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Soundset 2014!

If you haven’t heard about Soundset yet, you’re missing out! It’s a yearly hip-hop festival, which is held here in Minnesota in Shakopee. Soundset has been held every year since 2008 during Memorial weekend and is a big hit with many Minnesotans. The local hip-hop record label Rhymesayers are the ones who kicked off the event and is a big hit with hip-hop listeners everywhere! This past Soundset was by far the biggest one yet, with over 30,000 people in attendance! I have gone the last 3 years and every year gets more and more ridiculous! Headliners included Atmosphere, Wiz Khalifa, Nas (one of my favorite artists), 2 Chainz, Cypress Hill, and many others. Take a look at all of the people that were there when we entered!

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We arrived when Earl Wolf (Tyler the Creator & Earl Sweatshirt) were performing. The crowd was enjoying them and we worked our way into the crowd. It wasn’t an easy task! The crowd was only getting bigger and the time was about 3:30! We had quite the distance to go and we felt the energy of the crowd! It was crazy as soon as we arrived!

 

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I decided to take a picture of the people behind us once we got up closer to the stages. This was quite a view, as we were very lost in the crowd, but we didn’t care much. It was an amazing experience. Everyone was very hyped up for the event. The crowed sucked to be honest. People we very out of control and drunk. We really wanted to find the most normal people to stand next to, but it was tough!

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Last but not least, my favorite hip-hop artist that I got to see! Nas! It was the 20th anniversary of his first album that he released back in 1994! I was only 3 years old when it released, but it’s an amazing album. The crowd and his performance were some of the most connected energies, as everyone who was there to listen to him were true fans of his craft. This was an amazing experience that I get to see every year, and I can’t wait to till next year. If you haven’t gone, I suggest you check it out!

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“The Universe Versus Alex Woods” by Gavin Extence

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Would you help somebody end their life? I recently read a novel, “The Universe Versus Alex Woods,” that dealt with this topic. It’s about a teenage boy, Alex Woods, who is a science nerd, a social misfit, and a fan of Kurt Vonnegut. One afternoon, as he is fleeing from the class bullies, he hides and takes refuge in his neighbor’s garden shed. In the process of the chase, the shed is damaged and Alex’s punishment is to fix the shed and do chores for the owner: the crotchety, elderly, weed smoking, Viet Nam vet Isaac Peterson. Mr.Peterson is also terminally ill.

Despite their unfortunate meeting, Alex and Mr. Peterson form an unlikely friendship and bond over their mutual love of Kurt Vonnegut. When Mr. Peterson decides he’s had enough of life and attempts to kill himself with an overdose, Alex rescues him and gets him to the hospital to have his stomach pumped. When Mr. Peterson wakes in the hospital, he’s pissed off at Alex. After much discussion, Mr. Peterson agrees to continue living on one condition: that Alex take him to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, at the time that Mr. Peterson should decide that his illness is unbearable and he is still able to make decisions about his destiny. Alex agrees.

What ensues is a daring escape from the hospital, a first kiss, a Church of Kurt Vonnegut, and a lightning strike (not necessarily in that order). I thought the book was, ultimately, uplifting although I’m not sure that I could help somebody end their life. Not because I think it’s wrong – I don’t – but because I’m squeamish about death. I shouldn’t be, because I believe that death is a natural bodily function and a part of life. I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell, but that when we die, we go back to where we were before we were conceived. But still …

Universe versus Alex Woods