Common – Black America Again review

The ever-dramatic race for the White House was more controversial than ever this year – and we all know how it ended now. But the arrival of the 2016 US Presidential Election was also the chief reason behind Chicago rapper Common releasing his eleventh studio album, Black America Again. It’s an invigorating record for the turbulent times that America, and the world, are facing. Continue reading

Hip hop, misogyny and the media: why ASAP Rocky’s diss is damaging much more than Rita Ora’s self-esteem

ASAP Rocky, Rita Ora collage, BS, FG, 2015, AL (1080x608)We’ve been here before: egoistical, millionaire rapper insults famous female he had a fling with in “gross misogynistic” song lyrics that have “sparked outrage”. But that’s why you’re reading this, isn’t it? Because hip hop’s ASAP Rocky* has called UK pop singer, Rita Ora, a “bitch”, and much worse, in a song from his newly released album, At Long Last ASAP.

Right now, you might be thinking: “big deal, hip hop artists do this all the time”. Or, perhaps: “ha ha ha, the bitch deserved it”. I’m no fan of Rita Ora, but, as well as being an unnecessary knock to the singer’s self-esteem, Rocky’s diss, in ‘Better Things’, adds fuel to the already-strong belief that hip hop is, and should be, solely about narcissism, hatred and misogyny.

Well, here’s the thing: hip hop’s got 99 problems, and “bitch” is just one. Continue reading

Does liking rock music make you ‘less black’?

Shingai Shoniwa of Nosiettes, by Kmeron (Oct 2009) (1448x815)So it turns out I’m wrong. Musical prejudice is alive and well here in 2013, despite the internet and its supposed ability to make the digital age a more progressive one. Continue reading

Journalism that makes me aspire to be a better journalist

Absent from the Academy still 01, by Nathan Richards

When I decided I wanted to be a journalist the biggest attraction to me was having the chance to meet new people and tell stories about them. Heroic people, frightening people or maybe just ordinary people.

But somewhere along the way, I realised what has kept me at this for the relatively short period I’ve been doing this is because I want to change things. Continue reading