old men mow the lawn shirtless.

Other than that horrific sight on many lawns across the country, I love all the fruits of summer, especially the air conditioning.

Fortunately for all of us, the best place to cool down is the movie theater.

Even though the theaters felt as cold as ice, the box office was on fire this summer.

From May 4 to Sept. 3, the box office grossed a total of $3.7 billion nationwide.

The top five highest grossing movies of the summer were The Incredibles 2 ($595.5 million),  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($412.3 million), Deadpool 2 ($318.4 million), Solo: A Star Wars Story ($213.5 million), and Ant-Man and the Wasp ($209.7 million).

Audiences were heading to the theaters to chill from the smoldering heat and to catch some great flicks.

Of course, there were plenty of duds like the head splitting Mile 22, laughable Hereditary, and abismal Superfly; but the good outweighed the bad.

I found myself going to the theater frequently not only because Moviepass still worked, but there were a lot of releases that caught my interest released by studios from here and abroad.

An average of two movies a year receive my coveted four star score (the highest rating on my scale), but this summer four features earned the rating: The Guardians, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, Mission Impossible: Fallout, and What Will People Say.

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Alice and Chains Are Lost in a Fog

Alice and ChainsGrunge pioneers Alice In Chains released their first album in five years, Rainier Fog, on Aug. 24.

When AIC announced the arrival of a new record earlier this year, fans and critics had divided expectations.

Many fans I spoke with were excited to have a new record following a five-year silence; but there was also a strong amount of those who felt apathetic and even angry.

Following lead singer Layne Staley’s death in 2002, it seemed the band would be over forever.

However, in 2006, William Duvall succeeded Staley on lead vocals and rhythm guitar.

Duvall’s vocal style sounded like Staley’s iconic drone of a voice and many noticed.

12 years after joining AIC, Duvall captured the acclaim of critics, including Staley’s father, Phil.

Aside from Duvall, the original lineup of Jerry Cantrell on guitar, Sean Kenney on drums, and Mike Inez on bass play on their latest album.

Cantrell is a guitarist who deserves a lot more credit.

Although a rock star, he was raised on country music and was even president of his high school choir.

In Fog, his chord progressions, raw emotive notes and licks show his country music roots.

The harmonies learned in choir have found their place within Cantrell’s songwriting.

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Let's Just Call This..."Senior See Ya Later" | Nicole Ingraffia's Senior Goodbye

Ingraffia 1College was filled with four years of firsts for me. I would be the first one in my immediate family to earn my degree. I had my first real heart break. For the first time ever, I left the country and studied abroad in Australia. I lost a loved one for the very first time; I miss you Grandpa. I hopped my first fence leaving a party. It was the first time I felt like I was meant to be somewhere.

Coming to Monmouth was an actual dream come true. Opening up my acceptance letter flooded me with emotions. When I read the words “Dear Nicole, Congratulations!” I felt like I was on top of the world. However, it was a steep slope down realizing that affording tuition wasn’t practical.

When you’re 18 and from a small town, you constantly dream about the day you leave for college with the naivety that nothing can stand in your way. But ultimately, the block in the road is usually reality.

When my family and I analyzed the options, I realized there weren’t many. I tucked my acceptance letter away on my desk and suddenly the way I had always pictured my future was taking a turn.

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Five of the Best Bands You've Never Heard Of

Five Best BandsUnfortunately, many brilliant bands get buried by the success of mainstream artists. Here are five obscure bands that deserve to be in the modern music spotlight.

5. Bad Suns- This four-piece is made up of Christo Bowman (lead vocals), Ray Libby (guitar), Gavin Bennett (bass), and Miles Morris (drums).

The band’s sound can be described as a pleasant blend of indie pop, rock, and eighties new wave. Bowman’s memorable, passionate voice evokes raw emotion with every lyric, particularly in the song “We Move Like the Ocean.”

The new wave guitar, synth, and bass style continues throughout their two albums, most prominently featured in “Daft Pretty Boys” and “Salt.”

