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Music

The Tidal Next Time: Jay-Z’s Examination of Wealth, Race, and Self

“For black America needs a politics whose first mission isn’t the reinforcement of the idea of black America; and a discourse of race that isn’t centrally concerned with preserving the idea of race and racial unanimity. We need something we don’t yet have: a way of speaking about black poverty that doesn’t falsify the reality […]

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Music Personal Essay

Thank You Kendrick

Fall 2013, I was a Junior at Georgia State University taking four courses. One of those being a dreadful Biology class that I had grown so tired of as the semester came to a close. A four-page paper was due in two days and procrastination had gotten the best of me yet again. It was […]

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Music

4 Your Soul Conceptually: J.Cole’s Thesis On Millennial Black Consciousness

“And I looked into your eyes and knew that you were a queen. Black skin, black hair, the blackest of beauty I had ever seen. Your cries were as melody and the music pierced to the very core of my soul. Simply the thought of parting with this warm bundle of preciousness left the fringes […]

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Music

Geniuses Need Love Too: Childish Gambino Album Review

“The potential of Black Genius lies within the interest, and inevitably the talents, we all have within us. The potential and capacity to achieve Black Genius grows when that interest is cultivated into skill. Black Genius is realized and achieved in those spectacular moments when we collectively utilize our talent and skill to disrupt and […]

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Music

The Ascent Of The Creative Black Man: Kendrick Lamar Untitled/Unmastered Review

“Somewhere near the center of this cosmos we occupy, the creative black personality lives and maintains itself, moving through time, unlocking mysteries, producing reflections and legend. Once, black life and the ceremonies that punctuated it; birth, rites of passage, the praising of natural forces or gods, these and other efforts all found channels of expression […]

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Music

Carving The Rosetta Stone: Elzhi’s Lead Poison Review

“Writing is an often-painful task that can feel like the death of one’s past. Equally discomfiting is seeing one’s present commitments to truths crumble once one begins to tap away at the keyboard or scar the page with ink. Writing demands a different sort of apprenticeship to ideas than does speaking. It beckons one to […]

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Music

Frank Ocean’s ‘Blond’: An Introvert’s Perspective

On August 20, 2016, over five years after being introduced to Frank Ocean through his acclaimed mixtape nostalgia, ULTRA, I found myself waiting in line for nearly two hours at the singer-songwriter’s Chicago pop-up shop. After having already waited four years for a follow up to his debut album Channel Orange, two hours standing in […]

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Music Reviews

Riding through Joburg with Lianne La Havas

“Is this Hillsong?” the driver asked. We were 100 meters from my house. There was not enough time for a sermon. In the front seat of the cab, I gathered myself before I answered. “No, it’s not Hillsong at all. At all. It’s Lianne La Havas,” I said, in a measured tone, collecting the overwhelming […]

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Awareness Blackness Music Reviews

On Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar didn’t make an album. Or at least not in the traditional sense. To Pimp a Butterfly isn’t an album you’re going to want to just throw on. Its shuffle play value is low. This is an album you revisit. It’s an album you sit with. It’s an album you study. Kendrick didn’t make […]