Saweetie's "Fast (Motion)" Combines Her Two Passions: Music & Sports

Saweetie knows what it’s like to be the new girl, but you’d never guess it after marathoning her music videos and discography. Her work is the sonic embodiment of attitude and electricity, packaged as fiercely feminine rhymes with fire beats that have garnered over 1 billion streams on Spotify. The latest addition to the rap star’s body of work? Her May 7 single, “Fast (Motion),” and its spirited music video, both released just months ahead of her debut album, Pretty B*tch Music, which drops this #hotvaxsummer.

Why the Progressive R&B Grammy Is Still Super-Regressive

At the 2013 Grammys ceremony, Frank Ocean took home the inaugural award for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Earning the singer-songwriter this newfangled prize was his lauded debut effort, Channel Orange, a record recognized as both alternative R&B and of a genre-defying class of its own, with the latter description somewhat explaining why it occupied such a vague space during that year's Grammy roundup. The album's unconventional sound incorporated a variety of musical subgenres, from electro-f

How Mariah Carey Paved the Way for Hip-Hop’s Reign Over Pop

Hip-Hop is pop—not in sound, but rather in terms of influence and authority. Certainly pure pop—pasteurized and whipped into its ultimate peak in the early 2010s—is still breathing, though despite its name, the genre's reign as the chieftain of popular music has ended. Drake and Bad Bunny are as much of pop stars in 2020 as Carly Rae Jepsen and Kesha were in 2012. Spotify reports that, at this very moment, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP" is the most-streamed song in the United States.

Third Time’s the Charm with Sam Smith’s "Love Goes"

On Sam Smith's third LP, Love Goes, the singer excels at exploring the LED glow and disco ball glitter of dance pop and electronica. Although Sam Smith has made a name for themself in today's pop game as the chieftain of soulful, the multi-platinum singer-songwriter has best showcased their talent when their voice travels across enveloping, electronic soundscapes made for endless dancing rather than elegiac ruminating. Case in point: Despite its release prior to the pop singer's 2014 debut f

How Bratz became the cool-girl blueprint

Looking back, I recall the first wave of Bratz content trickling onto social media as if it were just yesterday, although it was actually mid-2018, when FILA Disruptor IIs weren’t yet stale, and every art show I stumbled into was an unspoken competition of who could show up looking most like an Ashanti/Ja Rule video extra. I noticed that “extremely online” women seemed increasingly inspired by the doll franchise with every passing day — profile icon selfies were swapped with vintage Bratz artwor

I Lost My Job to COVID—But Found My Personal Style Again

Scrolling through an iPhone camera roll is the 21st century version of flipping through the pages of a metal ring-bound photo album and romanticizing times that felt much simpler. In 2020, a miserable year that feels more and more like a literal epoch, waxing nostalgic about The Before—a period that I can’t help but refer to as “when things were normal”—has become an international pastime, and at this point, looking back at snapshots of life pre-pandemic can feel borderline masochistic. We had p

On the commodification of an artist’s heartbreak

When Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour was released in 2018, the story of the country songstress’s heart—its splinters, fragments, and return to togetherness—became of the world. With clarity and sweetness, her voice shared stories powdered with pain, but rapturous contentment, too; and anyone who has loved and lost could easily find themselves heart-warmed and goose-bumped by her smart yet depressive double entendres (re: “You can have your space, cowboy” on “Space Cowboy”) and balmy, illustrative m

LANY Reveal Their Most Authentic Selves on "mama's boy"

According to Wikipedia, LANY is an alternative rock band. This classification feels wrong, even in consideration of how hazy and debatable the term "alternative" is in the context of music. But the pop group, based in Los Angeles by way of Nashville, do make songs most fervently loved by melomaniac teen girls fond of labeling things as alternative or "counter" for the sake of feeling quirky or different—so a superfan's editing of their Wikipedia page likely explains this inaccurate categorizati

The Death of White Escapism in Hulu’s "Palm Springs"

"Like no place else." That's the motto of Palm Springs, according to their Bureau of Tourism, which also pridefully advertises the Southern California desert resort city as a balmy oasis with a rich heritage, iconic modernist aesthetics, and an ever-increasing cultural appeal to both hipsters on holiday leave and influencers on business trips. For a place like Palm Springs, these attractive qualities are not merely marketing angles, but famed truths. The city was established atop land belongin

Normani, babygirl, what is you doin’?

Normani, babygirl, what is you doin’? Signed with RCA Records, former Fifth Harmony multihyphenate Normani has enough star power to blow today’s one-dimensional pop newcomers right out of the water. The problem: she has very little music to prove it. #FreeNormani (lol) I’m obsessed with Normani Hamilton for a simple reason: she’s a young, black female performer who sparkles with more multidisciplinary star power than any other solo pop act I’ve seen rise to celebrity over the past half-decade

I dated someone with an OnlyFans

Around this time last year, I dated a guy who loved showing ass on the internet via cheeky mirror pics and the occasional film photograph. Cameron’s* mooning-centric Instagram feed was the result of his relatively newfound body-posi mentality; like many of us grappling with idealistic beauty expectations, most of his teen and early 20-something years were dampened with low self-esteem incited by images of how an attractive man’s body should look, and thus, his online nudity represented liberatio

What’s in a name? A lot if you’re black.

Just a few months ago, someone from Black Twitter quipped that the reigning women of Destiny’s Child had “some really black-ass names.” The joke reintroduced an old truth: Beyoncé, Tenitra (Michelle’s first name), and Kelendria sound as black as catfish and fried okra, or a beauty supply store referred to vaguely as “the beauty supply.” As the tweet became a thread, other folks waxed nostalgic upon a yesteryear when such Afrocentric names dominated black entertainment, and one Destiny’s Child
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