Tyler

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For all the flak Tyler, The Creator takes from critics claiming he is turning the nation’s youth into hellacious demons, his albums have made millions. Cherry Bomb, released Monday, portrays a slightly more mature version of Tyler but maintains the energetic production and exciting features of his previous releases.

After reading over the track list for the first time, it’s notable that there was no production work or features from other Odd Future members.

Odd Future released a mobile app, a magazine and continues with its Adult Swim show, but its focus on music has wavered. As Odd Future’s self-proclaimed sergeant, Tyler, The Creator could have worked on a group mixtape or album, but instead he chose to pursue his own interests.

Odd Future has become a brand with each individual member left to find their own way, occasionally collaborating on miscellaneous projects. Cherry Bomb proves Tyler, The Creator is capable of having a successful career apart from the group.

This independence from Odd Future has forced Tyler to mature a bit. He started out on his career rapping about rape and murder fantasies. His lyrics on Cherry Bomb have found the perfect blend between his lackadaisical delivery style and more serious subject matter.

 

To start the album, Tyler raps seriously about his disdain for the publicity and press that comes with the fame he has earned. Seconds later, he claims he was “so special the teacher asked if I was autistic,” and tells his critics to go, “butt fuck your opinion.”

When J. Cole referenced autism in one of his verses, he was forced to apologize. It’s safe to say Tyler, The Creator won’t be apologizing to anyone any time soon. Tyler has never been afraid to offend people, but for the first time in his career, his playful teasing concerns important topics, showing his growth as a person.

When it comes to the production of Cherry Bomb, Tyler still incorporates a variety of influences in his music. Citing Stevie Wonder as inspiration, Tyler goes from soothing saxaphone on “FIND YOUR WINGS” to synthesizers on “BUFFALO” and heavy-handed drum machines on “OKAGA, CA.”

As the producer of the majority of tracks, Tyler made a few questionable decisions. His relentless pursuit of the proper representation of his thoughts leads to an over-bearing backing track every now and then. This makes his lyrics difficult to hear and understand.

The deep drum machines on “PILOT” and the distorted guitar on “CHERRY BOMB” may have been intended as statements on Tyler’s cluttered thoughts, but the experimental noise ruins the songs.

The latter half of the album hosts verses from the likes of Schoolboy Q, Pharrell Williams and Charlie Wilson. One of the most anticipated tracks off the album, “SMUCKERS,” features Kanye West, who delivers an unsurprisingly boastful but powerful verse, and Lil Wayne, who reverts back to his roots by incorporating his signature humor into his rap. These features might not take over a track, but their subtle support benefits the album as a whole.

Although Tyler occasionally slips up on the album, he harnesses his childish personality and serious subject matter to create his best solo project yet.

Album: Cherry Bomb

Artist: Tyler, The Creator

Tracks: 13

Rating: 8/10

Tyler, The Creator returns for his third album, Wolf

Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo | Daily Texan Staff

Tyler, The Creator is almost as talented as he is controversial. As the leader of collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, he is heavily involved in producing, designing and promoting for everyone, including Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt and Hodgy Beats. In 2010, the Los Angeles native self-produced and released his debut Bastard, but it was 2011’s Goblin that garnered him significant attention. All of his albums are structured as sessions with his therapist and Wolf continues this formula, discussing deeper issues than his previous releases, while taking place at fictional Camp Flog Gnaw.

The title track brings us into Tyler’s conflicted mind: An ironically soft piano melody overlaid with chimes hints at a new sense of maturity before Tyler pulls the rug out, singing “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck him, fuck everything else that I can’t see, I know, fuck you I hate you so fuckin much, I know you think I’m crazy cause I think you’re a fucking fag.” At the end of the song, a dialogue introduces us to a new therapist, Sam, and his old one, Dr. TC. 

“Jamba” displays Tyler’s characteristic lo-fi production style and heavy reliance on simple synth melodies. Even so, as the first real song on the album, it is much more musically-inclined than Goblin’s dissonant “Yonkers.” Hodgy Beats delivers the song’s particularly good second verse. Hodgy pulls the plug on the song before humorously criticizing Tyler for rapping about marijuana while he is actually straight-edge. 

