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Drake Bores Us To Tears On His New Album ‘Views’

By: Sam Fleming

Drake is one of the few legitimate pop stars to come out of hip-hop. Already joining the ranks of rappers such as Eminem and Kanye West, he has had the quickest rise to fame and critical acclaim in recent memory.

With this fame has come scrutiny and labels. He is often referred to as being fake and is thought of as soft by rap fans and insiders alike. Drake dropped the mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late in early 2015 to fight these labels. The mixtape caught people off guard. It was a stark departure from the sentimental style he established previously. Proclaiming he didn’t care about haters, Drake stressed that more was more to come on his upcoming album, Views. But, that just wasn’t the case.

Photo: Marvel

‘Captain America: Civil War’ Felt Like More Of The Same With A Little Blackness On Top

By: Angelica Bastien

With Captain America: Civil War the clockwork-like efficiency of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is on full display. Nearly a decade after it was kicked off with Iron Man (2008), Marvel has perfected its formula which mixes a blend of humor, light pathos, and bright-eyed optimism. The problem is the cracks in this methodology are beginning to show and these films desperately need to start coloring outside of the lines.

In Civil War, the strengths of the MCU brand—reliance on quips, increasingly smooth easily commodified storytelling, exceeding lightness—feel like weaknesses. As the superhero genre continues to balloon Marvel’s desire to tell the same types of stories with the same types of characters is proving to be increasingly rote.

Flickr/Gordon Correll

‘Queen of Katwe’ Trailer and ‘Black Panther’ Casting Puts Lupita Nyong’o In the Spotlight

By: Angelica Bastien

After winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the 2013 film 12 Years A Slave Lupita Nyong’o’s film career didn’t catapult in the ways fans expected. But it looks like she’s coming back into the spotlight with the release of the Queen of Katwe trailer and news of her potential casting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Hamilton cast are greeted by President Barack Obama.

The Tony Awards Do What The Oscars Wouldn’t with Diverse Nominations

By: Angelica Bastien

The recently released 2016 Tony Award nominations reflect the especially diverse season on Broadway. But for the first time in the history of the award, there is a great chance that all four musical acting categories will be won by people of color which brings up a lot of hope about how theatre is addressing the call from diversity from fans and critics alike. 

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These Four Poems About Black Hair, Resistance, and Love Will Brighten Your Day

Lamont Lilly is a writer, activist, and father whose work echoes the struggles for justice and ambitions of our generation.  These four poems push us to think differently about blackness in the contemporary moment.
From the author:
“Each piece is a reflection of the people, places and experiences of struggle that have shaped who I am–The Movement, the Black Aesthetic, strong Black women, our continued pursuit of Black Liberation. I just hope the people can receive it.”
 His forthcoming debut, Honor in the Ghetto was edited by Shahida Muhammad and will be out this fall.
afeni shakur

Panther Power: Afeni Shakur and the ‘New York 21’

By Lamont Lilly

On April 2, 1969, twenty-one members of the Harlem Chapter of the Black Panther Party were formally indicted and charged with 156 counts of “conspiracy” to blow up subway and police stations, five local department stores, six railroads, and the Bronx based New York Botanical Garden.

By the early morning hours of April 3, mass sweeps were conducted city wide by combat squads of armed police. Law enforcement agencies ranging from the CIA, FBI, U.S. Marshalls and NY state police worked simultaneously to coordinate assaults on panther homes and community based offices. After numerous raids, ten panther men and two panther women were formally arrested, processed and quickly jailed. To anyone who supported radical politics of the 1960’s, there was no doubt that the indictment of the Panther ‘New York 21’ was a political and racist frame-up to not only “disrupt, discredit and destroy,” but to utterly dismantle the Black Panther Party from the inside out.

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Denzel Curry’s ‘Imperial’ Album Is A Trapsterpiece

By: Sam Fleming

Denzel Curry has been on the rise for the last few years, but his latest release, Imperial, has propelled him into underground stardom. Curry has been releasing a steady stream of hardcore and cloud-rap since 2011, however with Imperial he finally finds his true voice and puts together some of the darkest, most hard-hitting hip-hop of the year.

He comes out the gate strong. Listening to the trio of “ULT,” “Gook” and “Sick and Tired” it feels like you have been hit over the head with a metal bat. Everything he raps is hard and the way that he snarls over the beats is at times exhausting. He is involved in every second of the music, but the mood of the project shifts throughout.

From Kid Cudi's Facebook.

Kid Cudi Opens Up About Living with Depression

By: Angelica Bastien

**Trigger warning: depression, suicide**

In recent years, Kid Cudi has focused more on his work as an actor including his latest role in Vincent-N-Roxxy which recently made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival. But he’s coming back to his musical roots with a feature on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo album and his own new music coming out soon, which Kid Cudi discusses in an interview with Billboard. While Kid Cudi may seem to live a charmed life, in his interview he details how he has struggled with depression.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Actress Amandla Stenberg arrives at the premiere of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" at Microsoft Theater on November 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Amandla Stenberg Opens Up About Their Gender Identity

By: Angelica Bastien

Actress Amandla Stenberg, who recently appeared in the Beyoncé film Lemonade, has quickly become an icon for teens thanks to her intelligence and wit when it comes to racial and gender issues. On her Tumblr blog, Stenberg is known to talk openly with fans, which led to a fascinating exchange recently about what pronouns they prefer given openly identifying as non-binary.