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Music

​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Recent
Books

'Black Lives Matter and Music': From a Movement That's Only Beginning to Find Its Voice

Scholars share their initial thoughts on the musical reactions to the burgeoning social movement, Black Lives Matter, in this anthology from Indiana University Press.

Music

The Best Pop Singles of 2016

Celebrating the songs this year that operated within the constraints of "radio music", truly a genre all its own, and produced excellent results.

Music

2016: The Final Year of the Surprise Album (Hopefully)

Dropping unexpected albums is a growing trend and one that should be done away with.

Dan Kok
Music

Form Follows Function: 'The Life of Pablo' and 'Blonde' Challenge the Notion of an Album

Kanye West and Frank Ocean have created imperfect perfect albums which invert our notions of flaws and challenge our perception of the album as an art form.

Music

Nicolas Jaar: Sirens

Sirens is a masterpiece. Melding pop and experimental music, it reflects the uneasiness of our difficult times.

Music

Beyoncé - "Hold Up" (Singles Going Steady)

"Hold Up" is a slice of art that engages the senses of sight and sound, and it's beautiful.

Music

Concert review: Beyoncé's Faithful in 'Formation'

Saturday during her sold-out Formation tour stop in Pasadena, Beyoncé’s passion and rage ruled.

Lorraine Ali
Music

Beyoncé's 'Lemonade

Lemonade is that rare work where you will remember exactly where you were and exactly who you were with the first time you hear it.

Games

Hope and Despair in Video Games

There are moments in games that capture the feud waged in ourselves between hope and despair.

Music

Beyoncé - "Formation" (Singles Going Steady)

Beyoncé's "Formation" is Black Pride incarnate, and it’s exactly what we needed to hear right now.

Music

Beyoncé and When Music Writing Becomes Activism

The overall response to Beyoncé's "Formation" has been startlingly positive, but mostly for reasons attached to political agendas. It's time to investigate this trend.

Sports

Was Super Bowl 50 a Golden Bowl?

A pop culture play-by-play of the biggest TV event of the year.

Music

PopTalk: The Poptimism and Rockism Debate

In 2015, the "poptimism vs. rockism" debate has inspired a rash of thinkpieces and Twitter arguments. Is this debate actually saying anything, though?

Brice Ezell, Evan Sawdey, Nathan Stevens
Music

Made in America Festival 2015

Even though it is on Labor Day and it is called “Made in America", this fest has nothing to do with manufacturing jobs. Instead, this is Jay Z’s vision of a new – or renewed – sense of patriotism.

Music

PopTalk: The 2015 Grammys, "True Artistry", and Meme Culture

The latest PopTalk podcast takes a look at whether or not, as Kanye West suggests, the Grammys and awards culture in general can or should care about "true artistry".

Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell
Music

How We All Survived the Astoundingly Morose 57th Annual Grammy Awards

AC/DC opened the telecast with a song called "Rock or Bust", a prophetic ultimatum that was answered all too quickly by a cavalcade of performers who seemed to be tripping over themselves to see who could be the most uninspiring of them all.

Music

Guessing the 2015 Grammys

PopMatters predicts a night of newcomers, huge sweeps, and some love for two theme songs from 2013.

Music

Pop Unmuted Podcast: Feminism in 2014's Pop Music

On Episode 7 of Pop Unmuted, we talk about women in pop music in 2014, covering Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and some of our personal favorite moments.

Music

This Is How It's Gonna Be Now: Beyoncé, U2, Thom Yorke, and Surprise Album Releases

For artists a big as Beyonce, U2, and Thom Yorke, the surprise album release model offers minimal risk and maximal reward. It's a paradigm that's sure to be replicated by others going forward.

Emma Phipps
Music

How Women Dominated Pop Music in the '00s

We owe it to ourselves to recognize the many women in pop music that made an undeniable impact on popular culture and the world at large.

Music

Sofia - "Partition (Beyoncé Cover)" (audio) (Premiere)

The talented London-born, NYC-based Sofia has offers up a sparse, Auto-Tune accented acoustic cover of Beyoncé's "Partition".

Music

Ranking the Performances: The 56th Annual Grammy Awards

Was music’s biggest night worth staying up all night for? Read on to find out.

Music

The Top 10 Beyoncé Singles of All Time

After the surprise release of quite possibly her best album to date, it's time to have a look at the tracks that propelled this R&B darling into super-stardom.

Music

Beyoncé: Beyoncé

It's her most honest album. It's a surprise. It's dirty as hell. It's the fantastic pop album we waited for all year. Happy New Year.

Sports

Bowled Away: Super Bowl XLVII

Despite billions of dollars worth of half-time and commercial hype, the most interesting part of the show was the game.

Technology

Cell Phones and the 'Entourage' Effect

Celebrities aren’t the only ones with an entourage, anymore. Anyone with a cellphone has his or her own entourage, too.

Music

Generation X Wants Its MTV, But It’s a VEVO World Now

Gen X’ers may still want their MTV, but the version they loved is as distant a memory as Valley Girl speak, parachute pants, and leg warmers. Wake up and smell the VEVO.

Music

In Defense of Jay-Z as the Most Important Person in Hip-Hop History

In light of Jay-Z being named executive producer of the NBA2K video game franchise, we look at just how far Mr. Carter has taken the boundaries of hip-hop and success.

Music

A Million and One Questions: Jay-Z and the B-Word

Could a “hot 16” change black fatherhood for generations to come? If that is the thought, than we’ve forgotten what hip-hop does best: It reflects and narrates.

Sylvio Lynch III
Music

A Joy to Experience: Neo-Soul Singer Bilal Oliver

Bilal Oliver belongs to an elite class of late '90s Neo-Soul singers, but his guest appearances may be the true gems of his career.

Music

The Most Disappointing Albums of 2011

The selections on this list aren't necessarily bad albums -- some actually happen to be among the most critically acclaimed of this year. In some cases, it's just that the albums weren't what fans were expecting, and in others, they were exactly what they were expecting.

Enio Chiola
Music

Beyoncé: 4

Good riddance, Sasha Fierce. Welcome back, Beyoncé.

Television

The Year In TV: November 2010

Continuing our look at the year’s most notable television events, here’s what happened in November 2010.

Music

The Year in Music: November 2010

November 2010, the subject of our latest look at the year’s biggest events in music, was a month full of new releases, award shows, and artist recognition.


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