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- 07/30/15--09:45: _10 Rising Nashville...
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- 07/31/15--05:15: _The 6 Must-See Film...
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- 07/31/15--11:00: _Kanye Loves Ellen D...
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- 07/30/15--08:30: Tink Amps Up The R Swoon For "Winter's Diary 3"
- 07/30/15--09:00: Chilling With Berlin Model/Partyboy, Candy Ken
- 07/30/15--09:01: Jesse Pinkman's "Breaking Bad" House Is For Sale (Sans Meth Lab)
- 07/30/15--09:15: Woody Allen Says His Relationship With Wife Soon Yi Is "Paternal"
- 07/30/15--10:08: Things You Should Buy From the Mad Men Auction
- 07/30/15--11:01: Get Drunk By Just Breathing At This New London Bar
- 07/31/15--02:00: This Creepy Computer Will Sing Distorted 90s Ballads To You
- 07/31/15--04:00: Here's One Direction's First Song, Post-Zayn: "Drag Me Down"
- 07/31/15--05:01: Watch Drake in The Game's "100" Video, a Relic of a Simpler Time
- 07/31/15--05:15: The 6 Must-See Films In August
- 07/31/15--05:45: Listen To Carly Rae Jepsen's New Single "Warm Blood"
- 07/31/15--07:08: All of the Best Meek Mill Memes So Far
- 07/31/15--07:45: D.A.R.E. Posted A Weed Legalization Op-Ed...And Then Took It Down
- 07/31/15--09:45: Katy Perry Might Get to Buy a Convent After All
- 07/31/15--11:00: Kanye Loves Ellen DeGeneres' New Line of Linen Kale Coasters
Candy Ken, the muscle-bound, Hello Kitty-obsessed alt-rapper from Berlin we profiled earlier this year, was in New York recently to host some Pride-related events for Diesel (he’s been working with the brand since Nicola Formichetti discovered him on Instagram back in January). Fascinated by his look, we asked if he’d let us hang out at his hotel for an afternoon to shoot a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how Candy Ken rolls.
So you’re in NY for two weeks?
Yes, for Diesel -- events, photoshoots, meetings with amazing people. We shot with Terry [Richardson] for a magazine called Man About Town and his blog. It was really fun.
How would you describe your look?
Who are your style icons?
ATL Twins, Marilyn Manson, Die Antwoord, 2 Chainz
What was your style like before Candy Ken existed? How did you dress in high school?
Like a basic bitch.
Do you wax? Any special grooming routines or male beauty secrets?
Sugaring - I'm all bout dat - call me "sugar daddy".
What has working with Nicola been like?
The best -- he is a creative genius and became a really good friend of mine -- he truly understands Candy Ken.
What's next for Candy Ken?
Tokyo -- doing two live shows there. Asian take ova
When asked about the famous "love fades" line from Annie Hall, Woody responds that "if you feel that you have to work at it...it's not working," using his own relationship as an example.
"I've been married now for 20 years and it's been good. I think that was probably the odd factor that I'm so much older than the girl I married. I'm 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked. I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy. She deferred to me, and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decision making just as a gift and let her take charge of so many things. She flourished. It was just a good luck thing."
I started the relationship with her and I thought it would just be a fling. It wouldn't be serious, but it had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more. Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it. And the age difference didn't seem to matter. It seemed to work in our favor actually.
Woody is currently promoting his new film Irrational Man, which adds his growing canon of movies studying the relationship between old men and young women. He told NPR he isn't worried his relationship with Previn or Farrow's allegations have hurt his career, since he knows people will continue to see his films.
I always had a small audience. People did not come in great abundance and they still don't, and I've maintained the same audience over the years. If the reviews are bad, they don't come. If the reviews are good, they probably come.
