In Spike Lee’s latest film, Delroy Lindo turns in a stunning performance that tackles trauma and how Donald Trump spoke to a disaffected subset of Black men.
In Spike Lee’s latest film, Delroy Lindo turns in a stunning performance that tackles trauma and how Donald Trump spoke to a disaffected subset of Black men.
Even as hip-hop has become the dominant style of popular music in America, it is still unmistakably an art form deeply rooted in African American culture. And that has created something of an issue in how the music is covered, especially now that it is written about in every publication that deems itself at all culturally relevant.
The sports documentary event of the year plots the tale of Michael Jordan’s rise alongside hip-hop’s. It also invokes feelings from the past at a time when we need them the most.
Released 30 years ago, the movie is best remembered for Kid ’n Play and an infamous dance battle. But the breakout hit was also one of the most important films of the 1990s.
“Atlanta,” FX’s occasionally surreal examination of human behavior, is acutely aware of the Internet.
Meek has become the face of prison reform advocacy. But is his stance contradicted by his bromance with the billionaire Patriots owner?
For years, Alfonso Ribeiro couldn’t escape the shadow of his most iconic character, Carlton Banks. But pure, unfettered joy like his can be restrained for only so long.
The iconic director's behind-the-scenes photos put huge chunks of hip-hop history into new relief.
Will Smith's TV cousin is best remembered for his bowtie and love of Tom Jones, but the character was much more complex than that. On the 30th anniversary of the debut of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' we look back at Carlton's creation and legacy.
The rapper and director both called the same neighborhood home and had a mutual respect for one another's work. But their connection runs deeper than that. On the eve of what would've been Nipsey's 35th birthday, we explore who and what they represented-and why.
Success is relative, but by almost every measure, Wale is a success story.
The monologue hit high notes at times but was not without lazy, cheap moments too.
The actor’s death from colon cancer at age 43 comes during a difficult year for Black Americans. But even in death, he remains a source of optimism.
Corporate activism feels warm, fuzzy, and progressive, but optics aren’t the same as real change.
The longtime NBA host and reporter reflects on the creation and legacy of one of the most influential sports shows in history.
After R&B supergroup TLC dropped "No Scrubs," a little-known New York rap group called Sporty Thievz responded with "No Pigeons." It launched a gender war on and off the airwaves, amplified by two trios, two songs, one beat and zero apologies.
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Latrell Sprewell? His 35-point performance at Madison Square Garden with the New York Knicks facing elimination in the 1999 NBA Finals? Him dunking on Jaren Jackson in the third quarter of that game?
Too often, a "progressive" image has crumbled under misogynistic acts.
"After Hours" and the history of dystopian themes in the Canadian pop star's music.
The hip-hop traditionalist’s “big bro” act, Julian Kimble writes, doesn’t hold up on his latest single.
On this weekend in 1991, John Singleton’s debut film became a box-office hit. It also became a lightning rod for people looking to write off Black movies as violence-inducing. But that narrative was always more fairy tale than reality.
Whether Jordan’s infamous political silence to Jay-Z’s social-justice missteps, we expect Black celebrities to be both endlessly knowledgeable and tirelessly dedicated — but that’s simply not realistic.
Remembering Vince Carter’s legendary 2000 slam dunk contest performance, which brought the event back to life and inspired generations of players after him to attempt physics-defying feats.
You can spend 15 minutes with Ari Lennox and feel like you've known her for 15 years.
The five-time Grammy Award winner - long haunted by the actions of men surrounding her - will now be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
From ‘Boyz n the Hood,’ which he wrote and directed at age 22, through ‘Poetic Justice’ and ‘Higher Learning’ and beyond, the late filmmaker infused his stories with the richness and depth of black America
‘Hype Man,’ the show’s breakout, addressed bipolar disorder in a way few have dared.
Franklin Saint knew the consequences of selling drugs were inevitable, but seeing who suffered as he burned the world around him still remains gutting a week after Snowfall's season finale.
