Willie Nelson remains one of the most fascinating figures in music.

While he may be known by millennials for his hokey country tunes and unbridled passion for marijuana legalization, Nelson has actually led one of the most fascinating lives in pop culture. Now one of the most important singers of the 20th century, he actually got his start as a DJ in California in the 1950s spinning Country records. From there, Nelson went on to play bass in a band led by country legend Ray Price and helped Price curate some of the biggest country hits of the 1960s. This was all before he went on to personally spearhead the "outlaw music" subgenre and explode as one of the most exciting voices in country music. His sound was revolutionary, a casual singing style that at times bordered on being offbeat, Nelson's detailed, and often slightly bizarre, narratives contained within some of his biggest songs are charismatic, reflective, and funny, a refreshing change from the stiff earnestness of country acts at the time. From his unbridled belief in marijuana legalization and passion for avoiding the IRS, Nelson's identity has always been colorful, to say the least.

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Culture Feature

Shein's Swastika Necklace Scandal: Fast Fashion or Just Fascism?

A cultural misunderstanding may be responsible for Shein's swastika necklace scandal...but it's still an awful company

Popular fast-fashion retailer Shein came under fire this week for selling a swastika necklace on their website.

A Chinese company, Shein has become well-known for their inexpensive clothing and accessories, often featured in so-called "haul" videos on YouTube. Shein has since removed the necklace from their site and issued an apology. But screenshots of the faux-gold necklace—listed for between $2.50 and $4.00 as "Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace"— quickly spread on social media, with users expressing their disgust at the apparent insensitivity to what that symbol represents.

Earlier this month Shein was called out for cultural insensitivity after listing Muslim prayer rugs—some featuring an image of the sacred Kaaba in Mecca—as "Fringe Trim Carpets" for decorative use and for selling traditional Southeast Asian dresses modeled by white women and renamed to remove cultural signifiers.

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Music Features

"The Chronic" Ruined Dr. Dre's Life

The album debuted on streaming services today in honor of 4/20

Dr. Dre's debut album, The Chronic–which surprised fans around the world when it unexpectedly popped up on streaming services today in honor of 4/20–undoubtedly revolutionized Hip-Hop.

For many (white) suburbanites it debuted a brighter, more effervescent Hip-Hop than its grimy East Coast counterparts. Focused on melodic builds, catchy hooks, and so much swagger, G-Funk was born on December 15, 1992. By now, there are plenty of articles detailing the specifics of what made the project so magical. It transformed the way the world viewed Hip-Hop and is arguably the single most important release in the entire genre for a multitude of reasons. But in hindsight, it's behind-the-scenes mythos is almost as infamous as the project itself, and the overall experience was forged by Dre partially in the hopes of rewriting a stressful and troubling personal history. Since its release, it's brought as much harm to him as it has good.

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