More mature songs like “Answer” distance Wolf from Goblin and Bastard. Through the metaphor of his phone calls being unanswered, Tyler raps about his communication issues — how he has never met his father and his grandmother’s recent death. It’s encouraging to see that he can musically express himself without using too many racial and sexual epithets. 

Other highlights include the accessible lead single “Domo23,” modern rap parody “Trashwang,” sentimental closer “Lone” and “Treehome95,” featuring Coco O. and Erykah Badu. 

Wolf’s lyrics are both deeper and more immature at the same time, showing an attempt to reconcile his older and newer subject matter. Tyler delves into his father’s absence and troubles with women, but his newfound success leads to a lot of superficial bragging. The album is full of avant-garde beats and backhanded hilarity aimed at critics. No one is spared in Tyler’s seemingly inevitable climb to the top and Wolf proves that he is only getting better. 

Featuring four UT students, In The Works won the My Band Rocks Fox Austin contest in 2012 and are finally releasing their debut EP, Ever Upward. The soft rock five-piece demonstrates proficient musical talent with complex melodies, sentimental lyrics and technical guitar solos. Every song has a distinct feel, and as a whole, the EP is promising for a relatively new band. 

California indie band Cold War Kids has made a name for itself as hardworking up-and-comers. They’ve released numerous EPsand Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is their fourth full-length studio album. They opt for a slight techno feel, resulting in an interesting mix with their indie rock, that sounds more contrived than artistic. Frontman Nathan Willet’s vocals prove indispensable again, but the album breaks little new ground as a whole. 

Boston emo band Transit returns with a revised musical plan, shedding almost all aspects of their former punk style by trading their power chords for arpeggiated melodies, while maintaining an upbeat tempo. After 2010’s Listen & Forgive, this album is a huge letdown.  Their transition is impressive, but a lot of the kinks have yet to be worked out. 

At a time of strain between President William Powers Jr. and members of the UT System Board of Regents, Texas lawmakers defended Powers’ record and heaped praise upon him at a ceremony on the floor of the Texas Senate on Monday.

State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, filed a Senate resolution honoring Powers, joining two more resolutions filed in the House by state Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas and chairman of the House Higher Education Committee. All three passed.

Eltife, a UT alumnus, said “I see a man [in Powers] who shares the love for the University that so many of the current students and former students have for this great institution. I see a man who always puts the University first, someone who stands up for what he believes even if it may not be politically popular.” 

The resolutions came after regents intensely questioned Powers during their Feb. 13 meeting. The majority of the questions came primarily from three regents: Alex Cranberg, Wallace Hall and Brenda Pejovich, each appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011, which marked the beginning of a more public opposition to Powers by the regents.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said he believed regents are undermining Power’s authority at the University.

“I believe in reform and I know Bill Powers believes in reform,” Dewhurst said. “That’s why I’m particularly troubled when I see UT regents go around this man. I see them trying to micromanage the system.”

The Feb. 13 meeting was not the first time Powers and the regents butted heads. Last year, the regents rejected Powers’ request for a 2.6 percent in-state undergraduate tuition increase and chose to freeze tuition. Afterward, Powers sent an email to faculty, staff and students expressing disappointment with the regents’ decision.

Shortly after, rumors originating from a blog post by Paul Burka, senior executive editor for Texas Monthly, stated that board chairman Gene Powell directed UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa to fire Powers. Cigarroa denied the allegations.

In a joint statement Monday, Powell and Cigarroa said they were grateful to Texas legislators for recognizing Powers’ leadership at the University.

“We are glad to partner with President Powers in building and protecting a university of the first class for the state of Texas,” Powell and Cigarroa said in the joint statement.

On Monday, several senators gave testimony recognizing Powers’ leadership and achievements during his tenure.

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said a recent ranking naming UT the 25th greatest university in the world could be attributed to Powers’ administration.

“That is a direct result of leadership from Bill Powers,” Watson said.

State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said despite many senators’ reverential tone when making their remarks, the ceremony did not constitute a “eulogy.”

“We’re singing accolades to you today,” Ellis said, “but it’s only because we respect you, we love you, we want you to keep doing the great job you’re doing for my university, the University of Texas.”

This Year in Culture: 2011

Photo Credit: Lin Zagorski | Daily Texan Staff

Editor's Note: The Life & Arts senior staff combed through this year's pop culture and selected the artists, albums, books and movements that they think, in one way or another, helped define 2011. This is the first in a two-day series.