October 25 Kali Uchis is highly particular. She likes the design of Adams Morgan's Line hotel but wishes the TV in her room could swing out from its wall mount. She enjoys Los Angeles, but the lack of seasonal weather makes her feel as though she's caught in a "Groundhog Day" loop.
You probably noticed his outfits first (how could you not?), but John Witherspoon made his presence felt in everything he appeared in. To simply call Witherspoon, who died at the age of 77 Tuesday, a legend undersells his legacy. The actor connected generations of black comedy and black Hollywood, from The Richard Pryor Show to Black Jesus.
Wu-Tang Clan's loose cannon would have a tight grip on our attention in the age of viral celebrity.
Trained eyes and ears recognize that Beyoncé has been Black all 37 years she's been alive. As absurd as it may sound to even consider, this fact apparently did not become 100% clear to everyone until 2016.
‘Funeral,’ the rapper’s 13th studio album, begins to shed some of the darkness of its immediate predecessor, but his trauma is still on full display.
"It set the table for the whole movie, because the whole movie felt like that scene," Allen Hughes says of the harrowing opening to "Menace II Society," the 1993 film he co-directed with his twin brother, Albert.
Everyone who went after Sean Taylor on the football field paid the price.
"Nine times out of 10 I get it wrong / That's why I wrote this song, told myself to hold on / I can feel my fingers slippin' in a motherfuckin' instant I'll be gone." That's how Mac Miller began the somber final verse of "Small Worlds," the first single from his fifth album, 2018's Swimming.
The Prince spiritual that closes BlacKkKlansman is the culmination of a long friendship and a shared commitment to defiance.
"I'm fine" is the biggest lie I've ever told.
Success is rarely achieved without the grace of an epiphany. One of the earliest is the light at the end of the quarter-life-crisis tunnel. Even the most immensely successful people endure this transformative process, emerging with a clearer vision of who they are, what they want, and how they're going to get it.
January 24 For the rapper and producer known professionally as Earl Sweatshirt, self-awareness was once burdensome.
The story of the cult-favorite HBO series, as told by Bryan Greenberg, Victor Rasuk, Lake Bell, and the rest of the cast and crew.
What truly separated him from his peers was his personality.
We are far beyond Peak Nostalgia at this point, but 1998 was quite the year for popular culture.
Rocky Balboa has long been canonized in popular culture as the physical embodiment of Philadelphia, a city known for blue-collar underdogs with chips on their shoulders. The "Creed" spinoffs bestowed Philly's underdog crown upon a new name: Adonis Creed.
Sure, the tees and hoodies and sneakers are great. But what happens when your favorite designer goes MAGA? Kanye West's path to merch dominance started with his Yeezus tour: back in 2013, he traveled to city after city with truckloads of covetable, resellable concert tees and more. Some showed off benign logos.
Don't underestimate Issa Rae because of her awkward manner - she knows exactly what she's doing. Last month, an hour after the second season premiere of HBO's Insecure, the star, writer, and executive producer of the Golden Globe-nominated show tweeted a picture of herself studying the episode's abundance of Twitter interactions.
It was a mostly quiet conversation with Schoolboy Q until the national anthem protest of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was introduced. That point of contention snared the Los Angeles rapper's attention. "I never stood for the national anthem," Schoolboy Q offered. "That's how I was raised."
It's an overcast morning in late May and Jay Ellis has spent the past 24 hours in New York City...
"A lot of libertarians and ultra-capitalists like to put out this idea that competition makes for better creativity," director Boots Riley says on a scorching-hot Saturday in June. "But it's just because we don't see all the creativity that's been crushed."
Top Dawg Entertainment's recently concluded Championship Tour was a victory lap for the consortium. Each of the label's key artists played distinct roles, as they have in its sustained mega-success: Kendrick Lamar flies high as the "artiste"; SZA, who had to drop out following a vocal cord injury, is the mellow, yet expressive songwriter; ScHoolboy Q the menacing jester; Ab-Soul the radical experimentalist.
