Schuh x Adidas: Campus

Adidas is the brand that ultimately has it all. From Gazelle to Superstars, the brand knows how to read the public domain in bringing out fashionable shoes for all kinds of people, whether they’re street-fashion or high-end fashion. I have to say, you all must stop sleeping on Adidas’ most comfortable shoes; Campus.

Back in June, (yes I know I am very late with this blog post) I was lucky enough to be given a chance to go to a special event held by Adidas for Schuh employees. I wasn’t too sure of what to make of the night at first, but it was an experience I’ll never forget.

We were at a secret location, and inside there was an arcade basketball machine. I used to play basketball back in year 9, I have to say my skills got a bit rusty after 6 years. Little bit confused, but amazed by the entire set out, I had no idea why these things were here. There was even a The Beastie Boys vinyl. Very random.

It wasn’t until after we got taught about the Campus shoes I clocked onto why the surrounding was so eccentric and why there IS a parallel to basketball and The Beastie Boys, believe it or not. Originally, the shoe wasn’t even called Campus. It used to be called ‘Tournament’ in the early ’70s, which was worn by basketball players during their games then later in the ’80s the name Campus had been birthed.

As a big fan of Hip-Hop, I was delighted to know that acts like Run DMC and The Beastie Boys religiously wore Campus. The Beastie Boys had always stanned Campus, who could blame them? The shoes are so comfortable and light, it almost feels as though you’re walking on clouds.

Now, after the education on Campus shoes the fun and games began. We were put into teams of six to play on the arcade basketball machines, where as I mentioned earlier I was a bit rusty, might’ve been the beers? Paired with my two fav OC crew, we didn’t even make it past the first round. It was kinda embarrassing. After that, more drinks and food were given to us. Adidas could have not been better hosts.

The OGs, the trio 🤡

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Adidas Campus by Klaudia Oprzedek

After a good evening of education and alcoholic beverages, we were gifted a pair of Campus shoes by the company! And let me tell you what you’re probably wondering, why Campus, not Gazelle? Are they not the same thing? The answer is nah. Campus shoes are more soft shelled, and a lot lighter on your feet which allows you to not get as tired so quickly, that’s the beauty of them. Cop a pair and stop sleeping on Campus.

 

#Grime4Corbyn the election that defines millennials

Photo credit: VICE

On the 18th of April, 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May had announced a general election. May had promised a “strong and stable” Brexit; with no snap early election to be made during the period which would have triggered Brexit. The slogan “strong and stable” has become tedious and worn out, I don’t even think the Prime Minister believes it herself.

Coming from a migrant working-class family, whose family works on either 0 hour contracts with no real guarantee whether they’ll get any left over money after spending rent, and I’m not talking about myself. My mother, an A&E paramedic, works on a 0 Hour contract. She works for the NHS. You wouldn’t exactly think the NHS would even ALLOW 0 Hour contracts but yeah, they exist. My father and grandfather have been working in maintenance for  a rich man who owns a bunch of houses in wealthy areas of London. Not the best working environment along with lack of empathy towards them both. Myself, I work in retail. I don’t need to expand on how detrimental it is for me living here in London.

After Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader in 2016 against Owen Smith, I could not have been happier. The Labour manifesto is really speaking out for the majority, and not for the few. Corbyn uses rational strategies, especially against terrorism and selling armed weaponry to Saudi Arabia, who reportedly perpetuate the war crimes in Yemen and to ISIS, which leaders like Corbyn have urged May to release the delayed ‘sensitive’ Home Office document on spending of weaponry.

The recent terror attacks in the UK have made people weary that this definitely was not a coincidence, and could very well define who our Prime Minister will be in 4 days. But, let me get to the point of this blog post, how I believe that the millennials could save our future.

For the first time, young people have actually decided that they want to vote, with a quarter of a million registering to vote on the last day of registration. In the latest years of the internet, more and more young people are becoming ‘woke’ [socially aware] of the injustices that are happening around the world, particularly in the western world where they live in. In the UK, the inequality gap is at the highest since the Thatcher period meaning we’re just falling backwards, most of us may never be able to afford a house with the amount of private renters in comparison to social renters.