“I’m a fucking walking paradox/No I’m not, threesomes with a fucking triceratops,” were the first words Tyler, The Creator — of rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All — rapped in his “Yonkers” music video. Despite having only been released on YouTube, and advertised solely on the underground group’s blog, the video gained millions of views in a matter of days. As Tyler rapped about flying planes into buildings and stabbing Bruno Mars to death amidst visuals of him eating cockroaches and hanging himself, it became evident that “Yonkers” itself wasn’t a phenomenon, but emblematic of one to come. That phenomenon came later this spring in the form of Tyler’s debut album, Goblin.

This year was a defining one for hip-hop, coming off the late 2010 release of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and into 2011 with Lil’ Wayne’s highly anticipated The Carter IV and Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative project Watch The Throne. Despite the anticipation and notoriety of each release, none of these albums had the effect on hip-hop that Goblin did. The Carter IV, while technically proficient, was trite and something we had all heard before. Watch The Throne was two things we had heard before.

Goblin was something we had never even felt before. Tyler’s insane persona and lyrics about doing copious amounts of blow while raping and murdering women was a realm of music that had for the most part not existed, and had certainly gone untouched by the mainstream. Tyler, The Creator managed to do with Goblin what KISS and Marilyn Manson had done before: strike legitimate fear into people. Only this time, it was with a bit more substance and quality than KISS and Manson’s lackluster efforts predicated more on showmanship than the technical quality of the music.

The best part is that, like the “Yonkers” music video, Goblin reflects something even larger than itself. First and foremost, the entire Odd Future collective stands to make a serious impact on music. Hodgy Beats has quickly established himself as one of the most apt rappers in the game, and once Earl gets back from Samoa, he has the potential to become one of the greatest rappers in history. At age 15, he had a flow and wordplay beyond the level of many popular contemporary rappers.

The album also features Odd Future resident R&B singer Frank Ocean on two of its tracks. Frank Ocean is on the forefront of a massive shift within R&B. Half of Trey Songz’ catalog is about drinking champagne with “shawty” in the club, having sex with her afterwards and then crying about the emotional implications. Frank Ocean, along with Canadian phenomemenon The Weeknd stand to make huge changes to this with meaningful R&B songs that are of absurdly good quality and have the potential to appeal to a vast array of markets and cultures. They speak of love, loss and other topics common in R&B that people can relate to.

Goblin also serves as a precursor to hip-hop’s rising punk mentality. They exist at the head of a movement, featuring rappers like Waka Flocka Flame, Lil B, and others who take no prisoners and care about no one‘s impression of their music.

Editor's note: The following video contains explicit lyrics and violent imagery.

Swedish Indie pop singer Lykke Li will be taking the stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest on Saturday a

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Fun Fun Fun Fest will return this weekend with a wide range of acts that encompass hardcore punk, alternative hip-hop, electronica and dance music. The festival, which prides itself in always having an eclectic roster of performers, will feature old and new school acts. Below, our top picks of the weekend’s day performances.

OFWGKTA
Sunday at 8:45 p.m.

If Bad Brains, Sex Pistols and Wu-Tang Clan had a chance encounter with each other, OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) would be the end result. The collective’s fearless leader Tyler, the Creator is reminiscent of Sex Pistol’s Johnny Rotten: He sneers and feeds off the fear of his opposers, unrelenting in his misogynistic lyrics and jazz-influenced production. OFWGKTA is not a one-man show: Partners in crime Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Domo Genesis, Mike G and Syd Tha Kid all contribute to the group’s live performances in different ways. Be forewarned though, this is not your average hip-hop performance: expect stage dives, roundhouse kicks and uncontrollable chaos.

SLAYER
Sunday at 8:15 p.m.

One of the few bands that contributed to the emergence of thrash metal in the early ’80s, Slayer’s performance will be a test for the courageous. Blisteringly fast punk drums, heaving, chugging guitars and the guttural, demented vocals of Tom Araya will treat both old and new metalheads alike. Performing on Sunday (whether incidental or on purpose, we may never know) the group is renowned for their otherworldly moshpits, baptizing its participants in a lake of discordance and cacophony.

LYKKE LI
Saturday at 7:25 p.m.

