Tell me what you know about Juneteenth, Juneteenth.
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.
Tell me what you know about Juneteenth, Juneteenth.
(Warning: This column contains some plot points in The Underground Railroad series.)
For Chicago O.G. and three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade, 39, retirement has opened up a wide array of possibilities for his post-playing career.
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.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival is a welcomed sight after a full 365-plus-days under quarantine.
On May 31 and June 1, 1921, one of the worst instances of racial violence in American history erupted in Tulsa, Oklahoma's Greenwood district.
Born in a musical household in Philadelphia, Pink Sweat$—the son of a minister father and gospel singing mother—is an emerging artist poised for greatness.
The multi-talented singer-songwriter made his intentions clear from the first day he arrived on the scene.
Going for the Gold, the tennis phenom and CEO of Kinlo aim to provide health education and play activities to help people.
Let's face it, we are all going through some pretty serious and traumatic ish—in almost real time—and the beautiful thing is that we're open about facing it.
The breakout star of Barry Jenkins' first highly buzzed about TV show is uber-excited about her career-turning moment.
Created, written, and executive produced by Leigh Davenport, 'Run the World' is vibrant, beautifully shot, with fully rounded out characters, and unapologetically Black.
Yvette Lee Bowser's ability to tell our stories and showcase a range of Black experiences has earned her status as the Black Nostradamus of Entertainment.
If our criminal justice system is to pull from the brink of insanity, it should be designed not just to punish, but to rehabilitate without foreclosing that opportunity.
While mourners paid their last respects to Andrew Brown Jr., we must ask why our demands for justice only are heard after our people have been killed.
Here's a history lesson for you all, if you didn't know: country music was created by Black people. Just ask Ken Burns.
The next decade-plus will see us taken to worlds and futures where the African diaspora and sci-fi intersect.
The 18-year-old winner of the prestigious Gates scholarship speaks to ESSENCE about her collegiate future.
As President Joe Biden rounds out his first 100 days in office, we check off whether he kept, didn’t keep or is in progress with his campaign promises.
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.
Since 2020 was simply awash, the film industry is using the new year to jumpstart the resurgence of the moviegoing experience.
Black people absolutely love anime. This is an indisputable, irrefutable, irrevocable, non-negotiable fact.
We're almost halfway into the new calendar year and let's be frank—television is kicking major butt!
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.
Ahead of Sunday's 93rd Academy Awards, the best thing to note is how this year's list of nominees are far from basura.
This year a lot of those summer blockbusters are eliminate the malaise of the pandemic and bring new films home for a COVID-safe experience.
The multihyphenate artist aims to provide a much-needed breakthrough for representation in his country
With 4/20 upon us, it is no surprise to reiterate that cannabis is the new green gold rush.
The ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ director schools audiences on the roots of century-long white colonialism, genocide, and oppression in this four-part docuseries.
In a deeply packed mayoral race, Dianne Morales shares why her lived experiences power the vision she has to transform New York City.
“Earl was a warrior who fought until the very end,” said DMX’s family in a statement. A look back at the man behind the mic.
This L.A.-based, San Diego-native is a singer-songwriter who captures beautiful melodies with ease.
Thee man gifted to us as DMX has passed away due to heart failure. He was only 50 years old.
The one thing that everybody seems to agree upon is that LeVar Burton needs to be the official host of ‘Jeopardy’.
Let's set the record straight: Amazon's ‘Them: Covenant’ is swagger-jacking Jordan Peele's ‘Get Out’ (2017) or ‘Us’ (2019).
The Houston singer-songwriter shares music made by Black women and is all about celebrating their excellence.
We're about two generations removed from D.A.R.E. programs and Nancy Reagan's war-on-drugs-inspired "Just Say No" campaign, and yet the debate on what illicit drugs could do to you wages on.
From what a vaccine passport is to how it works & availability, here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccine passports & post-pandemic travel.
In alignment with the National Women’s History Alliance, this round-up is specifically to highlight Black women artists who have new music for us to enjoy and who refuse to be silenced.
2021 is stacked to the brim with some of the biggest names in film taking their talents to the small screen of television, and it is worth celebrating.
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.
These 10 songs are meant to encourage your inner-and-outer activist.
Ketch de riddim of the island virtually with these Jamaican classics.
These brilliant talents are ready to tell the stories that will define the next generation of classic films.
This week's co-curator, Tarriona "Tank" Bell, is the voice of the Grammy-nominated band, Tank and the Bangas, and we are all about friend goals, baybee!
