Behind the Cover: Horses by Patti Smith

“Horses” is easily Patti Smith’s most iconic album. Filled with a glorious fusion of poetry and rock n’ roll, her 1975 release is an early punk masterpiece. Her bold feminity adds a sort of mystique that makes “Horses” stand out against similar albums of the time.

The cover is a testament to her bold beauty and authenticity as an artist. It was shot by the legendary Robert Mapplethorpe, one of Smith’s dearest companions and the subject of her memoir “Just Kids.” She always knew Mapplethorpe would shoot the album cover for “Horses;” Their friendship was so extraordinary and his reputation as a photographer was skyrocketing. Smith recalls that she “had no sense of how it would look, just that it should be true.” The only thing Mapplethorpe asked of her was to wear a clean shirt with no stains on it.

After a trip to the Salvation Army, Smith found a pile of white button-downs. The one she chose had an RV embroidered on the breast pocket, which she says reminded her of the movie “Barbarella.” The portrait was taken in their friend’s apartment, bathed in natural light against a blank wall. Smith tried several poses before throwing her jacket over her shoulder “Frank Sinatra style,” leading to the portrait we all know and love today. In total, Mapplethorpe only took twelve photographs.

“When I look at it now, I never see me. I see us.”

Patti Smith, “Just Kids”

The true beauty behind the “Horses” cover is Mapplethorpe and Smith’s connection. After crossing paths in New York during the cultural explosion of the mid-1960s, they formed a life together by exploring art in all its forms. Though they drifted apart as their careers took them down different roads, they always managed to find each other again.

To read more about their relationship, you can read the book review I wrote on “Just Kids.” If you haven’t heard “Horses,” give it a listen!

– DJ Butter


Don’t Sweat It

A rap workout playlist to get you moving.

Written by Miranda

Get motivated with the best high-energy rap songs of modern rap. Listen on Spotify now.

  1. By Yourself (ft. Jhené Aiko, Mustard) – Ty Dolla $ign
  2. Down Bad (ft. JID, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, Young Nudy) – Dreamville
  3. Post to Be (ft. Chris Brown, Jhené Aiko) – Omarion
  4. Truffle Butter (ft. Drake, Lil Wayne) – Nicki Minaj
  5. Throw Sum Mo (ft. Nicki Minaj, Young Thug) – Rae Sremmurd
  6. Trap Queen – Fetty Wap
  7. Classic Man (ft. Kendrick Lamar) – Jidenna
  8. My Way (ft. Monty) – Fetty Wap
  9. A** Drop – Wiz Khalifa
  10. 679 (ft. Remy Boyz) – Fetty Wap
  11. Back to the Streets (ft. Jhené Aiko) – Saweetie
  12. The Motto (ft. Lil Wayne) – Drake
  13. BIG BANK (ft. 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj) – YG
  14. My S*** – A Boogie Wit da Hoodie
  15. Hot Girl Summer (ft. Ty Dolla $ign, Nicki Minaj) – Megan Thee Stallion
  16. King’s Dead (ft. Kendrick Lamar, Future, James Blake) – Jay Rock
  17. Play No Games (ft. Ty Dolla $ign, Chris Brown) – Big Sean
  18. The New Workout Plan – Kanye West
  19. Stir Fry – Migos
  20. Fight Night – Migos

WKNC Thanks Audience for Donations in Support of Prison Books Collective

WKNC 88.1 FM recently partnered with Prison Books Collective to host a book drive. From March 15 to March 26 individuals could drop off books in labeled bins outside of WKNC’s studios on the NC State University campus.

Thanks to WKNC’s audience, the drive was able to collect 125 books for Prison Books Collective, a Carrboro-based nonprofit that distributes paperback books and zines to incarcerated people across North Carolina and Alabama. 

The collected books spanned a wide range of genres including Black history, biographies, self-help guides, legal texts, language dictionaries, and a multitude of science fiction of fantasy novels. More information on how Prison Books Collective serves incarcerated individuals, with the aid of community donations, can be found at

WKNC has its own relationship with the North Carolina prison system, as inmates across the state tune in every Friday night to listen to Penitentiary Rock. This segment broadcasts song requests mailed in from inmates to the show’s host, Uncle Paul. Uncle Paul not only plays the requests but reads inmate letters on-air, which has helped the development of the show’s popularity amongst inmates, who even use the show as a means to communicate with one another via shout-outs in their letters. Thus, a partnership between WKNC and Prison Books Collective seemed natural. WKNC is grateful to be able to give back to a community so often overlooked by mainstream media and one that has supported WKNC for decades. 

Within the pandemic in particular, these individuals have had little-to-no access to visitors and have faced increased restrictions placed on the small amount of literature that may be available in the prison. Ivy Shelton, Prison Books Collective’s Outreach Coordinator, commented that, “COVID-19 has limited the operations but, Prison Books Collective (PBC) has been working hard the past year to fulfill book requests. PBC has continued to send 35-45 packages of books on average a week to individuals based on letters of request. The book drive WKNC 88.1 is hosting makes PBC’s continued work possible. Paperback donations from the WKNC 88.1 book drive will make a difference in someone’s life.”

