Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova opens up the Tucson Humanities Festival at The Rialto Theatre on Oct. 3. The festival goes from Oct. 3 to Nov. 7.
The lights of the Rialto Theatre sparkle above as a security guard gropes my pockets and the inside of my thighs. The marquis lettering silhouettes itself in the evening sky, shining down on the line that wraps around the block and back in on itself like an anxious, excited game of snake.
Nick Grant, the opener, is nothing to complain about, but that’s not why everyone is here. It’s not why half of the audience reeks of weed and are wearing “Illmatic" t-shirts. Most aren’t here for Wale either, who puts on a headbanging pop-hip-hop set with songs like “My PYT."
This crowd, their ages ranging from 20-year-olds to middle-aged adults and their partners pumping their fists in the air with vigor, are here to see the one and only self-proclaimed maestro Nasir Jones. Nas, for short. The same Nas that, in 1994, released what many consider one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. Ever.
After an excruciatingly long wait following Wale’s departure, the crowd is growing restless. Shouting is getting louder and more common, the fat vape clouds drifting over baseball caps and sweaty foreheads are growing thin.
Then, without any warning, the stage goes dark. The crowd goes wild. A DJ’s turntables light up with the “Nas” logo in deep purple. The cheering grows in volume, anticipation finally coming to a frenzied climax.
With eardrum-shattering, cardiac arrest-inducing bass, Nas takes the stage surrounded by yellow strobe lights and purple floodlights. Joe Chambers’ “Mind Rain” sampled under heavy drums floats across the restless crowd. Nas looks around, observing the chaotic excitement held back by nothing but a thin metal barrier and a few bouncers.
The set is exquisitely old school, hitting all the classics. Sans Ms. Lauryn Hill, of course. Nas kicks it back to his beginnings but brings it back around with a soul-stirring rendition of “Project Windows” from his 1999 album Nastradamus.
During a hook, Nas collects himself, looks onto the crowd and says, “We all relate to each other.” He’s met with cheers, and he follows up with words on a new project, emphasizing that after a certain number of albums an artist has to make sure their vision is being met.
The set draws to a close with a tribute to the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep. The crowd is satisfied, voices hoarse and ears ringing with pure ecstasy. Nas makes one final bow, a maestro leaving his orchestra.
As I sat on the balcony steps, watching the massive stream of people, my mind was drawn back to the beginning of the set and the first moments Nas stepped on stage:
His mouth opened with the first line of the song, one of the first real lines of the album, the first line that every single soul in the Rialto Theatre knows so well. “Straight out the fuckin’ dungeons of rap, where fake niggas don’t make it back …”
The Arizona Festival of Insects on Oct. 1 at the University of Arizona's Environment and Natural Resources 2 Building showcased a variety of insects and had many hands-on activities for attendees of all ages.
The 2017 Tucson Pride in the Park on Sept. 30.
The 2017 Tucson Pride Parade on Fourth Avenue on Sept. 29.
A collection of venomous animals displayed in the Arizona Poison & Drug Information Center.
Arizona's 30-24 loss to Utah on Sept. 22 at Arizona Stadium.
A compilation of images from Tumamoc Hill, a popular hiking spot and University of Arizona research location.
Arizona beats the University of Texas-El Paso 63-16 in their first away game of the season on Sept. 15 at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas.
Arizona's loss to Houston on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Arizona Stadium.
Today, Sept. 8, marks the one-year anniversary of the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS RE-x) launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sept. 8, 2016. OSRIS-REx is now traveling approximately 10 million kilometers from Earth to asteroid Bennu, according to asteriodmission.org.
OSRIS-REx will be collecting data to answer questions about the beginnings of the solar system. It will collect physical parts of the asteroid and space debris, and mark their chemical properties. Asteroids like Bennu could contain natural resources such as water, organics and precious metals, according to NASA. In the future, these asteroids may one day fuel the exploration of the Solar System by robotic and manned spacecraft.
OSIRIS-REx has been orbiting the sun for a year, and will make a fly-by of Earth on Sept. 22, 2017. Earth's gravitational field will pull the spacecraft toward the planet, so it can use a small amount of Earth's orbital energy. This additional energy will increase OSIRIS-REx's orbital inclination and sling it back into space for a rendezvous with Bennu, according to NASA.
OSRIS-REx is estimated to reach Bennu in 2018 and return to Earth with asteroid material for study in 2023, according to NASA’s mission plan.
Written by Olivia Jones
The UA and Tucson community protest President Donald Trump's decision to end DACA on Sept. 5 and 6.
The Arizona Wildcats beat NAU 62 to 24 in their season opener on Sept. 2 at Arizona Stadium.
The UA Volleyball team plays in the Cactus Classic on Sept. 1 in McKale Center.
A look at the UA campus during the first week of classes through pictures.
The "Tucsonans Against Racism Protest and Rally" in downtown Tucson on Aug. 22 filled two sides of Congress Street near the Pima County Superior Court Building. The protest was started because of Trump's visit to Phoenix happening the same day.
The "save ethnic studies" rally in downtown Tucson featured testimonials, ceremonies and discussions, among other things, over the importance of ethnic studies.
A variety of protests and events that showcase free speech on campus.
The din of hungry patrons harmonizes with the trumpets and violins of the Mariachi Estrellas de Tucson. Booths are set up and their fragrances waft together in a blend of local color, homemade salsa and Mexican cuisine. Tapas are displayed proudly, beautifully crafted samples of some of the best flavors in Tucson. Welcome to the Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival.
“We want to showcase what the community already has to offer,” said Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance communications director Cait Huble. “We want to highlight the culture that’s in our community.”
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By bringing in local artists and musicians in addition to restaurants, the festival showcased the true diversity of Tucson. Partnered with Visit Tucson, SAACA organized over 35 local organizations, restaurants and artists to form the Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival, which boasts “The best 23 miles of Mexican food.”
With an estimated 1,100 attendees, the second annual festival was a smash hit. Patrons explored the attractions displayed at the beautiful venue hosting the festival, JW Marriott at Starr Pass. While sampling and determining favorites, the attendees formed long lines to taste what others raved about. When asked about SAACA’s plans for future festivals, Huble said “We’re already scheduling a third.”
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Tiphanie Myles and her daughter Ashaunti described their favorite booths and the atmosphere of the festival, noting that they appreciated the fact that children fit in just as well as adults.
When asked what her favorite booth was, 8-year-old Ashaunti said “All of them, I wish I could stay here forever.”
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