If you weren't aware, Frank Ocean's Blond was just ranked the number one album of the decade by Pitchfork—a well-deserved accolade.

Blond is a transcendent masterpiece, a work that is musically and lyrically innovative while also packing the kind of emotional punch that always leaves me seeing stars.

Tonight, somewhere in New York City, Frank Ocean will be hosting his first club night. If you haven't already received the event invite, you won't, as this is a super-exclusive kind of thing. I'm still waiting for my invitation, but that's probably for the best, because I think if I were in the same room as Frank Ocean, I'd pass out or dissolve into a pool of glitter and tears. I know he says, "I'm just a guy, not a god" in "Futura Free," but I'm not sure. I think if God wrote a song, it would probably sound something like that track.

Entitled PrEP+, the club will be 80s-themed. It's named after the pre-exposure prophylaxis drug used by people at risk of contracting HIV. According to the press release, the club will be a "homage to what could have been if the drug PrEP... had been invented" during the 1980s club scene. PrEP was first adapted in 2012 and is available only by prescription.

That Grape Juice

By the 1980s, HIV and AIDS had reached epidemic levels in America, and people with these illnesses were often dehumanized and refused treatment. Associated with queerness and poverty, HIV/AIDS was largely ignored and heavily stigmatized. In order for the government to allocate the funds needed to search for a cure, mass protests had to occur.

Though treatments are available today, people with HIV still face discrimination and stigma, and many don't realize that even people who have HIV have the option to become "undetectable" with treatment. That's why an event like Ocean's is so important—it emphasizes that there are ways to prevent and cure HIV, and it reminds us that no one should have to live in fear of it or of their preferences for how to love and experience joy.

NPR.org

Club life was a vital part of queer and alternative culture in the 1980s. Queer clubs were rare places where gay people and others who didn't fit into mainstream society could go to let loose and be themselves. Though many queer nightclubs have become heavily corporatized (or infiltrated by straight, often wealthy, and white people) beginning with Rudy Giuliani's moral craze around nightclubs in the 1980s, it seems that Ocean's club will be dedicated to pulling from the radical spirit of 1980s club culture while putting a futuristic and idealistic spin on the problems and struggles that plagued those years.

Among its rules, Ocean's club reads that "consent is mandatory" and says there will be "zero tolerance for racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism or any form or discrimination." Sadly, no photography will be permitted. Okay, maybe I really do want to be there. But as I listen to Nights for the thousandth time on the train home tonight, I'm going to be happy just knowing that somewhere in this city, Frank Ocean is dancing.

Music Features

On This Day: Shakira Liberated Everyone's “She Wolf”

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

By Fabio Alexx

11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.

"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."

Shakira - She Wolf www.youtube.com


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Keith Flint, frontman for The Prodigy, has died in his Essex, England home at 49.

While authorities have not confirmed an official cause of death, fellow The Prodigy band member, Liam Howlett, wrote on the band's Instagram page: "The news is true, I can't believe I'm saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend, I'm shell shocked, fuckin angry, confused and heart broken ..... r.i.p brother Liam #theprodigy"

Few can claim to have led a life as authentically punk as Keith Flint. Raised in Essex, Keith Charles Flint was born September 17, 1969, to a troubled family. Dyslexic and poorly behaved, he was kicked out of school at 15. He met Howlett in 1989, while the two were deeply immersed in the UK acid house scene. Howlett ended up giving Flint some of his original music on a mixtape with the word "PRODIGY" scrolled across it, Flint loved his music and was soon traveling with Howlett to hype the crowds before Howlett DJed. By 1996, he was the band's frontman, and they soon released "Firestarter," which rocketed to number 1 in the UK for 3 weeks.

The song's music video, which was initially banned by the BBC for "frightening children," cemented Flint and his brightly colored mohawk as a face of the genre. In 1997, the band released The Fat of the Land, one of the most successful UK dance albums of all time.

The Prodigy - Firestarter (Official Video) youtu.be

Flint said of the band in 2015, "We were dangerous and exciting! But now no one's there who wants to be dangerous. And that's why people are getting force-fed commercial, generic records that are just safe, safe, safe." Whatever else he was, Flint was never safe. He once described himself as "a court jester meets asylum escapee," he continued, "I sometimes describe myself as like a hallway in a house: you think you're inside, but there's another door to the real me. I'll sit and wait like a predator and then I will cut you down. I will fucking cut you down to the ground." It was this erratic and sometimes violent energy that made Flint into an icon. His stage presence was electric and occasionally frightening, inviting audiences to either rise to his level and dance or go the fuck home. Nine times out of ten, they screamed and sweated along with Flint, making for some of the most exciting live performances in history.

In an official statement, The Prodigy wrote, "It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint. A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed."


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.



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