By Matthew Bu


Gibbs throwing it back to full-on Adidas track suits.
Gibbs throwing it back with his full-on Adidas track suit.


Although the infamous gangsta-rap era of hip-hop has come and gone, there have been countless albums released throughout the 21st century that have attempted to carry on its sound and legacy. Some have been praised, while others have been critically panned. However, there has not really been any novel or outstanding gangsta-rap album released recently. On Piñata, though, Indiana MC Freddie Gibbs and acclaimed hip-hop producer Madlib show that gangsta-rap is not dead, and in fact, that it is alive and well in the hands of this producer/MC duo.

By Sam Hodgkins-Sumner

All bow down before the most high.
All bow down before the most high.

A night before my family continued our annual tradition of attending the late-night Christmas eve service at Saint Paul’s Bloor Street, I bowed down along with 20,000 others in an electric cathedral. Instead of celebrating the birth of a king who was humbled for others, we packed into the ACC to join one man in the worship of himself.

One might call Kanye West many things: a hypocrite, a self-absorbed buffoon, a genius, an impassioned artist, the personification of arrogance-masked insecurity. This rapper/producer/maniac is at once the winner of 21 Grammys (more than any other rap/hip-hop artist in history), one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, and the “jackass” (thus quoth president Obama) who commandeered the microphone from Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs. He made the claim that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on a live telecast, and has accused the US government of administering AIDS to black Americans on two different albums. And who can forget his recent ranting interviews in which he proclaimed that he would one day own a “trillion dollar company”, and spewed hate at the fashion industry that he perceives to be holding him back from establishing said company. This is his job after all. He’s is an entertainer, and never leaves us with a dull moment.

Men > Women? All I know is that this guy > Caminiti.

By: TBAW Staff Writer

In what seemed like an attempt to achieve a modicum of the misogynistic greatness of his idol, the renowned woman hater Dick Masterson, Joshua Caminiti recently published what he very obtusely calls a “very obtusely written piece of satire” summoning men everywhere to rise up against anti-male discrimination.

What’s that? It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, really, what is it?

By Will Rooney

There is a specter haunting Lonsdale – the specter of private contracting. There has been a veritable tempest of rumors going on about *it*. The thing that crawls and hulks about upon roofline. It agilely perches atop the great red brick monolith we sometimes call Upper Canada College, surrounded by the otherwise desolate wasteland, Forest Hill deforested. It is master of all it surveys, it is in the commanding heights, it knows no real bounds, no mortal bounds at least.

by Jake Taber

All credit goes to Julian Bauld for introducing me to Haruki Murikami last year. Around then I was still rooted in the Sci-Fi/Horror vein, and hadn’t considered Japanese literature or the style of magic realism. Murikami was like a jump into a glacier-fed lake, weird and jarring and unlike anything I’d ever exposed myself. In Kafka on the Shore, he mingled trippy unreality and the mundane, obfuscating the certainty us readers normally take for granted. Over the summer I decided to explore the author further, and stumbled upon this week’s book, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. The story is set in a nondescript Tokyo suburb and revolves around Toru Okada, a paragon of complacency and normality, newly jobless and relying on his wife of six years, Kumiko, as the couple’s breadwinner. The sense of familiarity is soon lost, and as the narrative progresses the wavering boundaries of reality blur and eventually fade altogether.

Yo, I think this guy likes America.

By Austin Walker

Lance Armstrong once looked down on the world along side sports legends like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. Regarded as the most successful and famous road cyclist in the sport, Armstrong was an inspiration for millions of people around the world following his heroic victory over testicular cancer. He went on to win seven consecutive Tour de France titles, while raising immense amounts of money for cancer patients through the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Armstrong’s success inspired people in their battle against cancer. With the wind of popular opinion at his back he became one of the most revered athletes in the world. Unfortunately, Armstrong was not the caped crusader that we knew him as. He was the bad guy with the magic pills. His elaborate doping scheme was revealed this June, much to the disappointment of fans around the world. Overnight, he became the center of media scrutiny, and one of the most disgraced athletes in history.

Totally Not Photoshopped

By TBAW Staff Writer

Unlike the fine Italian wine in which he indulges regularly, Vinnie Paz seems to have gotten progressively worse as he’s aged. His newest release and second solo album, God of the Serengeti, is just another blip in his downward trend. Where is the brooding young Verbal Ikon the Hologram from the Psycho Social and Violent by Design? While the shift in his music may have garnered a few new fans, a brief scan online shows that many of his long time listeners are disappointed at Vinnie’s direction. For an underground artist who relies on his relatively small but loyal fan base, it does not bode well that his devotees are beginning to turn their back on Vin Laden – just as he appears to turn his back on both his solo album covers.


by Andrew Burton

“In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection”

Stop right there. This is the greatest opening line in the history of rock n’ roll. The lyric is extremely simple, yet so dry, so funny and so nonsensical that the only thing you can do is smile. Paired with front man David Berman’s baritone voice (don’t confuse his art with singing) over a particularly nonchalant guitar chord, the words perfectly depict the ethos of the band, its audience, and slacker indie rock in general. Nothing is on purpose, everything is random, nothing makes sense. If it does, it sucks. This attitude serves as the base for the Silver Jew’s classic American Water.

by Jake Taber
The Ark by British author Ben Jeapes is a space narrative that many might initially assume to be remarkably generic. It’s a classic first contact story in which a future human race meets aliens of a somewhat equal level of technological advancement, after which conflict and rising tension are cued posthaste. I picked it from a secluded storage box for a quick summer read, but what I found was a depth and attention to detail that ended up surprising me.

TBAW is proud to introduce a new series, The Ebb and Flow of Time, in which we will be analyzing hair throughout the ages. In this pilot article, we take a look at the style that defined the recently deceased dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.

Hairstyles have been a fixture of the male appearance since the dawn of time. But one great trendsetter in the field of human features, God, has been said to have sported divine flow from time to time, as well as an immaculate beard.

From Hercules to Johnny Cassels, such flourishing hair has been admired for millennia. Therefore, it is quite difficult to accord the title of best flow throughout the ages. Zeus, Flowseidon, and Saladin (see below) have all recognized the value of a fantastic coiffure.

Interview Conducted by James Macfarlane


One of UCC’s newest staff members, Mr. Christian Heffernan, is a true jack-of-all-trades. In addition to being a certified teacher, Heffernan has been a sports camp director, a high school football coach, an Atlanta Brave, a Toronto Argonaut and a speeding Mustang. He has now come to UCC to teach us both in the classroom (as a math teacher) and on the field (as our new Varsity Football Special Teams/Assistant Offensive Coordinator). I caught up with our modern-day renaissance man over lunch last week, where he shared some of his life experiences with me. Enjoy.