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Editor’s Notes: I love/hate ‘Daddy Jenkins X Levels’

| Friday, February 19, 2021

Elaine Park | The Observer

Editor’s Notes is a bi-weekly column from Scene Editor Ryan Israel. It is about whatever music, movie, television series, celebrity or trend he’s into at the moment.

Don’t talk to me unless you want to talk about “Daddy Jenkins X Levels” on SoundCloud

A new song is making its way through the tri-campus community, and it goes by the outrageous name “Daddy Jenkins X Levels.” The track opens with a minute-long edit of audio from Fr. Jenkins’ numerous campus-wide addresses. His words of caution — “We need to stop the spread of COVID” — are manipulated into something a bit different — “We need to spread COVID.” The Jenkins audio is followed by a remix of Avicii’s timeless “Levels,” which includes snippets from “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame, “Bad and Boujee” by Migos and “Romeo and Juliet” by Taylor Swift.

I both love and hate this song.

Why I hate it: Listening to the good Fr. Jenkins advise me to ramp up the spread of COVID brings about such severe cognitive dissonance in my brain that it makes me shudder. The opposite message has been repeated so much that hearing something to the contrary is almost destructive. However, given recent events — migrations, arcades, etc. — it seems like this manipulated message is what some people actually hear when Fr. Jenkins speaks. 

The second serious defect of the song, following its brain-frying intro, is the remix. It sounds like a rejected cut from a Two Friends’ Big Bootie Mix — or maybe it actually is a Big Bootie Mix. Avicii’s “Levels” is a fantastic song on its own, an early 2010s EDM banger that was ahead of its time and does not need anything added to it. Of course, “No Hands,” “Bad and Boujee” and “Romeo and Juliet” are all exceptional songs, but they’re best on their own.

Why I love it: See above. I love this song because I hate it so much. Anything that elicits such a strong reaction in one direction deserves some emotion from the other direction.

The next time Fr. Jenkins gets in front of the camera for a campus address — which feels like it should be soon — he’ll be choosing his words carefully and, hopefully, sharing his (probably negative) thoughts on “Daddy Jenkins X Levels.”

I am not ready for another Sally Rooney adaptation

The first Sally Rooney book turned Hulu TV series, “Normal People,” had me down bad in April. It was early quarantine and the show’s romantic, physical and exciting story spoke to everything that wasn’t present in my own life. Now there’s a second adaptation coming, this time of her book “Conversations with Friends,” and the recently-announced cast includes Taylor Swift’s boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

I am not ready.

Men dyeing their hair blonde: the new mid-life crisis

In the last installment of Editor’s Notes, I wrote about actors bleaching their hair before delivering phenomenal performances. In this installment, I’m transfixed by a paparazzi photo of D-list celebrity Scott Disick and his new platinum blonde hair. In the photo, Disick, 37, stands beside new beau Amelia Hamlin, 19! New teenage significant other, new dyed hair, new pink clothes, newly found faith — not one, but two Star of David necklaces … This looks like a mid-life crisis if I’ve seen one.

Tennis superstar gf and supportive rapper bf

The best magazine profile of the past two weeks was GQ’s look at famous young couple Naomi Osaka and Cordae. Osaka, the tennis phenom who is looking to take the torch from Serena, is besides Cordae, the (somehow) Grammy-nominated rapper who has been chilling since his last release. There’s the risk that the next Cordae project is an “I Love My Wife” album like Chance the Rapper’s “The Big Day,” but there’s also the hope that it’s not. Meanwhile, there’s no risk that Osaka’s dominance will subside any time soon.

Claud is the new indie artist

Singer-songwriter Claud is in good company. She’s best friends and bandmates with Clairo, the indie artist everyone does listen to, and signed to Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records. Her debut record “Super Monster” is bright, catchy and sweet, full of those coming-of-age songs that just “hit different.” 

The Weekend at ND

It makes me so happy to write that movies are back at the DPAC. “The 40-Year-Old Version” is playing on Friday and Saturday. I haven’t seen the movie, but it got a solid three-and-a-half shamrocks from Scene. Also, for everyone who posted a black square on their Instagram in June, next week is Walk the Walk Week. Full schedule here, and a link to sign up for U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo’s reading on Monday is here.

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About Ryan Israel

Ryan is the Scene Editor. He doesn't know how he got here or what he's doing — just like everyone else. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryizzy.

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