There has been a delicious rise in UK acts who actually are starting to give a shit about how the UK is turning out to be. I’ve already mentioned how Grime is essentially a national treasure, when the hashtag #Grime4Corbyn emerged, it had a deeper meaning than just now-popular artists supporting politics. Grime derives from East London, which before the 2012 Olympics, wasn’t a place tourists would hear about. Pioneers lived mainly in council estates, growing up with the struggle of surviving and hustling on roads, they represent the poorest in the city.

JME was the first to speak out on the movement, meeting the Labour leader himself to discuss why in the past people hadn’t bother to vote. The video below shows just how genuine the conversation was between the two, with Corbyn’s genuine interest in JME’s life. What particularly made me feel like Corbyn cares is his opinion on university education, where one of the policies is that he’ll abolish university tuition fees. “We’re talking a lot about your music, music and innovation but it’s also about improving that space to be creative, and that political space to be creative as well” is just one of the quotes that I picked out from the interview alone. As a creative student studying at the University of the Arts London, I love my degree and I love my university, I truly do learn the most out of tutors who help teach core softwares, but since 2009 there have been cuts from more than ÂŁ56 million of art funding by local authorities. Creative subjects are extremely important, for how else are you going to enjoy your favourite comic strip? Or your favourite Leonardo DiCaprio film? Do you think he was born as an actor straight from the womb without any learning processes? Don’t think so.

Since their meeting, the hashtag #Grime4Corbyn emerged. Other artists also shared their political view-points such as Lowkey with a really passionate and factual political view and AJ Tracey discussing how he may not own a house in Ladbroke Grove, where he grew up all his life. Creatives have created clothing to help boost the Labour political agenda. Here are a few of my favourite examples:

BOY BETTER VOTE🗳 TEE OUT NOW It's £18 if you vote Labour £100 if you vote Tory

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These t-shirts could not have been created without a graphic designer or someone who majored in textiles. The more people who voice their political views, including MC rappers who are influential enough to influence a wide audience are crucial to depict their agenda. We finally have a chance to change the outcome of our country without fearing for our future.

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to put my political views onto anyone, it’s really important to form your own opinion on the election; educate yourself and vote for what YOU believe in and not what news outlets are telling you. Don’t let the propaganda fool you, and vote on June 8th.

 

 

Stormzy at o2 Brixton Academy

May the 2nd was the potentially the best evening of my life. Why? Because, I was able to witness what I have been anticipating for months; Stormzy’s first performance in London. I had planned to post this post the day after the gig; however, due to sheer laziness, I didn’t. Regardless, Stormzy brought the house down at the Brixton o2 Academy with his first London show being a massive success.

The night started kicked off with DJs (unsure of their names, tried to look them up everywhere but couldn’t. If you know, please let me know) then the calm before the storm, grime MC A2 came and performed a few of his tracks, including my personal favourite and most-known song Holograms. After A2’s performance, the DJs came back to the set and played some old-school R’n’B songs along with Hip-Hop tunes to get the crowd wild. It worked.

Drenched in sweat, constantly falling over on people and top almost falling off exposing my chest, I had one of the best times finding it hard to grasp for air.

When it came to Stormzy, wow. I was completely compelled. The curtains with GSPA album cover on the curtains dramatically dropped and the first song to come on was First Things First, not only by song title being chronologically a good opening song; but also it set the mood after the opening act for the show made everyone reaching for air.

The adrenaline kept us pumping, although Stormzy performed some of his slower songs such as Cigarettes & Cush, Velvet, Blinded by Your Grace Pt. 1 & 2 and 21 Gun Salute. What really got the crowd going (well, those that know songs past GSPA) was when Big Mikey played Standard, Know Me From and obviously, the song that caught the nations attention Shut Up. 

There were many famous faces at the show, such as his biggest idol Adele, feeling the song she got a special shout out in (see tweet below), AJ Tracey, Section Boyz and J Hus who joined him on stage for Bad Boys. 

Stormzy has to be one of the best performers there are, the album success and 3 sold out shows at the Brixton Academy that is in his kingdom, south London, with many big faces attending and performing, even London Mayor Sadiq Khan! Which, btw, one of the most iconic turn of events in this generation, especially in South London.