Dream-pop princess Lykke Li captivates with music that is soaked in luscious synths, gushy-pop vocals and electronic dance drums. Behind Li’s fragile demeanor lies a soul tainted with heart break, seclusion and anger, feelings that are accompanied by moody, multilayered arrangements. A strange concoction of poppy weirdness, Lykke Li’s music will be a great soundtrack for these recurring cold Austin nights.

MAJOR LAZER
Saturday at 8:45 p.m.

It is about time DJs/producers Diplo and Switch realized that a collaborative effort would result in success. The dynamic duo — who are known for working with mainstream pop queens (Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Shakira) and their eccentric counterparts (M.I.A., Santigold, Amanda Blank) — will provide their trademark Jamaican dancehall music throughout the night. Be ready for thumping, ear-piercing snare drums and synths: It’s going to be a party.

PASSION PIT
Friday at 8:30 p.m.

Electro-pop group Passion Pit have created a following for themselves since their debut back in 2009. Frontman Michael Angelakos leads the group with his Prince-like vocal delivery, accompanied by wavy, melodic synths and dance-friendly drum beats. The group have also been working on their next release, so fans may be in for a treat when the group takes the stage on Friday. 

Twin brothers Tyler and Adam Rose, co-presidents of the Texas E-Sports Association on campus, and Olivia Lin, the tournament coordinator, are organizing the Texas Starcraft Showdown. The tournament, the largest of its kind for college students, has attracted sponsors like AT&T in addition to well-known collegiate players.

Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff

In the 26th century, 60,000 light years from Earth, three civilizations clash, wreaking havoc and spilling blood — both alien and human — as they battle for total dominance of the Koprulu sector. Or, for those who don’t want to wait until the year 2500 for the carnage, that same conflict will be taking place over the next two weeks during the Texas StarCraft Showdown Tournament.

Hosted by the Texas e-Sports Association, UT’s own competitive gaming student organization, the Texas StarCraft Showdown, now in its third year, is the most ambitious student-hosted tournament of its kind in North America. On Saturday, 128 “StarCraft II” gamers from 15 universities will fight it out remotely during the online portion of the tournament. Then, 64 players — the better half of the first group — will return on Oct. 29 to face-off in person in the Ballroom of the Student Activity Center. Up for grabs are control of the Koprulu sector, bragging rights and $3000 — more prize money than ever before.

StarCraft II,” which was developed and released in 2010 by Blizzard Entertainment, sold 1.5 million copies of the game within the first 48 hours of its release, according to technology blog TechCrunch. It was the best-selling PC game of 2010 and is the fastest-selling real-time strategy game of all time. With so many passionate players, it’s only natural that “StarCraft II”-focused tournaments would spring up around the world. In South Korea, StarCraft is on par with professional sports, with 600,000 to 700,000 people attending tournaments each year, according to Bloomberg.com. Some professional gamers in the U.S make up to six figures playing the game.

For a collegiate tournament, the StarCraft Showdown is in a league of its own, according to Tyler and Adam Rosen, association co-presidents and twin brothers from Houston. Besides offering a bigger prize than any other e-Sports collegiate tournament in history, the upcoming event has attracted big-name sponsors like AT&T and star gaming talent, which isn’t too common within the StarCraft Collegiate StarLeague — the league designated for university clubs like TeSPA. The Rosens said that sort of glamour is usually reserved for the Major League Gaming circuit, but because of TeSPA’s dedication, that’s not the case anymore.

“We told ourselves that we don’t want to be the average gaming organization,” said aerospace engineering senior Tyler Rosen. “We want to see how far we can take things. We wanted to really stretch the limits and ask ourselves, ‘can a collegiate organization really compete with a huge league like MLG?’ Every time we push, we look at the limits and realize those aren’t really limits any more.”

The limits have been steadily pushed back with every TeSPA “StarCraft II” tournament since the first one in November 2010. With each event, there has been more. More gamers, more spectators, more sponsors, more money — even more all-you-can drink Redbull and catered Chipotle burritos for participants. The Rosens said the organizing has taken a lot of work, but that’s to be expected with grand ambition.

“The way I’ve been thinking about it is every tournament we’ve pretty much doubled what we did the year before,” said Adam Rosen, also an aerospace engineering senior. “Not only the prize pool — that’s a quantitative way we’ve doubled — but we’ve also grown in our scope and vision.”