The band slows down their usual tempo with the song “Maybe We’re Meant to Be Alone,” which features an electric guitar fingerstyle and a soft drum beat.

Overall, Bad Suns’ powerful vocals and instrumentals are evidence that they truly know how to make good music. Not many musicians excel at blending the eighties sound into modern music, which is why Bad Suns is definitely a band to check out.

4. Hippo Campus- Jake Luppen (vocals, guitar), Nathan Stocker (guitar), Zach Sutton (bass), and Whistler Allen (drums) of Hippo Campus bring a whole new feel to indie rock music.

With every member introduced to music at a young age, their passion for music spills out of their lyrics and melodies. The catchy riff in “Violet” will hook you right from the first note, while “South” is the type of song to have on repeat when driving on a road trip.

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The Rock's Rage Cannot Save Rampage

Rock Rage RampageWhenever you watch a home remodeling show on HGTV, many of the contractors stress having a “wow factor” to attract buyers. When someone initially walks through the doors of a house for sale, you want them to say, “wow!”

Some things that make buyers say “wow” are a newly renovated living room, grand foyer, or if you’ve ever lived in Elmwood or Pinewood your freshman year, just the feeling of air conditioning.

When it comes to movies, the “wow factor” can be positive or negative. You can say, “wow, this movie is great” or, “wow, this sucks!”

Throughout Rampage, the “wow factor” was in full effect, but for the wrong reasons. I kept saying “wow” after every bad joke or plot hole.

Primatologist Davis Okoye, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, works at a zoo and is friends with George, an albino silverback gorilla.

When George is infected by genetic material that’s fallen from outer space, the gorilla and two other animals grow to gargantuan sizes. Okoye attempts to stop these animals from destroying the city of Chicago and… the world!

Yes, it’s as ridiculous and bad as it sounds. Rampage flexes its $120 million budget with over-the-top special effects, but that’s the only redeeming quality.

When we go to the movies, it’s natural for us to leave our brains at the door and forget about the real world.

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Death Note Kills Its Original Material

default article image“This is gonna sound a little crazy, but I have a Death God,” Light Turner the main character says to his crush as he is about to reveal one of his secrets.

However, the same can be said for the Netflix adaptation from a popular classic anime into a live-action film directed by Adam Wingard; Netflix predicted its own failure through this adaptation.

Netflix adapted an original anime series consisting of a total of 37 20-minute episodes into a 101-minute live-action film, which right off the bat seems to do the original work an injustice.

Death Note (the Netflix live-action film) takes place in the city of Seattle and revolves around a genius blonde-haired high school guy named Light Turner (Nat Wolff) who recently lost his beloved mother.

Due to this, Light and his father, James Turner (Shea Whigham) who also just happens to be a police official, have a complicated father-son relationship, which comes to play a major role in the film.

One day at school Light finds a black-leather notebook with the words “Death Note” on the cover.

This is no ordinary notebook as it gives one the power to ultimately decide who dies, when they die, and how they die.

However, along with the notebook comes what is referred to a “Death G-D” who in this case is Ryuk (acted by Jason Liles, voiced by Willem Dafoe).

Almost immediately upon acquiring the Death Note, Light Turner and Ryuk begin to communicate and develop an interesting relationship.

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Love, Simon (Almost) Worth Coming Out For

Love SimonOne day when you walk to the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, you may come across an event where tables are filled with an assortment of treats, colorful balloons radiate against the brick facade and a photo booth filled with peers.

Every year in the fall, Sexuality, Pride, Education, Community, Truth, Respect, and Unity at Monmouth, (S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M) along with other on-campus organizations, hosts “Coming Out Day,” which celebrates diversity and erects awareness for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Coming Out Day” is rewarding for the community, because it’s not an easy road to realization. When it comes to discovering your sexuality, you have to overcome many questions and obstacles to live the life you’d be most happy with.

That’s the case for Simon, played by Nick Robinson. Simon’s just like any other suburban high schooler: he has a close group of friends, gets along with the administration, loves his parents and is involved with activities like the play; but Simon has a big secret.

