Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


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Don’t Double Down On “DOUBLE UP”


What are you supposed to do when you have ten producers on your album and nothing to show for it? Don’t fret just yet if you don’t know the answer because it is painstakingly clear that R. Kelly doesn’t either. Double Up is the eighth studio album from R. Kelly and it refuses to emit a single ray of light from this once bright R&B star. The album’s first official single, “I’m A Flirt (Remix)”, features fellow floetry-artists, T.I. and T-Pain and is receiving little to no fanfare from fans and critics alike. Allegedly, a few tracks from Double Up were leaked onto the Internet, including these tracks: “Same Girl (Feat. Usher),” “Rise Up,” and “I’m A Flirt (Remix).” According to officials at JIVE Records, Kelly’s record label, the Internet is to blame for the initial paltry reviews of the album. After listening to the album from start to finish, of which once is enough, one cannot help but to think of the album’s “leaking” appearing to be more of a publicity stunt than actual leak. On the whole, the listener may sheepishly find the album to be too canned and too planned to be a leak. “Rise Up” is one of the lone tracks worth noting, as it inauspiciously comments on the recent tragedy of Virginia Tech.

To refer to Double Up as a radical departure from Mr. Kelly’s heyday would be an understatement. Back during his “Bump N’ Grind” days (1994), Mr. Kelly turned many a head and was consistently featured on mixed tapes and mixed CDs for copulating couples. But seriously, all scandalously-sexual encounters with minors and golden showers aside, R. Kelly’s latest album is not a stab in the dark at recapturing R&B greatness, however it may be included in future court cases as evidence; in terms of squandering the time, talents and financial assets of countless artists, as well as wasting the time of his fans and deejays everywhere. With Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Swizz Beatz, Usher, Ludacris, and Kid Rock, Double Up may turn out to be one of the most expensive mistakes in the music industry. Not since Michael Jackson’s video/single, “Scream” ($7,000,000), has such money and talent been urinated down the drain.

In 1997, R. Kelly garnered three Grammy wards (Best R&B Song / Best R&B Male Vocal Performance), for the song “I Believe I Can Fly,” from the soundtrack for the film “Space Jam,” starring Michael Jordan. Mr. Kelly may indeed believe he can fly but his efforts on Double Up leave him in a freefall of a career that continues to drastically, dangerously and deservedly so, spiral downward.

As of press time, Double Up is widely and readily available across the Internet, so if you’re a fan who’s unsure or perhaps a waywardly-wild R&B connoisseur, don’t plunk down your money for the album. (Release Date: Tuesday, May 29th)

R. Kelly’s Music Video for “I’m a Flirt”

YaaarrrwwwnnnOnce all is mumbled and exploded, Pirates 3 makes us beg for the plank


In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End there’s one scene that epitomizes the franchise thus far. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), wandering aimlessly aboard his beloved Black Pearl, imagines the entire ship overrun by multiple copies of himself- each one representing a shipmate. They swagger, rum bottle in hand, bejeweled pinkies extended, pulling contorted facial expressions, uttering guttural noises, and mumbling their trademark cockney drawl: parading their essential “Jack-ness.”Such are the opportunistic and warped antics of the Walt Disney Company, having learned after the first Pirates installment that Jack Sparrow’s clownish gesticulations could be milked for every last drop of box-office grog.

This time around, uber-hack Director Gore Verbinski steers this mishmash of dialogue and moth-eaten plot holes toward the world’s “edge”, off to rescue everyone’s favorite makeup-heavy swashbuckler from Davy Jones’ Locker. And, well, the other standalone characters are cardboard cut-outs, leaving ol’ Jacky to keep this enterprise afloat.

So Will Turner (Orlando Bloom, whose wooden acting is matched only by the deck planks on the ship) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) are now accompanied by the back-from-the-dead-for-no-reason Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). They must navigate through treachery in search of the nine pieces ‘o eight that will allow them to resurrect Calypso (Tia Dalma), a Jamaican goddess whose thunderstorm-wielding powers can even the score against Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and his Flying Dutchman.

If you found the plot to be a trifle confusing, or if it didn’t make any sense to you, then you’re not alone matey, it certainly didn’t translate well at the Cineplex either; it was only through careful contemplation (and a little help from IMDB) that we were finally able to grasp half of what the jumbling plot expects of us. Or maybe that was the intent of Disney all along.

It’s no surprise that this 168-minute long plank walk putters along much like its predecessor Dead Man’s Chest with no apparent direction; but the scraggly pirates seem to know where they’re going. And we follow, like CGI-junkies, in anticipation of the next Jack-centric sequence or explosive-laden scene. It does deliver CGI-wise however, the climax sends viewers hurtling though a maelstrom- quite literally- of breathtaking stunts and cannonball shots, of Jack jumping ship-to-ship and wedding vows exchanged mid-battle. It’s all quite breathtaking and jaw-dropping, and in that sense, nothing else matters except spectacle.

Disney’s blunder boils down to a single snippet of dialogue sandwiched in between all those gloriously tiresome plotlines, as one Royal Navy Englishman asks another, “Do you think [Jack Sparrow] plans it all out, or makes it up as he goes along?”He was probably talking about Disney CEO Robert Iger.

Pirates Trailer

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