kanye west

Tarnished Heroes: The End of Celebrity Worship in America

Angelo Franco

If Wagner does prove to be too controversial or if we finally admit that the Ring Cycle is too long and stuffier than a Lord of the Ring marathon, Strauss, Weber, and Beethoven can give us that German opera fix (as well as many other Austria-Germanic composers, such as Mozart, Schoenberg, and Berg, if we choose not to care too much about political borders and the like). If film witticism and quirk ala Woody Allen is what you’re craving, Noah Baumbach, Sofia Coppola, and Wes Anderson will save the day. And there is definitely no shortage of white male actors and poets. 

Bored This Way: The Loss of Lady Gaga's Relevance in Pop Culture

Sophia Dorval

Armed with a series of blonde hairstyles, nary a pair of pants and a wardrobe straight out of a pop art coffee table book, Lady Gaga shamelessly presented herself as a breath of postmodern fresh air through her then aloof persona in interviews, attending award shows with her tabloid BFF Perez Hilton, and naturally through her music videos, which were bacchanalian displays of youth, sexuality, consumption, and her and America’s favorite obsession: celebrity. Flash forward to the fall of 2013, when she has bestowed her fourth album Artpop onto the record, ahem, singles “buying” public.  It sells 75 percent less in its first week than its predecessor Born This Way.  

Sneakerheads: The Rise of Sneaker Culture in the U.S.

Yolian Cerquera

Adidas, Nike, and Reebok dominated the sneaker wars of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but before them it was Pro-Keds and Puma Clyde’s that pro-ball players sought out. Nonetheless, as impactful as these designs were, neither would be as paramount on and off the court as the Air Jordans. In an unprecedented event, in 1984, Michael Jordan signed a $2.5 million endorsement deal with Nike during his rookie year when he had not yet reached his “superstar status” and was not considered a commodity.

Hip-Hop’s Evolution: Forsaking Political and Social Awareness for Material Gain

Natalie Meade

The  hip-hop visionaries  who passed away during the 1990s were an inspiration for emcees today, but why does the mainstream music of today largely disregard the ongoing issues? If one can look past the explicit nature of the music during the ‘90s, it is evident that it was politically charged. The overt lyrics were meant to draw attention to the conditions that most inner-city Blacks could not escape, but it seems as though most artists today are afraid to sacrifice a dollar for the sake of kinship.

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