Trying to Fill a Prince-Sized Hole

Lately I’ve been trying to fill the Prince-sized whole in my life. I’ve made various mixes, creating killer could-have-been albums. I’ve latched on to new artists hoping to catch a fire in some profound reconfiguration of noises I hadn’t heard before. I’ve tried listening to the worst of his bootlegs in an attempt to draw…

Prince & Little Weird Black Boy Gods

If you are, say, thirty-five years of age or older there is a 99% chance that you are no good right now. Not merely sad, but irreparably despondent. Verily, Shakespearean in your grief. Depending on how old or weird or gay or starstruck or black you were in 1984, Purple Rain was either an awakening, a…

Beyonce’s “Formation” vs. Monolithic Blackness

In the roiling wake of Beyonce’s new video for “Formation”, I am reminded of a bout of argumentative dissonance I experienced last year when Kendrick Lamar’s record came out. It was an argument I sorely wanted to have, but chose not to publicly. It was loaded with far too much idol worship/hatred, depending on what…

10 Artists That Could Save R&B

R&B stinks and everybody knows it. But is it beyond repair? Of course not. Every genre of music that’s gone rancid – and most of them have at some point – is just a few great records away from re-inventing itself (as opposed to just digging out the old tricks that used to work and…

10 Ways Kanye West is not Prince

INTRODUCTION Go show your slaves how choleric you are And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge? Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch Under your testy humor? By the gods, You shall digest the venom of your spleen, Though it do split you. For from this day forth, I’ll use you for…