Deshaun Craddock | Flickr
Deshaun Craddock | Flickr

By Cynthia Griffin

The idea of J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar doing a mixtape together is awesome. I am a huge J. Cole fan, so when I found out that he was collaborating with Kendrick Lamar for a mixtape, I was pretty excited. I’m not as big fan of Kendrick Lamar as I am J. Cole, but I still think he’s a great artist. Having the two of them together on the same mixtape sounds like rap magic. To me, J. Cole makes rap music that you can chill to and Kendrick Lamar makes raw rap music with good messages. I love both rap and hip-hop music, so I couldn’t think of two better artists to make a mixtape. Putting both of those musical aspects and talents together is bound to create a great mixtape.
In the past couple of years, more hip-hop artists collaborated to make joint albums. In 2011, Jay Z and Kanye West collaborated to make “Watch the Throne” which produced multiple hit singles. Most recently, Drake and Future released “What A Time To Be Alive” this past September, which also came with a few hits.
A collaboration could do wonders to both rappers’ already outstanding careers. Kendrick Lamar recently won five Grammys this past month, four of which came from his recent album “To Pimp a Butterfly” and another from his collaboration with Taylor Swift on her hit single “Bad Blood.”
Like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole’s most recent album “2014 Forest Hills Drive” also did very well. So there is no doubt in my mind that these two will make one amazing mixtape.
There has been a lot speculation over this album for a while now. At first, fans weren’t even sure if it was something that was actually going to happen. At the moment, an album does exist, but the release date is still unknown. The mixtape was rumored to be released Feb. 16, 2016. But that date already passed, and there is no album in sight. I think J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar know fans are on pins and needles waiting for the mixtape to be released, so one day when we least expect it, the mixtape will drop.
Whenever this mixtape comes out, I will be ready. If I have to wait another month or another year, I will still be patiently waiting to see what J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar have in store for us.

Polling for pole dancing at the Olympics
By: Robin Peterson
If you’re like me and are completely entranced at what sports are and are not included in the Olympics, then you’re probably aware of the sort-of petition to get pole-dancing to be considered an official Olympic sport. Which, if you’re also like me, you’re probably thinking, “it’s about time.” Most specifically, if you’re a part of the close-knit pole dancing community, you would be rooting for pole dancing to become the next Olympic sport.
There are a bunch of different reasons why the pole dancing community wants to be involved in the Olympics, but my favorite rationale is just the good old “girl power” argument. I have a friend who is a Burlesque dancer, and she just moved onto pole dancing. The last time we talked, she told me how empowered she felt whenever she was on stage. It’s freeing to her and the other members of her community. While she told me that she wouldn’t particularly want to participate in the Olympics, she would be supportive of anyone in her stage family who want to participate.
I know it’s a common argument to say “such and such thing is a sport because the people who participate in such and such activity work just as hard as people who play football and other sports.” I know it’s cliché, but it’s absolutely true. To be a good pole dancer, you must be in peak physical condition. Being able to not only dance in heels, but perform complex gymnastic movements in time to Cherry Pie, is a skill that’s more than worthy of an Olympic athlete. Not only are pole dancers physically strong, they are expected to remain light in stature, creating an interesting dynamic of an athlete who is both powerful but lithe.
Pole dancing is also just plain cool to watch. I think of pole dancing in the same vein as gymnastics: watching a good pole dancer is mesmerizing. If you can’t tell, I have nothing but admiration for the craft. However, I do understand some of the reasons why people wouldn’t really want pole dancing to be included in the Olympics. If you look at pole dancing as innately erotic, then yes, of course, it shouldn’t be allowed. Lots of children watch the Olympics and as a parent/guardian, or even someone who just really cares about children, you may find pole dancing distasteful as a sport.
What remains is an essential question: is pole dancing erotic? Personally, I look at it mostly as an art-form, and so does my burlesque dancer of a friend. There’s so much work that goes into preparing for performances and maintaining their levels of stamina, which makes pole dancing not only a highly complex art-form, but also a sport worthy for Olympic consideration.