During the 1970’s, hip-hop music began underground in local areas. Today, music is more accessible because of the evolution of technology. 
The streaming platform SoundCloud plays a big role in today’s society because it makes it easier to share your music with anyone in the world. Some of our favorite rappers, like Lil Uzi Vert, Chance the Rapper, Post Malone, Bryson Tiller, and Lil Yachty, all started off streaming their music. Tyrese Depina, a 17-year-old senior at City on a Hill Dudley Square, states, “SoundCloud is the reason everyone blows up now. Back then, you had to go spit a hot 16 bars in front of a rapper before his concert.”
In the past, it was difficult for artists to get their name out there because it was harder to spread the word quickly. The majority of people started selling CDs and cassette tapes in public to gain a reputation. Legends like Jay-Z, 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Wayne, and 50 Cent gave away their CDs at the start of their careers, for the public to either enjoy or end up throwing in the trash. 
Artists had to hustle their CDs in the streets and still got hate for pressuring people to purchase their music. These artists took time out their lives to record a project and spread the word, only to be dismissed by the public. 
Today, a new music genre teenagers are listening to is ignorant rap.” This genre is all about how catchy a song is and how “lit” you can be when the song plays, without thought to how many times the hooks are repeated.
Dopeman, a local SoundCloud artist, states, “Mainstream businesses are seeking the new wave of hip-hop mostly through social media. They tend to gravitate all of their time to try to find the new things kids like us are listening to. But once they get a hold of it, they have the power to shut it down, which is the only part I hate.”
Mainstream businesses try to get new artists they find online to sign, but this leads to the artist not hustling as hard as they were before. The label gains control of what the artist should do and when. This takes away the artists’ hustle to grow on their own, which is how the whole hustle movement in hip-hop began.
Some argue mainstream hip-hop is dead because the lyrics have lost meaning. A perfect example is artists trending on SoundCloud charts like Lil Pump, XXXTenatcion and Famous Dex. These artists started the new wave into hip-hop culture that is becoming more popular. Their excessive style of rap keeps teens intrigued because of how catchy their songs are.
Not only are the lyrics catchy, but productions that artists use go amazing with their flows. In the past, it was difficult for artists to find producers that had similar tastes as them. Now with the power of the internet, it’s easier to hustle with producers and other artists from all over the world.
Juan Gonzalez, a 17-year-old senior at Boston Community Leadership Academy, states, “Before, music was more of the same beat with a little extra sound. Now, it’s a big difference with more beats, adlibs and more. This taste in music is what is now bringing many artists all over the world together.”

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What memes mean to mainstream media
Memes have a profound, widespread impact on modern society. Despite being so popular, there appear to be two distinct factions of people who participate in meme culture.  “Normies” would simply define memes as a modern concept of jokes or phrases pasted over images. Normies are people who are accustomed to mainstream culture and don’t understand the majority of meme culture. Most normies go on more traveled sites such as Facebook or an app called iFunny. However, everyone who really understands memes knows that memes can be about anything and everything, such as the “Boneless Pizza” meme. Most importantly, sometimes a meme gets so big that it starts a meme war.  
The meme war of this year started in the summer when President Trump posted a controversial video regarding the credibility and truthfulness of the mainstream media. It depicts Trump wrestling a pseudo-CNN representative in WWE Wrestlemania with the CNN logo plastered onto the opponent’s face, punching him on the ground several times. This garnered an astonishing amount of popularity on Trump’s Twitter page, where he gained more than 564,000 likes and 339,000 retweets from the one tweet alone. 
CNN eventually caught wind of the meme and  didn’t think it was funny at all. They tracked down the creator of the edited video. CNN then tweeted that the meme maker had apologized, and that they reserved the right to reveal his identity if anything changed, a move many saw as a blackmail threat.
Some fellow content creators perceived CNN’s actions against the meme creator as a threat to all of the meme community and those who support Trump, sparking major controversy. Now, several meme makers have dedicated themselves to making anti- CNN memes (as one might expect).

“It’s really messed up that such a large corporation would attack and antagonize people that do what I do,” said Gustav Alexeev, 16, of Montreal, Canada.
Even still, he claims it doesn’t stop him from creating memes. “I'm still gonna make memes because they make me laugh, and they look cool.” 
When I asked him what he thought about the significant amount of Trump followers that are fighting against CNN, he said, “They’re just a bunch of neckbeards. They’re the scourge of the internet basically.”
Soon after the war was declared on CNN, an innumerable amount of memes that portrayed CNN in a negative light began to flood the Internet starting with sites such as Reddit and 4chan. The storm clouds are gathering.

