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“Leaving Neverland” Reveals The Monster We Didn’t Want To See In Michael Jackson

In telling the gut-wrenching stories of two boys who survived Jackson’s alleged abuse, the HBO documentary digs deep into the most painful contradictions of a cultural icon.

Niela Orr • One month ago

“The Real Housewives Of Atlanta” Shows How Impossible The American Dream Is

More than just a meme generator, the hit reality series reflects the bourgeois panic triggered by the 2008 recession.

Niela Orr • 2 months ago

Is Lauryn Hill’s Legacy Still Assured?

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was an attempt to remake the artist's image — but it was complicated by her desire to disappear.

Niela Orr • 8 months ago

Miami’s City Girls Are The Perfect Rappers For Scammer Season

The rap duo featured in Drake’s new hit song are all about women getting their paper, period.

Niela Orr • 8 months ago

Beyoncé & Jay-Z's New Album Is The Coolest Marriage Has Looked In A While

Everything Is Love is a symbolic re-exchange of rings, a symphonic take on #blacklove in a moment suffuse with it.

Niela Orr • 10 months ago

What Are We To Do With White Women Rappers?

Bhad Bhabie’s recent Billboard Award nomination attracted lots of controversy and speaks to how we’re still not sure what place white women should have in hip-hop.

Niela Orr • One year ago

Meek Mill's Prison Sentence Is Proof That Our Justice System Is Broken

The Philadelphia rapper's two- to four-year prison sentence for violating probation serves as a litmus test for how one feels about the US’s prison-industrial complex.

Niela Orr • One year ago

If People Love You For Your Saddest Songs, How Can You Be Happy?

Mary J. Blige's career arc has become synonymous with pain and heartbreak — but being a perpetual medium of despair comes with a cost.

Niela Orr • One year ago

Jay-Z's "4:44" Is The Revelation We've Been Waiting For

On his new album, the artist is more emotionally available than ever. And it’s about time.

Niela Orr • One year ago

Why You Should Put Some Respek On The Breakfast Club's Name

With routinely viral moments and interviews with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Kanye West, The Breakfast Club has become one of the few crossover morning radio shows where black perspectives are prioritized.

Niela Orr • One year ago

What Does The Raised Fist Mean In 2017?

Once a sign of solidarity for the black civil rights movement, the raised fist, now used by everyone from Winona Ryder to Donald Trump, has come to mean everything and nothing at the same time.

Niela Orr • 2 years ago

Can Meek Mill Bring About A Post Rap Beef World?

The rapper's new mixtape is part redemption narrative, part trap spaghetti western. But by refusing to directly address his critics, Meek suggests the era of the career-damaging rap beef is over.

Niela Orr • 2 years ago

How Alicia Keys Changed The Conversation About Her Image

Her makeup-free campaign may be empowering, but it’s also a savvy way to reframe how the public perceives her.

Niela Orr • 2 years ago

Black Trauma Remixed For Your Clicks

In viral videos, the real-life pain of black people is repurposed into fun, catchy songs for popular consumption. But at what cost?

Niela Orr • 3 years ago

Two College Degrees Later, I Was Still Picking Kale For Rich People

While buying groceries for rich people, I realized upward mobility in America is largely a myth.

Niela Orr • 3 years ago