Support independent, student-run journalism.

Your support helps give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to conduct meaningful reporting on important issues at Stanford. All contributions are tax-deductible.

The Outsiders avoid the sophomore slump on ‘O/X2’

Though it is hardly a concept exclusive to hip-hop, the sequel album holds undeniable weight in those orbits. Consider some of the most acclaimed rap albums of the decade so far: Future’s “DS2,” Run the Jewels’ “Run the Jewels 2,” Meek Mill’s “Dreamchasers 2.” Some rappers don’t release sequels to their most famous works until a few albums later; after the mixed reception of the albums that followed “The Marshall Mathers LP” and “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…,” Eminem and Raekwon revisited them more than a decade later to critical acclaim. The reason for this is not just about the music, but the dynasty that it builds. Trends in hip-hop change faster than in any other genre, and artists are judged as much by the strength of their trademark as they are for the quality of their music—perhaps even more so. Anyone within earshot of a radio surely can’t forget the choruses of “Run This Town” and “Empire State of Mind,” but do you remember that Jay-Z was even on those songs? No? Well, “The Blueprint 3” sold nearly three million copies all the same.

The Outsiders come out swinging

Twelve weeks ago I sat down to interview senior Tyler Brooks about his experience as a member of the three-person soul/gospel group the Chicago Collective. Responding to questions about his musical background, he focused the discussion on his jazz piano training and experiences singing for the trio. He failed to mention that he was a…