Simon is gay, but doesn’t feel comfortable telling anyone except for an anonymous person he starts to email at his high school.

His life is completely stable and Simon doesn’t want to put the relationships with his friends and family into jeopardy right before graduation.

The coming-of-age flick deals with an important subject, has well developed characters and an awesome soundtrack from executive music producer Jack Antonoff, but it gets corny down the stretch.

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Meet Hannah Riley: A Jersey Girl with Dreams (and a Voice) Too Big for this Town

Hannah RielyHannah Riley Kraft, 21, is just a local Jersey girl who has a voice to be heard.

She is the type of person to sit in her garage, write music, and sing her heart out on a Saturday night rather than go to a party.

“I have been playing piano for as long as I can remember,” Hannah said.

She has been singing and writing her own music for eight years now.

What sparked her interest to take singing seriously was because of her journey at the Performing Arts Academy High School.

The singer’s sister, Kayleigh, 22, said growing up Hannah had always had a unique style.

“I love her music mainly because her lyrics and sounds really mirror her personal style and emotion, which shows a lot about who she is as an artist,” Kayleigh said.

Hannah didn’t really think much of the idea of making her own music until she graduated high school in 2013.

She finally broke out of her musical-theatre shell and realized her passion was in front of her this whole time.

“I was auditioning in NYC for a while for cruise lines and shows. I would get call backs and get far In the audition process, but it wasn’t working out,” Hannah said.

“I sat down one day and really thought about where I wanted to go in life, in terms of music”

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MIKE STUD to Perform at Springfest

Mike Stud Spring FestRapper Mike Stud will be performing at 2018’s Springfest, the Student Government Association (SGA) announced on Friday, March 30.

According to Vibe, Stud’s journey to music began after suffering an elbow injury in baseball.

The Rhode Island native was an All-American relief pitcher at Duke University, but his dreams of playing in the majors were cut short due to his injury.

Taking a different path in life, Stud found a new direction through music. The 29 year-old has made waves in the music industry, especially in 2014 with the release of his second album Closer.

The album’s title song Closer peaked at thirteen on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop chart in 2014.

If you haven’t heard Stud’s music, you may have come across him on MTV. In 2016, the rapper had his own reality show, This is Mike Stud.

Stud’s reality show followed him on the road during his nationwide Back2You tour.

Some of Stud’s most recent releases come from last year with singles such as Shine, which features Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman.

Jihad Johnson, senior communication student and Director of Events and Programming, expressed his excitement about the upcoming show.

“Spring Fest is a couple of weeks away and I am pumped! The Springfest committee-- along with the other Events Committee--have both worked really hard this year to make the events SGA holds as great as they can be.”

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Best F(r)iends is Far from the Best

Best FriendsStarring Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau

It was a frigid evening on Wednesday, Jan. 11 as hundreds hustled to the box office at AMC for warmth and entertainment. People across all generations snagged tickets for a one-night only screening of Tommy Wiseau’s notorious film The Room.

It was packed inside the theater as the electric audience laughed, yelled, and cried at the screen. It was a sold out crowd with dozens of people sitting on the floor to get a glimpse of the chaos that happens for a screening of The Room.

The Room is considered the best worst film ever made. Starring Tommy Wiseau, who directed the feature too, and Greg Sestero, the cult classic still allures thousands around the globe to attend monthly screenings.

Fast-forward to last week and that same magic was expected to return to the screen, but with a twist. For the first time in fifteen years, the hilarious duo of Wiseau and Sestero were reunited in their latest film Best F(r)iends. It screened for one-night only last Friday in thousands of theaters across the country.

Considering the hardcore fans of The Room filled the theater in January, my friends and I arrived at the theater forty-minutes beforehand to secure our seats. But alas, the theater was practically empty on a Friday night with only 20 people.

For this movie, I’m surprised even that many people showed up.

Best F(r)iends is the return fans have waited for, but it’s an unfortunate let down. With poor acting, a sloppy script, braindead logic and choppy editing choices, it would’ve been better if Sestero and Wiseau milked the fame from The Room a little bit longer.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151