Where’s Earl?

Thebe Kgositsile, aka Earl Sweatshirt last released a project in the spring of 2015, aptly named “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside”. The album was lean with only ten tracks. It came out a week after Kendrick’s critic darling To Pimp A ButterFly, an album Earl himself praised in interviews, explaining how the Compton rapper’s project allowed his own artistic expression to be more free and natural by occupying a space in modern rap that sorely needed filling. Earl’s album, despite the gloomy subject matter, received positive reviews and seemed like the right step forward for a young talent coming into his own and building an identity outside of the infamous group Odd Future.

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Ep. 3 of Digitals: Binding

The Digitals series focuses on overlooked blips in pop-culture then unraveling the moment with short prose. The third episode reviews a snippet of Kanye’s verse in No More Parties In L.A., a fever pitched single released on his SoundCloud this time last year. The song eventually made it onto his seventh studio album, The Life Of Pablo. TLOP instantly received critical acclaim for its sincerity through fragmentation, revealing all of the jagged edges of his life through candid art. Below is a fragment observed for insight:

no-more-parties-verse

The scratch of her pen reminded him of a soft hum, the tip rubbing against paper like a needle grazing over a Jackson vinyl.

“You should get a new notebook,” he said, chiming in between moments of her documentation and pauses in his confession.

“Thanks but—“

“I’ll get you one, It’ll have a brown leather binding, a little bit more compact so it fits in your tote bag, I can even get my assistant to order the one with the silk string so you can bookmark your—“

“Mr. West, I suggest we keep things on course.” Continue reading

Ep. 2 of Digitals: We All Try

The Digitals series focuses on overlooked blips in pop-culture and exploring the moment in short prose. The second episode of ‘Digitals’ looks back at the year 2013. Both Frank Ocean and Chris Brown were nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Urban Contemporary Album” category.  Two weeks prior Ocean and Brown allegedly got into a brawl outside of an L.A. studio over a parking spot. Frank Ocean went on to win the Grammy over Chris Brown.

        “Be above it. Be above it. Be above it.” He repeated this to himself, avoiding what he saw in the peripherals: heads tilted with slight smirks, and eyes darting back and forth between the two artists turned adversaries. Continue reading

Obama speaks with the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates.

“And so I’m careful not to attribute any particular resistance or slight or opposition to race. But what I do believe is that if somebody didn’t have a problem with their daddy being employed by the federal government, and didn’t have a problem with the Tennessee Valley Authority electrifying certain communities, and didn’t have a problem with the interstate highway system being built, and didn’t have a problem with the GI Bill, and didn’t have a problem with the [Federal Housing Administration] subsidizing the suburbanization of America, and that all helped you build wealth and create a middle class—and then suddenly as soon as African Americans or Latinos are interested in availing themselves of those same mechanisms as ladders into the middle class, you now have a violent opposition to them—then I think you at least have to ask yourself the question of how consistent you are, and what’s different, and what’s changed.”

Read Coates’ full piece on the Obama Legacy here.