Kevin L. Clark (@KevitoClark)

Editor / Journalist / Curator / Screenwriter / Brooklynite

United States

I am a Brooklyn-based journalist and screenwriter who lives at the intersections of pop culture, music, film, and social justice reporting.

If you’re here already, then you must have great taste, so let me not waste your time.

The Funk Is Forever When It Comes To Kalisway

If you ain't know, the funk truly resides in Kalisway 's heart and it's a big one at that. The Toronto native has been basking in a bevy of good news since her newly released EP earned rave reviews.

Label Spotlight: Keep Cool - Spotify for Artists

For co-founders Jared Sherman, Tunji Balogun, Courtney Stewart and their team of highly curious and ambitious cohorts, being "cool" is a connection to the love of music, culture, and being wholly yourself, unapologetically.

7 Young Jazz Giants You Need to Know

Don't miss learning about these musicians who are shaping the future of jazz. This week, April 30th, the 2021 International Jazz Day and its All-Star Global Concert will once again serve as a positive experience that we all need in our lives today.

This Is What Black Love Sounds Like According to PJ

Whether it has been putting in studio time with Ty Dolla $ign or Fantasia, or helping legendary rapper Common get his "Love Star" on for Black America Again , PJ's star continues rise while she remains true to her artistry.

Biden Should Add 'The CAREN Act' to His List of Executive Actions

What do "Permit Patty," "SoHo Karen," and Carolyn Bryant Donham all have in common? Bad hairstyles no matter the generation aside, the correct answer is: they are all liars who have weaponized their status. These "Karens," most notably white women who act with entitlement in public while threatening others, are often the catalyst behind disastrous results.

Young Black Hollywood Stars To Watch In 2021

Despite the COVID crisis, Black Hollywood continues to stand up, speak up, and make a difference on- and off-screen. From John Boyega's passionate Black Lives Matter speech in London to Skai Jackson and her dedication to exposing "as many racists as she can," this rising class of leading young men and women are the change many fought to make a way for and they are loud and proud.

Infinity Songs' Playlist Says Cheers To New Beginnings

In light of the recent events at the U.S. capitol building, this week's edition of The Playlist will still focus on the theme of "new beginnings." With prayers and positive praise for everyone staying safe in the midst of COVID and the unmitigated caucasity happening outdoors, I am excited to co-curate this playlist alongside the five-piece sibling band known as Infinity Song.

Charlie Wilson Embraces 2021 With A 'Thankful New Year' Playlist

We have nothing good to say about you, 2020. God knows we've been surviving and striving to be our best selves, while remaining prayed up and healthy, but in some weird way you have to admire just how dedicated 2020 has been to being the absolute worst, right up until the end .

Busta Rhymes' Teaches the Art of Bragging in This Week's The Playlist

Bragging in hip-hop has been long established since the days of "Rapper's Delight" and Roxanne Shanté. The ability to make outlandish claims about money, controlling the crowd and ones swagger is made even more incredible when done over dope production. At this, Busta Rhymes is a master craftsman and a true one-of-one.

The Most Anticipated Albums of Fall 2020

COVID-19 may have sidelined us, but these are the stereo-shaking tunes we're looking out for. 01 Fans have been waiting with baited breath for J. Cole's The Fall Off, his long-promised follow-up to 2018's KOD.

Erica Campbell Offers "A Little More Jesus" For This Week's Playlist

There is a well known quote by Lou Holtz that says, "Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome adversity." A person can be remembered-famously or infamously-by how they respond during their greatest trials.

Spice Adds 10 Songs Of Hot Pepper To This Reggae and R&B Playlist

Entering into the last days of summer can be a drag for some. I choose to look at it as an opportunity to get more acquainted with your own wants and desires. After last week's freedom-inspired journey with Georgia Anne Muldrow , anybody can respect wanting to have some time for love and closeness.

Georgia Anne Muldrow's 10 Freedom Songs Will Have You Activated

"Violence can both ignite and snuff out a voice," Georgia Anne Muldrow shared with Pitchfork when she described "This Walk," one of the first singles from Mama, You Can Bet, her recently released project under the name, Jyoti. She's not wrong.

