michelle ng _Aspirational Hip Hop in a Troubling Time

Aspirational Hip Hop in a Troubling Time

Modern Rap, Memes, and Culture

A week ago, a gentleman by the name of Justin Good started a petition on entreating the NFL to “replace Lady Gaga with the Migos for Superbowl LI Halftime Show.” By sheer force of memes, the petition circulated and currently sits at over 50,000 signatures. Publications couldn’t resist the clickbait potential, and sites like…


a disparate duo bringing house into the future

Funkinevil, a duo known for zany interpretations of house music, has a tricky time slot as the openers for this Spring Weekend. While organizers want to get the party immediately pumping, they also want to make the starting minutes accessible for stragglers and those still a little too buzzed to know what’s going on. Funkinevil…

fettywap v1 katie cafaro copy

fetty wap

blame it (on the brandy)

In 1738, King Louis XV of France granted a royal accord to winemaker Rémy Martin, securing for the grape grower exclusive planting rights in the fertile department of Charente.  Nearly three centuries later, in 2013, American rapper Fetty Wap formed his upstart Jersey rap crew, “Remy Boyz 1738,” a gesture towards “Accord Royal 1738”—a 1991…

michelle ng mind of mind zayne spring weekend

zayn—mind of mine

the first to go solo is the first to struggle

In May of 2014, a video leaked online of One Direction bandmates Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik riding in their tour bus and—gasp!—smoking marijuana. Besides some over-dramatic headlines, a flurry of apologetic tweets, and a couple meltdowns from diehard fans whose beloved faves were suddenly problematic, nothing really noteworthy followed. The only damage done was…

soco efg thundercat spring weekend


hip-hop’s secret weapon takes center stage

Read up on Stephen Bruner, and it will quickly become apparent that he plays well with others. The man behind Thundercat is a true behind-the-scenes jack-of-all-trades—singing, playing bass, and producing for a list that includes Flying Lotus, Childish Gambino, Kamasi Washington, and Erykah Badu. His most high-profile work, however, is on Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp…