Black Panther Roaring in Theaters

On February 16th, the largely anticipated Marvel Studios film “Black Panther” was released.  It was directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and David J. Grant.  The production budget was $200 million and $150 million was spent on publicity.  The film’s ratings are 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and 7.9/10 on IMDb.  The movie raised $242 million in the U.S., and $427 million worldwide within the first four days in theatres, crushing box office sales for movies such as “Deadpool” and “Justice League.” “Black Panther” accounts for the biggest debut for a film directed by an African American. This movie is sure to impact future on-screen and off-screen representation.

Early numbers predicted that the film would make between $100 million and $120 millions in its opening weekend, however with the build-up to the release date and the publicity, the pre-sale numbers grew incredibly.  The film was then indicated to hit $170 million just a few days before the film reached theaters.  

The plot of “Black Panther” follows T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) as he is crowned the king of Wakanda, a wealthy nation in Africa, after the death of his father.  Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya and Forest Whitaker help protect the throne, Wakanda, and the rest of the world from the antagonist, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan.)  The rest of the cast consists of Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Sterling K. Brown and more.

Celebrities spoke up on Twitter about “Black Panther” following the release date to congratulate the cast on the movie’s success, along with admiring how the film will largely influence the young audience.

Performing at AMG’s Silent Disco

As a natural introvert, being intimidated in front of crowds is nothing new to me.

It’s something that I have always disliked throughout my life, even when it just involves presenting in front of five people. Recently, I got to perform a DJ set at Aztec Music Group’s Silent Disco here at San Diego State University.

Before the event even started, I was somewhat nervous, for the most part because I wasn’t sure if people were going to like what I was going to do. This over thinking always happens to me and it is somewhat of a curse and a blessing at the same time.

For starters, this over thinking let me believe that my first track choice was not the right one. I kept on changing my track selection because well I kept on looking at the worst case scenarios – people tuning out of my channel at the Silent Disco.

But at the same time, the blessing part of this whole process was that I kept on improving my track list to the point where I exhausted myself. At the end of it all, it took me about seven track lists to filter 60 potential songs out of 220 that I wanted to play within the 55 minute time frame that I was given.

Still, I wasn’t satisfied, even though my friends here at State told me that I was going to kill it regardless. Of course, there was always the occasional little “fix” that I would make to see of that would do it.

When hanging out at the event before my set, it got to the point where I was so nervous that I made a backup track list that was completely different than what I had planned. I did not end up using it because I decided to go with my first instinct, which was that what I had was good enough.

I went up on the stage and started playing my set, which started with Tiesto and The Chainsmokers’ single, “Split.” The beat progressively built up to 128 beats per minute and once it dropped, a sea of green headphones (there were three channels playing all at once), appeared right before my eyes. My channel was green.

Throughout my set, that green sea kept on appearing, although I myself don’t completely recall because I somewhat blackout (not due to alcohol or anything of that nature) whenever I perform in front of people.

What I do remember though, was seeing my friends who I first met here at State, supporting me and what I was doing. This meant a lot to me because they’ve been there supporting me from the very beginning of my DJ hobby, which started at an apartment party in BLVD63 (it got shut down right away).

Once my set was over, I was told that I “killed it” by multiple people who I didn’t even know. This made me happy because I put a lot of time into my set, and I was relieved that people vibed with what I believed in.

Now here I am,  about to repeat the whole process over again at my first official gig during the weekend.

I don’t know what to expect at Bassmnt (an EDM nightclub in Downtown San Diego), but now I know to go forward with what I believe in.

Book Review: Flux by Orion Carloto

I only read two books last year and one of them was “Flux,” by Orion Carloto.

Flux is a book of poetry written by famous YouTuber Orion Carloto. I know what you must be thinking: “Not another YouTuber trying to become an author.” I know how exhausting that is, but unlike other YouTuber’s books, she isn’t writing about her life (which no one is really interested in) and this isn’t a book that was ghost-written.

As someone who has been a follower of Orion since she first started her channel, I was proud to see that she finally released the book she’s been wanting to release for years. In one of her first Q & A videos she talks about wanting to write a book and how that was one of her biggest goals in life. I personally love seeing people go after and achieve their dreams. So when I found out that she was releasing a book I wanted to support her.

This book shows a lot of vulnerability on her part. She used the love and the heartbreak of her relationships between friends and lovers in her writing – it’s evident. Her opening line is “Falling helplessly in love is one magical adventure, but falling out is one seldom spoken.”

Also her poems are directed at a boy from her past as well as a girl in her present/future. She is one of the few to openly write from a bisexual perspective. One of the poems that I personally relate to is a poem called “Delusional.” And there’s a line from one of her other poems that says, “ I wrote these words for him, but he never appreciated them. I wrote these words for her, but I was too afraid to admit it.”

These words were beautifully written and could be found relatable to a plethora of people.

If you decide to pick up this book, I’ll leave you with the words from the author, Ms. Carloto herself, “Flux is best read with a cup of warm coffee in hand. Indulge in these words as if they were meant for you.”

Featured Image.

The Cardi B Movement

It’s 2018 and the Cardi B movement has begun. Since the beginning of the year, Cardi B has been in everyone’s mouth, whether they were talking about her engagement, her collaboration with Bruno Mars on the song “Finesse,” or her fashion style that never fails to impress. Unfortunately, during the 2018 Grammy’s people chose to focus not on why she was there or who or what she was wearing, but instead on how much body hair she was showing. Cardi B was scheduled to sing at the Grammy’s alongside Bruno Mars, but before performing, Moschino (a clothing brand) chose to release a picture on their Instagram of Cardi B wearing one of their outfits to the event. Moschino posted the picture to praise her look, but the picture received an unexpected reaction. Instead of receiving compliments towards Cardi B’s outfit, Instagram users decided to talk about her happy trail. All sorts of rude comments were left about her stomach hair. Even some Cardi B fans pitched contributed to the negativity. Some even went as far as advising her to shave the hairs before performing. Yes, there were others who ran to her defense, but it’s unbelievable that even in today’s political age, where the Women’s March has become of great importance, people still choose to push females down based on how much body hair they have.

When I first got the news about Cardi B’s unwelcome hair I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and smile. I found it dumb that people thought it was of great importance for her to not appear on-stage with belly hair. It is not like she was showing her pubes. Instead of bashing her like others, I praise her for it, because it is a topic that many females can relate too – including me.

Ironically just a week prior to the Grammy’s, as I was laying in bed watching Netflix, my own sister brought this topic up by asking me if I had hairs on my stomach. Right away, I knew this was one of those moments where you’re too afraid to ask something concerning yourself, so you make up a “friend” and ask the question for that “friend.” Except in this situation she made me the “friend.”

I responded back with no, “No, I don’t…because I remove them, but yes it’s normal for girls to have hair in their stomach.”

I had make sure she knew that even though I didn’t have any, that doesn’t mean that I never have belly hair, and that she was not alone. I started thinking about how at her age I wished I had someone that I could have posed that question to. It would’ve been nice to know that it was normal, and I bet that many other girls out there have the same question that my sister did. This is why when the Cardi B incident happened I smiled, because maybe she didn’t do it intentionally, but it is still something we needed. My words may not reach many, or be of importance to others, but Cardi B can now reassure girls and women alike that body hair, even on the stomach, is normal, and that even celebrities have it.

Featured Image retrieved from the Moschino Instagram. All credits to Moschino.