Pop Culture’s Prince

Prince

“Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”-Prince

On April 21st, 2016 the world lost one of the biggest music legends of all time, Prince Rogers Nelson. Because of his impact on my life and how I see music, I have decided to dedicate my last post of the semester to take a moment and remember the legacy he leaves behind.

If you have never heard of Prince, then you know that it is important to understand that Prince was an artist who took his craft very seriously. His love for music was seen throughout all of his work as he produced numerous albums throughout the duration of his career. He was not only a singer but a master of many different instruments, which showed just how much time and dedication he put into his work.

Prince not only gave the world hits like “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry” and “1999,” but he also brought many talented artist into fame such as Vanity and Sheila E.

Although we hardly ever heard about his private life in social media, we always heard how giving he was as a person. Prince was dedicated to the advancement and bettering of others as he worked with YouTuber Shameless Maya for the creation of his 2015 album cover.

I believe that one of the main reasons why Prince was so popular was because he had a fan base that consisted of many different generations. Not only could older people relate to his music but younger people could as well.

Prince was an icon because of  his ability to be himself. He was not afraid to go out on stage with makeup and platform heels. He taught everyone that it was okay to be yourself and be proud. Although his death is a tremendous loss to those who loved him, we should each remember the many gifts Prince left behind — not only his music but his willingness to live everyday as the truest version of yourself…shamelessly.

Pop Culture’s Netflix and Chill

Netflix

Almost everyone is familiar with the term “Netflix and Chill”. It’s becoming so popular that we are hearing it on television shows and reading it on t-shirts.

So why is watching Netflix becoming the thing to-do?

Our generation no longer looks to the television set for entertainment. Instead, it is all about fast-paced movement and keeping up through binge-watching, something provided by Netflix. You don’t have to sit through commercials, and you don’t have to wait for weekly episodes. The options are pretty endless through Netflix. Above all, it is an enabler! You can watch non-stop episodes for days at a time. The selection is huge: you can watch thrillers, comedies, or even romance movies at the click of a button.

For me, I like the fact that you can stream a movie and search the web at the same time so you’re not forced to stay in one room to watch something. Instead, your laptop and your smartphone can go wherever you go. Netflix is very flexible, which makes it one of the top sources for today’s entertainment.

For me, Netflix and Chill means to be able to release stress from your day. It allows you to take your mind off of whatever you have going on — something that I think is really important for most students like myself who are now facing finals week.

Of course, since Netflix is an an escape from the “real world,” it can become a distraction from things we need to get done. Just make sure that your binge-watching doesn’t get in the way of your studies. Study first, Netflix and Chill second!

Snapchat Me That…

Snapchat blog post pic

Even before it went down in the DM, Snapchat was very popular. Like most people, I once thought that Snapchat was pointless. However, as pointless as the app may seem, like many others, I became addicted to it. But hey, the first step to solving your problem is admitting that you actually have one, right?

For those of you who don’t know what it is like to be addicted to Snapchat, consider yourself lucky. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Snapchat is a social media app that allows you to create and watch 10 second pictures and videos. What makes this app so unique is that it limits its users to work within a 24-hour span, after that their video/picture will be gone forever. These videos allow you full creative ability as you can add special effects like time adjustment and even filters.

So, what’s so great about it? Well, for me I feel like I get to show my friends a glimpse into my life. In a  way Snapchat has become the everyday person’s reality show.  In addition, much like YouTube, Snapchat is the creator of overnight sensations. These sensations include Daniel and Josh, who many people know as the “Damn Daniel” pair.

One of the biggest contributors to Snapchat’s success is the fact that it provides its users with a safe environment where they don’t feel obligated to be anything but themselves, which is revolutionary in today’s world of social media.

What makes the app so great is also what makes it so addictive. At times, it is easy to overly post to Snapchat. I am definitely guilty of that; I cannot go an hour without checking my Snapchat. Like others in my same situation, I guess I will need to find a happy medium. Next step…

Pop Culture Overnight Sensations

(YouTube)Overnight sensation

Missy Lynn and Shay Carl have all changed the definition of what it means to be a YouTuber.

YouTube started as a source where we as users would go to funny videos that we would often share them with our friends. Over time, YouTube has become the career of many people like Missy Lynn and Shay Carl. Today’s YouTubers have been able to expand their brands beyond the internet to become household names.

I watched Missy Lynn record makeup tutorials in her bedroom, and now she is a spokesmodel for Maybelline. I watched Shay Carl struggle to make ends meet in a job that he hated. Today, he uses YouTube and sponsorship as his main source of income doing a career that he loves.

These YouTubers are everyday people, just like you and me. For me, it is inspiring to see an average person like Missy Lynn or Shay Carl become so successful from YouTube after their humble beginnings. Their rise to fame serves as encouragement that if you want something bad enough, and you work hard for it, you can obtain it.

