Category Archives: Music

I’ll just watch the movie “Prom” on prom night

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by Luckie Lovette

Prom is a few weeks away, and everyone is getting ready for it.  Except for me.

Prom is one of those school events that everyone says they don’t care about but secretly do.  For me, even if I wanted to, I can’t go.  Tickets, transportation and tuxedos exceed far more than the $100 advised to spend in the once in a lifetime night.

On top of that, being a guy, I’m supposed buy my prom date’s ticket and pay for dinner.  Realistically, we would ride AC Transit to a Denny’s and split an order of nachos, but that doesn’t sound as luxurious as the movies make it seem.

I’ll just stay at home and watch the movie “Prom” on prom night.

Speaking Up: what youth centers in West Oakland should provide

by J’Mya Gray-Martinez

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Chip Johnson blamed problems with youth centers (two open and a third about to open)  in West Oakland on lack of  staff and programs.

Journalism 1 decided to pitch in, providing insight into what should be included in local youth centers and what also needs reform.

“We should have more programs at school instead of at youth centers, because it’s easier for students to get their SAT prep,  help on their homework or class work right here.” (Abbas Hassan)

“More music, dancing, singing, college. Students are bored after school. So they need something to do. If you have these programs then the kids won’t need to do drugs or harmful things like that.” (Jaden Nixon, who transferred out of McClymonds)

“I’m happy with the programs that Oakland has to offer me. I can go to the YMCA on weekends and the Boys & Girls Club on weekdays. They have sports for you to play and they’re very safe. The programs are kind of healthy but you can get good exercise. It keeps the violence away. (Parrish Kendricks)

“Healthy living programs. Not just with eating but when it comes to relationships, violence, and interactions. I want to see programs that will affect the youth like scared straight programs. Also, I want to see more people kids can trust and rely on. Lastly, I want to see more jobs like YEP or Youth Uprising.” (Kaya LaForte)

“I would like to see fun programs. Also educational programs that will help us in the long run. For example, a program that teaches you useful things like how to write a resume, fill out a college application and things like that. I would really like to see tutoring programs also.” (Hailey King)

“We need more fine Arts and Educational Programs because there are a lot of talented kids I know around Oakland that don’t get a chance to show their true talents, and then they get caught up in gangs, drugs, and violence.” (J’Mya Gray-Martinez)

 In Oakland,  I believe we need to provide more programs during school hours so students are forced to go. (Quaylin Wesley)

There are a lot of kids in Oakland with great potential, but usually don’t get a chance to because they get caught up with things they shouldn’t be doing. Having more community programs in Oakland would help most of us be able to express ourselves in different ways.

In a small school like McClymonds, love takes different forms

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Stories, photos and illustrations by students in Journalism 1

Not everyone has a “love” on campus at McClymonds, a school of 270.

People have different passions, too: sports, video games, rap music, flowers, art, fashion, food and chocolate.

Here are the stories and photos we collected:

“‘You’re over my head…I’m out of my mind..’ Every time I hear Classic by MTKO, I just snap my fingers, sing along. That song makes me really happy and brightens up my whole day. I listened to it after I had fallen down the stairs at school, hit my head, and then went to track practice in pain.”

Jaden Nixon

For Rayana Delaney, her first love was lit inside her during a balmy, summer day, at McClymonds High.  At first sight, he seemed like the “one”: charming, funny, caring, loving and overwhelmingly attractive all described him well. Fortunately, for both, they were coincidently students at the same summer school.  Delaney recalls a latent excitement after smiling at him and a requited love-struck stare, immediately prior to an exchange of introductions.

“We became friends right away,” said Delaney. “He was really cute, and he showed a lot of interest in me.  After around two months of being friends and a quick spread of my attraction toward him through my friends, we finally had our first kiss, at school; it was magical.”

Since then, they have both been in an intimate relationship, and are planning on having their first date soon—at a local movie theater.

Delaney’s Valentine’s Day gift to her boyfriend is a card with hearts on it and some chocolate.  His match: a card with a picture of a teddybear on it and pink balloon.

Rayana Delaney, as told by Anthony Beron

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“Jessie was walking around her new high school and lost her way. A senior named Chris noticed her immediately and offered to help her. He walked around and around, and was so hooked he wouldn’t let her go home. There was a click between them. “We’ve been together ever since.'”

as told to Jasmine Vilchis

“My grandma makes us feel special: she brings us all together, we all sit on her bed and she’ll tell us a story. We’ll laugh and feel a special bond. We are family.”

