History of the K-Pop Industry

By Jeremy Owen

Seo Taiji and the Boys

K-pop started in 1992 with “Seo Taiji and the Boys”. They were the first to experiment with rap, techno, and generally Americanized music. This boom in Korean music, products, and media that made its way over to China was referred to as the Hallyu Wave, a Chinese term that translates to “Korean Wave.” The next group to come along was created by Yang Hyun Suk, founder of YG Entertainment. This group was “H.O.T”, a boy band based heavily on Western music standards. H.O.T disbanded in 2001 but had a reunion later in 2018. 

The next big star to come along afterward was Kwon Bo-ah, known as boA, or the Queen of K-pop. She made two debuts, one in Korea on August 25, 2000, and another in Japan on May 31, 2001. She has multiple singles and albums in English, Korean, and Japanese. She has been referred to as, “The Queen Of K-pop.” After her, the next big group to achieve stardom was “TVXQ!”, a boy group that debuted in 2003. However, controversy surrounded TVXQ! and shortly after members Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun sued SM Entertainment over the length of contract and unfair profit distribution. Japanese agency Avex tried to debut a sub-group known as “JYJ”, but SM sued Avex over trying to create JYJ, which is still active today as a duo, but Yoochun, a former member of TVXQ and JYJ, did illegal drugs and retired from the industry.

Jonghyun from Shinee pictured at his funeral.

There is also a dark side to the K-pop industry: assault, prostitution, suicide, and spycams. With recent suicides like Jonghyun of “SHINEE” in 2017 and Sulli’s suicide in 2019, this industry’s dark side has emerged more frequently. And with mixed-race K-pop stars coming about, like Yoon Mi-rae, and “TXT’s” Hueningkai, the industry is becoming more diverse. The industry still needs fixing, with racism, sexism, homophobia, and colorism extremely prevalent. And with the gay solo artist Holland coming out with his single “Neverland,” homophobia is slowly being forgotten. Although the early history of K-pop was pure, the industry has only become worse before it’s become better.

To All the Boys: P.S. It’s a Sequel

As most of you may know, the sequel to “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” came out on Netflix. “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” was released on February 12, 2020. In this movie, we find out what happens to Lara Jean and Peter after all of her love letters are out and they are officially together.

“To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” was released on February 12, 2020.

Overall, I thought that the movie was really good but also very cheesy. The things that happened in their relationship are almost 100% never going to happen. They are a cute couple and were good together. However, they were a  little cringy at times. I personally think that the first movie was better. Natalie Cates says, “I think the first one was better because it wasn’t so predictable.” The movie indeed followed a very original storyline while the first one was something new and fun that a lot of people haven’t seen before. So, if you do not like cheesy romantic movies, this is probably not the movie for you. However, if you do, I would definitely recommend watching it. 

In my opinion, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” is a good movie. I would suggest watching it if you like love stories. But, if not, Netflix has many other Netflix Originals to choose from.

Milk And Honey Book Review

By Destiny Powell

“Milk and Honey,” written by Rupi Kaur is a collection of poetry and prose about survival.

“Milk and Honey,” written by Rupi Kaur is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. Kaur does not subscribe to the belief that poetry must be difficult to be meaningful, championing a direct and inclusive register that unites her personal experiences with the reader. Combining a first-person perspective with the repeated second person pronoun ‘you’, Kaur further bridges the gap between her poetry and her audience. She forges a link that causes the reader to imagine themselves not only as an author but as a muse. Pointing beyond the page at ‘you’, Kaur rejects the division of the reader from the writer, assimilating her own experiences, memories, and subjects with her audience.

The book is split into four parts: “the hurting,” “the loving,” “the breaking” and “the healing.” Each chapter focuses on an individual theme, dealing with a type of pain and growing from that experience.

