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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of 2021

As we’ve reached the end of another year, it’s time to reflect back on the big things that happened. Though COVID was a huge part of 2021 like it was in 2020, there have still been lots of positive things to come from the year. Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable things from 2021.


The Good

  • Nicki Minaj posted a photo of her son for the first time (01/02/21)

It’s always a huge deal to see celebrity babies for the first time, especially if they’re the firstborn. Nicki dropped a picture of her son on social media for the first time and he was just as adorable as we had all expected.

  • Presidential Inauguration (01/20/21)

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office. This brought joy to many as we welcomed a new president and a vice president that’s a woman of color.

  • TS members represent on NBC Chicago (01/26/21)

After the protests, riots, and fighting that happened last year, many are still continuing to have the tough but necessary conversations about racism and activism. I, along with Xiah Bryant, another TS team member, participated in a conversation about race hosted by NBC Chicago’s LeeAnn Trotter.

The Bad

  • Capitol Raid (01/06/21)

The year started off with the madness that was the Capitol raid. This raid was planned and executed by supporters of former President Donald Trump. This raid caused five deaths and many injuries.

  • Kim and Kanye Split (01/2021)

Things between Kim and Kanye seemed to be rocky for a while but back in January Kim decided it would be best for the two to split. It was sad to see considering they had been together for a while and had started a family, but it appears that it was the best decision for everyone involved.


The Good

  • Bobby Shmurda was released from prison (02/23/21)

Shortly after dropping his song “Hot N*gga” and blowing up from it in 2014, Bobby Shmurda was arrested. He was behind bars from 2014 until earlier this year.

The Bad

  • Gorilla Glue Girl Tik Tok Video (02/03/21)

Tessica Brown, aka Gorilla Glue Girl, went viral on Tik Tok for using Gorilla Glue spray instead of hairspray to style her hair. This incident caused many trends to take over the platform.


The Good

  • Reparations in Evanston introduced (03/2021)

The Bad

  • Adam Toledo’s death (03/29/21) [body-cam footage was released in mid-April)


The Bad

  • DMX’s Death (04/09/21)

Rapper DMX suffered from a heart attack following a drug overdose that caused him to pass away. Many were hurt by this loss as he was an amazing artist, father, and someone who was trying to do better for himself.

  • Ma’Khia Bryant’s Death (04/20/21)

Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, was shot and killed by a police officer in Columbus, OH. The video of this incident was posted to social media. Her murder took place moments before the verdict for Derek Chauvin was released.


The Good

  • The Vaccine is working

In early May, The Pfizer vaccine was found to be more than 95% effective against severe diseases or death.


The Good

  • F9 was Released 

The Fast & Furious franchise continues to drop movies and leave viewers wondering how they always step it up a notch. F9 was no different. The movie showed that all of the past movies were crazy but they’re always willing to get crazier.

  • Lake Shore Drive was Renamed After Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable (06/25/21)

It’s been said that Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable is the founder of Chicago. With this great title should come great honor and recognition. To honor him, Lake Shore Drive was renamed to “Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive.”


The Good

  • Space Jam: A New Legacy was Released (07/16/21)

LeBron James showed that he wasn’t a one-trick pony by starring in the new Space Jam movie. It was definitely something made for younger children to watch but it was still entertaining.

  • Rolling Loud Returned (07/23/21 – 07/25/21)

Last year, Rolling Loud was canceled due to the COVID-19 virus and the rise in cases. This year, the music festival came back. Artists such as Jack Harlow, Kodak Black, Future, Gunna, and more were a part of the lineup.

  • Lollapalooza Returned (07/29/21 – 08/01/21)

Just like Rolling Loud, Lollapalooza was canceled in 2020. This year, Grant Park was packed and included artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Ricch, Playboi Carti, and Post Malone.


The Good

  • The Bud Billiken Parade Returned 

If you live in Chicago, you know that the Bud Billiken Parade is a yearly tradition for the city. The parade was canceled for the first time last summer and it got to come back this year.