J’Mya Gray-Martinez

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 “I love hamburgers because they are always there for me, whenever I need food, hamburgers are always there with melted cheese, a juicy patty, crisp buns, and delicious pickles. Every time I’m down and out, I have a hamburger.”

Parrish Kendricks

Buzz, Mix, Rap and Shoot at Legacy Studio

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photo by Nicholas Basta

by Khristan Antoine

Stroll into Legacy Studio at McClymonds, and you’ll be captivated by the bright orange, blue, green colors that form a warm, calm ambience.

The buzz will get to you: within the newly refurbished studio resonates the sound of the recently-installed audio mixing equipment–a combination of old and new technology, and a new-school turntable.

This is the domain of Nicholas Basta, 27,  Alternatives in Action’s new multimedia director.  Basta briskly opens the lock to the barred doors of the newly renovated Legacy Studios.  He turns on the sound-mixer, puts on sound-canceling headphones, and sits listening to the sounds and rhythms of his students’ progress. It’s a musical home to a half dozen or so up-and coming student DJs, mixers, rappers and song writers.

This year, the focus is less on rapping and more on digital story telling, even though Basta continues to teach beat making twice a week. On Monday and Wednesday, Basta teaches community media, filming, and digital story telling.  Tuesday and Thursdays are dedicated to beat making, sound engineering, music production, and vocal recording.

Even the old-timers, like Luckie Lovette, have come to appreciate Basta’s style and organizational skills.

Lovette, a senior, sits down at a computer, adjusts the brightness on the monitor, and puts on headphones. His head sways to the beat of Tupac Shakur’s  bass-heavy song “All Eyes On Me.” Lovette uses music videos found on YouTube as part of a project initiated by Legacy Studios.

“For me, this [legacy studios] is a way to be creative and create something new,” said Lovette.

As Basta encourages his students to push themselves, he does encounter some resistance. Students like Justin Gilreath, 15 and a senior, would prefer a more relaxed atmosphere. This year, Basta is expecting him to produce double the number of songs. “We barely got one mixtape done last year and he wants us to do way more,” says Gilreath.

And yet, like for most students, the studio remains a lure. “Rhythm is a part of my DNA,” says Gilreath.

Discrimination against Emo as hateful as any bias

Opinion piece

by Janaya Andrews

People say that we are the most dark-spirited of all “others” and treat us accordingly, as if we were invisible.

The term “emo” originated as an insult. Not as an identifier. It’s an abbreviation for a type of music known as “emotive hardcore,” which has been described by some as “punk music on estrogen.”

Bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Escape the Fate, Bullet for My Valentine, and Black Veil Brides created the sounds of the latest emo revival with lyrics like “You take my sanity, I’ll take the pain.”

Though kids who belong to the Emo counterculture can be identified by dark clothes, piercings, and black nail polish, an Emo is more of a relationship to music and “otherness,” or being an outsider.

Because we wear a lot of black and listen to unpopular music, such as rock, heavy metal, hard-core, and Scree-mo, other people assume that we are radically different; that we cut ourselves and are suicidal.

“The songs are yen-y and sad, which kind of fits into the way teenagers feel,” says Rebecca “Kiki” Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA, Parenting Coach and Co-Founder of Daily Life Consulting.

 I believe that we are the same and shouldn’t be treated differently.  Emos are like Goths, only we are a lot less “dark” and much more “Harry Potter” and like to be passionate to others.  We also try to reach out to those who are sometimes left out, just need comfort, or try to hide their crying.

However, there’s been an uproar against Emos.  In Mexico there have anti-Emo rallies and Emo beat downs.

 In England, police in Manchester now label attacks aginst Goths, Emos, punks and metallers as “hate crimes.” The move was a response to the 2007 killing of Sophie Lancaster was attacked by a mob for being a Goth. Only 20, she and her boyfriend were brutally beaten as they walked home.

In Iraq, there was a string of homicides last March against Iraqi teenage boys who dressed in a Westernized emo style.

In February 2012, the Baghdad Morality Police published a statement criticizing emo teens for wearing “strange, tight clothes with pictures of skulls on them,” and “rings in their noses and tongues.” The statement condemned emo as Satanic.

In my opinion,  we  are all not to  be  disliked  for  who  we  are  but  to  be loved  inside  and  out.  So, please stop the snide remarks about Emos.  Aren’t we more tolerant here at McClymonds and in Oakland, California?

Am I Next? Mack students react to verdict and “Fruitvale Station”

ImageInterviews and Photo Luckie Lovette

 

By Anthony Beron

 “I don’t trust the police and we don’t need them on our streets,” said McClymonds High School senior Garland Rabon after watching the screening of Fruitvale Station.