With Judas and the Black Messiah, cowriter and director Shaka King (People of Earth, High Maintenance) and his cast and crew have become definite Oscar contenders.
All of us need a little encouragement from time to time-but passive support is not enough when Black lives are in danger.
In less than five years, Keith and Kenny Lucas-better known as The Lucas Bros. have become an indelible part of a growing list of Black comedic forces.
Add Dua Saleh, Sault, and these other talents to your rotation ASAP.
On Mara TK's first solo single, "Met At The River," he offers up a delicate track that flips into a neo-soul jam that will surely have you hitting the repeat button over again.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
It's the most wonderful time of the year, readers! Despite 2020 being a year full of tragedies, trauma, and terror from that big white ghoul in the White House - Black people all over the world have continued to prosper and thrive.
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.
Dub-reggae legend Dennis Bovell breaks down "blues parties" and shares his favorite needle drops.
‘The Hustle Continues’ keeps the Oscar-winning rap icon vibrant and in another lane.
The HBO Max reunion special was full of stories, truths, and squashed beefs.
Tell anyone not listening to this week’s edition to go funk themselves.
The mask-wearing, genre-defying Brooklyn rapper shares her favorite street songs for us to enjoy.
Susan Murabana, the native born president of the recently established African Planetarium Association, overcame obstacles in order to make history in building the first permanent planetarium in East Africa.
A frighteningly good mix of freshly unearthed and classic tunes to fulfill all your Halloween listening needs.
Dante Jones and Andrew "Drew Love" Neely are thankful AF as THEY., the popular R&B duo from Los Angeles.
There has been so much great Black television this year that it is hard to contain excitement for what's to come in 2021.
The 27-year-old singer-songwriter has a refreshing voice and her inclusion in the music game has resulted in us dancing in joyous unison.
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.
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.
EarthGang's WowGr8 and Olu offer up songs of testimony as a celebration of Black lives and music for ESSENCE's The Playlist.
It's hard not to notice the changing of the seasons with climate change calamities happening all across the country. And if you're anything like me, you're looking for any peaceful reprieve that you can find.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
Is it me or did this week just fly by? Even time can't wait for that next Verzuz episode. I'm glad we all could make it together to enjoy another episode of ESSENCE's The Playlist. We're rounding out of May and the question I ask is, "What is summer anyway?"
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.
Here we are again, audiophiles! Another Friday, which means another installment of ESSENCE's The Playlist. The first week of May has been a mixture of highs and lows, hasn't it?
Ron Finley is a self-taught maverick of epic proportions. Deemed the "Gangsta Gardener," the South Central Los Angeles native has gone from being a neighborhood Johnny Appleseed to a nationally recognized horticultural savant, teaching his trade to millions via his first MasterClass lesson.
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.
It's Friday, which means we are back with another installment of ESSENCE's The Playlist Your newest audio adventurer, Kevin L. Clark (@KevitoClark), is back with more grooves to add to your rotation.
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.
Since Skip Marley first premiered "Slow Down" at the Hollywood Bowl with Lauryn Hill last October, the otherworldly track, which also features H.E.R., has been in constant rotation all over the world.
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.
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.
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.
No velvet rope, burly bouncer, or bottle service could stop DJ D-Nice from throwing the hottest party in the country. Last night, the multifaceted hip-hop legend and his "social distancing dance party" Homeschoolin' made history by packing his Instagram Live room with over 100K partygoers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By signing these women to Raedio, Issa Rae would serve music lovers an "audio everywhere" experience.
The artist formerly known as Mos Def premieres his new work exploring Black royalty through music-and-art at Brooklyn Museum.
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.
The premiere of HBO 's was watched by more than 1.5 million viewers on its first night across television and streaming services, the strongest debut performance for the network. To be frank, it should've been more.
BET aired its Hip-Hop Awards and failed to highlight the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March — why?! We discuss below.
The annual geek-a-palooza continues to be the go-to destination for self-proclaimed nerds.
EBONY interviews David F. Walker ('Shaft,' 'Power Man and Iron Fist') about his favorite robots superheroes and their place in history.
Directed by Jacquie Jones and Garland McLaurin, the directors traveled down to rural South Carolina to examine the issues and roadblocks surrounding the educational system in Hartsville.
Billed as the World's Biggest Asylum, fanboys and -girls were a happy, raucous group of attendees for four days.
Ya dig?! Sho'nuff!
Blerd and proud!
Knowledge is power!
