1986 bmw 535i

Julian Kimble

Writer. Editor. Producer. Strategist. "Ideas guy." Whatever.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Undefeated, The Ringer, GQ, Billboard, Pitchfork,The FADER, Vox, SB Nation, etc.

Portfolio
Washington Post
07/14/2017
Why more publications should prioritize diverse perspectives

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 Ringer
12/02/2020
The Undeniable Joy of Alfonso Ribeiro

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 Ringer
01/29/2021
How Cam'ron Turned 'Paid in Full' Into a Cult Legend

In 2002, Roc-A-Fella Records’ Damon Dash backed ‘Paid in Full,’ a movie loosely based on the tales of real-life legendary Harlem drug kingpins. The film wasn’t a hit, but it’s lived on as a cult classic thanks to an indelible performance from one of the greatest rappers the borough ever produced.

GQ
07/09/2021
DJ Drama Hears You Talking

The veteran DJ and label exec reflects on his rise, relationships with Lil Uzi Vert and Jack Harlow and restoring Gangsta Grillz energy on Tyler, The Creator's new album.

GQ
03/31/2021
Freddie Gibbs Won Anyway

The recently Grammy-nominated MC took inspiration from The Last Dance to peak at an age when most rappers are in decline.

The Ringer
03/03/2021
'Snowfall' Is Becoming Can't-Miss TV

FX’s tale of the rise of crack on the streets of South Central L.A. in the 1980s got off to a slow start, but now in its fourth season, it’s one of the most underrated shows on television.

The Ringer
09/10/2020
Carlton Banks Was More Than Just a Dance

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.

Washington Post
01/01/2017
How Schoolboy Q took it slow and had one of the best years in rap

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."

The Ringer
07/10/2020
The Ridiculous Fear of 'Boyz n the Hood,' Revisited

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.

The Undefeated
01/02/2018
A look back at Latrell Sprewell's very angry 'Sports Illustrated' cover

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?

LEVEL
05/18/2020
Not Every Black Public Figure Can Be an Activist

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.

The Ringer
02/14/2020
Half Man, Half Amazing, All Innovation

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.

The Ringer
04/30/2019
John Singleton Was a Beacon of Authenticity

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

Washington Post
05/25/2018
'Menace II Society' and the price of respect

"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.

The Ringer
10/30/2019
John Witherspoon Was the Ultimate Father Figure-On and Off the Screen

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.

The Ringer
01/21/2020
Mac Miller's 'Circles' Is a Portrait of Growth—and a Life Unfinished

"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 FADER
06/20/2018
Jay Rock Is TDE's Reliable Foundation

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.

Complex
07/12/2016
Not Another Teen Movie: The Harsh Reality of 'Boyz n the Hood'

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.

Washington Post
04/29/2016
Drake, the politician

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.

Billboard
02/01/2018
How Meek Mill's 'Dreams & Nightmares' Became Philly's Ultimate Underdog Anthem

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.

The Undefeated
10/17/2016
The poster for the 1995 film 'Dead Presidents'

"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.

Washington Post
01/03/2017
Farewell, Yasiin Bey

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.

The Undefeated
01/06/2017
The album cover of Nas' 2012 'Life Is Good'

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.

The Undefeated
09/09/2016
Iverson's spirit, brashness - and his crossover - made him my role model

"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.

Washington Post
05/07/2017
In a time of political uncertainty, Broccoli City Festival is needed more than ever

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.

Complex
03/21/2016
'Caine & Abel: 'House of Balloons' Was the Weeknd at His Purest

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.

Washington Post
08/28/2015
Trillectro seeks to keep its ultra-cool vibe in a new venue

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.

Twitter icon