Known mostly for its country and rock music, Nashville is seldom recognized for hip-hop. But Nashville is "music city," not "country music city" or "rock music city" and the cross-pollination of many genres creates a thriving creative scene that extends into the rap world. While often overshadowed by its other neighbors down south like Atlanta or Memphis, Nashville nevertheless has made many notable contributions to hip-hop, starting in the '80s when groups like the Blow Pop Crew came into the fore. Inspired by what was happening with the burgeoning hip-hop and B-boy scenes in NYC, the BPC sparked a new regional style with their 1987 hit "Drop The Bass. " In the late '90s, a young hip-hop connoisseur named Eothen Alapatt (now known as Egon) came onto the scene. A student at Vanderbilt, Eothen took his love of hip-hop to the airwaves with the college radio show "9.11 Emergency," which went on to influence many of Nashville's best artists and DJs. Egon would go onto become the VP at Stones Throw records and later founded his own label, Now Again Records.
Nashville's current hip-hop climate reflects the city's rich jazz and soul history with a hint of Southern charm. Hip-hop heavyweights such as Young Buck, Starlito, and Yelawolf have established themselves both regionally and nationally, paving the way for a new generation to come out of Music City. Below, we take a look at 10 rising young stars of the rap scene.
Key Wane, 25
Key Wane, born Dwane Weir, is a producer, rapper and songwriter originally from Detroit who's produced hits for the likes of Beyoncé ("Partition" and "Mine"), Big Sean ("IDFWU"), Jazmine Sullivan ("Mascara"), and more. His interest in music began in 8th grade when he fell in love with the piano, a love that would eventually skyrocket him all the way to The Grammys with a win for his work on Beyonce's self-titled album. Currently at work on an EP with Big Sean, he also just released a track with Jordin Sparks, "100 Years."
Chancellor Warhol, 27
Chancellor Warhol started out in fashion while still a student at Tennessee State University, going on to launch his own clothing line, Marti McFli. But after teaming up with Nashville-born producer, Ducko McFli, he's pivoted to music and "hasn't looked back," as he says. Inspired by fashion, art, and film as much as he is by music, Warhol calls N.E.R.D. one of his biggest influences and he's collaborated on projects with artists like Chuck Inglish and Mikky Ekko; one of his highest profile gigs to date was when he opened for Kendrick Lamar at a concert at Nashville's War Memorial. He's currently working on a new release, Until The Light Takes Me, planning an international tour and creating a short film/art installation to accompany his upcoming record.
Amerigo Gazaway, 29
A producer, emcee and DJ, Amerigo Gazaway is known for his innovative remixes, mashups, and digital sampling. The son of internationally-recognized jazz trumpeter Gary Gazaway and Brazilian-born artist Tatiana Mindlin, as a kid, Amerigo was heavily influenced by Nashville radio where he learned about hip-hop and jazz. At around 12 or 13, he became very interested in computers and beatmaking, and by 14, he'd gotten his first set of turntables and fell in love with hip-hop and the idea of fusing together different genres. His work includes mashups "Fela Soul" (Fela Kuti/De La Soul), "Bizarre Tribe" (Pharcyde/A Tribe Called Quest), and Yasiin Gaye" (Yasiin Bey/Marvin Gaye) and he's collaborated with the Pharcyde on "Still Got Love" (remix) and with fellow Nashville artist L'Orange, among others.
L'Orange's music makes you think of smoky jazz, film noir scores and soul. In a word -- it's seductive. He got his start with music at age 11 when he became fascinated with listening to jazz and playing the bass, and at 16, he produced his first hip-hop beat. In 2013, he signed to Arizona-based record label Mello Music Group to make The City Under The City with rapper Stik Figa. The following year, he inked a multi-album deal with Mello. Time? Astonishing!, L'Orange's collaborative album with legendary wordsmith Kool Keith, came out last week.
Kiya Lacey, 20
While not a hip-hop artist by definition, we're including jazz and R&B singer Kiya Lacey in this list anyway due to her collaborations with many of Nashville's best and brightest rap acts including Petty and Derek Minor. Her Fail In Love EP dropped on April 19, showing off pipes as smooth as Ciara's or Aaliyah's and futuristic, synth-heavy production. Currently she's in the midst of planning some as-yet-unannounced shows and tracks.
Signed to Nashville's Goldhouse Records, the Florida-born crooner blends soul, R&B, and hip-hop to create a beautiful, melodic sound similar to Frank Ocean and the Weeknd. In mid-July, he dropped a 5-track LP called V2, a sequel to part 1 of his "V Preview Series." He's also hard at work on three new music videos.
