Is Chance the Rapper a Poet?

The idea that rappers are the modern poets, the Shakespeares, Tennysons, and Keats of our age, has been pushed for a while. This writer at The Daily Beast seems to think it’s true. So does Jay-Z. And this Oxford professor. But just because both rhyme doesn’t mean rap and poetry are the same thing, and … Continued

Entertainment

What Benjamin Booker Can Teach Us About Black Lives Matter

When Benjamin Booker, the New Orleans guitarist and singer, began to question whether or not his songs had any meaning, he packed up his things and ran away to Mexico. Without the ability to speak the language and without many friends, his solitude gave him the creative space and expatriate insight to write his new … Continued

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus Stops Twerking, Starts Acting Like a Musician Again

Lady Gaga didn’t just resurrect her career after hitting the skids in 2013. She crafted a blueprint for other shock artists to emulate. And, amazingly enough, the Queen of Twerk appears to be taking notes. Several years ago, Miley Cyrus began shedding her squeaky-clean Disney image, a process that reached warp speed with her Twerk … Continued

Celebrities

Why Harry Connick, Jr. Should Run for President

Harry Connick, Jr. should run for president. Spend any time with Connick, as I did recently during a phone interview, and it becomes clear that Harry has what the country needs right now. He’s patriotic, with two family members who are in the military. A brilliant jazz musician, he is respectful and empathetic to African-Americans … Continued

Celebrities

What Today’s Celebs Could Learn from George Michael’s Generosity

George Michael celebrated his last Christmas on Sunday before dying of heart failure. The pop star was fifty-three years old, and while you may know him best for his holiday hit, “Last Christmas” (Taylor Swift’s version will never compare), or his 1980s stardom as one half of the pop duo, “Wham!” there’s a lot more … Continued

Celebrities

Why Bob Dylan Shouldn’t Have Won a Nobel Prize

  Bob Dylan is one of the most beguiling and vital artists in the history of American popular music, but he doesn’t deserve a Nobel prize in literature, because what he does is not literary. Literature is something that exists to be read. To be blunt about it, Dylan’s lyrics are close to being unreadable. … Continued

Celebrities

Want to See Women’s Equality? Look to Jazz

Because liberals appear to have a psychological imperative to pursue social causes, it’s very rare that they will admit that a social problem has been solved. People have an innate need to feel virtuous, and when your concept of virtue is tied not to personal achievement and decency but to perfecting the world, it’s hard … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Spreading Light — and Music — to Refugee Children

In the midst of a bruising presidential election season here at home, it’s easy for Americans to forget about challenges abroad, such as the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. But one young American woman living in Berlin, Kate Eberstadt, did more than pay attention; she took action. She and a friend created the Hutto Project, … Continued

Culture


Is Kidz Bop Crypto-Conservative?

  Billboard magazine just announced its first Greatest of All Time rankings, a collection of the bestselling songs, albums, and artists in music history. Curiously, at number four of the Most Billboard 200 Top 10 Albums by Artist list—below the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, and The Beatles, but ahead of Bob Dylan, Madonna, and Elton John—is Kidz … Continued

Entertainment, Music