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This Terrible New Song From Spike Lee's Chi-Raq Can't Possibly Be Real

Okay, so when I first heard that Spike Lee was making a movie called Chi-Raq, I was a bit suspicious, given that his prolificacy makes him kind of hit-or-miss. Chiraq is a nickname for the parts of Chicago in which gun and gang violence are so rampant that they resemble a war zone. There are a whole, whole lot of…

Making Peace With the Chaos: A Conversation With Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is running late. As a national correspondent for The Atlantic and author of the new book, Between the World and Me, everyone, it seems, wants a word with the 39-year-old Baltimore native these days. His book—which Toni Morrison christened “required reading” and which the New York Times hailed a…

Freedom Song: A Conversation About the State of Black Liberation Music

In the lyric pamphlet to Black Messiah, D'Angelo's third album after 14 years away from the spotlight, the soul-savant explains his reasoning behind its title and sudden release: "Some will jump to the conclusion that I am calling myself a Black Messiah," he begins. "For me the title is about all of us...It's about…