Opinion piece: Tinder v Instagram

Something different to music, but it’s a topic that I have been thinking about for a while. Dating apps have become so stigmatised that people generally have to lie about how they meet their partner/friend somewhere. My favourite way to tell my friends about the guy I met off Tinder is to usually tell them I have met them off Instagram. But in all honesty, what’s the difference between Tinder and Instagram?

If you’re from London and are single (or could be in a relationship, just looking for friends) you’re more than likely going to find a good handful of people who are on Tinder. The dating app has been given a pretty designated reputation though, the infamous one-date-hook-up. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some pretty good people off the app who have become my very good friends actually, and I know people who have had successful relationships from the app. So why are people so timid to admit they met someone off the app?

I’ve met a lot of people in this city thanks to the app, but strangely most of my relationships come from meeting people off social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Social media platforms are different from dating apps because they give out a different purpose, but you still have hopes to meet one of your followers in a romantic way by engaging in private conversation, hence the direct message aspect of every platform. So, if people meet off Instagram to hook-up or go on a date, is it really different to Tinder? Apart from the fact that it allows you to connect with loads of different people from different professions to different parts of the world that end up being pen-pals.

The Internet is a beautiful tool, I would never regard it as anti-social. Perhaps, if you’re with a group of friends and you’re always on your phone then it may be pretty anti-social, but you’re constantly connecting with different people that you meet in person to form a better bond. With that being said, does meeting someone organically even exist anymore?

Meeting people from the Internet has become so normal for this generation that may as well be the way you meet someone ‘organically’. It’s pretty easy to go up to someone in the streets and tell them you find them attractive, but then you usually get shut down because it’s a weird interaction. I guess there’s the comfort of knowing that  you’re somehow ‘safe’ when it’s an Internet interaction because you may not get attacked for ignoring someone, but it really isn’t thaaaaaat much different.

The stigmatisation of internet dating is pretty much outdated in the digital age now. Society has intertwined with the Internet that you know more about a person through what they post on their Instagram, what their interests are in order to find a partner suitable for them. Awkward small-talk at the back of a house party can still work, but probably easier and less embarrassing for you to talk to someone online and stay reserved without spilling too much information.

Let me know what you think, comment what you think about Internet dating.

More Life: London’s very own

I am aware the 6 God isn’t from our beloved city, but he definitely is London’s man. Spending my hungover morning listening to Drake, eating spaghetti hoops on toast in bed (classic hungover food btw) and it’s making me feel a kinda way. Notice how Drake is using a lot of UK, specifically London, slang? Drake is repping our culture and it’s working well for him.

We all know Drake and Skepta are tight. For Drake to allow Skeppy to have a whole interlude is HUGE for the scene, despite his fame is pretty much up there already. This was probably the catalyst to the great sound. Just starting with a few of the song titles from the album. KMT? Madiba Riddim? GYALCHESTER?! These songs are bangers, and the titles epitomise London’s influence on the Canadian star, and no one can say a bad word because it’s too lit. He has adapted the language of London pretty well, but the jokes on Twitter are A1. Here are some examples of my favourite ones:

Drizzy explores more Dancehall and Afrobeats in this album, following up last years Views where he sampled Kyla’s classic Do You Mind. Drake still sticks with some trap tunes on the album, with the help of Giggs, Quavo and Young Thug. Drake really embraces the UK scene, with features from Giggs,  Skepta, Jorja Smith and Sampha. Sampha has already featured with Drake before on Nothing Was The Same, but Sampha’s vocals perfect any song. Jorja Smith’s appearance on the album was a shock, as she is still quite a niche here. Get It Together, which she appears on, has a Dancehall beat throughout which with the help of her vocals soften the song.

Giggs of course, as always, delivered the hardest bars showing our rawest rap talents here on our island. Giggs is probably one of the dearest grime acts we have, literally Starting From The Bottom (when Kanye mentions it in Glow, gets me feeling a type of way), trouble on the road, advocating against any violence, to being on one of the world’s most known rap acts album.