Pheed Me More!
Get your reps up!
Brooklyn's budding actor speaks!
Save your money!
But how do they sound?
Not Safe For Noobz!
The director gets candid.
Not Jim Carrey Approved.
Living Black History.
PS4 or Xbox One?!
Let the Console Wars continue!
What are your first-day purchases?
Transformation in progress.
You must own these!
Does it interest you?
In theaters now.
In theaters now.
Everybody's a captive!
Changing tides in Hollywood?
Starring Tom Hanks.
Billionaire Bad Guys Club.
One of the best films this year!
'Cloudy 2' in theaters today!
Enter the Winner's Circle.
But is it worth your dollars?
Ellen Page carries the project.
A chat with Brooklyn's own.
Her movie is a must-see for all.
You missed greatness!
The Revolution Is Now Televised.
A must have for any true gamer.
It's not as good as its predecessors.
Al Jolson sure must be proud.
The sequel can't compete with the original.
Did you get yours?!
A holiday gift guide for movie, TV and video game lovers
The 'Anchorman 2' director and comedy counterpart to Adam McKay sits down with VIBE.com to talk about his latest work.
The new year means that next-gen has begun to come into their own, but exactly what new games are worth copping in 2014?
A male and a female writer take on the NY Post's assertion that Jay Z is a poor excuse for a husband for allowing his wife to perform provocatively.
Actor Samuel L. Jackson is using his blockbuster status to create compelling conversation about Hollywood's limited views about race on the big screen.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller create a multiverse that is awesome, definitive, and very cool for movie and toy fans of all ages.
Naughty Dog released their downloadable content to their critically acclaimed 'The Last of Us' and managed to create another memorable moment.
The Galaxy Note 3 and Gear make a powerful couple, but are they worth more together than the Nexus 5?
The voice behind Adéwalé in Ubisoft's 'Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry' talks about his origins as an actor, how diversity has impacted the gaming industry, and lists his Mount Rushmore of Video Games.
EA and Respawn Entertainment's 'Titanfall' is meant to improve the sales of the maligning Xbox One, but how does it fair when finally played?
Does his return to the next-gen era warrant a standing ovation or a total dismissal?
With Sucker Punch Production's 'inFamous: Second Son' in stores tomorrow, VIBE chats with the game's Art Director about many of the graffiti and artistic merits within the game.
Sucker Punch Productions, the Seattle-based gaming developer, has a couple of successes in their win-loss column. But how does their smokey, next-gen offering shape up?
Directed and written by Hideo Kojima, 'Metal Gear Solid V' returns with a short offering that's heavy on gorgeous gameplay.
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.
Bottom Line: Ton of fun and a welcomed change from Agent 47 on the console.
Adult Swim has a storied history within pop culture, so we look at some shows that would make great video games.
Nicole Amarteifio, Millie Monyo, and actress Esosa E talk building Africa's entertainment hub, gaining sponsors, and more.
NBA 2K15, which releases on October 7, has fans already anticipating new features, new music, and new experiences.
New York's own Catt Small is a dynamo visual artist who you should know.
Jamila Rowser, the creator and sole contributor to the widely popular, Girl Gone Geek Website, is knowledgeable about all things within nerd culture.
If there were to be a Mount Rushmore of Games Journalism, the bald-headed bust of Harold Goldberg would be included as one of its forefathers.
Gamers have been anxiously waiting for months for today.
Recently, yours truly had the pleasure of partaking in the Sony's July Holiday Showcase at New York City's Gotham Hall.
Mother-daughter duo Rachel and Kelley Williams aim to ensure that the next generation of students is introduced to STEM at an earlier age.
It has been a long time coming for the James Brown biopic.
In part two of their interview, the mother-daughter entrepreneurs talk business strategy, working together as a team and success with crowdfunding.
Somara Theodore is an upstanding force within the meteorologist community.
Last week, yours truly represented the BlackEnterprise.com brand alongside NIKE, Inc. and USA Basketball as they prepped for the World Basketball Festival.
For Philadelphia's own, Quinta Brunson (better known as Quinta B.), social media is just the ground floor for her comedic takeover.
Samsung is hoping to make a concerted push into your home with a few, new products.
There was no shortage of history making going on in Kings County.
The entertainment world has been overrun by those looking to become the "next big thing."
Samsung took over New York at an undisclosed location to present an evolved look at their latest mobile devices.
The sci-fi first-person-shooter has already claimed a few history-setting records within the gaming industry.