Monthly Archives: January 2015

The County Building, Vantiy Slaves, and Self-Love: In Defense of Kendrick Lamar

YBA (Young Blackademic)

When I heard my first Kendrick Lamar song, my wife shared some of his music on my Facebook page. It was Vanity Slaves, a song from Kendrick’s mixtape titled, “Kendrick Lamar EP.” I heard it, and then I listened to it again, and again, and again.

I was hooked.

My friends from high school put me on conscious hip-hop (shout out to the Poetic Minds crew) but I just wasn’t diligent enough to find some artists on my own. But once I heard Vanity Slaves, I was never the same. Few artists have the capability of being entertaining, educational, and hood at the same time. This gift is what makes Kendrick so appealing to a budding academic like myself from Inglewood California.

Growing up as an economically vulnerable dark skinned Black male in any urban environment, you are subjected to a lot of ridicule. You get made fun of, talked…

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Did A New Rihanna Song Called “World Peace” Leak?


Rihanna hasn’t released a new album in two years and her fans are getting thirsty. As the Great Rihanna Drought of 2014 continues into 2015, she’s been teasing fans with tiny drops of new music, like the 15-second snippet of “Kiss It Better” and the miniscule preview that she released on Instagram. But now her forthcoming album, #R8, may have sprung a leak.

Over the holiday, a demo of a purported new Rihanna song called “World Peace” hit YouTube. While no one seems to know whether the track is definitely Rihanna or is actually slated to appear on Puma’s new creative director’s forthcoming album, fans are drinking it up to sate their thirst.

The song’s lyrics have a decidedly political bent with RiRi spouting bumper-sticker ready lines like, “In a perfect world, we would make love over war” and “what the world really needs, is to feel love…

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