Physical proof of that growth will be evident comes at the end of October when the combatants, each one with his or her own computer and Ethernet cable in tow, descend upon 54 tables in the Ballroom and duke it out in space. The best matches will be projected live on a screen while two commentators “live-cast” the games from a desk setup below the screen. People who can’t make it to the Ballroom but still want to watch the tournament can stream the games live via Twitch TV, a streaming site that also sponsors TeSPA.

Last March during the spring “StarCraft II” event, the tournament’s channel saw about 12,500 unique viewers. This time around, the Rosens said they’re hoping for closer to 25,000.

When there aren’t tournaments to be planned, TeSPA is focused on PC and console games, including “Call of Duty,” “Rock Band” and of course, regular CSL league play. That’s where 240 schools across North America battle against their rivals: “not on the football field, but instead on the virtual landscape of StarCraft,” as it’s described on the CSL website.

TeSPA, which was a finalist in the campus-wide Swing Out Award in the Best Social Organization Category last semester, plays against a different school in the ‘Executor’ division each Friday. They most recently played against Texas A&M and won. The organization, which is undefeated this year, will play Colorado State University on Oct. 21. League games can also be streamed live online.

Anthony Nguyen, a TeSPA member and the coordinator of UT’s “StarCraft II” team, said that he enjoys the sense of community that the gathering of passionate, university-level gamers will bring.

“I love tournaments, especially when they’re this big,” Nguyen said. “There’s going to be a lot going on. Everyone is very excited.” 

Published on, October 19th, 2011 as: Club to host epic StarCraft tournament 

Blueprint for the Future

Editor’s note: This is the last in a four-part, weekly series examining System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s plan to increase efficiency across UT institutions.

Each of the UT institutions confront different cultural, financial and geographical challenges that affect the philanthropic revenue that can be generated. Philanthropy efforts go towards scholarships, construction and endowments.

Under Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s Framework for Excellence Action Plan, he calls for the UT institutions to “enhance philanthropic success.” About 72 percent of philanthropy for the UT System is brought in by three out of the 15 UT institutions. The top three fundraising institutions include UT-Austin, UT-Southwestern Medical Center and UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center, which raised a combined $510.2 million in the 2010 fiscal year.

Patrick Mulvey, vice president for development at UT-MD Anderson, said fundraising for medical education is based on maintaining donor relationships and has been more difficult in recent years because of the frail state of the economy.

“Finding good staff to go out and raise funds is a challenge to all institutions,” Mulvey said.

He said philanthropy efforts for MD Anderson are closely linked with its mission of eliminating cancer.

“We have a magnificent faculty at MD that tells the story well to individuals who may want to contribute,” Mulvey said. “You can see that where patients come from is where gifts come from.”

Mulvey said faculty in the development office travel around the country to raise funds because many patients come from the states that surround Texas. He said his office plans to increase philanthropy through social media improvements and outreach to first time donors.

The UT Health Science Center at Tyler brought in the lowest amount of philanthropic donations. Mac Griffith, vice president and chief development officer at the Health Science Center, said the center, which does not have a medical school, is the smallest of the UT medical institutions, making it difficult for the institution to establish a widely known reputation.

“We had a very small donor base and because of the physical constraints, we also have a small development base,” Griffith said.

He said the center does not have a full-fledged development department to raise funds, but philanthropy is important in sustaining the center financially.

“A small portion of our funds come from state funds,” Griffith said. “The rest are self-generated revenue, and the philanthropic part of that needs to grow.”

In the 2010 fiscal year the UT Health Science Center at Tyler raised $900 thousand in philanthropic donations. Griffith said he plans to better communicate the center’s health mission in hopes that it will bring in more donations.

“Fundraising is all about developing relationships so our challenge is getting that message out to the Tyler and East Texas community,” Griffith said.

Philanthropy for UT-El Paso totaled $22.2 million in the 2010 fiscal year. Sylvia Acosta, associate vice president for development and alumni relations, said the location of El Paso on the far western tip of Texas makes philanthropy efforts difficult.

“Raising money for us is a bit more expensive because we’re in El Paso,” Acosta said. “We can’t just get in our car and go to Houston.”