Overall, the album has definitely met some great expectations. The most surprising one, was Teenage Fever where Drake samples girlfriend(????) JLo’s If You Had My Love. Drake is straight up ‘finessing’ the music business. He mixes up the appearances on the album, with Young Thug, Quavo, Travis Scott, PARTYNEXTDOOR, 2 Chains and of course Kanye West. The album is beautifully diverse with music from the west, but with an appreciation to the sounds of Afrobeats.  Drake already owned Summer Sixteen, and with the release so close to summer it’s going to be another Drake-summer. Well done OVO King.

What’s your favourite from More Life? Let me know in the comments.

My 5 Best Blogs

Blogging about music can get a bit tedious at time. Taking a break from giving out my opinions and different reviews of different songs, here are my top 5 favourite blogs who may not be exactly my style of blogging, nevertheless they’re still doing bits.

For Women Of Colour 
A blog that empowers women is a blog that catches my entire attention. Her posts discuss her lifestyle while living in the big city along with activism and literature, which are pretty much all of my interests. This blog will definitely not fail to grasp your attention, she finds a way to life in this world as a woman of colour, a group of people that are constantly attacked throughout the mainstream media.

TVscape
TV shows are my weakness. They are the biggest contributor of my procrastination with any responsibilities that I have. The blog has a deep analysis of what TV shows I’ve seen, which makes me feel pretty secure that someone else has the same views as me on these shows. If you’re ever stuck watching the same TV shows episodes over and over again, this blog will help you find the right show for you.

Small By Name, Big By City
This blog depicts my frustration with the city and what it’s truly like living here. The blog name had me hooked, the pun out of the authors name just makes you sit on the edge of your seat hoping for some witty blog posts on the documentation of the city.

Once Upon a Grime
The blog has everything you need about what poppin’ in the grime scene this week, next week and any other week really. Writing posts on artists who are still pretty underground in the scene to posting reviews for Stormzy’s ‘Cold’ video (I’ll get round to writing my own…. eventually).

Noisey
The blog that inspired me to create this blog. Noisey is a site that blogs primarily about grime music and London hip-hop, it blogs about topics that aren’t PG, kinda. Owned by Vice, it’s edginess is the essence of the site; with humorous categories and more aware-ness articles that help out their young readers.

Q&A with Master of Inane Conversation // M.I.C

Will socialism change the face of Grime? M.I.C met with me to discuss the patriarchy, memes and upcoming events in 2017. Keep your eyes peeled for M.I.C this year, he’s coming for the Grime scene and you all need to be prepared.

Master of Inane Conversation – M.I.C // Š Klaudia Oprzedek

Klaudia: So your Instagram allows you to have a platform that reaches a lot of people; how do you think you influence your followers?
M.I.C: I’m inspired to influence my followers with this meme that I have on my phone. [Pulls out phone] It’s so weird, it says, “use your internet powers for good.” I hate the fact that I have to say a meme has influenced me to do good;  in recent times, memes sometimes are an outlet for negative views, so for me, I kind of wanted go against that and have something more positive in this year, 2017. Everything is sordid and corrupt, I just wanted to make something nice. Also, I have younger friends and family and I wanted to make something that was a good influence on them.

What do you think about memes becoming influential on people?
I love memes! I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from people who have meme accounts on Facebook, which is a bit weird. There’s some really good socialist pages on Facebook, that have hilarious memes and very interesting articles and links to documentaries. I’ve learnt a lot from them. I think that the stand up comedian in 2017 has become redundant. Memes are taking over.

Time to get a bit political here, but with the current President of the United States being a huge misogynist and other political figures undermining women, how does that make you feel?
I’m someone who’s really frustrated with men. I hate the (male) community and the views within the community because I’m trying to be a better man and I find myself battling with a lot of men’s views. Not to say women can’t be bigots; I think men just have a lot more to improve on. I do exaggerate on being a misandrist, I don’t hate men, I just want them to improve. It can be tiring to help them do so.

