BY JOSEPH STURGEON
2018 was an eventful year, to say the least. The year’s beginning saw the rise of new rappers JuiceWrld and Grammy-nominated Cardi B, and later saw the demise of others rappers like 6ix9ine and vocalist R. Kelly. Mid-year, rapper Kanye West became President Trump’s biggest supporter, but never dropped his album “Yandhi”– despite announcing two different release dates.
Marvel continued to thrive in the movie department with “Black Panther” earning $1 billion worldwide, while fans of the DC Comics Extended Universe haven’t seen a single movie release. Fortnite dominated popular culture for the entirety of 2018 and was estimated to make $2 billion by the end of the year. With the year coming to a close, it’s only sensible to reflect on what happened in entertainment.
Notable Movie Releases of 2018:
“Avengers: Infinity War”: As Marvel Studios’ second major Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) release of 2018, everything that occurred since the inception of the MCU was leading up to “Avengers: Infinity War.” Similar to 2018 itself, “Infinity War” was as eventful as it gets, with a plethora of twists, turns, surprises and tragedies. One of the most stellar films of the year in all genres, “Infinity War” didn’t fail at getting a reaction from each individual that purchased a ticket to watch it.
“White Boy Rick”: A tale of tragedy, “White Boy Rick” was the true story of the youngest FBI informant in U.S. history, Richard Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt), and how he ultimately landed himself in prison for selling drugs. Reflective of just how oppressive and hypocritical the criminal justice system can be at times, “White Boy Rick” was a powerful film that touched on topics ranging from materialism to addiction.
Notable Album Releases of 2018:
“ASTROWORLD”: Released on August 3, 2018, rapper Travis Scott’s “ASTROWORLD” was one of the strongest and most creative hip-hop albums released in 2018. Featuring a variety of artists ranging from Gunna to Frank Ocean, the album contains some of the most electrifying production in hip-hop, stellar guest verses from musicians like Drake and Swae Lee and lacks something a lot of albums usually have: a dull moment.
“Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”: Rapper Tyler, the Creator– penman of the 2017 album “Flower Boy”– was enlisted by Illumination to write promo songs “I Am The Grinch” and “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” for the soundtrack of the animated movie remake of “The Grinch.” After the release of “The Grinch,” Tyler decided to release an EP of Christmas-themed songs to boost holiday spirits. The EP was solid and showcases Tyler’s diverse range in skill, as he again refuses to settle on one certain type of signature sound.
Notable Events of 2018:
Kanye for Trump: Kanye West, a well-known and respected figure in the hip-hop community, was adamant and vocal about his support for the “Make America Great Again” campaign in 2018. The strong support shown by West left many puzzled and surprised, considering West’s 2005 comment that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” something President Trump has been criticized for in the past.
West later came out and said that he was distancing himself from politics later in the year, while still feuding with fellow rapper Drake, who believed West to be the person who told Pusha T about Drake’s “hidden” baby. West also announced an album entitled “Yandhi,” but never released it.
Frank Ocean’s Instagram: Alternative R&B singer Frank Ocean released only one single in 2018, but he wasn’t as silent on social media. In November, after months of the account being private, Ocean unveiled his Instagram account to the masses and gained over 1 million followers in less than a month. During midterm elections this year, Ocean gave free merch to those in select cities that could prove they voted, in addition to a podcast where he ranted about voting. Although it’s been two years since Ocean last released an album, free merch
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