Saturday, November 30, 2013


A remix.

Starring JT, J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, & Pusha T.

Stream here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


A video.

From Major Lazer, Laidback Luke, & Ms. Dynamite.

Two Lips.

Starring Joey Bada$$ & J Dilla.

Stream here.

A Moment of Clarity.


"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed." - Pope Francis 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Pope Francis puts an emerging political issue front and center 

coming attractions.

with childish gambino.

Rap God.

A video.

Starring Eminem. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thank You.

A video.

Starring Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, Q-Tip, & Lil Wayne.


An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.


"Since the rollout, Obama has treated it as a given that the Web site will be fixed, and that everyone will remember how bad the present system has been and how much better the new one is. “I am confident that, by the time we look back on this next year, that people are going to say this is working well, and it’s helping a lot of people,” he said at last week’s press conference. After five years in the White House, Obama still believes that he can go into a corner, tinker with something until it’s better, and win on the merits. The long view can serve him well, but it can also leave him unprepared when the other side won’t give up on an all-out battle. Health-care reform is the President’s signature legislative achievement, and a historic one. To preserve it, he needs to fight for it politically, state by state. This time, the Obama brand alone isn’t enough."

THE NEW YORKER: Heal Thyself

Friday, November 22, 2013

On Sight.


"Please spend the requisite $50, (or whatever it may cost in your reasonably priced city) plus absurd processing charges and taxes, to see the Yeezus Tour. It’s well worth the money, for reasons anyone with a Facebook account, Twitter feed or Instagram addiction can attest. Kanye West has gone from the best live show in music, to an installation at MOMA. He can get away with spending his entire two hour set in a bedazzled Starman mask, playing an MPC on an alter, rapping sermons from a literal mountain top, accompanied by a Henson Company demon representing Kanye’s vices and fears, and a Greek Chorus of Harmony Korine stickup girls, performing choreography that lands somewhere between the self flagellating religious procession from The Seventh Seal and the poor unfortunate souls from The Little Mermaid. He can do this because he has the planet’s most diverse fan-base, that will follow him anywhere, he has the hits, and has transformed himself into the greatest non-“musical” live performer on Earth.

But Kendrick isn’t. Not on this evening, anyways..."

PASSION OF THE WEISS: A Supposedly Great Thing Kendrick Lamar Should Never Do Again: Yeezus Comes to Medina

Five Spanish Songs.

Stream here.

"Jesus wept."


"If Kanye were simply out to make typically exploitative videos, he has taken the most obtuse and scenic route possible. These clips speak to the way he wrestles with rap's messy value system and attempts an album-to-album snapshot of how he feels. This is what rap does best: It allows for two opposing ideas to exist at the same time, and creates semi-coherent art out of that tension. Even by pop standards, rap can be aggressively temporal and in-the-moment, and Kanye's found a way to turn hip-hop's flighty qualities into public, personal-is-political introspection.

...Which brings us back to the “Bound 2” video. It stars and dotes on Kardashian, a figure of constant public ridicule, and affords her a knowingness she doesn't get to display very often. Why is she someone to mock, exactly? Because she's on a reality-television show? Because she's had plastic surgery? Because she made a sex tape? In 2013, why would any of these things be objectionable? Notice how Kanye and Kim are on equal footing (or close to it: Kardashian is topless, though it seems like it's only a matter of time before we get a John-and-Yoko-style photoshoot with those two), and as a result, Kanye seems more implicated in the crazy concept, not above it.

So sure, he's winking here a little, daring viewers to take this thing seriously – especially those fucking-on-the-bike shots – and adjusting a certain kind of CMT Americana (John Ford landscapes spruced up with CGI; horses running like they're in a beer commercial) until it feels uncomfortably sincere. But if “Bound 2” is in part a song about transcending all the bullshit in our lives and falling in love, no matter how corny that shit might look from the outside (especially if you're a scowling art-rapper like circa-2013 'Ye), then give him credit for turning his entire tasteful aesthetic into something corny and easy to clown, and daring viewers to clown him."

SPIN: Kanye West's 'Bound 2' Video Is Better (and More Progressive!) Than You Think

In Bloom.

