Social Justice

Endnotes to “The Story of O.J.”

“Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga. Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga. Still nigga, Still nigga.” -Jay-Z On June 30, 2017, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) released his 13th studio album 4:44, arguably the most personal and socially conscious album of his career. Subscribers to his online streaming service, Tidal, are privy to […]


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 […]

Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 2: Everyday Struggles—Hip Hop’s New Counter-Culture

Peace. Welcome back to Music for the Rest of Us—an exploration of dope music made with artistic integrity. If you missed the first edition, you can read it here. In short, this column is dedicated to music that’s about something more than just the turn up. I just finished listening to Mark Battle’s new release: […]