October 16th, 2013
As a character, Pusha only offers so much. He’s Marlo before the fall, a cold, meticulous, and godless student of pushing powder. But Pusha is more knowing, more creative than that. He’s subject, not object; no mere character, he’s, a gifted pulp author with a laser-sharp (and at times questionable) focus and no lasting use for reflection. If anything, Pusha is more Slim Charles, dispensing wisdom as the all-knowing insider, the storyteller who has seen so much he operates at a distance.
August 20th, 2012

It’s the 10th anniversary of Clipse’s Lord Willin’. Inspired by my brother’s piece about the album in its time for Stereogum, I dug up this essay I wrote for The Philadelphia Independent on “Grindin’” and drug lingo. It’s not online, so major thanks to B. Michael Payne for this rather unorthodox reconstruction. Click to enlarge and read. 

April 12th, 2012
It’s puzzling, though, that Drake’s “re-dedication” to the faith, a trope that sounds a lot like what jewelry stores might devise for marriage vow renewals, is more about a redefinition of his place in it. He’s had his bar mitzvah at the appropriate time. In the most unexceptional way possible, he was a Jewish boy who passed on into manhood. There’s simply no need to recreate, much less repeat, a ceremony from 13 years ago unless the aim is more of a reboot than a “re-dedication.” That seems to be what “HYFR” is getting at. The person Drake is now has reclaimed the ritual from, well, the ritual itself. The transformation is not of the person, but of the cultural framework surrounding him.Read the rest of my Awl piece on Drake and heavy bar mitzvah theorizing.

It’s puzzling, though, that Drake’s “re-dedication” to the faith, a trope that sounds a lot like what jewelry stores might devise for marriage vow renewals, is more about a redefinition of his place in it. He’s had his bar mitzvah at the appropriate time. In the most unexceptional way possible, he was a Jewish boy who passed on into manhood. There’s simply no need to recreate, much less repeat, a ceremony from 13 years ago unless the aim is more of a reboot than a “re-dedication.” That seems to be what “HYFR” is getting at. The person Drake is now has reclaimed the ritual from, well, the ritual itself. The transformation is not of the person, but of the cultural framework surrounding him.

Read the rest of my Awl piece on Drake and heavy bar mitzvah theorizing.

June 17th, 2011

When I randomly got an email from Nadav Samin (you might know him as Siah, of Fondle ‘Em fame), it was all but inevitable that I’d write about him for Tablet.

May 25th, 2011

One of the last FreeDarko posts was Joey Litman’s consideration of the Heat’s entry music: C-Murder’s all too perfect “Down 4 My N***az”. We had been discussing this since the first exhibition game, and Joey went to town on the meaning, and message, suggested by this choice in anthem. When I interviewed Miami’s DJ Irie for a Daily piece, I asked him about it, with surprising results:

We’ve had that for about two years now. That was not something that we did just for LeBron being on the team. We just used the instrumental for it; it was just a track. We wanted to change it this year, to be honest with you. We changed a lot about our entertainment, the opening, everything. It was my suggestion that we actually change that as well, but when we started looking at alternatives, there was just nothing as powerful. So we were like, you know, it works, so we gotta stay with it. C-Murder is here to stay.

Worth noting, though, that LeBron eventually caught on to the “Hate Me Now” jokes making the rounds, tweeting about it before the preseason even started. Still, sometimes a track is just a track.

May 24th, 2011

It’s Come To This

I feel like I have to write a think-piece defending the fact that I wrote an Odd Future think-piece, or scan in the Clipse think-piece I wrote for the Philadelphia Independent when “Grindin’” was first on the radio in 2002. Wait, that won’t work. 

April 30th, 2011

tumblinerb:

Tyler, The Creator - “Tron Cat” (XL, 2011)

Yeah, rape culture. This magically appeared on Youtube. Give it a listen quickly before it inevitably disappears, buy the album when he drops it

How can I not?

Reblogged from Tumblin' Erb
April 27th, 2011

oakleyandallen:

#JrueDown.  Inspired by @freedarko. 

I wish I had thought of this sooner.

Reblogged from Oakley & Allen