A chief player in Nashville's hip-hop community, Petty's candid and smart lyrics fuse west coast and southern styles, echoing the honesty of NWA, but with a unique southern resonance. While his music revolves around clichés such as money, weed, and girls, he also incorporates social and political commentary on topics like police brutality and racism. In December, he was one of the first rappers to answer Samuel L Jackson's challenge to end police brutality. He can be heard on Kiya Lacey's track "I Know" and he recently collaborated with Don Trip and Dee1 on the track "Don't Ever Land" for Don Trip's album, GodSpeed.
Brown got his start at only 10-years-old, rapping and performing for friends to cheer them up when circumstances were tough. Inspired by his older musician peers, Brown began taking his career more seriously at age 17 and a huge turning point came at age 20 when he freestyled over Rapsody's "Extra Extra" song. He sent her his version, and she offered feedback, further fueling his passion and motivation. He is currently working on a track with Alabama rapper/singer JayDotRain for Rain's #TheDixieRenaissance.
Mike Floss, 25
Formerly known as OpenMic, Mike Floss is one of Nashville's hottest hip-hop artists on the scene. With a sound reminiscent of J. Cole, Floss grew up around music as his father, Rod McGaha, is a jazz musician. Freestyling at the back of the schoolbus and during lunch as a kid, he went on to release his first tape in 2011. Since then, he's collaborated on various tracks with fellow Nashville artists such as Ducko McFli, Syk Sense and Mike Ewing among others.
BlackSon may be the youngest artist in this article, but don't let his age fool you. The Nashville native is making huge moves including a recent collaboration with Kid Sister and King Chip on the Key Wane-produced banger "All I Need." He got his start as a writer and performer for a local spoken word troupe called Southern Word and a while later, BlackSon and his friends went on to form their own group called BlackCity. While BlackCity wasn't a rap group initially, it has evolved into a strong force in Nashville's independent hip-hop community and has helped strengthen and solidify BlackSon's talents. In 2013, BlackSon's older brother Myke quit his job and built a recording studio in their house. Since then, BlackSon has worked feverishly on writing, making demos, and intense freestyle sessions he calls "rap workouts." Last August, he released a demo called The BlackSon Rising and he's is also working on a new project, which will be released later this summer.
Can you believe it's only been two months since Mad Men ended? Sometimes, it feels like the heady days of May, when we were wondering what was up with that waitress, were just yesterday. Far more often, it feels like they were a lifetime ago, caught in a distant haze like those early episodes of the show where everyone was smoking a lot to prove a point about how weird it was that mass public smoking used to be a thing.
Thankfully, you can relive those wonderful times by buying one of the props from the set through an official ScreenBid auction. The collection, which goes on sale tomorrow afternoon, includes mostly clothing from the final season -- which means it's all relatively moddish and '70s, but there's still a vast array of choices for the obsessed fan looking for a piece of the action (over 1,300 pieces!). Some of these are horrible (if you are thinking about buying a fedora, heaven have mercy on your soul), but others are actually pretty great, and would make a good addition to any collectible-heavy wardrobe. Here are our picks for the best of the best.
Don's Denim Jacket
This item from the series finale is so unassuming, unofficial Mad Men fashion writers Tom & Lorenzo spend a decent chunk of their finale writeup discussing how weird it is that Don is wearing denim, and how modern it is (along with everything else he wears during "Person to Person"). If you're planning on actually wearing your Mad Men swag for some reason and don't want to stick out like a sore thumb (or mowed foot), this might be the right call.
Fall is coming -- sorry, everyone, but it is. And if you want to be prepared, you want want to get a classy, understated scarf that fits into the high end of the Pete Campbell wardrobe. Look: Pete is the best character on the show, but I acknowledge that some of you harbor some slight distaste for King Campbell. Sorry, haters.
Bert Cooper's Robe
Not only does this allow you to slip into the unbelievable comfort of Bertram Cooper, it's also the specific piece of clothing he's wearing when he watches the moon landing in "Waterloo," a.k.a. right before he dies -- so make of that what you will. (It's not his outfit during the stellar hallucinatory dance scene at the end of the episode, but the robe still sounds kinda awesome to me.)
