Raise Her Voice Revisited

Raise Her Voice Revisited

Tonight is 2018’s first installment of Human Influence’s famous “Raise Her Voice” series. In looking forward to tonight’s events, we caught up with two artists who performed at the last Raise Her Voice concert on December 7, 2017.

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I had been having trouble concentrating at work this past month cus our damn phones keep telling us a nonstop stream of news from back home, seeing our friends in civil disobedience, getting gassed & locked up by the National Guard, but when we were in that studio, nothing else existed

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3 Reasons Why I Travel

by Brandon Boone

Besides people asking me “how do you afford to travel so much?” I often get asked, “why do you travel so much?” I usually give a generic answer like “because I want to see the world” or “because it frees my mind.” Although both of those statements are true, there is also a deeper explanation.

I travel because it opens my mind to new experiences, gives me the opportunity to learn about new cultures, and connects me to humans that I never dreamed of meeting and connecting with. These are the three influential reasons on why I travel. I also believe you will find great influence in my reasoning as well. Let’s take a closer look.

Opens my mind to new experiences

The joy that traveling brings is endless. You create memories that will last a lifetime. You will also step outside your comfort zone, I can almost guarantee it. The more you travel, the more your mind opens up. I know I may sound like a character from Doctor Strange, but it's the truth.

Since I started traveling, I'm doing things I never thought I would do. Horseback riding in foreign countries, swimming in dark caves, or riding a cable car 10,341 feet up a mountain in Colombia are just a few activities I never dreamed of doing. But look at me now. Even my appetite changed since I have been traveling. I use to only eat American food like hamburgers and pizza, but now I'll try just about anything.

Learn new cultures

Experiencing different cultures first hand will definitely change a person and make them more diverse. We live in one of the more diverse countries in the world, yet many of us are not very diverse individuals. Growing up in Louisiana was like binge watching the same season over and over again. I love Louisiana to death, but I didn't understand the true meaning of diversity until I moved to Austin and started traveling.

Diversity is also the key to creativity. As stated by Jeffrey Baumgartner, “Living in a new culture, learning new ways of doing things and, in short, diversifying your life makes you more creative.” Believe it or not, creativity is very important to the human life. Boosting your confidence or giving you new ways to express yourself are just a couple of ways on why creativity is so essential.

Connecting to humans

This is absolutely one of my favorite aspects of traveling. Connecting to humans across the globe is life changing. It provides growth and maturity. It changes the way you see the world. Connecting with a human you never met before who grew up completely different from you will turn you into a better person.

The best part about it is that the connection does not always produce the best outcome. That makes the experience even more valuable. Call me crazy, but you'll understand it once you experience it. For example, my friends and I got hustled out in Cuba. Were we upset? Yes. Was Cuba one of our best experiences yet? Yes! We gained so much insight into Cuba’s culture and learned so much from that experience.

So why do I travel so much?

By now, you should know the answer to that question. Traveling has evolved me and made me into the person I am today. I can only continue to elevate. There are so many more places to see and humans to connect with. The possibilities of growth are endless!

Bio: Brandon Boone is a digital marketer, blogger, creative, travel hacker, community organizer, donut lover, and a University of Louisiana-Monroe Graduate C’12. He is also the founder of the lifestyle brand, The Great Ones. Brandon strives to inspire millennials to become greater people through his website, community outreach, and service projects.





Lil Yachty: Teenage Emotions Album Review

by Joseph Bonney

 The King of the Teens has dropped his long awaited Teenage Emotions Album.  Lil Boat is known for making fun party tracks as well as the poster child for the new wave of mumble rap.  I tried my best to go into this album without a biased view.  Listening to this album is like taking a glimpse into Yachty’s soul.

The project opens up with an intro from an uncle of Yachty’s to welcome you to this album.  But after a while he comes in with the usual auto-tuned whaling he is known for.  The “DN freestyle” takes an unexpected turn into a rapid incoherent rap.  He doesn’t let rhymes dictate his thought process, it’s a burst of thoughts  spilling onto a song.  “Peek A Boo” is the first track that feels planned, if that makes sense.  It follows the traditional chorus, verse, chorus that you hear on the radio.  The “Blow my dick like a cello” line, which Yachty has addressed, as ridiculous as it sounds doesn’t take away too much considering the track is a euphemism for playing with female genitalia (though not one of Yachty’s people recognizing that a cello isn’t blown is quite disturbing).

The next stand out track of the album “All Around Me”, is something I can see none Yachty fans listening to.  It’s catchy, fun and not as absurd as his other tracks.  Kamaiyah and YG’s addition to the track also give the track direction and the radio flare we’re looking for.  The following four tracks center around his newfound fame at a young age:  “Say My Name” wants people to chant for him while in the next track Yachty asks about the lack of attention he gets.  After that, the next songs are about living life to the fullest, enjoying oneself, and being free. He dips into a dancehall vibe with “Better”, reminiscent of Drake’s recent sound.

“Running with a Ghost” is the song that hit me the strongest out of the whole album because it’s a generic pop rap track, which isn’t bad at all.  I’m not sure how receptive the masses will be to the tune, but this song has heavy potential to blow up.  Grace sultry vocals serenading the hook on a bubblegum trap beat with Yachty at the forefront is an algorithm for a hit.  Tracks like ”Lady in the Yellow” and “X Men” are straight to the point but they take different directions.  Lady in the Yellow is Yachty crooning about a woman he loves, while “X Men” is the the cliche money, cars, clothes, women track.  It’s a confident entertaining track.

The last two tracks are a decrescendo to this album.  “Made of Glass” discusses unrequited love and being seen through or non existent to his love one.  The outro is the closure of his world with the assistance of his mother, who lists how much she loves her son. A sweet touch.  It ties up the raw emotion and angst that Yachty feels, as if to say, all over the place.  But you’ve done a lot and everything will be okay.    

This album isn’t going to convert you into a Yachty fan.  This album is like Flo-Rida or Pitbull when they drop an album.  It has the radio songs that do what they’re suppose to do; generate a song that people will play at almost every club or house party.  But at the end of the day, most are not fiending for this album.  You won’t see facebook statuses from your friends claiming how excited or ‘fire’ the album is.  Which is fine.  This album represents a moment in time, a phase our society is at right now.  Boat will gain momentum off this album, but it will really take his future music to decide how to feel about him.  Otherwise don’t go into this album expecting to be swayed.  Yachty’s entire persona is the basis of this album, what you see is what you get.


Joseph Bonney is a writer, artist, hip-hop enthusiast, and gamer currently living in San Marcos,Texas.  A recent English graduate with an Art/Design minor, when he's not working, he's usually doing 1 of the 4, or eating.  You can find his Instagram page here.