Speak On It: Rachel Cargle Chats With Nikki Giovanni And Rapsody

When the tragic murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd activated international support for the Black Lives Matter movement, we called upon the wisdom of Nikki Giovanni and the millennial perspective of Grammy-nominated artist Rapsody.

Nubya Garcia Shares 10 Inspirational Songs For Jazz And R&B Lovers

Saxophonist Nubya Garcia, currently leading the resurgence of the London jazz scene, is celebrating the release of her debut solo album entitled Source ( out now!). The talented and ambitious musician has been playing since the age of 10 and went from the Trinity Laban Conservative in Greenwich to a part of Tomorrow's Warriors, which also boasts Soweto Kinch, Shabaka Hutchings and Cassie Kinoshi as alumni.

Shatta Wale Curates 10 Songs Dripped In Black Excellence You Should Stream Right Now

Wo ho te sɛn, ESSENCE Family? I wanted to personally thank you all for making the Mariah The Scientist edition pop in a major way! That piece did so well that we're evolving the format of ESSENCE's The Playlist to feature more song selections by your favorite rising and established artists, such as this week's co-curator, Shatta Wale.

Mariah The Scientist Goes Into the Lab For This Week's Music Vibes

Little known secret: I've never been in Atlanta before. The airport, yes, but never inside the city limits. Hopefully, Mariah the Scientist-this week's co-curator-can change my luck and I'll one day be able to get my roll on at Cascade, eat at Dulce's in Kirkwood, and hang out with Egypt Sherrod.

These R&B Artists Will Entangle You With Summer Vibes

It's Friday, it's Friday, it's Friday-and you know what that means! Your favorite audio adventure is back in effect with another enjoyable edition of ESSENCE's The Playlist, which runs down the tunes we're listening to this week. Before we get into it, I wanted to thank you all for making the Dinner Party co-curated experience a rousing success!

You're Cordially Invited To Listen To A Special Dinner Party Playlist

Fresh from the post-Juneteenth BBQ after-party, your favorite neighborhood audio adventurer is back with something special for you all. I have been enjoying a few successes in my life- ESSENCE's The Playlist being one of them -and I want to salute everyone who has been reading this page and playing the music with a new idea I have.

Here's Your Juneteeth Playlist To Celebrate Black Joy

Happy Juneteeth weekend, beautiful Black people! Way before Trump claimed he made the 155-year-old holiday "very famous" and companies like Nike, Google and the NFL embraced it as if it was created by these brands - Black people enjoyed the cel-liberation with fun, food, and fantastic music.

Kendrick Lamar's Best Verses, Ranked

Kendrick Lamar has recorded a dizzying array of stop-you-in-your-tracks rap verses in his career, and he's proven he can attack from any angle. If he's up for it, he can insert himself into as many headlines as possible with an explosive guest verse like "Control," which broke the internet (and infuriated a long list of rappers in the process) back in 2013.

White Antagonists Are Getting in the Way of Black Lives Matter

Over the past two and a half months, as much of our country has lived in quarantine, we've witnessed the violent loss of black lives with disturbing frequency. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have died at the hands of racists and law enforcement.

Mahalia on Being Quarantined, 'Isolation Tapes,' and Rediscovering Herself

Millions across the globe have been affected by this pandemic known as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. It has placed entire industries to a screeching halt, as men, women, and children are forced to stay indoors and quarantine in fear of catching the life-threatening disease.

EXCLUSIVE: Jidenna Realigns Chakras With New Single 'Feng Shui'

With HBO's back on the air for its fourth season, Issa Rae continues her reign as a choice advocate for great music. For the show's premiere episode, "Lowkey Feelin' Myself," her selections such as "A BOY IS A GUN" from Tyler, the Creator's 2019 album IGOR and new songs by Yung Baby Tate ("Never Lonely") and Pink Sweat$ ("Ride With Me") made the night an event for millions of viewers.