There isn't much in the way of women's clothing here (maybe it's all been sold already?), but this is a pretty fantastic summer accessory. Use these sunglasses when you're out at the beach, staring with condescension at the mortals who dare share your space, to give you the unfeeling cool and secret emotional center of Betty Draper, the original Trap Queen.
Sally's Pool Bag
Complete your Draper women accessorizing with Sally's pool bag, which would like delightfully out-of-place at the beach. Are you the coolest, most disaffected, secretly saddest and also prematurely wisest girl in your class? Get with the Sally Draper program (but be warned: the program includes Glen Bishop).
Harry's Blood-Spattered Outfit
Ah, finally a real episode-specific classic. This is relatively unassuming clothing (which, if you think about the monstrosities Harry Crane started wearing as the series went on, is maybe a good thing), but this outfit has the distinction of appearing in the infamous scene where that dude gets his foot run over by a lawnmower -- one of the rare moments of bizarre, surprise violence that would have characterized a different version of the show. You might think this is the most ridiculously awesome piece of Mad Men clothing, but...
Stan's Leather Peacoat
One D is down a D ever since Zayn left the group but Harry, Louis, Niall and Liam are soldiering on and they've just released a brand new track, "Drag Me Down."
The song comes off their forthcoming fifth album (still untitled) and if it's anything to go by, we can expect more pop hooks, autotune-esque harmonies and EDM crescendos. And with lyrics like "nobody can drag me down," it's pretty hard not to read between the lines and assume that these words indicate how the band feels about Zayn's departure. Give it a listen, below.
Sometimes, in the relentless onslaught of diss tracks, non-diss tracks, and passive-aggressive Instagram posts, it's hard to remember that there was a time before Drake v. Meek Mill. There was a simpler, sepia-toned moment, where both of them were just rappers who made rap songs, kind of like how lots of old white Americans used to see the 1950s. Return to that time with this video for The Game's track "100," written and produced (and, presumably, shot) in the pre-"Charged Up" era. Take a little trip down memory lane with this song, which is both good on its own and features a decent enough Drake verse. It'll be just like you're back in the heady days of last week. [via Stereogum]
From a killer cop thriller to a documentary to a charming grandmother-granddaughter road movie, here's the six films you should see in August.
A lean, mean, unbearably tense thriller by Jon Watts set in Colorado Springs about two rebellious young kids (Hays Wellford & James Freedson-Jackson) who find a police car in the woods with the keys in the ignition and take off for a joy ride. What they don't know is that the owner of the car is a psychotic killer cop (played with wonderful ferocity by Kevin Bacon). And this lawman relentlessly keeps coming for them, leaving a trail of bodies behind. The kids are terrific and so is Camryn Manheim & Shea Whigham in supporting roles. Watts made an earlier film never released here called Clown that was bizarre and wonderfully original, but this full-throttled neo-noir leaves it in the dust.
The Diary Of A Teenage Girl
A remarkable film directed with poetic sensitivity by Marielle Heller about the musings of a 15-year-old girl Minnie (Bel Powley) discovering her sexuality with her mother's (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard). Set in San Francisco in the early '70s with Patty Hearst in the news and Iggy Pop on the turntable, the film swims in the free love and druggy culture and the impact on Minnie as she records her thoughts into a tape recorder. Minnie's mother says it best commenting on her burgeoning sexuality: "You have a kind of power -- you don't know it yet..." The director's choice of using animation interlaced throughout is inspired, especially reflecting Minnie's dreams of being a cartoonist. Bel Powley, a ringer for Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring, is just sensational. And why isn't Kristen Wiig in every movie? She's just a wonder.
A sardonically smart, stylized, suspense film by Tyler Shields about Veronica (Abigail Breslin), an orphaned girl raised and trained to be a vengeful warrior by a mysterious stranger (played by a smoking hot Wes Bentley). Her new target? A group of well-heeled young men, led by their alpha dog psycho leader (Alexander Ludwig), who hunt down women in the woods for sport. When they try to track Veronica through the forest at night their tables are turned in a satisfyingly gruesome fashion. The look of the film is wittily specific, and so is the costuming -- men in formalwear, women in '60s debutante attire. Not only is it a kick seeing these creeps get theirs, Veronica has added a special bit of justice. These predators need to feel the fear of their victims before they die. Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill!