The first chapter, “the hurting,” portrays events of sexual assault and rape. In these poems, a narrative begins to emerge: The speaker, like so many women before her, has been abused by her father, her uncle and various men in her life. “The hurting” primarily focuses on the speaker’s experiences of abuse, offering insights and confessions as she reflects on the repercussions. The speaker recognizes that many other women in her family have been subjected to similar experiences and are taught to be subservient to men.

The second chapter, “the loving,” is a shift in the novel which focuses on the speaker’s adult relationships with men. The opinion she has of herself and her body is irrevocably shaped by her father’s actions and words.
This new loving relationship has a profound effect on the speaker. She associates it with safety, taking comfort in the sound of his voice and the touch of his hands on her skin.

Kaur rejects the division of the reader from the writer, assimilating her own experiences,

“The breaking” is the third and longest chapter of the collection. It recounts the breakup with her boyfriend, who was mentioned in the previous chapter. Following this, Kaur focuses on the generality of relationships with men.

The collection ends on a more positive note, as the final chapter is titled “the healing.” A majority of the poems in this section consist of aphorisms statements of general truths. The aphorisms help the speaker to heal from the grief and trauma that was inflicted on her. The speaker realizes that healing is a process and can only be achieved when she looks within herself for the answers.

Kaur’s poetry is written with such truth and emotion. The book teaches you that life is filled with terrible and heartbreaking moments, but within those moments you can find great things. There is so much meaning and emotion behind every word.

As Kaur stated: “‘Milk and Honey’ takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.”

Artist Spotlight: Kylie LaPack

By Zy Amos

There are many talented people in RHS and one of those talents for many people is art. One student that has art as talent is Kylie LaPack.

LaPack’s work can be seen in the hallways of RHS and often sparks conversation.

Art is not for everyone people might think that doing something like art can be hard but for Kylie it’s easy. She made many cool and amazing artworks created overtime either on her own time or during school, whether it’s painting, drawing, or any other art forms such as markers and coloring pencils. She’s great at quick sketches which are very detailed. What inspired her to draw?

People do many things to express themselves and what they believe in throughout their daily lives either in school, during their work lives, or even at home. The same applies to Kylie. She’s been expressing herself and beliefs for her entire life with art. So, if you ever see her doodle in class or one of her pieces out in the hallway on the board near the art room, you should take a second to admire the hard work and time she put into making them.

Lara Jean: She Still Loves Them?

By Ashlynne Dowlen

If you’re interested in movies with Teen Drama, and Romance you should consider watching, “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Susan Johnson. This is a good movie to watch with your friends, it’s very romantic and sweet. In this movie, a girl named Lara Jean wrote five love letters to her crushes: the crushes are Peter the most popular guy in her school, Kenny from camp,

Lara Jean with one of the many boys she loved before.

Lucas from homecoming, John Ambrose who is from Model UN, and Josh her sister’s boyfriend. Lara Jean kept her letters in a box hidden in her closet and she never sent them out. One day when they somehow got out it changed her life and she was embarrassed about it. After her letters got out Peter was going to tell her that it was never going to happen, at first she was confused and didn’t realize what he was talking about. She kissed Peter to avoid someone else who received a letter.  Lara Jean is lying to everyone in her life but she seems like she is really happy. If you like this movie then you should watch “ To All The Boys PS: I Still Love You” by Micheal Fimognari. It released on February 12th, 2020. Some other good movies that are similar to this one are the perfect date, the kissing booth, and the last summer. 

We Have Risen: A Black History Month Tribute

By Erica Sells

From our ancestor’s brothers and sisters
From across the Atlantic
From the ships filled with sickness
From the fields of torment
From the chains segregation
From the financial struggle

We rose
Rose from pain
Rose from discrimination
We are still rising
Rising from hardship
Rising from the scraps of the past

Oh! Liberation!
How sweet it tastes
Now we forever savor it
An everlasting flavor
It brightens the soul
Like a lighthouse over the sea

Retro Movie Review: Back To The Future

By: Zy Amos

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“Back to the Future” is perfect for Movie Night.

