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Jay Z, Beyoncé and daughter Blue Ivy sit court side at a basketball game in New Orleans in Feb. 2017. Jay Z opened up about his relationship with Beyoncé on his new album, “4:44.” (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Hip-hop’s vulnerable moment: Jay-Z sets his emotions free

In 4:44, his 13th album, Jay-z gets confessional and socio-political, challenging traditional notions of Black male bravado and masculinity.
Beyonce’s baseball bat wielding spree in Lemonade, left, bears more than a passing resemblance to the work of Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist. Left, still from Lemonade (2016), right, still from Ever is Over All (1997)

Friday essay: the quest for legacy – how pop music is embracing high art

From Beyoncé and Lady Gaga to Kanye and even Rihanna, pop royalty is crazy for high art. Is this a phenomenon worth celebrating or are pop stars mining the art world to gain credibility?
Danger Mouse’s 2004 album belongs to a decades-long chain of musical practice. The Grey Album

Why the Grey Album still matters – in black and white

In early 2004, I downloaded The Grey Album, created by a then unknown producer named Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse). Like many others I did so as a result of the Grey Tuesday protests sponsored by cyber…

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