Posts

Drake Blackface: Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Image
As the vicious Pusha T/Drake beef enters Round 3, Drake has released a statement addressing his 2007 Blackface modelling. Putting aside the decision to issue an apology using the Instagram Stories medium (designed to vanish within 24 hours) what does his statement tell us about social media’s favourite rapper?

His statement is drenched in deflection.

Those looking for an apology for any hurt should look elsewhere. The practice of ‘blacking up’ for a laugh lingers from slavery to today. A shot of your favorite rapper deploying a tool used to propagate "happy-go lucky” and “house nigger” stereotypes is immediately uncomfortable. However Drake merely wanted to artistically express embedded racism, and there is no reason to doubt this. He was not even 21 at the shoot. A reasonable adult would not pillory a well-meaning youngster seeking to “highlight and raise [his] frustrations”. Drake is not a racist. So, why not properly address unintentional hurt?

Words matter. Drake literally …

DAYTONA: A cocaine story

Image
According to Justice Secretary David Gauke middle-class dinner party cocaine sniffers bear responsibility  for London's knife crime. But, despite its ravenous effects, we cannot get enough of all things white powder (Scarface is considered one of the finest movies of all time, whilst Narcos was reportedly 2017's most streamed show).

DAYTONA is a masterful addition to our stash of cocaine stories.

At just 7 tracks, DAYTONA is refreshingly pithy, bleeding cocaine content and transporting listeners to a narcotic universe. Pusha T presents an alternate American Dream on 'Come Back Baby'; just hone the art of cooking, cutting, bagging and marketing it — “white on white that’s the tester” — and you’ll reap rewards, “black on black that’s the Tesla”. The hook on 'Hard Piano' continues this drug narrative by paying religious homage to Santa Domingo, a key trading post as cocaine makes its way to the street corners of Harlem and soirées of Hampsted. Rick Ross is a perfe…

Tackle the Beast from the East in style

Image
Uniqlo- Heat Tech Long Johns £11


Devised in the 17th century, popularised in the 18th, and abandoned by the 21st century man, the long john is misunderstood; some think them sleepwear or even tights. This Uniqlo pair utilise patented HEATTECH technology, turning sweat-to-heat. Leave home without long johns underneath your trousers at your own peril.

Stone Island - ICE KNIT_THERMO SENSITIVE YARN
SOLD OUT


Italian brand Stone Island (once the preserve of 1990s football 'casuals') has experienced a renaissance, courtesy of hip-hop. Drake is scarily head over heels with the brand, even commissioning a $10,00 Stone Island logo chain. South London rapper Dave sported this ingenious THERMO SENSITIVE sweater (changing colour according to heat) in his No Words video. Naturally, it has now sold out.

The North Face - Men’s Nuptse 2 Jacket
£180


Not all puffer jackets are made equal. Whilst the puffer has become the staple in high-street fashion this winter, nothing beats a goose-filled North F…

#BlackExcellence

Image
The decision by Jay Z and Kanye West to "redefine black power" on 2011 track'Murder to Excellence' seemed uplifting, initially. Unfortunately, this redefinition equated to a game of Name As Many European Luxury Brands as Possible

Jay Z appears to have seen the error of his ways. But #BlackExcellence has since morphed into a strange idyll.
Diddy, the pre-eminent figure in the #BlackExcellence social media movement, wraps true black pioneering with unadulterated materialism, and places both in a #BlackExcellence casing. One peculiar Instagram post saw the mogul and his sons draped in thousands of dollars in furs and Gucci labelled #BlackExcellence.
Similarly, rapper T.I. – when attending the recent Roc Nation pre-Grammy’s brunch – deemed multi-millionaires (including Diddy) gathering in New York for a boozy brunch #BlackExcellence
Rap fans understand the value of 'the come up' to the culture. Stunting sells. But why repackage pure showing off as a marker of bla…

Penalty beef, £200m men and trends in football club ownership

Image
Just two months ago PSG's financiers sanctioned the record £200m purchase of Brazil forward Neymar Jr, hoping it would "bring a very positive energy to this club". Last week, Neymar's teammate Cavani, the long-time designated penalty taker, was placing the ball on the spot when his path was suddenly blocked by Neymar. PSG then had to deny reports of an edict to Cavani; abandon penalties in exchange for €1m. The energy in Paris appears far from positive since Neymar's arrival.

Understanding how this 47-year-old Ligue 1 club broke the transfer record (by over £100m), and then its team harmony, in just a single season, requires an analysis of the underlying trends in the acquisition of clubs across Europe.

The bread and butter buyer of a football club was the local boy done good. A businessman from humble beginnings would use part of his wealth to buy his local club. Things could turn sour for the local owner shortly after – unable to juggle the demands of the footb…

Are you still drinking Perrier-Jouët?

Image
On Family Feud – the standout track from his 13th studio album 4:44 – Jay Z shuns popular black plight narratives in favour of black excellence. Family Feud deals exclusively with positivity in the black experience – in Hov's case, black intergenerational wealth and fatherhood. Clearly, Jay Z (now aged 47 and 3 kids deep) has reached the high-water mark in aspirational rap, taking the theme to a “whole different mode”. For an ageing fan base, wanting more from their rappers, Family Feud is kryptonite to the sewage oozing from tattoo-faced youngsters. It is what we need. Not all will reach Jay Z levels of wealth or cultural traction – but Family Feud really isn’t about that. It is about empowering loyal fans to embrace a different mentality. Are you “still drinking Perrier-Jouët?” he asks. Sneeringly. Jay Z’s lyric choice coupled with Beyoncé’s celestial backing vocals on Family Feud has all mature rap fans considering whether it may be time to irrevocably adopt an Armand de Brig…