At the End of Finals, Listen to This

by dj saratonin

With finals here and all the chaos that it brings, I compiled a small playlist of songs that may help you relax at the end of the day, or even help you fall asleep when you get the chance to. Remember to take care of yourself and don’t forget to take a moment and breathe, no matter how hard that may seem.

Album Review: Noir by Smino

by dj saratonin

It is almost impossible to not distinguish rapper and singer Smino’s voice in a sea of mixed harmonies and sounds. Following his debut album blkswn, Smino collaborated with various other artists, one of which included Noname. What led me to discovering his music was his track Ace on Noname’s album Room 25. What initially drew me into listening to the rapper was the uniqueness his voice held throughout the track. Through his ability to rhyme almost anything and falsetto-like singing voice layered with various harmonies, Smino creates cleverly mixed tracks with influences from reggae, soul, and funk.

That’s why I was very excited to find out that his second studio album Noir had just released two weeks ago. The first song on the album I listened to was Fenty Sex. Admittedly, the title drew me in and surely enough I was listening to Smino singing about his fruits of labor and the captivating girl that assisted him. He continues to ode to this girl with the seamless transition to the next song on the album BAM 2x. I was surprised to look at my phone and see that the song had changed, however Smino never fails to entice you with his beats going hard alongside his synchronized harmonies and reggae-inspired instrumentals.

When I glanced at the tracklist I was also very excited to listen to his track MF Groove, where singer Ravyn Lenae accompanies Smino in his telling of personal confliction. We’ve seen Smino and Ravyn Lenae collaborate before as they are part of the same music collective Zero Fatigue along with various other artists. This song and its slow, dreamy layering of Ravyn and Smino’s vocals assures us that they are an incredible duo capable of taking you to another realm. Ravyn’s angelic voice compliments Smino’s falsetto-like voice amazingly without overwhelming you with high-tones and pitches. They are definitely a pair that I hope to see more of in the future.

Noir is an album that you can enjoy in a room full of people or when you feel like taking moments to really appreciate different aspects of music production. The combination of Smino’s vocals and production is one that can put you in a trance. He holds this ability to rhyme anything, making him this fun artist that you can put on anywhere. You have the opportunity to listen to each individual sound but also appreciate it as a whole, as each sound uniquely contributes to what makes Smino respectively one of the most stylized and unique new artists you can listen to today.  

CAL-A TALKS TOUR, FAKE POP, 2K19, E-40, AARON LAU, HEALTH/WEALTH, BEING MEXICAN AND MORE!

CAL-A, is a multi-faceted individual as he is a Producer & the DJ for P-Lo. Three quarters into the #PRIME Tour, CAL-A sits down with our Hip-Hop Director RIZZYSTAYDIZZY & talks Tour, Fake Pop, 2K19 E-40, Aaron Lau, Health & Wealth, Being Mexican & more! Recorded on December 8th, 2018 @ The CatalystCheck it out below

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING: JAY R | OMAR | P-LO | & THE WHOLE TOUR COMPANY

Listen to CAL-A’s FAKE POP below!

Works cited:

CAL-A KSJS Interview w Abeltron x DJ Llama 

PMAC’s HELLA MODED.

CAL-A TWITTER | CAL-A INSTAGRAM

*Please note that there have been other interviews of CAL-A. Questions asked here are done from the close research of what has been asked & has not been asked.

JAUZ @ The Catalyst 11/7/18 Show Review by Josh aka DJ iEHOA

Sam Vogel better known as JAUZ brings his shark squad to invade the waters of Santa Cruz on November 17 at The Catalyst. Based in the Bay Area, Jauz produces tracks across many genres such as future bass, dubstep, and his main genre bass house. Most people would recognize him for his song “Feel The Volume”. He has also collaborated on many tracks with superstar DJ’s Skrillex, Marshmello, Tiesto, DJ Snake and Diplo.

After many years of producing hit dance singles Jauz in November of 2017 he announced that he would become the CEO of his own record label Bite This and in August of 2018 would release his first studio album “The Wise and the Wicked”. Shortly after the release of his album he goes on his first Bite This tour which showcases Holy Goof and Skepsis (who did not play in Santa Cruz) two of many artist signed onto the label.

We open the show up with Connor Bvrns an upcoming DJ from LA who has just recently opened up for Diplo. His set slowly but surely set the mood for the night from playing many tracks across genres from trap to moombahton. One song that really stuck out to me from his set is hearing “Love Again” by Slander which immediately gave me a nostalgic vibe as I haven’t heard the song live since 2016.

Right after his set Holy Goof takes the stage. From the UK, Holy Goof was my most anticipated set for as I was very excited to hear the sounds of the UK come to the US. Holy Goof did not hold back at all unleashing UK Bass House tracks that amazed the crowd.

Unfortunately, during this set, I had experienced a recurring issue that I have had at The Catalyst which involves the crowd’s lack of spatial awareness in the middle. I quickly avoided this mess by moving towards the left side of the venue which had more space to dance without having to miss out on most of the light show.

While Holy Goof’s set was full of energy, Jauz quickly stole the show as soon as he came on. All throughout his 1 and ½ hour set, he did a good job in blending many different styles of music from Dubstep to House. Playing many tracks from his album, “The Wise and The Wicked” I felt complete when I got to hear my favorite track from the album, “Acid or Techno”.

 

In all, I would give this show a 7/9 ★★★★★★★☆☆ on my scale.