WKNC would like to thank the audience for their continued support, both for the station and the recent donation drives.

WKNC 88.1 FM is 25,000-watt student-run non-commercial radio from North Carolina State University featuring indie rock, electronic, metal and underground hip-hop. WKNC is on social media @WKNC881.

Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 3/30

2MEZ“Southside Mez” [Single]Human Re Sources
3MAC MILLERCirclesWarner
4KYLESee You When I Am Famous!!!!!!!!!!!Self-Released
5654AR“Sum Bout U (ft. FKA Twigs)” [Single]Columbia
6UNUSUAL DEMONT“Amber” [Single]Unusual Productions
8FAT TONYExoticaCarpark
9MATT MARTIANSThe Last Party3qtr
10BRENT FAIYAZF*ck The WorldLost Kids
Weekly Charts

Daytime Charts 3/30

1JULIEN BAKERLittle OblivionsMatador/Beggars Group
2REALLY FROMReally FromTopshelf
3IAN SWEETShow Me How You DisappearPolyvinyl
4TIGERS JAWI Won’t Care How You Remember MeHopeless
5ADULT MOMDriverEpitaph
7CHAD VANGAALENWorld’s Most Stressed Out GardenerSub Pop
8CITRUS CLOUDSColliderLolipop
10GRIMESMiss Anthropocene (Rave Edition)4AD
11ALICIA CLARAOutsider/UnusualHot Tramp
12BEAU DEGAHoly CannoliSelf-Released
13MYDMoving Men Remixes [EP]Because/Ed Banger
14SMERZBelieverXL/Beggars Group
15CASHINOVABig DragonStophouse
16MOLLY BURMAN“Fool Me With Flattery” [Single]Prolifica/PIAS
17ARLO PARKSCollapsed In SunbeamsTransgressive/PIAS
18BLU AND EXILEMilesDirty Science
19BUTCHER BROWN#KingButchConcord Jazz
20NATIVESON 91Come Back DownInner Tribe
22SMINOShe Already DecidedSelf-Released
23MISS GRITImpostor [EP]Self-Released
24MAGDALENA BAYA Little Rhythm And A Wicked Feeling [EP]Luminelle
25JORDANASomething To Say To YouGrand Jury
26FRUIT BATSThe Pet ParadeMerge
27RHYEHomeLoma Vista
29RICO NASTYNightmare Vacation [Advance Tracks]Sugar Trap
30SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVEEntertainment, Death [Advance Tracks]Saddle Creek


1COOL GHOULSAt George’s ZooEmpty Cellar
2XIU XIUOH NOPolyvinyl
4TUNE-YARDSsketchy.4AD/Beggars Group
5NISAGuilt TripSelf-Released
7ALICE PHOEBE LOUGlowSelf-Released
8HAUNTED SHEDFaltering LightStrolling Bones
9SHOW ME THE BODYSurvive [EP]Loma Vista
10MANNEQUIN PUSSY“Control” [Single]Epitaph
Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 3/30

1CANNIBAL CORPSE “Murderous Rampage” [Single]Metal Blade 
2BORN OF OSIRIS “White Nile” [Single]Sumerian 
3ABOMINABLE PUTRIDITY Parasitic Metamorphosis Manifestation Inherited Suffering 
4SUFFERING HOURThe Cyclic ReckoningProfound Lore
5ROB ZOMBIEThe Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse ConspiracyNuclear Blast
6BEARTOOTH “Devastation” [Single]Red Bull
7CYTOTOXINNuklearthUnique Leader
9THERIONLeviathanNuclear Blast
10BOUNDARIES Your Receding WarmthUnbeaten 
Classic Album Review

Album Review: Elephant

ALBUM: “Elephant” by The White Stripes


LABEL: This Man Records

RATING: 9.5/10

BEST TRACKS: “Ball and Biscuit”, “The Hardest Button to Button” and “Seven Nation Army”

FCC: Clean

No album embodies the early 2000s garage rock revival better than “Elephant.” Meg and Jack White clearly put their all into it, as it’s often heralded as the White Stripes’ best release.

As the sounds from ’60s rock were coming back into style, the duo set out to record “Elephant” on retro equipment to achieve a more organic sound. Produced in Liam Watson’s Toe Rag Studio in London, none of the equipment was from later than 1963. You can find the words, “No computers were used during the writing, recording, mixing, or mastering of this record” on the inside of the LP cover.

The result was worth their tedious analog methods. Cutting blues, hard-hitting punk, and an incredible sense of rhythm make “Elephant” an unforgettable album. Jack White’s forceful voice slides across each song with impassioned intensity, complimenting his gutsy guitar playing. Songs like “Little Acorn” and “Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine” have a twinge of metal to them, showing off the White’s mastery of hard rock. “Ball and Biscuit” stands out as a bluesy epic as screeching riffs stretch across seven minutes of pure hysteria.

Meanwhile, “You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket,” an acoustic, romantic song, exposes Jack’s softer side. “In the Cold, Cold Night” follows a similar trend, featuring a rare snippet of Meg’s singing. And, of course, who can forget “Seven Nation Army,” containing one of the most recognizable “basslines” ever made (it’s actually a semi-acoustic guitar hooked up to a pitch shift pedal).

