Top 5 most influential rappers of 2022

By: Dylan Moore      

Drake with Swedish rapper Yung Lean.
Image taken from: https://twitter.com/dailyloud/status/
1491381807887302656?s=46&t=wd4RdV165XC4JXOAxW1WtA

2022 was a phenomenal year for the genre of rap. Long awaited albums dropped, new artists exploded on the scene, while long standing titans of the industry proved once again why they have staying power with amazing features and singles. For clarifications sake, this album will be based off of music these artists released in 2022, along with the impact of artists they have co-signed (if they own a record label).

5. 21 Savage

An artist who has very rapidly climbed the food chain since his 2015 debut, he grew exponentially in 2022. Known for being the best feature artist in the genre, 21 started the year by hopping on a remix of King Von’s popular song “Don’t Play That”.

Following a few less successful verses on remixes, he had a verse on Pharell Williams “Cash In Cash Out” along with Tyler, The Creator.

Later into the year, he managed to secure a spot on DJ Khaled’s star studded album ‘God Did’ with a feature on “Way Past Luck”.

Towards the very end of the year, he dropped a collaboration album with Drake, the undisputed biggest artist in the industry. While he only rapped about 30% of the total lyrics on ‘Her Loss’, the album absolutely blew up. Following the smash hit that was “Knife Talk”, the biggest and best couldn’t deny 21 his chance for the collab album with Drake, and we can no longer deny his place among some of the best in the game. 

4. Gunna 

In and out of the industry, it has been a whirlwind of a year for Gunna. The year started with ‘DS4EVER’ on January 7, which easily became the 6th most streamed album of the year (and 4th most streamed new release) when it was all said and done. With a loaded deluxe album and massive successful single in “Pushin P”, you would think he would take that momentum and roll with it, but sadly not.

After another quite successful single in “Banking On Me”, Gunna had quite a rough rest of 2022. He was arrested along with Young Thug for racketeering charges, a very serious case ensued for the rest of the year. This case kept Gunna in the spotlight, and his plea deal and subsequent release in December 2022 has kept him a big deal throughout the year. It’s safe to say that Gunna’s brand has grown in 2022, although certainly not in the way he wanted it to. 

3. Future 

Future had a phenomenal 2022 to say the least. Following a slow start (for his standards) with a few unsuccessful features, he dropped the phenomenal ‘I NEVER LIKED YOU’ in late April. The album was a massive success, ending the year as the 3rd most streamed 2022 rap album.

After that success, he also had a great feature on DJ Khaled’s ‘God Did’, and ended the year with a smash hit in “Superhero” off of Metro Boomin’s ‘HEROES & VILLAINS’, one of his 5 features on the late year success that was that album. 

2. Kendrick Lamar

When it comes to most influential artists, Kendrick Lamar and the #1 artist on this list has been battling it out for our entire generation. This year Kendrick re-kindled the debate with his long-awaited album ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers”’ His first album in 5 years was an obvious success, and while not as critically-acclaimed as some other albums on his phenomenal discography, you can’t argue with the success it had. 

Along with going triple platinum, the second-most streamed album of the year had a top 5 single, won an AMA, BET, and People’s Choice award, along with being up for 2 Grammys. This along with another smash hit single “The Heart Part 5”, released just before the album, made 2022 a big comeback for Kendrick. 

  1. Drake

Unfortunately, for everyone else on this list, Drake exists.

Not only did the Canadian have the most streams of any rapper, he had 3 top 10 most streamed albums, and continued to shatter streaming and billboard records previously held by some of the greatest artists of all time. It’s not much of a debate for who the most successful artist of our generation is, and it also isn’t a debate for who the most influential artist of the year was. Drake takes the top spot with ease, 

Housing crash

By: Reed Morris

Preface

As someone who is interested in the inner workings of business and economics, I recently, finally, watched the film ‘The Big Short’. I always have heard references to the market crash of 2008, and the following recession. I even lived through it. But as a little naive 4-year-old I didn’t fully understand what was going on at the time. 

In the years since, I never really learned anything more about it until very recently, when I started reading old news articles and I finally watched the aforementioned movie. So, here we are, almost 15 years later, looking back on the worst financial crisis in history. 

(I Know the Great Depression was technically worse for more people, but based on pure dollars lost, the Great Depression doesn’t come close.)

The 2008 global financial crisis

The 2008 housing crash, also referred to as the Great Recession, was a defining moment in American, and global history. The crash was caused by the bursting of the housing bubble and the resulting collapse of the subprime mortgage market. After years of rapid growth and exuberant optimism, the housing market suddenly crashed, sending shockwaves through the global economy and leading to one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression. 

The housing bubble was a period of rapid growth in the housing market that lasted from 1997 to 2006. During this period, housing prices soared, fueled by low interest rates, easy access to credit and relaxed lending standards. As prices grew, more and more people took advantage of the opportunity to buy homes, often using subprime mortgages. Subprime mortgages were designed for people with poor credit histories, who were thus unable to qualify for traditional mortgages. 