A Moment of Clarity.


 "Washington is having one of its odd debates as to whether the Obama administration’s rollout of was worse than the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. But whatever the answer, if there is one, the real story is that both are examples of a major, and depressing, trend: the declining competence of the federal government. Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, has been saying for years that most Americans believe their government can no longer act effectively and that this erosion of competence, and hence confidence, is a profound problem.

...Over the past decade, the federal government has had several major challenges: Iraq, Afghanistan, a new homeland security system, Katrina and Obamacare. In almost every case, its performance has been plagued with mismanagement, massive cost overruns and long delays. This was not always so. In the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, federal agencies were often lean, well managed and surprisingly effective. Paul Hoffman, the administrator of the Marshall Plan, pointed out that his monumental project came in on time and under budget.

...Some worry that if government works too well, we’ll want more of it. Instead, they simply want to starve the beast. But so much of what government is doing badly cannot be outsourced, privatized or abolished. National security, after all, is the core province of the federal government. , If you add in private contract and grant jobs, about 15 million people are executing the laws, mandates and functions of the federal government. Perhaps that number can be trimmed. But surely the more urgent and important task is to make sure that they are working as effectively and efficiently as they possibly can."

THE WASHINGTON POST: Why Americans hate their government

Meanwhile with

L.A. WEEKLY: Porn Company Offers to Help Fix Obamacare Website

Love Is The Answer.

A video.

Starring Aloe Blacc.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Rainy Day.

Starring Raekwon.


Starring Justin Bieber & R.Kelly.

Up Down (Do This All Day).

A video.

Starring T-Pain & B.o.B.

Break the Shell.

A video.

Starring India.Arie.



A video.

From Eddie Murphy.


 A video.

Starring Jessie J.


A video.

Starring Katy Perry.

Slow Jamz.

Starring R.Kelly.

FREE ONSMASH: R. Kelly Freestyles Random Phrases Into Baby Making Slow Jams


An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.


"An article in Tuesday’s Los Angeles Times cites Connecticut, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Washington as on track to exceed their enrollment targets. Here in New York, too, there are positive signs. Last week, officials reported that close to fifty thousand people had signed up for health insurance through the state’s new Web site, NY State of Health, with about half of them taking out private plans and half enrolling in Medicaid. “I would say we are seeing great interest in New York, and we are very pleased with our enrollment numbers,” Danielle Holahan, the deputy director for NY State of Health, said.

What these states have in common are state-run Web sites that are working pretty well; they are also all controlled by Democrats who are pushing the new reform. This progress points to something that has been absent in much of the reporting about the troubled rollout of and the cancellation of individual policies: in places where Americans know about the comprehensive and heavily subsidized health coverage available under the Affordable Care Act and can easily access it, they are doing so in substantial numbers.

...Where private insurance plans are affordable and readily available, they are sure to be popular. And that’s only part of the story. The success some states are having enrolling people in Medicaid is another development that deserves more attention. In Oregon, for example—which is one of twenty-five states registering adults who weren’t previously qualified for the jointly funded federal-state program—more than seventy thousand people have already been signed up. It’s probably fair to assume that prior to last month many of these folks didn’t have any coverage.

...Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, America’s health-care system, particularly the individual-insurance part of it, was not functioning well. At this early juncture, neither is its replacement. But in those parts of the country where Obamacare is up and running, there are some encouraging signs"

THE NEW YORKER: Americans Like Obamacare Where They Can Get It

Tuesday, November 19, 2013



"We have no right to be mad, but we all have a right to be disappointed, because there's a good chance you, like me, have acted out this video in a cinematic way, either in public or private. The stage and our expectations were set for a timeless music video.

...If I may impart one piece of advice, it is to never watch this video again. Because he didn't make it for you. It's a home video that he made for Kim. Instead, continue living out that music video that's been in your head for months, because that is a truly beautiful music video. And not even Kanye can take that away from us."

GRANTLAND: Kanye West's ‘Bound 2’ Video: Move On, Nothing to See Here

Man of the Year.

Starring Schoolboy Q.