How do you feel being in a genre that is predominantly male with some misogynistic views?
A lot of music, outside of the realm of rap music is misogynist. If you look at a lot of metal festivals, lots of festivals in general, they’ll have 3% or 4% of female lead acts. Another example is (the comments section of) Boiler Room; they have an electronic forum and lots of male commentators tend to say rude things about women. I feel like the genre (grime) can be seen as misogynistic because it’s wordy. There’s a lot more words in a song when someone is MCing compared to an R’n’B song (for example), and we know people like Chris Brown can be REALLY misogynistic. What I’m trying to get at is that I want to use my aesthetic and moral code to contest the norms of the genre which includes the misogyny in the lyrics. It can be a bit frustrating when I’m around people in the scene or when I hear MCs say stuff that’s really problematic but you know what I have to appreciate that not everyone is on the same level as me yet. It’s a bit pretentious to think that people will adopt my views straight away. I just need to get the ball rolling and wait.

What other genres do you like?
I’m really into a lot of hardcore punk. Metal, heavy guitar music in general. I like challenging music that demands my attention. I think I listen to a wide range of music, but my focus shifts every few months. I like a lot of post-punk too, so like Killing Joke, a British band from the late 70s, early 80s. I really like Siouxsie and the Banshees, I really like a lot of jazz, jazz-fusion and related genres as well. Psychedelic rock and pop. Back to the different genres, I like 90s rock, my favourite band is My Bloody Valentine anything neo-psychedelia. I like a lot of world music. Music from Japan, from Brazil etc. I’m not into anything else the way I am into music. I try to absorb as many different music genres as I can, to get influence into making a slightly more diverse left-field sound. I’m also really inspired by someone like Kate Bush, she’s so inspirational, I love her so much.

 Why is she?
Because she was the realest. She made her best albums when she was a teenager, young adult. She writes her stuff, has a beautiful voice and really interesting song topics, which inspires me a lot. She was in the realm of pop but she was someone who pushed.

 Your new compilation, Revenge for Colonialism, what’s the reason behind the name?With this next release, I am capitalising the attention I got with my last release. It’s going to have similar production, similar song topics and subject matter but a bit more diverse. It’s almost like a mission statement. I was inspired when I saw the rapper Father had a mini tour around Europe entitled Revenge for Slavery. It was comedic, but at the same time, it was slyly inflammatory. I want to make music that is really invigorating for people who are from backgrounds that have been displaced or assaulted by Britain and similar places in western Europe. A few of the lyrics will be referring to things I am really against, like colonialism/imperialism and British right-wing politics. It’s empowerment music, more than anything else. I hope people that don’t even know what colonialism even is can learn from it. I grew up on listening to System Of A Down and I didn’t know anything about what happened in Armenia. Listening to their music put me onto the issue. I want to do  the same and be able to help people take an interest in learning about these things for themselves. Also, this release will have a few brand songs but also remixes of songs from my last EP (“You’re Going To Hell If You Read The Sun”). Some good producers are on board. I can’t say much but some of them are already known. A certain producer from Astral Black has made a remix to one of my songs. Luke Warm, as well. Absolute legend. It’ll be an interesting release, I can’t wait to drop it!

When will you be dropping it?
Hopefully this side of the year. There’s been a few issues with booking a studio but ideally I’d like to release it before May.

Is there anything exciting coming your way in 2017?
I have a few upcoming shows in London and a few other places, but I can’t say too much at the moment. London will be hearing a lot of me, and a few other places will be getting me too. Just watch my Instagram; whenever you see a post from the anime show Yu Yu Hakusho that’s how I’ll be announcing shows furthermore. In fact, I’m going to be in Brighton with my friends JP and Falaf on Saturday March 18th for Cult Studies next event. I am also looking to get things popping in places outside of music, like writing. I’ve written a few articles already but I will be continuing that this year. I have three different articles to be in a few different zines and blogs, including one about the systematic demonization of grime music by the mainstream British media. I also have an album I want to release properly, that I’ve made. I did all the production. My last release [You’re Going To Hell If You Read The Sun] and this release [Revenge For Colonialism] feature production by Secundus. The album is solely my own production, but all the songs are on my computer that broke last year. I want to amass a really strong fanbase before I release it anyway, and polish it up some more. In the meantime, I want to keep the ball rolling. Keep amassing this (fanbase).