There is a movie called Back To The Future. It’s a great movie with even better actors. It has lots of adventure, comedy, and sci-fi. It’s the perfect movie to watch when you’re bored, or when you just want something good to watch on Movie Night.

Back To The Future is about a 17-year-old high school student, Marty McFly, that went back in time in the machine invented by his best friend, Doc Brown. Marty travels back in time and encounters the young version of his parents. He does everything in his will to make sure that they stay together and fall in love. If he doesn’t, he’d never exist. 

The best part of the movie is how adventurous and comical it is. The movie isn’t very serious and it’s mostly just to watch just for fun. Another good part of the movie is the time machine. The ‘time machine’ is just a modified car and isn’t what you would typically think of when hearing a time machine. The ending was touching and sweet, unlike the wild adventures of the movie. So, if you ever have the time, Back To The Future is the movie you should watch.

“You” Season 2

By: Destiny Powell

Season 2 of Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble’s hit Netflix show ¨You¨ released December 26, 2019

The Netflix original “You” is about a dangerously charming, intensely obsessive young man that goes to extreme measures to insert himself into the lives of those he is transfixed by. Season 1 was released in early September of 2018. The 2nd season was finally released on Netflix on December 26, 2019.

As “You” Season 2 begins, Joe has moved to Los Angeles in an attempt to get away from his ex-girlfriend, Candace (Ambyr Childers). So now Joe Goldberg, going by the name “Will Bettelheim” in his attempt to lay low, has to navigate being in an unusual or unfamiliar situation.

At the center of this season and its new focus is a young woman named Love (Victoria Pedretti), a chef who catches Joe’s eye at a time when he claims to want to do anything but fall into the same patterns as his life in New York. With the blueprint for Joe set in Season 1, the audience comes into Season 2 knowing that they have to now worry about Love and everyone in her orbit.

The key for the season is to subvert those established expectations, even if Joe doesn’t subvert them on his end, without betraying what made the show work in the first place. Since we’ve seen Joe’s greatest hits in the first season, the second season has to be able to play around and poke fun at them even more than they originally did. Season 2 succeeds here largely because of Love’s characterization.

While both Season 1 and 2 love interest Beck and Love are prototypes for Joe to latch on to, the difference is that Beck was written in an intentionally blank way. Love is such a fully-developed and straightforward character that there’s no mistaking who she is and what she wants. Unlike Beck, Love isn’t searching for and questioning what she wants. Love is upfront about her baggage, and despite Joe’s instincts, she doesn’t “need” to be “saved” by anyone. As observant as Joe is, he’s often genuinely surprised by Love because she isn’t so easy to predict. The same goes for her circle of friends, too. This new dynamic throws Joe’s confidence into crisis mode and allows Season 2 to dismantle Joe in ways Season 1 did not.

The direction “You” goes with Love and her relationship with Joe proves that director, Sera Gamble knows exactly what she’s doing. The more the audience likes Joe, and likes Joe with Love, the more “You” makes sure to tip the scales with all of the terrible things he does, whether it’s kidnapping, murdering, or gaslighting. That last one is especially highlighted when it comes to the Joe-Candace situation as he continues to cling to the falsehood that he’s not the bad guy here and she is. The Candance storyline is where “You” makes it clear just how terrifying Joe is.

Outside of its two romantic leads, “You” Season 2 also succeeds with its supporting characters, Ellie (Jenna Ortega) and Love’s filmmaker/addict brother Forty (James Scully). Both of these characters are able to grow and reveal an unexpected depth. “You” presents a complex and difficult teenage character in Ellie, one that’s self-aware without being an unrealistic portrayal, and the show offers an interesting dynamic in Love and Forty’s co-dependent relationship.

“You” Season 2 proves Season 1 wasn’t a difficult or challenging feat, though it’s questionable if Sera Gamble should attempt to press luck with a Season 3. It will come down to how the audience reacts to the way this season ends. Based on season 1, Season 2’s conclusion makes sense and could even bring the series to a whole other level, should it continue?