His mood — distrust, disappointment, anger — also reflected his reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin, 17, a young black man in a hoodie just “walking while Black” like so many students at McClymonds.

The movie also hit home because much of it takes place along several BART stations, just a few miles from school, where so many students of color hop on a train  across the Bay Area.

Fruitvale Station, a dramatic film focused on Oscar Grant’s last days before his 2009 shooting death, premiered last week, coinciding with the Zimmerman verdict: it struck the audience so hard that men and women alike cried in the Grand Lake Theater’s lobby.

At the screening I attended, there were violent shouting and people weeping in the audience, followed by sudden laughter at the tender scene in which Grant kisses his daughter goodbye as she trots off to daycare, then another wave of extreme disgust when Grant was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital.

Between the syncopation of the music, real-life video recorded at the scene, and Michael Jordan’s fine performance, showing the vulnerability, warmth and brashness of Oscar Grant, the film got the message through clearly: his death was a consequence not of his own flaws, but of racial profiling.

It could have been any African-American young man. With that awareness, “Am I Next?” became the slogan that replaced “We Are All Trayvon.”

The audience remained focused even as the film alternated between urging irony and beating vacillation.

Many felt it accurately portrayed Oscar Grant, African-American youth, American racism, and especially police brutality in Oakland, as there was a strong emphasis on the crudeness of BART police in Fruitvale Station during the shooting of Oscar Grant.

“People will be more aware of racism,” said Jeremy Namkung, a McClymonds High School PE teacher.  He continued, “Small changes will be made in a long period of time.”

Johannes Mehserle, Oscar Grant’s killer, appeared sinewy and lorded over the entire Fruitvale BART station, where he repeatedly Jiu Jitsu-flipped bystanders and friends of Oscar Grant who were merely in his way, emulating the gestures of an almost a spazzed-out, reckless Robocop vigilante.

That power felt palpable to the audience.

“I have mixed feelings on cops: they are necessary but they have too much power and abuse it,” said Namkung, who also said he feels safe on BART.

In the movie, Mehserle was one of several first-responders who were alerted of a fight on a BART train.

Grant and several of his companions were a part of the fight between him and a white supremacist, ex-con he knew from prison.  At that point, the clarity of the film’s audio and screen resolution began fading in and out, effectively illustrating the chaotic milieu that ensconced Grant, who only wanted to enjoy time with his friends and family.

Him and his friends were later removed from their train car, where they were called racial slurs and handcuffed by BART personnel.  Grant, who was apparently trying to calm his friends, was kicked down and shot by Mehserle on BART grounds.  His train was directed to continue towards Pittsburg, without having any witnesses taken off.

In the theater lobby, the Zimmerman verdict strained the atmosphere as people in the Grand Lake Theater’s foyer reacted with rage and tears. “I can’t believe this,” one woman sobbed.  The reaction — emotional, angry but not surprised — echoed the same acrimony that people felt after the Mehserle verdict.

Shortly after the premier of Fruitvale Station, West Oakland students joined a bicycle ride for peace. At Lake Merritt, they held a silent vigil for Trayvon Martin. And this weekend, they marched with signs that expressed everyone’s fear: “Am I Next?

“It needs to be peace,” replied Christopher Lockett, a Mack freshman.  “People need to stop killing each other for gun play.”

2 Chainz aka No Chainz

2-Chainz

by Jacob Miles

Famous hip hop rapper 2 Chainz was robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco last Sunday afternoon, according to police.

Billboard Magazine, citing police reports, said that the rapper, born Tauheed Epps, was walking with five members of his entourage in downtown San Francisco before a performance at the summer jam concert in Oakland. Three men, one with a gun, approached the group.

One shot was fired, and the gunmen reportedly made off with Epps’ wallet and cellphone, fleeing in a gray sedan.

On Twitter, Chainz seems to be denying that much of an incident took place, saying, “Rule #1 if a rapper gets robbed people usually post items that has been taken. Rings, chains, watch, money etc. 2 answer that question…Rule#2 if a rapper gets shot he usually go to hospital or dies.”

The stories buzzed the night it happened and some fans feel mad that he was robbed in the Bay.

“My first reaction was to laugh.  It was so surprising and sad— but at least it didn’t happen in Oakland,” said sophomore Kardel Howard.

According to reports, as officers responded to the call, the rapper told the police that he would handle the situation himself. His entourage was seen fleeing the scene -all of which was caught on camera.

Sources say his friends “ran away from the incident like cockroaches running from a flashlight.”

One Instagram user and apparent blood gang member posted an image to his account with the caption:

“2 Chainz got his cornball a** stripped in the city.”