All posts tagged: Rap

Beyoncé & Kendrick Lamar: Politicizing Popular Art

American popular culture, specifically from the mid-60s to mid-70s, was highly politicized, critical, and urgent. Calls to action and societal critiques were common in forms of expression created and disseminated within mainstream youth culture. The sheer abundance and popularity of politicized art meant that both creators and consumers were interested in engaging with immediate problems. The imperative for change was palpable. But this sense of American political urgency seemed to diminish in the 1980s, with the election of President Reagan and the establishment of an overpowering neo-conservative ideology. From the 1980s – 2010s, political expression was still a part of mainstream American pop culture, and is exemplified in the work of N.W.A, Shepard Fairey, Michael Moore, and countless others. My intention is not to discount these works, but to say that I am hopeful that America’s youth will collectively become more political again, with the same urgency that characterized the 60s & 70s. Which brings me to Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. Already this year, we have experienced two particularly powerful political moments in music: Beyoncé’s release of her music video for “Formation,” and Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy’s performance. …

EXPLORING: MOCA / The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Earlier this week I decided to check out The Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles because I knew I was running out of time to see Kahlil Joseph’s video exhibit, ‘Double Consciousness’. I’ve been a fan of Kahlil Joseph for a few years now, with my introduction to his work being the stunning music video for Flying Lotus’ ‘Until the Quiet Comes’. I’ve watched Until the Quiet Comes maybe 50+ times and it still moves me with each new viewing. He is, without a doubt, my favorite short filmmaker. His work is so stunning, so emotional, so impactful, that I honestly can’t put into words exactly how it makes me feel. Double Consciousness features Kahlil Joseph’s m.A.A.d, a double screen projection accompanied by the music of the equally as talented artist/rapper/visionary, Kendrick Lamar. Below are a few images from my visit. If you are in the Los Angeles area, be sure to check out Kahlil Joseph: Double Consciousness before it ends on August 16th.

Shabazz Palaces – ‘Black Up’

Shabazz Palaces – “Black Up,” is the third ‘video of the day’ post featuring Kahlil Joseph’s work. Joseph is a spectacularly talented director whose visual style I’d describe as truly mesmerizing. His ability to capture the essence of people and spaces is nothing short of brilliant, and I greatly admire his work. “‘Black Up’ is a short film that portrays a fever dream induced by the music of Shabazz Palaces. The film features songs from Shabazz Palaces’ album Black Up on Sub Pop Records, as well as various pieces of unreleased material.”