• Kali Ah Yuen

The Roundup: July

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

More than half of 2020 down, only five more months to go. What will the rest of this year bring? We're ready for whatever it is. Our biggest hope is that the pandemic comes to end just as the year does.

On a lighter note, we've got a lot of ground to cover for the month of July. From new in-your-feels music releases, to the return of High School Musical's biggest star and the Presidential election, let's dive into everything that happened this month.

New to the Screen

Kissing Booth 2

The highly anticipated sequel to everyone’s favorite Netflix rom-com, Kissing Booth 2, dropped this month and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The film dives into the continued love story of Noah Flynn (Jacob Elordi) and Elle Evans (Joey King) as Flynn goes off to Harvard and Evans completes her senior year of high school.

It’s all fun and games until the film introduces two new characters that turn the relationship into a love square. If you are into the high school love drama story, then Kissing Booth 2 is the film for you...oh and in case you were wondering, we are totally #TeamNoah.

Down to Earth

Troy Bolton is back everyone! But this time as Zac Efron, who is really trying to get away from the 'Hollywood' lifestyle and see the world beyond Los Angeles. The new Netflix series, "Down to Earth" follows Efron and his health-guru friend, Darin Olien as they soul-search by traveling the world and going on new adventures for some enlightenment. The series features eight episodes around 40-minutes each touching on real-world issues such as ecological destruction and methods that could fight against it while shedding light on different cultures as they try ethnic rituals, food, and more.

Must-Have Jams

Chilombo Deluxe, Jhené Aiko

Back with more vibrations for the soul, Jhené Aiko releases the deluxe version of her third studio album, Chilombo. This album features nine new songs that range from remixes with Snoop Dog, Chris Brown, and Khelani, to original sounds featuring Wiz Khalifa and her sister, Mila J. The beauty of using specific vibrations in each song to align certain chakras within one's body continues with these new additions.

Fun Fact: Chilombo is a word that means ‘wild beast’—they’re strong, confident, and graceful," she told Billboard back in March leading up to the album's release. "Beasts are also beautiful."

"if this is the last time", LANY

Indie-pop band LANY kicked off the month with their new single “if this is the last time". The song is a heart-wrenching dedication to the hard truth of our parents getting older. After listening to it (and crying our eyes out), there's a clear message the band is portraying: live in the moment and appreciate every second of it. The single follows their May single release of “good guys” and their April announcement of a new album to come titled Mama’s Boy. An ode to the reality of our childhood turning its full pages into the book adulthood? Possibly. Are we particularly ready to accept this new reality? Stay tuned.

"Take a Shot and Make a TikTok", NATEGAWD

It's no secret that TikTok is putting small artists on the map. One recent up and coming artist who got his start on the platform is NATEGAWD (Nate Ontiveros) from Dallas-Fort Worth. This rapper put out his hit single, "Take a Shot and Make a TikTok", as a sound on the platform back in early May. The challenge involved a group of people standing in a soul train-like line taking shots of any beverage of their choice. It soon got picked up by influencers, such as Jason Derulo, and grew to over 65 million views. A new release featuring Flo Rida and Lil Jon is set to debut this August.

"not like you", Nightly

Following the April announcement of their record deal with BMG, Nightly has dropped multiple singles, the latest being one that leaves fans anxiously wanting a new album. The song “not like you” is about the relatable feeling of seeing someone you know looking as they always do, but their behavior not reflecting that. Think about when you break up after a 4-year relationship and your lover becomes a total stranger. Feels, right? Anyway, the tune is catchy and upbeat making it hard not to get stuck in your head.

(Do it for the) Culture

West for President 2020

If you've been following Kanye West, then you know how his run for the presidency is going. There's been a lot of talk about his most recent rally in Charleston where he went on about abortion, religion, and the history of slavery. From attendee's videos, it was hard to make out exactly what was happening since West chose to speak using the acoustics of the room instead of a microphone. It was a lot of emotional intensity, especially when he spoke about Kim Kardashian and the rest of his family. It's important to remember that he announced his intention to run for president on July 5, but he missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it is still unclear if he obtained everything required to qualify.

Human Trafficking

More recently, July 30th marked World Day Against Trafficking In Persons. This day has existed for years to bring awareness to modern-day slavery also known as human trafficking. It wasn’t until this year that the day got the recognition it deserved due to the recent accusations of human trafficking against major celebrities and corporations. A heart-wrenching speech Blake Lively gave about child pornography has recently resurfaced and been shared across all social media tugging at our hearts and showing the world this isn't a new problem.

Oh, and we're still waiting for the arrest of the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor. She still hasn't received the justice she deserves.

On top of everything else, we didn't get to dive into news like the potential ban on TikTok, Britney Spears' freedom regarding her conservatorship, and all the Christmas in July related things, such as Hallmark's 17-Day Christmas Movie Marathon and rapper, J Cole's two new single releases off his upcoming album "The Fall Off".

Did we leave anything out? Let us know your favorite releases and moments from this month in the comments.

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