jay-decoded
Jay-Z’s book ‘Decoded’

When I was at college studying English Literature, we were tasked with writing an essay arguing for the inclusion of a piece of literature, song or poem to be included in the literary canon. The western literary canon is a rather outdated collection of literature, music and art that scholars accept as the most important and influential when it comes to shaping western culture. Of course the canon is seen by most people as widely restrictive and noninclusive of work by authors and artists from different racial backgrounds and genders, as most of it’s included works have been created by white, European men (but really, what did you expect?)

My time at college was also the time where I really developed my love for hip hop and rap music. As a white girl who grew up on her Dad’s punk rock music, and her Mum’s eclectic mix of 80’s pop and Elvis, rap music was rather unknown territory for me back then. Around this time I had discovered a lot of rap artists, but my favorite had soon proved to be Jay-Z, arguably one of the most well known hip hop/rap artists since the 90’s when he first emerged onto the scene. Getting tasked with this essay at the time I was becoming obsessed with rap music was really a great way to explore and learn about the history of rap, how it came to be, and why I had suddenly fallen in love with it. I decided to do my essay about Jay-Z and his music, the meat of my argument being that rap music was poetry in another form and highly influential to a huge group of people.

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Green Room is a 2015 horror film starring Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots and none other than Sir Patrick Stewart (yes you read that right!)
Directed and written by Jeremy Saulnier, Green Room follows a punk band running low on money and morale. After being offered a good amount of much needed money to perform at a neo-Nazi dive bar, as you can imagine, things soon turn for the worst.

As I’ve mentioned many times before – modern horror films usually fall flat for me; they tend to be stereotypical, full of jump scares and tons of plot holes. But the premise for this horror film definitely grabbed my attention. For once, a horror film wasn’t just about a haunted house, a possessed doll or a supernatural entity. Instead the film presents us with a story line that is interesting, unique, yet not unrealistic. Neo-Nazi’s unfortunately do exist even today, and without having to set up anything, the audience is already on edge, thinking of all the possibilities that could happen.

The Girls. Emma Cline’s debut novel that has drawn a lot of attention since it was first published back in June of this year. The cover had caught my eye, a photograph I immediately associated with Lana Del Rey and soon found out that the photograph was indeed taken by Neil Krug, who often photographs her.

And that Lana Del Rey esque feeling continues inside the book as well. Hypnotic and dreamy with a sour tinge. A hauntingly accurate portrayal of how it feels to be a girl growing up and the intense power of female friendships.

The Girls is set in the late 1960’s when the narrator Evie is fourteen years old, and flicks forward to her as an adult. Set in Northern California, we follow the normal-enough teenage Evie, her less than perfect home life, her crush on her friends older brother, going to school. Her internal narrative is realistic and mature while reading I related to some of the thoughts and feelings that Evie described, thinking back to myself as a fourteen year old girl.