Tag Archives: opinion

Did good music die?


Opinion piece by Lucky Lovette

If you were born in the 80s, you probably were raised on the slick stylings of 90s R&B. Musical acts like those by Mary J. Blige, Babyface, TLC, Dru Hill, En Vogue, Monica, SWV, Destiny’s Child , Faith Evans, 112, D’Angelo, and Toni Braxton blessed our ears with their undeniable singing chops, clever songs, and a refreshing sense of cool. Traditional R&B of the 1990s (and the R&B of previous decades) was the truth.

Unfortunately, R&B has drastically changed — or perhaps, disappeared — over the past decade. While the musical genre’s evolution through time is demonstrated by the diverse work of legends like Fats Domino, Johnny Otis, Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston, the production of quality R&B music is a now relic of yesterday.


Since the 90s, the creation of high quality “make up with ya boo” music has slowed down and is very disappointing.

My ears long to hear smooth chocolatey runs, effortlessly sung over a well-orchestrated production of a lightly caressed piano and a perfectly timed bass drum. I miss hearing the tenor of a churchy vibrato that accentuates a sustained note at the end of a love song. I miss not having to strain my ears just to hear the (real) voice of a singer. I miss being able to listening to an album straight through, in one sitting. I miss listening to the radio and not having to flip through stations for reasons other than static.

I miss 90s R&B music. I miss R&B music.



Why McClymonds needs a mascot

Great tradition: in 1950, Bill Russell tried out for team mascot at McClymonds

(photograph from Oakland Museum collection)

by Anique Gichanga

We need more spirit, pep, and cheer at Mack. And a mascot — a warrior with paint on face, spear in hand and ready to go to war — would hype  up the crowd and encourage more cheering at games.

As we head towards state playoffs, with our boys’ team undefeated with a recent, big win against Fremont, and our girls with the BIG WIN against Skyline, it seems ridiculous not to have a mascot to represent our school’s fighting tradition.

We have a venerable history: Bill Russell tried out for mascot (instead, he made the team) and when an undefeated McClymonds won the state basketball championship in 2008 under Coach Dwight Nathaniel, we had a mascot.

So why is not there one now?

It’s not as though we’d be the only school in the league with a mascot. Oakland Tech has a tacky purple bulldog and its team is 11-14, fourth in the OAL. Fremont has an ugly tiger instead of 10 cheerleaders because they don’t have any.

Mascots can be more amusing than cheerleaders: they get laughs, try stunts that cheerleaders are far too graceful and athletic to try (such as doing push ups, lifting barbells, bizarre dunking  or crazy tumbling). They’ve thrown dollar bills or t-shirts  in audience and have caught on fire.

As for mascot selection, let’s not leave it to the school administration.  Like homecoming queen and king, we should vote for our mascot. It should be a freshman, so they could lead the Warriors to victory over four years.

Why Students Smoke Weed (or Don’t)


by Lee Benson

Is weed a problem at McClymonds High School? Does it lead to absenteeism or cutting class?

Apparently less so, this year, so far.

Geometry teacher Elise Delagnes says,” It was a big problem last year and I had many students come to my class high, but this year it has gotten much better.”

In fact, no students have been suspended for being high at McClymonds. “Weed is not a problem at McClymonds,” says Principal Tanisha Hamberlin.

The changes at McClymonds reflect what is going on nationwide. Statistics show that the percentage of students who smoke weed in high school has dropped from a shocking 8.2% in 2002 to 7.3% in 2009.

As teens begin to smoke weed at a younger age, we would like to know the reason why this is happening. Why smoke instead  of going to class, getting good grades and going to college? In our interviews with several students at McClymonds, we discovered that many students react to stress by coming to school high.

First of all, most students won’t admit that they smoke. They can’t smoke at school because hallway cameras record comings and goings of students. “This is prison, they have cameras everywhere,” says junior Quadry Wesley.

Most students also say that sports and drugs don’t mix. At McClymonds, most students play at least one sport.

“I don’t smoke weed because I don’t want to let anybody down who is important in my life,” says Miles Mitchell, a junior and a tight end on the football team.  “I feel like it is a bad influence on little kids. Another reason why I don’t smoke is because I play for the varsity football team and I am trying to get a scholarship so I can go to college.”

Emoni Fountain, a senior and the starting quarterback agrees.  “I don’t smoke weed because I’m an athlete and it makes you have bad lungs, I don’t feel like weed is something that will help me get to where I am trying to be in life. I see people smoking around me all the time and I see the effects of it and I don’t want any part of it.”

In my opinion, students smoke weed  for different reasons, to relieve stress, because it’s cool, to fit in.

Those who do smoke say they work as hard as they play. “I smoke weed because it’s fun. I like to chase the high. It’s kind of relaxing and everything is way more funny than it would be when I am sober,” says junior David Smith. “Just because I smoke doesn’t mean that I don’t get my work done,  I still have above a 2.0, so I really don’t see a problem with it.

Sophomore Jasmine Richardson agrees. “I smoke sometimes because it is funny when you’re high, also I smoke because I want to and it keeps me occupied.”

Mack alumna at Bakesale Betty’s

Brittnie Collins, Mack grad at CSU Northridge, at Bakesale Betty

When it’s hot, the layers come off

by Anonymous
I have nothing against fashion, as long as my school doesn’t turn into the corner of San Pablo and Market.

When the temperature rises, so do the hemlines at Mack. The layers come off. It looks like a beach day. Parts are jiggling. They’re hanging out. YUCK!

Jeans are replaced by micro-mini skirts and shorter-than-short shorts. No more Hollister hoodies, just tank tops and dresses.

Girls shedding their clothes does nothing to help boost concentration in classes. Girls are distracted because they feel the need to either compliment what a girl is wearing or to "diss" her clothing.
- That b***** look like a ho.
-Why she be speaking like that, when SHE look like one!

Boys are even more distracted. They ogle at the see-through tank tops revealing pink or cheetah print bras. Their heads snap to look at short skirts revealing legs, sometimes more than just legs.
I'm not sure why girls dress this way. Some say that they are only trying to express themselves. I say: girls only dress that way because they like the attention they receive from boys.
Then again, why not just go to San Pablo. They'll receive a lot of attention there.