Playlist the Week #2: Now with scant political analysis!

WELCOME back to Playlist the Week! In this segment we’ll be looking at the news stories that have caught our attention and pairing them with songs. If you’d like to contribute, send a tweet to our account, @abersmArts, or at [email protected]!


1. Stealer’s Wheel – “Stuck in the Middle With You”
A Grand Old Party

During the long, long walk to the presidential election next year, the US political parties have been living up to their associated animals, symbols popularised by political cartoonist Thomas Nast. The Democratic party is the donkey; the nominations are ambling along slowly, the only excitement being socialist Bernie Sanders’ closing of the poll gap between himself and Hillary Clinton, the only other main candidate who mainstream media is focused on besides Maryland governor Martin O’Malley – unless a certain VP decides to jump into the race.

The Republicans are the elephants; big, loud, strong, and potentially disastrous when faced with the operation of the world’s biggest superpower. Or a china shop.*

On Thursday Fox News hosted a Republican debate with a roster that puts the biggest UK election debate this year to shame. 10 candidates in all, and that still left out Ricks Santorum and Perry, who both ran in 2012 and whose views on gay rights border on the parodical.

As everyone expected, tycoon Donald Trump dominated the show. Ohio governer John Kasich explained succinctly in the debate just why, in a field of governers and political minds with years of experience, Trump has gained so much ground over everyone else on the stage. American conservatives are fed up with the same old politicians and their filters, and people who ignore his extreme views – things like his dislike for John McCain (‘I like people who weren’t captured [in Vietnam]’) and his plans for a wall to separate the US and Mexico to rival the Great Wall of China – are making a mistake.

It remains to be seen whether or not the GOP will be able to turn their nomination around, especially if Trump decides to run as an independent. What we do know is it’s been 305 words so far and I have not yet talked about music.

The Stealer’s Wheel hit is dedicated to moderator Megyn Kelly, who despite having her own conservative prejudices in the past took the nominees to task on abortion, foreign policy, and the War on Women. When confronted about tweets from his account calling women ‘fat slobs, pigs, and disgusting animals,’ she could only sit and listen as Trump joked that that was only in reference to comedian Rosie O’Donnell, to cheers from the crowd, and further bemoaned the perceived blight of political correctness in America (more cheers). On his tweets, he said ‘It’s fun, it’s kidding, we have a good time … I have been very nice to you, though I could probably not be’

We assume he will say the same to the Chinese delegation.

*Aber Student Media recognises that elephants are mostly docile animals and wishes to apologise for any perceived negative rhetoric towards them.

2. The Streets – “Dry Your Eyes”
You’ve got to walk away now, it’s over – after 60 runs

Why do we play sports? The sobering answer is that it’s an exercise in friendship between countries or regions, a harmless competition that reminds us that we’re not so different, after all, as long as we enjoy taking part. The more accurate answer is that millions of people find it really cathartic when a team they don’t like gets a good kicking. So on Thursday, when Stuart Broad bowled Australia out at Trent Bridge for just 60 runs – the shortest first innings in the history of test cricket – the UK media and public exploded with joke tweets and shouts of “pomicide.” Cruel.

ASM Sports Editor Jake Foxford had this to say about the match:

“It was extraordinary. The best of England and the worst of Australia came together and Stuart Broad took full advantage to make Ashes history. Nothing went the Aussies way.”

ASM would like to offer the hand of friendship to Australia once more, in the form of The Streets’ ultimate Sad Bloke Anthem. There’s always the rugby, lads.

3. Jay Z – “Takeover”
Latest hip-hop beef is anything but meek

In the last Playlist the Week, we detailed the short Twitter conversation between Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj that ended respectfully within 48 hours and taught the Internet about representation, the hypocrises of white feminism, and thinking before you speak.

Now, Minaj’s partner Meek Mill has his own media circus, over allegations he made that Drake’s verse on his new album track, “R.I.C.O,” was ghostwritten.

Drake, as expected, did not take this hit to his pride sitting down. On OVO Sound, his weekly Beats 1 radio show, he debuted “Charged Up” in response (“I’m so sorry / Did you hope I was crying?”) and “Back to Back Freestyle” four days later, in which he accuses Meek of using Minaj’s success to further his own career (“Is that a world tour or your girl’s tour?”) – according to The Richest,  she is worth $52 million more. 


Meek’s response rap “Wanna Know” wasn’t enough to stop the tide. At OVOFest Drake – worth almost a hundred times more than Meek and twice as much as Nicki, in case you thought the glass ceiling was nonexistent in the rap world – laughed backstage at memes referencing the feud, from Will Smith’s iPhone. Taking the prize for the most publicised rapper feud for years, it brings to mind the last one that produced some stellar tracks; between Jay Z, Nas, and Mobb Deep, in the early 2000s.

4. Dr Dre – “Darkside/Gone (feat. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar)”
Only if you subscribe to Apple Music

It’s been a busy sixteen years for Dr Dre since he brought out his last album, 2001. Which was actually released in 1999. Since then, Dre has been teasing an album tentatively titled Detox. In between building his Beats empire,  recently acquired by Apple, he served as executive producer on the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton; inspired by his work on the film, his new album, revealed on his Beats 1 radio show The Pharmacy, is called Compton: A Soundtrack By Dr Dre. Detox, it turned out, just wasn’t good enough. Compton has multiple features from Dre’s old collaborator Snoop Dogg, and the new king of West Coast hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar. The album is currently an Apple Music exclusive; click the art above for the album page.

5. Frank Ocean – “Memrise”


Fans of Dr Dre have waited 16 years for a new album. The gap between My Bloody Valentine’s seminal Loveless and 2013’s m b v was 22 years. Earlier this year Frank Ocean mentioned that his new album would be ready at the end of July; one week into August and the backlash has already begun.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and many would gladly wait three years more for a follow-up to the beautiful channel ORANGE. For now, it’s worth listening to November’s short preview of “Memrise” to be reminded of what could be, very soon, maybe. Hopefully.


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