Thinking Outside the Box: Media Magnets

By Tristan Miller-Lammert, Trending Writer

Everyone likes celebrities. Whether listening to music, watching movies, or buying clothes, we nearly worship the media and pop culture. Things get stale pretty quickly though when every artist is churning out the same thing every year. However, it is refreshing to have figures who actually work to improve their craft and make an impact beyond their art.

Kendrick Lamar and Jessica Alba are both celebrities who think outside the box.  Lamar’s recent releases have been prime examples of why he is arguably the biggest name in the game and Alba’s business savvy ways have put her in the spotlight and shattered stereotypes.

Jessica Alba is definitely someone who has worked to be seen as more than just an actress.  Her big idea is Honest, a “four-year-old consumer-products startup in Santa Monica, California”. A childhood of illness and a bad reaction to detergent made her want to design and sell effective and safe household products.

Using connections through her husband, Alba put together a team of writers and investors to get her idea off the ground. In the company’s first year, 2012, it reached $10 Million in sales and has put up impressive numbers all around since.

“Honest” has a line of over 175 products that have been sold online and in 4,400 stores worldwide. Sales in 2015 passed $150 Million and it was labeled a “‘start-up unicorn’, the term for companies that reach $1 billion valuations in less than five years.”

The Sin City star is using her fame and savvy to prove that she is more than an actress.

Similarly, Kendrick Lamar is also changing things up. His 2015 release To Pimp a Butterfly is an incredible album. From the title itself to the tunes Butterfly is brilliant. It paints a vivid picture of race tension and Lamar’s struggles with fame and depression against a background of genius sampling, heavy beats, and funk that feels both old and modern.

The scratchy sounds of an old record on opening track Wesley’s Theory and Thundercat’s synth-y grooves on These Walls really push this album beyond the expectation for a hip-hop album.

Talking about the title, Kendrick said, “I just really wanted to show the brightness of life and the word pimp has so much aggression… it represents using my celebrity for good.” This message is also clear in his older release good kid, m.A.A.d city where he shows that he is not a part of the Compton gang wars he grew up around.

Kendrick’s voice is one that can only be positive for fans and people in general and Alba’s work is a great example of an actor doing more than their usual work.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 26th print edition.

Contact Tristan at


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