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How Boston Catholic schools fail their black students
For many teens, getting up in the morning for school—sometimes even before the sun comes up—is a hard task. That task is even harder when you attend a school where most of the students do not look like you or share your cultural identity or live in the same neighborhood as you.
 No one should have to feel isolated just because your parents want to send you to the best school they can afford. Going to a predominantly white school is not easy. You can’t relate to anything except the basic things every teen knows, such as social media or current rap songs on the radio. 
Throughout the years, I have found it strange that throughout the whole month of February, nobody—including the students and administrators—cares to recognize black history in any way. I know that for most students at my school, that may not be a big deal, but it would  benefit them as well because black history is American history. The majority are being deprived from this historical standpoint. 
Another hard task about going to a predominantly white school is finding  balance between the polar opposite worlds of home and school. When I go to school, I feel like I am in a totally different world because coming from Boston, the things that are important to me aren’t the same as the things important to my classmates. People are constantly getting shot in the city and the students in the suburbs and private schools couldn’t care less, but when someone dies in their community the world is supposed to stop.  It is definitely a cultural shock to go to school in this environment.
Luckily, I have the most loving and supportive parents who get me through the good and bad times. When I get down, I get back up because what is the point of listening to people say stereotypical things that you know aren’t true? Yes, I know that is easier said than done. Over time, you come to learn that high school doesn't last forever and the storm will pass.
Two Boston teens who go to predominantly white schools have a similar experience to mine. Unfortunately, their experiences were so terrible they would like to remain unnamed. My sources agreed on one thing: they are treated unfairly every day, and nobody cares to even ask if they are okay. People constantly say disgusting phrases to them, such as, “Why do you exist?” “Go back to Africa,” and “Go back to the jungle, you monkey.” On top of that, these two teens and I have all experienced the everyday use of the n-word. While only some students actually use the term as a direct insult, many people use the word in casual conversation, most likely due to its heavy presence in rap music. These students don’t understand that the term is still offensive even when it isn’t intended as a racial slur. It’s truly awful that all we want is to get a decent education without being afraid of what people are going to say. 
Kyler Sumter, a current Boston University student who wrote an article for about her experience as a person of color in a predominately white institution, says her experience in college with racial slurs was “uncomfortable.” One experience stood out to her in particular, when a “sexist, racist, homophobic guy” said some awful comments. When the people in one of her clubs were playing an icebreaker game where they had to say their least favorite crayon colors, he apparently said “N-word Black.”
In every school, there is the good, the bad and the ugly, but it is your personal experience that makes your high school experience what it is. Ask other kids of color about their experiences, and depending on the predominantly white school they attend, it could be better or worse. That is why perspective matters. From my perspective, no situation is perfect, but being more culturally aware would be a great place to start. It wouldn’t take much. Maybe if we had cultural clubs, acknowledged African-American history month, and talked about the histories of minorities’ cultures in class, our schools would be a more comfortable environment for everyone. 

