Current standards set by the masses suggests that black men and women cannot artistically express anger, be imperfect, invoke rebellion, find humor in their woes, be unapologetically sexual, explore taboos, and re-appropriate the tumultuous barriers placed on us.
Red Pill is not cool in your stereotypical rapper way. There's no flashy attitude or a sense that he constantly needs to be the center of attention. It's a bit of that Almost Famous/William Miller uncool mystique with him.
From the first few rhythmic beats of the opening track, "Go Far," I was hooked. Soulful sound? Check. Appealing, familiar tonality? Check. Thought-provoking and inspiring lyrics? Check.
The music stopped. Hearts stopped. Holt paused but didn't stop because he had to bow and prove that it was only a performance, that he would wake up tomorrow and rehearse the same solo for his next gig. But really that's a lie, because it wasn't only a performance.
After listening to TPAB, I feel stirred into good works. I feel compelled to apologize for all of the unedited sermons, uninspired exhortations, and unthoughtful utterances I've shared in over fifteen years of ministry with words.
During one of our discussions about gender expectations, one of my senior girls says, "A master key is a key that can open any lock. That's how we treat boys having sex. But, a lock that can be opened by any key is a bad lock. That's how people look at girls." Brilliant. Devastating.
To Pimp a Butterfly paints with colors that resemble, if I may use the C word, classic hip-hop -- the album feels more like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and 2Pac, all of whom made records that duck and weave in their bounce.
When you think about starting a technology company the first thing that comes to mind might not be hip-hop. To some though, they are one in the same. Teja Yenamandra is the CEO Gun.io. They are a technology company that connects high quality freelance developers to well paying projects.
Channeling the revolutionary essence of the Harlem Renaisance, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly is a gripping, soul-driven melodrama that masterfully depicts the story of a courageous young man fighting through the painful process of liberating himself.
Most visual artists prefer that viewers do not touch their completed works on display at a museum, gallery or studio. Thomas "Detour" Evans is not of that mindset. The emerging artist has created interactive paintings meant to be tapped at designated touch points to emit music.
Black life, Lamar argues, is haunted by the potential for disruption. Always lurking is the notion that a life building momentum may be suddenly and randomly derailed, cut short. His latest album is a distillation of this and a rebellion against it.
The pen is mightier than the sword is a popular quote that gets thrown around a bunch. Many do not understand what it means though. Through the power of the pen, Fred The Godson went from a childhood in shelters to achieving personal and financial freedom.
"I think that there is so much Nate Dogg on this record," says Mayer Hawthorne, one half of Tuxedo with producer Jake One, about the inspiration behind the album. "He was a massive influence on the making of this record."
On top of the thousands of must-see bands and acts for those attending South by Southwest / SXSW in 2015, I've compiled another list that attendees might find useful as we plot out our days and nights of many music genres playing across Austin next week.
Fans form two lines 4 hours ahead of the box office opening. The venue box office shows cows and reads "let's get mooving." Fans would have been happy if that was the case. It took 4 hours for many just to get in.
Hip Hop and religion are not two things that seem to have much of a connection to each other to the average person. Professor Anthony Pinn of Rice University has based 20+ years on it though.