Films are portals into worlds; hood movies are no different. The crème de la crème are layered scans of life in the ghetto. In many cases, they're also the necessary reminders that your remote control isn't "ghetto" when it doesn't work.
Kanye West's announcement of new music from Pusha-T, Kid Cudi, Nas, Teyana Taylor, and of course, himself set the table to redefine the Event Release.
It's uncommon -- and, typically, unfortunate -- for an intro to be celebrated as an album's defining moment. What's perhaps even more rare, however, is for an intro to become arguably that artist's signature record. But for Meek Mill, the opening statement of his 2012 debut album, Dreams and Nightmares, will forever be regarded as his manifesto.
Positioning all things “Black Panther”-related as watershed moments was as strategic as releasing the film during Black History Month.
Sizable net worth is no remedy for ennui, a truth Tyler, the Creator and Vince Staples made central themes of their most recent work.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Former President John F. Kennedy's one-liner, from his 1961 inaugural address, was an armed forces recruiter's dream. But for many of the young men who enlisted and ended up serving during the Vietnam War's escalation years, they were simply cannon fodder.
Wild and peaceful. Confident, yet vulnerable. Unconventional, but unpretentious. Since she was a teenager, Lisa Bonet has balanced on this tightrope with effortless aplomb, radiating a perfect storm of energy through a glance, a smile - or a magazine cover.
A Different World's mission to distinguish itself from other sitcoms of its era went beyond its title.
Our feet are parallel. Our eyes are locked in a confrontational stare. We're close enough to swing, to connect, to black each other's eyes. The late Sergio Leone, master of the Spaghetti Western duel, would appreciate this face-off's unease. As the tension mounts and our heartbeats accelerate, my nemesis speaks first.
Love is the most lethal drug available. Although technically free, indulging is a high-risk, high-reward gamble. It propels you to a euphoric peak, then pushes you from the top of that mountain when it's over. But the fall doesn't kill you. You survive to endure the pain.
Many who witnessed Nipsey Hussle perform at the sixth-annual Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. in April will remember the Los Angeles rapper using the now-infamous photo of Kanye West donning a Make America Great Again hat as a background image during his performance of he and YG's "FDT (F--- Donald Trump)."
Bey - the artist formerly known as Mos Def - has spent over two decades juggling his many talents, oscillating between music and acting, his evolution marked by several defining turns.
"You are not Allen Iverson." Fifteen years have passed, but an otherwise forgettable summer league coach's words still linger in my mind. In the moment - a time when Iverson was leading the Philadelphia 76ers, my hometown team, to their 2001 NBA Finals run - he meant that, despite what I thought, I couldn't pick every defender apart off the dribble.
Entertainment is politics. Look no further than this election cycle's dozens of presidential debates for evidence. Our entertainers and politicians possess the same traits and while Donald Trump is a glaring example, Drake is perhaps the superlative embodiment of this phenomenon.
Donald Glover's new series looks at the trials and tribulations of trying to make it in America.
As the ruins of Fyre Festival burn, it's imperative to remember that music festivals work best when they, A., have some purpose, because they're, B., actually tangible. Broccoli City Festival celebrated its fifth anniversary Saturday - a crucial benchmark for such affairs, as they either prove stale or blossom moving forward.
When Dave Chappelle's Block Party arrived in theaters 10 years ago, it marked a moment of significance. Aside from being part of Chappelle's reemergence after Chappelle's Show, as the world knew it, ended, the film captured a moment of accidental genius from a man famous for his deliberate manifestations of it.
Calling The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air a "cultural touchstone" is a gross understatement. Although it's one of the most important black television shows ever made, it transcended race. Everyone was aware of the show, and a certain age group-regardless of race-can recite every word of the iconic theme song.
