Since 2015, Cubs fans have hopped on the bandwagon and expected a World Series victory every year since. Three years ago was a year for hope for Chicago, taking an enormous step in the right direction, advancing all the way to the NLCS. The following year was obviously a success for the franchise as they took home the World Series trophy for the first time since 1908, causing the entire city to erupt with excitement. However, 2017 was a letdown for the club, losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games in the NLCS. Despite that, it is now near the end of the 2018 season, and the Cubs are in a familiar place, leading their division.
In 2018, the Cubs have had a strong season, maintaining first place in the National League Central for the majority of the season with a record of 84-61 as of Sep. 13. Chicago has a strong home record sitting at 45-26; however, a lackluster road record of just four games above .500 has kept the division race with both the Cardinals and the Brewers tight.
Despite the Cubs controlling the National League, they have shown many weaknesses since the All Star break. Chicago’s pitching has been far below expectations, as two of the Cubs main off season acquisitions have not had nearly the season everyone expected. Yu Darvish, a potential number one starter, has been sidelined since June with elbow soreness. Brandon Morrow, signed to replace Wade Davis as the Cubs’ closer, hasn’t pitched since the All Star Break due to a sore arm. The remaining Cubs starters, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Mike Montgomery and Kyle Hendricks, have had solid, but not spectacular, seasons. Cole Hamels, acquired from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline, has been the Cubs most consistent starter since early August.
On offense, while the Cubs are third in the league in runs scored, their situational hitting continues to be a problem. Despite having the second best batting average in all of baseball at .261, the Cubs can’t seem to find hits at the right time. As a result, the Cubs’ record in one run games is just 9-8. The Cubs offense has also been disrupted due to injuries to key players. Kris Bryant has missed a total of 59 games, Addison Russell has missed 23, and Jason Heyward has missed 32 games. Russell and Bryant are now healthy and back in the lineup, and Heyward is expected to return shortly. Cubs fans remain hopeful that a fully healthy lineup will begin to get timely hits in key situations as the season draws to a dramatic close.
A World Series victory is not looking bright for the Cubs; however, fans remain hopeful. In order to make some noise in the postseason, the Cubs need to clean up their pitching and improve on their situational hitting, and they need to do it quickly. October is right around the corner, and all Cubs’ fans are hoping for another championship.
Destin Route, commonly known as J.I.D was born on Oct. 31, 1990, in Atlanta. He grew up listening to classics such as Earth, Wind, & Fire before transitioning to Hip-Hop legends like Jay-Z. During his high school career, Route was quite the football star, earning himself a college scholarship before dropping out and moving back home with his parents. After being kicked out, Route turned to his friends, Doctur Dot and Jonny Venus, members of Earthgang, where he found his true passion for music and realized he wanted to rap for a living.
Route began to call himself J.I.D, which came from what his family called him as a child. Early in his career, J.I.D released multiple mixtapes, however he remained under the radar as he failed to receive commercial recognition. However this changed on Feb. 20, 2017, when J.I.D was signed to J. Cole’s record label, Dreamville.
Less than a month later, J.I.D released his debut studio album, The Never Story, which put his name on the map. Over the course of the 12 track album, he displays his advanced storytelling as he reminisces on his past struggles and aspirations to make it into the rap game.
In his debut album, J.I.D displays signs of greatness as he follows the style of the great Kendrick Lamar in terms of flow and meaning throughout his songs. “It’s his voice and lyrics that I really like,” said Lucas Redding, “kind of like a Kendrick type rapper who has meaning and purpose in all of his songs.” Redding said. “EdEddnEddy and Never are probably my two favorites,” said Andrew Levin, “I love the flow and how he talked about the hardships of his life as a kid.” Levin said.
After the release of his first studio album, J.I.D earned a spot on the XXL Freshman Class list, and is rumored to be dropping his second album, DiCaprio 2, this fall.
Cordae Dunston, or, YBN Cordae, was born on Aug. 26, 1997, in Raleigh and fell in love with hip-hop at a very young age, as his father consistently played artists such as Nas, Rakim, and Big L. By the time Dunston was 15, he began writing songs of his own, hoping one day to be like one of the rappers he grew up listening to.
Although Dunston’s dream was to become a rapper, he remained focused on his studies, graduating high school and attending college. However, Dunston would drop out of college three years later and move to Los Angeles, hoping to gain recognition as a rapper.
Dunston began to take his career more serious, releasing several singles in 2018. His first single was a response to J. Cole’s “1985,” a song targeted toward the new generation of rappers. YBN Cordae’s response racked up over 9 million views on YouTube, making him go viral and putting his name on the map.
YBN Cordae has few songs, however he has proven himself as a someone who can become a top tier rapper within the next few years. In his song, “Fighting Temptations,” Cordae shows his ability to tell stories throughout his songs as he raps about the struggles of his life and fighting the temptations that many other rappers are partaking in.
“He kind of reminds me of J. Cole. He has a very similar style and I enjoy listening to what he has to say,” said Andrew Crawford. “I could definitely see him shooting up the charts in the next few years,” said Crawford.
It is still quite early in YBN Cordae’s career, but he has already shown growth in quality and popularity. It won’t be long until his songs are heard all over the radio, and streamed daily by thousands of fans. YBN Cordae is definitely an artist to check out.
Bas, also known as Abas Hamad, was born on May 27, 1987 in Paris. At the age of eight, Bas and his family moved to Queens, where he quickly fell in love with hip-hop. Bas grew up listening to some of the greats such as Rakim, Nas, and André 3000.
In 2011, Bas released his first mixtape labeled Quarter Water Raised Vol. 1 and would release the second volume two years later. Just one year after the release of his second mixtape, Bas was signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. From here on out, Bas began to take his music career much more seriously, releasing his first studio album just three months later.
Bas’s debut album Last Winter put his name on the radar, debuting at 103 on the Billboard 200, and selling almost 4,000 copies in the first week. The twelve track album managed to score two features from the commercially successful artist, J. Cole, which helped Bas acclaim even more popularity. Over the years, Bas has done a variety of work with J. Cole, hoping to become more recognized, however he has remained under the radar throughout his career.
On Aug. 24, Bas released his most recent studio album, Milky Way, which contained 14 tracks, along with features from A$AP Ferg and of course, J. Cole. Bas showed a great amount of growth with his last album, debuting at 35 on the Billboard 200, and selling over 13,000 copies in the first week.
Tribe, Boca Raton, and Purge are arguably Milky Way’s top three tracks. “He has some good flow, it was something I could just chill out and listen to,” said Gianluca Minetti. Over the course of his previous album, Bas displays is great ear for a “catchy” hook and great lyrics.
Milky Way is a huge step in the right direction for Bas’s career, and he is definitely an artist to check out.