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Chilled Cow cover art by artist JP Machado

The last time you scrolled through YouTube, Spotify, or SoundCloud searching for music, you probably noticed something peculiar.

Lofi Playlists are everywhere.

These collections of music include hundreds, sometimes thousands of songs composed of a minimalist ethos; between 90 and 115 BPM, sampling from a wide range of melodies and are held together by reverb and hypnotizing percussion patterns.


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When Covid-19 descended upon the world, it brought many aspects of life to a halt, including the opportunity for strangers to get together and enjoy a comedy show. Suddenly, the idea of unmasked people sharing a laugh in a cramped bar became foreign, even dangerous.

Ben Frank holds a peculiar yet fascinating title — he was the first comedian to headline a show in Wuhan where the outbreak of the pandemic began.

His most recent comedy special, Live in Wuhan, is reflective and pioneering.

Filmed in July just three months after the lockdown, his special illuminates the contrast between a…


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Guide to Shanghai, 2018

When I think of Shanghai, I imagine a city that defies reality, pushing each conceivable belief to its limits. Oftentimes as I gazed out into the cityscape, it seemed to me that the buildings had been erratically sketched on a piece of paper, then hastily breathed into reality. Its inhabitants were just as magical.

The city is home to foreigners from all over the world. In a single day, it wouldn’t be difficult to interact with an individual from each of the 6 habitable continents, every person with their own unique circumstances which brought them to Shanghai.

How would anyone…


Dissecting the complicated heritage of a quintessential American genre

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The first Vinyl record I owned was Kanye West’s “College Dropout.”

I found it in 2015 at a record shop and raced back to my dorm to listen to it with a friend on her record player. After listening to both sides, I was blown away. I was captivated by the storytelling and the raw emotion in each of the 21 tracks.

On “We Don’t Care,” a chorus of Black children sang, “We wasn’t supposed to make it past 25, joke’s on you, we still alive”, taunting Americans who turned a blind eye to the tragedy of inner city Black…


Raman

When I was young, I would wait anxiously for the same time of year to roll around. I wanted June to roll around so that I could finally go to summer camp.

If you were a kid who went to summer camp, you know how magical it was. Camp was a Utopia. The vibrancy of life was always on full display.

Looking back on my time at camp as an adult, I’m filled with a sense of nostalgia, and wonder at the lessons that I was able to experience in such a short amount of time.

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In all honestly, camp…


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Frazer Harrison — Getty Images

In 2011, Kreayshawn released the hit song Gucci Gucci.

It was massively popular and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks, earning millions of streams world wide, and launching her career as a pop star.

Last month, she tweeted that she was broke and deeply in debt to Sony Records.


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Lester Cohen/Wire Images

Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have several adventures in the world of stand up comedy.

I’ve met performers from all over the world; from the backs of pubs in London to rooftops in Shanghai.

A comedy set can unfold in infinite ways, but over my time performing, I’ve noticed a few writings patterns which I believe reveal a peek behind the curtain of joke writing.

Below are the things I’ve found to be true. They are by no means the only way to tell a joke… but they’re a start.

  1. Comedy = Pain x Time


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The surprising history of rappers and the NBA

In 2010, Drake dropped a valuable piece of knowledge, rapping “I swear sports and music are so synonymous.. cause we want to be them, and they want to be us.”

Rappers and athletes achieve the greatest heights of fame globally, however, they constantly dream of switching places with each other.


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In music, artists are lucky if they can create one classic album.

Frank Ocean created two.

Channel Orange and Blonde are recognized as two of the most important albums of the last decade; monuments to Frank Ocean’s immense talent.

The question is: which is better?

The albums are inherently different. Channel Orange was written and delivered in three weeks. Blonde was sealed away, then revealed after four years.

Channel Orange was the process of toil and tribulation for an ill fit record label, Def Jam. Blonde was a toast to independent artistry, showcased by Apple Music.

Channel Orange is complex…

Raman Mama

Culture writer featured in Noteworthy, The Writing Cooperative, USA Today & Olustories. Comedian & Musician. Thinker. ramanmcreates@gmail.com linktr.ee/airraman

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