PITCHFORK: Listen: Schoolboy Q's "Man of the Year" Featuring Chromatics Sample

Amadu Diablo.

A video.

Starring Action Bronson.

A Moment of Clarity.


"Republicans want the country to believe that this month’s debacle shows the overall weakness of what Representative Paul Ryan on Sunday called “big government in practice.” In fact, Americans have long been quite happy with big government programs, as long as they work. They don’t like failure, and they hate being misled. But what people really care about is results, and once the health care website is working, millions will realize that what they are being fed by Republicans is largely bunk.

...What is the Republican alternative to this government program, flawed as it is right now? There is none. Party members simply want to repeal the health law and let insurers go back to canceling policies at the first sign of a shadow on an X-ray. They have no immigration policy of their own. They have no plan that will stimulate job growth. They are in favor only of shutdowns and sequesters and repeals, giving the public no reason to believe they have a governing vision or even a legislative agenda.

Over time, that will prove to be a far more serious failure than momentary incompetence. Democrats may be stumbling right now, but at least they are trying."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: A New G.O.P. Excuse for Doing Nothing


A video.

Starring Franz Ferdinand.

Bound 2.

An (uncensored) video.

From Kanye West.

Monday, November 18, 2013




The Vampyre Of Time And Memory.

A video.

Starring Queens of the Stone Age.

"Talk and talk and talk and talk!"

STEREOGUM: Hear Kanye West Talk Movies With Bret Easton Ellis

Health. CARE. First. AID.

 An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.


"The Affordable Care Act has been successful in our states because our political and community leaders grasped the importance of expanding health-care coverage and have avoided the temptation to use health-care reform as a political football.

...In our states, elected leaders have decided to put people, not politics, first.

...What we all agree with completely, though, is the president’s insistence that our country cannot go back to the dark days before health-care reform, when people were regularly dropped from coverage, and those with “bare bones” plans ended up in medical bankruptcy when serious illness struck, many times because their insurance didn’t cover much of anything.

Thanks to health-care reform and the robust exchanges in our states, people are getting better coverage at a better price.

...Health reform is working for the people of Washington, Kentucky and Connecticut because elected leaders on both sides of the aisle came together to do what is right for their residents."

THE WASHINGTON POST: How we got Obamacare to work


THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Shame of American Health Care

Da Bourgeoisie.

Starring Prince.

Stream here.

"I Agree With These Statements."

PITCHFORK: Saint Heron | Album Reviews |

Blank Project.

PITCHFORK: Listen: Neneh Cherry Shares Title Track From Four Tet-Produced Album Blank Project

Soul Love.

A video.

Starring Beady Eye.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Haunting.

A Moment of Clarity.


"There is an irony at the heart of these incidents, one that is difficult to notice beneath the din of decibels with which we discuss race, crime, and fear in this country. African-Americans are both the primary victims of violent crime in this country and the primary victims of the fear of that crime. In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killing, defenders of George Zimmerman pointed defiantly to statistics showing that African-Americans committed a disproportionate share of violent crimes—damning stats, wielded like a collective bad report card, that no black person in this country is ever in danger of forgetting, if only for the sake of his or her own safety. But those numbers are mute on matters of actual human experience; they have nothing to say about the blink of time in which a petite grieving mother registers as a threat, or an inebriated nineteen-year-old motorist intimidates a fifty-four-year-old man who has a shotgun. There is almost a sense that McBride’s death is not news; it’s a case study—a cliché with a casualty.

It is entirely reasonable to be alarmed by an unexpected knock in the middle of the night, and it’s not difficult to imagine someone nervously answering the door with a weapon nearby. But the Rorschach moment is what happens next: is it possible to look through a cracked-open door and register Moore or Ferrell or McBride as something other than an amalgam of suspicions?"


A Moment of Clarity.


"...As small numbers of Americans have grown extremely wealthy, their political power has also ballooned to a disproportionate size. Small, powerful interests — in this case, wealthy commercial farmers — help create market-skewing public policies that benefit only themselves, appropriating a larger slice of the nation’s economic pie. Their larger slice means everyone else gets a smaller one — the pie doesn’t get any bigger — though the rent-seekers are usually adept at taking little enough from individual Americans that they are hardly aware of the loss. While the money that they’ve picked from each individual American’s pocket is small, the aggregate is huge for the rent-seeker. And this in turn deepens inequality.

