Ava DuVernay's Right: Violent Rihanna, Kendrick Videos Reflect Our Times

Over the weekend, just as some feminists were firing up their pens to write scathing takes on Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” video and other feminists were nimbly rebutting them, director Ava DuVernay was able to sum up the climate with just a tweet: » 7/07/15 11:40am Yesterday 11:40am

What Are You Doing Here?: Investigating the Men of Essence Festival

Essence magazine is for black women and so is the Essence Music Festival, but the latter attracts both men and women. For years, I’ve wondered what dudes were doing at an event hosting speakers and performers like Iyanla Vanzant, Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kandi Burruss and Mary J. Blige. » 7/06/15 4:30pm Monday 4:30pm

Watch Kendrick Lamar's Great 'King Kunta' Vid, With Love from Compton

The fact that Kendrick Lamar premiered the video for "King Kunta" on a Times Square billboard for a headphone company that Dr. Dre sold to Apple for $3 billion should not be lost: Compton officially came up, and Kendrick is here to floss the irrefutable Comptonness of it all. It's a "mama we made it" moment, his… » 4/02/15 1:00pm 4/02/15 1:00pm

Freedom Song: A Conversation About the State of Black Liberation Music

In the lyric pamphlet to Black Messiah, D'Angelo's third album after 14 years away from the spotlight, the soul-savant explains his reasoning behind its title and sudden release: "Some will jump to the conclusion that I am calling myself a Black Messiah," he begins. "For me the title is about all of us...It's about… » 3/25/15 4:34pm 3/25/15 4:34pm

Meet Rapsody, a Guest on To Pimp a Butterfly and Star in Her Own Right

Rapsody, a North Carolina MC who guests on Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly, released a new video for her single "The Man," highlighting police brutality, poverty and parental abandonment. The clip is from her 2014 project Beauty and the Beast, which dropped in October, and while that… » 3/19/15 9:59pm 3/19/15 9:59pm

Kendrick Lamar's New Album Art Suggests He Is Truly About to Bless Us

KDot took to Instagram last night to post his second photo ever: the album cover for his new album, To Pimp a Butterfly, out March 23rd. A tracklist has been circulating but it seems to be fake; regardless, you can pre-order the LP (track names redacted, except for "The Blacker The Berry") on iTunes now. » 3/11/15 10:48am 3/11/15 10:48am

UC Berkeley Students Hold Teach-In for Their Racist Professor

At UC Berkeley, a tenured mental health policy professor named Steven Segal has found himself in a bit of trouble, thanks to his conflation of black-on-black crime with the Black Lives Matter movement, and his eagerness to blame victims of oppression for their oppression—which is probably easy when you're not… » 3/04/15 1:50pm 3/04/15 1:50pm

Listen to Kendrick Lamar's Black Rage Anthem 'The Blacker the Berry'

Kendrick Lamar just released the blackest rap song of the year so far, "The Blacker the Berry." It's produced by Boi-1Da, has a hook sung by dancehall star Assassin and a tough beat that's the perfect accomplice for the nonstop gut punch of his lyrics. On the heels of his now Grammy-winning self-love anthem "i," this… » 2/09/15 7:10pm 2/09/15 7:10pm

Kendrick Lamar Believes in Both Iggy and the Rapture

Billboard interviewed Kendrick Lamar in the lead-up to his highly anticipated album I and, unsurprisingly, he was nothing short of interesting. Among the many topics touched upon by the West Coast rapper was creative process (he works through the night with a tight-knit group of musicians he's dubbed "vampires"),… » 1/09/15 3:50pm 1/09/15 3:50pm

This Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar Mash-Up Is Impossible to Hate

Now that you've found the strength to admit you might actually like Taylor Swift, the next step is to make her an even more inescapable part of your existence. Here's something to help—"Backseat Shakeoff." The Hood Internet fused Swift's "Shake It Off" with Kendrick Lamar's "Backseat Freestyle," an electric track… » 11/11/14 11:00pm 11/11/14 11:00pm