Categories
Mental Health

Endnotes to Jay-Z’s 4:44 : Mental Health Awareness

“It’s like my therapy, making music……When language has reached its limit, disease sets in.” – 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 music videos for the songs […]

Categories
Film

Endnotes to Jay-Z’s “Moonlight”

“We stuck in La La Land. Even when we win, we gon’ lose.” – 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 music videos for the songs on […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 8: Negus Album Review

Peace. I’ve always felt that an emcee’s lyrics were a reflection of their emotional maturity and critical thinking abilities. For example, if you don’t have anything to say, it’s because you’re not insightful—or you’re dumbing your music down because you think it’s what suburban kids want you to be. You’re the type of emcee that […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Misogynoir

Kanye West, the Serial Misogynist

Kanye West serves as a particularly fruitful starting point for examining the intersection of race, masculinity and misogyny. Intentionally or unintentionally, he’s always reflected Americans as they truly are. When he needs attention he whines on Twitter. He defends Bill Cosby, a rapist. He tells us he’s going to make clothes a poor kid can […]

Categories
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 […]