Reese’s Review: Riverdale Season 4

By Reese Croslin

Riverdale season 4 is now available on Netflix and season 5 is currently airing on the CW.

Looking for something to watch after final week? Riverdale’s fourth season has not gone by fast enough  and the suspense is killing everyone. If you are familiar with the teens of Riverdale High you know how difficult it is to watch one episode at a time. Season3 is now available to stream on Netflix so you can catch up or go back and rewatch all of the drama in preparation for season 4 which is currently airing on the CW.

If you watch Riverdale you know the main characters including Jughead Jones, Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, and Veronica Lodge. Many people (especially teenagers) are so drawn to the shows mystery, drama, romance, and a little bit of horror.

Let’s start at the beginning of Riverdale when a girl named Veronica Lodge moved to town and her dad Hiram Lodge is taking over the town. One thing he took down was the South Side Serpents which was ran by FP Jones. Now Hiram owns his own jail and he is in it!

In season 2 there is a unexpected character known as the Black Hood. He is a serial-killer, who kills the four main characters friends. The drama never ends on Riverdale and it only gets more insane when the Black Hood turns out to be the dad of one of the show’s main characters. The end of season 3 left the audience with a cliffhanger that leads into  season 4.

In the final moments of season 3, the shows jumps ahead and foreshadows a dark future for the Riverdale gang.  The final scene shows three of the main characters promising not to say a word while Archie holding Jughead’s beanie. They were all covered in blood! You might be wondering about what they did. Nobody knows yet. In the current season we recently saw the town sheriff  F.P. Jones walking into Riverdale High to arrest Betty, Veronica, and Archie for the murder of Jughead Jones. There faces don’t seem to be surprised in my opinion.

I highly recommend watching Riverdale for all of the crazy twists and turns. You can keep up with all of the madness if you stream on The “CW” Channel or app every Wednesday past 7 p.m. several episodes are up now and you can binge watch Riverdale over the Christmas break!

Help?

A Poem By: Erica Sells

I feel down. I want to fall down. I’m close. So soon, I’ll get to be free. Ha! As if they would let me be. They chain me to their crazy. No one’s willing to save me. I love them. Do they love me? Heal my insecurities, please. I need… What do I need other than a tune up? To get my chin up? I’ve had so much pain. Too much pain. Enough! Pain! I would run, but they know my name.

It’s a shame. I wish I could tame the pain. The pain. Oh! The pain! Help me, help me, help me. I’m insane. Chained, chained, chained. Trapped in their grasp. They all gasp when I lapse into joy. Joy is a funny word, making me think of bird wings. I want to sing. Where is my creativity? It has been missing lately. I truly hate me. Hate thee. Hate them. They never stop. Stop!

“Ha! Better not,” they say. Mocking me, teasing me, telling me I’m not enough. I’m too much. They don’t love. They smile and take everything and in return I receive. Oh! So much grief. What will I achieve if I continue to believe their lies? “Please, don’t leave me,” I ask, even though I wish to run far far away from these monsters. But I manage to hold them hostage, even as I am their prisoner.

“Save me!” I scream. Silence. Every plea I utter, scream, yell, or shout won’t matter because I am alone in this world. Alone with my thoughts, views, opinions, voices, monsters, demons, pain, shame, and past. Who better to trust and be understanding than the one who receives these things? Everybody just ignores, not only mine, but their issues. Their sins.

They’ve given me the pain. They’ve tainted me, shamed me, and then repainted me. I try to scrape off their layer of lies that they left behind, but they’re too thick. Like the truth, full of ache. I wish I could escape their clutches. Running and running, but they are too cunning to let me get away.

I hide and they think, “It’s time to play.” “Come out, come out wherever you are,” they whisper in voices sweet as honey. They lure me out again and again. I fall for their tricks again and again. Will I ever make it out of this nightmare? Is anyone out there? Save from my thoughts, for they are evil. I am evil. I need help

“Help. Are you there?”