She said staff in the UTEP development office fly to donors in Texas, specifically in Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Houston to stay in contact with previous donating alumni. Acosta said the office hopes to hire regional officers for these areas to cut flying costs and establish consistent ties within the various cities to UTEP alumni.

UTEP serves about 22,600 students and about one-third of these students’ families live on an income of $20,000 or less. Acosta said students who attain a good job after attending UTEP can double their family’s income, but it can be a challenge to bring those philanthropic efforts back to the university.

“Many of their first inclinations in giving are back to their family to help their family,” Acosta said. “In that, there’s a clear effect in terms of giving.”

However, she said this also leads alumni to be loyal to UTEP fundraising efforts because they recognize the financial importance of earning a college degree. Acosta said philanthropy is especially important at UTEP because it allows the university to keep tuition from rising dramatically.

“We know that if we increase tuition, we’ll price out a lot of students,” Acosta said.

She said philanthropic efforts also go towards scholarships for students who may otherwise not go to college.

“We have so much talent, and UTEP has been able to capture that talent,” Acosta said. “Our alumni know the commitment we have to our community.”

Printed on Monday, October 3, 2011 as: UT institutions aim to increase philanthropic fundrasising

Review

Of the next generation of heavily associated hip-hop stoner acts, Odd Future’s Domo Genesis definitely sits at the top the field. Domo’s peers in the field, Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa, have either created an awkward sound inaccessible to many hip-hop aficionados, let alone fans, or have sold out on the most disgusting level (e.g., Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers, a disgusting mess of unclever verses with pop hooks placed on top of stale beats, in an obvious attempt to gain radio play).

On his new mixtape, Under The Influence, Domo has made a number of stylistic changes that distance his sound from his Odd Future counterparts, but he has made no movement towards compromising his beliefs for the sake of success. This is particularly noteworthy, given that of the entire Odd Future group, Domo Genesis made the most drastic changes in terms of appearance after the collective’s rise to prominence. Generally, when artists make a move toward achieving higher status and become image conscious, their art suffers.

Ditching the sleepy stoner look that made him falsely appear to be one of the laziest and least valuable of the bunch, Domo has transitioned into a chic, Kanye West-like character who is more emblematic of Northeast eccentricities than of a stoner skater from Ladera, Calif. Lyrically, he makes this clear, not embracing his elevated status but instead recognizing its inherent faults and laying waste to them. On his song, “Whole City Behind Us,” he spits, “Live from a city of jealous-ass n**gers and bougie-ass bitches, where you ain’t getting love unless swimmin’ mad riches.”

Under The Influence carries an essence more characteristic of Domo Genesis, whereas his first record, Rolling Papers, carried huge Tyler, The Creator influences, both in terms of flow and instrumentals. Under The Influence doesn’t carry the wispy, warped Neptunes-inspired beats characteristic of Tyler. If anything, the mixtape is more reminiscent of classic rap than anything from Odd Future, outside of Mike G’s “Ali.” According to The Los Angeles Times, he’s a fan of Slick Rick and uses Scarface and Mobb Deep beats on Under The Influence.

Aside from that, the mixtape is still very Odd Future; occasional verses pop up throughout the record about doing horrible things to women or just people in general. These things are all described in a fair amount of detail, layered on with the finest expletives the west coast’s most prominent rapper can conjure.

Despite lacking artist features (Tyler is the only Odd Future member that raps on the record besides Domo) and the overall lack of originality, Under The Influence is a solid piece of work. Domo Genesis has proven his technical ability and hopefully his next work will illustrate the fulfillment of his potential as a visionary.

Printed on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 as: Domo Genesis changes style, gets away from Odd Future Domo Genesis - Under The Influence [Mixtape] by sperry_itsthebino

Whether it’s to purchase groceries out of necessity or a Tyler’s sweater out of indulgence, most Longhorns know what it’s like to cringe when reaching for their credit card. We are, after all, college kids, renowned for the financial desperation epitomized by meals of ramen noodles and wardrobes full of free T-shirts. This “college student” label, however indicative of limited financial means it may be, is our ticket to a more affluent future. Most college students attend school under the premise that when they graduate, they will be rewarded with a high-paying job and the ability to support themselves.