Meet Tayarisha Poe: A First-Time Filmmaker with a DIY Approach

Tayarisha Poe is a West Philadelphia-bred multimedia impresario who works in film, photography, and writes short stories. Her complex portraits of young people of color intensely showcases her creativity with deeply felt and vividly rendered works filling in those "absent" spots missing in mainstream media.

Meet Heather Chelan, Khadijah Lopez and Giveon: R&B's Rising, Unsung Talent

Thank God, it's Friday, y'all! After a week full of wild-and-crazy moments, ESSENCE is back with another installment of The Playlist to give you some music to vibe out to. But first, please let me introduce myself. My name is Kevin L. Clark (@KevitoClark) and I am your new vibes curator here at The Playlist.

Everything You Need to Know About Young T & Bugsey

The rise of UK rap has been an ongoing conversation for the past seven years, but the introduction of Afroswing and Afro-bashment has been a welcomed change to the scene. Young T & Bugsey, the voices behind the song "Don't Rush," have captured lightning in the bottle thanks to their crossover hit being turned into a viral video challenge.

Me Encanta "Gentefied": An Interview with Latinx Creators Linda Yvette Chávez & Marvin Lemus

Netflix Meet the minds behind the charming Netflix series that audiences have fallen in love with. Linda Yvette Chávez and Marvin Lemus are the brilliant creators behind the bilingual Netflix comedy-drama series Gentefied, currently streaming. Together, they have been working for five years to tell an authentic story about Mexican-American identity and East Los Angeles.

PROMO: 'DOOM Eternal' Delivers an Action-Packed Good Time

Fast, furious, and loud, DOOM Eternal is just the shot in the arm the first-person shooter genre needed. id Software's direct sequel to DOOM (2016), the winner of The Game Awards' "Best Action Game," puts you in the boots of the DOOM Slayer, a seemingly unstoppable force who hunts Hell's armies across dimensions and must stop them from destroying humanity.

A Written Testimony: A Timeline To Jay Electronica's New Album

All the stars and planets have been getting into alignment for this very moment. After over a decade of waiting, anticipating, delaying, and praying, Jay Electronica has finally shared his debut album. A Written Testimony, while not Act II: Patents of Mobility (The Turn), has been a welcomed surprise.

Everything We Learned From Donald Glover's Mysterious Album

Getty As quickly as his new music was shared, the surprise collection has vanished-but not before we gave it a few spins and learned something new about Childish Gambino. The artist formerly known as Childish Gambino has provided millions of fans with a much-needed distraction from the coronavirus frenzy.

Chuck D And Public Enemy Release Letter Regarding Flavor Flav

As opinions circulate the net over why Public Enemy kicked out co-founder Flavor Flav, the group sets the record straight. Chuck D's announcement that Public Enemy would permanently cut ties with Flavor Flav has split hip-hop fans in two.

Illustrator Markus Prime Talks 'Oh Nah.' And Sex Positivity

One of Markus Prime's latest works of art created controversy, conversation, and has quickly become one of the most talked about items on Instagram. What do Estelle, Cree Summers, Megan Thee Stallion's security guard, and the whole of Black Instagram have in common? They all love illustrator Markus Prime.

Love & Basketball: Kobe Bryant's Brilliant Game

Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, both passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California Sunday afternoon. I am still shocked coming to grips with this tragedy even while writing this.

Meet Koffee, Reggae's Next Big Ting

A wave of new talent is bringing a jolt of energy to reggae culture. Names such as Royal Blu, Lila Ike and Runkus have been making noise with major hits, but leading the pack is 19-year-old sensation Mikayla "Koffee" Simpson. Born and raised in Spanish Town, Jamaica, she counts icon Bob Marley as an important influence.

INTERVIEW: 'An African City' Gives Ghana Its Own 'Girlfriends'

A new Internet series has made a splash, and it's frequently described as Africa's answer to Sex and the City. An African City is set in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, and follows the lives and loves of five successful African females who return to the continent after spending much of their adult life abroad in the U.S.