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by Savan DePaul
The Montgazette Staff

It is quite apparent that the rap music industry has created a troubling relationship with its female audience through the actions and words of its most prominent faces. Ever since the explosion of hip hop music into mainstream culture, numerous rappers have bred misogynistic and objectifying views of women; furthermore, mainstream rappers continuously feel a need to either be “real” or “hard.” Yet, local music acts, such as Etheric Felines, have stepped away from this antiquated “femininity” and have created their own take on feminine views.

In order to promote a gritty and hardcore celebrity personality, nowadays it’s normal for a rapper to look down on the feminine aspects of personality and biology. Over time, however, we’ve seen the few female rappers that do receive widespread media attention either oversexualize themselves (Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea) or follow the general rapper tropes of braggadocious hypermasculinity (Cardi B and Young M.A.), while plenty of independent artists explore their own themes and focus on nongendered topics.

But little by little, more post-millennium hip hop acts, male and female, have embraced the femininity in their music and messages. Gaining an early footing in the 1990’s with influential artists such as Lauryn Hill and Meshell Ndegeocello, the feminine movement has progressed rapidly within the last few years thanks to shifting views on sexuality and gender identity in America.

More and more musicians reinvent hip hop everyday, constantly redefining the genre in numerous ways. Philadelphia based experimental trio Etheric Felines embodies this ethos wholeheartedly with some wildly eccentric musical experiences. Made up of producer/composer Flesh Prince, rapper Acid Orphan, and singer Cicada O’Kain, Etheric Felines delivers beautiful tunes that challenge the hip hop status quo at every turn.

Take, for example, their latest single “Buy My Ashes.” Acid Orphan displays an impeccable flow, while delivering lines such as, “Wanna be a Byzantine beauty queen, waving from the mezzanine / A soldier queen, clever and lean, like Artemisia /Persian diva” and “Never having no babies ‘cause I run the [expletive] navy.” She constructs clever verses that illustrate the evolution of women’s rights in present-day America; at the same time, Flesh Prince melds Acid Orphan’s rap vocals and Cicada’s marvelous singing with his beautiful instrumentation. Their only other single, “Birth House,” features more serene synths, atmospheric textures, and lovely vocal melodies over a hip hop breakbeat while also boasting more gender-conscious lyrics with an analytical (and nearly meta) edge.

Looking at rap music as a whole, one can clearly see that there’s still much progress to be made in the genre with respect to equality. But talented musicians – like Etheric Felines – oppose those negative stereotypes and begin to grow fanbases that identify with a desire to bring about change. Now that more and more rappers are openly embracing this philosophy, hopefully the music scene can take positive steps towards true equality.

DePaul Article_Etheric Felines

Philadelphia Music Group Etheric Felines ~Photo courtesy of Deli Magazine

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Art & Lit 2017

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Motivation

By Jay Galgon
Montgazette Contributing Writer

College is hard
We all knew it would be
No one thought it would be a breeze
It’s harder to maintain our grades
Harder to get a good night’s sleep
Harder to find motivation
But that’s what they’ll tell you
“Just find the motivation to do well!”
Yeah, right
How can I do that
When I can’t even find the motivation to
Get out of bed
Talk to people
Or even smile
If I can’t find the motivation
To do even these simple things
How do you expect me
To somehow find the motivation
To “do well”
In a place where your worth
Is your grade

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Pick Yourself Up

By Jay Galgon
Montgazette Contributing Writer

None of us are strangers to pain
No one in this world is
There’s always been something, someone
That made our heart ache in our chest
Some pain has been worse than others
Made us scream
Cry out
Fall to our knees
What do you do when the world keeps knocking you down?
You pick yourself up
Because no one is going to do it for you
We learned that the hard way
So every time life knocks your feet out from under you
Sends you to your knees
Pick yourself up
Kick life back
Show it your strength
Yell about how you’ll persevere
Because you will
As long as you pick yourself up
You are the winner