 

The show overall was great! While I still had to deal with people’s lack of spatial awareness, the energy was high and it never went down at all throughout the night. Great mixing from all the supporting DJ’s and a great set from Jauz.

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Listen to Mixes by DJ iEHOA

KZSC @ 2018 UCRN (University of California Radio Network) Conference!

KZSC visits host 88.9FM KUCI (UC IRVINE) Radio for the Bi-Annual UCRN Conference! Directed & Edited by our Hip Hop Director RIZZYSTAYDIZZY#GIVE2KZSC

KZSC Staff in attendance: Rizal Aliga, Neroli Devaney, Kavya Aswadhati, Maelin Rose, Duncan Ober, Alex Varelijan, Kathy Hermosillo, Dani Lopez, Josh Zupan, Daniel Martinez

On Assignment: The Case for Bhad Bhabie

by Alden Tackett, edited by dj saratonin

 There was a small crowd of people avoiding the rain beneath small overhangs at The Catalyst on November 28th. Bhad Bhabie, also known as Danielle Bregoli was getting ready to perform that night solo after the cancellation of the other headlining act, rapper Lil Yachty who collaborated on her song “Gucci Flip Flops.” As I waited for the doors to open, I caught snippets of the conversations around me. There were murmurs of disbelief and excitement. To some, the concert seemed like a novelty – the ability to see a social media star in person. Bhad Bhabie achieved stardom before she made her first song. Her appearance on the Dr. Phil show is what initially launched her into the limelight. However, as she explains on the song Bhad Bhabie Story (Outro) from her debut mixtape “15”, her goal was never to become famous. In fact, her overnight rise to stardom happened while she was on a rehabilitory ranch, completely disconnected from the Internet. Only after she returned did she see the meteoric rise in her social media numbers. Her rebellious, uncaring attitude sparked something important in the Generation Z kids who spread the TV clips like wildfire.

In the venue, there was no shortage of hype for the main act. Her appearance was teased for a good two hours after the doors opened, and the crowd erupted in cheers every time the DJ asked “Who’s ready to see Bhad Bhabie tonight?”As the clock hit 10 pm, Danielle’s personal DJ Asia Shabazz took the stage playing three songs as a solo set before determining that the crowd was hyphy enough for Bhad Bhabie to come out. The crowd erupted in excitement at the sight of the star as the chorus of the song Juice (feat. YG) boomed through the speakers. She continued the concert with other hits from her mixtape, including Yung and Bhad (feat. City Girls)Geek’d (feat. Lil Baby), as well as her debut single These Heaux. About halfway through the show she paid a tribute expressing her sorrow over the death of controversial rapper XXXTentacion, covering his songs SAD! and Look at Me. 

She then continued the show with other hits from her tape, including Count It (feat. $hirak), in which she tossed counterfeit USD with her face on it into the crowd. The crowd’s hype culminated as she played Gucci Flip Flops (feat. Lil Yachty), pausing to take a selfie video from a fan’s phone and interact with a few other people on the barricade. She brought the crowd back down from a roar, and I was honored to be one of the people picked out from the crowd that she said “hi bich” to before erupting into the eponymous single “Hi Bich”, a timeless classic as well as a personal favorite. Her posse left the stage, in which they soon returned with a reprise of “Gucci Flip Flops” before exiting the stage for the last time.

This is where I want to begin my case for Bhad Bhabie. During the weeks leading up to concert, I told several people about my plans to attend. There was a mixed reaction, to say the least. A few shared envy at the opportunity, but most laughed in disbelief. I found that most people still think of her as Danielle Bregoli, the rebellious young girl who made a spectacle of herself on television. However, I can say that after listening to her mixtape and seeing her in concert, I see a tremendous amount of growth from the Bhad Bhabie who achieved viral stardom over two years ago.

Danielle Bregoli was not born with a silver spoon by any means. On her mixtape, she explains the absence of her father and how he tried to create problems for her after she got popular, about how she struggled to make money and provide for her family, and how she even witnessed a murder at the solitary rehabilitation camp she went to. These references all appear in the song Bhad Bhabie Story (Outro), in which she tells the story of her rise to stardom and ending with her recording “Hi Bich”, moving to Los Angeles, and getting a record deal. The other songs on her mixtape feature wildly different themes. Many are filled with proclamations of wealth, confidence, apathy towards her haters, as well as her readiness to fight anyone threatening her and her career. Bhad Bhabie was able to cultivate a large fanbase which supports her to this day, and it’s easy to see why. She’s confident, charismatic, funny, and unapologetic. She’s also extremely talented. Partway through her set at the Catalyst, she had her DJ cut the backing track, and started rapping a monologue very quickly. It’s hard for me to say if this was freestyled or pre-prepared, but it was nevertheless impressive.

On the outro to her 15 mixtape, Bhad Bhabie says that she had 500,000 followers when she first logged into instagram after her initial rise to stardom. Now she’s sitting pretty at over 15.7 million. There’s no doubt in my mind that this continual rise in popularity is due to her relentless attitude and total apathy towards other people’s ideas of her. She refused to let others’ negative opinions get in the way of her career, and I’m sure she will continue to do so. She has yet to tease another mixtape or hint at a debut album, but she recently did a feature with fellow popstar Charli XCX, so I’m sure there’s more to come. I had a great time at the concert and I’m extremely excited to see what’s next for Bhad Bhabie.