Unfortunately, the housing bubble was unsustainable and eventually burst. When it did, the subprime mortgage market collapsed and the economy went into a tailspin. As housing prices plummeted and foreclosures skyrocketed, banks suffered massive losses and the entire financial system nearly collapsed. The government responded by bailing out Wall Street banks, but this did little to help the millions of people who had invested in the now worthless subprime mortgages. 

The Great Recession that followed was a period of severe economic hardship. Unemployment soared, and millions of people lost their homes, jobs and savings. The stock market crashed, wiping out trillions of dollars in wealth. GDP, a measure of economic health, plunged into negative territory and remained there for months. The economic turmoil had a devastating impact on the American public. Consumer spending, a key driver of economic growth, plummeted and businesses cut back on hiring and investment. 

Meanwhile, the housing market continued to decline, dragging down home values and creating a vicious cycle of foreclosures and economic decline. The recession eventually ended in 2009, but the damage was done. It took years for the economy to fully recover, and millions of people still feel the impact of the 2008 housing crash today. The crash not only caused economic pain in the short-term, but it also had lasting consequences. 

The crash exposed the vulnerabilities in the banking system, leading to stricter regulations and increased oversight. It also increased public distrust of the financial system and sparked a widespread debate about economic inequality.

In the end, the 2008 housing crash was a defining moment in American history. It exposed the fragility of the financial system and highlighted the importance of economic regulation. It also highlighted the need for stronger consumer protections and greater economic fairness. As we move forward, it is important to remember the lessons of the Great Recession and ensure that future generations are able to benefit from a strong and stable economy.

Final thoughts

Looking back on what was going on in my younger years, it’s insane that I had little to no idea this was going on. I am very lucky that it didn’t impact my family hugely, but it seems as though its lasting effects have worn off for the most part. While we are most likely going to see something similar happen not too far into the future, it’s good to remember that, if the world could survive the last one, it will most likely survive the next one. 

Here is one final note before I wrap this up. I’ve always known that in the not too distant future, clean freshwater is going to become more and more scarce. While it’s been something I have been able to push to the back of my mind for a while, ‘The Big Short’ really brought it back into my field of view. At the end of the film, it goes over what each of the groups, and some of the main characters from the film, are doing today. It talks about how some people still own investment firms, some of the people have left Wall Street completely, but the final slide before the movie concluded really struck me. 

The movie ends with a slide talking about Michael Burry, the man who first discovered and shorted the housing market. The slide reads, “Michael Burry contacted the government several times to see if anyone wanted to interview him to find out how he knew the system would collapse years before anyone else. No one ever returned his calls. But he was audited four times and questioned by the FBI. He closed Scion Capital (Burry’s hedge fund) in 2008.” Finally ending with, “the small investing he still does is all focused on one commodity: Water.” 

So, maybe he’s right. If he was so far ahead of the curve on the housing bubble, then he might be rightfully ahead on a future water crisis. It might be coming sooner than we think. That topic however, will have to be saved for another day. 

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Instagram: Life updates and personal perception

By: McKenzie Welch

Instagram has been around since October 6 of 2010, and it has changed more than ever thought possible when it was first launched. It was first created as a means to share life updates so friends and family could see what you were up to, but it has now turned into something more. However, Instagram turning into something more cannot always be perceived in a positive light.

Instagram can still be used to share life updates, but there are now more strings attached. You can shop off of Instagram, you can follow your favorite celebrities, you can track your likes and comments, you can get brand deals, and more. All of these things can have severe impacts on mental health, especially as you’re growing up.

Instagram has been proven to increase the amount of people with depression, concerns about body image, low self-esteem, socially anxious tendencies, and other mental illnesses and feelings. In fact, a self-reported survey from ‘The Wall Street Journal’ found that 1 in 3 teenage girls struggle with body image issues due to Instagram and social media as a whole.

The issue with Instagram is that, despite it being promoted as an app for sharing moments of your life, you only see people’s best moments. It is rare that someone will post a moment where they were at their worst, or where they were struggling. This creates unrealistic expectations for life that are extremely difficult to live up to. Especially when you’re young, and it’s hard to see that there is so much more to life than your teenage years.

From my personal experience, I can say there was a time where I felt that Instagram was detrimental to my mental health, and it most likely still has lasting impacts today. Whilst I just try to have fun with Instagram now, posting when I want, and whatever I want, I still struggle with the ideas of not living my life to the fullest, not being pretty enough, or missing out on important high school experiences.

The truth of the matter is that everyone lives their life differently, and I feel as though it is high time that users of Instagram start to express that. It is important for everyone to be who they are, and there shouldn’t be a need to put up a facade on social media, but society has made it out to be a necessity for many.

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