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#TakeAKnee

by Justin Oakes
Montgazette Contributing Writer

You take a knee
Because for centuries
You’ve screamed
And we
Never answered your plea.
You raise your fist
Because you know
The greatest country
In the world
Must be better than
This.
You stand tall
Because it’s better to rise in the face of
Fear Than to stay down
When we made you
Fall.
You fight back
Because you’re sick
Of seeing your brothers
And sisters die just
Because they’re Black.
You formed picket lines
From Selma to D.C.
Because you just wanted
To be free.
In the face of adversity
You wanted diversity.
You wanted to teach truths
We never wanted to see through.
We made the status quo
Unnatural
And everything you battled for
Was torn into shreds
When we watched Philando
In the car as he bled
With a four-year-old girl
In the back seat
Whose world forever changed
When the cops killed her
Daddy.
You take a knee
Because you’re tired.
The least we can do
Is bow down
And take a knee with you.

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From the Editor

Sara Wilkerson
The Montgazette Editor-in-Chief

Journalism is not dead.

Despite the rising political tides in our nation today, traditional journalism is not dead. Rather, the reputation of journalism has been tarnished.

What has tarnished the reputation you ask?

Let’s begin with the fact that the arrival of the internet has made clickbait, tabloids, you name it, rise into prominence. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to pass off any headline as an actual news story, even when it is just a fake news story published by media organizations to make headlines and to make a quick buck. For these reasons and more, fake news has now become a new norm.

In all honesty, I find these trends to be dismaying as a journalist. And as your new Editor-in-Chief of The Montgazette¸ I vow to disprove the belief that journalism is dead through original storytelling in this publication. Which leads me to say…

Hello there! I am Sara Wilkerson and as your new Editor, I vow to not only prove that journalism is alive and well, but I intend to do so by having you, the students of MCCC, have your voices and your storytelling be heard through this publication.

My predecessor, David Aston, made it the paper’s mission to have the voices of Montgomery County Community College be heard. I intend to carry out the same mission. Therefore, I’d like to make an invitation.

I want to invite you, the students of MCCC, to have your voices be heard through The Montgazette. Any story that you want to tell, whether that’s through news stories about events happening on campus, to essays that you write for any of your classes, to opinion editorials on what interests you, I want you to have your voices be heard. I am open to any and all stories that are submitted to The Montgazette via our email submission box: montgazette@gmail.com.

I believe that through these stories, we as a team will be able to prove that traditional journalism is indeed thriving, not dying, in today’s ever changing society. The only way we as a student body can do this, however, is through original storytelling.

With that being said, what you say, students of MCCC?

Let’s prove to the naysayers and the critics that they are wrong; that journalism is indeed alive, that journalism does indeed exist, that journalism does have a place in a changing society such as ours.

Let’s prove that storytelling matters, together.

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From the Editor

David Aston
Montgazette Editor-In-Chief

Stories come in many forms and styles. It’s what makes life so colorful and dynamic. This month, we’re springing off this idea by telling some of our stories with pictures.
Our writers pulled out the stops by sharing their vision on every story in this issue. Sometimes, words aren’t just enough. Chuck Palahniuk, author and essayist famous for works like “Fight Club,” I think said it best. “If emotion can create a physical action, then duplicating the physical action can re-create the emotion.”
This is one of the ultimate goals of The Montgazette. You read and view stories in a fluid fashion; that’s why many newspapers are printed digitally now. The Montgazette strives to achieve a balance by bringing the stories that relate to you and reflect your voice.
The need is greater than ever for college students to stay engaged in their history as they live it. Because of this, The Montgazette is seeking a better way to reach you.
We tried many forms of digital “outreach.” Now we’re reaching out to you, the readers, to tell us how you want to receive The Montgazette digitally. Send an email to montgazette@gmail.com. Or reach out to us on Twitter or Instagram @montgazette.
All stories that are told, but especially those told as we live them, really do make an impact and tell future generations how we spoke about the world in our own voice. So, bring out the emotion. Make a physical act. Contribute to the future of the paper that truly is The Students’ Voice.

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