What’s it like being vegan as a Grime artist?
Often, I have conversations with people who listen to my music but have no idea that I am vegan. I don’t know how they miss it, I say it all the time. If you listen to what I’m saying, there’s a lyric on North Mid on You’re Going To Hell If You Read The Sun where I say, “I walk into Westfield Pret, Soya shake don’t want a mocha.” Soya shake doesn’t even exist, I made that up *laughs*. There’s loads of odd conversations that I have with people where they just don’t clock it. It’s more me explaining as well. People are usually cool with it these days, I think I’ve just established  myself as someone you shouldn’t play with. Don’t run any of your dead jokes on me (about veganism). I think JME’s existence helps too, cos he’s [one of] the biggest in Grime and he’s vegan.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just keep eating your veggies, drinking water and not eating animals. If you just have one less animal based meal a week, that would be nice. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to my friends in NTN JP, Falaf, HEG, S’M, Luke Warm, and to Ob-Server, as well as my friends in the Blue Room Mafia.

Southbound: Grime v Garage

Friday night was a special night. Possibly the craziest nights I’ve had on a night out in a very long time. Chanting different grime bars, raving my arms up manically in the air whilst sweating like a pig, thrilled faces all around me and of course violent mosh pits. I naturally jumped into the mosh-pit head first, surprisingly being one of the few girls that actually participated. The bruises I got were so worth it. P Money and President T gave one of the best performances, bringing out AJ Tracey and Terra Tha Kid, at this point I was far too drunk to even know who was who but when Pasta came on, I went completely ham. Anyway, here’s some footage I managed to film while I could. Enjoy.

 

 

How to prepare for gigs: a ritual

We all like to go out. We all like to drink, maybe take some harder substances (don’t worry, we won’t judge), or just go stone-cold sober in order to have a good time. Here are my ways in which I prepare myself for the inevitable mess that I will become by the end of the night.

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My 20th birthday party.

Growing up in Britain and being active on social media has made me come to the conclusion that pre-drinking is a national activity that most people in their youths do. Chilling, listening to good music, preparing money for the Uber, buying tickets to the club or even just pre-drinking before a house party to avoid the awkward beginnings where everyone is sober and you’re still waiting for people to join the party.

When it comes to going to gigs, I tend to prepare myself way before the gig. The next gig that I’m attending is Stormzy’s sold out Brixton o2 Academy show on the 2nd of May. Anyone who has bought tickets for big artists will know the struggle of waking up just before 9 am to fully function and be prepared to buy the tickets for the show. Refreshing, refreshing, scream of annoyance when you can’t get through on one site, 5 tabs open with different ticket sites, the stress is too real. Somehow, I managed to get two tickets to the show and I’m mentally preparing myself as we speak.

What I like to do, is a month before the gig I listen to the artists entire discography before going to the gig, just to avoid singing the wrong words and embarrassing myself in front of other fans in the room. The best way is mouthing …….. so it looks like you actually know what the hell is going on. My best way of avoiding that happening is simply forming my hands into gun fingers and simply stabbing the air screaming “skrrrrrrt.”

As a girl with an eccentric look, I like to keep my grandma hair intact, even when I’ve just woken up and am running late for my uni class. Before any event, I use my PRO:VOKE TOUCH OF SILVER shampoo and leave it in for an hour or so every other day to maintain my luscious curls. Kinda. Best thing to do is the night before any event, apply this shampoo for 1 hour or longer if you wish, and wait for the product to do its wonders.

Let me know how you get ready for a gig in the comments.

 

 

Writers block: get your creative juices flowing.

As a Media & Cultural Studies student I’m pretty much open to any kind of industry. This isn’t a promotion for my degree, although if you’re choosing what way you wanna go in the industry, it’s a good head start. Anyway, here are some collages I’ve put together of what music means to me.

Playing with graphics

grime-edit

Wiley x south London estates

This piece is something I’ve put together to show what I think of grime music. I took my own photos of tower blocks in south London and placed distorted image of the God father of grime, Wiley.

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Chance the Rapper x Vapour Wave

Not exactly grime… but I thought I’d show my diverse music taste regardless. Chance the Rapper is probably the most innovative and inspirational rap artist at the moment. No label and he’s winning three Grammys, he’s pretty much a big deal. After listening to Acid Rap pretty much intoxicated, I delved into the Acid Rap trip and decided to create some of my feelings after my new spiritual passage with the album. Taking the style of Vapour Wave, another trippy genre but I’ll get back to you on that one, too diverse and open for now.