Happy Friday, lovlies! We made it through another work week and it’s time to turn up for the weekend! And after all of the Black excellence that was on display this week, there is so much to celebrate! Let’s talk about how Black folks in fashion and music were literally “winning” this week…
Kendrick Lamar Becomes First Rapper to Win Pulitzer
Kendrick Lamar made history this week by becoming the first hip hop artist to win a Pulitzer prize for his 2017 album, DAMN. The committee described the chart-topping work as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.” (Pulitzer.org). To put it in a more simple term, K. Dot did what he does best: talk about the struggles, the triumphs, and the unwavering hope of the African American community through poetry and music. Normally music on the jazz and classical end win this award, but Kendrick broke through yet another barrier, something he’s been doing since good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Roc Nation Wins a Peabody
Jay-Z’s entertainment brand, Roc Nation, along with Spike TV and The Cinemart won a Peabody Award for the poignant documentary TIME: The Kalief Browder Story. This story highlighted the unfair treatment of Kalief Browder, a young black man who was wrongly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and remained in Rikers Island for three years without being convicted. The trauma he suffered while in prison followed him well after he was released. This also shined a light on the completely flawed criminal justice system, which disproportionately affects men and women of color in the United States. The documentary can be seen on Netflix.
For the complete list of Peabody winners, including the talented Issa Rae and the cast of “Insecure”, go to Peabody Awards.com
Virgil Abloh, The Influencer
Virgil Abloh, founder of the breakout fashion brand Off-White and the newly appointed menswear designer for Louis Vuitton, made Time Magazine’s annual list of the “100 Most Influential People”. Abloh and fashion designer Christian Siriano were the only two faces in the fashion world that made the list this year. Known for changing the street wear game, he is also lauded for being a powerhouse designer changing the views of how Black designers are precieved in the luxury arena.
Other notable names on the list are actress/comedian Tiffany Haddish, actress/writer/producer/Wonder Woman Issa Rae (she is winning this week, isn’t she), artist Kehinde Wiley, director Ryan Coogler, and actor Sterling K. Brown (Time.com).
Photo by Alex Reside, from GQ.com
- Today J. Cole releases his new album, KOD (with three possible meanings of Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed, and Kill Our Demons according to J. Cole himself). This is the thought-provoking hip hop artist’s latest album since 2016’s 4 Your Eyez Only. Judging by the cover art, I’m sure this will be another album that will stir up conversation and make you see things from a different perspective.
- Kanye West resurrected his Twitter account this week. Not only was he dropping gems for the creatives to keep in mind as we go on our journeys, but he also dropped some major news. On June 1st, he will be dropping his 7-track album, and on June 8th, he and Kid Cudi will be releasing an album under the group name “Kids See Ghost”. I have no clue what that’s supposed to mean, but I’m sure the music is going to be rather interesting. Oh, while he was at it, he also mentioned that Pusha T will be releasing new music on May 25th and Teyana Taylor will be releasing music on June 22nd. This summer is going to be full of bangers to ride out to, I see..
- Ms. Lauryn Hill will be going on tour to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her one and only studio album as a solo artist, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. This album has changed lives, and still has an impact on people to this day. I still play “Tell Him” and “I Used To Love Him” like the songs came out last year. Of course, people are wondering if Ms. Lauryn will actually show up and be on time for every show, but don’t count her out. She may surprise you. I’m looking forward to going to the concert myself.
This week has been jammed packed with news, with so much I didn’t cover (Like Beyonce’ doing BeyChella part two this weekend that will not live streamed. Damn you, Coachella and YouTube!). Time to recover and get ready for next week. Have a great weekend, y’all!