These success stories also show that there is not one clear path to success but instead you pave your own way. And that YouTube can help you do that.

Pop Culture Consumption?

Addicted to pop culture

During downtime I find it relaxing to quickly reach for my phone to see what is going on in pop culture. However, have you ever noticed that you are reaching for you phone too often?

I am definitely guilty of over consuming pop culture. It often starts off as a five minute break from homework. Five minutes becomes ten, and then ten turns into an entire night of a pop culture marathon.

Like most people my age, I find it hard to tear myself away from my phone, even when I am supposed to be doing something productive like school work or actual face-to-face interaction with my family and friends. I even use my phone to get rid of awkwardness, avoid people or events, and replace any weirdness.

With so many social media apps to chose from — including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat — there is something new every time you refresh your page. Users have so many options its hard not engage with them each constantly.

In my previous post I talked about allowing yourself to have a “pop culture pause” — but I think we also need to know when to step away from pop culture and step back into reality.

Just think about how much more productive you would be if you used your phone half as much as you do now. Don’t get me; wrong pop culture isn’t a bad thing. In fact I think it is what helps define our generation. However, too much of a good thing can’t be good for you either.

Politics and Higher Education

Save our Map Grant

Like me, many Dominican University students woke up to find an outstanding balance in their student account.

Normally students receive a financial aid award that is composed of school scholarships, state loans and grants. For Dominican students, the MAP (Monetary Award Program) grant is basically funding that is used to ease the financial burden of attending college. Most students heavily depend on the grant to be able to attend classes.

Recently there has been a lot of controversy in the news regarding the Illinois MAP grant because of Governor Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto the bill that would have allocated funds to students. In the Daily Illini news article titled Illinois senate passes bill to overturn Rauner’s veto on MAP grants, Rauner stated that he vetoed the bill originally “because the state did not have enough money in its budget to pay for the grants”(Illini staff report 2016).

Without this grant, what are students other options? To apply for more student loans? Get a second job?

I think I speak for both myself and others when I say students don’t need these additional stresses when their only focus should be on school. This grant affects the lives of so many students that it is hard to believe that such a rash decision could be made by someone we put in office to help advance our community.

Without the MAP grant, many students like me, and including me, will have a more difficult time receiving a higher education and fulfilling our dreams. It is important that students become aware of what is going on in the world of politics so that they understand how the world they live in is being affected.

Pop Culture Pause

Pop Culture Pause

Dominican University students are some of the hardest working students I have ever seen. I personally can attest to always being on the go, whether its going to work or school. With that being said, I think every now and then we all need a pop culture pause.

What’s a pop culture pause?

Well, for me, pop culture serves as my getaway from reality. Whenever I am stressed or need a break from work or school, I can always count on pop culture to serve as a momentary distraction. A pop culture pause allows you to escape your own head and see what is going on in the world of celebrities, politics, or sports.

Music specifically is my own personal outlet, and with finals rapidly approaching, I definitely need a pop culture pause. One thing that I am looking forward to are those summer concerts as my own personal pop culture pause.

Two concerts that I am super excited to attend are the Beyonce Formation and Rihanna Anti-World tours. I thought that I would have to choose between the two, but fortunately I’ll be able to attend both.

However, if you aren’t interested in Beyonce or Rihanna, there are other artist who will be visiting the city of Chicago this summer, such as Coldplay and Ellie Goulding. If you are more of a music festival lover, Lollapalooza will be taking place at the end of July. Here you will be able to see and listen to various artist who offer a variety of sounds.

I know I am super excited to get started with concert season especially once finals are over with. Then I’ll be on a never-ending pop culture pause.

 

Generation Addicted to Pop Culture

My name is Ashley Grear, a Rhetoric and Communication major at Dominican University, and I’m addicted to pop culture.

Pop culture collage

Before you judge me, I know I’m not alone in my infatuation with the wonderful world of entertainment. Like most people my age, I consider watching the latest viral video or keeping up with the Kardashians my getaway from reality.

I believe that one of the reasons why my generation has become so consumed with pop culture is because of our increased reliance on technology compared to previous generations. We are often so connected through our phones that we are constantly engaging in the world of entertainment including sports, news, celebrities, or even fashion trends.

Personally, for me, one of the best things about pop culture is that it gives us a voice that may not have been available to us before. I believe that pop culture has become more interactive with the creation of things like podcasts and YouTube, making it so that you no longer have to have be a celebrity to create content. Pop culture matters to me because it’s provides me with a way to express myself and the things that interest me, whether it’s hearing about the lifestyles of the rich and famous or sharing my opinion on the latest Beyoncé song with my followers on Twitter.

My posts for the semester will focus on the importance of pop culture through the lens of a Dominican University student. I will be touching on these topics and more as we wind down the semester.