Lily Tomlin is just sublime as the cantankerous poet Elle Reid, just breaking up with her girlfriend of four months only to have her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) appear at her door needing money for an abortion. Having just cut up her credit cards, Elle and Sage head out on a road trip in a broken down car trying to hunt down the cash, and navigating some thornier people from Elle's colorful past, in this touching and bittersweet comedy by Paul Weitz (About A Boy). Tomlin plays this character with acerbic glee and great tenderness, and Julia Garner is just lovely in this funny, offbeat film.
Tom At The Farm
A nerve-wracking slow-burn psychological thriller by the wildly talented Canadian director Xavier Dolan made in 2013 before his magnificent Mommy but finally released in the States. Xavier Dolan plays Tom, grieving over the death of his lover who travels far into the country to meet his boyfriend's family. At a remote farm he discovers the mother Agathe (Lise Roy) had no idea her son was gay or had a lover and the scary brother Francis (Pierre-Yves Cardinal) threatens Tom to keep this aspect of their lives together to himself. The longer Tom stays, the brother's abuse -- physically and psychically -- overwhelms him until he finds he fearfully cannot leave the farm. The film unfolds with chilly Claude Chabrol-like style and resonates with claustrophobic unease.
Call Me Lucky
Bobcat Goldthwait's poignant documentary of an influential and fascinating comedian, Barry Crimmins. A hulking figure on stage, smoking and railing on politics and against the Catholic Church, his comedy was fueled by rage. But he was a mentor to many comedians when he organized a comedy club in Boston in the 80s...many who admired and slightly feared him. But one night his routine revealed the horrific sexual abuse he suffered as a child, which became newsworthy and a shock to those who knew and loved him. He delighted into laying into hecklers with withering contempt. Here we see him lay waste to an AOL official at a Senate hearing on child pornography that he spearheaded. Goldthwait's film is slightly repetitive, but so what... his subject is a pretty great guy and deserving of this tribute.
Between the sugary "I Really Like You" and the Dev Hynes-produced slow jam "All That," Carly Rae Jepsen has thrown her hat in the ring for most dynamic pop artist of 2015. Jepsen's E•MO•TION LP doesn't come out for another month, but today she shared her latest single, "Warm Blood." This time around, Jepsen teamed up with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij for a pumping New Wave-y banger. And in true Jepsen fashion, it's catchy as hell.
Listen to the track above.
If you haven't heard the name Jerrod Carmichael yet, we guarantee you will soon. And then you won't forget it. Jerrod is an anomaly: a 27-year-old stand-up comedian who avoids digital content and whose first major introduction to the world was last year with his own HBO comedy special "Love at the Store," directed by Spike Lee; and now he's gearing up to premiere his namesake sitcom The Carmichael Show on NBC August 26th.
But Carmichael didn't just stumble upon success. He's been grinding in LA comedy clubs for the past six years. There's something noticeably old-school about Carmichael, from his mild manners to his impeccable work ethic (it seems like you can still catch him doing stand-up nearly any night of the week in LA), or maybe the fact that stand-up is his first love at a time when many funny, young people seek alternative routes with soundbite-heavy skits online. Whatever it is, Carmichael's voice refreshingly echoes the realities of our time and isn't afraid to challenge audiences.
His material is distinctly millennial: It's multicultural, hip-hop-influenced, celebrity-obsessed, digitally-distracted and keyed into social-justice. While some may perceive his bits about Trayvon Martin as crossing a line, Carmichael is on stage telling jokes about some of our country's deepest sources of pain -- namely the woefully high murder rates of black Americans and systemic inequality. All this, no less, at a time when it's clear that silence and political correctness haven't achieved the mythological post-racial society. All he wants is for people to listen.
So you're from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. When did you decide to pursue comedy and move to LA?
