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Computer Science and Psychology grad, University of PIttsburgh. Writer of words, code.

Examining a big player in Sweden’s weird rap culture.

If you’ve spent any time on the Internet talking about music, there’s a chance you’ve heard of Bladee or any of his crew. Coming from Sweden and heavily involved in the rap scene there, Bladee, and perhaps more popularly, Yung Lean, have created a new genre and style unto themselves.

Bladee and his crew grew up obsessively listening to American hip hop. Inspired but wanting to take it in their own direction, they slowed it down (a la Houston) and made it more emotional, dark, and cold. …


How a Danish punk band redefined themselves and punk in the process.

When you think of punk bands, Denmark is not necessarily a place that you would think of as a breeding ground. It’s a quiet country, and their neighbors Sweden seem to have the bulk of musical talent, from ABBA to Robyn. One exception to the rule is punk band Iceage.

Rising through the DIY scene (like any good punk band) in Copenhagen, they quickly ascended through the industry from local success to a Matador label deal.

At just under thirty years old, they have gone from outsider punks to something like mystics, reveling in the abstract and weird. Beyond that…


What you need to know about the tight race for the final.

The Euros, after being delayed from their original date in 2020, are now reaching their end. From tragedy with Christian Eriksen’s sudden collapse to the rise of stars in players such as Bukayo Saka and Renato Sanches, there is plenty to follow this year.

The qualifiers were marked by much drama- a “group of death” with France, Portugal, Germany, and Hungary- that have all exited the tournament. All teams involved now are adding to their country’s history, and on hot streaks that fans only want to continue.

This…


The coolest game on inline skates

Jet Set Radio was something of a sleeper hit for Sega. Riding the 90's/early 2000’s aesthetic of graffiti and rollerskating, it immediately had that “cool” factor. It sold well and was followed by a US release, complete with added levels that were inspired by the international release. Spurred on by its’ success and its’ criticisms, Sega went forward with Jet Set Radio Future, doubling down on what made the game work while removing a lot of the fat. What came out in 2002 would end up becoming a beloved and revered cult classic.


Rock isn’t dead! It just sounds weird now.

The UK is home to some of the greatest musical landmarks of modern history. From UK garage to The Beatles, there’s no shortage of talent coming from the isles. Recently, rock music has been going through somewhat of a rut. It’s no secret that hip hop is commanding the bulk of attention from the music community, and for good reason- many new artists are creating great and unique hip-hop music. But part of me misses the bands of the past. …


Examining the new release by the enigmatic rapper

Don’t bother looking up Mach-Hommy’s lyrics. You won’t find them. Due to a DMCA takedown, he’s not on Genius, and finding reliable transcripts is still difficult. Mach-Hommy’s Pray For Haiti is something you need to hear for yourself. Any line I quote would be nothing without the context of his voice, the lines around it, the beat underneath it. Each line is a contender for rewinding back the track, but he does not get bogged down in detail. Instead, throughout the album, Mach-Hommy is constantly on the move. …


Playing the numbers game.

Deep into the summer of 2020, I found myself facing constant stretches of boredom in quarantine. Being somewhat indifferent to sports as I was a kid, I found myself surprised that they were wildly more appealing to me as I became a young adult.

I started out with something my friend loved- soccer (football), and set my sights on the Premier League. I followed a team with a large history (Arsenal,) and got ready for the season. Nowadays, there’s not a single day I don’t check up on how Arsenal is doing (badly) or news from…


Burial is quietly one of this century’s best musicians.

You’d be forgiven for any misgivings about dubstep as a genre. Tacked as a label onto bombastic (annoying) electronic music that prioritizes loud, energetic beats and the beloved “drop,” it’s hard not to have mixed to mostly negative feelings about the subject.

Without a doubt, the most commercially successful body of work in dubstep history (perhaps one of the most commercially successful electronic works ever) is Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP, released in 2011 by Skrillex. But dubstep has much deeper roots than this.

Continuing the strain of DNA from UK jungle and garage, Burial entered the scene. Both…


The Velvet Underground killed the guitar solo over 50 years ago.

My friend and I constantly get into the same argument. It’s a bit of a joke at this point, but not to me- because I believe wholeheartedly what I’m saying. I say “obviously The Velvet Underground are better than The Beatles.” This has nothing to do with downplaying the massive influence of The Beatles on pop music as we know it, and everything with heralding the Velvets as the kings of the underground music scene.

It’s been said to death again and again, but truly no one was doing it like The Velvet Underground were, at that time, in that…


Mindful Traveling

Losing your ego and opening your eyes.

I think my favorite part of “Parts Unknown” is when Anthony Bourdain visits Shanghai. A massive city, he still travels around like a local. While meeting with a local hacker, the two end up at a bar drinking Moscow Mules. It seems like a setup from a Bond movie, but the premise is way more lighthearted. The two are going to sneak into an event. What event? A Chinese wedding between two working-class families. Anthony explains the plan, and the two enter the wedding. …

Michael Datz

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