The pained register of his falsetto. The hair that does as it will. The sex, the drugs, the corresponding agony and allure of the hedonism he wades in. These elements have made the Weeknd a luminary-one who performs cocaine dependency ballads at the Grammys and orchestral anthems from mainstream BDSM films at the Oscars.
Youth is an essence as much as it is a phase of life. That's definitely so for Trillectro, which wrapped up its second stint at Merriweather Post Pavilion skewing younger than previous outings - a new wrinkle in the D.C.-born affair's five-year history.
It's two days after Christmas and Dom Kennedy and his manager, Archie Davis, are marveling at the realization that the coming year will mark two decades since 1997. On his 2010 single "1997," the Los Angeles rapper identifies the titular year as the time he came of age and set forth on his current path.
Be it a regrettable tattoo or choosing a college, your first "adult" decision is momentous. It's a declaration of independence; a here-and-now expression of your identity, but more importantly, an assertion of who you want to be moving forward. For Janet Jackson, this moment came 30 years ago with the release of her third album, Control.
T.I. wears many crowns in 2016: He's the wise patriarch seen on T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, the head of Grand Hustle Records, and a well-respected rap OG. In 2006, though, the Atlanta MC was still an ascendant artist who had yet to access the crossover appeal that lay beneath his cocksure street anthems. Ten years ago this week, the release of his fourth album, King, changed that for good.
Although he had just played in front of a sold-out crowd at the Fillmore Silver Spring for nearly two hours, D'Angelo knew he couldn't exit without performing that song.
Fire and desire. Love and pain. Explosive arguments and inevitable make-up sex at obnoxious volumes. These are vignettes of a bipolar relationship: the turbulent cycle we've all at least heard about. Relationships are work, but healthy ones shouldn't be draining. Love shouldn't be governed by chaos.
By the middle of the 1990s, the police drama had become conventional. , which took the style of Law & Order, NYPD Blue, and even the brilliant and underrated Homicide: Life on the Street each approached the subject matter from very traditional angles.
Since its 2012 inception, the Trillectro music festival has been defined by an ambition to make the District a city that unites the worlds of hip-hop and electronic dance music. This year, it will be defined by change, as the event moves from RFK Stadium's festival grounds to Saturday's edition at Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion, which features headliners including Chance the Rapper and breakout electronic music producer/DJ RL Grime.
Orlando, like the rest of the state of Florida, is an alternate reality. The city's largest attractions-Walt Disney World; SeaWorld; Universal Orlando, namely-add to the illusion as much as the palm trees do. For outsiders, it's very easy to forget that people actually live there.
Churches represent many things, the most important being safe havens. The church has long been a pillar of the black community, serving as an insulated safe house protecting its inhabitants from hate. People turned to God for support and guidance in dire times, as his home-the church-became their own.
A Miami Herald article written a month after Trayvon Martin's death described his 17th and final birthday. He spent it with his family enjoying a home-cooked meal and birthday cake. The last presents he received were Issey Miyake cologne, Levi's jeans, and adidas sneakers.
Nella Larsen's Passing zeroes in on a woman whose ethnic makeup is so ambiguous, she can covertly maneuver the white community. Similarly, Philip Roth's appearance as a blip on the bullshit radar inspired plenty of. The Human Stain chronicles a black man so fair-skinned that he also passes.
This is a recurring feature about race. The opinions expressed during this conversation [Since grand jury decisions not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Officer Daniel Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner in Staten Island, several professional athletes have show support for Brown, Garner and other unarmed blacks killed by police.
One month ago, Darren Wilson married Barbara Spradling, a colleague within the Ferguson Police Department. It was the act of a man who seemed unconcerned with the consequences of killing an unarmed teenager. "It's fair to say that neither he nor his defense team expect an indictment," St.
This is a recurring feature about race. The opinions expressed during this conversation [Best Female Actor in a Drama Series for her work on ABC's On Sunday night, actress Viola Davis was awarded How to Get Away with Murder. During her acceptance speech, Davis called out Hollywood's lack of diversity, which, while well-documented, is no less grating.