The nonsensical arrangement being proposed in the House Republicans’ farm bill is an especially egregious version of this process. It takes real money, money that is necessary for bare survival, from the poorest Americans, and gives it to a small group of the undeserving rich, in return for their campaign contributions and political support. There is no economic justification: The bill actually distorts our economy by promoting the kind of production we don’t need and shrinking the consumption of those with the smallest incomes. There is no moral justification either: It actually increases misery and precariousness of daily life for millions of Americans.

...By cutting back on food stamps, we are ensuring the perpetuation of inequality, and at that, one of its worst manifestations: the inequality of opportunity. When it comes to opportunity, America is doing an alarmingly bad job, as I’ve written before in this series. We are endangering our future because there will be a large coterie of people at the bottom who will not live up to their potential, who will not be able to make the contribution that they could have made, to the prosperity of the country as a whole.

...For these proposals to become law would be a moral and economic failure for the country."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Insanity of Our Food Policy

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Starring Jeezy, Rocko, & 2 Chainz.

"Oh Word?"

A Moment of Clarity.


THE NEW YORK TIMES: Serving Life for This?


A video.

From A$AP Rocky. 

Stream here. 

Hold On.

A video.

Starring Pusha T & Rick Ross.


A video.

From Kenna & Childish Gambino.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Health. CARE. First. AID.

An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.

THE WASHINGTON POST: What Typhoon Haiyan tells us about Obamacare


A video.

Starring Bun B & Kirko Bangz.


Starring Childish Gambino.

Live on Arsenio.

Ice Moon.

A video.

Starring SZA.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Labyrinthian Pomp.

STEREOGUM: of Montreal Albums From Worst To Best

The Wiggles.


"...lately, the places and ways in which Americans are economically segregated and stratified have multiplied, with microclimates of exclusivity popping up everywhere. The plane mirrors the sports arena, the theater, the gym. Is it any wonder that class tensions simmer? In a country of rising income inequality and an economy that’s moved from manufacturing to services, one thing we definitely make in abundance is distinctions."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Extra Legroom Society

A Moment of Clarity.


"We should not accept a financial system that allows the biggest banks to emerge from a crisis in record-setting shape while working Americans continue to struggle. And we should not accept a regulatory system that is so besieged by lobbyists for the big banks that it takes years to deliver rules and then the rules that are delivered are often watered-down and ineffective.

What we need is a system that puts an end to the boom and bust cycle. A system that recognizes we don’t grow this country from the financial sector; we grow this country from the middle class.

Powerful interests will fight to hang on to every benefit and subsidy they now enjoy. Even after exploiting consumers, larding their books with excessive risk, and making bad bets that brought down the economy and forced taxpayer bailouts, the big Wall Street banks are not chastened. They have fought to delay and hamstring the implementation of financial reform, and they will continue to fight every inch of the way. That’s the battlefield. That’s what we’re up against." - Senator Elizabeth Warren

THE PLUM LINE: Elizabeth Warren and the future of the Democratic Party

Time Will Tell.

A video.

Starring Blood Orange.


PITCHFORK: Video: Blood Orange: "Time Will Tell"


A video.

Starring Sampha.

Hard Out Here.

A video.

Starring Lily Allen.

The Worst.

A video.

Starring Jhene Aiko.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Bills, Bills, Bills.

A Moment of Clarity. 


"See, this is what I like about the farm bill. The agriculture parts harken back to the golden era when Republicans and Democrats could work together to promote stupid ideas that benefited the special interests in their districts. And then go out and get inebriated in bipartisan drinking sessions. Now everybody is in the gym and then shutting down the government.

Or trying to eliminate food stamps. By far the biggest argument between the House and Senate on the farm bill is about the food stamp program, which the House Republicans want to slash by $39 billion, mainly through new screening programs to guarantee that every single recipient is working, drug-free, needy and in general totally and completely worthy of government assistance. Even if that means inadvertently emptying a lot of deserving cupboards along the way.

