Meet Hollis Wong-Wear & Jamila Woods, the Women of Color Behind Macklemore's 'White Privilege II' 

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have released an eight-minute song featuring Jamila Woods, “White Privilege II,” about white privilege, beginning with Macklemore’s own feeling about whether he can meaningfully participate in a Black Lives Matter march and spiraling into different movements questioning what his own white…

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Brendan Dassey's Half-Brother Releases Rap in His Defense Entitled 'They Didn't Do It'

Netflix’s docu-series Making a Murderer depicted a number of grotesque miscarriages of justice, regardless of whether one believes Steven Avery committed the murder of Teresa Halbach. The most affecting injustice was the mistreatment of Brendan Dassey, Avery’s learning-disabled 16-year-old nephew who was improperly…

Should You Listen to the Soundtrack to Hamilton If You Have Not Seen Hamilton?

The first musical soundtrack I ever heard was for A Chorus Line, at age seven or eight, long before I even knew what Broadway was, or meant. My mom had the original cast recording, from 1975, and apparently I spent enough time unsupervised to have nabbed it from her cassette collection, because that shit was dirty,…

Kari Faux Is Cool as Hell, So Is This '80s-Inspired Video

Kari Faux, a very cool young rapper from Little Rock, Arkansas, invokes Solid Gold and Soul Glo in this cheeky, soft-focus video for “Supplier,” a track so unbothered her flow sounds like it’s reclining with its feet up. This is the confidence that comes with knowing you’re so fly you don’t have to put forth any…

Watch A$AP Rocky Play Out a Zooted-Up Love Story in New 'L$D' Clip

A$AP Rocky’s new track “L$D” is pretty far outside his previously established oeuvre—he’s sung on tracks before, but this is something of a weeded torch ballad, a deeply contemplative and poetic track from the guy who once wrote an entire song around namedropping popular and obscure fashion labels. (“Fashion Killa,”…

Meet K.A.A.N., A 24-Year-Old Maryland Brickmason Who Can Fucking Rap

A couple of weeks ago, I was trawling Soundcloud when I was abruptly paralyzed by something—a track with the fairly clumsy name of “Concealed the outro (fuck em rmx),” the last stop on a mixtape called (somewhat clumsily as well) Abstract Art, on the page of an essentially unknown rapper calling himself K.A.A.N.

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Watch Kanye & Mom Donda Rapping 'Hey Mama' in Ancient Home Video

The intimacy of a home movie is unreplicable and, viewed in retrospect, home movies are as telling as any diary entry. (This is why they are used as an easy flashback device for so many movies about dramatic familial interchange and/or horrors.) They're a microscope where the nuances of boring, day-to-day living…

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…

Iggy Azalea Is Acting Like She Didn't Want a Grammy... Psshhh

Iggy Azalea did not win a Grammy as expected, rendering moot the irate Tumblr screed I wrote ahead of time like the Times prepares obits in advance, just in case. Iggy Azalea is now trying to convince us that she didn't even want the stupid Grammy, because "people already hate me enough." Well, true, but... we don't…