When I was 19, a friend of mine started to push me to do it. I always had an interest, but it was like a theory, like "I'll probably move to LA" but it was never anything I ever took seriously until a couple months before I moved. I was 20 and my sister bought me a one-way plane ticket and was like "are you sure?" I said "yeah, yeah." so I found a place of Craigslist and just did it, around the decision to really do stand-up. You have to be around people at a very high level if you want to do anything great. You want to be around peers, future peers, and competitors and all that, so for me I love North Carolina but I didn't choose to start there because I really wanted to be pushed.
What kind of comedy did you watch growing up?
I watched Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor a lot in my house because of my parents and I watched Comic View, Martin, The Golden Girls, The Steve Harvey Show, and Fraiser. I haven't been able to watch comedy without analyzing it for a while. I was like 11 or 12 when I really started dissecting it. I try to analyze it the way you would analyze a jazz song. Miles Davis said there are no mistakes in jazz and I believe that to be true of comedy. There aren't mistakes, like if you did something it was for a reason, so you have to explore that. There's no right or wrong. A lot of people are terrified of being themselves because they want to make a living and it's easier to do what the next guy is doing. It's that fear of failure where people think "if I don't try anything and just fit in this mold then I can make the amount of money that person made or have the career that person had" but you have to be unique. Especially, now it's not like before with the Catskills where the jokes were interchangeable and weren't so personal, then someone else could write your jokes and you could go perform them as long as you had a good delivery or whatever. But now it's such a personal thing, they want to know you or your thoughts, your honest views on things, or your techniques for challenging people which is a thing I like to utilize.
Now you see a lot of people trying to break into comedy through YouTube or Vine but you entered on the scene through stand-up and an HBO special. Can you talk about that?
A lot of people will hit really hard on the web and they'll want to do live shows but they haven't worked that muscle. They haven't done it before and it doesn't work out. Look, there's some amazing web guys who don't do live performances and they've found their medium and that's excellent. But sometimes a video goes viral but they can't adapt to live performance. I don't think it's hard, I just think doing stand-up is a journey in self-exploration. You have to really go within and know yourself really, really well.
You have very few videos online.
I kind of consciously kept it really low. I want people to come see my stand up. I didn't want to just flood people with more and more material online, I wanted people to see it.
In your shows you engage the audience in a friendlier way than most comedians -- like asking them how their day is going as opposed to picking them out of the audience and making fun of what they're wearing.
Yeah, this one show the guy was sitting in the front row and he said "I know you're about to get me, I'm an open target right now." I was like "no you bought tickets, two drinks" -- I think he had a few more than that -- "I'm glad you're here." I was picked on. I don't like the idea of just picking on someone because they came to see you do comedy. That's not how I like to do comedy, but I do like to talk to people. The same way I hope people respect my view or technique for getting an idea out, I respect theirs. I like having a conversation.
In your "Love at the Store" special there are moments where it seems like you cross a line with the audience, for example the bit about Trayvon Martin. Can you talk about that joke?
I've heard the criticism of the Trayvon part, and it's like, are you listening to what I said? It's a challenge. You don't care and if you do, do something -- here's the thing that happened with Trayvon, George Zimmerman is a free man. We as a society failed, I take blame for that because we let it slip away. We let it slip away! I don't think we were as relentless or as organized as we could've been or should've been. There's a certain relentlessness that forces people to change their mind and forces people to recognize their faults. Beyond when a horrible tragedy happens, beyond wearing hoodies and changing our profile pictures, we needed more real outrage. That joke was my way of challenging, like, do you really care? Either do something about it or face your innate selfishness. And I want people to do something.
Do you think having Spike Lee direct the special influenced the way people perceived it, especially in terms of the more controversial aspects?
Having Spike Lee on board allows people to listen, because even some of the things that I'm challenging I'm probably supporting if you really listen. I'm probably supporting what you're supporting I'm just using a different technique to hopefully get people to wake up and feel something beyond apathy. I just hope my intention shines through, my intention isn't to make anyone mad but it is to challenge certain thoughts. Usually when someone is offended they shut down and they stop listening and hearing you. If you're upset I can take that, as long as you're still listening.
Do you feel like your comedy resonates more with millennials than other age brackets?
