Image for post
Image for post
The Weeknd, After Hours. Copyright Republic Records.

“You can find love, fear, friends, enemies, violence, dancing, sex, demons angels, loneliness, and togetherness all in the After Hours of the night”

With ephemeral, wobbling synths, mystical melodies, and the dry cries of a detached lover, The Weeknd welcomes us to his latest project. We are wafted into a dream-like world of his own creation, with darkness, conflict, and intrigue abound.

“After Hours” perfects the sound that is frequently in conflict with itself, much like the artist. A new more promising chapter for the 30-year-old, his efforts amount to one of the best overall albums in the Weeknd’s — usually wanting — catalog.

Not your average breakup album. The Weeknd croons about passion, pain, and overindulgence, all over chart-topping beats straight from…


Are we just blowing more air into a leaking balloon?

Image for post
Image for post
Pixabay.com

Student loan forgiveness has been a hot topic recently. With a President-elect recommending to cancel $10,000 in federal loans, and leading Democratic Senators urging $50,000 in loan forgiveness, it seems inevitable.

I was all in favor of canceling debt for all. But the real solution to the student debt crisis isn’t as simple as we would think.

That said, the benefits of forgiving mountains of debt would be undeniable.

There are currently 45 million borrowers, collectively owing more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt.


It depends.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo via goodfreephotos.com

With the Trump administration transitioning out of the White House, our nation is likely to experience some major shifts.

President-elect Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have proposed an ambitious agenda and both have a lot of work ahead to heal the country.

So what should we expect?

The Biden-Harris agenda has committed to extensive government spending to address both COVID-19 and economic recovery.

Their signature “Built back better” pandemic recovery promises nationwide testing, a 100,000-person Public Health Jobs Corps, hazard pay for essential workers, massive vaccine stockpiles, and more.

While the economic agenda is oriented around rebuilding (green) manufacturing in the US, building on…


2020 has been taxing but let’s end it on a high note.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Honestly, this year has been sucky. And personally disheartening. It feels as though the world I was finally starting to understand has shifted under my feet. The eeriest part is that the shields I thought we could rely on to keep us safe seem to be the very things hurting us most.

But that part’s been talked about to death.

I wanted to try an exercise of sorts. One where I look on the bright side of life and try to find the beauty in the madness. For my little experiment in positivity, I reframe some of my biggest worries…


Tracking data may be the way to a speedy return to normalcy, but what would we be giving up?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

“Would you let your location be tracked if it saved lives? Would you be fine with your rights being limited if it slowed the spread of COVID-19?”

It seems innocuous, easy to miss. When we see yet another news headline offering another insight on the pandemic. Media outlets like NPR showcasing the location data of millions across the country to show more Americans are leaving their homes during a shutdown.

Our country’s unwavering focus on the COVID virus has doubled as…


Dark Lane Demo Tapes is everything you need for a relaxing evening of quarantining

Image for post
Image for post
Dark Lane Demo Tapes Cover Art. OVO Sound/ Republic, 2020.

Drake’s latest project, with the feel of a mixtape, Dark Lane Demo Tapes showcases the artist’s return to the basics. Filled with throwaways, leaks, and new chunes, we are offered a side of Drake we rarely see in the music. A glance at the authentic.

Arguably his gloomiest release yet, the cover art tells us what is contained before pressing play. The striking artwork transports us to a dark space, with bright spots featured throughout, and provides an unflinching look at the artist behind the mask.

Considering our dreary containment, the tape fits the times. And Drake has delivered a…


A New Generation’s struggle with a country’s love of work.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Prateek Katyal from Pexels

America is officially the hardest working nation on the planet. Not the most efficient. Not the highest-earning per hour worked. Just the longest working nation on the globe. To be fair, there is nothing wrong with working hard. But at what point does our workaholic, hustle culture become plain exploitation?

When I talk about the hustle culture, I am talking about defining one’s life around work performance and the constant pursuit of the grind. Think entrepreneur and walking Millenial motivator, Gary Vaynerchuk.

While there is nothing wrong with working hard in pursuit of one’s passion, our country’s love of the…


Eminem’s latest album. The levels to aging as a rapper. And the disconnect in generational communications.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Tim Savage from Pexels

Since I first heard the nasally, sporadic streams of thought blasting through my brother’s CD player, I was in awe of the voice creating the most vivid, fascinating verses I had ever heard. The crude rapper breezed through each line, making the most incredible lyrical feats (including successfully rhyming “orange” several times) seem effortless — all the while telling a hyperbolized story of their life.

Eminem has been challenging the limits of free speech on behalf of all mainstream artists’ for decades, managing to grab the attention of a nation through his rise in the early 90s. …


The ruling is official but somehow feels hollow.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels

The 45th President of the United Staes has officially been impeached.

A historical happening. No less than a monumental occurrence in our young nation’s long history. Yet something feels off when the President and his entire party refuses to acknowledge the credibility of his own impeachment? And why is there a sneaking suspicion he’ll get away with it?

For all his talk of “impeachment lite,” it does feel like a less than somber occasion. What are the stakes when we can reasonably assume the outcomes?

How does a leader get half a country to disengage with counter-facts, and get otherwise…


In the age of fake news and misinformation, do the facts have the same impact as they used to?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Petr Kratochvil

“We voted for Donald Trump and they’re attempting to remove him…”

“…we cannot wait for the election to address the present crisis.”

With articles of impeachment officially released this week, we are nearing the end of the House’s impeachment and heading to the trial of the Senate. Before looking too quickly to the future, there still remains relevant topics to consider from the past House Hearings and events of the Judiciary Hearings. Namely, the purpose it served.

The Judiciary Committee’s role is to take the facts of the Inquiry Committee and churn the jumbled narratives presented into a clear, recommended…

DaRon Rashod

DaRon is a New Orleans based writer and recent graduate focusing on cultural, social and political issues.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store