Unfortunately, many never get the chance to hope for a more prosperous future. What if the financial stress you feel in college haunted you for the rest of your life? This is a reality for more than four million people in the United States. These men and women earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or sometimes even less. According to a Sunday editorial in the New York Times, minimum wage earners who work 40 hours a day every day of the week earn only enough to keep a family of two slightly above the federal poverty line.

Students can relate to this tragic reality, especially if they shift from fully financially supported in high school to fiscal independence in college.

This sudden shift away from economic privilege can provide a window through which we become privy to the plight of families that survive on a salary akin to what a single UT student lives on.

The difficulty of living on the minimum wage jars even more harshly when considering inflation in recent years. If you account for inflation, the value of the minimum wage has decreased by 30 percent since 1968, according to federal statistics. It is absurd that we should be asked to function in a world where we only have 70 percent of the purchasing power that our grandparents did.

Many politicians argue that increasing the minimum wage would perpetuate unemployment. However, according to studies cited by the New York Times, several cities such as San Francisco and Santa Fe have recently raised their minimum wages, even drastically, above state and federal levels without an impact on employment.

It is our generation’s responsibility to inform the government and citizenry about the positive effects of implementing higher wages rather than allow those who preach about the adverse effects of a reasonable minimum wage continue to dominate the discussion.
As college students, we must consider the future and strive to change today what could have ramifications later in our lives and the lives of others. If we are laid off, or if there’s another recession, we would certainly like the security of knowing that when earning minimum wage, we can at least support ourselves.

<em>Devenyns is an English junior.<em>
 

Although Mia Behm has already had two successful years as a Longhorn athlete, the junior from Tyler isn’t focused on her past achievements — she is looking toward new goals.

“There is a lot left for me to try and accomplish,” Behm said. “But I feel like what I have done so far is good because it has given me the confidence to accomplish new goals.”

Both Behm and cross country head coach Steve Sisson say that Behm’s competitive nature and perseverance make her a unique contributor to the 15th-ranked Longhorn team.

“She is not a quiet girl but she brings a quiet intensity to the team,” Sisson said. “She keeps her goals and ambitions to herself and that allows her to keep really focused.”

Behm said a competitive attitude plays a role in every part of her life — from playing the Wii to running a race. Her competitive nature, coupled with her close relationship with her teammates, has helped many of the runners improve. An example of this dynamic is freshman runner Marielle Hall, who has battled with Behm all season for the top spot on the team.

“I enjoy that Marielle is challenging me,” Behm said. “I am competitive, but I’m glad because it is improving both of us.”

Sisson said that Behm has always been an extreme competitor at the team’s meets, but more recently, her spirited attitude has benefited her in practice as well.

The relationship between Behm and Hall has increased the intensity of Behm’s workouts — something Sisson believes will benefit her in the highly competitive meets the team will be facing soon.

“This year I have noticed that Mia and Marielle run side by side, stride by stride almost in every workout,” Sisson said. “What they have done best for each other is to be able to motivate from a training perspective. Mia has never trained as hard as she has this year and that is thanks to Marielle.”

The Longhorns are currently a young team, with many of the top competitors being freshmen. Sisson said this has allowed Behm to step into the leadership role she was meant to fill.
“Mia is quiet in her way of being a leader,” Sisson said. “She brings a consistency, a constancy and a guarantee that she is going to get the job done that the girls can sort of lean on. She has sacrificed and everyone else has to sacrifice.”

Behm, however, credits her teammates for keeping her motivated.

“When you are on a team together and you suffer through pain together you are pretty much required to be friends,” Behm said. “We get along so well, which is something I think we have on other teams.”

Sisson takes some credit for the spirit of camaraderie among his athletes.

“I look for balance, a level of focus and commitment to running but also a fun-loving, positive, almost looseness and confidence that there is in the group of girls,” Sisson said. “Their friendship brings to the table an amazing feel.”

The team is well balanced but also highly competitive. Sisson says each athlete has individual goals, goals that they encourage each other to reach.

Behm hopes this season she will achieve her ultimate goal — becoming an All-American. To accomplish this, a runner must place in the top 40 at the NCAA Championships.

Sisson says he does not typically make goals for individual runners on his team but makes an exception for Behm.

“My basic belief is that Mia is one of the best collegiate runners in the country,” Sisson said. “You will see much better performances from her coming into the Big 12 and regional and national meets — this is the stage that Mia likes.”