I love the response from my generation: they just get it. They understand it. They know. Cops pulled guns on me down the street, I mention it in the special, it's real. I'm saying it as a challenge even for people like me, who look like me, for me! That's the thing that I wish, that people would just look deeper. Like don't dismiss me, just listen.
What do you think characterizes your generation?
My favorite thing about our generation is that we're finally able to be human beings, we're finally able to see past the roles of race and gender even, we're able to go beyond it and have the opportunity to be ourselves. I'm not pretending we're in this utopia and race problems are gone and gender inequality is gone, but we're still able to be ourselves in most social situations and I think that's beautiful. I think we're just more open, not just looking for the flaws. We're the beneficiaries. I even joke about the Civil Rights Movement and what I'm trying to say is I can maintain the reverence without holding on to the pain. Our generation is able to know the history of the word nigger but it doesn't bother us and that should be a good thing. We get chastised for not feeling hurt when we hear it. People say we should stop saying it, but it's like no it's a word and we gentrified the n-word and that's amazing! That's amazing! That's a sign of who our generation is and it's amazing progress, it's like you either embrace it or you get left behind.
Artistically speaking, the problem with a lot of artists, whether it's comics or musicians or whatever, is they don't even know they're free. I've talked to guys who don't know they're free to do whatever they want. They live in this box of what they're supposed to do and say. Even speaking to comedy, there was a guy who was like "you can't pull out your notebook during a comedy special" and I was like "remind me why again? What's that rule you're adhering to?" but we're able to do whatever we want, it's so beautiful.
How do you maintain such a positive attitude?
My desire is to see the good in everything and everyone. This may be a device in some sense but if you really want to see the potential for good in everything imagine you're at the bottom of a well and then look around and imagine that person is the first face you see looking over the well that has the potential to help you and save you. And if you look at everyone through that lens you can find something amazing in everyone. We have the ability to help each other.
With a role in Neighbors, then your own special, and now a sitcom you've accomplished a lot at a young age. What has your journey been like since you got to LA?
You move and you just hit the ground running. Open mics become shows and shows become general meetings with iced green tea. For me the journey has always been just head down, focus, work and let it consume you if you love it.
Do you ever receive criticism that you haven't paid enough dues? What do you think about the notion of paying dues?
A lot of people's criticisms of me are rooted in me just not following the rulebook. You pay dues but it's such a personal system. You can't as an outsider say. You learn these lessons and then you move on. It's gonna be a different time-frame for everyone. What takes someone ten years, might take another guy one. You can only answer it for yourself. People are so caught up in policing that they aren't making art. And look, I like arguing if it's more than shitting on something and putting it down. Then I don't mind it, if it's actually something constructive. I just like progress on all fronts, personal, artistic.
How do you feel about the platform you're building for yourself?
Comedy can be mindless and still prove profitable, and I don't want anyone to leave my show without feeling something or thinking about something. Even if it's anger, or they don't like it, great! Usually people don't feel that and I know what Richard Pryor did to me, even when I was listening to topics that happened a generation prior, not necessarily truths of my generations, I could feel that he was someone that was cutting through.
I have a responsibility as an artist. How do I push the culture further, even just for comedy for the art form, for stand-up comedy, it's like how do I move it forward? That's part of my job. I'm aware that HBO isn't just handing out specials. I'm aware that people under 40 aren't really getting them, let alone a black dude under 40, under 30. I'm aware of that so I have to do my part in moving it forward and not just doing things you've seen before.
One of the interesting things about the Meek Mill-Drake beef is that it's played out, in part, on social media. That means a lot of lame, passive-aggressiveInstagram posts about the other person, as well as a general dilution of what it would mean to have a classic rap beef (is that what you thought we were going to get out of Drake, one of the most self-consciously amiable people in the world?). But it also gave a pretty easy way to track popular opinion on the beef (and is still doing so). And if you haven't been paying attention: Meek is losing. You can track that how here, with some of the best Meek Mill memes.