...There was a time when we dreamed about a Congress in which the members voted on principle. Did not imagine the principle would involve figuring out new ways to funnel more federal money to the people who need it least."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Missing the Bad Old Days





ONSMASH: Bruno Mars – Gorilla (G-Mix) (feat. R. Kelly & Pharrell)

City of Angels.

"This city took my mother, but this city also gave me my child," Kanye West explains. "The city of angels is my paradox. My nightmares are my dreams."


MASHABLE: Kanye, Lindsay Lohan Make Confessions in Touching Music Video

Friday, November 08, 2013

Thank you.

 Starring Busta & Q-Tip.

Health. CARE. First. AID.

An Ongoing Discussion/Moment of Clarity.


"“Unexpected illnesses and accidents happen every day, and the resulting medical bills can be disastrous,” warned the Web site of Assurant Health, which sold Patrick his policy. Its policy, Assurant promised, “provides the peace of mind and health care access you need at a price you can afford.”

Except it didn’t. Assurant balked at paying Patrick’s claims. In just four weeks, he had racked up more than $14,000 in bills. “And that was just to figure out what was wrong with him,” wrote Patrick’s younger sister, now my Post colleague. “Actually treating his disease was going to be unimaginably more expensive.”

...Assurant, scouring his medical records for a money-saving out, cited test results from eight months earlier. Bingo! — preexisting condition. No coverage.

Patrick Tumulty is Exhibit A on the need for Obamacare and the importance of putting into context the furor over if-you-like-your-policy-you-can-keep-it-gate.

...yes, this is an infuriating moment in the implementation of Obamacare. But as you steam, stop and think about people like Patrick Tumulty — and where they’d be without it."

THE WASHINGTON POST: Obamacare: Weaving a sturdier safety net


THE WASHINGTON POST: Feeding families made more hungry by Congress

The Keepers.

Featuring Tyler the Creator & Arsenio Hall.

PITCHFORK: Watch Tyler, the Creator on "The Arsenio Hall Show"

Thursday, November 07, 2013

State of the Union.

A Moment of Clarity.


THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Mutilated Economy

"I Agree With These Statements."


"Where punchline rappers can falter is in prioritizing the joke instead of something larger, turning rap into a bastardized version of stand-up comedy. Bronson is not immune to this himself, but on Blue Chips 2 his one-twos (“Shoot eagles on the Jack Nicklaus course/ Porsche with the triple exhaust”) become little dioramas, and eventually over the course of an hour he constructs a mutated version of the world we recognize—this is the escapism not of Rick Ross, but of Pixar. The punchlines can stagger individually, but when the album ends it can take a minute for the mind to readjust itself to reality.

...But more than anything, the song—and concurrently the album that now houses it—is just a whole lot of fun. Bronson, for whatever reason, only seems to hit this note with Party Supplies in his back pocket. But when he does, his music is not only a blast, but undeniably distinctive."

PITCHFORK: REVIEW: Action Bronson / Party Supplies Blue Chips 2

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Inside the NBA.


"The economists Roland G. Fryer and Steven D. Levitt famously studied four decades of birth certificates in California. They found that African-American kids from different classes are named differently. Black kids born to lower-income parents are given unique names more often. Based on searches on, I counted black N.B.A. players born in California in the 1970s and 1980s who had unique first names. There were a few, like Torraye Braggs and Etdrick Bohannon. But black N.B.A. players were about half as likely to have a unique name as the average black male.

From 1960 to 1990, nearly half of blacks were born to unmarried parents. I would estimate that during this period roughly twice as many black N.B.A. players were born to married parents as unmarried parents. In other words, for every LeBron James, there was a Michael Jordan, born to a middle-class, two-parent family in Brooklyn, and a Chris Paul, the second son of middle-class parents in Lewisville, N.C., who joined Mr. Paul on an episode of “Family Feud” in 2011.

These results push back against the stereotype of a basketball player driven by an intense desire to escape poverty."

THE NEW YORK TIMES: In the N.B.A., ZIP Code Matters

No Games.

A video.

Starring Rick Ross & Future.