By: Kianna Cheuk, Tyson Tran, Staff Writers

To make it big in the music industry, more and more artists are signing to record labels and various producers, forfeiting sole ownership of their music and agreeing to work under strict deadlines. Artists feel compelled by record labels and producers to “put something out there” for their fans, leading to unimpressive and mediocre songs, which was especially true for releases towards the end of 2018. This trend is especially noticeable in the rap and hip hop genres. However, an album that took many fans by surprise is Hoodie Szn by A Boogie, which was released on December 21st. Prior to the album’s release, A Boogie, who hails from Highbridge, N.Y., had amassed a respectable number of fans and notoriety, but still remained nowhere near the relevancy of household names such as Kanye West and Travis Scott. And yet, on release, A Boogie’s album skyrocketed in popularity all the way into Billboard 200 Albums’ number one spot. With hits like “Swervin” and “Startender” combined with noticeable features from the likes of Tyga, 6ix9ine, and Offset, A Boogie took the country by storm with hit after hit. On the other hand, many critics are quick to point out that although maintaining the #1 spot on Billboard 200 Albums chart, Hoodie Szn also holds the record of accumulating the lowest number of physical copies sold at only 823 total units. In an interview with Complex magazine, A Boogie responded to the criticism by stating, “I don’t give a f*** because I just went brazy!” He has also responded by pointing out that he continues to receive revenue through music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Ariana’s new album released on February 8th, thank u, next, is all about being alone, rather than being with someone. Mostly about being single and living her life, Grande is saying how she wants all the past to be relieved. She wants to teach people to not listen to those who criticize them for living their best lives by not holding any  grudges. Grande wants her listeners to know that you should be true to who you are, not caring about what others think. Grande proves that she is grateful for all of her fans and past relationships, which is evident in her popularized song, “thank u, next.”

While there are heavy fans of rap, hip hop, and pop music, the songs found on Spotify’s discover weekly playlist share the best underrated music with listeners. Here are a few songs that I have found from my playlist that you should listen to! “Shy Girl” by Samaria is about a girl who is trying to be independent, but wants a relationship with a boy she likes. As she witnesses that boy flirting with other girls, she wants to get rid of these feelings and be on her own. Samaria is a Bay Area R&B vocalist and songwriter who was born in Oakland. “Woah” by Leo Pastel is about seeing someone you like so much that you don’t know what to do. “Dark and Stormy” by Croosh is a nice song that is good for when you are looking for something to chill to. If you are looking to have a relaxed day or want a calming song for those late night drives, this song is perfect blast at home and in the car.

Alongside using the discover weekly playlist to find new music that suits your tastes based on Spotify’s algorithm, here are several up and coming album releases that you shouldn’t miss out on. Starting from chronological order: February 15th will be the release date of Avril Lavigne’s album “Head Above Water.” On February 22nd, Lil Pump’s album “Harvard Dropout” will debut and Billie Eilish’s album, “When We Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?”, will be released on March 29th.