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1,855 days later, Kendrick Lamar releases the deeply introspective ‘Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers’

(05/31/22 1:00pm)

When looking back at the best music of the 2010s, the shadow of Kendrick Lamar is inescapable. “Section.80,” “Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City,” “To Pimp a Butterfly” and “DAMN” each released to increasingly popular and positive critical reception — along with “Untitled Unmastered” and other supporting works — Lamar’s catalog is among the best of the decade, winning multiple Grammys and even a Pulitzer Prize among other recognition. Finally, after a five-year gap since his last album, Lamar has released a new album, entitled “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.”


Duke students kick off Tongue and Sole Lab

(04/21/22 4:31pm)

While one might be forgiven for not being immersed in SneakerTok depending on your FYP, it is undeniable that sneakers and, specifically, custom sneakers are an immensely popular aspect of social media. There are pages with millions of followers dedicated to tracking new releases of scarce sneakers and sneaker customizers with hordes of fans, including celebrity ones, clamoring for their custom creations. 




Matt Reeves’s ‘The Batman’ is a brooding triumph of superhero filmmaking

(03/21/22 4:00am)

Even before the blood-red title card, the oppressive aura of Gotham City in Matt Reeves’s new adaptation of Batman to the big screen is immediately apparent. This is a Gotham that feels real, dark and violent, with corrupt and maniacal figures looming everywhere. Simply put, “The Batman” is excellent, with near-perfect casting, stunning cinematography, deft comic adaptation and shrewd directorial decisions. This is a film that treats its world with sincerity and takes subject matter, which is an emotionally scarred billionaire vigilante punching criminals, with the utmost care. Never before has there been a better big-screen adaptation of the “world’s greatest detective.” 




Return of the mic: Duke Coffeehouse to host annual Brickside Music Festival

(04/05/21 4:44pm)

Of the many things that have been postponed, canceled, closed or otherwise affected by the pandemic, live music and artistic interactions are among the greatest losses. The Duke Coffeehouse, normally known for its live shows and free tea, has been largely shuttered for the past year due to COVID-19. However, on April 10 and 11, the Duke Coffeehouse is presenting its annual Brickside Music Festival in collaboration with fellow DUU committee WXDU Durham. 


Wait, how much is a GIF of ‘Nyan Cat’ worth?

(03/18/21 7:47pm)

The original GIF of Nyan Cat sold for about $580,000. Yes, you read that right. Anyone can look up and make a copy of the GIF, yet it sold for over half a million dollars. Lindsay Lohan sold a digital image of her face for $17,000. A tweet from Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey sold online for $2.5 million. What is going on? Where is the value? These files exist for anyone to view on the internet.


My love/hate relationship with Western classical music

(03/02/21 2:22am)

I have listened to Western classical music as far as I can remember. My mother loves to recount the story of how I always fell asleep to Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” when I was a baby. I have played guitar for 16 years and cello for 9, performing in orchestras and taking theory classes. Hell, I’m even a music minor at Duke. Yet, why am I so hesitant to express my unwavering appreciation for the genre? Is it the antiquated and “stuffy” connotations? Or is there something deeper still that leaves me doubtful?


'Judas and the Black Messiah:' The narratives of black power for today’s divided America

(02/25/21 11:34pm)

“I am a revolutionary.” Those were Fred Hampton’s words when he was released from prison in August of 1969. Hampton, who was Vice Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, had been held on charges of stealing $71 of ice cream. On Dec. 4, 1969, he was assassinated by the FBI and local law enforcement, aided by their informant within the Panthers, William O’Neal.


ESPN+ and NCCU’s Men's Basketball Team dare to ask a simple question in 'Why Not Us'

(02/15/21 8:13pm)

The North Carolina Triangle is known as the “mecca of college basketball.” Storied athletics programs at UNC, NC State and Duke comprise thirteen total NCAA championships and sport some of the most recognizable figures in college athletics. However, there are many more successful athletics programs in the Triangle than just these three ACC powerhouses. There is more to college basketball in North Carolina and around the country than the predominately white institutions (PWIs) that are featured on TV.



What does Marvel do after conquering the world?: ‘WandaVision’ and the sitcom

(01/31/21 6:38pm)

Over the past 12 years, Marvel Studios has come to dominate Hollywood entertainment with its countless superhero franchises. Since the inception of the MCU in 2008 with “Iron Man,” 23 films have been released in one connected universe alongside television series on Netflix and cable TV. This explosion of content has shaped pop culture to such a degree that characters like Thanos, once a niche comic book figure, are now so mainstream that former Duke basketball players are wearing “Thanos inspired shoes” in NBA games. 


Small Town Records to continue making music this spring

(02/01/21 5:00am)

For years, Duke’s very own label and recording studio Small Town Records has been empowering young artists and giving students interested in the music industry the invaluable experience of creating music. Despite the immense challenges posed by the pandemic and the lack of in-person concerts, Small Town Records’s artists, producers and personnel have continued to do what they love and have a variety of projects slated for the spring semester.


Spicing up the celebrity interview: ‘Hot Ones’ and innovation

(11/12/20 9:31pm)

I love celebrity interviews. Whether they take place on the red carpet or during a late-night talk show, they produce some of my favorite moments in pop culture. Even now, Andy Serkis reading Trump’s tweets on Colbert always makes me laugh. These interviews have long served as the primary medium for celebrities to interact with the public. For many Americans, the word “interview” sparks the image of a celebrity on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson. While this classic format —  the “sit down and talk about your newest project” interview — is perfectly serviceable, I always welcome innovation. 


Reconnecting with Bright Black Candles amid pandemic adjustments and major collaborations

(11/02/20 6:09pm)

Throughout the year, local businesses across the United States have faced many COVID-related challenges, and that has certainly been the case in Durham for local candle crafters Bright Black Candles. The Chronicle previously profiled both Bright Black Candles and Bougie Luminaries in February of this year. Both Durham-based businesses are Black-owned, local candle making outfits focused on educating about and drawing awareness to their cultures. However, as the pandemic swept through the United States and the Black Lives Matter movement became even more prevalent, Bright Black Candles was faced with new challenges, was endorsed by Beyoncé and has collaborated with the likes of Jordan Peele and Michelle Obama. 


‘The West Wing’ special comes to HBO in an effort to encourage voters

(10/28/20 8:56pm)

I distinctly remember the first time I watched an episode of Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing.” It was the summer of 2017 and I was without faith in the American political process, so I looked to idealized representations of American politics in popular culture. I binged the show on Netflix and had my belief in democracy renewed. This hopefulness that I experienced is what the HBO Max special “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” sought to capture.


"Tenet" and "Mulan" release to middling box office returns, mixed reviews and boycotts

(09/19/20 7:07pm)

A trip to the movies — for most, what was once an innocuous affair has been fundamentally changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to the movie theater and spending an exorbitant sum of money for the largest popcorn bucket is not an essential business, and cramming dozens of people into a dark theater is the opposite of social distancing. Fittingly, the American movie theater industry largely shut down in the wake of the pandemic.