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At the beginning of the summer, a wave of violence in the neighborhood of Roxbury appeared, withthree fatal shootings and one fatal stabbing in the first few weeks of July alone. When we see violence in our community, it is important to think about the causes, impacts and potential solutions for our neighborhood. 
At the start of 2016, major crime in Boston fell to a 10-year low, the Boston Globe reported. However, Universal Hub reported 26 recorded murders in 2017 through the end of July, 7 of those occurring in Roxbury. After an all-time low, is the homicide rate heading back up? How can this happen in Beantown?
Even though poverty is a huge cause of crime, gentrification is playing a role, too. Boston is currently one of the most gentrified cities in the country. Gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a neighborhood due to influx of upper-middle class affluence. Many of Boston’s projects, housing areas and ghettos are slowly changing as residents are displaced, causing violence to spill over into other neighborhoods. 
In Roxbury, gentrification caused in part by encroachment of Northeastern University is forcing long-time residents out and shifting crime patterns in and around the neighborhood. With over 20,000 residents, Roxbury is the third poorest neighbourhood in Boston, with the poverty level at 34.92%. 
How do residents feel about what’s going on in their neighborhood? One local Roxbury teen, who would like to remain anonymous, has been in the streets since he was 13, and his dad was locked behind bars when he was young. “I lived with my mom for my whole life,” he said. “The reason I started hustling and really being in this was to support my moms. I was tired of having nothing.” 
This source thinks that these crimes are happening because of all the poverty. He claims that people have to eat and they’re going to do what they have to do. He thinks Roxbury is the main place for this violence because of all of its gangs.
This is the mind of a person who’s actually going through this. Poverty, violence and murder—it’s all a cycle that Roxbury residents have been dealing with for decades. Although poverty plays a huge role in the violence, gentrification is making it worse. 
People who used to live in Roxbury are being priced out and moving to neighboring cities like Lynn and Brockton, where rent is cheaper. With these people getting pushed out of their original residence, the chance of crime overflowing into these neighborhoods rises. 
15-year-old Naysha Feliz from Brockton thinks the crime going on in Roxbury is getting out of hand.“It’s making the streets unsafe for not just adults, but for kids,” she claims. Feliz feels her neighborhood is already bad as it is, and Boston’s gentrification will cause crime in Brockton to skyrocket. 
As an honor roll student, Feliz believes that for crime to just appear from a city away and affect her everyday life is unacceptable. Many of these people have dreams and goals they want to achieve, and crime is a major setback.
“I want the community of Roxbury to turn into somewhere people don’t have to be worried to walk out the house, where they can  walk outside unharmed,” she says.
Feliz feels as if there aren’t enough opportunities for kids in their small neighborhood. She thinks too many of the kids are getting involved in violence at a young age, and there needs to be a way out for them. 
Many people talk about these problems, but not enough talk about what we need to do to find the solution. We need to make our city a better place, and it all starts in the community.
Thaddeus Miles, Director of Public Safety at MassHousing, grew up in an all-black community in Virginia. To reduce crime in our communities, he believes we should focus on families and their situations. “We spend a great deal of resources on the kids, but not enough on the family unit,” he said. 
Miles believes Boston’s crime can truly stop and the city can find peace. “We, as people of color in urban neighborhoods, need to address the many positive aspects of our community along with its various challenges,” he said. 
Although crime in our neighborhoods is all too visible, I know we, the people, can make this all end and bring peace to our urban neighborhoods.

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Dorchester has an incredibly bad reputation for crime and violence in its borders. The WCVB reported that in the first half of 2017, there were 151 shootings in Boston. Among those, 20 of Boston's 23 homicides have taken place in just three neighborhoods — Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, according to the Boston Globe. Although crime in Boston is at a two-decade low, the numbers are still higher than anyone would like to feel safe in their neighborhood, let alone their own home. 
Crime affects different people in a variety of different ways. Dorchester locals, from long-time residents to teenagers, shared their experiences with crime and violence in Dorchester’s borders. 
Lieutenant Detective Luis A. Cruz grew up in Roxbury and Mission Hill, graduated from Jamaica Plain High School in 1983, and went on to graduate from Northeastern University and Suffolk Law School. Growing up in Mission Hill, Cruz said drugs were a major problem, but unlike most people, it affected him in a positive way. “I felt that I could make a difference in my community by becoming a police officer in my neighborhood,” Cruz said. However, financial struggles also played a role. “The main reason I became a police officer was to pay off my tuition,” he said. 
Marquis Otero, 19 years old, spent seventeen years living in Dorchester. Otero said he has not felt affected by crime in his neighborhood. “Growing up there was always crime in Dorchester, but it was never once a hindrance to my everyday life,” he said. He believes crime in Dorchester doesn’t affect how he acts in his neighborhood and that he doesn’t believe it is dangerous despite the crime rate. 
Jahai Still-Brodie, 16 years old, has lived in the Roxbury/Dorchester area for the last twelve years. He described the impact that crime has had on his life. “I can't walk certain ways home at night because of the crime that happens. During the summer time, I don't go out a lot around my house. I usually go to a different neighborhood.” Like Otero, Still-Brodie said crime doesn’t affect the way he acts in Dorchester. He hasn’t been physically harmed, but has been stopped by gang members mistaking him for being part of a rival gang.
For Cruz, Otero and Still-Brodie, all are aware of the crime in Dorchester and although they have never been physically harmed, they have all had moments that have rattled them in one way or another. Even if people don’t show it, confrontations like the one Still-Brodie has been in can stay with a person and affect them mentally. Crime doesn’t always affect someone physically, but also mentally and emotionally. That is the part that isn’t seen as much and can impact a person the most. 

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