MUSIC

Beyoncé in "Black Is King"

Beyoncé has released Black Is King, and as usual, her work is subtly shifting the world and inspiring millions.

The musical film dropped today on Disney+. It's a visual companion to 2019's The Lion King: The Gift, an album inspired by last year's remake of The Lion King, in which Beyoncé starred as Nala. The moment it released at 12AM PT, fans lost it with excitement.


Black Is King is rooted in Black history. "History is your future," Beyoncé says prophetically toward the beginning. "One day you will meet yourself back where you started, but stronger." The film is studded with references to African history, portraying the lives of African royalty.


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Culture Feature

Megan Thee Stallion and the Memeification of Black Female Suffering

After being shot in her feet earlier this month, Megan Thee Stallion saw her pain turned into Internet memes—a trend that Black women know all too well.

Gun violence has always lurked in the underbelly of the hip-hop industry.

Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. both made headlines after being assassinated within months of each other in the mid-'90s, but it seems that rappers dying far too young has become an increasingly prevalent tragedy. In just two years, we lost rising hip-hop stars XXXTentacion, Nipsey Hussle, and Pop Smoke after they were all shot and killed. And as we continue to see a growing list of young rappers like Lil Peep, Mac Miller, and Juice WRLD die of drug overdoses, music fans in 2020 have grown somewhat accustomed to mourning their favorite rappers.

That's why it was so shocking to hear that Megan Thee Stallion—our reigning commander of hot girls—had been shot in the foot on July 12. "I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me," Megan wrote on Instagram (rumors had been circulating that she cut her foot on glass). Though she added that she was expected to make a full recovery, she still required surgery. Her injury was a startling reminder of the fragility of our heroes' lives—or it should've been treated that way, at least.


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MUSIC

Nicholas Braun, AKA Cousin Greg, Has Delivered the Perfect 2020 Song in "Antibodies (Do You Have The)"

The pop-punk hit is equal parts timely and timeless (and also hilarious).

Nicholas Braun is not really known for his music.

He's recognized primarily for his Emmy-nominated portrayal of bumbling, fish-out-of-water "cousin Greg" on HBO's "Succession." But his transformation into a punk-pop idol in fingerless gloves for his new single "Antibodies (Do You Have The)" will soon change that.

Part public health PSA, part brooding sexual anthem, the creation of this COVID-era hit dates back to May 7th, when Braun reached out to the ether with an Instagram post addressed to "all musical people!"


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