“Elephant” is filled to the brim with goodness. It’s not only the quintessential White Stripes album, but it also defines an entire era of music perfectly.

– DJ Butter


WKNC honored by advertising organization

Student radio station WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2 received its first-ever award from College Media Business and Marketing Managers (CMBAM) in an awards ceremony at the organization’s annual convention on March 20.

A donor announcement for Live Nation’s Greensky Bluegrass concert produced by Romir Seth was awarded first place best audio ad or underwriting spot.

WKNC also received an honorable mention for best self-promotion audio ad for an underwriting and social media promo written by Gab Scaff and produced by Tegan Kelleher.

The radio station took a second honorable mention for best non-advertisement multimedia project for a station tour produced by Minh Pham with Laura Mooney and Erika Bass.

New Album Review

The Truth Hurts Album Review

Written by Miranda

LA-based Drakeo the Ruler debuted in 2015 after being discovered through his mixtapes by DJ Mustard. Drakeo the Ruler, known also as Darrell Caldwell, then released his first project “I Am Mr. Mosely” followed by a second release a year later, “I Am Mr. Mosely 2.” Caldwell’s music gave him an in to the genre of underground rap. In 2017, Drakeo the Ruler’s home was raided by the Los Angeles Police Department and he was subsequently arrested. In 2019 he was again arrested and charged. While in prison, he wrote and recorded the album “Thank You for Using GTL.” His newest album, “The Truth Hurts,” follows “We Know The Truth”, which was his first album since his release from prison.

On “The Truth Hurts,” Caldwell bares his soul to the audience. He pairs his well-known muttering linked verse and allows his words to take the lead. He presents a variety of topics, seemingly anything he has his mind on. Some of the songs, like “Exclusive” seemingly flout the system that kept Drakeo in and out of jail for years. Others are more material and pleasure focused. All of the songs flow together smoothly and effortlessly.

Most of the other artists featured are also Californian underground rap artists. However, the last track on the album (Talk To Me) deviates from the traditional style Caldwell has followed. Drake’s feature on the track gives it a mainstream feel, and in fact, the song has gained the most popularity of all his new releases on the radio and music streaming platforms. Four of the tracks on “The Truth Hurts” feature Ketchy the Great, who sadly passed away in February. To pay tribute to his friend, Caldwell wrote and released a song in his memory.

Listen to Drakeo the Ruler’s “The Truth Hurts,” out on all streaming platforms now.


The Black Keys: Top Picks

The Black Keys have defined an entire generation of rock music. They’re easily one of the best bands to emerge from the early 2000s. In honor of their new rerelease of “Brothers,” I decided to highlight my all-time favorite tracks from the duo. With ten albums out, it’s hard to know where to start listening if you’re new to them. Here are my top song picks to get ya goin’!

1. Next Girl – Brothers (2010)

In my opinion, “Brothers” is The Black Keys’ best album. Even though “Howlin’ For You” and “Everlasting Light” tend to get the most attention from their 2010 release, “Next Girl” is my personal favorite. Dan Auerbach’s guitar skills are unmatched on this track of bluesy goodness.

2. Turn Blue – Turn Blue (2014)

This album leans in a psychedelic direction more than any of their others, but it’s still heavily twinged with their classic garage sound. “Turn Blue” (the song) has an atmosphere to it that’s truly amazing. Highly recommend listening on FULL VOLUME.

3. Thickfreakness – Thickfreakness (2003)

“Thickfreakness” is The Black Keys’ most underrated album. The song christened after its title is equally as such. Sludgy, heavy, and fuzzy, “Thickfreakness” is a staple of Auerbach’s supreme sliding skills.

4. Lonely Boy – El Camino (2011)

“Lonely Boy” is easily their most popular song, but you can’t help but love it. “El Camino” is quite different from their previous albums, straying into a more cheery sound. Patrick Carney’s rhythm artistry is on full display throughout the upbeat track.

5. Money Maker – El Camino (2011)

There’s just nothing bad about this song. Every moment is so good, from the chorus to the hook to Auerbach’s hypnotic voice. Though it comes from “El Camino,” “Money Maker” echoes the darkness of their other albums.

6. Have Mercy On Me – Chulahoma (2006)

I heard this song for the first time pretty recently, and I immediately fell in love. “Chulahoma” is actually a cover album, filled with remakes of Junior Kimbrough’s blues songs. The passion in this album is so tangible, even though it has less of The Black Keys’ signature garage fuzz.

7. Strange Desire – Magic Potion (2006)

The entire “Magic Potion” album has a very homemade, organic quality to it, but it’s great nonetheless. The riff in “Strange Desire” is just to die for. I love how they switch tempos throughout the track, making it a rollercoaster of a song.

8. Busted – The Big Come Up (2002)

“Busted” is the first song off their first full-length album. It’s a fantastic testament to their roots as a true garage-blues band. “The Big Come Up” sounds like something out of the early ’70s rather than 2002, having an almost Led Zeppelin-like quality to it.