The "Charged Up" Meme
meek's comments on instagram be like 😂😂😂😂 charged up pic.twitter.com/KLSXXuG1h4-- Wolfie (@wolfieraps) July 26, 2015
It took me a very long time to understand why Drake is so successful (or, at least, the way of thinking about it that works for me) -- he is a human meme. That means he's infinitely flexible, like water, capable of moving into many distinct musical and personal boxes before returning effortlessly returning to his earlier form. That's terrifying, but it also explains why pretty much any object he touches instantly becomes the subject of mass scrutiny on the internet. So it's not the surprising that the use of the iPhone battery symbol for the "Charged Up" art has led to a proliferation of memes mocking Meek for forgetting to bring his extra USB battery.
speaking of Drake's "Back to Back" . I wonder if Meek will buy my shirt? pic.twitter.com/dku4WBJIPx-- youtube/alonzolerone (@alonzolerone) July 29, 2015
These mostly came down on the head of Funk Flex, who promised he would play Meek's diss track on his Hot 97 show and failed to deliver (before actually playing it on Thursday) -- but they still managed to mock Meek for ghosting on the fight he initiated in the first place.
The Frustrated Nicki Memes
"You stood up for yourself that's all that matters"pic.twitter.com/RLdk76Smvm-- Mos Def (YasiinBae) (@JuanGleesh) July 31, 2015
Poor Nicki Minaj, having to watch this trash play out in her house. Many of the jokes about Meek have focused on Nicki's perceived displeasure at his childishness (though she's been a saint in avoiding saying anything). This has some precedent in the music, too -- some of Drake's bars in "Back to Back" kind of lazily try to emasculate Meek just because his girlfriend is super successful (which, hmmm), but that didn't stop the internet from seizing on that for its own edification.
The "Wanna Know" Jokes
Retweet if your wifi got more bars than Meek-- Jesse Marco (@JesseMarco) July 31, 2015
And, of course, there are the jokes about "Wanna Know" itself, calling out everything from Meek's accusation that someone peed on Drake once to the fact that Meek spends a bunch of the track sampling the Drake reference tracks and calling out... artists who are not Drake. Complex has several good roundupsof these jokes (and have been scarily on-top of the Drake-Meek social game).
Of course, there are still some ways Meek could recover from this and regain the upper hand in the beef. Maybe he could travel to L.A. under cover of night, steal a master copy of Frank Ocean's album, and leak it to the public?
Mark Reay is a 50-something fashion photographer, actor, model and the epitome of a silver fox.
He's also homeless.
Reay is the subject of a new documentary, Homme Less, that tells his unique story of shooting for Dazed & Confused and modeling in fashion commercials by day and sleeping under a tarp atop the roof of a friend's East Village apartment building by night. Directed by Thomas Wirthensohn, Homme Less aims to explore questions like "how far are we from losing everything, even our homes, and with it a part of our dignity and humanity? How often do we have to pretend that everything is in fine order to keep up the facade of being a well-off member of society? And how far are we prepared to go to take the financial pressure off our shoulders to live a more carefree live, the live that we want to live?"
The trailer shows Reay going about his day "keeping up the facade" and portrays a side to homelessness not often seen, one that involves an individual not plagued by substance abuse problems or mental illness but instead a series of unfortunate choices and events in a city that has very little room for those kinds of errors.
The documentary opens at NYC's IFC Center on August 7th and you can read more about Reay's life in a recent interview he gave to the New York Post.
Did you know that Katy Perry tried to buy a former convent in Los Angeles from Sisters of the Most Holy? Now you do! And did you know that someone else tried to buy the building, but that courts have annulled that purchase, opening up the possibility once more that Katy Perry might get to own her own convent? Well, you do now. The nuns, who reportedly don't want to sell to Perry, are in a legal battle with the archdiocese, which wants to sell to Katy Perry because, even though she is offering less money ($14.5 million as opposed to $15.5 million), the archdiocese claims restaurateur Dana Hollister is "out to take advantage" of the nuns. The nuns, however, do not want to sell to Perry, probably because she kissed a girl or something. "Obviously, Catholic nuns are not particularly enamored of the image that Katy Perry puts out," the nuns' lawyer told reporters, automatically losing the case by failing to make an obvious "put out" joke (apparently, the case could take several years to decide, but shh). Have fun with your new convent, Katy! Show those nuns how you, uh...