  • TrueStar’s From the ‘Go Fest 

TS held its first annual From the ‘Go Fest this summer. Local artists were able to display their talent in front of an audience while everyone had a great time. Young entrepreneurs also sold their merch.

  •  Chicago Public Schools Reopened (08/30/21)

After closing its doors for more than a year due to COVID, CPS reopened for all of its students. Students were able to experience learning in person and seeing their friends outside of a screen.


The Good

  • Cardi B had a Son (09/04/21)

Back in June at the 2021 BET Awards, Cardi B showed off her baby bump announcing her second pregnancy. She had her son a few months later. Her Instagram shows photos of her and her family shortly after the delivery.

  • Squid Games Took Over (09/17/21)

Squid Games seemed to have a hold on everyone after its September release on Netflix. The show caused many viral trends to appear on social media.


The Good

The Chicago Sky pose with their WNBA trophy.
  • Chicago Sky Won the WNBA Championship 

The WNBA team Chicago Sky won its first-ever championship. There was a parade and celebration to recognize the team for all of the hard work they put in during the season. 

  • “You” Season 3 was Released 

Season 2 of “You” left viewers with a cliffhanger. The new season answered a few questions from the previous seasons but created more questions that will likely be answered in upcoming seasons.

The Bad

  • Final Season of “On My Block” was Released (10/04/21)

Months before the season was released, it was stated that this would be the final season of “On My Block.” There were interesting twists and turns throughout the season. It was sad to see the show end but it was a better season than the last.


The Good

  • Music Box: Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss was released (11/12/21)

Almost two years after the rapper’s passing, there was a documentary released to show Juice WRLD in the times before he passed. It was difficult to watch but it put things more into perspective.

  • TrueStar’s Connecting Young Creators 2021: A Virtual Fundraiser (11/18/21)

TS hosted its virtual fundraiser to raise money to provide Chicago youth with compensation for their contribution to the world of media. Lots of time and effort went into the program and it turned out great.

The Bad:

Rapper Travis Scott
  • Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival (11/05/21 – 11/06/21)

During this music festival, many were injured and there were even some deaths. As more time passed, more families were beginning to sue Travis Scott and he was also beginning to lose brand deals.

  • Young Dolph’s Death (11/17/21)

Memphis rapper Young Dolph was tragically killed. It was reported that he was going to a local business to get cookies for his mother when someone opened fire and struck the rapper.

  • Kyle Rittenhouse Acquitted of All Charges (11/18/21)

This felt like yet another step in the wrong direction. Despite the fact that there was evidence of Rittenhouse shooting multiple people, two fatally, he was still let off.


The Good

  • Kanye and Drake Gave a Benefit Concert (12/09/21)

Despite the beef that both artists have had, they came together for the Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert. It makes it seem as if this year’s beef between the two of them was strictly for promotional purposes.

  • Spider-Man No Way Home was Released (12/17/21)

This was the most highly anticipated movie of the year. Many flocked to theatres to see it making it the “first film to make $1 billion since 2019” according to CNN.

The Bad

  • Omicron is first spotted in the US (12/01/21)

Yet another COVID-19 variant has reached the United States. This adds more anxiety and stress when it comes to staying safe against the virus. This is the most easily transmissible variant yet which has made case numbers start climbing again.

  • Betty White Dies (12/31/21)

On the last day of the year, the news broke that actress Betty White passed away in her home. This upset me so much because I love her. It’s also really upsetting that she was only a few weeks away from her 100th birthday which would have been January 17th.

This year has definitely been a rollercoaster with lots of ups and downs but we made it to the end and that’s all that matters. Happy New Year everyone!


By Cierra Lemott, Sophomore, Columbia College Chicago

Instagram & Snapchat: @cece.kodak

Written by Cierra Lemott

I'm a professional procrastinator and my hobbies include sleeping, eating, and Netflix binging.

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